Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 22-28

 One last wrestling meet for my boys.  Josh found one at Pius, and since we were already in Lincoln for church it worked out great.  I didn't attend, but Grandpa and Grandma C. were able to go and see the little men in action.
 One of my favorite things about this phase of life:
I have potato peelers. 
Definitely a job I enjoy getting to delegate. ;o)
 Josh brought Sebastian in for a little tummy rubbing.
I happened upon a free Baldwin on Craigslist.
Josh drove a minivan to Lincoln without the seats and hauled it back for me.
How do you know your husband loves you?
When there are now two pianos sitting in your living room. ;o)
I am so excited to have this one though! My other had really seen its better day, and this one has such a big, bright sound (in spite of it's petite size!). And it has a pedal. And a bench. (you know, things that come in handy when you play) ;o)
 So . . .
Jackson has taken to dressing himself like a ninja a lot lately.
It is only mildly disturbing to have a silent ninja overseeing your school work.
 Another happy August in spaghetti picture.  
And Josh and I head to prom again. You want to know what makes my heart happy?  Walking into the school gym and hearing the delight in students' voices:
"Mr. Cooley!" "Mr.Cooley!" "Hi Cool Man!"
I know without a doubt he was supposed to be a teacher.

Monday, March 30, 2015

March 15-21

 A quick little picture of my birthday boy on his first official day of eight-ness.
 A rear end view of my favorite fluffy chicken.  ;o)
 Celebrating 10 months of August!
And for the record, he has really reached an impossible-to-photograph stage--every single picture shows motion of some sort. What he is doing now:
He cut his "fang" teeth instead of his middle top two, and I call him a baby vampire.
He can stand alone for little bits of time.
He has taken a few little steps here and there. (a little too cautious to commit to walking full time, and besides he can crawl super fast) ;o)
Waves bye-bye!
Says "Uh-oh."
Added the da-da-da, which we assume means Daddy. 
He loves cats.  Particularly getting fistfuls of fur. The cats . . . not-so-much.
 And another 17th picture--kiddos in green. We didn't do much fun stuff this year, but did enjoy the yearly corned beef for supper.
 And then a not-so-fun Wednesday. On Tuesday evening I noticed Owen's face was swollen on the left side.  The next morning it was more-so.  He looked like he had mumps!  There was a hard swollen spot up by his ear and his whole jaw was tender.  Since we were going to Lincoln I got him a morning appointment, and got August one too, just because he had been dealing with some cold symptoms and I wanted to peak into his ears.  Owen got diagnosed with some sort of lymph node infection and sadly, August had an ear infection.  Both boys went on antibiotics.  Then we still had to do violin and cello lessons, girls' choir . . .  We didn't stick around for Awana though, so we got home a bit earlier, but still a long day.  I snapped a picture of my little chipmunk-cheeked Owen.  Poor sweet guy.  It took a good three days for the tenderness to go away.
 See that white-faced mama cow?  She just had a calf.  We missed the birth but got to see her clean the baby up.  We love all the farm life happening around us!
Marissa and August out on the swing set "loving" on the kitties.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy 8th Emmett James!

 (This pose was all your own choosing and I thought it was adorable--in a manly eight year old way of course--that you were giving thought to how you wanted to look in the picture)

 (I just like this one because you have such expressive eyebrows)
Oh my Emmett! 
Some day we will laugh at how hard you were to photograph at age eight.  You are definitely an over-thinker when it comes to looking "natural."  Heehee.
But I did notice as I went through the pictures I snapped how much your face has grown up lately.  It is an eight year old face now, leaner and lacking the soft roundness it used to have.  You aren't a *little boy* anymore. When did that happen?
This year has been a kind of frustrating one for you.  As you get older you are more aware that God put all of you into "small packaging."  You want to be much bigger and stronger.  Reading still remains a struggle for you.  We keep making baby steps, but I wish as much as you wish it were easier. However, here's what I want you to know:
You are good at math and with numbers.
You are good at games and strategy.
You build really awesome Lego creations--I am always impressed with how they work!
You are really creative and detailed.
You have beautiful handwriting.
You have a tender heart.
Sometimes I have to remind myself of all these wonderful things, because as your mama I start to worry.  I don't want to define you by the one thing that gives you struggle--I want you to know all the ways I think you are amazing.  
I love you so much Emmers.
I will always be on your team, rooting and cheering for you.
Praying for you.
I KNOW great things are ahead.
Happiest 8th little buddy! How thankful I am that God gave me YOU!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 8-14

August enjoying his bananas. (Me enjoying those fat little baby feet).
One of those moments when it really pays to have six kids. 
(Overlooking what may have been the cause of the tension headache . . . *ahem*).
With a week of beautiful weather in the forecast my parents came out for a visit on Tuesday afternoon, my dad all geared up to go "sasquatch hunting." It has been a joke since we moved out here--supposedly a sasquatch was spotted in the county a year or so ago?  Anyway, we live out on the bluffs, with lots of trees, etc, you know, a great place for a sasquatch to live.  So, while my mom and I visited and played with August, my dad geared up the kids with backpacks (bottled water, cookies . . .) and they took off on An Adventure. They were gone for two hours, roaming the countryside. No sasquatches were found on this expedition, but it was a huge hit and the kids can't wait to head out again. ;o)
My mom brought out August's newly finished baby quilt. {LOVE!} I attempted to get a decent picture of him on it, but this kid won't stay still.  Sorry Mom--best I could do!! ;o)
My baby and I. I kind of like him. ;o)
It was "work on the vans" day.  Josh had the assistance of three boys and he walked Jackson through his very first oil change.  Jackson was immensely proud of himself.
We had a little "birthday eve" meal for Emmett. He chose homemade macaroni and cheese and a strawberry cake.  I regaled him yet again with the story of his birth and how his father missed it.  It's quite a good story, one of those I didn't so appreciate at the time, but it's grown on me. ;o)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March 1-7

 Isabella enjoys putting outfits together.  I had to get a picture of her all cute for church.
I stayed home with my three youngest boys this day as we were fighting off some colds.
 August delves into a classic.
 August discovers he is *just* the perfect height.
(no picture on Wednesday . . . Marissa did start lessons with her new violin teacher in Lincoln on this day, but I really didn't think I should bring along the big camera--first impressions and all . . .) ;o)
 Poor Bella dealt with awful ear pain on Wednesday.  In spite of the fact we were in Lincoln there was just no time between all the lessons and stuff to get her an appointment, so she soldiered on.  I took her in on Thursday morning for a roaring ear infection diagnosis and a round of antibiotics.  She wasn't too perky but her baby brother never fails to bring a smile to her face.
 Jackson had his spring cello recital, playing "Rigadoon" and his mother accompanying.
We got video, but silly me spaced off making sure a picture was taken. When we got home I was all,"Quick, let's get a pic with your cello!"  He may have just stumbled in from the van all sleepy. Hence the pained/annoyed look . . .
While I am not sure why the lighting in this photo is so awful, I still love the picture of these two buddies.  Owen was Josh's sidekick ALL DAY LONG, going everywhere with him and chatting Josh's ear off.  They are rounding out the day together cooking some hamburger meat.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 22-28

Technically, this picture was taken on Saturday with my phone. But since the eggs were still in my fridge on Sunday I decided it counts. Right? Right. ;o) Our landlords were out of town and said to gather all the eggs and keep them for ourselves.  A quick check of the coop produced 18! They look so pretty in the aqua bowl.
 His own private concert.
August's joyful little bopping and shimmying and flapping gives all of us the biggest of smiles.
 Sunshine and snuggles: every cat's greatest wish in winter.
 Admiring the big "goose down" snowflakes that swirled around mid day.
Another phone pic because I just wasn't remembering to pull out my big camera last week.
August has a routine every day.  It involves removing all of the night lights from the outlets, emptying the towels and dish cloths from the bottom drawer in the kitchen, and pulling out the box of garbage sacks underneath the kitchen sink. (And of course scavenging for food that got overlooked in whatever nook/cranny he finds himself).  And yes, my kitchen is kind of outdated and beat up and one wall houses all of the appliances (fondly referred to as "The Appliance Wall").  But regardless of my personal preferences it still produces some tasty food and provides a place for us to gather together. God has contentment lessons for me everywhere.
 First spaghetti. He loved it. (Which is good, because Friday night "Spaghetti Night" is still A THING here).
 Says Josh, "We are kind of a tea drinking family, aren't we?"
Yes. Yes we are. ;o)

Monday, February 23, 2015

February 15-21

I caught August warming himself by the fire on Grandpa and Grandma's back porch. Or maybe he was mesmerized by the blaze (have no fear, it is actually a space heater).  Regardless, I found him cute (and it was a much better way to spend his back porch time--his most favorite activity in that room is digging into potted plants and eating dirt).
 This, THIS is Comfort Food.
It is a crock pot beef stew.  The recipe suggested serving the stew OVER mashed potatoes.
But of course!!
I am not sure why I never thought of that before but it was wonderful--definitely a keeper and a favorite with the whole family. (We kind of fought over the leftovers the next day). And you know what else? There are carrots, celery, onions, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, PARSNIPS . . . my kids are gobbling them all. ;o)
While I did get some smiley pictures, something about this one just made me want to squeeze him and smother those cheeks with kisses.
What August is up to these days:
27 inches (12th percentile)
18 lbs 14 oz (22nd percentile)
Head Circumference: 18.5 inches (90th percentile)
Needless to say his noggin is sporting some bruises . . . we are a bit top-heavy. ;o)
He plays a bit of peek-a-boo.
He gives a few high fives.
He will briefly let go and stand alone.
He "shakes his booty" in some most awesome dance moves.
He has been a stinker in the nap department--constantly afraid he is going to miss something (and well, that is highly possible in this house).
He has two teeth.
(they are quite sharp) ;o)
He enjoys food. Real food. Like enchiladas.
He says Mama or Mom-mom.  I am quite certain he knows who I am.
 The older three have all been immersed in World War II inspired reading lately.  The girls are studying the war in history, but Jackson likes to sit in on their lessons because it's a bit more exciting than ancient history. ;o)  I'm digging it along with the rest of them--I vaguely remember a bit from a high school history class, so for the most part I'm learning it too. Fascinating!!
 Happy boy with his crackers.
 Since our move you might have heard me singing the praises of the violin teacher we found for Marissa--she has been just fabulous!  So, you might understand how very sad I am to announce that just this weekend she moved . . . to Utah. :o(  I am thankful Marissa had six months with her--I know she learned so much!! There was a recital Friday night and we said our official good-byes.  What a crazy weekend . . . while Josh was gone for state wrestling I found myself running hither and thither to keep up with all my kiddos.  I am so glad my parents came up Friday night to help with kid sitting.  Isabella has been my go-to girl as of late, but I feel bad having to lay so much responsibility on her.  I was accompanying Marissa on the piano, so bringing my busy little August didn't sound like a good plan . . . Sometimes it really does "take a village." ;o)
And over the weekend Jackson finished the youth version of Unbroken. This year he has really been digging biographies of men that are on the more "adventurous" side.  He was fascinated with this book and I would dare say a bit obsessed with WW2 lately . . . he gets out the board game "Axis and Allies" just to set up the armies!  (Disclaimer: This book is not necessarily  "3rd grade reading material" . . . I read the adult version, I looked through this youth version, but did not read it.  I felt okay with Jackson reading it, but I don't want somebody giving it to a kid and then being horrified and thinking I led them astray in recommending it!  It's an amazing story, but quite frankly the Japanese weren't very nice during WW2). What's next on his list? 
And already he is asking me what to read after that . . . if you have some good true-life action-adventure to recommend let me know!