31 May 2014

Our Last Kindergartener....

JMichael has officially finished kindergarten.  It's sad, really.  We will never have a kindergartener again.  Kindergarten is so fun.  He's learned so much and he actually has no idea that he has come so far.  His teacher, Mrs. Lisa Hardage, is amazing.  JMichael gave her some fits at the beginning of the year, because it was then that we discovered that he is dyslexic.  He confuses and transposes his letters and numbers.  Without batting an eye, Mrs. Hardage set our little man up with a reading specialist, Mrs. Roberts.  In the course of a year, JMichael has conquered every obstacle his teachers threw his way.  He can read, he can read numbers and he has every confidence in himself.  He is, in short, amazing, and his teachers never doubted him.  He will take the written word slowly at first, but, he is on track with any other kid in his class who can tell the difference between a b and a d. 

JMichael says kindergarten was fun and he loves PE.  He made some good friends.  Mrs. Hardage told me that JMichael is a sweet sweet boy and he makes a point, every day, to say goodbye to her before he leaves for the day.  What a gentleman.

Charlie's New Do

Charlotte, you may recall, begged her dad about a year ago to shave one side of her head.  If you want to review, you can see that post by clicking here.  Pardon the pun, but, the style grew on me.  It suited her and she embraced it.  Now she has moved on and James cut her hair again -short and sassy.  She's styling it different ways - spiky, 'flock of seagulls' and swept back like a pompadour.  Also, it should fit nicely under her swim cap, 'cause her swim season starts next weekend!

30 May 2014

Surgery for James

James' surgery went great.  It took his doctor three passes of the knife to get a clean sample.  The cancer was the size of a quarter.

This photo is a few days after surgery.  No one mentioned that he would swell up so much.  James was really uncomfortable and his face was so tight.

Poor James.  He got a black eye and some crazy bruising.  He also said his face would itch in one spot, but, he felt it in another.  He had 27 stitches.  But, no cancer.  He's not ever interested in having plastic surgery.  Good thing he's handsome already.

29 May 2014

A Little Taste of Freedom

When Rachel turned 16, she hoped she was going to find a car in the driveway with a big bow.  Actually, she had hoped it was a truck.  Instead, this is our solution - a vespa.  Rachel and one passenger can hit top speeds of 50 miles per hour on the roads, but, not on divided highways.  In our rural Arkansas town, she gets around just fine.  There's a cargo bay under her seat for a few groceries and her backpack rides just fine for school.  Her sisters and brother are loving that they can get Rachel to cart them around town.  James and I are loving that she is a responsible teenager and that she can go about 50 miles on a tank of gas - which is less than $2.  Seriously.

20 May 2014

Sister Hays, Seminary 2013-2014

If you are not familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, you may not be familiar with Seminary.  In our religion, seminary is not the institute of higher learning for the education students wishing to enter the clergy, like in other religions.  Seminary for Mormons is a four year course of study undertaken by high school students.  For each of the four years of high school, students gather before school to study the scriptures.  The courses are the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and Church history.  This year the big ladies (Rachel is a sophomore and Samantha is a freshman) studied the Book of Mormon with nine other high school students and Sister Sharon Hays, their teacher.

Sister Hays is amazing.  She made the kids breakfast every Friday, and randomly just because she wanted to.  She assigned homework; she kept the kids engaged; she challenged them to grow.  Most importantly for me, as a parent, she showed my ladies that a knowledge and testimony of scripture is crucial to their development and their future.  Sister Hays showed them that the people of ancient scripture had problems and blessings just like kids today.  She showed them that scripture is a relatable and living work that applies to them individually.  Simply put, she loved them.

My daughters love seminary.  They sacrifice to get there at 6:30 every morning.  While they don't always make it, they are better off and glad to be there.  Thank you, Sister Hays.  Thank you.

19 May 2014

Magic Springs - 2014

So we did it.  We went to Magic Springs and it was sunny and breezy.  It was the final day of $15 admission, so it was crowded and we ran into three other families that we know.  I'm so glad we went. We all had fun.  We let the big three go ride roller coasters together; so I don't have pictures of them - they were off enjoying the rides.  James and I stayed with the little two, who don't hit all the height requirements just yet.
This is James' only ride with JMichael.  While James wanted nothing more than to ride and play with his kids, theme parks are just not meant for individuals with back injuries.  James paid dearly for his romp in the sun.
Joey and JMichael on the bumper cars. 
Merry-go-round selfie....with Josephine riding zebra behind us.
All meeting up at the end of a fun day.  The big three hit almost nothing but the roller coasters and they have some good ones at Magic Springs - lots of loops, inversions and twists - they had a blast.  Literally.

01 May 2014

The Floor Broke My Fall....

Josephine is a sleep walker.  In the mornings, you are as likely to find her asleep in the bathtub as in her own bed.  We have heard her trying to open the front door in the middle of the night, asleep.  We have heard her having full on conversations, asleep.  She walks around the rooms of our house, looking like she is wide awake, but, she is sleeping through it all.  The family rule, per her pediatrician, is, don't wake her up.  We just guide her back to her room and lie her down.  Josephine has a sleepwalking episode probably five nights out of every seven, and I have to be sure to warn her friends' parents if Josephine is sleeping at a friend's house.

We have a small house with seven people.  The little ladies share a room with their little brother, and this calls for bunk beds.  Josephine decided that she wanted the top, and I thought, ok, this will cure the sleepwalking, because surely she cannot climb down asleep.  It didn't quite work out that way - her first night on the top bunk and BAM - at about two in the morning, she fell and fractured her radius.  Her first "broken" bone.

A few days later, at Children's hospital, Josephine chose bright pink for her cast.  She will wear it for two weeks.  She was so excited to get signatures.  Everyone in our family signed it and in school the next day she let her classmates sign and draw on it.  She says she was quite the celebrity.  No one else in her third grade class had a cast all year.