Thursday, March 26, 2015

Conversations with Boys

I will tell you one thing. Having two boys in the house is not dull, nor is it boring, or monotonous.

Every day something pops out of their mouths that  makes me laugh, shake my head in pure wonder of HOW and WHY they think like they do. Little boys are gross. They come by it naturally. No one teaches them to love all bodily functions or laugh about certain body parts. They certainly do not hear that stuff from me, ( I am 90% sure they do not hear it from their dad...but I can not guarantee it, since he is, in fact, a boy)

So, once in awhile I remember to write some of things that have come out of their mouths. Ya know, to document it for future blackmail and embarrassment ;)

 Here are just a few conversations with my boys:

J-“ Mom, are you making broccoli?”
M-“Yes, I was making some for myself, but you can have some”
C- “ Yuck. I hate broccoli. Do I have to eat some.”
M-“ No, as long as you eat all of your salad at dinner.”

J-“ Yes, Colin. You need to eat green food. Green food is good for you. Green food makes you have hairballs in your armpits.”

While playing Skylanders/Superhero something together.

J(in play voice)- " I am going to lock you in in a deep, dark pit that you can never get out of"
C(also in play voice) -" Noooo. I will escape you."
J-" I am going to put in in a dark pit....THIS dark pit!!!" said while lifting up shirt and pointing to his very skinny, pale and completely hairless armpit.
Both boys fall to the floor laughing.

At bedtime, after getting off the phone with their Dad, who was working over night in Chicago.

J-"If I could have any super power, I would be able to reach through the phone and be able to see Dad and give him a big hug good night! Because I miss him and don't like when he is not here."
C-" If I had any super power I would crush stuff, like Crusher (a Skylander Giant, who happens to be Colin's favorite Skylander) I would crush my brother and I would crush this house."

While looking through some of our wedding photos with Jack to prepare for a school assignment, Jack comments on a picture of his dad waiting for me to walk down the aisle.

J-" Look at Dad's face. He looks like aghhh (while making a weird face)"
M-"Why do you think he looks like that? Do you think he was nervous to marry Mommy?"
J-" Yeah. He was probably thinking..I don't want to taste that spit!"
M-" Are you talking about kissing?!?"
J-" Yeah, when you kiss you taste spit."

While this is not a conversation, per se, it is a wonderful look into the minds of little boys.

When Colin is at preschool, he usually chooses to go to the writing center and will create a story. This will include him drawing the actions of the story, writing some of the words and verbalizing the entire story that he made up to his teacher or an aid. I love his stories and look forward to reading them when he comes home.

This was the last story he wrote:

"Once upon a time there were 3 snakes. They saw 2 gorillas and then the 3 snakes attacked the 2 gorillas. Then there was a dragon. And then the 2 gorillas, the snakes and the 1 dragon were fighting. After they were friends.
The End."

So, pretty much regular life here. Fighting and than friends.

It is all slowly starting to make sense, this life with boys.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


It doesn't seem possible that one year ago today my sweet grandmother slipped into eternity.

I miss her.

I miss her laugh. I miss her hugs, the smell of her perfume that hung to everything around her.

I miss her notes in the mail, to me, to the kids, to Ryan.

It still seems wrong that she is not here, like a nagging in the back of your mind that something is missing, but you just can't fix it.

While it is easy to sit here and feel sad, a bit lost, a bit mad (I hate cancer. Hate it, hate it, hate it) and wallow in the feelings that are still raw and fresh, it is not what I want this post to be about.

  I really just want to remember. I want to remember all the good.
SO much good.
So much love.
So much happiness and so much laughter.
Those memories are the ones that bring smiles through tears.
Those are on the things that I want to think about.

I want to remember how she was just the best Grandma and the perfect great -grandma to my kids.

She was an example of love and grace and honor.

She was a loving wife and followed my grandpa to Alaska and back in retirement.

She was an active and involved mother.

A giver of her time, her attention and her affections.

She was faithful.

She was strong.

She helped anyone who needed it, prayed for anyone at any time.

Wednesday nights and Sundays would find her at church, serving the children. Loving those who did not get much love at home, being consistent in their lives when few else had.

And that is just a drop in the bucket.

So today, I remember my beautiful Grandma.

I rest in the peace of knowing that she is in Heaven and that I will meet her there one day.

And oh, what a reunion that will be!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love Is...

~ Changing the sheets and a little boy who had an accident in the middle of the night...twice.

~ Holding a little girl, who cried for no apparent reason from 1am-2am, and than helping administer some tylenol to helps with those teeth.

~ Taking Colin to speech last minute when my headache was too much.

~ Working early in the morning and late at night, providing for our family, but keeping the family hours free.

~ Patiently showing Macy pictures, which she asks for on repeat.

~Hand writing a card with a beautiful, long poem about our live and love.

Thanks for showing me what real love is, leading by example. I love you today, and every day.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!

Your hard work and dedication to our family speaks volumes of your character. The countless hours of seen and unseen hard work that you do to provide for us, to keep us safe and secure does not go unnoticed.

The kids adore you and clamor to your side the minute you come home. The boys copy your every move and want to be just like you. Nothing gets a squeal out of Macy as the sound of the garage door opening and you walking through the door has her running to greet you.

I am so thankful to get to do life with you and look forward to many more birthday celebrations.
You are deeply loved and I hope you can feel just a smidgeon of how vast that love is today.

So, happiest of birthdays, ol' husband of mine! We all love you so.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Walk in the Woods

On one of the last perfect fall days of the year, we ventured outside to attempt some family pictures. My brother, our photographer for the day, came down to hang out and try to capture my brood.

The sun was warm, the air was crisp  and we had the area to ourselves.  And the pictures...well... we got a few great ones!

But, my favorite photos are the out takes. The kids in their natural state.

While those photos did not make our annual Christmas card, I smile every time I see them.

 A large hill is much too tempting. The boys were bribed to get "just a few more shots" than they could run down the hill, getting the wiggles out.

Corralling 3 kids, getting them to smile AND look in the same direction is not for the faint of heart.

But being silly? Not a problem.

Uncle Joel, the photographer, had to take his turn chasing Macy.

Don't mind that baby, photobombing our photo, running with her shoe in hand.

Sometimes you need to have Puppy join the family photos. Or you will not have a Christmas card picture.

This picture sums it all up.
  Jack is asking about the creek off the left. Colin is done with pictures, pouting on the ground. I have the "mom" pose with my hands on my hips. Ryan is explaining something and Macy is grinning, flirting with my brother.

What do you like best, the out takes or posed pictures?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Silver Linings

Oh, Christmas.

We started our Christmas break off with a bang.

Around 12:30a.m on the Saturday night before Christmas, the light in our en suite bathroom clicked on. Ryan and I had just crawled into bed and were discussing our plan of action for the following day. We had stayed up late, packing and cleaning and preparing to leave for my parent's house and the beginning of our Christmas vacation.

I figured that Jack needed to go the bathroom, as he drank a bunch of milk with his freshly frosted sugar cookies that night.

I was wrong.

He was sick. Very, very sick.  Repeated rounds that lasted throughout the night.

We did not make it to church that Sunday morning. We did not wear our special Christmas clothes and than start our trek up north. We washed a lot of laundry and watched a lot of Christmas movies.

Halfway through the third round of soiled blankets, I noticed that the washer was not draining. Hmm. Weird. Try again.

Still not draining.

After a few hours of manually scooping out the water, watching various YouTube videos and taking apart the front of the washer it was determined that it was broken. The pump, the corroded plugs, everything.

No more washer. Yay.

So while Ryan and Colin spent the evening at the laundromat, I disinfected the whole house and we waited.

We were able to head out late Monday afternoon. Jack felt much better and we thought it was a quick little bug. Good to go.

45 minutes from my parents house, Macy threw up her apples. In her carseat.

We spent the night cleaning up a tired, sick little lady who had her first stomach bug and was so confused about what what happening.

Tuesday came and went, while we nursed a sick baby and than another sick little guy. Colin rallied and was sick for just a short time. No messes, no clean up. He made it the bathroom every time.

Christmas Eve came with healthy kids and celebrations with Ryan's side of the family.

 Presents were passed around and Macy enjoyed tearing off the wrapping, piece by little piece. Once she found out that she could rip the paper, she was very helpful with unwrapping everyone else's gift for them! She also claimed Colin's new sleeping bag as her own while she grabbed a quick cuddle with Grandpa.

The boys insisted on wearing ties for Christmas...until the actual day came, than it was a semi-battle to get them dressed. Colin broke his tie within 7 minutes of our arrival.  Jack, however, proudly wore his as he passed out the gifts this year. He insisted that he could do it, since he can read now and all.

Christmas morning brought excitement and waiting, as we opened stockings and presents with my parents, brother, my sister's family and two different grandparents.

While the kid's waited for everyone to get ready and the other's to arrive, books were read to little cousins and bananas were consumed by exposed toes little ladies. 

Presents were opened and enjoyed. Breakfast was made by the men and coffee was drank by the gallon. Little tiny baby boys were tickled and loved by little mini mommas, whether it was wanted or not. There was laughter and noise, paper and chaos. Everyone was happy and healthy. A wonderful Christmas morning.

Later that Christmas day, we made our way up north to my grandparent's home. It was a strange Christmas. No snow in sight. Temperatures in the 40s. The house in the woods on the river was still pretty and cozy, bathed in lights and fragrant from cooking. It was emptier this year. Missing the grand matriarch that welcomed all into her home. We all came together on Christmas, just like my grandmother loved. We ate, laughed, gifted and gave. There were a few tears, but mainly smiles. A happiness with a twinge of sorrow, missing one who was so dear.  But there was joy in knowing that, while she was so deeply missed and loved, we, as a family, were doing everything that she loved most. We were together.

 We ended our Christmas night with sleepy children in tow. All the kids went right to sleep, nestled into their beds.

Or so we thought.

Our sweet little Macy cried out for a bit, probably awakened by the adults moving around upstairs, or so we thought.
Unfortunately, we ended our night bathing a sick little girl who filled her crib and than went back to sleep in it. 

Ryan did a few more loads of laundry, I draped a towel over my chest (again), snuggled a baby back to sleep and just like that...Christmas was over.

While it was not a perfect holiday, or a preferred way to spend our time, it was real life. We had our ups and down and a multitude of laundry.

But there is always a silver lining. I have a new washer and dryer being delivered tomorrow. We did laundry at both parent's house and only had to use the laudromat once. We don't need to get a flu shot, as Jack gave it all to us. We all were together, in sickness and in health, and that is really what is important. There is always that glimmer of hope, even when clouds are grey.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas season with dramatically less clean up than I did.

Here's looking at you, 2015!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

May your days be filled with Peace today and throughout the entire year!