Monday, March 25, 2013

Play of the Day

Carson is growing so fast and each month I see he has mastered a new skill or climbed a new high spot or learned a new word or has a new favorite thing to do. If I had to sum up this kid in one word it would be...moves! Always moving forward it seems, moving in place, and moving towards being a big boy. I guess God knew he would not fill the shoes as "baby" in this family for very long, because he never really enjoyed the baby stage of his life and he is always trying to do what his big brothers are doing and stay caught up with me around the house. But for today, he is still my baby boy and these are a few of his latest faves...

He loves to wear our shoes and walk around the house in them. Doesn't matter the style or size...just not his and often times during the day.

He loves to a.) climb up on the kitchen counter 50 times a day, b.) track Dad's pop cup and steal sips, c.) wear his pajamas all day so he doesn't have to sit still to get dressed

Austin is often found pushing some sort of wheeled toy through the house...and lately Carson has got a kick out of trying to follow him with his own. When he sees Austin he will run over to the toy basket, find his train or a garbage truck, and rush back to get right behind Austin. It's pretty cute for me...Austin doesn't always appreciate it :)

Slides! Carson and Austin have the most fun going down over and over together. However, Carson usually prefers to jump from the top of the slide into someone's arms.

And here he is "hiding". His latest thing is to sit some place very quietly and wait to be found. He loves this old canister, the nook behind his dresser, behind my bed, and in his brother's room. The best part is he doesn't think you can see him until you make eye contact with him, in which case he then falls into a fit of giggles and I quickly forgive him for the total mess he created just minutes before this new game :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

30 weeks! Oh, Baby!

 Mama & Baby Girl (30 weeks)

Baby Girl is a good 30 weeks and a few days old... she is starting to get cramped in there as I have started to feel her little toes nudge me just under my ribs and feel her finger tips on the outskirts of my expanding belly. I still am in a little shock that this baby is a girl and is coming home to our house full of boys. I am so excited to meet her though and just as excited to see my wildly fun bunch of boys learn to love on a little lady.

This pregnancy has been a little tiring, but I suppose with three at home and chasing a 1 year old will make growing a baby a little more challenging. I keep waiting for my "burst of energy" I read about towards the end of the 2nd trimester/early 3rd trimester and I'm afraid I just may not see that this round. Oh well, summer is around the corner and I'm thankful for warm days, slower schedules, and backyard afternoons to just hold my new baby and watch my big boys play their little hearts out.

I had another ultrasound today and it was so fun to see her all scrunched up kicking away and waving to us. The poor thing has no hair yet and I have been measuring a couple weeks early...we just might get to meet her sooner then later! 3rd trimester will pass by quickly and she will be be here soon! Time to wash up the pink and start nesting!!

Dollar Days

The last couple years we have been in town for spring break and it worked out that our local museums held their dollar days at the same time. It's a pretty good deal, if you don't mind a little crowd and want to get the kids out for something different. We packed up and headed to the Imaginarium and will probably check out a different one tomorrow! Spring Break week has been a nice break from normal daily life, but I think we are ready for spring to show up for a real break from these cold days!!!!

 Plenty to do...

 Plenty to try...

 Plenty to touch...

 Plenty to see...

 Plenty to climb... (for an one year old at least :)

 Plenty to practice...

 Plenty to find...

 Plenty to move...

 Plenty to pull...

 Plenty to make...

 Plenty of fun...

 ...and for a dollar a can you beat it!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

He's 9!

Jaxon spent his 9th birthday mostly at school, but we made some fun happen for him before and after and he fell into bed that night an exhausted new 9 year old. This last year has been a transition year I would say... leaving behind some child like ways and trying to sort through a wave of new emotions, feelings, responsibilities, and relational experiences. 3rd grade has proven to be a year of good challenges that have helped him gain some new habits and it feels a bit weird to have my boy at such a place in childhood. He's a great kid...does well in school, can be super helpful, very responsible, a kind friend, has a heart for God, is fun to play with, and always up for an adventure...a little emotional at times, but continues to stretch us as parents and a great first-born! We sure love him and all God is showing us through him. Happy 9th year, buddy!

 Jax is often found jamming to his tunes. And I feel old, as our interests are a bit different and I hear myself saying every day... "Turn it down". Morning of his birthday here...up before everyone like usual, earphones on, and Pandora already spinning.

 Austin was way into getting his big brother a present. He knew exactly what he wanted to get for him ad never backed down...

 We start all our birthdays off with a special requested breakfast and a few gifts from us. This years choice...waffles with M & M's and OJ.

 Birthday picture! (The skate-board was from Austin...he is so excited to learn with him)

 After school we let Jaxon have some friends over... it was crazy!

 9 3rd grade boys...loud, sweaty, laughing, competitive, wrestling, basketball, dance party... and eating lots of snacks.

 A fun bunch!!

 A wild bunch! :)

 Jaxon had a fun afternoon...we went out for his birthday dinner and came home to snuggle in for a movie night slumbering it up in our bedroom.  His dad is treating him and a couple friends to an Iowa game tonight for his "party" this year,already starting off well...Happy 9th year to our boy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

8 year old high-lights

Our firstborn turns 9 tomorrow! What a growing year this last one has been. As I look back through pictures I am reminded just how small our big boy is, yet also very ready to step into bigger roles as a little person developing his own personality and character. A few high-lights from his year as an 8 year old...

 He started to play basketball a bit more consistently with a great group of other boys... it has been fun watching these guys learn the basics of the sport and have fun while they do it.

 Jaxon isn't one to jump right in to making himself feel too out of place...but mixed up clothes day at school got him last spring! He had fun with it :)

 Jax finished 2nd grade dual-enrolled between public school and home-school. We loved working outside all spring!!

 And he performed in his first ever play. His Youth Art Team researched, wrote, and performed the play on the Five Sullivan Brothers. Super fun! Great group!! (They are back in session this spring...follow their photography project at )

 Friends are becoming more important this past year. I've seen the draw towards them more as he wants to have friendships and be part of a circle of peers. 

 And it is never too late to train them to be romantic :) Even if it means all your yard flowers are picked! A surprise bouquet from my boy...melt my heart.

 He also every so often will write one of us a little note... this one for his Dad today.

 Who can forget the chic fun we had arrive this last year? Jax was awesome as soon as they arrived and he has kept feeding/watering care over them ever since... we're working on the "do everything without complaining, as if working for the Lord" lesson some days :)

 Being 8 brought a little more responsibilities... a good helper he can be when he wants to!

 His competitive side still comes out daily. This last summer he ran the Sturgis race and was beat by a...girl! He is determined to win this year :)

 You can often find him with one of his little brothers on his back...piggy back rides or wrestling or spinning around or flopping them onto our bed. 

And my big boy has been having some cooking and baking lessons this last year.  I started by buying box desserts for him to practice following directions and learning measurements. He has done really well...this kid can whip up a homemade apple pie with me pretty darn quick these days!! I love having him alongside me in the kitchen.

A few more to come!

Friday, March 8, 2013

final snow days

While the snow we've had fall the last couple weeks has been pretty, I won't be too sad when it goes. We are ready to see green in our yard, go outside without bundling up in 3 layers, and open our windows to feel the breeze and hear the birds sing. That being said...we've had some pretty fun outside days too over the last few weeks with what I hope is the last of the white stuff. What a fun winter in many ways as all three of our boys could go outside and enjoy the fresh air and snow piles. My favorites are when we made it over to our local nature center to sled through the trails and the days the wind was down, sun was out, and and new fluffy snow was around to kick around in. This is my final snow I am done with this season and ready for the next. Waiting patiently... :)

 Carson was 18 months old this day! He has become such a busy little boy, but also has such a sweet side. Follows me around, gives hugs, loves to snuggle and read books, do little hand activities like building or sorting or sensory art, loves to dance, jump on his brother's bed, and be outside. Sweet, wildly fun and busy boy!

 This dog loves to play in the snow... And Austin loves to chase her!

 Austin eating snow...we've had too many conversations about "clean" snow and "dirty" snow. Boys!

 Boys being boys...on top of the chicken coop, screeching in pure fun and laughter. Love every thing about it.

 More outside fun!

 A little tunnel building with pals...

 Jaxon is a master tunnel builder and his little brothers sure appreciate it! (as does his 7 month pregnant Mama!! :)

 We had no school due to conferences last week, so we had some friends over to play for a bit. Made my heart swell as I saw my boys fill their morning with outside fun with their buddies. After a very long morning of snow fun, we warmed up by a fire and freshly baked monster cookies...yum!

Thank you, Mother Nature, for so many beautiful days these past few months...memories of little ones playing outside in the snow and hiking through snow covered woods. It has been a gift to us all... we are so excited to see our next gift of green grass and colored flowers displayed across the same ground!