Friday, May 29, 2015

Jonah's 3rd Grade Awards

My favorite part of anything that involves children is watching them come into the place where the program is and to see them all scanning the crowd for their special people.  There is something so tender to me to watch the faces of kids as they find their people.  This was right before Jonah spotted us.  
Along those same lines, it is equally heartbreaking to see the kids who have no one there to support them.  When Jonah finished Kindergarten, there was barely a seat in the place.  Yesterday, the room wasn't even half full.  That makes me so sad.  Because I've been in Jonah's class all year, I know those kids and love them.  One little girl hugged me after the program and said "My mom didn't come but I saw you smile at me and take my picture when I got my trophy!"  CUE. THE. TEARS.  Man, these kids are so young and so impressionable and they just want to be loved.  I'm going to be very sad when I don't see this crew for hours each week.  

Jonah's first award was the reading award.  It's interesting because he has always been the top reader in his class and one of the top three in the whole grade each year but he has never gotten the reading award.  He has always gotten the science award.  But, this year, he took home a reading award.  As you can see, he was thrilled.  
Actually, he really was happy but he forgot to tell his face.  My word.  As this post progresses, you will see many faces that look like he just received a death sentence rather than a nice award.  Bless.

Here he is with the five kids in 3rd grade who had all A's.  Again, please notice the happy faces of the other other four.  Seriously?!?!  Could he look more unhappy?  They are all smiling and thrilled and Jonah is...well, he is acting like Jonah.  This was a huge accomplishment to be one of 5 kids in the entire grade with straight A's.  

Next, they called up the kids to receive their various point club achievements for the year.  Again, Jonah was thrilled with his accomplishment of over 1300 Reading Counts points.  
Everyone around us was laughing with us about how miserable he looked.  So, Dan took matters into his own hands and started making faces at him.  We finally got smiles.  Check out this progression of photos.  

The smiles were actually more of an embarrassment than anything.  But, at least we captured some happiness on this day where he racked up big time.  

This is Jonah's entire class with their Reading Counts point club awards.  
Jonah was then called up to receive a Sunshine State Reader award.  He was the first kid in the entire school (Kindergarten through 5th grade) to read and pass the tests of all 15 Sunshine State Readers.  (He owes that thanks to Laura Schacter for introducing him to the program, having a book club, encouraging him to read and motivating him along the way!!)  He and one other girl were the only kids in 3rd grade to do this.  

Again, he was overly excited with this huge award.  
At least his teacher got him to smile for her photo.  

He also got his 300 point Third Grade goal trophy for Reading Counts.  And, he was thrilled...
His big award was the THREE MILLION WORD trophy he received.  He was the only third grade kid to read that many words.  He read a lot of big books and above grade level books to make that happen.  We were so proud of him for setting that as a goal and actually achieving that goal.  It meant he had to give up some outside time in the afternoon on some days and stay up a little late at night sometimes.  But, he did it.  

WHAT?  A half smile?!?!?!
Dan had a funeral to preach right after the Awards day so he gave hugs and took a few pictures then had to leave.  

Even though Laura motivated his love of the SSR and encouraged him along the way, that sweet friend showed up to his awards and gave him a new SSR for next year with a gift card to Subway to congratulate him.  (Don't you wish you had a friend like that?!)
Jonah and Logan have been together since Kindergarten.  They will tell you they are best friends.  They are both such great kids and care about each other so much!
Jonah and Rylan Carlos have never been in class together at Freedom (until this year) but were in 3 year old preschool together.  They have been friends since.  

Kayla, Ava and Jonah have all been buddies since preschool.  
Just a few of our favorite third grade kiddos from Mrs. Leonard's class.  
We just met Jaidon this year.  This kid has my heart.  He is a total opposite of Jonah but he keeps me laughing.  I love working with him in Mrs. Leonard's room.  
Jonah, Ava and Riley!
There aren't enough adjectives to speak to our love of Jessica Leonard.  She has done so much for our boy and has been so kind and welcoming to us in her classroom.  Jonah adores her.  ADORES HER!  And, she is pretty fond of him, I think.  

Mrs. Nancy was Jonah's 3 year Preschool teacher.  So much love for this lady and the way she taught him and set him up for success.  I owe a debt of gratitude to her.  
I checked Jonah out of the day but not before one last picture with his beloved 3rd grade teacher.  

On our way out, he wanted to stop by to show Mrs. Newman, his 2nd grade teacher his different awards.  She was so proud of him and super encouraging to him.  We are blessed to have so many great educators who have pushed him and helped him over the years.  

It was another fun day for Jonah.  I'll be back later with pictures from the Limo ride today.  Heading out for that now...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A baby and our stage of of life

I spent the morning at the hospital waiting for little Oliver to make his entrance into our world.  I was the designated photographer for the day and had so much fun following him around and capturing his first moments.  He was a planned C-Section baby so I missed some of the firsts that I typically get when following a baby after birth because they were done in the OR.  But, the ones I got were super sweet and such precious reminders of the beauty of new life.

This hospital does a really cool thing each time a baby is born.  No matter where you are are in the hospital, a lullaby plays to announce another baby being born.  Hearing that throughout the day was so precious to me.  I spent the whole day thinking about the births of my own boys.  Those moments were so tender.  I can remember specific details and can almost give you a timeline of those days.  I loved it.  But, today was another reminder to me of how much I love this season of life.

You know, the one that goes to Disney at 6:00 p.m. on a Sunday night and doesn't have to take a bag of any kind.  We stayed until midnight because we can.  When your kids are 4 and 8, they can hang with you at a theme park until 4 hours after their bedtime.  We had a great time and they did so good.

A photo posted by theglenns556 (@theglenns556) on
When we left Disney, we were all starving. We stopped at a sketch McDonald's in Orlando because that is all that we could find open at 12:45 a.m. As we were driving, Dan's cell phone rang. Anyone married to a Minister knows what that means at that time of night. A church member and friend had passed from this life into Heaven. Her husband was calling Dan to tell him. We went immediately to the Hospice facility. I stayed in the car with the boys while Dan went in for a while. That brought up some hard conversations with my kids. Death is just ugly. But, Heaven...her reward. WOW!

That whole day just reminded me how much I love this stage of life.  The fact that my kids went to bed at 2 a.m. and weren't whining or crying.  They were just going with the flow.  The fact that we can do ministry with daddy instead of being tied to home.  (Granted, hospice wasn't the place for us to be inside with him!) It's important for them to see what their dad does and how he helps people.  It's important to understand why he is away.  

I'm excited about summer getting here and school being out.  (ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW!!!!!)  I've got some really fun things planned for them and some exciting opportunities.  I'm just really glad none of those involve a diaper bag or feeding schedule!


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