Tuesday, May 27, 2014

School's out for summer!

It's officially summertime around our house! The school year ended last Friday and then we headed to Houston for the long Memorial Day weekend.

Gray has been a bit sad about the whole thing, but I think he'll soon snap out of it with all the fun we have on tap this summer.

After a lot of discussion, we've decided to have Gray repeat kindergarten next year. The official terminology is we're "retaining" him, but really we decided that although he meets the academic standard to progress to first grade, he isn't emotionally ready. Since he's born on the cut-off date and is the youngest kid (by nearly two years in some cases), we knew this would be a possibility heading into the school year.

We met with his teacher and the principal to discuss the pros and cons, and felt there were enough resources in place to continue his academic progress while allowing him to mature and build confidence in his work. Only time will tell if it was the right decision, but he'll have a different teacher next year and he's excited because she's "the science teacher!" Apparently, his class rotated to her room for science this year and he's on cloud nine with the thought of being in her class full-time next year. That kid seriously loves science!

It also helps that most of his buddies from class are moving to different schools and so he won't feel like they are going on to first grade without him. This entire year has been extremely eye opening for what is expected of kids and, man, has the world changed from when I was five.

I'm looking forward to a summer where we can have fun as a family and Gray can continue to enjoy being a kid. Michael took a picture of Gray on the last day of school and he's actually wearing the same shirt from his first day back in August. It's amazing to see the changes in our sweet boy!

First day of school (August 2013)

Last day of school (May 2014). Such a big kid!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Love Notes

Grayson has a pad of sticky notes hidden somewhere in his bedroom that he's been using to leave love notes all around the house. They've been popping up in all kinds of places over the past few weeks and are so sweet. He places each one in a spot where the intended recipient is sure to find it. For me, that means the door to our garage. For daddy, that means by the door knob on one of our bedroom doors in the hallway, or on his work computer. 

Even though he misspelled mommy and daddy, I haven't had the heart to correct him yet since it's so innocent and thoughtful. 

I was able to successfully sneak a few notes back to him in his lunchbox and the pantry where he saw it as he went to get breakfast. He likes being able to read them all by himself, and I love that he thought of this all on his own. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mountain Men

Michael has been itching to get back out on the mountain bike trails, and took Gray out one morning to the "real" trails by Lake Thunderbird State Park. Gray was excited to test out his new knobby trail tires on a legit mountain bike course.

They did a 1.5 mile loop, and Michael said Gray did really well. There were some sandy places that slowed them down a bit, but Gray didn't crash once and didn't come home with any poison ivy so I consider that a double win.

Daddy was definitely excited to see Gray enjoying himself and they are both ready to get back out and hit the trails again soon.

Gray is pointing to the 1.5 mile section they rode. As you can see on the map, there are lots more miles to cover in the future.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Day in K

Tonight was Gray's kindergarten music program called "A Day in K!" All four kindergarten classes sang a handful of songs and they played a photo slide show. It was really cute and Gray was very into the entire thing. He even asked daddy to put gel in his hair.

He waved to us from the stage at every opportunity and was all smiles, which was a huge departure from his Christmas performance a few years back.

Gray was also very excited that two sets of his grandparents were there to see him perform. We capped off the fun evening with a tradition that I followed growing up with my family...ice cream!

Here are the kids filing in to the gym. Gray spotted Popper sitting by the aisle and got excited.

Gray is in the bottom row, three kids in. The little girl on the end in the row above him is Stella...apparently they already have plans to get married. Not sure what's happening with those bows, but she is a cute girl. 

Despite the spotlights shining on the stage, Gray managed to find us in the crowd and waved and gestured toward us the whole performance. 

Grayson and Stella

Hugs with Grandmama and Grandaddy after the show.

Nana and Popper made the trip from Houston!

When we went for ice cream, Gray insisted on sitting with his friends instead of with us. The little girl in the lime green shirt delivered the best laugh of the night when she asked Gray if Michael was his older brother. I nearly died. It was priceless. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Great Outdoors

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I'm a fan of being outside. Even an unseasonably warm heat wave hasn't stopped us from enjoying some quality outdoor time recently.

Luckily, we have friends who also prefer to play outside and we recently enjoyed a play date at Cora and Claire's house. Courtney had set up their camping tent and the kiddos had a blast going in and out and enjoying snacktime inside.

Baby Braham, Cora and Claire checking out the tent

Gray and Liam sitting on the "boy sleeping bag"...no girls allowed!

Cora staked out her own bag. Looks pretty comfy to me!

Before long, Gray wised up and decided he wanted to share sleeping bags with Cora instead of Liam. Don't tell Cora's daddy!

In other outdoor news: After our azaleas put on a spring show in the front yard, it was time for our rose bush and peonies to take center stage. Peonies are my absolute favorite and I cherish their short blooming season every year.  Here are a few recent shots:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Our Perfect 10

Michael and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary this week. Man, how time flies! We met in 2000 and were married in a surprise ceremony (for our guests) in 2004. Michael graduated from OU just hours earlier and the next day moved to St. Louis where I had been working since graduating a year earlier. Talk about a life changing weekend!

We spent three great years in St. Louis before deciding to move back to Oklahoma and were so lucky that new jobs, selling our house and everything that could, fell into place. Grayson wasn't even a glimmer in our eye yet, but now it's hard to recall what life was like before he completed our family.

Our life together has been so much fun, and while we're not perfect, it has been the right path for us. I'm proud of the choices we've made over the past decade, our enduring love and mutual support, they way we challenge each other and foster growth, and heck, I even still think he's pretty darn cute. You can't ask for much more than that!

I'm not sure of the exact date this was taken, but I believe it was in our first year of dating around the fall of 2000. We were such youngsters!

Fast forward 10 years and we may have aged a bit, but we have collected so many amazing memories along the way (not to mention becoming parents to a certain little boy that we're pretty proud of too). 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Road trip to Red Rock Canyon

Last Sunday we enjoyed a picnic at Red Rock Canyon State Park. My dad was in town and we met up with his side of the family for our annual trek. It's fun that the little cousins now look forward to going as much as the rest of us because they've built such fun memories there.

It was an unseasonably warm day for May, and Suzanne had to stay home with Jack at the last minute due to a case of strep, so the rest of us ate an extra chocolate chip cookie and/or brownie in their honor.

My cousin Billy always brings a bag full of sports equipment, and I loved watching him teach Gray how to field grounders. I thought I had stuck Gray's baseball glove in the trunk, but couldn't find it so he had to make due with an adult glove. It was comical at times. 

Luke and Gray couldn't wait to go up on the canyon walls, so Pappa and Billy took them for a quick hike as we grilled hot dogs and got lunch ready. 

Cool cousins!

My cousin Billy and his wife Tina trying to find the shade

After lunch, the boys wanted to check out the nearby playground. It's just so cute watching them bond and hearing the little boy conversations they have with each other. 

Luke's cast didn't seem to slow him down any when it came to climbing. 

This is Luke's new photo pose. I asked him what the hand signal meant and he said, "Rock and roll!" (in a tone like, come on Aunt Lindsay, get with the program!)