Sunday, January 21, 2018

Christmas in Wisconsin

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We loaded the van and began the trek up north on the day after Christmas.
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While on our journey, Bella used her new stylus from Graydon. It still makes me laugh!
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We celebrated with the Kilps side first.
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Uncle Tom and the cousins are into RC cars these days, so they all went to a track to race some cars.
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The weather was absolutely FREEZING! But the kids really wanted to go sledding
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Graydon also got a little early birthday celebration.
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After a few days, it was time to move on to Kenosha. Auntie Kristen bought Graydon the Pie Face game for his birthday, so they of course played it right away!
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Ready for Christmas Number Three!
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These cubes are quite a hit with Graydon. He's gotten really good at solving the pyramid and is working hard on some of the others.
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Bella's future kitchen is already getting stocked!
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Pillow fight! I have no idea how this got started, but I'm amazed nothing got broken in the process!
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The next day was Graydon's official birthday! He wanted me to wake him up when he officially turned nine. He was born at 8:21am Eastern Time, so I woke him up at 7:21am. It was still pretty dark, so the photo didn't turn out great. But this was the moment he officially became a nine-year-old.
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A few hours later, he was a bit more ready for the day.
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All three kids screamed with delight when they saw this new basketball hoop!
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That evening we rang in the new year with my parents.  We watched "The Little Rascals" and "The Parent Trap". The kids enjoyed some kiddie cocktails!
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The next morning it was time to head back to Indiana. Uncle Scott surprised Bella with a case of the beverage he'd been drinking that she really liked!
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There's always mixed feelings about heading home.
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When we got back, Graydon still had his gift from us to open up: laser tag guns!
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We had a day to unpack, do laundry, and restock the pantry; and then it was back to school. Due to the cold weather, we had two-hour delays each day that week! That was a nice way to transition back into the school routine.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy Birthday, Graydon!

Graydon is NINE today!

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013
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2014
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2015
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I think that this year was the year of the hair. As you watch his slideshow, this will become clear. He had a lightning bolt on the side, a mohawk, and long hair (that he wanted to grow into an afro!)

One big area of growth for Graydon has been in the area of money. He used to be such a spender, but he is learning the benefits to saving. We started an envelope for him that he adds to whenever he gets his allowance or holiday/birthday gift. I took him out shopping once and the old Graydon would have wanted everything that he saw. On this particular trip, he was much more discerning and realized that there were things that he wouldn't play with or that he'd get bored with pretty quickly.

Third grade has been a bit of an adjustment for him. Prior to this, school had been relatively easy. Math still clicks with him really easily, but he has started to struggle a bit more in reading. He's a fluent reader, he just doesn't always understand what he's reading and therefore scores low on reading comprehension tests. We're continuing to work on test-taking strategies and also visualizing what he's reading.

He continues to play soccer, basketball, and baseball. His favorite sport right now seems to be basketball. He also participates in Cub Scouts and karate. Lately, he has expressed an interest in learning to play the saxophone. We'll see if that comes to fruition.

Graydon is sweet and silly and I'm so thankful that he's our little boy! Happy birthday, Graydon!

And I meant for this video to get included in the slideshow and just realized (after having finished and published the slideshow) that it got left out. It's too good not to share.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve!

About two days before Christmas, I realized that we didn't really have anything for Bella to wear. She's not much of a dress girl and most of her clothes are leggings, sweatpants, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. We were at the outlet mall for other things and thought we might look for a dress. But the crowds. We just decided to have her wear this dress that she wore for Christmas two years ago, as well as a father/daughter dance (or two), and Easter. At least we can say we got our money's worth out of it!
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Got this photo on the first try. Graydon has never been this easy!
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A handsome little guy.
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After our third church service of the day (one in the morning and two at night). Busy Christmas Eve!
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Christmas Morning!

As they do, our kids slept in pretty good that morning. I probably woke up around 6:30am, but stayed in bed because I wanted them to get us up. I laid there for about an hour before I fell back to sleep. They were all finally awake around 8:15am.
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New jammies that he got on Christmas Eve.
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Ready to get this morning started!
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First: stockings!
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Time for presents!
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A new robe! His received his current robe when he was 4. It barely falls below his back anymore. It was definitely time for an upgrade!
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He wanted a black one to match Dad!
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Graydon was excited to see such a big box with his name on it!
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A new sleeping bag!
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Bella's turn.
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New leggings!
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Curtis also got this remote control dinosaur.
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Graydon has been wanting to learn magic tricks. Now he has the tools!
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Bella also got this new apron. She's becoming quite a baker. She made these brownies for Andy from scratch!
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And last but not least. . . one more surprise!
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All three of them got new bikes!
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Time to enjoy their gifts!
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This toy came from Uncle Jeff and Aunt Steph. We're all having fun with it!
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And. . . on Christmas Eve we had the most beautiful snow fall. It didn't leave a ton of snow, but it made the night feel so magical. This was the closest we've come to a white Christmas in years, so of course we had to go out and play in it.
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Who says you need a ton of snow to have fun?
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I wish there was sound to this photo. He was screaming his little head off the whole way (until he fell!)
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We got our dream of a white Christmas!
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