Monday, May 27, 2019

The Pool is Open

Within minutes of pulling into our driveway the boys had their suits on and were ready to head to our neighborhood pool. While Justin went and gassed up and washed the car, I unpacked and then jumped into my suit as well. The water was just as cold as the lake was so I wasn't about to get it but the boys couldn't care less as off they went with their neighborhood friends. 

When we first moved into our house this pool wasn't quite complete and even after it was, it wasn't unusual to have the pool completely to yourself for hours at a time. Now, its packed--mostly in the best way possible as all you hear are the laughs and splashes of the dozen of kiddos enjoying summer to the fullest. As we left, both boys asked if we could come to the pool every night and even though we won't be able to make it happen every night due to baseball or other activities--we will do our best to be there as often as possible.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


Summer really doesn't officially kick off until we spend Memorial Day at the lake. & this year was no exception--the boys jumped off the school bus for the last time, we went to Kaden's game and then we loaded straight up and headed to the lake so that we could enjoy an extra day at the lake.

Friday was gorgeous. We had to start off with getting the picture tradition out of the way. So crazy to see just how big they are both getting--it gives me an array of emotions.

What makes this weekend extra special is that it's always with family which means these three get to spend some much needed cousin time. They are so lucky they get to grow up together spending their summer at the lake. At the lake house their paternal great-grandfather built.

And this happened to be the first time we would all get to take out the new boat together. Kaden and I were loaded and ready to go first thing in the morning. 

The first night at the lake house is always tough for the boys to settle in and go to sleep because of all the anticipation for the days to come so Logan decided a little cap nap was in order while we were on the water. Trust me, I wasn't upset at all about getting to hold him, it kind of made my day.

The boys fished. They swam---in pretty cold water. They played Nintendo when it was raining. And we did a lot of work around the house---cutting down trees, mowing, cleaning the boat and so on.

We decided that with the weather forecast not looking so great for Sunday after noon and Monday that we would load up and head home a little early, after all the pool was now open and we could hop down there for some fun in the sun too. 

This little weekend with family was the perfect way to kick off the summer and had us counting down the days until we were back for Father's Day weekend.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Farewell CCE

This was an emotional week. Not only did it seem like this school year flew by but it was our last year at this particular school--Cedar Creek Elementary. You see, CCE is now the largest school in our district and they built a new elementary school just down the road from our house & the boys, along with 200+ other kiddos, will transition there. It's exciting and it's overwhelming so we are just trying to soak up every minute and every moment we can.

Since winter break the boys have been asking for me to take them to school and thankfully, my schedule can allow for that most days and the last few days of school were no exceptions. I think driving up to school those last few days was harder for me than it was for them--we've had so many wonderful educators and partners when it comes to the boys and their academic and social schooling. To say we've been blessed would be an understatement--we have certainly had our struggles here and there but we've learned so much from those struggles-- we know so much more about how and when we advocate for the boys & who we need to be working with. So thankful for so many at CCE.

But here we were, the final day of school. Kaden Oliver was saying peace-out to third grade--THIRD GRADE. All in all--it was a pretty great year for him. We aren't the kind of parents that put high expectations on test scores and grades, we ask that he does his best, that he's kind to everyone and we work with his teachers to ensure those expectations are met. He tends to get frustrated when it comes to his performance since it's not PERFECT (his expectations) so this year we really worked on focusing on effort and doing his best. We struggled at times BUT we will get there, no doubt. Now, don't get me wrong, he had good if not great grades and we are super proud of that but we are equally if not more proud of how he continues to show up each day and just wants to help. He has the biggest heart and we were so blessed with how his teacher allowed that to shine this year.

And then there is Logan, Logan Beckett. He flew through 2nd grade with flying colors. He loves school and loves learning. Again, we aren't those types of parents who expect perfect test scores and homework assignments, we ask that he does his best and well, his best is near perfect. He is the first to offer help to a classmate in need and he's quick to recognize if someone is feeling lonely or a little off & will ensure that there day gets turned around. He always has a GIANT smile on his face and out of both boys, is the one that is a littler more weary about leaving CCE behind and heading to the new school because of all the friends he will leave behind. He's a softie like his momma and has just as big of a heart as his brother does.

The South boys sure make us proud.

And since our time at CCE came to an end, so does our bus rides---well, at least until middle school. So, of course, I had to be there as they got off for the last time with Ms. Bonnie. Oh how we love our Ms. Bonnie -- I'm pretty sure the South boys were her favorite too. :0)

So there we have it, both boys grew in more ways than one---and both boys are on to bigger and better things in 4th and 3rd grade. See you in August, Canyon Creek Elementary.

Monday, May 6, 2019

& he's EIGHT


I mean, it seems like yesterday that this blonde hair, blue-eyed boy was just turning one. And was looking up to us with such curiosity and joy.

And every year since this has been filled with just as much curiosity and joy. This kid of ours is LIGHT. He has the kindest heart. He has the sweetest soul. And a belly laugh that will make EVERYTHING better no matter what may be happening on in the world around you. 

He loves to sleep and he wears his bed head proudly. I mean, let's face it, there really is no taming it. His hair does what it wants to do, when it wants to do it. And at EIGHT, he still has a mouth full of baby teeth and I dread the day he starts losing them all because that cute little smile will drastically change into a big kid smile and his little baby face will be forever gone. 

And as his smile changes and his chubby cheeks disappear, his athletic ability and love for sports grows. He's loving baseball life and requested some catching gear for his birthday. Well, his birthday wish was our command and he would have slept in that gear had we let him. 

He's smart as a whip. & his humor is off the charts. He may pull a way a little more when I ask for a kiss and his cheeks my get red when talking about girls BUT he will never miss a chance to cuddle up on the couch for a few minutes before bedtime. Speaking of bedtime, he still requests to be tucked in each night. With his heavy blanket & his three lovies tucked right under his arm. And as long as he doesn't request that I stop, I will forever tuck him in. It's one of the best parts of my day.

Happy Eighth Birthday, Logan Becket. You bring so much joy and love into our lives and I am forever thankful that I was chosen to be your mommy. You light up our lives in so many ways.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

the BIRTHDAY party

It was birthday party time which also meant birthday cake time but before we could settle on a cake design we need to have a theme for the party. Logan went back and forth between SkyZone, Gaming Truck or a Wild Animal Party. He finally settled with the exotic animal theme as he is a LOVER of all animals & since we had a theme, we had a starting point for cake ideas. 

The birthday cake is one of those things that has kind of morphed into a yearly tradition. It started out relatively simple with round cakes & sprinkled ages and then the ideas and the execution just kept growing. We've had a bowling cake, a dog food cake, a smore's cake, a Royals' baseball cake, Super Mario Bros, Pokemon and now a Burmese Python.

Honestly, it was a little aggressive. Especially knowing that I would be traveling for work that week and wouldn't return home until later Friday afternoon but go big or go home. So while my mom was in town the weekend before, we made 4 cakes and placed them in the freezer. I had Justin remove them for me Friday morning so that I could get straight to work when I got home. We turned four bundt cakes into a three + foot long snake. Now, we had WAY too much cake but two bundt cakes wouldn't have looked right & if I was going to do this, I was going to try and make it look at least halfway decent. Kaden and Logan were both huge helps as they both learned to pipe a little allowing my hand to have a little bit of a break. In the end, Logan was beyond happy & that's all that mattered.

For the party we found a company, J Exotics R US, that would bring rescued animals to our house for the kids to interact with. Not only were they able to interact with the animals but the learned so much about each of the species that were brought. This little armadillo was one of our favorites because he would just run around on his tip toes and no matter where you would put him, he'd head straight for Logan. Plus, he was super ticklish. We got to see some lizard type reptiles, a hedgehog, a chinchilla which felt like a cloud--supposed to be one of the softest living animals and after petting him, we could see why. I got to hold one of the fox relatives -- he loves long hair and then the bigger guy got to climb over all the dads. & then she brought out the lemur -- a real life LEMUR. She was just a baby and she could easily catch a cold so no one could hold her but she loved looking around at everyone. You could tell that Logan was in his element from the first hello.

We finished the party off with cake and ice cream & Logan opened a few presents before all his buddies left. At the end, after most of his friends had left, he opened one last present from his Grammy---it was a three part present.

First it was crackers. 

Then there was cheese.

And finally, a cheese cutting board.

Logan loves cheese and every time we are at Grammy's she always has cheese sliced up with crackers and Logan basically hovers over it until it's all gone. So, now, he has his own board where we can slice his own cheese and you better believe it's gotten lots of use too! 

It was a great 8th birthday celebration with some very wonderful friends. We are so blessed that Logan has found such a good group of kids to call his friends & buddies.