Wow, so much has happened since our last post. Christmas, Joshua turned 6, and Hannah turned 4, Lori & Nancy visited, and so much more. Let's get started. Christmas was fun, we spent it here in Maricopa, and Jared & Kristin came to spend it with us. We had so much fun talking and hanging out, & just spending time together. We got to meet their dog name Moo; he is really sweet. I also learned that Jared is connected to him at the hip (sorry Jared, but it's true :)). He is a great dog, and we really loved him coming along. We also got to celebrate Jared's 30th birthday here! Wooo hooo, it was fun to witness someone turning into a geezer.
Jared's 30th Birthday!
Benson's Christmas ties
Don't leave a 3 yr. old alone with a camera, this is what happens! Soon after Christmas was Hannah's 4th birthday on January 4th, and she certainly loved that it was her birthday! Among her gifts was a new bike which she loves; it's covered with Disney Princesses & of course it's pink. Funny enough the helmet we already had for her matched it perfectly. She calls it her Princess, not her Princess bike, just "Princess". It also came with a small backpack that Velcros to the front handle bars & I mistakenly called it a bag. "It's looks more like a purse, so I call it a purse" she said. I had to laugh at that one.
Joshua wasn't far behind, his birthday is January 21st and he turned 6 this year. He also got a bike and loves it just as much. He & Hannah ride as much as possible and are quite fast.
I walk a 2 mile loop and was thinking that it would be great to ride my bike and carry Asher in a sling, while Hannah rode her bike along with me. After seeing her stamina on shorter rides, we tried the 2 mile loop together. You might not know but my bike is from the 5o's and only has one gear, and it's also kinda hard to ride far distances on it, so I was taking the loop at a nice slow pace. It took her about 3 seconds to decide that I was going far too slow and she took off. She followed all the rules I set out, she just went as fast as she could. I'm not proud to say that I was actually trying hard to keep up with her. My favorite part was her sporadic squeal at the top of her lungs "WEEEEEEEEE WEEEEEEEEE" as her little iridescent streamers blew in the wind. I also loved her ringlet ponytail blowing from the constraints of her helmet, and her enormous smile. What a fun time! A memory I hope never to forget.
Joshua spends most of his days at school, so it's me, Hannah & Asher for most of the day. I do miss my Joshua, but he is learning so much at Legacy. He is a great reader, he can add & subtract, and identify adverbs, nouns, etc. all in kindergarten! Wooo hooo! Legacy has an accelerated academic program that I am thoroughly pleased with, I can't say enough about it! The school district here has kids reading at 8 yrs., needless to say I'm glad we have nothing to do with that. He is such a good big brother, and he still loves his cars as well. Some days, I just want to hide them, but he knows exactly where he's left them, so I let him play as down time after school.
Hannah is aching to go to school, she asks so often when she can go too. With Benson & Joshua going together, she does feel a bit left out at times. Although sometimes after school when I'm picking up Joshua, Benson will let them both stay and play with other children (faculty's kids) until he's finished, and she loves that. Hannah also loves to help me with Asher. When he cries, she'll give him his pacifier or bottle, or play with him. I have to admit, it's great! She's my little helper with everything now. She's excited that she got to start primary this year, and she's in primary at the same time as Joshua.
All the kiddies are growing so fast, the oldest two went through 2 sizes of clothes just during the summer alone, and have moved on to their third this year. Asher is already in size 12m, he's definitely our little chunker-wooo hooo, finally got one!
Benson's loving work as usual, and the kids love him! Could it be that he acts like one of them? I don't know, but that's my guess. He often gets the kids in trouble when he's home, engaging them in off limits behavior or activities (sorry to rat you our Hun). But how can I get mad when he's just so darn cute and sweet to make up for it? In all seriousness, he does do quite a lot for the school, they love him and we love them! Maricopa is so perfect for us (except for the excruciatingly horrid summers).
Now onto my life. I got bit by an Arizona recluse while sleeping and it was a dreadful experience. It's been about a month now, and I still have swollen, achy ankles. Upon first being victimized by the insect, I had to make a visit to urgent care. I was dizzy, nauseated, and my joints really hurt; oh and I had a migraine, and my whole body ached. It wasn't fun. After getting 3 Rx scripts I felt a bit better, but soon had to make a trip to the ER. I couldn't walk without extreme pain and it felt like I had a severe flu coupled with severe arthritis. Not fun for me. I left with 4 more Rx's to fill. I was down for a week on percocet, steroids, and antibiotics. At least, the spider could have paid a little rent while he was here or for some meds, seriously!
Today was Asher's four month check up and he's grown quite a bit. He measures 25.5 inches long and weights over 15 lbs. Joshua was that big at his year mark. Asher is in the 90 percentile for all his measurements, no wonder he fits in 9-12 month clothes!
After re-reading my last post it seems obvious to me now that I was really excited that we've been so blessed to be here, and I hope that it didn't come off as bragging :/. Anywho I'm just so stinkin' excited about Joshua and his progress this year in school. He's already doing addition, and reading books by himself. When I was in kindergarten I remember melting crayons on foil over a hot plate and practicing staying in the lines as we colored. Times have really changed, and it was a public school. Anyway, he's really been excelling in all areas. I'm so proud of him because he was so obviously behind before, especially socially. He hasn't had any therapy since April, but seems to be doing great with just school instead-what a relief! Also he appears more and more as a typical child too, Hannah as well. What a blessing to be here, Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need, even if one does have to move to the desert to get it :).
I just had to share my excitement & I hope you are all well!
Joshua has been very busy this school year learning so many new things. He attends school at the Charter where Benson teaches and I have been nothing but completely satisfied. It's called Legacy Traditional School, and focuses on patriotism and advanced academics. Aside from me loving the administration and faculty, Joshua & Benson do too. Joshua has many friends, peer age, and many lady staff, faculty and administration friends who adore him. They love his hugs and conversations. His favorites are his principal Dr. Croatt, and his teacher Mrs. Voyles. Both of which are absolutely awesome, (not to mention little hottie moms :) ).
I'm very excited about the curriculum and that he's been able to keep up and excel at it too. They're learning to read, learning addition, subtraction, counting in multiples and give an oral presentation every six weeks. He loves to learn and is so excited about socializing. His teacher sent a note home and said that a little group of girls save him a seat everyday at the lunch table. he's little Mr. social now which is great, since it used to be the opposite last year.
We love it here, the people were/are so welcoming & helpful from the start, the school is amazing, and the cheap housing makes life on a teacher's salary wonderful. We are grateful that we have been so blessed in these ways, it makes living in the desert so much easier :).
We've been busy with Asher's blessing, family visits, and fun in general (other than being sick :)). We have a ton of pics, but until we receive them from various family members, I'll post my latest favorite picture of our little man Asher. He is seriously adorable with his little old man look, and his smile always brightens the moment. We've been blessed with a relatively easy baby with a great temperament, like Joshua's, but happier if that's possible. I'm thanking my lucky stars!