Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2011 is over everywhere except here

2011 has come and gone.  My last real blog update focused on the holidays at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011...  so I'm missing essentially a whole year in my blog life.  WOW, I am slow, y'all.  I came to that conclusion a long, long time ago - I'm just slow - and I have found absolutely positively NO proof otherwise since that revelation came to me.  So, I guess, we just have to roll with my slow-as-molasses-even-when-I'm-in-a-big-hurry Self, mmm-kay?  So, whether you're interested or not, here's a review of 2011, in an attempt to "catch-up"...  consider this a Vintage Blog, since posts are almost always written in retrospect...  maybe this is "the new thing" in the writing world; yeah, folks, maybe that's it!  Maybe I have discovered a new fad in writing, and y'all are just sitting over there laughing your fool heads off because I can't seem to get it all together.  Well, I told ya I'm slow!  So, without further a'do, I'm pleased to announce:  the writing craze of the millenium:  RetroWriting!   What?  You've never heard of it?  You've never done it?  Well, hun, maybe one day you'll get to be as good as me.   Watch and learn.  Here we go.

January 2011
So, January 2011, huh?  You want to know about that?  Well, look at my previous "real" post - all about Jax's 5th birthday!!--- THAT's what happened in January 2011, folks, AND, I BLOGGED about it!!!  Yay, me.  So, I'm really only 11 months behind.  Give me some credit here, okay?!
But there is this one thing that I didn't blog about, that happened in January 2011, that is sort of significant to our family, so... please, allow me to add:
January 31, 2011, Josh's dad, my father-in-love, officially retired from the Highway Patrol... a legend in our area, Sergeant Leggett, took the plunge and entered into that lushious, seemingly very very green pasture called Retirement.  Oh, how I can't wait to get there myself!  Hey, I like green grass, okay?!  Anyway, he passed the torch to his 3 sons, all involved with law enforcement in some capacity, and bowed out in exchange for lots of time to do... well, whatever he wants to do!  Man, that must be nice!  But it wouldn't be for long... what did Pops do on his very first day in Retirement Land? -Well, he signed himself up to run for county sheriff!  I knew he couldn't quit cold turkey.  That law enforcement stuff is in the blood, I tell ya!   Congratulations to the legend, M-28, John Wayne Leggett!  We are proud.

next up, campaigning for Sheriff!

Spring 2011
Spring, Schming.  How about we just skip Spring, eh?  Yeah, I'm sure there were lots and lots of exciting things happening in the Leggett household, and around and about in the Spring of 2011.. but...meh, none of that is really important, is it?  Okay, okay.  You are right.  I seem to have lost or misplaced ... well, I just can't put my hands on my Spring 2011 photos right now, okay?!!  They ARE here somewhere, all 452943 of them, I am positive.  But I admit they are not readily accessible and I am being lazy today.  So we shall return to Spring 2011 soon.  There.  That should make all the Type A's quiver a little bit.  One day you Type A's may be in remission like me.  ha.

Summer 2011
So we move on to Summer...  ah, this year is progressing rather quickly.  May marked the beginning of our summer as Jax wrapped up his final year in Preschool, and Joy said good-bye to her friends in exchange for a fun-filled summer full of memories.  I said good-bye to another semester's Psychology goobers, with promises that they would one day soon learn that they DO NOT, in fact, know everything and they will want to thank me for all of those people- skills I tried to beat into their heads during the semester.  I think I won a few over in the process, and, for the others... eh, they're still goobers. 

Jax and his classmates had a Movie Date for one last hoorah together before they all went their separate ways for "big school" - Kindergarten (K-5), and as a grand summer kick-off.  He had a blast with all of his friends.  It's not often that they can all get together outside of school for free-for-all fun.  They chose Cars II and then a little bit of Dairy Queen ice cream afterwards.  Fun day.

Most of Jax's classmates, Co-Lin Preschool 2010-2011 class

cool treats after the movie

deep conversations with his "girlfriend" Aubree and buddy Bryce
The ultimate summer kick-off, oh heck, what am I saying?.... THE EVENT of the Summer for us was our very first trek to Disney World!  Oh.My.Gosh!!!  What a wonderful world!  It was seven full days of absolute MAGIC.  We had the best time ever.  As you can imagine I have at least 758 pictures... and that's just the first day.  I really want to share more than just a "quick review" of our Disney vacation, so let's save alllllll of those pictures for a separate post, mmm-kay?  Okay, Type A's... you're spazzing out again.  Please don't leave me; I promise to be more Type-A-friendly in 2012.
So.  June.  Wow, busy.  Can I just say now that I could so be a Stay-At-Home Mom!!!  People tell me all the time that I would eventually become bored but I just don't believe that could happen.  We had a busy summer, and we didn't nearly get to everything on the Summer Bucket List.  But, we did a lot.  And, now that I am back at work, and it is ALMOST summer again, I am so appreciative of those memories made last summer (2011, that is the one that i'm just now blogging about) and also I am really, really motivated to work very hard to make it to the coming summer (2012), which is just around the corner and I already know will include some exciting times (hint, hint.  Stay tuned to this station to learn about those "exciting" plans, Blog updates coming in 2017, ha)!  Anyway, let's get on with the pictures, shall we?

We enjoyed a little fun at the creek with cousins.  (Evan wasn't into having his picture made that day)

Jax having a splashing blast with the old-fashioned, self-constructed Rope Swing

Joy and cousin Eliza
I always wanted to go to the Mississippi Agriculture Museum (a.k.a. the Ag Museum).  I was waiting for Josh to take the hint, which never happened, as usual, so I rounded up a friend and we loaded up all the kids (four) and went on a little splunkle!  It was a blast, but I do believe we picked the hottest day EVER to go.  You know it really IS hot when even I say it is hot!  Whew!  I still haven't forgotten how much I glistened that day.  Um, forget Southern ettiquette ... I was SWEATING y'all and I ain't forgot it yet.  Nevertheless, we ALL had fun, and learned a little something too.  The Ag Museum IS really cool.
Jax and Brandon in front of a simulated gas station complete with the original style of gas pumps and antique car; cool

Layla and Joy in front of a "front porch sittin' " scene, complete with Grandpa manequin, overall's, rocking chair, and, wow, I just noticed that jug of moonshine there; ha ha!

this was the "old school house" at the Agriculture Museum; I loved that the chalkboard is still dusty...  Makes me think of Little House on the Prairie, and dream of all of the "learnings" that could have taken place here
After sweating off about 10 pounds each at the Ag Museum, Amy and I decided that we weren't ready for the fun to end.  We make a great pair of chaperones for the four Explorers ... the boys are five months apart in age, and the girls are 3 months apart.  (Amy and I are only a little over a week apart in age ourselves.)Next time, maybe we should aim to be in the delivery room together, Amy!  ;-P      Our next stop was the Mississippi Natural Science Museum.  This was a mostly indoor exhibit, so there was less sweating involved.  Actually, we returned to our normal, much-more-pleasant "glistening" behavior here, so everyone was all smiles and there was less gawking at the two crazy ladies with all of those wild children. 
the boys discovered a new friend almost immediately after our arrival at the Natural Science Museum

"I don't care how 'cute' he is, you can not take that thing home!"

While in the Bird Watching carrels, the girls used the binoculars to search for a more exotic friend... Joy said she was going to find a PINK flamingo....  we are still waiting for that photo

I love this picture of our Splunkle dates - all four of them in one place for only .2694 seconds, so my fingers were busy clicking the camera FAST
Our summer would not be complete without some time spent in the mud hole.  These are some of my very favorite photos of "summer" and also some of my very favorite memories with my kids and the simple joys of life.
love the sound of little feet going ... splish splash squish!

so much fun, I couldn't resist

Joy demonstrates a dainty splash, while Jax prepares for a running start ...


discussing how to achieve the best (messiest) splashes, and who will be the first to try the contemplated techniques
Vacation Bible School was a blast, as usual.  We had a "New York" theme, and really had fun with all of the materials, songs, crafts, and lessons.  VBS is also one of my favorite childhood memories.  Thanks Calvary for all of the hard work, so my children can also learn about Jesus in a super-fun way!
2-3 year olds

4-5 year olds
Also in June, Jax got his first set of "stripes" from Master Kincade at the Academy of Korean Martial Arts.  As a family we are new to this martial arts stuff; it is a learning experience for us all.  Jax began training with AKMA in May (2011, yes, we're still talking ages ago, way back in 2011), and we have been so thrilled to see him grow in these skills.  He's learning new vocabulary, self-discipline, self-defense, social skills, and so much more!  Jax had been interested in karate or martial arts, or becoming an "In-Ja" as he always said (he couldn't say "ninja"!) since he was 3, but we had to wait until he reached 5 to begin the classes.  He looks forward to going in to the studio for training twice a week.  And, I must add, he is just too cute in that little uniform.  It has an official name, but I can't recall it right now.  I just know that it is not ever, ever,  e-v-e-r to be called an outfit.  As per Jax.  haha.  "Uniform" is  not the same as "outfit" so it will work for now.
there is no slow motion at the Academy of Korean Martial Arts!

learning kicks at the studio with Master Kincade

a yellow stripe means he's halfway to earning the Yellow belt - he was tickled, and it was just as exciting for us to see him achieve a goal

Jax also got to train with Grandmaster Park, who visited the AKMA all the way from Korea.  Grandmaster Park is a petite man with sketchy English, but yet full of knowledge, humor, and ability to connect to these little folks who are so eager to learn the style of martial arts that he created himself - what an awesome opportunity!
following Grandmaster Park's instructions

Jax with Master Kincade and Grandmaster Park

the entire group after the seminar - and they're all still smiling big!

Jax wasn't the only one getting physical training and skills during the summer of 2011; Joy enjoyed a week of Gymnastics training, too.  We signed up for the gymnastics workshop to see if she would like it, and before the week ended, we knew that we must continue this training in the fall as well.  Amelia, her bff from school, also registered for the class, and let me tell ya, those two girls were just giddy to visit and learn "fwips" together.  They were too cute!
Joy was tickled over her Gymnastics medal!
the bff's with their medals.   so silly.
this is Amelia.  We never hear about her at our house.

Josh and I attended the State Trooper Convention in June also.  We escaped without the kiddos for the weekend event on the Gulf Coast.  It was great weather, great food, and lots of fun in the sun with great friends, whom we don't get to visit that often due to distance and conflicting work schedules.  Thank you to the Mississippi State Troopers Association for organizing such a great event each summer - everyone had a blast! 

Josh helping Joy and Jax with Roman Candles
Josh got a rare 4th of July off from work, so we took advantage and got together with some cousins for fun with fireworks!
I snuck a picture of cousin Evan when he was distracted with brighter things  :)
Jax has the hang of this

Evan said "they are loud!"

the little firecracker herself

Both Jax and Joy took swimming lessons during the summer.  Jax learned to dive and how to swim longer distances by coming up for air when needed.  Joy learned to kick, arm strokes, to hold her breath, go underwater, and even jump from the edge of the pool into the water.  She didn't quite get the swimming perfected but she is only 2... we are so pleased that she learned to hold her breath and deal with water in her face!  Those are milestones!
Jax jumping off of the diving board.  YAY! 

Joy jumping off of the side of the pool; this was a big deal for her

We traveled to Collins for a fun day at the waterpark with my college buddy, Kelli, and her son Blaise.  The kids had a blast.  Jax looks up to Blaise, and wanted to do everything that he did.  Blaise, even though an only child, was very caring and brotherly; he took up a lot of time with Jax, and invested time in showing him how to operate the waterpark attractions, and even escorted him on the attractions that Jax wasn't old enough to enjoy on his own.  Joy made friends with some other little girls that were playing in the kiddie pools, and we even saw one of her classmates from Gymnastics - they played in the water together all day.  We picked perfect weather for a day at the waterpark.  I loved getting some sun, and getting to catch up with Kelli while the kids played within our sight.  Maybe we can make this an annual event - it's the perfect meeting place for distanced bff's with kids! 

Splash goes Joy!
Jax, come on down!

Miss Priss posing
Jax and Blaise are racing down the big slide

When Jax was almost 2, he was really into firetrucks and firefighters.  So, he told Santa, and everyone else, that he wanted a firetruck for Christmas.  Santa Claus brought him a battery-powered Power Wheels firetruck, but PawPaw Dan topped Santa that year, and bought Jax a REAL firetruck - a 1970 Mack truck.  He told Jax that as soon as he could write his name, they would get the title put in his name.  Well, that day finally came.  I'm not sure who was prouder, Jax or PawPaw.  Jax signed the title and we sent it off so the firetruck could be officially in his name.  Precious memories....

More precious memories ...  
Daddy and his little girl...  they are so much alike, even when they are sleeping.

Boys will be boys, and Jax is one that sure doesn't mind getting dirty.  This is his daily "look"

August 2011
In August, Joy was in the local "water carnival" for the second year.  She did so well, at 1 1/2 years old, in the 2010 swimsuit pageant, I just knew that the 2011 pageant would be as good and maybe even better (at 2 1/2 years old).  She LOOOOVED trying on swimsuits and preparing for the pageant.  For the second year in a row, she picked out her own swimsuit and would not be swayed away from her favorite pick.  Luckily, I do believe this girl has taste!  I have agreed fully with all of her choices.  On the day of the water carnival, we had a blast getting ready - hair, make-up, painting toenails, etc.  I did all of these preparations for her, rather than paying to have it done (that adds up!! $$ ) so I had just as much fun as she did.  She looked adorable, if I do say so myself.  She did GREAT .... right up until time to enter the stage!  She had a total meltdown just seconds before being called to the stage to model.  It turns out that I caused the meltdown by trying to take the lipstick that she had clutched in her hand just before leading her out on stage.  Had I known that this would cause such a problem, I would have ushered her AND that dang lipstick right on out to the spotlights.  I had no clue that she would react in this way, and never thought much about taking the lipstick from her.  After I realized that a meltdown was on the verge, I tried to give her the lipstick back, but it was too late.  She went on stage, but only if I toted her.  So I did.  She finally perked up and began to smile and wave and be herself in the very last turn of her modeling routine.  It was too late for the judges to see the "real Joy".   So, this year, she did not even place in the competition.  But, she is 2.  At 2, moods are totally unpredictable.... especially when that mood involves an obsession with lipstick.   ha!   Now I know. 
notice the lipstick (two!) in her hand...  this photo was taken backstage before the pageant, and before the meltdown
Joy and her friend Layla backstage waiting to go on stage.  Again, note the lipstick in hand and no tears - If I had only known that this is the way to keep her smiling, I would have never attempted to so much as touch that lipstick.  Drama.-Even at 2.

FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN!   The day finally came in August - Jax's first day of Kindergarten!  The first day, he didn't have to stay all day - he went to meet his teachers, see his classroom, deliver his supplies, and I filled out paperwork for the school.
Jax with his Kindergarten teachers:  Ms. Buckels and Mrs. Linda

The next day, he stayed all day, so I guess that is actually the real "first day of school."  I tried to document this special day with pictures...
Getting dressed for his first full day of Kindergarten
Wake up Sleepy Head!  It's your first day of school!

It was also my first time to pack a Snack Bag.  I had no idea what to send, so we went with some favs - Chips, Fruit chews (Mario, no doubt - cause they taste better than any other), and Capri Sun
Ready to go!
Little Sister was proud as well!
Wow, it is hard to believe that he is in big school now.  I'm so proud of him!  Soooo proud!   He loves his new school, his teachers, his friends, and all.  He is even a bit proud of himself!  It is an adjustment for me, since he has been at Co-Lin daycare/preschool since an infant -- he's been right across the street from my office, accessible within minutes, since he was a baby!  Now, if he gets sick, or forgets something, I can't run right across the street to him....  he's now 30 minutes away...  but he is happy to be "grown", and he likes his school and teachers, and there are PLENTY of people that I know there that can help him if he is ever in need.  IF he has to be so grown that he is away from me, THIS is the way I'd choose for it to be.  It's a great school, with very loving, concerned, and invested teachers and staff.  I know he is in good hands.

Whew!  This post is getting rather lengthy.  I hate to stop now that I got the 2011 ball rolling... but.... I better make it as easy and convenient as possible for Blogger to handle... I would absolutely die if I got ready to publish and Blogger couldn't handle the task!  Stay tuned!-- I'll be back with a second large post with all of the things that happened in the latter part of 2011 -- yeah, all of those things that you and I both have forgotten about long ago.  Remember, that's the new trend - RetroWriting.  You really should try it - I promise, ALL the cool people are doing it.  ;-)