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This fall Addy asked us if she could play soccer.

Jen and I were both footballers in our youth, but we haven’t pushed her towards it.  Addy was a part of a developmental league last year- which meant that she learned some basic skills but never competed against other teams or even scrimmaged.

This year she played on a first and second grade team in Colonial Baptist’s sports league.  (For what it is worth, we’ve had a great time with them and have been nothing but impressed with what they do.)  Addy turned 6 in late June as she started first grade and played this season against other first graders as well as 2nd graders who are close to turning eight.  Suffice it to say that she is one of the smaller and least experienced kids on the field.  Which, as a dad, I think is good for her.

Addy’s coaches did a great job balancing having fun with learning how to play.  They were encouraging, supportive and instructive.  Addy got to be a part of a team and loved to cheer for others when she was on the sidelines.  She played all over the field, but seemed to enjoy being the goalkeeper the most- despite the anxiety this caused her mom and dad.  She did well though and didn’t surrender a goal the whole year.

Here are a few shots of our girl in action:

Addy has already asked us if she can play in the spring session.  Sounds good to me.

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I know all parents are proud of their kids and most like to gush about them.

I’m no exception.

The other day I was downloading pics from my phone and was reminded of several of Addy’s recent accomplishments and thought I’d share them here.

Addy has been learning to ride her bike without training wheels.  She doesn’t quite have it mastered, but is learning much quicker than I expected.

Here’s a shot of Addy with her principal Mr. Hooper.  Addy received an award for displaying the character trait of “Respect”.  She and other students from the school were honored in an awards ceremony led by a karate world champion.  (Not kidding- could I make that up??)

Not long ago, Addy moved up to an older kids class at church and has started memorizing different Bible verses.  This was the first one she learned.

Like most kids, Addy likes to draw, paint, etc.  Earlier this month one of her pieces was selected by her art teacher for display at an art show at the local mall. Yes- it was every bit as classy as it sounds.

So- our girl is doing well.  We’re incredibly proud of her and are excited about watching her continue to grow and develop.

One of the things I’m loving about having kids is the constant discovery process of how God has wired them.

So far we’ve learned that Addy has a bit of physical adventurer in her.  You might have seen her climb to the top of a door frame in another post.

She likes to put cushions on the floor and take leaps off of the couch.

Recently, she took things up a notch with this:

What’s next?

I’m looking forward to finding out.

Addyson is at that phase where she seems to be learning something new almost every day.

Today’s conquest was her first live, successful shoe tie:

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Of course, unless we’re launching a new “tie your shoe on the side” style, her technique needs continued refinement.

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But then again, maybe she’s on to something. =)

IMG_2130Today was a source of great excitement, deep pride, and a few wistful tears in the Turner household- Addy’s first day as an elementary student.

As I’ve mentioned this to friends, they’ve responded with both encouragement and amazement.

Encouragement came with kind words of sympathy from veteran parents who’ve faced the “first day” before and empathy from others who are nearing the same rite of passage with their own aspiring students.

The amazement arrived in the form of two questions:

1. Wow- is Addy 5 already?

2. What is she doing starting school on July 9th????

The answers are:

1.  Yep, Addy turned 5 on June 30th. We can hardly believe it either.

IMG_21312. We’ve chosen to enroll our daughter in a year-round elementary school. For the most part, parents in our county have a choice at the elementary and middle school levels between schools that utilize the traditional school calendar (start late Aug-end early June) or a year round approach (rotating cycles of 9 weeks of school followed by 3 weeks off).  Since Addy hasn’t done extensive preschool, we thought that the regular breaks of the non-traditional calendar would serve both her and her mom well.

Now that the reports are in, I can tell you that Addy had a great first day.  Although she was a bit clingy as Jen walked her to her classroom, she came home wired and excited about her experience.  By her account- recess, lunch and nap time were the biggest hits.  Sounds about right.

I’m sure I’ll have more updates for you down the road.  For now, here’s a question:

If you had been given a choice as a student, would you rather have gone to a school with a traditional calendar that had you in school for 9.5 months with 2.5 months off in the summer- or a school that gave you a 3 week break after each 9 week period?

IMG_2010To all the dads out there- Happy Father’s Day.

If your experience is anything like mine, your kids bring you a lot of joy…as well as a few moments of anxiety.

Last weekend our church community spent some time exploring our fears for our kids and decided that we can do more than just worry about our children.  We can lovingly start them off on and guide them in a way of living that focuses on following Jesus, loving God and loving our neighbors.

If you need a bit of encouragement to keep investing in those kids you love so much, you can catch the teaching conversation and find questions for reflection and/or discussion HERE.

Of course, moms- and those without their own kids- are welcome to listen in too. =)

I guess it was bound to happen.

Addy has been writing the alphabet and some basic words for a while now.

This week her penmanship hit another level as she started to serve written notice of her desires around the house.

Last night after I put Colston to bed I walked into the hall to find “NO DEDE” on the magna doodle.  Seems that my daughter wasn’t quite ready to hit the sack herself.

Today she inscribed this on her craft table:

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Apparently she has a standing request for more play time.

Then there’s this gem:

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Which is meant to serve as a warning to her brother not to touch her pet fish.  And don’t miss the spitting image of Colston in the upper left hand corner complete with the circle and the slash.

At this point her spelling and spacing need some work, but the girl definitely knows what she wants to say.

So last night Jen sent me on a Craigslist quest.

I was tasked with the mission of bringing home a Mosquito Magnet.  This device purports to lure, trap and eliminate the blood sucking insects that rule our yard with impunity during the warmest months.  Time and a trial run will tell if it delivers.

Addy agreed to come with me on this errand.  The seller told my wife that we were about a half an hour apart.  In reality it was 45 minutes.

And the last two were spent bouncing down a dirt road full of holes- past trailers that looked like the rust was about all that was holding them together.

My first thought: “This does not look promising.”

My second thought: “Hope they don’t mistake me for a ‘revenuer’ or think I’m after the family still.”

Gotta love rural NC.

Daylight was fading rapidly.  I couldn’t read the trailer numbers.  I was 30 seconds away from calling it quits.

Then I spotted the house.  Yes- a real, honest to goodness house on a road full of shanties.

And as luck would have it, the inhabitants were the sellers of the coveted mosquito magnet.

After confirming that I had all the parts, forking over the cash, and having the seller try to convince me that our church should stop being non-denominational and join the Southern Baptist Association (SERIOUSLY)- I pretended to hear Addy calling me from the van and politely bailed.

After a 2 minute bounce back to the paved world, Addy and I settled in to enjoy the remaining 43 minutes of our journey home.

Then the questions started.

Addy is a curious, intelligent kid who likes to learn.  So I’m used to fielding her questions.

But this time there was something different.  Maybe it was the setting sun, our recent escape from the shotgun wielding locals, or the afterglow of our Craigslist score- but something special was happening in our Honda.

Addy started asking me questions about God.

She wondered what her friend Natalie (who passed away when she was 2) was doing with Jesus today.

She inquired as to precisely why God chose to make us and our world.

She wanted to know what happened to the people who died in the great flood.

She asked why Jesus had to die.  And wanted to know how the mean people killed Him.

She puzzled on what our new bodies would be like after we left our old ones here.

These weren’t the challenges of a skeptic.  Or the theories of an intellectual. Or the deflections of a spiritual avoider.

These were earnest questions infused with the essential essence of childlike faith.

And they were sweet.

During those 43 minutes, our faith in God seemed more alive than it had the rest of the day- even though we’d been to church that morning and had a great time with our faith community.

The simple words I shared seemed much more consequential than the thousands I prepare most weeks for our church’s weekend teachings.

Especially as we talked about heaven.  What it would be like.  That there wouldn’t be any more crying or pain.  And that whoever went there first would wait for everyone else in our family to come too.

While Addy and I acknowledged that the timing of all of that is up to God- we both hoped that we’d get to stay here on earth together for a long, long time.

Good talk baby girl.

Thanks for letting me teach you about God while you teach me about faith.

Love you!

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Yesterday Addy told me to come into the kitchen because she had something to show me.

Then she proceeds to wedge herself against the door frame and scamper up until she could touch the top.

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She figured this out all by herself.

My little daredevil.

Looks like it is time to start her parkour training.

img_1536This is Addy with her “friend” Shepard.  (She’s the penguin, he’s the dinosaur.)

He’s the young man who has a mild crush on my daughter.  Or at least I thought it was mild.

After pre-school, his mom sent Jen an email.  Turns out that on their way home, Shephard announces out of the blue:

“When it is time for me to get married, I’m going to marry Addyson.”

So, it looks like it is time to begin the betrothal process.

Now we just have to figure out how many cows to ask Shepard’s folks for.

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