It's a Wonderful Life…

with the Mace family.

Gav reading.

Gav and I have been working on his reading.  B picked this up so very easily and with little help, so this is a new adventure for me.  Some days he wants to read a lot, and other days he can’t be bothered.  But I’ve noticed as his confidence grows, so does his interest in read more books and more challenging books.  While I would describe Gav as a pretty confident kid, this is one area I’ve seen his confidence falter and even fail.  Pushing through a book some days has taken every ounce of patience I have and so I’ve had to ask God for more because there is nothing left in me.  While last year was a bit of a battle after he realized how hard it would be to actually learn to read, even his enthusiasm to want to read couldn’t carry him through, this year has been markedly easier.  His love of reading, now that he has some books he can confidently read under his belt, is thriving again and helping in the difficult times.  I’ve noticed that when his confidence lacks, he tends to lower the volume of his voice.  As a mom, this has been really hard to watch and see him struggle.  But I also know, he needs to struggle through this and conquer it.  We all know there are many things in life we have had to face that were difficult, and this is what I am trying to prepare the boys for:  real life.  They need to know that they may struggle with certain things in this life, but they can persevere.  All this to say, enjoy the video of Gav reading a book by one of his favorite authors, Mo Willems.  As you will hear, he doesn’t know he is being filmed, he would not have read as confidently if he knew.  And if it sounds like he knows this book well, it’s because it has been read a lot this week.  This is the fruit of his labor.

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Ch Ch Changes….

As the title suggests, a lot of changes are going on.  The first being a new computer!  Now I can get back to blogging, not that I did it all that frequently anyway, but you know, I can post whenever I want:)  While it’s not super important, we got rid of the laptops (except for N’s work one, that one kind of has to stick around) and bought a family computer for all of us to use.  Hmmm, I see typing lessons in someone’s future!  And just another non exciting piece of news, we got a bookshelf!  First I guess I should tell you we have ridiculous amounts of books.  Our boys bookshelves are full, like really full, as in so full B is going to need another and Gav is ready to get a bigger one.  And that’s just our children!  N and I had boxes, and by boxes, I mean 10+ of books in the garage because we ran out of bookshelf space.  We own heavy books, so we can’t just get one of the cheap ones, we have to get real wood bookcases.  And those are much more pricey.  We’ve just kind of put it off, keeping the books in boxes in the garage and hoping we didn’t need one of those.  Now we only have 4 boxes we couldn’t fit.  Big success!  And it only cost us $20 + two dvd stands we traded to get it.  Score.

Ok, now onto more exciting, or at least more relevant news.  B has braces!  What?!  Yes, you read that right.  On the 17th of this month, they were put on.  So the Monday a week before, he had two baby teeth pulled and handled it like a champ.  The following Tuesday a mold was done of his mouth and a few x-rays.  The 17th he had the braces put on.  It won’t start out a full set as he still has more baby teeth to lose on the top.  They will be placed on the permanent teeth he has now, and the others as they come in.  Head gear, to be worn at night, is looking like a possibility.

Back to school we go!  May was a rough month, where B just didn’t want anything to do with schooling.  So N laid down the law, and told B if he wasn’t going to school, he was working.  B was put to work around the house.  After a week, B said he was ready to start school, but we again started with problems, so it was back to work.  Our stubborn son has realized (at least for now) school is so much easier and this week has been a dream comparatively.  He’s had schoolwork done and has been able to play outside.  Sticking to our schedule is helping and definitely making it easier for him and me.  July will begin Latin lessons for B.  We will have finished Reading Comprehension, Spelling (hopefully), and almost done with Writing, though this last one I’m not sure about.  I don’t know if we are going to take a break or not.  We will be finishing Science and History in July/Aug. and then we will pick up cooking and typing.  I’m really going to try to limit school to two hours, and that’s including the school work that needs to be done.

Gav is reading, slowly, and just easy books, but reading.  And writing.  While he’s been able to write his letters, he’s been working on keeping them in between the lines.  He has started his spiderman alphabet book, which was a big goal for him as this is a special book.  It’s a bit more advanced than a reg letter book, so it’s had to be put off till Gav had more practice. Gav is also requesting daily to do school and has really come to enjoy it.  It makes my heart smile.  Gav has finished his cutting skills book and we will be starting his pasting book.  These are Kumon books that we’ve picked up at the store.  Gav really likes them and enjoys doing them.  The great thing is he can cut and soon paste too while we are reading our history and science lessons.  Gav continually surprises us with the things he learns and the way he interprets what is going on around him.

My little guy is growing up.  In the last few weeks, I’ve seen some behavior changes, ones that signal a new maturity has developed.  Those things I have been repeating are finally starting to sink in and we are seeing the fruit of our labor.  He has made some responsible decisions, and though little, show he is really starting to think before acting.  He has eagerly helped do things I know he would rather not do.  The boys helped pick up some weeds and bush clippings, and were rewarded with either $ or ice cream.  Gav picked $, but wanted to buy ice cream with it, and B pick ice cream.  So Gav and I ran to DQ, and he excitedly and joyously paid for his dipped cone.  He received change back, and you should have seen the delight on his face.  He felt like a big boy!  What B wanted took all his $, so he received no change back.  When Gav realized this, he felt really bad for B and gave him a quarter so he would have some $.  This was almost half of what Gav got back.  His kindness and thoughtfulness was beautiful to see.

Things at N’s work are changing.  His boss was let go at the end of May and as always, that comes with some changes.  He was working toward a particular position, which may not happen now.  The company is making some changes for the future, which we will find out tomorrow evening.  Of course, we are anxious to see if we are affected by these.  The position N was working towards would have had him home more and less travel.  He continues to do well with his company and we’ve recently experienced some perks.  We were able to get into a sold out concert by Michael W. Smith and actually had dinner with him, Nate’s boss, Nate, and Pastor Aaron.  Long story on how all that is connected.  It was really just a business dinner before the concert and didn’t really last that long.  I was so proud of the boys for behaving so well the entire time, even though they  were bored.  The link following is of a video that has gone viral, with Pastor Aaron and his little girl.  This song was part of the business talk, seeing if Michael was interested in doing it.  We shall see what becomes of it!  So who is Pastor Aaron?  Well, he is our church’s music pastor and this fall will be B’s youth pastor.

N has been playing on the church softball team this season and we have loved watching him.  Gav is the loudest (big surprise) and loves to cheer loudly for N and the team.  They have done really well this year and half the fun has been getting to know our church family a little better.

I guess that just leaves me.  Not much is changing for me, except my goal to hit the gym a little more each month.  I’ve been going, but my left knee has kept me from doing what I want and being where I wanted to be by now.  I got defeated for a little bit, but I am back in the saddle.  I feel as if I have finally reached that hurdle and my knee doesn’t bother me as easily anymore.  June was a great month and I am continuing that greatness into July.

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Long Overdue

Yep, this post is aptly titled!  Sometimes I don’t know how time escapes so quickly.  The past few months have been a like a time vacuum, sucking it up without us even realizing it.  It’s Feb already, and I cannot acct for where the time has gone.  We’ve been doing the same old thing it seems.  But that can’t be possible because really we’ve done so much.

I’ll start with what we are looking forward to, The Lego Movie.  You all know how crazy the boys are about Legos, so I am sure you know we will be seeing this movie.  What you don’t know is that N and I have also looked forward to it too!  We love legos:)  In fact, we have all been collecting the Lego minfigs that are selling for the Lego movie.  Yes, even we have our own minifigs.  N is traveling so we won’t be joining the masses churning out to see this on Friday.  However, it works in our favor because we will be going during the day when it’s cheaper(!) and less crowded.  We are all excited to see this movie and have been looking forward to it for what seems like almost a year.

Also N and I are going to start the adoption process next week.  We are looking at adopting through the foster care system.  We expect this to take about a year because of all the classes we need to do and having to work around N’s schedule a little bit.  Next week is just the orientation where we will find out more info.  I have started an adoption blog for people to follow if they want to. (, it’s not set up just yet)  I know what you’re thinking, “But you don’t post often enough on here, and now your going to start another one”.  Rest assured, you will only need to check this one.  I will be posting the same things as far as the adoption process goes on both.  This blog is for family only, where the adoption one will be for both family and friends and much more public.  Just stick with this one and you all will be fine.  Besides, this one will be posted on more.  Or at least hopefully.  The boys haven’t really said much about it since we’ve told them.  I think right now it’s just an abstract idea and not quite real.  Once things start rolling, I think they will be more vocal.  With B, I think he will probably open up to his grandparents more than us.  But I am hoping that he will feel free to say how he is feeling and what he thinks.

B is still struggling to get school work done and manage his time.  Please pray for him about this.  We have started a timer method, which I have shied away from because it has caused anxiety in the past.  This seems to be working and he is done by 3 or 4pm.  He will also be schooling year round from here on out.  I know what you are thinking, but honestly we have already taken several breaks, more than public school and we are still looking at completing our year by the first week of June.  And B would like to learn quite a bit of things, and we can’t get that all done in nine months.  Summer months will be fun things, like learning to cook and sew, two things he wants to learn to do.  I am going to “make” classes to teach him and have the goal being he shops and prepares a meal by himself by the end of that.  With sewing, it will be basic skills like fixing a rip in the seam and attaching a button.  We will also focus on Latin and critical thinking skills with brain puzzles.  His actual school work will take less than an hour a day.  And we will  read books together that we have been wanting to do.  The focus is more together oriented.  He starts seventh grade in the fall, which means most of his work will be done on his own.  Something exciting happened for B.  He wrote a letter to the Lego company back in Nov/Dec.  The responded back with a one and a half page letter.  You should have seen the grin on his face!  I was impressed with their response to him and that they took the time to address what he wrote and answer him, even sharing something they are working on that his letter addressed!  Ask him about it because I know he would love to tell you and read it to you.  I am so very proud of him.  As you know he hates writing, but he the letter he wrote was very well done.  It was nice to see that he could put into practice what I had taught him last year.

Gav is learning to read and actually can read some.  He loves it and it is crazy how quickly he catches on.  We are also working on writing, but reading is really our main focus.  He is as crazy and funny as ever.  The spidey suit no longer fits and it seems he is growing out of that phase.  Sad but true.  He is having the hardest time with N traveling, and we are constantly struggling to stay in a routine.  I will try to get a video of him reading his Bob books.

N and I have decided to change churches.  We have been at this one for a year and a half, but haven’t made any friends outside of Sunday morning.  It’s not for lack of trying as we have opened our house up to others and invited them over.  We have also been active in church activities.  We are also not being fed spiritually and desperately need that.  We have been pouring into others without being poured into, which eventually led us to feeling a bit empty.  Our desire is to live life with families, and we don’t see that desire being lived out here.  It’s mainly just talk at this point.  We already have another church in mind right now that we are going to try out.  They seem to be what we are looking for and desiring for our family.  I have talked to B about this and he is a little sad, understanding of why, but feels he doesn’t really have much of a choice.  We talked about that though.  He knows why we are leaving and what we desire for him and our family.  Sometimes this happens, but I am so thankful we aren’t leaving because of something being done or said.  It’s on good terms, or as good as it can be at this point.  No one likes to hear a family is leaving the church.

I think that about catches everyone up.  Can I just say, I am jealous of all the snow you all have been getting!  It was warm enough for us to be outside on sunny days until last week.  Now it’s cold and the wind is bitter.  I sure would appreciate you all sending some of that snow our way:)

Have a good week!  xoxo

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Summer is ….

bringing a lot of change to the Mace household.  It’s not big change, but change nonetheless.  N has changed positions within the company, which has made him salaried now.  Big plus for us is the vacation time available now and the flexibility he has.  The negative side is that he will travel more, though we will be able to go with him every once in a while.  N is also helping the pastor at the church with getting small groups kicked off.  Our church will be doing a church wide small group study together to build more small groups.  We have a few already, one of which we lead.  We minister to young adults and young married couples.  We have a really great group that God has blessed us with.  We all mesh well together with our different personalities.  I believe we have reached a point where we are starting to get a little deeper with each other.  You know how it is when you get a group of people together who don’t know each other that well, it takes a little time before people feel safe and trust those around them.  It’s so good!  We really look forward to it every week.  N is also on the worship team playing his guitar.  Can I just say, I love watching him play!  We are also on a rotation schedule to teach the 5th/6th grade class.  So far we only taught one class.  We found out that this bunch doesn’t like balloons being popped.  The majority were freaking out about it when they found out it was part of the game.  Who knew?!  But I believe it went well, or at least the food did!

B is finishing up a few things in 5th grade.  We never finished in June, kind of got summer fever and just went with it.  It’s not a lot, only takes an hour to go through.  But he is officially a 6th grader now and with it brings a lot of change.  He is in a new class at the church and is now able to be a part of the youth group.  I have been hesitant on this because, well…. because I am his mom and he is growing up way too fast.  I know you all understand this and went through (perhaps still experience?) this.  I am not ready, and as I said in a earlier blog, I should have one more year, but I don’t.  This is one of the pitfalls of having a smart kid, they hit milestones earlier, which is almost as if I have lost a year.  Really, he should be in 5th grade, allowing me one more year to prepare myself for all this stuff.  *Sigh*  His friends are there and he has gone once and really enjoyed it.  Once we move, he will be going more regularly.  Also, B will be continuing with TK for the forseeable future, as long as he continues to do his school work.  He really does enjoy it and is already looking forward to testing for the next belt.

This year is going to be really exciting when it comes to what we are studying.  Our books arrived the other day and B couldn’t wait to break them open and see what we will be learning.  I thought he was going to read through one of the books we are using for science.  This year we are studying zoology 2: Animals of the water and zoology 3: Land Animals.  We will have touched on every order of animal when we finish!  Math brings decimals and percentages with a little geometry thrown in.  The book we use is a mastery approach, with a slight spiral to it.  This just means B will master the subject and constantly have review of what he learned in earlier books as well as this one.  We are trying a new writing program this year.  Honestly, probably should have gotten it this year, but I wasn’t sure on it.  It’s by one of the authors who wrote the grammar books we used and liked.   History will cover 33 AD to 1456 AD where we will cover lots of stuff that quite frankly escapes at this time of night.  B will also be learning to type as well.  As for art and music, the library is going to come in handy as we read books about famous artists and composers.  As the year goes along, I will try to update you with what we are learning.

Gav has started learning to read!!!  So very exciting:)  It kind of came upon us recently when I had borrowed Bob books from the library.  If you don’t know what those are, they are just books to help little ones read with each story focusing on a few sounds.  They gradually get harder and harder.  He was reading one while I was at my chiropractor appt., and I really thought he was making the words up.  When we got home and sat down with him to read the book, I saw that he was actually reading one of the stories.  I can’t tell you how amazing that was!  It will be a slow process though, as I am already seeing that Gav gets frustrated easily.   We are homeschooling him as well, though we did consider putting him into public school.  For now, it suits us and our lifestyle.  I have a few books that will mostly focus on writing, which he can do, with more of an emphasis on writing on lines and cutting with scissors.  Mostly we will read books and hopefully have a reader by the end of the year.  My boys are just growing up too fast.

What does this new season bring me?  Nothing but change!  My boys are getting older, we are moving into a bigger place nearer to church and friends, and handling N’s new work schedule that is anything but normal.  I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.  God is doing some great works in our family and hopefully, through us as well.  More change will be coming, of that I am sure.  We are happier here than anywhere else we have lived.  We are all making friends, which hasn’t been the norm for us, and we all enjoy where we live.  It’s definitely a wonderful life!



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