Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Levi turns 6

Levi got it into his head at some point that he was going to have all the food at his birthday party remind people of nature because his birthday is in the spring time. By the time I made him nail down a menu, his entire plan consisted of sausage links (for logs), pretzel rods (also for logs), pretzel sticks (for sticks), and broccoli (for trees). He also wanted a chocolate cake (for dirt) with lots of different colored flowers on it. I ran with the rule that my kids seem to love their birthday parties no matter what happens, and made some pancakes, sausage, and fruit for a birthday breakfast party. 

Afterward, we painted flower pots, did an obstacle course in the back yard, planted seeds in the flower pots, and played with light sabers until the boys got so aggressive there was shouting and crying and we took them all away except for the two Emily refused to give up. We explained her exception to the boys by saying, "She's a baby."  Those with younger siblings understood, and those without fumed until distraction finally won out.

Levi had a wonderful time and felt very loved by all his friends.

While the boys fought each other, Anna and the girls made a little picnic spot with a blanket and shade and pretended to be sisters. 

Here's a little bit about Levi at age 6:

He still loves Emily like crazy and she thinks he's about the funniest person alive. He loves to make her laugh by throwing himself onto the bed or couch. They love to wrestle together. They share a room and Emily doesn't like to go to sleep until Levi's in there with her. They both love to dance to loud music, chase each other, and fight with light sabers. 

Levi lives in a wonderfully imaginative world in his mind. We sometimes get peeks into it with the pictures he draws or the sound effects he's making or the stories he tells us, but often he's content just to lay on his bed or the couch and ponder what it'd be like to be an x-wing pilot or a cheetah or live inside a video game. Sometimes this interferes with tasks like eating, going to school, doing chores, or going to the bathroom. We're trying to find a way to help Levi do the things that need to be done in the grown-up world without crushing his creative spirit. 

His kindergarten year has been a learning experience for all of us. He had a wonderful teacher in Dallas who understood Levi, and his two best friends were in his class there. He'd been excited about O.C. Taylor since Anna started there two years before. He could not wait for kindergarten! So when we moved at Thanksgiving, it was much much harder on him than I expected. He had trouble connecting with the kids in class, and his poor teacher was overwhelmed by a flood of new and high-needs students coming in right a the holidays. It was a rough transition, but by the end of January, Levi was a little more comfortable and his teacher had more time to respond to his needs.

His teacher (thank goodness for her!) just chuckles at him. She often tells him he has a camera for a brain since no matter how little attention he's paying to what they're doing in class, if she asks him any question he always knows the answer. She's been great about trying to find books and activities that will engage him. I love that she doesn't punish Levi for not finishing work in class or not paying attention. She understands he's not trying to be impertinent, he just wants to be somewhere else.

In April a new boy moved into the school and he and Levi became fast friends. He's a nice kid and they play very well together. I've been looking into homeschooling or private school options for Levi, but nothing has felt just right yet, so we may give public school a try next year again. 

At home, Levi loves to play Legos, wrestle, and "do electronics." His favorite games are Stratego, Scrabble, Sorry, Sleeping Queens, and the Angry Birds board game. On the computer he likes to play Wild Kratts games and Duck Life Games. On the iPad he likes Minion Rush and a 3-D block builder. 

He loves to give me hugs and snuggles. He loves to read. We're reading Harry Potter together. He likes to read Calvin and Hobbes comics before bed and often quotes them to me when they fit the situation. He makes me laugh all the time and makes me crazy all the time. He can be so sweet and funny. I love to watch his skinny little body when he dances. But he's also super stubborn and there's very little that motivates him other than getting his way. 

He's also very sensitive to the spirit and his teachers and leaders in primary all tell me they love to hear what he has to say and are surprised by his insights. Levi really understands the gospel and I love it when he applies it to his life. 

We all love our funny Levi!