Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just One Of Us

So you all know by know that Miss Lily has become part of our family. She is extremely happy, active and loves to be patted and loved on. If she sees me, she needs to be with me, whether I'm inside or out.

Because of this, she has pretty much gone everywhere with us in her first two weeks with us. She's tiny enough to fit into a bag, but we haven't gone to that extreme (yet). She gets attention everywhere she goes, just because she's so tiny. The harness I got for her (extra small) was still too big and I had to sew a huge tuck into it just to make it fit. She loves the car and is happy to sit on any one's lap, although lately she's been trying to make her way into MY lap while I'm driving. I try to discourage it, but just like every other member of the Wheelz family, she's a stubborn little thing.

One of the reasons I wanted to get a dog was the belief that every little boy should have a dog. We did not have one growing up until my father got remarried and they had animals, which thrilled me. Although most people want pets to teach their kids responsibility, my bigger concern was to try to teach Noah some compassion. He has a tendency to be very self-oriented and I was hoping that maybe this would be the trick to help him to start thinking about something or someone other than himself. Believe it or not, I think it may actually be working. Between 7 and 7:30 every morning, Lily starts crying to get out of her crate. Noah, without any prompting, goes down, brings her and her crate upstairs, and waits for her to do her duty (you know what I mean) and then proceeds to clean it up by himself. Every day. Without complaint. Or prodding. I have been very proud of him for taking this upon himself. I am able to start every morning by saying "Good Morning Mr. Responsible" and he beams.

Aaron is sad because Lily would rather run and chase him than snuggle in his lap. I think it is just true to personalities. Aaron is not a quiet sit and think type of person. He is jumpy, bouncy, crazy and Lily likes to be able to play with him in that way. He doesn't realize it now, but that is a great thing for the two of them to have together and we love to watch them pounce around together. When I look at them, I can picture Hubby Steve as a little boy running around with Fritz, the dachshund that he had when he was a little boy. It makes me smile to see one more similarity between Aaron and his Daddy. As I sit here, he is singing a song he made about her "Cute Little Puppy". I know by the time I get in there with the video camera he'll stop :(

So, because Lily does EVERYTHING with us, it stands that the boys would want her to "swim" with them. So we took her out back into our little pool and let her go. Although she was a little confused, she soon got the hang of it and was paddling right around. I was a little nervous about her popping the pool, but so far, so good. Aaron often needs reminding to NOT put the dog in the pool unless I'm outside with them. But in general, if lily is outside, I am too. I just can't resist watching her race around everywhere. It's just so cute.


So, even though the potty training leaves a lot to be desired still, Lily has definitely become one of the family. I love taking her places and seeing how excited she gets the minute I say "Lily, let's go outside". I love watching Steve crack up when she gets running so fast that she does a somersault mid run and keeps on going. I love watching Noah be responsible enough to put on her harness and leash and take her for a walk around the block all by himself. I love watching Aaron get that proud smile on his face during the rare moments when she will settle into his lap for a rest.

I'm thinking Lily Wheelz is here to stay!

Monday, June 28, 2010

one Week...Two VBS programs...Oh My!

So I was a bit AWOL from the blogging world last week. We had TWO VBS's last week. Normally, I would never have had the kids attend two in one week, but circumstances really made it necessary.

One of the things that made it crazy was that BOTH VBS programs had a "uniform" shirt that the kids wore each day. This, added to the outfit that each of them insisted on changing into during the afternoon, produced three outfits for each boy each day. I was washing purple and orange shirts every day all week.

The morning program was a community wide program called KidsGames. There are about a dozen of them across the West Michigan over a two week period. This was the ONLY one that was held in the morning, and also held in the same city where they boys go to school. Noah saw four other girls from his class, which made him very excited.

Rather than a typical VBS program, the kids pick a "track" in which they want to participate. The last hour is spent doing the activity that they picked. There were about a dozen different activities to pick from. I laughed when both boys picked activities where they ended up being the only boy in the group. I am glad that it didn't phase either one of them.

Aaron picked gymnastics. Although he really didn't learn a whole bunch, since he really just wanted to practice the moves he already knew how to do, he was so proud to have learned to put his hands up before and after each roll, as well as point his toes.










Noah picked scrapbooking. He LOVED it.He came home begging to use my photo cutter and double sided tape. They spent the first day taking pictures and the rest of the day putting together their albums. He is so proud of his finished product. He was even more excited when the teacher gave each of them their own "picfolio" to keep on the last day. It is currently filled with his Pokemon cards.

One of the days each year they bring out the city fire truck and it lets loose with the hose and soaks the kids. You've never seen anything like 300 kids happily screaming and running from a hose. Noah said he will never do it again since while all the kids were running he ran head first into another little boy and got hurt. Aaron was in heaven, getting sopping wet.

The culminating event was Friday night where we went back to watch a presentation from all of the tracks. The boys were excited to receive their medals for participating for the whole week.


After KidsGames each day, we came home for lunch and some down time. But as soon as dinner was over each day, it was time to don our second "uniform" shirt for the week and head off to VBS Number Two.

Mega Kids Camp was held at our new church. Even though it meant a very tiring week, I felt it was importantt for us to go to start meeting people at our new church and help the boys to get even more comfortable with their new surroundings. It turned out to be such a great idea.

The boys had a BLAST! It was another program where kids pick an activity that they enjoy and do that activity for the entire week.

Aaron originally signed up for first grade basketball, but when I got there after work on the first night, I saw him walking inside with a leader crying. It was clear that after a busy morning, he wasn't quite ready for that yet.

So I moved him into the preschool/kindergarten program, which was a typical VBS program. He was much happier and jumped right into the music with gusto. He was very happy the rest of the week and I was able to volunteer the last two nights as well, which was nice to finally start meeting some of the adult leaders who are involved at Cornerstone.

Noah chose to do woodworking. He loved it too. They made a miniature tree house over the course of the week. He is so proud of his creation. He has been playing with it with lego guys, super heroes, and even the HAMSTER.

The music was ROCKIN' Loud, crazy, and fun. I video taped several of the dance songs and the boys are having a great time dancing to "Drive the Bus". If you are familiar with this, you know what I'm saying. If not, you've GOT to see it. It's crazy!

The boys were even more excited when Noah found a little girl from his class that he is good friends with. Turns out they recently started coming to this church as well, and even attend the same service (there are three each Sunday) as we do. Noah had been begging for a play date with A since school got out and she had been calling and missing him since them as well. We were even able to figure out a play date for them in couple of weeks after church.

It was really an amazing week. I'm not sure if we will do KidsGames again next year or not. Probably only if it is a different week from Mega Kids Camp. But the kids handled the sleep deprivation okay and we have this week to recover from the craziness before next weekend and next week's numerous activities (more about that to come).

Have a great Monday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Church Update

So with all of the Puppy Drama we've had around here, plus the beginning of summer vacation and trying to figure out how to all get along every day, all day, I have been remiss on updating the church search. I have received several emails wondering how things are going.

I am happy to report that we think we may have found IT. I posted a T13 a few months ago about everything we liked about the Mega church we had been attending. While we liked those things, something about the place was just "too much" and there were some things that just didn't feel right.

So we decided to continue our search. But because we had had the large church experience, and also were looking to find more friends when we finally found a church, we didn't feel like we could return to the small church feeling anymore.

After hearing about Cornerstone from many people, including a family that we knew at our old church, we decided it would be the next one to try. It is along the lines of a "mega church" in it's growth, but it has a small church feeling (even in the auditorium where worship is held). It also has a denominational affiliation, which Steve and I are more comfortable with.

Both boys loved it immediately. It is the first time ever that I could ask Noah after church "What did you learn today" and not only could he tell me, but he would actually also remember it as the week went on. And, I am learning something that I take with me every week too.

So we took the first step toward joining attending the required informational meeting before membership classes two weekends ago. There are a lot of things that just feel right. Because it is a Methodist church, it has some of the same basic ideas as the churches that we have loved, but it is actually pretty HUGE so they encourage all members to become part of smaller groups within the church to be able to maintain personal relationships within such a large church body.

Their new building is barely a year old, and the congregation boasts a 48 percent increase in membership in the last year!

The boys are attending it's VBS called Mega Kids Camp this week and are very excited about it. I am excited to eventually become a part of some of the leadership (in a lay person way) but it feels good to know that I'm not NEEDED like I was before. I can be part of it, but the program is so strong that I can just be a person helping out where they want me.

I felt like yesterday's message was aimed at me and me alone. Probably so did the hundereds of other people that attended one of the three services. It nailed me on the head so much that I came home and wrote down the gist of the message on our dry erase board in the kitchen, so I can indeed keep myself focused all week.

So, yes, I think we found it. We will attend the first joining class in the fall and by Christmas this year, we will have become part of a worshipping community that lives what they preach and hopefully will bring us to do the same.

I am indeed excited about our future in this place. I am glad that God brought us through the darkness and looks to be bringing us out on the other side. The journey that has caused so much pain seems to be well worth it and I have high hopes that we will all be better people for the voyage.

PS More puppy stories to come

Have a great week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thanks!

So after some MAJOR venting here on the old blog yesterday, I received many comments both on the blog and in email that reassured me that I can actually get through this. It was helpful to know that the chihuahua in Lily is going to make this difficult, and it's not my fault if it takes awhile.

It was just an all around grumpy day. Really bad!

But it seems that we all woke up on a better side of the bed this morning. When the Number Two came out in the wrong location this morning, it didn't send me into a major whirl of fits like it did yesterday. When Noah woke up, he woke up with a hug and smile, and offers to watch the dog. Complete opposite of yesterday's attitude. When Aaron fell over one of the numerous the gates (aka tables) blockading EVERY door or entry way in the house, he whimpered a little, rather than the full fledged crying and screaming fits that he threw all day yesterday.

So yes, today looks like a better day. That's the one thing about using a blog for a digital diary. Sometimes one's best side doesn't always shine through.

But Honesty certainly does.

We took Lily for her first public outing last night. The library has a little "carnival" to kick of it's reading program each year. I took the boys and we decided that it was a perfect chance for Lily to get exposed to a ton of people and lots of little hands wanting to touch her. She may as well get used to it now. She did really well. A couple of barks at other dogs and one at a little girl that startled her when she was falling asleep. But all in all, a good first outing. She even got to go on her first horse drawn carriage ride.

We're supposed to get storms today. It will be interesting to see how she handles those.

On a positive note, guess who stayed quiet the ENTIRE NIGHT last night? Yup, not a single whimper from the moment we put her in her crate at 10:30 PM to when I took her outside this morning at 7 AM. Taking my successes where they come and reminding myself to take the failures with a grain of salt.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Big Mistake?

This puppy is turning out to be very frustrating.

I thought we were on a roll when she spent the entire day on Tuesday using the training pad in the living room every time she needed to relieve herself.

But I was WRONG! Ever since then, she has decided to take care of her business whenever and wherever she feels like it. And it has never once been on the pad that she so perfectly used the day before.

I am getting really frustrated. Is it impossible once to train her once she has had a back slide? At what age have I missed the window of potty training.

Please help. I don't know what to do. If you've been through the puppy training process, please send me your advice. I am at my wit's end. Big Time!

As a matter of fact, this whole day has started out pretty horrible. And it's only 9:50 AM. I woke up in a rotten mood and I'm trying so hard to break it, but it doesn't seem to want to break. I just took it out on the kids and things are bad. Really Bad!

The check I wrote for the puppy bounced leaving us overdrawn. Stupid Dog! Or should I say Stupid Kristi for thinking that I could handle a puppy?

I've had it!!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Freaky


My brother saw this tombstone in a small private cemetery in his town.

Noah thought it was pretty cool that it mentioned "Captain Noah Wheeler"

I thought it was rather freaky.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Meet Lily

Yes, Steve broke down and we have a new member of the Wheelz Family. I've been talking about wanting a puppy for some time now but it was just so expensive that we couldn't do it. Yesterday, while we were waiting to pick up our kids, (another story that is itching to be told), Steve and I were wandering around a Tractor Surplus store (don't ask) and saw a girl walking around with an ADORABLE puppy. She had just gotten it from a family that had puppies about five minutes away. They were selling them at a super low price since they were mixed breed mutts. It seemed like maybe our time was finally here. The cost for her start up needs were small since she didn't really need much.

Steve said NO. Then he said NO about twenty more times. Then, the kids came and he said NO a few more times.

Then, he finally said we could least least go look at them. I figured if they were all aggressive around the kids then it would make the deal broken and we could go on with our lives. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and every single one of the puppies settled into both Aaron's and Noah's arms. It became pretty clear that one of the puppies was coming home with us.

They told us that the puppy has fleas and had one flea bath already. We went BACK to the Tractor Surplus Store to get the bare minimum of what we would need for this pup, which included flea shampoo. After a 45 minute trip home in the car in my lap, the first order of business was a trip straight into the sink for another bath.

I don't know the first thing about training a puppy. We are in WAY over our heads.

But we took her outside last night to play with her and the kids were fascinated that a 10 week old puppy was running to fetch huge twigs and bring them back to us. The neighbors came over to make her acquaintance as well. One of our neighbors is a true Dog Person and she gave her the once over. She needs A LOT of work to get her healthy and ready to be a family member. And a lot of vet bills that we really shouldn't be incurring at the moment.

Yup, suffice it to say, I really screwed up this time. Now we have this adorable little puppy that needs shots, check ups, etc and eventually spaying. And it doesn't seem to want to go potty outside even though I keep taking her constantly.

While we were trying to sleep last night and she was crying in her crate, I was reminded of the moments when we first brought Noah home from the hospital as a newborn. We had NO CLUE what we were doing. And we got through it. So that's the comfort I'm trying to give myself right now. We'll get through this and come out on the other side with a wonderful family pet.

But for now, I have once again put ourselves over our heads, both in financial and emotional turmoil just because I wanted a puppy.

But, here she is.

Silly Lily as she has become to be known as.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Aaron Edition

Today was Aaron's "graduation" from Young Fives. Young Fives is a wonderful program, but given what I know now, it may go down as a bad decision on my part. How was I to know how far he'd grow this year and the changes that lie school next year would make that will affect him? It was still a good year of learning for him. And BOY did he learn this year.

First Day of Young Fives

1. Aaron went from knowing his letters to READING. Now I don't mean sounding out words, like Noah did when he entered into Kindergarten. I mean full fledged, fluent reading of chapter books that Noah wasn't reading until mid year first grade. One of the MANY reasons I think he would have been fine to go into first grade next year instead of kindergarten.

2. I wish I had measured him at the beginning of this year because I think he's grown several inches. I can't believe how tall he's gotten this year. He will be out of place with begin a full head taller (or more) next year in kindergarten. I hope he doesn't get teased too badly about sticking out.

Last Day of Young Fives

3. Along with height, I didn't realize until I looked at the pictures how much he has thinned out. His chubby little baby face seems to be turning long and thin...one more way he looks just like his Daddy

4. At the beginning of the year he could not buckle his own seat belt, open the car door, unlock the front door of our house, or zip his own coat. He does all of these independently now.

5. His sensitivity issues, while still there, are indeed decreased by about a million. No longer does he cover his ears at loud noises. He had no issue with the fire drills at the end of the year. I guess the real test will come this year during the fireworks on the 4th. He hasn't made it through them once without crying and hiding yet. He still has a very hard time when there' s lots of chaos or craziness around him, which was one of the BIG problems with his classroom this year, but I do believe that having to deal with it helped us to talk with him about different situations and at least give us one more piece of information into that little mind of his.

6. One of the reasons I sent him to Young Fives at this school was to get some kind of special needs identified in relation to these sensitivity issues. Whether this is good or not, none ever was. When I talked to the OT, she said that even though they think something is there, they couldn't test him since he didn't need speech and only the kids who need speech receive any other special services. Sounds kind of odd to me. Another reason I SHOULD have put him in kindergarten this year.

7. His speech went from still needing translation at the beginning of the year to now even pronouncing R's much of the time clearly without reminders.

8. Sleep issues have gone away. He has always been a light sleeper, but has gone from difficulty going to sleep to going right to sleep and sleeping through the night until actual dawn.

9. Although he still wakes up with a very full pull up most mornings, he can go once in awhile staying dry. It's a start.

10. He played soccer and baseball this year. He did okay in both but I'm not quite sure either would be his "thing". We'll keep letting him try different things, just as we do for his brother.

11. His love and craziness for water continues. But it has definitely matured. He is not quite so RANDOM about his needs to be engulfed in water anymore. He is a little more discerning about when it is and is not appropriate to get completely soaked and is starting to get a little bit better about restraining himself when needed.

12. Aaron still repeats things MANY times and verifies periodically just to be sure the rules haven't changed. I like this part of him because he very rarely ever misbehaves in school, unless it is a genuine mistake. If the rules change, he clarifies them, and then it's okay. I worry a little about his teacher next year dealing with that, since I know her and how she relates to the kids. I hope she can find some patience to talk to him and appreciate it for what it is, like his teachers did this year.

13. He still loves to snuggle with me and even in the hottest weather likes to be bundled under blankets. It seems strange unless we remember ta ht this was the child who as a baby would not stay asleep unless he was swaddled so tight that he couldn't move.

As far as his year was concerned he had a great year. He learned so much and he loves school. Yes, the many concerns are weighing very heavily on my mind going into the summer. He reads so far ahead but his fine motor is still a bit behind. He needs school more than two or three days a week, which is what his kindergarten program is next year. I am losing LOTS of sleep over what to do about next year.

But for right now, we have three months ahead of us to play.

And that's exactly what I intend to do.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Noah's Award Ceremony

I know, pretty Noah heavy lately. But with Aaron's final field trip tomorrow and his "graduation" on Thursday, as well as the last day of school pictures, his time is quickly coming :)

Noah's last day of school is traditionally awards assembly at his school for achievements. The assembly is quite long and drawn out, as each teacher gives out awards to every students and the specials teachers deliver their awards as well.

When it came time for Noah class to go up, it is always a question as to what kind of award each child is going to get. Last year Noah got the "Science Lover' award. His classroom theme this year was camping, complete with a big tent in their room. His award was the "Scout Spirit" award for joy and enthusiasm in learning. I know she partly skewed it since he talked often about his scouting experiences, which I thought it was nice of her to incorporate.

Throughout the next hour, Noah sat restless (along with the rest of the class) while the rest of the grades received their awards. When it was almost over, Noah actually came over to me and complained that he only got one award.

Until...

The gym teacher was the last to go. I was pretty sure that Noah would finally get another award. Sure enough, Mrs. M stood up and announced the national fitness award winners. For the second year in a row (which he told everyone and anyone who was within ear shot), Noah received a patch for this award. There were three kids in his class who received it this year. So at that point, I thought we were done with his awards. But Mrs. M seemed to plant herself right in front of Noah, and as she announced "Best in class" for different events in the testing, Noah W was announced over and over again. He was so excited as she kept handing them to him, for most push ups, longest flex arm hang, and fastest for both quarter mile and shuttle run.

As he sat down, it was very difficult to wipe the smile off this boys face. As we are discovering, team sports just aren't going to be his thing. But if he is THIS talented in the personal physical fitness arena, I guess we are going to have to find the funds to enroll him in activities in which he can excel as an individual. Unfortunately, they all cost money. It is so frustrating to know that your child could excel and not have the means to provide him with the opportunity. But that's another story for another day.


So, at the end of the last day of school for second grade, Noah came away feeling pretty good about himself, and actually a little sad that school was out for the summer.


He really had a wonderful loving teacher this year.Who knows what next year will hold?

Monday, June 7, 2010

FINALLY...

After trying all day to post my weekend top five, Blogger has officially decided to be up and running. And I'm just way too tired to write out an entire weekend post, after dealing with van troubles all day.

So abbreviated version...it was a busy weekend with lots of fun activities.

Sunday afternoon, we took the boys downtown to Festival of the Arts. Every year on the first weekend in June, hundreds of musical and dance acts are scheduled on about a dozen stages, along with tons of food vendors from local businesses, and a bunch of kids activities all descend upon a several city blocks for Festival. We've taken the boys every year since they were tiny, and each year seems to be a better one than the previous, since the kids are bigger and can do more things.

One of the favorite activities is always the "no parent zone" Paint In. Kids don smocks and are led to painting easels to create to their heart's content. We have their paintings from most previous years saved and we will this year as well. It is always interesting to see what the kids come up with. It's always Abstract of some sort with my two. I was impressed that Aaron actually used several different colors, and didn't paint over his entire picture when it was done, as is often the way it goes. Noah's was more abstract than usual, but watching him do it was fun, with his flair for flicking the brush around just right.

After the pictures were hung to dry, we moved on to the Glue In. This too was a a no-parent zone. I liked that because it gives the kids freedom for expression without hovering ( not that I ever hover, of course...wink wink).

We cracked up seeing Aaron in his apron that hung all the way. He was just so cute.





They spent a LONG time picking out wood that they needed. And I mean a LOOONNNNGGG time. I knew, with Noah especially, that they were going to put their all into these projects. And they did.

Last year Aaron spent about five minutes tops and was ready to move on, which is what I expected this year as well. I was very pleasantly surprised when he seemed to really concentrate on his project this year.

And when he was done, he proudly displayed his "boat"




















Thinking that Noah would be done soon too, we decided to wait and watch the ARTISTE at work. But it soon became clear that Noah was not going to rush through his masterpiece, and I was so glad that he was putting his all into it that I had no intention of pushing him either.

Aaron got a little restless and killed some time by demonstrating some of the dance moves we did in church that morning during the family worship they have once a month during church time. More to come next week about our steps toward making this church a permanent home, by the way.


I believe this dance was called the water sprinkler :)

I knew we would be waiting for even longer when I called to Noah to ask him what he was making and he said, "I'm making a tower for my lego guys.".

Now that I knew he had a plan, there was no stopping him. Piece after piece continued to be added.

At this point, I sent Aaron and Steve on to the big tire swing so that they didn't have to wait around. This swing is another big hit during Festival. The wait for it is quite long, but the kids say it's well worth the wait.


On a sad note, I found out when I got home that about an hour after we had been there, Noah's scoutmaster had been there with her son, who ended up cutting badly and spraining his finger on this swing, and their day at Festival ended with a trip to ER. He's better now.

Finally, Noah's masterpiece was complete and needed some time to dry so we moved on to find Steve and Aaron. We got a little distracted when we passed by a piece of art that kids were climbing up and sliding down. Noah was no exception of course.

After finding the others, we swapped kids so Noah could ride the swing tire and Aaron decided he wanted a balloon animal. This was the only thing at Festival that cost any money so I figured I could put out two dollars for a poor college kid to make balloon animals for the kids.

After much deliberation, Aaron settled on wanting a hat. The funny college kid asked if Aaron needed horns and it was definitely a resounding yes. Noah and Steve caught up to us right as we were getting close and Noah requested a monkey. They played with these creations for the rest of the festival.

Usually Festival is very hot and sticky, but this year it was a bit cooler with a strong breeze which made the time downtown much more pleasant this year. But nevertheless, after collecting all of the treasures that had been drying and knowing we had at least a mile walk back to the car , we decided that we would forgo watching any more music acts and call our time at festival complete.

When we got home, Aaron headed straight for the bath tub to try to make his boat float.

Unfortunately, it did not and he has not touched the boat since.

Noah set to work decorating his Lego guy tower and has been playing with it ever since. With how he has his Lego guys sitting on it, it is very clear that he was planning each nook and cranny as he was making his creation. That impressed me since I could never have thought that much about something at his age (and probably couldn't today either).

We realized on the way back to the car that this was the first year we had ever gone to Festival without a stroller. Maybe by next year, little legs will be long enough to be able to stay longer after all of the activities so we can enjoy some music acts as well. Steve's performing ensemble had actually preformed the day before but we had to miss it so maybe next year we'll catch that again too.

It was a fun Sunday afternoon in the city of Grand Rapids.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thursday Thirteen (on Friday)...Noah edition

Today is Noah's last day as a second grader. It has been such an amazing year of growth for him, like it is every year. He has come so far. He has become so introspective this year. He thinks things through so thoroughly (when he wants to) and comes up with some of the most amazing ideas.

Here are 13 ways my amazing boy has changed this year.

1. He got glasses, which made a HUGE difference in how he sees the world. I am still amazed at the difference they make to him.

First day of school

2. He lost three baby teeth and all of his grown up ones in front have come in, making him look way more grown up

3. He loves sharing what he learns in church every week, and I find him trying to apply it during the week.

4. He loved his teacher this year. Even when he got in trouble, which wasn't very often compared to previous years, he sang her praises for being fair.

5. He has become a wonderful author. He spends a lot of time writing "paragraphs" which really are poetic and thought provoking. He now says he may want to be an author when he grows up.

6. He learned cursive. He was so excited to learn this skill that his regular handwriting went from a sloppy quick mess to very neat handwriting with great sentence structure in just three last few weeks of school.

7. He is starting to learn discernment. Last year he went right along with the "naughty" kids while they were making bad choices. This year, those same kids were given detentions numerous times and Noah was not part of it a single time. He is finally learning to make wise choices in whom he wants to spend time with.

Last day of school

8. He went through three ranks in his first six months of scouting. Unlike every other activity we have tried with him, he has stuck with cub scouts, continues to enjoy it, and looks forward to continuing.

9. He is learning to read his body when it needs to be fed. In past years, food was a fight, both to get him to eat at all, as well as to try new things. This year, he learned to recognize when his body didn't feel right and come to me or a teacher and ask to eat something.

10. He learned to ice skate and roller skate comfortably without any adult guidance.

11. He has learned that reading is actually an activity that one does for ENJOYMENT, not because he HAS TO. He has gone from reading simple chapter books with pictures to much more advanced literature.

12. He grew several inches physically. I wish I had measured him on the first day of school. I will definitely do that from now on. He went through two sizes of pants and at least one size of shoes this year. It won't be long until he's looking down on his little Mama.

13. Even though he's grown so much, he still begs me for snuggles when I come home at night. Now that he has a loft bed, I can't just lie in bed with him anymore. But he delights in climbing down out of his bed and crawling into my lap for some some special bonding time. I like it too!

I'm out of numbers and there's still so much more. Oh well. As you can see, 2nd grade was wonderful for Noah this year. I hope we will have a great summer and I hope his love of learning and knowledge continues next year and into the future.

Have a great weekend!