Our Story

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Ben and I met in 1996, began dating in 1999 and married in 2001. Now 20 years and 2 children later, we have returned to where our life together began. Ben works for the Federal Reserve and I have the privilege of staying home with our two precious boys.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rookie Ball comes to an end

Yesterday started bright and early with the last game and end of season awards for Rookie ball. Next season, Ethan moves up to Tee-Ball A. He has learned a lot this season and his ability to stay focused(when he wanted to) has dramatically increased compared to his previous Rookie season. We are very proud of this little guy!

Batter up Red Sox #10
A pat on 3rd base from Head Coach Sowders
Baseball ready in the circle
 Turn, and throw
 Getting some advice on the field from Daddy
 At the end of the game, all of the players came onto the field and were called up to receive their shirts
 Then we headed up to the pavilion to enjoy some juice, doughnuts, and awards. 
First, a team picture
 Then all of the coaches came to the front while our head coach, Billy, presented each child with their trophy
 Ethan shook Billy's hand and received his trophy

 Then high-fived all of the other coaches, including Daddy :-)
 After the players received their awards, Billy presented Ben and the other coaches with a team plague
Ben truly enjoys helping coach and is already looking forward to the beginning of Caden's baseball career and being able to help with it as well.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Disney on Ice

Yesterday we spent the morning at our very first Disney on Ice show. We went with sweet friends and the same age as Ethan and Caden and everyone was absolutely mesmerized by the characters! I love that we have just returned from Disney and it is still fresh on the boys' minds so when they saw the characters they began to yell hello to them just like they did when they were able to be up close with them at the parks and resorts. We attempted a couple of pre-show pictures but Ethan was already distracted by everything around him :-)
Ethan and Ashley
Sadie with her mommy, Brenda
Then the show began and they were immediately open mouthed in amazement
Ethan decided he wanted to sit next to Ashley and her mommy, Michaela, for the first half of the show so I got to watch him from afar while Caden hung out with me
One of my favorite parts! Mickey down on one knee offering a rose to Minnie
As soon as Minnie skated out, Caden immediately began to yell for her and was so excited to see her! His crush from Walt Disney World lives on...
Next the princesses all took turns with their songs
Which was probably both girls' favorite part of the show
Then we saw a spinoff from It's a Small World and the Main Street Electrical Parade
And the band played on...
Followed by an appearance from The Incredibles
At which point Caden yells, "I love superheroes!" 
Poor child only has one level of voice control: Loud.

And although there were several more segments that did not get documented by the camera, the finale was so sweet and I found my eyes getting damp simply from experiencing the excitement of the boys. It reminded me of how I felt getting to know some of these (older ;-) characters as a child myself. I guess it's part of the magic of Disney.
 It was definitely a hit!
We are already talking about coming back next year with Daddy!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ethan's Shadowbrook End of Year Party

On Wednesday, Ethan said goodbye to Shadowbrook :-(((
It was his very last day in the 4 year old class and they ended the year with an outdoor party.
First, some pizza...
 Next up, a hunt for seashells in the sand
 Followed by a water war
 (Ethan is in the very wet navy t-shirt squirting his buddy Mason)
 Then a little playground time
 And some bug chasing with butterfly nets. 
They're scoping out the bugs from here :-)
The chase begins...
Then Daddy asked him what he planned to do with the bugs after he caught them. 
Ethan wasn't too sure about the answer to that :-)
And some bubbles, which mostly entertained Caden and Sadie
 At the end of the party, I put the camera away to help with clean-up and completely forgot to take End-of-Year pictures with Ms. Janice and Ms. Tamara. So, I did what every other overly-emotional mommy does who is devastated that this chapter of her child's life is coming to an end and I emailed them to ask if I could bring him down the next day while the teachers were doing year-end wrap up to take pictures with him. Thankfully, they adore him(which some days completely baffles me ;-) and were happy to let me bring him back down for goodbye pictures. I'm totally going to the doctor this week to get on meds for my cry-fest!

Ms. Tamara and Ethan 
(He wore his Alabama shirt in honor of her)
Ms. Janice and Ethan
 As we were walking out and he was saying goodbye to everyone, he saw Ms. Joy, the Music and Movement teacher, at the door. Joy stopped to tell him how much she was going to miss him next year and he looked at her and said, "Ms. Joy, just remember how much I love you." Oh my gracious, in his pure preciousness, Joy, myself, and the Preschool Director, Ms. Carol, all started crying.
Ethan has such a sweet heart. He has already said that he will have to go to Ms. Janice's and Ms. Tamara's houses to go visit them since he will not be there in the fall and they have wholeheartedly told him to come on! Janice and Tamara have each told me repeatedly throughout the year that they love that he was placed in their class. Their love for him and his big personality in his little body as well as all of the other teachers at Shadowbrook that call him by name and make small talk with him whenever they see him regardless of whether or not he was ever in their class makes the end of his preschool years here so difficult for me. I thank God for every day here with these wonderful ladies that love my children so much. We could not have asked for a more nurturing and loving environment for either of them. A church-based preschool/MMO program was the one thing that most stressed me when we left Texas and moved home in October 2011 and God abundantly provided a gracious blessing when he placed us at Shadowbrook. 

Even though he was in a Pre-K class this year, we have decided it best for him to transition to a full day program before beginning Kindergarten especially considering his July birthday. This fall, Ethan will begin full day Pre-K at Duncan Creek Academy. While moving on to new adventures should be exciting, forgive me if I'm not quite there yet and still mourning the thought of leaving Shadowbrook.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Caden's End of Year Party

Tuesday was Caden's last day of school in his 2-3 year old class so we ended the year with a party.
Since it was an outdoor party in May, we had to have popsicles!
 And after a bit of running around,
 he found the bubbles,
 then headed over to the water table.
 Once playtime was over, everyone headed back inside for lunch
 Then the kiddos received their summer buckets. Caden immediately took out the water squirter and pretended to shoot people. Lovely, gotta love having a big brother!
 After checking out their buckets, it was time for goodbye. 
Ms. Brennan has been a wonderful addition to our Shadowbrook family! We absolutely adore her and every day Caden tells her how much he loves her and how much he misses her when it is not a school day. So, so precious!
 Then Ms. Mindy! She has been amazing this year and we found out that she lives just a few miles away so I definitely see visits in our future!
What a wonderful year! Caden's speech and enunciation got so much better as the year progressed. There is still improvement to be made and maybe a little speech therapy in our future but he has come leaps and bounds from where he was at the beginning of the year. Additionally, he does not suck his thumb near as frequently. He has blossomed and I contribute much of that to the love of Brennan and Mindy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ethan's Promotion Day

On Monday we celebrated Ethan's Promotion Day from Shadowbrook, basically his preschool graduation :-) As we walked in, we were greeted with a life size replica of our child. His, teacher, Janice, told us that each child was drawn the same as what they wore to school that day. Too cute!

 The theme..."You've got a friend in me"
As each child entered, they announced their name. Of course, Ethan added his own flair and made everyone laugh :-)
 One of the moments in the first song that he chose to show the movements!
 Waiting his turn
 Hugs for Ms. Janice
 Aarrgghh, matey
 Family picnic time after receiving his "diploma"
 Our Preschool graduate