the ninth edition

 
 You kids have always been one of my greatest adventures. Every camping trip we have gone on this summer, we plan as a family. We plan our meals together, plan our route together, you kids collect every piece of clothing you may or may not need in anticipation of our getaways. You get to select a favorite book to read, the one stuffed animal you won't be able to sleep without, and your baby blankies to keep you extra warm. I get fun snacks you don’t get to eat very often and any kind of soda your little hearts desire. It’s your escape just as much is it is mine. There is nothing that makes my heart happier than getting outdoors, hiking in mud, watching fish swim in streams, and feeling the warmth of the last of the summer sun on my face. It’s a time for us to unplug. It is more special to me with every trip we go on, because I know the time is coming when you wont be able to live without your friends and WIFI for a whole weekend. Just as much as you are taking in every experience around you, I am just sitting back and taking you all in. The photographs I take of you are some of my most treasured possessions. The memory of experiencing life together will forever be engraved in my heart. You see on our walls what my heart sees always. This moment was very sweet, it was the end of the 4 hour ride to our coveted camp site and you boys were starting to squirm. I said to you “take off your seat belts and look out at the mountains”. That is exactly what you did. And once again I was completely mesmerized by all the beauty there is in this world, especially the beauty right in front of me.

You kids have always been one of my greatest adventures. Every camping trip we have gone on this summer, we plan as a family. We plan our meals together, plan our route together, you kids collect every piece of clothing you may or may not need in anticipation of our getaways. You get to select a favorite book to read, the one stuffed animal you won't be able to sleep without, and your baby blankies to keep you extra warm. I get fun snacks you don’t get to eat very often and any kind of soda your little hearts desire. It’s your escape just as much is it is mine. There is nothing that makes my heart happier than getting outdoors, hiking in mud, watching fish swim in streams, and feeling the warmth of the last of the summer sun on my face. It’s a time for us to unplug. It is more special to me with every trip we go on, because I know the time is coming when you wont be able to live without your friends and WIFI for a whole weekend. Just as much as you are taking in every experience around you, I am just sitting back and taking you all in. The photographs I take of you are some of my most treasured possessions. The memory of experiencing life together will forever be engraved in my heart. You see on our walls what my heart sees always. This moment was very sweet, it was the end of the 4 hour ride to our coveted camp site and you boys were starting to squirm. I said to you “take off your seat belts and look out at the mountains”. That is exactly what you did. And once again I was completely mesmerized by all the beauty there is in this world, especially the beauty right in front of me.

 Fall has finally arrived! We are well into soccer games, stinky cleats, reading school books, math homework, cool evenings, pumpkins and so much more. It is hard to find time to relax and enjoy our evenings between soccer practice and our new major renovation project. Your Daddy and I both hope that some day you will appreciate everything that you have learned from our “renovation/fixer upper" projects!!  

Fall has finally arrived! We are well into soccer games, stinky cleats, reading school books, math homework, cool evenings, pumpkins and so much more. It is hard to find time to relax and enjoy our evenings between soccer practice and our new major renovation project. Your Daddy and I both hope that some day you will appreciate everything that you have learned from our “renovation/fixer upper" projects!!  

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  You boys are so different yet so similar. You both enjoy each other’s company – Colton, you follow your brother everywhere, copying him, and always wanting to be in the middle of what he’s doing. Xander, you get frustrated by this sometimes, yet you are patient, and constantly ask to play with your brother. I’m not sure why you ask, but I love that you genuinely want to spend time with him, to play with him. One of you is sensitive, the other fiery. But you get along great, love each other fiercly, and it’s so wonderful to watch your relationship grow. 

You boys are so different yet so similar. You both enjoy each other’s company – Colton, you follow your brother everywhere, copying him, and always wanting to be in the middle of what he’s doing. Xander, you get frustrated by this sometimes, yet you are patient, and constantly ask to play with your brother. I’m not sure why you ask, but I love that you genuinely want to spend time with him, to play with him. One of you is sensitive, the other fiery. But you get along great, love each other fiercly, and it’s so wonderful to watch your relationship grow. 

   
  
 
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  I love watching you explore new things and new places together. Your excitement is contagious. You are so happy to share your new adventures and discoveries.

I love watching you explore new things and new places together. Your excitement is contagious. You are so happy to share your new adventures and discoveries.

 I adore watching how your role as the older brother has evolved. Despite my love of thunder storms, you've always gotten a little nervous when dark clouds head our way. When your little brother heard the first rumbles in the distance this afternoon, he reacted in the same way. But you surprised me. You told him not to worry and pulled two chairs up to watch the show. You warned him that some rain would come and that it might get noisy but that the plants and animals would be so happy. You explained that the leaves would dance and the frogs would cheer. Exactly what I've been telling you for 4.5 years. He left my side and trusted you, climbing up in his assigned seat with a smile. 

I adore watching how your role as the older brother has evolved. Despite my love of thunder storms, you've always gotten a little nervous when dark clouds head our way. When your little brother heard the first rumbles in the distance this afternoon, he reacted in the same way. But you surprised me. You told him not to worry and pulled two chairs up to watch the show. You warned him that some rain would come and that it might get noisy but that the plants and animals would be so happy. You explained that the leaves would dance and the frogs would cheer. Exactly what I've been telling you for 4.5 years. He left my side and trusted you, climbing up in his assigned seat with a smile. 

   
  
 
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  Monkey see, monkey do….or something else?  Sometimes I wonder if your behavioral similarities are a product of genetics or a long, drawn out game of copy cat.  I laugh to myself when I see your mannerisms mirror each other. It can be something as simple as what position you both default to when lazily watching a movie or how you hold a pencil.  There are things about both of you that are just so…us.  Sure, some things Sam has studied and copied, but some things seem to be inherent traits.   I don’t know.  I find you both fascinating.   

Monkey see, monkey do….or something else?

Sometimes I wonder if your behavioral similarities are a product of genetics or a long, drawn out game of copy cat.  I laugh to myself when I see your mannerisms mirror each other. It can be something as simple as what position you both default to when lazily watching a movie or how you hold a pencil.  There are things about both of you that are just so…us.  Sure, some things Sam has studied and copied, but some things seem to be inherent traits. 

I don’t know.  I find you both fascinating.   

   
  
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  It was Tyton's birthday this month and we celebrated down in Fort Collins.  Tyton invited his best friend Sam to come along.  Every day after school Tyton, Atlys and Sam come over, raid my cupboards and ride bikes outside.  I love their friendship, and their sense of brotherhood.  I hope as the boys get older they continue to have the same bond and be the best friends that they are now.

It was Tyton's birthday this month and we celebrated down in Fort Collins.  Tyton invited his best friend Sam to come along.  Every day after school Tyton, Atlys and Sam come over, raid my cupboards and ride bikes outside.  I love their friendship, and their sense of brotherhood.  I hope as the boys get older they continue to have the same bond and be the best friends that they are now.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    I’m dreading it. I’m dreading the day the giggles turn into yells. I’m dreading the day you don’t want to spend every moment together.  I’m dreading the day you are too big to run on the couch. I’m dreading the day there is a broken bone or a tooth knocked out (I’m looking at you, Gryff).   But until that day I will stand by nervously as you run back and forth, collapsing on each other in fits of uncontrollable laughter, destroying the leather while you make sweet, sweet memories together. These days are fleeting, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be here to witness them.

I’m dreading it. I’m dreading the day the giggles turn into yells. I’m dreading the day you don’t want to spend every moment together.  I’m dreading the day you are too big to run on the couch. I’m dreading the day there is a broken bone or a tooth knocked out (I’m looking at you, Gryff). 

But until that day I will stand by nervously as you run back and forth, collapsing on each other in fits of uncontrollable laughter, destroying the leather while you make sweet, sweet memories together. These days are fleeting, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be here to witness them.

 The first time we climbed here, you made it to the top multiple times over. You've repeated the process on every visit. The same can't be said about him, though. Each time we go, he makes it just a little bit higher before deciding it's simply too much. Today he made it four levels and then he froze. No longer willing to move up or down. You could have continued on climbing, paying no attention to his concerns. But you stopped, turned back, and encouragingly reached him. You asked if he wanted to follow you, but he told you he wanted down. So you altered your course to guide him safely down before you resumed your race to the top.

The first time we climbed here, you made it to the top multiple times over. You've repeated the process on every visit. The same can't be said about him, though. Each time we go, he makes it just a little bit higher before deciding it's simply too much. Today he made it four levels and then he froze. No longer willing to move up or down. You could have continued on climbing, paying no attention to his concerns. But you stopped, turned back, and encouragingly reached him. You asked if he wanted to follow you, but he told you he wanted down. So you altered your course to guide him safely down before you resumed your race to the top.

 The tides are turning around here. After the last two years of the bigger of you boys being the one in charge, it’s not so much the case anymore. The littler of you has gotten feistier, and the bigger of you has learned a bit of self control. Because of this, Colter, you’re spending your days deflecting bites, scratches, and pinches, while Cannon’s battle wounds are getting less and less. I hate to say, but you’ve taught him all he knows! As the balance is changing, your newfound “teamwork” shows up sometimes too, and it’s the best thing yet. You’ve learned this at Pre-school Colter, and I love it! You’ve also learned to pick up your toys together, and this Mama couldn’t be happier about that!! 

The tides are turning around here. After the last two years of the bigger of you boys being the one in charge, it’s not so much the case anymore. The littler of you has gotten feistier, and the bigger of you has learned a bit of self control. Because of this, Colter, you’re spending your days deflecting bites, scratches, and pinches, while Cannon’s battle wounds are getting less and less. I hate to say, but you’ve taught him all he knows! As the balance is changing, your newfound “teamwork” shows up sometimes too, and it’s the best thing yet. You’ve learned this at Pre-school Colter, and I love it! You’ve also learned to pick up your toys together, and this Mama couldn’t be happier about that!! 

 Apple Picking.  You know, you two are such different personalities and most days manage to rub each other the wrong way. Seeing you work cooperatively, helping each other, and enjoying spending time in nature, gives me the little boost of energy I need (until the next one 😊)

Apple Picking.

You know, you two are such different personalities and most days manage to rub each other the wrong way. Seeing you work cooperatively, helping each other, and enjoying spending time in nature, gives me the little boost of energy I need (until the next one 😊)