You were tiny once. Tiny in my hands, in your bouncer, in your onsie. 

You used to fit in the kitchen sink to play. 

You toddled around, little.

You looked up with big, unknowing, trusting eyes. 

You were so small it took you longer and sweeter even to blink. 

You chewed like you were little. 

Your fingers were stubby and so much fun to watch navigate the new-to-you world. 

Your voice was tiny. 

Your shoes and socks fit on my two fingers. 

You sat in a backward facing car seat, and until today, always a five point harness. 

You rode in the front of shopping carts. 

You checked with me before... everything. You weren't so sure. 

You held the wall when you walked down stairs, 
and startled a little before you turned to look at something loud or fast. 

You didn't care if I put you in jeans and nikes, 
or if your hair product dried like glue or not. 

You didn't say, "i can do it myself".

You didn't bring me letters that read, 
"com to my pijama perty at 5:40. bring your pijemas". 

We couldn't lay together talking for hours at night. 
You didn't know enough to tell me what you thought of 
life, death, dreams, stars, God, me or yourself.

You couldn't have been left at home alone if I walked across the street to visit the neighbor. 

You didn't make your own breakfast if I wasn't out of bed when you woke.

You couldn't read the Bible to me in the mornings. 

You didn't chose your worship songs or ask me what they meant.

You never washed windows or emptied dishwashers or fed pets 
or started and finished your own showers or recorded your own shows on TV 
or figured out how to call someone back on a cell phone 
or picked out your own clothes 
or ordered your kiddie cocktails at the bar in restaurants... 

You just weren't this big and ready and full of ideas and plans. 

But you have always been my baby boy,
and you always will be.

And today, you are six years old!!!

Six years ago began the best years of our lives.

We are so grateful to God for you. 

Happy Birthday Big Boy. 

I can't wait to see what He has for us this year! 


Hamster Time

This is Pebbles...

or is it Ralph?

Who can keep up with all the name changes around here?

You asked us for a mouse or a hamster for months.
I told you about a ten times that if you could take care of it yourself
and you still wanted one "next month" you could get one then. 

I could only hold you off for so long. :)

Jay came over early on a Saturday to join us
on our hamster getting extravaganza.

At the pet store, you selected the sweetest, tiniest, 
miniature, dwarf gerbil I've ever seen.   

We bought him a race car that he runs himself, 
as well as a rolling ball. 
So far, you play with him all the time,
AND take perfect care of him.

And so, we have a hamster.
and a cat. and two dogs. and some fish... :)



You lost your first tooth on the afternoon of September 22, 2011! 

I pulled it out for you, and you skyped with your Daddy at work 
right away to show him the missing tooth gap. 

You said to me, 

"Mom, I know the tooth fairy isn't real, but do you think if I 
put my tooth under my pillow tonight there might be 
somethin' special for me in the morning!?"

I assured you that Mommy and Daddy are way better than any old tooth fairy. 
We put your tooth in a little envelope, 
and you tucked it right under your pillow.

After you went to sleep I pulled out your envelope, 
replaced your tooth with a five dollar bill 
and put a new toy from How to Train Your Dragon into a gift bag. 
Then, I left you home with Sarita while I snuck down to 
the gas station to load up on treats to throw in with it.  

You were one happy boy in the morning.

And the tooth right next to the missing one
is SO loose it's not even in the right place.

We should have another any day now!


A Little School Update:

On Wednesdays we are supposed to have the day "off" 
from text books and worksheets for school. 
We are supposed to use the day to explore God's Creation in the world.

Due to your current schedule of Tuesday co-op
and Friday fitness, we don't often have the luxury of 
using Wednesday as a "free exploration" day.

We do, however, make a point to get outside and get into it 
whenever possible throughout the week.

We've turned over just about everything we could find
to discover all the creatures and eggs below.
We've collected caterpillars who've gone into
cocoons and never come out.

We also did the above worm activity/experiment/observation.
It was fun to collect them and put them in the jar with layers of sand and soil.  
It was even more fun to watch them worm their way through the layers
leaving their hole-trails along the sides of the jar. 

You made clay and formed a jar and lid with it for your mini scrolls. 

And even your Daddy has been joining in on the fun
with rocket building and launching,
and doing experiments out of your science book
with you on the weekends. 

This toothpick experiment was AWESOME. 
When you put the drop of water in the center, all the toothpicks 
spread apart like magic! 

We found this old clock from your nursery that had no numbers on it.
We took it apart and made a new insert for it out of blank paper.

You created your own numbers and art on the paper
and we glued it onto the face.
It hangs in your room and is the cutest clock I've ever seen

This week you learned how many books there are in the Old
and the New Testament of the Bible. 

We gathered the same amount of our own separate books
and stacked them high next to your Bible.
We talked about the reasons the Bible isn't as thick as the book pile.
You really liked the hands on and visual learning of this activity.

We are staying as hands on as possible, with cooking,
creating, building, experimenting, exploring, etc...

So far this year has been nothing but fun. 
Not a moment of stress or concern.

We both LOVE school! :)


nap time?

One day last week, you were upstairs after school... so quiet. 
I snuck up to see what you were doing, and I found you 
sleeping on the bridge just like this. 
I tucked you into a blanket and you stayed like this for 4.5 hours!!! 

You must have really needed to catch up on some sleep! 


On First Grade

Last year, our first couple of days of school were a real struggle. We were learning our lesson the hard way that you weren't quite ready for first grade yet. Even though you had completed a school year of preschool followed by a year of kindergarten, and met all the cognitive requirements for first grade, your age and maturity were obviously making things difficult for you.

We made the decision early to abandon first grade all together, and create an advanced Kindergarten II for you instead.

I'm so glad we gave you that extra year to grow. The time has made all the difference. The concepts that went over your head in the first couple of days of last year now make perfect sense to you.

Things like "best hand writing", the first grade introduction to the Bible, science experiments, and understanding history are all right up your alley, now. I can see the information being absorbed as the little lights go on opening up new ideas and questions.

This time around you are soaking things in, really understanding and enjoyed the learning. Even when you have a "break" you go off to do things that are so much more school than play.

I know we made the right decision last year, and we're all the better off for it this year.
School really IS fun! :)


Hands On - Colored Sand

I don't know how long this will last,
but for some reason I have great motivation and ideas 
for maintaining a half traditional/half hands on lesson plan this year.

I've always liked the idea in theory, 
but I've experienced that it is definitely easier said than done.
We'll see if I can pull it off for 1st grade. 

Our first hands on learning lessons so far proved to be a great success. 

Colored Sand

We gathered everything needed for our "recipe". 

cheese grater
ziplock baggies
sidewalk chalk

You grated each color of sidewalk chalk into a bowl.

Then you poured the chalk dust into separate ziplock bags.

Finally you mixed the sand and chalk dust together in the sealed bags.

Our sand was a little wet, so we laid them out in the sun to dry.

And along with the math and science we used to create colored sand 
we are looking forward to using our creation to make sand art next week! 


1st Day of 1st Grade

You really weren't thrilled about school starting today. 
You've had some complaining and grumbling the past couple of days 
anytime anyone mentioned first grade or school in general.

You let me take cute "first day" photos, I think mostly because you saw 
Sarita do it before I drove her to her first day this mornings.

You ate, dressed and joined me for a fun little "jump into the day with Jesus" exercise. 
Then we headed up to start school. When we sat at your desk you looked so unhappy. 
I said, "I promise you when you finish your day today, you will be so happy with school 
that you won't be able to wait to start tomorrow."

I know that you were thinking first grade would be just like kindergarten, 
and you were not looking forward to returning to those old routines, workbooks, songs, activities, etc...

Sure enough, we weren't half way through today's schedule and I could tell you were having fun. 
You love the "big boy" things you get to do. 
Especially adding your finished work to the new cork board for display.

I asked you before our halfway break if you liked first grade after all... 
you laughed in disbelief and said, "Yes, I really do!"

Your first day went so well, and I'm so happy for you!