As our summer draws to a close, Elliott noticed that there were a few things still left un-checked on our summer bucket list. One item in particular: learning to ride my bike without training wheels. So, in Elliott fashion, he put his mind to it and mustered up some patience with himself. With a little help from his dad, he set out to make it happen. He allowed himself to make a few mistakes and gathered the courage to keep trying when things didn't go as planned. And before you know it...our two bears on eight wheels became two bears on four wheels...
not wanting to be the only Cartwright with training wheels...
I've got this...
Of course, I had to photograph these milestones for them. I may not remember learning how to ride my bike, but I do remember the photographs of that momentus occasion. Photographs showing me atop my blue Cricket bike wearing those 70's shorts with the white trim and some hand me down shirt.
If only my parents had a blog when I was younger ...
Today was the day that the boys finally got to dig for their very own gems - sapphires, to be exact. They've been looking forward to this activity with their Montana cousins for quite some time. It did not disappoint.
What a time of change for you! This month you have reached an amazing milestone - Preschool graduation! You've said good-bye to some of the best pre-school teachers around. They have loved on you, encouraged you, and helped you grow into the fantastic little boy you are today. I pray that you will have an amazing Kindergarten teacher, just as Elliott did. One that will continue to inspire you to try new things, learn from your mistakes, and to not take yourself too seriously.
Last school year, I made a big decision to not return to the world of education. It was for many reasons, but a big one was so that I could spend just a bit more time with you before you head off to Kindergarten. We had some great afternoons this past year and I especially enjoyed our time on Fridays when you were home all day with me. You were so great hanging out at the bible study group and I loved our lunch dates at Subway. I will treasure those times forever because now you're my school-ager!
One of the hardest things about this transition was saying good-bye to some of your friends. Since many of them will be going to a different school, you won't be seeing them everyday. But hopefully, we'll still see them around from time-to-time or maybe even have them over to play. You've had to say bigger good-byes though. One friend, Landon, moved to Florida a few months ago and I know you miss him. And now another friend, Chase, has moved to Texas. You cried so hard when it hit you that you won't see him anymore. You made him a card and we included a picture of the two of you at preschool graduation and we mailed it off to his new address. Thanks to the US Postal Service, he got the card a few days later and now you both know that moving away doesn't mean you can't still be friends. I can't wait for you to start the next chapter in your life at Henry Clay Elementary School. You're going to love it, I just know. I'm going to miss our special time, though.
Thanks for visiting my personal blog! Letters to Our Sons is a blog circle and includes many talented photographers - all with a special letter to their son(s)! You can view them all - next stop is Leslie from Loving What We Live Photography.
It was eerily quiet in the house the other day. Your little brother had just been scolded for cracking the screen on my tablet. I was pretty upset with him even though it was an accident. And he was pretty upset about the whole thing, too. After I had taken a few moments to think about the situation before I grounded him for life, I went back into the living room to have a chat with you both, but neither of you were there. After looking around for a bit, I found you two quietly snuggled up in the blankets on your top bunk. You were reading a book to him and he was happy. Since you don't usually allow him in your bed, I knew it was a special moment between you two.
You have been gifted with empathy. When people feel bad around you, you want to make them feel better. I often see you try to hug or kiss away Ian's sadness, but this was different. This was more. I have no idea how it all unfolded. How you two came to decide to crawl up in your bed and read a book - because that just never happens. But I do know that Ian felt his brother's love for him that afternoon. God knew exactly what he was doing when he made you the big brother. Keep up the great work, Elliott!
Next up on this month's Letters to Our Sons blog circle is Chrissy Sandifer. Go see what she has in store for her "not so little" guy!
Dear Elliott & Ian,
I had intended to write this month's letter to just one of you and alternate months, but I'm having a hard time focusing on just one, so it's to both of you this month again! You both have been busy boys since the last letter. School is in full swing and we have somewhat settled into our routine. Elliott, you've been enjoying school, particularly gym and recess. You love to tell me about the silly things that happen at school and I love to hear them. You are supposed to read for 15 minutes each day and your latest choices have been your children's Bible and a book about dingos and coyotes.
Ian, your school year is off to a great start, too. You have been very eager to learn how to read, mostly because you want to read the guide on the TV to find your favorite shows. Your first sight word (other than people's names) was the word "FREE". I'm pretty sure you learned that one out of necessity, knowing we'll only download free apps. You have been making progress and have successfully sounded out several words to your own surprise. The other night you spent quite a bit of time making cards for your friend's birthday. Writing his name as best as you could. You are becoming so independent now and it's fun to watch. I'm so proud of you and I know you're on your way to being a great reader and writer!
On Saturdays, you both play soccer at the Y. You each play on different teams and occasionally play against each other. Ian, you are much better about noticing that there is a ball on the field, this year, but you still like to hang back most of the time. You'd much rather hang out with your friend on the field (aka Natalie) and have not shown much interest in scoring goals. That's okay. Because everyone once in a while you get after the ball and try to score. Sometimes I wonder if you're a bit of a soccer shark. Elliott, your style is a bit more aggressive. You are always on the ball! You've worked hard at including other players and you've improved so much! We love to watch you both play!
Elliott, you have recently discovered a video game called Minecraft. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not entirely sure about the point of that game. Whatever the point, you have also discovered that you and Ian can play on separate screens, but connected in Minecraft land. It has been pretty entertaining listening to you both discuss your game play as if you know exactly what you are doing. Sometimes you battle each other within the game and sometimes you have real life battles right in our living room - usually in costume - at least to start with. Your living room battles are more like a wrestling match with a countdown to action. There's usually a lot of moving around and major sound effects. Then, at the end I'm asked to name a winner, which I find pretty amusing. Even with all the battles, when it comes down to it, you both love each other (see fighting image right next to hugging image - taken within minutes of each other). It is my hope that you will always love each other and look out for each other. I know that you will have your share of arguments and full-out fights, but please always come back together as brothers who love each other (and maybe even give each other a hug).
Things are just starting to look like fall around here with colorful leaves on the trees and ground. We salvaged our one little pumpkin from our backyard garden and it sits proudly on our porch, soon to be joined by glowing jack-o-lanterns. As much as I love our summertime fun, fall has it's fair share of fun activities. You both are looking forward to choosing and carving your pumpkins, dressing up for Halloween, and Ian's birthday party. It's sure to be a fun month ahead!
Love you both so much,
Want to see more Letters to Our Sons? The next stop in our blog circle is Leslie Norgren's letter to her darling little boy!
I am so thrilled to be a part of this Letters to Our Sons blog circle. Each month, I will join with some great photographers from around the world to share a letter to our son (or sons). Each letter will link to another mom's letter and in doing so, will make a circle. Kind of neat, right? If you follow the circle, I'm sure you will find that we are all indeed connected in some way or another. Enjoy!
September 20, 2013
Dear Elliott and Ian,
What a month of transition and moving forward for us! Summer came to a somewhat abrupt end for us as we hung up our swimsuits and sunscreen and picked up our books and backpacks. You have both embraced your new classes with much anticipation. Elliott, you have been blessed with a teacher that wanted to loop with your class. It's a new room and a new set of skills to learn, but you got to go in on day one of first grade knowing your teacher and all of your classmates. Your dad and I think that this is just awesome, but you just roll your eyes at us perhaps oblivious to the awesomeness. I think maybe you secretly know just how cool it is and just don't want to brag about it. You're kind of modest these days.
Ian, you have officially moved into the big kid room at preschool, a.k.a. JK (Junior Kindergarten). In this class, you are with many old friends and are getting to know a few new friends. Your teachers started the year off with a superhero theme and it could not have been more perfect! You are a superhero at heart and often respond to difficult tasks by announcing your superpower that will overcome it. From hot powers to see-through powers, you have just about every dilemma covered.
With the start of September also came the start of soccer. You are on separate teams, but you will play each other a few times. I know that you will each be keeping score and the winner will not be shy with their announcement. You guys have the sibling rivalry thing down pat. You love each other much of the time, but that can change in the blink of an eye. Sometimes you even dress up in costume and have a good fight. The mother in me wants to tell you to be careful, but the non-mother side finds it quite entertaining. I do prefer to watch you work on collaborative projects. About once or twice a week Elliott will get an idea to do something creative and often crazy. I just love watching how Ian adds his own flavor to the projects and is always looking to make things bigger and better. Last week you both worked for hours making your new hot wheels tracks span from the front door to the other side of the living room. You pulled from your available resources including an empty spaghetti box, corn hole bags, and Captain Underpants books. I'll admit that it was a tad frustrating to have a racing track running through the main part of our house, but I was too distracted by your ingenuity to be bothered.
Elliott, you are so funny and silly a lot of time, but serious and studious at others. Your one eyebrow crinkled goofy look always makes me smile. I hope that you won't take yourself too seriously as you grow up and that you will keep your sense of humor.
Ian, you are becoming more and more independent. I love it and hate it when you send me away so you can do something by yourself. For now, your independence often looks like mismatched shoes or an occasional fit when asked to do something a different way. I hope that your desire to experiment and do things your own unique way will open many doors as you grow up. If not, you may have to rely on your unique sense of style.