Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Valentines

It was so nice to have Valentine's Day fall on a weekend this year, especially since the only thing on our schedule was a basketball game for Preston (and I had the wrong time written down, so even that didn't take long haha).
Friday, the 13th, were all the celebrations at school and it was also Ella's half birthday. Since she isn't in school on her actual birthday she celebrates on the 13th of February, although this year we did the 12th so it wouldn't be quite so many treats in one day. We had donuts for breakfast and she brought donuts for the class. I brought her Chickfila for lunch and we got Mission Burrito for dinner. She knows what she wants when it comes to food :-)!
On Friday, the kids dressed in their Valentine wear and Mike and I were able to snag a reservation a one of our favorite restaurants, Oceanaire. Ella brought cupcakes to swim practice and then we hurried home so Mike and I could make it downtown. The food was amazing but that bread pudding is seriously one of the most delicious things I have had in my life!
On Saturday, the 14th, we spent lots of time as a family and went on multiple bike rides. It was an absolutely gorgeous day!!! We did our traditional Valentine's Day fancy dinner (which I did not get ONE picture of this year sadly) and talked about the things we love about one another. I Love focusing on love :-)! And I love this family of mine!

2-13-15 Ella swim bday from Marci Freeman on Vimeo.
from the 12th...
and the 14th...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ella's Turn

I had my backdrop up again a little while ago to do some head shots for a friend so I snagged Ella to get a few of her since she wasn't at home when I did the ones of the other two kiddos. She had to have Beauty in some pictures of course and then as I was flipping through the back of my camera there was one shot of Ella that looked just like me. People always assume Addie looks like me because of her blonde hair, but really Ella looks way more like me in her face. I had Mike take a picture of me in a similar position to compare.
(also, I wanted to note that she HATES wearing her hair up but I love her with it pulled back!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Adeline at 8

One more post about Addie being 8 before her birthday gets too far away.
Height: 51" (54th%)
Weight: 58 lbs (54th%)
Adeline Amani at 8 years old is still our creative, mysterious child :-).
Favorite color remains purple, favorite animal remains cats (although birds would definitely be second) and her favorite activity definitely remain drawing or creating things out of construction paper.
Her favorites shows are My Little Ponies and Wild Kratts and the only fictional books that have been able to hold her interest lately are the diary of the wimpy kid books (she loves Bad Kitty as well, but quickly went through those). She has read the first four books of the Chronicles of Narnia, but after the fourth she wanted a break :-).
2nd grade has been an awesome year for her so far! She has one mark the entire year and that is HUGE for her!!! We are still working on appropriate responses when feeling annoyed and frustrated, but overall I think she is doing so much better! She has participated in a couple little group counseling series at school and really enjoys them. One was about making and keeping friends and another just started and is about social skills. We love our school counselor Mrs. Williams and it has been good for Addie to do the groups as a way to form a relationship with her. Sometimes in the mornings if I can tell it may be a hard day for her I will remind her that she can always ask her teachers if she can go talk to Mrs. Williams if she doesn't start feeling better. Last month she actually did it and I was so proud of her for being mature enough to take the steps she needed to calm down on her own. Her teachers have also been really good with her this year.
She excels in school and enjoys learning Spanish much more than Ella :-). When report cards come all I'm looking at is behavior comments because I know her grades will be nearly perfect. I think being in the Two-Way Immersion program has also been good for Addie because all the kids know each other so well. It helps her feel more comfortable and it also helps that the other students understand her so much. She has one best friend, Shania, who she loves playing with. Shania is in the other class this year, but they get to play at recess so it has been fine. There is a group of about 6 other girls who are Addie's friends and have been so sweet to her. Being her friend can be fun and exciting (she comes up with awesome games to play, etc) but it takes patience as well and I'm so glad she has this little group around her.
After summer swim team this year, Adeline tried swimming with Katy Aquatics during the first part of the year. She is a great little athlete, but she cares NOTHING about it, so in the end I pulled her out and we will just wait for summer team again. She has started an art class instead and seems to be enjoying it, although it is on Mondays and with two Monday holidays and her being sick one of the weeks, she has only been able to go a few times so far. She still takes piano as well and she loves to make up her own songs.
Some other favorites are: broccoli, creamy lemon chicken, pho, chicken noodle soup, ricecake sandwiches with cheese, meat, mayo and mustard (she LOVES mustard), cool ranch doritos and cheddar and sour cream ruffles, milk, cocoa puffs cereal, raspberries, strawberries and apples, asparagus, lemon yogurt and donuts for treats. Addie is super good about making healthy choices and will turn down treats if she thinks she's been eating too many of them (she didn't get that from me).
Addie LOVES Eddie!!! I think getting him has been so good for her. When she gets really upset she wants him and holds him while she cries (poor Eddie :-). We went to our first cat show this year and it was super fun. I definitely think it was a highlight of her year!
We continue trying to do our best for her. It is so hard to know the right things to do to handle different situations because her little mind works so differently from mine. I am so happy to see certain things getting easier for her and I hope they continue to. She has the biggest heart and I just want everyone to see that in her! She is amazing! I could only dream of being as creative as she is already in 8 short years. We love you Ad!

Phone February So Far

I can't sleep, so here are our
Other February Happenings from the phone...
Addie stayed home from school on Monday, the 2nd, and enjoyed a cozy pony-filled day. Here she's waiting in the parent pick-up line with me for the other two. I had a photo shoot downtown so Nana came to hang out wit her and Mike came home during his lunch as well. She definitely enjoyed having the place (and people) to herself!
Tender-hearted Preston is definitely our kid who expresses his love to us the most, and also get the most scared by anything slighty freaky on TV, etc.
Tuesday, the 3rd, was college spirit wear day at school. Ella was decked out in her BYU shirt AND hoodie as well, but I didn't remember to take a picture until we were at her swim practice.
Eddie has destroyed the bottom of our beds by ripping into the thin layer to create hammocks for himself.
The last 2 weeks of free breakfast Wednesdays at Chickfila were fun with new friends showing up. I didn't take picture the next week but there were even more new faces. My kids are officially chickfila-ed out for breakfast least for a few weeks :-).
Cute Preston's fancy writing.
Preston has been waiting all season to get a medal and this game he got one for his 2 rebounds and 1 assist. The assist was a total accident, but we'll take it :-)!
More of Eddie being weird.
Addie had a 24 hour fever on the 1st, Ella had it mid-week, and then Preston started on Saturday night. His lasted 48 hours though so we got in lots of cuddles during church and he stayed home from school the next day as well.
The good news was that by Monday he was actually feeling pretty good, so we got to spend a few more hours with Ryan before he and his family headed out of Texas for real.
the girls just looked cute that morning. And that afternoon Addie got birthday mail from Uncle Mack and Aunt Cheryl.
And gorgeous winter weather FINALLY arrived, for a little while at least (it is currently freezing, and dreary, 15 degrees below normal). Ella and I were sad to head to swim practice as the rest of the fam got to enjoy the outdoors this day (11th).

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blue Bell Factory Tour

We have failed to do pretty much every touristy Houston thing in all the years we have lived here, so after 10 years we are finally getting started on them :-). On Thursday, the 5th, we skipped school and headed to Brenham to tour the Blue Bell Factory with the Funks. It was a cold day so we hurried in to hang out while waiting for our tour to begin. There isn't photography allowed on the tour, but it was pretty cool to see all the machine and people at work. The main reason to go on the tour though, is to get ice cream at the end. You get one cup free and it's only $1 for an extra. Now, they call them scoops, but it is a full on cup of ice cream! I didn't know this going in so I had told the kids they could all pick two kinds if they wanted. We ended up with tons of ice cream, but we got to try all kinds of cool flavors along with our favorites. After a few more photo ops we headed home and decided to look for somewhere cute to stop for lunch. Smitty's was super close and fit the bill. It was pretty good too, although the service was slow. We stuffed ourselves with all kinds of fried snacks...fried pickles, French fries, homemade chips, fried chicken. It was delicious but definitely more food than we needed. It was a fun last adventure with our friends before they moved to Baton Rouge!