Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How do I love you?....let me count the ways~

This past year Rae has started to understand the holidays and enjoy them more. After Christmas and the New Year celebrations were over she ask me, "Ok, what's next?"
Honestly, she's counting down to her birthday the end of Feb. but she's also realized there's always another holiday coming! I explained to her about Valentines day, which she's excited about. Holiday to her means candy! I lay in bed last night unable to drift off to sleep I thought about my children and all that I love about them. I could go on and on but I will keep it to my top 5 favorite things about each one.
(Hope you enjoy our Jekyll Island pictures. I'm a little tired of the cold!!)

1. Her hair!! I wish I had her color and hope it always stays the summer strawberry blond/winter auburn it is now.
2. Her own vocabulary......."song sleeve"......"roll-it-paper"......"feeegot"
3. Her sweet, reserved personality. To some she's shy but to me she's cautious, she's a very good judge of character.
4. She has a great imagination! You never know what she'll be dressed in the next time she enters the room, but be sure she'll have a purse full with all her necessities ;)
5. She's my baby! No matter how old she is she'll always be my baby. Each milestone she passes is bittersweet. I wish we could keep her this age forever!!

1. She is so helpful and actually does a great job! She's been able to fold laundry since she was 3 yrs. old!
2. She's the little "mommy". She knows how the house is supposed to run and keeps us all on track. Before Nate was old enough to babysit I would always tell the sitter to ask Ali if they had any questions, she always new the answers!
3. She LOVES babies more than I do! Since birth she has had a collection of dolls, although she much prefers the real thing. The amazing part is that she knows what to do to calm babies and is so at ease when caring for an infant.
4. She is a wonderful big sister! Rae was a "real" baby for Ali. Ali has cared for her since birth, they are almost 4 yrs. apart. Ali plays with her for hours daily and teaches Rae so much! She is everything a sister should be!
5. Her energy! She has tons of it and she's always up for a good time ;)

1. She is very caring! When one of her sisters are mean to her she usually will not argue back but is very hurt that they would say or do something mean.
2. She loves animals! This is a testament to genetics! Her great grandfather was a large animal vet. and since she was old enough to talk she has loved animals! No baby dolls for her, she collected plastic horses and at one point had like 45!! She also rides horses with such grace and confidence that there's no doubt she came to this earth with this talent.
3. Her fashion sense. She amazes me with the different outfits she puts together, they work so well. After yrs. of picking out her clothes it's fun to see her style emerging.
4. She's a good cook. She is a huge help in the kitchen! When Ran and I go out on Friday nights she cooks dinner for the kids, SO NICE!!
5. Her beauty! She has no idea how beautiful she is inside and out. I often wonder what she'll look like at 16 when she's so stunning at 12, guess I'll just have to wait and see!

1. He is patient and kind. He is so much like his father. He, to the core, is a kind person. He is so sweet with his sisters, unless of course he's teasing them ;0)
2. His determination and love of baseball. This is another "born with" talent and love. One of his first words was ball. He has played every year since he was 5. Some seasons are better than others yet his love of the game never wavers, just like both his grandfathers.
3. He is my "bud". I like him so much. I love to sit and talk with him, for I know the next few years will fly by. All too soon he'll be out of the nest :(
4. He is a righteous example. I'm thankful for the way he lives the gospel. He is an example not only to his sisters but also to his parents.
5. His willingness to help. More than once he has been asked to come out of bed to solve a computer problem, he never complains. Of course the times he's helped with the computer before bedtime are endless.......

I am blessed! Heavenly Father sent me the perfect four spirits to fill my earth life with joy, laughs and continuous learning experiences. I love them so much and feel honored to be their "Mommy".
(ok, where's the tissue?)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Traditions!! (imagine Fiddler on the Roof, all musical)

Over the holidays I've been thinking a lot about our traditions and noticing the joy and comfort my kids display over them. I didn't grow up with lots of traditions and never really stopped and said, "These are the traditions our family will have!" But over the years as we've developed many and as I've pondered on some of them, I'm realizing how much they bound "us". Us 6, with just a word or a phrase we ALL know the joke or the ritual :) Like, "The Bumpy Way"....this is a certain way we drive home from church that takes us through old town Buford. There's a big hill that if one hits with just the right amount of speed is really fun!! Every Sunday as we leave the church one of the children will ask, "Can we go home the bumpy way?", which we do 95% of the time.
"Spanking Machine" is another tradition that sounds painful yet is usually fun. On someones b-day after family prayer, we all line up, youngest to oldest, with legs spread shoulder width apart. Then the b-day person must army crawl through everyones legs while they receive a "spank" (friendly love tap) from each person. Some love this, some do not. :)
A favorite winter tradition is that all the children, yes even Nate, make snow flakes with glitter and all. We then put them on the windows on our french doors and leave them up until "Spring break or snow"!! Many a year we've had snow flakes up until the first full week in April. Last year we did get lucky, they came down end of Feb. Somehow we believe that the snow flakes will help draw the snow, plead our case, or if nothing else trick us into thinking we have snow!
Another MAJOR tradition we have is driving to Colorado every two years or so. We've done it many times as a family, so therefor it IS a tradition. This is one Deb has to psych up for, but Ran and the kids love. We have places that we stop at each trip out such as Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, and McDonald's in Tucumcari, New Mexico. This is always an adventure, just like life itself. Never goes quite like we planned but ends up to be another good memory!
As I've thought about our many traditions it's reminded me that these moments we share, year after year, bind us as one. We remember doing them in years past and make new memories in the years that come. They seem so simple yet mean so much as my children think back over the years, they seem comforted as I hear them say, "Yeah, we did this last time, too!"
Please share with me some of your favorite traditions, or start some new ones with your family.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Here Fishy, Fishy..........

We had a great day at the GA aquarium!
Thanks to G'ma Beve for the fun christmas present!
Nate, Rae (looking a little hungry), Randee and Ran
enjoying the colorful fish!
Not sure exactly what we are looking at but I'm sure it was interesting ;)

Rae was in awe of the huge fish!

Ali totally matched the "shiny" fish!

It was a great day! The crowds were huge but well worth the wait. We also went to the Titanic exhibit, which was very well done. We were given boarding passes and the hall we walked down really felt like we were on a ship. There was even creaking noises over the was cool! Although I never stopped to wonder if Rae completely understood what was going on. As we looked at pictures on the wall of the actual Titanic on the ocean floor Rae said, "How are we on that ship when it's all broken up?" Poor thing, she thought we were ON the Titanic :)