Random ramblings of a Rose…

Blessing/Curse

Sometimes I hate the brain my children inherited from me. Being intelligent and slightly crazy is a lot of fun and a blessing most of the time, but it can also be a very real curse. Squishy is prone to vivid, often terrible dreams. He has had them probably since infancy as he would wake up screaming and trembling even back then. He just called out to me; when I went to him he told me he had a “horrible” dream:

“We were at Badi’s house. There was a ship next to Badi’s house. My brother got trapped inside and he died. It was horrible. Then Daddy and I drove in a car to the store to get glove-mittens. The glove-mittens were already Daddy’s but he had to get them from the store. He needed them to work on Badi’s house and our house. Then we went back to Badi’s house. Then we went home, and my brother was still dead.”

I don’t put much stock in dream interpretation, but I wish I knew why he dreams things like this so I could help him…

Well, it’s not June!

So, at the close of my last update (around 10 months ago) I hoped that my next blog post wouldn’t happen this June. Well, it’s not June! Oh, dear. I have such good intentions for journals, I really do. And I LOVE buying them, holding them in my hands, looking at them, etc. I’m just terrible at writing in them. I had hoped that doing something on the computer would be more conducive to regular entries, but apparently I was wrong. **sigh** Lol.

Well, here’s a little bit about Jose and Squishy, since they’re the reason I’m here!
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Jose is 7 and in 2nd grade now. He was SUPER anxious about going back to school this year (for the first time ever), but has really jumped into things now that he’s there. After the first day of school, he told Daddy, “Second grade is THE BEST!!! I still don’t want to be back to school, but 2nd grade is the best!” 2nd grade is also a lot tougher, come to find out, though he’s rising admirably to the challenge. Honestly, I think 2nd grade is going to be harder for us as parents than it will be for him, simply because we’re really having to start being active and proactive about making sure that everything is done and that we are assisting him in all the areas we need to be doing so. It’s not beating him down at all, but for me it’s being rather overwhelming. Huge, HUGE drawback to having two full-time working parents, honestly. Because, yes, that’s what the position I took last year has turned into. And I know it’s a God thing, but I’m questioning and struggling with how having this job is going to affect our family and especially Jose’s schooling. Back to Jose, though. He’s doing AR again, and will have the test soon to determine the correct level for him to be focusing on this year. This is also the first year that AR will be part of his reading grade. His teacher is a wonderful lady whose children I watched during my time at the YMCA and I am so happy he got her. He’s with his best friend again this year – another blessing. He’s also been seeing Dr. Beth off and on again to help with how the pressures of everything that’s happened in the past couple of years is bearing down on him. We’ve made behavioral changes, nutritional changes, attitude changes, etc. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how those things have helped guide him back to a mental path where he feels more secure and able to take on the world with the correct reactions. My only issue right now is a strange lack of communication from Dr. Beth herself, which has never been a problem in the past. Working to resolve that now, but I’m worried that if this continues, it will be negative for Jose. But it’s in God’s hands and that’s where I’ll try to leave it. Outside of all that jazz, Jose has also taken up piano and gymnastics, both of which he has a great love and good deal of talent for. I don’t know where either one of those will take him, if anywhere, but for now, it’s enough that he enjoys what he’s doing. He’s also going to be taking the after-school art classes again at least twice this year. He’s currently enrolled in one of the fall sessions, and he’s planning to attend one in Jan/Feb with his best friend. The two of them are also participating in the school’s elementary art club which is in charge of several art installations which will be going up around campus.

Squishy is a bundle of energy and sunshine – in his 2nd year of preschool (actually considered a Pre-K class due to the material they’ll be working on) and will be having class half-day for the 1st semester and full-day for the second to help prepare for kindergarten next year. Life events have started to cause definite character formation in him, though he is still really working on discovering who he is. He is kind, sweet, and sensitive, but he is all boy and reacts in mind-boggling fashion sometimes to the world around him, lol. He is funny as can be, just like his brother before him, but sometimes a lack of filter gets him in trouble… One thing that has really developed and become apparent in him is just how deeply he feels. It isn’t so much that he wears his heart on his sleeve, but rather that his heart is an endless well, which honestly threatens to consume him sometimes. But, he’s only 4 and still has to figure out how much of himself to give to various parts of his life – right now he wants to give 200% of himself to everything and everyone, and that leaves him stretched really thin. Preschool is going very well and he’s having a blast! He loves his two teachers this year (Miss Michelle, whom Jose also had, and Miss Jen, who is new) and wants to do everything in his power to never disappoint them. He’s having some trouble with classmates simply because there are a lot of very strong personalities in the class this year, and he is one of the youngest students, but he’s really making strides in standing up for himself, knowing when to walk away, and knowing when to involve a teacher. Also (and this is a big blessing!) he’s been doing an EXCELLENT job of remembering to use his words instead of his hands to get his point across. For so long, when he was frustrated, it was simpler to just shove whoever he was angry with, but he’s maturing quickly in his kinder-prep environment and it’s amazing to see the difference between toddler and young man that’s rapidly occurring in him. Squishy is also a spiritual blessing for me. This isn’t to say that Jose isn’t, because he certainly is in his own way, but Squishy just sees things differently. He is very open and perceptive and comes to me with questions, statements, and dreams that often blow me away. He’ll talk about playing with Grandpa Bud (who passed away before Jose was even born) in the backyard, or come sit and tell me about when he was in heaven before he was born. He also has reoccurring dreams about what he calls his “alone house” where all sorts of events take place that are detailed and vivid and often include people he knows in various stages of their lives. It’s a little scary sometimes, honestly, but mostly, I just wish I could sit and listen to him forever before the weight and sin of the world squash whatever this beautiful and innocent spiritual connection he currently has with God out of him.

My two boys are so opposite from one another and yet so alike in sometimes terrifying ways. I wish I could protect them from all loss and hurt, especially since they seem to have experienced both in extraordinary quantities for ones so young. Yes, I realize they have lead charmed lives compared to the great majority of the world’s child population, but in that charmed life, there can still be pain. Friends coming in and out of their lives. Loved ones who are no longer part of their world due to the changing needs and relationships of those who first introduced them. The realization that girls and boys grow up and may not always be able to remain best friends, because of what life dictates (I can’t even listen to “Best of Friends” from The Fox and The Hound without tearing up.) Being teased by friends or family – such a simple silly thing to the ones doing the teasing, but such a blow to the heart of one who sees the world differently. Their aunt, whom they knew for such a short amount of time, yet fell so head over heels for, passing away from cancer this past February. Even simple things like their fish, hamster, or the mama bird at school dying. And there is so much more. It just seems to compound to the point of night terrors, lashing out in anger, and breaking down sobbing for no apparent reason until they realize what the root cause of their heartache is. They love the people in their lives with every fiber of their being and are intense and serious in that love to the point that rejection (even something as small as a roll of the eyes and a, “Really?” regarding a t-shirt worn with such pride prior to said reaction) is a devastating experience.

And my problem and dilemma is one my mother faced with me: Do I sit them down and explain the hard and hurtful truth that not everyone is going to love them or even like them and that they need to toughen up? Or do I allow them to continue pouring themselves out to those they care for, all the while knowing how much hurt that can bring them? Do I rip off their rose-colored glasses or do I let them find out the harsh reality as it happens in time? Do I strip away their childish innocence for the sake of attempting to protect them from further pain, adding onto the glimpses they’ve already caught until they are cynical and flippant, making jokes out of any and every situation? Do I allow them to continue as they are, knowing they’ll be called wimps, pussies, mama’s boys, and worse if I let them cry when they need to cry and allow them to fully experience ALL human emotions? Is there some sort of happy medium between these two extremes???? At least, when it was me, I was a girl so most of those thing were considered more “acceptable” and less likely to make me a target (though I still managed to paint a pretty large bullseye on myself without really being aware of it.) But I’m raising two ultra-sensitive, crazy, loving, neurotic, artistic, athletic, intelligent, inquisitive, passionate, silly, somber (and more!) boys in a world that STILL after ALL this time seems to have a very definite picture of what a “real man” is and what he is not. And I don’t know if I’m prepared to handle the heartache that comes from that.

Now that I’ve rambled quite far down a rabbit trail I didn’t even see I was on, in closing a quote comes to mind (out of context, yes, but the sentiment is the same, entirely):

“‘I can bear pain myself,’ he said softly, ‘but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.'” ~ Jamie Fraser, Outlander

Well, clearly I am terrible at this! ūüė¶ Almost 7 months have passed since my last post, and much has happened, but I’ll try to summarize. ūüėČ

Jose graduated from Kindergarten (such a cute day they had for us proud relatives!) and lost a couple of teeth.  He also worked hard at the Accelerated Reader program he was accepted into early, and made great strides.  His capabilities in that area blow us away!

We went on a month-long road trip all over the country (Iowa, Michigan, Texas, back home) and SURVIVED! ¬†Squishy couldn’t wait to get home by the end, and even asked if he could just go home by himself, ha ha. :mrgreen: Jose, on the other hand, asked if we could go around the country a second time.

We had a great time on our trip. ¬†Stayed in tons of hotels, but saw no bedbugs (thank God!) ¬†Jose got to shoot a rifle. ¬†Squishy and Jose both went to the Iowa Children’s Museum, and there were no broken limbs this time. ¬†The whole family participated in a Murder Mystery dinner – totally awesome. ¬†We thought Squishy had gotten into the Blue Hawaiians, but it turned out to be a Dum Dum. ¬†**whew** ¬†Celebrated Grandma Rosie’s 90th birthday, took in a Kernels game and fireworks on the 4th of July, and spent tons of time with everyone.

In Michigan we celebrated a bunch of birthdays РJose turned 6 in June, Squishy turned 3 in July, and at least three other MI relatives had birthdays, too, so there was a ton of partying going on!  We rode 4-wheelers, went fishing from the canoe in the lake, make water features, went to a water park, and just generally made a bunch of good memories.

In Texas, we got the privilege of meeting a wonderful soul from Ethiopia who is soon to be part of our larger family. ¬†He adored Squishy’s hair and was a complete blessing to be around. ¬†Can’t wait to see him again! ¬†We also were thrilled to have a family member get baptized in the ocean while we were there. ¬†Really cool! ūüėÄ

We got the boys hamsters for their big birthday present once we were back in town Рthey named them Chocolate Cherry (Choco), and Solomon.  We also had their pictures done when we came home, because Uncle Dude bought them AWESOME Naval outfits.
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Both boys started school shortly after returning home, and Mike went back to teaching for his 30th(?) year. ¬†Mainly computers this year, which he’s not thrilled about, but knows the Lord has a reason for everything. ¬†Squishy is in the 3’s class at the same preschool Jose went to, and Jose is in first grade with his best friend. ¬†Squishy has LOVED school since day 1 – no tears from him! ¬†Jose has had a little trouble with figuring out how to be a friend to someone who is raised with different values than you, so we’ve had many talks about that. ¬†He seems to be doing well, though, and is showing more signs of not being afraid to be who he is w/o fear of what others will think/say.

At the beginning of October, I took on a long-term sub position in Squishy’s school (the Pre-K class) so that is exciting, scary, awesome, and daunting all at the same time. ¬†It’s so nice though, because I don’t have to figure out where to put Squishy for daycare while I work, because he’s right there with me. ¬†This job really fell right in my lap after a big shake-up at the Y involving my dad being laid off, and it is clearly a blessing straight from God. ¬†I am still at the Y right now, too, but it seems as though the people I know there are dropping like flies! ¬†But until God tells me, “Move!” I’ll stay right where I am. ¬†And the boys love that we are still there because it means they can stay involved in activities/sports like soccer, swimming, etc.¬†Jose got to participate in a swim meet before the “winter” season set in (meets become very limited at that point), and he got 1, 2, 3, and 5 place ribbons as well as a 3rd place all-around medal in his age/gender division. ¬†So proud! ūüėé Squishy played soccer with Aunt Eggy and had a blast!

The boys also started AWANA this year. ¬†We looked into it after the men’s BSF group failed to find leaders for the children’s program (a gross irresponsibility to our youth, in my opinion, but no one’s asking.) ¬†It has been a big hit with both of them. ¬†They’ve been memorizing Bible verses left and right, asking theological questions, and asking to tell me stories they’ve learned. ¬†Super glad to have this additional influence besides school and church. ¬†And speaking of church, we’re in a period of transition right now, but we’re listening to God for the next move and trusting that He will lead as He’s always done.

Squishy had school pictures done that turned out SO adorable we just had to get them, too, despite having ones done this summer.  See??
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This past weekend, Jose and I did the “Color Me Rad” 5K with his best friend and another friend from class – total blast, even if I didn’t manage to set the color into the shirts properly before washing them. ūüėź
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And I think that just about brings me up to date on all/most of the important stuff. ¬†There’s lots of other little things that have happened that I should have been writing about all along, but I don’t *think* I missed anything vital, ha ha! ¬†Here’s hoping my next post won’t wait till next June… ūüė≥

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. ¬†Or take ships as an example. ¬†Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants it to go. ¬†Likewise, the tongues is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. ¬†Consider what a great forest is set on a fire by a small spark. ¬†The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. ¬†It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who¬†have¬†been made in God’s likeness. ¬†Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. ¬†My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” ~James 3:3-10

I have been embarrassed, humiliated, and saddened by things that have come out of my mouth – and this all under normal life circumstances. ¬†When I pair my lack of self-control over my mouth with a stressful day, a cranky or unwieldy child, lack of sleep, fatigued husband, or any number of other situations that can be¬†burdensome, the results are… ¬†well… ¬†extraordinarily¬†shameful, to say the least. ¬†As a parent, adult, teacher, leader, and caregiver I know right from wrong, how I should act/what I should say, and the¬†consequences¬†that can come when I fail to live according to the will and plan of God. ¬†I am held to a higher standard and come under greater scrutiny before the Lord because of the influence I hold in my various roles and the fact that, simply put, I know better. ¬†As someone who has been a Christian for two decades, my level of maturity (i.e. my ability to control my tongue) really ought to be higher than it is.

My tongue can direct, destroy, or bless.  Through the grace of God, I can claim to be someone who has a pretty good handle on using my tongue for appropriate direction of those under my influence and for blessing pretty much everyone in my life, in one way or another.  However, the destruction my tongue brings Рespecially to Jose and Squishy Рall but outweighs the benefits it brings.  And this is terribly distressing to me because it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45.)  Knowing that, if angry, hurtful, inconsiderate, cutting, bitter, biting, rude, careless, condescending, cold, insincere, unfair, and selfish garbage is what comes out of my mouth more than anything else, what does that mean about the content of my heart??  What is pouring into my heart and mind Рthe wisdom of the world, which comes from Satan himself, or the wisdom of God?

A single spark can set an entire forest on fire. ¬†In the same way, little remarks, insults, words of disapproval, etc. are like tiny little papercuts to my children. ¬†And I am killing them with 10,000 papercuts – the words from my mouth. ¬†Do I make Jose and Squishy safe, worthwhile, and valuable through my words? ¬†Or am I reckless? ¬†Piercing them with words like swords? ¬†What kind of effect are my words having on my children? ¬†Yes! ¬†I make sure there is no doubt in their minds that I love them. ¬†I tell them daily, I show them through my actions, I praise and thank them, I build them up, I teach them the Word, I guide, direct, instruct, help, comfort, edify, and soothe them. ¬†But when they lay down at night, is it the, “I love you”s and “You are so special!”s they remember? ¬†Or is it the, “Don’t act so stupid!”s, the “Why are you so naughty??”s, and the “Would you just shut up!!”s???? ¬†I know for myself that I hold onto the negatives in life far longer than the positives – why would my children be any different? ¬†I can’t dismiss the backlash my words have on others just because I am a woman and women are known for being harpies, bitches, gossipers, shrews, etc. ¬†It’s not an excuse and it is not in line with God’s will.

So, what can I do? ¬†I can pray, be in the Word, study alone and in groups, pray, seek the council of fellow Christians, upright leaders, and the Spirit, align myself with God, pray, and above all, pray! ¬†Pray for heavenly wisdom – wisdom that is pure, clean, wholesome, selfless, peace-loving, considerate of others, deliberate and careful to take other’s thoughts and feelings into account, submissive (having a readiness and willingness to yield to others where I can when it is not against God), compassionate and merciful, empathetic, sympathetic, fair, sincere, and which reaps a harvest of righteousness.

“Is anyone among you in trouble? ¬†Let them pray. ¬†Is anyone happy? ¬†Let them sing songs of praise. ¬†Is anyone among you sick? ¬†Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with the oil in the name of the Lord. ¬†And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. ¬†If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. ¬†Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. ¬†The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” ¬†~James 5:13-16

A prayer life is the mark of a mature Christian, just as is control over the tongue.  And if I pray earnestly for the will of God (not just trying to get him to do what I want, when I want), he will work on my behalf.  The passage says that it is prayers of the righteous that are powerful and effective.  The problem is that the Bible also tells us that there is none righteous Рno, not one! (Romans 3:10)  So how can my prayers change anything?  What is all that praying about my tongue situation really going to accomplish?  Where can I get the righteousness I need?  From Christ himself.  At the moment of my salvation, His righteousness was transferred to me РI need to pray on the basis of HIS righteousness.  God is not required or forced to do anything as a result of my prayer, but the earnest prayer of a righteous woman immediately causes God to act on her (my!) behalf.

So does this mean that if I pray through Christ for self-control regarding my tongue, I will immediately be given the ability to never again speak in anger, frustration, bitterness, etc? ¬†Probably not. ¬†Yes, God could do that for me, if it was His will. ¬†But it is more likely that this will be a process. ¬†I may not get exactly what I want, but God will move in new and fresh ways to bring about His will in my life – a will that includes heavenly wisdom in speaking to others, especially Jose and Squishy. ¬†If I want to mature in my faith and gain control over my tongue, I must pray on the basis of Christ’s righteousness and patiently wait on the compassionate and sovereign God to move on my behalf. ¬†I can’t run ahead of God’s time-table, despite my suffering for the things I’ve said and the pain I’ve caused (and will likely still cause) in the lives of my children, and others. ¬†I must not give up on prayer – or use prayer to beat up on God – when I feel He doesn’t respond “quickly enough.” ¬†God knows what He’s doing, He is pursuing the best for me, and I have to trust the work He’s doing behind the scenes.

I’m BAAAAAAAACK!!!

Okay, so I won’t even bother to try and apologize for how long I’ve been away. ¬†Totally my bad. ¬†Sometimes I’m great at this blog thing, sometimes I stink. ¬†More often the latter than the former, lol. ¬†At any rate, let me catch you up on what you’ve missed!

October 2011

  • I discovered Pinterest (I’ll see if I can figure out how to post a link to my page…)
  • I organized our whole kitchen and we stopped using paper towels except for disgusting messes – the boys enjoy using facecloths for everything!
  • Jose found Squishy’s old swim trunks (size 0-3 months) and put them on – picture to follow
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  • I pinned way too many things on Pinterest, lol
  • The boys learned a hard lesson about reality.¬†Reality dictates that when you are told you must behave in order to go to your friend’s birthday party in the afternoon, that doesn’t mean use your plates as frisbees and break one of them (Squishy), eat the food mom specifically set aside for her lunch and then lie and claim your brother did it (Jose), open your father’s computer and mess around on it while mom’s in the bathroom (Squishy), scream at your brother repeatedly at the top of your lungs (Jose), or continue to take your brother’s toys over and over and over after being told to knock it off (Squishy.) ¬†They didn’t get to go to the birthday party.
  • I got my Facebook timeline, which I personally LOVE
  • The boys’ grandpa on Daddy’s side passed away¬†(Oct 11, 2011)¬†after having serious health issues for what seems like forever, and Jose was extremely upset that he didn’t get a chance to see him again before he died – cried for a long time ūüė•
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  • Jose had some night-time accidents out of the blue, but then stopped again (praise God!)
  • Squishy and I made awesome Halloween crafts at the YMCA
  • Squishy and I had a playdate with/babysat two adorable kiddos
  • My friend’s father went missing and was just found yesterday after six months of intense prayer and searching – his family is obviously saddened at the loss, but rejoicing that they know where his is and where he is spending eternity
  • Jose got sick and had to miss his first day of school, but got well and went back the next day to do his school’s Harvest Walk during which he walked 4.63 miles in 2 hours – he also won a giftcard for having the most sponsors of all the¬†Kindergartners
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  • Squishy and I found a Starbucks gift card hiding in an old envelope and went out to get a treat
  • The boys lost a half a roll of stamps – it was found 5 1/2 months later
  • We all went to Flagstaff and enjoyed some time with Badi and Pop-pop – carved awesome pumpkins while we were there. ¬†Jose had to go back to Phoenix for school, of course, and unfortunately, we ended up with no pictures of him on Halloween because the cameras were in Flagstaff and he wasn’t! ¬†He was a doctor again, though, so we can just copy the ones from last year, lol. ūüėČ

November 2011

  • Jose learned how to ride his bike without training wheels!! ¬†He went from training wheels to pushing off, riding all up and down the street, and stopping all in one day!
  • Jose lost a 2nd tooth (November 8) – right next to the other one. ¬†No more loose ones since then, though
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  • Aunt Laurla graduated with her nursing degree – woo hoo!!!
  • Jose learned how to be even more of a smart-ass. ¬†Case in point: “Daddy: Do you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?¬†Jose: No.¬†Daddy: You don’t??¬†Jose: No.¬†Daddy: Well, what DO you want?¬†Jose: A poke in the eye with a sharp stick.” ¬†Ha ha ha ha!!! ūüėÄ
  • Jose was blessed with a gift (to be kept till Christmas) from an anonymous donor – the one thing he had specifically been talking about wanting, the Littlest Pet Shop Rescue Tails Center ¬†‚̧
  • Jose and I made apple pie
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  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with EVERYONE! ¬†Not all at the same time, but we saw my family and Daddy’s family, including the boys’ older half-siblings and their families
  • We celebrated Daddy’s birthday (Mommy and Daddy got to try out the new AMC dine-in theater and Studio Movie Grill – so cool!)
  • I pinned way too many more things to Pinterest
  • Squishy and I went to the mall with friends and he played Monkey Preschool Lunchbox for a good 20 minutes at least while they got help at the Apple store
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December 2011

  • We all tried out the fire pit at Badi and Pop-pop’s house
  • Squishy got sick and had to have breathing treatments – fortunately, we already have the machine and everything we need at home!
  • Got pictures with Santa and his (giant) Elf at the YMCA
  • Pinned a butt-load more things to Pinterest
  • Discovered Erin Condren
  • Aunt Eggy graduated from college!!!! ¬†Woo hoo! ¬†Jose got an awesome hat while there
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  • Jose’s Kindergarten class had a Cowboy Christmas Party at McCormick Railroad Park, for which Badi bought him INCREDIBLE cowboy boots – Aunt Laurla got to go with him!
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  • Squishy fell off the toilet and bashed his head on the toilet paper holder – it wasn’t bad, but he bled like a stuck pig and I was scared out of my mind
  • Jose and I made an awesome Christmas gift for his teacher
  • The biscuits exploded in our fridge
  • We celebrated an AMAZING Christmas
  • Jose perfected his spiral football pass to Uncle Jimmy (henceforth referred to as “Dude”, thanks to Squishy) whild he was in town
  • We (the adults) went to the Insight Bowl game and witnessed the trouncing of the Iowa Hawkeyes – the boys got to be babysat by Aunt Laurla, which they loved!

January 2012

  • Squishy and I went and visited Ms. Jess – always a great time when we do that!!! ¬†Love her ¬†‚̧
  • Jose got to have a playdate with his twin friends from preschool!
  • Pastor Frank left our church ūüė¶
  • Jose went on a hike with Daddy, Badi, and Aunt Eggy
  • I inexplicably deleted everything off my external hard-drive and am still working on recovering files to this day – including all of my photos from around February 2011 through January 2012. ¬†GO ME!!!

February 2012

  • Squishy got his 2nd official haircut – I hated it and probably won’t be taking him again till he has to go to Kindergarten
  • Jose and Squishy had a mud day – Squishy was covered from head to toe; I had to insist that Jose get dirty. ¬†Those two!! ¬†LOL!
  • Badi and I organized our entire book collection (well, not quite – we still need shelves for all of the early reader/picture books)
  • Jose had a Valentine’s celebration at school that I went in to help with; we also celebrated at home, of course
  • I got a new camera!
  • The boys played a lot of baseball and soccer, went on hikes, and went to the park – mostly with Badi and Aunt Eggy
  • Jose and Daddy went on a hike with Pastor Frank, because Jose really misses him and is hoping to stay his friend
  • Jose got fancied up for his “Elegant Event” at school
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  • The boys did a LOT of bike riding – even going a couple miles at a time with Daddy (well, Squishy sat in the seat on the back of Daddy’s bike for that, lol)
  • We discovered that Jose is an amazing artist
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  • Jose went and saw Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace in theaters with me – I saw it with my dad for my birthday 13 years ago
  • Squishy got to have his very first Dunkin Donut
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March 2012

  • Squishy and I went and spent the day with Ms. Jess and we got to see horses, too!
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  • The boys started soccer with Aunt Eggy as their coach – they love it but have a little bit of a hard time staying focused
  • Jose watched Labyrinth for the first time. He was completely engrossed and looked equal parts horrified and amused, lol!
  • Jose took part in his first art contest – it ended this past week and he didn’t win, but he did get tickets to see Van Gogh Live! at the Science Center
  • Daddy and I celebrated our 8th anniversary and Jose bought me flowers because he wanted me to know how much he loved me, lol
  • Dude and his girlfriend came and visited Phoenix and we had a great time with them – especially getting to know Ms. Caitie!
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  • The boys fell in love with Party Rock Anthem thanks to Kia’s Hamster commercial
  • Jose had his first “official” kiss – well, she actually kissed him, and it was at the prompting of the class troublemaker, but still… ūüėČ
  • Jose got to go to Pump It Up to celebrate a friend’s birthday and had a BLAST!
  • Aunt Eggy and I took the boys to see The Lorax – even Squishy did pretty good despite asking if the movie was done 5 minutes into it
  • Jose sent Flat Stanley to Dude in North Carolina
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  • Badi and I had to tell Jose the story of Adam Walsh. He just will not stay by me in stores lately – insists on disappearing and he about gave me a heart attack in Bookmans. I was a little worried it would give him nightmares (it didn’t seem to), but honestly? When the other option is him being kidnapped, I’ll take a few nightmares any day. ūüėź
  • We got an iPad. ¬†Enough said.
  • Jose went to another friend’s birthday party – this one at a park and hosted by High 5 Sports (it was supposed to have been the day after his other one, but was postponed due to rain.) Since Momma and Daddy were leaving for Flagstaff that day, he got to be picked up after school by his friend’s mom. ¬†He felt so grown up. :mrgreen:
  • We spent Spring Break in Flagstaff in a BIG condo – Badi and Pop-pop joined us for a few days. We went to the park, played sports, hiked, saw Indian ruins – all kinds of fun!! ¬†Jose’s favorite part was getting to use our hot tub, lol.
  • Jose discovered Tim Hawkins. ¬†He is in love. ¬†Ha ha!

April 2012:

  • The boys started swim lessons – Squishy in the pool with Aunt Eggy, Jose in the pool independently, of course
  • Squishy got sick and have to have breathing treatments again, but he got better really quick!
  • Daddy and I finished the boys’ re-purposed crib chalkboard desk just in time for Easter!
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  • We celebrated Easter in style – egg and basket search at home; Sunday School, Eggstravaganza, and service at church; another egg search (real eggs, this time!) at Badi and Pop-pop’s house; dinner with everyone at our house
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And now you’re all caught up!!! ¬†And so am I. ¬†WHEW!!! ūüėõ

Growing up, that is. Jose lost his first tooth today (well, yesterday, as it’s after 1am…) He only just noticed it was loose yesterday, and now it’s out! ūüėĮ I know this is the right age, but it just really hit me hard that he is truly getting older. I’m not sure what I expected, particularly after my most recent post, but I’m just not ready for this!!! ūüė¶ And yet, there’s no stopping it…

But it is a time of congratulations for him! He put his tooth under his pillow and wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy, asking her if she could please give his tooth to me instead of keeping it. He wants to have them when he’s grown up, lol. ūüėÄ He’ll wake up to a Littlest Pet Shop puzzle and a reply from her. ūüėČ Here’s a picture of his new smile!

Jose and Mrs. Teacher


Well, here I am, taking forever to update again. Surprised? ūüėČ Didn’t think so. At any rate, I’m taking a little time tonight to reflect on the past month (plus.) Jose started Kindergarten on August 24 (see picture above of him with his teacher the day before school started), and he has changed so much just in this short amount of time. It’s as though this vast source of knowledge has been opened in his brain and it all comes tumbling forth in wondrous proportions. I am amazed daily by my child and the incredible amount of information he has seemed to suddenly assimilate in such a minute portion of his life. Here’s an example of what I mean:

  • Counts to 200 with little hesitation and few (if any) mistakes
  • Repeats/explains Biblical stories, such as Creation or the fall in the Garden of Eden, with precise detail and knowledgeable application of the principles presented therein
  • Creates patterns incorporating up to four different shapes and colors
  • Writes sentences and creates (not just draws, but uses scissors, paints, glue, whatever it takes) illustrations, such as: “the hELuctR And the pilit” = “The helicopter and the pilot.”
  • Solves fairly difficult mazes with apparent effortlessness
  • Comes home and copies concepts done at school, explaining why they were done that way, to show us what he’s been learning

    Jose was learning about x-rays in class

  • Memorizes one or two sentence Bible verses every week
  • Displays an awareness of a variety of sight words, including (but certainly not limited to): and, the, a, an, he, she, go, we, me, it
  • Rhymes words with ease, sometimes even coming up with complex rhymes
  • Identifies beginning and end sounds in many words

And again, these are just some of the multitude of things he blows me away with on a daily basis. ¬†I am honestly not trying to brag or somehow toot my own horn for my son’s accomplishments. ¬†I am just in utter shock at how much he has absorbed, how quickly it’s happened, and how well he’s retaining concepts that I distinctly remember not learning until 1st or 2nd grade. ¬†I don’t know how today’s early childhood teachers manage to cram in everything that state standards require them to pass on to the kids at such young ages, but it is apparent that Jose’s teacher is doing something right.

The best part? ¬†Jose loves school. ¬†LOVES IT. ¬†Even when he was having a small issue with one of the other students last month, he never once indicated in any way that he didn’t want to go. ¬†He loves learning, loves being with the other kids, loves sharing what he was taught that day. ¬†Sometimes he loves doing one thing or another a little too much, goes overboard, and ends up on yellow, but hey – I TOTALLY understand how that . . . ¬†squirrel!!! :mrgreen: And in just this month+ that he’s been there, so much has happened in class! ¬†He’s already been star student, meaning he got to bring home the class “pet”, Stella (a plush Mario star, lol), and had special activities every day centered around the class finding out more about him – from an “about me” poster, to having momma (me) come in and read to the class, it was a fun week all around.

He made a best friend before school even started – the day before to be exact. ¬†At “get acquainted day”, we met the other students in his class, and I knew before he even told me, which student would be his best friend – a pretty girl who has just turned 6 and is taller and slightly better at everything than the other kids. ¬†Want to know how I knew she’d be his best friend? ¬†The first thing she did was boss him around, and tell him what he needed to be doing on his treasure hunt. ¬†He has a serious pattern when it comes to his best friends – bossy girls who love to spend time with him, playing pretty much any game he dreams up. ¬†With their own rules added, of course. ūüėÄ

The class has had a Johnny Appleseed week, ending in a dress up like Johnny day (I don’t have a picture on this computer, but I’ll try to remember to come back and post one later.)

Here's the picture! And yeah, I know that's the wrong kind of pot, but his ginormous head was too massive for our single handled pots, lol. Besides, they made paper ones in school that they actually wore.


They’ve made it almost through the entire alphabet and will be having an alphabet party at the end of this week. ¬†They go to computers, library, P.E., art, music, and Spanish at least once a week. ¬†They try new foods in class, practice things on the SMART board, and learn little class “cheers” (which Jose LOVES to repeat, as long as he’s not being too shy.) ūüėõ ¬†They have chapel twice a month, and the Lord really speaks to Jose’s heart during those times. ¬†There is so much more that I know I’m forgetting, but I am just a little overwhelmed (in a really good way!) at all the changes being wrought in my little boy.

I was so worried that I was somehow sending him off into the great unknown, unprepared for what he would face, when it turns out I¬†was the one woefully unprepared for just how well he’d blossom and how incredible he’d turn out to be in his new environment. ūüė≥

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