Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday Samuel

Yesterday Samuel was 6!  He was in the best mood all day....excited about going to school for his birthday, having me bring him lunch, getting presents, opening cards, eating his cookie ice cream sandwich...just being the center of attention for an entire day.

When I think about Samuel's birthday I always feel a sense of healing and peace.  Samuel was born almost exactly one year after I had a miscarriage.  That event happened on or around my birthday and that is hard for me each and every year.  One year later I went into labor on my birthday....thanks Samuel!  A little more than 12 hours later Samuel entered the world all blue from the cord being around his neck.  Hearing him cry....healing.  Seeing him....healing.   Holding him....healing.   Drew naming him the name I had wanted for so long....healing.  Loving the gift of Samuel Keath...healing.

Samuel has always been a challenge.  He was a crazy difficult baby.  It was a tough first year with Samuel for many reasons.  Thankfully now he is mostly easy to parent, but he does have his moments.  He is the most stubborn thing ever at times.  He is also the most easily embarrassed person at times and it happens when I least expect it.  He challenges me and Drew all the time.  We joke that we can see him thinking..."I think the consequences will worth disobeying because it will be awesome"...whatever it is that he is not to be doing.  Always testing us to see when we will give up or give in to him.  He does not let many people in....a lot like me in that way.  But, when he likes you, he likes you all the way.   He is always curious, wanting to learn, wanting to figure something out, always thinking....a lot like Drew in that way.

A few weeks ago Samuel was the Star of the Week in his class.  He had to fill out an information sheet about his favorites and aspirations.  These are things I want to remember forever...

Favorite color.....green
Favorite book...Disney Planes
Favorite movie....Star Wars
Favorite sport....football
Favorite food...meat
Favorite subject at school....math
Favorite thing to do after school....play with my friends, mostly Conner
When I grow up I want to be....an Army Ranger (and he is serious!)
I'll bet you did not know that I can use a....real saw all by myself

I love Samuel's laugh.  I love Samuel's freckles.  I love his squinty eyes when he laughs or smiles.  I love how much he takes care of Elena.  I love that he loves classical music especially Tchaikovsky.  I love that he really feels music and does not just hear it.  I love that he wants to be with Drew all the time.  I love that Samuel is mostly fearless and has big dreams.  We all know that he is just stubborn enough to achieve them.

For his birthday, he had his two best friends over to play and to go see the Lego Movie.  Samuel, Jackson, and Greg had the best little simple party.

Yesterday, he had his choice of ice cream for breakfast...mint chocolate chip.

I took him lunch at school. 

Oddly enough, he was not embarrassed to wear this hat all day.
I made him chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. 

He got what he really wanted for his birthday....a tactical bag (the whole Army Ranger thing again).

Just a little excited!
He was one happy boy all day long.

Happy 6th Birthday Samuel....we love you lots!!!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jonah's Alvin Invitational Meet

Yesterday was Jonah's fourth meet of the season.  The first was the very beginning of December and the last two were at the end of January.  And, this is the first I have posted about his meets because there was nothing to write about before yesterday.  I know that sounds mean, but it is true.

I will never be one of those moms who tells their child(ren) they are great when that is not the case.  My kids will never and I mean never be the one on American Idol who doesn't understand why they aren't going to Hollywood.  There is not much sugar coating from me.  If it was bad, it was bad.  If it was good, it was good. 

Until yesterday, Jonah had horrible and very forgettable meets.  They were awful to watch and he was so discouraged.   It has taken a lot of encouraging from me and Drew to help improve Jonah's state of mind in the past two weeks.  And, he finally had two really good weeks of practice.  He learned his front uprise and does it well. The kip is still coming, but he is no longer so discouraged with it.  It was obvious that Jonah was feeling happier again in the gym and we were hopeful that Jonah would do well yesterday.

Jonah did do well yesterday and it was fun to watch.  He was happy and that makes it so much easier as the mom in the stands.  His scores were better and he earned them...finally!  This was a small meet, but his scores would have placed him at any meet.  The best part of yesterday besides his smile was Jonah saying he knows what he needs to improve for Byran in two weeks.  Maybe, just maybe he is getting this.  Who knows???

Jonah earned his highest score of the season with a 10.8 on floor.  In boys gymnastics a 10 is perfect.  However, there are bonus elements for each apparatus so extra points can be earned.  It is quite rare to see anything above a 12, but it occasionally happens.  Most bonus scores are high 10's and low to medium 11's.  A 10.8 is awesome!!!

Jonah finished in first place in his age group on floor and pommel horse (9.2).  He was second on vault (9.2), parallel bars (10.1), and high bar (10.0).  He was third on rings (9.7).  His AA was 59 which is fantastic.  His coach wants a 60 or better in Bryan...we shall see!  He was 2nd overall in his age group!

The level five team did great overall and finished 2nd as a team!

Jonah is a young level 5 and is still learning so I know he can only get better.  Drew and I were so proud of Jonah.  Thankfully we have a week off before the next meet.  Time for more never ending trips to the gym!

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is not a huge deal for us.  Drew always gets me flowers which I so much appreciate.  But, we are not the get dressed up and spend lots of money on dinner kind of people.  We keep it simple.

However, as for the girls, I want Drew to make the day special for them.  I have been telling him for a while that he is the model for how they should expect and how they deserve to be treated by a boy and someday a man.  Until that time comes, he is their Valentine and I want Drew to show them how love should be expressed.  That can be modeled by how he treats me and how he treats them.   He does all the little things on a daily basis....listening to their stories, reading with them, taking them places, hugging them, holding their hands and so on.  But, on the "day of love" I want him to make bigger gestures and he finally did.  I think having a 10 year old daughter hits home for him sometimes.  Emma is growing up too fast and Elena already thinks she is 16. 

So, while I was thrilled to get beautiful flowers....my favorites even....I was more overwhelmed that Drew gave them each a card and flowers. 

That just warmed my heart more than anything.  Someday he won't be their special Valentine, but he will have shown them what love is ten times over by the time that day arrives. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snow and Samuel

I wanted to post several times last week, but I had issues with our computer recognizing my phone.  I tried all the fixes I know of with no success.  When I asked Drew to figure it out for me, he of course sat in the chair and I swear it was fixed.  I do not understand how that happens.  Good news is that I can download pictures again!

Three very cool things happened during the past week or so.  First, we had snow again.  Seriously, this is the craziest and coldest Houston winter.  I love it!  When I came down in the morning Elena told me it had snowed.  I told her she was crazy and then I looked at the window....she was right!  Emma immediately asked if school was cancelled...so very sad that she thinks a dusting of snow should result in no school.

The second cool thing was Samuel being the "Star of the Week" at school.  Each day there was a special thing for Samuel.  He had to make a poster, which Emma did with him.

Drew and I had to write a letter to him that his teacher read to the class.  I loved writing it, but Samuel said it embarrassed him.  I was not surprised by this.  His class also made him a poster with things written on it that they like about him.  My favorite was his freckles.  I do love his freckles!

And, finally because there can never be enough pictures of Samuel....last week was the 100th day of school.  All the kindergartners dressed like they were 100 years old.  I think we did a pretty good job of making Samuel look old.  I especially like Drew's old glasses.  It makes him look even more like a mini version of Drew.