Speechless, emotional, and over the top giddy to see my family there to celebrate!
I love to talk.... I really really really love to talk.... but this week I was so shocked and honored to be named Teacher of the Year at Wilmore Elementary and it left me speechless. I never expected to receive this award in only my 6th year teaching when I am surrounded by so many great teachers who deserve to be recognized for their hard work and service too. Needless to say, I am still pretty speechless about the whole thing but for now I am just trying to soak in the kind words, encouragement, and new super awesome parking spot for the next year!
Teachers work hard....every day! Yes, we get summers, holiday breaks, snow days, and our students leave at 3 but that comes with a high energy job that comes with lots difficulties and daily stresses. Each year teachers are expected to do more, teach more, and have more students all with less outside help. So do me a favor- show appreciation to your child's teacher; send them a note, point out things that you love, encourage them and build them up.
Little affirmations remind us that we are making a difference in the lives of your children, that our job is worth the sacrifice we make in our own homes, and that we are doing what God so strongly has called us to do.
Teaching is so much more than a job.... it is truly a calling that I am honored to fill.
TOP 10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MY JOB: 10. New crayons 9. The first day of school and equally the last day of school 8. Listening to kids really "get" it (anything new) 7. Star student festivities 6. Adventures with my students 5. The support of my work family 4. The ahhhhh when I get it (#3) figured out 3. Figuring out how to reach each individual 2. SUMMER BREAK! 1. The relationship that I develop year after year with my students and their families
You might remember Ivy's first sleepover several months ago with Elyse- good times! The girls felt so big but by the next morning it was quite clear that they weren't so big.... not yet. They were in need of a nap! So nap it was- and we took a little break from sleepovers.
Then something happened to Ivy.... she really has seemed to grow up quite a bit, right before my eyes. I am not sure if it is the fact that she eats sushi like an adult, only has temper tantrums at her time of the month, is embarking on kindergarten this fall, or the fact that she just seems so BIG compared to Tula. Whatever the cause, Ivy is growing up on us and she has had 2 sleepovers in the past few weeks and I feel like some sort of expert on the subject!
So I am here to share, what I have learned so far:
* Girls PACK a lot! (I am talking multiple bags, toiletry bags, suitcases, dozens of stuffed lovies, etc!) If you specialize in boys, they will most likely just pack underwear... in their pocket.
* Organized activities are good....Play dates are short enough that free reign is FUN but when littles are together for hours a game plan is necessary to give everyone a calm down time.
Like a date to get ice cream, a long bike ride, or a trip to the park!
* Early risers will rise.... earlier! So when they go to bed it is best if you are off to bed too! And just don't waste your breath on the don't wake up before the sun talk- there will be no following that rule. Not when your friend is soooooo close by and playtime is right around the corner.
An organized activity at 7am- dyeing Easter eggs!
* Follow the same bedtime routine as normal. This has helped Ivy to know that just because we are having a sleepover doesn't mean our house rules are changing. Pajamas on- check. Brush your teeth- check. Potty time- check. And reading books- check, check, check, check.
Twice as many stories when you are reading with two little ladies.
* They want to share EVERYthing. Why that's great.....right?!? Not so much, you may want to talk to your little one about how some things like hair brushes, tooth brushes, and cups are just FOR YOU. We are glad you are great friends but must we share germs- I think not!
Ivy has been so sweet that she even let Tula get in on the fun of this play dough party!
* Everybody will be taking a great nap the next day- even the mama!! And that is something that I am super thankful for :)
We had a great Easter beginning with our church egg hunt on Saturday and then having Easter celebrations all day on Sunday. This year I feel like Ivy understood more of the true meaning of Easter than ever before which is so exciting to me. We read through the Easter story in her Children's Bible several times and she had so much to say... "So he's not still dead??" "Does he still have nails in his hands?" "Is he still friends with those boys? (the disciples)" This is a lot more than she understood last year. I want my children to know that Easter is such a wonderful day that promises so much for us. And I hope that year after year, that becomes clearer to them. Jesus died for us, for you, and for the criminals hanging on the crosses next to him. His love wins.... every day.... year after year!
Enjoy our Easter weekend in pictures:
Egg hunt with friends.... Ivy was shocked to find treats in the eggs!! She thought only the Easter bunny did that :)
Discovering Tula's Easter basket from the Bunny
Ivy was excited that even the Easter Bunny is ready for summer with HOT, PINK goggles!
All ready for church.... a little chilly outside!
Daddy and his girls
Fancy girls at church celebrating Jesus' gift to us!
Egg hunt at Nana and Pops'
Tula LOVES her chocolate.... and this is her face demanding chocolate after a disappointing sweet tart!
Finding more eggs with Daddy's guidance:)
Nana and Pops surprised the girls with new outside toys! Ivy loved testing out her new scooter~
And Tula's car has been a hit..... we enjoyed several walks with it this week!
I hope you all had a great Easter celebrating that He is ALIVE, too!
This week has been absolutely refreshing....at home....no distractions....just us.... the sisters and the mama. It has been wonderful! In fact, so wonderful that I know I am going to have the Sunday blues BAD after our week at home. But I will try not to think of that and enjoy the next 3 days for what they are- Easter weekend! The biggest celebration day for us Jesus Followers. The time of year that we remember the ultimate gift that Jesus has given us- His death for Our grace and Our eternal life. What a prize!
This week I have seen the sisters change. Their relationship has evolved between Monday and Friday at home with each other. The week started with Ivy diving on top of toys and hoarding her "favorites" to keep them out of Tula's reach. Tula started with a temper, out to destroy everything Ivy had set up to perfection. Now it is different.
Playing together. Snuggling together. Laughing together. Singing together. They have united and I sometimes feel outside of their secret world. They dive on top of me with kisses- like it was a planned attack. They share the same books before a nap time. They both stand beside the freezer with a grin waiting on ice cream! And they help each other- Tula delivering Ivy her blanket when she is sad, Ivy giving Tula her milk cup when she drops it off her high chair for the hundredth time, making each other giggle when it is much needed.
The change is good. I welcome this team, even if at times I know they will unite against me. I am excited for their relationship to grow and for them to become playmates, friends, and forever they will be the sisters.
I am a lucky lady to be their mama- I took this week to really enjoy my sweet girls and I just don't want it to be over. Summer....are you here yet?
We have continued to enjoy our little spring break staycation.... but we did get away one day, naming that our "away-cation." But before I get on to that, two things to take note of:
1. I am an idiot and TOTALLY aware that our spring break is not tucked between Good Friday and Easter! That would be a ONE day break and I am not okay with that. So thankfully our perfect little break begins 1 week PRIOR to Good Friday and lasts through Easter.
2. I have pretty much abandoned my real camera. Not that I had a fancy shmancy one, but I did have one that takes better pictures than my phone. However, with 2 children my camera seems to be forgotten at home and when I do remember it I am too slow to pull it out and capture a moment.... so the iphone it is. So sorry for the poor quality!
Now onto the Away-cation.....
We hopped on a bus (aka a silver mini-van) and headed to Cincinnati because two wonderful things are tucked away in the big city! The first wonderful stop, was to the Cincinnati Children's Museum. It was my first time but we did have little tour guide on our hands. Maybe you remember Ivy's first time with her Unc and Esie!
The girls had a great time exploring. Tula ran quickly through each section, stopping a little longer to rock and baby and crawl into the fish tank with the turtles and fish! Ivy loved the ball area and spent lots of time with just Daddy in the water fun. Tula would have loved the water too but let's be honest, that would have been a mess.
Once we had all the fun in the world, we hopped into this little boat and headed to the wonderful stop number 2, Unc and Esie's house! (The boat didn't get us too far so back to the silver van it was.... but after a day at the museum our imaginations were running wild!)
Unc was in a great mood because his team was playing that night and he was certain they would win- and yes, they did! We ate a HUGE pizza and had fun hanging out. Esie had a baby bump and I was so excited that it had really grown in just a week's time!! I am already anticipating the next time we see them.... she will really be showing and we might even know if I have a niece or nephew on the way. Tula warmed up to them quite a bit this time. I suppose seeing them twice in less than 2 weeks was a big help. Ivy is silly, silly around her Unc and the only way to get her calm down is to let her play "Hair Dresser" with Esie. I am so thankful that Esie complies with this request time and time again. We love our Unc and Esie and were thankful that we could get away to see them one day!
At the end of a long day, we hopped back into the plain old mini van and headed home! I was absolutely excited that my SPONTANEOUS spring break still had so many more days ahead. And believe me, the fun has just kept on coming!
Our SPRING BREAK this year has begun and we are having a nice little stay-cation! I am excited about what it holds for our little family of 4. The one word theme of this awesome little, God-given break, tucked perfectly in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is SPONTANEOUS!
Here is what it has been so far!
An evening rendezvous at the park....
Flowers from my little girls...
Yum! Orange Leaf.... paid for by Nana and Pops.... even if they are enjoying themselves on a beautiful beach!
A backyard picnic... shoes off.... even if it was a little chilly!
I am a wife to my high school sweetheart.
I am a mother to 3 little princesses.
I am a teacher to a group of outstanding second graders.
I am a lover of the Lord.
I am a Kentuckian.
I am a home-body.
I love coffee, chocolate, and all the seasons... equally.
Born July 31, 2007 - Ivy is our big princess! Ivy loves school and everything about it. She is learning to love reading but her favorite is still anything artistic. Ivy can be shy in new situations but comes out of her shell when she is comfortable. She is a great big sister! We love our IvyGirl!
Born Sept. 1, 2010 - Tula is our little princess! She is so funny and giggles non-stop. Tula doesn't meet a stranger and genuinely loves talking to people. Tula is curious and she is a little too brave for Mommy's liking- exploring areas that she shouldn't! She adores her family, anything sweet, and being outside. We love our little TulaBelle!
Born Aug. 13, 2013- Joss is the baby princess of our house. Joss is a sweet baby who knows how to get what she wants. Joss loves to sleep, stare into the eyes of her Mama and Daddy, and be sang to by her big sisters. We are thankful for the blessing of her life. We love our baby Jossie!