Sunday, June 26, 2016

Graduation (x 3)

It just so happened that we had three kids graduating this year, which on top of birthdays, anniversaries, and father's day, created quite the busy few weeks!  Levi had his graduation first....he is officially a pre-school graduate and on to....yup...Kindergarten!  How that's possible, I'm not sure, but it has arrived.  I will never forget Levi's was truly priceless.  When we walked in, I could never have imagined that he would be so excited to have us there.  I've been in his school a couple of times in the past for meetings, and he was always so surprised to see me there but never overly excited (Ha!).  But on graduation day, when we walked in, he became super animated, tapping his friends shoulder and pointing to us excitedly...mommy, daddy!!!  You wouldn't know it from the incredibly serious picture below, but he really just blew us away the whole time.  They sang songs for us, and despite how difficult it is for Levi to say the words properly, he knows the tunes well and he tried harder than I've ever seen him try....seemingly determined to make us proud....and proud we were!  His teacher even commented afterwards that in the two weeks they prepared, he never once showed so much heart just about burst.  

He is such a peanut!!
         We checked out his special book the teachers made for him to remember his time in pre-K.  He was eager to share everything with was such a special time to be in "his world" for a little while.  He is so proud to have his space that is special to him...his time that is structured so that he can have a sense of ownership and control.  I love that he enjoyed going each day, and I am so very proud of the progress he has made, and the way he keeps on pushing forward.

Congratulations Levi!!  We are so proud of you!
               Poor Caleb never knows what to say when people ask what grade he's in, and though we did a first grade curriculum this year, we have decided to just say he will be in first grade in the fall as his age would determine.  So technically he would have been graduating Kindergarten this year with all his little friends, and we didn't want him to miss out :)  So we put up some decorations, bought a special treat and presented him with his diploma on his last day of school.  He was so cute....when he came downstairs and noticed everything he said..."you did this for ME?!!"

It was a bit short notice, and a rather odd time of 8:30 am, so attendance was minimal :)

He was so excited and so proud.  He worked so hard this year and it's been so fun to see the progress and to be a part of each aspect of his learning!  I learned so much this year teaching this little guy! He is such a joy!
When we finished, I set up a finish line for him to run through, which he thought was the coolest thing easy to please! 

                On Keira's last day of school, she had her Sixth Grade Graduation!  I can't believe her time in elementary school is already over.  It was really the perfect fit for her in so many ways, and I am so thankful for all of the teachers that invested so much time and effort into teaching her.  She has worked so hard, setting goals for herself and achieving them again and again.  I have been amazed at her drive and determination.  For something that was so difficult....often overwhelming and frustrating....she never gave up, and I'd like to believe that she's come to realize how smart and capable she is!

It was so sweet to watch her up mind wandered back to the journey it has been to this point, and I felt so thankful. 

               She has grown in so many ways throughout her time at this school....learning how to interact socially with peers and adults, learning a new language, and pushing her way reach grade level expectations despite how much extra work it required.  In many ways she is at grade level already, and in others she is so very close.  Pretty incredible for only two years home.  We are so proud of her and know that great things are in store!

We are so blessed with hard working kiddos and were so excited to celebrate their achievements together!    

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Happy 1st Birthday Princess!

I can't believe it's already been one year since this little princess came into this world fast and furious! She has brought so much joy to our lives, and is a constant reminder of God's grace. 
The confusion over why we'd only been able to adopt one seemed to fade when we found out we were expecting...a girl especially....but this year has been a great example of us making our plans, but God determining the outcome, and why we should be so very grateful for that!  Even in the hardest times, there's nothing like the joy of new life, the cuddles of an infant, the smile of one so dependent and trusting of you, to make you bring those feelings of gratitude.  I could not be more thankful that God's plan was to bless our lives with this princess.  For each of us, the blessings have been evident, and I love seeing each of the kids develop a special relationship with their baby sister!  

She is such a sweet baby!  She just goes with the flow, happy to be taken here, there and everywhere.  She sure is social, always waving at anyone and everyone, drawing attention and reveling in it :)  She knows what she wants, and makes it known...particularly with her famous outstretched arm...her way of pointing where she wants to go.  As much as I looooove when they're this little and truly don't want it to end, I'm so excited to watch this little girl go through each stage as she grows!

                       We celebrated her first birthday this past weekend with some friends and family!

                Of course when Meme is around, we're all chopped liver.  She sure does love her!

                             I remember when these girls were her age! I'm officially old!

                                                               Princess cake for a princess :)

                                   She definitely ate more cake than real food the entire day.

                                    And now has an entire summer wardrobe....thank you!

           At first I was a little disappointed to not get a picture of them all smiling....but then I decided that this is actually the best picture!  Caleb has his typical attempted smile, Levi is biting his nails as always, Keira's making the "she's not cooperating, what am I supposed to do" face, and Kyleigh just wants to GO....because she can now, and this is crazy that she's having to sit here!  I love that this little girl has such sweet siblings to look up to....and boy does she already!  Wherever they are, she wants to be....whatever they're doing, she wants to do.  And they so sweetly include her.

                 Today we are celebrating her actual birthday....she opened a couple of small gifts from us, and we took some one year photos.  She wasn't too keen on the latter :)  She may be oblivious to to this day, but the rest of us are celebrating our sweet girl!

Testing out AND tasting her new helmet :)

Love the tongue takes serious concentration to open a gift!

My attempt at a bow holder for a homemade gift.

Seriously exhausting...and boring!!
Her famous queen wave!

Happy 1st Birthday Kyleigh! We love you so very much and cannot wait to celebrate many more!