Summer and Summer

 photo Summer-CapandGown2.jpg

We are still in school for a few more days.  I am holding on to the days.  Not because I am not ready for summer break.  I am so, so ready for summer break.  I am holding on to the days because these last few days with our teachers are special.  On Friday, my littles will all be promoted to new grades with new teachers.  There will be many good-byes, many tears, and many joyful celebrations.  It is quite possible that I cry the days leading up to the last day of school as much or more than I cry the entire year combined.  It is always such an emotional journey.

Sweet Summer will graduate from Kindergarten on Thursday.  As you can see from the above picture, she has been practicing for it for a couple of years. I will likely write all about her special day later.  For now, here is a glimpse of what Friday will hold for me.

 photo DSC_0029-1.jpg

Which reminds me of Gabriel at his Kindergarten graduation in 2009

 photo 100_6598.jpg

and Ethan at his Kindergarten graduation in 2011.

 photo 100_4075.jpg

We have been blessed with such amazing teachers over the years.  So, while Friday will be sad, I will do what is normal for me.  I will look for the rainbows, search for the unicorns, and know that, while every beginning has an ending, every time we finish one chapter, we begin a new one.

Everthing I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten – Recipe: Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

Photobucket

Today was a big day, a joyful day.

Photobucket

I took a giant leap of faith and registered my youngest little for Kindergarten.

Photobucket

She has been going through those doors with me since she was 16 months old.  It is almost a second home to her.

Photobucket

Everyone kept asking me if I was okay.  And, I could honestly answer that I was doing fine.

Photobucket

My sister took it harder than me…which did almost bring me to tears.

Photobucket

For us, this is the youngest of 5 children who will have attended school at our elementary school.  It is a special place.

Photobucket

Photobucket

It has just been the two of us at home for the past 2 years, and the two before that it was just us for half the days because Ethan was in a 1/2 day preschool program.  So, yes, it will be a huge adjustment.

Photobucket

But, as a mom, I finally understood today how people can see their children grow up without it just breaking their hearts.  It is what we do.  We love them, we nurture them, we try our best to prepare them for what lies ahead….and we let them know that they are always with us, they are a part of us, and we will always, always be here for them.

Photobucket

Trust me, I will need a pep talk from my husband, my sister, my mom, the whole village come August.  Yes, it will be hard to hold her hand down the hall and walk her through that classroom door on the first day of school.  Actually, typing those words has me in tears.  But, today…today I choose joy.  I am happy for my girl who has been such an amazingly awesome little person to share my days with for the past almost five years.

Photobucket

As proof that she is slowly becoming ready for this giant step, my youngest little has decided to start eating more of the foods that we eat.  She has started with chicken.  So, when Sean made these delicious Chicken and Veggie K’Bobs the other night, he made a plain chicken one for Summer.  She ate every bite of chicken with her pineapple and rice. So, yes, it might be true that everything that you need to know, you learn in Kindergarten.  But, I think that I have done my part to teach her a few things along the way, too.  And, while I might be questioning all of that in August, today I definitely choose joy.

Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

Ingredients

Bell Pepper, cut into thick slices

Onion, cut into thick slices

Squash, cut into large chunks

Zucchini, cut into large chunks

Mushrooms, whole

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks

Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Sauce

Instructions

  1. Place the cut up chicken into a bowl, and pour the sesame garlic sauce over it to marinade for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Place the vegetables into a bowl, and pour the sesame garlic sauce over it to marinade for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Place the vegetables and chicken onto skewers. We took requests so that everyone could have what they wanted on their skewer.
  4. Grill.
  5. Serve with rice and fresh fruit.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/03/22/everthing-i-ever-needed-to-know-i-learned-in-kindergarten-recipe-chicken-and-veggie-kbobs/

Happiness Is…Recipe: Chocolate Cookies

Photobucket

Happiness is Friday!  I asked me husband every night this week if he could please tell me that tomorrow is Friday.  I was so happy last night when he was able to answer, “Yes, tomorrow is Friday.”

Happiness is Nerf Wars.  What a fun night! I wish that I had captured more pictures of Summer because the girl was leading the charge, and it was hilarious to watch.

Photobucket

Happiness is getting the yard ready for spring.

Photobucket

Happiness is anticipating Winter Break next week, which gives us a 5-day weekend.

Happiness is hearing Ethan’s speech therapist say,”Ethan was really trying hard to talk today.”

Photobucket

Happiness is writing this post about my oldest little.  He has made me happy since the moment I found out he was in my belly.

Photobucket

Happiness is sending this text message to my sweet husband yesterday.

Photobucket

Happiness is watching my oldest little read.  His love for reading amazes us every single day.  When he started Kindergarten, I had no idea that there would be children who could already read, and I had a small panic attack.  His sweet teacher told me that I had done my job.  My job was to love him and play with him.  Her job was to teach him.  What a wise woman…one who I now also call my friend.

PhotobucketHappiness is re-creating a cookie into something that brought smiles to the faces of my family.  The littles had no idea that this cookie recipe was the exact chocolate cookie recipe from last week.  I just changed it up to make the cookies special, to make them unique.  Because, at the end of the day, we all love that feeling…it makes us happy.

Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting

1 package cream cheese

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 pound powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. !Making and Baking the Cookies
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Prepare baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.
  4. In a mixing bowl, cream butter.
  5. Add sugars and continue to mix together.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and then add in the vanilla.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  8. Gradually add to creamed mixture.
  9. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  10. Prepare a surface area by generously sprinkling it with flour.
  11. Place half of the dough in the center of the flour and press down with the palm of your hand.
  12. Add some flour the top of the dough, and roll into a rectangle.
  13. Using cookie cutters, cut out your favorite shapes.
  14. Place the shapes onto the prepared pan.
  15. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes, depending on how thick you made your cookies.
  16. Cool on the baking sheet to allow them to slightly firm up before moving to a wire rack.
  17. Once the cookies have cooled, have fun decorating them with the frosting.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/01/27/happiness-is-recipe-chocolate-cookies/

Have a happy Friday!

I shared this recipe at Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Crazy for Crust, Six Sisters’ Stuff, Mom Trends, Jennifer Cooks, Scraps of Life, Dwell on Joy, Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Whipperberry, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Designs by Gollum, 30 DaysLadybird Ln.,  Simply Sweet Home, Alli ‘n Sons and Tidy Mom.