Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tribute to Tucker

As I sit down to write this I have so many emotions.  Writing helps.  Writing makes me feel like I can process my thoughts a bit. 

Today was a really tough day.  Like, the toughest I can remember.  I don't think I have ever cried as much as I did today.

Today we had to make the aweful decision to put Tucker to sleep.   Today I fed him for the last time, pet him for the last time, looked into those big brown eyes for the last time, and held him for the last time.

Over the past several months, Tucker has been getting more "defensively aggressive", meaning that when he is startled or confused about people's intentions he has started to snap.  It culminated after an unpleasant encounter with our vet at his routine check-up.  At that point, it became all too clear what needed to happen for the safety of the precious kids living in our house as well as those we come into contact with. 

Today was so hard.  SO hard.

Despite his behaviors in the past few months, I will choose to remember him as the sweet, loving, never-hurt-a-fly dog we adopted five years ago .

Today, I will choose to remember his loyalty that would follow me anywhere I would go and wait endlessly for me at the bottom of any staircase I ascended or door I exited from.

I will choose to remember his crazy energy that had him vertically jumping half the height of door when he needed to go outside and do his business.

I will choose to remember how he was the first one to make baby Summer laugh by scrambling up and down the basement stairs.

I will choose to remember the way he held his bed in his mouth and dragged it all over to be wherever we were.

I will choose to remember how he cleaned up after the kids so I didn't have to sweep after mealtime.

I will choose to remember him as my marathon training buddy, running sixteen miles in a day with energy to spare.

I will choose to remember how he would take off running in circles for no reason and make us all laugh.

I will choose to remember how he was our little reindeer, pulling the single, double, and then triple jogger as I pushed from behind.

I will choose to remember how he curled up in such a tight little ball inside his very small bed.

I will choose to remember how he lived for popcorn, and had such a focused stare while we ate.

We have so many great memories with Tucker and he was definitely a member of our family with a Christmas stocking just like the rest of us.  He was one-of-a-kind (no one who knew him would debate that!) and we are grateful for the time we got to spend with him.  The house feels pretty empty and quiet without this little guy. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reading, Spider Math, and More

I haven't posted much about pre-school and tot-school related things in a while...

Summer: Reading & More

Currently, Summer is absolutely loving reading, writing and workbook pages!  Lately we have been doing a lot of our preschool in the afternoon while the little sibs are sleeping.   Just in the past week she has made a dramatic leap in her reading and is loving reading multiple beginner reader books a day.  Here is a little is kind of long...but it shows how she is connecting the dots at this point...

She was pretty excited to read FIVE books yesterday!

I picked up this box at a consignment sale and this is what we have been reading out of lately

She will do workbook pages as long as I will sit and give her the directions ;)

Here she is coloring pictures, cutting them out, and sorting them by their vowel sound

Colton: Name Tracing, Candy Graphs, and Spider Math

Colton has definitely improved on tracing his name...

Practicing the letters in his name

He still loves making candy graphs and will request to do them!

Here is a video of a new spider math game we tried this week...


Larkyn is usually napping when we do school, so I'll just include some recent pictures here!

Summer LOVES playing with her little sister!

Colton wanted to give L a ride in the laundry basket boat...

The laundry basket boat morphed into a laundry basket train...

L is often found sucking these two fingers

Profile shot!

Grandma K!

Daddy Kisses!

Those cheeks are so kissable!

Grandma T!

Bible Learning

I haven't posted our verses of the week for December yet!  We get our verse each week at BSF and practice it whenever we eat a meal.  Then we video them each Tuesday before we get our new are the last two weeks worth...(Looking back the kids have memorized almost 50 verses this year!)

2 Corinthians 9:7 For God loves a cheerful giver.

Psalm 148:8 The Lord is near to all who call on him.

We have been enjoying reading the Christmas story A LOT out of both my big Bible and the kids' Bibles.  I love that their memory is so great at this age - they soak everything up!  We have been reading from Luke 2 and Matthew 2...Here the kids are helping me with the story...

Luke 2

Matthew 2

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Fun - Disney on Ice, Holiday Train, Christmas Musical, Date Nights

Family Picture after Summer's musical (oh, Colton! ;) )
 We have had a busy two weeks of the never ending Christmas-time to-do list and Christmas time fun!  I do have to say that one of my favorite parts has been talking about and reading the Christmas story with my oldest two...their interest in the story (especially Colton's as he "discovers" the meaning of Christmas) is so filled with excitement as they ask me to tell the story over and over again!  I hope to fill our remaining two weeks before Christmas with many more conversations and retellings of the story of Jesus coming to earth as we strive to keep Christ at the center of Christmas.  Anyway, here are a few things we have been up to lately...

Disney On Ice 

Last week we went to a morning show of Disney on Ice!  Because it was held only a block or two from Paul's work, he was able to duck out of work for a bit and join us.  Colton was especially excited that Disney Cars Lightning and Mater were there! The whole show was very creative and fun!

Here is a video of Lightning and Mater on the ice:

Holiday Train

Daddy and Colton had a "boys outing" to see the holiday train as is passed into town while we girls were at Summer's musical practice.  Colton loved it!

Here is a video Paul took:

Christmas Musical

Summer has been ecstatic about being in her Christmas musical!  She absolutely loved her practices and was so excited that she wanted to invite EVERYONE to come see it! She made invitations and all-by-herself handed them out to the neighbors while I watched from the window.  I can't believe how outgoing she is!  She went out multiples times on multiple days because she didn't just want to put the invitations in people's mailboxes - she wanted to tell each of them ALL about it!

Summer's invitation

Going door to door inviting people to her musical (while I watched from the window!)

Ready for the morning show!
Summer was in the choir (front row, 2nd from right)

Colton was a sheep (front right)
We were all blessed by the many people that came to see Summer, including our amazing friends Mr. Chris, Ms. Jessi, Hannah, Melanie, and baby Carter....

Grandma and Grandpa T and Uncle Javonte came!

Grandma Kirkwood came!

Grandpa Kirkwood came!
Mr. Ken (our Neighbor) came!

Summer's friend Adelyn and family (Ms. Kaity, Mr. Luc, Ian and Lincoln) came!

Here is a little clip of one of Summer's songs - she had EIGHT to learn the motions and words to, and did a great job!  The directors purposely put her between two of the boys that love to goof around to help keep them apart, and she did a great job holding her own and focusing on the director despite their crazy antics ;) - she gets a lot of practice dealing with goofy boys from her brother!

Date Nights!

 I don't have any pictures, but Paul and I have gotten to go on TWO date nights the past two weeks with the best babysitters around!  The first Friday night Grandma and Grandpa K babysat while we had a fun Christmas date at the Cheesecake Factory - best part - uninterrupted conversation (and of course delicious food!!).  The second Friday night Grandma and Grandpa T babysat while we went to a young adult church white elephant exchange Christmas party - we are so grateful for such wonderful friends!