Today, You are Five

Dear Josiah,

It seems as I grow older that time passes more quickly.  It is hard to comprehend that the baby that was placed in my arms in the wee hours of the morning five years ago today has grown into 40 plus pounds of pure spunky boy! Oh how thankful we are for you!

Josiah, you keep us young and laughing. You are a joy to our entire family, and we cannot imagine life without you.  They say that the more children you have, the less attention the younger ones get. I’d like to think that far from that being the truth of the matter, you have not just two parents who think you are amazing, but a big sister and two big brothers who adore you as well, and are some of your biggest fans. We are all so glad you are part of our family!

These days you love music. You love to hang out with your two big brothers in the room you share together, turn up whatever song you are listening to nice and loud, and sing and dance your heart out. You also love Legos, Wii, and writing little notes to me which you seal in envelopes and tuck into little hiding places for me to find.

You are enthusiastic about almost everything. When someone gives you a gift, you unwrap it and exclaim over it with unbridled happiness.

You are BRAVE…braver than I’d like some days! You learned to do a backflip off the diving board this summer at our neighborhood pool. You will try just about anything, talk to just about anyone, and when you are hurt, cry very little.

You are AFFECTIONATE…maybe the most cuddly child we’ve had so far. Even at age 5 you will still sit in our laps to be hugged and snuggled. You give hugs freely and generously to your circle of family and many friends.

You are LOYAL…you are convinced that your siblings and cousins are your best friends in the world and you love them dearly. You tell us that your “Brudder, Nicolas” is your very best friend. You talk about your baby sister who is going to come home from Ethiopia someday, and how you cannot wait to meet her, and how excited you are to be a big brother.

You are OBSERVANT and CHARMING and DEAR…on most days, you will size up whatever outfit or accessory I am wearing and tell me, “oh Mommy, you look SO pretty today. I love your dress.” Or, “oh look Mommy how you painted your nails so beautifully, I like them!”  You are also fond of telling me that someday when you are all grown up, you will buy the house next door, so that you can live close by to me forever.

No matter where you live someday, or how grown up you get, in my heart you will always be my “Little Jo” and I will forever be so amazingly blessed to be your Mother.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Josiah!

A Boy and His Puppy

Josiah is enjoying life with a puppy in the house. Having someone smaller and younger than he to boss around evidently has a lot of appeal for our littlest guy!

In all seriousness, he tries very hard to help with Sadie: takes her out for potty breaks, throws the ball for her to chase, and tells her “No!” about a gazillion times a day when she breaks house rules by trying to eat something she shouldn’t. (I probably ought to mention in Sadie’s defense that usually the something is a K’nex or Lego toy that Josiah left on the floor, heh.)

He also delights in carrying Sadie around like a sack of potatoes. Poor doggie. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I want him to treat her well, definitely. We’ve always tried to instill in our children a care and respect for God’s creatures, so they know that if we carry or hold them we should do it gently and kindly. On the other hand, I am glad if Sadie is learning to be a tad patient with the younger set, given all the children in both our immediate and extended families, not to mention the many friends whose children spend a lot of time in our house.

Shots like these

are priceless; I love the affection little Josey has for the smallest “baby” in the family!! Aren’t they sweet together?

The Week in Recap…

This past Monday morning marked our return to reality: Jay went back to work after a delightful week and half’s vacation, and the children I put away the wii, laser tag, and Christmas movies, taking out instead our books and school tasks.

It was a hard week.  No one (the Mommy included) was too thrilled about resuming school work.  There was weeping, there was whining, there was gnashing of teeth. Ok, maybe no real gnashing, but we got pretty close!

Despite all this, things were looking up somewhat by Friday, and overall, we ended up accomplishing more than I would have thought we could. And there was some brilliance in the midst of the hardship, for this week, I finally got smart, and put my $5 roll of Ikea paper to work for me!

Each day during schoolwork with the older children, I struggle with how to effectively spend time with Josiah and alternately, how to prevent him from bringing constant interruptions to the flow of learning that is going on. It is hard, and admittedly, it is my least favorite part of homeschooling. When I complain to Jay that I am missing out on serious quality time with my preschooler, he reminds me of mothers who work outside the home, and never see their preschoolers between the hours of 8 and 5. That usually puts a stop to my whining. Ahem.

Nevertheless…I have continued to look for creative ways to engage my four year old, and earlier this school year I brought home this beauty from Ikea to help….

At $14.99 this is worth every penny!! Josiah has used the chalkboard and whiteboard happily for several months.  But on Monday, I brought out the drawing paper roll…and the real fun began! He put on his “smock”, we chose paints and brushes, and used these awesome little paint containers that my wonderful MIL bequeathed to us. (Thank you, Grammy Ruth…these are sheer brilliance!)

See the holes in the top? Just perfect for your paintbrush. After some trial and error, I thinned out the tempura paints with some water, and they were perfect for creating fine art!

When Josiah was done painting each day, I covered every paint container with that sticky saran wrap and we were able to keep the same set of paints out all week for him to use. He had a blast, and was so proud to show off his paintings!

I really like his use of color and mood in this one. Very modern.

This is a more traditional rendering:

Oh he is so yummy…

The Christmas Gift

A few days ago, we got our Christmas tree put up, and the other boxes of Christmas decor out. As we have put touches here and there around the house, Josiah has been more interested than in previous years about this thing called “Christmas”. I field the question, “But Mom, when is it going to be Christmas?” about 7 times a day. Each time he is disappointed to learn that no, today is not yet the day.

But on Sunday night, his grandparents brought over a little present for us all to open…inside were ornaments for each member of the family, including one for Jay and I. Taking his cue from Grammy, Josiah must have decided that even though it was not yet Christmas day, at least it was high time to start the giving and receiving of gifts. The next morning I found him hard at work trying to tie a piece of string around the same box Grammy’s ornaments had been packaged in.

“What are you trying to do?” I asked him.

“I need to tie the string on this box. It’s a present for you, Mommy!” he replied.

Of course I helped tie the string, which pleased him greatly. Beaming from ear to ear, he held out “his” present to me…

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“Here you go, Mommy…it’s your Christmas present from me!” he said.

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I opened the box to find these treasures:

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A beautiful pointsettia ornament (strangely similar to the one my in-laws had given me just the night before).

A drawing of a turtle, done by Josiah himself.

And a magnetized chip clip.

“The clip is so you can hang my turtle picture on the ‘frigerator” Josiah explained to me. Well of course it is…how clever!

I love my present from my littlest guy! I love even more that at his tender age, he is learning that part of Christmas is about giving gifts to others, just as our Heavenly Father gave the greatest gift to us more than 2000 years ago.

What Does a Little Turtle Like to Eat Before Bedtime??

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Well, of course he’s a turtle, can’t you see the shell tied onto his back with his big brother’s very turtle-patterned camo scarf?

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Apparently turtles really love to lap up egg nog…especially when their mommies pour it into a nice plastic bowl.

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Yummy!

Hair Cuts Again!

Several years back, Jay started cutting our boys’ hair at home in order to save some buckos.

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He even cuts his own now, what a cool guy!

A year and a half ago, I featured Josiah’s first haircut with the flobee….remember this entry??

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Eighteen months later, the poor boy has very little additional hair, but yesterday after Jay finished cuts on both Josiah and Jonathan it struck me that they look a lot alike with their twinkie haircuts…

Here they are post early-morning hair cuts:

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Happiness is….

a boy in his pile of leaves!

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Update on the “Office Remodel”

Thank you, faithful readers, for your patience with us as we bring you semi-weekly installments of the progress on the little office Jay is slowly creating in the corner of our bedroom.  Our first Horne Improvement episode of this particular series can be read here. And last week I shared the second episode with you.  Admittedly, this office remodel does seem to be dragging on.

Yesterday I decided that we’d waited long enough for the whole thing to get finished, so we brought in some professionals.

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Pretty cool gig for them in these economic times especially!! That short one doesn’t even feel the need to spring for work clothes, apparently!

I’m here to vouch for the fact that expertise in painting directly correlates with the amount of clothing worn. In other words, if your painter shows up half naked, you’d be well advised to find yourself another guy for the job!

Well, after painting over the not so attractive streaks created by the littlest member of the crew, I think the wall is looking pretty great!

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It’s ready for the carpenter to go to work and build the desk!

For Once…

….he’s looking at the camera!!
Hi, Mom!

Hi, Mom!