Thursday, August 24, 2017

9 years old

WOW!  How is it possible that my oldest is 9 years old!?!?  I know that this year I am WAY late for posting pictures.  Part of it was because of crazy hot weather. Another part is because we have been busy enjoying summer.  And a small gets harder and harder to take these yearly pictures.  There is nothing like celebrating another birthday to say, "Hey, you only have a few more years to pour into me before I am out on my own!!"  

But thankful we had a lull in our schedule and the weather was pleasant and it was a good day emotionally for me to go capture this AMAZING boy!!

Josiah, we are so thankful who God is turning you into be.  This year has been the year of taking initiative and you are pressing into that.  You are understanding what it means to be responsible.  We are proud of you and how you are growing into the man God has made you to be.  We love you and are so thankful that God has chosen us to be your parents!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

8 years old

Well, I can't believe that it has been EIGHT years since God brought you into the world and made us parents. We continue to watch how God is working in your He is growing He is shaping you. 

You are such a sweet, kind young boy by the way you are so willing to share your things.  Just recently, we went to Vermont to visit our family.  While we were there, you collected many types of rocks.  When we got home you found out one of your new friends was having a birthday.  So you went to the rocks you collected and picked out a granite rock to give to him since you knew he collected rocks.  You absolutely melted my heart!

You are such a loving boy. I especially love how you and Tobias cuddle and play trucks together.  I love how you will play babies with Kyrie to show her that you love her.  And then there is you and Sophie...two peas in a pod...most of the time inseparable!

You are adventuresome! There have been so many  new things that you have tried over the last year.  Playing Upward basketball.  Joyfully moving to a new home and church (TWO times!).  Going tubing behind a boat.  Playing chess.  Going kayaking. Taking your swim floats off and swimming in the deep end of the pool after jumping off the diving board! There are many other things, but that is just a few. 

We can see the Lord moving in your life. We see Him growing you into the young man He wants you to be.  We are enjoying being a witness to His work.  We love you more than words could ever say, but remember He loves you even more than we do!

Here are a few pictures from the photo shoot we did! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Standing in Amazement

Today, I just stood in amazement...after I got done being REALLY upset!! 

The kids and I had gone to Sam's to pick up a few things.  We had stopped at the food court to pick up pretzels for plan was to add some cheese and fruit when we got home.  Some days we do a VERY simple lunch and today just felt like one of those days.  After getting our pretzels, we headed to the van to load up.  As we approached the van, the spot next to us was empty...I was thankful because it would allow me to get the kids in without having to squeeze between cars.  As one of the kids was getting in, Sophie noticed this big, white suburban backing up and brought it to my attention.  I thought the person would stop and allow the kids to finish getting in, but he didn't.  He just kept backing up...not quickly...but definitely no indication that he was going to stop and let me get the kids in the van and move our cart.  He got so close to me that I couldn't even get the cart to the  back to unload it. When he realized that he was going to hit the cart, he did pull forward enough for me to get the cart around the back.  I just stood there in amazement!  There was a lady who saw all this happening, and she rolled down her window and told me she wanted to apologize for the man being so rude and to let me know that there was no reason for him to have acted that way.  I thanked her after she told me to stay safe.  After she pulled away, I noticed that there was a spot just across the way in the next row...he didn't have to drive around to the row...he just needed to pull forward.  I just stood in amazement!!!  As I was getting back in the car, Josiah asked, "Mom, why was that lady apologizing to you?"  I explained to him that she was apologizing for the way the man was acting.  He then asked me, "Why was he being so impatient and not being a gentleman?"  I stood in amazement!!

I have NEVER done this, but today I did something that is totally out of my introvert comfort zone.  I wrote a note and left it under this man's windshield wiper.  It said:

Maybe next time you could show a mom with four kids a little more compassion and allow them to get safely into their car before thinking about getting into "your" would have been the gentleman thing to do.  It is sad that my seven year old son asked me why you weren't being patient and being a gentleman.  Signed "A Very Disappointed Mom"

As I put the note on the man's car, I stood in amazement!

On the way home, I was  still upset about what had just happened.  Has our society gotten so self-centered that a mom can't even put her kids in her car without worrying if the driver is going to hit them just so they can have a parking spot that is one row closer?  Do I really have that rare of jewel in my husband being a gentleman...and teaching our sons to be gentlemen?  

 I could have gone on and on with my questions, but then the Spirit reminded me what Josiah had asked, "Why was he being so impatient and not being a gentleman?"  I realized that in my own frustration that I never really answered Josiah's question.  I didn't want to spend time focusing on why I thought the man did what he did.  Instead, I wanted to focus on Josiah realizing that what the man was doing didn't seem right to him.  So, we had a conversation about why it didn't seem right to him for the man to pull into the parking spot like he did...his answer...because it wasn't the gentleman thing to do.  I asked him what it means to him to be a gentleman...his make sure that you treat people kindly...especially girls and kids.  I then asked him what he would have done if he wanted that parking spot and he saw a mom with four kids trying to get in their car...his answer...I would have waited until they had gotten in the car safely...I would have rolled down my window to see if I could have parked my car...I could have found another parking spot. I just stood in amazement!!!

After we talked, I wanted to bring today's event back to Jesus.  We opened our Bible and we read Matthew 7:12a:

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." (NLT)

I am thankful that I didn't allow this event to ruin my day, but instead allowed Jesus to redeem the day.  I am thankful I paused long enough in my rantings to hear the Spirit tell me to have a follow-up conversation with Josiah.  And I am thankful that my initial standing in amazement on how this guy had acted was overtaken by standing in amazement on the young man Josiah is becoming. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Last Upward Basketball Game

"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."
James 1:12 

Today was the last game of the 2016 basketball season.  Josiah, we are so proud of all that you have learned over the last couple of months when it comes to playing basketball.  When you stepped on the court in January for your first practice, it was literally the first time you had ever played basketball.  You had A LOT to learn, but you kept at it.  Not only did you have to learn the physical aspects of basketball like dribbling, shooting and passing, but you also had to learn the rules of the game and how to play the game.  There were days you were super excited about basketball and would spend time practicing.  As the season went on, those days became more and more frequent.   The second to the last game of the season, you were determined to make a spent LOTS of time outside practicing.  That game you didn't make a basket, but you assisted in a basket and we were so proud of you!  You were being a team player.  

Then today on our way to the game, you again told us that you were going to make a basket because it was the last game of the season.  To us it didn't matter if you made a basket because we were already so proud of you for all that you had already done.  You took to heart the saying, "Practice makes progress."  But in the last period of play time for you, you got a rebound and shot the ball and made a BASKET!!!  Your face was priceless as you noticed the ball going into the basket.  Mom, Dad and the rest of the parents were screaming and shouting because we all were so EXCITED for you!  We were so loud that the parents on the other side of the gym watching another game popped their heads up to see what all the screaming was about!!   

Daddy said it best though.  We making the basket isn't what made us was the fact that you didn't give up...that you kept on practicing...the fact that you remained steadfast as you learned something new.   We don't know if you will play basketball next year, but we sure had LOTS of fun cheering you on this year!
We love you, Josiah, and are so thankful that we got to experience a lot of firsts with you this season!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Upward Basketball

Yesterday, Josiah had his first basketball game.  He was a little unsure about how things worked, but he didn't give up.  I thought he did pretty well considering he has only played basketball twice in his life and that has been in the last two weeks for practice.  One of our neighbors was getting rid of a basketball hoop, so Chris walked down the street and asked if we could have it.  It needed a little love, but Chris was able to fix it.  Now that we have the hoop, we will be able to go outside and practice some.  I am so proud of him for trying something new.  I am even prouder that he doesn't let his lack of skills stop him from trying.  We have a saying around here, "Practice Makes Progress."  We don't expect perfection from the Hooties.  We encourage them to keep trying and making progress.  Here are a few pictures from his first game.  I love those long, skinny legs...they are just like his daddy! :)

Being introduced at this game

Kyrie cheering Josiah on

So focused

He had one task...stay with the yellow banded boy...he took his task seriously! :)

Again, we are so proud of you for trying something new.  This is all part of the journey we are on...discovering what God has gifted you in. And know whatever we discover along the way, we will be your BIGGEST cheerleaders!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Happy SEVENTH Birthday, Josiah Potter!

Well, you are SEVEN years old!  Time continues to fly by.  We spent the day in Richmond, VA with John, Jen, James and Nikki.  We went to the Children's Museum to celebrate your special day and then went to lunch at Aunt Sarah's Pancake House.  You informed us that this was your best birthday so far!    On Monday, we had a birthday dinner and a special birthday dessert.  You requested a Wild Kratt-Ocean party.  I tried to talk you into one or the other, but you were adamant about having both.  I think I pulled it off pretty well because you were super happy with the end product!

You continue to be fascinated with ocean animals...well, I guess animals in general.  It is amazing all the facts you carry around in that brain of yours.  I sometimes wonder who the teacher is because you teach me so much stuff about all these different animals!  You continue to have a love of reading which is just like your daddy!  I am so thankful that you like reading as much as you do because it is such an important skill to have.  You also have an amazing ability with numbers.  Again, just like your daddy, you can do math problems in your brain.  Mommy?  Give me a pencil and a piece of paper and I can get the answer, but left to do it in my brain...well, I more than likely will give you wrong the answer!  You also like to be artistic.  Painting seems to be your favorite medium.  You often tell us that you are being like Bob Ross!  You are continuing to grow so tall.  You are chest level with me right now at SEVEN!  You have lost six teeth so far and have two more that are loose!  I have seen such a growth in your character.  You are so helpful to those who are in need, gentle with your sisters and brother, giving to those you are playing just name a few.

Here are a few pictures that I took of you for your 7th birthday:

Here are a few pictures from our day in Richmond:

Having fun putting scarves in vacuum tubing

Even James got in on the fun

Sophie picking apples

Josiah picking apples

Sophie milking the cow

Josiah milking the cow

Excavating dinosaur bones

The hardest working farmer I know!

Mr. and Mrs.---yup, we decided that they need to get married!

Another hard working farmer

Getting his veggies from the market

Taking a break from farming to go fishing

Having fun in the classroom

Putting the skeleton together in the dr. office

Time for some arts and crafts

Tobias being serious about his work

Making a peek-a-boo barn

Thinking through what he is going to do next

Painting just like Bob Ross

Having fun painting

Thinking about what she is going to do next

Playing at the water table

Driving the amublance

Love all of these kiddos so much!

Here are a few pictures from your birthday celebrations:

Bubble bread for breakfast

Tobias is ready to eat

Your birthday cake

Wild Kratt decorations

Your birthday banner

Singing to you

Blowing out your candles

Opening up your presents

Silly Tobias

More presents

Such a pretty girl!

Special picture of you with Pa T and Lin-Lin

Josiah, we are so thankful that God has chosen us to be your parents.  We are excited to see who you will become as you get older.  Our prayer is that you will be use all your gifts/talents/passions to glorify God in all that you do!  We love you, Josiah Potter!