Friday, February 5, 2016

Missoula Children's Theater Dec. 2015 King Arthur's Quest

Another successful Missoula Children's Theater production.  

This year it was King Arthur's Quest. 

Graham was a squire and Benny, by coincidence, was assigned to be his "mini-me".  

These little people were so dang cute!

These are the Damsels of the 1st order.  Lucy was the Damsel of the 2nd order.  She was not "distressed".  She was fabulous!  She was supposed to act super irritated with all the girly girls who needed help.  The part fit her a little too well.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

December 2015 Happenings

Sullivan discovered the costume bin!

The little guy and I met up with some friends at Lorrie's Farm.  She's an American woman that has lived here for 10 years and has a great farm with animals and orange groves.  

Sullivan LOVED running around and seeing all the dogs and chickens.  

And then he was drawn to the dog cage......naturally.   His friends, Mac and Wesley felt they needed to join him.  

Her beautiful view of Mt. Etna.  

On another crisp December afternoon, Sully and I drove up to Nicolosi with our friends, the Davis'.  Bradley and Sully loved their little pizzas.  

Sully is VERY into the swings at the park lately (the last 6 months of his short life).  The lazy mom in me has always appreciated a park with no swings, but alas, the one nearest our home is equipped.  Check out that helmet and that view.  

Sullivan loves him some frozen blueberries. 

Lucy had a holiday choir concert.  I got to attend it all on my own.  Jason was in Michigan for a training and I got a sitter for the boys.  It was wonderful!  This picture cracks me up because it looks like she is seriously mad at me.  

I got to spend a couple hours at Benny's school building gingerbread houses.  We rocked it....of course.  

Graham was supposed to go to school wearing a crazy Christmas costume.  This was the best we could come up with.  I was actually pretty impressed with my tissue paper bow tie.  

Lucy, Graham, and I went with some neighbors to drop off some donations to a group of refugees that  are living an hour or so away.  Their need is great, and we did very little, but I hope it was a good experience for them to see.  

This man kept saying to Lucy how much she reminded him of his little sister.  He hadn't seen her in years and you could tell how much he missed her.  

I don't remember what Lucy Goose was all dressed up for, but I remember thinking how pretty she looked, so I made her stop for a picture.  She just got her braces off last month!  Look at that smile!!

Carnivale Feb. 2015

Graham Fall 2015

Seeing these pictures of my Graham-bo makes me a little sad.  He's growing up too fast and I just wish I could slow time a little bit.  It seems there's never enough time to sit and talk and enjoy each of my kids.  I feel like I'm so rushed and ready to move on to the next thing...dinner, bedtime, schoolwork, etc.

Graham turned nine years old in August.  How is that possible?  He is enjoying 3rd grade much more than 2nd.  Ms. Seetai is much sweeter and soft spoken than Ms. Leandro and it seems like a better match.  Graham has always been a great student and has no problem understanding concepts in school.  I know his teachers always sing his praises and he has lots of friends at school.

Mr. Graham was on the swim team here at Sigonella for a while, but then started to have ear trouble.  Another set of tubes helped his chronic pain and irritation, but whenever he got in the water, he couldn't stand the discomfort.  So......he had to stop.  He enjoyed his time swimming, even if at times he claimed to hate it.  His favorite stroke is the breast stroke.

The big event of this spring is his role in the school musical.  It's more of a community musical here in Sigonella.  He got the lead in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!  He is Jeremy!  Rehearsals have started and he's doing a fabulous job!  I think we were all a little surprised that he got it, but he has a great voice and is such a bright kid.  I can't wait to see how it all goes down!

Graham loves playing with his friends.  He feels very, very frustrated when a day passes when he didn't get to just "play".  If he has homework and then has to go to sports practice or scouts, he isn't happy that he didn't get time to just "relax".  His favorite Wii game is Mario Galaxy and he loves to play Minecraft on the iPad.  Graham is a great big brother and is almost always great about letting Benny follow him around and play with him and his friends.  Henry Boller is one of his best friends and they share a lot of the same interests.  A bunch of the neighborhood boys love to get together and play a live version of Minecraft outside on our street.

Graham is also a fabulous soccer player.  He loved playing goalie this year on his team, The Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies.  I had fun watching and coaching him this fall.  He is signed up to play basketball starting next month.  He claims that's probably his favorite sport.

For breakfast every morning Graham has pancakes (if Jason has made a big batch recently), but if there aren't any, he has two pieces of toast with peanut butter and "sprinkles".  We got the sprinkles from a package that Susanna sent us from The Netherlands.

Graham has a tough time getting up for school.  It starts so early here!  They have to be out for the bus at 6:55 am!  He has a hard time settling in to sleep at night, too.  Of all my kiddos, he seems to need the least amount of sleep time.  He really needs time to read a book for thirty minutes or so in order to relax and get tired.  Sometimes Jason and I will come up to go to bed, and we will have forgotten to tell him to turn out his reading light and go to sleep.  He will have read for over an hour and a half!

One of my favorite things about this boy is his expressions and enthusiasm.  I've always said that it's all or nothing with this boy and the same still applies.  If Graham likes what J or I have made for dinner, he goes on and on and on about how good it is and that he loves it.  If Graham thinks that something is unfair, it's all we will hear about for a very long time.  He's quite the little debater, too.  Just the other day, he didn't want to do his after school chore.  I told him that he doesn't get paid and that he'll be upset when he doesn't have money when we go to the store.  He promised that he wouldn't and said, matter of factly, "You should just be glad that I'm not commercial."  When he talks about something he's excited about or mad about, his blue eyes get really, really big and his eyebrows raise really high.  Every time.

I love it when he is getting ready to leave the house to play and he'll say, "I love you, Mom"  before walking out.  He does the same thing when he has asked to play the iPad and I say yes.

Graham loves it when I assign him to watch Sullivan for a while as I shower or get something done.  He plays with him and can really get him laughing.  He doesn't, however like it when I let Sullivan play in his room while he's at school and he destroys his whole Minecraft Lego set-up.  Oops.

This boy has a very tender heart.  When we told him and the other kids about Grandpa Lynn's death, he was very, very sad.  He cried for a while and I could tell a lot of his heart ache came because he was sad for Jason.  During the funeral, he cried nearly the whole time.  It made my heart hurt, but also made me grateful to see him feel something so strongly about someone else.

I love this boy.  So very much.  As my first son, he'll always have a special place in my mother heart. He teaches me so much.  Yes, that includes patience, endurance, and humility.  He is also teaching me how to not let the small stuff matter so much and to focus on the most important things.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sullivan Fall 2015

Oh, this boy.  We love him so much and can't imagine our lives without this crazy guy.  I feel sad that I haven't done a better job documenting his funny antics, but alas, the curse of being the fourth child.  Here's my attempt to journal about this guy at age 2.  
Sullivan, age 2, talks soooo much!  His vocabulary is seriously impressive and everyone we meet asks how old he is because he talks so well.  He's always been a talker and I absolutely LOVE hearing the way he's working things out in his brain.  

Here's some of the funny things he's been doing:
-"Bye!  I lub you!"   He says this a lot, but especially when he thinks he's going outside with the older kids and they've all gone out the door.  In his mind, he is their equal and should be doing everything Benny and Graham are doing.  
-Sullivan LOVES our neighbor, Megan Fahey.  He calls her "Neggin".  When he sees her, he almost always says, "Hey!  I found her!"  I hope I can remember just how he says it with his hoarse little voice.  
-The Faheys gave Sullivan an old football helmet for kids that he wore EVERYWHERE for a solid week.  If he ever spotted it, it was on his head for the rest of the day.  He loves bike helmets, too.  Sometimes he'll grab one, hold it on his hip like a big kid and say, "Hello!"  You can just tell he thinks he's pretty cool.  

Sullivan's favorite things right now:
-How to Train Your Dragon  (he calls it "Dragons" and always wants to ride on us so we can be his dragon.)  Sometimes I have to straddle him at night to brush his teeth and he screams, "I'M NOT A DRAGON!!!!"  

-He loves Big Hero Six or "Baymax".  If we are at an appointment or out running errands, he demands to watch "Baymax" on my phone.  I give in WAY too much.  He found a few of my bobby pins one morning and now calls those his "microbots".  

-He's not a great eater.  He loves milk and apple juice.  He asks for milk all day long.  He'll eat yogurt, string cheese, and applesauce, too.  But at dinner time, the only thing we know he'll eat is rice.  Just plain rice.  Oh....and corn dogs.  

Toy Story is another favorite.  I love hearing him walk around saying, "Howdy, howdy, howdy!"  He jumps from the ottoman to the couch yelling, "To infinity and beyond!"
One of my absolute favorite things that he does is when he runs.  He rarely walks.  He runs and then when he stops, he jumps to a stop with both feet.  He does it ALL THE TIME and I love it!
He calls a spaceship a "bay-shun".  
Ever since the kids started school in the fall, he has LOVED his little backpack.  We pack it up with a couple snacks, a few of his favorite toys from that day, and a sippy cup.  We take him to the community center a couple times a week to the babysitter there while I go to the gym.  He has to have his backpack, his jacket, and usually a ball cap to wear.  

London! January 2016