the seventh edition

 
When we finally made the decision to sell our suburban home, and move out to the country, I was a little anxious how you kids would do. There would be few amenities, more acres between little friends, a lot of yard to take care of, more miles on our cars to and from work and activities. I was scared and nervous for our next family adventure. When we got out of the city, I was amazed at how aware of my surroundings I had become. The colors, the people, the weather, the smells. I was even more amazed at how aware you two boys were. You are the typical definition of boys…you love danger, reptiles, fast moving objects, and water, almost as much as you love each other. I remember the first frog we caught, the 4 foot long snake we found, that I was sure would eat our family pets. I remember the first tractor mowing you boys did with your daddy, and the giggles. Summer came along a few months after we moved in, and the corn fields blossomed their bright green symmetrical columns for all the neighborhood to admire. One night you boys were bored, I was trying to think of something fun to do and fast, before we all had a meltdown. “Lets play hide and seek in the cornfield” I quickly said. We all ran across the street and got lost in these beautiful, ever changing rows of corn. I thought you boys would outgrow it year after year, but somehow when we're in the quiet midst of our nighttime slow down, one of you will always ask if we can go play “hide and seek in the field”. Its always at these sweet times that I am convinced I made the BEST decision moving to the country because things are a bit slower out here, and I’ll settle for a slow down.

When we finally made the decision to sell our suburban home, and move out to the country, I was a little anxious how you kids would do. There would be few amenities, more acres between little friends, a lot of yard to take care of, more miles on our cars to and from work and activities. I was scared and nervous for our next family adventure. When we got out of the city, I was amazed at how aware of my surroundings I had become. The colors, the people, the weather, the smells. I was even more amazed at how aware you two boys were. You are the typical definition of boys…you love danger, reptiles, fast moving objects, and water, almost as much as you love each other. I remember the first frog we caught, the 4 foot long snake we found, that I was sure would eat our family pets. I remember the first tractor mowing you boys did with your daddy, and the giggles. Summer came along a few months after we moved in, and the corn fields blossomed their bright green symmetrical columns for all the neighborhood to admire. One night you boys were bored, I was trying to think of something fun to do and fast, before we all had a meltdown. “Lets play hide and seek in the cornfield” I quickly said. We all ran across the street and got lost in these beautiful, ever changing rows of corn.

I thought you boys would outgrow it year after year, but somehow when we're in the quiet midst of our nighttime slow down, one of you will always ask if we can go play “hide and seek in the field”. Its always at these sweet times that I am convinced I made the BEST decision moving to the country because things are a bit slower out here, and I’ll settle for a slow down.

Your little brother isn't so little anymore. I can see your excitement as he becomes more and more of a friend. Someone you want to spend your days playing along side. Tonight you wanted to carry him down the slide on your lap. Just like when he was a baby. About half way down the slide, the two of you got stuck. Although he didn't find it to be very amusing, you couldn't stop laughing. It brought you absolute joy. And I can't help but wonder if there will be a day when he wants you to sit on his lap. I can hear the laughter now.

Your little brother isn't so little anymore. I can see your excitement as he becomes more and more of a friend. Someone you want to spend your days playing along side. Tonight you wanted to carry him down the slide on your lap. Just like when he was a baby. About half way down the slide, the two of you got stuck. Although he didn't find it to be very amusing, you couldn't stop laughing. It brought you absolute joy. And I can't help but wonder if there will be a day when he wants you to sit on his lap. I can hear the laughter now.

This image makes me laugh, because it’s so you. Two brothers, walking life side by side, each with his own personality. One of you walking in peace, one of you walking with all of the exuberance in the world, but together nonetheless. We took this trip to the Oregon coast last month, and stopped to visit my aunt and uncle along the way. You took over their home with your own personalities (and the sickness you decided to share with each other). Here we explored the cherry orchard next door, and were covered in cherry juice for the walk home. You both loved it! You did however, hold very different feelings about their dogs, and approached them with your own levels of caution (or lack there of). Watching the two of you navigate life side by side is such a blessing!

This image makes me laugh, because it’s so you. Two brothers, walking life side by side, each with his own personality. One of you walking in peace, one of you walking with all of the exuberance in the world, but together nonetheless. We took this trip to the Oregon coast last month, and stopped to visit my aunt and uncle along the way. You took over their home with your own personalities (and the sickness you decided to share with each other). Here we explored the cherry orchard next door, and were covered in cherry juice for the walk home. You both loved it! You did however, hold very different feelings about their dogs, and approached them with your own levels of caution (or lack there of). Watching the two of you navigate life side by side is such a blessing!

Your little brother watches everything you do.  He wants to be just like you.  We tell you all the time how special you are because God choose you to be the big brother to help him and look after him.  You are doing a great job being a role model at such a young age for your little brother to look up to.  From being the big brother right after turning one you don't know it any other way.

Your little brother watches everything you do.  He wants to be just like you.  We tell you all the time how special you are because God choose you to be the big brother to help him and look after him.  You are doing a great job being a role model at such a young age for your little brother to look up to.  From being the big brother right after turning one you don't know it any other way.

It was the first time your little brother was trying to swim in deep water without his life jacket. You have barely just learned to swim yourself. Yet I watched your first instinct be to reach out for him and make sure he made it to the ladder too. It's not always like this but I'm glad I get to witness moments between you two when it is. My hope is you will always be there for each other wherever life may lead each of you.

It was the first time your little brother was trying to swim in deep water without his life jacket. You have barely just learned to swim yourself. Yet I watched your first instinct be to reach out for him and make sure he made it to the ladder too. It's not always like this but I'm glad I get to witness moments between you two when it is. My hope is you will always be there for each other wherever life may lead each of you.

Both of you have a healthy curiosity about the world we live in.  You know that there is more out there than what you see every day in our little corner of the world.  Much more.  I have made it a point to travel with you, and have you experience as much of the world as possible.  We are fortunate to have been able to see other countries and many states in the US. I want you to know that how we live, isn’t how everyone lives.  Not everyone lives in a house.  Not everyone lives in the suburbs and has a big green lawn to play on, a car, access to medical care, good schools, choices of food at big grocery stores…the list goes on. Last week, I took you to visit New York City.  I wanted you to see where your dad and I lived before we had you. Your faces were priceless as our taxi pulled into Times Square.  You’ve seen it on television, but seeing it in person is entirely different.  Watching you take in the sights, sounds, and smells was a lot of fun for me.  You quickly adjusted to city life. Riding the subway, navigating the crowds, and walking everywhere.  You both really enjoyed the energy of the city.  You were curious about the people and the history of the different neighborhoods.  It was a very memorable trip, and I am so glad I got to share it with you. You were surprised to learn that some people pack up their cats, dog, birds, rabbits, and guniea pigs and go sit on a corner in midtown Manhattan and collect money from people passing by. New York City, you never know what is around the next corner.

Both of you have a healthy curiosity about the world we live in.  You know that there is more out there than what you see every day in our little corner of the world.  Much more.  I have made it a point to travel with you, and have you experience as much of the world as possible.  We are fortunate to have been able to see other countries and many states in the US. I want you to know that how we live, isn’t how everyone lives.  Not everyone lives in a house.  Not everyone lives in the suburbs and has a big green lawn to play on, a car, access to medical care, good schools, choices of food at big grocery stores…the list goes on.

Last week, I took you to visit New York City.  I wanted you to see where your dad and I lived before we had you. Your faces were priceless as our taxi pulled into Times Square.  You’ve seen it on television, but seeing it in person is entirely different.  Watching you take in the sights, sounds, and smells was a lot of fun for me.  You quickly adjusted to city life. Riding the subway, navigating the crowds, and walking everywhere.  You both really enjoyed the energy of the city.  You were curious about the people and the history of the different neighborhoods.  It was a very memorable trip, and I am so glad I got to share it with you.

You were surprised to learn that some people pack up their cats, dog, birds, rabbits, and guniea pigs and go sit on a corner in midtown Manhattan and collect money from people passing by.

New York City, you never know what is around the next corner.

Touch the Hoan Bridge. It’s been a running joke for the last bit of time - can’t remember when it started, but when driving on the freeway, you all chant “Touch. Touch. Touch. Touch the Hoan Bridge” for every overpass we go under. Well when we went boating, you all really tried to touch the Hoan Bridge. Moms are magical and can make (almost) anything come true! 

Touch the Hoan Bridge.

It’s been a running joke for the last bit of time - can’t remember when it started, but when driving on the freeway, you all chant “Touch. Touch. Touch. Touch the Hoan Bridge” for every overpass we go under. Well when we went boating, you all really tried to touch the Hoan Bridge. Moms are magical and can make (almost) anything come true! 

It happened!! Our first big vacation to Fort Walton Beach, Florida!!  This was the first time for you both to visit the ocean and to fly on an airplane. We went deep sea fishing, visited the Gulf Aquarium, attended a magic show and swam in the ocean. We also walked a lot, took several Uber cars for the first time, ate yummy seafood and had pizza delivered more than I would have preferred. Lessons learned include: skin rash from sandy wet bathing suits sucks, you two really do not like to walk, dude the humidity is is yucky but the whole experience was priceless. I will never forget this special trip for our little family! 

It happened!! Our first big vacation to Fort Walton Beach, Florida!!  This was the first time for you both to visit the ocean and to fly on an airplane. We went deep sea fishing, visited the Gulf Aquarium, attended a magic show and swam in the ocean. We also walked a lot, took several Uber cars for the first time, ate yummy seafood and had pizza delivered more than I would have preferred. Lessons learned include: skin rash from sandy wet bathing suits sucks, you two really do not like to walk, dude the humidity is is yucky but the whole experience was priceless. I will never forget this special trip for our little family! 

What was once a quiet activity buying me a half hour of productivity is now 10 minutes of pure chaos. I cannot count the number of times Archer said “Gryyyyyyyff”, but I know you just want to do whatever he is doing. 

What was once a quiet activity buying me a half hour of productivity is now 10 minutes of pure chaos. I cannot count the number of times Archer said “Gryyyyyyyff”, but I know you just want to do whatever he is doing. 

I remember baking with you when you were the same age as the littlest. I would walk you through each step and you would make more mess than not. Now I am watching the same story unfold, but you have taken my spot. You read through and meticulously follow each step of the recipe. You encourage the littlest to help. You remain patient when he makes more mess than not. I stand off to the side, watching quietly and full of pride because of the amazing person you are.

I remember baking with you when you were the same age as the littlest. I would walk you through each step and you would make more mess than not. Now I am watching the same story unfold, but you have taken my spot. You read through and meticulously follow each step of the recipe. You encourage the littlest to help. You remain patient when he makes more mess than not. I stand off to the side, watching quietly and full of pride because of the amazing person you are.

Tyton has been gone this summer visiting his dad. He leaves every year for 8 looonnnggg weeks.  During that time, Atlys and I go out exploring and spend quality time together. Whenever Tyton is gone, Atlys is always lonely and misses him terribly. It's funny though, because they can never seem to start bickering when they're together, funny how that works. We are gearing up for a 2 week long camping trip in Yellowstone, and I can't wait. I love the moments they share together on our trips. The little things they discover together, but mainly the intimate bonding that we all get to share. It's an amazing 2 weeks of bonding that the boys get before the hustle and bustle of school starts up. 

Tyton has been gone this summer visiting his dad. He leaves every year for 8 looonnnggg weeks.  During that time, Atlys and I go out exploring and spend quality time together. Whenever Tyton is gone, Atlys is always lonely and misses him terribly. It's funny though, because they can never seem to start bickering when they're together, funny how that works. We are gearing up for a 2 week long camping trip in Yellowstone, and I can't wait. I love the moments they share together on our trips. The little things they discover together, but mainly the intimate bonding that we all get to share. It's an amazing 2 weeks of bonding that the boys get before the hustle and bustle of school starts up. 

the sixth edition

 
It's happening. You are seeing the awesome benefits of having a built-in playmate. Sure, you still butt heads (you always will) and there are many moments that highlight the struggle that still exists from being almost three years apart. But it's happening. I'm seeing the change. I often find the two of you busy in an activity together or giggling like wild, engaged in your own world. A world just for two brothers. And I can't wait to see where this goes next. I pray the two of you will always find such comfort and joy in each others presence. 

It's happening. You are seeing the awesome benefits of having a built-in playmate. Sure, you still butt heads (you always will) and there are many moments that highlight the struggle that still exists from being almost three years apart. But it's happening. I'm seeing the change. I often find the two of you busy in an activity together or giggling like wild, engaged in your own world. A world just for two brothers. And I can't wait to see where this goes next. I pray the two of you will always find such comfort and joy in each others presence. 

The summer heat is making you both crazy! You argue over how to let the goats in the pen, how to pick tomatoes from the garden, where the towels go, which show to watch, how to put swim goggles on, how to swat a fly...I could go on for hours on this lol!!  It’s not actually the heat making you crazy, I think you are just naturally crazy. You probably get it from your Dad’s side of the family!  I hope as you get older you grow to enjoy each other’s company, friendship and can depend on each other when needed. I have a deep bond and friendship with my siblings and I want the same for the both of you.   

The summer heat is making you both crazy! You argue over how to let the goats in the pen, how to pick tomatoes from the garden, where the towels go, which show to watch, how to put swim goggles on, how to swat a fly...I could go on for hours on this lol!!  It’s not actually the heat making you crazy, I think you are just naturally crazy. You probably get it from your Dad’s side of the family!  I hope as you get older you grow to enjoy each other’s company, friendship and can depend on each other when needed. I have a deep bond and friendship with my siblings and I want the same for the both of you.   

While being total opposites, I can always count on one of you to be the brave one and lead the other where he needs to go. Sometimes this might not be such a good thing, but at others it works perfectly. There’s no doubt the older of you is usually the brave one, but when I need to leave you somewhere and that brave one clings to my leg and refuses to go, the littler of you seems to sense this and marches right in. You call your big brother after you, and he usually obliges. You’re definitely your own personalities, but more connected than I realize sometimes. Less than 2 years apart, and the last two years have been filled with more joy, love, and exhaustion than I would have believed possible. 

While being total opposites, I can always count on one of you to be the brave one and lead the other where he needs to go. Sometimes this might not be such a good thing, but at others it works perfectly. There’s no doubt the older of you is usually the brave one, but when I need to leave you somewhere and that brave one clings to my leg and refuses to go, the littler of you seems to sense this and marches right in. You call your big brother after you, and he usually obliges. You’re definitely your own personalities, but more connected than I realize sometimes. Less than 2 years apart, and the last two years have been filled with more joy, love, and exhaustion than I would have believed possible. 

The month of June brought as much fun as the hot summer months I always dreamt about when I was a child. We have been watching a lot of race car movies, which seem to be a hit with you boys lately. You both got the wild idea to start your own street wars, I laughed as you pretended to check your engines before starting the races. Your daddy looked at me sideways and I knew he was thinking, “too much Fast and Furious”. I couldn't have cared less. I saw that competitive, fun loving, twinkle in both your eyes. The looks on your faces made me run for my camera once again. I knew you were about to get wild! You both looked so tough, but I knew exactly what was going to happen…your big brother would give you a head start and then make sure he went slow enough so that his little sidekick could keep up with him. I just looked on adoringly because I can’t imagine loving you two anymore than I already do.

The month of June brought as much fun as the hot summer months I always dreamt about when I was a child. We have been watching a lot of race car movies, which seem to be a hit with you boys lately. You both got the wild idea to start your own street wars, I laughed as you pretended to check your engines before starting the races. Your daddy looked at me sideways and I knew he was thinking, “too much Fast and Furious”. I couldn't have cared less. I saw that competitive, fun loving, twinkle in both your eyes. The looks on your faces made me run for my camera once again. I knew you were about to get wild! You both looked so tough, but I knew exactly what was going to happen…your big brother would give you a head start and then make sure he went slow enough so that his little sidekick could keep up with him. I just looked on adoringly because I can’t imagine loving you two anymore than I already do.

You would yell after him, “Wait for me! Wait for me!” and he would wait for you to catch up so you could jump in together.

You would yell after him, “Wait for me! Wait for me!” and he would wait for you to catch up so you could jump in together.

This image pretty accurately summarizes your personalities. One of you is a rule-follower, perfectly happy to play within the lines, feeling no need to create your own rules. The other one of you is always taking things to the next level, never satisfied with normal, and constantly looking for the next challenge to conquer. Although your personalities are night and day, you are always working together. You have found a way to be content and happy together, and like the gears in your favourite bath toy, you are filling each others gaps to move forward as a team. 

This image pretty accurately summarizes your personalities. One of you is a rule-follower, perfectly happy to play within the lines, feeling no need to create your own rules. The other one of you is always taking things to the next level, never satisfied with normal, and constantly looking for the next challenge to conquer. Although your personalities are night and day, you are always working together. You have found a way to be content and happy together, and like the gears in your favourite bath toy, you are filling each others gaps to move forward as a team. 

Deep meaningful conversations atop some red rock at Red Rock Canyon Open Space (Colorado Springs, CO). I loved watching your excitement for adventure while exploring the beauty in Colorado. And coming from the good old cornfields and dairyland of Wisconsin, being at an elevation of 5,000-7,000 was a whole new experience and outlook for us all!

Deep meaningful conversations atop some red rock at Red Rock Canyon Open Space (Colorado Springs, CO). I loved watching your excitement for adventure while exploring the beauty in Colorado. And coming from the good old cornfields and dairyland of Wisconsin, being at an elevation of 5,000-7,000 was a whole new experience and outlook for us all!

You two.  You really amuse yourselves. You can make a game out of anything.  In this case, Chinese food in the food court at the mall became your plaything. One would flick grains of rice at the other while the other tried to deflect the incoming rice with a food tray.  These games always start small and quiet.  By the end of this particular game, you had the attention of all of the patrons of the food court with your wails of joy and laughter (I’m sure the flying rice didn’t help). I know most, if not all, of the people did not approve of your behavior.  I should have been horrified by your undignified public behavior…but I wasn’t.  I was laughing too. I love hearing the two of you laugh so hard that you lose your breath.  That point when your laugh goes silent because you are out of air…I live for that. Were you obnoxious?  Yes.  Were you having more fun than anyone else in the room?  Yes.

You two.  You really amuse yourselves. You can make a game out of anything.  In this case, Chinese food in the food court at the mall became your plaything. One would flick grains of rice at the other while the other tried to deflect the incoming rice with a food tray.  These games always start small and quiet.  By the end of this particular game, you had the attention of all of the patrons of the food court with your wails of joy and laughter (I’m sure the flying rice didn’t help). I know most, if not all, of the people did not approve of your behavior.  I should have been horrified by your undignified public behavior…but I wasn’t.  I was laughing too. I love hearing the two of you laugh so hard that you lose your breath.  That point when your laugh goes silent because you are out of air…I live for that. Were you obnoxious?  Yes.  Were you having more fun than anyone else in the room?  Yes.

the fifth edition

 
When your big brother fills in as your first base coach. Sam’s baseball team was down a coach.  Jack happened to have a free night.  Being the problem solver that he is, he volunteered his services, because “someone has to teach these kids about the sport of baseball, otherwise they will just sit there are make sand castles in the infield and watch airplanes go over in the outfield.”    All Sam wanted was a base hit. He didn’t want a double or a triple.  He wanted to stop at first base.  He wanted to be there with his big brother and get advice. He wanted the fist bump and to hear his big brother say, “nice hit.” Jack enjoyed being the guy who told the kids when to hold up and when “to run to second base like the boogey man was chasing you.” Luckily, the short stop on the other team was busy making sand castles and watching airplanes go by, and Sam got his base hit. He would have stayed on first base all night.  

When your big brother fills in as your first base coach.

Sam’s baseball team was down a coach.  Jack happened to have a free night.  Being the problem solver that he is, he volunteered his services, because “someone has to teach these kids about the sport of baseball, otherwise they will just sit there are make sand castles in the infield and watch airplanes go over in the outfield.”   

All Sam wanted was a base hit. He didn’t want a double or a triple.  He wanted to stop at first base.  He wanted to be there with his big brother and get advice. He wanted the fist bump and to hear his big brother say, “nice hit.” Jack enjoyed being the guy who told the kids when to hold up and when “to run to second base like the boogey man was chasing you.” Luckily, the short stop on the other team was busy making sand castles and watching airplanes go by, and Sam got his base hit.

He would have stayed on first base all night.  

"Mommy, come push us so we can all swing together."

"Mommy, come push us so we can all swing together."

I realized that I had been constantly laying you down, Grant, so you wouldn't topple over while I tended to the rest of the household.  I felt a bit guilty, but it only took you about a week of practice to become a very solid sitter.  Now, just a few weeks later, you're reaching far over one knee and rocking while trying to get at your big brother's toys.  He holds things just outside your grasp to tease and encourage you while he giggles uncontrollably.  I don't think he realizes you're so incredibly close to crawling, and that it will soon be you who has the last laugh. I've been waiting for these skills, knowing they would bring your friendship to a new level.  Now I wish it would all just slow down a bit.

I realized that I had been constantly laying you down, Grant, so you wouldn't topple over while I tended to the rest of the household.  I felt a bit guilty, but it only took you about a week of practice to become a very solid sitter.  Now, just a few weeks later, you're reaching far over one knee and rocking while trying to get at your big brother's toys.  He holds things just outside your grasp to tease and encourage you while he giggles uncontrollably.  I don't think he realizes you're so incredibly close to crawling, and that it will soon be you who has the last laugh.

I've been waiting for these skills, knowing they would bring your friendship to a new level.  Now I wish it would all just slow down a bit.

Summer is here!!!! This year has been a rough one with our move. You both have not done too well with the dramatic change of seasons and dare I say…. snow. Going from beach to mountains has been a big change of pace for us all but we survived. It's been so hot here this week and there is nothing better than the classic running through the sprinkler. Atlys, you would sit on it and Tyton, you would run and jump over him.  The sounds of your laughs still remain and the smell of the fresh cut grass on your feet still lingers. 

Summer is here!!!! This year has been a rough one with our move. You both have not done too well with the dramatic change of seasons and dare I say…. snow. Going from beach to mountains has been a big change of pace for us all but we survived. It's been so hot here this week and there is nothing better than the classic running through the sprinkler. Atlys, you would sit on it and Tyton, you would run and jump over him.  The sounds of your laughs still remain and the smell of the fresh cut grass on your feet still lingers. 

My wonderful adventure. Sometimes it doesn't feel that way. Our routines get mundane. You three boys try my patience. I have so little energy these days. But these days, however mundane and long, are laced with beautiful moments. Small but wonderful adventures. Some of the best being able to watch your creativity, your joys, and your relationship with each other. 

My wonderful adventure. Sometimes it doesn't feel that way. Our routines get mundane. You three boys try my patience. I have so little energy these days. But these days, however mundane and long, are laced with beautiful moments. Small but wonderful adventures. Some of the best being able to watch your creativity, your joys, and your relationship with each other. 

Cam can't stop kissing you. I don't know if it's because you're his big brother or because you are the coolest person he knows. Maybe both. But he simply can't get enough. He gets nice and close and then quickly leans in before you are able to jump away. You don't love it. In fact, you have mentioned several times that his kisses are drooly and you very rarely allow it willingly. But through the back door is safe. The two of you ran back and forth between the double doors kissing and laughing. When you decided you were done his sweet little heart broke and an epic meltdown ensued. You came inside and hugged him to provide your big brother comfort. But wisely regained your distance just in time because through his tears, that little kiss monster boldly approached again.

Cam can't stop kissing you. I don't know if it's because you're his big brother or because you are the coolest person he knows. Maybe both. But he simply can't get enough. He gets nice and close and then quickly leans in before you are able to jump away. You don't love it. In fact, you have mentioned several times that his kisses are drooly and you very rarely allow it willingly. But through the back door is safe. The two of you ran back and forth between the double doors kissing and laughing. When you decided you were done his sweet little heart broke and an epic meltdown ensued. You came inside and hugged him to provide your big brother comfort. But wisely regained your distance just in time because through his tears, that little kiss monster boldly approached again.

These past five months have been such a blast to watch your budding relationship grow through this project. There has been one significant consistency, the little brother is never more than two steps behind his bigger brother. We had a lot of adventures this past May in San Diego! Exploring this awesome city was so much fun for the two of you! We sat in old war helicopters, rode trains, played in big waves, we rode the biggest roller coasters we could ride and watched killer whales jump out of the water! My favorite memory was watching you both walk down the jetty at Mission Beach. I loved how you helped each other up and down the slippery rocks. You two are a great team. As much trouble as you both get each other into, you always know when the other is in need of a helping hand. This relationship I am witnessing may be lost on you now, but trust me, it will be one of the most important in your future! 

These past five months have been such a blast to watch your budding relationship grow through this project. There has been one significant consistency, the little brother is never more than two steps behind his bigger brother. We had a lot of adventures this past May in San Diego! Exploring this awesome city was so much fun for the two of you! We sat in old war helicopters, rode trains, played in big waves, we rode the biggest roller coasters we could ride and watched killer whales jump out of the water! My favorite memory was watching you both walk down the jetty at Mission Beach. I loved how you helped each other up and down the slippery rocks. You two are a great team. As much trouble as you both get each other into, you always know when the other is in need of a helping hand. This relationship I am witnessing may be lost on you now, but trust me, it will be one of the most important in your future! 

Both of you are now able to move around freely and you're starting to play together more often. You no longer have to be so careful around one another. Colton, Xander loves climbing into your crib and jumping up and down. At first, I thought it would make you nervous but boy was I wrong. I can see already that you two are going to be a lot of fun and maybe a lot of trouble together. Let the mischief begin!

Both of you are now able to move around freely and you're starting to play together more often. You no longer have to be so careful around one another. Colton, Xander loves climbing into your crib and jumping up and down. At first, I thought it would make you nervous but boy was I wrong. I can see already that you two are going to be a lot of fun and maybe a lot of trouble together. Let the mischief begin!

Sand and sticks- two of your greatest treasures and currently two of my greatest foes. The bigger of you doesn’t seem to be able to touch a stick without waving it or hitting it in someone’s face, and the littler of you is quickly learning to follow suit. Right now is the age of pushing boundaries and exploration, and it almost always ends with one (or both) of you crying. Colter, you can’t resist dumping at least one bucket of sand over your little brother’s head, or throwing it in his face. He’s learning to do this too! The new sandbox is adored by you both, and sand covers the floor of the house at all times to prove it. I love watching the two of you teach and learn, and find your own selves. The newest, best game involves laughing hysterically at each other just because you can, and you add bonus points if it drives your sister crazy. The emotions couldn’t run much higher in this house, the chaos couldn’t be much bigger, and life couldn’t be much sweeter.

Sand and sticks- two of your greatest treasures and currently two of my greatest foes. The bigger of you doesn’t seem to be able to touch a stick without waving it or hitting it in someone’s face, and the littler of you is quickly learning to follow suit. Right now is the age of pushing boundaries and exploration, and it almost always ends with one (or both) of you crying. Colter, you can’t resist dumping at least one bucket of sand over your little brother’s head, or throwing it in his face. He’s learning to do this too! The new sandbox is adored by you both, and sand covers the floor of the house at all times to prove it. I love watching the two of you teach and learn, and find your own selves. The newest, best game involves laughing hysterically at each other just because you can, and you add bonus points if it drives your sister crazy. The emotions couldn’t run much higher in this house, the chaos couldn’t be much bigger, and life couldn’t be much sweeter.

I hope there will always be times in your lives where you can simply sit and talk. I hope you keep showing each other new things and learning from one another. I hope you always feel comfortable together and look out for one another. I hope you continue to challenge each other, and stay strong together despite your differences. 

I hope there will always be times in your lives where you can simply sit and talk. I hope you keep showing each other new things and learning from one another. I hope you always feel comfortable together and look out for one another. I hope you continue to challenge each other, and stay strong together despite your differences. 

Summer is in full swing! Our summer consists of sleeping in slightly, going to work/daycare, eating supper, you two swimming, tending to the goats, bath, bed… and repeat!  Well for the most part anyway, the weekends and filled with craziness. I enjoy watching the two of you swim and kick the soccer ball around the pasture. I am thinking of putting black trash bags on top of the pool to warm it up, so that I can actually get in it!  I love the longer days of summer and being able to spend more time outdoors. I forgot to tell you that I spent 10 minutes chasing a baby bunny in and out of my flower bed. If it isn’t the rabbits eating my flowers, it is the dog and the armadillos digging them up! 

Summer is in full swing! Our summer consists of sleeping in slightly, going to work/daycare, eating supper, you two swimming, tending to the goats, bath, bed… and repeat!  Well for the most part anyway, the weekends and filled with craziness. I enjoy watching the two of you swim and kick the soccer ball around the pasture. I am thinking of putting black trash bags on top of the pool to warm it up, so that I can actually get in it!  I love the longer days of summer and being able to spend more time outdoors. I forgot to tell you that I spent 10 minutes chasing a baby bunny in and out of my flower bed. If it isn’t the rabbits eating my flowers, it is the dog and the armadillos digging them up! 

You are brothers but yet so different.  You both balance each other perfectly and you use your personal strengths to help one another.  Numerous times a day I just sit back and watch you play together and think thank goodness you have each other and a best friend for life.

You are brothers but yet so different.  You both balance each other perfectly and you use your personal strengths to help one another.  Numerous times a day I just sit back and watch you play together and think thank goodness you have each other and a best friend for life.

Watching your father mow the lawn is always one of your favorite activities. But this time you all took it one step further and followed him (like little ducklings) up and down the yard with your own toy lawn mowers. I loved watching you all in a single file line as you followed each other step by step until all the grass was cut.

Watching your father mow the lawn is always one of your favorite activities. But this time you all took it one step further and followed him (like little ducklings) up and down the yard with your own toy lawn mowers. I loved watching you all in a single file line as you followed each other step by step until all the grass was cut.

the fourth edition

 
This is your little game, the way you've found to connect.  Grant loves to get his fingers wrapped tightly in any hair that he can reach, so you give him your whole head, John, and let him dig in. Then you start screeching, "Nooo! Don't pull my hair!" and you yank your head back as he holds tight. I'm always surprised Grant isn't scared by the volume, but he thinks this is the greatest game ever and looks at you bright eyed and giggly.

This is your little game, the way you've found to connect. 

Grant loves to get his fingers wrapped tightly in any hair that he can reach, so you give him your whole head, John, and let him dig in. Then you start screeching, "Nooo! Don't pull my hair!" and you yank your head back as he holds tight. I'm always surprised Grant isn't scared by the volume, but he thinks this is the greatest game ever and looks at you bright eyed and giggly.

This past month was rough with you boys, forgive me if I turned my back on you and walked away more times than I care to admit. My brain is constantly thinking “I can't laugh at that, no I need to separate them, or maybe I should put them on time-out? Do not laugh, whatever you do…DO NOT laugh” Your energy is usually contagious, and you boys are learning at a very young age that how you two are interacting usually determines my mood. You're sometimes evil about it, you two can almost sense when I’ve had the worst day and you push me to the limit. Food that is intended for your mouths ends up on the floor, boogers that belong in your nose end up in your mouth, pee that belongs in the toilet ends up everywhere else but in the bowl and sword fights turn into tears. When I need a break, I put you in the cage (also known as a trampoline) and let you burn off some energy. It is one of my favorite times of the day. Sometimes I even document it for you, so I can remember that these are the “magic” times and maybe I should just laugh a little more.

This past month was rough with you boys, forgive me if I turned my back on you and walked away more times than I care to admit. My brain is constantly thinking “I can't laugh at that, no I need to separate them, or maybe I should put them on time-out? Do not laugh, whatever you do…DO NOT laugh” Your energy is usually contagious, and you boys are learning at a very young age that how you two are interacting usually determines my mood. You're sometimes evil about it, you two can almost sense when I’ve had the worst day and you push me to the limit. Food that is intended for your mouths ends up on the floor, boogers that belong in your nose end up in your mouth, pee that belongs in the toilet ends up everywhere else but in the bowl and sword fights turn into tears. When I need a break, I put you in the cage (also known as a trampoline) and let you burn off some energy. It is one of my favorite times of the day. Sometimes I even document it for you, so I can remember that these are the “magic” times and maybe I should just laugh a little more.

Together but worlds apart. That's become the norm around here. You like to play in the same place with the same things but rarely are able to interact much without a fight. You play so differently and Ayden, you struggle to understand this little person who enjoys messy chaos and often communicates through excited screeches. It will get easier and the two of you will come up with a system that works. But your age gap and personalities keep you at arms length for now. Be patient, my loves. 

Together but worlds apart. That's become the norm around here. You like to play in the same place with the same things but rarely are able to interact much without a fight. You play so differently and Ayden, you struggle to understand this little person who enjoys messy chaos and often communicates through excited screeches. It will get easier and the two of you will come up with a system that works. But your age gap and personalities keep you at arms length for now. Be patient, my loves. 

Dear Jack, I always thought I was your biggest fan.  You had a baseball tournament this past weekend and I saw every pitch you threw and every single swing of the bat.  As I cheered for you, I noticed something.  I have an echo.  It makes me laugh because Sam is right there on the fence cheering for you.  “Come on Jack!”  “Nice pitch, Wild Thing!” “Let’s go Bandits!” Your little brother is there watching everything you do.  He gave up his entire weekend to sit at the baseball field and watch you play….because he wanted to.  He wants to be around you and your team.  You are the “cool kids.”  He even wears your old jersey and team sweatshirt with your name and number on it to the games. And when you make a mistake or miss a play, he watches how you react. Thankfully, you are graceful in defeat.  When there is a minute of down time, he timidly walks to the edge of the dugout to see if you want anything from the concession stand.  You totally make his day when you say yes.  When you ask him to get you a bag of sunflower seeds or Big League Chew, he feels like he is contributing.  So really, thank you for not totally blowing off your little brother when you are at baseball.  Even when you can’t take the time to talk to him from the dugout, you are kind.  I know that isn’t always easy.  I am proud of you for that.

Dear Jack,

I always thought I was your biggest fan.  You had a baseball tournament this past weekend and I saw every pitch you threw and every single swing of the bat.  As I cheered for you, I noticed something.  I have an echo.  It makes me laugh because Sam is right there on the fence cheering for you.  “Come on Jack!”  “Nice pitch, Wild Thing!” “Let’s go Bandits!” Your little brother is there watching everything you do.  He gave up his entire weekend to sit at the baseball field and watch you play….because he wanted to.  He wants to be around you and your team.  You are the “cool kids.”  He even wears your old jersey and team sweatshirt with your name and number on it to the games. And when you make a mistake or miss a play, he watches how you react. Thankfully, you are graceful in defeat.  When there is a minute of down time, he timidly walks to the edge of the dugout to see if you want anything from the concession stand.  You totally make his day when you say yes.  When you ask him to get you a bag of sunflower seeds or Big League Chew, he feels like he is contributing.  So really, thank you for not totally blowing off your little brother when you are at baseball.  Even when you can’t take the time to talk to him from the dugout, you are kind.  I know that isn’t always easy.  I am proud of you for that.

We just wrapped up another season of soccer and school is getting ready to be over for the year. I am so proud of both of you!  You are both amazing soccer players, one of my favorite things to do is cheer you both on from the sidelines. Your Daddy usually wanders to the other end of the field because I get a little too excited sometimes...well maybe more than sometimes! I can remember when I played basketball, I could hear my Dad hollering for me over the crowd during our home games. I didn’t play much because I am not as athletic as the two of you, but it still made be feel good.  We have 18 baby goats now! They provide us with a ton of entertainment in the evenings. This particular baby goat’s name is Oscar, the past two years we have had baby goats that looked just like this one, brown with a white belt around their belly. It is kind of crazy to have one like that yearly, but we do live on a crazy farm.  Love you both, Momma

We just wrapped up another season of soccer and school is getting ready to be over for the year. I am so proud of both of you!  You are both amazing soccer players, one of my favorite things to do is cheer you both on from the sidelines. Your Daddy usually wanders to the other end of the field because I get a little too excited sometimes...well maybe more than sometimes! I can remember when I played basketball, I could hear my Dad hollering for me over the crowd during our home games. I didn’t play much because I am not as athletic as the two of you, but it still made be feel good. 

We have 18 baby goats now! They provide us with a ton of entertainment in the evenings. This particular baby goat’s name is Oscar, the past two years we have had baby goats that looked just like this one, brown with a white belt around their belly. It is kind of crazy to have one like that yearly, but we do live on a crazy farm.  Love you both, Momma

Archer you know just how to make Gryff collapse into a fit of giggles, which in turn spurs you on to your next trick. And although you are often stealing any and every toy he touches, more often you are asking him to join you in your fort, or your hiding place, or your box. Watching the two of you play together lights a fire in me. In watching you play for a few moments I see a deep friendship growing, gentle caring for one another, wild energy running between you, and idealization & modelling. I know as you grow up together these things will change, and some may even fade for a time, but you are connected for life. The bond between you will withstand anything. 

Archer you know just how to make Gryff collapse into a fit of giggles, which in turn spurs you on to your next trick. And although you are often stealing any and every toy he touches, more often you are asking him to join you in your fort, or your hiding place, or your box. Watching the two of you play together lights a fire in me. In watching you play for a few moments I see a deep friendship growing, gentle caring for one another, wild energy running between you, and idealization & modelling. I know as you grow up together these things will change, and some may even fade for a time, but you are connected for life. The bond between you will withstand anything. 

Where I find you, I will usually find your shadow. You tend to use it to your advantage by coaxing him into mischief. And he happily follows along because wherever you are is where he wants to be, too. I wouldn’t be surprised to one day find you feeding him mischievous ideas while standing back to watch as he goes into action and subsequently gets into trouble.

Where I find you, I will usually find your shadow. You tend to use it to your advantage by coaxing him into mischief. And he happily follows along because wherever you are is where he wants to be, too. I wouldn’t be surprised to one day find you feeding him mischievous ideas while standing back to watch as he goes into action and subsequently gets into trouble.