5.22.2018

Mother’s Day, belated

I can’t let May pass without a note about mothers. Mine was wonderful. My husband’s is superb. Then their are the many other mothers I watch and learn from, my sisters included. 

All of these women, super human. The more I mother, the more I realize their super powers. Patience, independence, creativity, trust in God, the ability to worry without showing it, the need to work beyond exhaustion, kindness and understanding, and love. 

I’ve got a group of boys under my purview that require all of the things I’ve mentioned above but which I’m still working on. Except for love. I’ve got the love thing down. 

5.08.2018

Outside

These spring days have been perfect for doing anything outside. We had some rain while Oliver was at school and the younger boys were loving it. Ian got soaked. 

Ansel started whistling and singing “I’m singing in the rain!” I couldn’t believe he knew all the words.  Turns out, Ansel had just come home from practicing his preschool program and that number was a big part of it. 

This guy did great at his program. The whistling, the singing. The best!

We went on a hike one Sunday afternoon. We saw lots of beetles. 



And threw rocks in the creek. It was a beautiful day.  This kid walked most of the way. I was impressed.

Can’t get enough of these days!

4.30.2018

Rain in the morning, snow later

This morning at 7am, the boys were out playing in rain puddles. 

Then later in the morning, the younger two went out and caught snowflakes on their tongues. 



Spring, you are wonderful!

4.26.2018

Perspective


This evening I was talking to my brother about buying or renting a house. We were talking about the pros and cons of living in different spots. We spoke about different towns in different states, then we started discussing different areas within our own state. I started to get nit-picky. I was talking about schools and neighbors and parked cars in driveways, etc. He listened to my comments for quite a while and then said, “You know, when you’ve experienced one of the worst things in your life, those little things don’t seem to be as important anymore. I can live with almost anything.” All I could say in response was, “You’re right,” and I was reminded to forget caring too much about the stuff that doesn’t matter all that much and to put my effort into the things that do. Schools, neighbors, and parked cars can be important, but good can be found in most places and that’s what I need to remember. It was nice to have the reminder. 

4.24.2018

James Johnson Theodore, the box elder bug

One afternoon on a walk, Ansel found his first box elder bug of the season. Ansel’s always loved catching bugs and it seems as though box elder bugs have a special place in his heart. 

This specific bug he named James (Johnson Theodore). He put him in a jar and filled it with a rock, dirt, some plants, and Cheerios. He watched the bug climb around and would sometimes take it out. 

“James, where are you?” I heard him ask his little friend in earnest one afternoon. He was letting the bug crawl around on his shirt and now couldn’t find him. He was looking everywhere, very worried.  It was a tense five minutes and Ansel was distraught. Then I heard him laugh. “There you are!” The bug had crawled in the crevices of his shirt and under his armpit. “Don’t do that again, Jamesie,” he said with all the love in his heart for his little buddy.

4.23.2018

Optical illusions

Oliver’s been creating some cool optical illusions. For this one he said, “Mom, can you go outside and raise your arms?” Look, I’m magic!

He built some neat things out of Legos. This is the build:

And this is the optical illusion, a Penrose triangle:

And then he worked on these drawings early one morning. His friend came over and after seeing them said, “Whoa! I thought they were real!”



Neat stuff from a neat kid. 

4.19.2018

Da-dis

A while ago, Ian was constantly saying the word “da-dis” and I couldn’t figure out what he meant. It was Jess who was looking at photos with Ian when he made the discovery. Jess pointed to mom, Ian said “Mama.” He pointed to himself, Ian said “Dada.” Then he pointed to Oliver, Ian said “O-ee.” He pointed to Ansel, Ian said “Da-dis.”  Ansel is now sometimes Da-dis around these parts, and he kind of likes it. He’ll say to Ian, “Come with Da-dis,” or “Give Da-dis a hug.” The rest of us have taken to it too. This makes Ansel Ansel 80 percent of the time, and Da-dis the other 20 percent. 

And Here’s the nick-namer himself. Growing and talking up a storm these days. He’ll say hello to people on the street. He loves to wave good bye to Jess as he leaves for work. He’s loves dogs, cars, books, and balls. And he can never get enough cottage cheese. 
 

4.18.2018

Ninja

The other night Ansel declared to Jess and me that he wants to be a ninja when he grows up. Apparently, he feels like he is a ninja-in-training because he’s spent some time at an America-Ninja-Warrior-based obstacle course and he can’t get enough of it. 







We asked him how he plans to make money as a ninja, to which he replied, “I’ll just go to the bank and get some.” 

4.10.2018

Spring break in the warmth

We headed down south for Spring Break again this year. It did not disappoint. It’s always such a great time to spend time together with extended family. We hiked, and sand duned, and swam. We were never short on food, fun, and conversation. Pics below. 

Ansel plays some music at the coolest park I’ve visited. 

Making cairns at Red Cliffs. 

Playing in the water and sand with cousins. 

Ian looking hip with Dad’s sunglasses. 

The blue, green, and red of this scene was so beautiful. 

Admittedly, I didn’t take too many photos because I was having lots of fun. It was a perfect break for us. So much so that on the morning after we got back home, I awoke thinking we were still there.

4.03.2018

March wrap up

We had a good month over here. Here’s a quick bit of our latter end of the month. 

We went ice skating at the Olympic Oval. 

Have I ever shared on this blog how good Jess is at ice skating? He played hockey as a kid and practiced and practiced. I am not exaggerating when I say I have never been to an ice rink where he is not the best hockey skater there. I could watch the guy skate for days. And he keeps his hands in his pockets! Now that is confidence.

We competed in the family bowling tournament. 

We didn’t win any trophy his year, but we had a lot of fun. The place we bowl at has been around for years and has looked the same for all those years. 

Oliver did a report on Theodore Roosevelt. He did a great job and we had a fun time making a video presentation. I love how on the top of his poster it says, “Very nice president.”


Ansel checked on our flower blooms daily. He was also very excited to wear this green vest for his preschool’s St Patrick’s celebration. 


Ian ate his sweet potatoes. Thank goodness, because his love of spinach is nonexistent. And yes, he is wearing Halloween pjs. This was a laundrynday for sure. And yes, I have a very sharp nose!


We celebrated my birthday and took this photo right before picking up the kids from grandma and grandpa’s. Niether of us had washed our hair that day since it was a busy Saturday and wanted to make sure we had picture proof of how amazing it still looked. 


Ansel and his cousin entertained themselves as I returned some things to the store. 


And then they all had the greatest time saying hello to the Easter bunny from afar. Ian did not want that thing to get near him, but he couldn’t stop smiling at it when it was sitting down. 


We held the first neighborhood Easter egg hunt at our house. It was a great time. Filling 500+ eggs was actually kind of fun. Plus, I hid them in the yard instead of scattering them (when did an Egg Hunt become an Egg Scatter? Anyhow...). Most were filled with candy. Some were filled with 50 cent pieces. And I hid one silver egg with a two dollar bill in it. This kept the older kids very interested in the whole thing. Afterward, one seven year old came up to me and said, “Next year you’ve got to hide 1000 eggs!” I’d better start filling them now. Ha! All my neighbors were very helpful and some brought more eggs and food. 

I had over six target bags filled to the brim!

Ansel made a sign to hang up before everyone came over. 

The hunt took about 8.5 minutes, but people hung around to eat and chat. It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun. 

And finally, I got my oil changed and unfortunately, for them, the boys had to tag along. They did a great job. At one point Oliver and Ansel saw the garbage can and said, “Why is there a recycling sign on a bin that says ‘trash only’?”  That bin along with the “accelerated service” the dealership touted as being an oil change and tire rotation in 30 minutes or less was false advertising. But I think the kids ate half of the refreshments they offered at the place, so our two hour stay wasn’t all bad. 


Now for April! It started off with April fools jokes which included hiding the cereal (Oliver’s trick) to poking his parents (Ansel’s trick). We are off to a good start!