seven

He is getting so big.  Almost too big to snuggle on my lap anymore.  I love this boy.  For his seventh birthday, he requested pancakes with a candle for breakfast, and a trip to ITZ (like a larger Chuck E Cheese) with a friend...and to wear a hoodie so he could be like his dad.  Easy enough.

This sweet boy deals with so much from us as we learn to be parents.  He can be such a good helper with his brothers, and he loves school.  He is getting quite good at piano and is taking golf lessons....so he can be like his dad.  (Can you tell he kind of adores his dad?)  He loves to ride his bike, loves all things chocolate and still loves his matchbox cars.  

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Christmas

We had a fabulous Christmas break!  Phil was transitioning in between jobs so he had quite a bit of extra time at home.  I am pretty sure my boys would not have even missed Christmas if they could stay home and wrestle with their dad all day.  But to give Phil a break, we took a quick trip to SeaWorld in San Antonio.  It was a lovely day.  Sam was even brave enough to ride one of the big rides with his dad.  

We talked to Santa before Christmas.  Sam was a little shy.  Luke warmed up to him once I told him he got a candy cane if he gave Santa a hug.  We had a lovely Christmas Eve with cousins, which included decorating cookies, acting out the nativity, and opening new Christmas pajamas, made by mama.  

Christmas day was a little magical.  They boys only asked for one present each this year and were truly thrilled to receive it.  Wade learned a whole bunch of Christmas songs this year, and even now we find him still humming them to himself.  The best Christmas present we received this year was a visit from my parents.  They boys were in heaven....for a whole week.  We all got a little teary eyed when they went home.  


Lucky for us, the separation will be short.  Phil started a new job with Ebay this week, located back in Salt Lake City.  We are staying in Houston until school is out, when we plan to move back to Utah.  2015 should bring another adventure for us, and we can't wait.  
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014

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This year:

Luke has really started to develop a personality very much different and very much the same as his brothers.  He loves to try to be big and try to do everything his brothers do.  Goal for next year: Learn to talk

Sam learned to read this year.  He loves strawberries, blood oranges and knows just how to make his mom and dad smile.  Goal for next year: Always finish dinner in less than an hour and a half (unless at a business dinner which of course takes longer than that).

Wade learned to ride his bike, write emails and do math this year.  Our dinner conversations usually include at least one math question.  Goal for next year: figure out how to beat dad at Mario kart

We love this time of year when we can manage to take time apart from our frantic stuffing of stockings and buying gifts to remember as Dr. Seuss's Grinch:

"Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store
 Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a bit more"

Of course Christmas does mean quite a bit more.  Just as the wise men brought gifts to Jesus so many years ago we can give Him gifts and show our love for Him by showing kindness, love and charity for all.  In the words of Longfellow:

"Hail to thee Jesus of Nazareth!
Though in a manger thou draw breath
Thou art greater than life and death
Greater than joy or woe!"

And so He is.  May we all turn our thoughts to our Savior during this season and commit ourselves to becoming better in the new year.  

Halloween

We had such a fun Halloween.  The boys decided on traditional Halloween costumes this year, and I partly made each of them.  I kind of love how they turned out.  We met up with some friends to go trick-or-treating and wouldn't you know, little Luke walked the entire time and also enjoyed hollering at me any time he saw a pumpkin!  Wade was thrilled to be able to spend the night with his little girlfriend, who he tells me he is going to marry one day. (I wouldn't mind, she's adorable!)  And Sam, he was our usual easy going cute little boy.  I have to admit, Halloween weather in Houston is quite pleasant...not sure its enough to make up for the half of the year when it's unbearable though.  
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preschool

This little man started preschool today.  We are doing another co-op this year and I am so excited I get to teach him and his little friends.  Just Sam and four girls....as if he wasn't already a little ladies man.  This kid in convinced he's ready to go to big kid school like his brother, but I am sure going to enjoy having him home with me for a while longer.   Some days, they just grow up way too fast.DSC04892_edited-1

summer

Now that school is back in full swing, I am getting around to posting pictures from our summer vacation in Utah.  We loved spending so much time with our family, and we loved the milder Utah summer.  Activities include hiking to Silver Lake, playing in sprinklers, visiting Wheeler Farm, mini golf, playing at the park, helping Grandma clean, getting free slurpees, family home evening at the Church History Museum, hiking with Grandma, swimming lessons, driveway fireworks and ice cream cones.  A month later, and my boys are still talking about our trip.  I guess sometimes the best vacations are the simple ones.
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First

My baby is in first grade.  This year was so much easier than last.  Neither of us were nervous.  Wade was so excited because he already knows his way around the school and he's one of the big kids now.  He's excited to have a new teacher and to make new friends.  He's excited to be back on the bus again.  And I am excited for him.  He came home and told me that his days was just awesome...even more awesome than kindergarten.  We think it will be a great year.   
Some other noteworthy things about this child...he loves his United States geography.  He can knows the name and location of every state, and even some cities.  (Seriously, he's better than both his Dad and myself).  He also loves the weather.  If he realized that being a weather man was a career, he would probably have picked that.  The boy asks to check the weather on my phone every day and gets so frustrated when it doesn't rain when it is supposed to.  
 
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