Elf - Night Two

This morning, we woke up to find Mr. Spark Fredo the Elf
sitting at the kitchen table...

mid-game with some of his new house pals.

Of course, none of them were moving anymore,

but it was pretty clear to see what kind of moving they had done 
throughout the night, playing Payday.

Sparky was winning by a long shot.
It looked like one of his friends was beaming him
with his Cheerio snacks.

Another one of his friends was making a big crumbly mess of his own.

You and I cleaned things up, 
and then helped ourselves to a game,

and some leftover snacks.

You're letters to Elf each night have been adorable. 
I will have to copy them and post them here, too. 

So happy about this Elf stuff.


The Decked Deck

I'm a little behind on this post. 
We decked the deck awhile ago, but I hadn't taken pictures, 
so... no blogging without the best part.  

I can't believe it took us so long to think of decorating the deck for you. 

The whole back of the house is windows, 
so you can see it all from almost everywhere in the house. 

It was so fun to pick out all the stuff and set it up with you. 
And everything plugs right into the screen room, so until I get a timer set up for it all, 
we don't even have to freeze to start and stop the show.

I especially love the penguin family we picked out. 
A mommy, daddy and son. Just like us.

You love your deer with the moving head. 
And we were able to put our two extra artificial trees to good use. 

You're a little nervous these days to play on the ground level in the yard 
because of the neighbor dog's recent terrorist visit, again,
but if I block off the stairs so your dogs can't go down and Zeus can't come up, 
you will play on the deck for hours. 
Good thing it's a big deck. :)

It's cute to see you out there among your little winter wonder land, 
making snowmen, and eating snow with your pups.

It's super sweet to see you and your Apple watching the
scene from the windows at night, too. :)

Spark Fredo Elf - Night One

You're letter to Sparky must have been quite convincing, 
because he agreed it was a great idea to start the fun a few days early. 
I think he was just as excited as you were.

This morning we found him in A NEW CHRISTMAS TREE in your room. 

He had a big needle and a tiny ball of yarn he must have used 
to stitch the hooks to TONS of new cat toys 
for you to decorate the tree with. 

There were also three strands of colored lights just waiting to be strung up. 
He even brought you a candy cane! 

What great fun! 

You loved starting your morning with a little tree trimming.

Your new tree is a nice upgrade to the 1.5 foot tree 
you've been using in your room for years. 

I really like this Elf business. 
Even I can't wait to get to sleep tonight 
so I can see what he has in store for us you tomorrow morning! 

Happy sleeping, little one.


Elf on a Shelf

Today, we did school early. 
Then we went to the Weidner Center Theater to see the play Frindle. 
We just bought the book and the audio version, 
and listened to the story yesterday. 
It's a great tale, but honestly, I fell asleep during the reading, and the play...
I guess I'm more tired than I thought. :) 

After the play, we went to the Olive Garden, per your request. 
You enjoyed your usual spaghetti sandwiches. 

Then we went to Cold Stone for some desert. 
It's been a while. 

After Cold Stone we headed to Target for a few little odds and ends, 
but most importantly, our Elf on a Shelf! 
With everything you have been through in these past six months, 
we feel it is high time you indulge in some pure, unadulterated, 
all out, good old fashioned, seven year old kid fun! 

And so we are doing the Elf on a Shelf 
for the first time in any of our lives. 
Apparently, it's an age old "tradition". 
I think it might be something a little newer 
that's just being marketed that way. 
But whatever it is, it's cute, entertaining, whimsical, 
festive, and really super fun! 

Of course, we knew you wouldn't be into the whole 
"the elf goes to the north pole each night to tell santa 
if the kids in the house were naughty or nice that day", 
since we don't do santa. 
And since we don't need to make up a reason 
why you should behave better, 
we made up our own rules to the Elf on a Shelf.

I told you that you would be adopting an elf- 
that everything about him was going to be just pretend,
 like when we play in the woods, 
and we are NOT to talk about it any other way once we found our elf. 

I explained that we never know what kind of elf we will get. 
He could be sneaky, silly, giving, naughty, etc... or any combination. 
I told you that he will not move in front of you, 
but he will know it the minute you are sleeping, 
and only during those times he will move on his own.

I said that each morning you will wake up 
and find things he has done in the night, 
and you will even find him with a gift, a message, a treat, a project, 
or sometimes a big mess for you to clean up! :)

You were hesitant about the whole thing at first (no surprise), 
but we don't care. 
We are going to go all out and just make sure that 
you get comfy being a kid, and enjoying this 
fun little treat throughout December. 

So at the store, you picked out your elf. 
You named him yourself: Spark Fredo. 
And I was happy to see that you really were kind of excited. 

Right before you went to bed you begged that we would 
PLEASE let Spark Fredo Elf start moving before December 1st. 
You wanted to begin the excitement immediately. 
I explained that it was none of our business. 
The rules are the rules, and you would have to talk to Spark about it. 

You went running into the living room, pulled the Elf off the shelf 
and whispered in his face. 
Then you hugged him and put him back on the shelf. 
It was adorable. 

I remembered what the woman in the store told us 
about how here kids write to their elf all the time. 
And I reminded you that it might be a good way 
to communicate with Spark Fredo, 
just incase he can't hear when you aren't sleeping. 

You wrote him a big long letter asking him to start NOW, 
and giving him instructions on just what you wanted him to do. 

After I read to you and tucked you in tonight, 
you pulled me in and said, "Mom... I love you." 
(this is the first time you have said those words at all in a very long time) 
I cried, thanked and congratulated you on breaking through. 
You smiled and said, "well, I do." 

I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure I've heard some 
tiny elf-like clunking around the house since I climbed in bed to write this post. 
I sure hope Spark Fredo decided to start his mischef making 
a couple days early after all! :)       
I can't wait to find out!

I love you, too, 
my sweet seven year old boy.


Monday Monday

Today we did school. You only have three days of school this week, but we will be doing assessment testing during those three days, so we are taking it easy. We are focussing mainly on history, because it is Thanksgiving week, and your history happens to have us lined up perfectly with the very first Thanksgiving in America. 

You finished your second grade spelling program two weeks ago, and we are in the second week of your third grade program. We switched to Excellence in Spelling, and it is TOUGH. But I love it, and you did amazing for the first week. As always, I'm learning all kinds of things I never knew. 

After school you had your meeting with your counselor. You were pleased as punch when your hour was over and you came out to present your homework for the week. :) So cute. 
You are gaining so much from all of this. And although, you have your struggles sometimes feeling different or unusual, you really are so amazing and smart. Your counselor and I agree that there is no way you could have gotten yourself to the place you are if your mind wasn't extraordinary. I wish you could see that. 

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed that I'm the one who's responsible for someone like you. And then I remind myself that God is the One doing all of this, and He is the One taking care of you, even in the many places I fail.

After counseling we went to pick out some fun decorations for the deck. I promised you that we could "deck" the deck for Christmas this year. 

We have lights, a moving deer, and a giant inflatable penguin family of three... you, me and your Dad. So sweet. We will probably put one of our artificial Christmas trees out there with lots of lights, too! 

When we got home from the store we got in our jams, threw our blankets in the dryer to heat them up, made dinner, and brought it all to my bed for our Monday night movie. We ended up renting the last of the Narnia series. It was good, but I'm really just in this for the snuggling, and that was out of this world! 

It's been super nice out lately, for mid-november, and tomorrow is sporting a high of 54 degrees. I'm thinking it will be the perfect weather to get the decking. Can't wait! :) 


A Big Thursday

Today, you and I went to the weidner center to see a Berenstien Bears play. It was SO cute. After the play we went to Cousin Michael's school where Nana picked you and Michael up. She took you to lunch and to Appleton to see a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit. After that, you went back to her place for a sleep over. 

When I spoke with you at 6:30p, you had played football outdoors, taken a bath, eaten dinner and were about to watch a movie and have a slumber party in the living room with Cousin. :) 

Such a big fun day for you! 

I rode Gwin, baked, went to a fellowship meeting at the Ps' house, and am now home to unwind with a good movie and a warm Frank. 

You will be home at 9:30a. I can't wait to see your cuteness! 


Cat Condo - Check!

I took this last week away from the computer. 
THANKFULLY, finally, it was so hard not to be able to write here for you. 
I think I've actually gotten my blogging groove back. 

We really didn't have anything super cool happen this week. 
We stayed at our friends' house up the way. 
They went to Belize for the week and left their dogs and teenagers to us. 
We mostly just spent the afternoons and nights there, 
returning to our house once the kids were off to school in the mornings. 

We did mix up our own school schedule a little. 
Rather than doing each of the five main classes once a day, 
we did a weeks worth of only one class each day. 
For example, Monday was an all Science day, Tuesday, all Language Arts, etc... 
I loved it. 
You didn't understand why it didn't amount to you earning a week off of school. ??? 

The highlight of your week was most definitely the awaited arrival of your dream cat condo. 

Yes, you really got it!!! And you paid for it with your own money 
(your Dad and I agreed to pay the shipping cost for you). 
It is awesome, and Mea loves it almost as much as you do.

Frank is SO nearly entirely potty trained, 
I cut the knuckle on my right hand into a flap with a mandoline, 
and Christmas plans, decorations and music are fast filling up the space that 
should be dedicated to Thanksgiving. 
hot cocoa,
and even SNOW...
I can not wait!