Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bye Bye 3rd Grade, Hello Summer!

Third grade was a lot of work and we had the stress of the FCAT this year (the Florida standardized test, which requires a certain score to advance past the 3rd grade). It made for a stressful year but we had wonderful teachers and Kai and Sierra worked hard. Kai finished the year with straight As and Sierra with straight Bs. They both passed the FCAT (Kai got a special certificate from the governor for receiving a perfect score on the Math portion!), so we are moving on to 4th grade. We couldn't be more proud of both of them.

In addition to school, our Spring was busy with soccer, cross country (which Sierra rocked in!), Jim's birthday, Kai's birthday, Sierra's birthday, Easter and a visit from Grandma Nancy and Memaw and Pawpaw. It made the last months of school go by faster for us. We were happy when Summer break got here!

The photo diary is below:

Our 8th Family Birthday


Kai's 9th Birthday

Cross Country


Soccer   Sierra's 9th Birthday
Grandma's Nancy's Visit   Memaw & Pawpaw's Visit



Our 8th Family Birthday! (back to top)

Our 8th Family Birthday fell on a Friday this year so we celebrated by spending a night at the Hard Rock Hotel (and using our Universal Studios passes). They left us a birthday card in our room and birthday cakes. It was a lot of fun.


Our picture at the Hard Rock restaurant!


This is the birthday card they left for us.


Since we stayed at the hotel by the park, we got free fast passes for the parks (for both days). Here is a picture of our room keys and the fast passes.

Our birthday hotel room.


Sierra and the Minion.


The laser light show at Universal.


Our family birthday dinner at the Hard Rock restaurant.


The Higgins' boys.


The Higgins' girls.


They brought us 4 free ice cream sundaes for our family birthday.


Cool Sierra!


When we got back to our room, we had a card from room service with 4 cakes for our family birthday!



Since we stayed at the hotel, we got in to Harry Potter an hour earlier than the park opened... it rocked!


Harry Potter world early in the morning before it gets busy.


HoneyDukes candy store in Harry Potter world.


Daddy, Kai and Sierra in front of the castle.


No lines for Harry Potter!


The entrance to Harry Potter world.


Not many occasions you see Harry Potter world like this... it is usually packed.


We stopped for another picture on the backside of the castle.



Lookin' scary in the entrance to Jurassic Park.


Posin' with Dr. Doom!



The Green Goblin.


Sierra and Woody!



Sierra had a lucky day. She won these two birds in a claw machine at the arcade.



Cross Country (back to top)

Kai and Sierra were on the cross country team at school this year. They had a great year. Sierra really excelled in the 8 year old girls. When you came in the top 10, you received a medal or trophy. She placed in the top 10 in each of her races (and she was usually the shortest one racing in her age category). Kai did well also. He was always in the top 1/2 of the boys in his age bracket.



Kai and Sierra with Coach Prose.
















Soccer (back to top)

Soccer season was fun this year. We had the majority of our team back from the last several years and they continue to improve each year. Kai scored a goal on our last game of the season... it was an awesome play!
























Grandma Nancy's Visit (back to top)

Grandma Nancy came down for a visit in early March. We were able to celebrate her birthday (a little late) with her which was a treat. She enjoyed relaxing by the pool during the day while we were at school/work. We enjoyed having her down and hope she comes back soon.


Sierra and Grandma hanging out by the pool.


Party time!



Shamu Rocks!


Grandma's birthday dinner at the Melting Pot.



Grandma Nancy and Sierra.


Mom and Kai.



Grandma Nancy and Jimmy.


Happy Birthday Grandma Nancy.



Kai's 9th Birthday (back to top)

Kai turned the big 9 on March 19th. It's hard to believe this is the last year of single digit birthdays. He chose to celebrate by having his best friends over for a sleepover. You can see from the pictures, he had a blast. On his actual birthday (a Tuesday this year), we went to dinner at Kobe.


It was a lot of fun popping all the balloon decorations around the pool.


Sierra sitting on one of the balloons to get them to pop.



Game#1 - Fill up your bowl and see who can make their ball fall out the fastest. KAI WON!


Happy Birthday Boy!



"Watch out - you're doing to get it!"


Kai is getting blasted.



The party crew having a blast.


Game#2 - Who can put the lego kit together the fastest (KYLE WON)



We made an ice cake for the party.


"Make a wish!"



Cake time.


Kai was happy with all his presents.



Kai, Kyle and Jack - his besties... now it's time for The Avengers movie!


This was the big present from Mom and Dad.



Sierra helping Kai open his family birthday presents.


Certificate to get a Harry Potter wand.



Kobe rocks!


We have fully bellies and are ready to go home for dessert.



Silly faces.


Italian ice was Kai's pick for his final birthday treat.


Easter (back to top)

We did 3 Easter egg hunts this year. The first one was on St. Patrick's day since Easter was so early this year. Between the Easter egg hunts and the Easter bunny, we had way too much candy!


Our annual picture with the scary Easter bunny.


Kai decided to get on his hands and knees and load a bunch at once.


Happy girl at the St. Patrick's Day Easter Egg Hunt.



Egg necklaces are awesome!



It's time to dye eggs.


Sierra wrote the Easter Bunny a note with the carrots and water she left out.



"Yeah - he came!"


The Easter Bunny answers the note: YES

(From: Sierra Sear easter bunny Thank-you for the gifts. Your our favorite bunny. We love you. Happy Easter. Write Yes on the line if you got carrots.)



It looks like he likes the carrots.


It took a while but they found all the hidden eggs in the house (the Easter Bunny made it harder this year).



We got lots of eggs at the Sweetwater Easter Egg Hunt.


Picture with Easter Bunny #2.



Ready, set, go!


Kai ran out of room in his bucket early... we need a bigger bucket.



Sierra is racking up.


We had to start using ziploc bags because the buckets were overflowing.



Dick came over to join us for the Easter brunch at Sweetwater.


Our last Easter Egg hunt was at Kathy's.



We forgot our buckets so the shopping bags worked great.


Our annual Easter grand finale is always playing in the pool with the new toys.



Hanging on the jousting logs is harder than it looks.


Our photo shoot with Willow Photography ... live ducks on Easter.


It was a last minute session and so much fun with the ducks.



Sierra loves them... they were tricky to keep hold of.



Sierra giving the ducks a kiss.


The ducks loved Kai. They liked burrowing in his shirt to rest.



The duck whisperer.


Our favorite picture... so cute.



Run ducks, run....


Another great one of the two of them.



So much fun...


"Watch out Sierra... he's going to get your dress."



That duck looks pretty comfortable up there.


Beautiful babies!



Sierra's 9th Birthday (back to top)

Sierra is our birthday caboose in the Spring. She waits while we celebrate Daddy's, Kai's and then hers finally arrives on April 20. Her birthday was on a Saturday this year so we scheduled her celebration (a sleep over with her two best friends) for that night. At the last minute, one of the friends couldn't make it so we moved to Plan B (moved the sleep over to the following weekend and did our family celebration on her birthday). We left work a little early and went to Universal and dinner on Friday. On Saturday night she decided on Gators for her birthday dinner. #9 turned out to be a good birthday.

We got rained on at Universal but still made the most of it.


Sierra won a minion at Universal and got her birthday wand.



The minion came to dinner with us.


Happy Birthday, big girl!



Hard Rock Rocks!


Being silly with Dad at Gators!



Normal smiles from the other 1/2 of the Higgins'.


...And a shot of all 4 of us.


Happy #9 Sierra!


She got her Heelys.. been asking for them for 2 years!



Getting ready for the Ice Age Continental Drift Sleepover Party.


It's Party Time!


Sierra and Mia hanging around in the pool.





The girls playing water games.



Jade and Sierra.



Kai letting a snail crawl on his face.



"This party rocks!"



"Crazy faces!"


Game #1 - We played find Scrat's nuts!



Game #2 - Break the animals out of the icebergs.


It's birthday present time!



Movie time - Ice Age Continental Drift.

Sierra wanted a homemade ice cream cake for her party as well!


"Make a wish"


Early morning band practice.



MeMaw & PawPaw's Visit (back to top)

Memaw & Pawpaw came for a list minute visit to watch Kai and Sierra. Mom and Dad had a business trip in Atlanta so MeMaw & Pawpaw came to watch them during their last week of school. It was a huge help to us and Kai and Sierra had a great week with them.


Sierra has been wanting a mohawk. This was the best we could do.


"Throw it to me."


Hangin' with Memaw in the pool.



"Check out my sparkler"





Pawpaw was in charge of the fire.


Fun, before bed activity!



"Mmmm... German food."


Maß beer .... loved the German Restaurant.



Lazy day fishing.


All we caught was a big snapping turtle.



Fishin' with Pawpaw.

Playing with fireworks in the driveway...



Higgins' family shot.


Still waiting for a fish...



Miscellaneous (back to top)

In addition to all the fun described above, we had lots of other miscellaneous adventures (see below).


We got our Universal passes as a family Christmas present. This was our first visit!


Sierra posing by the cool car.


Universal still had their Christmas decorations up.


Kai and Sierra weren't quite tall enough to make it on Rip Rockin' Roller coaster. With the help of Memaw's birthday sneakers, Kai made it after his birthday and Sierra made it on by summer.

Harry Potter world (when it was crowded)!


We only made it on one camping trip this year to Tomoka State Park. It was a favorite.


Sierra playing the "drums."


Movie time in the tent!


Very old, huge tree we found on our hike.


Sierra taking pictures of Forrest.


You can't tell it from this picture but it was extremely windy and cold out. We were glad to get back to land.


We liked our campsite. It was very woodsy.


Reading by the fire.


Sierra chillin' in her glasses.


We went geocaching and found the loot!


Picture on our last day before heading home.


We will definitely be back to this one!


Kai and Sierra participated in the Science Fair at school again. Their topic was on "You won't believe how much sugar is in...." They extracted sugar from various sodas and juices.


We got special passes this year to the Bay Hill Invitational.


The 3rd grade All A Honor Roll group. Kai is on the front left (this is a group out of seven 3rd grade classes).

Kai and the principal at his All A Honor Roll breakfast.


After Kai's birthday, he was finally tall enough to get on the Hulk! It was a big day. Here he is pointing his new Valdamort wand at the roller coaster.



Kai and Sierra with Dick. He was brave enough to get close to their scary hair.


On Spring Break, we took a few days off and did some touristy things around town. Dad and Sierra making a crazy face.



We worked out of the Entertainment Book for the week. We had a coupon for Medieval Times.


Kai and Grace swimming in the pool. Our good friends moved to Colorado.



We went over to visit before their big trip.


Sierra and Ms. Moeser, her third grade teacher.



Kai and Ms. Turner, his third grade teacher.


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