Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oregon Coast 2011: Newport Aquarium

On Sunday we all drove down to Newport for lunch and then to visit the Newport Aquarium. The kids loved it, it was probably one of their favorite things of the entire vacation. All 5 of the kids were really well behaved and had so much fun looking at all the animals.
The boys checking out the sharks with Aunt Katie.

They had an entire room where we could touch some of the underwater animals. Jax loved it, Colt was a little apprehensive at first but once he got over his initial fear he loved it. It was really fun to see how much Colt loved it, he could have stayed in each place forever watching the fish, sharks, etc.

Case was having a meltdown after the first hour and needed to eat so I went outside to feed him and Dave came by after and took my picture. I think after three kids you get pretty good about feeding in public, to most people it just looks like I was holding a baby.
This place was a definite highlight of our trip. I really want to take the kids to the Portland or Seattle zoo in the future. Colt and Jax were mesmerized by all of it and it really held their attention. After the aquarium we went down to the water front and picked up fresh shrimp and oysters for dinner. Dave barbecued oysters and we had oyster shooters along with shrimp salad. YUMMY!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oregon Coast 2011 : Tidepools

 After 2 days at Depoe Bay we moved to Gleneden Beach, that evening we decided we wanted to go see the tide pools. Unfortunately, the place we went wasn't too great so we didn't get to see much but we definitely made some memories. It started with everyone getting ready to go and Jax and Case screaming their heads off. Jax because he had just woken up from a nap and was not happy and Case wanting to be fed. Most everyone left to the beach to see if they could catch some tide pools at low tide while Dave and I along with Mike, Julie, Taylor and Randee stayed behind to help us out. After we got our kids settled down we finally were able to leave and join everyone else. Dave and I are constantly having to remind ourselves how much time and work it takes to go someplace with all three kids, especially when the meltdowns occur. Anyway, it wasn't the best evening but we did get some fun pictures.
Heading out to find the tide pools.
Mike and Randee

Colt holding his Poppi's hand.
Andy and Calvin.
Our only attempt at a family photo the entire vacation. Big FAIL!

Colt checking out the water. He had a serious issue with sand, the ocean and getting dirty the entire trip. He is very cautious and all the new scenery and things to do had him definitely out of his element.
Love my Jax-man.
Sweet Case.
Aunt Katie!! We were all so excited she joined us on this trip. Her and her husband Travis live in Louisiana, Katie is a nurse and Trav is in the army. He is deployed right now in Afghanistan and we didn't think Katie would be able to make the trip because of work. She surprised ALL of us (except for Julie and Andy) and showed up the day before we were supposed to leave. It was a great surprise for everyone.

Heading back to the condos.
Honestly this evening was not the most fun. It was alot of walking in sand, carrying kids and all their stuff, getting sand off their feet and ours, etc. I don't say to this complain I just want to remember how it really was, there are times when vacationing that we try to do too much and we forget just how little our kids are.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Oregon Coast 2011: Depoe Bay

We went on vacation to the Oregon Coast with Dave's family. Dave's parents have a time share and treated everyone to a nice family vacation. We had 14 people total on the trip and two condos. We stayed at Depoe Bay the first two nights and then moved over to Gleneden Beach the next 5 nights (they are both very close to Lincoln City). We had a great time and did a lot of fun things; swimming, the beach, the Newport Aquarium, flying kites, early morning runs on the beach (Dave's sister Katie and I!), yummy food and lots of laughter. The weather was perfect, sunny most days and in the high 60's. That is my kind of perfect summer weather, it was still warm enough to swim most days with the sun and the heated pool and for the most part we didn't freeze too bad.
 We left at 9am on Thursday morning, we arrived in Depoe Bay at 10 pm. It was a LONG day but we did stop quite a few times including some shopping at the Woodburn Outlet malls so the trip was broken up pretty well and all the boys did good. Jax had gotten a cold the day before we left so he was a little grumpy on the ride over but for the most part it went smoothly.
 The condo at Depoe Bay.
 The view from our condo at Depoe Bay. We stayed there the first two nights, it was pretty cold and foggy and there was no real beach access but it was still beautiful. There was a big grassy area behind our place that overlooked the ocean.
 Memah and Poppi.
 Memah and her girls.

 Dave's sisters. Randee, Katie, Kenzie.
 They had a arts and craft project at the condos, the kids made necklaces. Colt was very into decorating it and doing it himself, Jax was more into telling me the color of each bead than actually making a necklace.
 Memah helping the kids with their necklaces.
Jax and mommy.
Katie had the difficult job of holding Case, this became a common theme of the week. She often referred to Case as her baby.
Cam and Jax. Colt was refusing to be in the picture.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Case : 2 months

Case is 2 months old and such a cutie. He had his 2 month appointment and weighed 12lbs 10oz (75%) and 24 inches (75%). He is smaller weight wise than both the other boys at this point but is between Colt and Jax for height. He still wakes up once a night to eat, usually somewhere between 2 and 4 in the morning. He goes to sleep about 9 every night. He is still sleeping in the bassinet in our room. I am having trouble wanting to move him into his crib just yet even though both the other boys were already moved out by this time. He's my sweet baby and he might just be my last so I want to keep him a baby longer if that's possible (I realize it's not but it helps to hope:)). He smiles and coos all the time and he already loves his mommy, he hears my voice and starts looking for me. If he can't find me he starts crying until I pick him up, Dave doesn't even try to settle him down anymore he just hands him to me because he knows all he wants is me. This may be a problem when work starts back up at the end of August and Dave has to spend the mornings with him. For the most part he is easy going, content and happy. He is strong too, he can already hold his weight on his legs and is always using his legs to push himself around or out of things. Both the boys love him and are constantly kissing on him, hugging him and wanting to hold him. It's going to be fun watching these three brothers grow up together!

Smiling at Memah.
 Case with his superhero lovie.
The big boys insist at all times that Case needs his lovie, I have to watch them because every time I am not watching when I look back at Case he has his lovie over his face:).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Loving...... family of 5!!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My heart is full........

 ......full of so much love for this little smiley guy..........
 .....and full of love for all three of these sweet little boys.
I love Case's expression here, he's like "mom what are you letting my brothers do to me" (in reality they were just giving him "morning kisses" as Colt says).
There are no words to explain what it means to be a mommy to these three boys. With the birth of each of my boys my heart has been filled with so much joy and thankfulness for these wonderful gifts that God has given me. 
They teach me so much about patience, forgiveness and living every day to the fullest.
 Even in the midst of the unknowns about their future, their health and what life will be like tomorrow, one month, one year or twenty years from now I know that the love I have for them will never change.
There is nothing like having another baby in the house to remind you of the pure innocence of children. All babies need are snuggles, kisses, love and more kisses. It's really quite simple, as they get older the demands of what they need grows and grows, it gets complicated and you often wonder if you are doing it right. I question myself daily, but seeing Case is a reminder that all my boys really need is love. If I give them love, show them love and let them know they are loved then I'm really doing okay.
I am in a women's bible study at my church this summer that focuses on the life of David. In discussion we often talk about motherhood and raising kids. A friend of mine, someone whom I respect deeply posted an article on facebook called "Motherhood is a Calling". The entire article was wonderful but there was one excerpt that really spoke to me.

It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.
Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.
Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.
The truth is that even though you may think my life is great, or you know someone who's life seems perfect it's not. We are all struggling with the same thing, all of our kids cry, throw fits, stay up all night, we all fight with our husbands or have bad days. I may only post about the great things here on my blog but don't be fooled my life is probably not much different than yours. The secret to my complete happiness is not really a secret; it's my faith, faith in God that no matter what goes wrong, what challenges I may face, He will be there. I have no doubts about that.