Thursday, November 29, 2018

Cora Belle

She may weigh more than Kimball and is bigger than 97% of other kids her age, but she'll always be my baby. I had to get a picture of her sleeping with her bum in the air, I don't even remember the last time she did that.

Cora is still my feisty, strong willed, smart, and super helpful girl. She loves her dance class and is excited for Kindergarten next year. I, on the other hand, am not so anxious for her to go to school. It's been her and I for so long, I'm going to miss her! But at least I have Ezra to keep me company now. She still loves anything pink and purple, loves food and cookie, loves to play hide and seek, and loves to read books. Oh, and her favorite princess is Rapunzel. 

Cora Turned 5!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The View Out of our Front Living Room

Art Project

Kimball had several days off of school so we made these projects for their bedrooms. We glued on flowers for Cora and cars for Kimball around a mirror. They loved it!

Grandma and Grandpa Cox Visit

We were SO incredibly blessed that the Lord has been mindful and watchful over Johnny. A week after I got home from vacation for the summer, John had several heart attacks. Doctors couldn't figure out what was making the platelets high in his blood and he was sent down to the hospital in UT. They both spent 39 consecutive days (or maybe it was 40) in the hospital trying to get John healthy enough to go home. We had several family fasts and lots of praying. Lance and I felt really bad that we don't live closer so we could help take care of their house and yard but are thankful for Lance's siblings to step in and make sure everything was taken care of.

A few weeks after John was finally able to go home they drove up to visit us for a week. We were so anxious to see them after this dramatic ordeal and are grateful for the Lord's blessings in his regard. My favorite day was sunday afternoon. Grandma gave Kimball his first piano lesson and then she just played and played while the kids and I danced and sang. It was the best and so heart warming!

Ezra Baby

 This little one has very expressive eyebrows and some pretty great expressions.

 He's also into EVERYTHING! And destroys my lipsticks.
 His latest "say cheese" face.

And his first hair cut. He just sat as still as a statue for the whole 15 minutes, I was so impressed.

He always perches himself on the couch like this, waving good bye to Kimball out the window each morning, and anxiously awaiting his return from school. It melts my heart!
Ezra is so mild and chill. He's super playful, always happy, hates getting new teeth (only one more tooth to come in and we're done with teething!), and LOVES animals. Whether they're soft and squishy plush animals, real ones that he sees outside, or in print or photos; he always makes the same sound and wants to cuddle up. He's a late talker, only says uh-oh and Da Da but he gets his point across every other way. Oh boy do I love this baby!!!

First Grade

I don't know why but this drawing cracked me up. Kimball is loving first grade!
He looks so much more grown up just in the last two months, I can't believe it. He loves to play games with mom and dad and is a super reader. His teacher said he should be at a 3 when they start first grade and at an 18 when they finish first grade; Kimball is currently reading at a 24. He loves to play jokes and make people laugh. He's also recently had a streak of fits in epic proportions. I mean he'll kick and scream and bawl for a good 2 hours sometimes, it is so ridiculous and unreal. It's always over very trivial things like not wanting to put away his coat and backpack - which would take literally 20 seconds - but no, he'd rather throw a 2 hour fit. I keep working on it with him but its so hard and I've even broke down a few times because I simply don't know what to do about it.

A few weeks ago he came home with a special note from his teacher thanking him for cleaning up. When I asked Kimball about it he said, "Well, it was the end of the day and nobody was cleaning up. I knew if I didn't do it then Ms. Shulkin or the custodian would have to clean and I didn't want that. So I just did it by myself." That warmed my heart, what a sweet boy!

New Backpack for Kindergarten

Happy Halloween!

Happy 7th Birthday, Kimball!

This cake ended up being a flop. I tried making a Swiss meringue frosting but had to substitute margarine for butter which altered how the frosting set up. Oh well. The taste was good and at least I shaped the number 7 well.....or so I thought until I showed Kimball his cake and he said, "Oh cool, a check mark!" I'll do better next year.

Mom & Christine's Visit

***I've been really behind the last few months with my journal, something about moving into this house and I just can't seem to find time to get onto the computer. The house and the kids take up too much of my time. Here goes, trying to catch up!***

Mom and Christine came to visit at the beginning of October. I warned them that I was going to put them to work in the yard because I needed their expertise in labeling and designing my front yard. It is all SO overgrown you just couldn't see what was what. We spent one full day outside planting bulbs and then another two partial days raking, pulling up flowers, trimming bushes, piling up pine needles, etc. It was such a big job! I'm so grateful for their help, now I can actually see the FOUR tiers in the front and all the beautiful rock! I'm anxious to see what it looks like in the spring.

We also went shopping to the local toy store to get a jump start on Christmas shopping and we had a few girl afternoons looking into some antique shops. One morning we went to the Finch Arboretum (I've never been before) which has a huge variety of trees and rocks. The unfortunate thing is that it is literally sandwiched right between the interstate and Sunset Highway. So the traffic noise is pretty darn loud but it was so pretty and the kids had a great time exploring. We ended that afternoon with a fun picnic there.

We had to go to Walter's farm to pick pumpkins and apples, play in the pea pit and huge slide, and devour some mini pumpkin donuts. Yum! This is probably Christine's last visit here for a while as Zander will start school next year so I'm very glad she made the long drive up to visit us!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As Of Late

Since the kids and I have been back from vacation I've been quite busy with the house. I've gotten all the boxes unpacked (except one, I'm waiting for Lance to put shelving in the closet so I can put away games) decorations up, and slowly working on putting together the guest room. School is back in so that means new routines.

I've also been working outside trimming up several trees and bushes and cleaning out some flower beds. The landscaping in the front is SO overgrown that you cannot see our house from the road. Now that the trees are trimmed you can sort of see the house, through little patches. I'm waiting for fall to come and the plants to go dormant before I can prune and clean out the rest of the flower beds but it'll be a HUGE job to get it done.

I don't have a calling yet but I've been asked a few times to play the piano in relief society. It's been nice to need to practice every week and brush up a bit. I'm still quite anxious for Ezra to be in nursery because I don't get to hear much of any lesson, we're in the hall for the last two hours. Often times Lance has to leave sacrament meeting due to calls so it's just the kids and I and I'm out in the hall with Ezra during sacrament meeting. It's so easy to ask myself, "Why do I even come? What is the point?" But I know I'm teaching my children and although I don't get much out of Sunday school or relief society because I can't hear the lessons, I'm still in the building feeling the spirit and meeting new people. And most importantly, I'm still taking the sacrament to renew my covenants. This will be worth it and I come to church to renew my soul for the week - how I need that strength!

Lance is the new executive secretary for the bishopric and has been enjoying that. He gets new customers every month for work and just recently is the exclusive transport person for Stevens County, that's a big one. He's also going to buy a refrigeration unit and place it in a a funeral home in Post Falls, ID, there's a big need for that due to pending permits from the state to cross state lines. Donna and John had quite the 40 days in the hospital with some major scares with John's heart attacks. He's finally home and we still pray for them daily. Lots of prayers and fasting on John's behalf and the Lord, again, answered our prayers with tender mercies.

Next month Mom and Christine and her kids are coming to visit us for a week! I'm so excited!!!!!!!

The Miracles Continue

This girl is one of miracles. She fell asleep sitting up while reading If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and it was just so sweet. I really wanted to capture this whole day.

She had her evaluation for her IEP to see if she'd qualify for special ed preschool. We were supposed to be there for 2 hours but Cora was extremely shy and wouldn't look at anybody no less cooperate with testing and play their "games." It finally dawned on me that food is a big motivator for her so one of the therapists gave her an M&M for every question that she answered. She didn't do it happily, she didn't look them in the eye, she wouldn't sit at the table, but at least she answered the question. Progress. We took a break and she found a huge bean bag to play on which brought out some smiles and she slowly started talking to some of the therapists. Our appointment lasted an additional 1.5 hours because she finally opened up towards the end.

The results? She's too advanced to qualify for special ed preschool!! I was shocked that she didn't qualify in any area, not even speech.........what???

I cried the ugly cry all day long. It has been 5 years of fighting and playing catch up and lots and LOTS of hard work. My goal for her from the very beginning was that she'd catch up to her peers by the time she hit kindergarten. WE DID IT!!!!!!!! We got the green light that she wouldn't need an IEP for kindergarten next year, she can register like all the other normal kids. I have been with her every step of the way being her biggest cheerleader and supporter. We've had a lot of set backs and a lot of goals met along the way of this journey but we made it!

Having said that, I'm a little bit sad because I still want to keep her engaged and challenged so I've decided to continue with private speech and to enroll her in a dance class as a sort of substitute for physical therapy. The academic stuff I will do at home. I'm also excited because this is her last year at home with me and we get to be together more!

Every time I see miracles like this I'm so humbled by the Lord's sweet, tender mercies. The Lord has helped me to help her. He's guided and inspired me beyond my normal capacity and in ways that are abnormal. I'm so truly grateful and so honored to be this little darling's mother. She has blessed me so!

Ready For Church