Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring oh how we love thee!

Of course I started this post on a gorgeous spring Saturday and now as I write we have had rain all day mixed with occasional snow flakes...so a sunny spring isn't fully upon us. But rain is part of spring and we have been so happy for the tastes of sunshine we have had the last few weeks.
We were very excited to have a family Saturday this past weekend. Matt has been busy with his stake sports obligations every Saturday for the last 2 1/2 months, and it's finally done so we happily headed out without time constraint or obligation on Saturday as a family to a gorgeous wooded park in Ashland called Lithia Park. Any of you who have visited us have been there because it's just such a beautiful way to spend a day.

We had a picnic and then whipped out a classic and favorite ball game of ours - track ball. Our set is literally from decades ago, but you can actually now get this outdoor game at Target as it has been re-released. It's definitely worth the $10. We have a lot of fun with it and Matt loves having anyone to play catch with.

Boys ready for some picnic goodness! (And Luke just trying to find the cookies...)
Carter, like a lot of kids, can be Jekyl and Hyde when it comes to picture taking. Here is what I call his "anti-paparazzi" face:

Then, minutes later, the goofy smile we love him for!

The track ball action begins!

After our picnic and sports, we headed off down the trail into the woods to enjoy the nature. The boys had a fun time trying out the simple pleasures such as stick races and Nathan got a kick out of this natural seat.

In the midst of the woods is a pretty (though probably manmade) duck pond, with the occasional otter spotting. No otters were seen this trip, but we loved this duck that looked like someone painted it.

The boys looking handsome in front of the beautiful spring blossoms!

The boys were determined to wade in the water. So, we let them try and then laughed at their squeals that somehow this snow run-off wasn't very warm!

Nathan's GQ pose infront of the duck pond

It was a perfect family day. Beyond that I guess you could say I am "nesting", though in my mind it's totally practical to be cleaning and organizing - I don't want someone coming over to my house in the middle of the night if I make a mid-night run to the hospital and be met with a dirty house! Plus, the more that is clean now, the more I know I will be able to relax and enjoy our baby.
These pictures are what happens when mom is in a cleaning mode and is in charge of the FHE lesson. We had a lesson on WORK! We read a bunch of scriptures about the eternal nature of work and cleanliness and then our activity was...(drumroll please) bathroom cleaning. You had better hope there was a good treat after that one! Actually, the boys love cleaning and "wiping", and will clean a whole bathroom for me (decently well) for only a nickel each. I love cheap labor.

Monday, March 15, 2010

2 Weeks and you bet I am counting!

I have decided the hardest thing about the end of the pregnancy is you have to accept that this is really happening (I tend to ignore reality sometimes...), at least enough to have general plans - visited the hospital, family coming to help, plans on where to send the kids, pack (or thought about packing) a bag. But, then once you accept that this is happening, it seems like every day is taking FOR-EV-ER to pass and your due date that seemed just around the corner is so far away. I can't complain physically, I feel great, but man, emotionally I have hit THAT point. And obviously, I understand by now that a due date is not an exact thing - I have had one baby a week late, one a week early, and one just about on time. Though it does make me laugh when my mom asks me every week, "So do you know yet when that baby is going to be born?" Nope, not yet mom!

I was excited to break up the waiting game with a baby shower that some sweet friends in the ward planned and hosted for me. Obviously, clothes aren't really the biggest need for boy no. 4, but man did we score on diapers. The kids insisted on making a tower of them and then totaling how many diapers we had. The number is currently up to 942. Hooray! Depending on how much this little guy poops, this could hold us for 3-4 months! Thanks to all who helped make my shower happen, it was a wonderful relaxing morning and we are so grateful for all the gifts.

Here is my latest belly shot, put next my first two. The doctor actually did an ultrasound last week to make sure the baby won't break the 10 lb. barrior, as Luke almost did. Ultrasounds aren't exact as far as size goes, but even give or take a pound, this baby stands to be even smaller than Luke.

The "loot"! There are a lot of talented women in the ward, so it included beautiful hand made booties, hats, afgans, and even a quilt (the Primary President makes a quilt for every baby born in the ward - and that is no small number!). I was super excited to see the quilt was in the colors I picked out for the baby's room - green and brown.

Oh the wonderful sight of abundant diapers!

One gal in our ward is talented with vinyl lettering and made these shirts for the boys. I thought they were just SO incredibly creative and cute and the boys LOVED them and insisted on wearing them on Saturday.

Besides waiting, life is just same old same old. In the words of Nathan, "I am so tired of waiting for April! Everything happens in April!" Of course, he is just thinking of Easter, Carter's birthday party, and then his birthday and could care less about the baby being born, but it does stand to be a much more exciting month. But, here are some day to day snippets and smiles.

We asked the boys to get dressed on Sunday and this is as far as Luke got. No pants, no shirt, just his sweater, toga style. This is how new trends get started you know...

If you are what you eat, my boys are most definitely a large bowl of cereal. Even my best attempts to not get Luke to go the ways of his brothers (P-I-C-K-Y) don't always pan out when this is what the big boys are doing.
I loved the day that Nathan realized he could read most of Luke's books and started reading to his brothers. Luke LOVES to read and it's such a great help to have Nathan read to Luke.
Matt is always an avid exerciser and sometimes the boys like to help make sure dad is in tip top shape. Maybe I should try this in one of my classes - father son weight lifting!

A few weekends ago we made a quick trip to Utah for a family sealing. It was awesome to see family, even for only a day and a half, and a surprisingly refreshing trip for being so short. Matt's brother Tim just bought this scooter to save money for around town trips and the kids had a blast even just sitting on it.

Vroom vroom!

I have never seen this type of smile on Nathan before. The power of the machine must have overcome him.

Of course, the big kid had to try it too. He took it for a couple of loops around the block. Too bad we just couldn't figure out how this would be practical for us to get for our home t0wn.

Hopefully my next post will be a baby announcement!!!