SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday to Yous

Grammatically incorrect, I know. However, some Northwoodsers actually say "yous" (pronounced so it rhymes with 'loose') when they mean "you--plural". It's the northern version of "y'all", which southerners use to refer to "you--plural", and some for "you--singular", as well. This leads some folks to pluralize "you" by saying "all y'all" (you know who you are!). It's really so easy people, just say "you"!

All of this has absolutely nothing to do with Happy Birthday.

But Happy Birthday it is, to my mom who would have been 72.

Since I can't celebrate with her I'm going to celebrate with you by posting birthday pictures from the celebrations of my two youngest who both had birthdays in the last month.

Lisa turned 9 one month ago. She, like Bryce in his younger days, sees her birthday as a national holiday. I think she's surprised when she heads to the greeting card department in February and doesn't see a card that is pre-printed with "Happy Birthday Lisa"!

Lisa came to me about 7 weeks before her birthday with a list. On that list were the names of close to 20 children, an itinerary, and a menu. I've told her before that if she wants to do something special she has to plan, and plan she did. Her big brown eyes looked at me with expectation and pleading. She knew she was pushing the envelope with this one. Her party was to begin mid-morning and stretch until early evening and she had created 2 columns to list all of the guests.

How could I say no? She planned it all and gave me ample time to prepare. I sat down with her and pared down the list, keeping it to children within 2 years of her age and 10 miles of our home, and limiting the time to 3 hours. She hand-made and delivered all of the invitations.

We ended up with a delightful group of 16 children added to my own 4 (Bryce skipped out on the photo) who are at home on a school day. (I just love how the two on the right end are holding hands, they're brother and sister.)

They did exactly what Lisa wanted to do. They played on the slide--an absolute indoors-on-a-cold-day-lifesaver when there are young children around!

They played hide-and-seek all through the house. They played with a bag of balloons.

They opened gifts and ate cake.

They went outside and played with the kittens, and played in the snow, and played Fox and Geese.

I didn't spend hours thinking up and preparing elaborate birthday games. I didn't have to think of anything, Lisa did it. They did what kids like to do, they played. They had a wonderful time just playing. They were happy and cooperative and well-behaved and loud and giggly and energetic. It couldn't have been any more perfect!

Two weeks later our "baby" Gabe turned 5! This is the last year of holding up one hand to show someone how old he is. It's the first year he hasn't had to work to get the proper number of fingers to cooperate with the effort!

Poor Gabe was getting over a bout with the flu and had a terrible cold on his birthday!
I haven't posted a Gabe's Milestones post in quite awhile. So this is it.
Gabe has learned to pedal a big wheel.
He recognizes all of his numbers and can consistently count objects up to five.
He recognizes about 90% of his letters.
He knows entire songs and can sing several of them all the way through--although he mumbles them terribly.
He uses 4-5 word sentences sometimes but will use as few words as necessary, ie. "want juice".
He can pray before a meal, "God, thank you for food, amen."
He's graduated from knob-type single piece puzzles and just loves jigsaw puzzles. He's getting fairly proficient at a 16 piece block puzzles that makes 6 different pictures. He loves turning the blocks to find the correct picture for the animal we're putting together.
He has an opinion!
He still likes to run but returns when instructed rather than having to always be chased--yeah!!
He likes to push babies over--ugh.
He's learned to operate a sing-a-long microphone and recorder and can record himself and play it back.
He LOVES Elmo.
Finally, my favorite recent exchange with Gabe came a few weeks ago when I'd just mopped the floor. He walked into the room and I asked him, "How does it look?"
He surveyed the room and, nodding, said, "Pretty nice."

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