I have felt very guilty lately about not blogging like I used to. When I clicked on my blog and tried to recall my password, only to finally get logged in and see that my last post was over a year ago, I was a bit mortified. I started this blog with the goal to document our lives. To be able to write and share photos and have little bits & pieces of this short time while the kids are all little recorded for them to look back on. For me to look back on. To remember all the little ways in which the Lord blesses us on a daily basis. But I have failed miserably at keeping it up over the past few years. I have been too busy for the little things. Yet so many amazing, and awful, and fun, and memory-worthy things have happened. And as I thought about the journey God has brought us through these past few years, let alone all the little day-to-day things the kids say that I fear I'll forget, I absolutely cannot let another minute go by without adding to this little online journal. Maybe the fact that we now live hundreds of miles from our family is causing this blog revival...yes, we just moved from Iowa to Utah about four weeks ago. But whatever it is, I'm thankful. Let the blogging resume!
It's literally in the middle of the night...1:48 a.m. to be exact...and I can't sleep. So please excuse my randomness. I don't think my brain is going to cooperate in creating a flowing cohesive post tonight, so here comes a bunch of random recent memories of the kiddos to catch up on the little people they have become. Sorry if it's incredibly boring or mundane. These are the little...and BIG...details I don't want to forget, so a lot of this is purely for my benefit. I do apologize in advance if you're bored to death by the end of this, that is, if you even continue reading (smile).
Gabe is now 10. He really amazes me with just how great a kid he has become. He is kind and thoughtful and loves to please. He's a good friend, a wonderful son, a sweet big brother, a great role model.
Gabe also continues to be a talented athlete. He does struggles with putting it all together. I guess what ten-year-old doesn't, right?! I see a lot of myself in Gabe with sports. When I was a pitcher in softball growing up, I would either have an amazing no-hitter performance. Or, I'd hit every batter in the line-up. Seriously...hit them with the ball. They called me wild thing. Ha! Gabe is the same way. Sometimes he psyches himself out and doesn't perform to his potential. And then sometimes he amazes us and out-performs our greatest expectations of him. He's definitely got the talent and potential, and does he ever love sports! He's also without a doubt the hardest working kid I know. But he doesn't always have the focus. Again, he's 10. When it all clicks, and I'm confident it will all click someday, he is going to be unstoppable. No doubt. And yes, I'm a proud (and maybe bragging a bit, I do apologize...) mama! :)
It's currently football season and in Utah, football is CrAzY! You'd think we live in Texas now or something. I'm talking homemade banners at every game, forming tunnels of parent bodies for the boys to run through, arranging scrimmages between moms versus boys just for fun, practicing five days a week and games on the sixth day with only the seventh day off, parents running up and down the field to have a better view of every play. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. It's fun...just takes some getting used to for this crazy wrestling mom who doesn't quite understand football yet! I'm trying though, for the sake of the boys...and Jason :)
Anyway, these kids Gabe's age have been playing tackle football together at an incredibly high level of play for four years now. This is only Gabe's second year of tackle which means he's definitely playing catch-up. Couple that with the fact that two weeks after football started we had to be gone for two weeks to go back to Iowa for a wedding, and you an imagine how much Gabe missed out on in those two weeks. Those were the weeks all the boys were refining the plays, learning them front to back and inside out. So Gabe's been struggling to play catch up and spent a lot of time in positions he wouldn't normally play because he doesn't know the complicated plays. Normally Gabe is a full back and instead the coach has a strategy to build Gabe's confidence by playing him on the defensive line so that his role in the plays would be simplified. The coach is has also spent some extra time before practice with Gabe trying to help him go over the plays so that he can get in on offense. The coaches on Gabe's team are great by the way. Gabe looks TINY on the defensive line, and boy...do I mean tiny...going up against kids twice his size. And he's struggled because of it. But this past Saturday he finally had his first great game here in Utah, getting a quarterback sack among other great contributions he made to the team. He was a much happier kid afterwards. Only three weeks of football left, and then the boys will start wrestling. Although football continues to be his favorite sport, Gabe said he's very much so looking forward to wrestling season that starts in just a few weeks. Gabe also continues to play baseball and love that as well.
Cooper is now 8. He is our random, sweet, happy-go-lucky most of the time, kinda kid. If you're needing a laugh, just hang out with Coop for a while and you'll get one. He says the funniest things! The other day he came home from school and was talking a mile a minute telling me all about his day. Meeting new friends and going to a new school has put Cooper's already analytical mind into overdrive, and he comes up with the best random thoughts. Our conversation went a little something like this...
Me: How was your day Cooper?
Coop: Great! My teacher is funny and nice. The girls that I sit by are kinda crazy. Make that ReAlLy crazy. I met three new friends today. I gave my friend Porter my extra cookie at lunch. Math was easy. The principal scares me a little. I played four square at recess....(and on and on.)
Me: Wow! That's an eventful day!
Coop: Just so you know mom...(a little sidenote...'Just so you know' has become a bit of a 'Cooper catch-phrase' as he prefaces his random statements with this phrase all the time.)...I really want to go to Las Vegas cause that's where the dolphins live that like to swim with you. They're, like, trained to swim with you and I think they might even teach me how to swim better. So I really need to go to Las Vegas. Can we go there sometime?
Me: How do I say no to that?
Oh my goodness, granted I've never been to Las Vegas, but trained dolphins is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Sin City, haha! Now it is thanks to Coop:)
Cooper is also a very talented athlete. Cooper has also started tackle football and loves it. He's a running back and is so crazy fast. But wrestling continues to be his hands-down favorite past time. Cooper had a wrestling season this past year that is going to be hard to top. Seriously, he was on fire! I wanted to document a highlight reel of Cooper's wrestling accomplishments over the 2012-2013 season. I apologize again for the my-kid-is-so-amazing sections of this post. But really, what kid doesn't deserve proud parents after accomplishments like these...
Grade School State Champion in two divisions (Folkstyle)
USA State Champion (Folkstyle)
AAU Super Pee Wee State Champion (Folkstyle)
AAU State 5th place (Folkstyle-wrestling up with older kids)
USA Freestyle State Champion
USA Greco State Champion
USA Folkstyle Nationals Runner-up
One word: Amazing! Cooper is super excited for the upcoming wrestling season that starts soon. We always sit down and talk goals before the season starts. My goodness, how do you top all of the above though? His goal: national champion. I don't think it's beyond reach, but let the hard work begin! And let it be known, Cooper pushes himself harder than we as parents could ever push him. He wants this. He's self-driven and self-determined. He's pretty much my hero.
Moving on, our little girl is growing up so fast! Chloe is now six-years-old and continues to be so much fun! Can I just say that I am so thankful God blessed me with a girl! First of all she loves shopping. Right there, she qualifies to be my best friend for life! She is such a well-balanced girl, loving princesses and pretty nails and cute clothes and done-up hair. But at the same time, she will gladly get dirty and rough house with her brothers and run around with her face a mess and her nose running all over and not care one bit. Yes, she will make some lucky guy an incredible catch some day, ha! I think Jason is hoping the snotty face will last well into the teen years and work as a guy-repellent ;)
Chloe is REALLY into My Little Pony lately and would watch it all the time if we let her. She is loving our new neighborhood here in Utah (as are all the kids.) It's quite a change to go from living in the country on 27 acres to living right next door to a neighborhood full of friends! She ALWAYS has a playmate. And being the social butterfly that she is, Chloe is loving it! Did I mention she's LOVING it?! She is.
Chloe is also an excellent student. She is reading like a champ and writes so well. She also loves to sing and wants to be on a stage so we signed her up to start a musical theater class once a week. They'll perform in a play at the end of the year. She can't wait for Thursday to get here!
Chloe also remains such an innocent child. Even as the world around her seems to grow up way too fast, she has managed to hold on to that glass-overflowing mentality where everything is sunshine and rainbows. I just love her attitude! She asked me the other day if I'd answer her an honest question (her words...love!!) She then asked if princesses were really real, like Ariel and Belle and Cinderella. She thinks they're real, but she just wanted to make sure! Ahhh, my heart just melts as I think of the wide-eyed wonder she possesses that all little girls are meant to have. And she really has it! So thankful for the way Chloe inspires me to love and cherish the little moments in life. Everyone is beautiful through her eyes. Everyone is a friend. Every day is a gift. Love her.
And then there's Gavin. Our fourth child, perhaps the last but making sure he's certainly not the least. Gavin is four-years-old now. If someone had tried to tell me before Gavin came along that so much personality could be packed into such a little body, I would have thought them a liar. But it's true! His personality is through the roof! Outgoing doesn't begin to describe it.
Gavin is also fearless and amazingly sharp. At four he can tell you every turn you need to take to get to his preschool ten minutes from our house. He remembers everyone's name and sometimes sounds so very adult when he's referring to a conversation he had with them that day. Gavin is so enthusiastic and much like his big sister, he just loves life! Gavin is a total social butterfly as well, always ready to get out of the house and experience the next adventure life has to offer. Even if it's just a trip to Target, Gavin will find many people to chat with and has a constant goal to make yet another friend.
Gavin is perhaps a pastor or missionary in training. He has THE BEST prayers and is so genuine as he talks to God. He without fail will pray that 'Mom is my best mom ever' and 'Dad is my best dad ever' and 'Gabe is my best Gabe ever' and so on until he names every member in the family. And then he will end with 'And my whole family is my best family ever.' Is that not precious?!
And then there's his favorite song...'You are my Sunshine.' He LOVES to sing this song and has his own little motions he does with the words. I absolutely have to get it on video. I ended up getting a Subway Art sign that has the lyrics on it and have it hanging in the hallway. Gavin loves to stop and run his finger under the words and sing the song. Though he can't read yet, he's been told that those are the words to 'You Are My Sunshine.' Didn't know a boy could have such a love for wall art.
Basically, if I could freeze the kids at the ages they're at now, I absolutely would. But of course I know that's not God's plan. He has great plans for them to change and grow and be used in amazing ways. He has great reason for each of their little...or BIG...personalities. And as much as I love having them little, I also look forward to seeing the ways in which the Lord will use each and every one of them.
So there's our kiddos in a glance. Hopefully many, more-consistent blog posts to come! God is working in incredible ways through this new ministry we're a part of in Utah, Redemption Church. I can't wait to share more with you all soon! Until then, cherish every day and make the most of it!