“Gingerbread” Houses

Isaiah wanted to build a gingerbread house, but the kit was an absolute disaster (pieces were warped and it had the wrong type of icing, so nothing would stick). Instead of giving up, we decided to improvise. So, we pulled out some graham crackers and made some buttercream icing. We spent the next while carefully decorating houses made of crackers with an assortment of candies. Isaiah thought it was a wonderful idea because he had permission to eat it when it was finished.

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Ready to start!

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Trying to taste it before it was even decorated

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Carefully decorating

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Isaiah's finished house, with him begging to eat it, in the background

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Time to eat it!

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My mom with her house

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Everyone's finished houses: Mine on top, Isaiah's on the bottom left, my mom's on the bottom right

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Frozen Bubbles

It’s officially COLD outside! We were able to go outside this morning and blow some bubbles that froze in the air for us. I managed to catch a couple on my wand, so Isaiah could examine them more closely. It was pretty cool to watch the ice crystals spread over the entire bubble.

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Isaiah approves

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A closer shot of the bubble

2017 in Review

It’s been a while since I had time to write, so I guess I’ll try to get back into this by starting with a review. 2017 has been crazy, so here goes.

January
In January, we had some nice weather, so we decided to take a trip to the zoo. We brought a homeschooled friend along with us and she and Isaiah had a blast.

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Zoo selfie

Isaiah turned 7 this month, but we had to wait until February for a party, since he really wanted all his friends to be able to attend. He was so excited to be 7!

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The birthday boy

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Proud boy with his brand new Nerf guns

February
This month started with Isaiah’s birthday party. We opted to do a party at the zoo, instead of trying to do one at home this year. It was a huge hit with Isaiah and all his friends.

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The kids had so much fun at the zoo! They loved running ahead of the adults and talking to the animals.

March
March brought Isaiah’s very first ever gymnastics meet. He was so excited to finally be old enough to participate. It was a fun meet where everyone got to participate and came home with an award of some sort, unlike most meets, which are highly competitive. It was a nice start to his gymnastics career.

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He loves the rings

DJ and Shiloh had a baby shower this month. We were all so excited to be waiting for a new baby boy.

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DJ and Shiloh with some of the gifts

I’d been counting down to March for almost a year because the live action Beauty and the Beast movie was going to be released. I couldn’t wait! Then, to add to the excitement, I met an awesome guy who offered to take me to see it.

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The first photo of me and William

April
In April, Isaiah got to meet William for the first time. We opted to meet up at the zoo, so Isaiah would have something to keep him busy, in case he felt shy. Turned out he didn’t need something to entertain him. He fell in love with William immediately!

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All of us at the zoo

Isaiah had never been to the Children’s museum nearest to us before, so we decided it was time to pay a visit. Isaiah loved every bit of it. He made new friends in each area and had a blast playing with all sorts of imaginative play centers. When he reached a point where he couldn’t function anymore, he insisted that William carry him to the car.

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Children's museum fun

May
Isaiah participated in field day at school again this year. He’s getting better at the skills and had a blast participating with all his friends.

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A couple of his events

June
June brought a great deal of excitement. DJ and Shiloh’s baby finally decided to make his appearance, adding one more family birthday to our busiest month. He’s a beautiful little boy, named Kendall.

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Introducing Kendall

July
William proposed to me this month. He brought me and Isaiah to the zoo for a fun day, then stopped to propose up on the hill, near some of my favorite animals. Of course, as soon as he tried to get down on one knee, Isaiah took off. Once we’d caught Isaiah again, William was able to propose and, of course, I said yes.

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My ring

The zoo in Sioux Falls had koala bears this summer. I adore koalas, so my mom, Isaiah, and I loaded up for a very long drive to go see them. We’d never been to that zoo before, so there was lots to see, besides the koalas. I will admit we spent the most time just sitting, watching the koalas, though. They were just so stinking cute!

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Some of our many zoo pictures

August
Before I had to go back to work for the school year, my mom, Isaiah, and I decided to take a little vacation. We thought it would be fun to try to see Nebraska in a few days. It was a challenge, but we pulled it off. We got to see lots of important landmarks, as well as visit a zoo we’d never been to before.

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Just a few shots from our adventures

September
Isaiah and I took William and his sister, Iris, to our favorite pumpkin patch. Isaiah had fun showing them all his favorite activities and playing with them.

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October
We welcomed a new, sweet kitty to our home this month. A family friend was being forced to rehome her babies, due to a severe allergy in her family. I was happy to offer T.J. a new home with us. He’s settled in and loves his new home.

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T.J.'s first portraits

Since Isaiah got to show off his favorite pumpkin patch, William’s family invited us to come and see theirs. Isaiah, of course, loved every second. I hardly saw him the whole day because he took off with Grace, William’s youngest sister.

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So much to do!

We all adore the zoo, so we decided to take Iris there for some adventures, too. She hadn’t been there since they’d done some major construction and added new exhibits, so it was fun to show her the new stuff.

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Zoo selfies

November
Isaiah always helps my dad with his magic shows at the local pumpkin patch. This year, the owners of the pumpkin patch gave them each a small gift for helping out. Isaiah was absolutely giddy at receiving his very first paycheck.

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Posing with his paycheck

December
Isaiah had two Christmas programs this month, one at school and one at church. Before the school program, my dad took some family pictures for us. Isaiah loved participating in his programs and having his family in the audience for them. He’s so proud of himself.

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The family pictures and some shots of his programs

Independence Day 2016

Just wanted to share some fun fireworks pictures from this evening. We had lots of fun hanging out with some friends at the park waiting for the fireworks. Isaiah got to sit by one of his buddies and talk to a few others, so life was pretty good in his world.

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Red, white, and blue

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A single burst

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Pretty

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The little one kind of looks like a butterfly!

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This is my favorite

Glasses Update

A year ago, Isaiah went to the eye doctor following an announcement that he was seeing double. At that point, he was given “reading” (anything up close, since he wasn’t reading yet) glasses.

It’s been a year now, so it was time for another eye exam. Isaiah was happy to go, as long as Darth Vadar Mouse and Zaboomafoo could also attend. He followed directions and answered questions. He was fascinated by the equipment.

At the #eyedoctor with some furry #friends

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Once his exam was finished, his eye doctor told him to start using his reading glasses full time. He says his prescription hasn’t changed enough to warrant new lenses, but he feels that it’s time to wear them all the time. Isaiah is pretty excited about that idea. As soon as we got home, he collected them and put them on. He says he can see a lot better now, too.

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Silly pose

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Happy boy

VBS Program Silliness

Isaiah had a program this morning as the conclusion to a week of VBS. All the kids sang some of the VBS songs and the workers told about the lessons and demonstrated some of the activities. While the leaders were talking, the kids sat on the stage, waiting as patiently as small children can. Since the program lasted over an hour, sitting quietly was becoming a bit of a challenge by the end. As we neared the end, I’d had to give Isaiah “the mom look” for poking his neighbor, so I wasn’t planning to take my eyes off him again any time soon.

The time came for a closing prayer and dismissal, much to the kids’ pleasure. While the rest of the church bowed their heads for the prayer, some of the kids had just had enough sitting. Isaiah and the little girl beside him started discussing his muscles (after a year of gymnastics, he’s suddenly discovered that he’s developed some pretty impressive muscles). According to him, she didn’t believe he had big muscles. Well, we can’t have that, so, in the middle of the prayer, Isaiah rolled up his sleeves and showed off his muscles for his friend to poke. Catching sight of what was happening, one of the other kids, also in his gymnastics class, joined in to show his equally impressive muscles. By the time the prayer ended, they’d lost interest in the topic. With the final “amen”, they quietly filed off stage with the rest of the group, with most of the people in the room oblivious to their little game.

A Trip to the Zoo and a Nature Center

There was no school today, so I had a day off work. Which meant it was the perfect time for an adventure. Isaiah, my mom, and I loaded up the car (we even remembered to pack a picnic!) and headed off.

First on the agenda was the zoo. We live within reach of a couple and Isaiah had asked to head to this one a few times recently, so it was definitely time for a visit. We saw lots of happy animals while we were there, much to Isaiah’s delight.

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The red panda, enjoying the morning sun

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Curious bushbaby

The zoo’s tree kangaroo has a new baby, but it’s still small enough that it stays hidden away in mom’s pouch. Mom wasn’t much in the mood for pictures, either. Bummer.

The naked mole rats were quite active, causing plenty of excitement. Isaiah loved watching them race between “rooms”, tripping over each other, doing flips, and generally causing complete chaos. They may be ugly little critters, but they’re certainly interesting to watch!

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Observing the naked mole rats

Video of the naked mole rats

Isaiah was pretty interested in the snakes today. A friend recently got a pet snake, so he’s started seeing them in a different light. He’s still not sure he’d want a pet snake, but he likes watching them.

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Checking out the rainbow python

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You can't see it in the picture, but he's looking at a very large iguana

We managed to be in the right part of the zoo to catch a creature encounter show. It was about one of the zoo’s macaws, so the keeper had him out with her and let him show off some tricks. The macaw’s name is Elliot and he’s quite the little attention seeker. Any time his keeper put him down to talk, he’d start going through all his tricks, trying to keep the spotlight on him, instead of his keeper.

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Elliot the macaw

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Demonstrating how he can use his beak for climbing

Elliot showing off

We made sure to get some food so Isaiah could feed the zoo’s goats. The bigger ones are a bit pushy, but, in general, they’re pretty friendly. He had a lot of fun feeding them and trying to make sure everyone got a fair amount of the food.

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Feeding the goat

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Making sure the smaller goats get some, too

Silly goat

When we went into the reptile building, they had a number of animals out so that kids could touch them. Isaiah bounced from one critter to the next, petting them and asking their names. He would have happily stayed there all day, playing with the animals.

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Petting a shy ball python

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Skittles the black and white tegu

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Petting an adorable leopard gecko named Casper

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Twiggy the bearded dragon

Before leaving the zoo, we had to stop and play on their natural playground. Isaiah adores all the things they have to climb on and wanted to do it all before we could go anywhere else. He’s been getting braver and was able to jump from one tree stump to the next, as well as climbing to the highest point on various structures.

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Balancing

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Jump!

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More jumping

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Happy spider

After the zoo, we headed over to a nature center. It was getting late in the day, so we didn’t have time to explore all the buildings and trails, but we got to see the buffalo herd and some geese. We walked down one of the shorter trails, along a lake. We could hear frogs chirping all around us, but any time we came near any, they’d get quiet, so we couldn’t find them. After a while of searching, Isaiah finally spotted one and showed us where to look.

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The buffalo were fairly close to the fence

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Talking about pioneer children and collecting buffalo chips to build fires. He was surprisingly enthusiastic about the concept.

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He really loved this feather

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The frog Isaiah spotted

Isaiah was a little sad when it was finally time to go home, but it was a fun day. He can’t wait until we can go on another adventure.