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As is my annual tradition, I took pictures of the boys for a frame that Jeff has at work.  I don’t buy a new frame every year, I just give him these pictures and he puts the new ones in, replacing the old.  I figure by the time we’re done taking the pictures, it’ll be a nice way to “re-live” the boys’ growing up years.

This year was rough.  The boys did fine with the pictures – it was me!  We had to take some of them twice, on different days, so they’re not wearing the same thing in the group “Y” picture like they usually are.  I’m not aiming for perfection, so I let it be.  But I took them in the wrong mode.  Then I took them horizontally instead of vertically.  I can see now that the Y was backwards and that Ben’s D is really hard to read.  Oh well.  Again, not aiming for perfection!

2018:
DADDY2018
2017:

DADDY2017

2016:

DADDY2016

2015:

DADDY2015

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Spring 2018

It’s been so long since I’ve written that I actually had to remember HOW to log in and write something.  Goodness!

Let’s re-cap the last couple of months:

Finn:

-Turned 6.

-Started wearing glasses and is going to vision therapy to help with his vision processing.

-Going to take swim lessons this summer.

-Going to play t-ball this summer.  He isn’t quite sure what t-ball is though, so that’ll be interesting.

-Still taking Tae Kwon Do, but he kind of complains about going, but likes it when he’s there.

-We’re going to do TCA (Trinity Classical Academy) again in the Fall for him (first grade).  We debated between that and Millard public schools.

-Loves numbers.

-Hates letters and words.

Stephen:

-Rockstar at Pre-school.  They tell me that he has good communication skills and likes to help clean up.  (What!?)

-Just finished his first year of Cubbies at Christ Community.  Did really well.

-He’s going to take swimming lessons in the summer too, I think.

-He’s also going to take tumbling lessons.

-Pretty concerned about who he’s going to marry.  Tells me often who he is going to marry, but he never knows their name.  It often changes.

Sam:

-Sam turned 3.

-He’s potty trained now and got to ride the Ferris Wheel at Scheel’s!  He said “It isn’t scary!”

-He’ll do preschool in the fall.  Just 2 afternoons/week.

-He’ll also take swimming lessons & tumbling lessons this summer.

-Getting good at riding Stephen’s balance bike – I think he’s ready for a training wheel bike.

Ben:

-Almost 2.

-Definitely not potty trained.  We aren’t even trying.  Next year.

-Talking so much more.

-Loves to say “Happy Birthday!”  We’ve had a bunch of birthdays lately and he loves the ice cream and the balloons that usually accompany those!

Other:

-For a week or so, we had a 3, 4 and 5 year old. A right triangle!

-For Finn’s birthday, he got a tire swing for the back yard – a huge hit!

-We just had family pictures taken – turned out great!  Photographer was Katie Wheat with http://www.catturabellaphotography.com/.

5Q3A40965Q3A41655Q3A4446

 

Stephen’s getting to be a little sassy.  Until lately, he’s been my more laid back kid (at least compared to his brother).  But lately, some sass has been coming out of his mouth.  The kind that you have to hide your laughter when he says things.  Here are 3 separate events:

(Me starting to open the dishwasher to empty it)

Stephen: Hey Mama, Do you need any help?

Me: Sure.  Wanna do the silverware job?

Stephen: Nope.  I was just asking.

(Aka: I don’t wanna help.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Stephen: Mama, did you know that I have super powers? I can go Super Fast.  I can go Super Speedy.  I can Super Fly.  I can Super Skate.  I can do all kinds of Super things.

Me: Great Stephen, time to get dressed for bed.  Go grab your PJs.  Do it Super Fast then we can watch a movie!

Stephen: Did you know that I also have Super Slow Walk?

(proceeds to walk V-E-R-Y slowly to his bedroom)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Stephen and Finn got into a fight where there may have been was some shoving.

Jeff: Stephen and Finn, you both know better than that.  Now say you’re sorry to your brother.  Stephen you go first.

Stephen: I am sorry that I didn’t do anything wrong at all.  Will you forgive me?

 

5 months!

It’s been 5 months since I’ve blogged and that’s got me feeling panicked about trying to recapture all that has happened in the last 5 months.  Fact is that I’m really bad at capturing moments in pictures and then actually writing about them.  Since I don’t keep actual photo albums, I worry that someday my kids will grow up and I’ll have nothing to hand them except for a hard drive and tell them to “go get whatever you want”.  Such is the risk of the digital age, I guess!

So…to recap the last 5 months:

  • Finn started Kindergarten at a private school called Trinity Classical Academy.  He goes 2 days/week and we homeschool the rest (using their curriculum and lesson plans).
  • He recently got tested and it’s been determined that he needs glasses and has a vision disorder.  We expect to start vision therapy in 2018.
  • He and I went to visit my sister & her family in South Carolina for a few days in October.  We got rained out at the beach, but had a wonderful time!
  • He learned to ride a bike without training wheels.
  • Stephen started preschool 3 mornings/week at Little Lamb preschool.  He loves it and sings songs from there all the time.
  • Stephen turned 4 years old.  Which he was obsessed about and told me every day what he wanted “for my next birthday”.  Everyday it was a new list.  Frequent items included a cupholder and a robot that will help him do a handstand without leaning against the wall.
  • Stephen had his Christmas program for preschool and actually sang!  He did great!
  • Both Finn and Stephen are in Cubbies this year and loving it.
  • Sam & Ben are home with me all week.  Both have had a language explosion over the last few months.
  • I continue to be a stay-at-home and Jeff continues to work at Union Pacific, having made it through a big layoff this past Fall.
  • Jeff has been working hard on our deck.  The coating put on by the previous owners was flaking off, so he’s been sanding it off.  It’s taken several weekends and only the “floor” of the deck is left.  We’ll tackle that in Spring.
  • We still don’t have a family picture of all 6 of us!  At least not a decent one.  I hope to fix that this Spring when the weather is nice and we can do an outdoor photo shoot.

Last5Months

I wanted something to do that impacted the people outside the 4 walls of my house.

I wanted it to be something short-term, didn’t involve a lot of commitment for the future and was practical.

I knew I couldn’t do anything GIGANTIC like cure cancer or end poverty, but I knew that I could do SOMETHING that made a difference for SOMEONE.

And I knew I didn’t want to end up cutting my hair again.

So, I did a WHO (Women Helping Out) Homelessness.  It went well. I think I’ll do it again sometime – with different ministries.

Essentially, I invited women to contribute items (or money that bought items) to make Blessing Bags for a ministry here in Omaha that help the homeless.  The ministry, Least of My Brethren, helps the homeless, particularly with a bent towards getting those that are ready to get off the street and get into apartments.  They have a specific bent of outfitting those apartments with furniture or bedding or sheets or dishes.

But they also hold monthly breakfasts for the homeless, passing out these Blessing Bags that contain items that make life on the streets a little easier.  I had a goal of 100 bags and we ended up doing 110 bags.  40 were targeted to women and the remaining 70 to men.

Lots of women contributed items and several women came to my house on a night to assemble the bags.  I’m very thrilled!  The ministry said it was one of the biggest offerings that they’ve gotten – especially since it wasn’t backed by a corporation.  Well done women!

Each bag got at least:
-Shampoo
-Bar of soap
-Toothbrush
-Toothpaste
-Toilet Paper
-5 razors
-Deodorant
-Chapstick
-Q-tips
-Sunscreen
-Pony tail holders
-Plus extra items (lotion, insect repellent, $5 gift card, extra soap, extra toothbrushes, extra toothpaste, or hand sanitizer)
In addition, the women’s bags got feminine hygiene products and a purse! Men’s bags got a pair on underwear!

WHOHomelessness

Our Baby Ben is 1!  He turned one last week, but he had his well baby visit today.  He’s growing well!

He isn’t walking yet, which I’m actually thrilled about!  My other boys were walking by 11 months, so I’m secretly hoping he’ll be a lower-energy child.  (I can hope, right?)  He’s still well within range of normal.  I think he’ll be walking soon, but not like tomorrow, ya know?  He cruises around furniture and the fireplace and has recently decided that he hates the feel of cement & grass on his knees, so I think that might be incentive to start walking.

We celebrated his birthday twice – once with my side of the family at a restaurant called Surfside Club and once in Columbus with Jeff’s family – we kind of stole Father’s Day as a holiday!

His scrapbook page:

month12

Recent pictures:

BenAge1

Dear Youngest Child

Dear Youngest Child,

I get why there are so many pictures of you.  You see, my child Ben is my youngest and all of a sudden, I feel an urge to capture all kinds of moments on film and video.  Because it’s likely for it to be the last time I see a child of mine:

  • Give that pouty, frowny little face that only babies can make.
  • Wear certain outfits.  Especially for us since my boys wore hand-me-downs, so I’ve seen a lot of our outfits worn by all 4 of them.
  •  Hear the thump, thump, thump sound that only a crawler makes as they rush across the kitchen floor.
  • See a bunch of baby teeth come in all at once.  Seeing a tooth-less grin replaced by a tooth-y one.
  • Bop up and down to the music of a push toy.  Dancing as best as you can.
  • Mimicking your brothers – particularly around clapping to “If You’re Happy And You Know It”.

It’s adorable and bittersweet – trying to eat up the last of these baby days before Ben moves from a crawler to a walker (aka: toddler-ville).