David's Birthday Gift

David will turn 10 in a few days!
For his birthday, he, my dad, and Brandon got to do something really special.
You only turn 10 once you know!
Brandon and David have never been on a plane before, and they both really wanted to.
Turns out there is a private pilot at our church, one willing to take 3 people on a plane ride... And we had takers!
Kaden was disappointed he didn't get to go, as the rest of us were.
But they got to fly over the house which was super cool!
The boys - about to board!
Mom, Bethany, Jon and Kaden are looking at the picture of the boys about to board the plane.
There they are!
hi guys!
This is a birthday experience I'm sure David will never forget! 
Happy 10th, David!

Kaden Update

So how is he doing?
Great!  Kaden is absolutely thriving!
He keeps us on our toes, he keeps us laughing, he keeps us busy.
He is a lot of fun, but he is a human, and so a lot of work, too.
Kaden is currently on a 3 week break from his Montessori school that he goes to from 9am to 12pm on week days. 
He is doing so well in it! 
He thrives in a hands-on educational setting, and loves playing, making things, and asking questions, all while learning!
It also gives us a nice break to do some work at home.
Several times a week he will get up from his nap begging to "make some-bing".
He and Bethany are now sharing a room, (more on that later!)
and he's doing pretty well with that.
He still has accidents about 2-5 times a week, but only at night or when he waits too long during the day.
Kaden is an early bird, and usually gets up about 7 am. 
I am not an early bird, but thankfully my dad is, so  he and Kaden have some time together then. 
When he first came home, he couldn't really do puzzles, and nothing electronic would hold his interest for very long.  On electronic games he would randomly push buttons instead of getting into the game.
He has come so far!
Now he is working on Star Fall (a educational computer game) and learning on it!
He can say the days of the week, he recognizes most letters and numbers, and can count up to about 11 where he starts to get mixed up.
He is very strong, and has a very muscular build.  He can eat as much (or more!) then my dad and has no lack of appetite, though he is learning how to "save some for later".
One of the biggest things we are working on now is not saying WHY after everything.
A few weeks after coming home, he began to show interest in English and learning his new language. 
Then he would say, "whopee?" after we said something, meaning "where" in Lingala. 
He started to say it as a way for us to explain what we meant.
Later it transitioned to "why?" and now that he completely understands English,
he still has the habit of saying "why?" or "what?" after nearly everything we say to him.
for example,
"Kaden, can you come here?"
"can you come here?"
no response.
"Let's go outside."
no response.
It has gotten old very quickly... but we are working on it.
Kaden is an awesome little brother,
and even though he can be challenging, he is such a joy!
We love you, Kaden!

And Then We Walked Home

In the last post I said that we had had a pretty exciting week,
but now I'm beginning to realize that we have a pretty exciting life!

Here's the story...
Sunday night we went to a park to play tennis and hang out.
We had a great time!
I took a lot of pictures,
we played,
we ate dinner,
and we had fun.

Yep, that's Mom!  Isn't she beautiful?
Whitey came too!
After a little while of playing tennis, we walked over to the play ground.
Bethany and Kaden played, and then Bethany began holding her thumb.
This has happened 3 times now,
the first time at the beach,
the second time 2 weeks ago,
this Sunday,
and yesterday.
She bends her thumb and then can't - or wont - unbend it, saying that it hurts.
She kept saying she "wanted to go to the dentist".
As sorry as we were for her, we got a good laugh out of her dentist/doctor mix up.
we decided that Mom should take Bethany home,
and so she left.

crocs and socks. Gotta love it!
Brandon and Dad played for about 10 minutes and then we decided to head home too.
But the keys... where were they?
After a while we figured out that they  were in the trunk of the car.
that Mom just drove home.
Dad borrowed a phone, (his was in the locked car) and called mom, but got no answer.
The kids (me included!) were excited, what an adventure to walk home!
Dad not so much, but he was willing to and we didn't have much of another choice.
So we walked home!
We took this right before leaving, to WALK home!

Thankfully, we knew a way home that would keep us off the busy streets, and we were only about 1.5 miles away from our house.
As strange as it sounds, we had fun!

What about you all?
Do you have any "lost the keys" stories?

Week Review, and Kaden Quote #20

We've had a pretty exciting week!
Our cousins and grandparents came,
we celebrated a birthday,
we've enjoyed popsicles,
we had a water fight,
a watermelon began growing in our yard,
I began to exercise again,
and Kaden learned how to do a front flip!
And all mixed into our week were Bethany and Kaden Quotes,
sick kids,
the regular tantrums,
and teachable moments.
The week has had some rough places, as all weeks do.
But I prefer to focus on the good things when I write blog posts,
so for now I'll stick to those.
I've also been tinkering with camera settings.
Adjusting the focus and playing with the settings.
Also just using the preset settings!  (hey, they work!)
and the watermelon...
So this story goes back about 4 summers ago.
We were eating watermelon outside,
and one of us (we disagree on who!) spit a seed into the rocks.
Next summer a mystery plant started to grow.
This is the 3d year that it has come back, and its fun to watch it day by day!
And there is Kaden and his #20th Kaden quote!
This one happened last night after he finished dinner.
I was cleaning him up a little when he suddenly said,
"Brittany, I love you."
I said, "thank you, Kaden. I love you too.  It makes me happy when you say that."
"Jesus happy when we say nice things?"
"It's against God's law to say bad things, right?"
"Yes, I think so."
then, with the shrug of his shoulders,
"I just know my Bible!" and he turned and walked away.
And speaking of Kaden,
he learned how to do a front flip!
He, along with the rest of us, are really excited about it.

More to come about our week later.
How's yours going?

Bethany Quote 7

Last week we got a babysitter that Bethany wasn't familiar with.
Bethany isn't shy at all around family,
but around strangers she can be very clingy and needy.
My mom and I were about to leave when she started to get really upset.
"Bethany," my mom said, "Mrs. Ilene is a really nice lady.  She loves to read books and go outside and play.  And guess what, she doesn't doesn't have to do any work; she can just play, play, play!"
Bethany thought about it for a second, and then jumped up and ran up stairs yelling,
"Yay!  Yay! Yay!"
She didn't have another problem the whole rest of the day!

On a Rainy Day

Today it rained,
and as the saying goes,
"when it rains, it pours!"
That's exactly what it did today!
David, like the crazy boy he is, got himself soaked on purpose and rode his bike in the rain.
The rest of us were a bit more reasonable and were content to stay under the umbrella.
What is your family's favorite rainy day activity?