Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Joseph turns 6!

 For Joseph's sixth birthday, he wanted to go with a Star Wars theme and a boys only party :-(. I was super sad this year about him not wanting to invite his girl cousins because it simply means he is growing up. However, after the party, I think it was a good thing we didn't have any sweet little girls here because it got pretty rowdy.

 This party was bittersweet for me. You see, we had his party the night of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy. That entire day I was saddened by the news and was extremely anxious to get my little man in my arms. On the way to pick him up that afternoon, I wept and wept the entire car ride to his school. Then I continued to cry buckets in the car line. When he was in the van, I was so thankful that I had him.

During the party, as I sat and watched our six year old (the same age as some of the victims), and the young boys that were the same age or close to, run around, I was incredibly thankful that we were getting this opportunity to celebrate and not having to receive the horrible news that we as parents hope to never hear. As Joseph was running around, I kept thinking back to that morning when I dropped him off. The car in front of us was holding up the line a little, so I was able to watch Joseph walk all the way to the door. I remember thinking, "he looks so cute in his school outfit, black Nike's and carrying a backpack that is half his size." All I could do was think of those parents of the victims and that being the last image they had of their child. I was such a wreck during his party. Trying so hard to not just go grab Joseph and sob. Can you imagine if I had done that? I probably would have embarrassed the snot outta him and his friends would probably think I was crazy. By God's grace, I was able to hold it together and enjoy my son with all his little buddies sword fighting, eating pizza, eating cake and whacking open a pinata.  But as soon as the night wrapped up and all our boys were asleep, I went to our room, buried my face in my pillow, sobbed, clung to Jeff and we both just started praying for the families.

This banner, I made with a table cloth from the dollar store, splattered some glow in the dark paint on it and a friend made the letters for me.
I honestly don't intend to take any credit for these light sabers, but man these were a huge hit. We ordered the pool noodles on line and we bought about 6 (cut them in half, so you end up with 12) of them for less than $7! Then I used electrical tape and duct tape for one of the ends. My boys love these things. Two reasons they love them: (1) They can take them on the trampoline and (2) Our little two year old can sword fight and not bloody his older brothers knuckles while in the process.

 Oh, (3) they can wail on each other....and do it in the house!

 After seeing him blow his candle out (picture on left), I have decided that I will never do a cake for a child's birthday again. I am so thankful I made cupcakes so that he could spit all over his own cupcake and we were all spared his germs.

You are becoming a little man these days. You are asking for chores to do, wanting to go with Dada early Sunday mornings to help set-up (and play the DS with your buddies), help with your little brothers and you are becoming very interested in video games.

We are so thankful that you continue to be a healthy boy. You are 83% for weight and 67% for height. You still have your sweet tooth and if we don't hide our sweets, you will find them and enjoy it very much. This past year, you started to really enjoy watching Power Rangers, Jayden (the red ranger) being your favorite. You have begun to love Star Wars. You received several Star Wars action figures for your birthday and Christmas and I would have to say those are your favorite toys to play with.

 You are and have always been such a sweet big brother. It's not too often you hear older siblings praying for another baby. You would pray for this before we were ever considering getting pregnant again. You have such a sweet heart, so much in fact, you wanted a baby sister so bad. You would also make this your prayer. The day we told you you would be getting another brother, you were a little disappointed. You were so convinced you were getting your sister! Even though you didn't get the little sister you had prayed for and wanted, you have accepted the idea of having another little brother. You have suggested some really cute names and you have even nicknamed him  "JoJo." We all love it, so that's what we call him right now.

 You have such a beautiful smile!
 This year, you participated in tball and soccer. You did great! The first tball game was challenging because you were so incredibly shy. After the first game, we started taking you out once a week to work on things and from the second game on, you blossomed so much! When soccer season came around, we didn't have to worry much about your shyness  because you had already begun to start coming out of your shell. The first soccer game, you were so lost and had no idea what was going on. After going out as a family once a week to practice, that quickly changed and things began to click for you. You have such a sweet spirit on and off the field, so much in fact that we had to work with you at being aggressive and sort of get a killers instinct on the field. It seemed to be when a boy from the other team had the ball, you didn't mind attacking and trying to get it, but if a girl had it, you were super gentle and didn't want to hurt her.
 You are such a joy to have around, even though we are going through a phase of talking back and arguing. I can't wait to get through this season :-). I know it's a learning experience for all of us on what's acceptable and what isn't, but it can honestly be exhausting where everyday we have to talk about your 'tone' and disagreeing with an adult.
 One of the highlights from this past year was you beginning Kindergarten. I can't believe this time has come. You have adjusted very well. The entire first semester, you were eager every morning to go to school, but then Christmas break happened. Ever since then, you drag your feet in the morning and tell me everyday that you don't want to go. Thankfully, it's not because of a bully or a mean teacher, it's because you tell me you don't like being gone that long without me and Christian around. You are doing well in school. Your report cards have been great, but we need to work on math. We aren't too worried about the area of math because we know that it will eventually click for you. Your reading has improved leaps and bounds. You went from being in the lowest reading group (at the very beginning of school), to the highest reading group in one semester. It's been pretty amazing to watch.

 We love you dearly and we can't wait to see what God has in store for you this coming year. We pray everyday that God shape you and mold you into the likeness of him. That your heart, eyes, ears and mind will be protected from the ways of this world and that you will accept Jesus at a young age and live a life that is glorifying and pleasing to him.

Love you Joe!

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