Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014


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.  


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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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 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


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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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.  


We are in Utah for a little while trying to escape some of the Texas heat.  We were so excited to be able to spend the 4th of July with family.  We went to the Centerville parade with our cousins, who I was sure were going to beat my kids to all the candy.  Surprisingly, my boys gave them a run for their money.  Little Sam couldn't get it in his bag fast enough.  Luke was a champ and happy to sit in my lap and point out all the trucks and cars.  After sitting in the sun for over an hour, we were beat and went back to Grandma's house to play in the water followed by a BBQ and fireworks.  Aweome!
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One of the things I like about living in Texas is the plentiful fresh produce available to us.  Last week, we went blueberry picking.  It went very similar to last year.  Wade picked about 20 berries before he started complaining about being too sweaty.  Sam picked almost half a bucket full, and then went and hid with his cousin where he ate about half of what he had picked.  Luke was happy to just be along with us.  He even got out and helped me pick.  Here's to a great start of summer...having all my boys home with me and no schedules!DSC01603_edited-1 DSC01599_edited-1 DSC01598_edited-1 DSC01597_edited-1 IMG_2732

Sea World

We took a quick weekend trip to San Antonio this weekend and took the boys to Sea World.  They had discounted passes for Texas residents, and we thought the boys would have a good time.  We were right.  They loved seeing all the shows and animals. The killer whales were their favorite (although the show was not nearly as spectacular as I remember it).   Even Luke was happy the whole trip, which is a huge feat itself.  
Funny enough, my boys favorite part of the trip was sleeping in a hotel and swimming with their dad at the hotel pool.  
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blue bonnets

Last week we took a trip to downtown Houston to take the boys pictures in the famous Texas blue bonnets.  I ended up pulling Wade out of school for the day, which I felt a little guilty about at the time, but am so glad I decided to do it.  I loved watching the boys explore the giant field of flowers, just having fun being little boys.  After pictures, we played at the park and had a picnic with our cousins.  And after that, I surprised the boys with a trip to the children's museum.  We had so much fun together.  I was totally unplugged from my phone and it made such a difference.  I got to take time to play with each of my boys, and they totally ate up the attention.  And do you know what, I kind of ate it up, too.  I'm going to try to be better about making moments like these, because they are growing up so fast.  DSC04674_edited-1


It has been a rough few months here.  I have been in a slump.  But Spring is here and we have made some changes around our home.  Things are looking up.  

Over Spring Break, I set a goal with Wade to teach him how to ride his bike without training wheels.  Wade is my child who is not athletically inclined.  He gets frustrated when things don't come easy to him.  We started by taking the training wheels and pedals off his bike to let him get used to balancing.  He can only barely touch the ground on his bike and it made him nervous.  He tried.  But it was hard.  And more often than not, he asked to quit.  He was frustrated, we were frustrated.  We all tried to give up at some point.  But between Wade, Phil and myself, we kept each other going.  And then yesterday, it clicked.

It made my mama heart so happy to see him accomplish something that was so hard.  We couldn't get him off.  He just wanted to keep going and going.  Hopefully, he'll be able to look back to this someday when things are hard, and remember that he can do hard things.  


Wade turned six last week.  We let him have his first "friend" party and he chose a Mario surprise there.  We let him invite a few friends from church and school and it was honestly so fun.  It was fun to watch him interact with his friends and to get to see all of these little people's personalities.  Happy Birthday little buddy!DSC04634_edited-1 DSC04636_edited-1 Untitled-1 DSC04651_edited-1