September 26, 2014

Jack-Jack Attack!

"Jack-Jack" is Jackson's nickname.

My father started it.

I told everyone that if they called Jackson "Jack" they would end up on my blacklist.

But Jack-Jack was okay.

Because I'm the mom. Mom's are allowed to have weird quirks about their children's names.

Besides, if you've seen "The Incredibles", you can't help but think of the movie. The "Jack-Jack Attack" clip is just awesome.

And totally explains why my house is in ruins after we have a babysitter.

Just kidding.

It's just in ruins on a normal, day-day basis.

Especially when the little man is hungry.

He's working on the self-serve policy.

Can't you just see his thoughts?

"Oh hey mom!"

"So, I got kind of hungry and found these little babies."

"They tasted pretty good at first, but then I discovered something." 

"They are way more fun to just rip apart and throw on the floor. Here, let me show you!"

Yes, he's a regular comedian.

Love him.

So it was heart-wrenching when this little guy was crawling around outside one sunny afternoon while I was unloading groceries, and he decided to follow me into the house.

He climbed up to do battle with the metal threshold of our front door...

the threshold won.

I was so upset that he was so hurt and upset that Savannah kept trying to make me feel better!

It was so cute.

She tried to make me smile by asking about "grafatee-tee".

The day before she had been telling the boys all about "grafatee-tee" which she had learned about in a book she read.

Hubby and I had busted out into full-belly laughing.

She meant graffiti.

Anyway, Jack-Jack's hand is healing wonderfully and it doesn't bother him anymore so he's back to crawling around like a maniac.

We just keep it bandaged to stay clean while it heals.

On top of all that, Jackson has decided he likes the idea of walking.


So here are Jackson's first steps!

He's 10 months old. Not my earliest walker, but close.

(On a side note, Savannah and I were messing around with the video clips and this was the result. Don't blame me! Savannah is a very touchy-feely person and wanted it to be "cute". I was trying to get "500 Miles" as the background music.)

(Sorry to those who tried to watch before. Video is fixed!)

September 11, 2014

Giddy-Up Cowboy!

They say hind-sight can be a terrible thing.

But I can honestly say, sometimes it's an amazing thing.

It was at my cousin's surprise birthday party a few months ago where it first came up.

Horseback riding lessons.

One of my cousin's friends was talking about this wonderful lady they knew who gives lessons from her home. They raved about how great she was, how amazing she is with the kids, and how low her prices were. She gives lessons simply because she enjoys it so much.

Well sure lessons would be fun, sure the kids would love it. But you know, it's not something I ever really thought about so, cool info but meh, whatever.

But the more we dealt with Joseph's chorea, which made for one wickedly hard summer especially for him, the more I kept thinking about it.

Horeseback riding.

It just kept coming back to my mind! I kept thinking about how therapeutic it could be for Joseph. He doesn't always enjoying being around people, I think he gets embarrassed too easily.

I didn't know if he would like it or not, but it was worth a shot! 

Hubby wasn't exactly keen on the idea, but I just couldn't shake it, especially when we decided to homeschool.

So I finally got her info and made a phone call. 

We went out for an initial visit and all the kids just had a blast meeting and feeding all the horses. 

But it was Joseph who I watched carefully.

His eyes lit up and a giant smile debuted on his little face. He couldn't get enough of the animals! Yet he seemed calm and content.

After so many tantrums, so many tears, it was like seeing a whole different kid.

I made up my mind then and there.

So the first week of school also brought with it Savannah and Joseph's first riding lesson.

So out we went. I couldn't wait to get some pictures!

Then my camera card was full.

Then the camera battery died.

Story of my life people.

So this week I made sure to go fully empty, charged, and prepared.

And... it was freezing cold and very windy.

But that didn't matter to Savannah and Joseph! No siree-bob. It's one of the only times I can think of that they didn't wimp out of something just because they were cold.

We found some cowboy boots earlier this week and I can say without the tinyist bit of exaggeration that those two literally wore them from the moment they woke up until the time they went to bed for three days straight. 

Joseph looked awesome in his bright blue shorts, bright red shirt, and cowboy boots that first day.

Oh ya.

He even walked around saying "howdy partnah", while Savannah insisted on wearing plaid.

Hope the cowboys don't mind the stereotyping.  Haha!

So here we are in the freezing wind. Joseph leading out "his" pony: Little Red. 

And up we go!

Working on balance.

Loving every second of it.

Seriously, I haven't seen this kid smile this much in a long, long time. He L.O.V.E.S. it.

Brushing Little Red down after a nice ride.

While Joseph rides, Savannah impatiently waits for her turn on "her" horse: Gayla.

She was pretty concerned the first time about how she was going to be able to get up on the "giant horse"

Good thing stairs were invented.

Up she goes!

Also working on balance exercises.

She too loves every minute of it.

I love that both Savannah and Joseph are doing it. They talk about the horses with each other all week long.

Since we go in the middle of the day, Alayna is home from half-day kindergarten so all the kids get to come expect Jacob, who is still in school.

So while the oldest kids ride, the younger ones get to enjoys the other animals.

Jackson was mad every time I set him in the back of the car to get out of the wind.

He preferred hanging out with his pal Bess.

It's the only time he will actually stay put! He'll happily play in one spot as long as Bess is with him. Otherwise I have to carry him or his exploring leads him to taste test everything.

And since rocks and horse poop all looks the same to him right now... needless to say he doesn't get the freedom he wants.

Sometimes it's easier to see the Lord's hand in your life when you look back at how things worked out, especially when you can finally see how all the pieces fit together.

I'm so grateful that Joseph has been watched over and cared for, even when things were at their worst.


It can be a wonderful thing.

September 3, 2014

First Day of School 2014 and Other Random Things

Rabid kittens.

If I could (lovingly) describe how my children have behaved the last couple weeks, it would have to be rabid kittens.

Why? Who knows. 

I could put together a list of all the possible reasons why, but in the end it would still only result in rabid kittens.

So it was good that school started this week because it forced me to put myself back track.

Take command.

Set a routine.

Get rabies shots.

No wait....

Anyhow, yesterday was the first day of school for us.

Savannah (5th grade) and Joseph (3rd grade) are my two homeschoolers this year.

Oh, and Claira, who thinks she wants to do all the same math problems that Savannah and Joseph are doing.

I didn't know she understood Greek.

Joseph was exceptionally excited about the idea, until I came into his room at 6:30am that morning and woke him up along with everyone else.

He was under the very false impression that he would get to sleep in because he was being homeschooled.

MWAH HA HA HA! (laughed lovingly of course)

It will take us a bit to work out the bugs and figured out a good pace and schedule, but I think it will all work out.

After watching Joseph in action for just the first day, I have no doubt whatsoever that homeschooling was the right choice.

As for Jacob (2nd grade) and Alayna (Kindergarten), they were excited to head out the door!

Alayna is beyond thrilled that she "finally" gets to go to school.

In case you couldn't tell.

What is that big scab-looking thing on her face you ask? Funny you should notice such a gigantuous looking mark.

Here's what happened.

The kids were outside playing when Alayna starts screaming at the top of her lungs.

All my children have been, er... blessed *eh hem* with extremely robust local cords and strong lungs to pair them with.

With hand over cheek Alayna manages to scream out to me that she was stung by a wasp in her eye!

Obviously it wasn't in her eye, but close.

Dare I mention that I had crouched down in front of her and turned her head so I could see better? And that said screaming was done directly into my ear?

So don't think I am ignoring you. It's just that I can't hear anymore.

We immediately put on a insect bite/sting pain reliever pad from the first aid kit and I busted out my handy-dandy Melaleuca oil that I always put on the kids stings.

Yes she has been stung before and no, she is not allergic to anything mentioned above.

Yet this was the result.

Weird right? Upon closer inspection it almost looked like she had been stung twice, but I can't be sure.

The oddest thing is now that's it's been a few days, the discolored skin started to peel off, like a burn does!

In fact, by this morning she had about picked away all the discolored skin.

Strangest thing.

So now that we have veered far off the "first day of school" course, I might as well throw in a few adorable pictures of this trouble maker.

He's a crawling machine!

He tries to put everything into his mouth, including ants. (don't worry, no ants have been harmed... yet)

He's realized that standing up on his own is soooooo cool and has been trying to figure out how to move his feet after achieving that stance.

I made the mistake of mentioning to Savannah that Joseph was walking at nine months. Since Jackson is nine and a half months old she thinks he is lagging behind.

I have assured her that is not the case and he still has plenty of time.

Also, if she keeps up with her goal to make him walk before he's ten months, I will lock her away in the tallest tower and chain a dragon in front so that she will never escape!

She didn't seem too concerned.
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