Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

I can’t believe it’s already time to sit down and write another update on my kiddos.  Every year seems to go faster and faster.  While I was looking for a quote to sum up our year, our life, etc.  I immediately thought about Russell Wilson and all the good he does on and OFF the field.  He’s an inspiring young man.  I googled Russell Wilson quotes and this is the first that popped up.

                “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”  Russell Wilson.

How true is that?  Nothing about life is easy.  Wyatt’s diagnosis is a daily consideration.  Everywhere we go and everything that we do has to be planned ahead.  We have to think about how long it takes, is the event outside, is it too cold, is it too hot, does he have to walk far, all of that.  But like Russell says, “…it’s gonna be worth it”.  Every memory we can make is priceless.  Life is too short, life is hard, but life is AMAZING.  Last year at this time, our lives were very up in the air.  I remember thinking, “I can’t wait for 2015, stuff is bound to change this year.”  And change it did, we moved, AGAIN!  That seems to be the theme for us in the last few years.  We’ve been very unsettled. But thankfully, we are settled now.  Our family has been busier than ever, and I know it won’t slow down anytime soon. 

Our Princess Leigha has left the nest.  We aren’t the typical family, and Leigha is the leader of this crazy group.  Initially her moving out, was hardest on Leigha, believe it or not.  The day she was officially leaving, she asked if she could stay.  I told her no.  (I’m just a meanie I guess)  She was so upset, convinced our lives would move forward without her.  She is such an amazing big sister.  She truly loves her brothers.  She moved to Bellingham, transferring to Western Washington U.  She made it through her first quarter.  She has a couple roommates and enjoying some peace and quiet for a change.  She comes home frequently to get a little bit of the “crazy” that is our house.  I think the peace and quiet she craved so much isn’t all that she thought it would be.  She grew up in a house with 5 brothers, she comes home because she misses the noise.  She won’t admit it though.  She continues to enjoy concerts.  She went to the Gorge during the summer and met up with my cousin’s sons.  It was cool to see the next generation of our family hanging out.  My papa would have been so happy to see them together.  You will also discover that she is become a “CAT PERSON”.  Every 3rd Facebook post has a cat reference.   Hahaha.
Anthony GRADUATED from High school with a 3.78 GPA.  Several years ago I was told Anthony would never graduate (clearly that middle school educator had no idea what he was talking about), so June was the happiest month of my entire year.  He was proud of his accomplishments, but I don’t think he really understood just how huge it was.  Attending online public school isn’t the easiest thing to do, but I will tell you what, he embraced it and really prevailed.  We are beyond proud of how far he has come.  He’s working part time at his aunt’s bakery, helping around the house, and babysitting his little brothers on a regular basis.  He is always willing to help with whenever I ask.  He is a huge Super Smash Brothers fan and loves to challenge Tom to a “Brawl”.  He really has become an amazing adult.  He also got braces this year. 

Travis, my sweet Travis, I got my first gray hair last week because of Travis.  And not for the reasons you would think.  This kid of mine, NEVER, EVER, gets into any trouble.  He’s so busy, he doesn’t have time to get into trouble.  But here’s the thing.  Baseball and Basketball, some occasional snowboarding, ok I can handle all that.   I can even deal with him getting pulled behind a car holding a rope while in a computer rolling chair (okay maybe I freaked out about that one).  However, there is this thing called High School wrestling.  Aside from fencing, this is probably a Mother’s worst nightmare, when it comes to sports.  Watching my sweet boy having his faced squished into a mat, is not a happy place for a mom to be.  It’s emotional and all you can imagine is a broken neck.  I know he wasn’t really happy with getting smashed into the mat either, so in his last couple matches he doesn’t let the neck squishing occur.  He just gets right in there and pins the guy, done and done.  This is much easier for me to handle.  Wow, I’ve watched plenty of wrestling, but when it’s your baby, ugh.  Travis is a junior and doing AMAZING in school.  He also got his first part time job.  He worked at Carleton Farm during Halloween.  He did everything from security, to pricing pumpkins, to picking up garbage, to playing a zombie in the Farms zombie paintball attraction.  We are so proud of him, every single day.  PS. There’s the beautiful Miss Madeline that has been keeping him busy too.

Brady has had a year of confusion, frustration and GROWTH.  He’s a very complicated soul.  I used to say that about Anthony too, so hopefully, as he grows we can help him better deal with his emotions.  He’s creative, imaginative, and always has something interesting to say.  He likes to tell jokes and is extremely witty.  He’s a great son, who only wants to please us.  One new development is this kid of ours is completely freaked out about all things MEDICAL.  He can’t handle shots, blood, anything like that. And not just for himself.  The idea of Wyatt going to the doctor pains Brady so much. He over analyses it and worries excessively.  I feel like he’s such an empathic person.  He cares about what others think and he tries so hard not to disappoint.  We are homeschooling him again (tried another environment, that just wasn’t the right fit), he’s in 5th grade.   He has very negative feelings about school, that’s hard for us.  Tasks that he is completely able to complete, upset him so much that it’s a huge struggle.  That being said, he’s doing well in school.  He is at grade level for all subjects, but in Vocabulary and Spelling he tested at an 11th grade level.  He tries so hard, so one day at a time.  He told me recently that he wants to be a Lego developer when he grows up.  Sounds like a job that is right up his alley. 

Wyatt, 7, really when did that happen?  He is by far the funniest little human I know.  He keeps me on my toes, and the things he says should be published in a book.  Haha.  Wyatt is a HUGE country music fan.  He knows so many songs and listening to his sweet little voice singing country is priceless.  He has a very special nurse at children’s he calls “His Kate Crush”.  He adores her, we joke and ask if Kate is his girlfriend and he says, “NO, that’s crazy, she’s married!”   After a long internal battle I enrolled Wyatt in public school.  We learned over the course of the year that Wyatt has some very significant educational delays and he needs intensive educational therapies.   We have also learned that his memory for dates and events is crazy good.  You can ask him about an event and he is a walking calendar. He can tell you the date and time and everything else he did that day.  It’s almost eerie.   He has really discovered a love for watching professional football.  He’s been a Seahawk fun always, but he’s learned to appreciate other teams as well.  He watches football probably every day, and knows the rules and even yells at umpires (I’ve trained him well, haha).  We celebrate his successes and just deal with the tough stuff.  He’s not going to be a genius, but every day he brings a smile to the face of everyone he encounters, so if that’s his contribution and that’s what he’s remembered for, that’s a amazing gift.  He’s a beautiful soul that taught me so much about being a better mother.

                My darling Baby Carter.  The gift I didn’t think I would get.  This child is an angel on Earth.  He healed my heart when it was broken.  He loves us unconditionally and always has to hug and kiss me when I leave the house.  His love is infectious.  He played Rockets soccer and went to Preschool.  On the very last soccer game, with about 1 minute left he scored his first and only goal.  All the other kids had made several goals, but for whatever reason, Carter didn’t get a chance.  So when he finally scored every parent, the coaches, and every kid cheered so loud.  He was thrilled.  He ran over to me and said, “See mommy I told you I would get a goal, so now I get a trophy right?”  He cracks me up.   He’s so creative and man can this 4 year old color.  His pictures are incredible.  He cares about everyone, except this minute as I type this he is calling Brady a butt-face…. hehehe.  Boys, right?  He should be reading very soon. He loves to learn and thankfully it comes very easy to him.  The older he gets the more and more like Travis he becomes.  When they are older I can see these two getting into some trouble together.  Carter is a little mini Travis and wants to be EXACTLY like him.  Great role model for Carter to have if you ask me.  He’s the littlest of the litter, but by far the mightiest.  Nothing will slow this kid down or stop him.  He’s my little monkey, and I am so lucky to be his Mommy.

                Bless you my friends.  Happy Holidays and we truly hope that 2016 be the best yet.


              The Staffenhagen Family:
                         Leigha 21, Anthony 19, Travis 16, Brady 10, Wyatt 7 and Baby Carter 4