Hey, Mom, This Post Is For You

My parents have been out of town for over two weeks, and mom recently nagged me on Facebook to update my blog "or else!" Clearly, she doesn't understand how busy I've been over the past 8 days. She thinks that I have all of this spare time with my children in school, but she isn't taking into account how I need time for important things such as floating in the pool, picking my toe nails, and plucking gray hairs out of my head.

Two of those three activities have truly taken place in the past week, but I'll let you decide which ones. Although all three deeds would be time well spent.

In all honesty, I am surprised at how quickly the school days go by. As a homeschooling mom, I used to roll my eyes every time I heard a non-homeschooling mom talk about how her days run at the speed of light. To all of my homeschooling friends, please don't hate me, but the days do go by at lightning speed.

But back to fulfilling my mom's request. Not only did she ask me to blog, but my post must include pictures. Sheesh, the nerve of this lady!

Mom, I haven't taken many pictures lately, so this first one won't be new to you. But to the other two readers, it's background information.

On Saturday, the boys were playing upstairs. It was yet another hotter-than-hades day, so we were forced to play indoors, which naturally meant the boys were rough-housing. I was laboring over a good book and Rick was pounding on the piano, when we heard a thud and then a blood-curdling scream coming from our baby.

I've heard that horrible cry come from Garrett one other time, and it meant a trip to the ER when he was 15 months old for a broken arm. Hearing that cry again this weekend caused me to jump up and head for the ruckus.

When I met him on the stairs, he was holding his head and wailing. I had to rely on his brothers to give me the skinny on what happened. Apparently, G was playing on the floor and turned around to find the corner of his bed frame in the center of his forehead.

Is that a sad face or what? Poor baby.

Thankfully, there was no need to rush to the ER. I sent that picture to our parents within a few minutes of it happening, and my father-in-law (the doctor) immediately called to ask the pertinent medical questions. No nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or headache, so we were in the clear. Ice, ibuprofen, and TLC were enough. (Yes, it's really nice to have a doctor in the family!)

By Sunday morning, Garrett felt 100%, even though he had a nice bruised knot across his forehead.

On Monday afternoon, he pulled out paper and markers to satisfy his creative side. He draws regularly and is always quick to bring his latest creation to me. This particular drawing had me laughing out loud.
A self portrait. And a mighty good one, I might add. Glasses, curly hair, A&M shirt, and a bruised forehead...that's my G!

The First Day

I'm sitting in a quiet house. So quiet, in fact, that I need to turn on some music. Excuse me for a minute....

That's better.

I thought I would love a quiet house, but it doesn't seem quite right today.

So, yes, today is the first day of school. The boys were all very excited when Daddy and I got them up this morning. See....
Don't click to enlarge on the above photo. You might see food chunks in Liam's braces. He asked for his all-time favorite breakfast of warm granola.

And Jack followed in his footsteps.
Garrett asked for his fave...waffles. I slaved over the toaster for him. Thankfully, he doesn't care if I actually make them from scratch or pull them out of the freezer.
After breakfast, they got dressed and took care of their morning chores. Everyone was dressed and ready to go thirty minutes early. Never fear; it'll never happen again. By Friday, we'll be running around like chickens with our heads cut off.

The obligatory "first day of school" picture:

Garrett (kindergarten), Liam (2nd), Jack (kinder)

And their backpacks:
I had to take a quick pic of the boys walking to school.
I thought it was funny that Jack was leading the pack. He's the only one that had to run back to me for an extra hug and kiss once I got him to his class. He needed a little reassurance, but he never stopped smiling.

And Liam was sticking close to me on our walk, but once we got to the campus, he was leading the way as a good big brother should.
I didn't take any pictures once we were inside. (I already have pics of their teachers, but I'm not sure I should share without asking them.) Anyway, it was mass chaos inside. Bewildered moms with screaming toddlers in tow. I saw a few moms with tears, too. Poor things.

As for me, I did NOT cry. In fact, I had to contain my excitement, because I felt like doing cartwheels all the way to my car. Not that I can do a single cartwheel, but ya know....

I went straight to the gym and ran a few errands before coming home to this quiet house. A quiet, clean house is nice, but I will be happy to pick up my loud and messy boys in an hour. I can't wait to hear all about their first day!

Life Changes

At 8:00 a.m. Monday, we will be entering a whole new phase in our family. All three boys will be going to school!!!

Can I get an 'amen'?

Liam will be a second grader, and Jack and Garrett will be in kindergarten.
The boys met their teachers this past week, and I believe we are in store for an excellent year. We are all excited about this new adventure.

I remember thinking four and five years ago that we might never get out of diapers, but I assure you all three boys will go to school in underwear.

Many friends keep asking me if I'm sad about my babies going to school. I'm really not. They are ready to spread their baby wings a bit, and I'm ready to watch them fly. I'll cover them in prayer, and I know they'll be fine.

My friends' next question is usually, "What will you do with all that free time?" I am keeping my first week free of any obligations. I just want to relax and bask in the freedom. After that, I will be volunteering at the school and at the Union Gospel Mission.

Rick thinks I will be bored within two weeks, but we'll see. If I admit I'm bored, he might send me to work, so I think I'll find things to do.

In fact, I think there's a messy closet calling my name....

Yesteryear: They're Just So Darn Cute

The photo quality isn't great, but my boys are irresistible.

August 2007
Liam (4), Garrett and Jack (2 1/2)

Yesteryear: Cheeeeese

I had one project in mind for this summer. For all that "down time" I was supposed to have. Yea right! What was I thinking?

Said project was to put all of our old photos on a flash drive. Family photos from 2003-2007 are all saved on CDs. It was a "system" created by my wonderful husband back when Liam was a baby, but Rick's not Type A like me. So this "system" of 30 CDs sitting in a shoe box is not an ideal solution in my world. I think a flash drive will be a better solution for looking up old photos, in which case I can be sentimental over old pics instead of throwing 30 CDs across the living room out of frustration.

Anyway, since summer is almost over, I'm in a crunch to finish this project. As I rush through the last 10 CDs, I want to begin a series I will call "Yesteryear", in which I will post some of my favorite photos of my boys' earlier days.

To begin, this is probably one of my all-time favorites of all three boys. I'll title it "Cheeeeese".

Left to right: Jack, Garrett, Liam

I can't remember when exactly this was taken, but it was probably early Fall 2006. Jack and Garrett would have been around 21 mos. and Liam was 3 1/2. I miss those crazy days!

Liam's Teen Years

My boys are pretty fascinated with teenagers. I supposed most young children feel the same way. In their eyes, those teens must have it all.

I, on the other hand, am very, very afraid of my boys becoming teenagers. Do they really need to grow up? Do they have to become hormonal and independent?

Liam asked me a funny question the other day regarding his teenage years. "Mommy, when I'm a teenager, will I be able to chew gum anytime I want without asking you first?"

I responded with, "Probably."

He pumped his fist and squealed, "Yes!"

If that's the only independence he needs at the age of 13, we'll be alright.

On Raising Boys

There's something about boys I'll never understand.

The need to wrestle, burp, and fart.

And sometimes simultaneously.

CO Day 16: Peaceful Valley

I promise this will be the last installment of our vacation. Pinkie swear. Or whatever.

While Edie napped, the CupRunnethOver family took one last chance to hit the mountains. Peaceful Valley was a good twenty degrees cooler, and it was a hoppin' place. Every campsite was filled, mostly with Texans seeking a break from our summer heat.
Every time we see a body of mountain water, we have to put our toes in.
It was breathtakingly cold.

But Winston found it refreshing.
My big boy and me:
My middle man:
My main squeeze and our youngest:
All of my men:
After a little rock-throwing and toe-dipping, it was time to head back. And after a few hours of playing with Edie, it was time to call it a night and pack up for the road home the next day. It was time to head back to reality.

CO Day 16: Yet Another Reason Half My Heart Resides in CO

When we were in Denver, we were about an hour away from my brother's house, which means we were only an hour away from our Edie fix! (Edie is now 17 mos.) Unfortunately, she was sick most of that week, so we couldn't see her until our last day.

When we got to her house, she was napping. But after a while, her daddy said she could get up. Our first look at her included a bed head. :)
It took her a few minutes before she warmed up to us. But nothing a couple of bites of sandwich and a few goofy cousins couldn't cure.
It was a hot day, so we all went to a water park. The boys loved it. Edie...not so much.

I don't have any photos of the water park, but you can envision the boys running us ragged in every which direction and Edie thinking it just wasn't her cup o' tea.

Once it was Edie's nap time, the 5 of us took a drive to the mountains, while Edie girl went home for her beauty rest.

But we returned to play with our well-rested girl for the evening. We love her so much!
She's quite serious about the chip bowl.
But she's also a ham similar to Liam. It's a shame she didn't get any personality.
Look at those jowls!
And those serious eyes and luscious lips....
After dinner, I carried her to bed. We laid face to face on her bed and read a book together. Twice. She pointed and babbled. I pointed and read. We looked each other eye to eye and sang a song. I asked if she was ready to go night night, and she put her thumb in her mouth. With that cue, I said, "I love you, Edie. I'll see you soon." She pulled her thumb out long enough to smile and melt my heart.

And that's another reason at least half my heart stayed in Colorado.

CO Days 12-17: Denver

Are you just tired of hearing about my trip? Do you wish I would just shut up already? Since this is my only scrapbook, I have really stretched out the memories here, but even I am growing weary. Never fear, the end is near.

After Pagosa Springs, we headed to Denver. Rick had some business to attend to, so we rented a house and made the trip work for all of us.
No, he didn't work from that chair for a week. I drove him to/from the office, and this is where he waited for the boys and me every morning.

While Daddy worked, we played at parks,
toured the Butterfly Pavilion,
and visited old friends.
Ethan and Ashley's parents were our first friends and neighbors when we moved to CO way back B.C. (before children).

And we met the Jensens B.C., as well. Actually, they had already adopted their eldest when we met, but we were childless and restless.

Seven years later, we have seven kids between our two families. God is good!

CO Days 5-11: Pagosa Springs

On the road again.... Jack just can't wait to get on the road again for another nap.
This child can SLEEP. The car is his best sleeping aide. He usually winds up with his head falling over. Look towards the background of this photo:
That's Jack's head allowing gravity to take over. And the forefront of that pic shows my fourth child, Winston, who is the best traveler...hands down. He rides with zero complaints. He just wants an occasional peek from your lap.
This particular ride took us to Rick's dad's cabin near Pagosa Springs, where we stayed the next several days.
It's a log cabin situated on 37 acres that back up to National Forest. There's plenty of room to roam.

V Rock is one of the mountains we see from our property.
Did you notice how quickly I went from "Rick's dad's cabin" to "our property"? We like it just a little bit there.

Out there, we walk and look for animals. We saw hundreds of chipmunks this year, as well as a few deer. We also found evidence of bear, and the neighbors reported seeing a mama bear with her cubs walking across our yard earlier in the summer.

When we're not hiking, the boys can be found playing baseball.
We took them to fish at the reservoir, but they caught nada. Instead, we surfed the net.
Rick and I joke about our phones out there. Cell coverage is very spotty in and around the cabin. As soon as we found a spot to give us 3G, we'd freeze and yell, "Don't move! I've got 3G!"

But he didn't want me to take his picture while playing with his phone, so he posed in hopes that I would only post this:
He also talked us into another "hike". This one took us to Buckles Lake, and it was easy and pretty.
Buckles Lake was very still and peaceful.
When I look at that picture, I feel my pulse slowing. The glass-like water just tells me to slow down. What beauty the Lord created for us to enjoy, if we'll just take the time to look.

Columbines were plentiful this year.
On our way back down, the boys climbed onto this rock. It turned out to be one of my favorite pictures with them from the entire vacation.
Rick's parents joined us for the last 24 hours. These boys love their Ni and Pop.
Their Pop loves to see them enjoying his cabin.
Or is it that we love to share our cabin with Pop?

CO Day 5: Sand Dunes

On our way from Salida to Pagosa Springs, we stopped at the Sand Dunes for a bit. My parents took me there as a child, and I have memories of running up the dunes and rolling down head first with not a care in the world. Rick had never been, and we knew the boys would love it.

My photography skills don't do them any justice, but the Sand Dunes are magnificent.
They're basically mountains of sand. Nothing but sand. God is so creative!
We hiked for 30 minutes and realized that hiking to the very top wasn't going to happen for us. Instead, we stopped, dropped and rolled. Garrett loved this method.
Liam liked to run to the top of a mound and do cartwheels going down.
He realized that cartwheels on sand are a lot more difficult than those on solid ground.
Jack found a piece of plastic and used it for skiing.
We had a long drive ahead of us, so we had to call it quits after an hour or so. We would all like to go back someday.