He Wants His Keys

Caleb is growing so fast I feel I need to write about him. I can’t wait until his six month post because by then I’ll probably have forgotten.

Food! Caleb wants to try solids. He is so interested in what we are doing during meal times, and he tries to grab it out of our hands. He’s got a few more weeks to go, though, because we are waiting until he is six months old.

20160501_080451Sitting! Caleb is far from sitting up on his own, but he loves to play sitting up these days. We support him, and he reaches for all of his toys which are laid out nicely in front of him. The world must be so different once one can sit up! I don’t have a picture of him playing, but this picture was too cute to pass up, and he is sitting in Simon’s chair.

20160426_182748Play Gym! Caleb loves his around-the-world play gym. Ours was stuck in the very back of our coat closet and neither Nathan or I had enough energy to dig it out. My parents have one, though, and after I saw how much fun he had in theirs I asked Nathan to do the honors. Caleb loves playing around in the gym, and his brothers love interacting with him when he sits/stands in it.

20160429_145215Finally, I have a video of Caleb playing with some keys. You get a random slice of our family life at the beginning when Elias asks Nathan if he can sniff his ear…as Nathan always says, “What’s it like having kids?” But the real purpose of the video is to see how much Caleb loves his keys, and how good he is getting at playing with them.

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My Simon

Simon has been a middle child for 5 months now. I love him as much as ever, but boy is he a classic middle child. Always wanting to keep up with the older brothers while still receiving the privileges of being the youngest child. It seems to me he is always needing my attention for something. He “needs some love” (his words) or wants me to read him a story. He will only eat breakfast if I am sitting with him.

I’ve been so concerned with getting him transitioned into big brother-hood, big boy beds, quitting the binky, and potty training (aka getting him to grow up a bit), that he has done so right beneath my nose. Where is my little toddler? He is gone and a little boy is in his place.

I feel like in most of my blog posts I write about the exciting new things Elias is trying, or the new day by day changes that are happening with Caleb since he is an infant. Simon is just….stuck in the middle.

But I love him so much and make sure to show that to him every day.

So what is going on with Simon? Since he turned 3 he has gotten to try one of the “big boy” rec classes. We signed up for basketball. The first time we went and he realized I was only going to sit on the bleachers and watch he cried. It only took about half the class time, though, for him to join in and have a blast. Ever since he has loved every minute of the class. Here he is learning to dribble:

20160428_102659Simon plays hard and crashes hard. Most days he resists a nap, but I eventually find him crashed in his bed with some sort of toy or book in his hand, like he just snapped into sleep while playing.

20160427_150414He is learning so many new things. In the photo below he was enjoying a float/sink experiment we did at home. He even wanted to keep a chart for the data just like big brother. (Excuse Elias’ hair…it was crazy hair day at school)

20160421_144150Simon gets dragged along to a lot of his older brothers activities. He is a die hard fan, though. I think he was more excited about his Reedville baseball hat than Elias was. We were thankful the team had a couple extras so Simon could sport one too.

20160430_140736So…Simon is stuck in the middle, but he is very much his own person too. Life would be so dull without him!

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Counting My Blessings

I’ve really been counting my blessings lately. It’s hard to feel down on a beautiful sunny day anyway, but the weekend was a great one. By Sunday evening we had had a lot of family time, gotten chores done around the house, been to a tball game, supported a fundraiser for the moms club diaper drive, and more. By dinner, though, I wasn’t ready to go inside just yet so we spontaneously decided to go have a picnic at the park for dinner.

I watched my boys play on the play structure and encouraged them in rolling down the grassy hill. We ate our picnic. I just couldn’t stop thinking how lucky we are that we can take the boys to the park. That we have safe places for them to play. We don’t have to worry about water. Or food. We don’t have to worry about war on the home front. They just get to be kids. I don’t know why I am one of the mommies who is privileged with these blessings. Instead of feeling guilty, though, I decided to feel thankful and to send up prayers for our sponsored kiddos around the world.

Here are my four boys enjoying the evening together as much as I did:

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Mothers Tea

Last Thursday Elias’ pre-k class hosted a mothers tea. I was super excited to go, and thanks to my Dad who watched the younger boys, I could!

All of the kids made a flower lei for their mommy, and the day before they had prepared food. Fruit kebobs, bacon wrapped sausages, and sweet potato biscuits. The class had also prepared three songs to sing for us.

It was so much fun to go and be with my little boy at the Mothers Tea. Elias was genuinely excited as well. He kept asking me if I liked the food and wanted me to sing the songs with him afterward.

20160428_084705The next morning, I asked Elias if he could sing me one of the songs again while I took a video. He gladly complied. So… I have it here for all eternity! This makes my heart full:

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Caleb 5 Months

Caleb is 5 months old today. How is that possible? He is supposed to be my baby and he is getting huge!


At church, Caleb was the smallest/youngest member for the first four and a half months of his life. Yesterday he got to meet his newest little church friend. Beatrix is 13 days old and only weighs about six and a half pounds. That means he triples her weight! I am just loving every second of his babyhood and I wish it would last longer.

Alas, time passes, and he is growing and learning every day. These two pictures sum up Caleb right now:

1 – He is a happy and active little guy. He is content to lay and play on his own (or just watch us) for a little while. He also loves laughing at his brothers. He brings us so much joy!

20160425_1027262 – He is so interested in learning about his world. I went on a walk with him this evening when Nathan took the older two boys to an AWANA night, and he just studied the trees and the birds and the wind. It must be so magical (or confusing) being a baby. He is really interested in toys. He tries to pick up everything, and holding him at the table while trying to eat is a full contact sport these days. He pulls my place mat and tries to touch the food, the glass, the plate. He has gotten pretty good at holding on to toys, and he actually shakes his rattles to entertain himself.

20160425_102537Caleb is sleeping pretty well these days. He often wakes up in the middle of the night, but can put himself back to sleep on occasion. A few nights ago he was awake happy and talking to himself for forty five minutes from about 1 to 1:45 in the morning. Sometimes he still likes to be nursed back to sleep too, but I’m glad he is able to soothe and entertain himself sometimes.

During his fifth month Caleb celebrated his first Easter. He is witnessing his first spring with lots of pretty flowers. He is rolling consistently from back to front, and is happy for a short period while playing on his tummy.

Caleb is still drooling like a madman, and unfortunately it is wreaking havoc on his skin. He had a horrible neck rash for most of the month, but luckily it has cleared up a bit in the last few days, and he currently has pretty bad eczema on his thumbs and on his face (where the most drool ends up).

I am so lucky to be able to witness this little man growing each day.


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Elias’ First TBall Game!

Elias had his first tball game on Saturday. Reedville has it’s annual jamboree to kick of the season. We actually had two games! Looking at the forecast we were afraid it would be rained out, but actually it was a pretty nice day for baseball with only a few brief scattered showers.

I may have over-documented his first game just a bit. But it was his first game in an organized team sport ever, and he’s our oldest so who can really blame us? Poor Caleb being the third child will probably only have a single picture of his first game if that!

I like the tball league because it is pretty low-key just focusing on giving players equal chances of play and having fun. The kids still try to make outs, but even if they make an out (which is very rare at this age), the runner still gets to stay on base. The kids are only allowed one base per at bat, and there are seven batters per inning.

Elias’ team, the Warriors, started in the field. Elias was at second base. He even fielded the ball once!

20160423_102502Then it was time for some offense! Elias was the first batter for his team. I thought he was so cute in his batting helmet. Here he is getting ready to bat (he is number 1):

20160423_102835And up in the batters box:

20160423_103008Elias hit the first pitch and ran to first base! Nathan was the third base coach during the games. Here is a picture of Elias showing Daddy that he knew were to run when the ball was hit next. (Home!)

20160423_103313Running home:

20160423_103411After that Elias got to play pitcher and short stop. Here he is fielding another ball.

20160423_104342After the first game, he got snack…the most important part!

20160423_111544Elias had quite the cheer squad at his first game. Besides his brothers, Nathan, and I, he also had Ama, and Baba cheering him on, and Nana was able to make it to game 2!

The cheering section:

20160423_10590620160423_132437I missed a bit of the second game because I took Simon and Caleb to a birthday party between. But I did get to see Elias bat a couple more times. Here he is on deck taking a practice swing:

20160423_131552And on first base:

20160423_131911In the second game he got to play first base, short stop, and left field.

More important than anything else, he had a lot of fun! The tball season is pretty short, but we’re in for quite a few games in the next two months.

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Kindergarten Fair

Elias will be entering Kindergarten in September. I have been excited for it for years! On Friday we went to his school and registered. Then in the evening, we went to a district-wide kindergarten fair. Mostly there were just a lot of resources for parents and kids, but Elias did get to check out a school bus and meet his principal and the three kindergarten teachers.

Checking out the school bus:

20160422_185235They also had a bunch of the school mascots from elementary schools around the district. Elias loved giving them high fives and hugs. He’ll be an Imlay Eagle in a few months.

20160422_190717I can’t wait for this adventure to begin. First, though, we’re going to enjoy the rest of pre-K, and every minute of summer we can!

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Baby Kisses

Sometimes slobber is pretty gross (ok…most of the time it’s pretty gross).

But, there is nothing quite like baby kisses. Caleb has really started to lay them on us in the last couple of days. It’s so fun.


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Wings and Waves Water park

My mom loves water parks, and every since she heard that Elias and Simon loved the water slide at a rec center near us I think she has been secretly grooming them to want to go to a bigger water park. Back in February or maybe the beginning of March Elias really started talking about the water park so I planned with my mom to go to Wings and Waves in McMinnville, Oregon on April 16th both to have fun and to celebrate tax season ending.

Today was the day! Elias was tall enough to go on all but one of the big water slides. Each time we wanted to go, we had to climb all the way up the the roof of the building. The slides begin inside a 747 which is secured to the roof of the building. Each slide means a lot of stairs. Ama, Baba, Nathan, and I all took turns going with Elias who went on every single time. He logged thousands of stairs today!

I only had my phone out of the locker for a short time so these pictures are actually taken on a couple of the smaller slides. Elias had so much fun! I couldn’t believe how fast some of the bigger slides went and he was excited for them all. We stayed for six and a half hours at the water park, and neither of the boys were ready to leave!

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Simon was not tall enough for the big slides, but loved the smaller slides, the fountains, and lounging on Baba’s lap in the wave pool.

Caleb had never been in the water except for his time in the little bathtub (with warm water). He wasn’t too thrilled about the colder temperatures, the waves and splashes, or the loud sounds. But he lasted about six of the six and a half hours with only two short naps before having a major meltdown so I think it was a success.

20160416_131303The temperature was even warm enough outside that we got to have a nice picnic lunch.

20160416_132924You know it was a fun day when your kids say they want to stay there forever. I don’t know when we’ll be back, but hopefully sooner rather than later! We were very impressed with the cleanliness and the life guards. The whole day was great.

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Seed Planting 2016

Elias has been asking to plant seeds for weeks, but I’ve had a lot of other stuff on my mind. Finally on Tuesday this past week I felt like we had a few extra minutes and we stopped at the store after school so that the boys could pick out what they want to plant. They chose sunflowers, corn, snap peas, orange carrots, yellow carrots, lettuce, and my personal favorite, “pretty white flowers for Mommy” (those were Elias’ words for baby’s breath).

The boys were super excited to dig in. I got out some potting soil and some pots to start the seeds in. We’ll select the best starts to plant in something more suitable after they grow a bit.

20160412_164822Here they are showing off some of their seed packets. I love this picture because they are so excited, but also because it is so classic: Simon looking in adoration at his brother rather than at me.

20160412_165606I let them poke the holes in the soil and put the seeds in the dirt themselves.

20160412_170032And we had to get Daddy in on the action as well.

20160412_171049Here’s to hoping that some of them actually grow! We’re starting them outside so they’ll be hardy if they make it!

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