Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Megan: A 30 for 30 Original

Megan,

I have not always known you.

(Like when you looked like this.)

I have only been with you for about a third of your life (maybe known you for almost half), and the boys for much less than that, but you have meant a lifetime to us.  Here are just a few of the little things you are and do that we are thankful for you about.

(Disclaimer: The fact that there are 30 items in this list should not be read into and any perceived coloration to the years of your life is purely coincidental.)
  1. That you give me food – H & J
  2. That you sing with me – J
  3. That you swing with me – H
  4. That you work so hard to take care of the home all day long, 24 hours a day, 365.25 days a year - M
  5. That you take care of me – H
  6. That you fix me honey tea when I’m sick - M
  7. That you give me my airplane and blue blanket – J & H
  8. That you fix my favorite foods all year round
  9. That you watch TV/movies with me – J
  10. That you love me and you like me - M
  11. That you give me bandanas when I’m sick – H
  12. That you that you listen to my long, complicated, boring, lawyer stories - M
  13. That you fix me water – J
  14. That you fix my Lego/Transformer at the drop of a hat when you are trying to do something else – H
  15. That you read me books (over and over and over) – J
  16. That you support my dreams – M
  17. That you like when I give you flowers – J
  18. That you are the most B-E-A-Utiful woman in the world – M
  19. That you play Legos with me – H
  20. That you have an exuberant, glass-half-full, glow that you infuse all of us around you with – M
  21. That you hold me and hold my hand – J
  22. That you keep my clothes cleaned and pressed – M
  23. That you hold me or let me ride in the cart when my feet hurt – H
  24. That you watch sports with me – M
  25. That you take time to just sit with me – H
  26. That you tell me stories (over and over and over) – J
  27. That you make cookies with me – J & H
  28. That you have put up with me for 10 years and are willing to do so ad infinitum – M
  29. That you meet every need I could ever have – W (if he could talk)
  30. That you unconditionally love us all and pour every ounce of your being into each of us.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGAN!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Brothers' Thanksgiving Day Interview

Last year we didn't yet know Wils was a Wils, Jeff wasn't talking well yet, we were living in Tennessee, and we didn't know if we'd ever be back home. So much as changed in 365 days and our hearts are exploding with thanksgiving...as evidenced by the following traditional Thanksgiving interview...
1. What is a thing/item you are thankful for?
    Harrison: Um, the bathtub, and uh, iPad!!
    Jefferson: Me too! And books, and chocolate milk!
2. Who is a person you are thankful for:
    Harrison: Bean
    Jefferson: Mommy
3. What is something spiritual you are thankful for?
     Harrison: I'm thankful God gave us a safe house to live in so we don't sleep outside where thunder and lightening could hit us and kill us dead! (Throws head back and tongue out to the side for dramatic effect)
     Jefferson: Me too! And Jesus loves me!
4. What is a weakness you have that you are thankful for:
     Harrison: Candy! (Shouted) All of the yummy and perfect candy! (More shouting).
     Jefferson: Me too! (Also shouted)...and um...chocolate milk! (more shouting).

5. What is a health related thing you are thankful for?
     Harrison: These arms (pumps muscles) They are super strong and pick up stuff.
     Jefferson: Um, I am singing! I sing!
6. What is your favorite Thanksgiving Day food?
    Harrison: Sausage! (I'm not entirely sure he's ever had that on Thanksgiving)
    Jefferson: Chocolate milk! (I'm seeing a trend)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Brave

Harrison: Dad, you are the coolest Dad in the whole world! 
Matt: Thanks Bud! In about 10 years, can you remind me of that?
Harrison: Sure!
Matt: That way I'll have a 14 year old saying I'm the coolest Dad in the whole world!
Harrison: Yep, I sure will! I promise!
Harrison: Dad, in 90 years how old will you be?
Matt: I won't be alive in 90 years Bud.
Harrison: How about 30 years?
Matt: Sure, in 30 years...what do you want me to do in 30 years?
Harrison: Can you remind me I'm the bravest?
Matt: You got it Bud. In 30 years you are going to be young in your career, a potential young husband and father, and not feeling very brave. But I want you to know that I will mean it just the same in 30 years as I do right now, you are the bravest. 
Harrison: Thanks Dad. I love you!
Matt: I love you too Harrison.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rewards Based System

Bribery isn't the best parenting technique, but it sure is tempting.
Going to our church's fall festival with my three wild men really didn't help the argument against an all rewards based system.
My opinionated men were willing to do anything for a plastic wrapped bar of sugar, and I mean anything.
They literally jumped through hoops...
...flung rubber chickens....
...threw rolls of toilet paper into a toilet...
...and made themselves dizzy blowing pirate ships down a table, all for the bite sized reward.
But then again, maybe the games themselves were just as alluring as the treat handed out when accomplished.
And since that's the case I'm looking into rubber chickens, how to make your own slime balls, and rubber mallets for smashing golf tees into pumpkins.
Because I'd be taking the rewards based parenting to a whole new level when I say, "Boys, clean your LEGO's up and you can throw some toilet paper rolls in the potty!" There may never be any hesitation to obey first time again:)

Monday, November 18, 2013

7 Month Wils

My Handsome Wils, You are officially 7 months old as of last week and I totally missed that actual day. They tell me this is typical with having three little guys and lots of details to keep up with, but please know, even though I missed that date, not a day goes by I don't soak you up.
You are the happiest boy in the whole world and bring the brightest moments to anyone's day. You are not stingy in passing out your heart melting smiles and laughter. You're energized by attention and saturate with affection anyone willing to spend time with you.
You are now in 12-18 month clothing, size 4 diapers, size 3 shoes, and size large stomach capacity. Your appetite knows no bounds, well at least for your favorite foods. You seem to fill up pretty quick with peas and green beans, but I have yet to find a limit on o's, veggie straws, and fruit.
You can roll in any and every direction, you can reach and grab, and pull, and chew on any desired object, and if you are really motivated, you can get yourself to your desired object of choice. But as for crawling, you are perfectly content to chill out in the floor and watch the entertainment your big brothers provide you with their antics.
You are babbling, but not saying many words yet. You are into growling but you do it with the happiest face and make us all crack up with your attempt at communicating. You are signing "all done" and "more please" pretty well now and that's helped the communication barrier. You love bath time, sippy cups, matchbox cars, and your blue blanket.
Wils, you are precious beyond belief. You are a sweet blessing to this family and we are enthralled with you little man. You have bonded with your big brothers and they love earning your laughter and kisses. We are already so proud of you and can't wait to see how God uses the character we already see emerging. I love you Wils!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Seasons to Remember

As fast as the new leaves grow, green, turn red, then brown, then fall...
...these babies cry, grow, walk, then run on their own.
And just as fast, I'm capturing every moment in my heart to treasure forever.
Just like the golden twilight of fall, these days are fleeting and precious beyond words.
So not an opportunity is wasted to secure moments we will cherish forever.
That means, raking the yard might never get finished because there is a pile of crunchiness just begging to be jumped in.
And the pile will soon blow away, scattered in the winter winds and the moment lost if not taken advantage of this second.
I'm not about to let next Spring roll around and have my boys 4 inches taller and 4 months more mature without living everyday to the fullest.
No matter how many times I swallow down the words, "We need to hurry,...we're running late,...faster," because that just fast-forwards what hindsight proves are the opportunities for the best moments.
Fall around here is admittedly not a favorite, neither is winter for that matter, but we won't  be wishing it away either...quite the opposite.
We'll be hanging onto every moment, capturing these fleeting days, and throwing several more fistfuls of leaves :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Motor Skillz

Ask any boy mom and she would probably tell you the same...boys are born with incredibly refined gross motor skills.
 These manly bundles can peg a ball at your head rendering one unconscious by 9 months old; ok, slight exaggeration, but you get my point.
 Wrestling, throwing, rolling...no problem. Handwriting, scissors, and coloring in the lines...not so much.
 And while I am not one to force the coloring inside the lines, possessing the skills to write legibly usually comes into importance later in life.
 So fine motor skills need some help in my testosterone bundles and food is one way to get some willing participants.
 Cheerios come in handy for so many purposes but in addition to snack and play, the little o's serve to grow hand-eye coordination, patience, and keep little brothers busy during big brother's math lesson.
 In fact, Harrison usually flies through his lesson just so he can participate in stringing his own cheerio rope as soon as possible and I'm more than ok to see his fine motor skills refined.
Because the calm of stringing cereal only lasts maybe 10 minutes before their impeccable gross motor skills take over and the edible work become sling shots and projectiles are launched all over the kitchen:)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Co-Conspirators

It's no secret that when Jeff was born, Harrison didn't really enjoy the idea of a brother. And after years of encouragement and prayer and Jeff growing from infant to boy, these two have hit their stride.
They have head their butting moments and territorial brawls, but there are more moments of building train tracks, playing soldier guys, running football plays, and raiding the fidge. In fact, I now worry more when they are getting along, than when they are fighting.
 
Their cooperation typically means co-conspiring like in these pictures, planning to hot wire the truck parked behind me and drive off to the beach. Besides including grand theft, that's not a half bad plan, but at only 4 and 2 years old, I have some adventurous years to come!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Take the Mess Indoors

There's not much more my boys love other than food.
So when I gave them the supplies and my full blessing to turn food into playtime they were head over heels.
And honestly, I find it kinda fun myself playing around with food and making messes.
So it's a good thing we get along, and it's a good thing my boys argue over who gets to help vacuum it up each time.
And with the weather getting unfriendly towards our outdoor quests, it's time we find some indoor energy outlets.
You know, ones that won't result in broken bones or messes that create lasting damage. I'm all for fun, just not too much into calamity.
And so I'll rack up some mom points as cereal is crushed by a plastic steamroller and dumped out the back of a truck onto the living room floor.
And then we'll get out the vacuum and plan the next crazy adventure of the day. Because this is how memories are made.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quiet

Jeff is my quiet little helper. If he sees me cleaning he runs to get a broom or a washrag to join in. Makes me smile every time. I don't care how much longer it will take with his "help" or how many more messes he may make in the process.
I love that he has a heart wanting to take initiative. I've found him sweeping up messes, washing a window, or organizing the fridge. He does it without fanfare or a desire for praise.
 I can tell when Jefferson has been hard at work. I find walls soaking wet from him "washing" them. I find paper towels stuffed around the sink handles. I find drawers packed with toys and books. And I shower him with praise over every job he works so hard to complete.
But being a quiet helper also means he is a quiet sneak. There have been several candy bar casualties and big brother's LEGO raids carried out in complete silence.
And one look into those baby blues is all it takes to not care about how much candy has been snitched. I am blessed to have my helper...and his mischievous quietness that keeps me on my toes:)