Throwback Thursday – Happy Boy

TT_7-7-Happy BoyHi and Happy Thursday! Hope you are having a great day.  Here is a photo of Ian at almost 3 years old.  He was standing on the lifeguard stand and watching the sun set into the ocean.  He was extremely happy and having a great time at Mission Beach in California.

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of him.  I love the total glee and happiness that he is expressing.  I love how much he seems to be loving life.  And I love this smile and this boy.  This photo was lightened so his facial expression was visible.

He has always been a happy child and fun to be around.  He has moments of being grouchy or difficult when he is overly tired, hungry, doesn’t want to do something or is sick.  But for the most part, he is content, has plenty to do, and lives in the moment.  He has taught me to do that.  He has also taught me to make the most of each day,

While looking at this photo, I wondered when was the last time that I was this happy?  When did I throw away all of my worries and cares and just be gleeful?  I have laughed recently with family members and friends. I have cracked up at a funny memory or cartoon with Ian or a favorite comedy with Kirk.  But I also have cried over family and friends who are sick, the loss of a loved one, and the terrible things on the news.

I have always loved watching the news and reading newspapers since that has been a life-long passion and vocation for me.  However, more and more it has been hard to tune in without becoming emotional during the broadcast or angry.  I continue to be amazed at what people do to one another.  And, trying to explain that to Ian can be a challenge.

This summer we have been making time for fun and to be in the moment. We have had  time for swimming, watching funny movies, lazy days, ice cream treats, games, library books, walks, and many other fun things.  So far it has been great and a real treasure.  As bad things happen, we talk about them and pray about them as well.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My hubby who I am sharing this life journey with
  • Our son who I love beyond measure
  • Amazing friendships
  • My wonderful family
  • Prayer support from our church, family, and friends
  • Ian’s friends
  • Lego builds
  • Play time
  • Air-conditioning
  • Playing games
  • Books and the ability to read
  • Creativity and making up stories
  • No alarm clocks in the morning

I wonder if I can live in the moment as much as possible with Ian, Kirk, and our family and friends.  I am doing my best to do just that.

Almost End of School

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThis morning, Ian and I discussed the fact that today is the last Monday of Second Grade.  I also mentioned that to his teacher.  Wow, this year has gone by so fast.

It has been a great year and we are now ready for summer and some down time.  The last week we have been dragging each morning, taking a long, long time on homework, and having a hard time focusing. I just hope we can rally for the last few days.

This photo was from the first day of school in fall 2015.  Ian has grown at least an inch since then and has learned and changed so much. He will soon be a rising third grader and should be ready for the new challenges that are ahead for him.  His love of reading has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year.

In fact, this weekend, he started a new book series called Warriors. He read some of it to me and told me about all of the characters.  And, he is nearly halfway through the book already.  He had a hard time putting it down once he started.  He informed me that he is supposed to read for at least 20 minutes per day. That is very doable.

I am thrilled that he loves to read and enjoys it.  He is even inspired with his own story.  He has characters and a plot in mind.  We need to get them all down on paper and move forward from there.  What fun that will be.

We had a great weekend and hope you did as well.  My oldest nephew on my side of the family graduated on Friday night. We went and had a great time. I remember when he was a baby. He has grown into a great young man. I cried happy tears when the caps were tossed at the end of the ceremony.  One of Kirk’s nephews and one his nieces are also graduating this year.  Amazing!

Saturday was Ian’s last pack meeting for Cub Scouts for the year.  He earned a few more belt loops, got to fly a kite, see his friends and the older boys, and enjoy sherbet on a cone. We then went to the library to check out new summer books, played on the playground, and asked about the summer reading program.

Sunday was a lazy day at home in our pajamas.  We normally go to church and have a big lunch, but decided to just rest.  It was great.  We had time to read, finish most of Ian’s homework, and relax.  We ate together and chatted about his story and many other things.  It was just what we needed for late May.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Being there to see my nephew graduate
  • Time with my family and friends
  • Watching Ian fly a kite with my dad
  • Sherbet melting down our arms
  • Feet in the grass
  • A windy and lovely day
  • Time with my aunt and other family members
  • Messy hair and early morning conversations
  • A day in my pjs
  • The start of a new book
  • Ian loving to read as much as I do
  • Friends with birthdays
  • Ideas for Ian’s story
  • Hugs and cuddles

I wonder what this week will bring?  I am not sure but know that it will be good and that we will make the most of it.  We will enjoy the end of our school year and then SUMMER!!  YEAH. Hope you have a great week!

Homework and Quizzes

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA“Mom, first grade is hard work,” Ian told me yesterday afternoon.  He said that as he was finishing his homework.  “Yes it is Ian,” I said, nodding in agreement.

“I don’t like this homework, Mom,” he added.  “Ian, I understand, but you can do it and you are a smart boy.”  He seemed to like hearing that. “And, your job is to learn and part of that job is homework,” I explained.

Homework.  I remember it well from my days in school.  Some days the backpack was very heavy.  Speaking of backpacks, while we were eating dinner, Ian asked me, “Mom, did they have backpacks when you were in school?”  I told him, “Yes there were backpacks.”

He also informed me that a boy said he wouldn’t be doing his homework.  I told Ian that wasn’t a choice for him.  He will be doing the homework that is given to him.  I also said that boy will more than likely get in trouble with his teacher if he doesn’t do it.  “Ian, your homework helps you with learning and is part of your grade,” I told him. He seemed to get that.

So the routine of homework each night begins.  It is taking some getting used to but I know that he will get used to it.  We just need a few weeks to adjust to this new routine. The nice thing is that his teacher is primarily giving homework from Monday night to Thursday night, so we will have a break on the weekend.  At least for now.  We will certainly do our best to enjoy that!

This week, he has one book to read each evening.  A piece of paper comes with the book, for the student to initial, a parent to initial, how the book was read (by self, with parent, or by parent), and how long it took to read it.  We read his book for school and were done very quickly.

Before he read the book from class, he spent 45 minutes reading a chapter book, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  He had picked this out at the school library.  I helped him sound out words, but a lot of them he did guessing on. Clearly he loves to read and is doing very well with that.

I have to say I am very proud of him and love to hear him read.  It is an amazing gift that we started back when he was a baby and we signed him up for Imagination Library.  That is a program that is fantastic and provides books to children from birth to 5 years old, at no cost to the family. It was a great way to instill the love of reading.  We also regularly went to the library and have been reading to him ever since.

The thing that is new is the word study or spelling.  Each week, we will receive a list of words to work on with our child.  Then on Friday, there will be a quiz.  This week the quiz is a day early, on Thursday, so there isn’t as much time to prepare.  He is familiar with all of the words so he should do fine.  This afternoon, we will do a practice quiz.

Each evening we have been practicing and that so far seems to be working well. After school, he gets his snack and has a short break, and then right to the practice/homework time.  I told him we have to do that before time to play.  He may complain some but is understanding this is the way it will be done.

I wonder how the rest of our first week of real homework will go?  I think it will be fine.

Throwback Thursday – School Days

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday!  For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to share a photo of Ian’s first day of preschool.  Since school will be starting on Monday, I thought this was a good choice.

On Monday, he will start 1st grade.  He has grown quite a bit since this photo was taken.  My boy now is pretty tall for his age.

In this photo, he had his first backpack.  It was a Cars backpack.  He is on his third backpack for this upcoming school year.  It is Angry Birds and one that he picked.

It is hard to believe that he is about to embark on 1st grade.  He is excited and so am I.   Well, I am mostly happy, but having a hard time with Ian’s second full year of school.  He is still my baby after all.

I bought all of our school supplies a few days ago.  We will take them on the first day.  Very soon, we will soon find out who his teacher is.  Exciting times!

Now for trying to get his bedtime earlier.  That is the challenge for the rest of the week.  Ian has enjoyed staying up way past his school bedtime this summer.

Last night he went to bed earlier than the rest of the week, but was still tired this morning.  We have to continue to work on the adjustment.

For everyone with children going back to school this week and next and the coming weeks, my prayers are with you for a great school year and safety for your children.

I wonder what the rest of our last few days before school will bring?  I cannot wait to find out!