Our First Basketball Season and Other Stories

I guess, what with the snow storm and all, that it actually was “meant to be” for me to spend this weekend at home with my little man clan.  While I did miss getting to see my parents, as planned, a lot of good did come out of this weekend:

-We had 4 days together as a whole family + tomorrow the boys go back to school, and Alan will be home with just the littles and me.  Quality time is a very good thing, and we do need it.

-I got to see Joshua play his last regular season basketball game, and that’s only the second one I have made it to, for various reasons.  I’m thankful I got to see him play.

-We had this surprisingly splendid Sabbath-like Sunday today.  We were all well enough to go to church together (rare in the winter).  They let me off nursery duty because we were short on babies, and I haven’t gotten to go into the regular service in a while.

Then after church, we had a lunch and supper that no one complained about–rare all year long.  Alan and I got to spend the whole day talking and planning our move (coming up in June).

-I got to go see the Frozen Sing-along with Joshua and my friend Barbara and her three kids on Friday.  Loved it!

   By the way, I was proud of Barbara and me.  We took four kids to the movie theatre, didn’t buy anyone any food or drink, and no one really asked for any.  Awesome.

-The evening of Valentine’s Day was a sweet moment.  Most years we do make plans for that, but this year at 6pm on Valentine’s Day, I was taking a stroll around the neighborhood, just Joshua and me.  It’s hard walking in all the snow and slushy patches, but we still had a great walk.

What a great day.  Here are a few highlights from the long weekend:

4brothers allbrothers

I lined them up for a “Thank you for our valentine, Nonna and DaddyO” type photo……This was the best we could do!     THANK YOU, Nonna and DaddyO, they were all excited about their card and $5!  At least Daniel seemed to get the idea.

daddylove tootallbaby

I was so excited to score this baby play table for……FREE.  I belong to several Facebook groups where people sell things to each other, and I haven’t found any great deals there yet, BUT I also belong to my “neighborhood ladies” Facebook page, and people just GIVE stuff away on there to whoever claims it first.  Pretty awesome, huh?

Have you ever noticed that a few people that are selling their used stuff seem to think their stuff is worth a lot more than it really is?  That’s kind of a pet peeve of mine:  like the Yard Sale where the owner has clearly never had a yard sale before and is charging $5 per sweater (lol).  I take one look around that type of “yard sale” and flee the premises.  I like the kind where pretty much everything costs $1-3.

  I was thrilled to find this table, so you can imagine my disappointment when we realized that John David is simply too tall to be able to fully enjoy it.  He needs to practice his standing at the coffee table instead.

7mos playtime Danface daddytime crossbridge bridgeCaleb

Caleb and Daniel were taking turns “being a bridge” and crossing each other.  Don’t worry– no people or furniture were harmed in the crossing of the bridges.  : )


Life with boys.

meandjosh joshua

how we get ready for a basketball game….


Does anyone have a caption for this????

And can you find Daniel in the above photo?


At the 1st/2nd grade level, there are zero bleachers at the basketball game.  You have to sit in this tiny little space between that black line and the wall.  We’ve tried baseball, soccer, and now basketball, and this is the easiest by far for me to take all the boys to.  There’s no where for them to run around!  They actually HAVE to stick with me.  Actually, this week Daniel pretty much hung out with Sean (our next-door neighbor–his son, Xavier is also on the team) the whole time.  I think he was making Sean draw him stuff on his Magna Doodle.

Magna-Doodles are a life-saver.  All ages love them, and it doesn’t need batteries.

Of course, when Daniel was only 1–this same scenario might have been a true nightmare.  Thankfully, by now he understands that he has to stand behind the black line!

game audienceselfie 12

Joshua is #12, so Caleb made this, which he held up high during the game to cheer on his brother.

momfan brofan coachdad IMG_2344 handsup

#5 on the blue team was insanely good.  There’s Joshua–with his hands up.

Joshua actually really enjoyed basketball.  He liked it so much that he would even get disappointed when games were snowed out.  He says this is his favorite sport to play, but football is his favorite sport to watch.

BlueRaptors team1

team photos!

They were the “Blue Raptors”.

coaching huddle3 huddle2 huddle1

Team Huddle:  Go Raptors!



Caleb:  King of the ‘selfie’.

Just a few funny things I’ve heard around here to share:

1.  On the way home from church today, I was singing “Do you wanna build a snowman,”  from Frozen, and Caleb started singing, “Do you wanna build an old man.”

    I thought that was really funny, and I laughed, and Caleb told me he heard that from a friend of ours.

2.  Alan gave Daniel and JD a bath today while I went walking.  When I got home, Alan was telling me how he’d doctored up Dan’s wounds.  Daniel is potty-trained (mostly), but he still sleeps in pull-ups, and he still gets diaper rash, which really bothers him a lot.  When Alan told me that he had put some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste on Dan, Dan suddenly looked up and smiled from ear to ear.

  That boy LOVES “diaper keme”.

3.  Alan and I had a planning conference for our move today.  We laid out a time table and discussed all of our options.  Joshua came in partway through it and started asking us a bunch of very good and reasonable questions.  Then he asked us questions about our upcoming vacation.

Joshua:  But what time exactly are we going to leave, and how long will it take us to get there?

Alan:  Well, Joshua, I’m sure we’ll leave bright and early in the morning, since with four kids we can get ready so quickly.  Then I’m not sure how long it will take us to get there since we’ll have to stop at an ER sometime on the way…knowing us….so really I don’t know.

4.  The boys were writing up their Valentine cards the other day, and they were talking as they worked:

Caleb:  Oh, Amethyst*!  (*fake name to protect the innocent)  Amethyst’s an alien, you know, a pretty one.

Joshua:  Huh?  She’s an alien?  Why do you say that?

Caleb:  She likes to do silly things, and she wears lipstick.

…..(I’ve actually seen this Amethyst, and Caleb’s right.  She’s a very pretty little lipstick-wearing alien.)

Happy President’s Day, everybody!

We LOVE Snow Days!!

   Hurray for the very first snow day of the season!!  We were all so exited and ready to get out there in it.  Actually, we were all ready, except for Joshua.  He was reluctant at first, but then he ended up being the one to stay out there the longest.
  Alan’s parents were here through the weekend, but they are on their way back south now.  We were so thankful that they came.  Alan had a two-night trip to Michigan last week, and I just wasn’t feeling up to tackling this on my own!  The thing was that while he was gone we had basketball, PTA, and cub scout activities.  It can be a bit difficult to divide myself in half and be at all these things, so we called in for back-up.  
  DaddyO and Nonna came to my rescue.  DaddyO was a cub scout himself back in the day, and I think he enjoyed doing Joshua’s den meeting with him.
  Meanwhile, I got to go to our PTA meeting and meet the new principal.  For those of you who haven’t met her yet, rest assured that she is very personable and accomplished.  She has two school children of her own, at another school, and I think we will all really like her.  

 a good pic….but not necessarily Christmas card material.  I’m really not sure that a Christmas card is going to happen this year.    

the boys and their Nonna

I was so happy yesterday to see that Joshua was actually trying his best to smile for photos.

 Caleb kept pelting me with snowballs.

Anything Dan does looks adorable in that little snow suit!

 I just love how happy they look.

 J.D. watched it all from the cozy foyer.

 Well, now, you know you can’t have a snow man without pool noodles.  ; )

Joshua’s footprint (tennis shoe) on the left, my footprint (Uggs knock-off boot) on the right.
He’s catching up with me!

Joshua made his own kind of snow man.

I finished off the snow man by adding the eyes and mouth.  : )

You can imagine their joy when they announced school closings for today.  Almost all the neighborhood kids were out, sliding down the hill in Betsy’s front yard this morning.  Joshua and Caleb spent two hours straight out there again this morning.
Now Joshua and his buddies are at Jacob’s house.  Caleb is right here beside me, playing iPad.  Dan is in his room, not napping, in fact now he says he needs to go “whoo-whoo” (potty), so I’m off to help.  Oh, the joys…

Focusing on the POSITIVE

My last post focused on how hectic our week was, how busy we are right now, and all the mischief that Daniel has been finding. (You can read that last post here.)  Today, in honor of the week of Thanksgiving, I’m going to focus on the POSITIVE!

10 Great Things Going on Around Here Right Now:


10.   If I want to catch a picture of Joshua smiling, I just need to whip out the baby.

Joshua loves to make J.D. laugh.  He also loves to pick J.D. up and carry him.  He’s extremely careful and a little timid about doing so, but you can tell it makes him feel really special that we let him pick up the baby.


#9.  J.D. loves all of his big brothers already, and so does Daniel.

Caleb is just a little bit closer to Dan’s age than Joshua is, and Dan is really starting to appreciate Caleb’s friendship.  Sometimes, at bed time, Dan will run in and jump into bed and cuddle with Caleb.  The other night, once our rituals were over, we told Dan to tell his brothers “night-night” and go to his room.
Dan walked out saying, “Night-night, Caweb!!  And night-night Caweb!”
He loves Joshua too, but I think he was just showing Caleb his appreciation for the friendship he had shown him that day.  Caleb is also really good about playing kitchen with Dan.

 8.  While it may have been a controversial year for the Boy Scouts of America, it’s definitely an organization that has benefited our boys.

This is a photo of them getting ready for a pack meeting.  I love that this is an activity we get to kind of all do together as a family.
Dan thinks he’s a cub scout too.  ; )
Poor photo quality…my tablet isn’t exactly a high quality camera!

#7.  John David is now eating seriously pureed solids, which has greatly improved his nightly sleep patterns. WAhooo!!!!!!!


6.  I’m so thankful that he’s so pretty.

5.  Cute Caleb story:

  We were walking to school, and Caleb mentioned a little girl that was in his class last year and how he’s always thought she was pretty.  (This is not unusual with Caleb.  I’m more in danger of getting TMI from Caleb than ever lacking in information!)
  He said, “But this year, there’s an even more beautiful girl in my class.  Her name is *Yellow* (don’t even remember her name, actually!), and she has long yellow hair, and she is so pretty.  She is.

4.  Caleb has it allll figured out.

  I was never the person that had it all figured out.  Each year when asked “what I want to be when I grow up”, I’d give a different answer, because I just had no idea!  Joshua is like that too.  Not Caleb.  This boy talks often about how he’s going to be a “construction builder” when he grows up, and he has been saying this since he was 2 years old.  He once tried to make me pull over in a parking lot so that he could watch them build a Walmart.
  He’s also pretty serious about finding himself a “beautiful wife” that will cook for him, when he grows up.  : )

3.  Compliments

Is there anything greater, as a parent, than having someone give you a genuine compliment about your child?  I like nothing more!  I also instantly like the compliment giver more!
  Ironically, we get the most compliments on a certain very sweet and adorable little mess maker named Daniel.  Oh….if only they knew…..He sure is sweet, compliant, and friendly in public, though, so if you didn’t read this blog, you might also be tempted to think of him as some sort of sweet cherub.  (He’s really more like a rascally little Leprechaun!)
  Recent compliments we’ve received (mostly from church folk):
–about Joshua:  “I love how he looks me in the eye and says ‘yes sir’!  That means a lot to people like me, of my generation!!”
–about Caleb:  “I love having Caleb in my class.  We did a trivia game today, and he knew all the answers.  He just kept raising his hand and raising his hand, and I just couldn’t call on him every time.  When I wouldn’t call on him, he was back there helping out the other kids, whispering the answer in their ears.”
–about Dan:  “Oh, he is sooo adorable.”
                  …..and from his doctor last week:
                  “Well, he’s very verbal isn’t he?  You are just really impressive, little man.”
  Of course, I was pleased as punch to hear that from a pediatrician.  He really does ham it up at these doc visits.  First off,  I set him up for success by arming myself with a bag full of crayons, coloring books, trains, and train tracks.  He stays busy in the exam room building train tracks and not bothering their stuff.
  Then every time the doc or nurse is ready to evaluate him, he ever so happily bounces up on the table and raises his shirt.  He seems to really enjoy it.  He’ll point to one ear and say, “Hurts,” then he points to the other ear and says, “Better.”  Then he’ll point to his tummy and say, “My tummy hurts.”
  And he’s just so happy to be there, that he really is just irresistible!

2.  Thanksgiving coming up!

We have made plans for what looks like it will be a fun Thanksgiving.  We’re doing lunch with another family, so I won’t have to cook the whole meal.  Yay!  Then after dinnertime, we are getting together with friends for dessert.

1.  Our whole family is well today.  We all got to go to church together yesterday.

 Alan and I looked at each other in the sanctuary, like “Wow, this is nice!”  We had all the kids squirreled away to age appropriate classes, and it was just the two of us on the pew together, enjoying a nice relaxing hour in God’s house. It was a great time to remind ourselves how blessed we are, and thank God for these blessings.
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