Wednesday, September 26, 2012


bear started preschool on monday. 

the adorableness in this pic slays me

school is yet another medium that illuminates the differences between my boys.  whereas maxer quietly endures his education, bear enthusiastically antcipates his school days.  weston had been very angry that maxer started school but he had not.  all those days of waiting finally were over.  bear was ready

monday morn bear woke soon after me. with his eyes swollen with sleep and his voiced crackly from disuse, bear asked if it was time for school.  i responded that is was school day in a few minutes, because explaining that he had 3 hours to go before preschool would just be overwhelming for us both.  besides, time goes in warp speed on school mornings.

when the other adorables joined us, bear chatted excitedly about sitting by emma, and not moving his head, and listening really well to his teachers.  max mentioned that kindergarten is just so long.  true story bud.  i kinda hate that part.  bear's excitement grew and grew as he reminded me he was going to school next after we dropped off max. 

we walked maxwell in and told him mommy loved him and jesus is in his heart.  bear ran over to maxer's friend basillio and tapped his chest saying "jesus is in your heart too basillio".  aw, making mommy and jesus so proud! max walked into class like a pro and we loaded the veen again for bear's drop off.

we were plenty early as kindergarten begins at 8:35 and preschool starts at 9.  we distractedly watched balto II until enough other cars arrived that i determined we would not have to hang out in the hallway so long disrupting the church office people with our waiting. 

bear washed his hands, and asked if ayla jo was going to have a bagel well he was at school.  he remembered always being hungry when maxwell was in school, so bear requested a daily bagel right before we would leave to get max.  he typically devoured his bagel on the way to preschool and found it quite enjoyable, at least memorable enough to assume baby blue would want to do the same. 

bear chose three different hooks from which to hang his coat, sweatshirt and backpack.  i knew there would be plenty of room so i let it go.  ps, his backpack is mine from highschool and college.  adorbs.  so he waited next to me until the doors of learning were opened and i told him mommy loved him and jesus was in his heart.  he ran right in without a second glance.

when i picked little bear bear up, he ran to me with a face shiny with pride and joy.  i heard more from wes on the way home from preschool than i heard from max during his entire year at lakeshore little people's.  here is what i know:

1. he made a new friend. his name is mason.  (mason is a boeskool and totally friends of the fam, not new.  still cute that they are buds on their own :))

2. the loft can only have 5 kids or the whole preschool comes crashing down.

3.  there was a god story and a god song, but wes cannot remember either.

4.  they have monster trucks.  one is wild and has teeth. 

5.  the snack was string cheese, of which bear ate all.

6.  one time emma and weston got in trouble because they were not listening.  bear thinks.

7.  he sat by clay, but emma really wanted to sit by him.

8.  emma likes to play with the babies best.

9.  miss cassie coughs into a closed fist. 

10.  weston is super excited to get back there.

so beautiful.  whenever i tell baby blue to show me her eyes, she closes them.  does not detract from the cute.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

new normal

life this fall is completely different than ever before without maxer around during the days.  not only do we miss him awfully during school, we also all work together to accomodate his daily drop off and pick up from sandy view.  though this transportation could easily be done by a bus, but i treasure being the one to send him off to class with a whispered assurance that mommy loves him and jesus is in his heart.  plus, ayla jo and bear repeatedly ask when we can go pick up maxer, that trip is the highlight of their afternoon!

yesterday demonstrated that we are getting settled into this new normal.  I awaken first to frantically shower as quietly as i can before any of the adorables wake up needing me only to find me unavailable.  ayla jo always joins me next.  ussually we devotion together with dora, well i devotion and she watches dora.  bear bear either joins in now or i must wake him up by carrying him to the veen with a sweatshirt or something to put over his pj's so the sandy view staff sees there is no need for child protective services to be involved here.  around 7:30 i start waking up maxer gently by turning off his fan, opening his door, rubbing his back, etc until he comes downstairs on his own.  this morning it took me three tries until maxer finally said, okay mom, i just want to sleep for a little more.  sorry dude, not an option!

we breakfast and pray together and then start the long process of getting the adorables dressed, teeth brushed, and in the veen.  shoes are never where i put them the night before, and clothes seem to shrink overnight.  but we have thus far been on time every morning.

with maxer at school, we try to get some errands run with one less.  sometimes we have playdates that make me feel guilty at having fun without our biggest.  but i overcome the guilt with thankfulness maxer is doing so well and is able to attend school like a big boy.  the other day, ayla jo went down for a later nap and i had to wake her up to go get max.  she slept up until i was buckling her in.  baby blue groggily opened her eyes and said, "ready to roll". 

one day this week, i had a flashback to my childhood.  well, it must gave been more of my teen years.  my two little sisters would play "wolf child".  this game is entailed one of the girls being a wolf, and the other one being a child.  they would chase eachother around and around the kitchen table.  literally, hours of fun for those two.

 well i played balto with my littlest two.  for those of you who are not familiar with the movie balto, i think you should rent it.  its about a wolf dog who saves an entire village by getting medicine for all the sick kids.  true story. film is animated and amazing.  just ask bear bear.  we happened to find a balto II vhs while at this random antique tractor show last weekend, and bear clutched that movie the entire day.  we watch it every time we start the veen now.  the best 25 cents spent ever. 

okay, so i was balto and cupcake and wes were the dog sled drivers who told me to mush while i dragged them around the living room on a sheet.  i was sweating and they were laughing.  a morning well spent.

we play hard when we get home.  though i had been warned time and again that maxer would be weary when he got home, max has adjusted super well.  bear bear seems to struggle a bit more with tiredness.  i found him sleeping in my bed last wednesday while gathering the babes for soccer practice.  aww buddy.
 he works and plays hard that bear bear.  especially during our hopscotch extravaganza last week.
 cupcake was very efficient and held her stones in her shirt.  clever darling!

tiger joined in the hopping.  since this amazing time, tiger has been hit by a car.  sad story, i know.  but the good news is it was not our car!  and brad being the heroic daddy he is, quickly pitched tiger in the ditch before the adorables could see.  aw.  and ew.

just when things were getting a bit settled...
bear started school!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

bear is 4

happy birthday to my middle.  my adventurous, unapologetic, wild man.  you fill our lives with amusement, joy and beauty with your exciting and sweet personality.  your world has been rocked by your brother going to kindergarten, but you are really thriving being the biggest at home.  you are kind to ayla jo and such a helper to me.  i love getting to spend a bit more one on one with you bear.  since your birthday on sunday, you tell me a lot that four isn't very big.  i think you kinda like being a little squirt yet :) and so do i!

 bear's birthday extravaganza began with ayla jo's at the farm during the family picture event.  he received some lightenig mcqueen awesomeness which remains a favorite movie and toy for this little boy.

though you are 4 wes, daddy still can hurl you high into the air.  the shrieks and giggles are amazing.  and daddy is strong! 

auntie amber made another delish sue's cake for all of us to enjoy.  you are always hungry for cake :)

 monster trucks and zuchinni bread account for a large portion of your days bear bear.

you and i have spent many hours racing cars together as we attempt to settle into these school days of maxer.  somehow, i do not think i am as good a playmate as your bro because you ask me at least 458 times a day when we can go pick maxwell up from school.

thankfully, we have lots of books and kittens and monster trucks to distract you from missing maxer to badly.

weston ripped paper off presents like it was his job this year.  it was entertaining and a little frightening.

on your birthday morn, daddy took us off to the food center to indulge in birthday donuts, your fave breakfast ever.

here is a pic of you trying to contain your excitement, that face never disappoints in cuteness.

you look good in john deere, whether its a tractor or a chair.

 daddy found a huge combine for your present.  you loved the size but were a bit disappointed about the amount.  the rest of the day you kept telling me that your birthday was done because you dont have any more presents. 

the combine has provided hours of entertainment harvesting grass seed and sending it in the auger to a waiting wagon.  my living room may sprout grass soon despite my best efforts to vacuum.

o bear bear.  how i love you!  god made you perfectly you and i adore every bit.  i am forever enchanted by your creativity and strength and gumption.  just this morning we were playing a very involved game in which you were a wild animal and i had to catch you and lock you up.  it was exhausting and very revealing about your persona.  you are the quickest to run and give me a hug or kiss or bite.  bear, i pray for you daily.  i pray god will equip daddy and i to show you that you have what it takes wes.  i pray you will use your energetic persistence to seek the will of the lord always.  i praise the lord for the blessing you are to our lives weston.  you are an incredible gift.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

aylaroo turns 2

happy birthday my sweet baby girl!

after months of proclaiming she would be "thee in august", august came and ayla jo turned 2.  that is big enough baby blue!!

cupcake, we had parties galore for you.  most were also celebrating brother bear, and all were such fun!

the festivities began with family pictures at the farm, and a birthday celebration for my dolly, my middle, and my nephew.  there was cake.  after the photographer had left of course. 

and there were presents.  aylaroo's first barbie!  thankfully cousin jared was around to assist the little girl with barbie's tricky fairy wings.  that is love!  prinpress adores her doll stroller.  when we are inside, the stroller must be inside, when we go out to play, we must take the stroller with us along with an assortment of babies currently named ayla, baby belle, charlotte, dora and baby easton.

lovey's actual birthday fell on a day we were camping at triponds.  the awesome sorroundings only added to the celebrating.  camp food is always based on taste and convenience instead of health, so ayla jo really got to indulge.  she had goldfish for breakfast and i even attempted cupcakes in the camper oven and had some success!

for the present portion of baby's big day we purchased a little tykes trike with a handle that is bright pink and beyond perfect.  we gifted cupcake with the bike upon arrival at the campground and she seriously went from just letting her feet dangle to placing them on the pedals to actually pedaling with a little power behind her leggies.  such a smartie roo roo!

we also picked out a little something from each of the fam to gift prinpress on her big day.  a cutie purse from daddy

 another angelcake stuffed kitten from bear, a my little pony from maxer and a barbie computer learning thing from mommy.  ayla jo, you have slept with your kitten ever since, taken your pony swimming, stuffed treasure upon treasure in your purse and, well, made lots of noise with that laptop.

sister, your brothers were way more excited about the presents than you.  as soon as you would have the paper off the boys would be shoving another gift in your face as fast as they could. it was a bit much.

 the leegwaters joined the camping experience on thursday and brought with them a birthday boy and cupcakes!

elliot and baby blue celebrated among the throng of siblings and cake loving parents!  happy birthday elliott!

cupcake, the fun was not over even though your birth day was done.  soon after our return to reality, we hosted a birthday bash with alex and courtney and the zoerhofs. 

prinpress loves all things tutu and glam.  she is saying cheese at me in the pic above. 

my daughter's hair is growing, now that she is two, though the progress is not super rapid.  we have three main styles nowadays: the fountain, pigtails, or a pony.  she really pulls off all the looks quite well.

o roo roo, we are so grateful to god for all that you bring into our lives.  you have added sparkle to our days and pink to our palette.  you are such an amazing little communicator, your words and phrases are precious and often hilarious.  your fave phrase right now is "ok, i wheel (will)".  your brothers are your protectors and your antagonizers.  what a blessing it is to get to have you as our daughter.  love you prinpress!!

Monday, September 10, 2012


yesterday was maxer's first day of kindergarten.  this is serious business.  hamilton elementary provides all day every day kindergarten at sandy view.  so our lives drastically changed on tuesday morning when the veen rolled out of that school parking lot with only two adorables on board.

i had spent much of tuesday morning and monday evening preparing my heart for this occasion.  i determined to choose enthusiasm and excitement for this chapter of life rather than grief and fear at the unknown.  the choice was easy, but the work was difficult as my heart broke at leaving my baby boy behind for longer than we have practically ever been seperated.  lots of the feelings were selfish, and lots were because of maxwell's own apprehension.  he does not know what to expect in this new setting and has suddenly become the youngest and newest member of school whereas he has always been the oldest in our fam, the leader of the adorables. 

i allowed the lord to minister to my fearful heart, and he proclaimed that perfect love does not have room for fear, and He loves perfectly.  maxer is in the best of hands, his heavenly father's.  so though i knew i would miss him terribley, i also rested in the peace that comes only from jesus. 

the lord had been working in maxer's heart as well.  our verse for devotions the week prior to school starting was "be kind to one another".  this enabled us to have several meaningful conversations about saying kind words, doing kind things and practicing kindness at school.  having that task before him at school seemed to provide maxer with purpose as he now begins to carry his own faith in a public context. 
i tiptoed into max's room and opened the door so as to begin the waking up process.  he came on down on his own and was ready for this new adventure.  brad was able to accompany us to sandy view for this big occassion.  his presence was strong and stable and comforting as i frantically whipped children and backpacks and indoor shoes into the veen. 

when we arrived at school bradley gave our kindergartener a hug and a pep talk. he stayed behind with the other adorables while i walked max into his class and assisted with the indoor shoes and cubby routine.  then while walking to his chair he quietly grabbed my hand.  my heart literally became a pile of mommy ache.  i settled him in and whispered that maybe grayson, the boy next to him who was crying, could use some kindness.  maxwell looked at me and said, "ok, i will mom" .  after telling him jesus and i loved him, i snuck away smiling.

i thanked mrs geukes the principal and found my beautiful fam in the veen waiting.  as soon as i locked eyes on my husband, the tears escaped.  not many, just enough to wash away my grief and make my way for my intense pride of maxer.  brad joked that he saw lots of moms high fiving in the parking lot, how could i cry?  but he knew.  we dropped brad off at work and headed to the library without our oldest. 

during max's first day, i drove by sandy view once and prayed aloud for my big boy.  i was third mom gathered to pick him up, only becuase i waited in the veen until two other mama's arrived.  i showered my son with praise at a job well done as he devoured his remaining lunch.

i could not be more proud of you maxwell alan meiste!  i pray for you all day long, that god grant you the peace of his presence, that you need not fear the unknowns of your day because you have god with you, that you will be safe and sound and grow in knowledge and relationship.  your kindergarten career has already made me a more prayerful mama, and i am so grateful to depend on the rock, our saviour.  see you at 3:40!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

triponds 2012

sunday we returned from our second and final camping extravaganza this summer.  we adventured at triponds for an entire week, soaking up sun, splashing in ponds and pools alike, celebrating summer, and rejoicing over our newest2 year old. 

bear and emma continued their courtship.  sometimes emma would regale bear with her own renditions of stories, including noah's ark, and sometimes bear would provide commentary for the pics.  either way, they were adorable.  bear is so excited for preschool, and more emma time :)

one or our fave things about camping at tri ponds is the petting zoo.  my adorables spend hours and hours feeding the goats whatever greenery we can find.  i even gave them corn husks to try to feed to the goats.  i believe the husks are still there in the pen, untouched by the beloved goats.  our campsite was situated where we could see the mini zookeepers the entire time they were harassing the goats. 

at one point i looked up from my book to see that maxwell was inside the petting zoo rather than alongside it.  he literally had jumped the fence.  it was dramatic. 

bear is illustrating the cool temps we arrived to, the week brought more warmth and sun and heat.  but that sweatshirt weather was amazing!

 ayla jo really got to enjoy some of her new toys while camping.  jessica found a beautiful little pink radio flyer trike on craigslist that we got for baby blue's birthday.  she is really learning to pedal like a pro while i push her and steer the course.  we even took her trike all the way to mcdonalds with grandma and grandpa lampen yesterday.  whew.  cupcake's other fave toy is her doll stroller.  the boys would ride loops around the little circle our camper was stationed and aylaroo was right behind them strolling her baby.  so darling!

totes blurry, but totes beautiful nonetheless.  one of the swimming ponds features a little hammock swing.  let me tell you, that troublesome trio is a load to push back and forth!

triponds offers a plethora of water and rocks, the perfect combo for any of my happy campers to be entertained!

all slept well this trip.  bear still finds his way to our bed in the night...

angry birds was a fave pastime while waiting for other fam members to get ready for the day.

a staple in our camp snacking.

peek a boo!  found these adorables at the park during one of our many many treks from the camper to the jumping pillow.

swim lesson skills made the beach extra fun.  triponds features some raft type things floating out in the pond off which people can jump.  max swam out there often but the jumping part was a little frightening.

bear jumped off no problem.  tan little boy, that one.

ayla jo sported goggles often, near water or far from it.

our camp adventure was awesome.  so blessed to have beautiful friends to bond with over the campfire, active and capable exploring children, and the opportunity to live within the confines of a camper for a week enjoying it all.  a perfect farewell to summer as school is now in session!