Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lovin' Books! (dedicated to Mimi)

This post is dedicated to Mimi - Benjy's Mom. She has been a huge influence on our kids in the way of "reading". She is a big reader herself and from the beginning of my pregnancy with Reece and on through the boys' baby, toddler and preschool years has been providing our kids with books....and books...and more books. Many of the books on these shelves have come from her and we are thankful for that!


Note to everyone else: the rest of this post is a full of a Mommy's pride so....just be warned :)

So, Mimi, I wanted you to see that putting books in the hands of your grandsons has paid off. Reece loves reading - it seems to have come quite naturally for him, in both languages. He has now accepted my challenge to begin reading chapter books. Chase is in the very beginning stages of sounding out words and pulling the concepts together but he is eager. The other night he prayed and asked God to "please help me read". And Pierce loves books. He asks for them regularly before nap and bedtime (sure, I do understand that some of that is a stall tactic - ha!)...but I have often caught him home alone in the mornings just paging through book after book all on his own. He often asks for books about "Jesus" too - I love it! I am thankful that there are now moments when I will simply ask Reece to read to his little brothers and he can do it! Very fun! I took the initiative to record these early reading moments on video because I am learning all too quickly how much these kids learn and transition from one stage of life to another right before my very eyes. I love to capture where they are at and thought this was a great way to share it with you...

This first video is Pierce and I reading his very favorite book - "The Giving Tree" - he requests it over & over & over again.  He surprised me one day when he began filling in the blanks....proof that this book has been read A LOT! Note: the video is the whole book so it is a little long, but it IS a good story if you'd like to hear it too :)

This next video is Reece on his first day of tackling, on his own, a book from The Boxcar Children Series. I gave him the "challenge", sort of unsure of how he would react. We all sat down together and made bookmarks and...well - he has taken a hold of it and he finished his first one this morning - 121 pages. Him and I have a milkshake date set for tomorrow to celebrate :) Here is just a short snippet of him reading....

And last we have Chase trying to sound out a few words in one of his favorite books. He is still very much into "guessing" when reading but he has come really far in sounding out words for spelling them out.

We are proud of our boys and of their love for books. Hopefully that love will grow more and more, and they will be good lifelong their Mimi :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Who We Are Today!

Here we are, 11 days away from our official November 18th due date. With the big change about to happen in our sweet family, I captured a few pics to remind us how we look today, waiting for Hudson to arrive. These are precious photos that remind us how blessed we are to have one another and to be awaiting another little one amongst us.

We decided to take advantage of one last "date" opportunity with baby on the "inside".

Here I am at 38 weeks - full term and feeling quite "full".

A whole lot of love awaits baby Huds.

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Perhaps one of the last photos of the trio - about to become FOUR BROTHERS!

Happy Halloween! Especially If You are "GREEN"

These costumes will require a little background information: The boys' school sent home a note explaining that for their Halloween party they would be playing games, etc.. and were not to come in full costume. Rather, they were encouraged to make something from home to create a mask from recycle-able materials or things already at home. Obviously the school is attempting to encourage parent involvement and recycling!

So - when we sat down to "create" their masks...we started with more traditional ideas like ghosts or monsters...but Reece then came up with the plan to become "trash". Honestly, I couldn't have been happier because it involved a few simple steps and "whalll-lllaaaa" - we have two very recycle-oriented masks. Unique. Definitely. Creative. For sure. And...even a little smelly :) Mexico has begun a campaign to separate all of your garbage for reduction. So here we have - organic and inorganic trash. The rest of us joined in the simple theme, mainly because the Mommy didn't have any energy or creative juice to come up with anything else. Pierce loved popping out of his own trash can, being toted by the "white trash" collecter (I know, I know - very lame).





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The boys also had opportunity to dress up and "trick or treat" here in our apartment complex. We threw together some quick costumes to play the part and they were excited to go with their neighbor friends, collecting candy!

Curious George!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

A Power Ranger

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All the neighborhood kids!

The Birthday Man!

We celebrated Benjy's 36th birthday on October 28th, here at home with lots of friends (it is almost impossible to have the two words - "party" and "small" go together). It was a fun night honoring a good man who has touched the lives of many people in his young life - some of them with us to celebrate, many of them far away. I prepared some of his favorite foods and desserts and we just hung out. It was a good time.

My husband has many honorable qualities. I appreciate who he is becoming - definitely. He is often self reflective and wanting to grow and change and become better. But I also appreciate who is today. Period. I am thankful for his honest nature, for the friend he is to others. For what he means to me as my best friend and life companion. My husband. The Daddy to our boys. Leader and provider for our family. He is smart. Gifted. Funny. Caring. Perceptive. Fun. Insightful. I appreciate that he is here and engaged and present. He is a very good man - a life worth celebrating.

So happy birthday Benjy!




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Tuesday, November 03, 2009


As the big birthday of my fourth son approaches, I sense the desire to record my sentiments, my thoughts, my feelings.... I choose to do so in a letter to my sweet baby boy Hudson who is currently tucked safely under my heart, kicking my ribs and causing my tummy to form into some strange shapes as he nestles in for another night.

Dear Hudson,

We are all anticipating your arrival. Reece specifically asked if you might come tonight because he is so eager to see you and hold you. He asks me if you are going to be chubby and what you are going to look like. Chase often kisses you or pats you through my tummy. He loves to be near you. Piersen says your name numerous times throughout the day...and although he likely doesn't understand what all of this "baby brother" stuff means, I am certain he will be quick to protect you and beam with pride that you are "his" baby. Your Daddy had his hand on you last night, wondering when you were going to make your big appearance. He is anxious for your arrival - ready to have you here. And me....

Well, I love you deeply already and am just so very thankful that God has given us this long journey together to bond and experience life together. You are one special baby - you have given us hope after loss. You have given us joy after sorrow. You have given us thankfulness and appreciation for another experience at being parents. You mean so much to us - so much more to us than just "another boy". You are unique and your arrival to our family is full of celebration! I am excited to meet you here on the outside - to watch you grow and change and to see your personality develop. To get to know just how God has knitted and formed you. I have so enjoyed my pregnancy with you. The adventure has brought many smiles to my face and tears to my eyes. Seems like forever ago that you scared us during the very early ultrasound that questioned your viability. And then each check up, each ultrasound, each pregnancy milestone or movement from you - all so cherished and accepted as real miracles. We are so grateful for you.

As we await the moment when you decide to truly let us know you are ready to come (because there have already been a few questions in my mind since I can't seem to predict much about you these days :) ) I just want to wish you a safe and healthy journey. I want to thank you for giving me one more opportunity to experience the beauty, pain, and miracle of childbirth. I thank our God for giving you to us - just exactly in the timing He saw fit. You are very special, very loved and very much anticipated. We've been waiting for you. Come quickly and come safely. Praying for you to be strong and healthy and ready to steal the hearts of all of us....and to join our family (get ready! it is quite the adventure!)

All my love, Mommy

Monday, November 02, 2009


I am not so sure our little Pierce truly understands the reality of a new baby entering our family...and our home! Can't say I blame him... I have had my fair share of moments when I have to remind myself that we are really going to have four little boys! That we really are going back to the newborn stage of parenting. That I really won't have to wear "too short in the leg maternity pants that for some unknown reason rarely have pockets" much longer.... That before long we really will be able to hold and know this sweet little baby. It really all is just a little surreal!

But...back to Pierce.... For the past months we have been talking a lot about baby Hudson. He knows his name and we talk and pray openly about him and that he will make Pierce a big brother and all that stuff. But Piersen also knows that this little Hudson creature is inside his Mommy's tummy - no big threat right?! This afternoon I had the baby car seat out - getting it ready to be washed and installed into the car. When Pierce entered the room and saw it his face lit up and he said, "that's my seat". "No, not anymore. Now you are a big boy...that seat is for baby Hudson." Pierce looked up at me with this confused and almost bothered look - as though in slow motion he looked at my tummy and then at the car seat....almost as though it was s-l-o-w-l-y coming together in his mind as to what is about to happen.

I couldn't help but laugh.

This little boy is going to change all of us. Really!