Archive for February, 2015

February 27, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Ellie!

Time seems to keep flying by. It’s hard to believe you are almost halfway through elementary school and nearing the end of the single digits.

This year you showed a lot of perseverance, one of the core values of our family. Initially, it was honoring your requests to pray for second grade and the difficulties you were having with your teacher and your desire to be challenged more. We admire the courage and maturity you’ve demonstrated having to endure a less than ideal situation. As much as we are tempted to rescue you from the situation, we have all learned a lot as we push through. We also saw your perseverance in sticking with soccer for five seasons and finally scoring a goal last fall. In fact, once you got started, you scored a few more goals during the season. Though you have ultimately decided not to do soccer this spring, you worked hard to improve every season and you never gave up. What sweet joy it was for all of us to see you get that hard-earned goal.

This year you began classes at the Children’s Theatre and we have been delighted to see how much you enjoy them. Since you are generally timid, we appreciate the skills theatre allows you to build. Spatial and building projects, writing (especially on the computer), crafts, sewing, and cooking are your other passions.

This past year was also the year that Waypoint started, and it has been a gift to see how you have embraced the community as your own. You have been a kind friend to Sophie, and have helped lead the other children spiritually. You designed a worksheet for the students so they could follow along with the sermon, and you greet people each week and make them nametags.

Your spiritual life has really taken root and you have taken on the personal responsibility to pray and read the Bible on your own. You challenged yourself to try to read the Bible daily in 2015. You have a deep love for God and you are drawn to seeking out what would please God. You are well aware of the tendency we all have to put other things ahead of God and you frequently like to pray for those that don’t know Him.

For mom, the major highlights are the times we spend together. Playing games, skiing, reading devotionals before school and novels before bed are such wonderful memories. Reading the Penderwick novels together has been precious. It’s such a great way to close the day having shared smiles, laughter, and discussions about what has happened and what we think will happen next.

We never take for granted what a gift it is to be your parents. You are one of the greatest gifts in our lives and we love you beyond what we could imagine. Enjoy this year!

Mommy and Daddy


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One of the major highlights of this year has been the wonderful school experience the boys have had. Their very experienced, energetic, and creative teacher has given us one of our best-ever preschool years.

Their recent teacher conference may be the most indicative of who they are right now (as well as the caliber of teacher they have).

James, as we have seen every year, has a way of charming the teachers. She appreciates his sensitive and sweet side. He is very aware of others’ feelings and tries to keep the peace. The teacher also noted that James struggles to figure out what he wants to do, what his friends want to do, and what will get him in trouble. I appreciate that he is thoughtful in his decision-making even when he doesn’t make the “right” choice. As we see at home, James is not the best at following directions. He is not very motivated to clean up and put away toys. As the teacher stated, this is a maturity issue, not a defiance issue. What I was surprised to learn is how much James excels in math. He often gets a little out-shined by his brothers. The teacher noted a recent time where he figured out he could not only count by 2s and 10s to get to 20, but also by 5s and 4s. James was delighted to learn that she had told me that story and that she thinks he is kind. He has repeated both to me several times, saying, “Wasn’t that good?”

Jack excels in tactile, building projects. The downside to this is that he doesn’t like to share and he gets angry when anybody tries to interfere with his creations. We see this at home. I can empathize with him even if I do wish for the benefit of his social interactions that he was a little less rigid in this area. The teacher has observed that he knows his stuff, but he often rushes through because he’d rather play than do the “work” side of school. He sees no need to flaunt what he knows. She was most impressed by his ability to construct letters using the Geoboard and rubber bands in record time. He has the spatial skills to know how to switch from one letter to another without deconstructing the whole thing. For example, he started with “E,” and figured out to easily make “F,” “L,” and “U” by turning the board or removing only one band. He clearly doesn’t get this skill from me. He is a silly dude who is also very sweet.

Thomas she described as a model student. He learns things quickly and loves to learn. He will also help others as they learn. He loves to find a challenge and bring his friends along with him to solve it, like with puzzles. She was surprised by how much he gravitates toward art, as usually kids with concrete thinking (and strong sports/physical skills) don’t lean toward the arts. He sounds kind of annoying and obnoxious, doesn’t he? That’s what his sister would say!

All three were encouraged to work on upper body strength. As I know from meeting with some OTs, this leads to increased fine motor skills. Hopefully some wheelbarrow races, tree climbing, and baseball this spring will help.

My final thought is to share some favorite moments of the last few months. James has been so sweet and kind and he loves to give me hugs and request hugs. He has also taken an interest in Savannah and likes to make sure she’s fed and petted sufficiently. He has a growing tenderness and sensitivity that really makes me smile. He is also a great sports fan. It has been fun watching football with him and seeing how invested he is in his favored teams (Panthers and Broncos) winning.

Jack has matured in many ways. He’s made some rapid advances with his speech therapy and I can see the confidence it has given him. He also likes to be helpful and shows responsibility. He will usually do what I ask him to do and even comes up with ways to serve the family (like emptying lunchboxes) without being asked. I’m also encouraged that he’s been more expressive and affectionate and also more interested in interacting with his brothers. He still likes his time alone, but it doesn’t feel like he excludes himself in ways he might have before.

Thomas is an incredible ball of energy. He goes ALL day long and then crashes in an instant. His zest for life is most evident these days in his ball playing…usually football. He has quite an arm and will ask any willing person to play catch with him. He even found a girl on the playground who showed a slight interest in football and he patiently taught her the basics. Ask Thomas any of the scores from the Panthers’ games this season and chances are he knows it. Thomas can challenge me because I like things quiet and he is anything but that. He recently narrated an entire game of War while we played. He said ten words to my one. These aren’t bad traits to have, but I need to take mom breaks! Thomas has noticed James and Jack being more intentional about showing and wanting affection from me. So, he has created his own game of getting a hug from me. These boys can even turn hugging into a competition.

I truly love this stage with these three special boys!










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