Monday, February 20, 2017

Wrestling Season (photo overload)

While the season isn't over yet, there are only a handful meets left for our wrestlers.  I also realized I've taken so many wrestling pictures and only shared a few thus far so I figured a photo overload post is about due.

Wrestling has been a big part of our winter weekend schedule.  Since the boys have really been enjoying it and asking to go to meets, we've gone to a few more than previous years.

Oldest has really been working hard this year.  He has a better understanding of the scoring and strategy of a match.  He's also doing a better job of adjusting with suggestions from Dad while he's wrestling.  So far he's gotten one first place (first time he's been able to do that) and several second places.  He's gained a lot of confidence and works hard regardless of whether the match is going his way.  It has also been so great to see how he encourages his brother during warm ups and matches.



Middle child has taken to wrestling this year with gusto.  His small size, determination, and quickness have been an advantage.  He has gotten second place quite a few times this year but has also had some really tough matches.  It makes me smile to see his proud face with his medal after a meet.  He's learned so much and really enjoyed himself in the process.



But more than the skills they are learning or the place they end up on the podium...

what warms my heart the most is all that extra time they get with Dad and the connection that time is building.


Just some of the wrestling weekend snapshots from our crew on the gravelly road.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Playing with the remote

I know I've mentioned it before, but one of my favorite extras I have with my camera is a remote.  It was small purchase (around $10) but its more than earned its place in my camera bag.


Basically I set it up like I was using a timer but no running back and forth to the camera.  Its been a great way for me to get in front of the camera and the kids love it when I let them use the remote to "take the picture".

I've been trying to take more pics lately that aren't posed and are just normal moments or silly smiles.  But when I got out my camera the other day, there were audible groans from the boys and hiding of faces (little sister does not mind the camera at all though).  So I turned on the remote setting and handed it to them.  I was either holding the camera or had it sitting on a shelf the entire time.  And boy did we have fun.  Here are some of my favorites from the afternoon/evening, including a few I set up myself.





Just some photography fun on our gravelly road.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday!

Last night he gave me a super tight hug and whispered in my ear that I got to have his last hug as a six year old *melt*.

Today he is our excited and smiley 7 year old.  Seven is a big deal to him (and us) and he's been talking about today for quite a while.


His family birthday party is not for a week so no cake pictures yet but we are celebrating today and will gladly spread the celebration of this kid out a week :) Just today: present at breakfast, visitors (mom and sister) for lunch, a special after school snack and tonight supper of his choice.


There are many highlights, big changes and memories from this year of being six but here are a few:

* You finished preschool last spring with tons of confidence and started your kindergarten year so excited.  You enjoy school and work hard to do your best even when some parts of the day are hard.  You are excited to figure out reading and enjoy reading your take home practice books to your stuffed animals and the dog.  You've also become excited about writing stories which has been fun to watch.

* You are a great brother to your big brother and little sister.  Being in the middle is tough but you are doing it well.  Whether your are playing legos with big brother or store with little sister or something imaginary story with costumes, you enjoy being part of it all.

* You started wrestling this fall and you really enjoy it.  It has been fun to watch you on the mat.  Your determination and your willingness to keep trying are great skills.  You are learning good sportsmanship and other great things as well.



* Games are a something you are really starting to enjoy, which is great since big brother loves to play them too.  You boys often have a game of risk or trouble or something else going on the weekends and you look forward to when we can all play a game together.  Loosing a game isn't easy but you've been working hard at handling it with honor which makes us proud.

* You really enjoy music -- singing with the other kids from Sunday School in front of church and now during music class in kindergarten.  I love hearing you sing songs from school and church as you play.  Keep letting worship songs fill your heart and overflow out through your words buddy.

* You are a kid of action -- your play stories are often loud, expressive and full of sound effects and you love nothing more than to be outside exploring, running, riding bike or jumping on the trampoline.  Your enthusiasm is often contagious.  You loved camping and riding ATV this summer and fall.  Playing in the snow is so fun to you as well.  Plus you are working hard to save up money for a new bike.

* You have a big heart and you feel it all big.  Whether its joy or worry or love or frustration, its all big to you.  You are enthusiastic with your hugs (oh those run across the room preschool hugs) and crushed when something doesn't work out.  Use your big heart to share your joy and to be sensitive to those around you.  I'm honored that you share your heart with us. Keep letting us help with the tough stuff and we'll walk through it with you together.


Happy Birthday blessings to you!  Dad and I love you so much and pray your year as a 7 year old is full of special memories together, lots of learning, adventures and the experiences that will continue to mold you into the young man God intends for you to be someday.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Games and More Games

This winter games have become a big part of our daily routine.  We've always played a lot of games but more now as the kids are a bit older... there are plenty that they play as siblings plus more that we play as a family.  Our game closet has become quite full (and this isn't even all of them).


Some new favorites recently: Uno Attack, Monopoly Deal, Farming game, Trouble, and Risk.

I end up with so many pics of playing games :)  Partially because everyone is still for a while instead of on the go, plus its a memory of quality time and working together.  But mostly its part of who we are as a family and one way we enjoy each other's company.





And pics of visitors playing games with us.




Just another snapshot of our life on the gravelly road.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday!

This kid is eight today!  Can you believe it?  This momma can't.  He has grown so much this past year in so many ways.  He has declared he will be taller than me by the time he is 10 yrs old.  Its important to have goals I tell him.


He enjoyed a Knights and Castles family party with grandparents this past weekend.  Before and after presents, cake and ice cream, we did one of his favorite things -- everyone played games.  Often we had more than one game going at a time.  Monopoly Deal, Go Fish, Zingo, and his new Farming Game.

As its happened the last few years, he also had a wrestling meet that same day.  He got third, winning his first match of the year with a pin.


There are so many highlights and memories from his year of being seven but here are a few, as told by mom:

* You rocked first grade - learning to read, excelling at math, getting homework done and handling some tough friend situations.  You may not always love school (it takes away from lego time) but you handle your responsibilities well, remembering what day is library day or when to study spelling.  Your teachers always have good things to say about you as a student and I'm proud of you for all that hard work.

* You've developed a love of reading which makes this momma's heart so happy.  Just Saturday I watched you devour a chapter book while sitting in a noisy gym at the wrestling meeting, blocking out all distractions to get to the next section.  Even though you are a great reader, you love being read to and reading challenging chapter books with you before bed is a time I treasure.

* You look out for your siblings.  Zman joined you at the big school this year and I love how you look out for him... even if it sometimes takes the form of tattling on what he did on the bus.  You like to know his schedule and the two of you talk about special elementary school things coming up.  You enjoy reading to Peaches and Zman, especially the stories you write yourself.

* Speaking of writing stories, your imagination is a big part of who you are. Whether its lego adventures or creations, pretend play with your siblings, a brand new game or the stories you write, your imagination and creativity impact our days.

* You've continued to wrestle, this year with your brother on the team.  Sometimes its not your favorite thing but you work hard, don't give up and display good sportsmanship during meets which makes us proud.

* You are determined to learn new things.  Just over break you decided you wanted to know how to fry your own eggs for breakfast and now you do every day.  You and Dad have been working on playing your new guitar.  You like to try new and harder math problems.  Learning new games is something you enjoy.

* You think big thoughts and ask big questions.  Whether its about something you heard at church, learned about at school or read about, you always seem to have big thoughts spinning in your head.  This generates some interesting discussions, questions and imaginative stories.  Keep asking questions and passionately seeking answers to your questions.  Keep dreaming up big plans.  God has given you a smart mind and keep using it.


Happy Birthday blessings!  Dad and I love you so much and pray your year as an 8 year old is full of new adventures, special memories together, lots of learning, and the experiences that will continue to mold you into the young man God intends for you to be someday.
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