Tuesday, August 08, 2017

school's out!

It's May and school is close to wrapping up, but there's lots to do before hanging up the backpacks and throwing on the swimsuits. Our last big soccer tourney of the season took place in Indianapolis and it was a fun one. Olivia went down the first day with Aleah and her family and I drove up the second day (on my birthday) to join her and watch her and her team win a big game!

The girls played so hard and wrapped up a season full of hard work and passion. There were many ups and downs, but Olivia had fun and learned a lot. A well deserved break from soccer was on the way, one that must be enjoyed while it lasts because it never lasts long. One thing is certain, Olivia loves to play soccer and loves the friendships she has made along the way!

One thing our girls look forward to every Spring is the opening our of zoo. We love going to the zoo each year and because my Aunt always buys us a annual zoo pass we go many times. Our first visit was especially fun as we got to see all of the changes that were made since last year. This was one of many fun trips to the zoo this season!

As Olivia's first year at her new school was coming to a close she was preparing for one of the biggest events of the year. In 4th grade the musical is part of the curriculum so she is required to participate. Each 4th grade class put on a short play dealing with the importance of telling the truth. Olivia's class did Pinocchio and she played a fox. She practiced very hard the production was very impressive!

Following the show the school put on an amazing after party for the kids. Olivia not only got to stay for the after party but also got to spend the night at her school with a few of her friends. It was the perfect way to wrap up weeks of hard work and a pretty awesome first year at a new school!

Cece has been working hard too. In fact she has been working hard all year in her gymnastics class and was able to show us everything she has learned in her big showcase. This girl has been doing gymnastics for awhile and in the past few months she has really started to show improvement. She is starting to master more difficult elements and her coordination is so much stronger. I am proud of his little firecracker!

Olivia had a cool opportunity this summer to be a ball girl for the new Fort Wayne United Gryphons women's soccer team. For a couple of games she stood on the sidelines and helped with the ball while watching some pretty good soccer. These older girls know their stuff and I think Olivia learned something from them. Not to mention it was just a cool experience!

It's been a great year for both girls at school. Since Cecilia was wrapping up Kindergarten and preparing to move in the Lower Elementary room at her school we were invited to a "moving up" ceremony. They came down one at a time to receive their certificate and flower. There was a look of pride on my little girl's face that morning, and that feeling crossed over to me as well.

The staff at Cecilia's school is a big reason why she has been so successful there, and it is the main reason we stay. The directors of the school have always treated my girls with such kindness, and Cecilia's kindergarten teacher helped her grow so much in the course of one year. We are so grateful for everything Peace Montessori has given both of our girls over the years.

With the "moving up" ceremony out of the way, it was time to enjoy the official last day of Kindergarten! The class had a trip to the zoo planned, so it was such a relief to have an absolutely gorgeous day outside! Kindergarten was a success, and I cannot wait to see what 1st grade has in store for this crazy girl!

Olivia's school was one of the last schools to dismiss for the summer. She had a fabulous 4th grade year at her new school, but she was more than ready to kick off her summer! I spent the morning with her as she said goodbye to the lower school and prepared to enter the middle school. (At Canterbury 5th grade is considered middle school)

The morning kicked off with a farewell to 4th grade. The teachers read their prophecies for each student and then walked them down to the middle school wing for their official transition. Olivia was sad to say goodbye to her 4th grade teacher, but she was so grateful to him for helping to make her transition to a new school so seamless. Olivia made some really great pals this year and is looking forward to diving into 5th grade with them next year! Oh, and to end things on a super high note...Olivia won the Integrity Award for the last term (her second time winning that particular award this school year). Sort of proud over here!

So with school officially over it was time to hit the pool! During the summer we have two pools we frequent. Most of the time we go to the pool in my Mom's neighborhood. The girls have friends that go to that pool and it is just across the street from where we live. Our other option is my brother in law's pool. The girls could swim every single day and not get sick of it, so between the two options we always have a way to keep cool in the summer.

We are looking forward to a break from our normal routine for a few months. The girls will still have plenty to keep them busy, but having a few free nights here and there is very much welcomed! Hello summer!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

spring time

We've got some catching up to do. Let's go all the way back to Spring Break. Olivia's new school is different in that they have a two week Spring Break, instead of the standard one week. Since we did not have any vacation plans my Mom offered to take her to Florida to visit some family friends. She was excited to get out of town for part of her break since all of her friends were still in school for another week. So she headed off to St. Augustine for a week of sun and fun.

During her first couple of days she visited a marine museum, ate some delicious food and did some shopping. While in Florida they stayed with my Mom's dear friend, Deb. She used to live in Fort Wayne but moved a few years ago to be near her daughter, Korrie who just so happens to be Olivia's godmother. 

During the weekend they drove to visit Korrie and her family. Since they moved to Florida we obviously don't get to see them like we used to, so Olivia was excited to spend the evening with everyone. Wish we could have been there as well. 

One of the highlights of their trip was visiting the town of Saint Augustine, which is the oldest city in the US. It served a little history lesson for Olivia. She enjoyed seeing the old buildings and learning the history of the city. 

The rest of the week was full of swimming, site seeing, visiting an alligator farm and of course, eating more delicious food! She really enjoyed her little getaway to Florida but was ready to get home to her family. Once she got home she still had another week before returning to school!

Cece may not have been able to go to Florida, but she did get to have some fun of her own. Her babysitter, Holly promised her a solo sleepover while Olivia was out of town. They had a fun evening together which involved Cece falling asleep quite early! She also got to see a movie before her sister, which is always something that makes Cecilia happy. 


Cece was able to spend some time with her Nana once her and Olivia returned from Florida. Olivia was busy with something one of the days so Nana took Cecilia to the Botanical Gardens to enjoy the butterfly display. Cece really enjoyed this. She was a little freaked out by the butterflies landing on her head and shoulder, but she was fascinated at the same time. 

Once Spring Break was over it was back to business as usual. First on the agenda was dance competition #2 of the season. This was a new competition that we had never been to before, so we did not really know what to expect. What we did know is that we were balancing soccer and dance on the same weekend. Yep...Olivia had a soccer tournament and a dance competition in Grand Rapids on the same weekend. We found a way to make it work with her only having to miss one soccer games.

Olivia danced her heart out once again. It is so neat watching her grow into a more polished dancer. She improves more and more every year and it makes me so proud watching her do something she loves. The problem is that she loves both soccer and dance. It is becoming hard and harder to balance both activities, but I try to make it work for her. I will continue to do so for as long as it is possible. 

So aside from Christmas, Easter is the girls' favorite holiday. They love everything having to do with eggs. Coloring eggs, hunting for eggs, decorating eggs...they just love it! So to get things started we had an Easter craft night at Nana's house. We kicked things off with dying eggs. Cece is finally getting to the age where she takes her time with her crafts, instead of finishing things in 10 seconds.

Next it was onto cookie decorating. The girls took their time and created some beautiful Easter cookies. But the thing they were most excited about was the egg hunt. There were lots of treasures and money hidden inside the eggs carefully placed around the house. Cecilia made sure that the eggs were evenly split between her and Olivia.


Finally the evening wrapped up with the girls opening their Easter baskets from Nana. Lots of little goodies making for two very happy little girls. This was a fun way to kick off our Easter holiday. 

The next morning we headed to church for Easter service and to listen to Olivia do two special readings. I love when Olivia reads at church. She speaks so clearly and sounds so grown up. Makes me happy! Immediately following service the girls headed outside for the annual church Easter egg hunt. Well, it's not so much a hunt as a dash to pick up as many eggs filled with candy as possible. All I know is that we left church that morning with more candy than we typically get on Halloween!

Later that afternoon we headed to The Forte's for our annual Easter dinner. Our family friends include us in their family celebration and we love it. Not only is the food amazing, but the girls get to participate in their family egg hunt as well. They are so generous with our girls and fill the eggs with money and always have a special Easter basket for each of them. Just another reason why our girls love Easter so much!

As if they hadn't had a great Easter already, they still had Easter baskets to open from us. We kept it simple, knowing that they were already getting so much from everyone else. But how do you not spoil your kids at Easter? It's just a super fun holiday to celebrate!

The next weekend we were back at it with soccer. We had a short break during Spring Break but then we participated in the annual Shoot for a Cure tournament. The club we play soccer for hosts this tournament every year in support of breast cancer. It's a great tourney and lots of fun to play in. The girls started off strong but the weather took a turn and caused the remainder of the tournament to be cancelled. The girls were bummed as they were on track to do quite well. Oh well, what can you do. Fun was still had, which is all that matters.

Spring time is the best time. Know why? Because that means summer is right around the corner!