Saturday, April 26, 2014

time

IMG_4690 Braxton workin on his derby car in the garage.

IMG_4695 The whole gang’s littles (who are all not really littles anymore)

IMG_4740 Our four being what they be best, … together.

IMG_4755 Braxton at his first Pinewood Derby.

IMG_4765 Brent and Jess at Graduation this last week.

IMG_4769 My little girl and her little girl. Being friends. Like mommy like daughter.

IMG_4772 My baby, looking like a little boy.

IMG_4721 Emmett, minus the glasses. My son who knows more than I do and is patiently teaching me.

 

Jeff left me a note on the table today when I got home. It said “I heart you” but instead of the word heart, he drew the heart. So what it said was, “I love you.” It was written on a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of computer paper in big letters. Just a simple phrase. The perfect note to come home to. It made me reflect for a bit, that’s what I do. I remembered when we first got married and how impressed he was by the hearts I could draw. He would concentrate so hard to try and draw the perfect heart, only to notice that one side was bigger or flatter or whatever. I would out of habit make  a heart without even thinking about it and he would ew and ah. So funny. Where did the time go.

He’s gone tonight, which is why I am blogging and why I will not post this until the morning. I still am a bit of a scardy cat and no stranger needs to know when my husbands not home.  Camping with the boy scouts he is which leaves me home to man the fort, solo style.

These pictures capture some of my recent thoughts on time. The treasure that it is. The picture of Braxton with with fellow scouts at the derby blows my mind. Jeff and I were the cub scout leaders when I got pregnant with Braxton. Those boys now are 19 years old! We found out we were expecting on a Wednesday and after we called our parents we went straight up to scouts. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for anything that night and our cover was blown by one in particular. Happy Days. I still remember that day exactly, what I was wearing, my blonde highlights, swollen eyes from happy tears.

We had friends over tonight and all the kids had a dinner picnic on the back lawn. I smiled privately when I brought out the plate of burritos and Braxton said, “no guys wait, ladies first” as the little boys were digging in. Happy mommy moment.

All the kids in the picture on the stairs have been besties since before they were born. Now they are turning 5 and 4 and 7 and 9… I remember my friends’ trying to get pregnant, discussing when and if and on and on. Some of us tried for a while, some had surprises. Each was welcomed with love. I love all these kids and their parents. One big happy family of friends we all are. Sharing each others lives, the good and the bad. Sharing each others kids, their triumphs and firsts.

The picture of our 4 on the chairs was Easter Sunday. We had woken early to search for eggs. Jeff had made breakfast, we’d eaten, and Jeff had gone to church for morning meetings. I sent the kids out to play and get some wiggles out, only to find them setting up chairs and hanging out. I went to get ready in the bathroom and opened the window to hear them. I heard funny things like, “okay well I am 18 and so you are 16 and you are….” They probably will be 18 before I know it.

My brother and his dear wife at Graduation this past week. I wish I could have been there to celebrate them on their special day. It was baby Emmett and I who drove Brent to Utah to go to BYU 3 years ago.  Emmett was the best traveler ever and I remember Brent commenting on how expensive everything was when we went shopping at ShopKo for essentials. Shampoo, hangers, razors, bread and milk. Someone was a little na├»ve, lets just say. Crazy how fast that went. I wonder if he still makes comments like that at the store?

The next picture is my cherished friend Jama’s daughter and mine. Her and Adelle are friends and it warms my heart. I have so many good memories with Jama in highschool and I feel so blessed that we are still so close and our little girls can grow up together. Makes me feel old and anxious about what highschool will hold for these sweet girls. Glad they have each other.

And Gagey. Getting so big and handsome. The little brother who thinks he is a big kid, but still loves his mommy’s lap. My little athlete. The boy is so naturally athletic and is always eating. He is my slimmest kid but always putting food away. Can’t believe how big he is getting.

Emmett. My boy who is wiser in years than I am and more patient than I probably ever will be. The boy who thinks instead of speaking and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. The one who idolizes his big brother and defends his baby brother. A few months ago Emmett started having accidents. Random potty in his underwear for no reason except to drive me insane. Not the pee or the mess but the concept. My mind was like, “why is he doing this? Is he sad, is he anxious, is he too busy, does he have an infection…” oh the unknown, how I hate it! I took him to the doctor, I evaluated everything about his life. I tried being nice, being a nag, being mean… nothing worked or helped or made any difference. I was beyond myself. Things like this shouldn’t happen to mom’s who know everything about 4 year old kids. After all, this wasn’t my practice child.  I felt consumed. I felt defeated, helpless. Who was in charge here. I remember thinking it was never going to end. Well. To end this time post I just want to say, it ended. He hasn’t done it in 3 weeks and I am relieved. I completely backed off. I decided that if he wanted to wear wet underwear, so be it. I wasn’t going to worry about it. I wasn’t going to remind him to go. I wasn’t going to stress out that there was some underlying meaning. I prayed and then, I let go. It worked. He’s in charge and knows what he’s doing.

Time. The treasure. The healer. The moment snatcher. The memory’s best friend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

the important stuff

Life is so full and today I was thinking about all the little things that are happening right now that I never want to forget. Little, simple things but important none the less.

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Emmett is officially over Gage. The other day he told me that he wishes Gage was a little tiny baby again when, “he just laid there.” It was so honest and sweet. Emmett is so good to Gage and Gage is a little stinker and I think Emmett is getting tired of it. He told me liked baby Corbin better than Gage too. Emmett sure did love that baby Corbin and the trip he got to take down with Bama to Vancouver.

Emmett is also into the card game UNO. That’s the understatement of the century. When he and Braxton wake up they play the game until breakfast (so, for like an hour). Emmett and I then play mid-day while he has his patch on and then later on into the day he is continually asking who wants to play UNO with him. He is really good at it and beat the babysitter numerous times the other day. She was shocked.

Also Emmett is Braxton’s dirty work doer. Not really but Braxton sends Emmett out each morning when they wake up to see if it’s 7:00am yet because that means they can get out of bed. It’s fun to watch Emmett run out, look at the clock, and run back to tell Braxton. Good Brothers.

Times like this make me seriously consider homeschooling my kids. Numbers, time telling equals real, everyday math.

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Braxton has been busy practicing his trampoline flips in his spare time, which he doesn’t seem to have much of these days. He is playing baseball (pitching machine) which is 2-3 days a week and he still is doing scouts one night. Also our chickens are producing enough eggs now that Braxton has started selling eggs. That’s been really fun for him and he is taking it really serious. He feeds the chickens, waters them, and now he also has the added responsibility of washing and carting the eggs and charting how many eggs we get a day and how many dozen he sells to track his income. Pretty big stuff. Braxton thrives on responsibility and leadership.

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Adelle is quite the busy bee too. She continues to love school and is doing really well. She is also doing dance lessons and this week she started taking piano lessons from a high school friend.  Adelle is so musical so you can usually find her spinning and twirling while singing.  Always in a dress as long as they aren’t all in the wash. The other day I introduced myself to another mom that I recognized from the kids’ school. I told her who my daughter was and she said, “oh, the one who likes to wear all the fancy dresses to school.” Yes. That is Adelle.

Adelle dresses herself and usually does her own hair. She has always been my most independent child and some days it’s great and other days I wish she would just let me help her. She is such a happy, confident, girl and is always keeping me on my toes.

Adelle is super helpful lately. She daily asks me what she can do to help me and it’s so nice to know that she is thinking of others.

Tonight while Adelle and Emmett were coloring after dinner they were talking about when they are 18 and who is going to be bigger and who will be older. So funny to overhear their serious and contemplative discussions.

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Gage is a baller. This little boy is so athletic it’s really unreal. He throws far. He can swing a bat and hit the ball off the tee. He kicks soccer balls, shoots basketballs, throws footballs… He is so funny too because his stance is right on. He first takes position and then you better be ready.

Gage runs everywhere. I can hear his feet running down our hall looking for whoever is in the bedrooms to play with and then running back when he can’t find anyone. He is currently loving reading books (favorite is Brown Bear), singing songs (favorite is Wheels on the Bus), jumping on the trampoline, chasing the chickens, and throwing whatever he has in his hand (most often balls, food, laundry, his sippy cup).

Gage really likes Braxton’s team hat and Braxton is so good to let Gage wear it.

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Sunday nights at the Bay with my mom and dad are amazing. There is something so serene about the calm of the bay and being surrounded by people who love you and beautiful nature. I love that my kids will have these memories.

 

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These are the good times. Warm, windy, spring nights at the ball fields. Lots of family and friends cheering on kids. Little siblings getting to run the bases after the games over. Umpa treating everyone to Dairy Queen after the game.

(And as a side note Braxton did awesome hitting 3 for 3 and playing pitcher and right field during his first game. (pitching machine)

Grandma’s, Aunties and Great Gramy taking care of my little boys so that I can volunteer in the kids’ classes. Auntie Mel loading up her car with cereal and granola bars from her work and making a special delivery to our house to share. Making my kids’ morning and mine and I was contemplating what to make for breakfast.

Meeting up with friends outside and stretching our picnics as long as we can so we don’t have to go home and face reality and laundry.

Letting the boys jump on the trampoline with the sprinkler, already!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Break

 

Spring Break this year was simply perfect. It really snuck up on me and Jeff worked a lot of it since we are just getting into his busy schedule but I really don’t think it could have been any better.

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Monday I Braxton watched Dawson and Grady, along with my three other kids. Seriously, I got so much done that day you would have never known that I was taking care of 6 kids! Braxton is so awesome and when he is around he entertains all the kids, without even knowing it. So that was just great.

That night we got together with friends at Hovander for a pick up Ultimate Frisbee game. It was awesome. The weather that day was perfect and it was so nice to be in the fresh air with lots of friends and kids.

The boys organized and ran their own football game and the girls played on the park and in the tower.

Us parents rotated in and out of the game all night taking turns and taking breaks. It felt like summer. Hopefully there will be many more of these games in the near future.

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Tuesday morning I drove my mom and Adelle to the Bellingham Amtrack station where they boarded the train to go down to Vancouver, WA. It was April Fools Day so of course my mom took the opportunity to be silly and wear  a wig and Adelle was game. They are really two peas in a pod those two!

Adelle loved every part of the train. She took tons of scenery pictures to show me. She saw a couple of her teachers from school on the train. She loved the cheeseburger, the cookie, watching Frozen on the laptop… she was really in her element. When they made it to Vancouver and she met Corbin she was in love again. Such a sweet sissy.

The boys and I had a great day too. We met friends at Boulevard for a picnic. Again, thanks to Braxton he and Emmett were able to play on the playground while I was down at the water most the time with Gage. It was a beautiful day again and fun to be with the boys although I kept counting, “1, 2, 3… where’s Adelle?” Really, a little weird not having my girl there with us.

That night my dad got to go to Braxton’s baseball practice with Jeff and Brax which was fun and then when they got home the boys and I watched a movie while Jeff and my dad went and checked out some property.

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Wednesday we walked across the street to the school and met some friends for a playdate. Then that night we hosted other friends for dinner and games. Braxton is working on earing his wolf rank in cub scouts so he picked the meal and helped prepare.

In between we just hung out in our yard in the sun. Some of us got up on the roof and cleaned out gutters. Some of us laid on the earth and watched the snails. I think I literally watched the tulips bloom before my eyes. Spring is just so wonderful!!

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Thursday I stayed in my yoga pants all day. I made bread and did a lot of laundry and watched my sisters kids so her and my mom could run errands and go on a lunch date. It was really nice. The kids played and were happy most of the day in the backyard.

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Friday we went roller skating. Braxton had gone with a birthday party a couple months ago and couldn’t stop talking about it. I have been wanting to take my kids there for a while but hadn’t had a good chance. When I saw that they were having a spring break 2 for 1 deal I decided we should go. We met some of our friends there and then my sister ended up being in town so they came along with my mom and two of my aunts. Then when Jeff finished his work for the day we were still there so he came out and met us. It was so, so, fun.

Roller skating brought back so many good memories for me. Growing up my mom took us to the skating rink all the time. We even took lessons.  I remember those fun times like they were yesterday. My mom has always impressed me on skates. She is an amazing skater, so fluid and graceful. I am not so much that way but I can get around the rink and I even broke one of the rules and skated with Gagey on hip until I got called out on it.

Of all my kids Emmett was the one who enjoyed it the most and who keeps asking me when we are going back. He was the most determined out there too and was such a sport.

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Saturday and Sunday were both spent watching General Conference and then playing at the Bay and eating big family dinners.

Saturday was so funny the boys and I were out on this spit because the tide was so far out and all of a sudden we were surrounded by water. We had been so busy digging for clams that we neglected to notice the water that was getting closer and closer. It was exciting and fun hauling all the boys into the shore, as my sisters is videotaping. I felt like I was starring on Bay Watch.