Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Preschool Pilgrims

Haven's little preschool class took a field trip to a park last week and had a Thanksgiving feast. We met up with another preschool group; they were the indians and we were the pilgrims. Aren't they all so cute!

As I have mentioned before, Haven is hard to get a good picture of so I'm always happy to share a new one.

And of course I couldn't pass up little Ella. She was just happy to get to join the group this time instead of making our weekly Walmart and Hobby Lobby run. You know Mommy has been busy with the bows and tutus when every time you get in the car your two year old asks, "We going to Hobby Lobby Mom?"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Jakey

Nine years old! Life's journey with Rylan has been an amazing experience from the moment we knew he would be coming. He's truly an indescribable joy to us that we thank God for every day. Rylan shared his birthday this year with Bryan's region concert so it made it a double special day. As noted in a previous blog, the whole fam went to B's concert but then to celebrate the occasions we went to a restaurant and ate dinner together. Nana, Grandpa and Auntie Rachael joined us where the staff sang "Happy Birthday" to Rylan and everything. We have never ever been to a sit down restaurant with all of us together before so needless to say, I was again nervous about the possibilities but was again just as pleased with the outcome. We had a really good time and just today Haven asked when we could all go together again. Yay!!! Memories!!

Afterward we went to make one last ditch effort to find Jakey's gift he had been asking for and luck was on our side. We found the Eyeclops night vision goggles at a nearby Walmart where Rylan cashed in on the perk of having Nana and Auntie with us. He was having a hard time deciding if he should just get what he wanted or go the frugal route and wind up with more in his checkout bag. The dalima was resolved when he so sweetly asked Nana if they would buy him the helicopter he found. So he walked out with two very cool toys, a heart filled with gratitude and love and happy memories. What else is there to say? Oh yeah... love you Jake.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hey Amber! I Got One!

So Sunday before church the girls were being so cute together that it made me stop and stare. I was thinking about how much they've grown and how tall Haven is for her age right now. (I'm sure she'll bottom out like the rest of the little boys but I can't help but root her on in hopes she'll get some height to her!) Then I remembered that my sister Amber had asked me take a picture of them side by side wondering those same things. Taking pictures of Haven is never easy but I got one of them together and neither of them is crying or running away! I still remember what a shock it was to come to grips with when we found out that Payten would be joining our family but... for all the reasons A through Z... I love having her a part of all it. Especially dressing the sisters in such cute clothes! I still step back and think... They're just so cute!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

B's Region Concert

Last night was B's region concert and it was GREAT! It's needless to say...weird that it was his last one. It really just doesn't even seem real.

We usually make it a date night for Bryan, Spence and I but since it was his brothers and sisters last chance to be a part of one we took them all along. All five of them. There was a side row that was made up of seven chairs so we filed in filling up the whole row. At one point before the concert started I looked over from my end clear down to the other where Spence was and couldn't help but laugh at the sight. Sometimes it just hits me how crazy we are! They were actually very very good to my very very pleasant surprise. I can always count on Rylan and Trevan to be great but the littlest three are a toss up. Brayden loved listening to all of the different music. He hears things in song that not everyone hears. I'm sure he appreciates things like that more than we understand. Payten was next to Spencer the first half then my lap the last half sitting like a perfect angel. And Haven did great too. She loves music and dancing and couldn't restrain herself from doing either for an entire hour. They all did really good.

But none as good as our Bryan who always sings like a star in our eyes. I love seeing him all dressed up in his tuxedo and hearing sounds come from his voice that amaze me. He truly has been blessed with a gift. I hope he continues to use it his whole life through. Area auditions are in a couple of weeks so we are keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well; especially the sight reading part. We'll know soon enough.

And of course we couldn't pass up the chance for a photo op.

Yes B really is that tall. I'm even wearing my four inch heeled boots.

And yes..Spencer is on his tippy toes! Keeping aiming high B. You're on your way.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

For the love of...

Grandma Oma is a teacher and she was given a government grant to come to a teacher's conference just three hours from our home. So when we heard she was going to be so close, we packed up the Suburban and headed north for a special dinner date. It has been two and a half years since she has seen the boys! So sad! Bryan has his region choir concert this weekend and practice started Friday night so he couldn't come:<(. We met up at None other than McDonald's and let the kids get their wiggles out and visit with Oma.

Rylan thought it was a special birthday gift meant just for him. He really was so happy to see her. They all were. I'm so thankful that no matter the miles or time between visits, the ties that bind a family aren't broken.

We only had a few hours with her but the 6 hour drive was worth it. All for the love of Oma
Any one else coming any where close?

Bryan's wearing a dress..Bryan's wearing a dress

Each year the high school Men's Ensemble group and Broadway Ladies take a big trip up to the Renaissance Festival. They leave Friday, stay in a hotel and do two performances on Saturday, then pack up and get home extremely late Saturday night. (Thank heavens again for the 1:00 church schedule.) It's a place where there are hundreds of acres set up as if in midevil times. Everyone dresses up pretty extravagantly in crazy outfits. The kids had to be in costumes for their performances so the first year he went as a peasant man in full on tights and poofy knickers with a frilly high collared shirt! The last two years he has opted for the monk dress. Somehow the dress just appears more manly! Here he is at one of the performances and later playing a game. The boy in the dress almost made it! Maybe if he had just flexed a little more muscle!

Monday, November 10, 2008


So I've been feeling kind of old lately but what does it mean when you keep seeing the ucky death birds all over your tress when you pull up to your house?!? Too weird to go left unnoticed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Girls Have Chicken Pox

This week has been much more scary than last week's Halloween. All of the kids have been sick. Brayden had an infection in his gum line where the dentist said his eight year molar is coming in. Yes, I know. He's only almost six. The boys have all had strep this week and now the girls are starting to come down with it too on top of their chicken pox. After Brayden's autism diagnosis and the research into links of causes, we have chosen not to continue with the immunizations for the younger ones. Not the I have ever been fully convinced that the preservatives in the shots solely causes the autism but with everything we have already been through with Brayden...I couldn't bring myself to chance it. We will pick up the immunizations again next year when it is supposed to be mandated that the shelves will be cleared of the particular preservative many have linked to the autism. Meanwhile it's just chicken pox. It started out very mild at first. I haven't seen chicken pox since Bryan was 4 years old so I wasn't sure that's what is was for the first couple of days. Actually I was clueless. Then I think it's starting to get better and and today Haven woke up with new ones on her face and under her arms. Haven has it a lot worse than Payten but doesn't let it slow her down. Poor Payten is just miserable though. Her clinginess and crying has slowed us all down. Especially me as I spend most of my time holding her. It has been a hard week. Not good timing since I have Scentsy parties and more markets for Pretties For My Princess pretty much every weekend through the holidays and some during the week as well. I've missed out on a lot of prep time. Oh well. Sometimes it takes things like this to slow us down and take the time to just be still.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pretty Girl

Ella girl loves Halloween. I think I mentioned before that she loves candy. I hope I won't be apologizing for that genetic connection my whole life!

She gave me such attitude all night with the picture taking thing. If any of you know me at all, you know I've got to have my pictures. Especially of my baby! She even had her silky!

I tried and tried to get a good one of the girls together but it just wasn't happening. (Sorry Amber.) Oh well..there's always tomorrow and the next day and the next day and...

Pretty Girl Also

Haven had a lot of fun dressing up in her Halloween ballerina costume over and over and over again this week and I'm sure she'll sport the tutu for many days to come. We went to a friend's neighborhood (Hey Nina!) Friday night and all the kids loved playing with the friends old and new. Haven never has any problems being social so she really had a great time.

She's always been very very very very very very very very very very very very very very (got it yet) emotional. So maybe the sugar highs hit her harder than most. Way fun.

And then there is the sugar lows. I think it's when they start looking like this that a lot of candy.. becomes too much candy! Oh how we can't wait until next year!

Brayden's got...well..Brayden's got a whole lot of somethin'

Brayden was happy he got to carry around a light saber. That's the bottom line of Brayden's Happy Halloween. Besides that, Brayden had his first great day of kindergarden and it just so happened to be on Halloween. Thank heavens it wasn't a bad luck day for him or his teachers! He has had a ridiculously difficult time adjusting to his new school schedule and he has manifested that in many ways frustrating us all but especially himself. Needless to say that my parent/teacher conference with Mrs. Balcar (who loves Brayden) wasn't nearly as fun as the ones with the other boys' teachers. We were all having a hard time figuring out how to help him but something happened and yesterday he had a great day. (it might have had something to do with the pain pill we gave him the night before for his tooth which helped him actually sleep. I check on the kids every night before I go to bed and Brayden is always laying there awake. He tells me that he can't make his brain be quiet. Sad huh?) I hope this is the wave of the future for our Brayden. It was hard for him and he struggles with so much; it's so nice to see a bright light of hope for the future in each of the little doses. We'll take them as they come. And we absolutely adore Brayden the way we got him.

Trevan's got the force

Trev was the one who kicked off the Jedi idea and the rest of the boys were in on it right away. I found out that fleece was more expensive than I had thought but scored when I found the perfect brownish colored blankets for half off making them cheaper to make than I had hoped. Wrap in the price of a seamstress extraordinaire Mom sewing them together in a Jedi fashionable way and bada bing..it's all good. (Big thanks Mom.)
Also, update on Trev...He is cruising along in first grade and I also had my first parent/teacher conference with Mrs. Ablinger where I got to hear some great stuff about Trev. A lot of the "you're so smart" focus has always gone to Rylan but I was made very aware of the fact that Trevan is exceptional as well. He just doesn't like it as much. Learning is a fun game for Rylan but Trevan is bright and does what he's told so I guess that makes for greatness too. They took the benchmarks also to see where the kids were at and Trevan scored a 100 on it! I was happily surprised. His teacher is recommending him for the SAGE program (gifted and talented) and I never even knew he was that on top of it. Way to go T-Bird. And his biggest improvement this year has been his social behavior. Every year his teachers tell me that he is a very "cool" kid with lots of friends but that they have to often redirect his talking. This year he's still super cool but has learned the concept of place and time. Thanks for being so awesome Trevan. We are very proud of you, your brains and your kind heart. We think your the best 7 year old out there!

Not just any Jedi but a Master Jedi

Rylan wanted to clarify that point. I think it was the purple light saber that made it so. Anyways, to update on Rylan, we just got our first nine weeks report card and we are super super excited and proud to tell one an all that Rylan has still never missed the all A honor roll and perfect attendance award. He works hard at it and is super dedicated. He still loves learning and challenging himself and truly is gifted. I guess that's all it would take for anyone huh? He also took his third grade TAKS benchmarks test(A Texas mandated thing) and scored the highest in his grade on each of them. And better yet, during our parent/teacher conference Mr. Herzog told me that Rylan has really taken to helping the other kids learn in a patient kind way. I am the most happy with that because Rylan has always gotten frustrated working in groups because the learning came easier for him and was always excited to move on to see what was next. I've always felt blessed with the teachers my boys have gotten. They've always been the best ones for what they need at the time. We have also noticed a difference here at home too. Rylan has been very quick to help and obey. I love it when that sense of self initiative kicks in. We couldn't be happier with you Jake. Keep it up.

Bad Boy

B's last year at home so we can now officially say he dressed up every year as a child. This year he toned it down from last year's costume of a dress wearing video game character (Link) to a motorcycle dude. We found the funny tatoo sleeve in a dollar store which he proudly wore. He even tried to have his "pedro mustache" grow in but you can probably tell how successful that was. He tried his best to look "bad as" but as soon as he flashes that grin of his it's all over. When he was a baby he would give that crusty look and then bust into laughter. He couldn't look mean or tough then and he still can't do it now. You're still just too cute baby.

P.s. When Bryan woke up this morning he related to me that this must be the equivalent of a "Mormon hangover." Partying the night before 'til 11:30 pm, eating way too much candy....definately a hangover of massive proportions. lol

AHHHH(in a scary Halloween way!)

So are any of your kids as candy drugged up as mine are? I feel like I have spent too many years rationing out the bags in attempt to avoid the candy and cavity goon overload but I have taken a new approach. Eat it all. Eat every last piece until it is all gone and you all lie around sick as dogs because you can't do anything else. Meanwhile I have time to clean up every tootsie roll. pixie stick, lollipop, laffy taffy wrapper strung around the house (they must think they are groovy house decor because no matter how many times I say put the wrappers in the trash I keep finding them everywhere!) Notice I don't find any chocolate candy wrappers because those have already been confiscated. Of course that is done only out of the kindness of my heart to avoid further tummy aches and caffeine addictions. I'M JUST KIDDING! (nobody send me any "You're a bad Mom" e-mails:>)!) That's just the way I feel sometimes. We have a lot of fun dressing up and meeting all the new people along the way. Sometimes it's just fun to be super silly. Happy Halloween! til next year...