This week in some random run on sentences.

New bed for Jack. New sheets with monsters on them that are very cuddly. Spending lots of time with our favorite dog. Reading. Lots and lots of reading. Expanding our writing chops. Vocabulary words. SO thankful for Khan Academy. Learning about pulmonary systems. Crash course of History of the World. Lunch outside. Sunshine. Lots of laughing. Lots of talking. Talking about hard things. Park day. Classes at the college. Student small group. Reading to my boy again. I missed that. It was my favorite. I know he’s safe. He knows he’s loved. We can absolutely do this.

I would take a bullet for him. I’d step in front of a moving train for him. And yes, I’d even homeschool him if I had to. I’d do anything for him.

Top 10 things I want my middle schooler to know

I’ve seen this blog post shared on facebook several times. It’s good info. I got my 7th grader to read it tonight. He agreed with most of it and said it’s pretty accurate. He actually said, “This is pretty accurate” because he’s kind of a nerd. Anyway, I decided to write a response of sorts to that post. Really, it’s not a response. It’s just the top ten things that I want my middle schooler to know, in no particular order. I decided 15 was just too many. Honestly, I should just do 5 since he’s such a space cadet these days.

1. I’m really not an idiot. I promise. I went to college. I know stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. I’ve actually learned so very much stuff over the years, that it’s made me forgetful. Forgetful, but not stupid.

2. I mourn your childhood a little bit. I know you’re not a grown up yet, but I sometimes miss when you were little. Sometimes I just want to hold you in my lap like I used to, but you’re all elbows and knees, plus you smell kinda weird. But at least maybe let me rub your back from time to time or play with your hair. I’ll try really hard not to blow raspberries on your neck. At least not in front of your friends.

3. I would take a bullet for you. No matter how irritated I may be with you at any given moment, I’d lay down my life for you without question or thought. My love for you is fierce. Fierce and primal. That’s right…primal. Like a bear. That’s why I growl sometimes.

4. I want to be your friend, but I know I can’t. And it makes me sad. It’s a difficult dance. And I don’t always do it well. I’m sorry.

5. I super duper don’t want to micromanage you. So do what you know you’re supposed to do and I’ll step back and let you do your thing. At least I’ll try. At least I think I’ll try. Let’s maybe practice, how about that?

6. I don’t really know how to do this. The deeper I get into this parenting gig, the more I realize how ill equipped I am. Refer back to number 3.

7. You can’t lie to me. Just don’t even try it. I know everything. Just ask your dad.

8. I want to protect you from all the bad in the world, but I know that I can’t. I sometimes want to lock you in a room and maybe think about letting you out when you’re 25, but then I know you’d be some kind of social freak, plus I’d probably go to jail. And I don’t want to go to jail. The reason I can be a psycho about technology and the internet is because I know the horrors that await. I know it all too well, and I want better for you. I want you spared from that. Please try to understand where I’m coming from.

9. You are my pride and joy. I adore you. I watch you when you don’t know I am. I think about you when you’re not home. I can hear your voice in my head. I’m like the ultimate stalker. I’m obsessed with you. None of my personal accomplishments could compare to you. You are my reason for existing. Creeped out yet?

10. My brain thinks of the worst scenarios possible. So if you’re ten minutes late, I think that you’ve been kidnapped. If you say a cuss word, I think you’ll end up in jail. I know I’m psycho. I can’t make it go away.

Boy, I’m crazy about you. You are my heart and my soul. Now go take a shower. Maybe put on some deodorant.

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This never happens.

First of all, what’s up with all of this recent blogging, right?? I don’t know. I think I’ve finally decided that I need to actually start photographing my kids again.
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Anyway, I decided to *try* to take just a few decent pictures of our kids at the local pumpkin patch. I don’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve done that with the “real camera.”

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I bribed them with cookies. I begged them to be cooperative. And guess what?! THEY WERE!!! I was stunned.

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We were in and out of there in about ten-fifteen minutes. And nobody cried. And I didn’t get mad. Amazing, I tell you.

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I honestly don’t even know how this happened.

The end of an era…or something like that.

He was by my side as often as possible for the first two years of his life. Then he was in preschool a few hours a week until he was 5. Then he was in Kindergarten and 1st grade in public school. But for the last 3 1/2 years he’s been home with me. I’ve done my best to homeschool him in spite of moving to a different house, starting a business, and adding two kids to our family. I’ve been feeling lately that I wasn’t doing enough and it was time to put him back in public school. So the tough decision was made and today was his first day back.


I thought it would be no big deal. But as I got up to leave him at the school, the lump formed and all I could do was pat him on the leg and say, “See ya, boy. Have a good day.” I couldn’t hug him. I couldn’t look him in the eye. If I had, it would have been all over. I kept it together until I took the girls to school and then I cried for like an hour and a half. It was ridiculous!


It’s going to be so strange not to have him home with me. But I think I’ve become too dependent on him as my helper with the younger kids and my social outlet. And he’s been craving friends to hang out with. It’s good and necessary for him to be back in public school, but I’m still sad. I’ve been sad all day.


I didn’t get any photos of him before school, but I made him suffer through a few after school. He’s turning into such a handsome young man. I’m so proud of him.


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The homemade Creeper costume

Jackson decided that he really wanted to be a creeper from his favorite video game, Minecraft, for Halloween. We had a Halloween “parade” to go to the day before Halloween so we started on this costume…that day. I like to procrastinate. Anyway…here are some photos of the process.















And here are all of the kids. Mikey was Carl Fredericksen from the movie Up, Brittany was a fairy ballerina, and Katie was an angel. Don’t even get me started on how un-angelic Katie can be these days. Two year olds are my nemeses. Anyway, we had a good time and the kids looked pretty darn cute.



The creeper creeping

Jackson – ten years!

I thought it would be a fairly easy process to gather images from each of Jack’s birthday parties through the years. However, because of different computers, different cameras, different editing software, and different hard drives, it proved to be more difficult than I thought. And I realized through the process, that I never even touched any of the photos that I took from his 8th or 9th birthday celebrations. Bad mom!

Anyway, yesterday Jackson turned TEN! On one hand, it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years, but in many other ways, it already seems like we’ve lived a lifetime. And so here are some birthday highlights and just other photos through the years that I like.

So, without getting into the entire birth story this time around, I just want to leave you with a few phrases from Jackson’s birth. Some won’t make any sense to you, but they are memorable to Phillip and me.

– Cord around the neck…twice.

– C-section

– 9:42 p.m.

– “Look at that!!”  “Josh!!!!”

– Do you have a hemorrhoid?

– You want me check you?

– Hobbit breast shields

One…

Two…

Three…

Four…

Five…

Six…

Seven…

Eight…

Nine…

And ten…

And just like that, he’s ten whole fingers…well, minus a pinky. 🙂

Through the years, this child has provided us with endless laughter. He has grieved with us. He has lifted us up. He has given me a reason to get out of bed when I didn’t think I could. He has adopted three kids with us. He has danced with us. He is our sunshine. And he has made these last ten years the best years of our lives. I love you, boy.

A long overdue Jackson post

Jack had a couple of big events in his life the last week or so. First of all, he’s been wanting a green faux hawk for like two years. We’ve done the faux hawk thing, but we’ve never given in to making it green. I decided to just go for it. He’s waited long enough. And that’s just one of the perks of being homeschooled…green hair, right?? My friend, Katelyn did an awesome job making Jack’s hair just like he wanted it. He was pretty excited about the end result.





Yeah, pretty sweet.



And the much bigger event in his life is that he got baptized! In fact we got the green hair just the day before. Because just in case you didn’t know, Jesus doesn’t care what color your hair is. Like at all. Of that fact I am sure! It was great! There were a lot of people there to show their love and support for Jackson. We’re very proud of him. He’s just an all around awesome kid.



That was cold!! Or so I heard. I didn’t get in.


Our friend, Hannah.

Our friend, Hannah came over on Wednesday to hang out. She and Jackson have lots of the same interests and they really enjoy spending time together. And having a girl over to play with Jackson is a lot less loud than having a boy over…most of the time.


First, we had to go to the store and get lots of stuff. Hannah and Jackson wrote the list for me and now I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of it. Shame on me. Hannah was very helpful at the store. Jack…not so much.


Anyway, we made “Skywalker Smoothies” from this Star Wars Cookbook that Andrea gave us a few years ago. They were really good.


Sidenote: I felt like getting my vintage on with some of these photos.


– 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
– 1 banana
– 1/2 cup pineapple, grape, or orange juice
– 4 ice cubes





Then we made pizza. I usually just buy the canned pizza dough, but this time I made it! Go me! And it was really good. Really sticky, but really good. Jack said it was the best pizza in the world. I don’t know about that, but it was pretty good. We even (sort of) stuffed the crust.



And then, the most fun part of all, we made Wookie Cookies! That recipe is in the same Star Wars Cookbook. They were a little strange, I thought. The recipe is more heavy on flour and not as heavy on sugar as most chocolate chip cookie recipes. So they were pretty light and sort of crumbly.









We made a good mess.



Thanks for hanging out, Hannah. You need to come hang out again real soon. Instead of shopping and cooking, maybe you can help me do the laundry. That sounds like fun, right??