Friday, August 21, 2009

Jackson's first day of first grade

Jackson was so excited to start first grade. Jason and I couldn't be happier with our long prayed for and thought out decision to send him to a private Christian school. He has an amazing teacher named Mr. Beckman who has been teaching for around 25 years. He is very nurturing, and creative but very strict. He is going to be so good for Jackson with Jackson's "all business" type attitude. The only disappointment on the first day was that Jackson was not going to be able to sharpen his crayons in the back of his crayon box because Mr. Beckman said they make a big mess.
Jackson did not really know anyone going to the school and did not attend kindergarten there with most of the other kids in his class. However, he fit right in. Mr. Beckman reported on the first day that it was like Jackson has been there all along.
Jackson was so excited to take his new school supplies and eat lunch at school. The biggest thrill was his new thermos which he requested milk in.
He is getting into a routine with school and after several days is still loving it. He braved up and insisted on buying lunch the third day of school. Jason and I were super hesitant because the menu that day was a "riblet." What the heck is a "riblet" anyways? Jackson described it as a yellow and black type of meat and says we should buy some for our house. I think I will just make sure he buys every "riblet" day and pass on buying some for our house. Jackson was also sent out into the hall for talking on the second day of school. He conveniently told me that over the weekend (two days later). He said several people were sent out in the hall because Mr. Beckman has "certain rules like you can't talk when he is talking." I have no idea where he got the problem of talking while others are talking????
Jason and I were thrilled that happened and even more thrilled that Jackson didn't seem upset by it. He would never have been put in the hall for talking while the teacher was talking at a public school. We feel this school will hold him to a higher standard and that was one reason we wanted to send him there.
He also, on the third day of school, had to run a lap and miss part of first recess because he did not do his homework. He said there was a whole line of first graders on the fence. I felt like a horrible Mom at first and thought that I must have missed the note on homework and what it was. The teacher told me the next day that he doesn't send notes that he tells the students the homework and it is up to them to be "responsible students" and remember themselves to do it. You better believe the next day Jackson remembered to cut out three pictures from a magazine. Once again, Jason and I were thrilled that they are very big on teaching him responsibility. How helpful that trait will be to him in the long run. All I do is ask him what his homework is and he comes right home and "gets to it."
This week he is the class helper. His biggest job is going to the kitchen and getting all the snack milks for his class. He says he gets 2 white milks and 17 chocolate milks. I asked him (of course guessing that he gets the white milk) if he might ever get chocolate. He said "no because it wasn't good for his body." He is my anal first born and I do have to be so careful because if you say something once he remembers and it is like "set in stone" for "Mr. Business."
What a great first day and first week. I can't wait to see what fun memories this year will bring. Mollie Jane is loving getting the one on one attention at home and Smith is loving not being hauled around in the car as we are really trying to stay home more and not driving around to all of Jackson's summer activities. We sure miss Jackson but there is such a peace knowing "Mr. Business" is loving first grade and thinks Mr. Beckman is "it."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jackson at Kanakuk

Jackson with his amazing counselors. Micah (OU guy), George (OSU guy) and Cole (OSU guy). Jason and I couldn't have asked for sweeter or more nurturing young men for our son to hang out with for a week. How grateful we are that they influenced Jackson for a week and he thought they were rock stars.

We had the most amazing opportunity to send Jackson to Kanakuk for a week. He had the time of his life. Jason does a laundry business with his Dad where they service all the camp's laundry over the summer. Jackson rode with Jason a few times and helped pick up and deliver the laundry at the various camps. We have been telling him that after first grade he can go to Kanakuk if he wants. He rode with Jason one day in August and asked Jason if he could go this year. Jason made a few calls and Kanakuk graciously agreed to take him for one week of an ongoing two week term at K-1. Jackson's counselors were amazing and they were really the ones that agreed to take him even with a full cabin of very young rowdy boys. Jason's parents also were amazing to help out and agreed to take him every morning at 8:30 and pick him up every evening at 9:30 because there were no bunks available in K-1, boys cabin #1. So Jackson was essentially a day camper which Kanakuk doesn't really offer but since my father in law was a director there for almost 20 years and my husband and he do the laundry for the Kamps they graciously let us send Jackson. Jackson knew that when Jason was little he was a day camper. We told him that he was extremely special to get to do this and most kids don't get this opportunity at age six. I wanted him to know what a blessing it was that he got to do this. He kept saying that he "was just as special as Daddy was when he was a little boy" because he got to be a Day Camper just like Daddy. He was obsessed with finding Jason's name still on the K-1 boys record for swimming times and finding Jason's name in cabin #1 up on the ceiling. He was so pumped to write his name on the cabin where Jason had his name. He had three of the most precious counselors. He had one Counselor from OU and two counselors from OSU. Yet, they were all big Sooner fans so Jackson loved that. He made a "best friend" in his cabin with the sweetest little boy named Jack from "The Woodlands." Jack took him under his wing and I guess they were seen all over camp together walking around with their arms around each other.
These were some fun memories of his first year at Kanakuk.
-He was so pumped to go canoeing but then got stuck out in the canoe with his best friend Jack for what Jackson said was one whole hour.
-He loved Kamp coffee cake and their fried chicken.
-He thought F.O.B. (flat on back time or rest time) was okay. But he wanted to take his own pillow because he had F.O.B. on the counselor's bunk and he thought his pillow was stinky.
-He told someone his "Big" owned the party barn because the party barn is actually named after Jim "The Jumping Jim Brawner Party Barn." He told Jason later that he thought Big owned it because he bought it.
-He got a new award which was awarded to about 20 boys in the whole camp called the "invisible hero" award. It was for kids who try to show kindness to those around them without wanting recognition for their kind act. He was so proud of himself but really had no idea what the award was really about. He got a special "invisible hero" necklace which he has been wearing ever since camp.
-He loved that the boys camp does not have to wear shirt during the day. But he made sure to tell me that he was pretty sure the girls have to wear shirts and that the boys have to wear shorts (even if the bell is ringing you have to hurry up and put you shorts on).
-When one of the directors wives came up and talked to Jackson about how special it was that he got to come to Kanakuk as a day camper he made sure to tell her that his Dad was "the laundry guy." The directors wife just laughed and told us later that he was clueless that his amazing Grandpa left such a legacy at Kamp and everyone loves and knows "Jim Brawner" but he thinks his "claim to fame" is that his Dad is "the laundry guy."
-He loved the water slide and the blob at Kamp.
-We love that he had no clue what tribe he was in probably because he came into the term halfway through. Even though his Dad was a Choctaw and we told him that is what he was I think he forgot. I think he just floated around to the different tribal events "where ever the spirit moved him" that particular day. So he may be the only boy in the history of Kanakuk that was in two tribes.
-He loved it when his Grandma SueSue picked him up and gave him Gatorade to drink.
-We loved the two reasons he opted not to spend the night in the party barn with his cabin. First, he is "Mr. Rules" and he knew that in order to spend the night at Kanakuk you have to be seven and he was only six (even though his counselors and grandparents told him it would be okay). Second, he didn't want to miss his special donut at SueSue's house that he got every night.
-He loved free swim and loved all the funny skits.
-He loved getting to ride the bus to do honor cabin and getting to go roller skating for the first time with his whole cabin.
Jason and I have laughed so hard at hearing all his camp stories. He had a blast but was really clueless as to so many things of camp. He is dying to go back next year and begging to go for 13 days. I always told him he was going to go for 7 days and we were going to try to send him to K-4. We have driven by it several times so he knows that it is called K-Kountry and decorated like a big barn. He just asked the other day if everyone that goes there is a farmer or if you go there do you have to become a farmer. We can't wait to see what next summer brings.

Smith is offically two months.

With each of the babies, I always take their "month" pictures with this bear. This is Big Smith's two month bear pictue.

We took Smith into his Doctor's appointment for our almost 8 week check up and shots. "Big Smith" is weighing in at 13 pounds, 8 ounces and is pretty close to being off the charts for his height and weight percentiles.
He has been sleeping through the night starting about five weeks and will sleep anywhere from 7-12 hours. He still wakes up at various times but has started going down between about 9-10 pm and usually sleeps about 9 hours. As we have forgotten once again, every day with a newborn is a new day.
He is just really starting to smile and talk. He absolutely hates riding in the car or in his car seat. As we drive down the road with Smith screaming like a madman, I continue to tell myself I can laugh or cry about this. Right now, I am choosing to laugh and keep asking myself why does he hate the car? The minute you get him out of his car seat he is fine. Thank goodness we live right in the middle of Springfield and just about every where we go takes about 10 minutes of drive time. It has definitely made running errands and shopping near impossible. I just figure it is God's way to continue to help me stay on a "tight budget" and not have to work a ton right now.
He is getting big so fast and Jason and I feel "jipped" once again that we had this baby and he has sailed right through the newborn stage (and truly was never a newborn in size) because he is such a big boy. He came into the world wearing 3 and 6month clothing and now is in 6 month to 12 month clothing.
Life is sure lovely with more sleep though!
We lovingly refer to this face as the "Yoda face." He just randomly does it at times and we think it is halarious. We finally caught it for the camera.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sissy is Three!

Molllie Jane at her three year old Dora Party

Molli Jane's 2 year old Elmo Birthday Party.

Mollie Jane's one year old Princess Party

Me and my bubby at my one year old party. Where is my hair?

Mollie Jane as a newborn.

Me and Mommy on August 4 2006

I can't believe our sweet girl is three. I keep thinking it was just yesterday when she was Smith's age. I feel like two to three is such a milestone year. This year we dropped the bottle (yes I gave her ice water in a bottle when she went to bed last fall), got out of her crib into a big girl bunk bed, totally potty trained, and is talking up a storm (have no idea where she learned how to do that). I feel like they are still kind of toddlers at age three so I am really looking forward to this year with her. Jason and I were talking about some of our favorite things about her personality over this last year.
Here are a few:
-She is queen of putting stuff in bags or purses and just hauling it around the house. (No Jason, she did not get that from me even though I hauled the my "brother word processor to Mexico).
-She has this little yellow ride on toy with orange hair whom we have affectionately named "Ollie" and she is obsessed with driving him around, fixing him with a toy tool set, and cleaning "Ollie's biscuits" with Windex and paper towels.
-No one piles more junk in their bed than Mollie Jane. Every morning I clear her bed of excess stuffed animals, books and toys and every morning when I go get her out of her bed she hauls them all back in her bed.
-She loves to try on her clothes. Her favorite are of course her "Dora" items. I actually don't allow themed clothing. I can't stand it and think it is so tacky so I limit my kids to themed PJ's. Thanks to Natalie, Mollie Jane has a few themed clothing items and she puts them on head to toe. I recently caught her asleep in bed with a Dora t-shirt, underwear, socks and flip flops.
-She had the best smile and when she smiles she almost squints and looks a bit Asian.
-She loves to put lotion on a lots of it.
-She loves Jason to do her hair (which is so random and usually a disaster).
-No matter where she is if she farts she announces to the world that she "has dropped an air biscuit." It is getting crazy embarrassing and we are working on that.
-She loves school and has never really flinched a day in her life when I leave her anywhere. Whether it is school, any friends, overnights, any church nursery, etc. She is very easy going in that sense.
-She also loves to play with the boys. She is very "girly" and loves "girly" things but usually she gravitates to playing with the boys. I think she feels she can boss them around better that the girls. Her best friend this year was her sweet friend Caden Neal in her class. She talks about him all the time and we are so glad they will be in the same class next year.
-She loves her big brother and like most younger siblings wants to do whatever he does and says. They play great together(for the most part).
-She talks all the time and walks around the house with broken and pretend cell phones talking on them. (Seriously, where did she learn those habits?)

We celebrated Mollie Jane's real birthday just with our family and a homemade Dora cake. Mollie Jane got ballet tights and some ballet shoes. She is going to take ballet class this fall and is very excited. We then had the big three year old "Dora The Explorer" party. We had family and friends over to the club and swam and had cake and ice cream. We had crazy lightning storms and had to get in and out of the pool. It was kind of frustrating for our guests but Mollie Jane was just thrilled to have everyone there with her cake and presents. Mollie Jane was so pumped to be officially three by blowing out the candles on her cake.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Bears Won!

Jackson played on such a great baseball team this year. His season went from the middle of May to the beginning of August. His team actually won the tournament at the Boys and Girls Club Park where we play. Ironically, he was also on the winning team last year (the Cardnials). Jackson was actually not asked back to play for his last year's team the Cardnials. I felt so sad when I never got a call from the coach all May and finally called him and he very nicely told me that Jackson probably couldn't keep up with the Cardnials team this year. I was "crushed" for Jackson but agreed that we didn't want him playing baseball on a competitive team, four nights a week at age six. I figured it was God's way of putting us on the perfect team for Jackson and allowing us to not stress ourselves out with a crazy baseball schedule and a new baby. I emailed several friends and Jackson was able to play with the cutest bunch of boys on the "Bears" team who played two nights a week. He fit right in and proved to be a great hitter. We definitely need to work on catching and running the bases. He was so excited when they won the tournament and then all the boys had a big swim and pizza party afterwards. We can't wait to play for the Bears next year.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Our San Antonio Sabbatical

We had a lovely sabbatical in San Antonio. My Mom flew up for a long weekend in July and then took Jackson and Mollie Jane back to San Antonio for a week. Jackson did a camp called "Mighty Muscles." For a week he did swim, golf, tennis and even did some rock climbing. He was very tan after being out in the 104 degree Texas heat but he had tons of fun. He said his best friend was Jorge. We asked him if Jorgee spoke English and he said "a little but he mainly spoke Spanish." So I am not sure if they talked a lot or how their relationship bloomed with the language factor but Jackson loved it and talked about his new best friend all week.
Mollie Jane got to spend some much needed one-on-one time with my Mom. They went out to lunch, swam, fed the ducks, rode on the golf cart and played, played, played. My Mom saved so many of our childhood toys and Mollie Jane loved playing with "My Little Ponies," fisher price people, crafts, books the play kitchen and her favorite "The Woodsies." My brother in law Joel was somewhat concerned over the fact that his niece and nephew were playing with "the Woodsies." He had never heard of them so Melissa and I educated him that they evolved from a book and are little sqeaky stuffed animal squirrels with stuffed log houses. The more my sister and I thought about it the more random we agreed "The Woodsies" were but they were one of our favorite toys growing and up and they were my kids favorite this trip. Smith and I joined the kids after about a week and we stayed for another relaxing warm week. I caught up on some much needed sleep, ran, swam, shopped and had lots of fun lunches and dinners out with my family. My dearest friend, and college roomate drove down for the day with her husband and their two kids. It was fun swimming and catching up and letting her get to meet Smith. Every time I am with her it makes me wish I lived in Texas and we could all hang out more often.
The best part of the week was when my sister Melissa came in with my sweet niece Harper. We were all there to celebrate my Dad's birthday. It was great and the reality of life hit hard when I flew back into Tulsa with all three kids feeling very far away from my family once again. The are all three great travelers and it was nice to be back home with Daddy so I can't complain too much. However, I wish San Antonio was closer and we could go back much more often.