Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Extras

Just a little randomness from May...

Spreading a little May Day cheer to our neighbors.

"May the foURTH" Be With You 

Kindergarten Program--Yup, front row--probably won't be the last time either.

Cinco de Mayo

First Grade Regatta Race with recycled materials

Raising some money & awareness for a good cause. 

Mommy & Daddy Night Out

Logan's demonstration project-How to make a Bubble Blower

Nathan's 5th Birthday Celebration

Learning to make Grandma Sara's donuts

Field Day at school. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Lake Season

Summer really doesn't begin for the Souths until we get our first lake trip under our belts and this year, we went down a little earlier than we typically do. We tend to avoid holiday weekends since the water is a little bit busier and traffic to and from tends to be heavier too but we had thought we would go down the weekend prior and that just didn't work out so we tagged along with Adam and Becky.

Our lake house is only about 2-2.5 hours away but we didn't get out of KC until after rush hour so we decided to stop and eat on the way down as opposed to waiting until we got there. We decided to stray from our typical Goodies Burgers and stopped at a Mexican restaurant. We'd totally go back. Food was good. Boys (and myself) were entertained. 

As soon as the doors opened at the lake house the boys were on their way down to the water where everyone else was already waiting. Justin and I got the chore of unloading the car first but we did it quickly and then joined the family on the dock to watch the sunset. 

Once the sun went down we figured out which bunk the boys wanted and I got the beds made up. This was our first trip down to the lake as a family with our new living quarters and I just have to say, it was sooooo nice. The boys had their own individual space, their stuff was up and out of the way. Bags were tucked under the bottom bunks & the floor was open. Although we added more beds, somehow, it seems so much more spacious and worked out so well. 

It took a little bit of time but everyone finally wound down on the first night but the boys were up and ready to go nice and early. We knew we were expecting rain so we headed out early to get a jump on everything but first thing first, the boys and their annual lake photo. These pictures just make my heart so happy. 



Can we just talk about how lucky these three are? They have a few memories of Nanny but never met their great-grandfather, neither have their dads, but they built this lake house 50+ years ago. They built this lake in hopes that memories would be made year in and year out for generations to come---well, you're look at the fourth generation right here. They will grow up together, spending their summers at the lake--doesn't get much sweeter than that. 

We knew our time was limited on Saturday, rain was headed our way so the boys were up early & the freezing water was holding them back. 

Justin had to run into town for a few things--gas for the mower & he came home with two new fishing poles for the boys. They were so excited, they each love fishing--one has a little more patience than the other does, you can guess who that would be but they both love to fish. 

Thankfully, I grew up on or near a farm with a pond & my parents showed me how to fish. More importantly, they showed me how to get a fish off of a hook & the moment that I would sit down, someone else hooked another fish. Well, the same fish, I think they may have caught the same three fish all weekend long that is until Colton reeled in a small-mouth bass--the biggest fish to date that we have caught at the lake. I went to remove that sucker and he stuck me, I dropped him, he went into the water but somehow on the way down he got wrapped up in the fishing line, the hook snagged the top of his body and we pulled him back out again for a quick pic. He wasn't hurt in any way and swam off the moment we dropped him back into the water. 

They didn't get as much fishing in as they had hoped before the rain started to fall & we had to head up to the house. We knew it was going to be a pretty big storm so we strapped everything down, covered the sea-doo and watched from the porch. That is until the wind got too strong and we feared the windows breaking. And then it happened, the lights started to flicker and we all knew what was about to occur---we lost power. Thankfully it was 3 pm and it was still light out so once the storm passed we headed into town for dinner. Why wouldn't the power go out at the restaurant too? Our orders were in & out went the power. They kept cooking though and besides a few small things, everything came out. We were very thankfully for gas cookers that evening. 

We made a stop at the Dollar Store for a few supplies before heading back to the house since we weren't sure how long the power would be out. I grabbed batteries, a candle and glow sticks. Becky grabbed jugs of water so that we could use the restroom when needed--takes about 1.5 gallons per flush, crazy. 

Once back out the house I suggested to Becky that we head into Versailles to the Walmart, grab a few tap lights since the Dollar Store didn't have any. While there, we not only got tap lights (worked perfectly) but we got headlamps for each of us. And boy, did we make the most of our power outage. 

At about 3 am, the power and ALL the lights came back on. Adam, Becky and I were immediately on our feet turning water off and shutting lights off. We had pulled a number of items out of the fridge and placed in our Yeti coolers and a few things were put into the freezer. I remembered that we had put the milk and OJ in the freezer about 6 am and quickly pulled them out--they had already formed iced crystals but hey, if that was the worst thing that happened then I'd call our  12 hour stint without power a success.

The next two days brought blue skies and more laughter from the boys. They fished, they swam, they rode the sea-doo and Kaden even let both Adam and his dad take him out of the cove. Big win for him, and us! He's my hesitant one when it comes to trying to activities so he would often just request to stay in the cove and look at real estate and drive. But this weekend, this weekend he got up to 25 mph. Huge! 

I hope these boys will forever cherish their time spent at the lake as much as their dad and I do. Yes, it's a lot of work to get packed up to go but it has ALWAYS been worth it in spades. Especially with family like ours. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Peace Out School, Hello Summer

Well that school year flew by.

It literally seems like just yesterday where the boys were walking into school side-by-side for the first time but here they are walking side-by-side to the bus stop for the last time as a kindergartner and a first grader. Already they are referred to as the "South Boys" and hearing that at first made me worry but I have been assured by multiple teachers and faculty that they are just the sweetest, most polite boys & always have smiles on their faces.

Logan started off the school year a little timid. He was always hesitant about me showing up at school, which was often since I was his class's room mom, because he was worried he would be sad when I would leave. In the beginning he was & he would almost always cry which would break my heart but Miss Timmerman always knew how to make him feel better. By the end of the year, he was trying to scoot me out there as quick as he could with the biggest smile on his face.

He couldn't fathom how he would learn to read. Though it was an impossible task but you know what, he learned and is a wonderful reader who is ready to take first grade by the horns. He made lots of friends. Seph was his very first friend from school & their friendship continued to grow. He also became great friends with Caden and Drake--both are on his baseball team which he's pumped about seeing how school is out now.

He is so ready for first grade.

It was our second year in a row having Miss Timmerman as our boys' kindergarten teacher and boy were we blessed. She was so great for our boys--boys who are different in so many ways. She allowed each of their personalities to shine in their own way. She challenged them when it came to reading & writing, expectations and cheered them on as they worked towards their goals. She set the foundation for a bright future in the best way possible for them and she spoiled us in every way possible.

Kaden was stoked for first grade. Partly because he was a year older, mainly because he was going to get to show his little brother the ropes--both made my heart happy.

First grade was a challenge. I won't lie. This is about keeping it real. Kaden is high energy. He is impulsive at times. We've had him tested for ADHD or ADD and while he may be clinically significant in the school atmosphere, he isn't at home & you have to show it two atmospheres to be diagnosed. No doubt he has symptoms though. Structure is good for him. Structure with flexibility is best for him. 

He's smart. Like really smart. He makes careless mistakes though and knows exactly what he has to do to "pass" and does it. I can't fault the kid for that, he just doesn't spend any more time on something than he needs to. His reports cards were also great, the best you could ask for and his year end report card wasn't any different expect for his reading grade---his more than 95% proficient in his fluency with reading but his comprehension of what he was reading dropped. We were frustrated but not with him. It seemed as though the system let him down and he wasn't tested at the end of 3rd quarter because he was above district standard but then at 4th quarter he had digressed with no communication made to us until right before school was out. There were lots of factors that went into this, it was no one person's fault, but I can tell you I learned a valuable lesson this year, one I am thankful I learned so early on. 

Kaden continued to make great friends---but most of his good friends from kindergarten were in different classes this year. So he had to learn to make new ones, and he did. He enjoyed playing soccer with his friends each and every day at recess. He especially liked having cafe day with some of his classroom buddies. He also gets to continue to see two of his buddies at their baseball games this summer which is so wonderful. 

The kid loves so big. He has a huge heart but with that comes a lot of energy & we are both very excited to turn the page and start a new chapter with 2nd grade. We may have to make some difficult decisions next year but the most important thing is to ensure that Kaden is given the best possible chance to excel in all situations. He's going to do great things, he just needs US to have a little more patience and understanding. 

This summer is sure to bring lots of adventure for these two again. Emily is back from finishing up her freshman year at K-State & is ready to tackle the summer head on with them. They have baseball, KidsGig, lake weekends, mini-camps here and there, pool, and sleeping in for as long as they want Oh the joy.

Schools out for summer. Souths Out.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Out

I am a mom. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year. Out of all the roles I play, it is by far the most challenging but absolutely, without a doubt, the most rewarding too. I mean, these two get to call me mom---I get to hug them and snuggle them & love on them pretty much whenever I want to.

Do they test my patience? Absolutely. Do they get sent to bed early? Most definitely. Do I love them more and more each day? You bet I do. I'd give my life for them, without hesitation.

That doesn't mean I don't need a break from time to time though. To refuel, do me so that I can come home and be a better mom to both boys. So for Mother's Day, I did just that. I took my day into my own hands and planned a little movie double feature with my moving-lovin' best friend Jenn. Why you ask? Because if I would have stayed home, it would have been just like any other day and nothing would have seemed special, this was special. The boys were aware of the plans all along and were happy to let me go and spend some time with their dad--who was also totally on board with my idea.

Justin likes to say that I can't ever give gifts on the day they are meant to be given. For instance, I give him his birthday gifts early, his Christmas gifts early, even Father's Day gifts. I just can't wait and he is partly true but only because I know he is either going to want them before each of those dates or he needs them for something else. Well, he can't wait either. He and the boys gave me part of my gift on Friday night--the complete new Arbonne spa line--it's heavenly. I was so excited because this was something that I wasn't going to buy on my own, great gift.

Fast forward to Sunday morning, Kaden comes in at 5:50 in the morning--"Mom, Happy Mother's Day. I made a card for you."

"Sweetie, thank you so much, but can you go back to bed for just a little while, it is WAY too early."

Next thing I knew, it was time to get up and head to church. & the service was so meant for me and how I have been feeling lately. God knew what I needed. As soon as church was over we headed home, I changed into something a little more comfy & headed out to the movies. First one was starting at 11:20 and the second was beginning at 1:30 so we of course took Chipotle into the theater to eat. We started our double feature off with Gifted, (great, GREAT movie) and ended it with Snatched which was okay as it was vulgar and certainly nothing to write home about. Our afternoon at the movies wrapped up about 3:15 and we headed home to our families.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hearing "Mom" this or "Mom" that but I didn't get too worked up about it because I am lucky to have that title. We played outside. We read--both boys actually did the reading and I was just amazed at what great readers they have become, especially Logan seeing how at the beginning of the year he didn't think he would EVER be able to read. We had dinner with Grammy and Craig, Justin grilled salmon--one of my favorites. & then we got ready for the school week. Mother's Day was a perfect mix of treating myself and spending time with my little loves who call me "Mom."

But the celebrating didn't end there, Kaden's first grade class was having a Mother's Day Read-in where all the mommies, grandmas, aunts, or friends enjoyed a picnic and an hours worth of reading with their son or daughter on the playground. Kaden and I found a great little shade tree and finished one of his Weird School books before starting another. I loved the extra one on one time we got with each other and hands down, the BEST. LUNCH. DATE. EVER.

I'm one lucky momma, only thing that was missing from my day--my mom. The one who showed me what unwavering love looks like. The one that I gain a greater respect for on a daily basis--she was and still is one of the most selfless people I know.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Family Day at The K

We had made plans to go to The K on Friday night, the night before Logan's birthday but I had a list a mile long that I needed to accomplish for the birthday parties, so we put the game on the back burner and instead had a Cinco De Mayo party...

But then some friends texted and said they were going to the game on Sunday for their little girl's 3rd birthday and asked if we wanted to go. I knew the boys and frankly Justin and I would be exhausted but I also knew how much the boys would want to go. So we said yes, we would push through. & I am so happy we did, we had such a great afternoon at The K, albeit hot.

We kicked off the afternoon with a little tailgating--hot dogs for the boys, turkey burgers for the adults.

Logan found a comfortable spot in the shade.

It was finally time to make our way into the game, after all one of our favorite parts of the game is the National Anthem. Kaden loves to sing along and on this particular day we had a special treat of the National Anthem being done by a famous trumpet player and although he couldn't sing along, Kaden kept up with him.

Our little Blue Crew...

And one little family pic before we said goodbye to our friends since we weren't seated together.

It was a hot day and we were completely in the sun. I was lathering sunscreen on with the boys like it was going out of style. We sat and watched the first few innings and around the top of the third the boys and I headed out to the Little K to find a little shade and to see Slugger. The boys still love Slugger & since today was throwback day, Slugger was wearing his Monarchs uniform just like the Boys in Blue were. 

We hung out for a few innings as the boys made their way around the Little K, with an emphasis on little apparantly Kaden is now TOO BIG to play on the Little K. He wasn't too upset, he fielded from the outfield and then hit the pitching gun before returning to the seats to sno-cones. It also happened to be Family Fun Run at the K too. So we hung out, in the heat, until the end of the day so the boys & girls could run the field. They've changed up things this year and you can no longer go all the way around the bases, you go from first to third. You can either run with your kids or meet them on the other baseline--I ran, Justin met us. But before I show the pics of us running, I have to share this one. Kaden loves helping out the littles and honestly, he shines most when he is able to do what he loves and that is helping others, especially littler kiddos. & this is why my ovaries hurt so much and I can't get a third kid out of my head, he gets me every time. 

And although we lost, any day is a great day to be a Royals fan.