I intended to do a Valentine’s post but it never happened because of illness, this, that, and the other (procrastination) so the following few images were taken over three weeks – some indoors, some out, some with flash, some with natural light — so of course nothing matches. That’s ok with me – they are just snapshots of my little loves, for my own photo book … but in case you want an update of how fast these little loves of mine are growing up, please read on. 🙂
MJ (called Matthew in first grade and Bubba at home) is the oldest at 7 and in 1st grade. The expression below is from me asking him “MJ, tell me your girlfriend’s name.” “Ah Gramma, come on, you know I don’t have a girlfriend!” He’s a busy boy, always wrestling with his little brother, wearing the knees out of every pair of jeans he owns, and eating his folks out of house and home. I volunteer in his classroom once a month and he’s a good student and is a great little reader. He loves to participate and answer questions and is a friend to all. He is one of a few blonde haired boys in the classroom in a sea of diverse culture which I think is awesome and his teacher more so. He can be quite competitive in board games, and a little sneaky too (like his Grampa?), but I never let him get away with it (Grampa either). Ha! He will be playing baseball soon under his dad’s coaching and that will help run off a little energy as soccer did this winter at an indoor field. It was fun to see the change in him from the first of the season to the last. He became quite the competitive player! He’s also in cub scouts so this handsome boy is well-rounded. What a cutie.
Jayden (also called Jay-d-bug, Buggie) will turn five in April and hasn’t changed all that much this past year except to get taller and taller. He’s still the same sweet lover boy that talks a mile a minute and never stops moving or eating. He’ll be in kindergarten next year and I’m sure he’ll be the class clown because he is constantly making me laugh with his silly faces and voice impersonations (you should hear his Batman). Since Danielle volunteers several times a week in MJ’s old kindergarten class and first grade, Jayden gets to tag along so all the teachers know and love him. I started Bible Study Fellowship on Tuesday mornings and Jayden gets to come with me to that. He comes out each week quoting his Bible verse and telling me about his day then we go and visit my mom and have lunch. It’s one of the highlights of my week and I hope his too. He also played soccer this winter and ran with the pack always wearing that happy smile of his. To have him tell it, “Gramma I never get tired.” His favorite game is Memory but recently I taught him Monopoly Jr. and when Danielle came to pick up the boys she played a game with us. Well, Jayden was all about wanting to share his money with his mom when she was going bankrupt and even got a little teary when she was losing because he wanted to take care of her …. but then …. every time someone landed on his property and the rest of us started to go broke from paying him, the tears dried up and he would yell out “I’m going to be RICH!” Oh Jayden, you are quite something.
Sydney (or Ninny as Cole calls her) is also 7 and also in first grade (a tell-tale sign with new front teeth coming in) and loves all things girly. She shares a room with Simone, their beds pushed together, and loves that she has a little brother to dote on. She will be the most amazing mom some day of which I am convinced. She loves to read (while hating the process that got her there), and is a sensitive little thing with mood swings that at times goes along with it. She told me recently (before she’d told her mom) that she was “paired” up with a boy at school and was not happy about it. The other kids in the classroom were in “groups” but knowing the little boy as I do from helping in her classroom, I told her the teacher saw something in her that could help keep him on track and I knew she was placed there for a reason by God. She doubted it! She shared the same thing with her mom later and was told the same thing. Her teacher has told both Megan and I that she loves watching her in class because she is such an old soul, a helpmate, an organizer, a doer of good things. She certainly is. Her skills aren’t necessarily prone to board games though. While she loves to play them constantly, she doesn’t win much — at least at the games I have. She growls then laughs that big laugh, then deals out the cards again, determined next game will be her shining moment. She played basketball again this year and you could see how the game really started making sense to her. She went to a BSU Bronco game and Megan said she was asking all kinds of questions about how they were playing so Go-o-o-o Sydney!
Simone (also Mone or Mo Mo as Cole calls her) is three weeks younger than Jayden so will also turn five in April. This little one is in her second year of pre-school, three days a week. She is silently observant and is reading and writing on her own now which is fun and her notes are always pretty dang cute. Here’s one Megan shared with me that she wrote to her friend Charlotte. “Shrlit I luv to play wif you. i luv to cash yl sister an mi sitr. from simone” (translation: Charlotte, I love to play with you. I love to catch your sister and my sister. From Simone). While all the g-babes and I love playing board games, this one almost always wins even when I try my best to beat her. She is fiercely independent when she wants to stand her ground, but such a sweet helper and hugger the rest of the time. She always wants to help me bake or prep meals when she’s around and she and Jayden have become quite the friends. In fact, we had to have a talk recently about how you can’t marry your cousin. 🙂 She got to take Soccer Tots this winter and her aggressiveness is definitely not on the soccer field. She is polite and timid and doesn’t want to push anyone. It’s such a hard concept to understand that what is best for life isn’t necessarily what’s best for a sport. You just stay your sweet self Simone – every team needs one.
Cole (who his family call Cole-Cole) will be two in May. What?! How? When? He is still “the baby of the family” but in all ways is such a cute little man. His mommy is his most prized possession and she lights him up like no other and vice versa. Daddy is right up there too. He is talking bunches (recently delighting his “Bampa” by saying “football” and “Go Broncos”) with his most used line of “I don’t want it” in regards to healthy food which frustrates his mom to no end. He is definitely more picky than the girls (who always ate anything and everything put in front of them) but he’s definitely more of a “carb guy” I always say. I look forward to having him over every other Wednesday while Megan helps in Syd’s classroom and Simone is in pre-school. He often has nothing to do with me when Megan is around, but when it’s just him and I, we play cars and dinosaurs, read books, play blocks, etc. and when he sees Bampa they play football. This little kid is coordinated like crazy with a soccer ball too. He is handsome and silly and obstinate and adorable. 🙂 While he and Simone often battle one another, he also depends on her to be there for him – Sydney too. “Mo Mo! Mo Mo! Ninny!” He loves his sisters. He has found the word “no” and knows how to use it — with just about everything — but this too shall pass and he’ll soon be on to the next new word. He’s a little charmer and lights up a dark room with that sweet smile of his. Love you baby boy. XXO
These cousin pairs are inseparable when they get together. They are loud, crazy, noisy, active, deafening, and adorable and nothing brings me greater joy than to see them having fun together. So where is Cole you ask? Well, I said “Cole, go sit by Ninny.” “No.” “Go sit by Mo Mo.” “No.” I always thought he should have had a cousin sibling too but Matt and Danielle said “NO”. Love you all, Gramma XXO