Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Swimming....

Yes, it's been a while since my last post. We have been enjoying, for the most part, a great start to our summer vacation.


Swimming...yes, WE.ARE.SWIMMING.IN.OUR.POOL!! Freestyle pools hooked us up!! The first tractor was here May 24th and we were swimming in our pool June 19th, one day earlier than we planned! We have also been swimming at the beach, Weeki Wachee Springs with the Girl Scouts, and Adventure Island...my kids are REALLY tan right now!!

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Swimming...we have been swimming in VBS (two actually, one at our church and one at a friend's mom's church) The kids had a blast!! We have two more planned for the end of July as well!

Swimming...we have been swimming in birthday celebrations with family and girlfriends for a special little six year old of mine. (Yes, I NEED to go out and do a birthday session with her, as the only time I've taken pictures is in the pool or a bathing suit!!)

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The cake after Sammy got a little taste :-)

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Mallory's birthday party with her friends was this past Saturday at the ice skating rink at the mall. Yes, that's where we have our June birthday parties in Florida! I was a little hesitant to have the party there with everyone just being 6, but those girls had a good time!


At first, everyone was kind of scared, only holding Daddy's hand or the outside rail...

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Then they got a group lesson. I strongly suggest getting a lesson!!

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They learned how to brace themselves and how to fall!!

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Swimming...unfortunately, we have been been swimming in prayer for a dear, dear friend of mine & her family who lost her youngest brother (who was only 28 years old) 2 weeks ago suddenly. I am still praying for strength for them and to find the answers that they are looking for the cause of his death. We are also swimming in prayers for my dear, sweet husband tomorrow as he is having a colonoscopy. Praying that it's just something easy to fix, that would be the BEST birthday present ever. ***UPDATE*** Nate is JUST FINE!!! He just needs some changes to his diet :-)

Swimming...I have been swimming in fabric, thread, patterns, etc. for some extra special custom orders. Yes, the extra money is nice, but I'm in a little over my head!

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Official End of Kindergarten!!

How could we go from this....

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To this....

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In just a short 180 days of school? Mallory is officially a first grader now. Her last day of school was Wednesday. I am so proud of all that she has accomplished this year...starting at a school with none of her preschool friends, she rode the bus the first day of school too, she went from reading simple beginner books to reading chapter books, she can tell time, knows basic addition and subtraction, got rave reviews from her teacher on all of her report cards, and she played soccer, gymnastics, tennis and swimming !!

Let the summer fun begin! Tomorrow is the start of our church's Vacation Bible School. The theme is Galactic Blast! We had a "blast" decorating today after church. The kids will be amazed at how we transformed the Fellowship Hall in to a command center and the Narthex in to outer space!! I'm the craft leader all week. This is my first time volunteering so it should be fun!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Pool Process

When we started on our journey to having a pool in our backyard, there was always one date in the back of our mind that we wanted it ready for, June 20th, Mallory's 6th birthday. Never did I think we would be able to make that date, considering they starting taking the tree roots out on May 24th. Look how far we've come!

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Yes, that's a gigantic dump truck and an excavator in my yard....(and a very excited little boy watching the action!)

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Here it is after they dug the hole and got the forms ready. Since we live so close to the beach, they had to have water pumps running for a few days to keep the water from seeping in. My poor neighbors yards were flooded!

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Big transformation here... They had to remove all of our bushes from behind the pool to get the truck back there to level the dirt, run the electrical and plumbing.

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Do you really want to know what our wood floors look like after Sammy runs through this a few times a day?

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And here we are today!! They are going to start laying the travertine Thursday and the Pebble Tec should be done next week. All that will be left is WATER!! (and some serious landscaping :))

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon Part 2

We had a great time at the luncheon last week!! Luckily, I remembered to bring my camera this year to document all the good times!

We got this idea from THIS blog that I just recently learned about. She's got some great ideas going on! Be sure to check her out!

We got the pots from the $1 bin at Target, filled them with African Violets, attached the cute saying and put their gifts cards behind them!

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The teachers enjoying the yummy salads!

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Then the really fun part, the Minute to Win it GAMES!!!

First, we had them pick teams (the red poker chips were one team and the blue poker chips were another). We had 8 teachers and Mr. Swope, our music teacher, so we decided to let each team use him as a substitute ONE time only. The first game was called "Suck It". They had a bowl of M&M's, a straw, and an empty bowl. They had 1 minute to transfer as many M&M's from one bowl to the other using only the straw.

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Next was Johnny Applestack. They had to stack 3 apples on top of each other, but the kicker was, we made them use only their TEETH!! This was hilarious as they ended up eating parts of the apples trying to get them stacked!

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The next game was called "Hanky Panky." The teachers had to use only one hand to take as many tissues out of the box as they could in 1 minute.

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Last was the game called "Keep it Up." We only used one feather and that was plenty to keep them busy!!

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I think everyone had a wonderful time. We are so blessed to have such caring and compassionate teachers taking care of our precious toddlers everyday.

I'll be back tomorrow with some updated pool pictures!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

Jack's last day of school is next Thursday! I can't believe he will be in Pre-K next year :-( :-( I have been on the Board of Directors at his school since Mallory was 3. Every year we put together a special lunch to thank the teachers for all their hard work, aka, putting up with our kids all year. The first year I was part of it, we themed it around "Oprah's Favorite Things". The teachers played a game or solved a riddle. Whomever won got a prize, but then we all ran out from the other room and said to everyone else "And YOU get a prize, and YOU get a prize, etc." It was so much fun for everyone.

Last year was called "A day in the life of a preschool". When the teachers walked in, we acted like the teachers and they were the students. They had assigned seats, had to do artwork, listen to stories, have playground time, etc. After each activity, they got a prize themed around the activity. Book time = Borders gift cards. We had fun acting like the teachers and they had fun acting like our children :-)

This year we themed it after the new show "A Minute to Win it". We are going to put the teachers on teams and have them compete against each other to win prizes.

I was in charge of making the place settings for the lunch. Aren't these cute? I got the idea from HERE.


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We have a salad lunch, and all the board members make a different salad. I'm making a TACO SALAD.

1 lb ground beef browned
1 head lettuce shredded
2 tomatoes chopped
2 small can of sliced black olives
1/2 red onion chopped
1 bag of Doritos
1 jar of Marie's Creamy Italian Garlic Dressing (found in the refrigerated section by salad)
2 cups cheddar cheese

Can be made ahead of time, but add dressing and Doritos just before serving (so it won't get soggy).

This is a great dinner salad too!!

I also made some of these for desert!!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Great Story for All Moms

Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author:

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am,
and one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves.

Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past. Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, have all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome.

To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China . Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When- Mom-Did Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, "What did you get wrong?". (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top.

And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fun Weekend & Mother's Day Tea

After us all going through this yucky cold this week (except Mallory), we are off to a fun beach resort about 40 minutes to see my wonderful friend from Illinois that we visited this winter! The kids didn't have school today, so we are just waiting on Daddy to finish up work early and head down there! (NOT LOVING THAT THEIR WEBSITE SAYS THE BEACH IS OIL FREE TODAY....sigh...please pray for all of our beaches as this spill is going to be devastating to the local economy).

Both kids had some behavioral mishaps this week (Mallory getting kicked out of her gymnastics class for not listening to her teacher and Jack talking back to his teacher and pointing his finger at her in a not-so-nice-way!), so we are hoping some quality family time away will help us all (I was in tears yesterday wondering what I was doing wrong to have my children acting this way). I know it's the end of the school year and everyone is crabby, but come on Matthews kids!!

This morning at Jack's preschool, they had the Mother's Day Tea program. I brought my camera, but have been opting to take videos lately instead of pictures, as I'm horrible about recording anything with the kids!

On Mother's Day from kacey Matthews on Vimeo.



I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mallory's First Swim Meet

Since she is only 5, she is on the under-6 "pre-team" which means she only swims when there is a meet against one or two other teams, not the big meets on the weekends (this is something that makes me VERY happy). Mallory is swimming for Carlouel Yacht Club, which is the club we joined for the summer. They have practice everyday, but right now, we are only going on Wednesday-Friday. She loves being on the team, learning how to do the strokes and how to dive off the platform.

Here she is waiting in line to warm up.

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Getting her game face on!

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Ready for the big race!

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And she's off!

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Go Mallory!!

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Her #1 fan...

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Waiting to swim the breast stroke next!

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Look at these under-6 boys starting their race! I think this is hilarious, as they are all entering the pool in different ways!

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Coach Leo giving her some last minute instructions.

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Daddy cheering her on the whole length of the pool!!

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Way to go Mallory!!
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