Sunday, December 2, 2012

Time got away from me

I am a total failure at keeping up with this blog!  I guess with starting a new job, Ella starting school, and the hustle and bustle of every day life, time got away from me.  Therefore, the purpose of this post is going to be to catch everyone up on the lastest with the Donovan Clan.

Going back to August

Ella started school and LOVED it, up until she saw someone at school throw up and then the anxiety started in.  She became withdrawn, stopped eating, and associated pretty much everything with getting sick.  After a couple of weeks of this we decided to make a change.  Since the incident happened after morning kindergarten, we decided to forgo extended day to see if that made her any more comfortable with school.  After about a week, she was back to her old self.  In fact, she states on a regular basis, "Mommy, I am so happy!" 

In relation to Ella starting kindergarten, I am so happy about my decision to move to Eastern!  I absolutely love it there and have a terrific team and group of fifth graders.  I miss my old teammates and kiddos, but am so excited for Ella to experience school at Eastern.  It truly is a wonderful place! 

Moving on to September:


Ella turned five on the fourteenth of September!  I still can't believe she is 5!  She had a wonderful time at Evan's Orchard for her party. 

Then on to October:

The kids went to lots of fall gatherings including mutliple trips to the orchard, fall festivals, Halloween parties, and trick or treating a few times.  Fun was had by all.... especially Diego and SpiderElla! :)

And, now it's November

We were able to spend Thanksgiving with both mine and Kermie's family which is always nice.  The kids enjoy getting to see everyone as do Kermie and I.  The food isn't so bad either :)

Sometime in either October or November, I was able to snap a few fall pictures of the kids which I still haven't had the chance to print off.  Go figure! :)

December finally gets me caught up:

Ella has been surrounded by Elves on Shelves and while I wasn't going to get her one for the meer lack of time/motivation, I gave in this past weekend.  So, Sally visited us for the first time yesterday.  Needless to say, Ella was esctatic and Grayson was not too impressed.  He has already tried knocking her down with a pull up and has told us that he does not care to be on the naughty list because, "I wike da naughty list."  Lord help us all! 

And, with an attempt to make sure the kids know and understand the real reason for the season, I volunteered to be a part of A Meaningful Christmas.  Several teachers got together after making a themed ornament that goes with a specific Bible verse and then exchanged so that we all ended up with 24 advent ornaments.  We are on day two and Ella (not so much Grayson as he is usually wondering around during our devotion) has learned quite a bit.  She loves getting to put the new ornament on the tree. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Big Boy!

Tonight, we celebrated Grayson's second birthday! This birthday bash included all things with wheels! All of his guests enjoyed some drive time as well as some yummy treats! I know one little boy who is very excited about being 2!

Here's a look at Grayson at 2 years old:

  • Grayson still loves balls and all things SPORTS! He loves to swing a bat and shoot hoops.
  • Grayson is talking up a storm. His favorite things to say are probably "Hold me" and "Poop!"
  • He is still a great eater, but isn't a fan of many meats. Ella wasn't too big on meat textures at this age either. He does love some chicken nuggets though!
  • Sweet tea and chocolate milk are his favorite things to drink... healthy I know!
  • Grayson talks non-stop! He is getting pretty good about putting words together now although there are still times I just nod and smile because I have NO IDEA what he's saying!
  • He still loves his sister so much, but boy do they fight! Grayson doesn't put up with much!
  • Grayson likes watching tv and his favorite shows are Blues Clues, Caillou, Dora, and Diego.
  • Grayson has such a funny personality! He's full of it most of the time and makes us all laugh! He's such a sweet boy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Outside the touch of time

This past weekend, I celebrated in the marriage of  my baby brother.  For some reason, I was not expecting the wave of emotions that came with the event. 

 My brother and I were very close as kids.  We were just a mere 2 and a half years apart, much the same as Grayson and Ella.  In fact, I think seeing my own kids share the same type of relationship with each other is what made this occassion even more emotional. 

From what I hear, when Daniel was born I wasn't the happiest camper.  But, who would be when you were the center of attention for 2 plus years!  I know the stories of me going under his baby bed and kicking his mattress to scare him.  Yes, I was a little mischevious!  On the other hand, I also remember playing for hours together whether it was ninja turtles, building tents, the sandbox, wrestling, etc.  We had a blast!   I also remember us hanging our heads outside of our bedroom doors after coming home from a trip to the mall.  We had both not been the best behaved (probably hiding under clothing racks) and were waiting on our "spankings."  We would tease eachother until it was our turn.  Then, there were nights that I couldn't sleep and Daniel would stay up with me until I fell asleep.  He was always so genuinely caring.  Christmas mornings were great too!  Much like other siblings, we would both wake up and rush our parents out of bed!  Dad always had a way of making us wait though!  Daniel and I had a thing for making potions.  We would pour just about every liquid in our bathroom closet into a cup and dare eachother to drink it!  Disgusting!

Then, there were other times when he "cramped" my style.  I wanted my own space and when he would cry those alligator tears to go down the street to Carrie's with me, I wanted no part of it.  Thinking of it now makes me want to cry for being so selfish!  And, then there was the time that he refused to get off of the computer when I had an expected "IM" session with an older boy.  My temper got the best of me and he ended up with a broken arm.  Man, I was mean!  And, Daniel, is just as sweet now and he always was.  This story has been told many times to my own daughter when she loses her temper and even to my students in my classroom! 

I love my baby brother so much and am so thankful God placed him in my life.  Our life lessons as children are helping me mold my own children into the kind of big sister and little brother they should be.  I love watching them play and create special memories and hope that they will always cherish eachother.  One thing I know for sure is that I felt extremely proud this past weekend!  There is not much better than watching your baby brother accomplish something so big and look so happy!  He holds a very special place inside of his sister's heart.

I ran into this quote the other day that perfectly summarizes my feelings as the big sis:  To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. - Clara Ortega

Bekah, Daniel, and Me during a family photo shoot.

Daniel in my car when I just learned to drive. 

Dad, Daniel and I during our annual beach trip.

Downtown Disney 2007

Halloween:  Me, Bekah, Daniel, and Carrie

Annual camping trip :)  Ella was nice enough to tell me I was fat and wasn't dressed right in this picture!

My baby brother all grown up with his beautiful bride!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vacation 2012 and a New Change

Last week we took our family vacation to Florida and unfortunately, we had to come home! :)  We really did enjoy our trip and are looking forward to others in the future.  What great memories we created!

This trip was even more special because we were able to spend half of our time in Disney and half of our time in Kermie's childhood town.  We started out our week in Orlando at our hotel pool and Downtown Disney.  We have stayed at this resort twice now and really LOVE it!  It has the whole "home away from home" atmosphere and is super family friendly. Towards the middle of the week, we drove to Sarasota to spend some time at the beaches there and visit places Kermie had childhood memories from.  After two days in Sarasota, we headed back to our resort in Orlando to finish with a bang.... Disney World's Magic Kingdom.  Ella was super pumped about being able to ride more rides this year and fun was had by all. 

Our vacation story can be told through all of the pictures below.  :)  Enjoy!

Orlando has a ton of great shopping outlets.  This picture was taken our last night at the Premium Outlets.

Another outlet picture.

Ella is posing in her new dress Kermie had bought for her during our trip.

We enjoyed Siesta Key Beach and Lido Beach :)

Nice way to enjoy a flight home.

Grayson enjoyed 85% of his first plane ride.  He fell asleep on the way there and was good up until about the last thirty minutes on the way home :)

Family picture at Kermie's elementary school:  Gocio Elementary.

My two main men at Yoder's in Sarasota.

Loving the beach!

Us girls loved it too!

Family night out in Lido Beach.  Awesome shopping area!

A little Ben & Jerry's to top off the day!

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  Half way between Orlando and Sarasota.

Meeting Goofy:  the only character we met.  Grayson is not fond of people in costume. 

Ready for Disney World!

Having a blast on the carousel.

Enjoying the Main Street Parade in ponchos :)

Sporting a new outfit.

Ella's most favorite ride:  Splash Mountain.  She told me the entire way that she had waited her "whole life" to ride Splash Mountain!

Waiting for our flight at the Lexington Airport.

Enjoying a "top down" car!

He liked it too!

A quick family picture in our hotel room.


and more swimming!

Enjoying a ride at Disney's Boardwalk.  More work than riding for mom and dad!

Two cute guys on the beach!

Ella had a blast at the beach this year!  She played for hours!

Posing before indulging in some very scrumptious food at Yoder's. 
Every time I come home from a vacation, I always say... "This was the best vacation ever!"  I'd like to say that again about this one too! :)  We were able to do everything we had on our "to do list" and hardly had to wait for any ride at Magic Kingdom which is awesome for this time of year!  We had some rain, but with the rain came much needed down time.  We ate well, slept well, relaxed well, and played hard!  I guess that is all you can ask for in a family vacation :)

Upon arriving home, I embarked on a new change in my life... changing to a new elementary school and teaching a new grade and subject!  This change was one that was prayed long and hard about and one that wasn't easy to make!  I love Southern Elementary for two very important reasons:  the kids and my co-workers, but my family and I new a change was needed.  So, when offered a job at Eastern Elementary teaching fifth grade I was excited to say "YES!"  I am so excited to have a fresh start and learn lots of new things.  My heart hurts to say goodbye to those I will no longer be with, but is happy to meet those new faces I will soon love!  So, here's to a summer of planning and preparing for a new change come August! :)