Thursday, May 28, 2015

May Happenings

Welcome Summer!  Except out here in Kansas we are currently enduring a monsoon.  It has rained everyday for the last couple weeks!  Like flooding and everything.  Our backyard is un-mowable in spots and my garden is soaking.  It's okay though, because I haven't had to water the yard in weeks!  Also - hello mosquito season.  

Summer has officially begun around here!  School was out May 19!  On the last day of school I said goodbye to Cooper Early Ed Center and my sweet babies.  I will be missing my little kids this summer.  This last year I really connected with my students.  I taught some of the SWEETEST little girls and boys and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have taught them, sang with them, and cried with them on the last day of school.  It was hard to say good bye!

 We had a fun end of the year Carnival!  Complete with balloons, popcorn, cotton candy, games, and face painting!  Little did I know that I would be accepting a 1st grade position on the last day of school.  Ahhhh!  Yes - moving up to elementary again!

How many crayon boxes do you think it took to make this wreath?  I love it so much!  It will be hung in my new classroom at Northridge Elementary in Newton.  I will just be transferring within the district.  My awesome principal at Cooper landed me the job and I am so thankful for the connections I have made here in Newton.

Room 2!

Messy Office before....

...and totally cleaned afterwards! 

I will totally miss Cooper - the people, students, families, and the cheerful building. My new school is only a few blocks away, so thankfully I can visit! 

So after all of the school craziness was over and I got all cleaned out of my room, I was able to give Casey Boy some much needed attention!  He got a summer haircut!  He looks so good!  He loves our backyard!

In other news, my little brother, Phil, came to visit us in Hesston!!  
Phil and his college friend, Evan, were on a mennonite trip across the country and stopped in for a bit!  I had to take them to the Russian Mennonite restaurant in Newton, The BreadBasket.  Yum!

We played The Farming Game!

Mennonite Farmer statue in the Newton Athletic Park.  

In the few short days I have been on summer break I have completed a project I have been putting off.  This window frame is hung in our dining room.  It is now filled with Aaron Billings' original photography!  A few pictures are from the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO, Banana peppers from our garden last summer, and a few pictures from the Hesston Dyck Arboretum (Kansas wheat close-up, and a great reflection picture off of the pond).  I love it!

Over Memorial Day weekend we were able to make a visit to see the Billings family!
We love Makenah and Logan and had the best time playing all weekend!

Logie LOVES Uncle Bear!!

We are patiently awaiting the arrival of the third Stucky baby!  She should be here in the next week - Lord willing!!  

Last Sunday Aaron was able to get in a round of golf at Buffalo Dunes golf course in Garden City.  It is the 3rd nicest public course in Kansas.  I rode along in the golf cart - it really was pretty, even though it was completely cloudy the whole morning.  We had a blast!  Summer golf league and Softball begins this week!  Time for some summer fun! 

Love you all!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My brother, Phil, graduated from EMU!!!!

Hi everyone!  
This blog post is dedicated to my little bro, Phil!  My whole family was together the weekend of April 26th to celebrate EMU grad!  Phil will honestly tell you that there were some times throughout the last 4 years that he didn't want to finish college.  He thought maybe there were more important things in life than spending a zillion dollars on a degree, or that the work was a little stressful.  I believe we all have these hard times in life, however, Phil overcame these obstacles and graduated!!  He got a Bachelor of Science in Business Admin. and a Minor in Spanish.  His plans for the fall are to begin Seminary at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Hburg, VA.  He received a great scholarship to make this opportunity even more appealing!

It was a bit rainy on the Saturday before grad so they decided to hold Commencement inside the Yoder arena.  We were all smashed in like sardines on the bleachers, but it was totally worth it!  4 unnamed men that I was sitting with were playing Spades during the long list of graduates crossing the stage.  We all cheered real loud when Phil crossed the stage though!

See Phil looking towards us as he walked in?!

I want to also extend a congratulations to a family friend, Heather Codding, for completing a Nursing degree!!  Yay Heather!  You did it!

Below you will see my sister in law, Maggie, my mom, and Maggie's parents sitting behind us.  Maggie's brother, Jesse Parker, also graduated!!  So Nate and Maggie both had brothers graduating the same day!  How exciting!

Mom and Dad are so proud of Phil!

Rewinding to Saturday evening, before Commencement, we attended Baccalaureate.  (okay that word is ridiculous to spell!)  Phil had the opportunity to help a friend lead some hymns during this event.  He is the one standing on the left side of the stage with the guitar. 

After Bach. we went to the President's reception and had refreshments!  This was a nice time to meet some of Phil's friends and professors.  He looks so nice in a suit and tie! :)

Phil got a sweet grad present from my parents - Mennonite hymn books!  The "red one", the "green one", and the "purple one".  He used them all weekend because he loves to sing hymns.

My bro, Nate, made Phil a grad gift - If you can GRADUATE, OBSTACLES are NOTHING.  
So sweet!

As I mentioned before, Maggie's brother graduated as well.  
In the picture from left to right, Ben (married to Maggie's sister Grace), Maggie, Jesse, Grace (Maggie's sister), and Nate.

After grad, my parents hosted a grad party for Phil and some other graduates!  Aaron grilled the meat, and I kept things running - filling empty bowls, putting out trash bags, holding my cousins babies!!!, and assisting the grill master!

At the end of the day Phil opened his grad cards/gifts!  He was so thankful!

Aaron and I took off work on Monday and Tuesday after grad so that we could visit friends and spend a little extra time with family!  We loved our trip!!  We are so thankful for flexible schedules that allow us to be apart of family things, even though we live many states apart.  

I will finish this post with a sweet picture my mom took of her grown-up children!

Love, Maria