30 December 2012

A Wonderful Christmastime

I figured before the year ends, I should get back on here and write about the end of our year.
 The Wednesday before school ended, the kids had a little winter concert during school.  Josh and I both made it and it was...interesting.  I have some notes on things I'd change, but it was still cute, and the boys were beside themselves with excitement that we were there.
(I LOVE the picture of Zeke.  I always knew he was tall, but I didn't realize how tall until this day.)
School ended that Friday (Thursday for Deacon), and winter recess started.  With winter recess came CHRISTMAS, and what a Christmas it was.  I don't know about the rest of my family, but I had a great couple of days.
Christmas Eve we went to my uncle's house for the extended family Christmas party.  It was nice seeing everyone again, and especially funny watching Finn spend a good portion of the afternoon hanging out with my cousin Molly, whom he has never met before (I think?).

After the festivities at my uncle's were finished, we rolled on over to my mom's to do Christmas with all of my sisters.  Once the many presents were opened (we all seriously got spoiled this year) we had some dinner, put the boys in their new "Christmas jammies" and headed home in the snow!

The next day was Christmas Day and again, what a day we had!  Zeke woke up a little before 7am but had to stay in his bed until his brothers woke up, which wasn't too much later, about 7:15 or so.  At 7:30 we let them loose, and it was so sweet.  Zeke and Deacon had gone "shopping" at the Christmas "store" in school this month, and they were both so excited, that they insisted on handing out the presents they bought before they opened the presents they got.  Soon enough though, all of the presents were handed out, opened, and being played with. 

Once presents were "finished" and Christmas donuts were eaten, Deacon and I got to work on making a birthday cake for Jesus.

Around noon Grandpa Bob, Grandma Karen, Uncle Bobby and Great-Grandma Vint came over to have Christmas.  More wonderful presents, more fun and another great time with family.  Which was followed closely by a second round of visitors.  Grammy, Pappy, Tia (Katherine), Tante (Kirsten), Great-Grandma Rudy, Shawn and Ivan (K&K's boyfriends) came over to hang out and have Christmas dinner.
And what a Christmas dinner it was! Besides the normal green bean casserole and cranberry sauce, we did things a little differently.  Instead of mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, I made homemade potato soup.  Then, instead of the "usual" turkey (or ham), Josh deep fried a goose.  All of it was so good.  Dessert was cookies and treats that I had made during my week of nap time baking, and our cake for Jesus.

As you can see, I let the boys decorate it. I guess I shouldn't've wasted time writing on it. Heh.
Eventually it was time for bed for the boys, then time for guests to leave, and time to relax and reflect on a really good 2 days. 
The Friday after Christmas Josh's parents came up and spent the day with us, having Christmas all over again.  Again, more spoiling of us, more fun time with family,  and another great day celebrating the birth of our Savior.
And since this post is getting pretty lengthy, I'll post another day about the fun the kids have been having in all of the snow we've been getting.  But I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas as well, and may you have a wonderful New Year!

17 December 2012

Trimming Our Own Tree

Saturday morning we all piled into the car, and we went out and got our Christmas tree.  We got a really nice tree for a really nice price.  When we got home, Deacon was so excited by the whole thing that he was more than happy to help us set the thing up.  (Zeke decided to color and Finn curled up on the big chair with the iPad.)  Here we are, cutting it free after putting it in its stand
After nap time was over, the older boys helped Josh string the tree with lights:

Because Deacon was the only one who helped set up the tree he got the priviledge of helping Josh put the star on the top of the tree:
Once the star was up, the rest of the ornaments followed.  And I must say, we have the most ecclectic collection of ornaments ever.  There's no rhyme or reason to it at all, and I love it.

Once the tree was all set up it was, apparently, time for dancing.  After all, who doesn't love a good wild man dance around a newly set up and decorated Christmas tree?

14 December 2012

This Kid Is So Sweet

Zeke came home from school on Wednesday and said, "Look, Mom.  I pulled my wiggle tooth out on the bus today."  Assuming he meant on the bus ride home from school, I asked something like, "Wow.  Does it hurt at all?" and Thomas (who had come over to play) said, "It fell out on the way TO school."  I looked at Zeke and asked, "It came out on the way TO school?!" and he replied, "Yeah.  I was wiggling it back and forth and it came out so I put it in my coat pocket."  And that was that.  No visit to the school nurse, no mention of it to anyone all day, no making any sort of a deal out of it at all.  He is, after all, a big kid now.
When I put him bed that night, we put his tooth under his pillow had the following conversation:

Zeke: I hope the tooth fairy doesn't bring me another dollar.
Me: Well, what would you like the tooth fairy to bring you instead?
Zeke: I don't know.  Where's my tin? (He has a tin he keeps his money in.  I should probably get him a wallet or an actual piggy bank soon.)
Me: It's right here. (As I take it down from the top of his dresser.)
Zeke: Another dollar would be okay then.
Me: Do you know what you can do with your money?
Zeke: No, what?
Me: You can go shopping and buy something for yourself!
Zeke: OR, I can give it to the church!!
(I told you he was sweet.)
Me: Or, you can do that.  That would be great.
Zeke: Oh! OR I can share it with my brothers!
Me: You are too sweet.  You can do that too.
Yes Zeke, you really are too sweet sometimes, and I am so proud of you and your gentle heart.

12 December 2012

Two Excited Little Boys

Today at PWOC (the women's Bible study group I go to on base) had everyone bring in a dozen homemade cookies, which we divided and handed out to the gate guards around base.  We had so many cookies, we were able to give some to the fire house as well.  After Finn and I picked up Deacon from school, we gave one bag of goodies to the guards at the gate as we came back on base, then headed on to the fire house.
One of the firemen, Jeff, goes to chapel on the weekends he's working up here.  Jeff happened to be working today and answered the door before I could even ring the bell to be let in.  He said, "We saw you coming a mile away."  So we brought in the cookies as the men were eating lunch and I told them who the cookies were from and all that kind of thing.  I said it was PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) and one of them guys said, "More like CWOC - Cool Women of the Chapel."  I think they appreciated the gift.
As we were making our way back out, Deacon kept looking around.  I told Jeff he was probably looking for all of the trucks, so Jeff let us go into the garage and look around!  Oh man, was Deacon thrilled.  Finn was pretty excited too, but the smile on Deacon's face was priceless (and lasted the entire 15 minutes we spent in there).  They walked all around every truck they had in there, as Jeff told them what each truck did.
When we had made our way all the way around the garage, Jeff asked Deacon if he'd like to "drive" one of the fire trucks.  Would he ever! Of course, as soon as Deacon was up in the seat Finn started trying to climb up saying, "Mine turn!"  When Finn got his turn, he refused to come back down.  But down he came, and off we went, super excited, and wanting to be firemen when we grow up.  At least, that's what Deacon said as we were getting in the car.  "When I get bigger and growed up, I'm going to wear the fireman clothes and hat, and I'm going to drive the firetruck and help people who need help, because that's what firemen do."  Sounds good sweet boy.

11 December 2012

My Sweet Deacon

I'm not sure what happened.  Deacon started off the school year LOVING it and having a great time every day.  The only day there were tears was book fair day.  Then all that changed the week after Thanksgiving.  Three of those days he came out of his class at the end of the morning crying.  One day he got hit in the shoulder by another boy and was so upset he cried, but cried for so long he missed snack time, which upset him further.  Another day he was crying because he lost his hat on the bus.  That Thursday he came out crying because he missed me so much.  When he got home from school that Friday (Josh picked him up that day) he told me that he cried a little in school again, because he missed me.
The following week (last week) went a little better.  He only cried twice (I think) during school, but came out happy enough.  Thursday though, Thursday he came out crying again, climbed into my lap (I was sitting on a chair waiting for him) and continued to cry.  When he finally calmed down again he said it was because he missed me so much again.  Now, it does melt my heart a little when he says this, but it also has me a little concerned.  I mean, why now? What's going on? Nothing is different from the past 3 months he's been in school.
Last Thursday when we got home, I gave him and Finn some lunch, then put them down for naps.  While Deacon was napping I got out my knitting stuff, found a pattern online and knit him a little heart shaped stuffed "animal" thing.  I gave it to him when he woke up and told him it was for him to keep in his pocket while he's at school.  Then, if he starts to feel sad or starts to really miss me again, he can go in his pocket and take out his heart and hold on to it and know that I love him and I will be seeing him soon. He was super excited about it and put it right into his pocket.  He even put it by his pillow that night to "watch over him while he slept".  The next day he put it back in his pocket, I sent a note to his teacher so she knows it's there, and sent him off to school.  When I picked him up he said he got sad again, and missed me again, and forgot about his heart.  But we had a nice weekend with Josh home, and I thought having some time with Daddy, and all that would help.
I thought wrong.  Yesterday when I went to pick him up, he came out okay (not crying), but when I asked him how his day was he said he was sad for a little bit, then he was okay, then he got sad again.  I asked him if he used his heart and he said he forgot about it again.  I asked his teacher how he was and she shook her head and told me it wasn't good.  Yesterday he got so bad he refused to do his work or participate in any class activities for the first hour and half he was there.  She remembered the heart and told him he could take it out and hold it if he wanted, but he was just so down, for whatever reason and wouldn't come out of it.  (This, by the way, resulted in him having extra homework becaue he didn't do his work in class.)
So I talked to him, and Josh called and talked to him, and he just kept saying he was really tired in school and he was missing me too much.  We told him was okay to be sad, but it was not okay to not any of his work.  While his brothers watched TV last night, I put Deacon in bed.  We spent extra time reading together and we prayed for him to have better days at school, and we talked some more about the heart and his behavior.
Today went super well.  He came out of class smiling.  His teacher said he was happy all morning and did a great job as line leader and weather watcher.  He was like normal Deacon again.
Now this has me thinking.  Yesterday on the phone, Josh and I brainstorming different ideas as to what could suddenly be bothering him.  One of Josh's suggestions was that maybe he has a little touch of SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder).  So now I'm wondering if maybe he does.  Last week, Monday was a gorgeous day, and he did fine, but the rest of the week it rained and he was sad most of those days.  Yesterday was a foggy, wet day and he had another rough day.  This morning was sunny and nice and he had a great day.  (I can't remember back to the week it started - that might have been when it snowed?)  I guess I'll just continue to watch him and the weather?  I don't know.  I do know I hope it's just a phase that he gets out of quickly.  I don't like sending him to school, wondering if he'll be okay that day.  I don't want him to stop liking school because he cries most days. 
I'm also wondering a little if he's just a wee bit too young for kindergarten.  He won't be 6 until after school gets out.  I'm sure he's old enough academically, but what about emotionally?  Of course, if I do decide he's not old enough and take him out, would he be bored next year because he's not challenged enough even though he's more emotionally stable and ready?
Sigh.  Maybe the holiday break will set everything right and if we can just make it through the next 2 weeks, we'll be back on track.  Maybe he has SAD and I should take him to a doctor's.  Maybe he's just a "special in his own way" kind of kid and this is just his thing.  Although, I've never really pegged him as a cryer.  Maybe we'll just have to wait and see.

08 December 2012

He's Quite the Little Man

After Finn and I loaded the car with groceries at the commissary the other day, I told Finn to get into his seat.  He looked up at me and said, "But I want that one."  This rather confused me so I asked, "What one?" to which he simply replied, "That one."  This went on for a few rounds until I picked him up and put him into his seat myself, which is when he finally pointed at what he wanted, saying once again, "I want that one."  I looked where he was pointing and I had to take a picture:

Oh yeah.  Apparently my car isn't cool enough for my 2-year-old anymore. As I buckled him in I said, "Sorry buddy.  That's not our car."  He replied with an "Awwwww-WUH" but then dropped the subject when I asked him what song he wanted to listen to on the 2 minute drive home.  Oh, it's going to be fun watching this one grow up.

05 December 2012

Where's the B---

After I wrote this post [click here], Finn had sort of stopped overloading his bed with his toys and was usually sleeping comfy where he should be.  However, one night last week, I went in to check on him before going to bed myself.  I immediately saw the basket on his bed and said (to myself, in my head) "Where's the baby?" 
Then I took a closer look and realized Finn was not in his bed at all.  So then I thought, "Where the heck IS the baby?!"
OH, he's over here, NOT sleeping at 10:00 (or so) at night!  Great.
I thought maybe this was a fluke, that SURELY Finn did not enjoy not sleeping on the green chair,  and that he would never fill his bed to the point where he couldn't even be in it again.  I thought wrong.
This time, however, he did not sit in the green chair waiting for help.  This time I found him like this:

Fast asleep on the floor, on the opposite side of the room from his bed, using his pants as a pillow and his pillow as a blanket.  The kid is out of control.