"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Philip at Four

Age three was a big year of growth for my little boy. He went to a class by himself for the first time. He learned to ride his balance bike and can keep up with all the kids on the block. He made his first lasting friendships. He got potty trained. He had his first non-family/friend baby-sitter and he loves her - can't wait for us to leave once she arrives! He got much more confident on the playground and finally started liking to swing - even started sitting on the big swing and asking to be pushed high!

Last summer when we walked out of our house, if a neighborhood kid came to greet him, he would just bow his head and ignore them - now he is riding around with the pack, engaging in, and even initiating conversations. Earlier in the year he was just scribbling on paper when he colored, now he works to stay inside the lines and uses colors strategically. He moved out of his crib into a toddler bed. He dropped his naps. He has a concept of time ("What are we doing tomorrow? And the other morrow? And the other morrow?") and what is age appropriate ("Oh, that is for bigger boys."). He has finally learned to stay in his seat and remain generally quiet during Mass. The threes started out very rocky with lots of whining, temper tantrums, and general threenager craziness. Although we still deal with all that, things definitely improved through the year.

At four years old, Philip is:


Stubborn (as a mule)

Focused (on play)


A car fanatic

An encourager




He loves sensory play.
He can be super focused, even in a room crowded with other kids - his Atrium teacher said that his ability to focus means he has a capacity for contemplative prayer - we shall see!
He likes working on projects and helping out in the kitchen - he especially loves making gingerbread cookies - asks to do it all the time!
He likes to be a little scared - if one of his TV programs is a bit scary, he will ask to watch it over and over and over.
He loves to find coins to put in his overflowing piggy bank.
He wants to wear his Georgia baseball hat all the time and he looks really good in it.
He totally knows how to be a big brother - he can be fun, protective, and also a huge pain to Julia.
He surprises me with random compliments.  My latest compliment: "I love your sunglasses. They look like they have bubbles on them." (The bubbles were rhinestones.)
He can be challenging, but he keeps us on our toes.

This little boy of mine is so fun, so beautiful, and brings so much joy into our lives. I am beyond thankful that God made him my son.
I have always wanted to do a set of Birthday Questions that I can ask my kids each year on their birthdays. This was the first year that I felt like Philip was old enough to answer the questions. It took about four tries to get through all of them, and to get real answers because he was just being goofy sometimes (see question 1). I think this set gives a good encapsulation of where my little boy is right now.

Philip's 4-Year Old Birthday 21 Questions

1. How old are you? 8
2. What is your favorite color? Red...and green and purple.
3. What is your favorite toy? Dump truck
4. What do you like to learn about? Letters. It's pretty good...letter. Like, like letter pages.
5. What is your favorite TV show? Mickey and Donald Duck and Octonauts, and I love Lightening McQueen and the fox with it (Fox and the Hound).
6. What is your favorite food? Pancakes
7. What is your favorite game? Soccer is a game. I mean, I love soccer.
8. Where do you like to go? Chicka-lay
9. What is your favorite animal? Dinosaur
10. What is your favorite song? Carolina (by Need to Breathe - it was our theme song when going to the beach this summer)
11. What is your favorite book? Dinosaurumpus (by Tony Mitton)
12. Who is your best friend? Abby and Izzy
13. What makes you happy? Monster trucks
14. What do you like to do with your family? Race cares are pretty cool and they go real fast. Me: So...play race cars? Philip: Yes.
15. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Ride my bike a little bit.
16. What is your favorite holiday? Easter! Easter! Easter! Easter!
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Like robots and toys (factual answer - his stuffed bunnies)
18. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Hot Dogs
19. What was your favorite birthday gift? Hungry Hungry Hippos
20. What do you think about before you fall to sleep at night? 1st answer: Do you know? 2nd answer: Dancing.
21. What do you want to be when you grow up? A car racer. I want to be as big as you. Could I be as big as you, Mom?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Four Years Old

My sweet little miracle boy turned four years old in July. I can't believe how fast the time has gone! He was really looking forward to his birthday this year - I think this is the first year he has really anticipated it. We spent the day with our neighbors across the street and had a great time!
Each year we try to do a special activity with Philip on his birthday. This year he asked to go to the water park. It was our first time visiting and we had a great time. I wasn't able to get any good pictures since I had a little girl clinging to me the whole time, but he really enjoyed the Lazy River and just playing in the shallow water. We enjoyed lunch there and a little time at a park to warm up (can you believe it was almost too cold to go to the water park in the middle of July?). Then we stayed much later then anticipated and got home with about an hour to spare before his party.
Philip chose a race car theme this year and I had fun getting it all decorated. As someone who was scared of having a little boy and knowing what to do with one, it amuses me how much fun I have planning a little boy party. For dinner we had:
Hot Rods - hot dogs
Race Cars - apple cars
Dipsticks - veggie sticks and breadsticks with hummus
Ball Bearing - grapes
Fire Balls - cheese balls
Nuts and Bolts - peanuts and pretzels
Checkered Flag Dip - chocolate chip cookie dough dip

Motor Fuel
Some party games

Philip had a blast running around with his buddies - you could just see how hyped up he was about the party. Just before opening gifts I took Philip into the restroom. He was ready to bolt out of the bathroom as quickly as possible. "I am just so excited!" he said as he hopped around on the floor waiting to be released.

Gifts this year included Hungry Hungry Hippos, a Hot Wheels Track, Automoblox, a traveling car mat, an Octonauts book, a farm, a watergun, a playdough fire truck, and a train video.

 The guys had fun setting up the Hot Wheels track

Bringing him up to bed that night I asked Philip how he liked being four.
"It's good," he said, "...almost tall as you."
Happy Birthday Philip!

Friday, August 1, 2014

{this moment} An Evening Stroll

{this moment} A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.