A few things to be thankful for this week…

1. Chaz: “Mom, why Dean dog don’t wear pants?” and the conversation that followed…

2.  Seeing baby #4 on ultrasound this week.  Yes, for anyone who reads this who doesn’t know, we are really excited to announce that another baby is on the way.  It is amazing to me what all you can see at just 12 weeks..I think I counted 10 fingers and 10 toes, saw the body outline, spine, etc…  It was pretty awesome.

3. The boys take on what the new baby’s name should be.  Here were their favorites:

Chaz: Baby Swiper

Bradford: Baby Jack or baby Ella

4.  Meeting my friends twin baby girls.  One baby is such a miracle, and two at the same time is crazy and awesome.

5.  Spending the days at home with these 3 hilarious, active, and non-stop boys.  They are wild and I feel very tired… but I love it so much, and would not ask for anything different than exactly who they are and every moment of living in the chaos of them.  I am very thankful that I get to stay at home and be with them every day.

6. Watching Sam belly laugh harder than I have ever heard any of our boys laugh when Chaz decided to tickle him one day.

7.  Chaz’s questions right now and the way he calls me momma: “Momma, do you have bugs in your nose? Can I check for you and get them out?, “Momma, do you have milk for the baby now?” “Where is the baby? It is in your squishy tummy?” Can I smash your squishy tummy?”

8. Bradford’s love for a daily plan and schedule and his joy in responsibility.  Sometimes he reminds me so much of myself it’s a little scary.  Last week I decided to teach him about chores, or “jobs” as he’s calling them.  Every morning now, he wants a list of his daily jobs and extra jobs to do, and loves it even better when I include picture drawings and a schedule of the day.  He seems to really delight in being helpful and being given responsibility.

9.  Air conditioning.  The summer heat has settled in here and the air conditioning feels like such a gift.

10. Tomatoes, and fresh veggies with ranch dressing or balsamic vinegar.  That seems to be what this baby is making me crave right now and the freshness of the produce here is just awesome and so satisfying.

11.  Andy being awesome in so many ways, but one way specifically this week: rodent control.  We have had a mice problem in our attic, and somehow 2 made it down in the house this week.  Both our furry friends were caught in the kitchen and disposed of outside, (which I thankfully had no part in any of the catching/disposing of process), and traps are now laid as we go to war with the mice.  I’m just thankful I don’t have to be the one dealing with the mice!




Happy Easter!

We’ve had a wonderful Easter here in Florida.  Andy preached the Sunrise service at our church, so the boys and I went and enjoyed the early morning celebration.  They were funny and active at the service.  We made it through the music just fine, and then both older boys were climbing and trying to jump off the bleachers so we made our way to the grassy field in the back and listened to Andy from there while they burned off some energy running around.  Andy did an awesome job capturing the significance of the holiday and preaching the Gospel message.  DSC_0270 DSC_0274 DSC_0275Afterwards, the boys and I headed out for their favorite treat, donuts.  They were pretty excited about the Easter selection and we all enjoyed a morning treat:IMG_2112 After everyone took a nice and long nap, we filled the afternoon with Easter baskets, dying eggs, and a nice family dinner.  DSC_0280 DSC_0287 DSC_0297 DSC_0298 DSC_0303 DSC_0304 DSC_0309 DSC_0315It was a great day of celebrating the Resurrection and all that Jesus has done for us.  We also rejoice in the blessings he’s given, and love these sweet boys so much.  Happy Easter!!


A weekend with Friends

We had a wonderful weekend visiting with some of our very best friends, who made the long track down south to visit.  The boys loved having their friend, Autumn come play and the time with Laura and Michael was great.  The kids did a lot of playing in the pool:DSC_0247 And in this rare moment, us adults enjoyed sitting and taking it all in.  There is something about the friends we made in college that is unique.  The bond goes deep, the friendships are comfortable, we laugh a lot, and really enjoy each other.  I am sure it has something to do with the amount of time we all spent together, and the life changes we walked through and grew up through together.  So it was so nice to enjoy conversation, stay up late playing cards, make lots of yummy food, and watch our kids have fun together.DSC_0251The trampoline was a big hit with everyone:
DSC_0256 And Sam loves the water and could be entertained by the hose possibly forever.DSC_0274 DSC_0281 DSC_0283 DSC_0291Timer photo with amazingly everyone looking:
DSC_0300We did venture to the beach, which was beautiful and a fun chaos.  Our crew wasn’t loving it though so our stay was short and sweet.  We are thankful for the time we had with these friends!  The boys keep asking about when Autumn is coming to play again, and we are all looking forward to seeing her and her parents again next month!

We’re Back…

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted… we had a crazy couple of weeks with a trip to Georgia, and then a whirlwind of sickness.  We had a great time on the trip, but it ended with a bang when the boys came down with a bad stomach bug that changed the rest of the trip.  I was thankful for the time we had though and always value and appreciate the time with family.  On top of the stomach bug, I also lost my voice and couldn’t speak above a whisper for about 4-5 days.  Turns out it’s pretty hard to parent and manage children with no voice!  But this week feels like a new week… we are healthy again, and excited about the month to come with some fun plans ahead.  I didn’t take many pictures from the trip, but here were a few highlighted moments:

The boys loved playing in Pop and Riri’s backyard.  It’s not often that they get to feel leaves crunch beneath their feet, and play with sticks, pinecones, and in the woods.  The change is fun and definitely lends to lots of little boy exploring:DSC_0249 DSC_0250 They had so much fun in the sand box that Pop made for them:DSC_0258 Hanging with all of their cousins was definitely a highlight.  Even though multiple children were crying in this picture, they were having a lot of fun together and were really excited to be together:IMG_2016 Watching Frozen with their cousins:IMG_2020 More exploring in the woods:IMG_2022 IMG_2025 IMG_2032 IMG_2033We are very thankful for the time we had with family and for all the help that each one of them provided us on the trip.  A big thanks goes to Pop and Riri for all your work in having us stay with you, and especially for all the help when the boys got sick…that was not fun.  And a big help to Gigi who made the long drive back with us to Florida and was a huge help and great company to have in the car!!


This sunrise and sky on a morning walk with Sam:IMG_1990

B telling Andy, “I really like you Dad.  So I think next time you preach, I can get up on stage with you and preach with you.  Because I really like you.”

B also asking if he can go to our church and ask Brandon (the music director) if he can play “Life is a Highway” at church with him on the stage.

At dinner, B declares “I can’t eat my food because I’m not feeling good, and my ankle hurts, so I need some medicine and I need to go lay in my bed, and so I will go do that and then I’ll come back when it’s time for my treat.”    Us: “Well, if you aren’t feeling good enough to eat your dinner, you will not be able to have a treat.” B:  “Oh, well no, I will feel fine then, I’m just not well enough to eat my dinner so I need a minute to play with my cars and rest and then I will be fine to eat a treat.”  Oh, of course, that makes total sense!

Chaz deciding that he wants to talk about movies.  He has led us in conversations the past couple of days about all his favorite characters, which has led to coming up with grand adventures with them.  The latest is that every family member has been assigned to a plane (from the Planes movie) and that we are going to get on our planes and go visit Jake and the Neverland Pirates, then pick up all our cousins and grandparents and do a huge plane race.  (In the plane race, B always wins.  He has made himself to be Dusty the Crop duster, and he wins every time and lets us all know that he won and that we did not.  Maybe we should talk about good sportsmanship?)

Sam deciding that he is going to be a hugger.  He gives the best hugs, and delights in running back and forth in between us to get hugs.  It’s pretty cute.

Both older boys being all about anything cars, trains, and planes right now.  They have these cars that you build and B builds them every day, and always makes one for himself, one for Chaz, and one for his Dad.  He insists that Andy take his blue car to work, so that he can play with it there.  So here is the blue car experiencing the World Leaders Conference this week:


As we’re at Walgreens picking up a prescription, the line is long and the boys are restless and so I tell them they can go sit in the waiting area on some benches and tell jokes and funny stories to occupy the time.  Of course, this is a great idea.  They immediately translate my instruction into jumping like frogs and loudly laughing/ribbiting around the waiting room.  They think this is hilarious, and I kind of do too.  I’m letting it happen and wondering why everyone around me doesn’t think my kids are as cute and hilarious as I do.  Preface with, I am standing in line with the grumpiest group of people I have ever met. One customer was yelling at the pharmacy tech and holding up the whole line, while everyone else in line bickered and complained about the need for a manager and more workers.  All the while, the boys are still being frogs and oblivious.  Bradford then decides to hop on over to visit me in line and brings Chaz with him, both hopping and laughing like crazy.  He then throws his leg in the air, sending his shoe flying through the air.  The lady next to me promptly gets nailed with the shoe in the stomach, and in her grumpy way, does not really even accept our apology but moves to another line and glares at me the rest of the time.  I laughed my way out of the store, bc it was an accidental offense, she wasn’t hurt, and B did learn a lesson about apologizing to strangers.  And it was just a reminder of how this parenting thing is humbling and funny and filled with so many surprising, sometimes bumpy moments.  And we’re only at age 4…

Sam’s B-day Celebration

We had such a great weekend celebrating this guy turning 1! Both sets of grandparents were in town, which was really fun for all of us!  We celebrated Sam by doing his favorite things: enjoying time with family, playing outside a lot, opening some presents, and of course, eating birthday cake.  What a blessing he has been to our family over the last year!  DSC_0286 DSC_0296 DSC_0298 DSC_0301 DSC_0306 DSC_0247 DSC_0250 DSC_0255 DSC_0257 DSC_0268 DSC_0325

Sam turns 1!

It is really hard to believe that these pictures were a year ago:DSC_0126 DSC_0190 First moments together as a family of 5:DSC_0258 And now we’re here with this sweet boy:DSC_0292 DSC_0301 (1) Loving the beach:IMG_1951 IMG_1956 This is his new “say cheese” face:IMG_1972 Sam loves the dirt, and Opal Dean:IMG_1980DSC_0252He has added so much delight and joy to our lives, and I can’t believe he’s already a year old.  Adding a third boy to our family has been joyfully chaotic, and filled with lots of moments of laughter and fun.  He has such a sweet little personality and seems to be somewhat of a mix between his brothers.  His birthday has been really fun to celebrate, especially because we’ve had grandparents in town to celebrate with us!  The boys are having a blast as brothers, and this little guy is well loved in our home.  Happy Birthday Sam!!