Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Week 3: School

Today during school we practiced writing all the letters we've learned so far (B, F, M) in a tray full of rice. I have to say it was a huge hit with the kids. Wyatt practiced drawing circles and then hopped down to practice plugging things into the electrical outlet! Yikes! So far, that has been the most challenging part of homeschooling: trying to keep Wyatt occupied with something and well supervised! We pulled out the play dough after all of our "work" and Wyatt played with it for a long time before he started trying to eat it. He was just trying to get some attention AND he was hungry for lunch! So we quit and had lunch!
If you talk to Brendan on the phone, be sure to ask him about his "memory verse". He loves reciting it to people!
PS. Be sure to scroll down and read about our good news!
I'll give you a hint: (Sold!)

Silly boys!

Sometimes these 2 get sooo goofy! I tried to capture a little of the shenanigans (sp?) on camera. I would like to point out the full body shot of Brendan. This morning I told Brendan to go get dressed. Normally he dresses himself, but I usually pull out something for him to wear. This morning I just let him do it. I really didn't know what he would choose (remember, we don't have dressers, just some piles and a small wire thing that has a few small drawers). Anyway he came out with a cute, blue striped polo shirt that he got for his birthday and a little pair of gray shorts that are size 12-18 months! Those shorts are too small for Wyatt. They were so tight, they could have been underwear. I started bustin' up laughing and he started laughing too. I told him to go get some other shorts, those were too small. He came back with another little pair of shorts that are about too small for Wyatt too, but weren't nearly so tight. I just said, "Fine, those'll work. Let's go!" What can I say, I guess he likes short shorts!

Enjoy the pics!

Monday, September 24, 2007


Finally! We have an official buyer for our house in Shelton! First round of papers have all been signed. I have to admit it is somewhat bitter-sweet, but what a burden has been lifted! Closing date is in about a month, but the buyers are tying to move it up....which is fine with us! Just keep praying everything goes as planned. I'm going to start house-hunting again!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Wyatt!

Tuesday was Wyatt's 2nd birthday! He requested a "Thomas" Birthday cake, but believe it or not, we couldn't find much Thomas birthday stuff. He happily chose a train cake which, as you can see, he shoveled into his mouth with both hands (2 pieces).

We decided to have his birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. His Phoenix friends came and celebrated with us. The kids basically ran back and forth from games/rides to Rand who stayed in control of the tokens. I think they used 50 of them and they played for over 2 hours!!!

The kids had a blast and they slept great that night...so did we. Whew! Birthday parties are hard work!

Oh, by the way, the cake took 2 tries (my first one split in half while it was cooling) and I spent 5 hours baking and decorating it. The frosting, obviously took the longest! It was fun and very tasty!!!

Happy Birthday Wyatt!

Friday, September 14, 2007

5 Months

Today marks the 5 month anniversary since Willie died. Five months later and that is still really hard to say, hear, read or even write. I actually just paused for a minute after the word "since" trying to decide how to say it so it wouldn't make me feel so sick to my stomach. It's weird how after 5 months I can't decide if the time has gone by fast or slower than ever. On one hand I really can't believe it's been 5 months. It seems like it just happened yesterday. The last time I saw Willie feels like just days ago. On the other hand it kind of feels like years have gone by. The time has dragged on in a way. The feeling of sadness lingers and every day feels hard and I have to live so much more "intentionally" minute by minute.
That being said, I think I'm "living" a little bit better day by day. Part of me doesn't want to get better. I want to be sad and suffer because I don't want to forget him and I don't want to not miss him. BUT, I am definitely functioning better than I was a few months ago. I still feel unsettled, having moved far away and not having a home yet, but I'm learning to lean on other things instead of the things I have typically leaned on for security and comfort. I'm learning a whole new way of trusting God and although I'm nowhere near a place where I can say, "I've learned this or that..." I'm aware that I'm learning and that God is changing me and my whole family. It is true that we will never be the same. Nothing will and that is a major part of the grief. Everything is different. I'm starting to anticipate and "look forward" (in a way) to being changed and molded into something "new". I'm starting to lean into the idea that God wants to use all the tragedy and sadness to refine me and bring about healing.
It's been 5 months. Sometimes I'm fine. Sometimes I'm not fine. Most of the time, I don't have a lot of "reserve"...if you know what that means. I still have shorter patience and a lot of unpredictable depressed times. BUT, I have happy times too. ALWAYS I will love my brother. ALWAYS I will miss him. ALWAYS I will look forward to seeing him again.
I still can't believe this has happened, to be honest. It seems so crazy and not real.

Everything has changed. It is all still changing. I simply grab hold to the one thing that will never change and allow Him to carry me (or push me) when I don't think I can go forward anymore. Someday we'll meet again, my brother and I, and we will hug and cry and never let go. And all the sadness will be gone.

Monday, September 10, 2007

First Day of School

Since our move it has been really hard establishing a routine or planning very far into the future because with every weekend we think maybe we will get word that our wait is over and our house has sold. With that news we can finally decide where we are going to live and hopefully get plugged in (kids activities, mom groups, etc.) As fall quickly approached I was having a REALLY hard time deciding what to do with Brendan. He's 4 now. Time for school. All of his friends here were signed up for preschool by the middle of summer and I was really torn whether to enroll him, have him skip this year, or start homeschooling. Part of me really wanted to enroll him in school. I'm stressed out and a two and a half hour break every day sounded kind of nice. Plus, Brendan really loves being around other kids. BUT, my heart was torn because for some reason this whole homeschooling thing sounds so great to me. I get to teach them, I get to watch them learn, and I get to protect them from finding out the things I don't want them to find out until their older! :) I read a lot and researched a lot and finally decided we were going to homeschool!
I chose a curriculum that really stood out to me called Sonlight. It is literature based which means that they do a lot of their learning by reading "living" books rather than text books. It is also Bible based and offers complete packages with instructors guides, online forums and lots of resources. In the meantime, Brendan's friends have all started going to preschool and, as expected, he wants to go too. We've been talking about the difference between his friend's school and his school and that he gets to have Mom as his teacher!
All of our school supplies arrived on the doorstep on Friday morning. The boys went through the box and looked at all the new books. Brendan was so excited to start. It was tough holding him off until Monday.
Monday finally came and we had our first day of school with total success. We have a memory verse every week, a character trait every week and then daily we have storybook time, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Handwriting and Math. (All of this at a preschool level of course!) I'm sure you can tell by his face that he is thoroughly enjoying himself. Wyatt participates too, at his own level. He likes reading the books with us and doing a little coloring, but he does a lot of hopping around from one thing to the next. I think the best part about it is that it really is school we are doing, but we are having so much fun together, and it is nothing but a joy to give Brendan an instruction and watch him learn before my very eyes. He's accomplished something, and he's proud, and I got to watch and participate too! I feel really good about my decision and I think we are going to have a really fun year learning together at "home"....wherever that may be. Maybe tomorrow our classroom will be in the backyard!
Note: For all the homeschool skeptics out there. I already have a plan in place to make sure that my child is properly socialized and never bored or stuck at home! Soccer teams, playdates, field trips, gymnastics, Sunday School, etc, should give him plenty of activity, interaction with other kids and even other adults!!
Just look at the pictures! The first day of school was a total success!!!