Sunday, October 30, 2011

Good fences make good neighbors?

I love the tall wooden fence around our yard. I love that it has a gate that keeps the boys enclosed and safe and I don't have to worry while they are outside playing.

Whenever Max and Benny start to chase each other around the kitchen-hallway-living room-kitchen-hallway-living room I intercept their path and usher them out the back door. They may holler for a bit but often start to do their roughhousing in the back yard.

Many days they'll play on the swingset or in the sandbox, or shoot hoops or kick a ball around.

I'll hang out back there, too, with the boys. I put the baby in the exersaucer or on a blanket (though now he crawls off and crawls into the flower beds and bushes, putting whatever wood chip and rock he can find into his mouth).

It's our sanctuary, our play place, our piece of the world carved out and separated from everybody else's piece of the world by a nice, tall fence.

But, I sometimes forget about the fact that there are others juuussst on the other side of that fence.

It's inevitable any time

a) The boys are hollering at each other and/or using their feet and hands to make their point

b) I'm hollering at the boys to knock it off

c) I'm nursing the baby


d) I'm giggling on the phone with my sister Bekah


I hear a slight "ahem" coming from the other side of the fence.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And sill more

Nothing like a tire swing under that huge blue Missouri sky.

All my boys loved that swing.

We had to get a picture with all 6 grandsons and Grandma and Grandpa. But it took some maneuvering.

No Andrew, don't poke Caleb. Nathanael, are you sleepy? Max, smile!

Andrew, do you have something in your mouth?

Bethany steps in to help. Caleb: momma?! Hey, good smile, Benny.

Now we try just our boys:

Max has had enough.

Before we went back to the airport, we ate at probably our favorite BBQ place in Kansas City: Oklahoma Joe's.

Monday, October 24, 2011

More from our trip

My brother James bought a house "in town" and is fixing it up. It was really cool to see his hard work while we were out there last week. Peter lives with him there, too. They go to my parents' house to go grocery shopping. I kid.

Anyway, James also owns a huge dog named Mal. How huge? Well, we wanted to show it by having him do his trick of standing up next to James.

Mal is really shy, so James held him and then we slipped into the picture.

Yup. That's a horse-dog.

Speaking of horses, while in Nauvoo, we took a horse-drawn wagon tour of the town and all the historic sites.

JB and Max in the wagon.

Andrew and me (Benny is under a blanket on the other side. It was a little chilly).

Then Andrew got chilly. And thirsty.

We had a great view from the wagon of the temple before we went up there for Joe and Susan's wedding in the afternoon.

After the wedding and pictures, we drove south to Pittsfield and my friend Andrea drove up from the St Louis area, so we could meet for dinner and have our boys play again!

It was such a fun, fun day.

However, Andrew howled for the last hour of the drive back to my parents' house (they are 3 1/2 hours from Nauvoo), but we sang every song we knew and that helped. If we paused while trying to think of a new song, he cried again. I had snacks and activities leftover from the plane to help Max and Benny on the drive. I just kept throwing stuff back at them -- "Here, try this!"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our Missouri trip

In 5 days, we were in 4 states. Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. Well, we were in Iowa for about 20 minutes as we drove to Nauvoo, Illinois for the wedding. And we were in Kansas for a short time, for some great barbecue.

When we landed at the Kansas City airport on Saturday we went to LC's in the city for lunch with my sister Bekah and brother James.

It was gooood.

Then we drove 1 1/2 hours to my parents' house in the Chillicothe area. Funny, we woke up so early Saturday to get on the plane, and I thought the boys would nap on at least one of the two flights. They finally slept in the rental car. Too excited I guess.

Andrew liked Grandma a lot:

Max remembered a lot from our trip two years ago, namely the chickens, garden and bunkbed. So we had to see all those things first!

(James, Joe catch some escaped chickens)

My mom's garden is huge. And amazing. We ate fresh peppers, tomatoes, onions and herbs while we were there.

The next day, my little brother Stephen showed the boys a great time.

And he caught another escaped fowl.

Max and Benny loved gathering eggs twice a day and feeding those birdies and the rabbits. I think my family liked having people help with the chores. Free labor.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Joe's wedding!

Lookee who got married. Awwwwww.

We just got back from a trip to Missouri to see my little brother Joe's wedding. Susan is from southern Utah County, but they chose Nauvoo -- they got engaged there, it's sentimental, it's not too far from my family. It was so so nice to be there for the wedding and to see almost all of my huge family together again! We were just missing Seth (on a mission in Indiana) and Enoch, who passed away 5 years ago next month.

On to more pictures!

Chances are, this very picture (or one very similar) will be on our Christmas card this year.....

10 of 12 children! (L-R back row Peter, James, Dad, Mom. Middle row: Rebekah, Rachel, Emily, Stephen. First row: Sarah, Joe, Mary, Michael.)

What's that? You want order by age? (Rachel's new husband Rhett was trying to line us up and put Michael first. He's just so serious and responsible. He had me number 5 or 6. Yes! Mid-20s!)
OK, it's Rebekah, Mary, Joseph, Michael, James, Peter, Seth, Emily, Rachel, Stephen, Enoch, Sarah.


Not pictured -- the spouses and grandkids. It's Mary-JB, Michael-Bethany, Rachel-Rhett, and Joe-Susan. Besides my three sons, Michael and Bethany have three sons.

Here we are mingling. There was a chill wind but other than that, it was a beautiful day.

The sisters (the wedding party wore red and Emily was the "best ma'am." Our family wore green and Susan's family wore yellow).

Max and Ben didn't mind waiting, as long as they had an uncle to play with. Or an iPhone!

In upcoming posts, some of the fun things from the trip.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This sweetpea now has four teeth up top and two on the bottom. Mmmm those toes are tasty.

This baby also likes to explore the house like a puma or other giant kitten. He crawls around and around, stalking his prey, finding anything to pop in his mouth.

This boy also only takes catnaps some days, unless he's being held. Then he'll sleep forever.

This stinker also likes to stand up in his crib when he should be sleeping. And holler. And HOLL-ER! His little knees get so weak as he stands and screams for us to come rescue him.

This kissable, huggable, cuddly smiley fellow also gets me to do anything for him.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Max and Benny have been practicing basketball a lot. They are getting so good! In the future we hope to sign them up for Junior Jazz or a similar program. I have a feeling (and their growth charts back me up) that these boys are going to be tall. Very tall.

A friend of ours (whose son is ranked for high school golf) says with their height, they could be good at golf, too. I hear with boys it's important to get them involved in lots of stuff as they grow up, to help them find their passion and to keep them out of trouble. We just want them to have fun and be happy. Let's just hope it doesn't get too expensive.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Busy Benny. Sleepy Benny.

Busy Benny

Give Benny a newspaper, scissors and glue and he's set for an hour or so. Lately he loves to cut pictures out of the paper -- especially sports pictures. He puts them in a folder and calls them his homework, or he glues them to plain paper.

He also stays busy at the table practicing writing his letters and drawing all sorts of stuff. We have noticed a huge increased interest in letters and sounds and numbers now that he is in preschool. We play the "starts with" game a lot, and practice rhyming words. We also do a lot of counting together.

On preschool days he gets pretty sleepy. Benny isn't so good at staying on his bed for a quiet time, but there are some days where he just gets plain tuckered out. I call this next photo:

Sleepy Benny

Friday, October 7, 2011


Before this cold spell the boys and I took to the backyard to play frisbee. But this isn't any regular frisbee -- it's huge. And perfect for catching and throwing. JB took pictures.

Andrew squealed at us from the Exersaucer.

Wherever the baby is, Max and Benny aren't far behind.