Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Holden turns 6!!!

Six years ago today, I became a Mommy for the first time and ever since, it has been an exciting, challenging, and yet fun journey. Usually I would have gifts and treats on the breakfast table however, with our new Kindergarten schedule I decided it would be a good idea to celebrate after school. Hence no tears with "having no time to play" with his new toys. Thankfully this worked!

Rylan and I were able to attend Holden's school celebration with his class. He asked me to make football brownies to share with his classmates, as I did. He was very excited to see us, which was nice. Then it all went downhill. As part of the class celebration they sing Happy Birthday and another song I do not remember the name. Typically Holden loves attention however today...he did not want any part of it.

As you can see he became very teary eyed. I did not know what to do! Once the singing was over, he seemed fine and enjoyed his brownie with Rylan. As I am always saying, Holden is my wild card and keeps me on my toes! Since Kevin was in town, we decided to wait until he came home from work to open gifts and eat cake. But somehow Holden talked me into letting him open Rylan's gift, which was a hit. They played and played and played. Finally it was time for cake! Holden loves Lego's so in my mind I thought it would be a cute cake...well, I was wrong! It flopped! It was suppose to be red but it looks more like pink and it did not turn out anything like what I had planned in my mind. Thankfully my attempt to make Lego "guys" was well received!These were eaten in about two seconds!

Even though the cake was not the cutest in the world, we still had our birthday boy make a wish!Did you happen to notice our toothless smile? That is another story for another day!

Then "Little Bit" had to make a wish too! (I love the look of shock that Rylan actually blew out the candles.)

Our 6 year old birthday boy enjoyed opening gifts, eating cake, and wishing for a wonderful year to come. While our other little munchkin seemed to enjoyed his cake a little too much!!! I think it will take me days to get the stains out of this one! Happy Birthday Holden, our wish to you is that your dreams always come true. Thanks for always being so loving, caring, adventurous, and yes, unpredictable. We love you more than you will ever know!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten!!

Today was Holden's first day of Kindergarten and I am happy to report, we all survived I was a little worried after going to Friday's Meet the Teacher. He was crying, I was crying, we were a mess! But today, we just had a slight case of the first day jitters, well, mainly me!

I tried to make this first day memorable and as special as possible. I decorated the breakfast table and bought a couple of books for both Holden and Rylan. After an exciting morning of surprises, we gathered our school supplies, teacher gift and set out for our first day of school! Don't you just love the uniform and Batman backpack! You can not imagine how proud he is of his backpack!

Once we arrived at school we were greeted by the Headmaster, whom I believe must have memorized every child's face and name because when he bent down and gave Holden a hug it was like he had known him for years. This small gesture I believed eased the jitters a bit.
However, when we arrived at Holden class, there was a little boy hysterically crying! I just knew this was going to be a trickle effect. Much to my surprise it was not. Holden found his cubby and placed his lunch box, which by the way only held a small snack since Kindergarten is only 1/2 day but he insisted he needed a lunch box so we got it, then found his desk and sat right down! I was shocked! His teacher, Mrs. Knight, came over to greet Holden and she told him she brought a couple of sea books just for him. AHHH, this made his day! After several pictures, it was time to let my baby boy begin his first day of Kindergarten. Doesn't he look so big! No tears from Holden but as for Rylan and I, it was a different story.
While Holden was in school and our tears were drying, Rylan and I ran home to prepare a couple of after school surprises. You can't see it so well because of the sun but we wrote with chalk on the driveway, "Welcome Home Kindergartner! Love you, Mommy, Daddy and Rylan" And a couple of sweet surprises too...Apple pops, school cupcakes, and a favorite he asked for worm apples.

When we went to pick Holden up from school he was smiling, happy, and glad to see us. His first day was a success!

This afternoon we enjoyed some Back to School treats and a little bit of reading. As I sit here and reflect on Holden's first day, and really ever since the day Holden and Rylan were born, I always go back to the song, "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts. Particularly the chorus,

My Wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, worries stay small
You never carry more than you can hold

And while your out there gettin' where your gettin' to
I hope you know somebody loves you
And wants the same thing too
Yeah, this is my wish!

This is my wish for both boys but as we start the school years with Holden this is my wish even more. After shaking our first day jitters, I feel that we are off to a great school year filled with success, fun and lots of memories.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cincinnati's Ronald McDonald House

After our outing to River Downs, we planned to stop and visit the Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House to deliver our Lemonade Stand money. We tried to plan a trip for everyone to go together but with school starting back this week, everyone was pressed for time. Instead I printed pictures of the lemonade stands for The Ronald McDonald House to have of all the children.
Along with the $167.55 the kids donated, they also brought pop tabs that they had collected, a total of 0.9 pounds, and cards they had made for patients. Since we had never been to the Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House, they were gracious enough to give us a tour. (Even though we were all sweaty!) We learned that this particular house is the 3rd largest in the United States and can accommodate up to 80 families. Which we were told they stay at capacity with a long wait list of families. On the board with the patients names, we noticed there were families from all over the world, Greece, Georgia, New York, Oregon. On our tour, we were able to see the common areas, school rooms, libraries, theater, and the lunch room. They also let us know what their needs are and what would be the most helpful for us to continue this outreach with the children. I think after walking the tour and visiting The Ronald McDonald House you become a little more aware of how blessed we truly are and how we should use our blessing and give back even if it is just a card, a basket of fruit, trash bags, collecting bottle tabs or even just a simple prayer.

As we walked away today, Kevin and I were both proud of all of the kids but we were also given an added appreciation for how fast life can change and to count our blessing one by one. Our hope, wish and goal, is to make this a family outing quarterly, if not monthly, to help give back. Even if it is just something small hopefully we will instill those values of helping others into our children. That is our ultimate goal. This visit was not just meaningful for us but I really do think it meant something to the kids to donate their money they had earned to such a worth cause.