Thursday, March 8, 2018

Just Because

Just because I think this picture is so cute...
here is a daily dose of Maxwell for you.

A few other random things to note:

-Yesterday I bought grapes for the first time since probably last summer. Maxwell evidently didn't remember eating them and triumphantly held one up in the air proclaiming, "Ball!" I ate a couple to demonstrate how good they were and encouraged him to put one in his mouth, but he would just suck on it for a minute and then spit it out whole without breaking it open. To show him how it was on the inside, I broke one in half and placed a half in his mouth. He quickly realized he loved them, but now will only eat them if they are halved! He can't seem to wrap his head around the idea that he could actually eat a "ball."

-Sam was out of town for the first half of the week. Wesley cried for a good half hour before we dropped him off at the airport. I asked him why he was crying and he said, "Sometimes I have nothing to do and I want Daddy to play with me!" I told him I would play with him and he replied, "You have a baby in your tummy! So you can't do anything!" Ouch. I asked him what I couldn't do and he said, "Play sports!" wonder my sports-loving boy thinks his mom is pretty lame at the moment when compared to his Daddy who willingly plays tackle football in the backyard.

-Speaking of baby, he seems to be doing well! The boys were giggling tonight as they watched him pushing hard against my stomach. I told them he was saying, "Let me out! Let me out! I want to meet my brothers!" and they were delighted. The doctor says he "feels like a little baby." We shall see...the midwives expected Maxwell to only be about 8 lbs (and he was over 10), but I do feel like I'm not quite as uncomfortable with this one as I was with Maxwell, although I find it rather difficult to compare pain levels from the past.

-Because Sam is the greatest, he often acts out scripture stories with the boys which greatly increases their ability to recall the stories. From a pretty epic Samuel the Lamanite to the dramatic deception of Lehonti, Sam and the boys can often be found immersed in the scriptures on Sundays. The other day Lincoln came running in all decked out in armor and said to me with great passion, "I am Nephi! Where shall I go to bu-tain food?" That little reversal of "obtain" delighted me.

-Talmage is LOVING Cub Scouts. He has really great leaders who do so much for him and his brothers are beyond jealous about all the fun activities he gets to do. He recently had to make a cake for the Blue & Gold Banquet without any female help...and since Sam had a crazy week at work, he did it essentially on his own with only verbal coaching from me. It had to fit the theme, "Chivalry is not dead," and all decorations had to be edible. He mixed up and baked the cake, made ganache to top it with, made rice krispie treats and sculpted a knight helmet out of them, and then frosted the helmet with a little help from Sam.  He was pretty pleased with his cake!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Good for my Soul

This weekend was so good for my soul...
I forget how much warm, sunshine-y weather with a light breeze breathes life into my soul.
And then Spring comes again each year and I am startled by the peace I feel as I soak in the sun's glorious rays and watch the world burst into bloom around me.

This weekend was filled with good friends at the park, family night out at Cici's pizza, another park outing, a great book, a morning with Wesley at an art class in the midst of a stunning array of gardens, frozen yogurt, sports in the backyard, two much-needed naps, friends over for dinner, beautiful testimonies, peace-giving music, Aunt Breanne's book club on FaceTime, and a Spirit-filled evening as we watched The Testaments and then read in 3 Nephi about Christ coming to visit the people in the land Bountiful.

All this was done with a backdrop of blossoming trees around every corner, showcasing their blossoms through the forests that surround us with leaves budding on the countless tree branches and grass that is beginning to turn green again.
(Side note: is it totally weird that I am filled with joy whenever I smell fertilizer? Something about that chemical blend just fills me with satisfaction and peace!)

Springtime in Tennessee is not disappointing me,
and this lovely land is feeling more like home by the minute.

Also:  Baby boy #5 is due just 6 WEEKS from tomorrow! We can do this!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Walkin' in Memphis

Last month my sister called and informed me that she had purchased a plane ticket to come visit us over Martin Luther King Day!
I was thrilled.
One of the best things about living away from family is the out-of-town visitors and associated fun events!
It gives us a good excuse to get out and see the sites around us.

So I was really disappointed when her flight was cancelled on our first snow day of the year.
(There ended up being 4!)
Thankfully she was able to arrange things so that she was still able to come the next day, but it ended up being a long flight with a long layover from an airport far away from her home, instead of the direct flight from the airport right by her house she had initially booked.
It was an exhausting day for her, but she finally made it here and my boys were so excited to see her they ran out to greet her barefoot in the snow.

We had all kinds of activities planned for the 3 days she would be with us.
We started the weekend with a trip to Beale Street with Sam to experience the traditional BBQ and live blues music Memphis is famous for.
We froze and slipped and slid on the ice while Sam took pictures of us.
We tried the fried pickles and laughed again over the need to tip the bathroom attendant who squirted soap on my sister's hands.
And then we raced home to get the babysitter to her next babysitting job.

The next day we had Stake Conference, and afterward Breanne and I took the oldest three boys on an excursion to Little Rock to see the high school and memorial where the Little Rock Nine became the first black students to desegregate a school in the United States.
It was a sobering sight to see and I was grateful to Breanne for taking the initiative to introduce them to more of our nation's history. Increased diversity is something I've really appreciated since moving here!
The boys were troopers for the 5-hour round-trip drive with little besides a few snacks and some music to entertain them, but by the end my sister and I were asking for a few minutes of "quiet time" every so often...
We came home and Sam, who had kept Maxwell at home, had made us all pancakes and we enjoyed dinner together.

And then everything spiraled downhill.

A sickness I had been fighting through the past couple of days escalated drastically and combined with a pre-existing condition I have that is always greatly exacerbated by pregnancy and then everything snowballed into the flu on top of it all.
I ended up spending the next day in the ER, Breanne saw the sites in Memphis by herself, Sam spent his work holiday entertaining the boys and trying to take care of me, and finally I bid Breanne farewell from bed, where I spent the next several days in a fevered haze completely racked with pain.
Sam stayed home from work and the boys got more snow days while I lay delirious and medicated in the bedroom, shaking violently from head to toe.
It was a scary time for us as we tried to figure out what was going on and what we needed to do...
we were incredibly grateful and relieved when I turned the corner and began to improve.

I am sad that Breanne's trip didn't end up being quite the adventure we had planned,
but hopefully that just gives her more reason to visit us in the near future!

Today after Lincoln's reading lesson he turned to me and exclaimed,
"You didn't fall asleep!! Thank you!"
And then this evening he stuck his stomach out and exclaimed,
"I have a baby in my tummy! I am sooo sleepy because I am pregnant!"
Clearly I'm winning at this pregnant-mom thing.
There's no doubt we're ALL very happy about the fact that there are just 7 weeks left until this little guy's due date!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Cheesiest

This boy...he hit 18 months and I feel like the baby phase melted completely away,
leaving us with a hilarious toddler packed full of personality.
He LOVES to make us laugh.
Right now one my favorite things he does is his super-cheesy grin with his nose scrunched and eyes closed.
He was eating a chocolate chip cookie yesterday and I was so very pleased when I caught it on camera!

He is talking more and more, although he almost never says words when I ask him to...they have to be initiated by him the vast majority of the time.
He kicks a soccer ball across the yard repeatedly while running like a little 3-year-old which completely cracks me up.
He helps me with tools and loves trying to unload the dishwasher himself.
And he is FINALLY being a pretty consistent sleeper. (!!!!!!)

My toughest stage has passed and now I am soaking up my time with him as the baby before his new baby brother arrives. I delight in the way he grabs a book, turns himself around, and plops down in my lap. I kiss his soft cheeks about a hundred times a day. I adore his love for his daddy.
And those eyes...I can never fail to mention those deep, dark eyes that capture my heart.

Monday, February 19, 2018


A few Lincolnisms lately:

-"I know why they call it 'Chick-fil-a!!' Because it makes you FULL! Get it? Chick-FULL-a?"

-Lincoln was disobeying and having a hard time. Sam asked him why he was behaving the way he was and Lincoln replied, "Well, um...well...I just...well....................I am happy!"

-I asked him what his favorite thing about Tennessee is and he said, "Well, our Tennessee house is the worst and...our Fruit Heights house is the best..." I asked him why and he said "I miss Jen." Jen was our middle-aged next-door neighbor, who Lincoln maybe talked to a grand total of two times... I guess she left an impression?

-While playing in the backyard, Lincoln began chewing on a piece of grass and said, "Mmm! Mommy, these grass clippings are the most delicious ones I have ever tasted! Thank you so much for moving to this house because it is so big and the grass clippings are so good!!"

-The missionaries came over for dinner and after the prayer I stepped into the kitchen for a moment to take something out of the oven. From the dining room I heard him say matter-of-factly to the elders (with regards to dishing up food), "Mommy is always first because she makes the so yummiest food."

I simply love this boy and his energy and enthusiasm.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Thank You for Being Kind

Today our Family Home Evening lesson was centered on Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's talk,
We discussed the importance of having a good attitude even when things are difficult
and how we have been commanded to be grateful in all things.
I shared a story with the boys about a time when I was in college and it seemed that everything was going wrong...I was sick for much of the semester, my brand new bike was stolen, a cinder block fell out of a car onto my foot and I hobbled around campus with a boot on while slipping on the ice...
my roommate and I decided one day that we should make some cute "thankful" signs to hang in our room to remind us of all we had to be grateful for. And the more we wrote, the more we felt the comfort of the Spirit and the hard things seemed far less important.

After family scripture study tonight, Talmage said,
"Mom, the kids at school call my friend F-A-T, but I like him because he does what Elder Wirthlin said to do...he makes the best of it and just laughs along with them."
He told us that he never makes fun of him and that this boy is very smart and confident.
My heart simultaneously broke for this sweet boy and swelled with gratitude that our son was not joining in the name calling. I know all too well that regardless of his good attitude, this boy will be affected for life by the unkind teasings of his peers.
I know that he will likely carry the label of "fat" with him throughout the rest of his life.
I know that even though he laughs right along with them, a wound is probably forming that will take a great deal of time and effort to heal.

And so as I sat next to Talmage's bed, rubbing his back and telling him good night, I said,
"Thank you for being a good friend and for being kind. I'm glad you're smart, and I'm glad you're healthy, but I'm even more glad you're kind."

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

His Sweet Disposition and Gray Hair

Last week Wesley celebrated 100 days of Kindergarten by dressing up like a 100-year-old man.
I was a slacker and didn't get white hair spray, so...sidewalk chalk for the win!
It didn't work all that well, but I think they got the general idea. :)

Wesley has such a sweet, calm disposition.
Tonight I was reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Farm to him and Lincoln while we waited for Talmage to get home from Scouts with Sam,
and Wesley suddenly said, "Mom, while you were reading I couldn't help but smile because I love you so much...and I love when you read to us."
He wrapped his arms around me and gave me a squeeze and rolled closer to cuddle up with me.
My mind wandered to what a blessing his sweet, affectionate, steady disposition has been over the past year with so many changes and transitions. Sometimes I fear I neglect him a little because he is so easy-going and content.
He is happy and positive and mellow and he just enjoys life.

I'm so grateful this sunshine-y boy entered our lives almost 6 1/2 years ago.
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