18 months

it's hard to believe this little guy is already in nursery
he's doing pretty well
he cries for the first few minutes
and then he's fine
he is a big goof ball
loves to be silly
and watches his brothers intently
 i love the look in his eyes
his eyes seem to talk to me
they recently have been telling me just how much he loves and adores me
how much he relies on me
and that sometimes can feel overwhelming
just knowing how much my kids rely on my strength
how much they learn from my example (or lack thereof)
i did not expect gray to just lay down here
he just stared at the nurse with eyes like, "what are you going to do to me?"

a little (LONG) trip

 my husband travels A LOT.
around 4-5000 miles a month
occasionally, i'm okay with going with him
even tho i loath the driving
on of his friends blessed his baby in new york
and dusty really wanted to go
it's only 16 hours, he says
so, we went.
the boys do really well driving, unfortunately
we do it too often
but it was fun
about 2800 miles in 8 days
with 3 kids
we made some fun stops
 this was in pennsylvania

the boys weren't too into this so we only stayed an hour
but it was fun to see a few things

 and then we were able to stay at the biltmore in north carolina
it's worth looking into!
we would go back!

i'm not a fancy "eater" so the money was not worth the price
in fact i didn't really even care for it
i'd rather just eat at olive garden
but the sights were breathtaking
look at this huge mansion
it made me realize that life is what you make of it
and if you have a goal
you can reach it if you never give up
others goals are more lofty than mine

i'm glad we were able to go
the boys had fun in the first 20 or so rooms
after seeing 42 rooms, they were ready to be done!!

to the right were the stables
they have shops and restrooms there now

could you imagine living here?

i did learn something about my boys
they like to have things in their place
 the poor little guy had to stay home
do you see how much he loves his bed?!

it was funny, dusty was going to buy him a new bed
and brackon said, "dad, he's just going to tear it apart."


we don't ever do too much for valentines (or holidays for that matter)
but since our kids are getting older
i'm trying not to be a scrouge
my favorite thing we did this year during february
was writing on hearts about each member of our family
the things we loved about each other
and then we taped them all over the house
i LOVED seeing those hearts all month and had a hard time taking them down
valentine morning i did a little scavenger hunt for my boys
 and they got a little treat
they didn't like the candy
but i am excited to do a DIY project of some sort with the container!

here's gray again in his carseat

seconds after the above picture i look back and he is zonked out

i help out with activity days
and it's perfect cuz my boys were able to have a little valentine party
that has been one downer to homeschooling,
the fact that it's up to me to enrich the holidays!
it's a struggle i have


 we do a lot of reading at our house
morning, afternoon and before bed
 "The books you read become the type of person you will become."

"You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be-- I had a mother who read to me." -from "Reading Mother" by S. Gaillilan


 like i said earlier, these boys didn't use to get a long very well
but it seems that since they're home ALL DAY together
they've really had to learn how to get along better
and learn about each other
it's been GREAT

my boys will do anything for a movie night

of course, they have their moments where they don't always get along
and this has to happen
(i don't think brackon is kicking cooper, just caught him at the wrong moment)

and then they are buddies again

and back to playing with one another

cooper is my tender-hearted boy
he ALWAYS shares, if anyone asks for something of his
he's always willing to give a little
and for some reason gray love this about cooper
gray will OFTEN refuse food from me
so he can enjoy it from cooper

i went to check on these boys the other night
and they were cuddling so close you couldn't put a pen between them
i'm glad they love each other.

and i'm glad they're okay with wearing matching clothes :)
do you see their dimples under their eyes?
they got that from their dad!
i remember when i first noticed that on dusty
it made my heart melt!

mostly gray

 it seems i always take pictures of gray in his car seat
you'd think this poor kids lives there
well, he practically does.
 i love his looks.
serious one minute

and goofy the next

 we had a crazy ice storm
check out that sheet of ice on my car!

cooper and his CUTE friend madyson
look at cooper's outfit, i mean pajamas. lol.

all smiles
easy entertainment

some more buddies
we had a house FULL of boys

cooper looks like his faking, but he was not
it was only 5pm, if i recall
it must have been a BUSY day cuz this NEVER happens

i love going to church and looking back to see all my boys in ties!
maybe i'll tak a pic of that, for now, check out this handsome fella

we have this wonderful SECRET
after lunch is story time and if we read long enough
cooper will fall asleep :)
it beats listening to him scream that he doesn't want to nap!


 what is this world coming to?
kids with computers at their fingertips
gray's saying "where's mine?!"
 precious boy

we got this rocking chair from grandma bobbie
and gray would not let anyone sit on it!

jack sleepily resting on his bed
(which is in shreds now)

how precious to find that brackon wrote cooper this note!
a lot has changed at our house, cooper used to be on brackon's hate list.
no kidding.

Christmas 2012

i really wanted christmas this year to be christ-centered
so when my sister told me about THIS BOOK
i bought it right away and we got to work
 emily freeman starts the first monday of november and each monday following
they pick on character from the nativity scene and learn more
the book includes a lesson, an activity, treat (recipes included) the works!
it was very simple and will be a great tradition for our family
since our kids are little, we had then draw while we were talking
obviously, i need to invest in some christmas paper :)

one of the activities was to do a service
it was interesting how this came about
we read a curious george christmas book about service
and brackon said he wanted to do something
at lunch, he said, let's open a restaurant
and we can use the money we earn to buy something for someone
i had just made bread so it was kinda good timing (??)
so i just tried to roll with it
i called some neighbors to see if they wanted lunch
so we did a couple deliveries and had one neighbor come join us for lunch
he made $15 and so we went to the store and got some little gadgets
and then packaged them up
we took them to some kids at the hospital
it was a very special experience to see my boys' eyes light up
when the kids got excited for visitors (and a gift)

before christmas we headed on our LONG journey to be with family
only 25 hours later, we made it to our destination

it just so happened that grandpa marlin's dog had puppies
so brackon was thrilled to pick one out and give him a name
meet "JACK"

cousin sandwich

these two boys were inseperable

cousins watching movie "peace" :)

the boys with their favorite christmas toys
coopers cash box (with lock)
brackon's castle

we decided 25 hours wasn't too bad and we took a detour home
we stopped at my dad's in colorado for new years
it was fun to be there all by ourselves, usually when we go, it's with THE WHOLE FAM

for some reason brackon wanted to celebrate with smores