Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Zach was sworn in for the Galesburg Fire Department Monday, February 16th. 
We were so proud of him. 

Zach left SF about a year and a half ago, since then he has been working his butt off pursuing fire fighting. He took a great job in purchasing at Homeway that was able to support us in the meantime while also being able to volunteer in a small town.

So Monday he was sworn in and Chris and Kristi went out with me and the boys to watch it. And by watch I mean the boys shoved handfuls of tic tacs in their mouths and I almost suffered heat stroke trying to wrestle Levi. Eventually I gave up and he walked to the front and Zach held him. Women's hearts worldwide melted in unison. It was a great ceremony and there was a really nice article in their paper too.

16 months is busy! Levi and I were too rowdy for the tour so we played trucks in the foyer at City Hall. 

I'm laughing at this picture in hindsight because in the moment I was positive we were daring death and asked them nonchalantly but firmly to stop raising the bucket. Then Zach's parents got in and went about 3 times higher. Shep cried the next 15 minutes because he was so sad he had to get off.

 Happy family at a reasonable height!

E I G H T is G R E A T

Reagan turned E I G H T  February 7th. Which makes Zach and I around 32. Because it fell on a Saturday he brought treats in to class on Friday. And by treats I mean anything inedible because they have to be multi-allergy free. We can synchronize our eye rolls right... NOW.

Soooo..... I came up with this "Crazy 8s" (like the game) crazy straw gift way way too late Thursday night.

Saturday morning we woke up and got ready for his basketball game. We don't do friend parties every year so we killed two birds with one stone and brought cupcakes to the game to share. Everyone sang happy birthday to him afterwards and he left feeling pretty special.

That night we had his favorites for dinner. Oh and dinner music from Louis Armstrong (why??) per his request (seriously, why?) After searching for a song and having to wait through the instrumental section before the singing began; "Yeah, this is one of his. I recognize his voice." Never have we ever played him 1920s jazz music before.

 Now for some recent quotes shall we...

One night before bed "Jesus should have a forever patent on creation."

Lest you think we are doing some kind of great work in his spiritual walk... "I'm really squeezing the hell out of this clementine."

He doesn't know what a scantron machine is and thinks the machine you put tapes in to watch movies is called a v-chess player.

Saddest quote to date if you understand his relationship with his blanket... "When the world ends and everything burns will blue blankie go down in the fire?"

Zach basically died when he was giving a friend a ride home in the van with Reagan in the backseat and Reagan somehow produced and offered the friend a bottle of BEER. One must have rolled out of a bag and under a seat without my knowing a long long time ago.

He was trying to trash talk on the basketball court and it ended terribly. He referenced a friends skin color as being similar to wood and then said he was going to "light him up" like in the fireplace. It was just all around awful and he had no idea it wasn't appropriate. The friend didn't even really understand either, just ran up to the coach (Zach) and said Reagan "race-d" him.

His Young Authors book was about servicemen (I should just copy-paste the whole book on here one day because it is a GEM) and he interviewed Zach (a firefighter) and our friend Josh (a policeman.) Here he is face timing Josh conducting the hard-hitting interview. If you were to read his notes though you should know to translate every "cat tits" as "tactics."

More about Reagan...

I took him to the doctor for his 8 year well check up (mainly because I wanted to switch his pediatricians to the one the little boys have) and it was the first time he'd been to the doctor in YEARS. The kid just doesn't get that sick. At least not enough to ever need a prescription. His stats at eight years...

51 inches
59.4 lbs

He spills his guts if you are making physical contact with him (i.e. putting your arm around him, etc. not that he is a tough egg to crack in general but we get way more out of him when tucking him in at night.)

He loves the Packers (to his dad's dismay) and the Cubs. Him and Zach have epic Nerf gun battles. He could play Legos for hours as well as video games if we let him. He wants to be in the Air Force when he grows up. Loses everything/needs help finding everything (this I hear is an inherited trait.)

Things we are working on... 

Even though you have something to say, sometimes it's more wise to keep it to yourself. Once we as adults figure that out I'm sure it'll be easier to teach him. wink.

Focusing on the task at hand and staying engaged during things that aren't interesting to him (school work might fall into this category) are things we struggle with but even in the last few weeks I've seen really good strides in this area.

We are slowly giving him more and more independence. I know they say if you don't give them independence then they will just take it. Little things like letting him get water whenever he would like. It's hard because he is the oldest and I think we are much more protective and controlling with him than we will be with the others.

I couldn't have picked a better big brother for our family. He is patient. He is compassionate. He loves. Like really knows what love means and shows it well. He gets what his role is in our family and tries to fill it the best he can. He has a really good heart. One that is concerned with justness and how other people feel. He speaks very matter of fact-ly about his beliefs and asks such good questions. 

In eight more years he'll be able to DRIVE.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Things that have a two year old's signature on them.

Hiding all of my refrigerated condiments under the couch.

Sticking legos in the fire starter thing. A very dramatic lego man at that.

Crumbling pricy bath soap all over my carpet. My bedroom smells very "tropical rain"-like.

A gum-induced hair cut. (To be fair this was not actually self-inflicted. Him and Reagan were wrestling and it fell out of Reagan's mouth. At least that was the story I was told.)

So you may ask where is his negligent mother when all of this goes down? The answer is chasing this monkey down all scalable surfaces.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

LTW -15 months

Length: 31 inches
Weight: 23 lbs 10 oz

A recent milestone for this kid was him getting his first buzz cut from dad. We feel like his personality has just exploded post-cut, super ornery and mischievous now.

He is my first and only climber. I turn around and he is on top of the table. Or the desk. Or inside of a cabinet!

Words: mama, no, and woofs like a dog. The majority of his communication is grunting. I hear younger siblings tend to be less verbal because they have so many others to talk for them. If that is true than this could be the case with Levi. But don't you worry he is a natural at making gun and sword sounds (the soundtrack to our house thanks to three boys.)

Sleeping: He could take two naps a day but then they are both very short so I'm trying to get it down to just one afternoon nap. He practically begs to go to bed between 6:30-7pm. He's usually up by 6:30-7am. The stinker still wakes up at least once in the night because he's lost his paci. I just pop it back in and leave but it is still not my favorite trait of his.

Toys: His favorite toys are non-toys. Brooms, vacuums, toothbrushes, tupperware, tools, sharp dangerous objects, etc.

Weird stuff: he loves to explore dark places like unlit rooms and long, spooky hallways. He opens everything with his teeth.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Christmas Eve
We went to the Christmas eve service at church (which is childcare-less) and even though our feet were littered with raisins and paci's; we survived. It might be my favorite service of the whole year. It's mostly music with a short 10 minute sermon (and a little fake snow) but every year it becomes one of those moments where I wish I could freeze time and take an extra minute to look around at our family and friends... see how much they've grown and say an extra thank you for them. Afterwards Zach's side met at our house to celebrate Christmas.

I found these three amigos doing this (focus on Sof and Shep) while we waited for people to arrive. 

 Our house filled up quickly!

Baby Isaac (one week old) is missing and so is Luba's belly. I know Levi is holding a gun and looks deranged but it was the best we got.

Grandpa and Zach read to the boys before bed. Zach's book is blurry because he is a very theatrical story teller.

Christmas Day

This year, as a two and a half year old at Christmas, Shepherd was very into the first present he would open. Then was morally offended if we asked him to open another, repeating "No, THIS is my present! I no want that one. THIS is my present." So obviously he opened this toothbrush from his stocking and then wanted nothing else the rest of the morning.

Santa of 2015 copied my childhood Santa and attached yarn to one of the presents and made the kids trace the yarn throughout the house to find said present. It was the basketball hoop that OCD Santa made to match our "American Ninja Warrior" course in our basement.

Meiner Christmas

I only took one picture on my phone Christmas day and here she is. It is me trimming Zach's nails on our way to Pontiac and him being pissy about the job I was doing. I snip his skin once! Side note; I sent this picture to my friend that night while we were talking about our Christmas' and she sent me one back of her husband surprising her with a trip to DISNEY WORLD. #notnewlywedsanymore

I wish I would have taken more pictures at Grandma and Grandpa's but it was too crazy (crazy fun, as always.)

Whew! Done and done.