Thursday, November 18, 2010

Important Stuff

Last night, over dinner, Carsten announced to us in a very serious tone that "God told me to not show anyone my privates." He was so serious and not at all joking that I just looked at Josh and we both said to him, "ok!" Then, he adds on, "especially not when dancing!" Where does this kid come up with this stuff?

I think I mentioned before that I was trying to come up with a way to get Tyrus to want to read and enjoy books? Well, I decided that for every 30 minutes he reads a non-school book, he will get to play on the computer the next day for that same amount of time. He's loving the new challenge and logged in an hour today.

My sister took Alexis to a Fancy Nancy Story Hour tonight. The kids got to dress up in all their fancy duds. While she was gone, I got to keep my nephew. He's cutie. It seems like the girls had fun.

A few items of note

We are beginning week #9 of homeschooling tomorrow. I am really loving it so far. I have found that it's brought a lot of calm and peace to our house. Not that stress doesn't still like to show it's nasty face sometimes, but we don't have the constant rant in the morning about "hurry, the bus is almost here!"

The kids seem to have settled into a routine as well. This past week was our best yet, and I think a lot of that was because we're all getting more accustomed to how this whole thing works. I am better prepared in all aspects, and have worked a lot of the kinks out. The kids seem to know what to expect more and are seeming to enjoy it.

Here's a few updates about each kid:

Alexis. She seems to be doing great in math, but gets annoyed with it every day. Actually, that's how she is with all subjects, except writing and art. She would write and paint all day if I let her, but she gets really testy with me when I have her work on reading, or math. She's doing just fine in both of those subjects though! She's actually ahead of where she needs to be with reading, but she still groans when we pull the books out. Oh well. Hopefully soon, she'll be over the hump of sounding out a lot of words and will just begin simply reading. That will be nice!

In other news, she was recently filled with the precious and awesome gift of the Holy Ghost! This is something she's wanted for a while but has been a bit nervous to get it! Finally, she pressed through and got to experience this wonderful gift. She got baptized on Halloween as well. Love that!

Tyrus. After a lot of review work, he's finally now working in his main 3rd grade math book. For a while at the beginning, it didn't seem like he was confident with basic facts for + /-, so we took a few weeks and just really zoned into those areas. Now, he's comfortably moving on to multiplication.

The kid is a whiz at reading. He's almost finished reading The Swiss Family Robinson, that he just started. He only reads when I ask him to though, he's not really reading just for pleasure yet. I'm trying to think of ways to get him to do that...?

He did something SO STUPID this week and I was so upset I couldn't even think straight. I was just shocked that he'd acted this way that I grounded him from the TV and computer for one week. (BTW, he asked that I promise him I wouldn't tell what he did...) This week has been nice, actually, and he's been very gracious about finding other things to do. I actually like it when he can't use those items.

We recently started Bible Quizzing and he and Alexis are doing a great job! So far, they've memorized the complete first chapter of 1 Thessalonians and are on verse 9 of the second chapter!

Carsten. This kid is a trip. He's really, really, really into letters and the sounds they make. The other day, at the doctor's office, he pointed out (unprompted) the entire word at the bottom of his new book - SCHOLASTIC. Just out of the blue he says "S. C. H. O. L. A. S. T. I. C." The doctor stops talking to me and looks at him and says, "can you do that again?!" And sure enough, he did. Little smarty pants.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Well, we lost little Samson on October 23rd. He was surrounded by his mother and father, who laid on the bed next to him, and lots of anties and uncles and grandparents. My family sang songs and prayed as he was unhooked from the breathing machine and left this world behind.

Being 1100 miles away I knew that we needed to go, but we had so many obsticles that it was looking like we weren't going to be able to. Thankfully, after a lot of effort, we were able to go. Me and my two sisters and my kids and one nephew took my ILs van and drove straight through to be there for the servies and to see all the family.

Funerals are hard, but they are especially hard when it's for a baby. Samson lived 111 short days and in that time, his life touched many. My uncle, who lives in CA, read the obituary. He read the official one, and then read the "real" one. He said things like, "although Samson didn't speak much, and was a Denver Broncos fan, he secretly rooted for the San Francisco Giants" and "because Samson knew he wouldn't be here on Election Day, he'd already put in his absentee ballot and voted for..." and then named some CO canidates. It was an amusing moment in the midst of such sadness.

I brought a few tissues with me to the service, and I didn't use one - because, Tyrus and Alexis used them all. Tyrus was litterally SOBBING at one point next to me. Not fun.

We did commemorate his life at the funeral by letting 111 blue balloons go at the same time. It was such a powerful representation of how brief his life really was. One moment he was here, and the next he was gone.

After the burial service, we went to my grandparents house and had a big dinner. That actually was my favorite part of the whole trip. It was SO nice to get and talk with my family (some of which I haven't seen since my wedding 10 years ago) and just relax and laugh about silly stuff that had happened years before. Carsten had never even been there once, and so it was neat for him to get to meet all these family members that he never knew before. That day was really healing for all of us, I think, and I really didn't want to see it end. But, we had to come back home, so toward evening, we packed the van and drove the 20 hours straight back to MI.

I did get to see him in his tiny white casket. He was heavily made up, but he still looked like such a sweet little "life like" doll. He had on a little hat and he just looked so very sweet. Rest in peace little prince. You will never be forgotten.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I have a lot to update about but I can't even wrap my brains around any sort of normalicy right now. My dear sweet aunt who is only 5 years older than me is losing her baby boy right now. Samson was born with Ds and a holey heart, and had surgery on Sept 7th to repair his heart. He's never recovered and is now trending downward... The doctors have told her there's nothing more they can do for him.

She's taking it all with grace and such resolve. I cannot even fathom the depths of dispair she must be feeling, because I know how I am feeling.

I've never met him. I live too far away. And now, if he does die, how on earth can I NOT go out to be with my family who lives 1100 miles away? You're supposed to vacation for fun reasons not tragic ones.

My heart hurts.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nine? Or Ten?

Carsten said a funny thing to me tonight:

"Momma, the story said I have ten fingers and ten toes. That's not right! I counted and I only have nine!" Okay, then.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dear Carsten

Carsten turned 4 yesterday!

Here is his birthday letter:

October 8th, 2010

Dear Carsten,

So today, you turn four. It’s amazing to me to think that you are the age now that Tyrus was when you were born. I am continually flabbergasted by how quickly time goes by, and the fact that you are now four years old just confirms that to me all the more.

This has been a big year for you! Last year, on your third birthday, you were still wearing diapers and had absolutely no interest in learning to use the big boy potty. But, I am happy to report that now, as a four year old, you are potty trained! Yay! We are still working to stay dry over night, and I am confident that will come soon, but in the mean time, you are doing a great job during the day! I am so proud of you!!! Yippee!

You are learning your ABCs and can count up really, really high! I don’t even know how high, but it seems higher than it should be for your age! You love to color and play with play-doh. Curious George, The Cat In The Hat and Tom & Jerry are still high on your list of loves, too. Reading stories is always a good thing and anything to do with Turtle Ninjas is great too. Recently, you’ve camped out in your big brother’s room a few times and you thought that was so cool! Aunt Stephanie got you a Turtle Pillow Pet for your birthday and you are hooked! Every night, you lay down and listen to a tape of stories – usually ones read by your Grandma Karen.

I do have to say that you are a feisty kid! You want things the way you want them, and you don’t like it when I tell you “no!” You say, “but momma, hear the whole thing!” when you are trying to convince me of something. You are still very picky with food, but I am excited to note that you tried pineapple the other day and, in your words, you “chewed up two pieces!” Yay! Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, bananas, peas, chicken nuggets, milk and yogurt are some favorites. Most things meaty you turn your nose up to, with the exception of ground meat. I’m not sure if you’re turning into a vegetarian on us or what?!

You also learned how to go into the pool with just your swimmies on your arms this summer! That was so cool when you realized you were tall enough to touch the bottom with your feet and stand up! You are getting so big!

I love you so much, Carsten. You bring light and life to our household. I cannot imagine what our life would have been like without you and I feel so very blessed and fortunate that God decided to have you come and be part of us. Your daddy and I love you so much.

Happy birthday, bud!

Love, Momma

Friday, September 24, 2010


We had a fun day today. We got all of our school work done this morning and then headed over to our local greenhouse to go to a Kid Petting Zoo. There were all kinds of animals there, and the kids had a fun time petting them. Carsten was a bit skiddish with them at first, but warmed up after finally touching a soft bunny. After that, we made a scarecrow out of clothes we brought. It was cool.