Friday, May 28, 2010

Luke exaggerates

Luke is sitting in time-out in that picture because he had been yelling at everyone outside. He didn't stop with the siblings, though; he kept on yelling inside at me.

Luke: "I'm hungry!"
Mom: "Sorry, Luke. You didn't eat your dinner, so you can't have anything else to eat."
Luke: "But I'm HUNGRY!"
Mom: "Luke, you have to think of the consequences before you do things. What is the consequence of not eating your dinner?"
Luke: "I have to STARVE for the rest of my DAYS because of my mean mother!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"mosquito" park

I let Joel decide what park to go to today. I had to go to the Walmart on the other side of town, so I gave him a few choices in that general area. He picked the one with the biggest field area to play kickball. So we got Subway and headed over there. Somewhere along the way, Joel got a headache from Seth's yelling in the van. He also started feeling nauseated, probably because he tried to eat food that had milk in it to see if he really is lactose-intolerant.

Luke and Makenzie have been playing very nicely together the last few days. It's a nice change from the yelling and crying!

Seth LOVES the freedom of playing at the park (or even the back yard -- he just loves to be able to run around on his own).

Makenzie's glad when we go to a park where Seth doesn't need much supervision because she is, of course, the "Seth supervisor."

I love this face on Luke -- HAHAHA!

Here's how Joel "enjoyed" the park that he picked out:

We didn't stay long at this park, though, because there were GIANT SWARMS of mosquitoes!!! I thought they were just flying bugs when we got there. I realized when I got a closer look at them flying all over the inside of my van that they were in fact mosquitoes :-( We had to pull over a block away from the park to kill those evil creatures. I had never in my life seen so many mosquitoes! So now Jewel Lake Park must be re-named "Mosquito Park"!

Friday, May 21, 2010

awards & pre-school graduate :-)

Joel, Makenzie, and Luke finished their school year on Wednesday. The day started with an awards ceremony. Joel received one of the 5th-grade library awards for reading so many books. Makenzie got the awards for having the highest grade point averages in Bible, English, and History in her class. Luke didn't get any awards, but he got really good grades this year.

This silly little boy . . .

. . . graduated from pre-school yesterday :-)

Even though Seth had only gone for two or three weeks, he got to participate in the graduation celebration. He was feeling a little sick, though, so he didn't do much celebrating. It was all as cute as could be! The kids wore graduation hats with a 2010 tassle and Hawaiin skirts and leis. They sang a few of their favorite songs and shouted out what they wanted to be when they grew up. Since Seth wasn't feeling well, he just sat in his chair instead of singing or doing the motions to the songs. I'm not sure he would've joined in even if he'd been feeling healthy, though. There were quite a lot of people in that little classroom, so I'm sure he was feeling quite overwhelmed.

Seth enjoyed his time in pre-school, but he likes being with his mom even more. He wasn't too heart-broken to walk away from the school for this last time.

His teachers were SO patient and encouraging to Seth. His main teacher tried pretty hard to get a special allowance for Seth to have one more year of pre-school, but no child can go to public pre-school if he turns five before September 1. That's a pretty stupid rule in my opinion, but no one asked my opinion. So Seth is starting kindergarten in the fall. He won't have the average kindergarten experience like Joel, Makenzie, and Luke had. He'll be in the regular class for only a short amount of time probably and then be in special classes and therapies for a lot of his time there. He'll probably also only go half days and not at all on Wednesdays since he sees his private therapists on Wednesdays. Life is just a continuing adventure with my sweet Seth.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Luke's 7-year-old pictures

Today I took Luke and Seth to several different places trying to get some good birthday pictures of Luke. I think I got some, but it wasn't easy!

First, we went to the Botanical Gardens. There was a sign on the gate warning of a black bear sighting. That scared Luke so badly that he didn't really want to be there at all. He refused to sit on any benches for pictures, but he finally agreed to stop on the trail long enough for a few pictures.

He wanted a "thinker" pose -- HAHAHAHA!!!

Seth had to sit in his stroller for this part of the day. He didn't seem to mind.

After we took Seth to school, we drove out to Delaney park strip. Luke wasn't impressed with the scenery here, either.

He didn't want to touch any trees because this one had some bird poo on it.

He didn't mind climbing up into this tree, though. I'm not exactly sure what kind of logic this child uses to make decisions, but at least we got a nice little tree shot.

Then we went to my favorite park -- Wickersham Park (a.k.a. "Raging River Park").

My chunky monkey is ADORABLY CUTE! I don't think pictures really capture how great this child is.

Here's a funny video of Seth and Luke at McDonald's today :-)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


My kids went out ALL OUT to tell me Happy Mother's Day with hugs, kisses, gifts, and sweetness! Joel and Makenzie are really good at following directions for pictures. Luke is cute even when he doesn't pose just right. Seth just doesn't care, so many of his pictures show his emotions at the moment. Today, he was EXCITED to be outside :-) Gavin came to our house for a little bit today before lunch, so I got to take a sweet picture of him, too :-) Taking a picture of four children is quite a challenge, so the group Mother's Day photo is pretty far from perfect -- except that it IS perfect because my kids are in it (and they're not hitting each other).

Friday, May 7, 2010

first walk of the summer

Joel begged and guilt-tripped me into going for a walk to the creek this afternoon. I would really have rather stayed in the house, but I'm glad we took the time to go outside! We've been having BEAUTIFUL sunny weather lately. It was nice to be outside enjoying it.

We also got to see a dead octopus that some teenagers found in the creek. YUCK!!!! I'm still wondering how in the world it got there. I'm pretty sure that little creek is not the natural habitat for an octopus. So what kind of sicko puts something like that in a creek?!

Seth makes me SO nervous on the bridge. There's not enough water in the creek to be dangerous since I'm right there with him, but I do NOT want to fish him or his shoes out of that nasty water!!! Especially with a dead octopus right there :-(

Seth had a GREAT first week at school. I got comments from his teacher and both teacher's aids about how wonderful Seth is, how much everyone loves Seth, and how quickly Seth catches on to classroom routines. His teacher even THANKED me for putting him in school. One afternoon, one of the school secretaries was walking out to her car when we were headed to our van, and she told me that everyone really wishes that Seth had been there the whole school year. Every day, Seth comes out holding his teacher's hand and smiling. This is turning out to be a fantastic experience!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

my baby's in school

Seth started pre-school today! The whole situation is really quite exciting for both of us, surprisingly. I really couldn't get him to stand still long enough to get a good picture, but he had a little backpack with extra clothes and diapers:

He didn't want to carry the backpack, though, because he just wanted to RUN!

His teacher asked Seth if he wanted to carry a little teddy bear to walk into the school. When he took the bear, she took his hand and led him away. He didn't mind at all. He looked back once, but not in a sad or distressed way. He was just looking around, I think. In this picture, Seth is the child to the furthest right, closest to the bus.

After school, Seth walked outside holding his teacher's hand. He looked over at me because he saw a tall person, but did a double-take when he realized it was me. He was happy to see me, but not in a "oh what a relief!" kind of way. His teacher told me that Seth did BEAUTIFULLY and that he is just a BEAUTIFUL child! Two of his classmates introduced themselves to me and showed Seth their flowers (dandelions). They let him hold and smell the flowers. I was amazed that he smelled them and handed them back without a fight. All the way home, he was saying and signing "friends." SWEET!!!!!

Now to answer the obvious question in everyone's mind: why in the world did I put Seth in school less than three weeks before school's out for the summer???? The answer is simple: I misunderstood the facts of special education pre-school. I thought that children with special needs went to pre-school from ages three to five, three full years of pre-school. I was mistaken. All children in the public school must go to kindergarten if they turn five before September 1st of that school year. In Alaska, children don't have to go to school at all; but if they're going to attend school, they must follow along with their age group. It doesn't matter one bit to the public school system that Seth is functioning at the level of a two-year-old or that he's the size of an average three- or possibly four-year-old. He'll be five, so he has to go to kindergarten. SO we had to get him into pre-school immediately so that the teacher could evaluate Seth's skills and make recommendations for special needs services for next year. There's a slight possibility that he'll go to summer school for the first half of summer break, but that's unlikely since he does still have his private speech and occupational therapists.

The main focus I have right now is that Seth came out of that building HAPPY and that the teacher seemed to LOVE him! Really, that's all that matters to me :-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Luke Anthony Hofacker was born seven years ago, 4-30-03. I didn't know how in the world I was going to handle three children, and I still don't. Every day is an adventure in this circus :-)

Luke was born with club feet, but that didn't affect his smiles or his hugs or his adorable cuteness!

For a couple years, Luke only smiled at people he REALLY liked. Otherwise, he could put up a stone face. It was amazing to watch. He'd be smiling at me then turn and see that someone else was looking at him, and BOOM! stone face -- no expression whatsoever! But when he smiles, he's sunshine!

Luke has always sucked his thumb. I tried putting little mittens or socks on his hands, but he just sucked his thumb through the material. This might someday cause dental issues, but he doesn't care. He HAS to suck his thumb!

Obviously, the orthopedic surgeon corrected Luke's crooked feet. He'll never be a foot model, but at least his feet work correctly :-) He could be a shoe model, though. Or a just a cute kid model :-)

Sometimes, people can just LOOK at Luke and see how mischievous he is. He's a little stinker OFTEN!

This year, Luke had to wake up at 6 a.m. on his birthday -- ready or not!

not at ALL ready for lights to be turned on!!!

Early birthday morning presents: legos and a Scooby Doo movie :-)

Luke wrestled in the state tournament on his birthday. He lost two matches in a row and was out of the tournament, but he sure looks cute in his red singlet :-)

Today, we had Luke's family birthday party with a Scooby Doo theme.

His favorite gift was a DS! He's been asking for this thing ever since Joel and Makenzie got theirs for their birthdays. He was pretty sure he'd be getting one for his birthday, too, but he did have some doubts now and then.

Gavin helped hand Luke gifts to open -- DS games and covers.

Luke gave me very specific instructions about what he wanted for a birthday cake. I'm afraid I pretty much messed it up, but it did taste good!

I love this little guy SO much and can't even begin to imagine life without him!!!

The Hofacker Family 2008