Monday, September 30, 2013

our little hawk

This week brought the start of little hawks,  bears preschool program through Hamilton community schools. Finally. truly,  I felt the same longing to keep bear home with me as I did before Maxwell started 1st grade. However,  Weston was way more eager to begin his education this fall. Bear adores socialization and planning and activity galore.  I found it challenging to keep him stimulated and away from the wii. Bear tolerated my attempt s at educational games and activities only because those were the methods that he earned mario time.  So on Monday,  I was absolutely ready to surrender some of the educating to the professionals; and bear was beyond prepared for some interaction with his buddies and some guided play and learning.

Day 1 involved parents.  This was cool considering I appreciated the opportunity to witnessthis nature infused eeducation first hand.  Grandma came to care for ayla jo and I got to focus on my sons preparedness for the day. We were at Sandy view at record time and made it to little hawks right on schedule.  Wes found his hook and hung up his backpack. He located his nametag, a slice of log with his name on it. Then we headed outside.  We spent the hour playing soccer,  freeze tag, painting at an outdoor easel and getting to know some friends.  To my delight,  there are several amazing parents who chose little hawks for their children as well! So I would be deep in conversation with another mama about the differences between our first and second children and notice bear was out of sight.

A quick search would locate Weston reading with ms. Rachel or riding on a trike.  Regardless of his activity, he was oblivious to my presence. Eventually,  ms. Rachel's squirrel call alerted everyone to gather together for a story. We then went on a hike looking for shapes froggy had hidden in the woods. Wes found the rhombus. Yes, they used the term rhombus. I was impressed!  Well, we hiked back to the classroom for a fortifying snack of goldfish and proceeded to explore all the toys and books inside. Small group time involved creating a stick with streamers attached to it. Bear was excited about his creation.So was baby blue, she aksed for one one for her bibirthday.  Grandma dropped cupcake off early at the school so Aylaroo got to experience some little hawk action herself.

 monday bear went all alone, no mama allowed.  He was eager to go and very enthusiastic when I retrieved him. Apparently,  the class hiked to locate some poison ivy. They even learned a song about it: poison ivy poison ivy, makes me itch, makes me itch, three shiny leaves, three shiny leaves stay away, stay seems to me, that by the time bear graduates from little hawks next spring, he will be able to survive in the wilderness for days on end.

One of the amazing mothers was telling me that she had spotted maxer at school the day before and joked with max by asking him if he thought bear would get into trouble at little hawks. Maxwell responded very seriously,  well no, Weston is not naughty.  What a fabulous brother!  i do think max may have a different answer today though... while jumping on the trampoline last night,  max went underneath the tramp andb bear bounced directly on his raised feet, knocking maxers knee into his cheeck. Ouch. It left quite a wound and resulted in many tears and the end of our outdoor play.  Max has been telling people he got Iin a fight with an ox, and that's why he has that owie.

Today bear was excited to be off to school again.  He was independent and ready to play!  so thankful for those smooth drop offs. Ayla jo and I are enjoying our girl time. We had a snack,  blue took a  bath with her mermaids she chose from the dollar tree Friday night after the boys successful haircuts, and we  made some hopefully delish bread.. Now we are snuggled watching dora til mama gets motivated to pick up the nest.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

fall { ing}

Last year, I remember waiting to settle into our fall routine.  I patiently spent September figuring I only had to hang on til October to feel adjusted.  October came and brought more hectic mornings and bedtime battles. November had hunting trips and holidays. December is always crazy. Maybe February started to feel normal,  but when I factor in stomach flus and coughs and runny noses, there was not a dull  moment among the winter. And when spring came, I was still forgetting Maxwell's sandyview t-shirt for his field trip. As the school year ended, my pregnancy began and mornings were complicated with awful nausea and accompanying throw up.

So, this fall, I am more prepared for the feelings of never being completely prepared.  After the first couple of weeks I experience equal parts accomplishment and exhaustion. As night approaches once again,  I have a little pride at successfully completing another day and a lot of apprehension contemplating doing it all over again in far to few hours.
Even the weekends are full in the fall. Both boys competed in intense soccer games this Saturday.  We were so blessed to have lots of family supporting those adorable soccer studs. Auntie meg and uncle Austin even made signs that were promptly whisked upstairs to their room to display.

As brads work week was especially hectic moving birds, we intended to take full advantage of the blessing of a Sabbath.  The cool and rainy ish weather worked to our advantage as we nested, grilled some ham steaks which were completely devoured by our boys, and took some time to play the wii and watch a show. then we were off to check on the pumpkins, the only produce remaining in our garden.

We found lots of orange and immediately the adorables laid claim to the pumpkin of their choice. The afternoon involved lots of cleaning for those lucky pumpkins.

Warm, soapy water and dirty garden goods kept those babes busy.

The children were proud of their punkins, remembering when we planted them so long ago.

Thankfully,  pumpkins are forgiving plants. They survived two camping trips of almost total neglect. They overcame little piggies walking right over top of their tender shoots.  They fought the weeds and drought. They matured beautifully thanks to Gods grace.

So, this fall, i am doling out grae and relishing in the grace of god.

Like when max whined and complained about homework,  I graciously shortened his assignments each night untik I gave up completely and had to force him into finishing 3 days worth on sunday. Maxwell was less than impressed.  One of those assignments was to locate his word wall words in magazine s. well here we were sunday afternoon and the only magazines I had on hand were shape and Cosmo.  Neither of which are very suitable for my young son. I perused the ads for the words and then ripped out the pages so as to sheild maxer from the content. Grace!

Like how in desperation to visit with one of my besties I brought the tablet along to bigby and downloaed unlimited episods of my little pony and upgrades to despicable me 2 the game for entertain bear so I could converse.

Like when when I purchased yet another wand from the target salvage bins at goodwill for ayla jo so she would comply w/ my need to stop at the grocery store for milk on the way home.  although the problem of owning to many magic wands was solved on the way home when bear broke the new wand while attempting to remove the tag. Regardless,  I needed and gave grace.

Because truly all is well and we will thrive just like those pumpkins. Its fall ya'll!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

he is 5

My middle,  my second son full of spit and vinegar and heart and fiest, Weston bear, you are 5!  this is an entire hand. This is serious. especially for bear bear, birthday celebrating is high on the list of things requiring much attention.

Thankfully brad and I are quite aware of this opportunity to demonstrate to our son how we value and adore him. The lord is also incredibly conscious of this precious boy and his love of being loved.  so , we all got together,  jesus, brad and I, and brad located and purchased a  trampoline off craigslist for a screaming deal. Bradley stealthy bought the tramp and secured it on the trailer whilst I had the adorables distracted at soccer games. He is so good!

Again with the knowledge of bears expectations,  we decided to celebrate on Sunday in addition to Monday as all fam members would be able to participate all day long. Also,  brad and I were so excited to gift Weston his tramp there was no way we could wait more than was completely necessary.  Saturday was a full and fun day during which both boys had soccer games,  we attended the flywheel association's equipment parade and flea market , and visited cranes for an apple picking adventure.   We settled in at a decent time all together in the nest and slept hard until Sunday dawned and it was time to party.

After changing his mind 32 times, Weston settled on cinnamon rolls rather than donuts for breakfast.  He got first choice and devoured his danish. Bear had already been asking after some details about his gifts, size, whether you could eat it, etc. Enough was enough, so brad retrieved the trailer holding the trampoline and I allowed the boys some wii time. They were busy passing new levels, but when brad suggested heading outside to check for any presents, the boys quickly ditched mario.

There, hooked upside down to the trailer, was the trampoline.

  Bear loved it.

I bravely assisted brad in flipping the tramp right side up and the adorables were on and jumping. They continued to jump the entire day long, breaking only for meals and a brief rest time enforced by the parents as it is exhausting watching all that exercise!

the weather was cool but sunny and brad and I spent the day watching the babes learn new tricks and reach new bouncing heights. At one point, wes suffered a deep depression regarding the fact that he only received one present from us. Things were not okay in his world, brad had to chase wes down after he took off on his bike for a new family. To my hormonal mind, this was a big deal. What were we doing wrong that Weston felt dissatisfied with a grand gift, that he felt entitled to more though he could come up with nothing else he really wanted other than more!? While bear regrouped in his room, I took some time to regroup as well. We both recognized wes' age plays a significant role in his behavior.  Also, ours is a society of entitlement and materialism.  The brief experience of disappointment allowed for brad and I to discuss these things and consider ways to raise our children to be counterculturally grateful and aware of the abundance god has graciously given us . A challenge,  but one we feel god callifng us to. Pray for us that we lead with our example how to live a life of respondent thanksgiving.

20 minutes following bear's quest for a new family,  we were happily ensconced in the veen heading to McDonald's,  Weston's dinner choice. He came out of his sadness with a grateful heart and apologized to brad for his words and behavior.  So proud of that big boy behavior!

A bonus nest night concluded the family day of celebrating Weston . Do not worry,  bear's actual day was quite special as well. I served his zucchini bread breakfast with a candle. We created a special perler/hamma bead circle.   lunchables were the stars of our special birthday lunch. Weston played way more wii than typically allowed. I made special pancakes from scratch and some yummy pumpkin cake for supper. We added a sprinkler under the trampoline for added fun.

And, bear had soccer practice during which his sophomore coaches made him feel super special by gathering the entire team around him and singing happy birthday.  They had a scrimmage against another team having practice in a nearby field.  Bear scored the one and only goal of the mini game much to his delight. That little face is priceless.  We came home for cake and a quick visit with daddy until we all collapsed in exhaustion.

O lord,  thank you for our Weston bear! Thank you for his spirit of courage, and his sweet personality.  Thank you for teaching us about you through wes. Please protect wes and guide him faithfully as he learns to use his strong will to do big things in your kingdom.

Monday, September 9, 2013

first grade

Well the dust has settled somewhat after Maxwell's big first day of first grade.  first grade is a big deal, and my son is a big boy. Really,  I could not be more proud of my oldest.

Maxer was apprehensive about this new adventure.  His nature is of a cautious and calculated sort. He does not adore wild rides on the frogger or the skytrack. No, he prefers hours on end farming or  playing outdoors. Max takes comfort in knowing what to expect. So a first day in a new grade is unnerving.  He vocalized his unrest by speaking of the long hours he must spend at school,  "it just takes so long".. truth.

We spent the night before school mini golfing as a fam followed by a beautiful dining experience at arbys  I got a bit weepy over my beef and cheddar,  mourning the end of summer and the pain of surrendering my adorables to become themselves more without me. (Do keep in mind my 20 wk pregnant hormones are raging) during my messy
 attempt to put into words my emotions at the time, bear interrupts and asks brad "what? Does she want another chicken strip?" Those do sometimes help....

We got the babes settled early,   especially necessary as they are all suddenly battling colds. I prepared all I could and went to bed early as well. Everyone was up on time and eager for the day.  things went smoothly and bradley came home to pray over our oldest as he sets out to conquer 1st grade .

 We arrived to Sandy view with all that was required and before the bell. I started to walk max inside  to assist with locker location and snap some pics. when i shared my master plan with my son, he politely asked if i could please settle for a quick pic by the veen rather than joining him on the inside. i reluctantly obliged and reminded him mommy loved him and jesus was in his heart. then we left.

The best part was picking him up again at the end of the day. as soon as he saw me waiting in the lobby, maxer's entire being exuded pride and excitement. he smilingly made his way over and gripped me in a huge hug. he reported the first day of first grade to be fun!

Max, you made daddy and me so proud for being brave and trying your best. So excited to see you grow and learn this year. We are so blessed to have you as our son!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

the birthday grill

Our sweet ayla jo turned 3 this week! She is such a beautiful blessing in our family.  Every day we get with her is such a gift! We experienced her big day at the campground,  a perfect place to celebrate the cupcake's little life. She climbed out of her table/bed and found me still snuggled in mine. Happy birthday prinpress, i said. Happy birthday mommy said she.  Aylaroo spent the day wishing happy birthday to everybody who spoke it to her.

Apparently blue had found some starburst candies on her voyage from her bed to mine, so she enjoyed a fruity breakfast in bed as we waited for her brothers to awaken.

In the meantime, we downloaded several my little pony youtube videos and cuddled. Each time a brother woke up, we added him to the bed of birthday hugs.

Once I released the adorables into the wild outdoors , Aylaroo quickly joined the nyhof girls in a massive sidewalk chalk creation of our group home. ( My room had a hot tub, eager for dan to begin the construction ). Soon val arrived bearing a bag full of my little pony parafanali for the birthday grill. the my little pony crayons and coloring book kept all the adorables busy for quite awhile. there was a confrontation regarding rainbow dash because she is a blue pony and the  brothers deem it acceptable to color ponies that are blue, a boy color and the limited number of available rainbow dash pics was troublesome.

Soon enough, the masterpieces were completed and the camper doors were flung open and the adorables were let loose. Bless her heart, ayla jo opted for a stroller ride.

I savored this stroll, contemplating how amazing it is to have this pony loving prinpress in our lives.  my baby blue has such spunk, entertaining the entire fam, and sometimes weston's teachers when they are attempting to asses wes and gather info for his school year. (seriously, miss lonna had to hold ayla on her lap to prevent her from shouting wat h me run fast and loop the kitchen table at top speed)

Baby blue chattered the entire time, screeching with delight when we passed a brother or nyhof girl. she is social!  Cupcake referred to her shirt as her golf shirt as she had worn it when we all went along on a golf trip for the boys to sandy pines. Very aware of her wardrobe :)

Somehow, we managed to wait forbrads arrivalto open presents. The brothers  were insistent on a fast and furious approach to ripping open the gifts.

Good news, ayaylaroo got a pony. we visited the pool immediately following the present opening and roo brought along her pony in a new purse and proceeded to fling it instantly into the pool. 
The pony can swim, she yelled. 

We celebrated our little girl with both my fam and brads, relishing the opportunity to watch others delight in our little lovey. 

Lord, may ayla jo thrive in your perfect love that we so imperfectly demonstrate to her.  May we show her how beautiful and captivating you made her as she grows and develops so fsbulously. we recognize the blessing that is our daughter, and pray we will make you proud in how we , love and raise her. may she glorify you lord,  even as a 3 year old.