Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ellison's Mural

Ellison's design at art class was chosen to be put up as a mural at the Wysong Building in the McKinney Hospital. The newspaper even featured her in an article. We are so proud of her and are planning to visit some art colleges over the summer. You should see her portfolio! It is awesome! She is now working on a very beautiful Macaw we saw at the zoo. He is gorgeous and I want him for my study!
Here is her mural design:

Here she is working on it with some of the art students from her class!We are so proud of Ellison and her many talents! This week we will be working on setting up her website! She designs shoes for people and they are quite amazing!! She has been told she has to start a business with her talent, and so she is. She can paint whatever a customer wants on canvas shoes. They are one of a kind! She is even going to work on some shoes for me!Stay tuned for her website!

He's not a baby anymore and no slip and slide

Josh's 5th grade graduation was on Thursday. I remember it like it was yesterday, me taking him to his Kindergarten registration. The look of anticipation on his face. He quickly shooed me away after he settled down at his own little desk. His teacher told me that he was a friend to everyone. I remember walking out of there, sitting in my car for a while and watching my then 5 year old guy, skipping, hand in hand with a friend down towards the playground at recess. I cried.

At his graduation, I didn't cry. I know how excited he is to go on to middle school. A whole new world awaits. The thing that eases my mind is that Josh has always chosen good friends. He is shy but he always attracts the right kind of people. This eases my mind. He is a funny guy yet he exudes this quiet confidence and a certain quirkiness. I know he'll be fine in middle school.

He chose to eat dinner at Chipotle that night, one of his favorites. I could tell he was bored at the graduation (so was I) and I could tell he was hungry. It was past 8, and we rushed out of the school and onto the good eatin'.

All in all a great night.

Today, Saturday, we woke up early and got to work on chores. Josh's friend, Alex was over and I asked him if he wanted to stay a little longer, maybe he could help with the little patio Josh and I had been building. He is such a good friend. He said Yes!!

Alex is such a hard worker. We got that weed blocker fabric put down in no time. We are quite proud of our little brick patio. It's still not quite finished and it was very hot this afternoon. We were all pouring sweat! But it was worth it. Afterwards, we set up the slip and slide for Aaron. He was excited at first, but then he said the water was too cold, the water is going to get on his eyes, etc. etc. He started bawling!! So I showed him how to do it with my clothes on!! I don't think I'll be able to walk right for the next few days ( I think I hurt my hip :-O

Anyway, he wouldn't have any of it and I finally turned it off. I continued with my little flower bed off to the side of the fence. I hope to put a fire pit in the future.
I am also, working on my kitchen table. It is an antiquey set and I saw this picture in a design magazine and so I am using that as my inspiration. It's going to look great. Sergio is helping me paint it with his air brush.
(I am going to put different fabrics on each chair. I am going to pick some snazzy patterns for them :)

So now I am sore but satisfied. I have a CASA trial on Monday and a jam packed week! Maybe I'll set up the slip n' slide for myself :D

It was a fun day~

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Praying for a tutor

Today at dinnertime Aaron said the prayer. In it he said "Father, please help me to find a good teacher to help me read". I almost broke down and cried. He is such a special little boy, way beyond his 6 years. He seems like an old soul. He is extremely bright and articulate, has an incredible memory and best of all....loves his Mama!! :)

After much prayer and pondering, we have decided to send Aaron to the 2nd grade. We will be getting him tested outside the school for dyslexia and other learning disabilities. I know in my heart this is the best thing to do.

I have spoken to many different parents, visited forums, etc on holding back kids vs. letting them advance. Most of them said it's best to let the child advance and give him some aggressive tutoring. So that's what we'll do.

In other news, Josh has decided to join Band in Middle School and he has picked the Euphonium. We are excited. Tomorrow night is his 5th grade graduation. He is such a special young man. I can't believe my little boy will be a young man in just a few short months.

What a blessing the Lord has given me, for letting me parent such a great group of little people (one not so little anymore :)

They are kind, loving, smart, compassionate servants of the Lord.

Sergio and I feel very special to have been picked as their earthly parents.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Facing a Dilemma

To retain or not to retain? That is the question. Today I had a meeting with Aaron's counselor. We have suspected all along that Aaron is dyslexic just like his dad. But today, the counselor said Aaron is highly gifted and scored in the 94% percentile as far as IQ. His IQ is VERY high. What?? I mean I knew he is a bright kid, but he is very slow at reading and writing. She said that at this time Aaron should be at a 20-22 in DRA (whatever that means) and he is only at an 8!!!???

So we are faced with the dilemma of whether to send him to 1st grade again next year or to 2nd grade where he will instantly be behind all his peers. One of the things his counselors mentioned is that he is a very young first grader. His birthday is August 19th and so he just turned 5 when he started kindergarten. She said verbally Aaron is astounding and very gifted. But when it came to reading comprehension his score was around 1/2 of what the verbal score was. He is a good candidate for retention she said. But the decision ultimately is left up to us. I wonder if his teacher was just not up to par with what he needs?? He wouldn't get the same teacher next year, we are told that his new teacher regardless of the grade would be "hand picked" for him and that they would continue to monitor him for other learning disabilities because apparently he did not show any dyslexic tendencies. I am doubting this, because in my heart I know he is dyslexic. He is always getting 3's in math, science and other subjects, but only 1's and 2's in reading and writing, with his latest grades being 1's in both :(

Both my other children have been very good readers, but then again their birthdays are in October so they had almost a year to develop. I don't know what to do. I spoke with Aaron and he seems keen on the idea of being a "1st grade helper" next year because he is so smart. But then he asked, "what about all my friends? They'll be in 2nd grade."

I am going to take this to the Lord. I want to know what HE feels would be best for HIS son, after all I am just his mother for only a short time and I want to do what's best for Aaron. He is such a special boy, before bed he said "Mama, I'll do whatever you want me to do, either 1st or 2nd" then he kissed me good night and gave me a big, long hug.

I hate making these types of decisions. I just don't want him to be bored in 1st grade again. This guy is very sharp, it's just the reading part that gets him. Maybe I can get him a tutor for the summer....I guess I'll have to wait for an answer.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Six Flags!!

Getting ready to ride the parachutes
Trying his hand at shooting in the Indian Village shop

Riding the swings. He looks scared but he wasn't

Big Rig Driver

Aaron and Josh looking for rides on the map

What a great time! It has been ages since we've been there. Because I didn't know if Aaron was going to enjoy it so much, I didn't buy season passes. But now, after today, I will have to buy them, or so Aaron tells me!
He rode every single ride meant for his age (twice sometimes three times) and even got on all the big rides with Sergio that he was allowed to. He didn't want to come home! He is such a daredevil and full of so much adventure. There was no ride he turned down. I am so pleased to find that my littlest guy is so full of confidence and fearless. So unlike his mother! I am a big chicken. But it makes me so happy to see the look of sheer excitement, waiting in line to get on those spinning tea cups :)
That's what it's all about. I want to see joy in my family's faces. I want to hear that this is the "best day ever!" and I want to see a little, exhausted face seek my shoulder in the truck to fall fast asleep. I wonder what he dreamed of? Bugs, Daffy or his dad, putting his arm around him while riding the Mine Train Rollercoaster!

We'll have to go back next month and make more memories.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Life is Great!

Life is great!

Life is great with all its ups and downs, joys and sufferings, successes and trials.
Life is just a training ground, a prep course if you will-to see who can make it to the end in one piece.
Now I didn’t always hold on to this philosophical and positive point of view. No sirreee Bob. I thought life was a waste of time-since we’re all going to end up dead anyways-RIGHT until I learned about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My perspective changed. My life changed. I am filled with hope, strength and LIGHT.

So what brings me, today, to this current state of thankfulness? Well tomorrow we are taking the family to Six Flags. “Well that’s a not a great event”-you say. But to a 6 year old…his world cannot get any better! He’s been counting down the days until he can mingle with the likes of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Foghorn Leghorn. Ahhhh the innocence of a 6 year old. Such simple pleasures! That’s why I’ve decided to think like my 6 year old and get excited that we’re having popcorn while watching a movie on TV. And pickles please—gotta have those pickles.
Which brings me to the point of this post…THANKFULNESS (is that even a word?)
Thank the LORD I have a job! I am thankful I went to college, that I kept up my skills and that now in these troubling times I can step up to the plate and support my entire family of 6 (my mom lives with us) with my sole income. Sure I took time off to be a SAHM with my first born, then 2 years right after my second child I re-entered the workforce. Then a couple of years for Aaron. Sure I could have been pulling in some serious bank right now if I hadn’t taken those “breaks” for my children.
Do I regret it-NO.

Spending time with my little babies was and still is precious. So many memories. Something time cannot erase. And so here I am now. Supporting my husband in his quest to find out what he wants to do now that his business is almost non-existent. I love him and I am supportive and glad to be there for him just like he was when I was a college student trying to find my niche in the world. It’s give and take-this partnership. I’m happy to take my turn as the sole breadwinner. And so I find myself as a little 6 year old child. Going with the flow and not being able to sleep tonight with the anticipation that tomorrow I may meet Elmer Fudd.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flower Beds

I love gardening and our front flower beds were starting to look a bit unkempt. So we trimmed the lantana bushes down to the ground hoping we didn't kill them. And we didn't! They are back prettier than ever. We moved the dusty miller that were very overgrown to the retaining wall in the back yard. We planted some nice petunias, a new gorgeous rose bush (that for some reason has lost all its blooms, maybe it needs to be moved to a sunnier location??) I will be working on the backyard ,building a little brick patio so I can put a bench swing on it and a flower bed next to it so I can put a fountain in there. Here's a few pics:

We still have a ways to go, like adding more mulch and trimming the trees but I am liking that we can see more of the front porch and I can't wait to see the roses bloom. I have added plant food to all the plants so we'll see if that helps.

Family Pinewood Derby

This past Friday we had loads of fun at our Church's family pinewood derby. Not only did the scouts have their race cars but everyone could participate as well! What a great idea. We took three cars, two previous racers that Sergio and Josh had raced when he was a cub scout and a new one he carved out just for Aaron. Sergio is very meticulous with his carvings and even if they aren't the fastest they are some snazzy looking cars:

Josh's car..the fastest one in our bunch

Ellison's entry...the fish car

Aaron's new car, won for best paint job!

It was fun to eat and hang out with friends. Brian came along and got a pic with Ellison's winning entry for "heaviest" car.

Aaron with his award.

Mother's Day

Mother's day was great. Ellison made me her famous hot chocolate that rivals Starbucks any day!! She surprised me by getting me a mickey mouse mug so I can drink my favorite guessed it chocolate milk!
She also made me a cool wooden tray that I will proudly display in my office. Aaron was so excited to show me his beautiful creation-a hand painted terra cotta pot with a pretty flower in it . But when he went to get it out of his backpack it was broken!! Oh no! He instantly started to blame Josh for breaking it. After I reassured him that it could be glued back together he calmed down a bit. Sergio made me, my sister and my mom some delicious fajitas with all the fixins'. Better than any restaurant if you ask me. My big guy Josh had a big hug and kiss for me. He always has a big hug for me after work and I love his hugs!! He is my sweetheart. The day before, we all went down to the mall to eat at our favorite eateries and for some shopping. Overall it was a good day. Hurray for moms!! Hope you had a good one too.
My great guy!

Aaron's shattered pot..
and the salvaged one!!

The beautiful card that Sergio made me. He stayed up late to hand craft it. Isn't he special? He filled it with quotes from my children over the years. It made me laugh so hard I cried.

What a handsome guy <3

Monday, May 4, 2009

New Blog Coming

After much pondering and reflection...I have decided a blog to record my memoirs. It will be copyrighted b/c I don't want to read about it someday in the future and be ripped off LOL
So you can read a daily installment (hopefully) of my life growing up in the barrios of Laredo. Enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Young Women Medallion

Ellison at her table with a powerpoint slide show of her art work.

Well on Wednesday Ellison received her Young Woman Medallion from church. It is the equivalent of the Eagle Scout. For four years Ellison has worked on many projects from collecting old cell phones to turn into cash and turn in the money as a donation to a dog shelter, to making a quilt, to making a painting to donate to a nursing home, she has been quite busy. We are proud of the young woman she has become, strong, independent, smart, beautiful, fun, funny, kind hearted, artistic, and in love. We are proud of the good choices she is making now that she is getting ready for college. I know that Heavenly Father has a good plan for her. She is so easy to talk to and will make a great missionary some day (even if she doesn't go on an "official" mission)

The Ants are back!

It seems that maybe I was a little to excited about my conquering those darned ants. They are back. I think the rain may have brought them into my house seeking refuge. Now they are in the gameroom too where Ellison sleeps!! So time to call in the experts. Anyone have a good pest control company to call in McKinney who won't rip me off? I can't remember the name of the company whose guy they sent out last winter. I really liked them.


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