Friday, June 28, 2013

Lassos, Triggers, and Spurs, Oh My

The wild west has arrived in our house. Harrison usually comes down the stairs in the morning with boots on, guns holstered, and hat on.
His creativity is off the charts as he wrangles cattle, chases down outlaws, and gallops his stick horse down the side walk. 
He walks proudly through the grocery store with his sheriff badge gleaming and tipping his hat with a nod at other shoppers.
Even though my bandana tied, vest wearing, and "howdy partner" little man is only four, I feel blessed to see glimpses of the man he is becoming.
His leadership skills, his protective instincts, his boldness, and bravery keep me proud and amazed. I feel so honored to be chosen to be this cowboy's momma as he keeps cattle hustlers and outlaws away from our homestead.
But we've still got some wild west skills to refine. I found him trying to wrangle Jefferson's legs with a lasso he created from his sweatshirt pull string so of course I wonder why he wants handcuffs so bad.
But for the most part he keeps his town clean and safe. Now to convince this handsome cowboy that his little brothers are not cattle nor are they on wanted posters :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Boy's Midsummer Dream

The long warm summer days have made for some very happy boys.
For the most part, our days are spent outside which gives great nap times and early betimes, large appetites, and extra laundry.
The boys can wrangle a hose like nobody's business, are leading engineers in mud race track design, and have eaten more popsicles than I have in my entire life.
Their little legs are covered in scrapes and bruises, their arms sport farmer's tans from their tank tops, and our bathtub is in constant use.
And I couldn't think of a better way to spend hot summer days than days than with these mud covered, sticky faced, war wound bragging, but very happy little men.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Becoming Extinct

Things My Boys Will Never Experience 
(Due to technological advances) 
House Phones: We just use cell phones so our boys will never hear a ringing home phone or twirl the cord nervously in their fingers as they call a girl, or miss dial a number and have to hang up and try again...
And for the matter answering machines: They'll never rush through the door after a day away to check the blinking light to see "messages waiting" and hoping it's a friend with a great idea to hangout.
VHS tapes: We were at a consignment sale and Harrison saw a stack of VHS tapes. He asked if they were blocks! Oh and let me just add, they will never know the torture of fast forward and rewind. They just plug in their DVD and it's ready to go.
Cassette tapes, walk-mans, CD's, and disc-mans: Well, truthfully we do own all of these and my boys have handled them all, but let's be honest, they are phasing out fast. When my boys want a new song we download it for $.99
But in this insane updating world there's just something about holding onto the "way it used to be". So I'm going to make sure my boys have homemade jam and bread, have Looney Tunes to watch, appreciate and send hand written notes, and know how to fix a cassette with a pencil...because it's the little things like that which make life full of rich memories.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mr. Two Months

My precious, handsome Wilson, you are already 2 months old! I was silly to think you would stay a baby long with two big brothers you are trying desperately to catch up to!
You are always up for an adventure. You love being worn in a sling or wrap as we head out into the wild (aka the grocery store, on a walk, etc.)
We can't get enough of your smiles and grins that seem to come up from the bottom of your toes. Your whole body gets into conversations as you wave your arms and legs while you attempt to make sounds and "talk".
You are in 6-9 month clothing, wear size 2 diapers, and closing the gap between you and Jefferson's foot size. I keep thinking you are older than you are since you are so big and long but I think you like it that way since you are destined to grow up fast.
You eat every three hours during the day and sleep 6-7 hour stretches at night, which by the way I can't thank you enough. You nap ok, but the amazing sleep-through-anything super powers you had are fading away as your brothers loud play filters into your dreams.
And I can't blame you for that. Whatever it is they are loudly banging, exploding, yelling, singing, or crashing is sure to be more fun than laying in crib in a room by yourself. Your big brothers can't wait for you to join their frivolity as they are constantly trying to include you in their imaginative play.
I've seen matchbox cars, Wii controllers, cowboy hats, and water pistols all left on or near you as your brothers make you part of the play. Just like your Daddy and me, I think they are pretty enamored with you. Wilson, you are the perfect little man to join this all boy party and we thank God for you every day! Each moment has been a gift and we are proud of the man you are becoming! We love you Wils!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Photo Fail

You know those Pinterest fails...the ones where you see the perfect example of the pin to achieve and then someone's tried-at-home followup with the sarcastic "nailed it" typed across the bottom of the ultra fail.
This is my Pinterest bombed, imploded, went down in flames. The dreamy photo of the sleeping newborn wearing his Daddy's necktie. What a great idea for a Father's Day present, I thought...that would be easy to accomplish, I thought...I could snap a few frames and prob get a decent shot, I thought...
I thought wrong. Let me just cover a few basics I didn't take into consideration. First, uncooperative weather forced an indoor photo shoot and throwing a sheet over the back of a bookcase for a backdrop wasn't cutting it, but it's all I had with my short time frame.
Secondly, in order to take cute pictures of boys wearing their Daddy's ties, one should probably know how to tie a tie. Guess what...I don't. Being an all boy mom I should probably learn this skill sooner than later but in the meantime my poor sons look like a British boy band in their silk scarves.
Third, with three crazy boys you're doing pretty good to get at least 2 of them happy in any picture so I was a bit presumptuous assuming I'd get three happy faces to frame. But of course it didn't help that Jefferson had a jar candle fall on his head during the session and even with hugs, kisses, and candy bribes decided he would continue the theatrics to be preserved in the photos for all times sake.
And then you've got the desired accessories to throw off the cute original idea. I had to wrestle away a shotgun and a football helmet from Harrison, boots and a belt from Jefferson, and Wils won with his paci so I wouldn't have 2 in tears.
The whole fiasco taught me many invaluable lessons...
1. Learn to tie a tie
2. Three kids in a picture means it takes 3 times as long to achieve a decent shot
3. The kids in the Pinterest pictures aren't real
4. My boys have the best Dad and the non-photographic rascals are super blessed to have him as an example of a superhero, a husband, and a father. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Growth Spurts

Jefferson has grown up overnight...literally. I've had to go buy a new summer wardrobe for the child. I'm sure his growth spurt is one for the record books.
He and Harrison are sharing clothes, shoes, and personalities of independence. I guess that is the growth that has amazed me the most.
It must come from having a big brother to keep up with but there is no pretend sword he can't wield or playground ladder he can't scale.
He is a man of few words and possesses a dry humor and an immense pleasure in making people laugh. His appetite has never been fully satisfied and I don't think I've seen him sit still...ever.
But for all of the climbing, jumping, slapstick falling, and unnaturally fast growing I can't help but get taken in by that mischievous toothy grin of his and sweep him into my arms for a cuddle.
Because that's who Jefferson is. My wild, independent, bruised knees, daredevil, comical cuddle bug and he'll never get too big for my arms.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Creation

For the past several months Harrison has been asking a ton of questions about Jesus, Heaven, salvation, and Hell. We've seen his little heart starting to search for God and have been praying over and for him. He would say he wanted Jesus to live in his heart, but would usually get hung up on the fact that it also meant giving up control of his life and surrendering all to God. Not being in control is something Harrison does not enjoy.
But then last night, in the midst of the bedtime rush of teeth brushing, pj changing, stuffed animal arranging, and cover tucking Harrison said, "I want Jesus in my heart, tonight, right now. I want to be with Him in Heaven." Matt and I felt our hearts burst in anticipation of the moment Harrison was ready to take that step towards eternity with Christ. Matt talked with him awhile to make sure Harrison understood exactly what he was doing.
Harrison patiently answered every question with solid truth, assurance, and readiness. So with Jefferson playing blocks, and Wilson cooing on the floor beside us, we held Harrison in our arms as he prayed in his own words, "Dear Jesus, please come in my heart. Please forgive my sins and take them all to the cross with you. Help me not sin anymore. Please let me come live in heaven. It's not about gold; it's about you God. Amen!"
As we all cheered, whooped and hollered, with tears in our eyes Harrison excitedly announced, "I'm a new Harrison!" Matt and I talked long into the night after we tucked our "new creation" into bed. Leading our child to Christ and seeing him born again is the most precious experience we have ever witnessed. I've never felt so in the presence of God as I did last night as our little boy approached the throne asking for God to forgive Him, accept Him, and reign in Him. Our hearts are full today and words fail us as we praise God for his gift of salvation, for sending His son to die in in order to save ours. Thank you Jesus!
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth!" 3 John 1:4
Happy Born Again Birthday Harrison!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

"America Man"

We were very blessed to spend some time with my uncle and cousins who are all accomplished military officers. When Harrison found out we were going to a "real army man's house" he was so excited he could hardly sleep the night before.
Harrison was starstruck upon meeting "the real army man" who he renamed "America Man". His admiration was evident as my uncle presented his sabre for Harrison to hold for a few minutes. It was as if he was cradling a newborn as he gently inspected the weapon.
Pride swelled through his entire frame as he shouldered the blade and stood at attention. True to Harrison fashion he had dozens of questions and soon learned how old he needed to be, where he needed to go, and how he needed to preform to one day own his own sabre and military rank.
As if Harrison's day could get any better, my uncle placed a military helmet on Harrison's head and saluted him when we left. I'm not exaggerating to say the helmet has not left his head nor has his talking non-stop about meeting his "Uncle America Man". Harrison has lined up his course load at West Point, has requested us to refer to him as "Captain", and is counting down the days until he is 18, graduates high school, and can go to "army man school."

Friday, June 7, 2013

Moment of Insanity

Memorial Day weekend we wanted to do something fun with the boys. We figured most Memorial Day celebrators would be standing around their grills in a backyard.
We figured wrong. Why we didn't put two and two together I don't know. We felt so honored to be able to observe Memorial Day in our nation's capitol so why not head into DC to explore.
Well, about 580,000 other tourists and veterans felt the same way. We boarded the metro near our house along with parade goers and baseball game attendees. Within 2 stops it was standing room only.
By the time we got to the zoo, the masses had swelled beyond what the sidewalks could hold and disappointment with humanity set in as full grown adults seem to have no problem bowling over my toddler to get by.
But the crowds didn't seem to bother the boys who can't ever get enough animal action. Jefferson is a tad obsessed with elephants these days so he was pretty excited for the up close encounter with the giants.
Harrison begged to see the octopus. But for some reason became gripped with fear by the time we approached the exhibit. He ended up face down on the floor between Matt's legs begging for his life from the 8 legged monster enclosed behind six inches of glass.
The day started getting long and little legs quickly gave out, but we thought that boys would really enjoy a sight of the "King of the Jungle" so we hiked on.
We got them all the way to the enclosure where Harrison obliged me with a picture with a tiger - notice there is no tiger behind him. But with 50,000 people behind me trying to get to the rail for their own glimpse of the striped cat we had to snap and run...oh well.
And then we came to the main event, the massive lion we just knew the boys would go crazy over. And you notice how there are no boys pictured here? Because there was a water fountain nearby, that's right a water fountain. And to two crazy boys with a huge imagination, the splashing fountain was way more enticing than a lazy jungle cat. 
So lessons learned...the nation's capital will probably be crowded on national holidays, and when looking for some free entertainment for kids, just add water.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Guy Time

Being an all boy mom I'm learning a lot about the way guys bond, and let me tell you, it's not by going shopping and talking over a skinny vanilla latte at the coffee shop.
These guys simply want to be side by side, just hanging out, with sometimes no talking at all. Skip the deep heart to hearts, the line of thought provoking questions, and just get down in the floor with the Xbox.
Matt and Harrison can play shoulder to shoulder for 30 minutes and somehow communicate every emotion of mutual respect, admiration, love, and gratitude for the other having never said a word.
And as a wife, mom, and a girl, this is amazing and all around just neat to observe. Since I've never been a "hang out and talk for hours on the phone, etc" girl this works pretty well for me too.
Already we've gone on side by side jogs, reading books, hiking, watching a movie, or making dinner without a long line of dialogue. It's after these quiet interactions I most clearly see the men they will become emerging. 
 It's because I know how little men say that the words they choose to express are the most precious. So when they put their arms around me and say, "I love you so much, Mom", I know they mean it and that's all I need to hear.