My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."




Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First Soccer Game of the Season

Little Miss had her first soccer game of the season on Saturday. She scored TWO goals and her little team of Ladybugs won 4-0!

Monday, March 30, 2015

District Wrestling Championships

Last Thursday were the District Wrestling Championships. Josh had nine qualifiers! His fourth place finishers were:
His third place finisher was:
And his second place finishers were:
Finally, a picture of the wrestler that Josh calls his son:
All 60+ boys have my heart. Josh did a phenomenal job all season and it was noticed! These boys are incredible! He is proud of his high-medal placers, but he is more proud of the young men these boys became over the season. After the embrace with his heavyweight crying, he cried and so did I! I can't wait for next season! I never quite know what to do with myself when it's not wrestling season!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Love Is In The Air Up Here!

Jackson has a girlfriend. Like, he asked her to "go out" with him, so apparently it's official. She is a wrestling manager for the team. I really like her. She's a cute girl. She seems very down-to-earth and not involved in the drama that I witness every single day with these junior high kids.
This morning, I was a few minutes late to work because Kaydon had woken up EXTRA early so he was up when I was leaving. I just had to spend a few minutes loving on this gem! Every single day, this boy tells me that I'm beautiful and he loves to get squeezes from his mama. I had to just eat him up for a few minutes!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Responsibilities

Some people think that we are mean parents. He he. Our kids have responsibilities. They do not receive an allowance. He he. Our kids do their own laundry. They each have an assigned day of the week to do their laundry. They also each have a dishes day, where they are in charge of dishes. They are obviously responsible for their beds and rooms. They take out garbage, vacuum, clean bathrooms, mow lawns, and do whatever else is asked of them. Recently, they also began ironing their own Sunday shirts. It's awesome! Now, when I say they don't get an allowance, it's accurate. They do not receive an allowance, but they do get what they need. If they want to get paid, they have to ask if they can do extra work. For instance, Kaydon wanted some money. Josh had him clear out the entire garden. He he. Kaydon was stoked! He was stoked until he realized what a big job he was about it do. So, he took the lessons we have taught him regarding bartering and he hired Braxton to help him. He paid Braxton $5 of his $20. I love watching my kiddos be so big!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wrestling

Dearest People Who Hate Wrestling (RRH & Martha): Although I don't see how it is possible for one not to love the sport of wrestling, I am trying very hard to respect your opinions. You see, when Josh told me a few years ago that he was going to begin coaching wrestling, I told him that I would not be attending. This was surprising to him because I am a HUGE sports fan and a VERY big UFC fan. I told him that the leotards that the boys wore were disgusting and the fact that they role around on the mat was just not something I could get into. He promised me that after I watched one match, I would fall in love with it. Right he was! It is my favorite sport of all! That says a lot. I love the competition. I love the discipline that youth are taught through wrestling. I love the team spirit that is felt through wrestling. I love the confidence that youth receive through wrestling. I love watching those who have never wrestled before find something in themselves that they couldn't have found any other way. I have watched my own boy, my Jackson, become a different kid. He was a GREAT kid before wrestling. He is a greater kid with wrestling. I love watching my husband coach. I love the love that he has for his athletes. I love the courage it takes to get out on that mat and display everything you have learned. I love the way my husband instills all of these things in his athletes, and more importantly in his own kids. Our kids wrestle with their dad any time and any where. Below are pictures of Josh and his Kaydon wrestling on the back lawn on Saturday. Why? Just because.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Autism In Our Home - Sensory Tools

There are moments when "control" seems to slide right through our fingertips, when the ability for Colton to get a handle on his emotions, thoughts, and actions is just not a possibility. I am so thankful that we live in a time where more research is being done and more tools are being developed for these kiddos who desperately search for help. On Saturday, Colton was struggling. I pulled out the kinetic sand that Brooklyn got for her birthday, set it on the deck, and let Colton spend as long as he wanted just playing. He loved it. He was calm and content. He played with it for quite a while, and was able to gather himself and be at peace for a good amount of time. Sensory tools are so important. They help introduce texture that might otherwise be a trigger for negative reactions, they help to comfort and calm emotions that otherwise get out of hand, and they also fill periods of time that would otherwise be so difficult for everyone.

Friday, March 20, 2015

We Are Queens

Just because I needed to be reminded of this today... and always.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bruised - Not Broken

On Monday, Braxton had several moles removed and biopsied. On Monday afternoon, Brooklyn opted to catch the frisbee with her face. On Monday evening, during wrestling practice, Jackson took a knee to the eye. Monday was not awesome.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Eating Green

We celebrated St. Patty's Day on Monday night because we were all together. We had green pancakes. They were Brooklyn's idea. They were a hit! That girl can eat 6-7 pancakes! I reminded her to wear green on Tuesday to avoid the Leprachauns coming to get her. She wasn't amused.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Girl Life

Last Saturday, Brooklyn had TWO birthday parties. She was all partied out by the end of the day! She looked like she was drunk on cake and ice cream. Her eyes kept closing half way. She was cracking me up. On Monday, we walked to pick up Kaydon and Colton from school. She got herself all ready to go with her fake glasses and a popsicle. This girl has completed my life! I love seeing the world through her eyes!

Fibber

On Sunday, after church, these two played Fibber. It was epic. The end.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Autism in Our Home - Resources

I can't tell you how thankful I am that we live at a time when A) There are proper diagnostics, B) There are resources for diagnosed issues, and C) There are advocates for people like our son! I was speaking with the coordinator of the school district's Autism program. She was a wealth of information! She suggested that we buy "Social Stories." And, she suggested that we do it immediately. It's a great resource! I am actually planning to make several binders out of the pages in the book. I plan to make a binder for each "event" or "environment" so that we can take them with us to different situations.
Some of Colton's autistic characteristics include a complete lapse in remembering, and properly completing personal hygiene events. We have to remind him to shower. We have to remind him what he needs to do once he is in the shower. We have to remind him to do his laundry. We have to remind him to flush toilets, brush teeth, wash hands, etc. This is a pretty "normal" characteristic. We keep his hair buzzed because he will never, ever remember to comb it. Rather than having it cause an issue, we just keep it buzzed.
Sitting still is rough! Church is ROUGHER! However, this is a book that is written in a way that Autistic people can understand, comprehend, and appreciate. There are also several resources in the back of the book that help a parent, or teacher, etc. to create their own social stories, depending on the Autistic person's characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. We plan to make some of our own, including understanding people's feelings, wandering, stranger danger, etc.
I am so thankful for resources that are available to us to help our son navigate this world that is, at time, nearly impossible for him to live in.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Open Letter to The Girl

Dear Girl Who Broke My Son's Heart: He is in 7th grade. SEVENTH grade!! I explained to him last night that this is one of the many reasons why having a "girlfriend" is not necessary in the seventh grade. This is not something that seventh graders should have to deal with. However, he is dealing with it. The best part is that you are also a seventh grader. I was once a seventh grade girl and I'm pretty sure I was just like you. My apologies go out to everyone I knew between the 6th and 12th grades. Really, I am so sorry! Back to you - my son was pretty smitten by you. He even bought you a birthday gift for your birthday which happens to be today. However, in awesome seventh-grader fashion, you sent your friends to "break up" with him yesterday after the wrestling meet at your junior high school. Yeah, seventh graders rock! Oh, but wait - it gets better. Last night while we were eating dinner as a family, you sent one of those said friends to our house to knock on the door and tell him that you wanted him to call you. FYI, we have a landline. It's like an old-fashioned in-home, attached to walls phone. You can call there, well you could call there before this happened. Calling now probably wouldn't be a good idea. Why? Because if I answer, you and I are going to have a chat about seventh grade boundaries and etiquette. In fact, I will put Braxton on ANOTHER in-home, attached to the wall phone (yes, we have more than one. We are ancient!), and he will participate in this conversation with you and I because all seventh graders need to hear that this is just unnecessary. I'm relatively certain you should be worrying about braces, how to apply eye shadow in the most minimal amounts possible, and figuring out which Disney movie is your favorite. It is completely unnecessary for seventh graders to be in relationships. Period. I am throwing in a picture of Braxton because he's pretty dang cute, and because his mama bear is in the picture with him, which is appropriate, considering what we are dealing with here.
Anywho, having friends of both sexes is important, no matter how old you are. Having a "boyfriend" or a "girlfriend" is not important, especially not in junior high school. I know that you think that are mature and responsible. Maybe you are. I know that my son is not. I mean, don't get me wrong, he is a GREAT kid who is caring, funny, kind, compassionate, sensitive, quirky, silly, and just plain awesome. But maturity is not one of his strengths right now. In fact, it might not be for quite.some.time. This is one of the many reasons why "dating" in the seventh grade is ridiculous. How do seventh graders date anyways? You can't go anywhere unless you hop on your scooters. You don't have like a job to pay to go anywhere. Heaven knows my kids don't get an allowance. They do chores and in turn, they are provided with three meals a day! I'm getting off track again. I'm sorry. What you did was mean. But I can't really blame you because you should have never had to "break up" with him in the first place! You are children. Children do not need the responsibility of relationships. It's not necessary!! But, because you were in a "relationship" you were eventually going to break up and you did. But, the way you did it was mean. Again, this is a life lesson that would have been better learned, say 6-7 years from now. However, it happened. Two children broke up in a not nice way and this mama is not happy. My advice to you and my son (who already heard all of this from me last night): A) be a child for crying out loud, B) No relationships until you actually understand fully what that means and what it entails, C) don't send your little friends to break up with your "boyfriend. It's cold. It's immature. It's mean. It's cowardly. Do it your dang self, D) don't call my house. Ever. Most cordially, Mama Bear

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Transitions

I have a friend at work who is getting married soon. She has two grown children. Her fiance has two teenage children. His story is heartbreaking. He married, they adopted two children about three years ago, and then his wife died of cancer soon after that. She continues to ask me how Josh and I transitioned into a blended family. It's a funny question for me because I don't remember any real struggle with our "transition." It went very smooth from day one. Josh was all-in from day one. He began doing PPI's every Sunday pretty close to day one. The boys were fully aware that he loved them and cared about them and they were okay with all of that. In fact, the children were asking when we were going to get married within months of us meeting. They were ready for us to be a family immediately. They struggled greatly with only seeing Josh on the weekends. They needed him there every day.
Brooklyn was 2 when we met. Colton was 7, Kaydon 8, Braxton 9, and Jackson was 11. Our family of seven is all Brooklyn knows. Having four brothers is all she knows. Having two moms is all she knows. The children have never gone through a "transition" as far as the five of them goes. As far as the children are concerned, there are five kids in our family. No one is a "step." That is a word we do not use. If you ask the boys how many brothers and sisters they have, they will always ALWAYS include Brooklyn as their sister - no questions asked. For us, we have been incredibly blessed. We have never struggled with tough hurdles or transition pit falls. If anything, the boys have worried that Josh wouldn't always be there. They love their daddy. They know that he loves them and that he will always be there. He is all-in all of the time! Brooklyn and I have a great bond. She's my girl. Period. I love having mommy-daughter time with her. We are one family of seven.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Home Cookin'

On Saturday, I pulled out my baking goods and made two homemade loaves of white bread. It took all flipping day, which I was not expecting. The raising, then the kneading, then the mixing, then the cutting, then the raising. I was getting a wee bit impatient, but I made it through and so did the bread and it was SO good!!! Josh and the kids were quite proud of me. I was too! Then, Sunday I made a loaf of banana bread. It was gone in minutes. I am becoming domestic, People!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dear Yoshua

Dear Yoshua- I really like calling you Yoshua. There is not specific reason why I like to call you that, I just do. Anywho... Last night, we had a date! Like, without kids. Weird, I know. After wrestling practice and before my hair appointment, we got a burger together. And a Diet Coke. Duh. Anywho... we mostly talked about the kids because that's what we do, but we were alone. Together. Alone and together. It was awesome. Then, I went and got my hair done. And I held Baby Brooklyn. Duh. Anywho... when I got home and climbed into bed, you wrapped your arms around me and stuck one of your ear phones into my left ear. Then, we listened to your Pandora stream. It was completely and totally awesome. Then, we watched wrestling videos on your phone. It was completely and totally awesome. I really, really like you. A lot. The end. Photos are just a few throw-back photos because they make me happy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Paint me Pretty

Last night, Little Miss wanted her toes and fingers painted. I obliged. We did Easter colors. THEN, she wanted to paint my fingers. I bite my nails - always have - so painting my nails is a bit tricky. She painted my nails, my finger tips, the kitchen table... you get the idea. As I was cleaning up the above-referenced nails, finger tips, and kitchen table, Josh came downstairs and began preparing a concoction of goodness. He then put tape on my fingers and began to do his magic. My nails are WAY better than yours!!!! This guys is SO creative and talented. He is super craftsy and a bit girly... and SO comfortable with all of it! He painted my nails so pretty, then it was Brooklyn's turn. SO fun!