Friday, June 22, 2012

First Week of Summer

For the mornings of the first four weekdays of summer, Ella and Jack spent their time at tennis and swim camp with best buds Miles, Noah, and Griffin, and a couple of new friends.  They had an amazing time and were thrilled to get some real use out of their new tennis rackets.  Ella’s actually interested in getting more tennis lessons.  I think Jack was more in to just getting to spend time with his good friends. 

{thanks for the end-of-camp picture, brooke!}

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Last Day of School, Take 2

I just had to make sure to blog about the last day of school before the first day of the following year came along.  Ella and Jack wrapped up 2nd grade and kindergarten, respectively, in early June.  They’re all set to start the next year in elementary school this coming Monday.  This summer has flown by—I’ll be blogging all about it in the next few weeks (ok, maybe month). 

I actually created both year-end slideshows for the kids’ classes.  Jack’s is super long—over 15 minutes—which is just how the kindergarten teachers want it, so I won’t be posting it here.  I didn’t have an abundance of pictures from Ella’s year so her class year-end slideshow was only semi-long due to an attempt to stretch it out.  She had a great year, thrived in her studies (especially math—she was accelerated—but also became an avid reader), and definitely had a ton of fun.

Jack’s class had a little year-end ceremony.  His wonderful teacher, Ms. Cole, presented Jack with the gummy bear award because of all of his wonderful bear hugs.  I am so proud of what a fantastic kindergarten year Jack had.  Our sweet little kindergarten graduate.  Here I am still lamenting over that when, in just days, Jack will be starting 1st grade…

{the ribbons on jack’s shirt are from the year-end awards assembly.  jack got the special purple ribbon from his media center teacher—one kid in each class is chosen by each special area teacher.}

{jack and his best bud anakin.  yes, that is really his name and not just what jack decided to call him.}

{even batman showed up to help celebrate the last day of school.  that’s jack closest to batman.}

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another Year, Another Medal

Ella completed another year of gymnastics and is still loving it.  Each class demonstrated their skills at an Olympiad event and then were presented with a medal.  Ella has gotten so strong over the past year—it’s amazing how much her poise, balance, and handstands have improved.  She’ll be going to the gym two days a week next year.

This girl is strong.  I love watching how she can climb that rope, not quite in an L-seat like some of the older girls do (*crazy*), but impressive nonetheless.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Last Day of School

School’s out for summer!  Ella and Jack both had a great year in school and we’ve got a whole summer ahead of us to celebrate. 

The rising 3rd grader:

{ella’s biggest change is definitely in her smile. :) }

The rising 1st grader:

{jack has grown so much this year…especially his hair—he wants to grow that out this summer.  so expect some scruffiness.}

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Field Day

Jack had sat on the sidelines, watching all of the fun, for two long years until in early June during the last week of school his day finally came.  At the end of his kindergarten year Jack soaked up every bit of fun he could get out of field day at school. 

Ella had a pretty fun time, too, at her field day on the following day.

{a p.e. teacher snuck up on ella and doused her with a bucket of water.  i was barely fast enough to catch it.}

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Riverbanks Zoo Overnight

In early June, Ella and I had the unique opportunity to sleep overnight at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina.  Ella’s Brownie troop got a special behind-the-scenes, after-dark tour of the zoo and then camped out in the movie theater of the zoo.  As part of the night at the zoo, we learned about nocturnal, diurnal, and crepuscular animals and then took a flashlight walk around the grounds, taking in all of the exhibits.  In addition to checking in on all of the nocturnal animals around the zoo, we also got an-depth tour by the zoologists of the koalas, elephants, and tigers.  It was very cool.  And, I have never seen so many animals at the zoo.  We, of course, saw all of the animals that are usually asleep when we’re there during the day, but we also woke up bright and early in the zoo and all of the animals were super active first thing in the morning.  On top of that, it was just a very special time with my girl.  Ella and I got matching ‘I SURVIVED THE NIGHT AT RIVERBANKS ZOO AND GARDENS’ shirts to remember our trip together. 

{i did not have a zoom lens on my camera—we were that close to the tiger.}

{with the elephant, you had to keep everything, especially cameras, out of trunk’s reach.  it was amazing to see how she could pick up the tiniest crumb with her trunk.}

{up early with the animals.}

{this is the first time i’ve ever seen a lemur at this zoo.  i’d always seen the sign “lemur island”, but never a lemur in sight.  i guess they’re early risers.  they did sound an “alarm” (that’s literally what the zoologists called it) whenever we made too much noise walking around the zoo at night—we were disturbing their beauty sleep.}

{we just had to get some penguin pictures for jack.  he still loves them.  and they are stinkin’ cute.}

{the words of the zoo glow in the dark.}

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jack’s Favorite Sport

This past spring, Jack played another season of soccer through the YMCA and loved it.  He has officially claimed soccer as the sport for him and has shown it by dressing the part (constantly wearing soccer outfits/jerseys), practicing constantly, and somehow working soccer into just about any conversation.  I’m actually quite impressed with this focus and dedication and, if you ask me, he couldn’t have picked a better sport (yes, I played in my youth…actually, out of college until I started traveling too much with my job, I played with the Charlotte Women’s Soccer League—here’s hoping Jack has more natural talent than I ever did, though…).

Anyways, these pictures are from Jack’s last soccer game of the spring season in early May.  Not great sports action shots, and it was a really muggy, gray day, but I just love how they show his intensity and focus during a game.