Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Firsts Of Many

This first picture is from back in January on Haven's first day of primary. She has that February birthday so she had been waiting a long time to "get to go to class with the big kids." It's not surprising that she loves it but it is somewhat surprising how well behaved she is. Haven is a talker. Everywhere. Every time. All the time. We are often amazed and bewildered by the fact that her little jaws and tongue don't just get sore from all the motion. It's one of the many reasons we love her! So here's to many more happy days in primary. Many many many more!

Haven had her first primary talk this past Sunday. Her topic was obeying her parents. She made up her own story about two girls named Kylie and Hannah who were having a play date together. Kylie's Dad told her not to take her new doll but she did anyways and then when Hannah was playing with her it broke and Kylie felt bad because she should have listened to her Dad. That's where the story ended when she practiced with me but Haven was enjoying her assignment so much that when I nudged her to get down from the microphone she said but "Mommy. I'm not done!' She continued with her story saying that "then Hannah and Kylie started fighting!" What the???? I had no idea where she was going with it and tried my best to persuade her to "tie up the loose ends" but Haven is difficult to persuade. To our amazement she finished up by saying that we have to listen to our Mommys and Daddys but we have to obey Jesus too who says "No fighting." Good girl Gracie. And here's to many more well prepared, practiced and insightful talks from our obedient four year old.

After church my photo shoot with Haven turned into a sisters photo shoot. So cute sisters.
Side note. I just spent 30 minutes getting the slideshow of these pictures perfect and it's being stupid. So here they are. One by one. Sorry.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm Telling Ya. They Walk All Over Us!

At least this time I mean it literally! It is one of the kids favorite times when Daddy comes home and needs a "back rub". The kids call it "popping Daddy's back". I call it... "At least I don't have to do it!"

100% Rylan

In Texas we have those standardized exams which most kids dread but not our Rylan. They practiced for weeks prior to the big day and he was excited for quite some time. Then the day of the test hit and he was 100% literally making himself sick with all of his fretting and worrying. "What if I don't pass it Mom? They won't ever let me into middle school if I don't." I kept reassuring him that he had absolutely 100% nothing to worry about and tried to get him back into the more common Rylan test taking role of "Tests are fun!"
It took two weeks for the scores to come back and TA DA! Rylan got a 100%! He is a 100% awesome kid who sets such a good example for his brothers and sisters about working hard and sticking to it. We are 100% proud of you for all you do and all you are! Love you!


So Spring Break officially began as the boys were released from school Friday afternoon. Just a short 24 hours later we were already in the ER.
This is Brayden's second trip to the ER. He went for stitches when he was just two years old. From that trip we learned that
"windows are not doors." From this trip we learned that monkeys really should not be jumping on beds!

So he has a total of five stitches in his little shin. Two under the surface and three on top. He is very proud of his ID bracelet and was upset that I did not show everyone his red NKA band around his ankle! I have to insert what an incredibly tough guy he was/is. He has an extremely high tolerance to pain and doesn't generally show a variety of emotion but I thought maybe strange places with lots of strange people would bring out some water works if not the actual needle sewing through his skin! He was far too fascinated with all of the new computers and intriguing equipment to be bothered by the pesky pokeys. (Plus Mom had the ever trusty orange starbursts on hand.)

And I think Payten was feeling a little left out on all the "ouchy" attention Brayden was getting. What do you think?

I really enjoy having one on one time with the kids. We try to keep up with that but it is very hard. On this trip with Brayden I got to listen to him talk and talk about what ever his little heart desired which always makes for interesting conversation. This time on the way home from the ER was he telling me about his incredible memory. The time we went camping when he was two and there was a big radio tower he could see from our tent. The green truck we used to have. (when he was three.) All of the old appliances we've ever had. He's such a funny quirky guy. :) He was telling me about how he can close his eyes and just see pictures of everything. Ahhh... I guess that's how he does it! Then he started telling me how he can still remember his Nana and Rachael but that he misses them very much. That is the first time Brayden has shown or verbalized any feelings about the situation. I asked him if he wanted to call them and this is how the rest of the conversation went.
Brayden says, "No thanks."
I say, "Talking to people on the phone can help you not miss them so badly and help you to always remember them."
"That's OK Mom. I don't really like to talk on the phone much. Besides, I won't forget them. You know how Nana said to do those hugs like these." (wrapping his arms around his own body and squeezing tight imagining you were getting a Nana hug. Pretend is not Brayden's fortei.) " Well. I don't have to do that because I can just close my eyes and see her."
Must come in handy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oh Brother

Rylan has been growing up so much lately in so many ways. One of the fun parts is seeing him take to his "Big Brother" role with smiles ands laughter. I remember always wishing I had a big brother. They just seemed like they were fun to play with but very protective too. (At least from the ones I had seen.) This is just one of those times when I got to stop and think... so cute. I think Haven is loving her big brothers.

Play Ball

Bryan loves playing church basketball and as every Mormon person knows, we can barely insert the word "church" in there with a straight face. I think I still do it more to describe where the games and practices actually take place but also as some kind of last ditch effort to convince ourselves and others that it is just some guys getting together to play some ball in a happy friendly atmosphere where everyone is so kind and forgiving at all times. NO NO NO. We all know better! "Church basketball" is where Bryan has severely sprained his ankle and received countless bloody noses. I believe it is also where my brother broke his hand so badly only surgery could repair the damage. (right Aaron?) Let me sum up by saying that Bryan and the others take this game very seriously no matter where it is played.

Playing hard has paid off for our boys. They are 8-1 for their season and will be playing for the championship of two stakes this coming Thursday.

This past Thursday was the first game I got to go to this season. (Bryan drives himself and the others this year.) ;) When we got there the official score keeper who is there for all the games every week said to me, "Oh you are Bryan's Mom! I love that boy. He is such a sweet heart. I love that whole team. I love all the boys but I really love Canyon Lake. They are a group of great boys!" She went on and on and on about all the reasons she adored our boys. What gets better than that? In the championship game by playing hard but earning the reputation for being the boys who upheld their standards and integrity while doing it! GO CANYON LAKE! Here's looking to Thursday and a lifetime of compliments like those!

(This shot is for those of you who keep commenting on his blue "Get Lost" t-shirt. This is the back!)

And as Bryan's basketball season comes to a close, we have Trevan right behind him opening up his baseball season.

Trevan loves baseball. I tried to convince all of my boys to play the same sport so I wouldn't be pulled in so many directions but soccer is Rylan's thing, basketball is Bryan's and baseball is Trevan's. He has got so many natural abilities in the sport that it comes more easily for him than for others and he's really good at it too. He also has the drive to learn everything about it so that he can be the best.

He is the first to be in "ready position", the first to hustle everywhere (everyone watches him and laughs as he runs around the bases because it's so funny to see such a little guy run so fast!), and plays "belly button ball" at all costs. He's taken several balls to the arm, gut, leg and head just to keep it in front of him. And we are happy to report he has yet to cry about any of it! After all... There is no crying in baseball!

We are excited for his first game and can't wait to see .... MORE BALL!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Meet Chewchi

And there there were five. Can you believe we have five dogs! As a friend pointed out... that is almost one per child. (Thanks Clark.)

Sooooo..... Chewchi is 100% Rylan's dog. As everyone knows, Rylan was having an extremely difficult time with Nana, Grandpa and Rachael moving to Washington. The timing for a friend to offer up one of her baby weiner dogs couldn't have been better. Without a doubt, I know that this little creature has kept Rylan's heart in one piece as it gives him something tangible to hold onto and love and loves him right back. It keeps his mind on someone who needs him and Rylan is doing an awesome job at keeping up with all the gazillion responsibilities that come along with a puppy. He wouldn't let anyone else hold him for days and then he had to go to school. As he left that morning he held his Chewchi (named by Rylan himself) up into his face and said "I'll miss you so much but I promise I will be back so soon. And I won't be that far away. Just right down the road. When I get back you will see that I keep my promises." I knew what he was drawing those emotions from. He misses his Nana beyond words.

And as you can see, Chewchi is getting along great with the others.

When Rylan goes to school he leaves Haven "in charge." Haven takes her job even more seriously than Rylan. The poor puppy hardly gets to walk the whole time Rylan is gone because Haven carries him everywhere.

But at night it is whoever is on the couch that gets the night time cuddles. This time it happened to be Payten. (Oh. I mean Snow white!)

But it's always back to Rylan. It's amazing how this little guy knows exactly where and with whom he belongs. I think he knows that Rylan needs him just as much as he needs Rylan.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Boy Brayden

It finally happened. We cut off Brayden's "floppy yellow hair". I'll be the first to tell you that it was far more traumatic for me than for anyone else. Brayden let me know it was time and in my heart I knew he was right but my goodness.... it was the thing that kept him looking like my baby boy. Here's one last look at the cuteness of my little guy Brayden.

And here he is now. (Minus his two front teeth!)

Doesn't he look so big? Handsome for sure and so big right? After all... how long can a Mom expect her big guy to sport the bowl cut willingly?
Big guy... whatever. He's stuck being my baby boy forever! Big boy haircut and all!

Buncha Blonde Haired Beauties

Last week we got to go to a children's theatre Nina discovered targeted for preschool age children. Haven got to go a couple of weeks ago with Nina and McKinley while I was at the magic show at the elementary school with the boys. They saw "Pippy Longstocking" and loved it so when the opportunity came up to see another one we were all for it. This time we invited some other friends and we all headed out to see "The rainbow Fish". My girls love, number one... seeing pretty sparkly girls. And then numbers two three four etc. are singing, dancing, Mom and friends so it all wrapped up into another great day.

We were walking to the theatre from the parking garage and noticed that all 8 of our little girls are blonde headed babies. I remember when it seemed that me, along with every other person I knew, had boys. Lots of boys. It's just funny to see the shift!
So Haven has now been to two plays and is still complaining to me that she didn't get to actually play there. I'm trying to redirect her by letting her know that it's not actually a "play date" but a trip to the theater. When did it get so difficult to "culturalize" my children?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Poor Puppy

Another sad story from the Draper's house and then I will post a few happy ones. Promise!

This was our 10 month old lab mix puppy "Rori" in January. She is the sweetest most loveable dog I've ever had. Absolutely no complaints about this one minus the never ending battle to keep off of the furniture!

This next picture of Rori was taken last Thursday after her surgery to repair the damage done by a gun shot wound.

No we don't know how or why it happened. Absolutely no clue. I still haven't wrapped up all of my thoughts about it so I won't say much about my many emotions there but a very long story summed up as emotionally detached as I can sound is....
Went missing Friday night. Miraculously found her way home Sunday evening as my parents and Rachael were leaving for their new home in Washington state. At first vets thought she was kicked by some kind of large animal but the surgery prep Monday morning found the gun shot entrance and during surgery, the exit. Aside from her leg being shattered (therefore amputated) and her eye ruined "from some kind of blunt trauma" (therefore removed), during the surgery they also found one of her lungs damaged and they thought for that afternoon that after all that had been done, she probably wasn't going to make it. She started turning around that evening and has continued with her score of miracles ever since.
We brought her home Tuesday night with a drainage tube in her chest and staples and stitches galore. Wednesday morning she was walking around with me and Thursday she was running her new trot with me outside in our yard!. Friday she was getting up and walking around the house as she pleased which meant Friday was the night I got to sleep back in my bed instead of on the couch next to the dog! Saturday they removed her drainage tube and in just over another week from now they will take out her stitches.
She's absolutely an amazing animal with a zest for life and is so thankful to still be living it. (She told me so. wink wink.) And we are thankful to still have her. She's still the same sweet and beautiful Rori to us except now she's allowed on the couch!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Harder than we thought it would be

We've known for months and months that Rachael, Nana and Grandpa were moving to Washington state and thought we were all handling it very well. That was until it came down to a matter of weeks and then the daily countdowns and tears began from my children knowing that we would be lucky to see that part of our family (our only family within more than a thousand miles) any time soon. All of my sweet children were torn at the thought of knowing that some of their favorite and most important people in their lives just wouldn't be there anymore. Even now, four days after they have left, I know I won't make it through this entry without more tears of my own. (Crap. Here they come.)
Bryan has lived within walking distance of my parents house for twelve of his seventeen years of life. My other children have lived that close their whole lives. Living that close to family comes with it's ups and downs but knowing that there was someone that close who loved them that much was always the gift I never took for granted. It was the perk you know? Needless to say it was and will continue to be a difficult life adjustment for my little ones and for me as I struggle to fill the void I know no one ever can. No one can replace a Nana. Their Nana.
So I guess all I have left to say now is thank you. Thank you Granpa for being with us when it mattered even though we are loud and crazy most of the time! Thank you Rachael for all the laughing and tickle monsters any child could handle. Thank you for the "Bolt" date that we'll never forget. Thank you Nana for the endless smiles and hugs that would warm any child. Thank you for the afternoon painting projects and bottomless box of side walk chalk. Thank you for the snacks and treats and unforgettable sleepovers. Thank you for sharing all those birthdays and Christmases with us for nine years. Thank you Nana for loving us the way only a Nana can. We love you and miss you very very much.
We knew it was going to be sad but man... This whole thing is much harder than we thought it would be.