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Dear A, Now You’re Nine! {a birthday post]

It’s true. I am behind on writing both boys’ birthday blog posts. Time just goes so fast around here. We have a running joke: “nobody’s allowed to get older.” And the boys laugh and say, “But we HAVE to grow up!” I am still in denial about that! Ha! This February, our oldest turned nine, and I realized with chagrin his last birthday blog update was when he was 7 and a half! (I do write him a birthday letter on hard copy, but sometimes just neglect to blog it!). So here we go. To our dear Asher, from 7-1/2 to 9!

A person sitting in front of a piano

School Stuff

Collage, First day of School photos

You started and finished second grade and started third grade (this is what happens when I wait a year and a half between birthday posts!). Academically you excel. You have an excellent memory, easily memorizing poems, Bible verses, and large quantities of our CC Memory work! You’re skilled at map drawing, math, and reading several grades above your age level. You are so easy to teach!

We’ve studied through Classical Conversations Cycle 3 (US History) and are nearly done with Cycle 1 (Ancient Times).

A little boy looking at the camera, holding drawings of chalk pastel birds

You love to draw to learn and have completed many ancient times, Greek myths, and nature drawings. This year I got you a Funschooling Psalms & Proverbs drawing and writing book that you’ve enjoyed as well. And you love taking chalk pastel lessons from You ARE an Artist!

Sports & Hobbies

Collage Summer sports, tennis, swimming, soccer

Asher, this past year and a half has been such a time of growth for you.

Two summers on swim team: You’ve shown determination, diligence in practice, and remarkable progress. You even earned the Most Improved trophy in 2018 as well as quite a few ribbons! You’re built like a swimmer, and I hope you continue to enjoy this sport!

You’ve played two seasons of soccer and another season of basketball. In soccer this last year you scored 4 goals in one game!

Close up hands on a piano

In your second year of piano lessons, you’re doing well at this skill, too. I love hearing you play and that our Piano Safari program allows this rusty pianist to play alongside you! You love to get silly on the piano and make up your own versions of the songs you’re learning. You are grasping the concept of “mood” in your playing, and you love the improvisation pieces.

We’ve discovered you’re quite the public speaker! When you give presentations at CC or in Sunday School memory recitations, you stand up nice and tall, look the audience in the eye, and speak clearly. It’s rather remarkable in one your age. Last week, you gave a humorous recitation of the poem “Poor Old Jonathan Bing” with funny voices and inflections and all. Perhaps you’ll enjoy acting when you get older?

Your Favorites

A group of people sitting around a campfire

You love: the ocean, bike riding, being outside, camping, your cousins, LEGO, drawing, reading, board games (especially chess, Risk, and CATAN). Hot cocoa, Poetry Teatime, Five Guys, chicken caesar salad, salmon, sea kayaking. Campfires, roasting marshmallows… you really just enjoy life to the full.

Your favorite animals are: turtles, and lizards, and frogs, and fish. For your ninth birthday we gave you a huge sea turtle stuffed animal to add to your burgeoning collection of extra-large stuffies! I’m not really sure there’s enough room in the bed for you!

One thing you’re not a big fan of is messy things – cooking/baking, or carving pumpkins – just not for you!

Best of You

Collage Kids drinking milkshakes

You are one of the most agreeable kids I know. Always willing to help when I ask, and rarely do I hear a complaint out of you (unless someone’s trying to break you away from your ever-present books, then we get the “do I have to stop reading” look!).

I love that your friends are one of the most important things to you. You truly love being around people. Your heart of thankfulness is a joy, and I love hearing you give praise testimonies at church (usually for your friends, your home, and your parents).

You are willing to try new foods, and everyone is usually amazed at the “grown up” foods you enjoy, like salmon, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and caesar salad!

Creativity is your middle name. Whether it’s dressing up, designing a new layout for your bedroom, or crafting things with paper, tape, and string, you’re always inventing and making something! Your tinker box needs regular replenishment!

Collage Lizard Birthday Cake

We celebrated your 8th birthday with a Ninja themed birthday party (with a nod to the LEGO Ninjago characters!). We celebrated your 9th birthday with a Lizard themed birthday party!

Funny Things You’ve Said

January 2019

You’re anxious to get out of your booster seat in the car. A slim boy, you’re still not quite at that 60 lbs needed in the state of Connecticut. One night you cracked us up by eating a TON of food at dinner, then you got up and said, “I’m going to weigh myself now. I’m going to walk VERY slowly so I don’t lose any weight on the way there!”

Asher: I only do whole30 at dinner…so I guess I do Half30.

Dec 2018

Dinner was Ginger Bok Choy soup. Asher took a big slurp and said:
“Ah! soup! Just like old times!”
Me: you have old times?
Asher: yes! 8 years to be exact!

Standing in the returns line at Kohl’s:(And let’s not talk about why I already have returns before Christmas, thank-you-online-shopping)
The boys were being silly making up scenarios:
Everest: I let a strange man in through the front door and he went out the back.
Me: I know you would never let a stranger in the house.
Lady in front of me: unless it was Santa Claus!Me😳
Asher: (grumbles behind me) Santa doesn’t come in through the front door!
🤣🤣 (we don’t even do Santa, which makes this even funnier to me!)

June 2018

After his first night at swim team practice, I asked Asher how it went. His reply:
“Well….it was very… Wet. Wetter than usual.”

May 2018

Asher: [at 9:20 pm] Mom, can I talk to you? …. I’m not going to talk about monsters… or the dark… [previous night’s topics]… but I DO need to ask … what are you going to do with me when Everest sleeps on the top bunk?
Me: Well… we’re not going to get rid of you, that’s for sure!
Asher: I know but… where will I sleep?
Me: There’s still a BOTTOM bunk?
Asher: Yes, but… how about when I’m 13 and I’m too big for that bed?

A group of kids outside posing for a Christmas photo holding a red frameApril 2018

Asher: mom! I can’t wait to see 8-eyed Monster Tower in Washington DC!
Me😳
Finally figured out he meant the Washington Monument bc it has 8 windows.

Overheard this morning as boys were in room getting dressed… in reference to their huge stuffed dinosaur:
Everest: “Asher…. What would you do if this dinosaur …[whispers] came to life!”
Asher, cool as a cucumber, “I’d hold onto his leg so it couldn’t move”

March 2018

Asher: the schwa syllable is never stressed… Because it’s too lazy!!!

Me: Asher, what’s the area of a circle?
Asher: The area of a circle equals… the length of its side squared!
Me: Circles don’t have sides!
Asher: [Thinks a minute] YES they do! They have an INSIDE and an OUTSIDE!

Oct 2017

Conclusions by Everest: “So… Boring is boring!”
Asher: “well, you can’t change boring… Unless you have a cupcake!”

Sept 2017

Everest: how do you make chocolate milk?
Asher: all milk is vanilla you have to put the flavoring in it!

July 2017

Asher: mom did you use to walk to school?
Me: no, it was too far…
Asher: then what did you go in? A covered wagon?
Me: no! We took a car! What did you think!?
Asher: oh…. I thought you lived in old fashioned days.

Asher describing fireworks:

It looks like hair!
It’s like sugar sprinkles!
Did you see the one that looks like a palm tree!?

Favorite books

Collage kids holding stacks of books

If the house is quiet, I know you’re curled up somewhere deep into a book. You have read probably hundreds of chapter books to date (well above your grade level), and you love to re-read books (you don’t get that from me!). Here’s a few of your favorites from this past year:

  • The Green Ember Series
  • How to Train Your Dragon Series
  • A-to-Z Mysteries
  • The Incorrigible Children
  • The Penderwicks
  • The Hardy Boys

Your Milestones

  • Learned to ride a bike (summer of 2017)
  • Lost more teeth
  • Learned the butterfly stroke in swim
  • Observed a solar eclipse
  • Learning to sew on buttons
  • Raised butterflies
  • Completed 2nd grade
  • Passed level 5 in swim
  • Earned your Yellow Belt in Tang Soo Do karate

Where You’ve Traveled (in ascending order)

Collage kids doing fall activities outside, apple picking

  • Thorncrest Farm – Goshen, CT
  • Arethusa Farm – Litchfield, CT
  • March Farm –
  • Old Saybrook Beach House – Old Saybrook, CT
  • Harkness Memorial Park
  • Camping in Jamaica, VT
  • Mystic Aquarium – Mystic, CT
  • Plimoth Plantation – MA
  • Wacky Walk of Hartford, CTCollage, kids at a fair, ferris wheel
  • Pumpkintown, USA – CT
  • CT Historical Society – CT
  • The Big E (2017 and 2018) – MA
  • Bushnell Carousel – CT
  • Legoland Discovery Center x2!
  • Wadsworth Atheneum – Festival of Trees, and several other events
  • Washington DC – Cherry Blossom Festival (April 2018)
  • Mount Vernon
  • Forest Park Zoo – MA
  • Great Wolf Lodge – MA

Now you’re nine.

The night before your birthday I told you, “I don’t feel like we had enough of you being 8!” (and moms, there’s never enough!). It gets harder and harder to leave each year behind…I can’t believe how fast the years go by, but each one is so so very good.

We are grateful God gave us your particular soul to tend (and your brother’s, of course!). Every year has been amazing with you.

A little boy standing in front of a birthday cake

Trisha W.

Wednesday 13th of March 2019

I always enjoy reading your birthday posts. You can tell A that my almost 6' tall, 21 year old is still sleeping in his bottom bunk and my 5' 9", 17 year old is in the top bunk. (True story!) It amazes me to see how much older your sweet son looks. It's also fun to see all of his different activities, accomplishments, interests, and my favorite "Asherisms."

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