Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Community Con

In 2nd grade, the students at WoodCreek Elementary participate in a class-wide event called Community Con. It's an all encompassing project where the kids are split into groups to design and create their own communities using lessons from every subject, including social studies, math, writing, and science.

Kaitlynn's group included 3 of her best friends and they designed a community called Shadyville which was a suburban community with some shops, parks, homes, and even your typical neighborhood greenery. They had the best time designing and building their community, and their favorite part was creating and naming their own storefronts. On the day of the Community Con event, the kids were even allowed to dress the part to fit their community. Kaitlynn and her group decided to dress as chefs from their community restaurant.

Welcome to Community Con!

I loved visiting my girl at this event and seeing her work showcased for the parents.

Here's the model of Kaitlynn's suburban community called Shadyville.

Kaitlynn and her group -- the creators of Shadyville!

Along with the community model, the students created books with various writing assignments describing their work.

So proud of my girl and her hard work for the event.

Kaitlynn and Dominique.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Best Friends Reunited

Every year in February marks an extra special occasion for Kaitlynn. It's the birthday month of her very best friend, Anais, which means Kaitlynn usually gets the opportunity to spend some quality time with Anais celebrating her birthday and catching up from a long time apart.

This year, Kaitlynn was invited to spend the entire day with Anais for a fun girls day. Then, they came back to our house to continue the fun with a sleepover. I repeat myself every time I post about Kaitlynn and Anais, but those two girls have the most special friendship and it is such a joy to see them together again.

Kaitlynn enjoyed picking out some fun birthday gifts for Anais, and then I helped her make a custom birthday card for her. I dropped Kaitlynn off with Anais's family and they spent a fun-filled day together celebrating Anais's 8th birthday. Here are some photos of their day.

For Anais's birthday card, we chose a recent photo of them and printed it on cardstock.

Then Kaitlynn wrote a sweet message on the inside telling Anais how much she loves her. I couldn't resist snapping of pic of the precious note!

At Anais's house, she opened her birthday gifts.

Kaitlynn *may* have chosen special matching items so that they BOTH could get gifts, ha!

It was a Justice explosion, but the girls loved their coordinating emoji pillows.

Their first birthday spot was a trampoline park.

They even got to play on bumper cars.

Sweet girls having the best day.

Next stop was a frozen yogurt treat.

After their amazing day together, both girls came back to our house to continue the fun with a sleepover. With matching PJs and interlocking BFF bracelets, these two besties soaked in every moment of their time together!

Showing off their matching PJs and connecting BFF bracelets.

They were excited for bedtime with their matching emoji pillows from Justice.

Playing a game of Ticket to Ride before bedtime.

The next morning, they went outside to have breakfast.

Donuts for breakfast!

The next thing I knew, they were in swimsuits and daring each other to jump into the frigid pool water!

Then they took it a step farther and jumped in completely. They continued swimming for quite a while!

Getting out of the water was the worst. It was so cold!!

Once they dried off, it was time for a dance party. Nothing like dancing to warm you up after a cold swim!

Every single visit together with Anais is Kaitlynn's "best day ever." The older they get, the harder it seems to coordinate play dates and sleepovers. But it's always completely worth the effort when we see their beaming smiles and hear their infectious laughter.

After their fun weekend together, Anais made her Valentines bag for school and decorated it with messages for Kaitlynn. "Kaitlynn, miss you already. Hope to see you soon."

"Wish we were sis's, Do you? So we could jump in the pool!" Oh, what sweetness!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Father Daughter Dance

As if our new year wasn't already off to an amazing start, one of Jeff and Kaitlynn's favorite events of the school year was about to make 2017 reach new heights of awesomeness. The Father Daughter Dance was back, and oh my, you could just feel the excitement in the air!

This year's Father Daughter Dance had a 50's sock hop theme, so Kaitlynn chose a sweet dress with a Peter Pan collar, some tulle lining, and a pink poodle applique on the skirt. The dress was actually from the American Girl boutique and was the perfect choice for her special night. With a coordinating headband and a tiny bit of makeup, Kaitlynn was ready for her Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet!

When she was all ready, I snapped this portrait of our girl. Oh, this precious girl has my heart!!

Prince Charming, a.k.a. Sweet Daddy, was dressed in a coordinating suit and arrived at the front door with a corsage for his special date night.

Love and joy in its purest form.

She was excited beyond words for her special night with Daddy. Look at those smiles. And I just noticed how she was holding his tie, awwww!

My favorite photo of the night.

Look at these two. Nothing sweeter in this life.

Practicing their dance moves for the sock hop.

More hugs as they await the start of the dance.

For the 2nd year in a row, Jeff and Kaitlynn were one of the first couples to arrive at the dance AND they were the last couple to leave! When they head out for their dance, they are pressed and sparkling to perfection. When they finally return home, they are disheveled, sweaty, and exhausted! But oh, what memories they have made for a lifetime!

Photo booth fun!

Check out those dance moves!

Official sock hop photo from the 2017 Father Daughter Dance.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fun in the New Year

The first month of our new year in 2017 was a little slow after the excitement of our Carnival cruise. But we didn't let that slow us down too much. Here's a recap of some fun for the Courtright family in the first couple of months of the new year.

Fresh back from our cruise, Kaitlynn insisted we make a special visit to the American Girl store so she could check out the 2017 American Girl of the Year, Gabriela!

Kaitlynn had been saving her money for months in anticipation of a new AG doll. She was so excited to be one of the first to purchase the new Gabriela doll in the new year.

In January, Katy experienced a HARD freeze for several days -- not a normal occurrence for us -- and we lost almost our entire yard full of tropical plants and trees. Our grapefruit tree went from being so thick that you couldn't even see the fruit through all the leaves, to completely barren with no leaves at all. Hopefully it'll come back this year!

In January, the kids celebrated their 100th day of school. Kaitlynn wore her same shirt from kindergarten with 100 buttons representing the 100 days of school. Crazy that she can still wear it in 2nd grade!

Also in January, Jeff was so excited that Collin was able to join him for a Houston Texans game at home before Collin returned to North Dakota for work. Collin felt right at home when we had a cold snap, making it the coldest game of the year. Side note: despite regularly working outside in the dead of winter in North Dakota, Collin insists that the Houston cold snaps feel so much colder to him because of the higher humidity here. Crazy, right?

Collin and Jeff enjoying some true (cold!) football weather. Check out all those layers!

The tailgating crew all decked out for the winter game.

A sunny day but super cold!

In early February, Jeff made his annual Super Bowl weekend guys' trip to Fraser, Colorado for a weekend of snow skiing and football. He always has the BEST time hanging with his friends and skiing in Winter Park. And this year, he even managed to return home without a major injury, ha!

Group pic of Jeff with his buddies on the slopes.

Ski lift selfie. I always love getting these photos and seeing what an awesome time they are having!

Jeff and his guys settling in for the Big Game.

And back home in Katy, the kids and I attended a super fun party at the home of our awesome friends and neighbors, the Hrochs. So much food and such great friends!

Later in February, Kaitlynn was delighted when the day she'd been anxiously waiting for finally arrived -- Watch Dog Dad day! Each year, she looks SO forward to having her Sweet Daddy spend the day with her at school. Having time together with him in class, during lunch, and at recess always gives her the best memories!

Kaitlynn with her Sweet Watch Dog Daddy!

Lunch time selfie with shared hair accessories, ha!

On another day, I was able to visit Kaitlynn's classroom to read and have lunch with my girl. Here she is with one of her sweetest friends, Evan.

Another class friend, Sophia. What sweet friendships Kaitlynn is blessed with!