Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in 13 photos

i've regretted not doing this last year.
so here i am after not blogging for way too long.
 
this year has been good to us.
it started off nice and easy, then the changes came.
not bad changes, just changes that shook us up a bit...in a good way.
 
our 5th baby at the ripe old age of 14 months got stitches.
that was the first time any of my boys received stitches from the ER.
that was hard for me, but he didn't seem to care.
 
 
teaching a younger brother to play his trumpet.
moments like these melt my heart:
 
husband started making popcorn.
it is great for when i do not make enough dinner-
which happens more and more these days.
it has also become our standard sunday night dinner.
I wrote more about it here.
 
the big boys' lips.
 
us at Easter.
i'm still disgusted with myself for letting the boys wear jeans.
but, it is the best family picture of the whole year!
i should've used it for a Christmas card, however...
 
 
every mom thinks it, but my baby is just beautiful.
 
connor made his first communion in april.
it is still strange to think we have 4 boys old enough to receive the eucharist.
 
i gave up on making cakes this year.
and not just because of this mess!
bronson's birthday cake was awful this year.
i will stick with cookies and pies.
 
this bike ride was awesome.
 
i have countless pictures just like this one.
it has been neat to watch how the boys have grown up
sitting right here every single morning eating their breakfast.
obviously they are not awake yet:
 
this was a year that was full of duck tape.
a chariot that they made:

we started homeschooling again!
one of a few changes.
this has been much easier than i thought it would be.
and of course it is so rewarding.
each boy is happy too.
day 1:


i have to say something about my baby getting bigger.
i will probably always say it, but i wish i could have just one more baby.
 
there have been many times i have gotten us both dressed and realized that we were dressed similar.
guess i was subconsciously going for a 4th of july in january look here.
so dorky and funny!
 

i am linking up with dwija and all the other ladies.
 
 


Monday, July 15, 2013

his big boy bed

 
i'm not sure which bo chrisitan is happier about:
being able to climb out of his baby bed
or his big boy bed.
 
for the next few days, bedtime is going to be interesting.

well, hello.

 a friend stopped by a few weeks ago and here we all were.
well, except for bronson.  he felt bad and was inside.
 
we were all dreaming together.
a dream that may or may not happen.
 
as one of the big boys said-
"we sure do have some potential energy."

Friday, June 28, 2013

at camp

 
this is a picture bauer took on sunday-
before bronson and connor left for camp for the entire week.
i feel the way bauer looks.
 
even though i know they are having the best time,
i feel like my life has been on hold all week.
i'm waiting on the rest of "my people" to get home where they belong.
 
i can't wait to see their sweaty faces in the morning.
i will get hear about their new friends,
all the awesome things they got to do,
and they will sing new camp songs. 
when i take the selfish me out of the situation, 
i am glad they got to go.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

every evening...

this is most definitely the highlight of bo christian's day.
 
as i was watched bo christian excitedly run to the truck one evening,
it occurred to me that is how i should be running toward Jesus in everything i do.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

a quote

the closer you are to God,
the less you will need material things.
 (from friend, who heard it from a priest)

Monday, June 17, 2013

father's day

this picture tells so much about my man:
on father's day, he washed my van with the baby.
he's really good like that.

i am so glad he is the father of my boys.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

brother love

bauer took bo christian for a swim.
a while later i heard the lawn mower.
when i looked out, this is what i saw:
 
after they finished swimming, they were mowing the yard just because bo wanted to!
 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

a hike and a swim

so...we went on a hike...
afterwards the boys went for a swim-
where they were the only ones in the water...
 
 
later we realized why:
oops!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

our week

this week has been hard.
all because bo christian loves his brothers and they love him.
 
bo christian doesn't want to nap or go to sleep at night because the big boys are awake.
bo is beyond exhausted.
 
the big boys are outside most of the day and he wants to be with them.
of course they don't always want to watch him and i can't spend hours each day outside.
so, bo stands at the door or window and cries.
eventually one of us will feel sorry for him and take him out to join the others.
bauer and caden take him on multiple bike rides each day.
but it is never enough.
every time they leave on their bikes without him, he cries.
this week he stood on the driveway in tears as the big boys all rode off to the park.

hopefully this next week will be a happier one.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

caden

i mentioned we read the Bible together as a family.
i don't want to send the wrong message,
like we are perfect pious Bible scholars.

one night we were discussing how we all have different God given strengths.
caden chimes in the conversation with-

when God was making me He said,
"I need to add a drop of sexiness.
oops!  too much!"

how can parents not enjoy this age?
i've gotten to where i just love middle schoolers.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

brother love

there are so many things about this picture that makes me smile.
 
*the band director suggested caden play the trombone next year.
however, caden wanted to play the trumpet since that is what bauer plays.
 
*both trumpets are used, and we didn't see either one before we received them.
they are the exact same trumpet and both are in excellent condition.
i really don't like it when one boy has something of better quality than the other.
so that little fact makes me feel all better inside my mom brain.
 
*in this picture bauer is teaching caden how to oil the valves.
bauer has also been teaching him to play.
as caden said last night, he now knows how to play a whole little tune.
 
*they had given bo christian a mouthpiece to slobber and spit all over.
that was extremely generous of them.
 
yesterday there was playing and dancing:
 
i wish i noticed all the loving things my boys do.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

summertime

yesterday was the last day of school, so i guess that means summer is officially here.
from the looks of connor's school pencils, it is time.
how did he write with those?
anytime there is a change in our routine, i feel like i get a job transfer.
i'm still the mom and house keeper, but now i have more bodies to keep track of and tummies to keep full all day.
in a couple of days i will have our new normal figured out.
 
this morning we went to the library and got a nice stack of books.
 
i am glad we will be spending all our days together now.
 
i just wish he could join us every day.
 

Monday, May 27, 2013

a tranquil life

last fall all 4 of our big boys were playing a sport.
that was the first time they had all played something at the same time.
i wrote about it here, and here, and here.
there were parts i really enjoyed.
but, i also knew that our lives were revolving around the activities.
there was not a lot of family time and we were all exhausted.
i also started pondering how we made time for the activities, but then we didn't have much time left over for God.
that felt wrong to me.

this spring my boys have done nothing.
not one activity.
and we have loved it.
we have taken time to read the Bible together as a family.
we've prayed "cheater" rosaries - just a short version a friend made up.
we have spent lots of time together.
(the boys have not complained once.) 
we've had time to stick straight pins in our hands.
the "world" has hinted that i am doing my boys a disservice.
i started praying some more about our choices.
the boys have even climbed mountains made from dirt.
last week God showed me a verse:
and to aspire to live a tranquil life...
1 thessalonians 4:11
 
dictionary.com defines tranquil as-
free from commotion or tumult; peaceful; quiet; calm
 
now, we still have commotion in our home.
it isn't anything near peaceful or quiet or calm.
but, for us, in this season of life we are in, it does feel tranquil.
we made a late night sonic run where someone was introduced to a chocolate shake.
may is the month to sign up for fall sports.
it looks like we've decided-
bauer is going to continue to do crossfit with the husband.
caden is going to play football again.
bronson doesn't want to do anything.
connor is going to a football camp this summer since he's too young to play.
i suppose bo christian will continue to work on his gross motor skills around the house.
right now, that feels very tranquil for us.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

r.i.p. ralph

three summers ago my 2 oldest boys went to spend a week with my dad.
at the end of the week they came home with 2 gerbils, ralph and rickashay.
 i've been told the life expectancy for gerbils is 1.5 - 2 years.
ralph lived a long eventful life.
(rickashay is still kickin')

ralph and rickashay have been swimming in the tub and in the lake.
they've been given baths with shampoo.
poor rickashay lost half of his tail that first summer.  it hasn't slowed him down yet.

once their cage was left open and they escaped to the dirty clothes closet-
that was of course full of dirty clothes.
they chewed holes in all those clothes.
that was lots of clothes to replace.

they took a trip to school once.
their cage broke on the playground.
kids were running wild trying to catch the little creatures.
on the way home they were running wild in the van.

husband woke up one morning, put his feet on the ground and felt something run over his feet.
when husband turned the lamp on, rickashay was just staring up at him.
the gerbils had gotten out of their cage that night.
rickashay had tumbled down the stairs and made it into our bedroom.

and i will never forget when connor came running downstairs to tell me about ralph being able to fly.
the boys' beds were bunked at the time and connor was playing on the top bunk with ralph.
connor placed ralph on the top of the ceiling fan and turned the fan on.
yep, that gerbil did fly.

but they flew other times too.
the boys tied sacks to them and threw them over the stairs.
the boys said the gerbils were parachuting.

last night we buried ralph.
r.i.p. ralph.
you were a good little gerbil.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

much much better

beautiful!
do you see that sky?
and the green grass??
 
the lilies are about to bloom.
the pink blobs are rose bushes i haven't killed yet. 
connor was the first one to notice the blooms this year.
it is fun when my boys are interested in things i enjoy.
 
the windows are finally up.
it feels like our house is breathing with each wind gust that blows through.
i don't even care about the thin layer of pollen inside.
 
i have been waiting for this.

Monday, May 20, 2013

alike

bo christian has a new little smile.
it has taken me forever to figure out who it reminds me of...
my bronson!
 
it took me so long to figure it out because their personalities are nothing alike.
but, oh, the face expression!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

my mother's day this year

i was reading my blog and noticed my mother's days have changed.
 
when i wrote this post the saturday night before,
this is what I was thinking -
i realized i was never going to have a hallmark mother's day.
no sleeping in, no perfect children at mass, no perfect afternoon.
 
on sunday, i did sleep in.
husband got up with the baby and made pancakes.
by the time i rolled out of bed at 9am, all the boys had eaten.
husband sat down with me and we ate our pancakes together.
he is that good.
 
i vividly remember telling husband i thought the boys were very well behaved during mass saturday night.
the big boys were not poking each other or aggravating bo christian.
(not that my boys would ever do that)
bo christian was quiet and didn't throw anything.
 
as far as the perfect afternoon...
i took a nap.
yes, i require lots of sleep.
i called my mother and we had a nice long conversation.
i would have to say that was a perfect afternoon.
 
i don't even remember anyone being upset.
well, besides me, because...
why do boys have to tear everything up?
i was the only one who wasn't pleasant to be around.
 
so, yeah, my mother's days have changed. 
sadly, i've never slowed down enough to notice what is in front of me.
 
at the skate park for a picnic.
we didn't get a picture of bronson or bo christian.
another bad mom moment.
now there is one thing i did not get wrong:
i am grateful that i get to be the mother of my boys!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

a bike ride

me laying in the grass with my buddy
because my bottom hurt and my legs felt like noodles.
 
i rode 9 hilly miles with bo christian on the back.
while riding we were passing snacks, a water bottle and a passy back and forth.
we also stopped at a park so bo could play and i chased him around with my noodle legs.
those tour de france boys don't have anything on me!
 
i'm making fun of myself because really, only 9 miles??
 but, i am proud.
this is something i've wanted to do for a while.
i accomplished it!
and that satisfaction is something that i can't buy.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

mother's day

yes, a picture of a picture.
it was mother's day 2004.
bauer, caden and me sitting on the curb.
i can remember husband had just finished mowing the yard, bronson was taking a nap,
and connor was in my uterus.
 
next to these pictures in the photo album, i wrote:
 
that day caden choked on a dime.
bauer pulled husband's truck out of gear and it hit the lawn mower that bronson was holding onto.
i tried to mow the yard to "escape" and caden threw a fit because it was daddy's grass.
oh yeah, earlier that day husband took all of us to a baseball game during naptime.
i don't even like baseball.
we stayed about 30 minutes - the boys were bored.
at least husband was thinking of me:)
bauer must have found some mud that day.
my boys lived in their "mud boots".
that was the year mother's day changed for me.
i realized i was never going to have a hallmark mother's day.
no sleeping in, no perfect children at mass, no perfect afternoon.
since then mother's day is the day that i am thankful i get to be a mother.
i expect to mother all day long and nothing else.
i have not been disappointed since.
 
today we are going to the park for a picnic and to let the big boys play at the skate park.
 that is perfect for this mom of boys.
i am so grateful i get to be their mother.
 
and happy mother's day to you mom!

Friday, May 10, 2013

according to the husband...

i thought i'd let you know
that the way i write on this blog is the way i think inside my head.
but, it is not always the way words come out of my mouth.
 
according to the husband,
leigh anne tuohy (sandra bullock) in the movie the blind side and i have a lot in common.
i'm thinking that must be a good thing.
especially since she went way out of her comfort zone to help michael.
 
you can go here to see leigh anne in action.
 
(this movie is why i had to go with the ravens in the super bowl.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

currently

this is me today.

currently:

sitting at the computer.
loving:  a poem husband wrote for me saturday.
my brain was a jumbled mess, so i sat down with a piece of paper and a pen to sort it all out.
he stole my paper and pen and started writing about me.
the more he wrote, the more i laughed at myself.
he's such a good man.


reading:  duggars-
a love that multiplies.
i didn't even know they had a new book out.
they seem to be good people.
and not just because they have a large family.

years ago my family was on their tv show.
we didn't have cable at the time, so we've never even seen the episode.
anyways, we happened to be in a grocery store at the same time as them and their camera crew.
a camera man asked me a question and i responded something about children being a blessing.
meanwhile, my boys were behind me hitting each other with boxes.
that is when the camera zoomed in on them.
and that was the one time we were on national tv.
not impressive, but very real.
 
waiting for:  nothing really.
it is easy right now.
everything has slowed down and i am enjoying the calmness.
 
currently these 2 are becoming good friends.
bo christian filled the dump truck with dog food.
excited about:  3 more weeks until school is out!
no more homework or spelling words.
my boys will be home all day every day!
 
trying to:  get motivated to finish a skirt for a friend.
i am nervous about messing up her fabric.
next, i will need to make a couple of jon jons for bo christian.
 
enjoying:  our family walks after supper.
we call them a family walk, but we never stay together.
husband pushes bo christian in the stroller while we talk about our day and say hello to our neighbors.
the big boys are usually at least on the same street as us, but they stop to play with friends along the way.
it is a nice way to end our days.

currently these are all the rage at our house.
doesn't this picture make my backyard look beautiful!?!
really our backyard looks like the other picture above-
very loved in a different way.
planning:  for summer break.
i need to order these.
and make a summer chore chart and a loose schedule.
 
wanting:  a seat for bo christian to go on the back of my bike.
he's finally old enough so we can go on family bike rides.
we could also ride to a farmer's market close by.
or the grocery.
my mountain bike will look confused...
a baby seat on the back with a basket on the front and never going off road.

what is going on in your life currently?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

caden and a record

so, caden is officially 12.
(and birthday season is officially over too!)
caden asks the best questions
and makes me think really hard.
i love him for it.
 
he received the only gift he wanted:
a hatchet.
he says that a hatchet is a very useful tool.
i don't even pretend to understand.
he also got a slingshot from a friend.
i will just say that his aim is getting pretty good.
he and daniel boone would have definitely been great friends.
 
the night of his birthday it started snowing.
that was the first time it had ever snowed in our state in the month of may.
we woke up to this:
caden was excited that a record was set on his birthday.
it was strange seeing green grass under the white snow.
 
but, this week we will be back to warm temperatures
and playing in our tub of water.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

God's weaving

my boys have been in private schools.
i have homeschooled them.
right now they are in public schools.
i think there are positive and negatives to all the choices.
this is not a post about which is better.
and i totally understand when someone says this is what they are going to do for this year.
 
anyways-
i really miss homeschooling my boys.
i enjoyed it.  like a whole lot.
but, we felt like God wanted our boys back in school.
so we enrolled them in school.
 
so, i ask God all the time if i can homeschool at least some of them again.
it has nothing to do with their wonderful schools,
but it has everything to do with me.
He hasn't said yes yet.
 
(this really does have a point- at least for me)
 
one night last week one of my big boys was frustrated about some school stuff.
he was so mad he just wanted to break something is what he said.
 
somehow (obviously it was the Holy Spirit) i got the idea that he needed to get the sledge hammer and bust up some concrete blocks.
the remains and weeds.
i sat on the swing set with bo christian in my lap.
while watching my boy, i was confused, mad and sad.
he was so angry.
i started praying.  i wanted to homeschool him and protect him.
 
then, God made it clear.
this is why my boy needs to be in school.
my boy needs to go through this.
i know all of this will help my boy to want God more.
that is all really want for each of my boys.
and it is making me lean more on God also.
 
it is amazing to me how God weaves all of our lives.
he sees all the details and misses nothing.

and boys are so different from girls!!!
after all his sledge hammering, he was a happy peaceful boy again..??..