Vernon Volumes

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day BBQ at the Jordan's house


On Sunday, we went to the Jordan's house to swim with them, and enjoy some BBQ. The Jordans had just gotten their pool refinished, and it was a nice day for swimming. Andrea and the kids got in the pool for a while with Michelle and Tara, and I talked to Bill and Tara's husband.


On the actual Monday of Memorial Day, we had a pretty quiet day at the house. In the morning, Andrea and I did a tennis clinic together and then we went to lunch. Paige went over to her friend Abby's house and they swam and played all afternoon. I did a lot of touch up painting around the house, and also rolled a couple of the walls in the stairwell hallway. Unfortunately the hallway looks awful, so that was a huge frustration and waste of time.

Connor's summer work


Connor also has some summer work in preparation for 5th grade. He's been assigned to read 5 books (chapter books), and he also has quite a bit of math work in a worksheet. We've tried to entice and compel him to read in the past, but he's never been too interested in reading. With the summer reading assignment, he went through some of the suggested books and picked some out with Mommy that looked good. It's been great to see him self motivated to pick up a book. While we were at the Jordan's house, at one point he got out his book and at another point he got out his math work. He's such an awesome student!


Beach Day with Anna, Charlie, and Owen



On Friday, Andrea took the kids to hang out with Anna, Charlie and Owen at the beach club. It was a good day for the beach, especially after a rainy week. It was a fun way to kick off summer break!

Paige's summer reading



This summer, Paige was given an optional assignment to complete the reading of 50 books. If she completes the assignment, she'll be recognized for the achievement and will get a reward when school starts. We also talked to her about how it would probably be a good first impression with her new teacher if she did the assignment. It didn't take any convincing though, for her to get started. We got her a clipboard out to help her keep track of her books and paperwork and she's already off to a big start. Just a few days in to summer, she's already completed 28 books.


Paige has been diligent about updating her reading log, and she has been hauling around dozens of books in her backpack wherever she goes.



Last day of school - Connor in 4th grade and Paige in 1st


Wednesday May 24th was the last day of school for the kids. It was a rainy week, but the rain let up just for a couple minutes so we could snap a quick pic of the kids before school.

Paige and Connor both had such good school years. Both adjusted well to the new school, made a lot of new friends, made great grades, and excelled in their classes. They got their yearbooks and both have spent a lot of time flipping through them and reminiscing about their year. Connor's can't stand waiting for the next school year and is so excited to know who will be in his class for 5th grade.

We couldn't have been more happy with the timing of the move to the new school, and with their classes this last year. Unlike in years past, neither one of them complained about going to school. We are looking forwards to a fun summer and I hope next school year will be great too!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Four Seasons in Orlando


On Friday, we drove down to Orlando to have a fun family weekend away at the Four Seasons resort. We stopped at Uno's on the way in to town and I snapped a pic of the girls enjoying their yummy desserts.



Once we got to the hotel, we checked in and took a look at the room.


Everything was super fancy and the staff was incredible. We relaxed for a little while and then went on a scavenger hunt around the property with the kids to see all the amenities.







After seeing the kids area, the kids decided to stay there and swim a little while Andrea and I wandered around some more and relaxed at the adult pool.



In the evening, we went to Downtown Disney and did a little shopping.






We slept in on Saturday, and then got ready for a fun day at the resort. Unfortunately we had to leave for a while to take care of some issues with Paige.



In the afternoon, the kids went to the kids club and Andrea and I got to go to the adult pool. We got some snacks and drinks and finally had time to relax. In the afternoon we went swimming with the kids and went on the lazy river for about a dozen laps. We never did try the slides, but they looked fun.


In the evening, we watched a little of the movie by the pool, but the waitstaff was too slow and the menu didn't look that great, so we decided to go to the room to get roomservice. I through a football with Connor and a couple little boys that were playing around in the courtyard area. Once our food arrived, we all sat around the little table they wheeled in and had our dinner. It was probably my favorite part of the day!


Thanks to Andrea for putting together a fun and relaxing weekend together. We all enjoyed it, and are already looking for some dates when we can go back.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Andrea's 10th Mother's Day


Today is Andrea's 10th Mother's Day! She arrived back at the house from her trip and we went to lunch at Cantina Laredo with her. In the afternoon we gave her some of the gifts and cards we'd made for her.


We love Mommy so much!

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Andrea's annual Amelia Island Omni trip with her JCP tennis buddies

Andrea left on Thursday this past week for her annual Omni trip with her girlfriends. They had a good group, and got very lucky that they were able to get all their tennis in around the rain in the area. It was a fun time for Andrea to play tennis with some of her old teammates and also relax without any responsibilities and catch up with everyone.







Daddy and kids while Mommy is away



This past weekend, I spent quite a bit of time with the kids while Andrea was away. Andrea went to the Omni with her girlfriends for their annual tennis weekend, and I stayed at home with Connor and Paige. On Friday evening, we went to the beach to goof around and took the opportunity to fly Paige's kite that she got for her birthday. It wasn't super windy, but it was just windy enough to give it a try. It was TPC weekend, and we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. Paige enjoyed the kite, and Connor was bored sick since we hadn't brought swimming things and I wouldn't let him swim in the water.


On Saturday, after Connor's football game, we went back to the beach and did some swimming and caught some little fish in the tide pools.



That evening, I was asking the kids what they wanted to do and Connor said we should do camping. I think he was expecting that we'd pretend to camp in someone's room, but I thought it would be a good time to break out my super old tent that I got in college and see if it was still in good shape. We pitched the tent out by the pool and blew up an air mattress inside. The kids were so excited to give it a try. Connor got bottles of water and flashlights, Paige got stuffed animals, books, her iPad, a butterfly net in case bugs got in the tent, etc. We actually planned to stay the night in the tent and all fell asleep inside. Unfortunately at around midnight I started to feel rain on my face. I hadn't put the rain cover up on the tent and didn't really relish the thought of getting the tent and everyone soaking wet. I brought the kids inside and all our gear.



It was a fun time to spend with the kids as the sole parent. We had fun, but definitely missed Mommy!

Final I9 Flag Football Game of the season - GOATs Champions


Connor's last game of the season was on Saturday. That morning, the forecast had a 90% chance of rain and we were worried we wouldn't be able to play that day. If the game had been postponed until the next week, we'd possibly miss it, so I was really hoping they'd play. After lunch, I took Connor over and thankfully the rain held off, although it was super windy.

The final game was the championship matchup, and the first half was pretty close although Connor's team ended up ahead at 14-7. The second half, Connor's team kept their opponents out of the end zone and scored a few times. The final score was 34-7. Connor didn't score, but he had a few good flag pulls and was a solid player for their team. He carried the ball once and had a few passes thrown his way.

It was the first time his team's won the championship game, and I am pretty certain that Connor was a big contributing factor for their success. Connor was thrilled with the win.


Yobe, Beef Jerky, Fidget Spinners, and shopping


We ordered a few things for the kids to reward them for doing well in school. Right now, fidget spinners are the popular and exciting toy. They're essentially little bits of metal and plastic that spin on a bearing. We ordered a few on Amazon and didn't realize the shipping was from China or something. The projected delivery date isn't for about 3-4 weeks from when we ordered them. Connor begged me to take him shopping this past week, so we took the opportunity to do a little shopping.

We went to Target first, and there were no fidget spinners to be found there. I was Googling where we could find some when Connor finally remembered that a few of his friends had purchased theirs at 5 below. Paige bought some toys with her leftover birthday money, and then we went to Yobe on the way to 5 Below. Paige had seen some commercials about Yobe and had been begging us to try it. We all got a bowl, and Connor and I were underwhelmed. Paige enjoyed it, but I think it was mostly the candy and fruit she liked, not the frozen yogurt.

After Yobe we went to 5 below and both kids bought fidget spinners. We opened them up and tried them before we left to be sure they worked, and Connor was so excited about his that he went back in and bought another one straight away. I'm glad they got their spinners, they've been very good kids and earned it.

Virtual Reality Oculus Rift with Paige

I put together a new computer, and finally realized my dream of owning a Virtual Reality headset. I got a few games for it, and everyone in the family has tried it out. Andrea and Connor took a peek through the headset and weren't too impressed. Paige and I really like it though. There are a few demos and games that Paige likes to play and I took a video of her enjoying it the other day. Her favorite game is a demo where you take discs from a robot and put them in a 3d printer. Then, you get to play with the objects created and interact with the environment.


I've enjoyed a few of the games, but was super disappointed that many games have made me super motion sick. 

Butterfly garden birthday gift for Paige - Time to release our butterflies!


Paige released her baby butterflies this past week. Andrea came across the idea from some friends on Facebook, and we gave Paige the gift on her birthday. The butterflies made their cocoons, emerged as butterflies, and we'd been feeding them sugar water with a pipette for a few days. They were getting restless in their little cage, pooping red goo, and we decided it was time to release them to the wild. Paige reluctantly took them out front and I took some pics and a video while she released them.



Most of the butterflies didn't go too far and seemed content to sample the flowers out front while we admired them.



Connor - Kid of Character


This past month, Connor's teacher Ms Tucci recognized Connor as a Kid of Character. Andrea went to his parent teacher conference, and Ms Tucci had all good things to say about Connor. He's been doing well academically, has made a lot of friends, and it was nice that his teacher recognized him. The Kid of Character has multiple "pillars", which can be awarded to multiple students, however Ms Tucci awarded all of them to Connor. We're so proud of him!