Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 in Review..... Wrapping up an amazing year

January 2012: 
So, not a whole lot happened in January of this year. We got some testing results back from the school for Ashton, after I requested full testing (from his old school no less). Sadly, it didn't show much progress from the results from 2007, but fortunately, we're all smart enough to realize that Ashton doesn't show his full potential was any testing and that just in the 2 months since he's been at his new school, that he's progressed TREMENDOUSLY! Ashton attended his second CBI trip with his class and did a fantastic job!

February 2012:
We noticed a huge improvement in Ashton "using his words". The babbling/jargon was less, and real words and interactions were coming out. He was also starting to become more compliant with classwork, which from where he started, was a massive turn-around. He's such an amazing kid!

March 2012:
Holden ran his first ever longer distance "solo" race (without someone he knew running with him), the Shamrock 8K! 52:16, wtg little man! SO PROUD OF YOU! Ashton became a rider athlete with Team Hoyt VB and the Shamrock 8K was his very first race. His runner, Julia, finished with a time of 47:37! Holden also ran an 8:48 final mile time and raised $785 for Operation Smile! Holden also made the advance soccer team, which he was thrilled over! So proud of him and all of his sports activities and accomplishments!

April 2012:
I became the mom to a TEENAGER! Ashton turned 13 on the 14th. My baby, Holden, also became a member of the double-digits club and tuned 10 on the 16th! School was still going along very well for Ashton. Holden was having a few issues (we'd done some medication changes) so we upped his medication dosage, which helped tremendously.

May 2012:
I received some of the most beautiful Mother's Day gifts from the boys this year. Ashton's were especially gorgeous, because he made them ENTIRELY on his own! In the card he made, he wrote "I Love You because you are HAPPY!" That made me smile so much! SO SWEET! Ashton also became quite a prolific writer during May. He wrote me a note that said "Dear Mom. I Love You. Thank you for Holden" - awwww, he loves his little brother so much!

June 2012:
This month would be a life-changer, although we wouldn't know it yet. First off, we lost David's beloved Granny at the beginning of the month. She suffered a severe stroke either Memorial Day or the day after.They did brain surgery to alleviate the bleeding and she never woke up and she was unhooked from life support on Friday, June 1st and passed away the following morning. It was our boys' first experience with a death of someone they were close to. To be honest, we never said anything to Ashton and with Holden, we gave him details but let him have the final decision on whether he wanted to attend the viewing or funeral (he did not). He wanted to remember her as a happy, vibrant woman and that was a good place for him to be. June is also when we met Ernie, Andrea and Marc Leber at the CHKD 8K race. That first race the guys (Ashton and Marc) had together was fun but we had no idea how close their friendship would become. This month was also when Holden got to attend his VERY FIRST concert, Rascal Flatts! It was a lot of fun and he can't wait to see/hear them again!

July 2012:
First week of camp for Ashton, our family camping trip and a couple of more races for Ashton and Marc. They did a race on July 4th as well as a Run Swim Run 5K race towards the end of the month. Lots of fun memories were made and Ashton also participated in a mini surf camp as well! We could not have asked for a better, solid month of social progress and fun for Ashton (and Holden too). Time with family is always nice, as is time with friends.

August 2012:
First off - Ashton had his 3rd year of Surfers Healing and WOW did he have a crowd watching him! Marc and Andrea, Reneka and Michael, Miss Decker, Ms Insull, Mommy, Daddy, Holden, Aunt Amber, Riley and Chelsea and Grandma & Grandaddy and Dr Gracie! He had a blast - and he surfed BY HIMSELF!!! The surfer got him started but then he surfed into shore all by himself, it was SO COOL! He had a blast! The other big thing that happened was David turned 40!!! We surprised him with crows and signs in the yard on his actual birthday and then we had a surprise party for him that weekend. We also went on our first FAMILY trip to Busch Gardens! The boys had a blast!

September 2012:
Last first day of elementary school for Holden! Wow! FIFTH grade! Ashton is in EIGHTH grade although we were not entirely sure yet at that point if he would be moving onto ninth grade next year. We had our fingers crossed that the school year would start off on the right foot. Also, in September, Marc and Ashton competed in their first half marathon together! It was an amazing experience (and one that completely tired Marc out LOL) but Ashton did fantastically! I hear Ashton shared his pretzels this race and also asked for Marc to read him a book! too funny!

October 2012:
the first race since June, that Ashton and Marc didn't compete in together. But, Ashton got pushed by Marc's mom and another Team Hoyt VB runner and he did fantastic! Thank you Andrea & Ms Dena (from Ashton!). After steadily checking the boys' grades on Edline, I realized they were both doing FANTASTICALLY! Holden had been skirting all As/A-s and Ashton was doing much the same! Wow! Impressive guys! Marc also made a surprise visit to Ashton's school! That's such a happy memory that I will never forget!

November 2012:
The boys' first report cards of the 2012-2013 school year come home... and STRAIGHT As for Holden! As/A-s for Ashton, WOOT! SO proud of the boys' grades so far this year! The guys did the GonnawannaRUNagin and Ashton ran the entire 1/2mi fun run by himself this year (last year someone let him piggyback most of the way lol). I think having Marc beside him the whole way encouraging him was the key, he did awesome! Holden was thankful for soccer to be over with (for the time being) and is enjoying wrestling and running like a fiend! I wish I could have just a tenth of his energy as he seems to have a limitless supply!

December 2012:
At the beginning of December I already had my tree up and decorated, the house decorated, my christmas cards ordered and mailed out, and had started my baking. Holden finally received something he'd been asking for several years, an iPod touch. He's had lots of fun playing games and listening to music. Maybe he'll start using it on his runs! Ashton received a Kindle Fire for Christmas (my old one) and has enjoyed playing games and reading books. Yes, he has a tablet, but I think he thinks it's an exclusive YouTube watching device. The nice thing is with the Kindle Fire, he can't access YouTube (that I can tell, if he can and you know how, LET ME KNOW!!! lol) so he's using it for the intended purpose. It's nice because it's smaller and lighter than his tablet so easier to carry around.

Basically - we had a wonderful year. Yes, Granny passed away and losing a loved one is always sad, but we made so many new wonderful friends, some that we consider a part of our family. Ashton had one of his best possible years (it was amazing, truly!) and Holden really came into his own over the last couple of months at school and within all of his sports activities. I love my family and friends and we have been so blessed to be a part of so many people's lives this year.

Let's hope 2013 brings in more of the same!!!! :)

2012 in Pictures (LOTS of pics)

We rang in the New Year
with silly glasses and cool hats!!

So..... nothing major happened in February, so here's some cute shots of the boys.

Ashton participated in his VERY first race with Team Hoyt VB
and Holden did his first "solo" long distance race - both participated in the Shamrock 8K!

Holden at his corral for the 8K start

Holden also did the
Operation Smile Final Mile with his school :)


Easter was a blast, here are the boys looking for easter eggs!

Here are David and Holden,
with Ashton and Joe at the Autism Awareness 5K

David and Holden running during the 5K ...
and yes, Holden was seriously ticked off at me because it was FREEZING that day!
Ashton and Joe at the finish line! Woohoo!

Yep, a double-digit kid and a teenager, wow!

Happy Birthday Boys!

Happy Memorial Day!! :)
Ashton went with me to pick fresh strawberries! Num!!
Perhaps one of my favorite pictures
I've ever captured on my cellphone...

The saddest time of our year, Granny's passing...
We LOVE you and MISS you every day! xoxoxox....

But then something cool happened!
We made new friends!

Ashton and Marc met and became fast friends!
This was at the CHKD 8K race!

Then we went to Holden's VERY FIRST concert - RASCAL FLATTS!


 We went camping and had a LOT of fun!

Ashton, Marc and Andrea did the Allen Stone Run Swim Run 5K

Ashton got to surf at mini surf camp with Mr Alex! He's SUPER COOL!

David turned 40!!! Neener Neener!
we took the boys to Busch Gardens for the first time!
Ashton's teacher and some friends went with us! :)
Another race - the Surfers Healing VB 5K!

Ashton got to meet Doc Paskowitz and see Izzy again!

HE SURFED BY HIMSELF!!!!! :) :) :)


Last First Day of elementary school - FIFTH grade already, Wow!

Last First Day of Middle School (maybe?).... EIGHTH grade, WOW!!!!!

Soccer season was back in full swing!

The guys also participated in their first half-marathon (Marc and Ashton)
and Holden ran another 5K in the mini marathon! wow!

I also took the boys to their first little carnival - they LOVED it!


Ashton participated in the Crawlin' Crab 1/2 marathon while Holden and David did the 5k!

Holden was out there once again at another soccer game!

Marc and Ashton did the Wicked 10K
while Holden did the Monster Mile

Marc came to visit Ashton at school (what a cool surprise that was!)


Marc and his family came out for
the 2nd annual GonnawannaRUNagain 5K and 1/2 mi Fun Run
Ashton got to run beside Marc for the 1/2 mi fun run and I'm not sure who enjoyed it more! LOL

The Leber family (minus David and PLUS Gervas) before the 5K

Yea so my guys don't look all that thrilled that they're finished with their races! LOL

Ashton, Marc and Santa at the 10-mile start (Surf-n-Santa 10miler)
Holden at the start for the Frosty's 5K

Nearing the end of the Frosty's 5K - way to go little man!

Almost finished - another 10miles under their belts!

Ashton, Ms Lisa and Holden at the start of the Santa Claus Shuffle 5K

The boys after the race - great job guys!