Valentines was great this year. It seems a little bit of our tradition to have at least one person sick. Cache, Ky and I all seem to have a never ending cold to some degree. But it didn't stop us from having fun.
Tayden was the only one that made a box at home. The other boys did theirs at school. And true to Tayden form, he made a football one. These days, that boys eat, breaths and sleeps football.
A funny quote from this oldest boy. As he was holding a pizza on his lap in the car he said, "Wow! These are burning my chubbies!" He has called his thighs chubbies for as long as I can remember and I hope it lasts forever!
Beckett had a great valentines as well. My sister bought the boys some huge bears and he loves it! He had a good time at his party and was not complaining about the candy he got!
And my favorite quote from this funny valentine. Scott was cutting his hair one day and asked if he'd like a haircut like Dads. Becketts response was classic! He said, "Yeah!! Except, not that bald spot. I really don't want a bald spot like you!" He thought Scott was purposely cutting his hair like that. I laughed until I cried!
Cache probably had the best day. He loved his party and celebrating the day of love. He was the most excited to see chocolates on the table from Grandma and Grandpa Packard and couldn't wait to go to his preschool party. His teacher is just the best and took the cutest pictures.
Caches' funny quote still has me cracked up. You have to know cache to understand the beauty of it. Beckett has been having a hard time going down to his room alone. I explained if hes scared, he can switch places with Cache. When I asked Cache about it, he said with the straightest of faces. "Yeah. I have been waiting for that my whole entire lifetime." The facial expression, or lack of, was hilarious. He was so serious!
Kyle is still learning about holidays and just how great they are. He woke up to a cute little raccoon from Grandma and Grandpa Packard and it set the tone for a great day. He carried it around all day and chowed down on his chocolates. The teddy from Aunt JoDell was icing on the cake.
Ky is as silly as they come. He is a little chatter box and copies everything his big brothers say. If you refer to him as anything other than Ky or Kyle, he says, "My name is Kyle, silly!" I feel like we are always laughing at Ky as he figures out how the world around him works.
My favorite Valentine and love my of my life, Scott surprised me some roses. I wasn't expecting anything, but he took the time to make me feel special. Scott and I have spent 12 valentines together and I can't put into words how much we've grown. Our love, though hard at times, is priceless. We don't always see eye to eye, but we have each others back. We are two individuals, but are learning to work as one. There is nobody I would rather learn about marriage with than Scott. He is a hard worker and a good man.
There's a long story and short story to these pictures.
The short story: I donated plasma and they blew up my vein.
The long story: Scott has been donating plasma for a while and has been bugging me about doing it too. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, until there was a great promotion and I decided to give it a go. It wasn’t too bad, in fact I’d even say it was awesome. The chairs are comfy, I got an hour to myself and then they paid me for it. Not a bad gig.
I went the other day and my good vein did a little flip. So, they tried on my other arm. The arm that doesn’t like to cooperate. It worked, but was going pretty slow. Everyone was poking and prodding me trying to make things work faster, but it just wasn’t. So, as they were reinstating my red blood cells, my vein blew up. My arm started to bubble up and I quickly called for help. They stopped everything and pumped me with saline. It was awful.
My arm hurt for a couple of days and I could barely straighten my arm. But, it left me with a sweet bruise. And I’ll never complain about a good bruise!!
Most days, well a lot of days, as a mother I feel like I am failing in one aspect or another. Lets be honest, parenting is hard stuff. Staying at home with four little mongrels is emotionally draining and often leaves me wondering where I am going wrong. It is easy to focus and dwell on those feelings, but yesterday....I did it right. The whole day, I felt like I was doing things right. And though it may sound like bragging, I am so darn proud of myself and want to document it for the days that feel not so right.
It all started when we got up and got ready for church. We made it out the door without any arguing and on time for our 9:00 meeting. 9:00 is proving easier for my family to make on time, in fact we have a regular pew we sit on. That's big time. Sacrament was uplifting, the talks were good and my kids were well (ish) behaved...enough that we didn't have to take anyone out or give them the evil stare down. After the first meeting, we all went our separate ways. My last two hours were extremely thought provoking and I left church feeling good. Really good.
Scott had a meeting after church, so the boys and I headed home without him. We changed clothes, ate lunch and cleaned up the house. Cleaning up the house after church is a major sore spot for the kids, mainly Beckett. But, I can't rest in mess, so it gets clean with or without argument. And yesterday, it was without. I was so patient with the kids. I guided them, encouraged them and played games with them as they cleaned up. The house was done in about 30 minutes, just it time for me to head to my meeting.
I had a scout meeting where I participated and my input was valid and appreciated. I finally feel like I have a good grip scouts and know where I stand and what we can do to improve. It always feels good to be needed and wanted.
I came home and snuggled on the couch while watched the rest of a movie Scott and the boys had started. After the movie was over, we turned off the TV and found other activities to do. We had a nice quiet (to us. Quiet is a relative term these days) afternoon. I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen preparing dinner and talking with the boys. And giving them turns helping me make muffins, or chicken, or rice. When Beckett couldn't wait a minute longer for dinner to cook, instead of cleaning the mess I had made, I sat down on the couch with him and read a book. Soon, all the boys were gathered round and laying on top of me reading the animal encyclopedia until the buzzer went off.
We sat around the table and picked up our conversation from lunch about what we learned at church. Instead of just nodding and listening, Scott and I asked questions. We encouraged discussions and talked about the upcoming week. We all cleared the table, got backpacks ready for school and brushed teeth.
We ended the night with scripture study. We were reading so faithfully the year before Tayden got baptized, but fell out of the habit. Now that Beckett is seven, we are reading the Book of Mormon with him this year, so he can finish it before his baptism. We let everyone take a turn reading and it warmed my heart. Having one extra fluent reader and an emergent reader and two that like to repeat, make scriptures extra pleasant.
We hugged and kissed and sent them on their way to bed. The littlest boys were beat and fell right asleep. Beckett, however, wanted to read more, so he and I cuddled on the couch and read another 15 verses together. My heart soaked it up.
After everyone was in bed and tucked in tight, Scott and I sat down and had our weekly finance meeting. We made new goals and planned how to achieve them. It is such a simple gesture, but I love this time of the week.
Everything settled down and the house was clean and quiet. I read my book while Scott did homework. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and love for the day. Heavenly Father must have known I needed a win and I thanked him over and over that he sent me one.
These are the days that make me say, "I got this!" Its a good reminder that we are greater than we think we are. We are more than we believe. And we are capable of great things.
Tayden had his friend party today. Considering its basketball season, he had quite a few that couldn't make it, but they had fun none the less. Scott showed them how to make marshmallow guns and then they taped them up cool. The plan was to have a war downstairs with them, but our marshmallows were pretty sticky and weren't working so well. So we improvised and used nerf guns, makeshift grenades and threw the marshmallows instead. Here is the different between boys and moms...when they asked to throw the marshmallows, I was thinking one at a time. What they meant was by the handful. Despite the huge disaster, the boys had a lot of fun. It was totally worth it.
Beckett turned seven! Normally I say I can't believe it, but this one I can. B has been acting seven for some time and I have thought him as such. He is the best of the best. He is extremely smart, super duper funny and has more passion than anyone I know. He is quick to get angry, but is learning to control it more and more each day. He is the first to hug me, tell me he loves me and never refuses a cuddle.
Beckett loves to build and use his hands. He is great at math and is getting better at reading. He is a mess and hates cleaning. He eats like a horse and is growing like a weed. He loves his family fiercely and nothing means more to him then love, support and feeling like he is important.
It was his year for a family party. He wanted to celebrate by going to McDonalds and playing the Xbox together, so that's exactly what we did. It was his perfect evening!
Tayden turned nine. Now, while I can believe he's nine, I can't believe I have been a mom for nine years. It blows my mind! Tayden will always be my guinea pig, but he doesn't seem any worse for the wear. He is the best big brother, stands up for what is right and is my right hand man. He has turned into quite the funny man and loves to make people laugh.
Tayden is athletic. He loves parkour, football and baseball. He is aware of his body and so good at movement. He is good at math, a (mostly) fluent reader and loves school. He keeps things tidy and organized, like his mom, and hates to be late. He hates fruit, except apples. He's obsessed with the TV show The Flash and will always try new things.
He is having a friend party in a few days, so we kept it low key tonight. Scott took him to the movie, the we ate yummy dinner and had Rice Krispie treats.
These boys are my world and I wouldn't trade them for a million dollars. I love them so deeply and am thankful everyday that I was chosen to be their mom. Happy birthday, boys!