Tuesday, October 29, 2013

my baby is 5!

Ari gets a kick out of it when I say that he will always be my baby...even when he's 30. (I'll just have to remember not to call him my baby when he is graduating.)  He has been counting down the days until he turned 5, then naturally he said to me today "I can't wait to be 6!"

He has developed a love for bugs, specifically worms and crickets. He spent the past month or so catching all the crickets and roly poly bugs in our basement and releasing them outside. Oh yeah...and the frogs that seem to get trapped in our window well. He was throwing back all the worms from our driveway when it rained a few weeks ago and making sure no one stepped on them.

When I think he is off playing, he will often surprise me with a deep question such as "How can God see me if He's in my heart?" or "Why did God make diseases?" It makes my heart proud to see that he isn't always thinking about his toys...although we still struggle with sharing at times.

He has taken on the role of big brother very well. I love to hear him invite Evangeline to come play with him. Sometimes though he just wants alone time and will tell us he'd rather play by himself. He doesn't like to be alone in a room by himself, so will ask me to be with him while he plays if the girls are sleeping. He has a cd player in the basement and really enjoys sitting down there and listening to music.

I do find them goofing around a lot together...which makes the bickering not seem so bad. There are some days though that I have to remind myself that they really do love each other, despite the constant quarreling.

He has a special place in his heart for Selah...since she doesn't take his toys :) But really, he is constantly aware of what she wants or needs or would enjoy. He likes to carry her around, help feed her, gets her toys, makes her laugh, and so on. If she cries he will suggest what she possibly needs. He has finally gotten used to having so many girls around...for a while it was a struggle to explain why they got to wear bows, headbands, and paint their nails. He has become good friends with the neighbor boys and we have let him play with them a few times without the girls tagging along. It has been a struggle to allow him freedoms like that...but realize he is gradually turning in to a young boy and no longer a baby, toddler, or even preschooler. *Insert tears now* I have to learn to let go and just trust that he will make right choices when we aren't with him.

This face just melts my heart. It is the face I see when I think of him. The sparkly blue eyes, swoopy hair on his forehead, mischievous smile. It encompasses his sweet spirit.

I am always impressed by his memory. He will randomly say "remember when..." and it be something from 2 or 3 years ago that I had even forgotten about. I just pray that we are utilizing that sponge of a brain to teach him valuable lessons that he will remember all his life. 

And just for fun...I wanted to get a picture on his actual birthday with his sisters.

And this is how it usually goes :)

Happy Birthday, my sweet sweet boy!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

my favorite bank holiday

A major perk of having a husband work for a bank are the random "holidays" they get off. Thank you Christopher Columbus. And since he has worked at said bank for 12 years, we have made it a tradition to go down to Brown County and Nashville on this day.

We stopped by my grandparents on the way and they got to meet Selah for the first time.

The kids noticed the leaves as soon as we got out and couldn't help but to just dive in! We didn't anticipate any pony rides until we saw how cheap, and since it was a "vacation" we figured we could splurge a little.

Evangeline was so excited about getting to ride...

but was not thrilled about having to get off and let someone else go. Yes, tears were shed. It was a hard goodbye.

Ari originally didn't want to ride and opted not to when we originally paid, but then decided halfway through Evangeline's turn that he did want to ride. Tears were almost shed then too because we were not going to stand in line for another 20 minutes because we had lots more things to do on our one day vacation. But it happened to work out that nobody was in line when her turn was over so he was able to go.

Some nice girls took our picture and we returned the favor to them as well. The weather turned out nicely with a high of 70 degrees and sunshine.

We didn't get to do as many trails as we would have liked, but that's the trade off for having many small feet with us.

Our main agenda for the day revolves around getting fudge and coffee in Nashville. It's a MUST if you ever go. However, the hot chocolate is highway robbery so we brought our own for the kids :)

On our way home I wanted to stop by an orchard, but it ended up being a lot longer drive than I anticipated. My husband loves me SO much that he endured and got us to our destination. :)

While I got apples, the kids went above and beyond to enjoy the haystack to its fullest.

This girl gets so excited when we take her outside, so she was content just watching all the kids playing.

The Bigs threw...

and laughed...

and jumped...

and jumped...

until it was time to go.

It was a long day but we made the most of it and packed it full of memories. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

music, mowing, and my nephews

The kids at church had a chance to sing "Lord, I lift your name on high" and a fun version of the books of the Bible. We had the cd for several weeks prior to the performance so Ari listened to the songs on repeat every day, all day long.

I was excited to finally see the performance that he had been waiting soooooo long for. :)

Our grass is greener than ever and it seems to be needing a cut every other day! We've never ran into the problem of running out of daylight until this year. The grass is usually so dry this time of year that it doesn't need much cutting. But this year it's been a challenge to get it all cut before the sun goes down.

The kids decided to hide in the tent from the lawn mower, but I doubt it did much to block the noise. :)

Sometimes they would venture out and decide to help get the job done.

Selah is doing better on foods. She still has a rash on her arms, legs, and face from the cereal a few weeks ago, but it doesn't seem to bother her. Everyone is happy, happy, happy now.

This little man is such a lover. He gives hugs and kisses like it's his job.

He also likes to help with the baby. They are both trying to console Selah...and by console I mean Evangeline is trying to make her do raspberries with her finger on her mouth and Elias is patting her on the back. Babies taking care of babies, it's sweet.

AJ had his big race for the year. He did great, as usual, and the bank did very well overall.

Unfortunately though, we had to miss this little guy's first birthday because of the race! Happy Birthday sweet boy!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

7 months

Before I can even catch my breath, another month has gone by. Selah Bear continues to be so happy and content. (I'm not really sure how she ended up with that nickname...but the other kids get a kick out of it. They like to make up songs that rhyme with Selah Bear such as "Selah Bear, Selah Bear, We're almost there...Selah Bear, Selah Bear, I like your hair").

She finally enjoys time in the exersaucer. Ari and Evangeline usually notice her and end up playing with her...which gives me a few minutes to get some things done. She also likes to lay on the ground and roll around, but I don't let her do that too often unless I am sitting right there with her. Too much liability for this momma. Ari would be mindful of her, but sometimes Evangeline is a little too rough.

She likes to scream really loud. I mean, REALLY loud. Which means we have quickly exited the church service at some point every week. One time our pastor even acknowledged the shrill and said "That's right, sister!" They are happy screams, but most of the time she gives no warning that she is working up this boisterous noise. A lady at church recently asked us if she ever cries because she always seems so happy. Of course we had to say yes :) But those cries are usually in the early a.m. hours which result in me feeding her because I can't get her to stop crying. Broken sleep. It's part of the job description.

She doesn't give huge smiles all the time anymore. She likes to smirk at you as if she is studying all the noises and faces you are making at her. Which I suppose I would give the same look if someone was doing that to me.

She is on a good schedule with a solid 3 naps a day. She will rub her eyes and lay her head on my shoulder. However, she will NOT let you lay her down in your arms horizontally. But if you hold her upright and bounce your arms she will snuggle until the cows come home. Or something like that.

Evangeline continues to be a little mommy...forever bringing her toys to play with, helping with bath time, watching her eat, etc. which Selah seems to enjoy. But when it comes to Evangeline holding her, I think there is only one of them enjoying it.

The cousins love on her too and didn't want to miss out on a photo op. Wait! Can't forget the little guy!

And...that didn't last long.

She has only had rice and oatmeal cereals so far, but I plan to introduce other foods very soon. Her face has been getting a rash where the cereal touches so I am going to try and get her off the cereals as soon as possible. She doesn't have a problem digesting it but there seems to be some kind of a reaction going on. I do my best not to get it on her face...but this girl is forever twisting around so she can snag a hold of something.

And just for fun here are some pics of all the kids..each in their own 7 month glory.