Saturday, June 25, 2011

Josiah's 6th B-day--part 2

This year for Josiah's party, he again wanted a Lightning McQueen theme. And lucky for us, the night before his party, "Cars 2" premiered in the theaters! It was fun to take him on a little date just him and us! Also lucky for us, we have LOADS of "Cars" paraphernalia that we have accumulated through the years. I used all of this for the decorations and it worked out great! For the party day, it was thankfully nice and sunny and so we were able as in past years to get out the sprinkler, water guns, and wading pool for all the kiddos. Josiah was taking a break here from the action for a bit, just enough for me to snap a photo!

The kids always LOVE to have water fights and Jaiden was especially excited about the big super soakers and was running around trying to get everyone. We had to make rules about WHO could be "gotten" because some people were getting wet that didn't want to. Most of the kids neglected to follow these rules (go figure) and so people just got wet anyway!

We had lots of people come to the party and it was quite a full house here as you can see! Josiah all of a sudden got super shy and WOULD NOT come in to have us sing to him. In past years, he has been shy about the singing part, but this time he bodily refused. As you can see, Daddy had to wrangle him back near the cake so we weren't singing to an empty chair. He wouldn't blow out his candle either and so the other kids did it for him. At first he didn't want cake, but then magically somehow after everyone was eating and the attention was off of him, he wanted some.

Our sweet little shy Josiah! His Daddy isn't too fond of pictures either and being in the spotlight, so I guess he has the same inclinations! Here is a video clip of what happened.

Our babysitter Sharel and her boyfriend Michael and also her sister Laura (another of our babysitters) came to the party too and the kids always have fun interacting with all three of them. Daniel was enjoying some of the pinata loot here with Sharel holding onto him. We had a Lightning McQueen pinata of course and it was the kind where you pull strings to see which string opens the pinata. Josiah pulled the first string and Caleb pulled the 2nd and it was a winner! Usually it takes quite a while, but Caleb was so excited to be the one to open it!

Naomi was very interested in all the goings-on of course and we got her dressed in her little ballerina suit and cover-up and she was toddling around to look at everything. Grandpa would always scoop her up though whenever she was near to get some hugs and kisses in!

Josiah started an impromptu game of Limbo and his friend Bryce is getting ready to limbo down the slide. He was singing, "Limbo, limbo, LIM-BO!" as they would go down.

Caleb was having a B-L-A-S-T at the party! When he woke up from his nap he was elated to get in his suit and then was running around with the squirt guns shooting people with water as quickly as he could get them filled up. He got Josiah once and gave this evil little, "HA ha ha!" laugh as he ran away. Josiah wasn't happy to have been "gotten" and pouted for a while! Caleb was soaked almost the entire time, but didn't complain a bit! When I went to take off his suit at the end of the day he was VERY unhappy and wanted his soaking wet suit back on again! Daniel had fun too of course, but wasn't as in to the water as his brother was.

Here is a shy Miss Naomi making her debut in her cute little suit and cover-up!

Josiah was having fun here with his pail helmet and squirt gun. The kids had a great time and my mom heard one of them say, " This is the best birthday party E-VER!" Josiah had a great time too and got to make lots of fun memories with his friends that came. Happy birthday to our oldest Pumpkinhead, Josiah!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Josiah's 6th B-day--part 1

One of our traditions that we have started with regard to birthdays is to not always give all of the presents on the actual party day. We have found that when we spread them out a bit it is more fun for the whole week and also he can play with each thing as he gets it rather than be overwhelmed with too many things all at once. Today, Grandma brought over some neat photo books that she made of Josiah's life from his birth until now. This was a very special gift and one that he can look back on years from now and enjoy it! He was reading the text that Grandma wrote underneath the pictures himself and loved seeing the pictures of him as a little boy.

Later after dinner the same day, Josiah opened Grandma and Grandpa's gift of a scooter and some knee pads/elbow pads. He really wanted a scooter and so was thrilled when he got one. He found it was a little harder to balance on the scooter than he thought though and was a little frustrated that he couldn't do it right away. After a day of having it however, he is trying it out more and is getting more confident with it.

This morning we let Josiah open our present to him, the V-8 cafe from the Cars 2 movie. This was also a gift he really wanted and we were glad that Lego made a set with the Lightning McQueen characters! Josiah helped me put the set together and enjoyed playing with it as well.

Here he is posing with his newly put together set! Later this same day, we took him to see the movie Cars 2 for his birthday date with Mommy & Daddy. It was a really cute movie and he got to eat popcorn and enjoy the undivided time with his parents. We are looking forward to his party tomorrow and hope the weather holds!

Conner Jones' Day

An old friend from high school's brother and his wife lost their son Conner Reed Jones to Cystic Fibrosis a year ago today. He was only 7 years old when he died and had battled this and other problems his whole life. We never met Conner, but heard about his story through my friend and then from Conner's parents on Facebook. We were invited to participate in an event to remember him by releasing red balloons on the 1st anniversary of Conner going to be with Jesus. Here they are wearing red, (for LOVE for Conner) eating some red licorice, and waving at Conner.

We got some balloons and wrote messages to Conner on them. I tried to let the kids speak in their own words and after I told them the story of Conner they dictated to me what they wanted to say. Josiah said, "I hate it when people die, but I am glad you are with Jesus now." Caleb said, "Bow to Jesus and say 'hi' to God for me." Daniel said, "Hello, my name is Daniel. Happy Valentine's Day!" (I think he thought the red was for Valentine's Day, but either way it was sweet!) For Naomi I wrote, "Jesus loves you and all you family. We miss you!" I tried to round all the kiddos up before I gave them their balloons, but by myself this was the best I could do!

Caleb let go of his balloon prematurely and you can see he is not happy about it. I told them from the start that they were not going to keep their balloons, so they knew that. I just think he wasn't ready to let it go yet. Appropriately though, he is showing the emotion I am sure that those close to Conner feel most every day that they think of him. I can't imagine how sad and difficult it must be to endure the death of your child long before their time. Please pray for this family and others like them that have gone through this!

You can see three of the balloons in this shot if you look closely. Naomi's heart balloon for Conner is visible in the foreground. It was a gloomy day today, but I know Conner is smiling on the other side of those clouds as he sees the balloons coming his way! This was a good thing for my kiddos to do today to help them think of other people and the fragility of life! Blessings and prayers go out to you Jones' family on this difficult day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Josiah's Yellow Belt Test

Josiah has really been enjoying Taekwondo and this test for his yellow belt will be his last test that he will take at this Doh Jahng. We are planning to sign him up in Spokane at a different Doh Jahng and they said they can start him at the same level (though the belt colors are switched, so he will be orange again there in Spokane). Prior to his test today, he was playing around with the other Tiny Tigers and one of the blue belts kicked him pretty hard and he was hurting. He came to Daddy for comfort and Daddy was glad to be there for him. So sad to see the tears in sweet Josiah's eyes here!

They are all lined up here waiting for the master to begin the test. These guys on the end are doing their first test for an orange belt!

Josiah is doing his 10-hand-set here and though it was nice to get a front shot of the test, I found out that it was MUCH too distracting for Mommy to be where Josiah could see me and I had to quickly run back to sit with Daddy behind the kiddos.

For this test, he did his 10-hand set, self defense move, showed various kicks (axe, snap front, and side) as well as broke a board with his side kick. He broke his board the first time this time! Master Kim had all the parents write down a bad habit on the board that we wanted him to break. Josiah's bad habit was "not keeping focused." He has a lot of power, but has a really hard time staying focused on the task at hand. Even during the test, he was very easily distracted by sirens going by, Mommy up in front (ever so briefly), and by the other kids testing around him. It is something he needs to work on for sure and we are glad he is doing something that can help him with focus!

This is the grandmaster that started this Doh Jahng. There are pictures of him all over the walls of him breaking boards and doing all kinds of neat moves. He speaks only Korean and so we have always heard him speak through a translator. It is clear that he loves watching these little guys though as he smiles a lot at them and gives them affirmations with his face.

This is Master Kim with Josiah. We told him that this would be Josiah's last test here and could tell that he was disappointed that we were leaving. I assured him though that we would be continuing in Spokane and he was glad to hear that. It will be an adjustment to leave this Doh Jahng for Josiah I am sure. Master Kim sets the bar very high and we have really appreciated his attention to detail and the love he shows the kids as he works with them. Josiah has made some great friends here as well that I hope we can keep in touch with also!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sun & Fun!

David recently celebrated his 5th anniversary working at Pemco and they have a special celebratory lunch to commemorate the event for all 5-year employees. He got to invite someone from his family (of course ME) to come to the lunch. It was fun to get all dressed up and chit chat with all the adults. I thought since I was already ready and didn't have kid goop all over me that it might be a good time for a picture! We went to eat at a place called Andaluca's in Seattle and had a very gourmet lunch and dessert. I had a pear salad and a lamb burger with some sauteed mushrooms on the side and a liquid chocolate cake for dessert. It was very good!

Though I was squinting here, the colors are really neat in the picture I think as it was a beautiful day!

On these sunnier days, I have been taking the boys out to ride their bikes/trikes. The twins have this new fun game to use this driveway (in our cul de sac) to ride down without using the pedals. Caleb was yelling here enjoying his ride.

They were also driving over this little bump in the road and falling down (maybe 3 inches) to the main road. But their favorite trike-riding fun was when one of them would ride down the road (a slight incline) and the other one would ride up the hill and they would crash into one another. Since they weren't going very fast, it was harmless fun, but I imagine at greater speeds that this game might be discontinued!

Daniel is enjoying his bumpy ride here also. I was trying to get Josiah to ride his new scooter in this set of pictures, but he was sulking because he was struggling to ride it well the first time and didn't want to try again. He is not fond of change, but we have been working with him to keep trying and that he is not always going to be able to do something well the first time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Boys, Sun and Hours of Fun

Daddy discovered a new fun game to play with the boys. One at a time they stand on the little kiddie table and he throws a ball at them for them to catch and then they throw it back to him. You wouldn't think that a simple game of catch would get them going so, but they all were dying to do this over and over one day. The rule was they couldn't throw it off the deck or the game was over. That way Daddy wasn't chasing it all over the yard every time they threw it at him.

They took turns for quite a while this one evening and they had some great quality Daddy time in the process. We call that "filling their Daddy buckets" around here. Of course, the Daddy buckets are never fully filled and Daddy is very much OK with that!

Daniel was so giddy and laughed the whole time he played the game.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Student Recital 2011

This was the last recital I will have with these students before we move! It was a bittersweet moment for sure! One of the flute players is not pictured here because she had another engagement, but since I cut my studio in half this year I had fewer students in this recital. The students did a wonderful job and I have had many of them since the first year we arrived here in Milton! It has been the longest I have been anywhere as a teacher, and so it has been fun to develop the relationship with these kids and see them progress from so many years ago! I had 4 flute players and 3 piano players perform at the recital today. I had one other piano player that was unable to attend the recital that I taught this year also. Picture with me above are Maria, Nathalie, Joe, Hannah & Rudy.

I also had a great opportunity to perform as well at this recital! Jim Kelsey (pictured here) is a local band director who has been my flute player's accompanist this past two years. He wrote a flute sonata when he was getting his master's degree at Central Washington University (my Alma mater) and wanted me to take a look at it and give my opinion. I liked it and thought it would be fun to perform, and since he never has performed it before, he was delighted to do so. He brought in someone to record the whole recital, and so we all got a CD of this recital as a neat memory for years to come. I posted the video of me performing this piece on our youtube channel, so feel free to click the link and listen. It is an 18 minute number so be prepared to be doing other things as you listen! I always love having an opportunity to play my flute and this was a fun performance!

Thank you to all my students! I will miss you greatly!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Meeting Timmy!

David works with Jee (pictured above) and so I also had the privilege to meet her too (they have been in past posts) and she had a little guy (about a year ago now) that I hadn't met yet, so I arranged to meet her and her hubby Craig at the park, so I could finally see little Timmy in person. Jee was really tickled here looking at Naomi toddling around.

Naomi is deciding what she wants to do next I think!

This is the very handsome Timothy with his proud Papa!

After the kids all played on the playground for a while, we all took a quick walk around the duck pond and kids all enjoyed watching them. We have found that Naomi is especially interested in all things animal and makes all sorts of happy noises when she sees them around her. It was fun to catch up with Jee and her family and to get to watch Timmy and his cute expressions and personality up close! Thanks Jee and Craig for hoofing it out to the park that day to meet us!

My Little Rock Stars!

Everytime I actually attempt to style the boys' hair and spike it up like this, they insist that they are rock stars. I am sure actual rock stars would beg to differ that it takes a bit more than spiky hair to fit the bill, but hey they are cute, right? You can tell Josiah thinks he is pretty cute here for sure!

He is doing a little air guitar for us as well to play the part a bit better as well.

Now Josiah is acting super goofy and Caleb is letting him know it is a little over the top! Not ready for a hair band yet, J-dawg...gotta learn to play drums or guitar first!

Caleb was so pleased to be a rock star today and gave me a big cheese-y grin to show it!

Naomi of course had to have a cute hair-do too and she was lounging on the Mater toy to pose for her close-up.

Right after I got the boys' hair done I wanted to take a picture, and Daniel was already tired of being a rock star was was attempting to slick his hair back down the way it was prior to the picture. He doesn't like change all that much, but likes to copy his brothers at first. You can see he isn't really into it here though as much as Josiah and Caleb. I think Daniel will be content to be the sound guy supporting the rock stars someday instead!