Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Card

Fifty free cards, most to family members, I'm out of cards. So to all my cyber friends, long lost friends, and friends, consider yourself wished a Merry Christmas from the Whitings.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MIL

I love to watch people. It's been a tradition of mine from as far back as I can recall. It probably started when I was about 5 years old and my brother was sitting on a bench at the boardwalk. I sat down beside him and asked something to the effect of what are you doing and why aren't you playing instead. He replied that he was people watching and that to him it was fun. And so started my own people watching affair. It isn't so ominous as watching and critiquing or judging, just simply watching the small moments of peoples life and seeing what makes them happy.

When I married Travis we started our married life by alternating homes at Christmas time. My first year at his house I was surprised and saddened by all the traditions that were so different than my house. But with the passing years I can't help but people watch and take the best of what I have learned. I have learned that my Mother In Law loves her kids, 5 boys and 1 girl. I have watched her slave in the kitchen at the holidays taking each child's favorite treat request and making it. She seems to enjoy this for no other reason than it makes her kids happy. I love this about her. She is such a role model of good mothering. Additionally I watch the kids lovely adore their Christmas stockings up close as well as from a far. And each year they engage in teasing banter about who's hand stitched stocking is the best and why. These beaded and sequined, hand stitched, felt masterpieces are a work of love. And the kids couldn't appreciate them more I don't think. It is a way they bond with one another.

And so after watching for years I can't help but borrow the best ideas and carry on a tradition of love. So this year I embarked on making these stocking masterpieces. Not all of them will be done in time for the holidays but I can't help but be thrilled as the kids have already gone bonkers numerous times and compared theirs with one another. And I have started taking requests about favorite holiday goodies. And although I can't stand coconut I am about to make a Cathedral Window, which is Travis's favorite goodie, from his mom. Wish me luck. Thanks Treila and all the other mothers out there for being such a good examples to me. I'm stealing the best traditions and carrying them on.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas

It was with anguish that I have been approaching the holiday season, typically my favorite time of year. I was struggling to feel the real impact and meaning of the birth of Christ and was being distracted by things which I didn't feel like I could eliminate from my life. On Saturday morning as I closed out our last ward choir practice before the big program, I wept as I prayed that we would remember the miracle of Jesus' birth and life and what it meant for us. In the car I relayed my sorrows to my husband and he as ever listened patiently.

We headed to the store. We were going to let the kids do their shopping for one another. We go into the store one kid at a time while the other parent sits in the car waiting with the others. As we had finished with all four kids, I loaded out one last time, put the bags in the trunk and walked to my own door. A man stepped out of the crowd handed me something and said Merry Christmas. I thought it was literature on Christ or something and so I thanked him and got into my car. I opened it again to see that it was a green bank envelope with $100. This had been just what I needed, not the hundred dollars. Although I don't care who you are that is a nice gift. It was that I had finally seen the spirit of the season through this man and his simple gift.

Later that day we had a semi impromptu trip to the Smithsonian as a family, where the kids got to see the Hope Diamond and other cool exhibits. We then went over to the temple and visitor's center to see the lights, trees, and nativity sets. Then on Sunday we had a lovely church program. Latter that night we made holiday cookies for friends and neighbors. And then got a call from some friends for an invitation to go caroling. It was great and we came back to the house for some hot chocolate or apple cinnamon cider and pumpkin roll. Yummo! After I went to the airport to pick up my Sista, woot woot! The holiday has officially started. Surrounded by family and friends and the kindness of other I can remember why this time of year is so important after all. I hope you are remembering too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Church Santa

Spoiler Alert for the young reader:

This past weekend our ward had it's annual Christmas Party. Of course Santa happened to make a visit and allowed the kids to sit on his lap and make Christmas requests. Here is the story, assimilated as best as possible from several sources:

Issac jumped up on Santa's lap joyfully and listed a quite extensive list of items that he wanted for Christmas including a toy plane, a real shotgun, and some toys. Santa replied that he would probably get everything he wanted. Next Kody made his way over to Santa and told Santa, "I don't want to sit in your lap." Santa said that was fine but asked him what he wanted for Christmas anyway. To which Kody replied, "A hippopotomus." Laughter ensued all around. Last Wyatt got up on Santa's lap and expressed his hearts desire to be given a Wii. Santa replied that he didn't know since Wii's are pretty expensive.

Now I ask you Santa, which is more realistic an expensive Wii for a practically 7 year old or a real shotgun for a barely 5 year old. Those crazy church Santas might make for an interesting Christmas morning.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thieving It Like A Robber

Christmas Card Review:
* before you view please be kind and
remember that I was either 6 0r more months pregnant or
I had a baby less than three months old every Christmas since 2001
(i like to call the last 8 years the chubby years),
but the pics start in 2003.
2004
2005

2006 2007(actually 3/2008)20082009 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Couldn't Resist

Recently I stumbled on this beauty while checking out a friends Facebook pictures.
Winner of
the World's Most Awkward Picture
Guesses as to what this picture says:
1. We can't seem to keep our clothes shut.
2. I'm competing with Robert Pattinson for most gruesome naked chest picture.
3. I've got a gun and I'll protect my unborn child.
4. I think I may be able to squeak one out without anyone noticing.
5. We're too cheap to purchase maternity apparel.
6. I sure like to hold a gun someone else is wearing.

I really don't know, but it makes me laugh every time I open it, because this pic is now on my desktop for quick referencing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What Does It All Mean?

I know that everything isn't all about me, but let's be honest a lot of it is - in my life anyway. Okay with that being said recently I have realized upon a little mental quandry. With the new digital age and internet networking I have been reconnected with tons of friends and "boyfriends" of long ago. Now to my benefit I have had boyfriends, but I feel the quotes need added, because none were long term nor were any very serious.

Well quite a while back I found that one particular boy whom I was very good friends with and who had asked me to several dances and I went to my senior prom with turns out to be homosexual. Well he was never a boyfriend and he was quite effemenate in high school and so the admission was not really that surprising. But I couldn't help but wonder why he would ask me to so many dances and out so frequently in general. Was he gay then? Unsure? Why bother with me if he was? What did this all mean?

My brain was beseiged with questions and so I did what any self preserving woman does and I put it to the back of my mind never to be contemplated again. Although my nagging worry remained, what if I wouldn't have rejected this boys advances so frequently would that have made any difference.

Now swing to near present. I stumble upon another boy who was a good friend of mine. One of my best friends in 9th grade. When we had classes together we were partners and I loved his sense of humor. He was reasonable handsome and so when he wrote me a note asking if I would be his girlfriend, I replied yes. I mean I adored the boy. But later at lunch when my friends found out I am ashamed to admit they teased me and I surcame to the peer pressure and either later that day or the next broke up with him once again via letter. My sister let me know that she thought it was a mistake, but I my friends had convinced me that he was not my type, read cool enough.

Since high school he has been one of my biggest regrets. I had rebuffed this guy who I adored for no other reason than he didn't meet the social approval of the "in" crowd. I have dreamed about him, thought about him, and wished I would have been strong enough to stand up to my peers countless times. Recently I find him on facebook and what should my eyes behold but him appearing to be gay as best as I can tell from his facebook profile. It's not subtle so just assume I'm right here, because I am. What does this mean?

Seriously did I scar these men? Was I someone safe, a cover perhaps? In the movies more often than not the men unsure in their sexual preferences have paired up with a girl who more often than not ends up being a lesbian. Should I be a lesbian? Am I a lesbian? Well obviously not, but what is with the men in my past, these are just two examples that are closer to me. All of the questions are back in the forefront of my brain. What does this mean?

Tell me, dear reader, I implore you!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Keeping Up

In reverse order in the last two weeks we have.... had an old man back into my not moving vehicle. $600 dollars to his insurance later it looks marvelous, but that is ludicrous. We have had the van start making funny noises, strand Travis in a rain storm to walk home, and that will be fixed by my super handy hubby tonight.
have made birthday treats to take to school. Rice crispy circles with chocolate frosting and mini Reese's Pieces. As well as baked 4 batches of cookies for Manheim Women's Club, assemble 130 some odd 1 lb. packages and sell them at the Manheim Auto Auction. This year the flattery from the Auto Auction men was laid on as thick as ever. What a good day! And cooking more cookies for a neighborhood cookie exchange.
have been spoiling Issac's very particular birthday whims of breakfast in bed. Check out his mini 6 pack. Remember this child is also considered obese on the BMI body chart.
have been having lunch dates with neighbors and friends and kids.
have spent a lot of time at the shooting range. Recently we joined Manheim Sportsman Association. The kids love our quick impromptu trips to shoot for a bit. They have little point competitions, here they are checking the scores. Also I saw a mildly attractive man there, who got a whole lot hotter, in his camo fatigues practicing pistol drills and doing awesome. Something very primal about knowing that man could protect a woman.

celebrating Thanksgiving both in the school for the first grade feast, and the actual day of with Turkey Bowl football, which I also cash in on and dinner at my brother's house with his family.

We have been keeping super busy, but every minute is better than the last, so I can't complain.


video

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dear 24 Hour Fitness,

I miss you. I miss the convenience of a big gym with all the equipment, unlimited classes, and pickup sport games arranged in the evenings. I miss the convenience of having my body fat tested monthly and a sense of accountability to the people who I see at the gym everyday. I miss going to visit you everyday. I miss the included gym daycare center for my kids, as well as classes included in the price. I miss everything about you.

Why not move back here to the east and open one up in some town close to me? Why don't you take my husband up on his offer to build it? Why must you hoard such a wonderful and reasonable gym experience to those in California, Utah, and other western states. I will faithfully visit you almost everyday if you come here. It's just not the same running on your neighbor's treadmill, running in the snow around a field while your kids play on the playground, or turning to fat and lard from all the fabulous and hearty German food back here in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Longingly missing you, Mary

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Sporting Goods Section and Me

Who am I?
  • I've never gotten a gift that didn't come from the sporting goods section of the store.
  • I get super deep dark tan in the sun.
  • I like to tell jokes like "Pete and Repeat were walking down the street. Now Pete is gone. Who is left?" followed by answers "You're right and then it starts all over again" or "Pete-ra-tee".
  • I am nothing like my dad, yet my middle name comes from his side of the family.
  • I look exactly like my mom when she was younger and pretty much the same as she does now.
  • As a baby I cried nonstop but at about 3 I flipped a switch and have been the happiest boy ever since.
  • I'm fearless.
  • I have blond hair, and my blue eyes from babyhood at age 3 1/2 changed to bluish, greenish, and gray all mixed.
  • Today is my birthday and I am five.
  • When asked what would make my birthday a good one, I quickly replied "Breakfast in bed with french toast, bacon, apple rings, cereal, and orange juice which you can put on my dresser."
Answer: Issac Ames
If you haven't guessed by now, I'm totally enamored with this boy. My little Issac man! He cracks Travis and me up daily. He is a life force to be reckoned with. And even today as Kody declares, "I don't like Jesus" a post for a different day, Issac says "Kody you have to like Jesus, otherwise you die. Because he is the Savior, Save-your." Issac will someday be a crazy man standing in front of a tornado saying bring it on, I'm not afraid. I'm tougher than you. And you know what he just might be. I think this smiling madman just might be able to conquer the world.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Superlatives

Longest Checkout Lines: Target
Calmest Store: Kmart
Craziest Store: Toys R' Us
Overall Best Experience: Walmart
Craziest People In Line: Walmart

Stores where I struck out on some of the deals: Toys R' Us and Kmart
How many Kmarts I went to for the bike deal: 3 (still no bike)
Money Saved: $280
Worth it?: I'm still not sure.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm A Sucker for a Sweet Deal

I love a good Christmas card. I get excited about taping them to my doorway. I like the Christmas letter that lets you know what everyone is up to. And most of all I love the picture(s) that keep you apprised of how all of your family and friends are growing up who live long distances away.

Shutterfly has provided a great deal for bloggers. Basically after advertising them on your blog you are entitled to 50 free holiday cards. Paint me happy and call me crazy. It took not more than a moment for me to link on over to their site, see if there were any cards I loved, and start the easily navigated personalization of that card. Just a note, make sure you save your card along the way. We wouldn't want that hard work going to waste. Wondering which card I picked, well you may just have to wait until you receive yours in the mail in a couple of weeks. Here's a hint it includes a picture(s). If you're concerned your not on our family's mailing list, just send me an email with an address. With all this freeness, I am happy to be generous when all I am paying for is shipping and postage.

And because Shutterfly is so fantastically generous I expect cards from each of you too. Here is the link for you to start your shopping now. A girl has to be frugal in these economic times and Shutterfly really makes it easy and cute.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Love...

I love little boys who sit patiently and cutely waiting in the store for me to finish up.I love buying 40 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breast for $56.
I love that when we give each child 5 bullets, 16 of the total 20 hit the target.
I love that Travis is even better than the kids and a good teacher.
I love making gingerbread ornaments with Kody.
I love crepes. Especially these raspberry chocolate ones.
I love the cheetah Bella sculpted from salt clay.
I love the finished diorama that she created for her school project.

I love a good home improvement project. I love my friend who came over amidst her busy schedule to help me finish a project. Pictures to come.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just Another

So when 0 of 3 alarms typically set for a school day go off, it will lead to one manic Monday that started pretty crazily. What happened? Although my alarm was set I forgot I had changed it to another time for the weekend. And the two kids, well they just plain forgot. So when in my semi sleeping dream state, I think it's time to get up, I might just start listening instead of thinking, but my alarm hasn't gone off yet. And then later when I think in this same half lucid state, maybe your alarm hasn't gone off, but at least open your eyes and look at the clock it will come in handy to listen as I finally did. Because what should be a 6:30-6:40 wake up time quickly deteriorated to a 6:58 time. And when a bus comes at 7:15 that does not give you a lot of time. But with two fantastic kiddos and a flurried mess of activity anything can be accomplished at our house and so alas, my kids made the bus with breakfast, snacks, and homework all in hand. Kudos to me and the kids, I think this calls for some celebrating!

Friday, November 12, 2010

This and That

How I wish I could turn back time just a week or two and relive the cusp of changing leaves. Autumn is my favorite season and it always feels like the season passes too quickly and before I know it the leaves are already all on the ground exposing the bare branches.
But while sitting waiting for Issac to come out of Pre-K today, I looked up and saw this and just marveled at the beauty of the season. While Issac is at school, Kody and I have been engaging in one on one craft time what we like to call naked painting. When I look at this boy's total lack of hips and butt to hold up his pants I have to wonder where that came from because heavens knows, I have more than my fair share of junk in the trunk.
Last Saturday we went to Mt. Gretna Roller Rink for their school skate day. Although it was a total flop for a school activity, because next to no one showed up, our family had a blast and we actually taught the kids how to skate.
Bella actually got the whole gliding motion down and proved to be a good sport after an inital bout of crying and frustration at not being naturally good at everything. Travis broke out his skate dancing skills and made me fall in love with him all over again with his totally cute playfulness.
Kody started strong but was the first to be done. Issac, athlete that he is, took to it like a fish in water. Although not graceful or filled with gliding he fell done the least and engaged in a relay race. Wyatt handled as he does everything else, totally in stride. Since it was so empty I pulled the rink ref aside and had him show me how to skate backwards, a skill I had always envied from my own elementary and middle school days. By the end of the day I had even partially mastered the transition from front to back while skating, and back to front - which is suprisingly more complicated than the previous.
Also recently we had character dress up day at school. Unlike Halloween costumes and parades, after the fact they focus on storybook, fairy tale, and literary characters and dressing up - although there is some overlap. Issac wanted to be superman - see his full regala below. While the morning of Wyatt changed his mind and wanted to be a pig from the three little pigs. Twenty minutes, a glue gun, and my craft bin later I had fashioned him a pig nose and tail satisfiying his desires to be swine.
And last but not least as reward for my fabulous primary kids and their spectacular primary program singing, I made whoopie pies - 60 of them. Which is 120 little chocolate cake cookies. It was a mere "quintupling" of the original recipe. And as I baked that was what I thought about. What is that word? Four is quadrupling the recipe. What is five?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's All About Us

Recent photo session for family pictures was both nerveracking and fun.
I hoped we weren't the most annoying family to photograph. Our kids, despite what some think based on church behavior, can be quite wild.
But Laura, a friend and brilliant photographer, made the best of it and captured pure perfection -
our family having fun.
Although it was weeks ago, I'm just now posting because it took me forever to decide what I was printing, sending out in Christmas cards, etc...
Here are some of the not greatest ones that I am okay revealing ahead of time. If these are the not the best of the best ones imagine what the fantastic ones look like. I know, Laura really is brilliant and here is her new photography blog to prove it.(bliss - sigh!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Not So Manic Monday

What is the recipe for a not so manic Monday?
Well there is a long version and a short version!
The Long:
have someone clean up the house,
go to Weis to pick up more milk,
and do another load of dishes leftover from Sunday and having company over all before you wake up.
or
The Short:
marry Travis Whiting.
Man I got so lucky. I love this guy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Disease - I Think

It's something about that thin sheet of plastic on appliances and electronics that shouts to me, "do not touch". I know that most people remove it when they first get the item. I just can't do it. I recently did my washer and dryer, this set now almost 9 years old. My cell phone which is about four years old still has it on. And I have a certain 3 strike your out policy for ordering new phones. Well strike 1 and 2 have come with this phone, for malfunctions, and then this last week I went to retrieve it to find that one of the kids, I suspect Kody or Issac, was rough with my phone and cracked the LCD display. Now that I am getting a new phone can I remove the plastic piece on the verge of throwing it out. And as I sit her typing on my laptop I got for Mother's Day I see that all the plastic is fabulously intact around the monitor driving my friend absolutely nuts every time she uses it. I've tried to take it off twice, I just can't. My mother was the same way, covering her dryer with towels to preserve their newness. Perhaps it's a disease, if not, then I am just a freak.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fighting With the Joneses; Fighting With Me

If this post makes you think less of me, act like you've never read it:

Lately a lot of thoughts have been circling round my mind and all of them having to do with money. Am I obsessed? I think I could honestly say yes.

My first car was a $250 multicolored blue '86 Dodge Omni in college.
The car I am considering buying now a '07 Honda Civic.

My first house cost $132,000.
My house now cost, well let's just say considerably more.

Our income when we bought our first house was $36,000/yr.
Our income now, lets just say a little more.

Is this too much personal information? Possibly; but I use it to illustrate a point. I think it is safe to say that my standard of living is progressively getting better. But I also feel like there is pressure there too. I now live in a nice neighborhood and there are certain expectations. I don't think anyone here would appreciate me purchasing an '86 Dodge Omni with door handles that break off with some regularity, a muffler that could use fine tuning, and the battery's inability to hold a charge causing the need for semi-frequent jump starts. And quite frankly I don't have the desire to drive around drawing negative attention in that type of vehicle.

But I still have the desire to be a frugal, deal getting, penny pinching minx. And if that car runs great despite its aesthetic appearance, I still would want it. I still want to get the best possible deals on our family Christmas lists this year. I want to shout to everyone that this week I spent less than $101 on two week's worth of groceries for 6 people. I don't want to get a texting package when I don't think I need it, but am forced to consider it as my monthly bill is increasing due to others texting me, now making the texting plan a better deal after all. Can I tell people please do not text me? Call me, email me, facebook me - they are all free. And as my old phone is on the cusp of death do I go for a free standard flip phone that meets my needs or a PDA for free also, but where I must purchase a $20 multimedia package for a 2 year contract. When people look at me questioningly about the texting plan and the other very visible ways I try to save money I have to wonder - is it okay to explain that we live on half of our income due to taxes, saving for retirement, missions, and college for our kids, and donating the other half. And is it okay to be sad that I again will go another year without having my basement finished this year, because I refuse to go into debt at all minus my house. And is it okay to wonder if all this saving and frugality is sometimes pointless because of the total instability of our nation's financial future? And is my obsession with money of my own imposing helpful or hurtful?

Sometimes I just don't know.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Humbled By A Child

At the start of this year a paper arrived home via Bella's backpack. It was for WRE, a non-denominational Christian religious class that was offered to 3rd and 4th graders in the elementary school. Because it is a public school they cannot teach it in the school but instead bus the students over to our old middle school, now the town Rec Center. It was a permission slip to allow your child to attend this once a week class. I had mixed feelings about this. On one hand I am happy to see religion being revered and taught as openly as possible on the other I was nervous as to what they would be teaching. In the end if nothing else I thought it would be a good opportunity for Bella to hear a more broad perspective on Christianity and the Bible, and I hoped it would lead to many thought provoking conversations in our house.

It was last week as I returned home from somewhere, I can't remember now, and Bella sat at the kitchen counter talking to Travis. He had his scriptures flipped open. I could tell Bella had been asking questions. No big surprise, but I knew they must have been good ones for Travis to be searching his scriptures for references. For a while I listened and finally started to ask questions. What had the original question been? Travis and Bella quickly caught me up to speed. In WRE today they discussed the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent. They were discussing with the kids whether they thought the story was literal or figurative? And what evidence could support their opinions. Bella, now curious, had come home to inquire further about what we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints knew. Already she has grasped the concept that because of the Book of Mormon and a living prophet we have more revelation and knowledge concerning Christian Doctrine than most religions. She wanted to know if our church knew whether the story was literal or figurative.

After discussing it more and going to the scriptures, Travis and I explained to her as best we could that this story like most of the Bible is made of up literal and figurative parts and that it was a tool that Jesus Christ used while he was alive and that Heavenly Father has been using since the beginning of time to teach people. It was used to teach people only what they were ready to learn and that the same story throughout life would take on many meanings as the people reading had learned more and understood more. We illustrated it was like with math at school. You couldn't teach someone to do algebra unless you taught them addition and subtraction and other more basic principles. Well this story was written so it could teach the most basic things as well as the really hard stuff all in one story.

We then told her that the more she studied the more she would learn about the story. And that more than anything after she studied if she prayed and asked Heavenly Father that he would teach her all the details that she wanted to know. She left to get ready for bed content and I left impressed with WRE and the influence it was having. And then it got better because Travis went up to tuck Bella in for bed for the night. Bella told Travis that she had prayed about Adam and Eve and she could feel Heavenly Father very close and he was happy that she was trying to learn about him and what was in the scriptures. And he told her that he would give her the answers if she continued to pray. She also wanted to know where in the Bible she could read the story to learn more. We showed her the sections in Genesis as well as in the Pearl of Great Price.

My heart was overflowing with tender feelings for a special daughter who exercised unlimited resources of faith. She had taken the simple council and teachings of the Lord and her parents and had tested them out. And as much as we promised her Heavenly Father would answer her prayers, he did. I can't help but think of her example and how it is so simple to just do those things the Lord asks of us. I am in awe of her maturity and blessed beyond belief to have her in my life. I feel closer to knowing my Father in Heaven as I am a mother, Bella as well as all of my kids teach me daily.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Love....

being totally uninhibited and dancing the night away,
volunteering at the school, being room mom, and wearing ribbons in my hair,
Halloween, Halloween festivities, and all holidays,
going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire with the family.beautiful fall days where my camera works and I get great pics,
making and eating yummy soup for cold days,
kids who no longer need hospitalized from croup,
Celtic music and dancing.
finding untapped skills and abilities within myself,
finding good deals and being cheap,
seeing my family happy and hearing good reports about my kids from others,
and date nights.kids who work hard to earn good grades,
rewarding them with one on one parent time and bowling,
things that retain their sense of newness,
halloween trick or treating where all the kids are running from door to door.I love...LIFE!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting Laughs

On Sunday was our church's primary program. Issac had been waiting with overwhelming anticipation to say his part which he had memorized. When the time came he jumped up to the podium, grabbed the mic, and loudly fast talked his way through his part and jumped down adding a half spin and returned to his seat. It gave him some of the loudest laughs of the day. This isn't the first time this boy has sent people in church or anywhere else for that matter into a fit of giggles. I've largely considered why he is so funny. Because when I look at his antics although amusing they are not laugh out loud hilarious, but people are constantly laughing. I have decided that people laugh with him, because his joy is infectious. He has more personality and energy bubbling over and emanating out of him than anyone I've ever met. And all of this personality is stuffed into this itty bitty boy who barely arrived on the growth charts his last, 4th, birthday. But don't underestimate his size either because he is a solid, stout, football playing, baseball hitting, wishful hockey star.His name means, he will laugh, and as a baby Travis and I were worried his name would not fit him since he was a colicky one. At the tender age of 2 weeks he started crying and hasn't really outgrown it till recently. But daily he fills our home with laughter, eye rolling, and knowing looks between me and Travis about what the teenage years will hold for us with him as our son. But because he has never been one to mess around with mediocrity it is only fitting that every emotion is felt as deeply as his happiness. And with that I bring to light Issac's extreme tender side. When something is wrong, he is the first to rush over with a hug and a kiss to make it all better. And when all is right he is the first to tease you mercilessly. When one of the kids is being picked on he is the first to step up and engage in a physical assault on behalf of another. (Yeah, we're still working on the appropriate hitting thing. I don't want to take away too much of the aggression, because I really think he has athletic potential that just needs honing.) Although Issac and Kody are the closest in age and therefore have conflict often times, he is the first to take care of Kody and make sure he is taken care of by others. He cries on behalf of others and quickly is brought to tears himself when you reasonably point out where he has disappointed you. And so it just amazed me to no end when our recent family photos were handed to me on a disk by our friend and she had captured this side of Issac which people rarely see or notice. It is the side that gets lost in the depth of his personality. Issac's own little hand is wrapped around Kody's leading him down the creek bank into the water which had scared Kody previously. Just another way in which Issac takes care of those around him. Man I love this boy. I can't wait for all the entertaining years ahead.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When Emma Comes To Town

...this is super delayed, because forever the pics wouldn't download without error. This really was the last week of September

We celebrate with 44 oz Sonic Strawberry Limeades.
We go pick pumpkins and giggle over the phallic nature of some of the gourds.
(I never said we were mature.)
I take her to meet my neighbors and other friends on Jaime's birthday.
We bedazzle my front porch with seasonal decorations.
We head on over to Roots, we visit the Hershey Factory.
We make and eat enormous amounts of junk food, talk all night long, and relive our college days.Is she not the cutest little prego girl, 5months and with twins? Miss you already Emma!

P.S. We also had an early dismissal from school because of the flooding the day I took her to the airport. I was in Philly, so thanks Kelly for picking my kids up after school. And on the way home I was debating about whether I should tempt driving through the water when along came the postman. In the end I did drive through it to get home.