Tuesday, February 27, 2018

January fun

Routine is wonderful to return to after the holidays.  We missed our homeschool coop friends the most.  The following shots were taken the coop before Christmas where we decorated our own ornament and baked gingerbread cookies.

The other children are kind, often sharing their food with Bubby as they have their snacks.

I had to include the picture above because Bubby has grown comfortable at the coop, the other children are no longer strangers and if they have some gingerbread he feels they should share, he won't hesitate to let them know!

"Huggles" still occur often which is getting harder despite our king size bed.  The kids are just too big!  Occasionally we get in a hike on Sunday's with Baba.  Bubby does well with some motivation, we can see him getting stronger each day.
WE have a new respite worker, Ms. Mary.  She's wonderfully grandmotherly for Eli and all the children and as soon as she arrives Eli takes her hand and brings her to the backyard to get his daily swinging in!

AZ on the rocks is still a monthly thing that the oldest two love!  Keila has a daredevil inside and works hard and harder on different walls.  Isaac is working on his fear of heights and while bouldering is still more appealing, he did make it to the top.  I love how these two are working hard on individual goals.  They were tuckered out so we HAD to get some milkshakes to share!

Isaac and I managed to catch the early morning lunar eclipse.
We also caught a performance of Romeo and Juliet which Bug loved and Pumpkin tolerated well for a three year old!

Weve also joined Pizza Hut's reading program that gives free individual pizzas if the kiddos meet their goal.  For Bug she is to read daily from her readers while Bud has been reading biographies.  We've been working with Bubby with phonics and hope he will be reading before he's speaking.

Family fun in Fountain Hills where we watched Native American hoop dancing and played in the park.

While I may be behind in posting it is fun to relive these memories and hope they will be relived again.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas always comes in such a flash. There's the gift buying, the parties, decorating and baking.  More often than not it can be one too much for the kiddos (neurotypical and autistic) so we carefully choose those activities that bring the most pleasure. 

For the first time we took everyone to see the lights at the Mesa temple. It's an impressive display and we worried about the numbers of people and how Bubby would do. Inspiration came and I brought along an apple which he happily gnawed on as we walked and took pictures. Pumpkin was in Heaven!  She adores all the Christmas lights and had to touch all the colors.  Bud is reach that tween phase where he's not so interested but even he had a good time. 

We tried a drive through light show set to music as well.  Honestly we came through it a little bewildered.  It was just too much stimulus for most of us and especially for Bubby.  From now on we'll stick to Mesa's show with it quiet reminder of what this season really is about.

The gingerbread houses are a must!  I'm not sure there is every any esthetic goal here, just the need to stick as much sugar as possible to consume later.

Here in Phoenix you must travel to have the pleasure of playing with snow.  Fortunate for us the science center had a nice pile for us to play with.  Bubby wasn't to happy with the cold wet stuff but the other kiddos had fun.

The older two and Pumpkin caught Coco in theaters.  It was a beautiful story of loved ones lost and by the end the two oldest were sobbing into my shoulder.  Bug's final remark was that it warmed her heart to think of her Grandma Young on the other side and how she lives in her memory.

For our annual ornaments we brought back from Utah some of their metallic skeleton leaves.  They were so beautiful, reminding me of my college days with fall leaves.  Pumpkin opted for a wooden zebra, something she has just recently claimed as her favorite animal.  For Bubby we tried searching for an apple ornament.  He adores apples and must consume one a day (or two or three if he manages to sneak them)   Sadly, we didn't find any we liked so Kent made one from a book Bubby had torn up.  (So proud of his up cycling skills)  If he ever gets his hands on it we can rest easy that it won't shatter into a million pieces! 

We had our annual Christmas Eve party with family.  Sadly I didn't get much in the way of pictures and the few I did get somehow got deleted.   We did keep this video of Pumpkin on Santa/Baba's lap.  She has been raving for months about seeing him and about the present he says he'll bring her.  She wasn't shy in he least and the joy of a candy cane was enough to fulfill her dreams.  Even Bubby did okay.  He refused to sit on Santa's lap but he did move close enough so Santa could pat him on the back and hand him a small gift.  It was a big step for him and we are proud of it

The big day itself was filled with fun gifts, food and games.   Bug's favorite gift was the dollhouse and Pumpkin adored he 'fuzzy bunny' family to go with it.   Bubby loved his big red bouncy ball and Bud's favorite gift was from his sister, a nerf gun.  

Bud recently befriended some neighborhood boys who have an arsenal of nerf guns. He had some years ago but never had anyone to pay with.  Over time the guns broke, bullets were lost, etc.  The boys always shared with him but he wanted to own his own.  I had taken the girls out to do their Christmas shopping and was impressed with Bug and her generosity.  She has always been careful of her spending and had about $30.  She rejected buying the cheap knock off at the dollar store but was torn at spending more for him than she did for the rest of the family combine.  In the end she did it because she, "couldn't wait to see how happy Isaac would be".  She could barely contain herself as she wrapped it and waited for the big day.  Bud's response was epic and Bug loved all the joy it brought him and still brings him to this very day.  I love her generous heart.

She couldn't sit still for him to open it.  He was shocked into silence which is a big deal for him if you know him well.  After that it we had to drag him back for the rest of the presents because nothing could beat it.  

In the end it's not the gifts we remember, but the smiles, the laughter.  Even as I write this now I warms me to look back on these pictures.  It's the feelings I hope we never forget.  On to a new year!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Family Pictures

I was always sad that my family rarely took family pictures as a group.  I've tried to remediate this in my own family but life gets terribly busy and we seem to only manage it every 2-3 years.  We were overdue and so when the chance came to do it in Puerto Penasco for a good price we took it!

Jumping together just wasn't going to happen!

The background couldn't be more perfect and we had fun and they were lovely.  Now to get these up on my walls!