Thursday, March 31, 2016

Oh How I Love Them

Every now and then she will bring he a brush and scoot back into my lap, and I love it so much.  I remember brushing my mom's hair when I was often led to a brush getting tangled in her hair and some having to be cut (sorry, Mom!), but I loved it so much.  That would be a reason I'd grow my hair out, because I love it when people play with my hair.  Anyway, I'm excited for hers to get a bit longer.  All of that to say, it's about time for a post of what I want to remember...

The days run together, and while there are definite moments I do not want to repeat, there are things I never want to forget.  For instance, I can do without walking into the boys room just in time to see a stuffed chair flying across the room as a weapon, but I want to remember John Paul telling me that he needs a cough drop because his leg hurts.

So here goes.

Carter: He is so full of energy!  He is constantly coming up with new ideas or things to do.  But, he wants me to do 100% of it with him.  Which I don't.  He loves creating little contraptions during naptime (when he's supposed to be napping).  So far, he's made a mousetrap, a booby trap, a teeter-totter, a fort, a pulley-type system, a target practice area, etc.  I don't think he must need a nap anymore,  but I need the quiet time.  He's also loving to dance, and is he ever eclectic!  Sometimes it's so hard for me to not giggle at the things he and his siblings do.  He's very intuitive and is often telling me little things that remind me of his closeness to Christ.  He is very animated and likes to try to come up with a deal when I tell him no.  On that note, he's also strong-willed.  But, he's a helper, too!  When we were sick last week, he had hot and cold towels ready, buckets by our sides and a bottle made for Genevieve.  He still loves anything green, seems to prefer to do work with me, will eat noodle soup for every meal and cannot get enough sugar.  

Peter: He is still determined to live in the desert someday.  But, I've finally been allowed to come with him.  He is so very the sense that every emotion he has is heightened...yet he's our quieter soul.  We have a special little time of going to get Allsups' burritos together (you know you love them, too).  When he gets upset, he really just wants you to hug him...but not much at any other time.  He's the first to share or to give up what he has if he knows it will make the other person happy. Before he naps he always asks if he can "wead a lots and lots of books" instead of sleeping.  He talks in third person, and he finds beauty in everything and is quick to comment on it.  He would spend all day working with his Daddy if he could, and I often find him patting the back of a crying Sophie.  His big blue eyes and one dimple are gold, and he's learning to write his name which makes him so proud.  He still loves red, can't tolerate dairy, and is the easiest patient when he's sick.

John Paul: He is one funny little guy!  Right now he's obsessed with making sure his shirt never comes untucked.  He has one pair of Levi's a size too small that he calls his "rock and roll" pants, and they're pretty much all he wears.  He asks a question 100 times even if you've answered 100 times. He likes to argue.  He loves candy canes, his army hat, spurs and his belt.  These days, he's changing his shirt multiple times a day and is always trying to be extra funny.  He and Sophie have a love/hate relationship, and while he's good to her, she really likes to tease/bully him from time to time.  He loves FaceTiming RoRo (or anyone who will listen to him), and he is rarely quiet.  He's mostly always smiling, except for one day last week when he thought it would be a good idea to only wear shoes and I said no.  He's a tender-hearted, ornery, feisty little thing that likes to say he's angry when he really isn't and steal your hot cocoa when you aren't looking.

Sophie: She's equally independent and needy.  She is one tough little girl, but she also gets her feelings hurt easily (she might come by that honestly).  She loves her Daddy so much and wants me to hold her quite often.  She doesn't talk much but she nods her head to show you she likes something, especially music.  I hope she'll be my cellist someday.  She's starting to want a bow in her hair from time to time, and she loves her shoes.  But, she'll play in the dirt with the best of them. She's quite the little momma to Genevieve, and she now gives us kisses and immediately asks "un more?" to see if we want just one more.  She's so proud of being potty trained, loves stealing the boys' drinks and shoes, and hates to be left out of anything.  She loves nuts, "yummies" (candy) and her blanket "nonnie" - (Peter's little animal is a horse he calls "neigh neigh"- so her neigh neigh has become "nonnie").  She's our little curly-haired, spirited sweetie.

Genevieve: She's really just sweet.  Right now, she just loves to be loved and she smiles every chance she gets, especially when you're talking just to her.  She adores her siblings and simply loves to be
with all of us.

It's so fun how you can love them all equally yet so differently!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mid-week Likes & Links

I really like reading what others are loving or can't live without.  I love being connected to articles that some of my best friends (and some of my internet friends!) love.  It's kind of a window to their worldview and helps me get to know them a bit better.  I love love love Bridget's weekend links.  Grace has recently started a Sunday post of the same sort that is wonderful.  Joanna had a great one the other day.  

So here are a few things I'm loving....

We've watched a few movies lately that I've really liked: Concussion (so alarming, and Will Smith's accent was incredible - he's such a good actor), My All-American (so hard to watch but so, so good), Brooklyn (a sweet one).

I've been reading more than usual (which means I'm barely reading anything).  I have been so inspired by this book: The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax.

So, in typically Britt fashion, I've ordered all his other books, am about to start Simplicity Parenting, and I'm finally in the throws of All the Light We Cannot See (I know, last person on the planet to read it).  Don't be surprised if it all comes to an abrupt end and I'm at this very same point a year from now.

Have you read this post from Lauren about having a child with Down Syndrome?  It's beautiful.

Even though it's Easter season, this is worth a watch!

I bought this lipstick for $5.  It's a keeper.

This is Sophie's new favorite book.

Is there someone in your life you need to forgive?  This talk was like a punch in the gut.  In a really good way.

I mentioned this carnitas mix on Instagram but it's worth mentioning again.  It's soooo good.  We put it over rice and then add black beans, tomatoes, avocado, a little bit of cheese and a little sour cream.

We're also loving these fruit bars.

What have been some of your favorite things lately?  New recipes?  Great reads?  I'm all ears.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Rest of Holy Week In Pictures

I love Easter.  Christmas might be my favorite holiday, but the season of Easter in the Church is extremely special to me.  I love that it's the season when my dad and husband entered the Church.  I love the deep reflection.  The music is unlike any other.  It's the time I hold back tears in Mass.  I love the reminder of exactly what happened in order that we might have salvation.  I need to feel the feelings of the Holy Triduum.  I need the constant reminder that He suffered, and that we will, too.  I love the joy of Easter, but I need the Lent and Holy Week leading up to it.  And, as I've mentioned maybe 100 times, I also need to let go.  I think God needed me to this week as well.  I had activities planned to help the kids see the meaning in it all.  I was excited about preparing an Easter lunch for family (even though I get so worked up about everything being perfect).  While I knew that we probably wouldn't be at all of the Masses with the little ones, I needed to be present at some.  

Wednesday of Holy Week (after Friday of John Paul's stomach bug and after me touting the benefits of charcoal all over social media - I still think it works), I had to take Genevieve to Amarillo for a well-check.  Little did I know at home with the sweet babysitter (more like a third grandma), three of the four kids were throwing up.  No time for charcoal this time around, and what bug remains inactive for five days??  I'm thinking they caught another one.  

So, we got Wednesday behind us (more like the babysitter and Jeremy did - bless them), and Thursday was a great day (we never took the pills because well, we were dumb).  Then came 1:30 Friday morning.  It started with me waking up to an uneasy stomach and hearing cries from Sophie 10 minutes later.  She got sick.  Then me.  Then Peter.  And, Jeremy.

Saturday hit with the other part of the stomach bug for the girls, and really, it continued until Monday.  
All of that to say, no Masses were attended, no family came and few activities happened.  God had a plan that wasn't mine.  But, it was still blessed.  It was still Easter.  And, God's mercy was still so very much alive.  Just not how I had envisioned it.  We're always up for a quiet holiday, but sometimes the unexpected hits with a little disappointment.  We're on a roll this year - a stomach bug Christmas and a stomach bug Easter.  But, we still managed to get in some great time together and do a few things to honor this extra special season.

We made bunnies...

Carter and Peter made our Pascal candle from our Mass Box kit - my favorite activity yet!

The kids received a butterfly garden for Easter and were thrilled.

We mad hot cross buns a few days late.

We lit our Paschal candle Easter morning.

And someone was just happy to be cool.

Just incase he needed anything, he had it all in his backpack.

We made an Easter lunch anyway...just avoided the rich stuff.

And, it snowed, so we had an egg hunt inside.

When I wasn't taking photos of it all, I was holding this one all day.

And, we ended Easter with this...

Hopefully, we'll be able to get these little ones in their Easter bonnets for Divine Mercy Sunday!

As always, it was a blessing in disguise, and it really was a wonderful Easter.  I hope yours was, too!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Genevieve: 4 Months

Oh my gosh, this girl.  I couldn't love her more.  She's so sweet and loves to smile and listen to you talk to her.  She's such an easy baby, and we all adore her.  Some stats for the memory book:

Wearing 3-6 month clothes.
Wearing size 1 diapers.
Weighing 14 pounds and measuring 24 inches.
Sleeping from about 5:45 pm to 6:30ish am.
Starting foods.
Taking 4-5, 6+ ounce bottles.

She's a doll, and we love her so.  In the last photo, Peter was saying, "Oh momma, look at this beautiful baby Jesus gave us!"  I love them all.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

12/52: No TV

For Holy Week, the kids have given up TV.  Let me rephrase that...I forced them to give up TV minus watching a cartoon version of The Passion at some point.  I did it more for me than them.  I use it too much, honestly.  And, I wanted to see what it was like without it.  We're two days in, and here's how they are suffering (don't ask how I'm doing, haha)...

Carter // 5 - He took his tunnel outside to make some new kind of hot rod.
Peter // 4 - Meanwhile, Peter is on his perch pretending to shoot at his tires as Carter drives by.
John Paul // 3 - "Fweezin" even in the 75 degree weather - anything for a hot chocolate for this boy!
Sophie // 1 - While JP was inside, she decided to steal his slippers and have a little fun on the trampoline.  She's notorious for stealing their she's on to their shoes.
Genevieve // 4 months (why didn't I change to months earlier?) - I don't think she's been too affected by the lack of cartoons.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Our Holy Week in Pictures

Sunday...we decorated eggs.

Monday, we made these cookies (similar recipe) with some homemade raspberry jam.  They have nothing to do with Holy Week.  Carter has been asking to make them since he got this cookie cookbook from my mom or sister (can't remember) almost a year ago.  So, we did.  And, I like them. But, there aren't too many sweets I don't like!  The boys wanted to give half of them away, so I think we just might in the spirit of Lent.

Tuesday we did a sweet activity from Nancy's blog.