Our little man graduated from elementary school today and is officially a middle schooler. He's loved going to Rawlings and has done well academically and made so many friends. Connor was recognized today for A honor roll all year, and we were excited to cheer for him when they called his name. He was dead last in the ceremony, but it was worth the wait! Love you Connor!
Grandma and Grandpa had just gotten back from their Trans-Atlantic cruise to Europe and back, and it was nice of them to join us and celebrate Connor's special day. After the ceremony we went to Barbara Jean's for lunch and snapped a couple pics outside together.
Yesterday, May 23rd, was the last day of school for the kids. It's been a wonderful year for both of them and I honestly can't recall a single time that they complained about going. We are so thankful for their wonderful school, teachers, and friends. They received their new yearbooks and Connor got his shirt signed by all of his buddies.
Connor was instructed to wear his "Class of 2025" Sea World field trip shirt to school and the fifth graders all participated in a "Clap Out" where they took a farewell walk through the school and the students, teachers, and parents clapped for them. Afterwards they had an ice-cream social and played outside together. Andrea went to the clap out and took a video of Connor's class as they passed.
Paige has been amazing with her reading this year. She loved to participate in the reading challenges and during the final days of school she attended a special celebration to recognize students like her. She won the "Sunshine State Young Reader's Award" and also the Reading Olympics "Gold Medal". Paige was excited to skip breakfast that morning since during the celebration they served the kids Chik-fil-a.
This past week, Connor's 5th grade class had a class outing to Sea World. I volunteered as a chaperone for the trip and was responsible for Connor, Mason, and Camden. We got up early and drove to the school to get on the buses and arrived at 7am. Before setting off, we took a class pic of all the kids in the classroom.
It started pouring rain, a few of the buses were late, and we didn't set off until after 8am. It was a rough start to the day, and we had been apprehensive about whether or not the trip would even happen since rain had been in the forecast all week and there was a 90% chance of rain. We boarded the bus and on the ride down it was raining the entire time. Just as we arrived, the rain let up and the sun came out. We were happily surprised that it cleared off, and eventually we made our way inside and started off with an Orca show where the kids got splashed and were excited to get wet.
After the show, we ran around the park as fast as possible to ride the rollercoasters before the rain came in. We rode the Mako, Kraken, Journey to Atlantis, and the Manta twice. We didn't see the whole park, but I think we rode all of the big rollercoasters. We didn't spend time doing much else, and the lines were pretty long at times. Connor was a little scared before the first one, but after we got done with it he was pumped for the big coasters and wanted to ride them all.
We had a fun day, and I'm thrilled that the rain held off long enough for us to enjoy the day. It was neat to spend the day with Connor and his buddies and although we only really spent 4 hours at the park after the show, we got to do quite a bit and had a lot of fun.
Today is Mother's Day! This morning, we slept in, and then had a relaxing morning. The kids made Andrea some cute cards and were excited to give them to her this morning. We ate lunch at Barbara Jean's and then we went to the beach club. We are so thankful for Andrea and to have her in our life. The kids have such an amazing mother and we are so lucky to have her.
Saturday night, we went to Clara's house to say farewell to the Phipps family and to visit with some of our old neighbors. It has been a while since we'd been in SJF, so we drove by our old house and our kids still recognized it and some of the kids playing outside. At Clara's, there were lots of new faces, and we caught up with some friends we haven't seen in a while. Connor played Fortnite upstairs with the boys and Paige swam in the pool and enjoyed jumping in and going down a kiddie slide that had been setup near the deep end.
On Saturday, we stopped by the Bunnell house to meet Rachael's new baby Kingston. It has been a long time since I've seen such a little baby. Andrea held Kingston for most of the visit, and our kids ran around like crazy with Kennedy and Keagon.
Andrea went to Amelia Island to play some tennis and hang out with her friends from Julington Creek. They left on Thursday morning May 3rd, and they stayed through Sunday May 6th. Andrea enjoyed seeing Sal and the pros she's gotten to know over the years. This was their third time going together, and Andrea enjoyed catching up with everyone.
While Andrea was at the Amelia Island weekend with her friends, I was at home with Paige and Connor. We went to school as normal until the weekend and then had some fun times together. Connor had a tennis match on Friday evening and then went to Carter's house to spend the night and then do some charity work with Carter's family. They went to tutor some disadvantaged kids in Jacksonville and played with them afterwards.
Paige and I went by the McLaren event on Saturday and checked out some of the fancy cars. We couldn't do a test drive since they only had 2-seaters and the workers were required to go along.
On Saturday, after Connor got home, we got some McDonald's and then went to the Bird Island Park. We ate our dinner and then ran around the maze and had some fun.
On Wednesday, April 25th, Grandma Genie flew in from KC to visit us and to help us celebrate Paige's 8th birthday. On Wednesday and Thursday, she made brownies and hung out with everyone and on Friday we drove to Orlando to start our fun filled weekend. On the way in town, of course, we stopped at Uno's. We checked in at the Waldorf Astoria, and unpacked and I finished up some work.
Friday evening we went to Magic Kingdom and we had beautiful weather and not too many crowds since some of the visitors were leaving.
We had a big first for both kids too. Neither one had ever ridden Space Mountain, and it was exciting for them both to ride it for the first time. They did great, and loved the ride. We had a fast pass for it, and would have ridden again, but the line was super long.
On Saturday morning, we got up and drove over to the American Girl Doll store for Camille's appointment. Grandma Genie got Camille for Paige for Christmas, so it was extra special that Grandma was able to come with us to see Camille's makeover. While we waited for our car, we snapped a few pics outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
We arrived a little early for Camille's appointment, but were able to get right in. Paige picked out a cute braided hairstyle for Camille and some nail polish as well. They had cute little chairs for the dolls and there were an unbelievable amount of clothes, toys, and accessories in the store.
After Camille's appointment we did some shopping and then ate at the Bistro. Camille had a cute little chair and was served some doll sized goodies as well. Paige got a rootbeer float and we all enjoyed our lunch. I think every table had a little girl who was celebrating a birthday and we were excited when we finally got our chance to sing to Paigie Pie.
After lunch, we snapped a pic outside the store with the birthday girl and all of Camille's goodies.
Paige loved her matching PJ's with Camille.
In the afternoon, we went out to the pool and did some swimming and goofing off together. We all enjoyed some complimentary frozen drinks and the warm weather.
On Sunday, we packed up our room and then we drove to the Animal Kingdom. We hadn't been to the Animal Kingdom park for around four years, so it was interesting to see how it's changed. Connor didn't remember the park very well and Paige didn't remember it at all.
When we first arrived, we went quickly to the Everest rollercoaster and I rode it with Connor and Paige. Paige almost backed out, but at the last minute she ran up and got in line with us.
I was a little nervous they'd be too scared on the ride, but they both did awesome on it and really enjoyed it. We probably would have ridden it again, but the line was getting longer and longer as more people arrived at the park.
We rode a few of the rides around the park, had lunch, and ended our day at the new Pandora section. It was our first time there, and it was neat to walk through it and take it all in. We had a fast pass for the river ride, and we were pretty disappointed. It was a slow moving boat and pretty much just had some interesting lights and robotic animals running around. There was a "Flight of Passage" ride that was very popular, but unfortunately had over an hour and a half long line and we couldn't get a fast pass for it.
After we got done in the Pandora section we drove home and got ready for our work and school week coming up. Monday was Paige's official birthday, and Grandma Genie and I got some Chick-Fil-A nuggets and lemonade, and surprised her at lunch. Paige's friend Emma sat with us and we enjoyed our time experiencing her school and seeing her in her element. She loved the surprise!
On Tuesday morning, Grandma Genie flew home and thankfully she made it safe and sound. We are thankful that Genie has become so adventurous and independent and is willing to make the trip to see us and celebrate our Paige's birthday with us. Paige really loved it all, and I'm thankful that Andrea and Genie planned so many fun experiences for her. I'm sure Paige will remember it forever.