Monday, May 28, 2012

American Girl Extravaganza

Thursday morning we drove to Atlanta with Bennett and Henley for the birthday celebration!  The girls woke up early in anticipation of the big day.  We ate donuts and hit the road by 7am!  We sang on the way there, the girls watched a movie, and asked at least 50 times "how much longer?"  After only one bathroom break, we made it! 

Before Josephina got her hair styled
The girls were so excited when they walked in and saw dolls, clothes, more dolls and TONS of accessories!  Bennett did a bee-line for the big dolls, while Henley eyed the bitty-babies.  Since we had lunch reservations already, I went straight to the "salon" to make appointments for the girl's dolls.  Both of their hairs were messy and full of knots!!  We were able to get "Josephina" and "Cinderella" in pretty quickly, so while they got got their hair straightened out and styled...we shopped!

Henley with her new Bitty Baby
Though I thought Bennett was prepared (she has been circling items for months!), she could not make a decision on what she really wanted.  Instead of letting her spend every nickel of her birthday money, we put a limit on it and allowed her to get one doll, one pet, and a few new outfits.  After much debating, she ultimately chose "Julie"....the cute little hippie doll from the 70s, chocolate chip (a chocolate lab), a couple of dresses and pjs for both of her dolls. 
Josephina w/ her new braids

Steve with all of the "girls" at lunch

Me with my goddaughter and daughter!

Blowing out the candles!
My 5 year old girl!

Leaving with our loot

I have also included some photos from her birthday party/dinner with our local family members.  Bennett loves all of her cousins, and is fortunate to have all 6 of them in town.  Also in attendance were all of her aunts and uncles and her mimi and papa.  She chose the menu: hamburgers, tator tots, fruit and a lettuce salad for the adults.  It was all delicious, but Bennett quickly ate so she could open her presents.  She received lots of cash for her American Girl Store shopping trip, a bed for Josephina and more Barbie gear! It was a great night and a lot of fun with family.  She picked out her own birthday cake too: Tangled theme! 
"Tangled" Themed Cake
Bennett and Sara
Preston and Bennett

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Bennett!!

I seriously can't believe that my baby girl is 5 years old today!  She has been celebrating for the past several days, but her big celebration is tomorrow when we drive to Atlanta to visit the American Girl store.  She is SO excited to go and has been studying the catalogs for months in preparation for her shopping trip.  Since we are crossing state lines, it didn't feel right inviting another young child to go with us.  However, Bennett wanted to experience it with who better than her cousin Henley!

Today has been all about Bennett!  She woke up and opened up her gift from Preston (pink "cowgirl" boots) and a couple new art supplies from us (thanks to her Daddy for picking them out).  She LOVED her new blender markers and coloring pad, and has been busy coloring all day (8 pictures in total).  She also created a couple watercolor masterpieces for us.  The girl LOVES art!!  She also got to select what we do today, so she chose to go swimming.  After a little quiet time (when she did some of those drawings), Henley came over to play.  Then Bennett selected where we went to eat...Mexican (a girl after my own heart)!

Talking to her Nene & Poppy this morning

The kiddos at dinner

Once we got Preston dropped off at Steve's parents, we came home, sang "happy birthday" again and had a piece of cake.  The girls watched one TV show, and now they are tucked safely in bed awaiting our trip tomorrow.  We'll be sure to post lots of photos of her big day tomorrow!
The expression when we gave her a 2nd piece of cake!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Golf Lesson #1

This morning I awoke to the sound of birds chirping.  I crawled out of bed, and found my boys had left the doors open and were in the backyard practicing golf.  Steve was instructing Preston how to hold the club and how to swing through.  It was such a lovely sight, as Steve and I both enjoy playing golf.

My parents gave the kids clubs back in the Fall, but there wasn't much interest there.  However today Preston asked to play, so Steve quickly grabbed his clubs and capitalized on the moment.  Two hours later (for real), Pres was STILL out there, now with Bennett swinging away as well.  They are both enjoying it, and Steve is the perfect teacher.  He is so patient and calm.  Watching him show Bennett how the ball should be positioned in her stance, is rewarding for both her and Steve because she has really improved this morning, and loves the accolades and attention from us.

Evidently Steve told them about golf gloves as well, so Preston requested I get his gloves for him.  Though it is not the golf glove that Steve was referring to, it doesn't seem to bother Pres.  I guess I'll have to start looking for kid-sized gloves for my little golfers.  If this interest continues, I know two happy adults who will be playing golf this summer with their kids!

teeing up is hard to do with these gloves

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bennett's Preschool Graduation

The Processional
Today was a bittersweet day for us, Bennett graduated from 4K and is moving on to kindergarten in the Fall.  We have been talking about it for months, to prepare both of us.  I knew it would be tough on her since she gets attached to her teachers each year.  However, I needed to prepare myself too since I am such an emotional person, and these past 5 years have really flown by.

When they started to play "Pomp and Circumstance," I was able to hold it together. However, when they showed the video of all of the graduates, with each of their baby photos and then their graduation one...I got a little teary-eyed. Steve just laughs at me, but I come by it honestly (DAD!!!).

Bennett smiling for us

Outside of a couple of sniffles from me, the day went very smoothly, no complaints from Bennett about what she wore, she smiled for us from the stage and then we enjoyed a casual lunch following the graduation...without any whining.  She did great, and it was a wonderful morning!  Though we missed having Preston in the family photos, it was much easier (and quieter) without him (love you buddy).

The graduate accepting her diploma
Smiling for us during the last song (love that girl!)
B w/ Mimi & Papa

Proud Parents

Bennett w/ her teacher, Ms Sherry

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of becoming a mother and having children.  I babysat all  through high school and college for everyone else's children.  As I approached 30, I thought I would have had children of my own, but I hadn't met "the one" yet.  So when Steve and I decided to marry, we knew that we would add to our family quickly.  Almost a year after our first anniversary, we welcomed our baby girl.  Then 16 months later....Preston arrived.

Each year I treasure the goodies my little ones give me on Mother's Day, and this year is no different.  Below are some photos of the artwork I received.  I am one lucky girl!
Photo #1 (Bennett's)

Photo #2 (Bennett's)

Photo #3 (Cross by Preston & Frame by Bennett)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Daddy Duty

This weekend I attended a retreat as a conclusion to a Bible study (for lack of a better word) that I have been doing since the beginning of the year.  It was offered at another church in town, but sounded like a wonderful class, so I signed up.  For the past 12 weeks, I have spent every Thursday morning with an awesome group of women learning how to better my life.  The name of the class is "LIFE"...Living in Freedom Everyday, and that is what I am trying to do.

While I was gone all day Saturday, Steve entertained the kids.  It was HOT and humid, but he took the kids to "We Love Homewood Day" at the park in the morning anyway.  The kids had a blast!  Then they went to lunch at McDonald' kids love eating there!  A combination of the heat and activities made them tired, so Steve got them down for an early nap.

I got home late afternoon, and while I took a catnap, Steve bathed the kids and got them ready for our evening plans (see how good he was!).  My parents stopped in town for 30 hours to see Christian's tee-ball game earlier on Saturday, celebrate Brian's birthday that night and watch Pres play in his last soccer game on Sunday afternoon.  For the birthday festivities, we enjoyed some Davenport's pizza and walked up to the library to watch the "We Love Homewood Day" parade.  The kids replenished their candy stash, and had fun racing around to get the candy.

After they divided up the candy, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Brian and ate some cupcakes.  The kids continued to play, while we chatted and had a few beers.  By 9pm, everyone was winding down, so we went our separate ways and hit the hay.

I guess our kids must have been really tired, because they slept until 8am today!!  I was totally shocked when I woke up and saw the time.  We had a fairly relaxing day and got Pres to take a short nap before his last soccer game of the season.  We woke him up and he was excited and ready to go!  Of course, he knew Nene and Poppy, Uncle Brian, Aunt Shannon, Christian, Henley and even baby Lucy were coming to watch him. 
He was already practicing when they got there, but he smiled so big when he saw them all standing on the sidelines.  He actually played well today too.  He was more assertive and ran after the ball (most of the time).  The season ending with distribution of trophies to all of the kids, and then slushies (thanks to the coaches).  He had a ball, and is ready to play again in the Fall.