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Saturday, August 29, 2015

University of Georgia

It's been over a month since the epic 3 university tour for Lindsay and John. I intended to space these closer together, but back to school and busy schedules by all have distracted me from blogging a bit. Aren't you proud that I've been more consistent though? I think this is the most I've done in the past year- baby steps.

 The third and last stop brought Lindsay to the state of Georgia!

 University of Georgia- home of the Bulldogs.

 UGA is located in Athens, Georgia which is about an hour east of Atlanta.
My travelers once again forgot the big camera for the tour and they didn't take many photos during the tour. Better that they had a great experience.  They both said the city of Athens was very quaint and felt like a slice of small town America.

Beautiful shot in front of the main sign. Linday really loved this campus and area. It's a big bigger than UT Knoxville. The one big negative is since it's an out of state university, it comes with out of state student prices- for those not in college or kids with college that means nearly a double in the tuition rate- no thanks! One nice thing about living in Tennessee, is there are several out of state universities that offer in state rates to us- UGA happened to not be one of them. Linds and John still enjoyed visiting and had a great trip. We are hoping to schedule a few more campus visits in the next few months before Lindsay starts narrowing the field down of where to apply.

Looking through 13 years of Firsts

  With Lindsay starting her Senior year, its bound to be a year of reflections for many in our family. During the summer, we were approached by a production company to participate in a project that has to do with Lindsay's senior year. I hoping to be able to share this with you soon, but it sparked me having to look through all of the years of photos I've taken of Lindsay on the first day of school.

   It was so much fun looking through the photos and now we can have a quick snapshot of Lindsay growing up before our eyes. It's cliche to say, but it is oh so true- your children grow up in a blink of an eye. Treasure each an every moment with them, because all too soon, they will be gone.

     Here are Lindsay's photos through each year of school.


 1st grade- the last school she attended in California.

2nd grade- the first year we were in Tennessee.

 3rd grade with her teacher- these next few years were the most difficult to find as that is when we started going to full digital and not everything is located in the same place.

 4th grade with Mrs. Hatcher. One of our all time favorite  teachers for our family. She taught Lindsay and Courtney in back to back years and to this day still stays in touch with our family.

5h grade

6th grade- the start of middle school

 7th grade

 8th grade

 The start of high school- freshman year

 Sophomore year

Junior year

 Senior year!

Class of 2016!!!

Date with JT

Every so often, I take JT out on a "date". What that means is he and I do something fun together just the two of us. JT gets so excited for dates with me and has even on occasion gone on a date with his sisters. He is one loved little boy.

Before we headed out, Lindsay took our photo. JT's shirt is a big clue of where we were going- we went to a baseball game! We went to watch the Nashville Sounds AAA basesball team. Cool thing is they are the AAA team that feeds (is that the correct term?) for the Oakland A's- which is our favorite team, pretty cool!

That night was a special giveaway at the ballpark- a Sounds fleece blanket! JT was so excited to be one of the 2,000 fans to get one. I was able to convince him we needed to leave it wrapped up during the game and not get it out.

We then went to the stadium store and JT got his first Nashville Sounds T-shirt! He's worn it several times since getting it.

Right after leaving the store, JT was able to meet Booster- the mascot for the Sounds. JT loves Booster so much and was clearly excited to meet him personally.

JT has already figured out that stadium hot dogs taste extra yummy.

Though it was a hot summer night, we had a great time! 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

University of Tennessee

For their second visit, John and Lindsay headed to Knoxville (about 3 hours east of us) to tour what we Tennessean's call UT. John has told me that UT is often known at University of Texas, but not here in SEC land. It's the main campus of the University of Tennessee state schools.

One of the most notable alumni from UT is a quarterback you may have heard of-Peyton Manning. Oh and football is HUGE here- huge!  I haven't had the chance to go to a UT football game, but perhaps that will change if Lindsay chooses to attend UT.

Here is a photo I found showing the type of crowd their football games draw. It has a seating capacity of over 100,000!!! Also, it doesn't matter how good or bad they are doing- UT always draws a big crowd! Loyal fans to say the least.

John and Lindsay forgot the camera in the car, so it was a phone camera kind of tour.
Lindsay at the Welcome Entrance.

Good 'ole Rocky Top- that is a song that is often played for anything UT.

If you haven't noticed yet, at UT they bleed Orange! Equally as large as their football games, UT Knoxville has an undergrad student enrollment of around 27,000. Both John and Lindsay said that despite it being such a large campus, they manage to keep it feeling "small" and have a strong sense of community among many areas.
Great use of the selfie stick. I think the background of the block "T" and the #futurevol was so cute.

One of the different options of dorms UT offers. I like how open it looks for a dorm room!

UT gear!

Doesn't she already look like a young woman in college? She has the casual, yet cute look down!
Lindsay really liked the UT campus and said its already a top contender. They have many of the programs she is considering majoring in and she loved the feel of the campus.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Kindergarten Take Two

The first day of school arrived late this week for our youngest Apedaile. For any of you close to us, you might remember that JT was in K last year. To give you the Cliff notes version of why he's in K again this year here you go!

JT was the youngest in his class last year. In fact, he was close to the cut off age to start last year, but John and I wanted JT to start to give him the full advantage of being in an excellent school system. As the spring came around, we started discussing with his teachers to have him repeat. JT was "on level", but having gone through this exact same thing with Lindsay, who was also a very close to the cut off (when we lived in California, but clearly after the Tennessee cut off). Lindsay was "on level" for the standards, but behind in other areas. Much like his sister, we were seeing the same trend. Rather than push him forward and wait for the other shoe to drop in the next few years, like it did Lindsay, we decided to be proactive. There is also the old adage of boys maturing slower than girls. I can't tell you how many other friends in the education field have told us, "It's best to have a boy be on the older side than younger side. You are doing exactly what I have/would do with my own son." So that's our story of JT repeating kindergarten- we are doing what we feel is best for our sons development and future. *There is much more to our personal history, but no need for that. We saw first hand what pushing them ahead when you have the lingering doubt can do and we don't want to risk that again.

Time for happy stuff!!!

Our eager student woke up extra early by himself in anticipation of his first day! JT was treated with some Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Bacon and Orange Juice for his breakfast.

Looking so adorable for his first day!

He's going to change so much this year- it's our last first day of kindergarten.

JT's sign lists that the Magic Tree House series is his favorite book. We read a chapter to him each night and he loves the adventures in each book. JT has also decided that he wants to be a Football player when he grows up :)

JT was also ready to pose with his new Avengers lunchbox.

This kid is full of hilarious expressions.

Mr. Style was so excited for this outfit. I'm sure you will see many more colorful shoes/socks combinations in the early fall. Our little guy is quite the shoe connoisseur- he asks for new shoes nearly every time we go to a clothing store. He doesn't get them, btw ;)
Best shot I've been able to capture of his newly emerging smile. JT's front two teeth are slowly making their way down. I'm not in any particular hurry, because I know this will be the last of him looking so young. Wishing for time to slow down, just a bit.

We trekked though the dewy grass to get a proper photo in front of the school sign.

Welcome to kindergarten- take two!

JT hanging his lunchbox on his hook.

Mrs. Stephens- I'm sure JT will be learning so much from his teacher this year. We have only heard wonderful things about Mrs. Stephens and are so excited to be in her class.

Group tables in the kindergarten classes- JT will be sitting with 3 other students.

Like a pro, JT got straight to work on writing his name.

John was working from home this week to hang out with JT on his home days and greet JT when he got off the bus.

Just watch this adorable progression...

Running fast toward Daddy! JT usually tries to beat the bus. His goal is to get to the garage/person greeting him before the bus passes our house.

I love that JT was holding on tight to his new pencil Mrs. Stephens gave to all the students on the first day.
Wearing a hat he made in class stating "I rocked my First Day!"