We Heart Ducklings

Last week was a low-key week in order to allow Jack time to rest and recover. It was nice to be home more than usual. But there was one morning in particular in which this house, THIS HOUSE, was closing in on us, and we had to GET OUT!

Because I'm an educated woman, I picked up on those subtle clues and made the executive decision that we better get ourselves away from these four walls before somebody went a little loony.

We headed to the duck pond to see if there were any spring ducklings yet. Unfortunately, there were not. But the mamas were busy squatting over their eggs.

I'm not versed in Duckology 101, but I'm guessing this abandoned egg doesn't have any hope.Because the mamas were working hard on warming their younguns, the daddies waddled over to take a snack from the boys.

I'd like to say the daddy ducks were worried about their babies and wanted to rush back to their wives' sides. But they might have been blinded by all the bright yellow, because they only took a few bites before returning to the water.

(I am often asked if I dress the boys alike daily. No, I do not. I love to dress them alike, and I do it as often as I can. I'm sure there will be a day when they say, "Mom, we are NOT wearing the same shirt anymore!" But I hope that day doesn't come before they have hair on their chests.)

This particular duck came back for seconds, and Jack felt a kinship to him and called him "my duck".
Garrett didn't hold out hope for anymore feeding, so he warmed up his pitching arm with the bread.
Liam was a little offended that the ducks weren't interested in his bread.
I was able to gather the boys for some group photos. They were in no mood for "pretty smiles". I relented and asked for silly faces.
And there's no quicker way of getting my boys to the car than to say "RUN!"
But Jack wasn't in the mood, and this hand-on-the-back pose is the posture I get when he is in no mood for me.

We'll go back next week and check for our ducklings. By then, we may have them named. I'll let you know.

The Nut

Five years ago today, Rick received the phone call from our attorney's office that informed us of our first baby's birth. Because of Louisiana law, we wouldn't be able to see Liam for five days, so Rick asked, "What does he look like?"

The answer was, "He's tiny. He has lots of soft, curly hair. He's just a little peanut."

And his nickname immediately became Peanut. I had thought long and hard to come up with a handsome name for him. But as soon as that phone call came, I knew that we would call him by nickname more often than Liam Edward.

But it's amazing how the nickname fit him. When I first saw him, he was so tiny that the newborn clothes I sent for him to wear did not fit him, and the attorney's assistant had him dressed in a t-shirt. We bought him preemie clothes the next day, because newborn clothes swallowed him. He was a Peanut indeed.

Over the years, however, Peanut has morphed into other names such as Peanutty, P, P Diddy, Nutty, NutBall, and The Nut. And he is The Nut. He's constantly making us laugh with his goofy comments, silly questions, and crazy antics.

Last night, I pulled out the t-shirt he was wearing when I first laid eyes on him. Actually, I've done this every year on his birthday.

Unfortunately, I've never taken pictures of him in it. It's been sort of a silent moment of celebration for me every year. I put the shirt on him to remember that wonderful day in which I held my first baby for the very first time, the moment in which my heart stopped because my world was finally complete.

But I wanted to take pictures last night, because The Nut is no longer a tiny peanut, and I fear he won't be able to fit into it the shirt next year. As I forced it over his head, I told him my plan of taking pictures, and he immediately turned into The Nut and was ready to perform.

Here are photos of my silly 5 year old in his baby shirt that is now a halter top:

Did I tell you he's nutty? And then, I wanted a picture of the two of us in our matching shirts, which I promise I didn't plan this morning. And mine doesn't reveal my belly, thankfully.

"Liam, could you please give us one nice smile tonight?" Not a chance.

That's better. That's my boy. I'm sad that he's already 5, but I'm eager to see what he will become in the next 5.

For new readers, Liam's adoption story is here and here.

Jack, the Patient and the Clown

Jack's surgery and the first 36 hours of recovery went remarkably well. When the doctor reported to me in the waiting room that his tonsils were too big for his throat, his adenoids red with constant infection, and his ears in need of those tubes due to "thick goop" (her official doctor term), I was mighty glad that I signed him up for the torture.

Saturday night through Monday night were rough. He felt puny and forcing liquids down him was a full-time job, especially yesterday. But today does seem better. He's willingly drank most of the morning, and he's tried to keep up with his brothers in at least a half-hearted way.

He hasn't felt like joking much in the last few days, but a few days prior to surgery, he cracked me up with a comment.

Setting: The boys and I were playing in the backyard. Liam was helping Garrett learn a "new trick" on the swings, and Jack was sliding at rocket speed. Here is the conversation that took place....

Me: Liam, I really like how you're playing so nicely and helping Garrett.
Liam: I'm doing a good job?
Me: Yes, you are. I'm pleased.
Liam: I'm babysitting?
Me: [giggling] Well, I don't know that you're babysitting yet, but you're being a good big brother.
Jack: You're not babysitting! You're MANsitting!

I laughed so hard that I literally tripped over my own feet.

Takin' Care of Business

Today is one of those days in which I wonder what possessed me to break my Diet Coke habit two months ago. In fact, forget Diet Coke. I need me a Dr Pepper! And not the diet version.

I decided last night that Garrett's temper tantrums have got to stop. His fits have never gone acceptable to us, but we have not been as consistent as we need to be. As I went to bed last night, I decided today was the day to catch every. single. fit.

By 11:30 this morning, he and I were both worn out with the process. He asked to go to bed at that point. I fed him lunch and put him to bed.

I'm not sure if it's making an impact on him yet. But I sure hope so.

As for me, nothing would soothe me more right now than to hear the pop and fizz associated with a newly opened can of Dr Pepper. That's not true. Nothing would soothe me more than to hear the pop and fizz, only to be followed by the ice cold deliciousness flowing down my throat.

But there aren't any yummy beverages in the house. Whose idea was it to stop buying that stuff?

In other news, my brother has designed a new header for my blog. Yippee! I'm ready to have a little somethin' up there. As we put the new header in place and mess with some details, my blog may be a little goofy. Please pardon the mess.

In some other news, could I also ask you to say a prayer for Jack (3)? He is having surgery tomorrow morning to remove his tonsils and adenoids and to receive new ear tubes. Poor little guy.

Please excuse me while I take care of a fit-throwing three year old, a sickly three year-old, an active 4 1/2 year old, and a boring blog. And I might be sipping a DP if it gets much worse.

Wordless Wednesday: Jack's Easter Photo

Blogger finally allowed me to upload this shot.
Other Easter shots here.

The Faith of A Child

Garrett (3) drew this picture yesterday.If you can't read the art of a 3 year old, it is Jesus on the cross.

I may be a bit biased, but I think it's a masterpiece. It is detailed. The message is clear.

What is priceless is what Garrett had to say about it. He surprised me with this drawing and said, "Here you go, Mommy. Can you give this to Jesus?"

I had to swallow a lump in my throat before explaining that I can't give it to Jesus, but that He sees it. And that He's quite pleased with it.

And I will keep it forever. Along with the memory of my sweet boy's interest in Jesus' suffering on the cross for his sins.

V is for Volcano, Vocation & Voila

We're studying the letter V this week. Because this is a house full of boys, I thought making a volcano would be a fun way of exploring some hands-on science.

If I were really adventuresome, I would have allowed the boys to make the volcano themselves. But I'm not. I told Rick of my plans last night, and he proceeded to make the mountain of clay. I really wasn't asking for him to do it, but here goes another attempt: Hey, Rick, I need to clean house tonight.

Jack, Liam, Garrett

That's your first look at Garrett in glasses. That's right...3 boys in glasses now. Incidentally, I have no idea what face Garrett is making. I've never seen that look before.

A closer look at Rick's creation. I'm glad he didn't choose art as his vocation. Not that I can do any better.

Pour a spoonful of baking soda and 1/4 cup of red-dyed vinegar down the spout and voila!

Happy boys!

I did not tell them to put their arms around each other. They can be loving from time to time.

Heaven on Earth

I know that I have a fantastic life. God has blessed me with a faithful husband and three amazing boys. But even this wonderful life can still wear me out. Last week was all about being refreshed.

Rick went to a conference in Lake Tahoe, and he arranged for my parents to keep the kids for a long weekend in order for me to meet him for some R&R.

R&R...I did! And in an amazingly beautiful place!

This trip happened to fall on my birthday. I know, I know, how perfect is that! And for my birthday, Rick arranged a lunch cruise around Emerald Bay. Did I mention that I have an awesome husband?

This is the boat.It was cold, which is a huge plus in my book. I even needed to wear gloves. Lest you think I forgot completely about my children, see that I wore Cars gloves in their honor.
Actually, I thought I was grabbing my black gloves. But apparently not. I don't find Cars very fashionable. But they'll do in a pinch.

About twenty minutes into the cruise, I was downright cold and had to add my ski jacket and hat to my attire. But I loved it! In this photo, I was the only one left on the deck. I was thinking, "Yep, it's cold. But I'm on vacation. Without kids. And the view is gorgeous. And I'm not about to walk inside and forget this awesome moment."
The water...clear. Beautiful! I want to go back and put my feet in it. But not until August, when it's 105 here and 85 there.
We rented a car for the next day and drove around Lake Tahoe. The views are inspiring.

This is King's Beach on the northern end. The lake is so wide at this point that it looks more like an ocean. And it is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Gorgeous!

This photo shows us on King's Beach. Exactly the location of my next house. After Rick robs the bank.

Look at this view, people! Those geese don't have a clue what beauty they are living in.

It was mighty windy that day. Windy enough that I seriously considered chopping my hair off when we returned to the hotel. But then I remembered that I've been growing it out for a year.

Also on our drive was a beautiful view of Emerald Bay. Lord, why do I live in Texas? Yes, Lord, I know we're working on contentment. But Texas? I prefer the mountains.
Our hotel was located within walking distance of Heavenly Ski Resort. Heavenly it is.
We didn't have enough time to ski, but we did ride to the top. I would love to go back and plant my face in their snow.
I let Rick ride with me so that we could get a good shot of us up in the mountains.
They get some serious snow up there. This large wall of snow is at the top of Heavenly's observation deck. This is after a month of no snow and lots of sunshine melting much snow away. (I'm swallowing some pride by sharing this photo. Please ignore my chins and half-open eyes. Focus on the snow, people.)
We managed to get in one ride on the tubing hill before the day's closing. What a riot! I felt like a kid for that 2 minute ride.
My photos don't do the Lake Tahoe area justice. If you ever get the opportunity to go, don't think twice about it. I hope to go back. I'm thinking 2 weeks in the summer would be a lot of fun for the family.

But then, moving to this slice of heaven on earth would be just fine, too.


This is my 300th post!  When I began blogging, I wasn't sure if I would like it.  Now, I am totally hooked!  To imagine life without blogging....  Well, let's just not go there.

There's nothing like writing awe-inspiring posts to wear one out.  Okay, so I've written 300 mediocre posts, but I'm still worn out and need a vacation.  I'll be here tomorrow.  
With my husband.  Without our kids.  Try not to be jealous!

If you care to name where this is, leave a comment.  

I'll be back with post 301 next week.

Thomas 101

I don't know about you, but I am not well versed at the names of Thomas the Tank Engine's friends.  I know a few, such as Percy, Spencer and Toby.  I really should be able to name all of them, as my boys play with them on a daily basis.

Liam was happily setting up his trains in the kitchen this afternoon. I was busy cleaning the never-ending dishes, when he called my name.

"Yes, Peanut?"

"This is Asparagus," while holding up a purple train.

"Asparagus?  I don't remember that being a train's name.  Let me see."  

Upon the train's belly, it is inscribed, "Fergus".  

It's another version of "You say tomato; I say tomato."