Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Programs 2011

This year, Eli and his CCD class dressed up as angels for their Christmas program.  You can bet I was there with a camera in hand.....my wild, sweet, little boy dressed as an angel.  I wouldn't miss this for the world. His crew had several Christmas songs that they sang.  The last song was Happy Birthday Jesus.  Such an amazing job was performed by all!

We also attended Eli's Kindergarten Christmas program at his school.  It was great that his program was in the middle of the day, which allowed me to take 1/2 a personal day :)  At his school, they have three kindergarten classes.  Each class had a different type of hat to represent their individual class.  Eli was amazing at listening and following directions!  GO ELI!!!  He really liked the fact that we could pull him from school after his program!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eli Turns 6!

So I have NO idea why this above picture copied three times.....and as you can tell, I have no idea how to delete it!

Time goes so quickly....Here is a picture of Eli celebrating his 2nd birthday while we still lived in Michigan.  He is such a crazy boy! 

This year, Eli started Kindergarten...he was excited at first, but then he didn't think it was necessary for him to go.  Now, he is back on track of enjoying school and has made a few good friends!  Writing is the hardest thing for him...his letters are slowing getting to be normal size..haha. 
He has a love for....
- guns
- Bow n Arrows
- Ironman
- Thor
- Wrestling with his dad
- being silly
- riding the school bus
- bringing home sticks from school...seriously strange but its just crazy Eli
- JibJabs
- Starfall (he rocks at navigating a computer)
- his family

The list is only a beginning of the things he loves.  Eli continues to be an ACTIVE, silly, little boy (who is growing up way to fast).  I never knew I could love a little boy so much!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tree Trimming and Other Festivities

Eli is getting so big way too fast!

Little guy Jace enjoying his ride before seeing Santa.

The coolest train...ever!

Improving his eye sight, one day at a time!

I want to ask Santa for this!

Me too!!

The boys had a complete blast trimming the tree.  They even had to get out their stools so they could reach higher on the tree.  After the tree was complete, it was time to assemble the train.  Choo-choo...we only turn the train on a couple times a day...it has a lovely horn that goes off constantly! 

The previous weekend, we went to Bass Pro Shop/Outdoor World so the boys could see Santa.  The entire store was decked out in Christmas decorations...we had such an amazing time!  I was even able to pick up a few surprises for Christmas morning....gotta love being sneaky.

In one of the pictures, you may notice Eli has an eye patch.  He had his one month check-up post glasses.  Even though he has made some improvement in his left eye, the doctor wanted him to start wearing the patch two hours a day.  Eli is so cool with being a pirate for a couple hours a day!  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Train Excursion

This summer, while visiting my parents, my dad thought it was a fabulous idea for us to bring the boys on a train ride from Hill City to Keystone, S.D.  The boys were extremely excited but it didn't take Rob and I long to realize why my mom and brother chose not to take the excursion with us! The scenery was gorgeous...the mountains, trees, and old abandon houses to look at.  There was even an old fashion gun-sling fight that we had to stop the train for!  After about fifteen minutes, the boys were starting to get restless, but we continued on our journey and enjoyed the sights.  Once we got back to the lodge (where my parents were), my dad couldn't stop laughing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life with ADHD

The dreaded words coming from my son..."Mom, I don't like school...I just need to stay home, don't make me go."  Left with a broken heart and wanting to "fix" his bad feelings for school, I sat there. Frozen.
Holding the most amazing little boy. Wanting to cry, but knowing I needed to find my inner strength. Be Strong.

You may be asking, "What kiddo doesn't like kindergarten?"  Since the amazing day, in China, when my son was placed in my our arms, my little man has always been a wild and crazy boy! School systems are not designed for ADHD students.

Many restless nights have been spent researching..searching for what we can do to help him manage his day.  I have read so many, "How to Raise a Spirited Child" books that they all sound the same after awhile:

Behavior Charts.
Play Therapy.
Which leads to frustration.

My beautiful son has to be on the move for a majority of his day...making school very difficult for him.
Wiggle seats.
Various motivators.
Mixed with HUGE stubborn streak.  Some individuals even have the notation that he is lazy because he refuses to do his work. He is a very smart kid, but doesn't see the potential of what school means.

So. We celebrate. Days of green (didn't have to change his behavior card); We love him even more on days of yellow or red. We pray. We hope. Yeah, we even get mad that we can't help him more.

One thing that will never change-The LOVE that I have for my son! He has such an amazing way of viewing life. Boring, never.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

 Nothing to these guts!

Our favorite babysitter, Brenna at Central High School's Boofest!  The kids had a blast playing all the games.
 The finished products!  A work of art!!

At first, Eli didn't want anything to do with holding the guts!

As Halloween is fast approching, the boys have yet to decide what they will be for trick or treating.  So far, they have gone as either a dinosaur, IronMan, Bumble Bee, or a Transformer.  We will have to wait one more day to see what they actually decide to wear!  (I guess that is what happens when they have numerous dress up costumes to pick from!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hockey and Hunting...Quite the Mix!

While Rob was back in Michigan for a quick trip to visit his cousin, my parents and I scored free hockey tickets to our local hockey teams game opener.  I walked into the arena; heard the chaos on the ice and forgot how much I LOVE hockey!   The boys had an absolute blast between the pucks, the fighting, popcorn, and drinks!  Oh and how can I forget about the cow bells.  I think both boys ended up with 5 each (needless to say they are outside toys and some were hidden!) 

In the last picture, the boys are outfitted by their Uncle Mark.  He gave the boys a gun and the "hunting" hats that they are wearing.  The boys thought they were pretty cool with their new gear!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten

So it begins...the road of public education.   It seems like yesterday that we received our Travel Approval to go to China.....now he is in kindergarten.  I had to attend my open house at school, so Rob had to hustle out of work in order to bring Eli to his open house. Don't you just love the shuffling of kids around to make ends meet? 

Eli's first day was perfect...except for the bus.  They didn't have him listed on their pickup schedule (for those of you that know me, realize how organized I am and had all of this worked out...they seriously forgot to put him on the list...urgh!).  After some serious phone calls, he was able to ride the bus home!  Now, two weeks later, it takes him five minutes to get off the bus...little social butterfly!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Another Big Dream...Accomplished!

The top picture was too cute not to attach!  My ole' teaching buddy and dear friend was visiting in Colorado so we met at Boyd's Lake for a fun afternoon adventure.  The boys had a blast in the water and building sand castles.

Rob and I have always wanted a camper...we can now say we have  camper.  I absolutely love it!  The boys beg to go camping every weekend.  Now that we are back to school, our weekends are jammed packed but boy do we figure out ways to be able to camp!

Our first camping adventure was at Guernsey State Park.  We were so excited for the boys to be able to swim and hang out at the beach...until we got there and were told they had drained the reservoir.  So, in the one picture of the boys on the beach, there is suppose to be water!  We didn't let that ruin our trip.  The boys were quite content playing in the dirt pile by the camper.  We also visited a super cool castle and a museum.  First camping adventure = success!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Michigan o Michigan

July 9th, Rob dropped the boys and I off at DIA and the three of us headed to Michigan (Rob was suppose to leave a week later but his vacation was bumped up a week so he started his long journey to Michigan as well.)  The boys did great during the flight EXCEPT the last 30 minutes....Jace was that kid you didn't want sitting by you.  He was overly exhausted, hungry, and cranky....very cranky!!  He screamed. He hollered. He carried on.  There wasn't a trick in the books that was going to get him to chill.  Finally, after touching down, getting our luggage, we stepped outside and were welcomed by some serious humidity....I don't miss humidity one bit!  My brother Joe was waiting patiently to pick us up.  Since we had last seen him, he purchased a new car...let's just say we had fun fitting everything in...haha!!! Lucky for us, both boys crashed on the way to Saginaw.  While in Saginaw:
                                        *we swam
                                        *visited with Steph, Fer, and Lili
                                        *went to a concert in the park (boys fed fish, rode on a train, fun times!!)
                                        *Jace was baptized (thanks Ed, Nancy, Lisa, Mike, Lynda, Kelsey, Kennedy, and Father Dave for making this happen!)
                                        *best of all was able to spend a lot of quality time with my family.

 Kennedy, Eli, Kelsey, and Jace....cousins rule!
 Rob, Jace, and Mike walking into church for Jace's baptism.
 The crew celebrating Jace's baptism.
 Lisa, Jace, Ann, Eli, Rob, Nancy, and Ed  celebrating Jace!
Our next adventure was heading over to Muskegon.  Once in town, we stopped at SomePlaceElse Pizza...my favorite pizza in the world!  Then, we brought the boys to the Block House (it had been years since Rob and I were even there.  The boys had a blast checking everything out!  We also spent a day at The Fogarty's on Pickeral Lake.  Tara and I have been friends forever (our parents went to college together) The boys had a riot playing with Noah and Luke.  Plus it has been forever since I have been on a boat...forgot how fun they are.  The boys had their first adventure on a speed boat too!  Eli even got to drive the pontoon boat...he thought he was really cool!
Eli loves playing in the lake!!
Uncle Joe and Luke hanging out!
Noah, Eli, and Jace hanging out in the boat!
The next day, Rob went golfing with Cory and the boys and I headed to The Slater's House and went to Grand Haven.  Our first stop was Imagination Station which is an enormous playground for kids.  After the kids played, we headed over and walked the pier.  I love love love Lake Michigan.  The four boys had a blast eating lunch, getting ice cream, and hangin' out.  The walk back to the car was a bit intense as the heat and humidity was kickin'!  It was so awesome seeing Barb again...we have been friends forever (grew up on the same street).  That night, we headed back to The Slater's for dinner so Sydney could hang with the boys.  She wasn't able to go to Grand Haven with us as she was rockin' it out at soccer camp.
 Eli and Jackson looking for shade in the heat of the day.
 Imagination Station...super fun place!
 Eli snagged my camera and took some great shots.  Barb, Jace, and I hangin' out.
 Another Eli pic...too cute!!
 Love this pic!!  Eli, Jace, and Jackson wrestling around waiting for lunch.
 Who wants ice cream? Apparently Jace, Eli, Jackson, and Isaac do!!
 Grand Haven Pier...beautiful!
Jackson and Eli...Jackson had asked to take a rest and it was right by some shady trees.

Sydney and Eli having fun on the swings.

While in Muskegon, we stayed with The McDaniels.  They have two girls around the same ages as our boys.  It was hilarious watching the boys push around pink strollers.  The four kids played and played.  They even got to paint the cement (Jace even turned himself into Avatar) and had a couple water balloon fights.  Instead of hitting other kids, Eli decided to smack the grass...what can you say, he had fun!)  Megan is a fabulous cook...she even made us zucchini-blueberry bread.  Cory and Rob were even able to get a few games of horseshoes in.  Rob was stoked to eat some Scribb's pizza during our stay with The McDaniels.
Eli displaying Iron Man.
Jace and Lainey ready to get wet!
This is the coolest thing ever.
Ava and her beautiful art work!

We also visited with Rob's aunt and cousin.  We met for dinner Whitlow's.  They have the best lake perch....yum, yum!!  (Can you tell we had to hit all of our great eateries while we were back!!)  We finally were able to meet Mark's wife; Lori.  We also met up with Rob's sister and his family for a little visit.  Can't believe how big our nephews Tommy and Jesse are getting!

On the long drive back to Wyoming, the boys were fabulous.  Heck they do a better job with long distance travel then going up to Walmart!  We had a great time while on our vacation...it is rough to fit everyone in but we tried to do the best we could.  Until next time Michigan friends and family...we love you and thanks for everything.  Our door is always open and we would love to see you!