Tuesday, August 31, 2010

persistence

Jared is a pretty persistent boy. When he wants something, he usually gets it. This afternoon when it was almost time to get Nathan from school, Jared asked if he could ride his bike this time. It stresses me out a little bit with his riding, so I was hesistant.

I said, "Ummm...I don't know." (He could sense my hesistancy.)
Jared asked, "What does 'I don't know' mean?"
"We'll see."
"What does 'we'll see' mean?"
"Maybe."
"What does 'maybe' mean?"
"Probably."
"What does 'probably' mean?"
"Most likely."
"What does 'most likely' mean?"
"Okay..."
"What does 'okay...' mean?"
"Yes. Yes, you can ride your bike today!" (I'm thinking, "Just leave me alone...")

And off he ran to put his helmet on, so excited.

He kept asking until he got that YES answer. I love how kids this age think in black and white. They don't understand "gray" answers. They want a "yes" or "no". And if it's not the "right" answer, they keep asking "why" or "what does that mean" until they get what they want.













I know a few other persistent people as well... dogged persistence must run in the family. When you've got your mind set to do something, it will get done.













At least Nathan knows what I mean.

"Mama, can I have cereal for a snack?"
"I don't care." (knowing I will never hear the end of it)
"That means YES!"

He's the one that will keep asking and asking if the answer is "no."
"Mama, PLEASE?"
"Mama! Mama! Can I?"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

jumping O

video

this and that


Alison and Micah's new baby?







Nope. Just Weston, but his cousin is coming along soon enough (it could be theirs, don't you think?)


We enjoyed a too short visit from Alison &Micah. We did a little hiking, went to the beach a couple of times and celebrated Alison's b-day.

























Here's a few more random pictures...



























We almost caught some smiles!

Monday, August 23, 2010

first day of first


School is back in session - Nathan's 1st day of first grade! He seemed really excited to go, and I watched as he and Alex walked out the door and down the road. But I guess as they got closer to school, Nathan got closer and closer to Alex. By the time they walked in the door, Alex said Nathan was fighting back tears and pressed up against him. I'm kind of glad it wasn't me taking him this morning - I probably would have started crying watching him try to hold it together. I didn't think about how hard it would be for him to go to a new school and not know anyone on the 1st day. If we were still in OK, he would have had buddies already. He made it though - when I picked him up in the afternoon, he was excited again. He admitted that he was scared this morning, but now he's okay. And he made a couple of friends already (named Micah and Daniel - Nathan has uncles with those names). I think he was most excited about lunch - he has the choice of eating inside or outside, and he ate his lunch outside under a tree today. I think he will be alright (now if only I can make the afternoon walks without getting too stressed out about Jared's bike riding...)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buddies



I'm not looking forward to Nathan going back to school. He's been my helper with Owen. He changes his wet diapers, reads books and puts him in his bed for a nap (and Owen lets him do this), and generally helps with anything else - like getting snacks, putting shoes or jackets on, or helping him when he gets frustrated. And Nathan is quick to notify me when Owen is getting in trouble, which happens quite often...

I'm really thankful for Nathan and I'm glad that he and Owen are good buddies.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

survival mode?


I had to laugh at myself when I realized we were letting Weston do 3 of the things we said we wouldn't do: Weston is sleeping in our bed, on his tummy, with a pacifier. I was trying to avoid all those things. What's going on around here? I guess just survival. This 4th kid sure is getting spoiled.













We had a rough day... Owen wasn't feeling well and just wanted to be held. I might as well have had twins, trying to hold both Owen and Weston. But... when a package from grandma arrived in the mail with new cars, suddenly he was feeling much better (for about 30 minutes at least...) Thanks Papa John and Grandma!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Potential

Amidst all the chaos of selling the house and moving, Alex never got credit for the work he did on our house in Oklahoma. He put a lot of work into transforming the bathroom from something okay to something beautiful. We didn't like it much when we bought the house, but we saw the potential there. It just needed some refining - it was cool to see the transformation. Alex worked hard on it - good job Alex!



Before: lovely wallpaper was the 1st thing to go...




















We painted the walls, trim, and cabinets. It stayed like this for about 4 years, until we were ready to tackle the tile.











The old toilet and sink came out, followed by the tile.











There were several layers of linoleum to remove...
























New backer board and raised the shower head












New tile goes in...











Wainscoting and paint











Toilet and sink... (the only thing we didn't do ourselves was the sink).











New mirror above the sink, new cabinet hardware, new toilet paper holder and towel ring, and new countertop. Whew! What a project. I think it was necessary for a sale though. Too bad we only got to enjoy it for a few months...







Before and After














As I was thinking about it, I realized that Alex has done the same thing with me, in a sense. Particularly as I was thinking about our 10 years of marriage, I thought about the changes he has brought about in me and his ability to see my potential. I definitely have changed for the better as a result of his encouragement and example. When we first met, I'm sure my shyness was quite evident. But Alex didn't seem to mind - he saw right through that and made me feel comfortable. I remember our 1st date, out for ice cream - Alex was so easy to talk to and made me feel like what I was saying was important. He'd deny it, but he has this special charm with people. I don't know what to call it, but it's a gift he has, in being able to talk to people and make them feel comfortable. (He has used that charm in getting jobs too... I'm not the only one he's won over). Anyway, I'm becoming more outgoing as a result of being around Alex. And that's just one example of how he is refining me, transforming me into someone "okay" to someone "beautiful". I'm grateful for his encouragement and the potential he sees in me.


all you need is love...


...and kids.

That's what makes us happy.






















New Years 2000 - officially engaged













About 10 years later (November 2009) at the Denver Temple

August 4, 2000 and August 4, 2010










We celebrated 10 years of marriage yesterday! I can't believe it's been 10 years already. I've been reflecting on our marriage and what we have to show for the last 10 years together. A Beatles song comes to mind... "All you need is love". We don't have a fancy car, a nice house, or fancy home furnishings. I can't think of any material possession that we've acquired that I value. What we do have is of far more value - we have a healthy relationship with one another, with loyalty and love. Our greatest accomplishment has been our kids - 4 wonderful boys. I wouldn't trade anything for them or my hard-working husband. We're blessed to have a stable income, money in the bank, and freedom from debt. And I am able to stay at home. That's a blessing. But isn't it interesting, the seasons of life? When we first got married, we had time to travel, but no money. Now we have money, but no time (and we're right in the midst of our season with young kids). Maybe one of these days, we'll go on our 1st anniversary trip... but for now, all we need is love and kids. Here's a link to more on "our story". And of course, here's a few more pictures:














Our 1st apartment together - cheap! I didn't enjoy living there (with the roaches), but I've appreciated every place we've lived since then. And we grew stronger from our struggles.











Our 1st home - 4 bed, 2 bath with a huge yard and garden - nothing fancy, but we really enjoyed living there.
















We graduated from OSU the same year, both in Arts & Sciences










We went on some roadtrips and did some hiking and backpacking early on in our marriage. We climbed Mt. of the Holy Cross in CO on our honeymoon. This picture was taken at Big Bend National Park in TX. (I'm hoping our 4 boys will get me out of future backpacking...)










Alex has been to Antarctica 3 times - not my favorite memories, but pretty "cool" for Alex.









Nathan, 2004













Jared, 2006













Owen, 2008










Weston, 2010 (our best mistake) ;)










We were fortunate to go to Australia twice (once with Nathan and the 2nd time with Nathan and Jared) and once to New Zealand, in conjunction with Alex's school/work











Alex, PhD