Saturday, December 30, 2017

Big Changes ahead!

As we close out the year Ashton has some big changes ahead.  This week we informed him that he is going to attend school with me at Lisbon Elementary.  I am both excited and nervous!  I hope for him it is an excellent experience, as I believe that Lisbon has every resource he needs to be successful in school.  I am sad to be leaving his Montessori school as they care about him so much there, however, I had a meeting with the principal and she was very supportive and for some reason if things don't work out at Lisbon, he can go back!

Ashton's latest career aspiration is to work for NERF!  So he can have lots of nerf guns!!!!

We had a nice Christmas.  Relatively quiet!  Ashton received the gift of the Xbox 360 that he had been wanting so desperately!!!  He's been a very happy boy!

Ready for a Nerf battle

Kinect for XBOX 360

Minecraft Legos from Grandpa and Grandma B

Playing his new XBOX 360

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Creativity in boredom

So Ashton has lost all electronics for the last 6 days.  While it is has made him a little more higher than maintenance than usual, always wanted someone to play with him, he has also been very creative, which we just adore!    He's made a minecraft bow and arrow, a recycled treasure gun with wrapping paper tubes, a minecraft mural, construction paper vest just to name a few!  Here's pic of his minecraft mural!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Frequent Flyer

We have little people at my elementary schools who are consistently asking to go to the heath room because they are sick.  Ashton has officially joined the ranks of those frequent flyers!  Not sure how many times the health room has called us this year, but he definitely gets the prize for a lot of times!

Monday, December 11, 2017

December snowfall

There is just nothing cuter than Ashton all bundled up to go outside and play in the snow!

Also yesterday Ashton's 3rd or 4th tooth fell out.  The first few that fell out, he literally lost, so now the tooth fairy comes even if there is no physical evidence of the tooth, the tooth fairy leaves the golden coin and Ashton gets to keep his tooth!  A win win for everyone!

Another funny for the books.  Yesterday, Lily was decorating the Christmas tree and Lily said to Ashton, "Ashton, please help me put on the (Christmas) skirt."  Ashton replies, "no way, I am not wearing that!"

Lastly this is the time of year when I often reflect on my little guy.  Even though he is super active, and sometimes has difficulty in school and at home, overall when I am around his peers and other kids his age I am really in awe of what a really awesome kid he is!  We are so blessed that he calls us mommy and daddy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The minecraft obsession continues...

I met another mom in the Gamestop store Thanksgiving night, who said the following, "I think Minecraft was designed to drive the moms of boys absolutely nuts."  She hit the nail on the head with that one!  Ashton continues to be obsessed with Minecraft.  If he is not being forced to play with his toys or be outside, he is watching Minecraft videos and playing Minecraft simultaneously.

Monday, October 23, 2017

My little creeper

Gosh I love this boy so much!  Here is in looking adorable in his Minecraft Creeper Costume!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cub Scouts

Ashton has been so excited to start cub scouts this evening!  He couldn't wait to wear his new uniform!  He is so adorable!

Academically he's really been impressing us with his number/math sense.  He's quite impressive for a 1st grader!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The most colorful vocabulary and another loose tooth bites the dust

Ashton has always been very articulate.  Lately he has used words like "my hypothesis is..." and "sockeyed" salmon....too funny!

Also after months of being wiggly he finally lost his second tooth.  Like his first tooth, he lost it/misplaced it! Oh well, tooth fairy still came, but he didn't seem to care one way or the other!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Another new skill!

Today Ashton surprised me by tying his own shoes!  I had taught him the other day and apparently daddy had been teaching him as well.  Needless to say he was a quick learner!  Yeah Ashton!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

It's going to be a good year!

Ashton: "The new pe teacher is really nice, he didn't even yell at me!" LOL

It's going to be a great year!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

First day of 1st grade success!

Today was Ashton's first day of school.  He even posed with his back pack for a picture for me!  He reported it was a "great day".  Made a mama's heart happy!  He was especially happy that he had recess time with all his man cub friends!

Ready for 1st grade!

Monday, September 4, 2017

This boy LOVES his bike!

We just got back from our annual Labor Day camping trip!  Ashton was a biking maniac.  He biked from the moment he woke up until it became too dark for him to bike in the evening.  Talk about a happy boy!  His little butt even got a little bike abrasion rash from so much biking:)  He biked so much that he had a total blow out of one of his tires, wheel and all!  At first he thought it awesome since it made a very loud explosion noise, but sadness set in when he realized it meant he couldn't ride his bike anymore:(  Thankfully we had another small one he could ride!

Taking a rest from the biking with some icecream and a hayride with Ms. Kathy

Of course everytime we go camping Ashton makes friends and plays with everyone!  Such a happy boy!  Here's him and Rudy being silly!

Silly boys

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Piece of Cake

All summer we have been trying to get Ashton to ride his bike.  We knew he would have no problem at all!  However like most things he has to do everything in his own way and in his own time.  Tonight he got his way.  Daddy pulled out his smaller pre-school  bike after refusing to try the larger bike and took off the training wheels.  He got on the bike and rode it immediately with no problems!!!!!  Piece of Cake!  Like nothing!

Ashton riding his bike!

We have had the most busiest summer I can remember.  In early August we went to Bethany beach with the Best family and some other friends.  I took Ashton's buddy Nathan with us.  Like usual they had a love/hate kind of time.  On the last day Ashton only had his half-sister Arianna to play with.  It was nice to see them playing together!

This years beach gang
Bribed them for this picture:)

Last night we just got back from visiting brother Stian and his kids in Connecticut.  As usual Ashton had a great time with his same age nephew Eirik.

Fishes in the water!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Summer Camp take aways

This summer we found the perfect summer camp for Ashton offered through the City of Frederick.  It's a little free range than I am used to, but he absolutely loves it!  Basically it is a playground camp.  I usually drop him off around 9 ish and pick him up a little before 3.  He basically plays all day!  One of the funny take aways Ashton has gained from the camp this summer is the knowledge that his is "white" as opposed to black or brown.  So funny.  One day he came home and he said to me, "mommy do you know I am white?"  Why yes I did, what color is mommy?  Your white too.  What about Lily?  She is brown.  What about your friend Nathan?   He is blackish-brown"  LOL 

Also we just came back from a fun trip in South Carolina with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Ginger, Uncle Greg and Aunt Cindy, and Ashton's 2nd cousins Hannah and Collin.  Ashton has been around Collin before but prior to this visit Collin has hidden behind his mama.  This time, the boys were best buddies.  It was so cute to watch them play together!

Camping with the family

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls from Rainbow Bridge

Horseshoe Falls, Canada
It's no secret I love adventure and new experiences.  I love taking my family on little vacations to experience something new.  This year I talked Olav into to taking a road trip with our camper.  Destination, Niagara Falls!  It was a long drive up but with a little bribery for good behavior the kids did very well.  Together we explored Niagara Falls on both the American and Canadian side.

We first walked across the rainbow bridge from the USA to Canada.  Then we spent some time walking along the Canadian side.  Ashton was afraid of standing too near the rails to have any photographs taken, but as time progressed he became more comfortable.

Watch out Canada here comes trouble!
Family picture on the Rainbow Bridge

We also went on the iconic maid of the midst.  Once again in true Ashton fashion he was reluctant to participate.  Initially he refused to wear his rain poncho and spent much of his time on the boat ride sandwiched between two "walled" sections of the boat.  Thankfully the boat wasn't too crowded so eventually he came out and even put on his rain poncho.

Maid of the Midst

On the boat!
Lily had really wanted to see the Niagara Falls movie.  Originally Ashton wasn't going to to go.  He's only been to the movies once, I think last summer and hasn't want to return yet.  He is terrified.  We talked him into to going and even though the screen was super large (IMAX) and the sound was super loud (surround sound), I talked him through it during the film and he did it!  I think he was pretty proud of himself too!

Ashton was super content at the campground to simply play on the playground with any friends he could find!  I'm sure he would of preferred that to any sight seeing or hiking that we did!!

He really wanted to find a beach to swim since the one at the campground had been washed out, but as luck had it, all the beaches along the coast of lake Ontario had taken a beating.  We found a small beach nearby our campground but it was basically rocks and uninhabited.  Besides the life guard, we were the only family there!

Our deserted rock beach

We did enjoy a hike down into the Niagara river gorge.  Both kids did great both going down into the gorge and climbing back out!

Ashton among the rock boulders

Lily and Ashton in the Niagara River Gorge

This summer Ashton has been attending a local playground camp.  He absolutely loves it!  For 90 bucks for the entire summer he gets to play at a local park with other city kids.  They feed him lunch daily and on Wednesday's they take him to the Baker Park pool.   I love that he loves it so much!!!!  Plus it gives me some much needed sanity!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

He can swim!

Ashton has finally learned to swim!  It started in May when we went camping with Aaron Michael.  Aaron taught him how to go underwater.  A few weeks ago he started doggy paddling and on father's day he swam for 11 seconds!  Go Ashton!  Now maybe we can give him swim lessons without him crying on side?  Do we dare go for bike riding with no training wheels this summer too???

Enjoying a the lake!

Friday, June 9, 2017

1st grader in the house!!!!

I can't believe it!  Ashton has completed kindergarten!  We made it!  The last few days he has had some bumps, but overall the last quarter has been a huge improvement!  He is a typical boy...all about poop and farting noises with his armpit!  The only thing missing is the burp!  I'm sure that will come!  Overall he's been super sweet at home, doing chores to "buy" a replacement kindle (he broke the other one).  I feel like these last day of school photographs capture little parts of his essence!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Chapter books

Our little guy has really gotten into chapter books!  Crazy for a newly minted 6 year old!  He got hooked at Christmas when we bought him a beginning chapter book about dogs.  Now all he wants us to read are chapter books!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Good reports

I was so pleased with the good report I received at school today for Ashton.  At this time we are still not sure if it's the medication or if Ashton has just decided to engage, but nonetheless, I thought he would have to have a behavior plan for the upcoming year, but when he was observed on multiple times by multiple people, they reported absolutely NO behaviors!  I am so incredibly thankful and shell shocked!  I do hope it continues into 1st grade!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Can you say obsessed?

Within the last year Ashton was introduced to Minecraft!  He is officially become obsessed.  He plays it whenever he can.  If left to his own devices he can play for hours!   He watches Stampy-Cat videos to learn and watch stampy cat play minecraft.  As a grown up I find this mind numbing, but he loves it.  He even writes letters to Stampy-Cat.  If he could only focus this great at school!

Letter to Stampy Cat

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Psalm 1:3

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (ESV)

Tonight at Awanna, Ashton's teacher Ms. Starr gave each of the children bible verses based on some element of their personalities.  She gave him Psalm 1:3 since he is named after a town of Ash trees and loves the outdoors.  This is my prayer for him!  That he will be a tree that yield fruit in its season and he will not wither!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My baby is not a baby anymore!

He's 6 years old!  I can't believe it!  Where does the time go?  When asked what he wished for/hoped for in the upcoming year, he said "to spend lots of time in the woods!"  I love this boy so much!

I'm Six!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Turning a corner?

It is no secret that Ashton has had a difficult kindergarten year.  He's been in counseling, seen a pediatrician, gone to mental health nurse practitioner.  I've been to IEP screening meetings, Behavior Intervention plan meetings, consulted with outside sources to try to help him be more successful at both home and school.

Despite all that,  the last few days we have received excellent reports from his teacher!   

From last Friday

I wanted to give you an update from this week. At the beginning of the week Ashton did more works but still wandered and refused directions. But by the end of the week Ashton complied with ALL directions (except toward the very end of the day). He did big works without any breaks. He simply sat and worked. When I said on Thursday that it was time to restore he actually got upset because he had just started a work!

From Today

Last week we would review his visual card of big works and I would ask him if he needed breaks. This week has been the same. Following most if not all instructions, completing big works without any breaks or interrupting others. He is going from work to work seamlessly. The only difference is this week he has told me he does not need his visuals and he hasn't.  He went straight to the reading area then got right to work. He was so proud of his work today he asked me to send you a picture of it!

Even today he said to me in the car, "Mommy, I kinda of like school now."  Wow, really?  Did I hear that correctly? I asked him, "Ashton what changed?".  He said, "I just decided to do work!" 

I hope we have turned a corner!  That would be such an answer to prayer!!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Love the things this little guys says!

My nature boy!

Two quotes recently from Ashton

Sometime we'll talk about what the kids want to be when they grow up.

Recently Ashton replied,  "Mommy do I really have to be anything when I grow up?"

Oh yes PLEASE!!!!

Also we have this blue water bottle that has the brand name Nathan on it.  Yesterday, Ashton says he "wants the the blue water bottle with the name Nathan on it because that used to be daddy's old name."

So dog gone cute!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Love this boy!

Tonight's quote of the evening after finding out he has no school tomorow because of an incoming snow storm.

"I bet the teachers are really disappointed."

Laughing Out Loud!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Our little trailblazer!

Ever since Ashton was a little guy he loved to be outside!  Outside, especially in the woods are his happy place!  Yesterday he continued with his "trailblazing", using sticks and pruning sheers to blaze more hiking trails in the woods behind our house!  What an awesome boy!

I asked him yesterday if when he grew up maybe he would have a job in the forest service.....he was quite curious!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Daddy...the magic happy pill!

Daddy came home Saturday night and Ashton has been magically so happy since!  It's really nice to see him so happy!  Hope it lasts!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

February Blur

February has been one big blur!  I feel like we need a do-over!  Olav's sister Anne-Britt died unexpectedly and daddy had to leave for nearly 3 weeks.  Talk about chaos at home!  While daddy was gone, poor Ashton got the stomach bug two times.  One time so badly, I thought I was going to have to go the emergency room with him.  Thankfully after throwing up for 8 hours straight, he finally settled down!

Ashton continues to struggle behaviorally.  He's frequently angry and moody.  He can be aggressive and mean.  Lately he has been in a name calling mode.  Makes me so sad.  We did start with a new counselor at Brooklane and she seems much more in touch with kids his age, so I am hopeful that she will be able to help us!

We has an IEP screening meeting for him this past week at school and they've agreed to do Functional Behavior Assessment on him, and create a Behavioral Intervention Plan for him.  I am not sure it will work as I feel like we've done a lot of this informally, but it will be important in the long run for this information to formally documented. 

We will also be going to the pediatrician this week to look at ADHD and possible medication.  Still not sure how I feel about all this, but I am also aware things are not improving but seem to be snowballing.  We also have an appointment with a nurse practitioner at Brooklane who deals in other medication besides ADHD, should they deem it is something else.  I guess time will tell.

I'd really like to get him through this school year, start first grade with a new teacher and see if things don't improve....if not go to plan b.  But I also realize that his self-esteem/self-worth is on the line as well!

Things have been rough with his sister Lily. He seems to have taken a lot of his aggression out on her.  Trying to physically harm her. 

Even though he continues to do nothing at school, at home he shows signs of learning.  I've been informally homeschooling him at night and he is reading on an instructional C level.  He apparently hates math at school, but appears to like it at home.  He seems very bright to me.  He has a large vocabulary and enjoys writing words and letters.  He also continues to love arts and crafts.  He always is wanting to do a craft!

He was playing basketball, but it was short lived as he got hit in the nose with basketball.  I've been trying to get him to go back, but so far no luck.  Hopefully with daddy home, he will be encouraged to try again!

He continues to go to gymnastics and awanna which he always says he doesn't want to do anymore, but once he is there he doesn't want to leave!  Thankfully those are the two area where he actually experiences the most social success!  And of course he LOVES his kindle!!!!  It's like the great pacifier!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cover him in prayer day!

Today is cover Ashton in prayer day!  He has been really struggling at school.  We get reports home daily of a variety things he struggles with daily.  Today we are lifting him up to God.  Praying that God will give us clear direction as to what is best for Ashton!

Some days he loves us and says he loves us one hundred one thousand one million, the next minute he hates us and wishes we weren't in his family.  In some ways it's almost comical how he can switch so rapidly between the two.  Thankfully he is small and we take most of what he says with a grain of salt.  However, I must admit sometimes it's hard not to imagine the future if things don't change.  I am trying really hard to live in the present and not forecast into the behavior.

Today I read a scripture about how a praying mother can have an long shadow of influence on her children.  That is my prayer today.  That my prayers for Ashton will be heard and will be influential in his life!

I love this little guy so much!  He has so many gifts!  He's smart, amazingly articulate, active, and creative just to name a few!