Liam finished the First Grade this year on the A Honor Roll, Outstanding Citizenship, and Second Place in the school Science fair for his grade! He rides the bus to and from school, which is only about 1.2 miles away, but he loves the independence and I love the convenience. He has a handful of friends his age in our neighborhood and has enjoyed being able to walk to his friend’s house to play, ride his bike around the neighborhood, and participate in nerf gun wars. He turned 7 years old in July and we had a fun “Backyard Bash” for him complete with water balloons, squirt guns, corn dogs, and cupcakes. So far, he has remained on the A Honor Roll for Second Grade and has enjoyed his newfound reading skill by devouring book after book. His favorites are the Magic Tree House series, I Survived series, and National Geographic early reader books. He builds and creates worlds in Minecraft and with his Lego sets, still loves cats more than anything, and is learning to beat his dad in chess. We are continually impressed with his knowledge and passion for life.
Ezra finished his first year of preschool completely exceeding expectations, but due to Missouri age requirements, he is doing a second year of preschool. He continues to be our sweet, sensitive boy. When I came home from the hospital after having JoceLyn, he sat and cried in my arms with me for a few minutes. He has such a big heart and is a good friend to anyone he meets. Because of this, his social life has exploded. He has been invited to lots of birthday parties and his teacher says the other kids in his class have started to follow his lead when it comes to play time. He still loves Star Wars, but this year has also adopted a passion for dinosaurs. We have viewed every Jurassic Park/ World movie, every dinosaur show on Netflix, and checked out every dinosaur book we can find from the library. He says he will be a Paleontologist when he grows up. He also had a blast learning to play basketball in a six week rec class this Fall. He has the exuberant energy of a puppy which we have yet to figure out how to channel into something more productive than jumping on our furniture. He is an excellent big brother to his two little sisters and we love his love.
RoxaBelle has grown by leaps and bounds this year. She is extremely independent. At the beginning of the year, I introduced her to potty training and soon realized I needed to step aside and let her take the lead on it. Once I did, she was potty trained in two days. It was lovely having no diapers to buy for a few months before her baby sister arrived. She surprised me by quickly warming to the idea of a new baby in the house. She began telling anyone who called her “Baby”, “I NOT a baby!!!” She also has not taken to any nicknames, nor can we use her middle or last names. If I slip up and call her RoxaBelle Berlin, she yells, “I NOT Berlin!!! I RoxaBelle!” She was very upset this Fall when both of her brothers got to go to school and she had to stay home. So, we enrolled her in ballet/tap class at a local dance studio and she has completely blossomed into a very avid dancer. I am looking forward to continuing to watch her learn and grow, especially now that she’s a big sister.
JoceLyn’s birth was scheduled and calm compared to all of her siblings. It was, all things considered, very uneventful, which is perfect. I had so much anxiety throughout her pregnancy. I was plagued with thoughts of: “how can I possibly be blessed with four healthy, uncomplicated babies?!” I was certain something would go wrong. So, when she came screaming into the world, I cried and cried tears of relief… and then threw up. She came home to a very hot summer, but proved to be a welcome addition to our noisy, chaotic lives. Her siblings adore her, her parents can’t get enough of her, and she steals hearts everywhere she goes. She is growing far too quickly, but will always be considered our baby.
Jason switched jobs from Express Scripts to Edward Jones in June. While the transition came at a chaotic time in our personal lives, it has been an excellent professional move for him. His work environment is a lot less stressful, he enjoys his coworkers, and feels confident in his work output. A happy husband makes for a happy wife (and vice versa). Besides being a great company to work for, they are also very family focused. They hosted a Take your Child to Work Day over the summer, and Liam enjoyed being able to go to work with his dad. Then, in September, Edward Jones rented out Six Flags for their employees and families. We enjoyed a free lunch and our kids’ first time at an amusement park together.
As for me, I have enjoyed making new friends here in Missouri, exploring new places with my kids, reading new books, and adapting to my new role as a mother of four. Missouri is beautiful and interesting. St. Charles is historic and also extremely haunted (as I’ve learned through my excessive reading). I continue to try to find time to focus on me, while still being the best mom I can. I understand that this is a season of my life, having all of these young kids at home, that is hard and wonderful, terrible and great, and I will never have these years back again. I am trying to hold that perspective and indulge while I can.