Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dear Corban, You are two...


You have just turned two. You bring us so much joy. A smile remains on your face most of the day. Your smile is contagious. You walk into a room like you own the place. Everyone senses it, and they love it. Attention is often focused on you. Everyone wants to touch your spikey little hair as you walk past them. "Shy" is not in your vocabulary. Everyone is your friend. You will walk up to anyone and say hi and beacon them to interact with you or lift you up. They always want're pretty irresistible. You especially want to hang out with the boys. You will often go up to the most manly looking man to hang out. You are all boy. Oh, you have a very sweet, sensitive side, but you like cars, balls, trucks, tractors, bikes, legos, construction equipment, etc. You play independently pretty well too. You also like to play rough. You charge at people and like to try and bowl into or hit - but always with a smile on your face. We are working on having loving hands. You also have pretty hyper moments where you just want to run around, charge at things (or people) or jump up with both legs in the air and land straight on your bottom. You are pretty obedient and easy to have around. Like everyone, you have your moments, but you are hard to be mad at because when you do the wrong thing, it is with a smile on your face. You also do it blatantly. You will run up to me with a coin in your mouth, open your mouth, smile and then run away. You love the chase. You laugh a lot too. Everything is funny to you. You crack me up and definitely have a sense of humor. You may end up as the class clown. You'll do anything for a laugh. Recently you have been tensing your whole body and shaking all over with a smile if you are getting in trouble. Your sisters adore you. If you do any offense against them, they are quick to forgive. They are more laid back with you than anyone. You are a smart kiddo who understands a lot. You also have a pretty good vocabulary for a two year old. You like to talk. You often talk to yourself in a little whisper. I love it when we are building legos together and you say, in a little whisper to yourself, "Right there. Up High. Right there." You say, "Right there(?)" a lot. I also love how you say, "O Day" (for OK). We call you a parrot because you want to repeat whatever anyone else is saying. The girls will say something, and you'll have no idea what it means, but you'll say it just to be a part of the group. I keep asking you to just freeze right where you are and not grow anymore because you are at such a cute age, and I love how you say everything. "Tank you, Mommy," comes out of your mouth all the time. I appreciate your thankfulness. You will thank me for changing your diaper, cleaning your face or giving you food. You will repeat yourself until I acknowledge that I heard you. Thank you for blessing me with all of your thanks. You know your animal sounds and find humor in books like "Red Hat, Green Hat." You get it. I can't begin to write down the words you know - way too many. I love putting you to bed at night. You ask to pray for bampa (grandpa), ema (grandma), your sisters, Jesus, your stuffed animal dog, or your school bus (the bus that grandma gave Abby on her first day of school was quickly taken by you, and you love to carry that toy around the house). Food is interesting. You seem to be experimenting. One day you'll try new things and enjoy them. Other days you'll decide you don't like the same item. Sometimes you'll just be unwilling to try anything new. For a while, all you wanted was protein and would touch nothing else. Now you are enjoying fruit more, even though you don't seem to like strawberries. You are also my first child who hasn't wanted anything to do with crust. You won't do crusts on sandwiches, and you avoid skin on apples. You still have some skin issues (eczema) and like to scratch yourself causing little marks. We're working on getting that all cleared up. You just started to look more like a little boy - slimming up and getting taller. I'll have to make your two year appointment so we can get all of your stats. You squirm with my but like to cuddle with your dad. You wake up in the morning, often calling for Kenzie. You and Kenzie like to jump in the crib together as a morning time routine. My nickname for you is loco because you really are crazy...a good crazy, but crazy. Corban, I can't imagine life without you. You are such a fun addition to our family. We love you "mo much"...way up to the moon and back, forever and always, no matter what.

Corban is Two

Corban is two years old. Because his birthday is so close to Thanksgiving, and we had competing plans, we celebrated as a family and invited Grandma Durr and Great Grandpa Durr over for dinner and a small celebration. Another component is Corban woke up sick, and he was a bit of a mess. He was teething, barely slept and was just not his usual jovial self. I made him a race car cake with Jeremy at the last minute. I am glad I did. He was so upset that day, but I would bring out his cake if he was sad, and it would cheer him up. I've been trying to train him to say he 2. I'll ask him how old he is, and he'll say, "One!" then he'll pause, smile and say, "Race car cake." He'll then correct himself by saying, "I two." The girls showered him with their own homemade gifts. We got him a balance bike, which he is loving. Here are some pictures from our celebration.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sleeping...or not

The girls have always had a little bit of a tough time going to sleep without bothering each other or staying up for a while. Tonight, Abby came downstairs because Kenzie had been saying that she "hates "Abby. of course, that isn't true, and there has to been something that Abby was doing to elicit those words from Kenzie.
Abby came down to tell us that Kenzie was using bad words and insisted that we give her a discipline. She didn't just leave it at that, she made up a song. It goes something like this...
If you give her a discipline, I can sleep.
If you give her a discipline, I can sleep.
If you give her a discipline,
if you give her a discipline,
if you give her a discipline, I can sleep.

You can guess the notes that go with those words. We couldn't hold back the laughter. :)

Abby - 5 Years Old

Abby Faith - you are five years old, and you are awfully excited about it. Although I'm encouraging you not to rush growing up, you keep coming up to me with so much excitement about how much bigger you are getting. You stand real tall and make me notice how much older you look. You do look older, and you are acting older, but the truth is you weight 39.6 pounds, and you have stayed that way for the last 6 months, despite you willing the scale to say 40 pounds so you are legal for a booster. You have an amazing, contagious smile. You bring joy and excitement to life. I often call you a cruise director because you always have a plan and a thought about what should happen for the day. You have been into announcing that you have an activity planned for all of us. I am actually pretty sure that I am raising myself. You are fun and joyful but also wear your emotions on your sleeve. You really do feel every emotion to the fullest. I can relate, my dear. Luckily, joy is probably your strongest emotion, but we all know if you are angry or sad because those feelings are easily expressed. You love to be goofy and we are trying to teach you when your goofiness becomes a little over the top for the group. You are super smart. You have an amazing sense of direction too - knowing where we are or where to turn to get someplace. You pick up on things quickly and don't have to be taught twice when it comes to learning in an educational sense.  You are reading. It came very easily to you. Yes, we have been learning letters and sounds since an early age, but recently it just clicked. You can now pick up a book (probably 1st grade level) and read with no problem. The other day you read a sentence that included words like "together," "lived," "drive," and "drinking," and you could really just read these. You are beyond ready for kindergarten. Next year should be interesting in that regard. You are absolutely excited for kindergarten. You are super social and never fearful, only excited, about new opportunities. I think you also like the idea that because you are in kindergarten you are now older. When you turned five you came down the day of your birthday with a dress in hand. You said, "It says 4T, do you think it will still fit?" You absolutely love to dress up and are changing outfits constantly. You wear snow clothes in the middle of summer and bathing suits in the middle of winter. Your crazy outfits never cease to amaze me. You love accessories and seem to sport goggles, sun glasses, hats, or anything random you can find at any moment. I do have a feeling the stage may be in your future. You are a leader and people are drawn to you. I'm hoping to train you up to be a loving and kind leader that people can respect and look up to. Sometimes I see your influence moving to a sneaky side. You can also get sassy, so we are really working on that with you. We are also working on picking up after ourselves. You and Kenzie can destroy your room in 5 minutes. I'm thinking that you are not overall type A. That said, You do like to be able to do things right and well at the first try. You can become frustrated if something doesn't come naturally. You have recently learned to snap and whistle. You will display your new skills with a smile, and one hand on your hip. Sometimes you can't make the whistle work because you can't stop laughing and smiling. You are trying to learn to tie your shoes as well. You are loving to your brother and sister and are really working on become a servant leader to them. Every once in a while you and your sister will be at each other, but for the most part you are best friends. You can get a motherly way about you with them. You also are a natural cheerleader, with a gift in encouraging. You have dropped your nap, and we're working on having control during quiet time. Although you were making strides in swim lessons, you have shown some resistance to working with me in the lake on swimming stuff. You are also hesitant when it comes to water activities behind the boat. That said, you have always shown no fear with rides and do seem to have an adventurous spirit. Abby, you bring excitement into our lives. Thank you for your contagious spirit. We know God has great plans for your life, and it's going to be a fun ride with you.

Corban - 20 Months

Dorban!! That's what I call you. I don't know where the nickname came from, but it stuck for me. I also call you "Loco" because you're a little looney...oh, in the best of ways. You are one of those kids that walks into a room confidently, with a huge smile and an attitude like, "What am I going to do first and who is going to think I'm marvelous?" You have a constant smile and everyone always comments on how absolutely adorable you are. You definitely have a twinkle in your eye and enjoy life to the fullest. Humor is big in your life. If you can make people laugh, you'll do it. You'll keep going until people are no longer laughing. You are independent and are fine playing by yourself for quite some time. You are assertive and will make it know if you are are not happy about some sort of personal infringement (mostly from your sisters) by screaming or crying. You have just begun the act of throwing yourself on the ground in some sort of fit if something isn't going your way. We're definitely not going to be responding to that outburst. You definitely have an opinion, like everyone else in our family. You are all boy. If there are other guys around you just want to hang out with the guys. Airplanes, boats and trucks are definitely a favorite. You are constantly pointing them out. Living on the lake, you act so surprised and excited every time you see a boat. You look out the window, get a surprised look on your face and then scream, "Boat," while pointing. You have this fun little point thing right now where you take your pointer finger and move it up and down while you are pointing at something. It's really cute. You have been waking lately and the first thing you say is, "I want daddy. I want boat." You have quite a vocabulary, little man. You are definitely very verbal. You are beginning to put words together too. I am going to try and list some of your words or phrases, but it's a long list, and I know I'll miss tons: ish (shoes), air boon (airplane), boat, mommy, daddy, grandpa, grandma, Abby, Julie, Jenn, Stacie, Emma, choo choo, dog, apple, please (always enthusiastically with a swipe to the chest to include the sign language), thank you (always enthusiastically with the back of your hand to your mouth and away to include the sign language), book (which you love), ball, I want..., Starbucks (yes, this was a new one just said yesterday when you saw the Starbucks symbol on a card), vroom, up, down (you often say "down me"), cup, house, monkey, juice (which means water, milk or juice), bottle, fish, truck, bear....I think I could probably go on and on. You're willing to try any word we throw at you - being successful at some and just throwing out any random letter combination for others. You say them all enthusiastically with a smile though. That's just your nature. You love to dance, and if I turn on the music you get a huge smile and start grooving. I love when I do it in the car, and you are buckled in so can only move your hips slightly and have your arms going in the air.  Big smile - of course. I feel like I need to add "big smile" on every comment about you. You are bow legged, but it's straightening out as you grow. The doctor has said that is what would happen. We just did your doctor appointment yesterday. You definitely shot up recently. You were in the shorter percentile at your last appointment (34% or something like that), but now you are 64% in height, so you had a big spurt. We have all noticed that you suddenly got taller and leaner and are starting to look more like a little boy. You were only in size five shoes for about a month. It's amazing how you bounce back if you get hurt. You bit it on the sidewalk recently, and I have a picture of you with blood flowing from your nose and a huge smile. You sleep in. We keep you up late, but you have had times of sleeping until 10:30 in the morning. Once recently, you even slept until 11:30. You also continue to take a good nap in the afternoon. You love to play with books, the jack-in-the-box, wind up toys, balls, pop up toys, cars and some of your sister's stuff (the stroller, necklaces and princess shoes to be specific). You love to put on other people's shoes. You enjoy being outside and try to escape if the door is left even slightly ajar. Your nature draws people to you. I love the moments of cuddling with your right before bed. I give you the option of getting into bed right away or cuddling. You respond by putting your head on my chest. You often want to begin interacting again, and I'll say, "OK, I guess it's time to go to bed," and you'll throw your head back on my chest. You really understand most everything we're saying, and I can give you a list of things to do or simple directions, and you follow them. You like being helpful. You have an opinion. You are fun. I make you give me "misses" (kisses) often. You are all boy and like to show love physically, thinking it's fun to wrestle, push and hit. We are trying to train you to have "loving hands." We also see a sensitivity in you. If someone is crying you'll often come over and offer a hug or a kiss...always with a smile on your face, looking up for approval. You insist on saying "night, night" to your siblings. You love them both, but seem to have something special for Kenzie, wanting to hug her if she comes down from a nap or when she first wakes up. You are just a sweet, happy, fun boy, and we love having you in our lives. Can't imagine life without you.

Kenzie at 3 Years Old

Kenzie Joy, you are now three years old, and what a joy you are. You are so loved and adored by everyone. You are sweet and absolutely love you siblings. You are patient and loving with Corban. Since his birth and first meeting in the hospital where you couldn't stop kissing you, you have had a very special, unique relationship with him.  You really enjoy being with Abby, for the most part. Every once in a while you can really get on each others nerves, but for the most part you are best friends. You are willing to play with her and do her ideas, but definitely have your own opinions and will make them known. You are assertive. You really have a helpful spirit. Cleaning isn't really your thing, but you love to get things for people and do things for people. You like to serve in your own way. Actually, a little bit of everything is done in your own way. You like to do things on your terms, but you are learning to yield your will at appropriate times. You have gotten so much better at responding, "Yes, Mommy!" We're working on it and have some growth to do, but I love that you are strong and have an opinion too.  You have a quirky, goofy way about you that makes you a lot of fun and unique. You are absolutely beautiful, and I often look at you knowing that as an adult you are going to be stunning. Your glasses are super cute, but you have been taking them off a lot lately, and we find them in lots of places. We have had to replace them quite a few times, and we are trying to work on that with you. You are a smart kid. You want to learn everything that older kids are working on. Abby recently learned to snap, and you saw her practicing and trying, and even though you are two years younger than her, you picked it up right away. You also want to try and read and often make up stories so that you can feel like you are reading. You know all of your letters right now and most of your sounds. You are starting to be better with a pencil and are drawing things that make sense - like a sun or the starts of a person. You love to sing and are singing often. You'll actually turn anything into a song. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a talent brewing there. You dress up often. You have also been really into layering your clothes lately. You'll sometimes come down wearing a skirt, a shirt, tights and two dresses over it all. It's completely goofy, but it's just you right now. I love when you choose to curl up on my lap. You make the perfect little ball to hold when you tuck your knees in tight. You continue to challenge us when you want your own way, and your first reaction to things not going your way is an immediate yell or crying moment. We're working on that too. I love how tough you are. I can always count on you to bounce back right away if you fall or get hurt. You'll often say, "I'm OK." You have more of an interest and talent in balls and active things. I'm wondering if you'll be interested in sports. I need to do more with you to see if this will be an interest. I would love to go to your games to watch and cheer you on if this is of interest. Being in the water initially intimidated you, but over the last few weeks you have been a completely fish. You still don't like to put your face in the water. With a life jacket on, you will now cruise up and down in our swim area at the house. You'll be in the water when no one else is there and swim between the beach and the ladder at the end of the dock. It seemed to be an overnight transformation. It actually first occurred with Elena's encouragement at Grandpa and Grandma Durr's house on 4th of July. Like I said, you always want to keep up with the older kids. I actually see a spirit of competition in you too. You have had no fear when it comes to things on top of the water. You'll be the first to jump into a tube behind a boat or on a jet ski to go fast. You have shown no fear on amusement park rides. These things you were doing at age two. Kenzie, we love you more than you can think or imagine. As I always say, "I love you so much...way up to the moon and back...forever and matter what."

Changing it Up

OK - So if you ever check into this blog, you'll wonder where I've disappeared to. Most of you will know I've started a new blog at That's where I've been. I don't really see much purpose to be double posting. However, there are a couple elements to this blog that I don't want to let go of, which are a bit more family oriented. I plan to use this as journaling about what is happening with my kids as they grow. I want to still be able to have them look back and learn about their growth. So, that will be the main purpose this this blog now. Post will be infrequent, but it will still be a way to document for them mostly. If you want to check in, you are more than welcome.

Monday, April 2, 2012

DeyArmin Going Away Party

Our wonderful friends, the DeyArmins, are headed out on the mission field with Village Missions. They are going to lead a small, country church that has a congregation that is dwindling. As Drea is one of my closest friends, she is going to be missed dearly. We let her go because it's obvious that God has for her at this time. I helped co-host a going away party for her and her family.

Valentine's Day Party

Valentine's Day...another reason to celebrate. I like to host parties for the kids and buy some Oriental Trading crafts to do. This has become a fun tradition for different holidays.

Rachel's Baby Shower

My friends, Rachel & Ty, are adopting a beautiful little girl from Ethiopia. We're anticipating the call any day that they can go pick her up. We wanted to celebrate her joining her forever family by giving Rachel a Shabby Chic Baby Shower...right up her alley. It was a great celebration.