Friday, May 31, 2013

My ballerina girls.

Last Thursday night, Summer, Tilly and Story had their spring ballet recital at our church.  They have been so excited for this day all week.  With a little help from Daddy, we managed to get dressed complete with hair buns and to the church only a few minutes late.  
I had to snap a quick picture of the pretty girls before we went inside. Don't worry, their ballet shoes were inside my purse!
Another one just because I think it's so cute!
Here the girls are with their teacher, Miss Anna, practicing just before the big show.  
My three little loves.  
They looked so beautiful and really danced their little hearts out, especially Summer and Tilly.  Story did much better than she did at her Christmas recital.  If you'll remember she sat down during that one and never moved from her x marked on the floor.  She actually danced this time, until she spotted me, ha!  And then she was done.  
Summer and Tilly's group performed a ballet poem they've learned naming and demonstrating the different ballet steps they have learned this year.  
Here's a video clip of a dance they all performed together to "Rockin' Robin!"  It was so sweet.  They learned this dance earlier in the year, and it is amazing to see how far they've come since Christmas.  I was so proud!
We were so thankful to have these two sweet girls in the audience to cheer on our girls.  
Daddy and Carter bought the girls flowers to have for after their performance.  Carter was just precious presenting the girls with the bouquets.  Tilly was so focused during the recital.  I loved watching her dance!
Summer smiled the whole time and just danced beautifully!
Our party of six after the big dance!  Great job Summer, Tilly and Story!  We loved watching the three of you dance!  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial weekend memories.

I have always loved Memorial Weekend.  School is usually over for the summer, the weekend is long, it's a special time to remember those amazing heroes who gave their lives for our freedom, and now it's even more special for our family because of Carter's birthday.  
David was off on Friday, so after a workout at the gym, we headed over to the zoo for the rest of the morning before lunch.  
We took a break from the splash pad to check out the animals.  The jaguar was on the prowl, and it was so much fun to watch him roam around.  
No caption needed.  
The children asked me if we could have a photo shoot while we were there.  Of course!  Sweet Summer posing for me!
Carter running through the fountains.  About lunch time we headed home to eat and take naps.  
In the middle of her nap, Story woke up crying and calling for her daddy.  I picked her up and put her in my lap, and she proceeded to fall back asleep for over and hour.  What a treat!  She never does this, so I was thinking something might be up with her.  Sure enough, she got sick not too long after she woke up.  It only happened once before we put her to bed.  She went to bed really early, just pitiful.  Okay, this I have to document because David and I were just so amazed by her.  Twice during the middle of the night, she got sick, but not all over herself and her bed like most children.  She climbed out of her crib, made her way to the bathroom in the dark, and threw up in the toilet.  I heard her and got out of bed, and both times I found her kneeling on the floor in front of the potty!  What three year old does that?!? Later I told David, I think it's because she knew if she got sick in her bed her lovey would get dirty and would have to be washed, and she was not about to lose lovey for the night, ha! Thankfully, the next day she was fine.  Thankfully, too, no one else seems to have fallen prey to the bug.  I'm hoping it's gone for good!
Saturday night, we headed over to one of our favorite places for supper.  
As much as we enjoy the food, the hightlight for the children is definitely feeding the ducks after our meal.  
Carter was feeling especially brave and got pretty close to the ducks.  
A tradition from my childhood that we have done with our children is to let them choose where we eat supper on their birthday.  Since we had plans on Carter's actual birthday, we allowed him to pick Sunday night where to eat.  He told me, "I don't think you're going to let me go where I want to choose."  I was thinking uh oh!  I remember one time when I was a kid, I chose to eat my birthday supper at Hardees of all places!  
Pretty sisters!
He chose Taco Bell!  So cute.  He was so excited.  Carter is obsessed with sour cream.  He loves it!  On everything.  I'm thinking that is why he chose Taco Bell.  I need to teach him about some other yummy places that serve sour cream, ha!
When we got home, I wanted to get a picture of the four of them together since it would be the last time they would be ages 3, 4, 5, & 6.  I love this shot!  They're all looking and smiling.  It may or may not be that Daddy bribed them with a cookie if they looked at the camera and smiled!

Summer asked if she could have her picture made with Carter by herself.  She loves him up!
Sunday night before bed, Tilly entertained us with a ribbon dance performed to a song from the Princess Sofia soundtrack.  Too cute!
Monday was spent celebrating our birthday boy all day long! Such a great weekend full of so many great memories.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Carter's 7th birthday celebration!

With Monday being a holiday, it was easy to celebrate this handsome boy all day long! He awakened pretty early that morning super excited about it being his big day.  One of his presents we weren't able to wrap, so we made him stay in our bed until his sisters woke up.  Finally, about 7:30, we allowed him to awaken them.  He went into the den and found his first gift, a bow and arrow.  
It's blurry because he is jumping up and down with excitement!  Thank you, T, for his gift.  As you can see, he loves it!
And apparently he already knows just what to do with it!  
A yummy breakfast to celebrate the birthday boy!  That tray of chicken minis was gone in a matter of minutes.  Carter has a system for eating his.  First, he takes the chicken out of the mini and eats it by himself.  Then, he eats the mini by itself because that's his favorite part!  After breakfast, we put the children in their bathing suits and loaded them in the car for a surprise road trip.  They knew we were going to be in the car for a bit, but they had no idea where we were going.  Until we arrived in McComb, MS, at the home of John and Beckie Moody, affectionately known as Dr. John and Miss Beckie!  Dr. Moody is our newest pastor at our church, and he and Miss Beckie have just embraced our little family.  We couldn't be more thankful for them!
It didn't hurt that their home had this beautiful pool.  Carter and Summer were literally in the water all day long!  They had the best time!
So did this little cutie.  She played her little heart out too, and then got out and told us she needed a nap!  
Story hung out on the steps until she realized that the life jacket would indeed keep her afloat, and then she migrated to the shallow end of the pool and eventually the deep end.  She was diving off the diving board by the time the afternoon was over.  
Allow me to introduce you to our fish, Summer.  
Carter sporting his new birthday goggles.  
We enjoyed not one, but two delicious meals at this table courtesy of Dr. John and Miss Beckie.  
After meal #2, we celebrated the birthday boy!.  
For most of the day, he had the biggest, sweetest smile on his face.  Just so excited about his special day!
Make a wish.  After delicious ice cream cake, he opened the rest of his presents, and then it was time to head home.  We put the children in their pajamas because we knew that they would be asleep before we got on 98 headed back to Hattiesburg.  And they were.  
Here's the birthday boy with a few more of his gifts.  Happy birthday, Carter!  We hope you felt loved on your special day!  We do love you a whole bunch!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Carter is 7!

Happy 7th birthday, Carter Stokes O'Dell! 

I adore this picture of you.  We were taking you home from the hospital, and here you are dressed in the very outfit your daddy wore home from the hospital when he was born, so special!  This past year of your life has been wonderful, and there's much to document of all the great things you have been able to be a part of throughout the year.  In due time, I will share.  For now, here are some of your favorite things at age 7.  
1. What is your favorite color? orange 
2. What is your favorite toy? remote control helicopter
3. What is your favorite fruit? pineapple
4. What is your favorite tv show? Spiderman
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? tacos
6. What is your favorite outfit? Spiderman tshirt and basketball shorts
7. What is your favorite game? keep the balloon up in the air
8. What is your favorite snack? Ritz crackers with the spreadable cheese

9. What is your favorite animal? tiger
10. What is your favorite song? Joshua fought the battle of Jericho. 
11. What is your favorite book? Kittens (most recently checked out from library)
12. Who is your best friend? Peyton Hoefler

13. What is your favorite cereal? cinnamon toast crunch
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Big Foot Game (at school)
15. What is your favorite drink? water
16. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Curious George
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? toaster strudel
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Taco Bell
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a farmer
Happy birthday, Carter! We love you to the moon and back a whole bunch of times!

Friday, May 24, 2013

End of the school year fun.

Another school year has come to an end for our children.  I am so thankful to report that it has been another wonderful school year for each of them, full of learning new things, building new friendships, and developing lifelong skills.  With the end of the school year has come lots of fun activities. 
Summer ended her school year with Bubble Day and a birthday party for Mrs. Malone at school, complete with cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches. 
Carter ended his school year with a party at the home of one of his classmates.  I was able to pop in for a few moments to watch him before I had to begin car pool for his sisters. 
He had the best time playing in the pool and hanging out with his classmates. 

If I were being completely honest, I was a bit nervous with all those children running and playing in the pool.  Thankfully, there were lots of mommas and daddies on hand to supervise and keep watch, and all were safe in the end, thankfully!

At church, we had our end of the year Awana award's night.  Carter was awarded for completing his first book in Sparks.  He is also about 1/4 of the way through his second book. 
Summer is not quite finished with her first book, but she is very close!  We are so proud of her hard work this year in Sparks. 

Tilly had her end of the year class party at Planet Gymnastics.  She and Ella had the best time playing and were just sweating profusely by the time it was all over.  I love watching these two play together, it's the sweetest thing. 

The class party was so much fun.  The children enjoyed pizza, cupcakes and little treats.  I think the goodie bags were their favorite part though. 
Tilly with Miss Gin.  We are so thankful to have her as a teacher to one of our littles again this year.  Tilly and Summer both have just learned so much from her, and are eternally grateful for her investment in their lives.  I told her she gets a break from an O'Dell for one school year, and then perhaps Story will get to be in her class, too!  That would be a treat!

The end of the school year has also included another round of swimming lessons for our crew.  Summer tested out of her first class, so she is enjoying the challenge of a new class.  Carter and Tilly are still working hard to gain some more confidence in the water.  They are both progressing so well!  Story and I are enjoying our Mommy and Me class again, too!  I am so thankful all of our children love the water. 
We are also busy catching up on doctor's appointments.  I took Tilly and Story last week for Tilly's eye check up.  While we were waiting in the lobby, I let them listen to the Princess Sofia soundtrack on my phone.  I wish you could have heard them singing, so cute!  Tilly got a great report.  She will continue wearing her patch for 2 hours per day.  We will go back in August for another check up before school starts.  It is hard to believe that she has been wearing the patch for right at a year now.  I am so proud of her diligence in doing so.  It says so much about her little character. 

What is an end of the year celebration without a birthday party for a friend?  Carter, Summer, and Tilly all helped Jordan celebrate her 6th birthday at Kid's Rule.  The only thing broken was a pair of glasses.  Thankfully, they belong to Carter and he has a back up pair.  I'm pretty sure there is no repairing the ones he broke!  Boys!  At least he can say, he was having fun when it happened! 
One of our favorite parts of the end of the year has been fun play dates with sweet and silly friends. 
We're so thankful to be invited to swim!  Summer is loving the water this year. 
I enjoyed running some errands with these pretty girls while big brother was still in school.  I find myself getting braver and braver about taking them out in public by myself, ha!
We have enjoyed picnic suppers in the den when the dining room table has been too full of laundry.  I'll spare you the details of seeing that picture!
We are so proud of our official graduate! 
We are thankful that the end of the school year has brought about new and precious friendships. 
What is the end of the school year without lots of bubble fun?  These are supposed to be unpoppable bubbles according to pinterest.  Very large, but not unpoppable! 
This week has also marked the end of our second round of swim lessons.  It is such a treat to watch the children get better and better with each one. 
This one has blown us away with her strength in the water.  We may have an official swimmer on our hands before the end of summertime. 
Or she may be real good at laying out like her momma!  Either way, summertime is here, and we couldn't be more excited if we tried.  I'm so looking forward to making fun memories with our party of six this season.