Thursday, February 25, 2010

What do YOU do when...?

What do you do when, after putting your kids to bed at 9 p.m., you go to their room at 10:30 p.m. and find them quietly sitting together on an office chair, each with a pen and paper in hand? I, unfortunately, scolded them and put them back in bed before I saw what they were writing: love notes to mom. And Tessa had even asked Ella how to spell "MOM" and written it in her best 3 year old penmanship. Seeing that drove me to tears and made me vow to be more patient, and less quick to jump to conclusions. Especially when I'm tired.
What do you do when the sun is shining, and everyone could use some fresh air, but it's only 20 degrees outside? Knowing how long it takes to bundle up and un-bundle for just a few minutes of outdoor activity, I usually opt to stay in. Or, like yesterday, let everyone go outside with just a coat on, and come in when they are cold. It's less work that way.

Ella and Tessa have begun spelling words, Scrabble style, with the Leapfrog letters. Maybe soon Ella will provide some Scrabble competition for Daddy and Aunt Sandy!! Tessa completed her 11th reading lesson today and is reading am, ram, sam, sat, mat, see ... Ella is doing Saxon Math. I thought she was enjoying the lessons as I am. But today when I wasn't looking, she wrote, "Schol is Boring" on her worksheet. sigh I guess she needs more "scholing"!
What do you do when your husband, upon seeing his co-workers' hobbies, laments that he doesn't have any hobbies, and it seems as though life aside from work consists of emptying and filling the dishwasher? Sounds like we need a little more balance in our lives! The mundane chores are never-ending with 4 little kids under the roof. Also, we've been improving this little old house for 3.5 years and it's still not all done!! But we want it to be! We're considering hiring out the bathroom/flooring project to save ourselves some time and sanity. And we're quite confident we shall NEVER own an old house again. Maybe after that my husband can have a hobby?
A little pat on the back for us: even though it's winter, Adrian and I got the kids everyone out the door and took a hike every day last week. One day I was first in line up the trail, carrying Aaron in the sling, so I turned around to see the rest of the gang. I burst into hillarious laughter when I saw my family behind me ~ Adrian with the Kelty backpack on his back, pushing our double jogger stroller with Jaci inside, pulling Tessa with a rope on her trike, and Ella scooting her scooter alongside; all of us in winter hats, boots, gloves, coats and scarves. At that point, with the thermometer reading 27 degrees, I thought we were quite ridiculous!! Wish I would have had the camera!
So this is how we warm up feet after we've been outside, even bundled to the hilt!
By the way, the above little one is back to potty training this week! We're homeschooling in the kitchen to make clean up easy. I must have confused her royally yesterday. Fruit snacks were the treat of choice for attempts or successes on the potty chair. One time, in the hustle of teaching Ella & Tessa, I remember Jaci asking for a treat ("MOM! BEAT!!") but I reminded her she could have one if she used the potty chair. Quite a while later, I found a deposit in the potty chair, but have no idea when it was done-- the little sweetie had a completely unrecognized success! We all cheered and had a fruit snack after the fact anyway.
Sweet baby is so content and easy going. I make sure he keeps the warmest of anyone on our outings! He continues to sleep 7-8 hours each night, then feeds, then back to sleep for 3-5 more hours. Here's what he is wearing today... thanks Uncle Dale & Aunt Mary for this adorable outfit!!

Now the girls are playing "mommy" behind me (I just heard, "you have to cut the umbilical cord and check the heartbeat"). and I've typed this entire post one-handed while nursing little dude. It's time to be done! ~A

Saturday, February 20, 2010

'nother photo shoot

Some more photos of the babe, taken this morning. And we finally caught a smile on camera -- he has been smiling and talking to his big sisters lately!

baby mugs

Here are our 4 babies, each around 1 month of age ... can you guess who is who?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

1 month young

Here's some more photos of the baby -- just a menagerie from the last week or so. He's GROWING!! Now weighing in at 9 1/2 pounds, he looks a lot different than at birth. We are still enjoying his easy-going nature very much!

Ella's Hawaiian dress up outfit from Gramma Mary

Happy Valentines Day!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Babe Aaron"

Assigning nicknames come naturally for Adrian, whose son has become "Babe Aaron". "Is that a combination of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron?" I asked. By the response, I was assured that not nearly that much thought had been put into it! So we now have a Ella Rosen-thorpus-porpoise- I won't type out the rest; a "Tesla James", a "Jables" and a "Babe Aaron". I prefer to call the baby "little critter" or "baby boy". It is interesting how nicknames surface for no good reason, and change with time. For example, we no longer call Tessa "chunk bug" which was her name during her very chunky baby stage. But perhaps we should-- that name evokes such an adoration in my heart!

Here in Portland, it is so much fun to introduce baby Aaron to everyone who lives here! Here he is with Uncle Mike.
Baby bug is 3 weeks old today!! Along with a weight measurement, I have have to mark on his calendar that he has his first stuffy nose. :( That is such an awful thing when it happens to such a small nose! As a mommy I so desire to protect my baby from every little pain and illness, but of course I cannot. Every time we heal, every time we escape accident, injury or death, I'm convinced it is only the grace and mercy of God's powerful hand holding us all together. We are here to glorify him, no matter how many days we have to do it. The fragility of life I see in my children and in healthy people dying young makes me thankful for TODAY and thankful: "There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, no more fears" --Jeremy Camp (listen to song #10 below)

Sometimes I see such a cute image
looking over my shoulder
when I pass by a mirror,
I pick up the camera to try and capture it:
2 week photo shoot!

He loves to be swaddled!
peaceful slumber while he grows!

FEBRUARY 6 -- Ella is 6!!

We are so thankful to God for our amazing daughter, Ella Rose Pheifer! She has filled six years of our lives with so much delight, humor, and interesting days! As part of her birthday present, she got to go on a shopping trip to pick out some new clothes. So here are some photos of her in her choice of clothing during a "6 year" photo shoot! Isn't she so beautiful?

It was soemthing new to celebrate a birthday in Oregon! Ella was glad to have Gramma Linda make her a "ballet girl" cake. White cake with white 7 minute frosting-- mmm, good choice, Ella! (Don't know why the computer is underlining here & don't have time to figure it out!!)


We had a wonderful week in Kalispell last week --with Adrian scheduled to work there all week, the girls and I tagged along so we could spend evenings with him, and stay in a hotel where there were no cooking, dishes, or laundry to worry about!! We had a yummy hot breakfast at the hotel each morning, ate out each night, and got to see our friends who used to live in anaconda ~ 5 year old twins Keller and Emily! And, daddy spoiled the girls every evening with swimming at the hotel pool!!

On Friday morning we left early to make the drive to Portland. On the way, we got to stop in Plains to say hi to Aunt Sandy and introduce her to Aaron!!