Giving Thanks (inspired by)

Thanks be to God, Father, Son and Spirit, for the abundance of good things he pours on His children.
We are but few, but His blessings are many.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter pics, sort of

This year, for Easter, we made it to church. To me, that's about the extent of our accomplishments.

My crew and I...
One in short pants, one who kept ripping off his velcro tie, another who kept losing his shoes (I just gave up eventually so he sat through the service in his socks), and me with my stain on my shirt, noticed after church of course.

And people would say "Oh how nice everybody looks today!" and I think we just have some very gracious folks in our church family.

Well, they're not models, 
but I guess they are pretty cute.

No photo shoot today, but I snapped a couple of pictures on the fly.

Little man on the run with his not-a-bottle.

Kids waiting in line for Easter breakfast:

Sadly, this is the only photo I got of Marcus- the top of his head.
He really did look quite fetching in his "batman suit," even if it is getting a bit too small.

A last-ditch "up against the wall and smile" effort after church:

Lorraine was glad to pose for me.

By that time, everyone was so hungry they simply could NOT go on for one more minute, so I put the camera away and started lunch.

I do have one more kid, but I didn't get a picture of him. (Eldon)
I think he was on the floor howling for food. Not the best photo op.

I took a wonderful nap with my not-a-baby Peter today, and he even consented to snuggles.  

Later, he went outside with the big kids.  I looked out the window and saw him, still in his suit, sitting down in my garden and digging in the dirt.

Did I make him stop? Nah.
I owed him one for those snuggles.

He is Risen!

Seth and his Empty Tomb Diarama!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Go Aggie!

Aggie's class is doing a fun reading activity this month. Every time they read 20 minutes (at home) they get to fill out a red or white strip and add it to their "Cat in the Hat" hat.

 Aggie is VERY committed to this project!

So proud of my girl!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

To Seth, on your seventh birthday

Dear Seth,
On your seventh birthday,

Two of my favorite moments with you in the past month:

Helping you choose a library book
The girls flew through the fiction section and loaded their arms with fairy stories and puppy stories and books about horses. I told you that you are old enough fora chapter book, and with a satisfied air, you agreed. We began our book hunt in the fiction section, where the girls had had so much success.  I suggested book after book, and you shook your head. I tried not to insult you by suggesting anything with unicorns or mermaids, but you rejected everything that seemed even the slightest bit whimsical.

Finally you chose a book about a train. It was three hundred pages long and about a fifteen-year-old and his struggle through the Great Depression. I gently put it back, and we walked to the nonfiction section. (I'm a little slow, but I'll get it eventually.) Nothing satisfied you there until we discovered the biographies. Suddenly you spied a book called ""The Amazing Mr. Franklin: The Boy Who Read Everything." I saw that look in your eyes, the one you get when you finally find something worth thinking about, when you are finally given a respectable challenge. "Ben Franklin- of course! He was quite an interesting man..." I explained.  

We ended up checking out six books about Ben Franklin.  You have found a new superhero.

Watching Old Yeller
I knew just what would happen, and it did. I wore my soft blue robe for your sake. It is absorbent. Oh my dear boy, I understand.  Your daddy may not, but I do.

For your birthday, we had our first boy sleepover party with 2 of your friends. You boys had so much fun! You are a gracious host- making sure your friends like whatever we are eating or watching.  There was no "I'm-the-birthday-boy-so-there" power trip!  You boys ran like crazy at the gym, ate loads of junk food, and then watched Star Wars.  Judging by sleepovers alone, I say yes, boys are easier than girls.

You seem to know that God gave you smarts, and you don't hesitate to let people know about it (especially your sister Lorraine!) I often hear you say "YES!!! I was right again! I love being right!"

You take school seriously and love getting As.  I think your penmanship is better than mine!  You are curious about how things work. Last week you requested library books on tarantulas and on hybrid cars.  You enjoy your Legos and your circuit board.  You are taking piano lessons and doing well, and I think you enjoy it!  You are the only one of the children who will play the piano when you are not told to practice!

You definitely have your opinions. You love to read, but you most certainly, emphatically, do NOT like onomatopoeia.  ("Mom, do you see where it says 'plop, plop?' I don't like that part.  You read it.")  

When I sort through hand-me-downs, you are close by, making the final call on each piece of clothing. Once, I made the mistake of revealing that I loved a certain blue sweater.  You looked at it and made a face. Then, when you saw my hopeful eyes, you tried to compromise. "Um, well, I guess we can keep it. I will wear it on Saturdays. Only on Saturdays when nobody's coming over."

You'll always be my first baby boy, even when I'm not longer your favorite girl! 
I love you Seth, Happy Birthday!

My God continue to bless and keep you!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Our humble youngest child.

When you are the youngest of six children, where do you flee for refuge?

Wherever you can.

Like under mom and dad's bed. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My favorites: Florida

They're all my favorites, as Aggie would say, yet  some of the moments of last week are even more my favorite than the other favorites.

Much to my surprise, the boys were quite good during the car ride both ways. They were packed in daddy's little car quite tight, as you can see.

 I credit the mercy of God, and technology.

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It seems like the more difficult car rides were in Florida- when we would drive 10 minutes here or there. Then, the bickering would start. "Meanie" this and "poopy" that. "I dare you this" and "he's touching me" that.

"I dare you to be quite and look out the window," says dad.

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And wow, this kid- what a charmer. He made friends with any boy, any age, any where. After a few days of doing this, he even asked a couple of them their names, too.

They slept together in the pull out bed.
So sweet.

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Isn't Peter pathetic?

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He's sad because, you see, he is NEVER, ever tired, but his mean parents force him to sleep anyway.
"No night-night! Nooooo night niiiiiight!!!"

I love Disney's great photo ops:

This picture was taken by a stranger.
It makes me happy, because I know in my files there is a picture of Josh and me, kissing,
on this same bench,
before kids.
(I'll post it if I find it!)

Funny thing.
With only half our kids in tow, we still turned heads every where we went. 
We still heard, "my have you got your hands full! How old are they?"

While I would have been content to offer the simple explanation- their ages- Marcus HAD to point out that he was NOT the oldest. "I'm five, but Seth is SEVEN, and the girls are at home too." 

You should have seen the looks we got then!

Magic Kingdom Day:
The boys were so excited to go on the bus, they actually danced about it.

Funny thing-
when the big kids schedule playdates, I often hear, "I want to have Lilly come over!" "I want to have Gus come over!" and Eldon chimes in, "I want to have Mickey Mouse come over!" When we laugh, he gets very serious and says, "Mickey is my best friend!"

So glad he got  to meet him!

This was by far Marcus's favorite moment: driving the "race car." 
"Mom, now that you know I can drive one of these, you and daddy should BUY me one!"

I won!

And this look, on Peter's face-
the worried look
Mom, you are really going to let HIM drive?

He had that unsure look quite often as we went through the parks. 
It is a lot to take in when you are a big two-year-old!
Enough to make you fall asleep like a baby in mom's arms on the way home for a nap!
(my favorite moment.)

Marcus, laughing like the hyenas in the background.
He loved "It's a small world," of course. The first time we went on it, he noticed all the coins in the water. We told them that people had made wishes. No, son, we are not giving you money to throw in the water. (We don't have any change anyways!) He was not happy about that.

But later- Disney Magic.
After our naps, as we were waiting for the bus, he discovered a dime in the newspaper machine.
"A coin! I can make a wish now!" He could not believe his luck!
He held it in his little hands on the bus ride, through the park and back to the ride. He talked and talked about his wish. "I am going to wish that I can fly. Wait, no, mommy will you wish that the whole family can fly? Wait, no, I'll do it."  
The expectation! The excitement!

The letdown...

Reality stinks.

There was one thing Eldon liked even better than Mickey Mouse-
Shooting bad guys with daddy. 

 And Buzz Lightyear, of course.

Magic Kingdom wore us all out, of course, and we crashed that night.
Next morning, boys were up around 7:30. Daddy tried to threaten them into sleeping longer, but it wasn't going so well, so I decided to take them on a pajama walk (and coffee hunt).

Walking through the resort with these three characters was quite a hoot!  And while I was getting my coffee, they decided to cover themselves in Mickey stickers!

A few times, we tried to make them read.
They loved it. Or something.

We visited the Animal Kindgom resort one day. Marcus and Eldon both made friends on the playground.  Eldon ran around with a little guy just his size, and before we left, I heard him ask the little fella,

"Will you be my brother?"

Another one of my favorite things-
trailing behind these little boys as they explore the trails-
their awkward running styles, their competitions, their little bodies plunging ahead, feeling like Road Runner but looking like... goofy little boys! 

Run, boys, run!

As for the big kids, they did just fine back in Indiana.  The girls were wonderfully spoiled by Aunt Mary Anne, and Seth was a little man with his friend Gus all week. We are very proud of them!

This week: Back to laundry and school and surviving illness. Back to normal.

(Thank you God for the reprieve, and the memories!)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Seth's Sleepover!

Seth had 2 friends sleep over for his birthday.
This is my first time having a boy sleepover party.

So right away I had my mind set on a theme:

After brownies, and an hour or so of tearing through the house and yelling,
we went outside.

They had to follow clues to find their next treat.

 From our house, to school...

Some boys got tired and had to lay down for a minute!
(Yes, I thought! They WILL sleep tonight!)

To the woods:

and back.

Now, bounce off that energy!

But thy sky was starting to spit a wintry mix on us...

So we went to the gym.

The rest of the evening was busy-
pizza, milkshakes, movie, bedtime-
and I forgot to pick up the camera until the next morning.

I have to be honest, I was a little nervous about a boys sleepover, but it was so much fun!
Happy birthday Seth!