Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Luke

Luke is 4 today. Our little monkey boy is growing into a mancub. Just the other day he asked me what a mancub was. Ben has called him that for the past two years or so, and finally he now understands what it means. Luke has been a ray of sunshine inbetween his bouts of thunder and lightning. He can throw the best of tantrums or have the best happiest personality and it all can change in a matter of minutes just like the weather in Montana.
He is eagerly awaiting the beginning of preschool next week. He has a best friend or buddy, he calls him either whose name is Connor. He plots ways to get Connor to come over. He is friendly to everyone and almost always leaves the playground, library or other social event informing that his new friend so and so (he always has a name even though it isn't always the right one) is very nice and wants to come over and play sometime. His attachment to me is becoming slightly less, the velcro effect may be starting to wear off. This will be tested next week. He is very hard to buy presents for because he is happy with anything, his most common toys are his hands, they can have something in them or be empty and he will entertain himself. It makes church hard sometimes because even though they aren't allowed to bring toys he can be just as loud with his hands. My hair has always been something he plays with too, but that is finally becoming less with my encouragement because I hate it.
Beau was not so interested as a toddler, but now he is teaching Luke in all ways Lego and Bionicles. He watches over his brother as long as he isn't ruining any of his stuff. Beau was the first one to sing Luke happy birthday this morning, and he is starting to not mind sharing his bedroom. Not a lot of difference between Beau here in this picture and Luke now, Luke's eyes are a little different and his cheeks are thinner, and he wears that Bob the Builder shirt.
Anna, loved holding him here and still loves being a big sister to him now. They play house and Barbies, and whatever else she deems the imagination theme of the day. He listens to her, and she is the first to help him when I am unavailable. I realized yesterday how convenient it was to have her around because I had to stop what I was doing a lot more often yesterday than I have this summer. Isn't she so cute here and isn't Luke so scrawny, wow to just go back there for a day and sqeeze those babes all over again. I just have to get some extra big kid hugs today.

Now here is the raving lunatic that he has become. Running helter skelter from one thing to the next, indepent, imaginitve, loving, fun, crazy, sweet and sometimes cuddly.


This is Luke Spider-Man dress shirt that I work hard to hide so he can only wear it one Sunday a month. Luke is all about Super heroes, power rangers, and transformers. They are all interchangeable to him and he is content with whatever you put in front of him.



This video captures Luke's imagination and the next one captures his boyness. I don't know what the leaves ever did to him but he was sure to make them pay.
video
We love this little mancub and look forward to watching him grow into a man.

video

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day of School

They were up early and ready to go. No arguing, no lectures, just got there stuff done and got out the door. Wish everyday could go so smoothly. Luke isn't in any of the pictures because of all mornings to sleep in he chose today. He was still ready to go on time but not in time for pictuers. We'll get his on his first day of school next Wednesday. Ben took Beau to school, so I have yet to see his classroom or talk to his teacher. I took Anna and she did great hung her bag in her locker hugged me goodbye and headed to the playground never looking back. It is strange to have them at two different schools but they are handling it well. Looking forward to another great year. 1st and 2nd graders, wow how time flies.







As we were pulling out I couldn't resist the photo op so I stopped the van, made Anna jump out and crouch down in the flowers in her butterfly shirt. She has a butterfly backpack too, but it was a spur of the moment thing. At first she was worried there might be snakes but I assured her and we snapped a couple before jumping in the van and heading off to school, and I am so glad we did. I will be framing one of these.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just Beau

Beau is going into 2nd grade. He doesn't like to stand still long enough for a picture, but some times I make him. This summer he has managed to teach Luke and Anna all about bionicles, and that is what they did all summer long. He is ready for soccer to start this week, and he's somewhat excited about his new coach, his mom. He fished and camped and thoroughly enjoyed every day of his summer vacation. He read more chapter books than I did, and I can't even list them all because I lost track somewhere around the beginning of August. He goes to bed great but sometimes we forget to make sure his lights are out and he stays up reading way too late. He loved vacationing in Michigan, and thinks he will someday move to Chicago. He loves the water, but swim lessons proved to be a little boring as he did his own thing instead of paying attention, and I'm not sure he learned anything. His room number this year is 101 and there are dalmations on the door, he has all of this written in his brain as he prepares to journey to a new school. Anna and Beau will be at different locations this year which will be interesting. They almost always sought eachother out at recess just long enough to say hi and they stuck together on the bus and when I dropped them off. I think they will miss one another a little bit, but they will both survive. At the end of first grade Beau wrote a letter for an incoming first grader into Mrs. Bakke's class. It said, "Dear First-grader, Last year we had salamanders, meal worms, butterflys, sun flowers, and we learned about sea life. You will really like ten star partys." I know because Mrs. Bakke sent it to Anna in her welcome letter. I remember Beau getting one last year and I thought it was so thoughtful for Mrs. Bakke to do that for Anna. Something I will save. I guess we need to work on dropping the y and adding ies though.
He is a lot of work, we have to keep him in line all the time, but he is also a lot of fun. He makes us all laugh, he asks tons of questions (Lots of times I don't know the answers) and we look stuff up on the internet together all the time because he loves to learn. I am really looking forward to this year, he will grow so much and with soccer and hockey on the agenda we are starting to round out the edges of him.







Just Anna

Anna has really grown this summer, not necessarily in size but in independence, personality, bravery, and just as a little person. Last summer she was so scared of water that she would never walk in the creek without holding a hand, and she would cry the instant you let go. This summer she excelled in swimming lessons, loosened up at the water park, and trudged through endless creek alone. She'd wade to her thighs, she'd travel up ahead, and she didn't need to have anyone next to her. Camping this past weekend she really strutted her stuff as she was in and out of the creek the whole time we were there, it wasn't deep but it was so cold. She loves her new found independence in the water and spent a lot of time in water this summer. Much more than anyone else. She was always the first one in and the last one out.
She has begun to love to pose for the camera, be it at the zoo, in front of the fire, or just at home when she has on a new outfit. She loves having her ears pierced and wouldn't be caught not wearing a dress to church ever. She plays all day with her brothers or alone and is helpful around the house when asked. She is so excited to start soccer and first grade that she asks ten times a day how many days until... Well tonight is her first soccer practice and Wednesday school starts. Life keeps changing a moving and although at times I miss by blond haired blue eyed toddler with two ponies sticking out the side of her head and endless chatter, I so love the brown haired blue eyed little girl she has become.






Thursday, August 13, 2009

Poolside

We had a great afternoon of swimming and lunch at Mr. Jim's pool in Michigan (my SIL's dad). We are so thankful he keeps the pool up and always has it ready for us to use when we are there. The kids love it. Anna stayed in the water practically the whole time.

Luke was in and out, but he had a blast and loved jumping off the diving board.
Beau loves to swim underwater and isn't he cool in his goggles.
Anna was such a diva with her sunglasses, she can touch in the shallow end but liked the wings to help her go a little further out. Doesn't she look relaxed.
Caroline, in all her cuteness. She was getting all ready to get in the water, but stopped to pose.

Abiageal chilled on PopPop for hours (at least two) just like this, it was a little too cool for her to get in, but she was happy as a clam just watching.
Beau and Anna playing in the water. They have so much fun together no matter where they are.Luke and Caroline needed a rest, so this became the spot for the sleepy little ones. Abi did finally fall asleep.
And PopPop finally did get in the water. He terrorized Anna, and it sounded as though she hated every minute of it, but then she would just go back for more because she was really loving it.
It was a great day at the pool.

Butterflies




One of the kids favorite exhibits was the butterfly habitat at the zoo. They had been to one before in Chicago a couple years back that was even better, but this one sufficed. Beau was telling me all the names of the butterflies, apparently he used to have a book in his classroom. Anna was mezmerized by the different colors, and Luke thought the catepillars were the best. It was our first stop at the zoo and I thought we were never going to leave, I was hot and uncomfortable and did not enjoy it near as much as the kids. I bailed with Anna and Luke as soon as I could and left Beau in there with PopPop. It was a great start to a great day at the zoo.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Glimpse of the Last Month

I am back...I think. We have been home a week last night. The drive with the kids was loud (on their part) but good. They were so hyper the first day I thought I might die, but instead I just kept driving, making it more than 2/3's on the first day. We swam at the hotel and then finished up the trip by leaving at lunch on the second day. They were much quieter and I enjoyed that but I was tired so the second day was harder.
However, we are home. This picture was of a storm rolling in before we left and I love it and the other 10-15 that I took.
We went swimming in Michigan and Anna thoroughly loved her time in the water.
We also went to the Detroit Zoo, where the kids found this big rock that just begged to be climbed so we used it as a photo op. We were thankful that Therese (our Goddaughter) and Vonnie (a long time mentor of mine) and Erica (their friend) were able to spend the day with us at the zoo and we loved catching up with them. It was also my nieces first trip to the zoo so I got to share that momento with them. Abiageal (the little one on Anna) also blessed me with many firsts while I was home. I gave her her first solids and I got to watch her take her first steps (much to the chagrin of her mommy because now she is everywhere). I am so thankful for those moments with her and thankful to her parents for letting me be so much a part of her life even though I live so far away.
This was the prairie dog hole, Therese and Beau are popped up, in another picture somewhere there are actual prairie dogs down in front of them. The kids really liked this although we see plenty of prairie dogs in Montana (many on the side of the road squashed.)
Finally this one was just a cuddle moment, all still in pjs but I didn't care. They sure enjoyed being with their cousins and I think Caroline is still hoping Luke will walk back through the door. They are the best of buds and I hope they always will be.
It has been hard to get back into the swing of things around here. We have two weeks until school, but that aspect is already covered. Supplies are bought and bagged and ready. Kids are ready too, I'm not sure I am but I will be. Ben accomplished so much while we were gone, he started the rock garden in front of the porct, built Anna a lofted bed to open up her bedroom, and finished the counter for the island. He has now almost completed 1/2 of the rest of the counters and it looks like they will all be complete before summer ends (keeping our fingers crossed.) I started a new workout program and am slowly able to move now after lots of sore muscles, but it feels good to work hard. I am three weeks behind Ben and he has toned up significantly already and lost 8 lbs, so hopefully I can work as hard as he has and see the results in a month. It is a 90 day program so I still have 82 to go, but I'm confident I'll get there.

Moving forward, that is what we are doing now. I'll put up more pictures and details of our trip and Ben's work here in the coming days. For now enjoy.