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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Stylin' Socks

JT is at the age where is has some pretty strong input to what he likes and doesn't like. The same usually hold true for his wardrobe. Every night before bed, we choose his outfit for the next day and he is the one driving the decision. He usually does a great job with his style choices.  

     Lately, JT has a new obsession with socks- crew socks, low socks,and where the sock seams hit his toes.

Most recently JT's been all about the crew socks.

These socks MUST be pulled all the way up at all times. It cracks me up how little space there is between the socks and shorts, but JT loves it. Don't sweat the small stuff ;)

 The sock wearing carries on to bedtime as well. With it being summer, JT often wears boxer briefs and/or a "Daddy shirt" to bed. Of course we need to wear socks to bed with this as well.

As silly as it may look, I love it! I love JT's sense of style emerging and doing his own thing.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    I"m sure most, if not all, of you have heard, seen, or perhaps participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.Created to raise awareness and fundraising for the organization, this challenge quickly became popular across our nation.  Recently, a good portion of the Apedaile6 crew became part of this creative movement.

It started out with JT being challenged by his pen pal friend in Florida, Giovanni. When it was time for JT to complete his challenge, he was very excited. We coached him on what to say, but he came up with his own nominations. Here is JT's ice bucket challenge.

Next up, Courtney. She had been challenged by one of her friends and completed hers after JT.

Since JT nominated Lindsay during his challenge,we moved on to her next. When you listen to her nominations at the end, you will get to see a very surprised expression on my face when I heard my name called out.

I finished out the challenges for the day since my lovely middle daughter nominated me. My water wasn't nearly as cold as the kids, but it will still refreshingly chilly. I don't believe that any of my nominations have completed their own challenge, but that's fine. This challenge wasn't about doing the ice bucket challenge for all to see on social media, it was about bringing awareness to a condition as well as raise much needed money to help with research to cure ALS. For our family it served as an opportnity to make a small contribution as well as talk to the kids about what ALS is and how people living with it are affected. For us, the ice bucket challenge was a success and after a quick Google search, I read it has raised $100 million. Isn't that wonderful how something so simple can achieve so much good?

The Big Yellow Bus

  After JT's first full week of school, it was time for one more big step in becoming a kindergartner, riding the bus to school. JT had mastered where to go when we arrived at school, knew what to do when he arrived at school, and he had also asked me,"Mommy, am I going to be able to ride the bus to school soon?" The time had come.

We knew exactly where to go for our bus stop since we have been watching the bus come and go since last year. It also was easy to remember since the bus stop is at the corner of our front yard! JT walked out as was eager to join our neighbors at the corner. 

JT was so excited to ride the bus to school!

As the bus approached, JT turned to me and blew me a kiss and a hug. He is just so precious!

Ready to hop on bus #574.

Every day, JT still blows me a kiss and a hug just as he's about to get on the bus. Then, just as the bus pulls away, he waves to me from his seat. It's one of my favorite moments from my morning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

JT's Classroom

     During the first week of school, John and I went to JT's Back to School Night. There, we went to his classroom to lean more about what this year holds, the class schedule, and answer any questions we had. After leaving that night, John and I are so excited about what he will be doing each day and how he is going to grow.
JT's class list.

The class did some Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom Name Trees outside of the class. JT continues to excel at the not so good smiles/photos.

Inside the door, the coat rack for the class where JT hangs his tote and eventually it will be cool enough for JT to be wearing a coat and it will hang there as well.

An overview of what a kindergarten student does these days. To note, JT is the first of the Apedaile kids to attend a full day kindergarten program. All of the girls went to K in California where it is offered as a half day program with AM/PM kindergarten.

Related arts will take place right before lunch each day and there is a daily rotation. So far, his favorite related art class is PE. He will go into great detail describing the activity or game the class did in PE. JT also will demonstrate any skills they worked on which is adorable to watch him re-create.

The part of the room where art supplies are stored and the "Star of the Week" will be featured. JT's turn will be in January.

Back of the room

I'm sure this is going to be one of the favorite spots for all of the students- The Tree House. 2 students are allowed to be upon the top from what JT has explained.  Below is a small classroom computer area.

The cubby area. Each student has a cubby where their take home folder and papers are stored until the end of the day to bring home.

The smart board/carpet area. The class has their "Morning Meeting" on the carpet.

During the first week of school I was able to take JT to school each day and walk him into the building. A few days we practiced where JT would go when he arrived and walked in alone. All of the kindergarten classes meet in the gym (and supervised by 2 staff members) and each class has their own bench to sit and visit while they wait for the dismissal bell. Despite JT's uncertain expression, he was happy and having fun with his friends.

When the bell rings, all of the kids line up in the gym and then they march to their classes down the hall.  Look at these cute faces ready to start their day.

JT's teacher, Mrs. Bentley. I'm glad half of the duo was ready to take a photo :)

From JT's first few weeks of school, it looks like he's going to have a wonderful year of learning and maturing all while having fun.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

JT's Pen Pal

JT has a pen pal! One of our "June Mom" friends and I talked a while ago and we talked about our boys writing some little letters to each other. You know, the old fashioned way with paper and pen? A foreign concept to most kids of this generation. Even though JT's pen pal lives in Florida, the boys have met each other this past summer. When JT and I went to Atlanta earlier this summer, JT and Giovanni met for the first time and immediately hit it off. So Ravi, Giovanni's Mommy, and I talked about continuing their friendship despite us being thousands of miles away.

Here are Giovanni and JT playing earlier this summer.

It's always the best to get mail as a kid.

This envelope didn't stand a chance against a 5 year old opening it.

Seeing what Giovanni sent him.

Happy faced boy.

How cute is this? Giovanni's letter to JT.

He also included a little gift for JT. A watercolor TMNT page.

JT was ready to reply to his letter. We got out his writing paper and pencil. We talked about what JT would want to write. Once he figured that out, I wrote it myself on the paper above so he could then just reference it for his own letter.

He started out with Giovanni's letter next to him as he began to write his name.

Trying to teach JT how to space between new words. He loves to either smoosh words together or have a HUGE gap between them. All part of the learning process ;)

So focused.

Pause to take a 10 second break and smile for Mommy.

Great thing about using pencil is that it's so forgiving when mistakes occur.

JT also included a little gift for Giovanni in his response. I think that was one of his favorite parts of his reply, going to the store and selecting the best gift for Giovanni.

Seal the envelope up!

At the post office weighing the envelope to see how much postage we would need.

Stamped, sealed, and ready to head to Florida!

Away it goes!!! JT is looking forward to receiving his next letter from Giovanni.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Courtney's 15th Birthday

    The first week of school usually brings a very special event to our family- Courtney's birthday! This year she is celebrating her 15th birthday.

The birthday girl came down for school and was greeted with some decorations downstairs just for her.
Courtney had a very busy day at school followed by volleyball practice that lasted an hour and a half after school. That equaled a very hungry birthday girl that was ready for her birthday dinner.

For anyone with a teenager kid, this is a common site- first, let me take a selfie.

My three beautiful girls.

Somehow this little guy hasn't fully jumped on the bandwagon of loving Mexican food. So we brought his favorite- cheeseburger to the restaurant.

Courtney was in heaven with 2 bean burritos covered with queso cheese.

Time to open gifts when we got back home. Courtney started with her gift from Aunt Cathy and Nanny.

A Target gift card! One of Courtney's favorite stores, I know she will find something that she loves very easily.

Next, it was time to open Sarah's gift.

JT was more than excited to help open her gift.

I think her face shows this was a good selection.

For those that aren't familiar, this is a song from One Direction. Courtney is going to their concert in just a few days and this will be the perfect shirt to wear.

Lindsay and JT bought Courtney a beautiful bouquet of flowers for their gift.

Time to open Mom and Dad's gift.


An infinity scarf!

JT liked it as well.

Courtney revealing her "big" gift. It was a coupon to go shopping with John and I to select her first pair of Birkenstocks. Somehow, these shoes are making a comeback and they have been on Courtney's wish list for good while. Since there are some many styles and colors, we wanted her first pair to be ones that she really loves.

Courtney chose a white cake with cream cheese frosting this year.

The glowing 15 ready to be blown out.

She's always been our Daddy's girl.

Ready to party with the family.

JT was ready to be her assistant candle blower.

Happy Birthday to you....

May all of your wishes come true baby girl.