Monday, May 30, 2011

May 2011

We started May with efforts to help surrounding areas affected by April's tornadoes. Our MOPS group assembled bedtime backpacks which were distributed to children in area emergency shelters. Each backpack contained a pair of pajamas, underwear, toothbrush, hairbrush, etc., a blanket, and a picture drawn by our children.Enjoying the monthly First Friday celebration in our quaint little town.One of the great advantages to our new pontoon boat is our ability to navigate water that was previously far too shallow for our cabin cruiser. This means we're able to get into some backwater creeks that can be really breath takingly beautiful. Look at that water. It looks like a blue mirror.And of course, you'll always find Sterling at the wheel. It's kind of scary, but he really is getting to be a good little boat captain. He's got great hand eye coordination!Watching a baptism in the church garden.I told you, mother nature has some tricks up her sleeves. Mid May and we're in a cold snap? Really? In Alabama? Well, at least this chilly weather brought a beautiful day for flying a kite! It's the first time Ella and Sterling have ever flown a kite, and they were quite pleased with themselves to say the least.Now that's a big boy!Ella's been taking ballet since the new year. Her recital will be at the beginning of June, but their costumes have now arrived. She is so proud of her little pink cloud costume! The other night, a little boy they play with was over. Ella came running inside requesting to put on her costume. After explaining to her she couldn't wear her recital costume until the big day so as not to rip or snag it, she said, "but I want to show Ollie how pretty I am!" Guess we need to start working on modesty. Ella has really and truly loved her weekly ballet classes. She's in the 3 and 4 year old petite ballet class, and they're truly just precious to watch!My pretty ballerina. I'm so proud of her. She had a preconceived idea of what ballet would be like before she started the class. I think she thought she'd go to her first class and automatically step into the shoes of a prima ballerina. She was a little miffed that she'd have so many positions and moves to learn, but she's done really well. That is, once she stopped staring at herself in the mirror! Practicing their little pink cloud dance for the recital. Chasse...Our last Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting of the year...Okay, so I admit it. I might be a slight helicopter mom. Oh well, I wear that badge with pride. I spend a ridiculous amount of time at the children's school, checking in on them. I just love seeing them interacting in their classroom. I love to watch how they play with their peers as well as their behavior. Love it! Luckily for me, their teachers are very accommodating, and don't mind me stopping in. And truly, it makes me very happy that Ella and Sterling are so good with seeing me stop in and then leave again. They'll say, "Are you going to your school now? You be right back! See you later!" This is their sweet little class this year. Truly, they were all darlings.Playing at the splash pad on a warm day.Wait for it, wait for it...Surprise!!!Pretty girl.The kid's school year came to a close. I've really been very pleased with their progress this academic year. Last year we didn't get to finish the school year, so it was pretty exciting just to finish the year we started. Ella has truly amazed me by learning to write small words, beginning to recognize short sight words, her drawing skills truly floor me they're that good, and socially she has just loved everyday spent in the classroom. Sterling has truly changed from night to day since the beginning of the year. He started the school year really in a bit of a fog. For the first couple months of the school year, he was still having seizures in his sleep. That compounded with higher doses of medicines left him a bit on the outside of things. I've actually had parents of other children in his class comment that they can tell a difference in him from the beginning of the year to now. Now he can name every child in his class, and even has his first crush on a sweet little girl named Macy (not the cutie pictured below)! His expressive language has really taken off and he can tell you virtually anything he needs to convey now. He still struggles with a receptive language delay, but we, along with his speech and language therapists all believe he will overcome this hurdle just as he has everything else. So, here are the kids on their last day of school with a sweet little friend, Izzie. This was a good year!
Our Memorial Day weekend was packed full of fun, sun and good friends. We started to weekend with a BBQ and pool party at a friend's house.
Dancing to music...Look at that smile! It's absolutely infectious! It will make you smile in spite of yourself.I seriously adore the sweet group of children they've made friends with. They all play so nicely together, and even more wonderful is their awesome mothers whom I count among my dear friends.Goofballs...Breaking bread with friends. We couldn't help but laugh watching them talk with each other over dinner. They're so animated!And of course, the parents enjoyed a feast too!Enjoying a popsicle on the doorstep before heading out on the boat.Not going to drown today, are we?
One of our favorite things to do on the boat is cruise down to the island located in the middle of the river. It's a perfect place to let the kids out and play in the sand or splash in shallow water. Needless to say, on a holliday weekend, it becomes a redneck yatch club. Love it!

For Ella, life is like a bowl of cherries...We finished our day with dinner on our backyard patio. This boy LOVES green beans. Seriously, he will eat a large plateful and nothing else if given the opportunity. I love the warmer months and all the fresh fruits and veggies we can get! Stay tuned to see Michael's garden next month. Based on the number of seeds he put in, it's sure to be one of his best gardens yet!

Soccer, soccer, Sterling

Well, maybe. Kinda sorta. Let's just say he's no Pele. In his defense, Sterling really had the chips stacked against him going into this season. He was the very youngest on the team, physically he was the smallest/shortest on the team, and truly, even after a year of physical and occupational therapy, he was probably the weakest on the team thanks to 9 months worth of seizures that robbed him of a lot of muscle tone. Regardless, I think he had fun this year, and I *think* we'll do it again next season. I have so many pictures to share from their short 6 week season that I figured it warranted it's own post on the blog.That's my little number 18!Okay, does the hands behind the back describe exactly how not aggressive my boy is? Truly, I think he could stand to be a little more competitive, but eh, I guess it's just not for everyone.He may be the slowest on the team, but he was certainly the most entertaining and comical. He'd run by the bleachers shouting, "look at me mommy, I run fast, I'm a super hero!" So funny!The three amigos in descending height and ascending number order. The funny part was it was totally random the numbers they got. We didn't even pick up our shirt on the same day as our two buddies!And from the front...Say cheese!Do you see the coach carrying my kid back into place? That happened a lot this season. Thankfully, my child wasn't the only one who required a "hands on" approach.I will say I was incredibly pleased with the coach of his team. He made very sure that each child was given the opportunity to kick the ball during the games. And he kicks!Why he walked around holding his shorts up all season, I'm sure I'll never know. That's Sterling on the far right.The season concluded after 6 weeks with each child receiving a medal for their participation. Los Dos.
How cute does he look? He was so proud of himself and his medal. Precious! Well, it may have at times been an incredibly frustrating season, reminding him to listen to his coach and get back on the field, but all and all, I think it was a good experience for him. He had the opportunity to be a part of a team and learn a new sport. And the pride he has when he says, "I play soccer!" is enough to make me think we'll sign him up again next year. Lord help us!