Thursday, August 05, 2010

Finally, another Valiant Update...

I've been feel the urge to post an update on our lives for awhile now...not sure anyone will be reading it, but at least it's here for the sake of journaling;)

I can't believe how facebook has killed my blogging life. I used to blog and read blogs, now I jump on fb and check out what's going on with people, so I'm sure I'm missing out but, this is the season where God has me.

So, all is well with the Lafayette Valiant Clan. We've had quite a few changes these past several months...

Disclaimer: As I read all the stuff I wrote when I was editing this post, I found myself hoping our update is read in the genuine tone I wrote it in-which is the perspective of a proud mama who truly knows how blessed she is ;-)

2 Corinthians 10:17 But HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD.

Here's an update on the boys:

Griffin 15 months: recent check-up revealed he continues to be on the peanut side of growth;) He was 18 pounds and 28 1/2 inches. He just started walking a few days before turning 15 months old. The doctor was concerned about his small *read non-existent* vocabulary...and wants us to contact first steps and be diligent in teaching Griffin to sign. Call me laid-back but, I'm sooo not worried about my content little man. He's quiet because he doesn't need to speak as his brothers say things for him and are at his every need;) He's a picky eater and does everything better for just about anyone else than me. He's a busy body always trying to explore. He catches onto things because he's simply so observant-ie he now bows his head to pray and holds his hands together at meal time just because he watches us. He also waves goodbye when people simply talk about leaving and he says "hello" when he put a toy phone to his ear. He has figured out that stacking up pillows=an escape route when he's not tall enough to climb unaided. I swear he says "night, night", "love you", "thank you", etc but it's something most people wouldn't pick up on.

Owen 3 years 8 months: This kid cracks us up daily! He's truly something else. Owen is 'still' small, though he wouldn't tell you that. He constantly talks about how he's growing up and how big he's getting. He's finally *read seriously, how long can it take?* potty trained for the most part. He can also ride a tricycle now, which simply took his length to be long enough to reach pedals, etc. He LOVES playing outside with all our neighbors and they all love him too! He's gotten quite the personality from playing with mostly girls...he compliments females all the time saying things such as I like your dress, your earrings are pretty, I like your hair, etc. It's a hoot! He's quite the ladies man. He's very socially outgoing and makes friends very easily. He loves to sing and dance and makes up lots of songs. He has learned to sing the books of the old testament pretty well-he calls that song "Genesis". We are starting preschool very soon. I have lots of materials ready to go to teach him here at home. He will primarily work on the basics of writing his name, copying letters and letter recognition, coloring in the lines and maybe some cutting *scary*.

Jake 6 years, 10 months: My sweet boy graduated from kindergarten in May and has enjoyed a lazy summer. At his graduation we were surprised that he was honored with a special character award, called the Eagle award. Only one boy and one girl are chosen by their teacher for this special award and when his name was called we were all so surprised and proud of him. He definitely loved his kindergarten year and his teacher Mrs. McQueen was a huge part of the reason he had such a terrific first year in school. Earlier this summer he learned how to ride his bike in literally 5 minutes of Tim helping him. No bike wrecks or anything-a huge plus side of waiting to teach your kid to ride their bike sans training wheels;). Jake's new thing is diving lessons. We enrolled him in the Boiler Diving Academy this Spring mostly because TJ wanted to try out diving and we thought "why not let Jake try it too?". Turns out, Jake is a natural and really loves his diving practices. He started out differently than TJ in that he started in 'dryland' sessions mostly on a trampoline in belts learning basic jumps and body mechanics. You can see the dedication and determination on his face. I am going to try to attach a video of him doing flip after flip in the air-his favorite thing to do in practice. He's up to over 20 consecutive back flips in belts;) The quality is poor as it was taken with my blackberry but it's a pretty cool 13 seconds;-)

TJ will attest it's WAYYYYY harder than it looks. Jake also took swim lessons this summer so he would be able to start water sessions on Diving lessons which he successfully accomplished and indeed began jumping in poolside, even though he had a serious fear of drowning. We are very proud of him overcoming this fear and are hoping his confidence in water safety will continue to grow as he will soon need to go off boards and platforms, thus going deeper under the water and swimming back further distances to the ladder. Jake did play t-ball this summer, which was fine but a little under his skill level as he could've easily done coach pitch, but we didn't realize we should move him up-whoops. Jake will be starting 1st grade and is an eager learner so I'm hoping he will enjoy school starting back up.

TJ 10 years 8 months: TJ finished 4th grade in May and was soooo glad to be done with '4th grade'. He's 10 1/2 going on 16, but not in a miserable defiant teenager way, but more of a 'he's no longer a little boy' way. TJ shocked us by playing baseball this summer-which he quit a couple years ago...he was actually decent for having so much time away from league play and he enjoyed it and his team quite a bit. He even pitched during a game as relief and in 4 pitches the inning was over with no RBI...we were ecstatic for him and he was thrilled at his performance. As I mentioned above, he started diving in the spring. He was one of only a handful kids in his school that tested well enough to start in the Learn to dive program at Boiler Diving Academy at Purdue University. He was doing amazingly working quickly through the lower certificate levels, until he was injured learning to improve his back dive technique. This was a serious set-back for him on many levels...he has become fearful of backdives and has lost some interest in the sport. We are trying to help him work through his fear now (and have been for a few months). He has the month of August off due to construction at the Aquatic facility and we are praying that he will be ready to start back in full-force in September. We are simply not wanting him to quit because he got hurt and thinks it's 'too hard' is hard and he can't quit at life so we want him to learn from this and persevere. TJ is starting 5th grade shortly and is actually excited about this upcoming year of school. Through much prayer, research, and deliberation, we have decided to try homeschooling our boys this fall. I have received lots of help and advice from those who've succeeded and even those who've stopped homeschooling. I have our curriculum all ready to go and a nice plan in place to give PreK3, 1st, and 5th grades a go and would love your prayers for a successful year. We are excited but nervous about such a major change in our lives.

We also have a college aged fella living in our home now, named Justin (JB). TJ offered to give up his room and move in with Jake in order to give Justin a leg up on achieving some financial goals he otherwise would've not been able to meet. Justin has been a blessing to our family this summer serving us with his fun spirit, blessing us with occasional childcare, and lending a hand around the house.

Tim and I are in love *yes, you may vomit now* and enjoying our family of 6 plus JB. We love couponing together and saving money on various grocery and drug store deals. Tim is excited about me homeschooling the boys and I am just nervous about it;-). It seems foreign to not be out with school supply lists and back to school clothes shopping. I am enjoying serving in the Women's ministry in our church. Tim enjoys counseling those in need financially. We are both *really* enjoying serving in the College Ministry-but it makes us feel a bit old and out of touch at times...we are seriously lame I have found. I just learned how to text message...see, lame!

I am officially unemployed as a nurse as of June. I hadn't worked since the fall of '09 though. I let me PRN status elapse so I left Clarian officially on good terms in case I ever want to return. I miss being a Labor and Delivery nurse but I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a stay at home mom. And for the record, I'm not unemployed all together as I work part-time from home for the Indiana Immunization Coalition as the administrative assistant to the Executive Director (who is my sis, Heather) and let me tell you it's a *sweet* gig.

That's about everything I can think of as far as updates go-but I'm sure I'm missing tons of minor details. TJ and Jake are in WI right now visiting their Grandma and Grandpa (my side) and being spoiled I'm certain. We will be heading up to get them in a week and doing a mini-vacay fishing and such during their Shanty days festival. I miss them TONS but am keeping busy with Owen and Griffin trying to do special things with them and making up the slack for all the chores that the older two do each day...I didn't realize how much their chores or emptying the dishwasher, opening the blonds, sweeping the floor, etc really help out. I may start blogging more about our adventures as a homeschooling family but haven't decided for sure. I would appreciate prayers for our family as we embark on this new season of life!