Tuesday, May 22, 2012

School's out for summer.

Today is Hunter's last day of school, and we are so ready for summer to be here!  We got a kick start on summer fun this weekend...

Friday we headed to the spray park with our friends, the Ross's.  We hadn't seen them in a while, and Charlotte kept asking what Kennedy and Preston's names were the entire way there...and home.  I'm hoping she doesn't get my terrible memory, but based on that day it looks like she might!

Right after Charlotte went out into the water, one of the sprayers dumped water all over her...
She was slightly traumatized and was really hesitant to go back out there again until she found the slides about 10 minutes before it was time to leave.

Hunter and Preston played so well together, and of course Hunter couldn't get enough of these water guns...
The kid loves weapons.  Sigh.

After we came home from the spray park, we started to pack our bags for Houston to visit Aunt Courtney.  We didn't get into Houston until around 10:30 that night, but the next morning the kids were up bright and early ready to go swimming...

Despite that smile on her face, the water was FREEZING...

Hunter's teachers got him that water gun for his end of school gift, and he's been obsessed with it.  He was so excited to be able to use it in the pool...

James is such a good dad...he put on his big boy pants and dove in that freezing water because Charlotte wanted to swim...


Apparently, I left my big girl pants at home because I never got in further than my waist.  And that was torture. 

Hunter is not nearly as big of a fan of swimming as his sister is, but he starts swim lessons again in a couple of weeks, so maybe he'll take to it a little better this year.  He has definitely matured and become less timid since last year.  I took his picture this morning for the last day of preschool EVER and couldn't believe how old he looked after I uploaded it on the computer.

Here he is on his very first day at GCE...


And today, on his last...

Again, HE'S SO BIG!! 

I'm totally going to lose it on the first day of Kindergarten.  Lord, help me not to completely embarrass my son (and myself).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Little Graduate

Tuesday afternoon the whole family went to watch Hunter's spring program and preschool graduation.  Both sets of grandparents, the great-grandparents, Aunt Katie, and us Brooks were all there to watch our favorite 5 year old graduate.  We took up an entire pew!  I think he felt pretty special...

The oldest 2 classes (all the kids that will go to Kindergarten next year) sang Down on the Farm first...


video
I have a way cuter video than that one for this song, but it was so long that Blogger was having a hard time uploading it.  It showed Hunter holding up the cow proudly:)


Then they sang The Solfege Scale, which Hunter has had fun practicing at home.  He loves it when I do the hand motions and sing it really fast with him.  After The Solfege Scale, they quickly transitioned to Do, A Deer...

video
LOVE those hand motions he choreographed for himself!

(I was really proud of Charlotte.  She sat so well throughout the entire program.  She's really excited to go to GCE next year)...

The last thing the older classes did before combining with the other kids was to say their Bible memory verses, which was all of Psalm 23.  Hunter has also been practicing this at home, but we'd never heard him say the entire thing before the performance.  We were really impressed!

video

Then the oldest 4 classes combined to sing several Spanish songs and do one more Bible Memory verse, Jeremiah 29:11...
...in English and in Spanish.  I felt so proud!

After all of the singing, we got to watch a video of pictures from the year, and at the end they put up pictures of each of the graduates with their moms at Mother's Day Tea.  Then they flashed a drawing made by the student that said, "When I grow up I want to be...".  On the picture, they typed what the child had filled in the sentence with.  Several of them got a laugh...a nail salon person, a ninja, a pink princess, a jedi.  Hunter's was one of the ones that the crowd giggled at...a cabin maker.  But what we knew that everyone else didn't, is that he meant a cabinet maker, which is what my father does for a living.  I immediately became tearful, and I'm sure my dad did, too...we are quite a pair at the movies...or family weddings.  I quickly dried my eyes because...

Finally it was time for the kids to graduate! 

Hunter was so excited that he jumped up on stage a little early when another classmate was called (Edie Hunter).  He was the very last one to walk across the stage, and he smiled perfectly for me to get a picture...

I am so proud of the little man Hunter is becoming.  Of course I was overcome with emotion throughout the entire program, thinking of how quickly the time has gone by.  I went to visit my dear friends yesterday to meet their sweet, little 5 day old boy.  I honestly feel like it was just yesterday that James and I were just as they were, sitting at home, exhausted, but overcome with joy as we held our first born.  A son. 

It's hard to believe, but now that tiny newborn son is our tall, lanky 5 year old boy.  We have been blessed to be surrounded with a church and a preschool that both love Hunter and teach him God's Word alongside of us.  A couple of days after Easter, Hunter surprised us and started praying in his nightly prayers that he wants to go to heaven with God and Jesus and that he wants Jesus to be his Savior.  I have prayed from his infancy that he would come to know the Lord at an early age, so I don't know why I would be surprised when the Lord is faithful in hearing that prayer.  He hears all of my prayers, even the ones that seem "unanswered" to me, but I wasn't prepared for Hunter to come to this point so early and quickly, without prompting from us...well unless you consider our Bible teaching prompting;). 

I love that kid so much and cannot wait to watch him learn more about his Savior and grow in understanding and intimacy with him.  Thank you, Lord.  For he is one of my "most favorite" blessings..."in the whole wide world."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Blessing of Being a Mom

Yesterday I read two articles on motherhood that moved me.  I mean really moved me, y'all.  I had tears streaming down my face by the end of this one, and the hair was standing up on my arms while reading this one.  In my head I like to live in a place where I think that all moms really do want the best for their children.  And really do want to teach them to be the kind of people that contribute to our society and love others well and are kind to the people they come across.  I want to teach my children so many of the things these moms mentioned.  Some of my favorites...

Just wait until your daughter stands up for a classmate who is struggling, and her peers, humbled, apologize.

Just wait until your child’s quick sense of humor makes you double over with laughter.

Just wait until you hear your son invite a friend to church.

and...

I hope I raise a child who loses graciously and wins without bragging. I hope he learns that disappointments are fleeting and so are triumphs, and if he comes home at night to people who love him, neither one matter. Nobody is keeping score, except sometimes on Facebook.

I hope I raise a child who realizes that life is unfair: Some people are born rich or gorgeous. Some people really are handed things that they don’t deserve. Some people luck into jobs or wealth that they don’t earn. Tough.

I hope I raise a child who can spot superficiality and artifice from a mile away and spends his time with people and things that feel authentic to him.

I want to be the best mom that I can to these two little people that God has entrusted to me.  I want to teach them all of these things.  I want them to love Jesus more than themselves and have the kind of heart that loves all people just because they are part of God's creation.  We are in this together.  No matter how different we are...we will all face the same God at the end of this life.  I want my children to stand before Him and have a testimony that has made Him proud.  I want to raise my children to know the purpose of our life here is to love each other and serve the God that has such great mercy on us.

Today after church Hunter said, "I'm thankful that God gave us together."  I am so thankful for that, too.  One of my greatest joys in life is to be their mother...



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Summer Fun

Oh, wait.  It's not summer?  You can see how I could be confused with the sweat that was dripping off of all of us at the zoo today.  And the fact that it's 95 degrees outside.  Ninety-five degrees.  On May 5th.  Happy Cinco de Mayo, Dallas!  Don't get too fried while you're out there celebrating. 

At least we remembered sunscreen.

And we definitely had fun while we were working up a sweat...and complete exhaustion.  First we headed to the flamingos...

Then we ventured to the bug house, which totally creeped me out.  I was too busy shuddering to get any pictures.  After we looked at lots of huge birds, we saw this fun turtle statue...

And around the corner was a big open area of a lot of other big turtle statues...except they weren't really statues.  Huge turtles y'all.  I was shocked.

Then we met up with Amelia and her mommy and headed to the children's zoo...


The kids begged to play in the water.  We didn't have appropriate attire for this.  We told them no.  They freaked.  My flip flop broke.  I almost fell walking to the gift shop to ask if they had any I could buy.  This sweet lady had a brand new pair in her purse.  She gave them to me.  We were so thankful for her.  That's the short of it.

After a while we passed this area where you could feed the birds this little cup of nectar (for a fee of course...nothing's free at the zoo...I'm not bitter, though).  We got one for H and C, but both of them dropped their cup in fright.  I have to say it is really hard to keep your hand steady as you see a bird flying at you at what seems like a rapid speed. 

I may have dropped the cup too. 

After the drop, James quickly picked H's cup up before the birds swarmed and helped him hold it...

 One of the birds landed on James's back!

This actually happened to Kim (Amelia's mom) as well, and while I silently prayed that it wouldn't happen to me (having a bird on my hand feeding out of the cup I'm holding is about as much as I can take), Amelia became very frightened.  Luckily the "zoo man" helped out pretty quickly.

Then we headed over to have lunch at Serengeti Grill where you can eat and the lions "come right up to the window".  Except they didn't.  It was a huge window, but the lions were nowhere to be found.  We were just thankful for the air conditioner, though.

After feeding the giraffes, we headed to the monorail...

 And then rode the carousel...
Hunter was adamant about riding the eagle.  We walked all the way around to find it because he had seen it before we got our tickets and was determined to ride it.  I love him:)


Charlotte and Amelia rode in the teacup-style bird's nest.  They are such sweet friends...




We bought a membership for the year, so hopefully the weather will cool down a little before summer so we can go lots and not expire from heat exhaustion:)