Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday Joshie!!!

Dear Joshie,
Wow dude, you’re 7 years-old today!  I can’t believe that you’re that old already…where has the time gone???
This past year has been amazing with you.  I have watched you excel in school as well as in any sport that you play.  You have grown up so much in this past year!  I have watched you get along great with older kids (because of how well you play sports) and still be able to play with and entertain Colton.  Ryan, however, is a different story – you still get so frustrated with him!
This past year in school you hit the ground running.  You were reading well above your grade level and math came so easily to you.  Each time we talked to Mrs. Friermood, she only had fabulous things to say about you (i.e. you were such a sweet boy, such a great reader, etc.) and always talked about how smart you were.  While you still aren’t one to initiate homework or start on projects yourself, once you get going you are a smart cookie and know how to do everything.  Your koala presentation was amazing!
You played football in the fall again, as well as in the spring, and did awesome, as usual.  You love that sport and it’s such a nice thing for you and Daddy to do together.  Sundays are so hectic with trying to pack everything up in the morning before church, trying to grab lunch quickly after church, and then going to your game, but we love it and wouldn’t change it for the world!  You played basketball in the winter with Kylie and you really enjoyed that too.  You have also been playing Little League this summer, which has been more fun to watch than t-ball was!  You tried out and got to play up (because of your age you should be playing t-ball) and it’s definitely more fun to watch a game where kids actually get outs!
We joined the pool this summer and you and Kylie and Ryan started swimming lessons.  You were the one I was the most afraid of!  Even though Kylie had never had lessons, she could still “swim.” But you, no, not you…you were scared to be in water where you couldn’t touch.  I tried working with you before the lessons started and it was an epic fail.  But oh my, how you improved the two weeks you were in lessons!  Now you can swim underwater and have even attempted a handstand :)  You got to jump off of the diving board during lessons (your teacher was there to catch you), and we are working up to getting you to be able to do that by yourself!  You start lessons again in a couple of weeks and your teacher (boldly in my opinion) has moved you up to the advanced class.  We’ll see how much you improve those two weeks!
You have finally found the love of riding your bike, so you do that a lot!  You love playing on your iPod, and your biggest, most constant demand would be for an iPhone.  You know why?  Because you want WiFi all the time!  You are on Streak For The Cash all the time and you want to be able to check your games wherever you’re at.  On the way to your annual check-up we had the following discussion:
Me: What’s your favorite subject?
Josh: Gym
Me: What’s your favorite after gym?
Josh: Field Trips
Me: You can’t pick “Field Trips!!!”
Josh: I don’t like homework
Me: You had better get used to it…you’ve got 15 more years of homework – and that’s not counting if you want to become a doctor or anything…
Josh: I don’t want to be a doctor…
Me: Or a lawyer…
Josh: Does an athlete have to do more school?
Me: No
Josh: Good. I want to be an athlete.
If I had to describe you in one word it would be “sweetie.”  You have such a kind heart and I know some day you are going to have girls falling all over you.  You work hard at whatever you do (maybe not as much schoolwork and more on sports :) ) and you are such a joker.  When you smile, my heart melts.  Right now you still like to hug me at school and want me to come to EVERYTHING, even if I’m off chasing Colton during the whole game, you just want to know I’m there…and I’m totally OK with that!  I know someday you won’t want me around, so I’m cherishing every moment of this!
Joshie I love you with all of my heart.  You are growing up to be such a strong, sweet, loving, smart boy and I can’t believe God actually gave you to me to raise – I don’t deserve the honor!  Thank you for being my little boy!  Happy 7th birthday to you Joshua!

Friday, June 08, 2012

A Night of Mulching...

Last night was a little unusual in that John had been planning all day to come home and spread out all the mulch that had been delivered that day, and I, had not. :)

As soon as I pulled in, he told me to go get changed and get outside! And of course, as soon as I start to do just that, I am assaulted by Josh telling me he’s starved! So I quickly change and heat up an especially healthy meal of fish sticks, pizza rolls and hot dogs :) I take the food out and lay it on a blanket so the kids can eat. Then I notice that John has unleashed Colton from his stroller…what??? Apparently, Colton wanted to help mulch… “help dirty.”

We got into a good pattern of my dad bringing a full wheelbarrow over to me in the beds, me spreading it all over, and John coming around with shovel-fulls of mulch for hard-to-reach areas. Josh and his friends were helping shovel mulch into the wheelbarrow and then he helped sweep the walkway. Kylie was on Colton babysitting duty!

It only took us about an hour to do both our house and my parents’ house, so not bad at all and boy does it look nice! Afterwards, Colton was down in the garden with my dad eating peas, I played in the yard with the kids for a while and then talked to my neighbor for a bit, and then we all headed inside for much needed baths!

It was a fun night and I loved hearing Colton say “dirty” when referring to helping with the mulch :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Last Day Of School...

Yesterday was the last day of school! 

As of 2:00 PM yesterday, I officially have a 4th grader and a 2nd grader! 

I went to Josh’s class party first as his started at 10:45 (I got there too late for outside games :( ), but I chatted with him while he ate pizza!  Then we watched the slideshow his teacher put together of the whole year and I was on the brink of tears the whole time!  It’s so awesome to get a glimpse into what fun things the kids do all day!  As a wonderful bonus, the teacher included a copy of the slideshow with her gifts to the students. 

After the slideshow, Ryan and I rushed down to Kylie’s classroom as those kids were just finishing their pizza and were ready to watch their slideshow.  Again, I was on the brink of tears the whole time.  At the end of it, all the kids ran up and gave their teacher one huge hug.  This was a sad last day for them because this was the first class she had ever taught at their school AND she taught them for both 2nd and 3rd grade. 

After their slideshow, they went outside to play games and I went and snapped a few final pictures of Josh in his Luau themed outfit.  His party was done (it was so frustrating that his teacher did their party so much earlier than everyone else did), so after I got the pictures, Ryan and I headed back outside to Kylie’s games. 

After all the parties are done, all the kids line the hallways for the 5th grade clap-out.  This is where all the 5th graders, in their matching t-shirts differentiated by classroom colors, run through the halls while everyone claps for them.  It’s their last hoorah!  Guess who was tearing up?  Yep…and I still have two years before it’s my kid going through that! 

It’s so strange how I noticed, for the first time, such a difference between Josh’s class and Kylie’s class parties.  Josh’s was fun and whimsical and Kylie’s just had an older feeling.  For the first time, the kids really seemed older.  They are more responsible and can do everything themselves.  It’s hard to explain but it really hit me that Kylie is really growing up…  

After that, we headed home for the last time this school year.  As we walked the path away from the school, I really, really felt so grateful that my kids go to such a fabulous school.  God has blessed us so much that I can’t even begin to thank Him for allowing our kids to have so much fun each day and to learn so much! 

Rachel came home with us, and Josh and Noah played together the rest of the afternoon.  Ryan went down for a much needed nap (he was so tired at the school), and I got some great one-on-one time with Colton. 

I sat back and reflected on how awesome the kids’ school is.  I think about how I missed all of this kind of stuff being homeschooled, and I can’t for the life of me understand why people homeschool their kids when they live in fantastic districts like we do.  I know it seems petty, but every time I’m at the school, or the kids are telling me about their days, I feel such sadness that I never got to experience any of that, and I’m so glad that my kids get this opportunity. 

That night, we headed out with our neighbors to Schmidt’s.  It has become an annual, summer tradition to hit Schmidt’s with them, and this time we picked the last day of school to go.  Included in this trip was a visit to the old-time candy store to get bubble-gum cigarettes :)  We only had to wait about 50 minutes, which is short for that place, even on a random Tuesday night. 

Dinner was fabulous and the kids were great.  It’s amazing how much easier these dinners have gotten over the years.  The first year I was pregnant and Ryan was young, last year Colton was about 6 months, and this year, all we had to do was keep break, mac and cheese and some sausage in front of him and he was happy!  We didn’t even have to really worry about the other kids, except to help Ryan get food off the buffet. 

It was a fabulous way to end the school year.  I know that I’m going to blink and it’s going to be the first day of school again…that’s how it always is!

Another Fabulous Weekend...

What a weekend!

I was off work Friday (along with John who had been off all week) as it was our annual day to go to the Memorial Tournament.  Every year, the Friday of the Tournament, we head to a friend’s parents’ house (right on the 18th green) and sit all afternoon drinking and eating and hanging out with friends.  Last year was a blast as our neighbors went with us and it was a gorgeous day.  This year?  Not so much.  It was cold (60 degrees, colder at times) and rainy.  We ate lunch (inside), sat outside a little, and walked the course for about 20 minutes.  We, and our neighbors (who came with us again), actually left early and headed to a local restaurant for drinks and appetizers…inside where it was warm!
Friday night, we took Josh over to a birthday party.  While he was at the party we went and got John some new shoes.  He has decided that he is going to run the half marathon in the fall and has started training.  He wants to run a marathon before he turns 40.  I can’t empathize with any of this because I despise running, but I’m here to cheer him on!  Then we dropped Kylie off at Rachel’s for a sleepover and picked Josh up from his party.
Saturday morning Josh and John headed off to football practice while I hung out with Ryan and Colton.  I got my garden weeded and just enjoyed the nice, albeit cool, weather.  Suzie was in town (she was looking for a place to live when she moves just an hour north of us in 30 days!!!) and she and Jarrett came over for a few hours.  Jarrett got roped into helping John finish his garage attic and then washing Suzie’s and my car.  After they left, we all went inside as it was starting to rain.  That night Josh had a baseball game, and judging by the umbrellas and people wrapped in blankets, one would have thought it was fall out…it was so cold and rainy!  Towards the end of the game, I loaded the kids up in the car and watched from afar.
Sunday morning we had church and then we rushed over to my niece’s 5th birthday party.  It was gorgeous out!  It was great to hang out with John’s family, but as usual, we couldn’t stay long because we had to get all the way over to Hilliard for Josh’s football game.  They were playing an undefeated team and were worried, but we ended up beating them 24-0!  The kids were so excited!
When we got home, we all went outside to play for a while.  The kids rode bikes, drove the jeep (“beep beep” as Colton calls it), jumped on the trampoline and ate peas from the garden.  It was a beautiful evening followed by a fabulous steak dinner.  Then it was the last Sunday evening of making sure folders were emptied out and everything needed for school the next day was in the backpacks (including Josh’s birthday treat which he decided to take in Monday since he has a summer birthday).  We were all geared up and ready for Monday morning!