Wednesday, December 31, 2014

'Other' moments to close 2014

There are so many times in our lives that I have a camera and fill this blog with gobs and gobs of pictures.  I love these posts, and hopefully someday our children will love them also as they can see so much of their childhood displayed.  The gifts, the toys, the activities, the trips, the K-State events, and even messes and mud.  But there are so many times when the camera is out of reach.  When we don't get pictures of the toys, trips, messes, and mud.  We still remember those times and there is often tangible evidence to help us remember those times even without the pictures in an album. 
What about those other times?  The times when there is no camera.  The times when using a camera at such a moment would certainly ruin the moment.  The moments when our sleeping children are face-to-face with us and we see their eyes close so softly as their busiest of busy day finally wears them out.  Their face so close to ours.  Feeling their exhale.
The moments when they are being so brave in trying something new and they look back just to see if we are there cheering them on.  The moments of joy. 
The moments when they run to us as fast as they can with open arms
and it takes both of our arms to fulfill their hug. 
The moments of seeing our children's pride that they don't even know we witness. 
Seeing our children pray.  Seeing their hands folded and their eyes squeezed so tightly.
Seeing magic in their eyes when they believe so deeply in what they speak.
Seeing love and thoughtfulness pour out of them as they make a kind choice without being told.
Being aware of their honest concern when they willingly ask "How was your day today?" 
When they use teamwork or form a group effort to achieve a goal.
The times they are protective of each other.
Experiencing the deep, deep breaths of control in stressful, frustrating situations.
When the kids cheer at Royce as he's pulling the car out of the garage to "Leave without Mom!" and I play along, standing beside the car in the driveway, knocking on the windows saying, "Hey!  Let me in!"
(Knowing Isaac would never, ever let Royce really leave without me.)
When the children think of true, absolute humor, all on their very own.
When Amelia and Caroline don't realize I'm peeking from the kitchen as they pull their pants down and put their bare bottoms up to the fireplace, giggle,
and pull up their pants to resume their play.
The look on Chloe's face when Royce shows her a preview of dance moves he wants to do at the father/daughter dance.  Priceless.
Times when we are listening to one of the kids tell us something they think is so very, very important.  You can feel their intensity and how passionately they believe about the topic, whether it's something they are excited about, something they try to convince us they know, or feel they have been wronged.
Learning four different personalities.  Witnessing their growing compassion.
Answering Isaac's "What is black Friday?" question with basic accounting knowledge just to have him ask Royce, weeks later, about his busy day at work and "if the numbers were at least black instead of red?" out of genuine concern.
When something clicks in their mind. 
Chloe and the way she understands my sarcasm makes me proud (and scares me a little).
She really gets it and is so funny.  Humor can teach you so much more about life than just jokes.
Isaac and his uncertainty and hesitation until he visualizes his goal.
Times he achieves the predicted goal and times he learns more due to the alternate outcome.
The experiences that build resiliency.  Of being disappointed.  Being forced to change their path.
The selfless moments.  The selfish moments. 
The disappointing moments.  The perfect moments.
These moments can't be always photographed.  In fact, it's best if they aren't. 

Cheers to 2014 and the many other moments it held.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tessa's birthday -- with a little extra 'something'....

About six weeks ago Rachel and I realized that Taylor Swift was going to be in Denver on Chloe's 9th birthday.  What?!?  How fun.  So we put Grandad on the job of finding some floor tickets and he did just that.  We decided that since the concert was going to be on Chloe's birthday that we would tell the girls on Tessa's birthday.  Here are a few pictures from the reveal!

We have it all on video, but the girls had to read a script.  I had some que-cards and they had to read aloud what the cards said.
"Today December 29, 2014 we celebrate Tessa's birthday with friends and family.
We also each get a gift today.  We will use this gift together on Chloe's birthday.
On September 6, 2015 we will go to Denver to a...
Taylor Swift Concert!"

Let the waiting begin.....

Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning 2014

Daddy -- Get us to church on time!
Mason says, "How can I get this tiny present in my mouth?"

Mason's kind of a camera hog....

Caroline is buried alive in presents!

"Sleeping bags!  Just what we asked for!"

Stella is ready to go exploring in their new wagon!
Mason is like, "Seriously -- Is this hand mine?" 

Aunt Meggie got him a mustachifier, hehehe.
Because most blonde-haired, blue-eyed babies have black mustaches.

Then there's Mason's Daddy.  Who stepped on his own tie-tack, got it completely poked into his foot, and then bled on Gram's carpet. 

Once back in Hays Chloe got down to business and did just as Santa requested.  Two cookies with only about an inch of milk.  She paid attention to what he had told her. 


It's Jesus' birthday!



Gifts from mom & dad too!
Star Wars Rebels characters
Character blankets "Just like on the commercial!" Caroline says! 

And Chloe was confident this tall skinny box was another American Girl doll, which she wasn't very excited about, but was gracefully cooperative.  Little did she know -- I know her a little better than to get her another AG doll and instead it was a skateboard.
She loves the skateboard and I got it all on video :-)
Merry Christmas, Kiddos!
Blessings, blessings, blessings all around!

Leading up to Christmas

We visited Santa!  Amelia rattled every single item off of her list.  Caroline followed her lead.
Chloe took her list and Santa asked her to put it on the fridge so he could check it twice.
Isaac was more hesitant but in the end followed through with sharing his list. 
Pre-Christmas trip to Granddad's in Colorado!
Thanks for the basket carrier for Christmas, Dad!

Chloe got her some spurs!

Isaac isn't shown I suppose because he was off flying his new remote-control helicopter the whole time.  He and Granddad have fun with those gadgets.   


We attempted to go skiing -- but long story short -- we didn't.
Traffic, the tunnel, snow, avalanche work, 4 hours in the car, etc., etc., etc.

So we worked in a snowball fight at a park in Idaho Springs instead!

 When life hands you lemons -- you make the best of it.
These happy faces weren't too disappointed at the end of the day.