Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Tale of 3 Kings, 3 Boys, 3 Fish & 3 Regrets...

In Mexico, the 6th of January is a special day - it is called Dia de Reyes (Three Kings Day) and it honors the three kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. The kids look forward to the gifts they will receive from the three kings.

We decided, this year, to give our boys something small from the 3 Kings...BUT although it seemed ideal at the time, I wish the three kings had convinced me of a better idea :) You see, I simply went to the pet store and chose a small betta fish for each of the older three (no basic goldfish available!) I felt that with all of the "taking care of" that I was doing these would be sweet for them to have a little fish to take care of on their own (not that I am equating Hudson to a betta fish or anything!)

Well, as it has turned out, the boys were pretty excited about their little fish and proceeded to ask to feed them, oh, let's say...every 5 minutes (wait....maybe they are just like Hudson - ha,ha) Obviously, I didn't give them free reign on that, but sadly, none of the fish wanted to eat...EVER. So, sadly, we pretty quickly had three disheartened little boys. And...



Meet: Cosmo, Golden, and Spike
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...before too long we had our first floating upside down fish (Cosmo) Of course, as fate would have it, it just so happened to be Chase's fish - the kid who would naturally care the most and take it the hardest. He cried his eyes out...he was so heartbroken (yes, they apparently formed an incredibly deep attachment within about 8 days!) Poor kid. He came to grips with it and was comforted by the idea of being able to pick out a new one in the following days.

And the drama continues when Pierce learned that Chase was gonna go to the pet store and select his very own new fish. Whereas Chase developed a very rapid loyalty to his first pet, Piersen had the extreme opposite reaction...eager to flush his alive and healthy fish down the toilet so that he, too, could make that journey to the pet store. He actually cried louder and much, much longer about the reality that that wasn't an option for him.

So, Chase has his new fish - a zippy little thing - named Spikey, I think - and Chase felt like the most special guy on the face of the planet as he marched out of the store with his new fish in hand (the look on his face made this all worth it!).

In other developments...looks like Reece's fish is maybe doing his last laps around the fish bowl - very slowly and in a very vertical like, awkward position. I am expecting a death announcement promptly... Which creates another issue for Pierce - whose fish is eating and looking the best of all three - still, and to his dismay. And I guess can only mean another trip to the pet store for a replacement fish for Reece....aghhhhh.

So my 3 regrets?
1) buying three fish :)
2) starting this whole replacement thing - I think each boy gets one replacement and then the madness stops! wouldn't you agree?
3) having three separate fish bowls to clean out (b/c betta fish can't be together!)

You live and you learn...I seriously think I - scratch that - the 3 Kings- should've gone with the other idea and got them 1 snake!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

R, C, P & H

These have become some of my favorite letters of the alphabet :) Their Auntie Betsy lovingly made them each a monogramed shirt...we ended out 2009 wearing them and celebrating the entrance of 2010. Happy New Year to all - may 2010 be full of growth, grace, and goodness.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"The" Picture

It's that time again...

When Reece was 6 weeks old we had some family pictures made and we really liked one in particular so we ordered it. When Chase was 6 weeks old we tried to replicate the picture - and Chaser wore the same clothes and lay on the same blanket that had been in the picture with baby Reece. guessed...we did the same with Piersen at 6 weeks old. Same age. Same blanket. Same clothes. (same parents - haha) when Hudson became 6 weeks old it was time to take "the" picture again. I have so enjoyed these pictures and I am thankful I kept up the has created a lot of conversation when we have people over...and it is often noted how similar each baby looks at the same age.

First, a candid of the star of the photo and then the crew of boys that I call mine!! Scroll down to see all of the pictures together...




And here we have it: "the" family picture featuring our 6 week old Hudson!  Below you can see all of the other pics that preceded this one.  What I like to refer to as our collage of the growing family...

The Growing Family...
The new addition: Reece Samuel
The new addition: Chase Lambert
The new addition: Piersen Benjamin
The new addition: Hudson John
We are so incredibly blessed and we recognize that and voice it to God often!

I thank You today for 4 beautiful, healthy children and for the family I have been given. I am reminded of the honor and joy it is to participate in raising them, alongside the love of my life, to become men of God. I don't think we ever imagined how rich this experience would be - and we ask for wisdom and guidance in our decisions and the way we teach, discipline, and direct their precious lives. Thank You for my incredible husband - for the good father he is to Reece, Chase, Piersen, and Hudson. I give all 5 of them to You today and ask You to give us a long life together as a family.

Christmas 2009

Our Christmas season was full of fun and festivity this year.  Although we were not with family during the 24th or 25th - we were oh so very grateful for having both Grandma (before Christmas) and Mimi (after Christmas) to be with us "around" the holiday season.  Our Christmas was wonderfully peaceful and cozy.  We were thankful to not be traveling (although the down side to that was obviously not being around all of our families).  It was nice to be at home and to have a calm and relaxing time with the boys.  Without a doubt - we were celebrating that we had our fourth little boy around the tree with us, enjoying his first Christmas  - and I think we'd all agree that Hudson is our favorite gift!  Although I took a whole lot of pictures in December, here is a small taste of what our holidays looked like. Again, it can not be said enough times that my Mom and Mary Beth were such a blessing and helped make everything a little brighter - and saner - during this crazy time of life :)  Thank you beautiful ladies :)

Decorating the tree! 
Part of our Christmas fun included making 
a gingerbread house...due to a newborn in the 
house, this was a project that was done in 
steps and the fun lasted several nights 
before it was all done!

Our Christmas eve kiddos!  My 4, Kate & Caleb.

So thankful to share our traditional Christmas eve dinner with our 
dearest friends, James and Erin Henderson (Kate & Caleb)
 and Beth (behind the camera in this shot!)

Celebrating with Christmas carols & sparklers.

There is Beth - we were glad she came back to visit!

Baby Hudson's first Christmas!  He was alert and smiling about it!

Christmas eve jammies - a special gift 
from Auntie Char.  The boys were quite excited for all the fun!

Our tradition of Daddy reading his boys 
Twas The Night Before Christmas - this 
year his lap was nice and full - we are so blessed!!

Christmas morning family snapshot!

In all the excitement of opening gifts, Reecer lost another tooth!!
(I think he was trying to rip open the package containing his lego set!)

Mimi spoiled these boys rotten!

Hope your Christmas was a special time for you and yours and that 2010 brings lots of growth, grace and goodness!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Draw Near To God And He Will Draw Near To You

I was asked by an old high school friend to write an article for one of our Canadian Christian magazines. I was thankful for the opportunity because I love to write and it helps me to think through things. With the New Year and all the changes in our family, I didn't exactly sit down and write out a specific list of New Year's fact I am not always sure I like specific resolutions. But, I do like new beginnings (thank God we have them every day if not every minute as I need them a lot!!) and I like any chance to think of how to be better, do better, love better, parent better, share better, apologize better, and so on...

I got to thinking that likely many of you who do read my blog (even though, as I am finding out, don't EVER leave comments - shame on you Beth!) are young Mom's just like me. I thought maybe my thoughts and reflections might encourage you in this New Year. Take a look...

Drawing Near Through the Seasons of Life.

I grew up in Saskatchewan and now that I am away from the definite changing of seasons, I find myself really missing the cold winters, the newness of spring, the warm summers and the beautiful colors of fall. Mexico City stays green all year long and although the temperatures fluctuate some and there is a definite rainy season, it just isn't the same. You may be chuckling at this and wishing you were here with me because you are in the middle of cold, windy, wintery temperatures, but believe me, you too would miss the snow! Sometimes you don't know how much something means to you until it is gone.

This thing called "life" also seems to present us with different seasons. Although I still consider myself quite young and I do recognize that I have many important life stages to yet experience, I feel like I have learned some important things in my young 35 years. The season of life that I am in right now is a rewarding one. I am a young mother - with 4 young children - all boys, believe it or not. Reece (6), Chase (5), Piersen (2) and Hudson (2 months) have given my husband and I the blessing of becoming parents. We are up to our elbows in disciplining, potty training, setting limits, delivering consequences, reinforcing manners, and ref-er-eering wrestling matches. There is no doubt that it is a fun and crazy time of life!

My life was not always filled with this type of responsibility or noise! Not too long ago, as a student, a missionary apprentice, or even a new wife - I had a lot more time to frame and strengthen my faith through the typical "spiritual disciplines". I remember having a Bible reading plan that I was disciplined at sticking with. I remember having quiet time and solitude in prayer. I remember having a circle of friends with whom I studied and talked with and grew spiritually with. I was drawing near to God and He was drawing near to me - just as James 4:8 promises.

Although my season of life has changed since those days - God has not changed from His original desire to be in relationship with me. I must admit that it has not always been an easy journey...but yet I have slowly learned that "drawing near to God" does not always have to look the same in every season of life. God is bigger than any Bible reading plan or regularly scheduled devotional time. Yes - He may use those in our lives to draw us closer to Him - and I believe He does, but I also believe He uses other ways. I am thankful that God's grace looks at our hearts. That He recognizes our desires. That He understands the burdens and obstacles we may have regarding "time" in our day.

I believe that God is pleased with me when I remind myself that I am in a unique and beautiful season of life - that He just might sense me "drawing near to Him" when I have a sink full of dirty dishes - and I simply choose to serve with a humble attitude and sing praises to Him in the quiet of my kitchen as my little ones sleep in their beds. Or maybe He senses me "drawing near to Him" when I arise yet another time in the middle of the night to feed my new baby and I choose to reflect on His goodness to me and the ways He has blessed me. Do I open my Bible regularly these days? Honestly, no. Do I have a regularly carved out time in my day of devotion and prayer? No. Have I studied deeply the Word of God lately. No. But, perhaps, on a more appropriate level for this season of life...I have been called to answer simple questions from my boys about who God is and what He might look like. Or why certain things happened in a particular Bible story. I have more than enough opportunities to pray for patience as I mother them - or to pray for their protection and safety. To ask God for wisdom as we seek to raise them to be solid, good men who love God. Am I drawing near to God in this season? I would have to say "yes!"

Is there room in my spiritual journey to grow in my dependence on Him? Without a doubt! However, this year - 2010 - I am choosing to spend less time evaluating my relationship with God through the same old lense that I used to use and am hoping to redefine spiritual growth in the framework of my current season of life. I believe I am still called to draw near to Him - being a Mom of young children does not excuse that - but it does call me to acknowledge that God is after my heart more than my habits.

Perhaps there is a need for you to do the same for yourself. What unique season of life do you find yourself in? Is there a need for you to redefine your framework for spiritual growth. Might you need to remind yourself that God is a God who desires to draw near to you...and then begin finding fresh and creative ways to challenge yourself to draw near to Him. I hope so. And I hope that you are richly rewarded in your journey with Him in this season, and the next.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Handsome Hudson

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Yes, he is handsome...but I have also told him more than lots more than once: "looks aren't everything boy, start acting right please." :)

Just Because...

It is a fairly rare occassion that a Mom shows up in a picture...but this time I did...and I happen to love the picture of me and my I am posting it...just because I want to!

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1 Month!

Little Hudson is already 1 month old (Dec. 16). With each of my boys I took a picture every month of their first year of life beside something special and stationary to show their growth. The "toy" of choice for Hudson is the big yellow dump truck! Here he is...growin' up so fast! What a sweet load he is :)


Adjusting to Four...

I am the kind of girl who is determined to get a good picture - I love photographing my kids - I usually don't stop until I get one I am happy with (just ask my boys!). I think I deserve some kind of trophy or at least honorable mention for getting all of them to look at the camera and smile their smiles (ha! I have them trained...and they have learned by now that the quicker they co-operate the quicker they run usually happens without bribing, altho I confess that in desperate times I have had to resort to that!)

Adding another boy to our mix has created some really great photo opps. It has not been an adjustment to my camera - it has captured some pretty sweet moments. Such as these...


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But...back to the adjustment part...The older three have been very accepting and very sweet to their new baby brother. Sure, we need to remind Pierce he can't lean on him or use Hudson as something to push up off of when he wants to hug or kiss him. But overall, there hasn't been any direct drama from the older ones. Yes, we have noticed that they have had some more sensitive moments - but it is hard to decipher if that is because of Hudson's arrival or because of being on vacation, out of routine, and away from good sleeping hours.

During this pregnancy we had heard from others that the adjustment to four would be no big deal. After all, once you are outnumbered with 3, you hardly notice that there is another one. But...let's be honest...we would have to disagree. Yes, we have had a lot of sweet moments, but in these first weeks of life our little Hudson has been doing a whole lot of this....


And has not been so great at doing this...

So although he has not followed the pattern of the other boys as being "such an easy baby" - I just chalk it up to the fact that he does NOT want to get lost in the shuffle or slip through the cracks. He wants to be sure we know he is around and that he matters. And, oh, yes he does! There is a lot of love for this sweet boy and we are very thankful for him. I am pretty much certain that this adjustment period will pass quickly and the memories that will rise to the surface are going to be ones like these...


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chase is 5!!

Amidst all of the new baby activity, holiday celebrating, and family could we possibly overlook the special celebration of Chase's life!! Our Chaser turned 5 on December 2 - and this super boy is crazy about superheroes!! So we requested by the birthday boy - with a Batman party!

The cake and the jell-o!

We invited all of his classmates and other special friends to party with us! We had a wonderful time - and the kids flew off in a special cape that Grandma lovingly made for Chase and his friends.

The very happy birthday boy!

My favorite superheroes! (as you can see the 
birthday boy got the special Batman cape)


Our littlest guy - we just couldn't leave him out 
even tho he slept through all of the action!!

The pinata, of course! 

And...blowing out the cake!
Mordida, mordida... (for some strange reason, 
the highlight to every birthday cake!)

The guilty party smiling on!


Chase is quite the boy!  He is unique and passionate and lives life to the fullest.  He is sensitive and caring - and also fiery and full of zest.  He holds a special place in our family.  He is so sweet to his Mommy, looks up to his Daddy, holds his big brother in awe and loves his little brothers unendingly.  No, he isn't perfect....he sometimes struggles with sharing...or with listening to instructions the first time.  But he receives discipline well and always acts better after. He has a tender heart and in his time recognizes his wrong and sincerely apologizes. He can tease his brothers quite skillfully and when he gets hurt he is rather dramatic.  But he is also the first to pick me a flower or to say he likes what I made for dinner.  He often wants to hold his baby brother.  He doesn't like to get cleaned up in the bath/shower.  He is often the last to fall asleep at bedtime and the first awake in the morning.  He loves cereal and would eat it at every meal if allowed.  He likes space and rockets.  He is a perfectionist when it comes to drawing - often gets frustrated with himself it doesn't look just as he wants it to.  He likes sports and wants to play them all someday.  He runs fast and is built like an athlete. Chase is a bright kid and is learning to read and spell words.  It is fun to watch him discover and learn. He has the most contagious laugh and it is not unusual to see him fall on the floor when he really gets laughing.  The boy is growing like a weed and is quickly leaving all of his current clothes behind (either because of holes in the knees or because they are just too small).  He is famous in our household for not being able to find his shoes.  He is also famous for throwing his clothes up in the air and then not being able to locate them.  He lives life at his own pace and it does not seem to help anyone to try to prod him along.  What else can be said about this sweet little man.  He is special.  He is very much loved.  And he is mine.  Happy birthday Chaser!