I'm not sure when I ever started calling him Noahman, but its now affectionately the hashtag he goes by.
This past year has been such a year of growth for our little man. This year Noah conquered going back to his old school, and leaving behind a school that he truly enjoyed and that walked right beside our family during a very difficult time. He experienced yet another little sister entering the world, and survived a very spirited year with SG. He has dealt with temper tantrums and hair bows and diapers all with a smile (most of the time). His prayer life has grown from "God is Great" to thanking God for the teachers that teach him and the house he lives in.
He has stood on stage in a new place, in front of people he doesn't know, to accept an award for his service to others.
We have really tried to work on his anxiety around others. So although he looks terrified, this was a huge victory for him and honestly for me as well! We worked for months to get to this point!
I cried listening to them talk about all the money he has raised. Realizing that 3 years ago, we wouldn't have cared about any of these organizations. Cancer was a word that didn't cross our radar, and surely raising lots of money to support these places was not on our to do list. Thinking without cancer, we may still be living with our blinders on.
Noah also took on soccer this year.
Talk about watching a kid come out of his shell! There were no nerves, no what ifs! He took to soccer like a fish to water. He's by no means the fastest little guy, and surely not aggressive, but he felt confident and I think this is the first time I've watched that emerge from him. I even watched him get hollered at for goofing off during practice...which is a big deal for my straight laced kid!
We watched him perform a "solo" in his school music program...It was just a line, but for him this was huge!
Yes that's our guy up there in the pink shirt!
He continues to look forward to our next cancer walks, and has finally graduated from riding in the stroller to helping push!
Although I think if we let him, he'd ride in the stroller!
He continues to grieve with the rest of us, and amazes me at his ability to recognize a bad day for me and quickly comes to hug me, and those hugs make the world alright again! I'm so thankful for his memories of Ellie and that he never hesitates to share them with us.
Noah's newest endeavor involves St. Jude, some hair dye and scrapbooking! As most know our family has participated in the St. Jude Give Thanks walk for the past two years. Through that walk, I have met some really great people, one of whom, Lisa, invited me to participate and speak at Crop for A Cure last August. Crop for a Cure is put on by the Tri Delta Sorority, a huge sponsor of St. Jude, in fact the short term housing facility on the St. Jude campus is named "Tri Delta Place". After last year's crop, I struck up a wonderful friendship with Lisa. Her love for St. Jude is just inspiring and her dedication to helping others motivates me. Lisa and I just seem to keep meeting each other at events and she always brings a great hug and a big smile! This year our local St. Jude walk is moving to a different location and we will not be able to participate in it, to say I was bummed is an understatement. I really wanted to find a way for our family to still raise money for St. Jude, even if its not at their walk. After numerous emails with my buddy Lisa, I talked to Noah about the walk, and how we couldn't do it this year, and how I was still doing this event with Miss Lisa to help raise money, and he wanted in. I knew he wouldn't want to sit and scrapbook all day, but he sure loves getting people to donate money, he has quickly learned the ins and outs of fundraising, via facebook!
We talked about how some people shave their heads for money, which he quickly protested. I brought up the idea of a mohawk...again no go (for as messy as his hair is, I can't believe he'd flip out over a mohawk!) Then I suggested dying his hair...well that caught his attention. He asked if he could dye it green. In the name of cancer research, I said yes, but told him he had to meet a goal. So he picked $3000. Miss Lisa set him up a fundraising page and he is happily on his way to $3000 by August. The best part of this all is him asking me daily, "do I have any thank yous to write?" He has started making personalized thank yous on his iPad to those who donate :)
He got a little down when his donations slowed up, so I told him he had to encourage people, do something for them exciting if they donate. So he's now currently telling jokes for every $10 donated. Watching him come up with them is pretty funny. He and Richard were on a roll tonight...I've heard enough knock knock jokes to last me a year!
I'm proud of him. I'm grateful for him. The whole reason we started going back to church was because we were pregnant with Noah and we wanted to raise him in a church (little did we know it wasn't just about a building, its about raising him with a a relationship with God). Noah helped lead us to the Lord...or should I say the Lord used Noah to help lead us back to him. God uses Noah often to teach me a lesson or remind me of things that I forget when I get too caught up in life. I can't take credit for the kid he is, God has completely led us in raising him, to which I am so thankful, because I'm sure on our own, we would have made a mess. Its hard to put into words just what he does for my heart, he's my son. I look back over these past few years, and I'm amazed. Amazed that at 7 years old (even if you just turned 7) he can have such a grasp on life with these basic principals.
1. Its okay to not smile all the time
2. Wear your heart on your sleeve, people will love it
3. Mean what you say
4. You are never alone, because Jesus lives in your heart
5. Hugs are the best medicine
I think that if we could all remember these, we'd be a much happier people!
Happy Birthday sweet Noahman. You sir, are bound for amazing things because you have a big heart, a brilliant mind, and you know that Jesus will always take care of you!
If you'd like to learn more about Noah's goal of $3000 and see his jokes on video, his Facebook page is Noah Goes Green
If you'd like to donate towards his goal, Noah's Fundraising Page
Thank you for letting me brag on my boy tonight!
Prayers Praise and Pink,