Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Merry Christmas

What a very special Merry Christmas we had... Just the six of us! It was Malaya's first Christmas and she loved every box, wrapping paper, and bow she could get her hands on!

These two...

I could watch these two forever. Malaya thinks Blake is the best stuffed animal to tackle and Blake loves the attention! Finally, a sibling that doesn't tell him to go away. It's pure chaos in the bathtub. Malaya usually ends the time with red spots all over her forehead from hitting the sides of the tub. She's crazy in the water. Her true dare-devil side comes out because Blake is cheering her on. She dunks her head, stands up, and tries to climb the back of it. Blake laughs and she continues. I've given up trying to make them "respect the water"... Not gonna happen. Instead, I watch the insanity right before my eyes and come to the rescue when needed. Don't worry, I'm there the whole time!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Tradition

Oh Bass Pro Shop... How we love you at Christmas! We run all over your store, play all your games, get a picture with Santa, and then leave without buying anything!
Malaya was focused on the bells they were ringing here and was holding it together because she had the security of her family around her... But take us and the bells away...
It was one of those silent cries... I just wanted her to breathe... Make a noise. And then when she did... Oh she was beside herself. So completely unhappy. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Santa was SO good with her... I imagine he's used to it. He kissed her on the head and just smiled away.  
Love the progression of these next pictures...

I'm the model for the perfect kid!

I can make the best of everything! Life is an adventure!

I think I like this moving thing!
Really? This is supposed to be fun!?
After Bass Pro we head to Christmas lights with the Gomezes. Yes, we take EIGHT kids out at bedtime and make them walk up and down the street looking at lights!
The whole gang!
We have been taking a picture with this Santa since Isaac was a baby!

Malaya was silently fighting sleep. Then I gave her a nice, soft blanket... She was out in seconds!
The big kids!

He's not so Little Anymore

Our first born...
Isaac Timothy.
Oh how he has grown...
In height and maturity!
It's been a tough ride with him, but the bumps are smoothing out and the road is less windy. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Meltdowns that used to last hours and even days are all but a thing of the past. He may still erupt like a volcano but, the cooling process is only a few minutes. He willingly apologizes and sees the need for reconciliation.

He wants to do right...

...and make us proud.

But the struggle between good and evil is so hard in this world... In this flesh.


God's grace!

It's something we practice daily with him.
 We love this little man so much and want him to be the best version of himself.

Soon he'll be taller than me!
Good Citizenship Award
His teacher, Mrs. Medeiros, is so inspiring. He's finally loving school!
(just to clarify: I've LOVED all his teachers)
I heard a song on the radio the other day and it brought me to tears. Then I watched the video and that made it worse. It's my new favorite song. Very convicting. I'm thankful that my kids show me grace, too!
Be Like You
By: Finding Favour
Have nine months really gone this fast?
Holding my baby girl in my hands
Ten million thoughts running through my mind
One thing's for sure, God I want to get this right
I want to love her like You love me
Give her everything can
I want to live a life that's holy
And be a better man
You could have chosen anybody
But I'm the one You gave her to
If she's gonna be like me
Then God I want to be like You
Finally turned five and he looks like me
Always playing baseball or climbing up some tree
God I know he won't always be this young
Let him grow up proud to be his daddy's son
I want to love him like You love me
Give him everything I can
I want to live a life that's holy
And be a better man
You could have chosen any body
But I'm the one You gave him to
If he's gonna be like me
'Cause their feet are gonna follow
Where their father leads them to
So Father won't You lead me straight to You, to You
And when my life is over
I pray that they will look back
And say they saw a bit of Jesus in their dad
I want to love them like You love me
Give them everything I can
I want to live a life that's holy
And be a better man
You could have chosen any body
But I'm the one You gave them to
If they're gonna be like me
Oh, if they're gonna be like me
Then God I want to be like You
Like You 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas in Southern California

Yesterday we decorated for Christmas. It was a high of 60 degrees, which meant it was practically freezing and could have started to snow at any moment. Sadly, it didn't. However, that's probably for the best because Parker continues to keep it real by going shirtless. All. The. Time! Summer or winter, he has on as little as he can!

A Little Girl's Love

I am oh so totally impressed with how this little girl, at the young ago of nine months, already knows how to "mommy" a baby. She rocks it, kisses it, and pats it. Of course she can also scream at it and chuck it over her head but, for the most part, she is super sweet with her dolls!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Isaac and Parker's Baptism

What a special day it was to see these two brothers be baptized. Isaac made his personal decision to be a Christ follower on November 15, 2012 and Parker made his on October 19, 2014. However, because they were so young, we've waited until now so they will forever be able to remember this day.

They both prepared for this day so differently. Isaac was quiet and reserved... A little nervous. He loves entertaining but only in small groups where it's a controlled setting. Parker, on the other hand, had been counting down all month. When the time was close he began counting down the hours. He couldn't wait for his moment to be in front of a crowd and for everyone to know what he's all about. He too is a performer, but prefers the main stage! He even told his whole class at school that he was going to be baptized and what it meant. Both of their decisions are real, yet unique to each of them. God can use Isaac's quiet spirit and Parker's boldness to fulfill His purpose and reach others in His name.

I pray these boys continue to follow Him and always know that they were put on this earth to glorify God. These are a few verses I have been praying over them...

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 
1 Timothy 4:12
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
May the favor of the Lord out God rest on us, establish the work of out hands for us- yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

Of course a friend took this picture because they would never put their arms around each other if I asked them to... Still working on love for each other.
Mike Lovato (who we went to college with) baptized them.
Family joined us for this special day! And Isaac's best friend, Gabriel, was also baptized! It made it that much more memorable.

Friday, October 21, 2016

We did it again...

Yup... We did it again... We got Sea World passes! It's been a few years and we've had lots of other passes in the meantime, but I think we're all craving a little sea life! Our first trip was with the Larson crew... So much fun!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fifteen Years and Counting

Today marks 15 years of togetherness. You know, since we started the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing. Those were terms Shaun never liked so we didn't really used them unless we had to. Young love is funny like that... It doesn't really make sense. But, we were together and that's all that really mattered.

Today we had about ten minutes to ourselves and then the rest was spent tag teaming the kids. Bible study in the morning, shopping for running shoes for Isaac and swimming at the neighbors in the afternoon, and soccer practice for the big boys in the evening. However, there is no one else I'd rather kiss good-bye ten times a day!

Poor Fur Baby, Cloi

Cloi has been my baby since Christmas of 2005. Soon she will be 11 years old and oh how she craves my attention. She follows me everywhere I go. However, that means Malaya is also right there with me. They've noticed each other for several months now, but their relationship just got a whole lot more interesting. Malaya is obsessed with Cloi and the feelings are not mutual. Cloi will stick around for a while because she so badly wants love, but when M starts squealing and trying to eat her tail, she's gone. High places were her safety, until now...

Cloi looks so relaxed and safe on her tower...

But then M, who is a VERY determined little creature, has set her eyes on the prize...

Even an unsteady, rocker won't stop her! Run Cloi! Run!

Her newest spot. She can see from all angles!

But there are plenty of kids in this house to keep her annoyed. Red head lamp to the eyes!

Someday they'll be best friends. As soon as Malaya learns the concept "gentle."

Melt My Heart... More of Blake

Every Tuesday night the big boys have soccer practice. So that means every Tuesday night the big boys go with dad and I get the two littles. We laugh and play and slowly unwind from a long day. But every Tuesday night while I'm putting Malaya down, I come back to a sleeping Blake. Our special time together has yet to happen because he can't keep his eyes open long enough for me to return from putting his little sister to bed.

Tonight I left him by his door reading so I thought for sure he would still be there wide awake. Nope, he crawled in bed and it was all over. His hand was still between the pages of his Story Book Bible. I wasn't even gone that long. Sweet boy of mine. I love you, buddy!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Our one of a kind, Blake Tyler

This guy has had his new title as "big brother" for a while now. However, he is such a mama's boy that I still see him as my baby. Maybe that's because he was the youngest for 4 1/2 years. Blake is sensitive and forgiving. He's also quick to apologize for doing wrong. He's always been able to
go with the flow and happily plays on his own. There are times that I tell him to get in bed and I'll be right in to kiss him good night. And then because his big brothers are so demanding, I forget about him (sounds awful, I know). By the time I remember and rush to his bedside, he is fast asleep. I still hug and kiss him and whisper goodnight... And of course thank God for giving me such an easy going kid.

We call him our sloth. He just takes longer (a lot longer) to do things... Like walking, eating, getting dressed, and life in general. Blake simply enjoys every single part of being alive. Which is why he is my little romantic. His motto must be "stop and smell the roses" because he will find a flower on every walk we take. He holds it behind his back until I'm looking at him and then with the biggest and most proud grin he says, "for you mom!"

While he's the oldest and smarts in his classes (teacher's words), his emotions have gotten the best of him. He's struggled to part from us lately and we're not sure why. Hoping it's just a season he's in and that it will soon pass. In the meantime, we continue to encourage him!

We love this little guy and how he makes us slow down. We know God's got big plans for him because he's one that will be patient enough to wait on Him!

Weed or flower, it doesn't matter. I get them all from my sweet little man!

Two adorable sloths!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Malaya is Seven Months

Oh this little beauty we like to call Malaya-Taya. She is our sweet, sweet princess and her brothers are beyond over the galaxy for her! Blake will look at a picture of her and start baby talking to it. Parker consistently comes in each morning just to see her smile at him. Isaac can't wait to touch and hold her each day and praises her for learning new things. I still get teary eyed when I realize I have a girl and don't even get me started on Shaun. He is tightly wrapped around each of her precious little fingers!

Malaya is a busy little thing and has great hand-eye coordination for when she quickly wants to put tiny objects in her mouth without getting caught. She is getting better at sleeping but with her tummy figuring out new foods and teeth on the way (I think), there's still no consistency when it comes to her naps and night time. Curious monkey doesn't want to miss anything. She babbles and coos and has had a "mama" and "dada" stage already. However, her favorite is to growl at stuffed animals while attacking them and to squeal in delight when she has a big handful of her brothers' hair.

We thank God for this priceless treasure!  

Perfect sweetness!

She is very versatile- One moment she's dainty and the next she's playing ball. But no matter the case, she's always picture perfect! 

Miss M takes on different personalities depending on which brother she is with... It's very interesting to observe. With Isaac, who she is most like (pray for me), she is calm and observant. She also has the same affect on him and he seems to bring his energy level down a notch. They are really good for each other.
Quick comparison of my two crazies. Malaya is a cross between Isaac and Parker. More Parker at birth but turning into an Isaac for sure. Here's the comparison of Isaac at 7mos and Malaya at 5mos.
Malaya is mesmerized by Parker. She watches him closely as he sings to her and seems so secure with the way he protects her from falling.  

But then there are times he joins in with her psycho-ness and that's when Isaac steps in and calms her!
I don't have many pictures of this duo because together they are just silly and that usually means I have the video camera out. They make each other laugh over the smallest things. She's like a little school girl with a big crush when she's with Blake!
Not thinking she'll need any weapons for her first birthday. Well, unless they come in pink or purple.

Sadly, she has zero cleaning skills so far. We have a lot to work on!
But that face! It gets me every time... even at 5am!
This is her 6 month check up. She was 21 pounds
(2 mo = 14 lbs and 4 mo = 18 lbs)
Doctor said she was very advanced for her age. She is predicting her to walk by ten months. Oh wow!
And today, for the big seven months (and because our family doesn't stop), she got her very own helmet and seat for daddy's bike. Now she can join us on rides AND I can still get Juju Bar whenever I want!
We love you Wild Thing!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

New born stage, gone! Hello Five months

Five months brought many new adventures and firsts for Malaya. She changed so much and became this new little person! The baby, baby stage began to disappear and Miss Personality showed up.

The cutest five month old I've ever seen!
(since her brothers)

She sat up on her own and even gave us some super sassy poses.

But she is a thinker too and will investigate new situations... Or patterns on her pants!

And can she melt us all with her smile!

She had her first nail appointment... She's got some claws!

She learned to accessorize... You have to find the perfect bow for that adorable outfit!

At five months and one day old she began planking... Yoga instructor is her newest title.
She had her first plane ride and did amazing... Especially considering the flights to and from Michigan were pretty much red eyes. YUCK!

She met Great Aunt Cathy at the same age I was when she first held me.
The layover in Phoenix meant Aunt Julie was close and came to see us.
And Uncle Aaron and Uncle Mike finally got to meet her.

She experienced grass for the first time and loved it...
She got to tour her first big city and see where she may preform someday. Iso gave her an opera nick name because she's so loud and vocal.

She left the country for the first time, too... Canada, eh!