Saturday, May 24, 2014

The End of a Chapter

Luke is getting ready to walk down the aisle for graduation

Liam walking down the aisle

Their Kindergarten class (there were a total of 24 children)

Minnesota in the states and capitals song

Trying to get everyone in a picture.  Finn really just wanted Luke's hat and yellow balloon.  And, it was really hot in there!

Luke and his diploma

Very proud graduates

Enjoying cake and punch

Luke, Liam, and Aiden with two of their friends

The boys with their kindergarten teacher (back left, Ms Kristi) and main teacher (back right, Ms Beth).  Ms Beth was Luke and Liam's teacher for the last 4 years.  Ms Kristi was their kindergarten teacher and is Aiden's preschool teacher.

Aiden wanted a picture playing basketball

And another...

Finn is one the move.  Still not the most efficient at crawling, but he gets around fast!

We closed a chapter this week for Luke and Liam and will open a new one in September.  After 4 years at the Montessori school where they started at age 2.5 years, they graduated.  Their Montessori school only goes from infancy to kindergarten so next year they will be moving to the neighborhood elementary school for first grade.  We love their teachers and we had the luxury of having basically the same primary teacher for the last four years.  She knows the boys very well and we all had a difficult time saying goodbye.

I had mixed emotions about their graduation.  It was so fun to see them work hard all year and then accomplish this milestone, but it also means they will be in "real" school next year!  Over the last four years, they have enjoyed smaller classes, familiar faces, the same teachers and classmates, and a very nurturing, organized environment.  Kindergarten presented them with a chance to grow in many ways.  They are learning to read, can easily count beyond 100, they love to do addition and subtraction, they can count money, name the 50 states and capitals (in most cases), recognize all the planets in the solar system, spell several words, recognize continents, etc...

Luke and Liam will most certainly adapt to a new environment and will love first grade, but it will be much different for them next year.  Aiden will continue in preschool at Montessori so we will stay in touch with their teachers.  Nonetheless, it was the end of a chapter for Luke and Liam and the beginning of many new experiences to come.  Congratulations Luke and Liam!  It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing you home from the NICU.  It doesn't seem possible that you are old enough for first grade.

In addition to their diplomas, Luke and Liam received a little basket filled with six items and a note from their teachers.  It was really a special gift and I love the note which read:

In this special box you will find, 
A ruler to remind you that there are always rules to follow
A Hershey Kiss to remind you that you are loved
A pencil to remind you that there are still many things to learn
A marker to remind you to leave your mark wherever you go
A penny to remind you to always use good sense
An eraser to remind you that it is all right to make mistakes.
Always try your best.  You have a bright future ahead.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

First Baseball Game and Raphael

Finn trying out a swing at the park for the first time over the weekend.  So good to be outside!
Aiden's exciting news of the week.....

His baby turtle...Raphael

Liam getting ready to bat at his first baseball game

Liam got to be the catcher in the first game, first inning!  Daddy was so pumped, maybe as much or more than Liam.

Luke in the outfield

Luke's first at bat, he hit a double!  He later scored and came directly over to Dad for a high five!

Liam in the outfield

Luke in the outfield

Mommy is trying to keep Finn happy (an hour past his bedtime) and in a "balmy" 40 degrees!  I should have dressed a lot warmer.  Despite my two coats, it took me hours to get warm.

Luke and Liam's kindergarten teacher, Ms. Kristi, and Aiden's preschool teacher as well.  She lives down the street from the field where we played and stopped by to say hello!

Liam on base

I would love to know what Luke is saying here, I can only imagine....

The A's won their first game against the Red Sox!

Luke and Liam had a big week with baseball.  They had their first game last week and were so excited about it.  All they talk about right now is the "tournament" which is not until the end of their "season," but both are excited to play in a tournament.  They always say, "we had a game, but it wasn't the tournament."  They played the Red Sox in their first game and ended up winning, although they don't really keep score in these games.  Luke was 3-3 and had a double on his first at bat.  He played first base and a few outfield positions.  Liam was 1-2 and got to play catcher and wear all the special gear, which was definitely his favorite part.  Aiden and I tried to stay warm and entertain Finn while John helped the boys and couldn't sit still watching them.  It was freezing cold and windy on the night of their first game.  It would have been more appropriate to have hot chocolate to celebrate rather than ice cream!  I am hoping for some warmer temperatures in the future games.

Aiden's big news for the week is his little turtle that he named Raphael.  Aiden, Finn, and I were out in the stroller one day last week and saw the little turtle that is about the size of a quarter on the sidewalk.  We picked it up and carried it home in a small cup.  Aiden had sharing day at school the next day and we were debating what to take so the turtle was perfect!!  May 23 happens to be World Turtle Day so Raph will be staying with us until at least that point in time.  He's a cute little thing with a bright orange and red belly.  He is surprisingly active most of the time, but when he hides it is really difficult to find him.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The A's Team

Finn and his first icey popsicle.  He loved it and I think it felt good to all those teeth coming in

Liam and Luke with their baseball uniforms

Liam, age 6, is playing in the 7 and under league on the A's team

Liam is #5 (as Daddy and Grandpa pointed out...just like Joe DiMaggio, Albert Pujols, and Johnny Bench)

Luke, age 6, also playing for the A's

Luke is #8 (just like Yogi Berra)

And AJ being well....AJ

Take a picture of my back, Mom

Poor Finn, not so sure about the hat or all the big boys on top of him

Slam Dunk...a favorite activity during all the rain recently

Luke and Liam are really enjoying baseball so far.  They ask almost every evening, "when is the next time we have baseball?"  Unfortunately, we are still having a lot of rain so several nights have been cancelled due rain soaked fields.  They are hoping to have their first game this week if the weather cooperates.  Last week, they got their uniforms and were so excited to have a real jersey with a number on the back!  They are playing on the Athletics Team or the A's and their colors are dark green and gold/yellow.  

We had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.  John asked the boys what they wanted to get me for Mother's Day and they suggested, flowers, cupcakes and a card-so that's what I got! The boys also made some really neat books at school with their artwork throughout the school year.  John surprised me with a new phone to replace my somewhat broken one that has been dropped multiple times.  I even had a few quiet hours on my own which was probably better than anything else to be completely honest.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Its Time for some Baseball!!

Luke and Liam after their first baseball practice
Finn is standing at his favorite spot.  He loves to snatch things from the table

Me, grab things??

Slightly overwhelmed....Finn's newish ball pit (leftover from his brothers, but we just got it back out)

And his brothers still love it, of course!

Aiden is getting much better at hitting the ball of the "T" 

John purchased a net for the boys to practice hand/eye coordination and batting practice

Liam is ready to play baseball
Luke is practicing his catching skills

After 6 solid days of rain, the grass sure is green in this picture!

Batting practice for Luke

I think we learned one thing last year when Luke and Liam played T-ball.  We are definitely ready for baseball.  The whole experience was fun for them, but it was really SLOW.....They were playing baseball in the backyard with John and the neighbors so hitting off a "T" was a bit of a step back for them.  This year, however, Luke and Liam are playing in a 7 and under coach pitch baseball league.    Its not super competitive, but they do teach some basics with hitting, catching, running, etc...  It is slightly more structured than last year where kids were often found playing in the grass or dirt rather than actually playing baseball.  Due to all the rain, we have had several practices cancelled, but they have managed to have a few practices and really have enjoyed it.  John also purchased a net for "batting practice" in the backyard and they love it.  In less than a week, their batting skills have already improved a bit.  Aiden is also getting a lot better at hitting off the "T" and already understands some of the concepts of baseball.