Monday, April 9, 2012

The genius of the beauty of the stars

Is not the stars;

But is the space

That stands behind like black velvet,

Showcasing the stars

Like scattered diamonds.

What beauty:

That each brilliant shard

Must for a moment glow,

Then fade to black,

To become the background-

The beauty-

Of the birth of another star.

(Written by my sister, Charity Brooks, in honor of our mom)

For being at my track meets and cross country meets and awards assemblies and YW activities.
For endless laundry and dishes and dinners.
For being the ultimate taxi driver, and then teaching me to drive so I could be it.
For making modest prom dresses, even when that meant tearing out stitches and re-working patterns until you wanted to pull your hair out.
For shopping trips and lessons on being frugal (they are really paying off).
For long afternoon chats on your bed even during dinner-making time.
For trips to Wendy's for frostys.
For getting your hands dirty in the earth: weeding and gardening (I'm glad I've finally found the same kind of satisfaction in it).
For lots and lots of music: piano lessons, leading the ward choir (and giving me your love for it), being at choir concerts and just generally making music a part of our everyday lives.
For really listening.
For never speaking ill of anyone (ever).
For your pure testimony and bearing that often by the way you lived.
For being generous with your time and talents and love.
For being happy as a Mom (your children could feel it).
For finding the closest friendships within your own home.

Today I will have a cup of diet root beer and make a toast to you - the perfect Mom for me. Happy Day of Ascension! I love you!

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

The kids got to go to a few different Easter Egg Hunts this year. The first was put on by the city last weekend. We got there a little late, so Caelan had to join the "9 years and older" hunt and get eggs for all the kids to share. The Easter Bunny came to our house on Saturday instead of Sunday. Later that day we went to an Easter Egg Hunt at the preschool right around the corner from us. It was actually really fun: lots and lots of eggs to hunt (they let Megan go into the younger hunt and she was a mad woman collecting every egg she saw. Nathan, on the other hand was picky about which eggs he wanted to pick up - he liked the ball shaped eggs), making paper baskets, dying real boiled eggs, making bunny puppets, raffle for big, fancy baskets, bubbles, fun in the sandbox (actually it was cornmeal - GENUIS...this was Nathan's favorite part), snacks and treats, etc. The kids had a blast and it was a free activity right by us. We'll definitely be making that a yearly tradition. We spent Easter Sunday going to church, enjoying the day together as a family, doing another couple of egg hunts (with our real eggs that we dyed on Friday), watching a few Mormon messages on the real meaning of the day and eating a yummy Easter dinner (ham, green beans, homemade rolls and fresh pineapple). It was a nice day together.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Benny Boy is 7

Ben turned 7 years old. Since they had no school for Good Friday, Ben got to have his little party on his actual birthday (Thursday night). He took donuts to his class for his special treat. Then his good friend, Aaron, came over after school. He went to soccer practice (which he is loving, by the way) and then came home and had his birthday dinner (pizza), opened presents (legos, knights, Star Wars figurines and a movie), ate cake and ice cream (he had me make a Star Wars cake) and then spent the rest of the night putting together his Lego set while watching Star Wars. He and Aaron thought they wanted to sleep on the trampoline, so Sean got them all set up on it, and within about two minutes they were back in the house (too cold and a little too nervous to sleep out there on their own). He pulled out the hide-a-bed and they slept there the rest of the night. He spent most of the next day playing with Aaron: legos, jumping on the trampoline, coloring Easter eggs, etc. I think he fully enjoyed his day.

Some fun facts about Ben:
Favorite color: blue
Favorite movie: Star Wars
Favorite subject in school: reading (and he is a fantastic reader)
What he wants to be when he grows up: police man
Favorite Primary song: Latter Day Prophets
Favorite sport: soccer
Favorite animal: penguin
Favorite food: pizza (he also likes cereal and fruit)
Things he loves to do: play Uno, jump on the trampoline, Legos, play with little figurines
Best Friend: Aaron
Foods he doesn't like: onions, green peppers, green beans,

Ben is a excellent students (his teachers just go on and on about him), he is pretty particular about his hair (he wants it combed down and parted to the side every day - NO SPIKES), he loves, loves, loves his baby brother (and all babies for that matter), he is really into Star Wars (he went with Dad to see episode 1 the day after his birthday), he is taking piano lessons and really catches on quickly (if only he would practice a little more...), he likes to run around, he just learned how to tie his shoes and he is really close to being able to ride a bike by himself (if we had one his size he would get it just fine). He will call me in to tuck him in every night. He is a good friend and is a very happy, mellow, kind, respectful boy. We LOVE him to pieces and can't imagine our lives without him. Happy Birthday Benny Boy!

Baby Steps

Babylicious boy is growing up so fast. He just has his six month well check. He is currently 17 lbs (50th percentile) and in the 75th percentile for height. He has been really interested in real food for quite some time now. He has watched us like a hawk as we eat dinner moving his eyes with our eating utensils. He got his first bowl of baby cereal right at 5 and a half months. I have gradually been giving him other things since then: bananas, pears, green beans, carrots, crushed up Cheerios - he loves it all. He even likes to suck/gnaw on thick slices of red pepper sometimes. And he finally got the hang of the bottle - YEE HA! He is the oldest of any of my babies to take the bottle (all of the rest of them took it as soon as I tried it). He liked to chew on the tip and play around with it. I tried again about two weeks ago and he figured it out. From then on it has been no problem at all - he sucks at it like a pro. And he is starting to sit up on his own. He'll still topple over occasionally, but he can sit by himself for a little bit, and he is getting better and better about keeping his balance for longer periods of time. He is lovin' his mommy these days and gets a little nutsy when he sees me and I'm not holding him. Along with this comes a little bit of "stranger-danger." It's not too bad, but every so often he'll get a little sad when someone new picks him up (it's usually not too bad unless I'm somewhere close by and he knows it). He likes to grab at everything in sight and try to put it in his mouth, he loves to make happy yelling noises and he is still the cutest little baby around. We love him to bits.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Showers...

Bring...... SNOW! Yep we got a good little snow storm in April. The kids even had a snow day. There were a good 5 inches or so on the ground. You would never know it by the next day - it looked like it was raining from our back windows because the snow was melting so quickly. It was almost gone by that evening and left some good mud in its wake. Luckily the day after was really sunny and dried the mud right up.