First days of school, Leyton & Finn

Leyton started 1st grade last week! He’s officially a grader, as he says :) These school transitions are pretty easy with Leyton. He loves the structure and the activity of school, that there’s really no fear or hesitation when it comes to day 1. He was a little shy when he met his teacher, Mrs. Dargay, the week before, but was so excited to see his name on his desk, along with the names of a couple other friends he knew. We decided to put Leyton in Lincoln Elementary, his White Bear Lake school for half of the year and then when we move, he will start at the new school. We are hoping to be in the house sometime in January, so he will make the change then. Being the social and adaptable boy he is, we feel good about moving him halfway through the year. Until then, this is a much easier drive for us! And he was thrilled to join his old friends. We’re so proud of Leyton and how great he is with getting along with others and having such a fun, positive attitude all the time. It’s pretty sweet though.. without fail, every morning so far as we turn somewhere around 4th street, I pray for our day. I watch him in the mirror squirming around, stretching, yawning, telling me his belly hurts. Those are his nervous signs :) When this first happened, I asked him how his stomach was feeling and he said, “it doesn’t hurt like I’m sick. It’s just those scared feelings in my belly.” Sweet boy! He did this last year for the first couple of weeks, after the nerves wear off and he gets more comfortable!

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Finn is starting his second year of preschool, at Eagle Brook church in White Bear. I drop him off every Tuesday and Thursday after dropping Leyton off so it works pretty well. After Finn’s emotional few weeks around here, I was a little concerned if he’d be ready for this. But, when we went to meet his teachers earlier this week, he saw a few friends he knew from last year and jumped right in! He gave Leyton and my mom the full report of the kids he saw and the names of his teachers. I was relieved! Again, I think this structure will be a great thing for him. Finn is still in speech therapy twice a week for his stutter. His progress goes up and down, which they say is normal. His teachers/therapists and doing such a great job.. so we will be patient and help him how we can! We’re so proud of our big boy! I can’t believe he’ll be 5 this year.. that’s just crazy! The boys wanted some silly pictures with him this morning :) Love these boys!

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The 4 kid update!

I guess this is just the new norm around here.. must less frequent blogging and very sparse updates. I blame it on 2 sort of obvious things.. Instagram being the new mini-updater, and, just way too much going around here to remember all the little updates! I knew my updates from kid 1 to kid 4 would be much different but I still want to remember as much as I can about this rapidly changing stage of life! So here’s the broad update on each child.

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Leyton will start 1st grade next week! We are both so excited for school to begin. As much as I love the chaos and the spontaneity of summer, school is a very great thing for Leyton. He loves the structure, all the different activities and the social life! He definitely feels a lot older lately. Although he is still “young,” he gets bored easily with the little ones and can only do so much toy playing before he resorts to wrestling and running circles around the house. He and Everett are a little too much alike. Everett will do anything and everything that Leyton does, which means they rile each other up and drive everyone else crazy haha! Leyton and I seem to clash a little more lately and it seems like a huge chore to get him to obey even the simplest things. I’ve seen this happen every so often and I honestly think that sometimes he needs a break from me. There are days when I feel like all I do is say no to him, which is so exhausting and I really don’t like it. But there are still enough times when he is so sweet and surprisingly thoughtful that help me get through this stage. Leyton and I went on a bike ride the other day, just he and I and it was so sweet to be with just him. It reminds me all the great benefits of having an older, more self sufficient child and it was so great to have real conversations with him. I will always have a special place for my firstborn!

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Finn! Finn’s been a little more of a mystery lately. Since moving to my parents, he’s put his full range of emotions on display and seems to be having a more difficult time with all the change. We’ve know this about him, that’s he more sensitive and more emotional than his brothers. Whereas before, he would play so well with either brother, lately he gets angry so quickly if things are going quite right and usually leads to him getting angry and hitting. It feels like I’m constantly mediating and trying to help Finn get those little emotions out and helping him not get so mad. We just pray that his sweet, softer personality won’t be stifled by his more outgoing brothers. That he feels like his voice is heard in this wild family and that all the combinations of siblings would blend so well. And it’s so sweet to see him with Ivy. He loves her! During one of his more frustrating moments, we were talking about who was rooming with who in the new house. I asked Finn who he wanted to room with and he said, “you Mom! Or Ivy.” My sweet boy.

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Everett’s still a power house and is such a hilarious little guy. He’s tough as nails and such a brute. (I know, what a contrast coming after Finn) I think we made our way out of one of my least favorite and more difficult stages in boyhood and into such a great age. He adds more cute words to his vocabulary daily and is a pretty easy going boy. Easy going in the sense of always being up for anything and always ready for an adventure. If you ask him if he wants to go on a walk/go ride his bike/go find your ball.. anything, the answer is always a huge “ok!” He’s constantly moving, constantly talking and won’t dare be caught watching TV or really sitting down at all. He loves his apple juice, his constant snacks, his hockey sticks and balls of any kind. He loves Star Wars, super heroes and legos. He will do anything Leyton does and he thinks he’s way older than his little age of 2. We love our crazy boy!

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Ivy is such a sweet little thing! I can’t believe tomorrow she’s 5 months old! She’s turning into such a girl. She’s so smiley and so happy and she yaps all the time! Seriously, she loves laying on the floor making so many noises, it’s adorable! We are so lucky to have this little lady in our family. I can’t wait to watch her as she grows up being surrounded by these boys. She loves watching them and smiles constantly at their little faces. Although she’s so sweet, she isn’t the best sleeper at night. Her naptimes are great, but she thinks she needs to eat at night and we’re trying to convince her that she doesn’t. I probably shouldn’t worry about it and let it go because she’s my last baby, but I really miss sleep! We’ll get there. Those chunky cheeks and those bright eyes help me forgive a lot of wrong!

These kids are definitely a lot of work but I am constantly reminding myself that even though this is hard, I wouldn’t have it any other way! We are so blessed with our four!

Cabin Weekend 2016

We had such a fun weekend away! We went to Kevin’s cabin, once again, with the whole Prosser crew. I know I should be used to it by now, but there are moments when we all look around and realize how many little cousins there are! It is so fun to watch them together. First of all, Leyton’s huge and seems so much older to me. The fact that he can get his own food.. he can eat it without needing it cut up into little pieces, or told to “eat 5, no 3, no 2 more bites.. or to seat down, or to quit touching your cousin or else…” (that’s the rest of the crew) It really is so nice! He and Finn and Emeri stick together, and share a bunk bed room together (that’s wild) Then there’s Willa, Everett, McCoy and Shea that group together (they are SO funny), Griffin tags along thinking he’s a big kid, then we have the two sweet little babies, Ivy and Alba. No one really sleeps, there’s at least someone crying at any given time, bedtime is a total circus, but it’s honestly so fun. This year was a downer for Finn. He felt really sick (long story, stomach issues) and went into urgent care while we were up north. He pretty much just laid around, but that’s totally allowed when you’re at the cabin. There’s a lot to do and everyone had so much fun.. I think the pictures speak for themselves!

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Ode to Mallard Ponds Drive

Today we are saying goodbye to our house in White Bear Lake. I am way more emotional that I thought I would be about all this! Luke and I have bounced around two a couple places since being married, but this house, this 5 year house.. this is an emotional move. See, this is the baby house. This is where all my kids were little. We spent so many hours in the house, we made a million memories and saw so many changes.. and now we will leave that behind.

As I pack each room, my mind is flooded with so many memories. Oh, this house. This is the house that we brought our only child Leyton to, and gave him one room for his bed boy bed and one room for his trains. This is the house that I started labor in on a cold December night while a few of our friends were over. And this is the house where I almost birthed our second mystery baby in our master bedroom. And a few days later, we introduced Leyton to his new brother Finn. This is the house where we popped a balloon filled with blue confetti to announce to our friends and family that our third child was a boy. And come June, on our driveway, my sister wrote “Welcome home Everett” to announce to our neighbors that he had finally arrived. This is the house that we brought home our 4th baby, our long awaited baby girl. This is the house where our dog Easton ran around the neighborhood and killed bunnies and squirrels way too often. This is the house where I balled hysterically in the kitchen when Easton’s new owner came to pick him up. This is the house where Leyton took his “first day of Kindergarten” picture on our front porch. The driveway where Leyton learned to ride a bike and where he hit 2 trucks and the neighbors house while hitting golf balls in our front yard. This is the kitchen and the living room that were filled with music on a nightly basis for our family dance parties. The living room where the boys made forts, jumped on the couches and played pillow city. The bathroom upstairs that crammed three little boys to brush their teeth together every night. This is the house where Luke worked in the little room in the basement for two years. The years when we ate a slow, chaotic breakfast everyday as a family. When Luke would take breaks from work to jump on the trampoline and the hockey sessions on the deck stretched into mid morning. This is the house with an office for my photography that eventually transformed into a much used office for the boys. The basement that has seen so many toys come and go. The basement where dad pummeled the boys everyday after work, where there’s constant battles with nerf guns, nunchucks, swords, or the many other weapons that are restricted to the basement. This is the house where the kids logged in hours and hours playing with toys.

The walls of the this house have heard so many hilarious conversations, too much crying and so much laughter. Although we are excited for the next phase, it feels like we are closing a chapter with this house. It feels like the next house is the big kid house. The house they will remember much more than this house. But I will remember. I will remember this sweet, sweet time in our lives. I will be forever grateful for this wonderful house. I can do this next adventure.. as long as I can bring my family with me, it will always be sweet.

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Leyton and Finn’s soccer

 

Soccer was so fun this year! Leyton and Finn were both on a soccer team, and as you can imagine, their experiences were quite different. It took Finn a couple weeks to come around to the idea. And once he did, he mostly just stood there, tolerating it all. He did better during practices, participating in the activities. For games, he mostly just stood there, occasionally making eye contact with me and giving me the thumbs down. But on the last week of the season, something clicked and he was moving! He would run after the ball, yelling “that’s my ball!” He even gave me a thumbs up a couple times. Win. And Leyton was so fun to watch this year! He’s really good! He’s so quick with those long legs and he does so well playing defense and just runs like crazy. Everett loooves soccer. He plays with his friends, kicks the ball around and demands gatorades like the big boys. And of course, Ivy’s along for the ride! It has made our summer pretty busy, but it’s been so fun! Proud of my boys!

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4th of July weekend

And because I have an hour to myself (!).. you will be seeing TWO blogs today. Big day. I haven’t done the best job of getting out my big camera in attempt to document our daily life. I mean, my phone tells a different story.. but I like the challenge of being a little more intentional about taking shots of my kids doing ordinary stuff. So, over the weekend, I grabbed my camera and made the kids smile at me! We had a great weekend. Luke’s been gone the last couple of weekends, so a relaxing, no-schedule weekend was just what we needed. We spent one day at Mimi and Papa’s pool, one morning at Como Zoo and one day at the beach. We are big fans of the beach. My boys do so well and are easily entertained with just sand and water for hours. Leyton was sad to miss the fireworks this year (who stays up til 10 anymore?!), but we did wake him up after he and Finn went to bed so he could light sparklers with the big people. He loved it! It was such a perfect weekend with my wonderful family.

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Ivy Noelle, 3 months

The days are rapidly flying by. Just when I thought things couldn’t get busier, they did. I’m trying so hard to enjoy these summer days with my kids, but I am admittedly consumed with “house things.” We are desperately trying to sell our house, which means we are dealing with showings. Lots of showings. Keeping a house clean with 4 kids is nearly impossible. So in between showings, we just live in our house.. in every single room of our house. Then we frantically clean while trying to explain to the kids why we’re (or mostly I) am frantically cleaning. I am not my favorite kind of mother right now. But, it’s a season and we will survive.

In the midst of all this, Ivy just keeps growing! We have a chunky baby! Her smile takes up her entire face and we can’t get enough. She’s just a round little thing! She’s even given us some little baby giggles. I love that we’re all so used to her being around.. the boys are so sweet and love to hold her and smile at her. Although these last 3 months have shot us into a whole new level of chaos, it seems that life just keeps getting sweeter.

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Leyton’s last day and other huge life events.

Leyton is done with Kindergarten! This is another big first! We’re now officially one of those families that gets all their kids back for the summer.. for better or for worse! Just kidding.. I’m excited. It will be fun to have the whole crew with me, I mean.. crazy, but fun. But enough about me! Leyton is so excited to be done, but he said he is also kinda sad. He made some great friends and his teacher is seriously amazing. I couldn’t be happier with how this first year went for him! His teacher, Mrs. Reeves, constantly commented on what a hard worker Leyton was and how seriously he took his “job.” We’re so proud of him! He really loved the structure and the full schedule that Kindergarten brought. He loved Phy Ed the most, then recess and lunch. He also loved his music class and the free drawing time during school. He had a “team” of boys that play together.. Brenden, Keanen, Noah and Flint. I love that he made so many good friends! Here’s the photos from today. The required last day photo, our lounging day with the other kids and picking him up from school!

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And because this blog is a sort of diary for me to record this crazy life we live.. let’s play catch up on all the events that happened over the past week. Here goes. I will unfold this little piece of news in the weeks to come, but for the VERY short story.. we are in the process of selling our house (ah!), and we purchased land (ah!) in Lino Lakes.. to build a new house on! (ahhhh!) I mean, that’s big news! It’s all moving fairly quickly, and has just added some extra chaos to the background of our life. And then for more big news, Nate and Britt had their 3rd baby girl last Friday, same day as Everett’s birthday. The next day, my sister got MARRIED. And without being too blunt, Luke’s grandpa passed away that same day. So, so much happened. We were wondering if all these big life moments would pile on top of each other, and they sure did. We celebrated brand new life in baby Alba, we celebrated a beautiful new marriage in Nathan and Erin. We reflected and celebrated the life of Luke’s grandpa Joe. We are grateful for all that God has blessed us with and even through all the busyness lately, God has been so faithful!

Happy 2nd birthday Everett!

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Our little buddy is TWO! This feels a lot like when Leyton turns another year older.. it doesn’t phase me too much. I mean, it’s crazy! That another year has passed and our whole family is growing up. But, Everett is one of those that seems older than he actually is. He’s starting to communicate a lot more. His vocabulary is at that sweet spot where he knows just enough to understand us and communicate what he needs to, but his little two or three word sentences are so cute. He still says funny words like “du-du-du” for dinosaur, and “acca-ball” for soccer ball and “gof cus” for anything golf related. And yes, most of his vocabulary is sports words. And he loves his “yar wars” (Star Wars), “yorts” (shorts) and “yous” (shoes). He really loves that he can talk. He loves it a little too much. Especially in the car, he won’t let 10 seconds of silence go by. He’ll yell “mommy! mommy! mommy!” until I respond.. then he yell “digger!” so loud.. or “bulldozer” or “hockey!” He just yells, all the time. Haha, such a big personality.

He loves life probably more than anyone I know. He’s always up for wherever we bring him and gets excited about everything. This kid LOVES sports. It’s crazy. When Finn grabs a toy to play with, Everett grabs a ball. When we leave somewhere in the car, he wants to bring a ball to bounce off the back of the seat. When we’re outside, he finds the balls, the baseball bats, the golf clubs, the hockey sticks.. anything. If they had soccer for 2 year olds, we’d sign him up. At the boys soccer practices, he brings along his own soccer ball and kicks it all over for the hour that we wait. It’s so crazy and cute to watch! (and it’s funny for me, because I have zero sports in my blood).. He’s still quite the wild man, but we’re in a better phase with him. He does still throw food at the table, push and hit people when he feels like it, but he’s starting to understand that there’s consequences for those types of actions. It’s a start. He loves his brothers and has a unique relationship with each of them. He is wild with Leyton and they get pretty rough together. And he loves to play toys or in the sandbox with Finn.. I guess you could say he has a good mix of wild and quieter times. And he’s SO sweet with Ivy. Every morning he kisses her and asks to hold her. He’ll get her pacifier if she needs is and loves to help. It’s the best.

We LOVE our little/big guy and cannot imagine this family without him. It’s no small task to raise this kid, but it’s SO fun to watch him grow and we are so proud of him! Love you Everett!

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Happy 33rd Birthday Luke!

This is coming a couple days late, but that just means we had a wonderfully full weekend, no time to blog! We celebrated Luke’s birthday, celebrated a bachelor and a bachelorette (it’s wedding week for Erin and Nathan!), and hung out with tons of family. We spent Sunday, Luke’s birthday and his parents house surrounding but all of his family! It was all so wonderful.

We love you Luke and wouldn’t be where we are without YOU! You are the most hard-working, fun, loving, easy going, hilarious man. We are all so lucky to call you ours! Happy birthday!