Showing posts with label charlie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label charlie. Show all posts

Sunday, January 27, 2013

we interrupt these outdated posts to bring you: Charlie, our newest 7 year old!


Charlie Dean turned 7 yesterday.  My little baby boy.  SEVEN.  I can hardly stand it. He’s growing so big and smart and capable.   I am loving watching all that is growing out of him as he grows up, he is such a bright light in our family and in the world. 

We had a great day celebrating who he is.  IMG_1566The day consisted of:

Birthday Breakfast of his beloved Jackson Soufflé

Opening all his presents (he was so excited about opening them that he couldn’t space them out through the day like he had wanted to.  Instead he opened them all at breakfast.  Which was good, because they kept him entertained all day.  (Thanks Grammie and Grandfather and G and G Shumway!)IMG_1567 I didn’t take pictures of all the treasures he got but he got all that his little heart desired: Magic Tree House and A-Z mystery books, a model airplane, a remote control helicopter, Kanoodle, some star wars tattoos, scriptures from Hazel and some wood carving supplies).  He was delighted and so thankful for everything he received.  IMG_4396

In the afternoon I took him on a little lunch date and to the store to buy some new trousers (he’s growing so fast!).  We had such a great little talk at lunch.  Charlie has so much going on in that little brain of his and it felt so good to not have any other children or distractions around, to just be in his world for an hour.  I like his world.  I was so deep in his world that I didn’t even snap a pictures (which I’m sure he was happy about).

In the afternoon we went to the YMCA with the Krucks to swim.  Charlie’s big birthday tradition is swimming to commemorate his unusual birth.  It’s his odd birthday year, so no real party, but I decided to let him invite the Krucks to go with us since they are basically family.  We all had a crazy loud time in the pool. I’m sure the life guards were happy to see our clan pack up. 

After swimming we came home and had some Pizza and cake.

Charlie was very insistent that Hazel and I plan out a surprise cake for him (I think because we made an “alternative” candy bar cake for Jeff this year).  Hazel came up with the idea of making a blue swirly water looking kin of cake.  I think it turned out pretty cool.  Not sure if Charlie was as impressed as he might have been if it had been made out of huge chocolate bars, but he was pretty happy. 

december 2012IMG_1569 I love these three boys.  I am so thankful that Charlie has such good friends.  They are hilarious to watch together.  They talk and conspire and plan and create.  This trio gives Charlie everything his little boy heart needs from friends, and that is a blessed thing.  IMG_1571 IMG_1573 IMG_1576 IMG_1579 IMG_1580 IMG_1581 

7 Things I Love about Charlie right now:

1. Charlie is a rough and tumble boy with all the normal craziness, silliness, frustration and distractions of a boy his age, but under it all he has a golden heart.  He is sensitive, and sorry and kind and good.  He loves his siblings fiercely, he protects then and nurtures them.  Often when things are going awry and I’m upset or stressed Charlie is the one who comes and gives me a big hug to calm me down.  He will still crawl up onto my lap and cuddle with me while we talk.  I love that.

2. Charlie is easy going.  He usually just goes with the flow.  About a month or two after we returned from England Charlie said to me, “Mom, I didn’t really love England, I was just going with the flow.”  It’s true, he doesn’t complain much and when asked he can usually drop things and just roll with whatever is going on, even if it’s not what he most wants. 

3.  Charlie has a good little brain in that head.  Just in the past few months his reading has really taken off.  He struggled with it for a while, but then I explained to him that he was going up a big steep mountain and that he was almost there, and once he peaked he’d start going downhill and reading was going to be nothing but joy for his little thirsty brain.  That analogy clicked and he worked so hard to get to the top of that mountain.  And now he’s racing down the other side, devouring books.  His brain makes amazing connections, knows how to articulate new ideas, create solutions, build, comprehend complex things.  I wish I could be in his brain for a day.  I can’t wait to see what he does with all that power in there.

4. Charlie is confident.  He believes there is nothing he can’t do.  And I think he’s probably right.

5. Charlie is a good friend.  He is so good at meeting people, he effortlessly navigates social situations, he knows how to look out for the underdog.

6. Charlie has my same taste buds.  He likes all the food that I like, and that makes me happy (at least one person will always be excited about what I make for dinner).

7. Charlie is good to his core.  He wants to do what is right.  I remember a few hours before he was born, just when labor was kicking in on the exact day, at the exact time that I hoped my baby would come, I had a distinct impression that this little boy was going to be a delight to all of us.  That he was going to choose the right, that he was going to be a bright light in the world.   Boy, was that ever a true impression.

Love you dear little Charlie Dean!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

the clock starts ticking

Even though it may look like we’re still living in England from the posts I’ve been putting up, we are in fact in Boston.  And life is going on in the present.  Boy, is it ever going on in the present. 

The kids started school.  I had mixed feelings after having so little structure for the better part of 8 months.  I was psyched to get some kind of schedule in place, to have a little more time without everyone around to get some stuff on my list tackled.  But I was nervous about that big clock that starts ticking in September and just wont stop until June.  Suddenly it feels like we’re rushing through morning routines of getting up, dressed, ready, out the door. Then rushing through afternoon routines of homework, chores, practicing, putting dinner on the table.  And then it’s a race to beat that darn clock to bed so that we can do it all over again the next day.  Everything feels so “packed” (as Hazel puts it). 

Now that we’re a few months in I think we’ve ironed out the wrinkles, but it really has taken that long to start to feel normal with that tick tock in the background of our lives. 

And I was nervous that I’d miss being covered in these kids all the time.  I do miss it.  I like having my kids around (mostly).  But it feels good to breath a little.

IMG_2894Here the big kids are on their first day of school.  They were pretty stoked.  IMG_2897And a little nervous (can you see all that nervous excitement in their faces?) Charlie was a little bit of a wreck when I left him.  He was hoping that some of his kindergarten friends would be in his class, but he didn’t know a soul.  IMG_2899IMG_2904IMG_3121Thankfully they had their friends close by (not in the same classes, or even the same grades, but it feels good to know they are somewhere in the building).photo(4)They came home all smiles.  Full of that confidence of doing something hard and scary. 

IMG_2913Emmeline spent the first week of school at home, vying for the day she could start.  She did lots of art work (turning into quite the artist).  IMG_3161Emmeline started school the next week. She is going to a Montessori preschool three afternoons a week.  She loves it.  And I love it.  Peter naps and I actually get some uninterrupted time (though of course not nearly enough).   

Emmeline is happy and something about this new change and this clock ticking structure into our lives is really making her blossom.  A few weeks after starting she was playing family with some of her stuffed animals and she sang to herself, “I love School.  I love school.  I don’t want to have any birthdays.  I want to stay this old – every year and every day.” 

Oh, dear Em, I want you to stay this old too, every year and every day. 

That’s the problem of the ticking clock.  It just keeps going.  There’s no stopping it.   Morning routines turn into evening routines which turn into days and then weeks and then months and then before you know it another long summer is stretched out before you. 

This year I want to figure out a way to slow down the constant ticking and motion.  I want, every once in a while, to just be still together.  Still with the way we are right now before it goes and changes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

last day of school

IMG_0201I’m so happy I got to homeschool the kids for so long while we were in England, but I’m also so happy they got to experience going to school in another country.  Emmeline had the longest and most consistent experience with her little pre-school  She was so brave and went every time even when she clearly didn’t feel like it.  She always greeted me with a huge smile on her face at the end of the day, so I kept forcing her out the door.  I loved her little preschool.  The teachers were all so kind to her.  She insists that she didn’t learn at her preschool….”We don’t learn mom, we just play” and that’s the kind of preschool I love.  They had all these great play stations set up everyday for the kids to interact with.  It was great.  Her teachers said it was fun to see her open up and change.  They said that on that last day of school she was actually chatty.  She did something hard, and sometimes I worry it was too hard for a three year old.  But I think it gave her some confidence in herself and even though she insists otherwise, I know she learned a ton. IMG_0192IMG_0199I wish I had a picture of her running to me with her arms wide and her eyes all sparkly at the end of the day.  She’d be sitting on that little bench you can see in the background until I caught her eye and then before I could blink she had me in a huge happy embrace. IMG_0204 She was also pretty happy about that little lunch box she got to pack with her (she felt like a real big kid eating lunch at school).  Do you know about Planet Boxes?  I’m a little embarrassed about how much I love ours.  It was a ridiculously expensive purchase, but the satisfaction has been well worth the money (maybe more on them some other time). 

IMG_2778On the big kids second to last day of school they had sports day.  They were so excited about it.  It was an Olympic theme (of course) and they got to represent different countries.  The games and races lasted all day and Em and Peter and I got to join them around lunch time to watch them compete.  They even had a Mum’s race which, much to Hazel and Charlie’s delight, I joined.  I did pretty well, but go shut out at the end by some super speedy mums.  IMG_2782Their last day at Ray Lodge school was right in the middle of our crazy car troubles so I was a bit late to pick them up on their last day, and super frazzeld (the rental car had just gotten a flat tire and just as I was loading up Em and Peter in the stroller to walk and pick up the kids super late) my neighbor rushed to the rescue to take me to do the school run.  I got there just in time to catch some of their classmates and teachers for some quick photos.  Too bad it was non uniform day, I’d love to have them with their friends all formal and British looking.  Just imagine these kids in cute little uniforms, oK?IMG_2790-2Hazel’s teacher, Mr. Hayes was incredible.  He recognized Hazel’s talents right off the bat and was so kind and helpful to her.  I really was so so grateful for him.  He really made her experience. IMG_2791-2Charlie’s teacher, Mrs. Johnson was also great.  And he loved his “helper teacher” (the guy in the middle, can’t remember his name).  Charlie didn’t want to pose for a picture with his friends so his teacher ran and grabbed him and forced him into one.  Oh, I love good teachers. IMG_2793

I’m so happy that these guys got to have their little British school adventure.  I know they were just as proud of themselves as I was of them.  It wasn’t all glorious, they had some challenges there, but I know they feel confident having that experience under their belts. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yorkshire–National Train Museum

While in York we visited the National Train museum.  I’m going to let the pictures do the talking here….but I just want to say, the kids were in heaven.  Mostly Charlie and Peter.  Charlie knew what he was looking at and was psyched about seeing all the cool mechanics.  And although Peter doesn’t even know what a train is, his little boy instincts kicked in and he was enamored by all the machinery.  I guess it’s hard wired into that boy. IMG_9729IMG_9735Isn’t that a cool picture?  The had a great play space there where the kids could play with toy trains in the shadows of all those huge train engines. IMG_9727IMG_9730IMG_9731IMG_9732I think the machinery can be just plain beautiful.IMG_9733IMG_9734IMG_9736IMG_9737IMG_9738IMG_9742IMG_9744IMG_9745IMG_9746IMG_9747IMG_9748IMG_9749IMG_9751IMG_9752I just couldn’t help taking way too many pictures of that boy in his coveralls standing small but awestruck surrounded by  all those big engines.IMG_9754IMG_9756IMG_9758IMG_9759IMG_9761IMG_9763IMG_9764IMG_9769IMG_9772

In the back they had a big huge warehouse full of all kinds of train antique stuff for sale.  I wish we’d have had more time to search through these treasures.  The kids love old stuff.  But we had the city of York to explore.


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