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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Beginning of Summer...Chaos

Summer has started off in a blur and it's not slowing down yet. 

In early May, Ben and I began to talk about moving sometime over the summer. If we moved we wanted to do so before Ethan starts public Kinder in the fall. But we weren't sure about anything. He called our realtor and spoke with her about the possibility and talked about everything that we needed to do to get the house ready to go on the market and the next thing we knew she called us to say she thought she had a buyer. What?!?!?! Our house wasn't on the market, we weren't even ready to put it on the market, we didn't even have a price for it yet. We had literally just spoken to her about staging it the previous day. We didn't even have a prospect of a house to buy. Either way, the family came to look at the house. The house wasn't clean, the beds weren't made, I was making cupcakes to send to school the next day, and we had swim lessons that night. I spent 10 minutes doing the best I could and they saw the rest. They liked whatever they saw, though, because they made an offer and that was it. This all happened pretty much the last week of school, then we left for Disney the Friday after the boys got out, and we came back to pack up and move out of our house. Can you say chaos??? And to make it even better, the house that we thought we were going to buy fell through while we were at Disney and the day that we returned from Orlando, we jumped right back in the car to start another house hunt. Fun times! We quickly found another house but the homeowners did not have a place to move to, so we had to put all of our belongings in storage for 2 weeks, stay with our fabulous friend, Julie, and live out of suitcases in her home until they moved out and we can get moved in. Can you say chaos?

In the midst of the stress of everything going on, Ethan had VBS and we were able to toss in a couple of trips to Lake Lanier Islands. Hopefully, soon we can have a real summer!

Ethan loves the wave pool

But Caden has decided the wave pool is not for him
 Because he much prefers the water play area best
 Caden is disappointed that he's not tall enough to ride the water slides with Daddy and Ethan yet, so he and I hang out while they do the slides. It's definitely more relaxing!

The week we moved out of the house, Ethan had VBS so that was a huge distraction for him. It definitely helped the days go by faster!
 With the move, I didn't get to volunteer this year or take pictures, so I am grateful for this shot that Ben took. I wish I had been around to take more of him. They had so many great experiences that week!

I still have to post about our awesome Disney trip but that will be slow to come. Part 2 of the move is about to begin. Thankfully, one week from now everything will be different. I am praying it all ends soon and that life can return to a normal pace :-)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Last Day of School-Still May

 I was Caden's room mom for his class this year so I was responsible for planning the end of year party. Unfortunately, the problem with being the coordinator means that you aren't the picture taker since you are so busy doing other stuff :-( After bombing the Christmas party, I was determined that the end of year party was going to be great! And, it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. After a pizza lunch, I turned our assigned section of the parking lot into very simple carnival style games and the kids were free to rotate through them however they pleased. We had a bean bag toss, a splatter paint station, a sunglass and crazy straw scavenger hunt, a sidewalk chalk station, they used water squirters to knock cups off a stack, outdoor bowling, and a wet sponge toss. The kids made a mess, had a blast, and then ate popsicles! Success!! Here are just a couple of pictures from the party:
After cleaning up, Caden took a picture with Ms. Beth and Ms. Mary before we left. We had a wonderful year with them! Ms. Beth was also Ethan's 3 year teacher and Ms. Mary also had Caden in the 1's class a couple of years ago, too :-)
The next day was Ethan's party and official last day at Shadowbrook. Mason's mom, Aundrea, planned a great party for them that included a scavenger hunt that took them all over the classroom, the school, and outside.
 It included a hug someone special that you have learned a lot from clue...so cute!
 And ended with dress-up
 After the scavenger hunt, the kiddos came back to the room and had a summer gift exchange
 Ethan was on Cloud 9 with his gift!
 Then it was time to take one final picture with Ms. Jana and Ms. Marsha. I did much better this year than last year. I truly was surprised that I was not a sobbing mess by this point.
 On our way out, we made sure to get pictures with all of our teachers before we left!
Ms. Janice-4's
 Ms. Tamara-4's
 Ms. Ximena- Spanish
 Ms. Carol- Administrator
 Ms. Yvonne- Music and Movement
 Ms. Jennifer- Admin and Receptionist
 Ms. Robin and Ms. Sally- Art
Ms. Joy- Admin and Chapel

God knows your needs and He certainly knew ours 4 years ago when we returned to Georgia and I had to blindly find a place for Ethan to go to school. He abundantly provided and richly blessed us when He showed us Shadowbrook. I cannot imagine where we would be or who Ethan would be had it not been for the unconditional love and Christlike example these most precious ladies have provided both he as well as the rest of our family over these last 4 years. Thankfully, we still have 2 more years with them for Caden but I am beyond saddened at the thought that they will no longer be part of Ethan's everyday routine. We have truly reached the end of a pivotal era in his little life but I pray for wonderful new examples to enter his life and that he can model for others the good character that Shadowbrook has instilled in him.

Friday, June 19, 2015

More of May-Kindergarten Graduation

Ethan graduated from Shadowbrook. Now it's real...his time at this precious school has come to an end. I'm more than a little anxious about losing this wonderful influence on his life. There is not one thing that I can say about his time there that wasn't amazing. But, it's time for big boy school and he is definitely coming in ahead of the game!
 Graduation started with a slide show
 Then the graduates walked in one by one
 The graduating class of 9 boys and 2 girls. Ethan is in the first chair.
 Ms. Jana and Ms. Marsha made some opening remarks...
 and then the kiddos came up in groups to recite their group's assigned memory verse
 After that, the Music and Movement, Art, Chapel, and Spanish teacher each came up separately to present the graduates with a gift and share some of their memorable moments from the past year. I love how attentive the children were when others were speaking.
 Then it was diploma time!
 Our graduate!
Yep, had to test out the tassle.
Once diplomas had been awarded, Ms. Jana brought the children to the steps and they each took turns telling everyone what they want to be when they grow up...Ethan wants to be a Military Man.
 And then each child brought their mother a rose. I was extremely proud of myself for keeping it together the entire graduation...all smiling and happy...until this moment. Then I totally lost it. Complete tears!
 Once the kiddos went back to their seats, the tassle wasn't the most interesting thing anymore, it was the ribbon on the diploma :-) In his defense, it was cute watching all of the boys keep themselves entertained with their tassles and diplomas.
 At the end of graduation, the class sang a favorite song before exiting the stage.
 And that's a wrap
 The obligatory graduation picture
 Ethan with the most amazing teachers ever!
 Ms. Tamara, who was Ethan's 4 year teacher even came to graduation to see him!
 After graduation, there was a reception in the Family Life Center and graduation gifts made and presented by each of the the specials teachers, the administrative staff, and the kindergarten teachers.
What a special night!

More of May-Munchies with Mom and Strawberry Picking

Every spring, Shadowbrook has Munchies with Moms in honor of Mother's Day. The teachers prepare a wonderful lunch made from scratch and the children display sweet projects they have created as part of the tablescape. 
Ethan's Handprint on his Heart and Caden's vase
 Caden's placemat
 Ethan's placemat for me...by the way, he loves me because I let him do whatever he wants to do. Hmmmmm...I'm pretty sure the word that comes out of my mouth more than any other word is NO. But I'm glad that it evidently doesn't affect his perception of our relationship :-)
 A rare brotherly moment
 After the luncheon, all of the moms took Ethan's class to the park and since there are 11 boys and 2 girls in his class they decided that the most obvious thing to do was roll down the hill...definitely boys.
 The next week we went to Washington Farms to go strawberry picking. What a fun field trip! Sweet Ms. Jana let Ethan help her pick her strawberries because it was much more fun picking them for your teacher than for your own family :-)
 Ethan with Ms. Jana and Ms. Marsha...love, love, love these special ladies!