Friday, December 30, 2016

So many things

First, I found information on Ashton's birthfather Ricky on facebook recently.  Man does he really favor him in appearance.

Rick Lane October 2016
I also found pictures of Ashton's newest 1/2 brother Aiden Ares Lane.  Ironically he was born in April as well, around April 1st 2016.  Man in some pictures they look very much alike.  It's freaky.



It hard to tell if Ricky is currently parenting, it looks like he was in the beginning, but there are not updated photos of him with the child of recent.  I guess time will tell.

Of course all this finding in some ways worries me.  The natural part of adoption is grief  and loss.  The loss of the first family or feelings of rejection or abandonment.   I just want to protect our little boy from all that!

It is the deepest prayer of my heart that Ashton will never feel unloved or abandoned.  That he will feel minimal grief and a loss, but a sense profound of peace that God works out all things for HIS good.

We recently started counseling at Brooklane for Ashton.  He had been having a very difficult time at school.  Thankfully he attends a Montessori school and they have been a lot more gracious than a more traditional school might be.  I fear if he was at a traditional school he would have been suspended already:(

I am hoping with some new interventions in place for after break that hopefully we'll see some progress.  The hard part as a parent is we find ourselves constantly questioning ourselves, what's the best thing to do for him.  Of course we only want the very best for him.  I guess time will tell, but it's hard not to have all the answers all up front.

Christmas with Ashton of course was very fun!  He received his favorite gift which was a little tykes indestructible remote control helicopter!  He was so excited for Christmas!  One of my favorite Ashtonism's from Christmas was we all got battery operated toothbrushes. He was so cute, he calls them "remote control" toothbrushes!  Now he loves to brush his teeth!

Ashton and his stocking "goodies"

Of course he continues to love to be outside!  Being outside is his "happy place".  So glad God put him in our family.  He fits just right!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Always an adventure

Parenting Ashton is always an adventure.  This week he decided to be "that kid" at his elementary school.  Complete with refusing to go to class, running and hiding in the school building with several teachers and administrators searching for him, and being mean to a peer by dumping paint all over him.  Thankfully, he had good days on Thursday and Friday!  Needless to say we have an appointment at Brooklane next week!  Little boys!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Poco a Poco

In Guatemala there is saying for Poco a Poco, it means little by little....step by step...and I am happy to report that at the current moment with incentives in place Ashton is improving in  his behavior both at home and school.  Last week his school called us in to follow up on the incident Ashton had had a few weeks ago threatening to bring a gun to school and shoot a student.  The meeting was much different that I anticipated.  They basically  told us that Ashton's behaviors where getting in the way of his learning and wanted to brainstorm how we help make him more successful.  So this week he started a new incentive program at school and he seems to be rising to the challenge. 

We also received his report card and had his parent teacher conference with his teacher Ms. Porter.  Even though he is frequently off task, amazingly he isn't too far behind.  His teacher reports that when he wants to he can read a level B book and can write using sound/letter correspondence.   She also says he is a leader and enjoys socializing with his peers!  He loves working with others!

Praying we can channel his gifts! :)

He has also been the little love bug lately...telling both daddy and me that he loves us!  Sometimes I just wish I could bottle up his 5 year old self!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Whirlwind October

Just love their expressions here!

October is always a fun month.  The kids had a great time dressing up and going trick-or-treating last night.  Of course Ashton was adorable as a Ninja turtle.  We really tore up Pop-Pop's neighborhood.  Ashton got so much candy his basket was too heavy and even cracked!  He was tired he fell asleep as soon as we got in the car to go home.

Ninja muscles

Behaviorally we have started Ashton on a new behavior chart and he seems to be rising to the challenge.  Hopefully we can keep up the consistency and we can extinguish some of those negative behaviors.

I continue to adore his kindergarten writing!  He spells his name and I love his S, it looks like a 3.  I don't want to correct it because it so dog gone cute!  Of course his name is note on this sample, but since it said I love mom, I just have to post it!  He also reading a little bit.  I think for the most part its a lot of memorization, but I can tell it's coming!

I love my mom and other things:)

Ashton recently got a new bunk bed (from Tia Colleen) and he has been quite happy sleeping on the top bunk!
Ashton in his bunk bed!

Both Ashton and Lily have attended art camps at the Delaplaine Art Center in Frederick and have made some pretty cool stuff!  Earlier this month they did a mixed media project.  Yesterday they did sugar skulls.

Mixed media
Last weekend we took Ashton and Lily to Diggerland in NJ.  I thought Ashton would love it!  He got to ride in a backhoe, operate a mini-digger, and drive a skid steer and dumper truck.  I think he was a happy boy!

Ashton and Daddy on the dumper truck
We also visited a fall festival with my sister.  Ashton had a fabulous time jumping on the jumping pillow and playing with his cousins in the corn maze.   They didn't have a pumpkin patch, but basically a collection of really big expensive pumpkins.   Of course  Ashton wanted one to carve.  Thankfully Daddy got in on the carving action, so with teamwork they were successful.

Ashton Daddy teamwork

Ashton's pumpkin

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The roller coaster of parenting

Life with Ashton has been full of up and downs lately.  Olav and I were commenting how we thought perhaps he had turned a corner in his behavior, but like all roller coasters he has had his ups and downs.    This week has been a toughie.  We got a note from school saying that Ashton had threatened to bring a gun to school and kill another child.  I don't know where he gets this stuff from!  Needless to say it's been stressful.

On the other hand he has mastered some really cool skills.  We recently went to a birthday party for our friend Charlotte Henry and he tried roller skating for the 2nd time.  He was really getting the hang of it!  He even asked for rollerskates and a skate mate for Christmas.

Ashton and his skate mate

Also we recently had Olav's niece Cecilie and her husband Jarle here from Norway for a long weekend.  Ashton absolutely adored and bonded with Jarle.  Ashton is such a guys guy...he loves any man cub!

Ashton loves his fellow man cubs!

Ashton is also learning to write words and short sentences.  It is really cute to see him try to make words by sounding out the letters!

Of course as always when Ashton is not showing his wild side, he is adorable and sweet as ever.  I pray that we figure out how to help him manage his frustration better both at home and at school.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Busy night for the tooth fairy

Ashton lost his very first tooth today at school.  Unfortunately he dropped it and lost it so he couldn't bring it home to show us, but he was very excited!  Ironically enough Lily also lost one her last teeth this evening as well.  The tooth fairy better have made some good investments!

Also last weekend we celebrated Ariana's 4th birthday.  As usual I had to bribe Ashton to get a picture of him with his biological half sisters and birth mom!

Ashton seems to have turned a corner behaviorally.  For a while there he was really angry and explosive, but he seems to learning how to manage his anger more effectively.  I am hoping it is going to stick!  He had been quite difficult for quite some time, but the week or so we are seeing glimpses of our dear sweet boy!

Monday, August 22, 2016

First day of Kindergarten

Today was Ashton's first day of kindergarten.  He woke up to an alarm he set last night eager to start the day!  He promptly got dressed and brushed his teeth and was ready to face the day!  When I picked him up this afternoon for carpool he exclaimed, "I had a GREAT day!"  Just want a momma wants to hear! 

After school he also had a boys only gymnastics class. He seemed to really enjoy it especially since he was with boys his age and he could jump into the foam pit!

Now I am trying to get him to go to sleep...he's so tired, but he has crossed over the edge:)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It is time for Ashton to go back to school

The last few weeks have been tough in the Gjerde household.  Ashton has been an angry, willful, and an oppositional mess.  He is constantly telling people he doesn't like them, he hates them, he's not going to be their friend when he doesn't get his way. Needless to say no one is enjoying him.  We've tried consequences such as putting him in his room, removing him from the situations, taking away his kindle and his pokey, but the message simply doesn't seem to be getting through.  The only saving grace is that his sister was similar at this age and she seemed to pull through just fine.  So here's to hoping!

Monday, August 1, 2016


Lately I feel like the theme of Ashton's little life currently is almost....

He almost can ride his bike....but he chooses not to.  He's riding basically on very little training wheels and the training wheels he is using are basically useless, but he refuses to try with his new bike with better training wheels or allow us to take the training wheels either way we will wait for his timing....

He can almost swim....but he chooses not to.  He loves the water, but only on his terms.  While we were on vacation he was so close to swimming, but atlas he refused to again...we'll wait for his timing.

He is a stubborn little guy.  He reminds me of a character in a story book, called Ruby in her own time.  The story is about a Ruby who does everything her older brother and sisters do, but of course, only her own time!

Ashton attended vacation bible school at Frederick Church of the Brethren.  It was so cute he kept calling it bible cation school.  The first day he clung to daddy, but after that he wanted to go in totally independent of us.  On the last day the whole group of 200 plus children got up and performed some songs for traditional Ashton fashion, he slunk down low on the ground, semi hid and did not sing:)  Although Lily did report that one evening when it was just kids, he spoke into a microphone to answer a question.

He also attended gymnastics camp again!  He loves the foam pit and he continues to be a social little dude! The teacher reported that he seems to have fear of heights, which I'd had never noticed before but did see a little of it on our vacation.  However, on our vacation he seemed to tackle his fear enough to climb a tower with me!

Ashton continues love golf!  He asks on a regular basis when can we go play golf.  I found him at good will a small bag and few clubs for cheap...he loves it!

Loves his golf clubs

Also Ashton has gotten really good at writing his name.  He can now write his whole name without assistance and even make his "s" proper (although I really loved his old "s"). Last night I came home to this lovely picture of myself with my name.  Adorable


Ashton's signature

We took a vacation to New Hampshire and Ashton just adored playing in the lake!  I couldn't get him to go to deep with crying, but he did end up wearing a life jacket (which he usually fights me on), running and jumping of the dock (which I found super impressive), and loved to try kayaking.  He particularly loved a Kayak affectionally know as tippy.  He was so close to almost swimming here!  He took his life jacket on and tried lifting his hands and legs ....I thought for sure he would do it!

Hanging out!

Ashton in tippy!

On the way to and from New Hampshire we had a few fun adventures such as making candles at the Yankee Candle Flagship store in MA, unfortunately a few hours later Ashton's broke:(, going to a real coal mine in PA, and visiting the PEZ factory in CT, a big favorite for both kids!

Coal Mine

Making a sand candle

Pez Factory

Happy boy with Handy Mandy Pez

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ashton goes golfing and Mr. Congeniality

So Ashton has been asking to go golfing for a few months now, so earlier this week we took him to the driving range near our house and let him hit some balls.  He really enjoyed it!  He's been asking to go back!  Funny thing is even though he is a lefty, he prefers to strike the ball as a righty.  Needless to say both and him and Lily were quite cute hitting the ball hard!

Also Ashton has really come out of his shell socially.  He used to be so shy and clingy and now he is like a social party animal.  On our beach trip to Ocean City this year, he was like the social director.  Making friends with different boys in different families and then trying to get them all together to play.  It is so funny to watch!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Ashton's first "real" movie

So finally after days of saying he would not go to the movie theater with us to see Finding Dory, Ashton finally conceded and agree to go.  I would say he would give the experience 2 out 5 stars and I don't expect him to want to go again any time soon!  He liked the popcorn, snack and drink, but otherwise I think it was too much for him.  There were over 45 minutes of previews which were loud and sometimes scary.  He kept telling me he had to go to the bathroom.  Then during actual movie he kept asking me if it was almost over.  Although, I must say I am pleased that he lasted the entire movie!   I guess we'll wait a while before we try again! 

He wanted to do a silly pose

Ready for the show!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Watch out kindergarten, here comes Ashton!

Well it's official Ashton is a no  longer in Pre-K but kindergarten!  His teacher sent home a pic of his first days in pre-K  in October until his final days in pre-K in June!  I can't believe how much he has grown and changed!

Look a what a difference one school year makes!

Also, the little man posed for me for his last day of school picture!  So cute! 

Also Mr. Jimmy took the kids fishing yesterday in the pond behind our house.  Ashton caught his first fish with Mr. Jimmy.  He was very excited!  I didn't get to see it or see a photograph of it, but he told us how great it was!  Ashton however did not want to touch the fish!

Ashton has been super fun lately!  He has really come out of his shell!  So outgoing and chatty!  He used to hide behind me all shy and reluctant to give affection, but lately he's been a sweetie pie!  Everyone has been commented how he has really bloomed!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Water water everywhere!

It's no secret Ashton loves water!  He loves water in the sink, in the pool, in the bath, in bottle, in a bucket....if it's water Ashton loves it!  Too bad he won't cooperate with swimming lessons!  Anyway when Ashton takes a bath he frequently gets water EVERYWHERE!  Recently, he took a bath and got water not only in the bathroom but in the hallway as well.  How on earth he manages this I will never know!  Anyway after having him clean up the hallway, the floor was still slippery.  As I was lamenting about this to him, he decided he needed to make a slippery sign so as to warn us grown ups that the floor was slippery!  LOL  Notice that he used a band aid and duct tape to hang it on the door.  Will our house ever survive!

Slippery when wet!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Things I want to savor forever!

I've been really trying to be present with Ashton and really soak in the essence of who he is because before I know it, it will be gone and I'll be grasping for it! 

So here are some things lately that I just want to savor!

1.  The way he writes his name. I love his s

2. How when I leave the house, how he'll chase me down the street waving goodbye!  I never want to drive away!

3. Or how when I leave the house, he needs one more hug, one more beso

4.   How I lifted him out the car one night and he  draped his hands around my shoulders in a heavy hug/embrace.  Of course I when it happened I didn't want to put him down!

5.  How he loves to be outside, riding his bike, his scooter, helping our friend spread the mulch and pull weeds.

6.  How he always wants me to scratch his back in his bed.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Another day of infamy for Ashton

The littlest Gjerde who shall remain unnamed, earned another day of infamy in our household. In his deep love for water and bubbles, washed his hands (a good habit right:)) in the basement sink. In his haste he left the sink stopper in (so the bubbles could stay in mom!) and the water running (it was too rusty for me to turn it all the way off). Needless to say we awoke to waterfall in the bathroom which made it's way into the hallway and the extra bedroom.

I've always wanted to gut that space, but now it is really going to have to happen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The little man is 5!

Sorry for the delay in posting, things have been kind of nutty around here!  Ashton recently celebrated his 5th birthday!  This year he opted for a more intimate celebration.  We had hoped to have his party at the local park, but hence mother nature did not want to cooperate...she decided she needed one more last blast of winter before she left us for good.  I was a little stressed thinking of how to keep the kids occupied in the house and came up with a bunch of car themed games.  But guess what they wanted to do????  Go outside and play!  Go figure!  It was a good thing it was only 3 of them!
Making cars
Thank goodness for carpenter Pop-Pop
Looks who is 5!
In other news Ashton read to me his very first book.  He brought it home from school. It was called big!  I was so proud!

Today he got to be a kindergartner a day!  He was so excited!  He went to P.E. and had Spanish.  He got to eat lunch at school and play at recess with his kindergarten buddies.  Outside of falling down in P.E. and scraping his knee he said he had a great day!

Also Ms. Taylor told me that Ashton's birth father just had another baby with another woman,  I believe is a little boy.  So another 1/2 sibling in the books for Ashton.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Love my little man!

Of course Ashton drives us absolutely nuts with his strong willed ways, but there is something so charming and adorable about him even in his willfulness!

take a silly picture of me mommy!
First of all he is a little inventor.  He recent invention is called the double drinker.  Basically it is two red solo cups glued together, as you never know which beverage you might be in the mood for!  Of course knowing Ashton he probably tried to fill both sides, but man gotta love his creativity!

The double drinker

He also loves to pack snacks for all his carpool friends.  Ms. Jessica who picks him up from school daily talks about how he shares all his food equally with his friends!

He loves the dog and continues to torture him on a regular basis!

Poor Austin!
I took the kid to a Purim carnival in March in an attempt to relive some of my childhood with them.  They had a great time, but it was much different that I remembered as a child.  Ashton tried cotton candy for the first time there and decided he didn't like it!  Funny kid!

Trying Cotton Candy!
For Easter we went to Gaver Tree Farm which Ashton fondly calls Apple Gaver Tree Farm.  He loves it so much he asked if he could have his birthday there!  Unfortunately that are not open in the spring, but the Awanna church was having an Easter Egg hunt there!  He had so much fun.  He even found the "Jesus" egg which allowed him to get an extra prize which was a gift card to 5 below.  He was in heaven!

We spent Easter day with my sister and her family.  There is just something so cute about Ashton trying to find his Easter eggs!

Last night was Lily's 10th birthday party and it couldn't of played itself better if we tried.  Maddie's brother Mason came over as did Anna's little brother Jonah.  They played nerf guns with girls!  Ashton helped the girls build a fort outside, played sparklers, played piƱata, and sang karaoke.  He cried when we told him he couldn't sleep downstairs with the girls!

Ashton mission recon
The highlight for us was when Ashton did karaoke!  He sang the P.J. Mask theme song!  Oh my gosh so cute!!!!

Also for his birthday he got a scooter from Tia Lisa and family.  He absolutely loves it!  He is a natural.  It took him no time to get used to the "real" scooter!