Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I'm anti baby costumes, so Annie just gets to be her sweet self.

Have fun, everyone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"On my boat."

Almost every night when I move the kitchen chairs to sweep the floor, Ezra hops up to start an adventure. "I'm on my boat, mom! I'm a Pirate!" he will say to me. He then spends the next few minutes yelling things in a gruff voice and pretending that a storm is rocking his ship back and forth.

These are the moments that I never want to end. Oh, how I love this boy.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


It is an icky weather week here, so we've been pulling out our favorite indoor activities to get us through. All three of my oldest love when we pull out the watercolor paints. I have to give them a limit of paintings they can do so they won't tear through an entire pad of heavy weight paper in one sitting.
As we were cleaning up from our activity, I stopped to look at each of the children's paints. I paused a moment and laughed to myself because they were so telling about the personalities of my two big girls.
Dorothy is an absolute neat freak. Everything in her room has a place and is promptly returned to that place when she is done using it. She makes her bed first thing when she gets up in the morning. Her clothes always go directly into the hamper. She doesn't like to keep toys in her room to avoid clutter (she plays in her brother and sister's rooms instead). She is wound a bit tightly, as you can tell.

Lucy, on the other hand, only thinks to make her bed when asked. She loves to change her clothes a half dozen times per day and throw the (clean) old outfits on the floor in various spots. Her clothes hamper was removed because she kept dumping it out (amongst her discarded clean clothes) to use it as a toy--she now shares with mom and dad. She loves to play hard, but howls in torment when asked to pick up. She is a bit more of a free spirit. 
I love these two big girls of mine and the fact that they are so different. They help to balance each other out. They are best friends and worst enemies at various points in the day, helping each other to learn some of the hard lessons of life. 

They are beautiful, individual, daughters of God, and I am grateful to know them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Annie Love.

Ezra was, admittedly, not excited about a new baby joining our family. Especially since that baby was another GIRL. It was almost more than he could bear. He grumbled about that "bad baby" that everyone else seemed so happy about.

I was worried about the first time he came to meet her at the hospital. But he jumped right in, kissing her and asking to hold her. I worried again when she and I came home, thinking the novelty might wear off. However, as the weeks went on, he found his inner big brother. At church he shoves people back a bit who crowd to closely to "his" baby. He smothers her face with slobbery, boogery kisses. He sings her "twinkle twinkle" when she starts to cry.

My favorite moment came in the middle of the night. Ann is in with us, and usually by about 2am Ezra crawls in too. I always made myself a barrier between the two, but with Annie getting sturdier I haven't worried so much. They happened to end up next to each other the other night, and when I woke up around 3 I found my baby boy with his arms cuddled around my baby girl. They were snuggled up next to each other, comfortable and happy. I hope this sweet boy of mine always takes his big brother duties so seriously. Annie is a lucky girl.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October tradition.

On Monday we took our annual family hike around Walden Pond. It is always so beautiful this time of year. 
I loved the chance to move my body and get some fresh air. These windy fall days don't make Annie too happy to stay out long, but the tree coverage at the pond was perfect. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Club members only.

The other morning while I was making breakfast, my three big kids decided to make a club. They wanted a club where they would get together and tell each other stories. As they worked on a fort for their club in the living room with blankets and various pieces of furniture, Dorothy exclaimed, "we will call it the Tent Tales club! Because we tell each other tales in this tent!" 
True to their idea, they each went around and told a story. Ezra's was about a lion ( pretty much everything he talks about these days is:), Lucy's was about a huge pumpkin, and Dorothy's was about a giant. I loved hearing them giggle and cheer each other on. It's in these moments that the chaos of having 4 little ones ages 5 and under are worth it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Got my hair did.

Can you see that look of concentration on Lucy's face? These girls don't mess around when it comes to doing hair!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference Weekend

We love conference weekend! We pick our favorite meals and treats to share, we rearrange the furniture to make viewing extra cozy, and we get to spend two full days together as a family. But Two full days together means there will be lots of highlights and not-so-highlights.


Elder Holland's talk and President Uchtdorf's talk from the Priesthood session were ones that hit our little hearts the hardest. 

Watching the children light up when they saw the Prophet on the screen. 

Hearing all the beautiful music.

Hearing Dorothy say, "quiet down everyone! I'm trying to listen to the Prophets!"


Finding a huge pee puddle behind the music room couch because I forgot Ezra had stripped himself down naked.

One unnamed child throwing a block at another's head with the toys we hoped would keep them happily preoccupied.

Realizing Ezra had gotten extremely quiet and then realizing he had found a marker and graffitied himself, his rocking horse, a couch, and various walls. Luckily, it WAS washable--oh, the tender mercies!!

I think the funniest moment of the two days was when Ezra turned to me with a very grumpy face and said, "mom, I'm done with this DVD." It makes me laugh that he thinks anything we watch is a DVD. I think that was about the time he left the room to draw on walls and pee on the floor. 8 hours of conference is a lot for a 2 year old! At least he kept himself busy so we could finish watching.

It is always an uplifting weekend, even with pee puddles behind the couch! I can't wait to start reviewing and setting new goals and trying to see with new eyes.

I'm afraid to blink...

Because all my sweet babies will grow up if I do! I remember so vividly holding, singing to, and consoling Dorothy when she was an infant. Now she is playing mini mom and doing those things for little Annie. It is so bittersweet. 

I know there are things to look forward to at every phase, but I really like right now. Can we just freeze time for a little while? Pleeeeeease??

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

School snapshots.

After promptings and much prayer, we have decided to homeschool our children. Perhaps it will not be forever, but for right now I love this choice.

With Dorothy officially in Kindergarten this year, we have become much more regular in our school routine. I made sure to have most of the planning done before Annie's birth. Here are some snapshots of how we spend some of our school time together:
Talking about the five senses.
Working on sight words.
Utilizing workbooks--so mommy doesn't have to create everything!
Understanding where we live.
Enjoying the change in seasons.
Taking field trips.
Finding surprises in nature.
And playing!!

The first few weeks we hit some (fairly big) bumps in the road. Dorothy despised how we were doing phonics. We changed the when and how, and my big girl took off! I now find phonetically spelled notes left all around the house. I love being the audience for all this learning and growth!

Now I just hope we can keep this up!

Four babes.

It has been seven weeks since Annie girl arrived. Before her birth, I fretted as usual, about how I would be able to give enough of myself to all those children. And then I watch the miracle happen--again. Somehow you heart expands even further and you find ways to do even more in every hour. Multitasking is never an option. Breast feeding, reading books, and discussing why we don't hit each other--all at the same time? Welcome to my life. 

But I can honestly say that we are being blessed beyond what I had imagined. Sure there have been hard times--like Marty's first night back at mutual when we ALL cried. However, some really incredible routines and traditions are also taking place. Over the summer I would spend the last bit of each evening laying with each child individually and reading to him/her, sometimes until they were asleep. It was my way of giving them personal attention and showing my love before things would change with the baby. 

After a few days home from the hospital and back to the schedule of Marty gone most evenings for bedtime, it was apparent that separate bedtimes was no longer an option. Since there was no one in our bed anyway, I started having all the kids pile into our big bed for all the books to be read. We go from Ezra's choice of book up through Dorothy's, a chapter or two from each. And it makes me smile to see that they still tend to nod off in order: Ezra on my shoulder at the end of his reading, Lucy somewhere during Dorothy's choice, and Dorothy remains the only one still awake to get a minute to say goodnight by herself. After hugs and kisses and plans for a good next day, she shuffles off to her room. I put Annie down for a minute to move the other's to their beds, and the night is finally quiet and peaceful. 

Every baby makes me love all my babies even more. Oh, how grateful I am to be a mother.