Dancing and wiggling before his teacher came to the house!
Dori is going for an edgier look this year, thus the rocker t-shirt and the spiked hair.
Can't believe 8th grade is here! Thanks to grandma Gerry for sponsoring their uniforms this school year :)
It's been a fun and busy August for the Johnson boys. We enjoyed quality time in the Ozarks with all our besties. Ben and Alex went cliff diving and did all kinds of insane adventurous stuff. Then as soon we returned we went straight into "back to school" mode.
Chris went to Nebraska for the big fight with all his buddies. He stayed an extra day to watch the eclipse since he was in the path of totality. He said it was beyond breathtaking. Looking forward to 2024 when Texas will be in the direct path for the eclipse. Time to start party planning for that!
Today Dori started the 3rd grade!!! Two weeks ago Ben and Alex started the 8th grade!! All three boys have a great things coming ahead for them this fall.
Dori will be preparing all year to take the STARR Test for the first time (gulp!). He'll have a modified version to perform with the assistance of his homebound teacher and his speech therapist from the district. Thankfully they'll be able to work with him because if not he would be responding "Ravioli!" and "Night Night!" to all the questions. :) He'll be learning all kinds of neat things in Science, Math and English/Reading. Last year he had a blast with all the books and stories Miss Carolyn would share with him -- anything that rhymes is awesome for him. Math will be tactile. Since he doesn't respond as much to visual cues (like flash cards or pictures) she realized that if he didn't want to verbally respond he would answer simple counting and math questions by tapping the answer with his hand to her (tapping 3 times to signify the number 3 for example). He'll also learn how to be more compliant at accepting "No" as an answer (which honestly nobody on the planet ever tells him "no"), and switching from task to task while remaining calm (instead of screaming because he doesn't want to switch to another activity that he doesn't deem as fun). So wish Dori luck as he learns "Big Boy" stuff this year! We still look at him in awe ... thinking that originally his life expectancy would be around 3-6 years; and here we are roughly a month away from his 9th birthday. Yay Dori!
Ben and Alex have a super exciting year ahead. They will be preparing and going through Confirmation (lots of prep classes, faith formation activities and lots of community service). They also will be applying for high school. It's a big process -- they will be preparing for a comprehensive entrance exam (it's like an SAT/ ACT test required to get into any of the parochial high schools in Dallas), preparing a resume of their accomplishments/ activities, they need to get letters of recommendations from teachers and other adults, taking high school campus tours to narrow down their choice, and going through individual interviews with their top high school and a family interview with the admission committees. In the meantime I'll be panicking the entire time and doing lots of screaming throughout the process. At least that'll give us a little preparation into the college admission process and hopefully I won't be as freaked out about that at that point. Chris is cool as a cucumber so he'll keep us all from feeling overwhelmed during this exciting time. They'll find out by spring break which school(s) they were admitted to so we can't wait!
Ben is playing on two different select basketball teams and Alex is playing football for St. Rita. Ben has always been an eager athlete, but something must have happened over the summer because Alex is in beast mode about football. He loves talking about it and loves making things happen. They've had plenty of practices and one scrimmage at this point so we'll be ready to cheer him on once the season officially gets started. Go Spartans!
Saturday mornings will be SO MUCH SWEETER now that College Game Day will be airing again on ESPN. Pretty much nobody except for Chris knows my obsession with College Game Day. Chris says I like it more than he does, and that says a lot since he is a college football fanatic. So please don't call or text me during the College Game Day show because I'll either be laughing at the signs in the crowd, crying at one of the tear-jerker stories, or just attentively watching while drinking my coffee. You have no idea how excited I am!
We continue to pray for all our friends and fellow Texans going through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. In just one month we've seen the WORST of American culture (Charlottesville) and the BEST of American culture (Houston). Although the devastation is enormous and the recovery will be arduous, it has given us a glimpse once again on how wonderful of a nation we can be when people forget about all the political ideologies and prejudices that divide us and instead choose to focus on our common humanity that unites us. No president, no governmental agency, no celebrity can unite us; only WE as individuals can unite us. It's been a blessing to witness from afar here in Dallas.
No matter where you live, you can directly help those in need. If you shop on Amazon, area organizations helping have posted registries of items they need. Simply click, order and their desperately needed items go directly to the organizations on the ground helping now.
Amazon.com has become a big way people are offering specific help and sending items directly to organizations helping Hurricane Harvey victims. Here is a list of Amazon Wish List links to donate!