Last Day of Third Grade/Chorus Performance

From May 18th….

I knew my Chorus recital pictures had gotten filed in the wrong spot (by me) and I finally found them.  These are the ones from my camera from that day.

We always make a sign for the last day of school – something Abbi was so proud of on her first day this year!


School’s out for summer! Since it was chorus recital day she had to wear white and black!


The chorus spring performance theme was Movies.  They sang songs from top movies of the year, including Lego movie and Greatest Showman, Lilli’s favorite.  Last time she was hard to see so this time we told her to make sure she stood out – which she definitely did!


A broader view of the group – the blue shirts are the people also in Dance Team (4th and 5th grade).  You can do both Chorus and Dance and they just ran back and forth between songs.


Lilli didn’t end up with a singing solo/duet but she did get a speaking part which she did great with.  We’re proud of how bold and brave she is to go in front of the whole school, cool as a cucumber, for her lines!

She enjoyed Chorus last year but didn’t want to do it again this year, or Dance team.  Since she’s taking dance lessons she didn’t want to also do dance at school and be “too busy” which is fine with us. She does want to be part of “Stage Crew” next year which is only open to 5th graders, so we’ll enjoy this year off from school recitals!


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Shark Hunters

From May 21…..

We woke up and did the usual – as we were waking up the girls splashed in the pool before breakfast – there’s really no better way to vacation than with your own little pool.  A pool this size is all we’d really ever need!


It was another really rainy, really cloudy day.  After breakfast we decided to walk down to the beach just to see if we might see any good shells or animals washed up. We had it pretty much to ourselves since it was such an overcast day.


We didn’t find any fun shells or anything exciting so after exploring for a bit we walked back.


On our last trip (3 years earlier) we’d visited a local park/state park that had this shallow lake full of little minnows.  Since we didn’t know about it we hadn’t taken nets, so we wanted to revisit it this time but really weren’t sure where we’d been before.  We drove to this park, thinking it was it but it didn’t end up being the same place.


As we got there the rain and clouds were getting thicker and heavier.  Brent and Lilli went exploring to see if it was the same place and we finally decided it wasn’t.  Schools of fish were jumping everywhere and Brent decided to venture out in the water.  It was really raining – and another family came up to me and said they’d just seen a shark out there near him.  I thought I’d seen a fin myself but wasn’t sure.  We yelled at him to come back in and definitely saw a fin out there.  At this point it was pouring so we ran back to the car and headed back to the house.


After lunch it cleared up again and we enjoyed the afternoon playing around in the pool.


Little mermaid.


After dinner we walked back down to the beach for one last sunset.


So many cartwheels everywhere we go! (This one is Abbi).


It’s hard to beat those pretty ocean sunsets with a thin layer of clouds.


Sunset selfie


While exploring Brent found this really cool fish.  We looked it up in Lilli’s book while we were there but I can’t remember what it is now.  He definitely knows how to camouflage!


And at dark we found this really, really cool snail.  After enjoying observing them we let them all go.  We really hit the jackpot on ocean life on this trip! Seaside is so wonderful for really cool ocean animals.


One last sunset.


It’s tough to be the little sis! So much sand, sun and swimming to wear her out! Hopefully this area survived Hurricane Michael last week.  This area isn’t too far from Panama City, but hopefully was far enough not to sustain a lot of damage.


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Beach Fairy

From May 20 –

Our beach routine is pretty simple – I’m up first (always) and I grab some coffee or iced coffee (it is hot in Florida…..) and head outside.  Abbi woke up next and hung outside with me while the rest of the crew was waking up.


From there the girls would splash around in the pool and swim while Brent was starting to wake up and making us breakfast.  Also Lilli is apparently a teenager.


They’d splash around for a while before breakfast and have fun in the pool – which was really just the perfect size for us.


They’d play games and splash and get along so much better than they do on dry land.


Teamwork is the dreamwork!


After breakfast we’d load up entirely too many possessions into the beach cart and walk up the street to the beach.  I remember (vaguely) the days of having enough that a human could reasonably carry without the use of a cart.  All you needed was a book, a chair and a towel.


We dug and splashed and explored.  Lilli spent more time under the umbrella this day, her sun tolerance is just lower and she gets a bit more sun than the rest of us, despite using SPF 100 on her and only needing 50 on Abbi.


Abbi and I went on a walk and really found some (living) treasure – this sea sponge was floating around in the surf.  I’ve never seen something like this!


We also saw this floating around near the beach – I sent her back for the net and we scooped it up.  I thought it was going to just be a stick or something but we were surprised to find a living sea cucumber! We really hit the jackpot on ocean life on this trip.


We headed back around lunch and afterwards did more swimming in the pool.  Rain came in later in the afternoon so we just relaxed and rested indoors for a while and ate dinner.


Some of us rested more than others.  The beach life is a rough life.


As we were eating dinner Lilli’s 8th tooth was barely hanging by a thread.  She didn’t want us to pull it, but she was having trouble eating.


She went in the bathroom and eventually got it out herself – tooth #8 and our first out of state tooth fairy visit!


Later that night we went into Seaside to walk around and explore.  It had been raining off and on, but we ended up walking around the shops and down to the beach at Seaside.  We found a good Audubon book on Florida for Lilli of all the animals there and we went looking for a good dessert shop but never found anything we wanted so we just stopped and bought ice cream at the grocery store and headed back to our little beach house for the night.


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Birthday Beaching

From May 19th –

We woke up on Brent’s 41st birthday at the beach! Not a terrible way to spend a birthday, at all!

I woke up first and was doing some quiet reading on the back deck as the girls started waking up.  I told them if they were fairly quiet they could do some swimming before breakfast.  Our house was super cute, but the houses are right on top of each other and I didn’t want them waking up the entire neighborhood with cannonballs.  They were more than happy to get in some floating and swimming before breakfast.


We ate every meal out on the cute little front porch, I think.  It was a really nice little screened in porch and across the street was a wooded area so it was really pretty and serene.


After breakfast we loaded up and walked down to the beach.  It wasn’t too far of a walk, just down the street and across 30A.  The tougher part was just getting our beach cart down the hill.  Abbi was so excited to see the beach in daylight and of course they ran ahead to get some sand in their toes.


It had been 3 years since we’d been, so of course she didn’t remember it and was SO excited to get down there.


And she was super thrilled to get her feet in the ocean.


We saw a LOT of wildlife on this trip – which of course Lilli loved because she loves looking animals up in her Audubon guides.  We saw these washed up everywhere and googled them – they’re a blue button jellyfish.  Very pretty – but also a jellyfish!


And we found this guy – first time we’ve ever seen something like that living in a shell! So neat.  (and of course we put him back).


Just enjoying the pretty scenery.  It was crowded, but not miserable.  We had plenty of space, although we could’ve done without some of the loud and competing music that various groups had.  You’d have country music to your left and alternative to your right, it seemed like everyone had some sort of something playing.


Cartwheels by the ocean…..


And of course little sis had to get in on some of those cartwheels, too.


41! (And 40……)


This is the first beach trip where they’ve both just played and played and played.  We got to sit and relax a little – we didn’t get to read a lot of books or take naps – but we can start to see a day where we can relax a bit at the beach while they play.  We did have to use a TON of sunscreen though. It was a bright, clear and hot day so it seemed like we were constantly lathering up to keep them from getting burned.


Sweet sisters.  Lilli burns so easily that she usually wears one of the shirts to just keep from having to mess with as much sunscreen.  And Abbi just turns golden brown and doesn’t seem to ever burn.  We just couldn’t keep enough on Lilli’s face and even with the hat she got a little too much on her face.


Brent wanted to get buried.


And then Lilli did…..


Abbi looks pretty guilty here……


Around lunch time we headed back to our little house – you can see the two giant houses on either side of us.  Our house was all we needed – 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and its own private pool.  The girls were jealous of the big ones – but they come with big prices, too!


After lunch we enjoyed the pool…..


And then someone got very sleepy from all that sun……


We cooked some dinner and then headed back to the beach for sunset.  We took our shovels and buckets and Brent was wading out on a sand bar when he started finding all these sand dollars! We’d never seen living ones and they were SO neat! You could find dozens of them.  We put them all back, but it was so neat to see.


Beautiful sunset……


We were looking for these little crabs – they were hard to find this time, but we did find a few.


And two of these HUGE crabs!


Afterwards we went back to our little house and celebrated with some cake! Since Publix is all over the place in Florida we had no problem finding Brent’s favorite birthday cake.  The girls said it was his best birthday ever because it was at the beach – and I’d say it’s pretty hard to argue with that thinking!


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Last Day of School

From May 18th….

Abbi graduated Pre-K and then the next day was the last (half) day of school.  It was a busy and exciting week, to say the least.  It’s always a sad/happy feeling when the school bus comes for the last time for 3 months.


I’m not sure if she was a)happy her sis was gone b)happy to have the day off school herself or c)happy that when the bus started up again she’d get to be riding it.  Or maybe just happy we’d be leaving for Florida in a few hours!


That day was Lilli’s end of year Chorus performance.  We sped behind the bus and were able to actually beat them to school.  We parked, ran up and were cheering for her when she got off the bus.  She had no idea we’d be there that early so she was surprised.  And possibly embarrassed.


The teachers out front were having a huge dance party with music and all kinds of dances to greet the kids as they walked in.  So fun.


I’ve got pictures of the show somewhere, I think they got dropped into a different folder so I’ll have to find them.  But it was a great show of Chorus, Dance Team and Stage Craft.  Lilli had a speaking part and did great.  This was Abbi’s first assembly and I think afterwards she was scared for her life in the chaos.


We went home, got Olli dropped off at the boarder, got the car fully packed with our luggage and beach stuff and were just leaving to get Lilli when a friend texted that school was already let out.  Our teacher had told us a time for dismissal 15 minutes later than it really was.  Oops! We were on our way so she stayed with Lilli and we were last ones to pick up our kid on the final day of school.  Oh well! She got in and I passed out their “Welcome to Summer” goody bags.  I always make a little goody bag with workbooks for the next grade level (so she can start working on new things over summer), a few new books to read and a fun little trinket or two to celebrate the good grades of the year (all Straight A’s).  I did the same for Abbi, too.


From there we headed straight on to Florida! It’s way cheaper to go before Memorial Day, when they don’t require a 7 day stay and rates are so much less.

Third grade is exhausting.


Since we left at 12:30 we didn’t get there before dark, but we did make it right around dusk.  We stopped and pulled off just so they could run around a minute or two.


Sweet little Abbi really didn’t remember anything about the beach.  She was so surprised how loud the ocean was! So was so excited to be there and was just squealing.


And of course had to get her toes a little wet.


From there we went to our house, got settled, grabbed groceries for our stay (we don’t eat out on these types of trips) and then just enjoyed our little beach cottage.  We always get a house with its own pool so we can enjoy some swimming all on our own, and on the very first night Abbi already found a frog to love – so clearly we’d picked a great place to stay!


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Graduation Day

From May 17th…..

And after all the other end of school year festivities it was time for Abbi to graduate from Pre-K.  They’d been practicing their Greatest Showman songs for months and she was so excited about the night.  Her teachers were incredibly artistic and talented, one teacher did these photographs of each kid in their costume (Abbi was an acrobat – so she was Zendaya) and they had everything looking amazing for the show.


They had the gym all decorated for the show…


Each table had some popcorn and they even had burgers from a local food truck for us all for dinner afterwards – and Dippin Dots!


They wanted us all there early, so Brent picked up Lilli from school and they got us a front spot and got lots of pictures for us.  They had some of their artwork and things around the room.  On this board they had where all the kids were heading – 3 from her Pre-K were heading to the same school, the most of any of the local schools.  A nice perk for attending Pre-K close to home – having one of her best friends in kindergarten with her (even though they aren’t in the same room) has been a huge comfort to her.


They walked in to the opening song of The Greatest Showman and Abbi was Miss Confident.  As anxious as she can be she is a fantastic performer.  She was the leader of her side of the line and she did GREAT.  Always on her mark, knew just where to go, and was incredibly confident with all the songs and moves.


They were led by their Gym teacher and Music teacher, and did a combination of fun dances, moves, games and songs.


The little boy next to her cracked me up – he was a “Strong Man”.


Look at those toes!


The music was hilarious – she was so serious in this song that we were just laughing so hard but couldn’t let her see.


Then I lost it when they sang a “Million Dreams” and that was the first time I saw her worried.  Thankfully they just sang a short version.  Afterwards they all got certificates and books from the Director, Lori.


The whole crew and her three teachers.  She had the best teachers and loved this group of kids! It was happy-sad to see them so big in their performance and starting to scatter to all their new schools.


And of course we had to do some pictures afterwards.  She just loves, loves, loves Miss Rachel and still talks about her all the time.


Miss Rachel did an amazing job with her all year, cuddling her when she needed it and always making sure she felt comfortable.


They wanted to recreate the zoo field trip from a year earlier when she was on her shoulder – a lot harder a year later!


Mrs Becca came to the graduation to see all her former kiddos in their show.


And of course our beloved Miss Chelsey, they are both glad to see her at church!


Her main two teachers for the year.  Miss Allison is so creative and did hair for them, led the design and is such an artistic person.


Did Abbi want to eat with us? No, the answer is No.  She’s already grown and just needs her friends.  And that’s ok.


Adelyn, Piper, Abbi.  3 amigos.


The best hugs come from the best teachers.


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Mother’s Day

From May 13-16…..

On Mother’s Day – the 3 people who call me “Momma” over and over and over…..


We had a pretty low key Mother’s Day.  We had gone out for fish tacos at my fave place the night before, so after church we took a few pictures – easier said than done after a busy morning.  Abbi usually looks like she’s rolled around in the floor for a few hours and today was no exception.


She also mostly wanted to play with some big sticks in the yard.


Lilli is always more willing to take a picture with her old momma – and she was having a seriously good hair day!


Abbi and her sticks.


The best at posing:


She’s got springs in her shoes…..


They gave me their gifts – homemade from school and store bought with Brent.  We kept it pretty low key since there’s just not anything I really need.  And Abbi wouldn’t let me open my own presents from her because…….it’s all hers.  My favorites are always the fun things they say about is.  And I really DO put her in some fun camps!


Wise beyond her years!


Getting good on that bike!


Lilli had her end of the year school picnic.  That’s the one day a year we can bring outside food (like McDs, etc) and we sit outside in the heat and have a picnic, the kids play, and have popsicles.  Her teacher this past year, Ms Smart, was the best teacher you could ever imagine.  She really was phenomenal.  She wrote a poem and used each child in it and read it to the kids and had us all crying.


And Lilli and Ms Smart.  Of all the teachers we’ve had, I really hope Abbi gets Ms Smart – that’s the only one I really feel strongly enough about requesting.  They’ve all been really good, but she’s just above and beyond! On our first day of school this year she went to her room to hug her – as did several other kids from her prior years.

And just like that…..3rd grade was almost over!




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