Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Halfway to Sixteen!

What a scary way to look at turning 8! But, ready or not I've got a boy racing through life.  He woke up his usual cheerful self, dressed in his favorite outfit, emptied the dishwasher and ran in to ask me if he could open a present and have a special birthday breakfast.  Thankfully, his present from Grandpa and Grandma Idaho was waiting for him...and Erector Set--so cool!  He loves it.  So does his Dad.  They (dad especially) just finished playing with it for a good long while.  It will stretch his brain--I can tell.
 Being the gourmet that I am....the girls and I went to grocery store last night to buy donuts to surprise Ezra with this morning.  Maple bars are his fave.
 Now here's a crazy picture--it's Ezra today alongside Ezra about 8 years ago.  Cray-Z.
 Henry has an ear infection and was up fighting it all night.  He's not been too happy and only tolerated laying down for a picture momentarily.  However--because I had to take him to the doctor, Ezra got the unexpected gift of extra time with Daddy, who kindly came home early and saved the big kids from having to tag along.

 A birthday bike.  I wish we had video of when he walked in the room and saw the bike.  He fell to the ground and screamed in excitement. 
 My big, big boy, Mommy loves you so much and can't wait to see what the next eight years and more hold.  I have loved being your Mommy and it feels like just yesterday that I was holding you in that hospital room.  Keep letting your light shine!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Thanksgiving Adventure

  For Thanksgiving, we took a bit of a road trip over the mountains.  Henry had a  Great-Grandfather, a Great Grandmother and a few Great Aunts and Uncles to meet.  To facilitate these meetings, we made our first stop in Walla Walla--the town so nice, they named it twice.  Great Grandpa kindly kept us at his house for the night.  We were served coffee and cookies at one Aunt's house, a delicious elk stew at another Aunt's house and had a fun time playing at Great Grandma's place in between.  In addition to all these relatives Henry hadn't seen before, we managed to sneak in a visit with Grandpa and Grandma Idaho who were in town for Thanksgiving dinner.  Phew--that was a lot of loving in a few short hours!  Good thing Henry has enough cheek to go around. 
Thanksgiving morning we packed up and headed to Coeur d'Alene to this delicious morsel's house.
 Oh boy do I love that kid.  He has the best smile!  He's quite a talker and is starting to be quite a mover as well. 

 Right now they get along pretty well--but that there basket of toys will witness a fight or two someday, I'm willing to bet.
 Aunt Emily and Grandma had been hard at work in the kitchen all morning and we settled in to eat, eat, eat.  Of course, I have no pictures of the delicious spread or the pretty table.  I ate enough for a family of five.  We relaxed and enjoyed some football after all the eating.
 The next day we decided we'd better be semi-active.  We packed up and headed to the Tubb's Trail on the edge of Lake Coeur d'Alene.  Doesn't Henry look thrilled to be hiking?  I turned him around just after this picture was taken and he crashed for a 3 hour nap.  It was cold that day.  While we were walking through the trees it didn't feel too bad, though.
 The kids soon shed their coats--cuz they're crazy like that.  Look at my good little girl representin' my Dawgs on Apple Cup day.  Go Dawgs!
 This was back when we still barked for Sark. 
 Running around in the fresh air and throwing rocks into the water--just what kids love.

 Nora never asked to be carried...for once.  Well, she didn't until we made it to down town Coeur d'Alene and it started snowing and we all suddenly felt very, very cold.

 We wolfed down a yummy hamburger lunch to replace all those calories we accidentally lost--wouldn't want to lose too many calories, ya know!
 Then it was off to the water park at Triple Play.  The Moms and the Grandma sat up on the balcony and watched the Dads, Grandpa and kids play in the pools and on the slides. 
  That's where I got this shot of my boy from the last post.  It was very, very warm inside.  Especially when you are not swimming.  Oliver and Henry were sweaty messes.  I was glad to get the chance to keep Henry in just a onesie.  It's easier to pinch all his rolls that way.
We packed up and headed for home Saturday evening to avoid the rush and the possibility of snow on Sunday afternoon.  It was a quick trip, but we were able to pack a lot in.  And now Ezra's birthday and Christmas are a mere hop, skip and jump away. 
The kids made their thankful lists in the car this year and I meant to take a picture of them to post....those lists might have gotten thrown away when the car was cleaned out after we returned home.  I'll be real sad if they did, because I love being able to look back at all the thankful lists as the years go by.  Hopefully I can find them and get them documented! 
Thanks to Grandpa Mac, Aunt Marianne, Aunt Lynn and Uncle Ted, Grandma Froese, Grandpa and Grandma Idaho, Uncle Jacob and Aunt Emily and Oliver and Grandpa and Grandma Tractor for all the hospitality and fun times!!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hi Guys! I'm Three Months!

 Look at me, all blogging Henry's age progression and stuff : )  And only 4 days late this time.  Yep--he passed the three month marker last Saturday!  He's so grown up these days. 

 He's lost most of his baby hair--just the one tuft of his mohawk remains.  He lost his neck as well--but we know it's in there somewhere.  He is following his big brother's growth patterns exactly so far.  He is also following in the social patterns of his older siblings.  He wants to look at people, talk to people and be held by people all day long.  Sitting in a bouncer seat or laying on a floor gym doesn't keep him happy for very long.  And being put in a car seat is the ultimate insult in Henry's book. 
He recognizes Daddy, Mommy, Ezra, Caroline and Nora's voices and turns towards each of us when he hears us.  He is very ticklish and giggles until he gets the hiccups when we do tickle him.  

My boy still has slate blue eyes--but I'm not holding my breath that they'll stay.  Ezra's took quite a long time to go brown.  Not that I have anything against brown eyes, it's just that his slate blue is so pretty!  The one area this kid is different than the ones who have come before him is at night.  He sleeps.  It often takes me a while to get him to sleep--but he'll give me a nice long chunk most of the time.  Bless his little heart.  I think that deep within he realizes that I am just. on. the. brink. of a mental break down : )  His long sleeps are saving the lives of his big brother and sisters.  
I call him squishy face for obvious reasons.  That squishy face feels so nice all pressed up against mine.  He knows how to handle endless kisses--even seems to like them.   Big sister Caroline is "teaching him to talk".  She focuses on "a" "agooo" and "oh" for now.  Their teacher-student sessions are a very serious time.  Ezra is teaching him how to read.  I used to hold that big boy in my lap and read to him at Henry's age.  What a long time ago!
And Henry is teaching Mommy all over again how hard this mothering business is.  I forget every time.  Not that I would trade it for anything in all the world.  The harder the job, the more enjoyment is gleaned.  And really, he also teaches me to slow down and enjoy his blessed little self.  In the midst of the busyness of older kids, the craziness of cooking meals, the work of cleaning and laundering, he needs me to STOP, sit down and feed him.  It's the perfect time to pause and count the little dimples on his tiny baby hands that will too soon turn into knuckles on giant boy paws.  The time to stroke the perfectly rounded curve of his cheek.  To hold those little fingers in mine.  To gaze into eyes begging for love.  And to enjoy the gift mommyhood once again. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Maternity Photos

These are extremely belated, but I know that someday I will have fun flipping back through the blog from these crazy "little years".  I always tell myself that even if all my files are ever stolen, at least I have what I managed to get blogged! 
 Aura is a "natural light" photographer, meaning that she doesn't use a flash and counts on the right timing for her pictures.  When we scheduled our photo shoot I told her that I thought this state park close to my parents' house and also to her house would be the best place.  I've mentioned before that Tadd proposed here at sunset--making it an extra special location.  We set the time for just before sunset.  The lighting turned out perfect as we walked down the hill through the trees.

 I love pregnancy.  Other than the first few "blah/icky" weeks and those last exhausting weeks, it's just such a special time.  Having my kids old enough to understand what was actually happening made it extra joyful this time around. 

 Aura had fun taking shots of the kids along with the belly.  It was a very hot day, so we knew the kids would end up in the water.

 At this point, of course, we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl to add to this little group.

 A little re-creation of our proposal moment--just as the sun was sinking behind the mountains.

 These sister shots are pretty special to me.  I still feel like I'm watching my own personal "sister experiment" since I never had one of my own growing up.  It's rather fun.  Except when it's not.

 And finally...a shot of the photographer and another one of our friends.  These ladies were very dear to me during high school.  Now we're all growed up!  Or, at least, we're older.  With kids of our own.  And we don't get to see each other very often, sniff, sniff. 
Now we'll try to get back to real time with blogging.  Thanks for coming along for the ride back in time!