Monday, April 5, 2010

what we've been up to.

i had fully intended to do a post-easter write-up with some pretty funny pictures but it looks like my little thumb-drive-picture-uploader-thingy has decided to throw a tantrum.

since i feel like i post about random stuff, i figured i'd be a little more informative and write about what we've been up to...aside from polka-dot bums and caleb's silly monkey face.


he is almost 2 years down from school and ROCKIN' it.

i'm so proud of him. for those who don't know, he's dyslexic & has ADD which is a nasty combo for a grad school that is chalk-full of 10 page research papers and 50-100 pagepernight readings. he's getting fabulous grades for all of his hard work.

he will have his master's by this winter & is considering starting up with a practice in january of next year as a therapist. he would be able to make good money and also start into the real stuff while finishing up his doctorate (which should be done in 2012).

the man never ceases to amaze me. he's doing full-time school, 20 hours a week of an internship and he is still working part-time overnight graveyard shifts at a youth treatment facility. going down to part-time has made a huge difference though, for both of us. and even though our money is extremely tight it is worth it to us to have more time with each other, for him to be successful at school and also not have him living life looking like a zombie.
he is such a wonderful husband and an amazing, fun dad.

most days i feel like i don't deserve him....but you know what? i think that's how it should be. he makes me want to do better, be better, work harder and enjoy life more. plus he makes me laugh like no one else on earth.

my one complaint is his continual determination to dabble in the life of a bearded man. i'm a fan of a scruffy face, but not so much of the full-grown cheek-covering fur. luckily he will let it grow to where i am just about to threaten to withhold my kisses until it's gone, and he shaves it to start all over (i think he can sense it in the air). we've never had to cross that bridge and let's hope we never do.


just started soccer and is loving it. it's good for him to learn how to play on a team and be a good sport even if he doesn't win or get the ball every time. it's also great to build up strength in his legs and endurance while running around so much.

he's almost 5 and is on a countdown to get there. i think he feels life really begins at 5. and to be honest, it just might. his health has been fabulous and i thank God every day for that. he is still on the small side even though he's a great eater. he's about the same height as most 3 or early 4 year olds and only weighs 7 lbs more than leah. sometimes i think about holding him back from kindergarten for another year just so he can catch up physically, but the more i think about that, i feel it's not the best idea. he's ready in every other way and there are worse things than being short, right? i mean look at me... :)

but he's happy and good-natured. he adores his friends. he really is a good kid, who is well-behaved in primary and the community classes he takes. he can do simple addition and subtraction math in his head and can also read and write. sometimes i'm shocked, when we're reading one of his chapter books and he leans over and says, "mom, that says bucket! or that says zookeeper!" it's so fun to watch him learn.

he's a deep thinker and analyzes everything we tell him. it's good that he's this way, even though sometimes i have to be careful about how deeply i go into details about things. let's just say he asked me about death a couple of weeks ago and it was a rough couple of days. no matter what i said to convince him of how fabulous heaven is going to be (as much chocolate cake and cucumbers as he wants!) , he was traumatized thinking about me getting old and dying. the other day we were reading the scriptures and one of the "bad guys" was killed. caleb began to cry and i kept saying, "but sharem was a bad guy! this is a good thing!" but he wasn't convinced.

he's a sensitive fella who doesn't like to hurt others, and is specifically sensitive when it comes to shows he watches and scary music. so when other kids his age are watching disney movies and who knows what else, he's still sticking to nick jr. shows. i used to worry about this but remembered that at his age i was exactly the same, and ben said that he was too. so i don't push it and know that eventually he'll grow out of it. (or maybe not? i still have nightmares about the girl from "the ring." i'm a total wuss!)

he's also still very music-oriented. he absolutely loves to play instruments and to sing. he belts his heart out during primary programs. it's awesome.

he's a fantastic big brother. every now and then i find myself breaking up a fight when leah comes over to just grab toys out of his hands and then lets out a screech when he won't give it up. but other than that they love playing together. he is constantly making leah laugh with crazy dance moves or running around. i love how kind he is to her and have my fingers crossed that it lasts.


this roly-poly gal has won over all of our hearts. she is learning new words every day, and currently has about 10 down, along with some signs. she loves to do the "ooh oooh ah ah" sound for monkey and to let out a hilarious "ribbit" for a frog.

her favorite songs are "old mcdonald" (we'll hear her wake up at night and sing "EIEIOOOO" over and over until she falls asleep) which she can listen to for hours, or "popcorn popping." that's how i get her to smile in her pictures, by busting out one of those songs. works like a charm.

she also looooooves to read books. if she could, she would sit plopped in someone's lap reading books all day long. she's constantly dragging one around with her to throw it at whoever is walking by in hopes that they'll read it.

she's a tough cookie. when caleb was her age, he struggled more with getting hurt and so when she falls over and hits her head and cries for a few minutes but gets over it i am pleasantly shocked. she is also constantly making us laugh with her craziness. she loves music and dancing and has the funniest moves.

she loves to be rocked and sang to, can blow kisses and wave bye-bye and also gives the best hugs.


well...why is it hard to write about myself? hmmmmm. i've been working as a contracted writer off and on for i've currently written 6 articles and have enjoyed the experience and the extra income. even though the subjects they have given me i've felt completely inadequate to write on, it's been good to figure out how to do research and become educated about things that i wouldn't have otherwise.

i'm working hard on being healthier. i haven't realized how much i've neglected myself in this area. even though i don't eat a lot, i'm working on giving my body the best. my current goal is to walk for 60 minutes a day 6 days a week and also change the quality of food i'm eating. nothing drastic, but just better choices. so far i've lost 4 lbs. and i'll take it! but it's more for me about how i'm feeling. with energy, strength and endurance. so we'll see how that goes.

we're also looking at moving, and hopefully in the very near future. we love our complex but we need caleb to be able to enjoy a bed (have i mentioned that he's been sleeping in our walk-in closet for almost a year now? yeah, i still haven't figured out how to get my kids to share a room...with any of us being able to sleep. but let me tell you it's awesome that when caleb gets a time-out, ben and i get to hear ourselves say, "you need to go and sit in the closet and take some time to calm down." words we thought we'd never say. and i can't wait for the day that he tells his primary teacher that he gets banished to the closet when he's bad. i'm sure i'll be pulled aside for that one.) and for ben to have somewhere to study that doesn't have a toilet and a sink nearby.

so i think that's about it. we've been enjoying the beautiful weather here in phoenix and are gearing ourselves up for the hot summer. which most likely means spending the majority of our time at the pool.

well there's my once-a-year informative, boring post!


The Pyne's said...

oh inspire me!!!!! I'm so glad that you guys are doing so well, but who am I kidding, you guys make the best situation out of anything and are so dang positive!! I LOVE it!!!! Tis why I LOVE reading you blog. You help me try (more like I think about it, but never get around to it) to be a better person. and um, walking for 60 min. 6 days a week?!!?!?? I barely get 20 min. 3 days a week. I'm so out of shape and my pants are helping me fill that!! They are quite snug! guess I better step it up!

and as for ben, I'm so proud of him too!! That is so awesome that he is almost done with his masters. I can't believe it has been 2 years!! CRAZY!!! so aparently it's been awhile since we've actually seen you guys!?!?! =)

ok their mr. smarty pants.....or A.K.A. Caleb!!! um, he knows how to read and write?!!?!? wow, he must be the smartest kid EVER and also has incredibly GREAT parents who spend lots of time with him reading and singing, etc.!!! BRAVO to you guys (Thumbs down to us!).

and to miss incredibly BEAUTIFUL (technically you and LEAH, but this part is really just for Leah!!!), how adorable you are!! I could just EAT you up!! I'm so glad that you are being so good to your parents. Make sure they know that and I hope you know that you are incredibly BLESSED/LUCKY to have such GREAT parents!!!

anywho, LOVE all your incredibly awesome, uplifting and loving posts!!!! Miss you guys and hope all is well!!! =)

Garry and Mindy said...

It's fun to read about your family! You guys have a ton of ambition! That's so exciting that Ben is so close to being done with his Master's! I am impressed that Caleb is reading! I kinda thought Ellie would be reading at least some simple things by now, but she isn't quite there yet, probably close. And I think Leah is caught up to my twins! Sounds like you are still able to soak up a little of that Arizona sun (which I so envy right now that it is April and it's snowing!)

Rachel Chick said...

Definitely not a boring post! I love these kind. I've actually been wondering what you've been up to. I can't believe Ben has almost finished TWO YEARS! How can it be that long since you moved there?? Time is so weird.
I'm so glad that you all are doing well. We miss you so much.

Rachel H. said...

I love these kinds of posts! It's fun hearing what you've been up to. Hoping you find a bigger place, where it won't sound like your children are in a hostile environment. KIDDING! :)

And 4 pounds! THAT ROCKS! I think I better pick up the 60 minutes 6 days a sounds like a great goal, if for nothing else than to feel how good you've felt. I could sure use that!

ohmylanta said...

Great Updates! We went through ten years of schooling. It was insanely difficult. I'm sure you are anxious to be done with all that - but I'm happy to hear that Ben is succeeding and balancing the demands so well.

I had no idea that you were writing. I'm not surprised! I think your brain functions in a much more creative way than mine. You really do inspire! (I need to get exercising too)

PS. Do your kids ever take a bad picture? A boogery one? Bead Head? Screaming? Green teeth?

Mike, Sarah, and Addison said...

What is so strange to me is that I haven't seen you guys since Caleb was still a baby. You were living in Ben's mom's house, I think. Anyways, all I could think about is Caleb reading Harry Potter someday and thinking, I used to sleep in a closet too! Just remember, it gives them fun stories for when they are older. How boring would our lives be if it weren't for the weird things we do.