Friday, October 26, 2012

i love you like cereal.

our third son.

he has skin like snow and can't so much as think a sad thought without turning splotchy-pink.

when his bigger brother approached him with scissors and asked him if he'd like to be bald he sighed, "sure." he likes to make others happy. later he told me that he didn't actually want to be bald.

finn has so many talents and gifts. he is a unifying force in our family. he wishes we could all be together, all of the time. he is the happiest at a fully-occupied dinner table or in an all-inclusive dog pile. he becomes very sad when anyone leaves home.

our third son lives to eat sweets. every prayer he says includes a "please bless we get a cotton-candy machine." he has always been our candy feind. he also loves cereal.

one night i was tucking him into bed he grabbed me around the neck and whispered, "mom, i love you like... cereallll."

he would do anything for any one of us.

the other day he was jumping on the trampoline and he almost nocked out a few teeth on his brother's head (brother remarkably unharmed). i snuck him some secret ice-cream and he asked if he could share. i said no.

i am so glad i am his mother. he teaches me about sacrifice and compassion. he reminds me to think of others before myself. and he loves me like cereal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the life of riley.

did i mention that ossi's favorite outfit is a pillow case with holes cut for his head and arms? he says he's "nephi" (a hero from the book of mormon), but he's actually a kid in a filthy pillow case. it's really embarrassing when i go out to move the garbage cans and he runs outside to converse with the neighbors looking like the hunchback of notre dame.

did i mention that we are nearly late for school every day?

did i mention that there are few things more terrifying than finding a bunch of permanent marker lids without their pens?

and lastly, i took a more "real" photo to share. it looks like each of our kids melted into a pile of their own clothes and then came back to haunt the place. but that's okay.

keeping the peace.

each day the kids wake up and clip a clothes pin with their name onto the sun. depending on their ability to be kind and loving, and to put the good of the family first (through obedience to mom and dad) they move up or down on the scale. rainbows are especially hard to get. and so are frowns.

the goal in adopting the system was for them to become self-aware and ultimately more capable of being peace-makers. the benefits we've seen are many. really, i'm the one becoming more aware.

1. tracking their progress has helped me to see that they are generally nice kids.

2. we spend less time using our voices for negative critique, simply silently moving their name to indicate that they're not making the kindest choices. they aren't tuning out when we begin to speak as often.

3. i have been able to recognize patterns of behavior that are specific to each child. i've been more organized and deliberate in preemptively meeting their unique needs, the moment negative behavior begins.

4. there is more peace, even when things are crazy.  we all know it's okay for there to be ruckus, just not rudeness. all of us are becoming very clear on the distinction.

5. they take great pride over their smily faces and rainbows. having a goal has helped them excel, for sure.

6. we start over each evening at 5:30, moving them all back to the sun. this gives us all a chance to let go of whatever happened earlier in the day and just enjoy the family-togetherness.

liam's school teacher uses this system to keep the children and their parents informed about classroom expectations and behavior. after one morning of volunteering i knew this was a perfect fit for our home right now.

hooray for harmony!

a package for evy-girl.

oh, happy day!

she had a lovely time opening her gift from grandma re and auntie katie. we loved watching her be so excited for each treat. what a thoughtful and darling box of goodies it was.

this girl is so darn sweet. i thought it only appropriate to end an evy post with a picture of her sitting in her spot. she climbs up onto my hope chest and thumbs through the books she finds there. my, how we love her.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

together happy.

we have been watching too many shows. for like... the last 6 years of our marriage.

so we're going to try this new thing where we do other stuff to wind down after the kids' bed time.

other stuff #1... being musically in love.

ps- that was guster's "do you love me?"

honey, you should take the kids to the beach today.

that was the best way to be woken up, ever. my husband takes the gold every time.

we climbed the hill at pacific city, which is no easy feat for a mom and four kiddos.

as we were progressing, we looked back to see that finn had given up near the bottom. the other boys were determined to reach the top (which has a drop off on the other side) with or without me so i weighed my options and decided to continue up with them, keeping a close eye on the spec that was my baby boy at the bottom.

he didn't move an inch. when we reached the top the view was tremendous and the big boys felt so accomplished.

they looked down at finn and expressed their wish that he hadn't given up so that he could be here with us.

down they ran.

to push and pull the little guy to the summit.

i adore my children.

beach days are a healing balm.