Monday, October 3, 2016

First day of school 2016!

The first 6 weeks of school just passed, so it's about time I get the first day of post up, right?

This year Jackson is in 3rd grade.

He was a little anxious this year, I'm still not 100% sure why, but it made me a little apprehensive to leave him.  I didn't cry at all this year, but Jackson's anxiety almost brought on the tears.  His day went well, though, and he's having a good year so far!

Parts of second grade were really tough.  His teacher had a hard time last year, and Jackson did too.  As this new school year approached, I prayed even more than I usually do that Jackson would have a good teacher this year who would be patient with him, and that he would choose some better behaviors. Jackson has 3 teachers this year, and I'm excited (and relieved) to say that they're ALL so wonderful!  It's made such a big difference.  His behavior is much better as well. His math teacher even has a room decorated in electronic games like Mario Brothers and Pacman- perfect for Jackson!
This is Mrs. Rodriguez, his homeroom teacher.  LOVE her!  LOVE them all!
This mama's prayers were definitely answered.

Austin is in kindergarten this year.

Harrison HAD to be in the first day of school picture too...

He's so cute!  He was so excited, but pretty sad that he was going to have a new teacher and not his old preschool teachers.  He told me that he needed TWO teachers like in preschool, not just one.  He was very worried that his new teacher would not be able to handle all the students in his class because there was just one of her.  Thankfully, he loves his teacher, and she's been able to care for ALL of her students.  Phew!  Crisis averted.
Mrs. Catano is wonderful!  She is so sweet and so great at pushing Austin's brain to new levels.  He's so flippin smart and she works hard at growing his mind.  He loves her!

Since we're 6 weeks in they've already done some level testing.  Jackson's reading and math are at 5th grade level.  Austin is reading at a 2nd grade level and his math is in 1st grade level.  They're such smarty pants!  I'm so grateful they have educators who recognize their intelligence and push them to progress farther. I know it's not easy to be a classroom teacher with so many learning levels and learning intelligences, and trying to balance them all.  The boys' teachers are fantastic!  
We're so grateful for their school and their new teachers!

Jackson's baptism and 8th birthday!

First of all, this is what I think about when I think about Jackson:

Most of the time I look at Jackson and wonder how he got so big.  Just yesterday I looked at him and realized he's already up to Jim's chest.  How did that happen!?  He was tiny, and waking me up all night for a bottle just last week, right?  I vividly remember his first smile when he was 6 weeks old.  He was lying on our bed and he just finished a bottle, and I remember how ecstatic I was to see that gummy grin.  Jackson was so such a huge adjustment for me.  It wasn't an easy start.  I thought being a mom would be easy for me, but it sooooo was NOT easy!

Jackson was our first, so we made so many mistakes.  I didn't enjoy all the moments I should because I was too busy adjusting.  We eventually got the hang of having him around and he was the light of our lives.  He was such a good baby!  So independent.  He thrives on responsibility and always has.  Then, Austin came along.  Jackson was born to be a big brother.  He loves his brothers so dearly and is always finding new ways to love and care for him.  He's happy when they're happy.  He's definitely his brothers' keeper.  I remember Jackson crying hysterically when I told toddler Austin that I was going to leave him at home by himself because he wouldn't come with us to the car.  Normal parenting ploy, right?  Jackson took this very seriously and immediately started screaming at me and crying that we couldn't leave his baby brother alone in the house.

Jackson is so smart!  He's funny.  He's naturally inquisitive.  He's always asking questions, whether it's the definition of a new word or how something works and why.  He LOVES math, and he excels in reading and science as well.  He's also very sensitve and empathetic.  He enjoys running, and recently tried out for Cross Country at school.

I can't believe he's 8 already!

He's so handsome!  Toothless and all!

The big day arrived.  I was so frantic trying to get everything together. I was sure something major would go wrong and it would be my fault.  But his baptism was great!

Aunt Kelsey and Uncle Jeff came down and gave talks which made his day so much more special.

  So many people came and supported and participated.
Old friends, new friends, and family from far away made his baptism wonderful!

Of course, grandma and great grandpa came too!
I LOVE this picture.  So much of my heart is in this picture.

Uncle Brian and Whitney came for the weekend as well.

My dear friends Paige and Amanda came to support Jackson, but sadly,  I didn't get a picture of Amanda.

This is one of my favorite pictures.
I love these babies!
Besties since birth!
Maggie's next to get baptized!

Jackson's baptism was so sweet.
I will always remember his baptism day and I hope he does too.

The next day it was time to party!

I'm so glad Jeff and Kelsey came out to celebrate with us!
I wish I had more pictures of them and their visit, esepcially since Zander and Austin were instant friends.  They often went upstairs to play and we wouldn't see them again for hours.

Jackson and Austin had a balloon war.

There was a little face painting.
Unfortunately, the birthday boy is allergic to face paint so he didn't get to join in that fun.
His brothers did though!

Time to play in the arcade!

Jackson has been trying to beat this specific game for awhile now and he finally beat it at his party!

He got some air hockey time with Whitney- any Whitney time is a win for him!

It was such a good weekend.  I'm so glad so many were able to come and celebrate Jackson.
I still can't believe he's 8, though.  Time flies.
I love my oldest bug.
Happy birthday and baptism, Jackson!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Nature week and weather week

First two weeks down and we're still going strong!

Week 1:  Nature week

First thing we did for nature week was to plant a garden.
Austin planted daisies and beans, and Jackson planted mixed flowers and eggplant.
Our little garden is growing like crazy!  I should have snagged a picture, but I will post picture in a future blog.  The only thing not growing yet is the eggplant and some parsley that I planted.  We're still hoping they're just late bloomers. -HA!  See what I did there??

Next, we went on a scavenger hunt!
We found things in nature and the boys learned that nature isn't just in the woods or fields, but that nature is all around us- even in our neighborhood!  That thought had never occured to them.
They took pictures of everything they found with their Ipads.

We also took a little field trip to the Lubbock Lake Landmark.
Honestly, it was a lot more fun than I remember.  They had a little booklet that led the boys on a scavenger hunt around the indoor museum and around the outside exhibits of extinct creatures that used to roam this area.  Jackson loved being outside and going on a hike through the wild flowers, and Austin loved the scavenger hunt inside.

Above, the big boys are checking out an old bear that used to roam this area.
Below, Austin is reading about some of the wild flowers on our hike.

It was a little bright outside...
And hot.

The wildflowers were beautiful, and the natural landscape really impressed the boys.  It was hard for them to imagine Lubbock before people settled it.

Week 2:  Weather

Weather is one of Jackson's favorite camp topics, and mine too!
The first activity we did was an experiment about the water cycle.
This little experiment was GREAT!  It's still hanging on our back door because the boys love to check it to see where their bag is in the water cycle several times a day.
Originally, I made a little picture with water cycle vocabulary on a sandwich bag, and then I filled them with hot water.  I cloud forms quickly, so the boys learned about evaporation on condesation within a few minutes.  Then the evaporated water gets too heavy and it rains.  So fun!
Harrison also loves to check on the water cycle bags all day.  Every morning he runs to the back door asking, "Open, peas?!"  He's adorable!

Hahaha!  I just noticed I spelled "precipitation" wrong on one of the bags.  Oops...

Next, we made a little water cycle art.
The sun is on top, then clouds, then strips of evaporation (white drops going up) and precipitation (blue drops falling down) into a body of water.
They turned out pretty good!  Although, Jackson didn't want any help and got super frustrated with the evaporation/precipitation strips.  Most days he's great without a nap, but other days he needs a little extra rest. But don't we all...

Looking back, this pretty much turned into a water cycle week.  Austin finally understands the concept though because of these little water cycle bracelets.  It's hard to see their pony bead bracelets, but the green beads represent the land where water begins, clear represents evaporation, white represents clouds, blue represents rain, and yellow represents the sun which makes the cycle possible.  This was by far the boys' favorite activity!

Harrison LOVED stinging the beads on the pipe cleaner!

He's so dang cute!
He made his own bracelet-

We also made  a sun print.
The boys made pictures with construction paper and pennies and they're out in the sun baking as I type this up.  Yeah... we got a little behind last week because we had so much going on with daddy leaving town, his birthday, and Father's Day.  I need a vacation from my weekend!
Poor Jackson's picture (purple paper) keeps getting blown by the wind.  I figured the pennies would weigh it down enough, but not so much...  It's being held down by rocks now and his pennies are random now.  Oh well, it'll still work.

Now, if you've made it this far you get a treat!
Here are some random adorable pictures of the boys!

I don't know what it is about pictures of my boys holding hands and walking together, but I can't get enough of them.  It makes my heart so full!

Harrison trying on some glasses.
Look at that face.  Just melt your heart adorable!

Wow, I just realized that these pictures are basically a Walmart ad.  I don't even like Walmart!  We just happen to have a new Walmart in town and we were checking it out with grandma.
We are not Walmart endorsers.

And one last picture of Harrison playing being "sick".
He makes himself a little bed and tells me, "I sick", and then pours on his best sickly face.
Don't you just feel terrible for the little sicky boy?