Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baseball With Bryce

Bryce is quite the athlete and I am not sure which number season he is on at this point, but we were able to come and see him play a game and cheer him on this evening.

Of course, with my new awesome camera I was able to get some great shots of our favorite baller. (I think that's a baseball code name).

We hung out with nana & pap and Emmy while we cheered away.

These two best buds have a great deal in common, but they have just as many differences, but that never stops their friendship, and they cheer each other on.

This is our second ball game with Bryce, we came out to show our support, but that was longer ago than I thought!

We are super proud of you Bryce! You did an awesome job!

                                      April 2015                                                     April 2013

                                        ages 6                                                                   ages 4

Monday, April 27, 2015

Thoms Gets A "4"

It's been a rough afternoon...and evening here in the Shipley house.

Mrs. Naff texted me this afternoon to warn me that Thomas would be coming home with a "4" in his behavior calendar.

She warned me, because she knows I can be "a little much" when my kids mess up. And by "kids" I mean "Thomas."

Poor Thomas. He is far more "human" than Gracie was in school, and far more human than I allow him to be.

Just about all teacher use some sort of system to manage behavior in their classrooms.  Gracie has had colored fish, stop lights, smiley thumbs, and numbers 1-5.  Thomas, obviously has only had 3 years of some sort of behavior charted.

Why does all this matter?

Never ONCE in her entire school existance has Gracie EVER brought home less than a "5," or moved her fish, or changed her stop light color or not gotten a smiley thumb.

I expect the best of my kids--especially behavior, so I doubt this shocks you. Of course, if you know Gracie at all, you know she is a little me, and her "perfect" school behavior shouldn't shock you either.

Thomas knew when he got off the bus that a "4" wasn't good. 

I did everything possible to not bring it up, keep my disappointment in check, and hide any sort of "face" that may make him feel worse than I figured he might feel.

The 2nd thing he announced when he stepped off the bus was "mom, I got a "4" today."

We talked about it, with no guilt, and no anger. He told me why and I told him that it was important to always listen to the teacher.

I could tell by his face that he was going to struggle with it, so it was pretty easy to go from "disappointed mom trying to hide the disappointment" to protector and "its no big deal speech giver."

He didn't want any snack and wanted to write the apology note to Mrs. Naff that I insisted he write--right away.  So, I got paper and pencil and laid them out for him to use.

I was putting away my new camera, and I had to capture this face.  I know it seems mean to freeze this moment--but I needed to. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words.  I have to remember that I am often too hard on them. I have expectations that most parents do not have, and while encouraging and pushing your kids to be their best can be a good thing, pushing them to hard can lead to a child who is devastated by a one time "4" out of "5" when a 1 thru 3 is really the only ones with cause for alarm.

I knew I had to build him back up.

Not only did he get extra hugs all day today, but we changed up our reading theme from "Spring" books to "Mama Loves Me No Matter What" kind of books.

By the time I kissed him goodnight he was smiling and ready to face another fun day at Kindergarten.

This parenting thing is not only hard, it may serve up more lessons for mama's than it might for the children.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Uncle Brian Comes For A Visit

Thomas LOVES his Uncle Brian.

Gracie loves Uncle Brian too, but there is something about those two kindred boy spirits that just adore each other.

Many times, many family members have remarked at just how much Thomas was and is like his Uncle Brian then and now, and let me tell you--you can't argue with that!!

Uncle Brian and Aunt Sweetie (Aunt Dawn ;) came to pick up our old couch for their house, because we finally got new furniture (after 14 years!!) and they stayed and played for a little while.

We don't see these two, and the cousins very often--maybe a handful of times a year, but you wouldn't know it by how they react each time they get together!

 **He's wearing his ear protectors because Uncle Brian was belting out "Let It Go," and he was apparently making a statement about his song ability.**

Friday, April 24, 2015

Let's Go Racin' last time.

But, seriously, I'm okay with that!

While I love that my guys love the race, it stresses this uptight mama out.  But, we came, we saw, we cheered, and we got stuck in an hour long wait to get out of the parking lot--but we eventually made it home all tuckered out.

This race wasn't all that exciting. Unless you count the big fire ball and the man running away from said fireball on fire!!

But, other than that this might be one of the fastest races I have ever seen--on TV or in person.

Thomas loved it though. He was in heaven.  And, Gracie thoroughly enjoyed herself too. We all got a big cold as the temperatures were no cooperative, but the kids and daddy really got into it, and that was well worth the admission!

He is pretending to change the tires on the car. You need to know that so you don't think he is making a finger gun and freak out like I did!


We had some warmer racing fun this afternoon after school.

Cheyenne and her mom found about Kroger's Fan Appreciation day and we all loaded up and spent a while having fun with the activities they had laid out in their parking lot.

I can't say for sure that this is our last race, but it will likely be for a while.  Living 10 minutes from the track makes going a LOT more convenient!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mommy's Caring Boy

You may remember that  last week Gracie was awarded the Forest of Virtue: Caring Award from her classmates and teacher.  So, it may not surprise you to learn that today we were invited to see Thomas receive the same award from his classmates and teacher.

I guess I might be doing something right!

There are 6 Forest of Virtue Awards given out over the entire school year: caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility & trustworthiness.  So, that is 6 kids per class recognized per year, and I am so proud that Thomas was chosen as a good example of a caring classmate.

Not only was Thomas so proud that he was going to go on stage and get an award today, he was super excited that his daddy could be there too!

I had him looking even more handsome than usual, and I made him a special bow tie last night for the occasion (I tried to find cardinal fabric, but came up short, so I went with red & white the school colors).

I was one very proud mama watching him go up on stage and listen to all the good things his classmates said about him.

After listening to all his praises, he shook Ms. Todd's hand and received his award and went over to the tree and hung his cardinal.

He was very excited to join his daddy and I at the table for the remainder of the awards assembly.

And, as luck would have it, our neighbor Cheyenne was receiving a Forest Of Virtue Award from her Kindergarten class too!

These two friends loved that they could share their morning, and their special days together.
We were allowed to keep our kids and have a small doughnut celebration with them before we walked them back to their classrooms.

Chewey may have joined mommy & daddy for the celebration too. After all, Thomas really, really wanted him to see him get his award. He was a super good pup, and didn't bark at all as he watched from my purse.

                                                    We are so proud of you Thomas!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Warm Afternoon At The Park

I probably don't  need to remind you how in love I am with my new camera!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Family That Works Together....

...complains together

...gets sweaty together

...and stays together--for better or worse.

Yes, that's Gracie mowing the lawn. Her daddy figured she was old enough to do that and he taught her how to do it safely.

While she moaned about the prospect, the funny thing was when she was done, she whispered to me "I kind of like mowing the lawn."

The fact that she earns money for doing that doesn't hurt either.

Thomas has always been our big helper, and he will take any job we give him and do it with joy. He loves that Daddy lets him use the leaf blower to blow the cut grass off the sidewalks and driveway.

And after he finished that he helped me rinse of the cars.

Daddy does the bulk of the yard work and his little helpers are very good side kicks.  Daddy mowed the front yard leaving the back for Gracie, and he handled the weed eater.

Clearly mama gets off "easy" in the physical labor department, but hey, I do everything else seven days a week, so I am good with that! And, I needed to snap the pictures ;)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Four Year Sweep

Today was the final elementary school Honor Roll awards assembly for Gracie--ever.


So. let us focus on the positive.

5th Grade
April 2015: Caring Award

She got Honor Roll. She has received Honor Roll or Principal's list EVERY 6 weeks for her entire elementary school career--which is actually just 3rd, 4th & 5th grade as kids don't even get A, B, C grades until third.

And while I am so proud of her for working hard and achieving this academic goal, we are just as proud that she was honored with a special Forest Of Virtue Award for the 4th year in a row. Gracie has been recognized by her teacher and/or classmates each year she has been at MES.  Each six weeks they pick a student from each class who exemplifies a certain character quality, and each year my Gracie has been given the honor of at least one of those characteristics.

4th Grade

 3rd Grade
November 2012: Caring Award

2nd Grade

1st Grade

Not that I am surprised that her teachers and classmates find her to be super at these characteristics, but as I looked through her Awards album, I saw that she received a "caring Award" from her Kindergarten teacher too. I guess we know the best word to describe my Gracie.

Thursday, April 16, 2015