Monday, June 30, 2014

June according to my iPhone

Here's a few examples of how we spent our days in June!

The girls planned a playroom campout - they had hotdogs for dinner and then put their sleeping bags in the hippo tent.  They lost interest in the tent before falling asleep, but up until then it was all fun!

Celebrating one of our last Mama and Beans days - food court lunch (and photo op with the Chick-fil-a Cow!), ride on the carousel, and some fun in the play area! 

This girl never stops making us laugh.  A request to put on PJs resulted in her putting on pretty much ALL of her PJs!

A fun snow cone date with Jillian's pre-k teachers and their girls

Meredith and Jillian both conquered diving deep in the water.  Meredith helped Jillian get braver by holding her hand as they went down to get toys.  I sure love their love for each other!

Cici's dinner with the Cousins

Yet another gymnastics show in our bedroom!  Luckily we have the perfect furniture configuration for cartwheels - who knew!

Swimming with Piper can get crazy!  We never know if she is trying to save the girls by rounding them over to the side, or if she is trying to play with them - or possibly she is trying to drown them!  But her other favorite pool pastime is splashing water high in the air and then trying to catch it in her mouth. As you can tell, the girls are highly entertained, too!

Sleeping Bunny

Dinner time called for a restaurant - complete with a menu created by Meredith and maitre'd Jillian ready to serve! 

Sports Girls

After a long season of sports, we finally finished up for the summer!  The girls had great seasons in all the sports they played and learned a lot about them along the way!

Our focused little first baseman.
Check out our first baseman (#4) and her position in this picture.  It didn't matter where the ball was hit on the field, Jillian would run to go get it!

Her turn to bat

Celebrating a good end to the Pirates' season

And celebrating with coach!  Jillian was so excited to get her first ever trophy AND a medal!

After finishing up t-ball, Meredith had a volleyball double header and a softball game! 

This girl came so far in her serving this year!  We are so proud (and she is too!)

The Cardinals played in the championship game.  The girls were a little nervous because they were playing a team that "practiced three times a week!" and that team never lost!  But we told them to just have fun.  The girls ended up keeping the score very, very close, but lost by a little.  Either way, everyone was happy with 2nd Place!

Meredith got to try out catcher in the championship game.

Showing off her 2nd place trophy

Silly girl - practicing in case she ends up in the Olympics one day!

Early in June, we also had the girls in swimming lessons.  Meredith was wanting to improve her strokes and I was hoping to just up her confidence in the water.  Jillian ended last summer swimming like a fish, but still had a lot of technique to go.  As we went into the first week, I was expecting excited swimmers.  Instead Jillian cried and cried and refused to do what the teacher asked! I was shocked (but Jillian shouldn't really shock me anymore!) After 2 days, Jillian warmed up to the idea of going under again - and since then, she is amazing!  I can't even believe she is the same kid!

Both of my little swimmers - ready for lots of pool time!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jillian's first lost tooth

As an added bonus to Staycation week, the girls and I had dentist appointments (fun, right?) and we all got good reports until they found that Jillian had an abscessed tooth.  This little thing has fallen and hit her mouth about 100 times in her life - each time, I would run to her, expecting her tooth to be knocked out, because surely we couldn't have avoided this that many times!  But it always held strong.  It had darkened, though, so we knew that it was dead, but until this appointment, the dentist had felt that it was just fine where it was.  However, with a tooth abscess, it was time for it to come out.  We scheduled a second appointment for a pediatric dentist, who happens to be a friend from church.  Jillian was very nervous, but she held strong through the whole appointment.  They gave her an antibiotic to kill the infection and we were to come back the following week.  With Jillian off safely playing Dr. Ketchel told me that the tooth would have to be extracted, but that there was no reason Jillian had to know that until it happened.  So, she just told her that she would come back and Dr. Ketchel would wiggle to see if her tooth was ready on its own.  Jillian sort of bought this.  But I was not entirely convinced we would survive tooth extraction day (have I mentioned that at her 5 year check up she screamed bloody murder when they tried to test her hearing by just putting a little thing up to her ear????) but if she didn't go for this method of laughing gas, we would have to actually put her under, which I did not want to do for her benefit as well as the benefit of our wallets! So, I promised that if she let Dr. Ketchel do everything she needed to do without throwing a fit, she could go to Target and buy a Sofia the First toy that she had been eyeing forever!  She was still cautious, but was excited that she might get her toy.

The night before her appointment, Meredith had a sleepover with a friend so that I could just take Jillian, but knowing Jillian would feel left out, I planned a sleepover for us!

The day of Jillian did great!  She was able to watch Frozen while the doctor worked on her tooth, and only flinched a few times and said "ouch!" maybe once!  I was so proud!  She was freaked out by the blood after, especially when we went for donuts after!  But then we picked up Meredith and headed to Target where brave Jillian got her toy!
She was pretty proud of herself!

So, then that night, we of course got ready for the tooth fairy!
While I was getting my camera ready, she stole my phone - so I got a silly picture of her first!

These happy faces were only made happier when she woke up to the glittery $5 that the tooth fairy left in her tooth pillow!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Faith at Home

This year our church tried out an alternative to VBS, called Faith at Home.  We met in the evenings so the entire family could participate - it started off with dinner in the gym, followed by classes for the kiddos while the parents heard from Dr. Wiles on parenting topics.  At the end, the kids joined their parents back in the Fellowship Hall for an activity and worship time.  This was such a great experience for our family - I can't wait for next year!

Spaghetti at dinner, Jillian's way.  Dip the longest noodles ever into a tiny bit of sauce and then feed it into your mouth.  Only slightly messy!

Here we are working on our activity - we made boxes that say "Share, Discover, Pray, and Serve" on them.  Each night we talked about one of those words and were given ideas of things that we could talk about as a family related to those words - those ideas went into our box.  Now, we get to take the box home and choose an idea each night to discuss at dinner!  The first few nights with our box have been so great!  The girls love choosing one of the ideas and having us discuss - and it really helps us change up our conversations.  Such a fun idea!

Daddy hard at work!

Our finished box - we each colored letters and then we decided to each draw our favorite animals on the top!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hanks Family Staycation 2014

Neal had a long first half of his work year without any vacation days to speak of and as we started planning for a vacation, it looked like that wasn't going to happen until August, so we decided to do a little Staycation to give us all a taste of summer life.

Our first big activity was going to Clyde Warren Park and the Perot Museum.  

The girls did lots of climbing at Clyde Warren - such a fun little park!

Then we had a yummy lunch at a little cafe in the park.  It was hot outside, but we still enjoyed the food before walking over to the Perot.

This was our first trip to the Perot Museum and we loved it!  The girls especially loved the exhibit where you could race different animals or sports stars and the place where they could practice a sports move and it would be videoed so you could watch it in slow-mo! Meredith did her Volleyball serve and Jillian showed off her cartwheel!  We also got to see an iMax movie about Monarch butterflies that was so fascinating!  I loved it!

Meredith can always have fun with a little art, too!

Jillian got into shopping at the Farmer's Market.

Such concentration in the music room.

Meredith and Daddy worked on building a little robot after doing a science experiment - these were probably Meredith's two favorite things at the Perot!

Our next fun Staycation day was a trip to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 and a yummy Tex Mex lunch

My girls and their accessories this week!  Meredith had a hat on everyday and Jillian insisted on wearing her charm bracelet and a sweat band! 

Next up was a trip to Lone Star Park to watch the horses race.  We would all go out and watch the horses get ready and pick our favorites.  Neal put a dollar or two on each of our picks and then we'd cheer them on!  Neal did really well on his picks and I think we ended up coming out just about even at the end.

Waiting for the next race!

On Friday, we closed out the week with a trip to the ice rink.  We had tried out skating the weekend before at Anna's birthday party and we all did much better on those skates, but we still had fun!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Finishing up First

I can't believe First Grade has come to an end for Meredith.  What a great year for my big girl!  She had a fantastic Homeroom teacher, who was also her math teacher and then an equally great Reading teacher.  In Ms. Thomas' class for math, Meredith started learning multiplication tables and even brought home a division problem or two!  I was blown away by what all she already knows.  And in Reading with Mrs. Griffin, she got to experience some fun writing exercises and, of course, work on reading!  Meredith loved going to the library - especially to check out non-fiction books.  And she also loved her time in music, PE, art and computers.  Really, there isn't much about school that Meredith doesn't love!  Here's how we closed out our school year....
One last lunch with Meredith and her pre-school sister.  Next time I visit for lunch, I will be visiting TWO girls in this cafeteria.

The last two days of school were half days, so we definitely wanted to celebrate!  First up, we gathered up some of Meredith's friends, Hannah, Kenzie, and Addie and we all went for snow cones.  The last day, we went out for frozen yogurt with Kenzie!

Meredith had been dying to make these little pencil holders for her teachers all year! We saw some like it at a craft show and she wanted to buy them, but I told her we could make them for less money and make them cuter!  But then, life happened and we never did it!  But we finally bought the supplies, so now Ms. Thomas and Mrs. Griffin each have a pot for sharpened and broken pencils personalized by Meredith Ann!

The last day of First Grade!  She is ready for summer.

The last day of first grade also marked my last day of official "Mama and Beans" days.  We spent the morning with her friend, Austin and they enjoyed having a fun play date and I enjoyed spending time with Austin's mama!  Before we headed in to pick Meredith up, I wanted to grab a couple pictures to commemorate the closing of this chapter, too.  I sure have loved my time with Jillian, but I am excited for the summer with both of my girls and for her to get to start up next year as a big kindergartner!