Sunday, January 15, 2012

Better late than never--last week of school through Christmas

I had intended to be caught up with the blog by now. . . alas, LIFE. So here's a recap of the last week of school and leading up to Christmas. Christmas deserves its own post. Maybe I'll have THAT one written before Valentines day.

The Elf continued to be fun for all. Garrett told me more than once that he didn't want Christmas to come because he didn't want Jet Pack to leave.

Garrett's school had a PJ day on the last day of school. The two Kinder classes did a combined craft day which was a LOT of fun but also a lot of work. I volunteered in his class and a friend and I helped plan all of the crafts for Garrett's class. By the time it was over I was pretty much holiday-ed out but the kids had a blast.
Sugar high, anyone??

Festivities included a book exchange. Garrett got a fun reader about Cats, and we gave a Clifford 2-in-1 book.

We made teacher gifts for both of the K teachers with their students hand prints.

We made reindeer candy canes for friends
Summer is such a cheese ball

We went on a date to Brad's Christmas party for work on his birthday, but took no pictures. I got to hang with some of my favorite people who shared my birth month
My buddy Shelah

And my buddy Susan (at the winery for our birthdays--free admission and free wine, weee!)
We went on our first real family camping trip, to Flamingo in Everglades National Park. We've been before but Summer was too small to really enjoy it. It was a blast. We ended up going with some long time friends, which is what REALLY made it fun. Thanks Monica for the pictures!
No idea what the girls were discussing but check out Summer's feet!

The boys having fun doing boy things.The bugs were bad, but other than that the trip was AWESOME!!

Last, but not least, we allowed Garrett to open his tools from Grandma Becky a day early so he would have his own Garrett-sized items to work on a craft from Lowes, since we missed it to go camping.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Early December Wrap-Up

Early December was a blur. Things were INSANE, and I'm still not sure why. I helped out a lot with things in Garrett's classroom. The last 2 weeks of school were JAM PACKED with craziness.

Highlights of the last 2 weeks of school/first couple of weeks of December

Garrett received a perfect attendance award for the first quarter:

They don't do honor role for kindergarteners, but he did well his first quarter and more importantly, he really has been enjoying school. He also received his 2nd quarter progress report and is doing wonderfully. Its been great to listen to the concept of sounding out words really click and watch him learn to read. He even read Green Eggs and Ham. Seriously, that is a LONG book!!

We did Christmas crafts and of course played with friends:

And Garrett just generally went nuts over the whole concept of Christmas
Of course we put up our tree. Both kids had a BLAST helping put on the decorations this year, and Garrett and Daddy put the star on together, which has become our tradition.
The highlight of the holiday season, at least in the kids' book, was the arrival of our Elf. Garrett named him Jet Pack. It was fun having the kids get up and look for him every day, express delight in his antics, and just generally see their excitement about the whole thing. The 5:30am wake-ups, however, I could have done without.

Our elf even made us breakfast one morning (Christmas tree danishes!)
We baked a lot too . . . Shelah and I worked a bake sale for This is the Dog, and I made cake pops. This is the Dog ended up shaping our holiday season a little more than we intended, but stay tuned for more on that, as well as the continued adventures of Jet Pack in a later post. For now, I leave you with the cake pops I made for the bake sale:

Monday, January 02, 2012

A very late November wrap-up

I have no idea where November went. It flew by so very quickly and I didn't write a single post about it. And now its taken mWe were VERY busy at work, as my boss was preparing to go to Australia for 6 weeks, finishing up classes and had several reports due. Garrett was busy at school. Summer was. . . Summer.

So here's a rundown of what we were up to in November.

We went to the zoo with Summer's friends Ava and Alora (Thanks Leanne for the pic!)
Summer is obsessed with the pythons there. She tells me she wants to touch them. I tell her they will swallow her. It doesn't deter her though.

We routed for Oklahoma State A LOT. :-)

We did our Christmas card pictures. As always, this was a production in and of itself. In some ways, the out-takes are better than the final product. And certainly more entertaining!

We also attempted a family photo shoot over Thanksgiving. Neither the wind nor the lighting cooperated, but we got some decent ones. Although we didn't get a single one where everyone had a nice smile on their face. One of these days we'll take my friend Leanne up on of her offer of doing ours. But it wasn't in the cards this year.

Kids grins are super cheezy here but Brad and I look nice sooo, this is the one you get to see :-)
We camped in the back yard. The kids got sleeping bag/backpacks from Grandma Becky that they loved. The kids did great. The dogs, on the other hand, were totally upset that we left them alone in the house. They started howling so I used it as an excuse to go sleep in our bed with the pooches instead of on the hard ground :-)
For Thanksgiving we had our traditional "Florida Family" dinner at the Shumans house. It was lovely, as always, and as always, I completely failed to take pictures. Once Thanksgiving was over, the Christmas festivities began, including the arrival of our elf for the very first time. But that will come in the next post :-)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Goals, revisited and new

Happy New Year! Last year I set goals for 2011 . . . some got done, some didn't.

-Blog more . . . since I don't keep a journal or scrap book, this is IT.
FAIL in the past 3 months, since I have only blogged twice since Halloween
-Make a book of blog posts in case blogger ever decides to die, for the same reasons listed above
FAIL, sort of forgot about this one.
-Run 600 miles and do a total of 1000 miles total in multisport (bike/swim/run)
FAIL, mileage totals were: 346.5 running, 22o bike, 3.6 swimming. And while I missed every goal, I can't complain. Hard year, lots of sickies, lots of missed weeks. I'll take it.
-200 hours of fitness
SO CLOSE, 190.3 hours. Again, sickies have totally messed me up.
-Do at least 1 triathlon, 1 actual 5K, a budget 5K, a budget 10K and a budget 13.1 at some point throughout the year. I have seven events on my wish list right now (5 are tris), but we'll see how that goes.
FAIL, I only managed a true 5K, and a budget 5K. Part of this was due to my realization that I wanted to spend a little more time with the kids and a little less time training. And again, the sickies, trouble working in training in our hectic schedule, etc. etc. etc. BUT I did sign up for the Miami Beach 13.1 in March, so really looking forward to that!
-Read/Listen to 20 books . . . I really am loving getting back into reading again
Total success--Brad bought me a Kindle for mothers Day and I read around 30+ books this year. Water For Elephants was among the favorites list. Harry Potters. And too many to list.

-Go on a mommy-cation to see Allison, or have her come see me
Not this year :-( Maybe in 2012??
-Take Garrett to Disney for his birthday
Done, had a blast!
-Read my bible more. Planning on doing the Bible In 90 Days program, just not ready to add that in to my New Year until we get into the swing of things.
Fail. But I did spend a lot of time working on my relationship with God and with myself, so I'll take it.
-Give myself 30 minutes of still, peaceful quiet once a week. As much as I love working out, that can not continue to be my only me time if I wish to stay sane.
Major fail. Thus my difficult year
-Unplug a bit more. I've spent entirely TOO much time on Facebook this year. Going to try to limit my internet time to quick email/FB checks in the AM and at lunch.
Eh, so so, there were goods and bads.
-Moonlight ride on Shark River Valley with hubs
-Daytime Shark River Valley ride with Garrett
Both fail, bugs were horrible this year :-(
-Take my kids camping
DONE, we had a blast, went to Flamingo in the Everglades in early December. Among the "catch up posts" I hope to do in the next few weeks
-See my Grandma if she makes it stateside this year.
Fail, fail, fail. She came, but we didn't go. Summer was so incredibly difficult to deal with during the time she was here, and we opted not to travel across 3 time zones with her. :-(

All in all, I'm glad 2011 is over--we had a hard-ish year here. Nothing major, but just not the easiest either. But lots of great memories, and plenty more greatness to come in 2012.

Looking forward . . .
I don't have a huge list of goals. Just vague but important hopes:
Live in the moment
Enjoy quality time with the kids
Run for the joy of it
Keep myself and my family healthy
Find peace with myself and KEEP IT
Find the happy balance in the Chaos, for the sake of my sanity.
And, last but not least, talk to family more--that one has sort of fallen by the wayside in the craziness.

Updates to come (HOPEFULLY!)