Today was Spencer's first day of kindergarten...again! We were so excited this morning that we forgot to get him dressed. How embarrassing!!
As luck would have it, Spencer's doctor gave him permission to go back to school the very day that his class was having a Pizza-Pajama Party! He was SO excited! Matt and I were pretty beside ourselves as well, so we had to tag-along. Mrs. Allen was kind and asked me to be a parent helper at the party today. :) Here are Matt, Spencer and Paige walking into the school.
Here is Spencer as he walked through the classroom door. His little friends ran right over and welcomed him.
Hanging up his backpack
Journal writing at his table. He even remembered where his cubby was to get his crayons.
After the kids wrote in their journals they went to the rug for group time. Mrs. Allen shared James' journal entry for today with the class. It says:
"Yaye. Spensr came bac to scool."
All of the kids were so cute and kind to him. During one of the activities I overheard a few of them saying that the pajama party was fun but Spencer coming back to school is even better.
For the party, the kids had three stations that they rotated between. I was in charge of the "kite group". We made grocery bag kites and then took them outside for fun on the playground.
They took them up and down the slides and all over the soccer field.
Here is Spencer at the next station: pizza making! He told me later that it was really good but too small.
In the last station they planted a sunflower seed and then painted a picture of a sunflower.
Corinne had a busy day yesterday. She hurried home from school and dove right into her math homework because she had to be to Activity Days at 4:00. She rushed back in at 5:00 just in time to put on her soccer uniform and hurry to Providence for her 5:30 game. She played the first 30 minutes and her team was up 4-1 at halftime when she dashed off yet again. A quick stop at home to change into her dress and eat a quick sandwich, then off to the school for a 6:40 call time for her orchestra concert. They sounded very good and she played the final solo of the concert on her cello. It was "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas, and her cute friends in orchestra gave her a standing ovation. I'm so proud of my beautiful girl. Here she is, finally taking a breath.
As Thanksgiving approached I started to run through scenarios in my mind. I couldn't imagine not having all of my children together on the holiday so of course we would all be at the hospital. But it didn't seem right to take my girls away from the cousins coming into town, so of course I would let them spend the day at Grandma's house. My parents and my brother and his wife solved the dilemma though by selflessly offering to join us all at the hospital for Thanksgiving dinner.
We were able to reserve a conference room for the day and the cafeteria provided a surprisingly decent meal. Here are Spencer, Paige, and Claire playing while they wait for the food. The table was unlike any we'd ever eaten at. Matt and Spencer and I spent the days leading up to Thanksgiving weaving construction paper place mats provided by Child Life; Paige brought her wooden turkey with lollipops for the tail, to use as a center piece; I snuck three flat sheets from the linen cart for tablecloths; and the styrofoam to-go boxes completed the look. But a happier, more thankful family would be hard to find!
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how many emotions is it worth?
Spencer had his first soccer game last night and he loved it! It was a beautiful evening and watching our little man run up and down the soccer field, playing with his buddies, and goofing off on the sideline was even better than I imagined it would be!
Here he is lined up with his team before the game: I guess we can pretend that he's doing some warm-up stretches before he goes in to the game, but anyone who's watched six-year olds play soccer knows better. #6 just hangin' with his buddy, Amman, on the sidelines. Talking over their game-plan: On the sidelines again with buddy Ben:
Spencer and Ben enjoying a time-out. The general goofiness that accompanies these games is my favorite part! I'm not sure the coach would agree.
And now for some action shots! (There are two #6's on the team--he's the tall one.)
Even though we do a lot of this these days... ...we've also been able to have a lot of fun with this beautiful Spring that we are having. I have a picture on my blog on April 8th last year with about 8 inches of new snow in my backyard. In contrast, we did hot dogs and smores around the fire pit last night in 65 degree weather. I know that the farmers need the moisture, but it's hard to be too upset right now. :)
To start, I almost forgot to post my cute little leprechauns enjoying their St. Patrick's Day breakfast:
These pictures were taken about three weeks ago. Spencer, on the red 4-wheeler, and his buddy Ben tearing it up in the pasture. Not wanting to miss out on the 4-wheeler action, Claire hitched a ride with Dad.
For Spring Break we stayed overnight at Uncle Tom and Aunt Anneke's house. On day 1 we went to the zoo with the cousins. Here is Matt with 8 of the 9 kids outside the reptile house. Spencer, Corinne, and Nicole in a photo-op with the fierce tiger. Anna and Corinne and the tiger. Kate and Paige with the ostrich (if you squint).
Matt and kids with the giraffe. Paige and the giraffe. Llama, llama, cousin-o-rama!! Two tom-turkeys that gave us quite a show, strutting around in front of the fence and gobbling at Matt's hen calls.
You just never know what kind of animals you might see at the zoo! :) We rounded a corner and ran right into Eric, Spencer's buddy and nurse practitioner at Primary's. It was so GREAT to see him!
Kate and Claire strike a pose: Spencer and the orangutan: Claire and the gorilla: She was SO excited to be the same size as a juvenile gorilla! Nancy and the kids in the gopher caves: A group shot of the cousins: Our cute family!
On day 2, after Spencer's biopsy, Anneke and I took all the girls and toured Mrs. Cavanaugh's chocolate factory. The tour was entertaining in it's own way, but the chocolate--yummmm!
The grand finale to our Spring Break was Easter weekend. We colored eggs, hunted for eggs, ate too much candy, WENT TO CHURCH AS A FAMILY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER SIX MONTHS, and enjoyed a beautiful Easter dinner and candy hunt at Grandma's with plenty of cousins to keep the fun going until bedtime. Whew!! Nicole getting ready to make a green egg: Corinne putting her personal touch on her egg: Paige, too deep in concentration to give me a smile: Spencer and Claire, working hard:
My cute little bunnies did an egg-cellent job!
Here are two pictures from our cook out last night. It was Grandma Pat's birthday and the kids were very happy to help her with her cake.
A few weeks ago Paige participated in a drama workshop put on by the high school. Here she is receiving her certificate of completion, followed by her cousin, Jessica. They had a great time!
And finally, a picture of our Nicole, looking all grown-up and ready to wow the audience at her concert last month.
Here is a link to our Caring Bridge Blog that journals the story of our miracle boy and his new heart.
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Out of the Mouths of Babes
Matt to kids: "I'm just being facetious." Corinne: "What's facetious?" Matt: "It means sarcastic." Corinne:"Well then just say 'sarcastic'! Why make it complicated? I mean, that's like, why would you say Czechoslovakia when you could just say Kentucky?!" (7/14/12)
Claire: "Grandpa, I want milk." Grandpa: "How do you spell milk?" Claire: Looks at grandpa for a minute and then says, "You tip it!". I'm sure she was wondering why he wanted to know how you "spill" milk. (7/8/12)
"Mom, when I yawn my eyes get sad." Claire, age 3 (3/14/12)
Paige: "Guess what happened at lunch today?!" Corinne: "Lady Gaga came?" Paige: "No. Better! My chocolate milk tasted like pink milk!!" (3/13/12)
"If we had to leave our house and could only bring 4 things I would bring: food, water, a guy who makes electric things work, and the wii." --Paige, age 8 (3/9/12)
"I really wish I had a different mom. One that's nice." ---Claire, age 3 (9/18/11) OUCH!!
5 y/o friend: "My brother's friend is scared of trees and branches." Spencer: "That's crazy!" Friend: "He thinks there's scary stuff in them." Spencer: "Like what?" Friend: "Porcupines" Spencer: "And mini-dragons?" Friend: "Yeah." (9/13/11)