Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quick Recap of October-December {{I'm Baaaack!}}

I was not planning on taking a break from the blog. Life has been so busy since the birth of Caleb. Like, why didn't people warn me about what adding a 4th kid looks like?! I guess that's not fair...Jim Gaffigan did say that having a 4th baby is like "you're drowning and then somebody hands you a baby."

Anyway...we've been busy, busy, busy. Caleb turned 1, We had Thanksgiving, flag football, Bible studies, Church, parties, school, work, Mila Jo Designs. We've been busy. I once heard somebody say that being "BUSY is Being Under Satans Yoke"....hmmmmm..... Anyway, life has been full and my blog is most definitely not a priority. But I miss it, so I'm back; for now at least.

Looks like I stopped posting after our trip to Disneyland, so I'll start there! time!

The end of summer brings flag football. Josiah proved to be an awesome QB. Throwing the winning touchdown pass to win the "Super Bowl", and Micah proved to be aggressive and competitive (no surprise there!).

My sister and her husband adopted all three of their foster kids in September!! That took our family from 4 grandkids to 8 within 2 years. Amazing!

James' Grandpa Dean or "Great Pa" was diagnosed with cancer and we have been soaking up all the time we can get with him. He's amazing! We do dinner at least twice a month and he never misses a kids game or family event. He is truly cherished!

Then fall came and we enjoyed in all of the fall festivities.

We spent some great quality time with these boys. They are a few of James' students who just lost their brother to cancer. He was only 17. They are seriously amazing boys! Please pray for their family if you get a chance!

Caleb turned into a climber. He's my first climber and it scares the life out of me! I find him on top of everything!!

Halloween is always fun! Ella was two different princess; she started the day as Ariel and ended as Elsa. The boys were a ninja, Batman and Robin. We were also able to go trick or treating with Tito, Hugo and Andy.

James was Tony Stark; hence the light under his shirt.

This year I imposed a new system of getting rid of the huge piles of candy. I paid $.10 a piece if they were willing to sell it to me. Each kids got about $5 and spent it at the dollar store. Worked great to avoid the sugar/cavities and they still felt like they got something.

The most significant thing that happened was when we baptized Josiah. He's 7 and one of the most theologically thinking people I have met. His love for Jesus is deep and devout. It was such an amazing moment for us as his parents!

We decorated for Christmas and this was the best shot I could get from them. Poor Caleb!

Thanksgiving fell on Caleb's first birthday this year. No party planning necessary! Gobble gobble little turkey! 

He started to stand on his own!

He even had his own pumpkin pie.

My nephew (who is also adopted!) is only 7 days younger than Caleb, so we were able to celebrate together. Love!

We went ice skating, I held the kids like this for about an hour. It was exhausting! Josiah was actually pretty good! He even has picked up the new obsession of roller blading.

Christmas was great. Nice and easy. This was one of the first years we've only had 1 Christmas. We normally have to meet at both of our parent's houses to celebrate, but I was grateful for a lower key holiday season!

Ella was spoiled by her aunt and uncle when they gave her her very own Lululemon outfit. I can't handle her cuteness!

We played in the snow, a lot.

Caleb became a huge fan of daddy. I would call him a "daddy's boy" for sure. We also discovered that our poor boy is allergic to milk. Ugh! It only took us about 6 weeks to figure it out and he is finally a happy baby again! Also, goat's milk is $16 a gallon. Yay!

We had a totally rad New Year. Thanks to our sweet Gibbs for hosting a tubular 80's themed party. How sweet is James' outfit?! He even paired it with original Air Jordan's. Nice. 

And there ya have it. The fastest recap of 3 months ever! I kinda like this style of blogging. It's like memory lane in 500 words or less!

Friday, October 3, 2014

It was a bad day.

Yesterday sucked.

Nothing good seemed to happen. Bad attitudes were widespread (on both the adult and adolescent sides).

Josiah threw a shoe across the room. Micah told me I scared him (by yelling). Ella threw temper tantrums. Caleb is going through separation anxiety.

Today was a horrible, no good, very bad day. But we lived through it.

I have many, many days when I feel lees than adequate for my kids. I don't think I am as fun as I could be. I don't set up forts, or crafts, or lego cities. I don't read as much as I should to them. I don't welcome  them home with yummy treats and homemade goodies. I don't spend the time working with them on spelling words like I should. I don't remember dentist appointments and when library books are due. I'm not good at that. Sometimes (way too often) I yell at them. I scream for them to hurry and put their shoes on. I tell them we will be late because they chose to not eat their eggs for breakfast, or put on their socks soon enough. I send them to school without a lunch and tell them to buy hot lunch. I will let them watch the Avengers in lieu of reading them book…because I need to "zone out". I don't do laundry soon enough and they run out of underwear. I'm not awesome…I'm not even mediocre.

I fail. Every…single…day. I let them down. They rely on me, and I fail them. But…..they still love me. With each tantrum I feel like I am the root of the problem. I hear them shouting at one another, and know they are mimicking the behaviors they have witnessed in me. I take every behavioral problem as a sign of my poor mothering. I can tend to be a really harsh critic to myself.

Amidst this terrible, horrible, very bad day I had moments with Josiah that were quite special. I sat with him on the stairs and told him that even though his behavior was unacceptable; "I'm still sitting here on the stairs with you, hugging you; telling you how I will always love you. No matter what, I will always be your mom." I get to see moments in their lives when they are filled with kindness, compassion, generosity, and love. I know that they also get these traits from James and me. Along with the bad qualities comes good qualities. I hear them thank their teachers after school, or offer their friends their favorite toys to play with. They are sweet (well, they can be).

Trying to navigate through parenting is the most difficult thing I have ever done. It is exhausting, draining, emotional, and stressful. But more than anything being a mom has developed me into somebody I never thought possible. I become more selfless, caring, compassionate, and loving each day. Each day is filled with something new that will define who I become. With each tantrum I am given the opportunity to choose to make that moment a learning moment, or I can allow it to pass by without investing into them. I have the privilege to help my children become the men and women that God has in store. I can invest into their lives and help them realize their full potential. I get to guide them and teach them how to have a full life and allow Christ to live through them. This is the biggest honor that exists on this planet. I get to be their mother.

So even though yesterday felt like a really bad day to be a parent; today is new and I am allowed a whole new chance. I'm grateful for new mornings, and grace. After all, we're all just trying to figure it out together. One day at a time….

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Trip to Disneyland

Two years ago we were fortunate enough to visit DisneyWorld in Orlando. It was so magical that we just had to get back to Disney! We made the trip to Anaheim to visit Mickey again. 

Here's our vacation photo journal….it's very dense. Good luck getting through all of these photos!

First day photo…ooh how fresh and alert we look!

I felt bad letting Caleb crawl on this disgusting floor…but hey, I can't let my baby sit in the stroller for 9 hours a day…plus…that's what hand sanitizer is for; right?!

The Cars ride was so fun! My sweet Micah would pretend to drive even though there was no steering wheel. So darn adorable!

The Water and Light show at California Adventure was really quite amazing. Caleb went nutzo watching it too. Literally laughing, and dancing the entire show. He's so darn cute!!

Ella's only request was to meet Ariel, she was so star struck. Ariel told Ella she had the same shells back at home.

If you're willing to wait in line you get to meet 3 princesses at once….yeah worth the 20 minutes!

These girls make me feel so darn short!

This is what the entire trip felt like….just a little crazzzzy.

The princess got Bibbidi Bobbidi Buitified .

World's smallest bun….I'm calling Guinness's Book of World's Records….

I don't know why he was so happy in Buzz Lightyear…but he was suuuuuper excited.

I think I'm raising a Disney Diva…..oh boy!

Did you know if you lose your tooth at Disneyland the tooth fairy brings you $5 extra….who knew! So spoiled!

Do you love our mode of transportation? I have to tell ya…that B.O.B stroller was the best thing ever!
And I love that James looks exhausted :)

 I can't stop laughing over Micah's aversion to looking into the camera lens…

I love this photo because it shows what a crazy mom I am. I got so excited that Caleb was smiling at Mickey…what a dork I am.

This girl kept getting kisses from the princesses on the parade. Gosh…Disney with a girl is So much fun!

We spent 5 days (yes I said 5) from open to close, at the park. It was stressful, exhausting, and so much fun. We are so incredibly blessed and spoiled that we are able to go on these amazing trips with our family. James' parents were so generous to pay for the much of the trip, without their amazing gift we would probably not get to capture these memories….and I love them! 

Now for memories sake, here's the list of favorites:

Micah: Buzz Lightyear ride
Josiah: Indian Jones & California Screamer 
Ella: Circus Train
Caleb: Buzz Lightyear
James: Splash Mountain
Bethany: Tower of Terror (and the food!)