Monday, April 17, 2017

Our Weekend and Our Monday:

Easter weekend was lovely.

Friday night we had a family movie night. We finally got around to watching Bambi. The boys loved it but Ezra and I couldn't get over how much different the movie was from the book. The book is SO much better. It was almost hard for me to watch the whole thing because I wanted it to be like the book so badly.

The Easter bunny came to our Friday night and the boys were surprised to have baskets and eggs Saturday morning. I love watching them search for the eggs around our little house. Oliver was the coolest, I can't get over how quickly he got the hang of filling his basket!

We went to another little Easter egg hunt at church later Saturday evening and the boys were able to get even more candy and eggs. We have wayyyy too much candy over here now.

We went to church Sunday morning and I was able to perform "I stand all Amazed" in a cool arrangement and was so grateful for a friend who played the piano for me. Eli bounced his way up to the rostrum and stood next to me (I am sure he was smiling although I couldn't tell-- I was singing and wringing his wrist in my hand ;)

After church, Marshall took the boys on a walk while I prepped our Easter feast. I love hosting (even without an oven!) My mom was there to help me peel potatoes and eggs. I don't think I would have gotten it all done in time if she hadn't helped.
Dinner was delicious and we were happy Marshall's parents and brother were able to make it.

We have been taking cheesy holiday photos of our growing family since the beginning of time and as crazy as it can be to get all of us to look at the camera, we do it! And I am so happy we do! It is so fun to see how much our family has expanded and to see how much the boys have grown. Here is our photo from last Easter. Oliver looks like a baby!

Oliver was extra snuggly with Marshall this weekend. He would give him real hugs and would follow him around like a shadow. He also isn't usually so attached to his pacifier either but we saw the pediatrician a week or so ago and she noticed a couple teeth in the back making their way through and I have a feeling this is the reason for all the love. Marshall milks it when he can. :)

Ezra found my phone and kept trying to take pictures of me gathering the garbage to get it out to the curb, there was no way I was going to let him get away with that, so I told him I would pose for him. He loves to take pictures and even a post gym photo at 6 am, I  had to let him. I am 28 weeks- Still making it to the gym at 5 am! Hoping to keep on going until I no longer can!

 I caught Oliver reading to his puppy. Marshall caught him reading to him, sharing food with him and tucking him in for nap this weekend. I think Oliver is ready to be a big brother. He is really so sweet and kind(To his puppy) To his brothers? He is a tank!

Ezra practically BEGS to work in the salon, he knows this is the only place in the house that I will
"hire" him to work for pay. We don't do allowance at our house, because being a part of a big family is a lot of work, just comes with the territory. So, he needs to find "work" to earn money for the things that he wants. I am a strong believer in the value of hard work and the experience that can come from hard work. All on his own, he started a little business.

He made tiny little "stop" and "go" signs with the appropriate colors, paper, tape and straws. He really wanted to sell them for $2 a piece. We talked about who his market was, who (the consumer) was and how/when/why they could use or need his product. He then lowered his price to $.10. 
Eli was a happy costumer this morning and bought a sign and an Easter egg filled with little sheep (with sweet custom drawn faces taped to them) filled inside and then wrapped the outside of the egg with special foil. (Ezra spent a long time making the little cotton ball sheep and this was really hard for him to sell. I loved watching how he dealt with this) Eli purchased both items for .25. Ezra was feeling pretty confident in his first sale.

So confident, in fact, that he made a sign and put it outside our front door that reads,

(I really don't want anyone coming to my door, but I have to leave it here, right?)

He asked if I knew anyone who would hire him for work, so I asked some trusted friends 
to let me know if they needed a helping hand and let them know what kind of experience he told me had. I love his ambition and persistence. He's going places, people! I love watching his drive!

The weather couldn't have been more perfect. I packed the boys up and we went to the local nature center. They love hitting the trails and running free.

Ezra couldn't believe how heavy these antlers were. It was fun to remind him how Bambi grew into a handsome stag and probably antlers similar to these.

And a leg like this one....

 Oliver loved getting out of the stroller and running wild in the nature center with his brothers. I can't always let him out of the stroller, especially at places like this. Oliver is becoming a lot more obedient and compliant. He follows his brothers around pretty well, and will run off if he has a chance, but was good about staying close today. Thank goodness!

After the nature center and lunch, the boys had a nice quiet time together. They cut up paper and were making more crafts. They also jumped on the trampoline  and blew bubbles outside all together up until Marshall came home from work.

Later on this evening, Marshall took the boys to their very first gymnastics class. They LOVED it.
Marshall said Eli was running from one station to the next and was in his own little world. Eli said he like the rock wall the best (even when he wasn't supposed to be on it). Marshall also said that Eli was jumping and doing somersaults left and right. I can't believe he still had energy after the busy day we had.

          Ezra was a good listener and he enjoyed the hanging bars the best. Ezra said he had a lot of fun and that the time went by so fast.  I am so glad that we signed the boys up for this. They need to move their little bodies!

This week is going to fly by, I can just feel it!

Have a great week!

Monday, April 10, 2017

My Monday::

Mondays are hard. It is so hard to get back to the grind. Marshall woke up with a bad case of the mondays (Which is SO unlike him, but he had a restless night sleep) So, by default, I had to step up and keep it together first thing in the morning. I made it to the gym and it seems like every time I go now people are curious to know how I am feeling, when I am due and if this is my first baby. I am often surprised at their comments, but also extremely amused and am happy to humor them.

When I got home from the gym, the house was still dark. I slipped off my shoes and crept my way to the kitchen when Ezra made his way to me and wrapped his little arms around my ever growing waist. I love how sweet he is when he wakes up. 
He made is own egg burrito with pride (and a little help with the egg from dad)
Eli stumbled in later and asked for some cereal and Oliver woke up his usual happy self. 
I usually try to get all the boys their breakfast and sneak away for a shower while they eat but today, they ate while Marshall gathered the trash to get out to the corner and while I ... (cough cough...) watched.

I was able to put on a podcast for the boys that distracted them just enough to get a shower. Thank goodness.

After getting myself ready for the day, I hustled around getting the boys dressed and ready for the day.

After they were ready, Eli and Oliver insisted on getting outside to jump on our new trampoline (By the way! We got a trampoline! I had been talking about it for a little while and figured Saturday was the day to get one and assemble it. It took us most the day,  but I am happy we did it when we did! The weather was perfect to be in the yard!)  It was pretty chilly this morning but the he boys jumped and jumped until I literally had to drag them by their feet to come back inside.

I had a client in the morning- pretty quick appointment. This allowed the boys to watch their new favorite Youtube channel "What's inside" for a little while before we had a little lesson.

Today, we learned about Symbiosis and the relationships that animals have with one another, sometimes helpful and sometimes harmful. This was then related to the relationships that we have with people. We discussed the importance of choosing good friends. It was well received from the boys. I am so grateful that they are able to grasp the importance of these topics even at such a young age. 

After lunch, I was exhausted. I laid Oliver down for his afternoon nap and reminded the boys it was quiet time (their usual much needed time after lunch that they can practice some self led independence and creativity.- aka. my most favorite time of the day) Today, Ezra grabbed a book and tape that I forgot that we even owned. "Rough Faced Girl" it's a native american take on Cinderella and the boys love it.  They figured out the cassette tape on their own and looked at the book until it was over and then made their way downstairs to play legos together. They were quiet the entire time (which doesn't always happen) 

Afterwards, Ezra grabbed some of his reading books and him and Eli snuggled up to where I was, and he read them to us. He has come so far in his reading, I am so excited for the worlds that will be open to him through good books. I have found that he has been eagerly reading things over my shoulder, mail that comes in, magazines, ANYTHING and he is trying to make sense of anything that his eyes lay on. It's so fun. 
Eli is learning so much from watching and being apart of it. It's been an awesome thing to be a part of.

Eli had another eye appointment today to see how well his vision is doing.
He definitely still needs his glasses. but he will no longer need to patch! Hooray!! At least not for the next 4 months or so. He is happy about this, but he says also a little sad because he likes being a pirate.
I love this photo of Eli. He sat and studied these fish so intently. He told me about almost every one and their "families"
I was convinced he was correct about most of their names, I mean... what do I know?!

Eli is so used to being at the doctors and eye doctors now that it is almost like a second home to him... he kept wanting to take off his shoes and get comfy. He is also such a patient little patient.

Ezra was at his buddy's house and was so excited to have some time to play with him. I loved hearing about the good time that he had over there. We were able to tie our lesson earlier in by talking about his friendships and how he can be a good friend and how he is able to choose good friends. I could tell he loved that we were able to relate this back to him.

Eli was exhausted after dinner and fell asleep almost instantly.. as he-man (This is Oliver's mask that Eli is "borrowing" for the night) You may even notice that Eli's glasses are still on under that mask-- by the foggy lens smashed up against the pillow. He HAS to sleep with his glasses on, he says.

And here is the best shot we could get of all of after church yesterday. (Thanks, mom for the photo!)
We even accidentally all matched!

We finalized some plans for Easter and we are looking forward to hosting another year! I love to have people over and I love that my kids are recognizing solid traditions that we have and carry out.

I love that they are making memories and enjoying these times that we share with our family.

Happy Holy Week-
I am planning on discussing daily with the boys a little of Christ and his life all the way up to Sunday.

Have a wonderful week.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fun Facts Friday:

Eli had a bad dream last night and slid into bed next to me.
As he snuggled in close and calmed himself down, he noticed the ceiling fan and said, " You guys have a nightmare smasher!" I didn't understand what he was talking about until he repeated it a couple times and thought that was the most clever and creative thing I had heard at 1 am in the morning. I love his imaginative mind! I was excited to talk to him about it this morning.

This week went by so fast. With two birthdays in the family in one week, it can get pretty exciting around here! I feel like almost every night there was lots of food and cake leftover. 

I was able to take a couple pictures of Marshall with the boys on Marshall's birthday and I am happy that I did. It has really been a long time since I've tried to get them all in a photo together and it is so incredibly obvious how much they love their dad. Ezra, especially. I could not get him out of the photos! 

Ezra's eyes closed says it all, doesn't it? He loves his daddy!

We went out to Benihana (our/my favorite!) with our good friends, and it was delicious and so much fun! 

It has actually been a while since we've gone on a date, it was so good to get out! (Thanks to my mom for watching the kiddos!:)

We made it to the library and loaded up on all our favorite books. The boys LOVE the library and even though we happen to fill our book bag to the max with mostly silly books-- I just love their enthusiasm towards books and reading. We literally do it all day, everyday. 

Oliver had his 2 month wellness check and is doing great! He is such an awesome kid and makes having a fourth child not as daunting or overwhelming because he has been so easy! Thanks, Kid!

He is non stop helpful, talking up a storm, loves to be outside in the dirt, becoming much more independent and loves his own things! I can't believe how grown up he is becoming.

He seemed to celebrate a little of his birthday everyday, too. He got cards in the mail from all over! He felt so special and very loved. (Thanks for the card/gift Great - Grandma Solheim)

Grandma and Grandpa Solheim also dropped off a little teeball set, which he also loves!


I was resting inside on the couch and woke up to silence... and the back door open. I immediately shot up and ran outside calling for the boys. I couldn't see them or hear them. But then, I heard Ezra's sweet voice, "We are right here, mom" 

They were playing on the opposite end of the deck completely out of sight. The rolled an old log out from underneath the deck and got all their digging tools. They were digging into the log and discovering things all on their own. They were telling me in rich detail what would happen to the inside of the log when they used certain tools and even the bugs that they were surprised to find. I loved their discoveries. I loved their independent and free minds as they worked together to examine a simple old log in the backyard. I imagine the log being happy to sacrifice it's insides to be dissected by two imaginative young boys during their "quiet time".

Oliver has grown pretty protective over the outside toys, trucks, cars, sticks, and rocks. He is claiming his territory!

It didn't take us long to read through Bambi- I even took my mind reading it and discussing all the aspects of it because I didn't want it to end. There was something about this book that really spoke to me and I LOVED it! I highly recommend reading this with your children or for yourself, but I sobbed and sobbed!! It was beautiful! Ezra will quote the book, too. I love his love for classic literature and how much he is absorbing through these classics. He is a sponge and it is so fun to be able to learn and grow together through reading. 

Eli, Oliver and I took a trip to target for a few things and this was the first time Eli has openly expressed wanting something. So, we took a photo of him holding it so he can remember it and we can think about what he can do to earn it. (if he still wants it later on...)

This was a busy week and next week we will be starting some new things for school time. I am looking forward to Shakespeare and some fun science lessons.

We are also really excited for the warm weekend! We will most definitely be taking a walk to the "ice cream store" (dairy queen) as a family! Honk if you see us! ;)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Marshall's 37!!!

"What do you love about Dad?"

Ezra - "I love daddy because he teaches me stuff."

Eli- "Because he loves me"

Oliver-"I love.. datty!"

I love Marshall. I love Marshall more every day. Every year. I have fallen in love with him more because of the man he has become through fatherhood and the experiences he has gained as a husband, as a provider and a man of God and Christ and as a person. I feel like I have had the unique privilege of having a front row seat to watching him become HIM. I love when I have an opportunity to tell the world how wonderful it is to have this man by my side through life and everything life throws at us.
 Marshall is kind, wise, patient, smart, confident, well spoken and thoughtful. He is genuine and means very well with all that he says and does. He is goofy in a "dad" kind of way- which is endearing and slightly awkward and funny at the same time. He has the smily-est eyes on the planet and the most sincere spirit. If you were an ant on the wall in our home, you would see all the things that I am telling you. You would see that he puts everything on hold to care for his children and the needs of others before doing any thing for himself. He will pause all conversation to lean down and explain and teach the boys a lesson on something as simple as a word definition or as complicated as tying a shoe.

 I love him! He deserves all the joy and love and happiness that he is given. We are blessed to have him in our lives- as the patriarch of our family and as the man at my side. Happiest Birthday, Marshall. I love you.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Oliver's Birthday and My Monday::

Oliver's birthday was small, golden and extra sweet. It happened to fall on General Conference Sunday, which kept us in together as a family and it was amazingly sweet. We weren't rushed or hurried to get anywhere and we were able to snuggle on each other all day. We don't really do much for birthdays and I was feeling a little sad that we didn't have anyone over to celebrate him for his Golden birthday, but Marshall reminded me how sweet it was that is was just us. 

Marshall and Oliver practically share birthdays. Marshall turns 37 tomorrow and we (I am) are really excited for our birthday dinner date at Benihana!

Oliver loved his Birthday. He was sung to immediately after he woke up and was serenaded many more times throughout the day. He blew out his own candles (I am pretty sure) and took down his cake like a champ. He was given the coolest He-man toys from a friend of ours and we also picked him up a couple things that his big brothers have completely monopolized, but Oliver doesn't seem to mind sharing ;)

We have a very sweet Auntie (Emily) who never forgets a birthday, and sent Oliver the funnest Elmo card. He loved it!

It isn't until I pull out the camera and have to blow the dust off it to realize how terrible I have been about documenting our lives. I am trying to be better about it- let's start from here.

My Monday morning went as usual. I am still waking up around 4:45 to hit the gym. I am trying not to lift as much or as heavy as I am used to with my growing body. I walk on the treadmill for almost 40 minutes just to get my body to move (Especially from lounging all weekend) My body is starting to slow down and tell me to rest a little more these days. 4th pregnancy, definitely feels like a 4th pregnancy. I feel large and in charge, people!

When I got home, I got the boys their breakfasts and got out morning going. We are on a new value for the month of April- Unselfishness and sensitivity. We discussed ways that we can be unselfish and sensitive to one another today and the boys really took it to heart. Ezra was exceptionally helpful today and Eli was really open about why he didn't really want to be. I wasn't thrilled about him not being as helpful but was really proud of how assertive he was in explaining his reasoning to why he didn't want to. 

Ezra made Oliver a little nest that they could hide and sleep in together, Until Ezra willingly cleaned it up on his own without me hounding him to do so.

Ezra and Eli also jumped at the opportunity to pull their bedding off their beds and help bring them down stairs to the laundry to have them washed. This is an all day chore. I am so grateful for a washer and dryer. I don't know how women did laundry back in the day. It is a LOT of work with a family! (Although, I supposed they may have all shared a single bed)

After breakfast was all cleaned up, we got ready for the day and settled into our routine. I had a couple appointments before lunch which allows the boys some screen time. Today, they watched a documentary of how Bambi  (the movie) was made. It was interesting for them since we are current;y finishing up Felix Salten's Bambi- and LOVE IT! They boys and I have been spending our afternoons reading and discussing together all sorts of awesome things we are learning from the book and it has opened our eyes and hearts to the lives of animals in the woods. 
I can't get over Ezra's love for books and stories. And Eli's curiosity and eagerness to keep on reading. We know the movie won't be anything like the book (for obvious reasons) but we like to make Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast the differences from the book to the movie- so the movie will come when we (get in the mail- thanks ebay) and when we finish our book (probably tomorrow!)

Before Marshall gets home, we usually race around picking up the house and getting ready for dinner. 
After dinner we had a short and sweet Family Home evening on the Resurrection of Christ in preparation for Easter that we are looking forward to.

Tomorrow will be another exciting day as we celebrate Marshall's birthday and boy, am I happy he was born!

Here's to updating the blog and neglecting the load of unfolded laundry for doing so!