Friday, June 29, 2012

We Love Books!

Kindergarten was a great year for learning to read!  I mean, my kids have always loved books and being read to, but this year they really started to read on their own!  Some of them took to reading like fish to water!  Zachary is a great reader!  Thomas is right behind him!

The other two have struggled a bit more, but made excellent progress over the year!  Reagan’s teacher sent two books home with her every week to practice reading.  We were supposed to read them both every night, but that often didn’t happen.  Still, we read them as much as we could and it really helped for her to read the same books over and over.  It helped the other kids too because they always wanted to read the books too!

The first time we read a new book was always the biggest challenge.  Reagan gets frustrated easily VERY EASILY!  It took a whole lot of patience sometimes to get through a book with her.  Sometimes I would get so frustrated myself that Jim would have to step in and calm us both down.  But as frustrating as it was, we kept doing it and as the weeks went by, Reagan got better and better at reading and things got less and less frustrating.

She still gets frustrated quickly when she meets a word she doesn’t know, but she’s better at sounding them out, so we get through it quickly…usually :)

Anyway, they still love to be read to!

Bible story time!

They also love to read on their own…or at least look at the pictures in the case of this Star Wars book!


How cute are they looking at the book together!  So sweet!

Random Shots from January

Another rare moment of happy cooperation!

The kids were really proud of this contraption and the collection of stuffed animals they arranged on top.  I was proud of how well they worked together!

My sweet boys!


Arrr!  We dressed like pirates for the kids’ pirate-themed literary night at school.  It was a lot of fun!  The kids’ favorite part was getting to buy their own books at the book fair!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Christmas 2011: The Whirlwind Tour

I’m going to attempt to get all of the Christmas season into one post!  We’ll see how it goes!

Christmas Event #1: Putting up the Tree

Every year it is a challenge to put up the tree.  The kids are SO EXCITED and they want to rush to open everything and hang everything, but I get nervous about ornaments being broken and boxes getting lost.  Alas.  Somehow we managed.

The kids did a pretty good job of spreading the ornaments around, although Thomas in particular liked to hang ornaments in tight groups, sometimes hanging them on each other rather than on the tree branches!


Every year the kids get a little taller and the ornaments make it a little further up the tree!

Reagan got to put up the star this year.

We LOVE this snowman!

Event #2 Christmas Card Pictures

I wanted to do pictures outside this year, so of course we waited until the coldest day ever to take them!  It was SO COLD that day which made it hard to get a good picture with the kids NOT looking like they were freezing, but they were real troopers and we ended up with a great picture!

christmas card 2011

We took this picture at Victor Ashe Park on a great big boulder.  Love it!

Event #3 Christmas Eve

Making cookies for Santa


The Batcave was a big hit!

So were the soft, cushy blankets!

Event #4 Memphis Trip

Lots of presents and lots of cousins!

Baby Graham and Kallen

Zachary playing with Baby Graham

Loving on Kinley

So much fun!  Can’t wait to see them again SOON!

Event #5 Indy Trip

We left Knoxville right after Christmas and drove to Memphis, and when we left Memphis we drove to Indianapolis (Indiana-apolis, as the kids like to call it).  So much travel made for a BUSY break from school, but it was worth it to get to see so much family!  We see them so little during the school year!


Tyler’s light sabers lit up and made for some cool pictures!



The entire Christmas season had a few more events, but I have no pictures of them.  These give a pretty good impression of our Christmas season!

Merry Very Belated Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The kids came home from school one day talking about having FlufferNutters for their snacks at SHADES (their afterschool program), so we made some at home too, and for whatever reason I took some pictures!

(Just in case you don’t know, FlufferNutters are basically peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches.  I think they are generally made with marshmallow cream, but we just used marshmallows.)
Zachary helped me make them.  It was the first time I ever let any of the kids spread their own peanut butter.  It was a little messy, but he was so proud!
And when it was all over, they all spread out in the floor and colored together!  So sweet!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Backyard Fun

So, for those that don’t know, we’re currently between houses.  We’ve sold our old house, but not yet found a new house, so we’re living in an APARTMENT right now.
It’s very…cozy :)  And there’s no back yard, a major loss, I assure you!  So here are some picture of the kids in the backyard of the old house back in November. 
I can’t remember exactly which kids could swing proficiently at the beginning of Kindergarten, but I do know not all of them could.  By the end of Kindergarten, however, they were ALL swinging with ease and fighting with each other over who got to swing first (4 kids + 2 swings = trouble!)
Wow!  I have beautiful children!  What a great afternoon just having fun together in the back yard.
I really miss having a back yard.

Monday, June 25, 2012

May the Force Be With You

Wow, I’m really ashamed to discover I never posted about Halloween.  I really should have.  Apparently, the Force was not with me!
Here we are picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch:

Ready for the Fall Festival at church with cousins Tyler and Avery:
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At the Festival:
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Visiting with Pocahontas (Lily)
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Princess Reagan
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Jedi Master Jonathan
Darth Thoms
Storm Trooper Zachary

Ready for Trick-or-Treating!
Jonathan was originally Master Yoda, but had to switch to Obi-Wan when we couldn’t find his mask.  I don’t think he minded much.  The masks were kind of annoying, and the other boys didn’t keep theirs on very long!
How much longer am I going to be able to convinve the kids to wear coordinated costumes?  This may have been the end.  Alas.
If you have any interest in past Halloween pictures, check them out here:
Halloween 2010 Three Musketeers
Halloween 2009 Fairy Tale
Halloween 2006 Candy Corn