Friday, April 13, 2018

Branching out

Ashton is branching out and thriving academically.  Today was crazy hair day.  Usually Ashton is not a group activity partaker.  He usually refuses to participate in special school days like pajama day, color day etc... however today without any prompting from me he decided he wanted to style his hair for crazy hair day.  He had trouble getting it up in a mohawk, but was able to give his hair a little style with a little water and gel.  Also his teacher told me today that he has made huge gains in reading this quarter.  He started out in January on an E level and he just passed the G level.  She was super impressed and she is going to move him up to a higher reading group.  So proud.  Also Ashton had his artwork featured in the Lisbon Elementary Art Show Panel at the Columbia Mall.  Again super proud of his accomplishments!  The PE teacher confided in me recently that she absolutely adores Ashton,  he is one of her favorites!  She even got him to square dance and apparently he was even smiling and laughing!

Ashton's donut 2nd from right on bottom

Check out his crazy hair!

His birthday was this week and it was rather quiet.  He didn't really want it acknowledged at school.  We will have a birthday party for him next weekend at a trampoline park in Eldersburg.

Last weekend we had an informal Easter egg hunt with Kodi and Aly.  I think Ashton had a really good time!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Vamos a Guatemala

Ashton took his first trip to Guatemala with the family!  He did very well!  I think he had a really good time playing with Luis Miguel, Pat and Bill's son, playing with their four dogs, Felicia, Pinky, Tres, and Lucy, and playing on a variety of playground equipment in different places!  It was also a good experience of learning to live without internet or tv for a week!

Our first day we visited a park called Florencia Ecological Park, an open and wooded space park/playground with wooden rustic play structures, hiking trails, covered pavilions with outdoor wood cooking called churraqueras.  They also had a 2 small pools, horseback riding, a man made concrete pond with no water and pretty views of the hills.  We spent a lovely afternoon exploring the park!

Ashton had been hankering to climb a tree, since the moment we touched down in Guatemala, so he finally got his chance.  Ashton enjoyed himself on the many tree swings, swing sets, and climbing structures

The next day we celebrated Easter with Pat and Bill at the Union Church in the city.  It was a pretty boring service, but Ashton did very well.  We were very proud of him.  Upon returning home we did a mini chocolate Easter bunny hunt. Luis Miguel had never done one before.  Not sure he was a fan!

Later that afternoon evening in the pueblo of El Hato we visited Earth Lodge. We had to hike down about 300 meters down to the earth lodge.  There we were greeted with  amazing views over valley and with a little bit of cloud cover some of the volcanoes.  We enjoyed playing on the playground overlooking the valley while eating and listening to some acoustic music.  Of course Ashton enjoyed playing on the playground the most!!!

The next morning we headed to Antigua for our professional photos and to enjoy some time at the Hotel Soleil.  Ashton thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool and playground.

In Antigua Ashton was eager to climb on ruins and go to the market and buy a backpack.  Unfortunately we never made it to a set of ruins he could climb all over. We also visited the Ninos con Bendiciones in San Antonio Aqua Calientes.  I think Ashton found it a bit overwhelming, but I think it was good for him to see.  We decided to sponsor a little girl named Ivanna who is 7 years!

Ivanna with us

The next day we visited Finca Filadelfia Coffee Plantation just outside Antigua, Guatemala.  They had many options for activities.  We took a coffee tour by Jeep.  It was little disappointing, I thought it was going to be more like a Jeep safari tour, when in reality it was more like a drive down the street, get of the jeep, learn about coffee, get back in the jeep, drive a few more feet down the road, learn about coffee etc...If we had known we would of definitely done something else like zip lining or something!  Oh time.  Ashton was not really a fan.  He ended up abandoning the tour after the 2nd stop and opting to play on the playground with his fellow man cubs!  Thank goodness they  had a playground!

This captures Ashton's feelings about the coffee plantation tour

Unfortunately that night we all got really sick and so the rest of the trip wasn't quite as fun.  To celebrate the kids birthday's we visited Grizzly Pizza in San Cristobal, Guatemala.  Ashton enjoyed the large oversized playset for a short while.  We had a birthday cake, but poor Ashton was so sick he had gone to bed early and slept through the night. 

Despite the illness at the end we had a very memorable trip, but we were super ready to come home!  Until next time Guatemala!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Can't believe we made it this far!

Well Ashton has hit another childhood milestone!  Cutting his own hair!  He just got a haircut less than 1 week ago and apparently, it was "bothering him", so he took it upon himself to fix it!  If we weren't haven't family photographs taken in 3 weeks, I might of only laughed instead of both crying and laughing.  Hopefully Ms. Ippy can salvage it somehow!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Contnues to do well in school

Ashton continues to do very well at Lisbon Elementary.  I couldn't be more pleased!  He has even come home with a cooperative learner award and some happy go home notes.  I am so thankful that he finally having school success.  His self-esteem seems to be improving as well!

At home he continues to be Mr. Contrary.  Hopefully it's just a stage!

He continues to love all things NERF, minecraft, and xbox as well as the occasional mommy, daddy, Lily, Austin!

He recently tried tubing at Roundtop Ski resort.  We haven't any sledding snow this winter, so we decided to go with our friends.  At first he was afraid and was quite tearful, but by the 3rd time down he was a pro.  I am so proud of him for trying something new even though he was afraid!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Seems to be making good progress

So Ashton has been at Lisbon Elementary now for 3 weeks.  He seems to have adjusted well, he's had a few very minor issues but nothing over-the-top.  I feel like the staff is really looking out for him!  I keep praying that he continues to experience success.  For the first time, I've seen him really be excited about progressing academically!  Not sure how long the honeymoon period lasts, but I am praying that as it wears off and he continues to feel more comfortable that he will continue to feel successful and loved!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

3 baskets

Signs of Ashton maturing are everywhere!  Last weekend at his basketball game through a local church, he actually scored 3 baskets!  I was so proud!

Friday, January 12, 2018

First days at Lisbon Elementary

1st day at Lisbon Elementary
Ashton had his first two days a Lisbon Elementary School this week.  He seemed to adjust to his new peers with absolutely no issues.  From all reports he seemed very happy at both lunch and recess.  Apparently, he also got a happy go home note home today, but he said he left it at school.  I am praying that the structure of the classroom environment and all the extra hands will make his experience a very successful one!