Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saying Goodbye to BFA

 We couldn't have picked a better day to be our kids last day at school. It was the last day before Christmas break. They all had holiday parties, so I was able to go and take some pictures of them with their friends on their last day. They made wonderful friends who they are missing so much. We will miss Ben Franklin Academy a lot. It was a wonderful school with wonderful teachers and a wonder atmosphere. Cindy and Lyla went with me to the parties, and they were such good sports as they ran from classroom to classroom with me. Here are some pictures I captured that will be treasures for my kiddos.

Ever since Alexis started kindergarten I had been dreading the junior high years. BFA was a great place for her to ease into her junior high experience. I love how small and intimate it was. We will really miss it. She made some amazing friends there and it was really hard for her to say goodbye.
Gabby, Hannah, Alexis, and Katie. Katie and Gabby were Alexis's two best friends while at BFA. They had some great times together. Katie text Alexis the other day and said, "everything is falling apart without you here!"

One last picture in front of her locker

Alexis and her friend Emma

Alexis with Katie and two of her favorite teachers.
Katie and Gabby had a goodbye sleepover for Alexis right after school. Alexis (and I) were glad that she didn't have to say her goodbyes at school that day. 

Here are Tori and her best friend Julie the last day. These two were such good buddies and reminded me of myself and my best friend growing up, Mary Sue.

I feel like we really lucked out with the teachers our kids got. Tori absolutely loved her teacher Mrs. Ward. She tried really hard to make her feel loved on her last day. She had all of the students write her a goodbye letter and even printed out pictures of everyone in her class for Tori to have to remember them by. Tori already has them made up into a scrapbook which she loves to look at.

All of her classmates were so sweet all throughout the party. If they ever thought that she was about to leave they would run up to her and beg her not to leave.

Please don't go!

Tori felt very loved that day. 

One last picture outside of her classroom
She also had a goodbye sleepover with Julie a few days later, so it made her goodbyes a little easier that day.

Levi was a different story.
He too had a great time at his holiday party with his class. They played all sorts of fun games.

Levi and his good buddy Ethan

Being a goofball during a game.

More buddies.

Snow ball fight with wadded up paper! A definite hit!

It was so fun to have Lyla visit for his party

Levi got to be the "Stat Student" since it was his last day.

Levi's teacher Ms. Whelan was outstanding. Tori had her as well when she was in second grade, so we got to know her well. 

We ran in to one of his best friends Chase in the hall. These two boys had some good times together and Levi will really miss him. They shared the love of skateboarding and "colored pants" He was a good buddy to Levi 
Another picture with Ethan

Then came the hard part of  saying goodbye. I could see it in his face that it was going to be hard for him. He was holding together really well until he went to give his teacher a hug goodbye. That's when the tears started.  It broke my heart. As soon as he started crying I did, then his teachers, then several other moms. I wish goodbyes weren't so hard!

Levi spent the rest of the day in my lap crying off and on. One of the hardest things about moving was taking our kids away from all of their friends, and family that were always near by. Luckily they are all making great new friends and thriving at their new schools; a definite answer to many prayers.

We will never forget BFA though. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Christmas Day

I've had these pictures uploaded for a week, and have been putting off posting because there were so many of them! But I need to get it done with so I can move on to other things =)

We were thrilled to be at Brandon's parent's house for Christmas, as opposed to our un-decorated box filled house.  We told the kids that they couldn't wake us up until at least seven. I was exhausted and savoring my sleep when I heard Brandon moving around in bed next to me. I looked at my phone and saw that it was only 6:30. Yes! I thought. 30 more minutes! Well Brandon had other plans, and snuck out to wake up the kids. He really is just a big kid at heart =)

Here's the traditional "waiting on the stairs picture" They were all so excited.

Santa Came!
I love just sitting back and watching the kids enjoy their gifts. They are always so happy and grateful. They are so funny. They will open a gift and then immediately turn to me and pose for a picture with it. So I took a lot of those kinds of pictures. Here's a view into the excitement at our house on Christmas morning.

This has got to be one of my favorite pictures of the morning. Brandon and Scarlett both have the same expression, and the look of pure joy on Scarlett's face is priceless.

Here's Papa just sitting back and taking it all in =) 

I had to laugh at these pictures of Brandon opening his stocking. He's always so funny every year when he goes through it.
"Woohoo! Beef Jerky!"
"Hmmm, not so sure about this hickory farms cheese."  (he always makes fun of the things I put in his stocking)

Laughing because he sees what is next

Midol! LOL it's the only thing that works for his headaches =) 

Scarlett discovered her love of  blocks in nursery, and was thrilled to get some of her own. She's been building towers ever since.

One of the only 8 years olds I know who is ecstatic to receive clothes and shoes (one of the only things he asked for!) 

Art supplies for our little artist =)

Alexis is the only one of us that didn't have a body pillow. She was thrilled to finally have one of her own.

Brandon being goofy with my scarf from Jana.

Levi eyed this jacket in Sears a few months before Christmas when we were shopping for his new suit for his baptism. I bought it and hid it away for Christmas. He was thrilled to see it =)

Nana got him a similar one too! Tori was excited to get a new  hoodie as well. 

Just when we thought we were done opening presents, Papa brought one in that he had hidden in the other room. Luckily Brandon caved the night before and told me about this little "surprise" so I wouldn't freak out be too surprised !
Oh my. Here we go. It's just a pellet gun. In a family full of hunters I guess I better get used to this.

Here's Brandon and Levi listening intently to Pap telling them about it.

After opening presents, Nana and Papa made a us a delicious breakfast. Then we spend the next couple of hours enjoying our gifts and relaxing. 
Scarlett loved her Baby Alive more then I could have imagined!

Around two, we headed over to Grandma and Grandpas to meet up with my side of the family.
Luckily Cindy is so good about taking pictures. We actually got a rare one of me!

The kids opened up their presents from grandma and grandpa, and we also opened up the gifts from our sibling drawing. Mom thought everything got a little crazy and hectic, but I thought it was just great! 

Grandma and Grandpa have a blue version of this rocking horse. They got Scarlett a pink one and she was thrilled. She loves it and I am constantly walking into to see her rocking back and forth as fast as she can on it.

She even mastered rocking and drinking out of her sippy cup at the same time.

Scarlett was so excited to play with her cousin's new toys, and they were (mostly) happy to oblige.

My parents bought Brandon this BYU-I hoodie. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift which he loved. Now he's all ready to go!

The blue horse will always be the secret favorite =)
Grandma and Grandpa got the three big kids really cute padded ottomans for their new rooms. They were so excited, and they each have them sitting right next to their beds filled with random treasures =)

Another rare picture with me in it. I actually stole a bunch of these pictures from Cindy's blog, because once again, I wasn't very good at taking very many.
This is actually from a few days before Christmas but I love it so much . It shows the genuine love and closeness that the cousins share =)

We were able to get a family picture of all of us, around the Christmas tree. (It's in there somewhere)  Although this is a hideous picture of me (I blame me being the closest to the camera) I am still glad that we have it. I am learning to try not to be too worried about how I look in pictures., It's just important to have them!

Christmas was a crazy fun filled day where lots of memories were made. It was bittersweet knowing that we would be packing up the U Haul the next day to move ten hours away, but we managed to put that out of our minds for a bit and just enjoy each other and the wonderful spirit and feelings that Christmas brings.

My mom bought me and ornament with the saying,
"Tho far and wide on earth we roam.. At Christmas time all hearts come home."
We look forward to coming HOME next year for Christmas =)