Friday, August 21, 2015

1st grade, 4th grade

This week was the first week of school.  Joseph started 4th grade and Samuel started 1st grade.  Both of my boys will be in school all day. I am excited to volunteer and help in their classes.  They are both in elementary school, but are attending different schools.  Joseph got admitted to CAS and is in the accelerated learning program.  He is excited because his teacher promised him that school would never be boring.  

Samuel is liking his new teacher.  She is really nice.  He was nervous to go into 1st grade because he did not feel prepared.  I think he will manage just fine.  

We are still in Provo.  Joe still collects old video games.  I love collecting board games, books and Pyrex.  We are renting right now and looking at the possibility of buying a house here in Provo and getting another car.  

Life has been crazy.  Jeff has come to visit us a few times from England.  Our boys enjoy playing with their English cousins who now live in Utah.  We get to see them when Jeff is in town.  Edward just moved back from Indiana a few weeks back.  That means that Ernest is the anomaly living in West Virginia.  :)

This summer we drove to New Jersey to visit.  It was a long drive and fun trip.  I don't think I want to do it again anytime soon.  We also visited Humboldt State Park and Redwoods National Park.  Samuel loved the Redwoods.  We visited Glass Beach in Fort Bragg while we were there.  We saw seals and lots of little crabs.  Joseph enjoyed all the creatures we observed.  

A few weeks back we got a hamster.  The boys named her Claire after the character in Jurassic World.  She got out of her habitat one day and we couldn't find her.  Joe and I ended up going into the basement.  She was there in the crawl space.  After crawling through webs in a cramped space, we got her back.  Our boys were happy.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Just so I remember

Joseph can be very emotional and what sets him off varies.  Tonight he called me in because he felt like he was a failure because he doesn't know what he was meant to do.  He doesn't feel that he is proficient at anything to provide for his future family.  It is cute that he is so concerned and we are tying to get him to relax and just enjoy exploring all the interesting things the world has to offer.  He has tried his hand at video game design, but he was upset that he can't sell it yet because he wants other people to have fun with it. 

We watched a video with some Mo Willems stories and in it Mo Willems describes how he came up with his Pigeon books.  Joseph decided that he wanted to publish a book.  He was also crying because he didn't want to kill trees by wasting paper when he messed up on the characters and with his drawings (which don't look like what he wants them too). 

One night at dinner, as we were eating as a family, he got very philosophical on us.  He was pontificating on the discrepancies between what the bible teaches about the creation of man and what scientists have discovered with cavemen.  He is definitely a thinker.  He loves asking questions and loves to think about things.  On another note, we were watching a show on tv and some commercials came on.  One was for Christian Mingle.  It talks about sending messages online and meeting God's match for you.  Joseph got this strange look on his face and said, "That doesn't seem right.  It is not natural."  I explained that some people do date online and that it works for them. 

Samuel is very attached and very into natural disasters.  He talks about "anphobias" his word for all things phobia.  He loves to explain plate tectonics and volcanoes and has lots of questions about all kinds of things.  His favorite videos are Disney's Imagineering "Newton's Laws of Motion" and Popular Mechanics for Kids "Lightning and Other Forces."

Another current fascination is bacteria.  He doesn't want to get close to babies because they carry lots of germs and throw up a lot.  He is still a bit anxious about vomiting because we all had the stomach flu a few weeks back and we were all vomiting.  We took him to the doctor's office because he has been having "dominal pains."  He wants to find ways to fight bacteria so no one gets sick, but he also wants to build a mountain, and a pond, among other things. 

Samuel is also obsessed with sock monkeys and he would like a truckload of them.  Everywhere we go he looks for them.  It all started with a free sale that we passed in West Valley.  They had one and he loved it.  He loves, loves, loves all books by Mo Willems.  His favorite series of books are the Piggie and Elephant books.  He will read them to himself and laugh. 

My boys are getting so big and it is hard to believe that my baby is almost in kindergarten.  I love them a ton.  :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Life as we know it

Well, I have been a horrible blogger over the past year or so.  Last time I blogged we were in New Jersey.  Now we are living in Utah.  We moved back to Provo.  It has been surreal to say the least.  So much is the same and there are so many things that are different.  We were almost gone for 2 years. 

Right now, Joseph is in 2nd grade.  He is in an English only class so that means he knows his classmates for next year.  He is playing soccer and loving it.  He also has designed a video game and wants to try and sell it. 

Samuel is doing great too.  He is a light sleeper and ends up sleeping on the floor in our room or his brother's room, but one day he will appreciate having his own bedroom (or so we hope).  His favorite things these days are Minecraft and sock monkeys. 

Joe finished another semester of school and is working full time for the Provo School District.  It seems to be a great job for us right now and he gets more time off too. 

I am busy trying to keep the house in order and getting things done. 

There is so much more to say, but I have to get ready to take some chocolate covered strawberries we made to Joseph's teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What?! They finally blogged...

It has been awhile.  We are living in Jersey and staying with my in-laws until we get situated.  It has been nice to be back here, though I do miss the people I reconnected with and met in Texas. 

Joseph has turned 8 and was baptized into the church.  He is in 2nd grade and loves to read a lot.  He finished all of the Harry Potter books and is reading a bunch of different books right now.  Joseph also started Boy Scouts.  He is super excited to be part of the den.  Joseph is currently attending the same elementary school that his dad, uncles, and aunts attended.  His teacher is actually one of his aunts old classmates.  Joseph also loves to play video games.  His current favorite is Minecraft.  Kids at school play, so he wanted to try it and now he is hooked. 

Samuel turned 5 yesterday.  Crazy.  We spent a lot of time on Monday talking about his last day as a 4 year old.  He said he felt older and bigger yesterday.  He can be super sweet, but he also has some major breakdowns.  We will see how he adjust to starting school in the fall.  Some of his favorite things at the moment are his babies (stuffed animals).  For his birthday he got a Plants vs. Zombies flower.  His love of the outdoors remains unchanged and he would be outside all day, but only if someone is with him. 

It is snowing outside right now.  There is a possibility that we will get about a foot of snow in the next 2 days.  It has been snowing steadily since early this morning.  Joseph had early dismissal and was super happy about it.  Samuel was going to start preschool today with a church group, but it got cancelled due to the bad weather. 

Joe and I are applying for jobs.  We got called to serve in the nursery as a couple.  The kids are cute, but they always seem to be sick.  This post is short, but not much has been happening here.  I know there was more that I was going to say about my boys, but I don't remember what it is at the moment. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wherein Joseph sets goals for himself

I am impressed with Joseph everyday.  This picture is one he took when I signed us up for a photowalk.  I did help him edit it in Photoshop, but he captured the image on his camera and chose how he wanted it to look.  Joseph is curious about a lot of things, so it is no surprise that he asks questions and thinks about things.  At school he is a great student and he constantly strives to do well.  Anyways, the school has a system for reaffirming positive behavior.  There is a clip reward system.  You can move your clip up based on good behaviors.  The highest you can go is outstanding.  Joseph had received 4 outstandings and needed 1 more to get in the Hall of Fame in his classroom.  He set the goal for himself to be the first in his class to get in the Hall of Fame.  Everyday he reports how his day was and each day he said he got up to Great Job, but he was still working for the Outstanding.  Yesterday I picked him up from school and asked how his day was.  His response, with a big smile on his face that he was trying to hide, "Outstanding."  It was one word but it spoke volumes.  It made me smile.  He is also trying to get a certain number of AR reading points.  He is such a great kid and we love him so much. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reflections on childhood

We have been living in my home area for the past few months.  There are lots of memories tied to this area, but most of them are little things that I had forgotten.  The sounds are definitely a kick back to the past.  The gulls, the cicadas, and other sounds remind me of being a kid.  Being in the ward building where I grew to know the church has also been good for me.  I realize that my ward family is there for me.  It is hard to explain how it is different, but it is.  I think part of it is that I feel the love of the members in ways that I haven't in a long time.  Being here has reminded me of a lot of the lessons I learned and have forgotten or have not been at the forefront of my mind.  A lot has changed but there are things that have not changed at all.  I am grateful to have a chance to have lived here and am glad that my boys have seen where I grew up. 

I have seen family that I have not seen in years.  I have seen my uncles and they are old men.  I remember them in their younger years.  It has been nearly 20 years since I have been around them.  The same for my other family.  One day I ran into an old high school friend.  She looked the same, but I know times and experiences have impacted all of us.  There are so many memories and so many questions that I have, but for now I get to experience my hometown and have shared experiences and memories with my boys. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

I guess the definition of life entails being busy.  Joseph has started second grade.  He got into gifted and talented and is loving it.  He is also a prolific reader.  Samuel is learning to write more each day.  He is a little chatter box and loves the attention he receives being the only one home.  We went to Lake Jackson Plantation Day.  It was storming before we went, but it slowed down enough that we risked going and took an umbrella.  It was hot and super humid, but it was worth it.  I had never been to the plantation.  It is a pile of rubble, but on plantation day they have activities and people in period dress.  I felt bad for them in long sleeves, long skirts or pants, shawls, and bonnets.  I was sweating in my t-shirt and shorts.  The boys were able to make a find it jar, play with old style toys, hear rifles and cannons being shot (they didn't want to actually see them), sew a little, paint and draw.  They had a load of fun and they got free hot dogs, chips and drinks on top of everything else.  Joseph and Samuel enjoyed touching the snakes and alligators they had to show people.  The smallest alligator was 10 days old.  They also touched a 2 year old alligator and a 4 year old alligator.  They also had turtles that the boys enjoyed touching and picking up. 

We went to the Brazoria Nature Reserve.  It was fairly close, but it was about to rain, so we only got down a couple of times.  The mosquitos were insane.  The boys were excited to see a mommy alligator with 3 babies in their natural habitat.  Mommy stared us down.  Yesterday we went to the San Bernard Nature Refuge.  We didn't see much but we get swarmed by millions of mosquitos as we walked the boardwalk next to the slough and wetlands.  I guess I saw a baby frog, but we couldn't find it to show the boys because it disappeared.  We also went to the beach towards sunset.  It was fun and the sand was soft.  Well, life is crazy busy, but I would rather be busy than be bored.