Thursday, August 29, 2013

This Blue-Eyed Boy

Dear Jeff-Baby, let me first just say, "those eyes!" Those baby blues get me every time. You turn your sweet face my direction, flashing those liquid pools and I'm helplessly lost.
You are a sweet heart. You long to please and help. You are my right arm as you take initiative to jump in and help out if you see me working on something.
While you are a huge book fan and can work the mess out of some Crayola's, you certainly stand your ground and hold your own with your big brother being fully capable and skilled in all things tackle and tumble.
You are now into baseball and football totally giving your Daddy reason to celebrate at yet another sports fan in the house. You love bikes, skate boards, and scooters- the faster the better.
Recently your toys of choice have included matchbox cars, train tracks, basketball, and water guns. You are addicted to "yo-ho" ( Jake and the Neverland Pirates) and love singing, loud and long!
We had your two year check up this week. You weigh 28lbs and are 31 inches tall. The doctor asked you what healthy food is your favorite thing to eat and you said, "Poptarts!" Thanks for giving away our secret ;)
You sleep in, you play hard, you are tough, and you are brave. But you never run too far before you come crashing in my lap for a cuddle and I'll eat that up as long as you want.
J-Man, you are such a blessing to me and Daddy. You are an incredible part of our little family we cherish and we couldn't be more proud of the man you are growing into. We love you Jeff Baby!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In-Line

They are already wild and crazy. We've already had stitches and splints, so why would we strap wheels to them?
But it's a right of passage. Every kid needs to nail their backside on the wooden floor of a skating rink a few times in their life.
It's one of my favorite memories growing up; the homeschool skating days. In some ways it feels like I was just there in my own skates speeding around the floor to some 90's hit song.
And now I'm the mom standing there trying not to cringe as my little guy crosses 6 lanes of skating traffic to hang with the big kids.
And to me, that lone white shirt clad skater at the opposite end of the rink still looks like my little baby, so alone being passed by bigger and faster kids.
But he's growing up and fast. Mr. Inpendent skated off around the rink with his head held high and I couldn't have been more proud to watch this step of manhood.
Though if I have to be honest, I loved seeing his little face look around for me every time he circled the rink. And that's all he needed, just to find my eyes and see my approval and pride in him.
And that's all I needed too. That and no broken bones from wheels being strapped to his feet.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What They Heard

I'm sure there are times when we are standing in the check out line at the store we create a crazy scene. One momma busily trying to load the belt with groceries and three loud boys each with their own opinions, "I'm hungry," "I'm tired," "My knee itches," "*crying*"...
But regardless of the chaotic appearance and noise volume we really do have it together, we're not completely losing it, I'm not pulling my hair out, and we are having a blast at life. But I guess people just don't see it that way.
Because I no sooner start crossing the parking lot towards the store entrance with my three little men and the comments start coming. I've gotten pretty good at being able to guess what each stranger is going to say and could almost recite right along with them.
"You've got your hands full!" "I bet you never get a moment to yourself!" "How do you make it through the day sane?!" "Don't you just feel like you are going crazy with all these boys?" "You just wait 'til they're teenagers and they'll have you pulling your hair out!"
I can almost feel 3 pairs of perfect little blue eyes trained on their momma waiting for her response. And in that second I realize I also have three pair of perfect little ears listening for those comments to be validated or refuted. And so I have the public opportunity to show my boys how my life is only made richer by them and their existence.
So I politley let the strangers down with my praise and public admiration for my boys and life with them. If those opinionated shoppers thought I would join in agreeing with their comments of stress and misery I leave them dissapointed. Because what my boys need to hear is how wrong those comments are; how much they are loved, wanted, and cherished and how there is never a second I'd wish for anything different.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blog Stalker

I admit, I stalk my own blog. But it's kinda like my photo album, scrapbook, and baby memory books all rolled into one place. So occasionally I'll scroll through the past four years, shed a few tears over how fast they've grown, go give them a few thousand hugs and kisses, and write another post about the craziness they created that day.
And then I came across this post...wow! This was almost a year before we even knew of Wilson's existence and yet somehow my then 2 year old already knew of the three brothers. I'm glad God told Harrison about "the third boy" and maybe he'll have the gift of prophecy, but if he starts talking about the puppy we're missing then I'm totally calling his bluff :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

4 Month Wils

My handsome Wils, I'm almost certain I just took your 3 month pictures. I no sooner get them uploaded and you turn around and grow another month older. This is just not allowed and needs to stop.
Right about a year ago today I stood in the health section of Target. I'm not 100% positive about what your brothers were doing but to say Harrison was probably rearranged boxes of feminine products and Jefferson was consuming his body weight in fruit snacks wouldn't be too far from accurate.
And me? Well I stood there staring at the boxes of tests before me questioning if I even needed to buy one. But I'm glad I did and I'm glad God had bigger plans than me because I have no idea what we would be without you and you are a very needed and loved part of this family.
And so a year after I found out you were on your way here you are making life richer and fuller in all your sweet ways. Everyday you I get to know you better and I love every minute and everything about you.
You are set on jumping a few milestones and going straight for toddlerhood, but with two wild and crazy big brothers making staircase diving and sofa hurdling look so much fun why would you want to lay around in a bouncy seat.
You hate laying around period. You are much happier in any upright and standing position and will only sit back for dinnertime in which you consume a whole bowl of cereal faster than what I consider humanly possible. You then let the entire neighborhood know of your displeasure of the food being all gone.
You don't cry...well you hardly cry and that's a good thing because with your big brothers I'm kinda playing triage to see who needs the urgent attention. It helps that you are pretty passive and laid back so I know that if you are crying something is really bothering you, except for when your food is all gone and then you just have to work through that yourself.
At your check up a few weeks ago you were 14 1/2lbs and about 24" long. You eat every four hours and have started on some solids but I'm thinking we are going to need to launch into baby food world since today you grabbed my sandwich out of my hands and stuffed it in your mouth. You seemed very pleased with yourself and loved chewing on every last crumb I let you keep in there.
And speaking of grabbing...my hair, jewelry, sunglasses, and cell phone have all been victims of your endless curiosity. So I've offered the plethora of baby rattles, rings, and chew thingies we have around here and you reach right past them for the army men your brothers are having way more fun with.
You grab my face with your sweet little hands and smother me with kisses. You talk loud and long for several minutes every night at bedtime. I'm pretty sure this is because your brothers are in bed and you have some undivided attention and you're taking full advantage of it. You are getting more sturdy with your sitting up and on the border of army crawling. You have been rolling over several weeks now from front to back mainly.
Today I just packed away another load of outgrown clothing and pulled out all the nine month stuff. It's bittersweet to pack away the little things. While it's scary how fast you are growing I'm even more excited to see who you become. I'm excited to see how God uses your sweet personality, your laid back composure, and your determination. I'm captivated by that sly grin of yours and I love you more than words can say. I'm so proud of you my four month Wils!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Misleading the Public

Don't get any wrong impressions. I realize pictures can be misleading and provide cropped little windows into sane and quiet moments of life. I also realize I tend to write about the positive, the laughable, and the endearing moments of day to day with three boys.
But you would hear anything but quiet and calm interaction if pictures had sound. You would think my boys never heard the word "gentlemen" if you saw them at the grocery store, and you might wonder if I glue them in place to get the pictures I do.
There are days I can't remember the last time I heard myself think. There are days I'm convinced the boys will never get along much less like each other. There are days toys are broken, clothes are stained, and the amount of messes outweighs time to clean them up.
And amidst the chaos and wrestling matches I find myself amused and thankful. I like the noise and the mess, it means life is taking place. I like watching disputes get worked out, it means character is growing. I like the crazy because it means blessings, my blessings that I get to watch turn into men before my eyes.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Faith That Moves Rainstorms

 Once upon a Saturday the road trip was planned, the route was mapped, the picnic was packed, and some very excited boys were slathered with sunscreen and clutching sand pails and shovels.

The drive was filled with sandcastle dreams and deep sea planning and there was never a happier coastal bound carload. 

Prayers had been poured out for years to be back close to the ocean and God answered the desire of their hearts.

The ocean awaited them, just a day trip away.
 The best part of a waterfront excursion is the first glimpse of the wide expanse of water beckoning as you arrive. The gentle waves tossed in play and the boys wiggled to get free. Their giddy toes flew across the sand towards the water's edge.

And then the Heavens opened.
 Lightning flashed, thunder peeled, and the rain poured.
 Sweet little faces clouded over in pure ache as tears left trails through the unneeded sunscreen.
The car was once again filled, but this time with the deepest heartache a child could express from mourning the end of an adventure.
The backseat pleaded not to drive away but to just sit and watch the rain pelt the surface of the sea.
 And the Daddy wiped his oldest son's tears and talked to him of things beyond our control. He charged his sons to keep hearts that praise God in spite of washed out plans, for God has a reason for the sun and the rain.  "Talk to God," he said, "it's ok to be sad and to ask for something else, but He alone is God and we'll praise Him no matter what."
And that's when faith from our boy, the teary eyed four year old, spoke through the thunder, "Let's pray."

 
 "Dear God, I know you created the Heaven and the Earth and you made everything. You made the rain today, but please can you stop it. I really wanted to go swimming and digging in the sand. But even if you don't stop the rain, I will praise you because I love you. In Jesus Name, Amen."






And so they drove, just up the coastline meandering through
seaside cottages and back streets of historic homes.

They ate their picnic lunch from car seats and the picnic blanket remained folded in the trunk.

The rain poured through the gray blanket over the water and thunder continued to sound out across the sky.


And faith grew in the backseat that God would stop the rain and he begged us to just stay a little longer. "Don't worry Bud," the Daddy said, "we aren't going anywhere."

 They pulled back into a parking space and stared at the now emptied beach.

And for some reason, in spite of the clouds the car load was perfectly content to watch the rippled surface of the waters.

And that's when it moved...that's when faith moved.

That's when faith moved the rainstorms.



In the distance a brighter spot fought desperately to escape it's cloudy prison and the faith continued to grow. They made a dash through the rain into a beach shop to create some fun of exploring through overpriced picture frames and table lamps. The parents kept careful watch of that growing hope in the sky.

 The spot turned from gray to white. It grew from distant to right above. And then the blue broke free and victoriously screamed it's freedom all the way to the watery horizon.


 The sun chased away the blustery chilling rain and warmed the sand to invite us in as we all literally ran out of that shop and onto the beach that now stood drenched in a beautiful summer's day.

Our once broken hearted boy now danced along the water's edge in pure joy unlike I've ever seen. The kind of joy that belongs before the throne of his Maker.

The kind of joy that pours directly from a heart overflowing with thankfulness.

The kind of joy that had faith to move rainstorms but was willing to find contentment in the storm.

 

And the Daddy lead them in prayer, right there on the warm sand that had been pooled in rain puddles just minutes before. They thanked their Heavenly Father for choosing to stop the rain and providing them a day at the beach. They praised Him for granting a little boy's heart's desire, the little boy who's heart was grown enough in faith to know God alone could stop the rainstorms.
And the sky had never been more blue and water had never been more inviting as the sand castle dreams took shape and waves were conquered. The day that faith moved rainstorms has been branded onto their hearts. The oceanfront has always been where they felt God closest, but their Abba-sent sunshine gift that provided a seaside worship service and set their four year old dancing for joy in the presence of His Maker made this place truly magnificent. 
And they lived sandy and salt sprayed ever after for the rest of the day.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

That's What He Said...Again

Everyone should be so lucky to be able to take a walk with Harrison. The kid talks non-stop, but not in a nonsensical way. He is philosophical, inventive, imaginative, and puts complicated matters in a simple order.
In just a few minutes of walking you'll be laughing, listening, and pondering your own worldview as Harrison has innocently made you question why you see things the way you do.
Me: (In response to his questioning) Because I said so.
Harrison: You know Mom, "Because I said so", really doesn't make a lot of sense.
Harrison: Did you know the real Captain America lived a long time ago? He didn't have a mask or a shield, but he was a president!
Me: Cool! What was his real life name when he wasn't being Captain America?
Harrison: George Washington!
Harrison: I want to go on a date with just you mom.
Me: I would love that! Where will we go on our date?
Harrison: I would take you to Chick-Fil-A for lunch and then we would take a class!
Me: What kind of class?
Harrison: The one you have to take to be able to carry a gun around with you anywhere you go.
Harrison: I've been praying about what God wants me to be when I get bigger and I still don't really know everything, but I do know one part. I'm very sure God wants me to be a leader. So I don't know what kind of leader though; maybe a police man leader, a soldier leader, a motorcycle leader, I don't know. But I'm going to be a leader!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Finger Lickin' Paint

Energy is at an all-the-time high around here. It only slows down if one of the boys is sick and even then they stay in full drive. 
Most days you can find us headed into the woods for hike and to explore all things creepy-crawlie or mud and dirt covered.
But then there's the day when weather just won't cooperate and all that energy gets taken out on my innocent couches and pillows and occasionally the other brother.
So it was that type of day when I found myself googling "edible finger paints", And lo and behold, there were other mothers who've had the same type of day, figured out a recipe, and saved the rest of us by putting it on the world wide web!
The boys' curiosity got the best of them and they stood excitedly by as I created a bright colored batch and got a tarp. They climbed up and dove right in, literally...Jeff stuck his finger in the bright red goo and popped it straight in his mouth. I was feeling thankful the adjective "edible" at that point.
Energy flew through poster sized creations as little fingers licked and painted and licked some more. It was all fun and games until is became body paint. Once bright blue war paint started striping chests and legs I called bath time, you know, before my innocent couches not only got jumped on, but dyed a new color as well.

Edible Finger Paint
4 Tbsp sugar
1/3 Cup corn starch
2 Cups water
food coloring

Stir sugar and cornstarch together in medium saucepan, add water and stir well. Place over medium heat and stir until thickened (once it starts to bubble you are there). Pour into separate bowls and tint each your desired colors. Will keep in refrigerator in air tight container for one week.