Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Happy Surpise

Yesterday morning, I woke up to the sound of Paul's ring on my cell phone- a ring I had not heard in over a week (he was in Chile, and the number was always "unavailable"). He was calling to tell me he had been on a flight all night and would be home in a few hours- five days early! I could not have been more giddy! It's SO good to have him back.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ninjas and Missing Persons

It's been almost a week since we dropped Paul off at the airport for one of his bi-annual longer business trips. I tend to forget these things happen until they do. He'll be gone for another week, but thankfully I'll have him around for my birthday before he leaves us again. I really can't complain too much, since most of the year, he's got such great hours and we see him all the time.
So it's just been me and the kids. We try to have fun together. This was a spontaneous tickle fight in the front yard after a much anticipated dinner at McDonalds.
We had a lot going to keep us occupied on Saturday. Benjamin started soccer, and I found it a little amusing that his team is mostly girls. I think there were about three boys. I don't think he cared though. I'll have to get more pictures another time, hopefully when Peter and Nora aren't clawing on me to leave. right. this. second.
When my boys find sticks, they are used as ninja weapons. I had a huge pile growing on the front porch for a while until I relegated them to the side of the house where they fit in much better with the (lack of) decor.
When they saw me pull out the camera, awesome ninja poses ensued.
And of course Nora does not like to be left out of the action either.
She's even gotten good at her ninja flips!

In some ways, I don't mind the time alone...although this time around I'm having a hard time thinking of any. I wish I had a little more energy, or I would use my evenings to get stuff done besides the essential cleanup. As it is, I'm usually wiped by the end of the day, and want nothing more than my bed. Ah, well. Glad this isn't a permanent condition around our house!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Autumn Time (almost)!

 I generally love summer, but by the end, I'm ready for a change. You can only spend so many days at the pool or eating popsicles or finding some way to beat the heat before it gets old. I love the first few days of early autumn, when you wake up and open the door and it's not already 80 degrees plus humidity. Literally, it's a breath of fresh air.
Because of the "extreme" temps here, we haven't taken advantage of our natural surroundings as much as we should. So when a gorgeous, cool Saturday came around a few weeks ago, we decided it was time to find some good hiking trails. 
 We didn't have to go too far at all, and the kids had a blast. This trail near our house was covered with obsidian rocks that the boys collected for arrow heads.
 Peter also wanted to find more specimens to add to his growing "walking stick" collection that's been growing on our front porch.
 We caught a sweet moment before Peter realized the camera was out. Nora worships her brother.
 This past Friday, Paul took the boys to the annual Father's and Son's camp out that our local church puts on. Pretty nice to be able to just show up with your sleeping bags and tents and have friends, entertainment and awesome food there waiting for you!
The boys getting their fill of little boy adventure time.
 Paul's favorite part about it is the campfire time. He brings his mandolin every year and jams with several older men whom he admires and respects.
My plans for a quiet evening with this cute girl were quickly thwarted just minutes after the boys left. I contracted a nasty stomach flu, which lasted nearly all night. In some ways, I was glad the boys were out of the house so they could rest and stay away from the germs, but it was a long night on my own. Thankfully, I can finally say I'm recovered now. I'm so glad morning sickness is not something I constantly battle with. I love being able to eat real food. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

A Very Momentous 500th Post

I was about to post a bunch of pictures of the hike we took as a family yesterday, until I realized this would be my 500th post. And that would be a terrible thing to waste on something so mundane. Which is why I decided to instead announce...
...we're having a baby! I'm eleven weeks along now, due on April 2. It's crazy to think that in about a half a year from now, this cute little trio is going to be a cute foursome. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around FOUR kids. For me at least, that number represents the threshold from which a smallish family becomes a big family.
As excited as I am, this still feels like a leap of faith. I already have some idea of how tough it is to have three kids still at home. But I also know how fun and rewarding it is, to watch my kids become each others' best friends. I feel tremendously blessed that to this point, we've been able to have kids so easily.
The boys were elated when they heard the news, and immediately decided it needs to be a boy. I guess if we're to have a proper baseball team, then a baby brother is in order. :) Nora is a bit more resistant to the idea of having a new baby. I don't think she actually has any idea what we're talking about, but I'm sure she'll figure it out and warm up in time. As for me, I generally feel exhausted most of the time. I've had a few "sick" days here and there, but for the most part I've been alright. I honestly don't have a preference with gender. Naturally, the only question on my mind is whether we'll continue this red-headed-blue-eyed-baby-Paul mold. Three for thee is pretty crazy, but could we possibly go four for four?! The suspense is killing me.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Naming Princesses

video

Nora may not know her ABC's yet, but she can sure name all her princesses. It's funny how these gender biases happen without any prodding or special encouragement one way or the other.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Peter's First Day Back

This week marks the beginning of Peter's new school year, and boy was he excited to get back! He's been asking about when he'd get to go ever since Benjamin started school a few weeks ago. The night before, he wanted to lay out his first day of school outfit and have a Father's Blessing.
This is what happens when I ask him to smile for the camera. Or maybe a scrunch face or a wide open mouth. :)
He's one of the few returning kids this year, since many are new. I have no doubt he will do great. At the beginning of the summer, I tried explaining the difference between regular preschool and Montessori, and gave him the option to choose whether or not he wanted to return this year, go somewhere else, or not go at all. He chose Montessori, which I feel really suits his personality well.  
I haven't written about Peter in a while, but he is a very focused, independent child. His most recent obsession  is coloring. He spends hours at it, making sure to choose accurate colors and does really well at staying in the lines. He's also gotten really interested in building with Legos, and will disappear for much of the afternoon, building space ships and houses and projectiles. 
Peter has a huge heart. He tells me often how much he loves me, and is generous with his hugs. I had to let him down recently when he told me he wanted to marry me. He loves looking at my wedding dress hanging up high in the closet, and tells me that I should wear it more (except for lunch and dinner times, when it might get dirty). We have some great conversations about what he'd like to be when he grows up. Chef and architect are some of the most recent contenders. This past Family Home Evening was about the Plan of Salvation, and it was funny to watch him absorb and digest this information all over again. He wanted to know what heaven was like, if he could take his Legos, if it would be boring there, and if Jesus would help him make some animals. He decided that he felt capable contributing the crown if Jesus made the rest of the king cobra. :) 
I love watching my sweet little Peter grow up. He's so fun.