Project 52 – 31 with Adorable Children

It’s time for Project 52, Week 31!

1996_03 9 Me holding Tim

31 weeks ago, on my 52nd Birthday, I began Project 52. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, each week I’m taking one year of my life and blogging about it. This week, I’m covering the year I was 31, June 14, 1995, to June 14, 1996.

The previous year, our second child Timothy was born after a pregnancy finishing up on bed rest and a very difficult labor. I didn’t bounce back quickly, what with starting to work again when Tim was 3 weeks old and, I see now, plenty of postpartum depression.

But around the time I turned 31, my journal sounds a little less frantic. I did teach summer school that year, which meant 8 hours per week of classes instead of 4 hours per week, so essentially working full-time for a couple months. Hmmm. That’s probably why there’s not much at all written in my calendar or journal for June and July 1995. (The entry that sounded so much calmer was before summer school had started.)

I’m going to try to just summarize this year, but I have a whole lot of cute kid pictures to share.

My journal does say that this was the time — before he’d quite learned to talk — that Timmy threw amazing, head-banging temper tantrums. What can I say? He was precocious. But those did get better a few months later when he started talking and could tell us what he wanted. And my goodness, he was cute!

We went on a short vacation to southern Illinois that summer. This picture cracks me up, because it’s so typical of my kids at that age. Jade (then called Josh) was quietly reading a book, and Timmy was getting into something, exploring!

1995_07 0a Hotel

We went hiking, trying to find “Old Stone Face,” and I almost got heat stroke.

1995_07 0b Vacation

The next day looking at these Cypress trees was nicer.

1995_07 0c Vacation

1995_07 1 Vacation

At the end of July was Timmy’s First Birthday!

1995_07 2 Timmy's Birthday Cake

1995_07 4 Timmy's Birthday Cake

1995_07 5 Timmy's Birthday Cake

My kids were cute at this stage!

1995_07 6 Timmy Glasses

Josh was 7 years old and losing teeth!

1995_07 7 Josh Tooth

1995_07 8 Hugging

1995_07 9 Smile

1995_07 10 Smile

1995_09 1 Upsidedown

1995_09 2 Puppy sweater

1995_09 3 Smile

1995_09 4 Glasses

Of course, most precious are the ones of Josh with Timmy.

1995_09 5 Reading

1995_09 6 Reading

1995_09 7 Missing Teeth

I’m not showing nearly all of the messy eating pictures!

1995_09 8 Messy Food

Stacking cans was a favorite activity. (My Mom was the one who taught me to keep cans in a low cupboard because they make great toys.)

1995_09 9 Stacking Cans

And in October, Kathe and Darlene came to visit! Kathe brought her son Tim, who is 6 months older than my son Timmy.

1995_10 3 With Kathe and Darlene

Rub-a-dub-dub, Two Tims in a tub!

1995_10 4 Two Tims in the Tub

1995_10 5 Kathe Reading

1995_10 6 With Darlene

For Halloween that year, this time Timmy was a clown, and I bought Josh a cell phone costume that really rang. They wore it a few years, and loved to make it ring after saying “Trick or Treat!”

1995_10 Halloween

In the Fall, we again went hiking to find Old Stone Face, and this time we found it! (We’d walked right by it that summer in the heat.)

1995_11 1 Vacation

1995_11 2 Old Stone Face

And again this year we took pictures for our Christmas cards at Carlyle Lake.

1995_11 5 Christmas Picture

1995_11 6 Carlyle Lake

1995_11 7 Carlyle Lake

1995_11 8 Carlyle Lake

Timmy still enjoyed stacking cans:

1995_11 3 Stacking Cans

1995_11 9 Stacking Cans

I had to include one picture with Timothy screaming. He was climbing over Josh, trying to get at the computer. Look how patient sweet Josh is being!

1995_11 11 Screaming

We went to Aunt Kay’s for Thanksgiving again:

1995_11 13 Aunt Kay

1995_11 12 Aunt Kay's

Just more sweetness:

1995_11 10 Smiles

1995_12 1 Toothless

While they played video games, Josh used to give Timmy a controller that wasn’t hooked up!

1995_12 2 Video games

Along about this time, the possibility came up that Steve might get to transfer to the USAFE Band in Germany. So when we drove out west for Christmas, we knew it might be our last trip in awhile. We saw lots of friends and family. I’ll show some of the pictures that came out the nicest.

Gramp E. and Gram E. welcomed us warmly to Phoenix.

1995_12 3 Gramp E

Cousin Karli and her parents were there, too.

1995_12 4 Karli in wagon

1995_12 5 Josh

All the grandkids so far!

1995_12 6 Grandkids

1995_12 7 Pots

1995_12 8 Christmas

Our next stop was my sister Becky’s house in Encinitas. They took us to the beach.

1995_12 9 Encinitas

1995_12 10 Beach

1995_12 11 Beach

1995_12 12 Burying

1995_12 13 Beach

My parents and some siblings and cousins came down as well.

1995_12 14 Encinitas

1995_12 15 Christmas

This next picture reminds me of two stories about Timmy and cars, which he loved.

We were driving into San Diego from Phoenix, and Timmy was getting really fussy. Well, then we turned onto an 8-lane freeway and were suddenly surrounded by cars — and he was amazed and overwhelmed. He’d never seen so many cars at one time in his life!

At Becky’s house, Timmy really loved Michael’s bucket of cars. He wasn’t talking a lot then, but he was pulling the cars out of the bucket one by one and saying “Caaaaar!” with each one and setting it down.

I noticed what he was doing and commented on it, and the next car he pulled out was the Batmobile. This time, he said, “Ooooooo!”

It’s my cousin Carmen talking to him in the picture. Timmy could say her name!

1995_12 16 Cars

1995_12 17 Smile

With various family members, including my Aunt Linda and cousin Kristi:

1995_12 18 with Buhlers

A trip to the Botanical Garden in Encinitas gave us some nice shots.

1995_12 19 Botanical Garden

1995_12 20 Botanical Garden

Megan, Megan, already a rebel!

1995_12 21 Botnical Garden

1995_12 22 Botanical Garden

1995_12 23 Botanical Garden

Becky was expecting her fourth child, Kristen, in the Spring.

1995_12 24 Botanical Garden

And we spent more time in Phoenix before we drove home:

1996_01 1 Phoenix

1996_01 2 Phoenix

When we got back, it was back to teaching Statistics and Calculus (2 nights per week, 4 hours per night). Steve was also taking classes still, 2 nights per week. Because of my job, he got very cheap tuition ($2 per unit) at Belleville Area College, and ended up finishing an Associate’s degree in Computer Science before we left Illinois. I was never quite sure why he didn’t try for a Master’s degree, since he already had a Bachelor’s degree in Music. But I believe he is now working in the computer security field, so perhaps it was just as well. And it did make my job more valuable. Though it doesn’t look like we got too many evenings together.

I guess when babies get where they can reach the top of their heads, they like to put things there:

1996_01 3 Cheerios hair

1996_01 4 Bucket Head

1996_02 4 Drum

But this was the stage where anything Josh could do, Timmy wanted to do, too. Josh always liked to pose for pictures with their thumbs up. Timmy thought he was doing the same thing, but it was an odd twisting of his hands with fingers up. So cute!

1996_01 5 Copying

1996_01 6 Copying

1996_01 7 Copying

1996_01 8 Copying

1996_01 10 Copying

1996_02 1 Copying

1996_02 2 Copying

1996_02 3 Copying

1996_03 1 Copying

1996_04 1 Thumbs Up

But my absolute favorite picture of Timmy imitating Josh was this one below. We always prayed with Josh at bedtime. You can see Timmy trying to figure it out:

1996_03 7 Praying

Josh was also the age when a towel after a bath becomes a cape.

1996_01 11 Super Josh

1996_01 12 Super Josh

1996_04 9 Super Josh

Just more fun:

1996_02 6 smushed nose

1996_02 7 cart

1996_03 3 Pooh

1996_03 4 Couch

1996_03 6 Hide and seek

1996_03 8 Dry bath

1996_03 10 Cardboard box

Josh turned 8 years old in March and had another Chuck E. Cheese party.

1996_03 11 Josh's Birthday

1996_03 12 Josh's Birthday

1996_03 13 Knex

We went to Aunt Kay’s again for Easter.

1996_03 2 Easter

1996_04 1 Easter

While we were in Chicago, we visited the Sears Tower:

1996_04 5 Sears Tower

1996_04 6 Sears Tower

1996_04 7 Cars with Aunt Kay

Timmy still really liked to jump on Josh.

1996_04 12 Rockford

And more simple fun:

1996_04 8 Duplo

1996_04 10 Hamper

1996_04 11 Hamper

1996_05 1 Super Sofa

1996_05 2 Bouncy horse

In March, we’d found out that yes, we’d get to move to Germany in the Fall. I was so excited about that.

Although I believe in enjoying where you are and what you do — I was very pleased to get to quit teaching. (I’m an introvert and don’t like getting up in front of a bunch of strangers who don’t really want to learn math and having to be their adversary and test them.)

I was very pleased to get to leave Illinois. (My friends and family were far away. I really do prefer the coasts. We’d been there 5 years, and that seemed awfully long.)

I was very pleased that I’d get to stay home with my kids. I didn’t know how long that could last, but Steve did get a Cost of Living Allowance in Germany that might make up for losing my job when we moved.

And — Germany!!!! I’d spent 6 weeks in Austria back in 1986, and I’d fallen in love with the German language. And Europe itself. And I was just so excited.

Here’s part of what I wrote in my journal on my 32nd birthday:

“It’s my birthday again today! I’m 32! And I’m happy. 🙂 Lord, it’s going to be an exciting year for me. I am thrilled about moving to Germany. And the rest of my life is going well. Steve and I are deeply in love; class is going smoothly; Steve is finishing his AAS degree; I’ll get to quit teaching soon; Timmy & Josh are lots of fun; my photo albums are meaningful; and I hope to get going writing soon. I am so happy about all that You are doing for me now, Lord.”

1996_06 1 32nd birthday

1996_06 2 Blowing Candles

One Response to “Project 52 – 31 with Adorable Children”

  1. Victoria says:

    So enjoying seeing Josh and Timmy;
    And hearing about your adventures!
    On to Germany!

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