Friday, October 29, 2010

Matching Set

The boys are always sad when their Nana Grover leaves town, but they look so stinkin' cute in these matching Ron Jon Surf Shop T-shirts she brought them from her vacation.


For FHE this week we had our annual "watch-Aaron-de-goop-and-carve-our-pumpkins" night. Its a good thing that Aaron is such a good sport because Hank and Max like to sit back, let Aaron do the dirty work, bark orders from afar, and then take all the glory for the pumpkin masterpeices. Oh wait...thats what I like to do, too:)

Ray of Sunshine

Yesterday was a hard day. A difficult doctor's appointment and poor test results made my heart feel heavy and my spirit feel dark. Last night I prayed for the peace to accept life's trials and today I received the exact lift that I needed. With the sun shining, the boys and I went for a walk on the trail by the river near our house. My heart was healed as I played in God's great outdoors with my three beautiful little boys: Hank, wearing his little blue hoodie, steered his scooter through every puddle along the path. Max ran with his arms flailing in pure happiness, stopping every few minutes to make sure there was "no bee, no meow." And Ben. Enjoying the sunshine on his face, the happy noise of his brothers around him, and smiling brightly at me. We stopped along the trail to toss rocks into the river, and then we headed back along the trail, stopping at the park to play. I felt peace in my heart. The beauty of that moment reassured me that it will be ok. I can do it. Life is good. God listens.

....and then we came home. The kids were dirty from playing with the rocks at the park, I was tired from pushing a 100+ lb stroller up and down the trail, we were all hungry (translate: cranky)--everything fell apart. Back to real life. The trials are still the same, but I have tucked away this small ray of sunshine and feel strengthened to keep going. Humble. Thankful. Renewed.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Primary Program

Hank did such an awesome job in our primary program today! I was a little nerveous that he would clam up when he stood up in front of the microphone, but he nailed it! The sunbeams recited the first article of faith, sang, "I am Like a Star," and then Hank delivered his line, "Jesus Christ in the Son of God." Perfect!

Hank also provided a little comic relief during the primary performace. As soon as he got on the stage, he thought he was a celebrity and called out and waved to all his peeps. "Hi Dad!" On the way to church, we had practiced Hank's songs and had tried to encourage him to sing nice and loud. Well, I guess we made our point because Hank kept shouting to Aaron (who was sitting in the middle of the congregation), "DAD! Can you hear me, Dad?" Aaron tried to answer Hank and also silence him by just smiling and nodding but Hank wasn't satisfied. Hank told Aaron, "DAD! Just give me a thumbs-up if you can hear me!" Wanting some feedback, Hank would yell out and ask Aaron, "DAD! Can you hear me?" after every song. Hank is lucky his is so dang cute or I would have just hid!

Baby Diet

In order to reduce calories, I have been encouraged by our pediatrician to replace a feeding with solid food. Unfortunately, up until now Ben has not been a big fan of baby food. He dodges it, complains, and purses his lips so tight that I can't even get the food in. Well, it turns out that Ben is a bit of a "princess and the pea" and didn't care for my rubber-y baby spoon. I tried several different spoons/utensils, Ben picked one out that is more to his liking, and now he's eating his applesauce like a champ!

"playing A"

I would never be able to get dinner on the table if it weren't for Hank and Max love to sit together and "play A" while I prepare dinner. It works great because Hank can navigate through the site with the mouse all by himself, they stay occupied for a long time, they actually play really well together, and they really are learning ABCs and early reading skills! What a lifesaver!


I guess there is some benefit to having a broad base....he wobbles a little and tips over here and there, but Ben has nearly mastered sitting! Yay for Ben!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


With life moving a mile a minute, I want to take the time to savor a few of the simple moments that have brought me joy this week:

- Yesterday Hank and I enjoyed some one-on-one time together, snuggling on the couch and reading the Friend magazine and looking at the pictures of the temples in the Ensign magazine. Hank pointed at the picture of the Bern, Switzerland temple and said, "Thats the temple that I'm going to go in." He liked the bright flowers outside of the temple and the "captain Ramoni" atop the spire. I love that he has a desire to go to the temple. Could this be an early mission prediction? We'll find out in 15 more years!

- Its exciting to watch Max add new words to his vocabulary, but he often uses the words out of context. For example, Max uses the phrase "blue one" to refer to whatever object he wants, not to the color at all. Which cup would you like? "Blue one." Do you want a big pumpkin or a little pumpkin? A "blue one." He also has a hard time with pronouns and will substitute "you" when he should say, "me." If I point to our family picture, he will will indicate "mom," "dad," "ofo," and "you." Yesterday when I dropped Hank off for preschool, Max asked, "you? you? you?," asking me if he could go too. I said, "do you want to go to preschool?" "Yep!"

- Ben is working so hard with therapy and its WORKING! It just never gets old watching him track a toy with his eyes or reach for an object with his hand. Ben had a giant breakthough yesterday and I literally walked around the house singing "Hosanas." So exciting. So grateful.

My heart is full. I could not ask for more.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

I still haven't come to terms with summer ending, and we're already gearing up for Halloween! For FHE we took the boys to the pumpkin patch on the quest for the perfect pumpkin and along the way the boys raced duckies, visited the animal barn, splashed in a few mud puddles, and took a little ride in the wheel barrow.

We've been going to the same pumpkin patch for five years now, so Aaron knows the drill and doesn't even put up a fight about having his picture taken on the straw-horsey anymore.

Hank was on the hunt for a "mad-looking pumpkin."

And last but not least, my favorite little punkin of all...


I keep telling them to stop growing, but they don't listen to me! At our group doctor check-up this morning, I was shocked to learn that I have freakishly large boys on my hands...

Hank - 4 years
Height: 42.5 inches (90%)
Weight: 38.8 lbs (65%)

Max - 2 years
Height: 38 inches (off charts)
Weight: 35.6 lbs (off charts)

Ben - 6 months
Height: 28 inches (90%)
Weight: 23.5 lbs (nowhere near charts)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bakery Break

Between my meetings and appointments, Hank's preschool, and Ben's therapy, we've been feeling a little over-scheduled, so we took a break from routine this morning and treated ourselves to yummy donuts at our local bakery.

These boys kill me. Hank whined and complained, "I don't want to go to the bakery. I don't like donuts. I want to eat breakfast at home." And after coaxing him into taking a bite, he demolished the whole thing. Then Max. The whole way to the bakery, Max is chanting, "I do! I do! I do!" and can't get the donut into his mouth fast enough. He takes one bite and says, "All done!" So then I had this giant, chocolate-y donut leftover that I couldn't let go to waste that I was basically forced to eat.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Benjamin, Benja-man, Ben, Ben Z., Benzie, Benny, Benny boo-boo, Benny bear, Benny boy, little man, big guy....Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Last week I stopped at Walmart to pick up a few gallons of milk and some random lady comes up to me and says, "oh. my. gosh! Your baby is so...chubby!" It wasn't said like a compliment, it was just blurted out like she couldn't help but make this astute observation. This rude lady proceeds to ask if me if she can pinch Ben's hand, to which I respond by giving her the stink eye, and she promptly backed her cart away. I guess that is what I get for shopping at Walmart. Anyways, I happen to agree with her--Ben is irresistably chubby, helplessly snuggly, and compellingly cuddly. I just can't get enough of my sweet little baby Ben. Happy 1/2 Birthday, Ben!

6 Things About Ben:

- Ben is a drooling monster. I am constantly wiping slobber off his face and changing his shirt that is drenched in baby drool.

- Ben loves to jabber. He coos, squeals, says "ma-ma" when he is upset, grunts, and my favorite, blows raspberries.

- All of Ben's dark hair fell out all at once--but his second crop grew right back in!

- Ben works hard! Ben is receiving daily physical and occupational therapy and is getting super strong and flexible.

- Ben doesn't take a binky, but he loves to chew on his little finger.

- Ben is rolling over and is on the verge of sitting up!

Be Still, My Soul

This hymn has special meaning to me, but it is particularly poignant today as I think of my sweet baby neice, Vivienne Ysold Cook, who was born and returned to her Father in Heaven on Saturday, October 2nd.

Be still my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, fear, and grief are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Score for Ben!

You would have thought he had just scored the game-winning touchdown the way I celebrated when Ben rolled over for the first time this afternoon. I could not be more proud of this little boy--he continues to amaze me.

Boys Will Be Boys??

I'm hoping this picture will have some value as blackmail in the future:
In their defense, Hank and Max were not wearing my high heels as a fashion statement, they were actually doing a little tap number on my bathroom floor.

Lazy Dayz

With our jammed schedule these days, we don't get to enjoy too many lazy mornings, so it was a treat to spend the weekend in our pjs, listening to the much needed messages of hope, peace, and comfort given by the prophet (aka "Prophet S. Monson," according to Hank) during general conference.