Blogging and Praying that I never forget these days . . . .

She's already Two?!

January 22, 2012
It happens in blink.  Mary Kate celebrated her second birthday today.  We had a small family get together at Mawmaw (mKate had finally started calling Dianne something, but she is rebelling against Grandma with Mawmaw.  Giggle.)  and Pawpaw's house.  We feasted on some baked ziti,  salad, french bread, and then some cupcakes and ice cream.  Mary Kate had a great time being the center of attention.  Check out the pictures, she is sitting on the kitchen table (throat clearing) and no one is allowed to do that.  A better part of the story is that Mawmaw put her up there.  I think this gal gets away with anything.  After opening her presents Max snatched the new LeapPad and Mary Kate jumped on her new four wheeler.  She was even allowed to drive in around the house.  LOL.  She loves her cupcakes or "dood-ies" as she calls them.  I guess they are cookies to her because of the Oreo Minnie ears.  Oh well, it is her birthday, right?  Happy Birthday my precious 2 year old.  Mommy and Daddy love you LOTs and LOTs, and I think your Bubby loves you even more. 

Max Swims

January 19, 2012
Max has also started back in his swim class.  He is now in a Lap Class that focuses on teaching and perfecting strokes.  They also spend lots of time swimming up and down the pool to build endurance.  He is such a little fish and is thrilled to be back in the pool.  We haven't been there since early summer and all the teachers were shocked at his growth.  Several commented on how tall he had gotten.  Little man is growing up.  I am excited that they are both now in swimming.  It makes me feel more comfortable when we are around water.  I will always watch them like a hawk, but as least now they will be prepared. 

mKate Starts to Swim

January 13, 2012
Mary Kate has started her swim classes at the local swim club.  She was so proud to put on her warm belly and parade around the house.  She was even thrilled to be going swimming.  She loves spending the summer at Pawpaw's pool.  However, she did not like the lessons we did in class.  It was not very long into the class until we were submerging them underwater.  Poor girl could live without that!  She screamed bloody murder each time I placed her on the edge and pulled her in with me.  I felt bad, but unfair to her, I have been through the screaming baby class with Max.  I know we will all survive and soon she will love class.  She will love swimming laps just like her brother does now.  So sad second child, but we will keep going, and you will be okay. 

Visiting Bull

January 8, 2012
On Sunday we stopped in to check on Bull and visit for a while.  Over the last year his strength has really declined.  Now he is unable to get up without maxium assistance or a lift.  It is nice to see his brighten up when we bring the kids in for a visit.  He enjoys getting kisses and colored pictures from them.  The kids like to color pages and hang them on the walls for him to admire.  It is difficult for me to see such a strong man decline so much in just a few years.  We are blessed each time we get to see him.

Logan's First Birthday

January 7, 2012
Little Logan Johnson turned one on January 1st.  Today we helped celebrate his birthday with a party.   The pictures show how much he loved his cake.  I don't think I have ever seen a kid keep eating it like he did.  He was in heaven.  Happy Birthday Logan!

Our First Step to Kindergarten

January 2-3, 2011

Max will begin Kindergarten this fall. We are lucky to have a great county with many wonderful schools. Jay and I are both products of these schools and are thankful for the education we received. Our county is also blessed to have some special public schools such as magnet and choice schools. Jay and I agreed a long time ago that we wanted him to attend a certain school in the county. The school was started about 10 years ago as a year-round school. It was the only one in the county so it took applications and commitments to attend there as a student. Some of those were that there would be no busing (so parents had to provide transportation), selective scheduling, and the applying to become a student. Each of our nephews and niece and several friends' children attend the school. Seeing the positive responses from parents and students alike and excellence that comes out of the school helped to confirm our initial desire for Max to attend. A few years ago the entire county went to a year-round schedule. This caused the school to have to adapt a different focus to remain a selective school. Union chose to become a STEM school. This stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. I am realistic and don't think that just because of the focus Max will work for NASA at age 12, but I think it is a realistic focus for the modern world. Each of these elements are very important in today's society and I don't think that a little more emphasis on them will hurt him. Now to the application problem . . . as the school has grown in popularity, the application line got crazy. When my now 10 year old nephew was preparing for Kindergarten my brother-in-law simply faxed in the paper the day they started accepting them. Then 2 years later my sister-in-law faxed in my niece's paper at midnight. Now several years and a new principal later, it has gotten more competitive. The new principal sort of did away with the fax option at midnight. Now parents are turning in the applications in person rather than faxing. As the first day of receiving applications approached we learned about the past few years. We heard a story that 2 years ago the parents started a line outside the school at approximately 4:00 am, and then the story from last year was that the line started at 8:30 pm. Last year all the Kindergarten spots were taken before midnight by parents in line and the principal wasn't scheduled to arrive until 6:00 am the next day. What? Black Friday Camp-outs for Kindergarten? No Way, Wow! I worried and fretted, talked to other PreK moms, and we planned it out. A group of us came up with a plan of stalking the school on a schedule until we saw the first car. Once one was spotted we sent out the messages and calls and we all headed that way. After an agonizing morning the call came at just before 2:00 pm. Ahh! When you do the math that means we would be in our cars for 16 hours before applications would be accepted. Pure craziness. Of course, to secure Max’s spot I dashed over there and was in line by 2:30 pm as the 4th car. To everyone's amazement by 5:00 pm there were approximately 35-40 cars in line and this meant that all the Kindergarten spots were taken with another 13 hours to wait. Well, to our amazement the principal showed up a little past 5:00 pm, passed out numbers as we were in line, and told us to park and come inside the gym. He told us that due to the rules that had been posted by the school, that applications would not be collected before 6:00 am he had to wait until then. He informed us that he didn't want us in the 18 degree spitting snow weather. It was also mentioned that due to the competiveness to get in on the first come basis he would probably be going to a lottery for the next years. He instructed us to bring in our stuff and set up our camp-out in the gym where he would also be staying. So basically . . . we did. We all carried in our pillows and blankets, games and computers, food and drinks, etc. The guys hooked up the computer to an internet hot spot and speakers to watch the games. The girls looked at magazines, surfed the Internet, and chatted. It was a real bonding experience. We will be spending the next 13 years together so the bonding was nice because now we will have relationships with other parents before they kids actually start school. I wouldn't say it was great, but it was do-able, and I am thankful that younger sis gets grandfathered in. :-) Kindergarten here we come.

Ears Pierced

December 27, 2011
During the holidays we noticed how much Mary Kate paid attention to earrings.  Anyone that held her also noticed because she liked to touch and check them out.  She especially liked Bebe's HoHo (mKate's name for Santa this year) earrings.  After pointing them out she would then motion to her ears as if to say "umm where's mine?"  Jay has been wanting to pierce her ears since the fall, but I couldn't let go yet.  After her new interest in jewelery this winter I gave in to the idea.  So after Christmas we headed to the store and she got some tiny crystal earrings put it.  She handled it very well.  They girls in the store both did it at the same time so she would only feel the pain once.  She cried two tears and buried her head in Jay's chest for just a minute.  Then she wanted the mirror to see her new style.  She quickly grinned with the tears still on her cheeks and was over the shock.  I snapped some pictures while we were in the store.  Then the next day I got some good ones while she was proudly showing them off.  Such a big girl!!


December 25, 2011
After opening gifts on Christmas morning the boys went to shoot guns again.  Max is loving all this boy time with the guns.  Jay and Max went up to Josie's dad's house.  Papa Joe has lots of space to shoot, hunt, and ponds to fish.  Big Daddy, Uncle Jon, Aunt Josie, Papa Joe, and Todd all met with their guns and ammo to target practice.  Max loved it and has talked about it for weeks now.  I think they are going to make a little hunter out of him.  He already talks about "shootin' til it clicks."  My, my, what does our future have in store for us!  :-)

Parsons Christmas

December 26, 2011
Parsons Family Christmas

Mary Kate got in on the biscuit making this year.  She enjoyed helping Uncle Jon pat them out and cut the dough into biscuits.  She is such a good little helper.

Nanny was a show this year as she collected the dogs and musical Christmas decorations.  She also wanted her picture taken every 2-3 min and reminded me to get her a copy.  I guess you just have to laugh and play along.  Pa sat with me on the loveseat and took a nap while we opened gifts.

Christmas Morning at Home

December 25, 2011
Christmas Morning at our House

We were again blessed with another wonderful Christmas at our house.  We each received far more than we need or deserve.  Max's big Santa items this year were a Figit Friend that interacts with him and  his commands, Hot Wheels wall tracks, and a repaired iTouch.  Max dropped and broke his iTouch in the fall.  His elf Milo must have witnessed it and took it to the Workshop elves.  They fixed it and Santa redelivered it with a note to be more careful.  Mary Kate was thrilled with a baby crib, Cabbage Patch doll, and all the accessories.  She loves the crib so much that she crawls in to hold her babies.  So much fun!  I love to see their little faces and they open gifts.  It takes us all morning because they each want the items out of the boxes and put together for playing before they move on to the next present.  Christmas is a lot of work to prepare, but so worth it as we enjoy all the family time.

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