Monday, September 1, 2014

8 1/2 year old Ryan

Ryan, oh Ryan, what would I do without this kid?  8 1/2 is a seriously great age.  Ryan is just so helpful.  I depend on him for so much.  I'm a little nervous about him going back to school because I really do rely on him a lot, especially with Hannah.  He is such a huge help!

Being the oldest, and being a naturally obedient and eager to please child, I have come to expect quite a lot from this guy, and let me tell you, he really delivers!  He gets ready and does his chores right away, without being asked, he is always ready to help get a meal going or watch Hannah for a little while so I can get something done, he reads his scriptures and says his prayers without reminders, he is bright, funny, and oh so sweet to me.  Now, Ryan isn't perfect, of course, and because he is so great most of the time, I probably get after him too much when he occasionally makes a mistake.  But he takes it in stride.  He accepts his punishment and apologizes and tries so hard to make up for it.  He feels so bad when he has done something wrong that he usually cries, and the next time we are about to do something fun, he usually says that he feels like he doesn't deserve to do it.  I assure him that he does, and that everyone makes mistakes, and that is okay, as long as we try to be better and learn from them.  He is just such a sweetie.  He is so humble in the way he accepts correction and tries to do better.  It just melts my momma heart.

Here is a little experience from my journal from a couple of weeks ago about my sweet Ryan boy:

"Ryan, as usual, was happy to do his chores right away, willing to help me with whatever I asked him to do, and very sweet.  That's been him lately--he's my Pig Will, and I am so grateful!  But Calvin and Sophie, once again, said they would clean their room, but didn't.  For like 2 hours.  And finally after asking a million times and still finding them in their pajamas with a messy room, I teared up and told them that I didn't want to yell at them, but that I didn't know what else to do, and that they were making me so sad.  Then I went downstairs, made a little pile of blankets to lay on, and just cried.  I cried because I needed help figuring this out and asked Heavenly Father for His help.  I cried because I really don't know what will work with those two, and I cried because of all the work I knew it would take to get them to listen or at least to get my house clean.

I said a silent prayer asking Heavenly Father to help me feel better.  I said that sometimes all I needed to feel better was just a nice hug.  And just after that, as I lay there with tears rolling down my cheeks, sweet little Ryan came down the stairs and asked if he could give me a hug.  So he lay down with me and snuggled me while I cried.  I explained to him why I was sad, and my frustrations with trying to figure out how to get the other kids to listen without yelling and being mean.  He hugged me and told me what a good mommy I was and how much he loved me.  He just hugged me while I cried.  Then we brainstormed together about what to do, and we decided on getting the other kids downstairs for "snuggle hug time", where we all snuggled and got out our grievances and then started the day over again.

The rest of the day went better, and I was very proud that I didn't resort to yelling and getting angry.  So, there's one drop in the bucket.  I was grateful today that Heavenly Father answered my prayer for comfort with my sweet little Ryan.  He helped me feel loved and cared for and supported at a time when I felt weak and frustrated.  What a very special boy he is. "

He really is the best 8 1/2 year old I could dream up.  I need him and I am so grateful to have him!  I will miss him at school this year, but I am really excited for him--I am sure he will have a great year!  His new teacher is Señor Delhouy, and he seems totally great.  Ryan is so very excited!  Ryan has a few nice little friends at school, but I think they are mostly surface friends, and this year we decided that we want to plan to have friends over to play a lot more often, so we can help Ryan feel like he has more real friends.  I think that would make a big difference to him.  He has said a couple of times this summer that he wants to move to a place where he can have friends that live on his street.  It makes me sad to have him feel like he doesn't really have friends!  So, looks like we'll be having more play dates around here!  We just had dinner last night at the home of his best friend from school and we had such a lovely time!  They are such a sweet and fun family, and Ryan was so happy to see his friend again after a long summer apart!  We'll definitely have to spend more time together this year.

Ryan loves all things cars.  Last week we went up to Green Bay to visit Aunt Reeny and we passed a Maserati/Jaguar/Porsche dealership and we stopped to let Ryan look around.  He was in heaven!  He has also really started to love a good book.  We can find him reading and laughing in his room whenever he gets some down time, and I love it!

Ryan still loves anything minty, still has the best super sniffer nose in the business, is pretty particular about how he cares for his own things (this is amusing now that he and Calvin are sharing a room again.  He is always saying things like, "Okay Calvin, first thing in the morning we are going to organize our room!"), loves to cook, especially eggs since he can do those all by himself, and LOVES to push the shopping cart.  He rarely gets to do this, because I usually have anywhere from 1 to 3 children sitting in or hanging onto the cart and they ALWAYS get into fights when Ryan is in charge of pushing.  When he does push the shopping cart, if I so much as lay a finger on it for any reason, I will ALWAYS get a gentle response that he doesn't need my help and he would rather be the only one pushing the cart, thank you very much.  Funny little guy.  Ryan also loves speaking in weird, made up accents,attempting to make up jokes, and trying to master tongue twisters.

I love my little Ryan guy so, so much.  He is almost like another little adult around here for me, and I appreciate him so very much.  He is such a  bright and fun boy, and I love him to pieces!

Some pictures from our photo shoot at AnnaMarie's house:



Love his little gap toothed grin:




I love catching them playing in the backyard.  This time they were experimenting with spinning the wheels and putting stuff on them while spinning:


Showing Hannah a thing or two:


This guy saved up $75 of his own money over about 6 months to take gokart racing lessons.  Here he is on the morning of the lessons, trying to look very cool:


And then showing me how he really felt!


This one breaks my heart.  I don't even remember what he did when he wrote this note, but I was sad when I read it and had to have yet another talk about how just because we make a mistake doesn't mean we don't deserve good things, too... He is such a tender hearted guy!


Making cookies!  He loves wearing his octopus apron from Aunt Abbey:


And here the boys are this evening before bed, laying out their outfits for their first day of school tomorrow!


We recently bought Ryan his first deodorant.  He didn't want to forget to put it on tomorrow, so here he is, tucking it into his sleeve :)  Oh, and that PJ shirt is like 5 sizes too small.




No comments: