Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One of a Kind: I-man

I would like to take a moment to reflect on my birthday kids.

Isaac is truly one of a kind. I can't even count how many times people have told us this or something similar to it like "he is a gem!" or "he is a gift!" We always respond, "We know! And he just came that way!" I can honestly say that I felt his goodness the first night in the hospital after he was born. Isaac is kind, thoughtful, selfless, obedient, sensitive, respectful, wise beyond his years, etc., etc. But even these adjectives don't quite describe him! Let me share a few tidbits to illustrate just how awesome this kid really is!

Isaac came home smiling from kindergarten one day with a treat given by one his classmates whose birthday they celebrated that day. He carefully unwrapped the plastic package to find some nuts, dried fruit and two large jelly beans. Without the slightest disppointment he started to eat the nuts and dried fruit. He picked up the orange jelly bean, bit it in half and offered me the other half. He then said, "We'll save the pink jelly bean for Addie!" My eyes filled with tears as I actually encouraged him to eat the pink jelly bean - afterall it was his treat. Nope. He was going to save the pink jelly bean for his big sister. To this day - he does things like this all the time!

Just the other day at Walmart we were in the Halloween costume aisle. Several kids were playing with the foam swords and double edged axes pretending to stab and kill each other. I turned to find Isaac swinging the double edged ax through the air saying, "Look mom! I'm Paul Bunyan!" (Oh that reminds me! Something funny he said when he was about 3 years old...one of those riding in the car questions..."Mom...is Paul Bunyan Russian?")

Our school has an annual hoedown at the end of each school year. They encourage people to dress up in their western outfits but most kids usually don't. Isaac did. He wore jeans, a long-sleeved denim shirt, cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and red bandana - in May! Trying to protect him from possible ridicule he might get from friends at school, I tried to casually hint to him that most kids his age wouldn't be dressing up in their Western outfits. He said he didn't care - that he wanted to dress up. And so he did. As his mother, I couldn't let him go it alone so I sported a cowboy hat to the event.

At his own birthday party yesterday I was told that when a family member came to sit at the table with him, he noticed that there weren't any more chairs. He quickly got up and offered to go get a chair for this person. Not one other person at the table even noticed (even the adults!).

On Saturday he was invited to a friend's birthday party. I woke up early with the baby to find him with wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and ribbon spread out on the family room floor. "I am wrapping Corbin's present!" he told me. Later he showed me the card he made to go with the present - which was a couple of Star Wars action figures. The card said, "Feel the force of your birthday!"

I wish I could remember more specific examples of the remarkable thoughtfulness and self-sacrificing this boy exhibits. Not to mention the fact that he is extra smart, creative and musical. I think Isaac was given to our family to teach us something - and we are surely better people for having him around. Anyone who knows him - who really gets to know him - is a better person because of it. This is a very special birthday for Isaac - he will be baptized next month. He deserves a very special tribute.

Do you have any favorite memories of Isaac that you could share? What do you love about Isaac?
(I have had a few friends say that they don't comment because they don't want to create a google account. Just know you can always comment under just your name or anonymously and then type your name at the bottom of your comment. Just a FYI.)

One of a Kind: Catie-doo

Cate is the wild card of our family. In looks and in her quirky personality. And that's what we call her...Little Miss Personality! She is full of life and enthusiasm. Cate also has a smile that is contagious! And she wears it most of the time. I love Cate's smile!!! Like the other girls in our family (except for me!) she shares an endless supply of energy and is always on the go. Here are a few other things we love about Cate:

Cate is a good friend. A social butterfly through and through - Cate is friendly and makes friends easily. Wherever we go - if there is a little girl near us that looks close to her age - Cate will notice and want to initiate interaction. She is considerate and plays well with other children. I really admire her confidence!

Cate is creative. She has always loved coloring and drawing but most recently she has spent time creating these "flowers" with pattern blocks. I think is is remarkable for a child her age to want to sit and take the time to create these patterns and designs. She has tried to get her friends interested in this activity - but not one has even tried.

Cate is a graceful and lovely dancer. I have posted before how much Cate loves dress-ups and dancing. I know that I am a biased mother but I think she really has natural ability and just looks beautiful when she moves!

I can't believe Cate with a "C" is turning five! I know we go through phases with our children and I am happy to say that after a...dynamic third and fourth year with this child - I am truly loving the phase she is in now.

What do you love about Sister Cate? Any memories to share?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Birthday Times Two

Isaac and Cate were born three years and two days apart. So each year I deal with the challenge of how to create special days for each child without having to do two entirely separate birthday parties. We only do friends parties every other year so that helps a little bit. But often the combined family parties seem to turn out just as big and elaborate. For some reason I always get a little carried away!
This year we went all out and invited everyone on both sides of our family to attend the celebration. I called it a half and half birthday party. Half for Cate and half for Isaac - split right down the middle.

My mom and I created a half and half cake

Half princess

Half Indiana Jones

We had a quiz to see who knew the most about Isaac and Cate and a scrumptious dinner (thanks to everyone that helped!). They both received some wonderful presents! Here is Isaac and his cousin in their Indiana Jones costumes.

And Cate couldn't have been a lovelier Queen

Here is Papa taking her on a promenade around the room

Well, it looks like we're all set for Halloween! Here are some of the guests...

Happy Birthday I-man and Catie-fizzle!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our New Cub Scout

Our little guy is growing up! He is thrilled with his new status as a cub scout.

Cub Scout Motto: "Do Your Best!"

He can't wait until his next den meeting!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another Fulfilling Saturday

The first of today's experiences was something I have been looking forward to for several weeks. I have the opportunity of singing in the women's choir that will perform at the General Relief Society Meeting on September 27th. We (all 364 of us!) have been rehearsing at a local church building every Sunday for the last several weeks but today was the dress rehearsal and we were able to be in the 20,000 seat conference center. It was such an amazing and spiritual experience to sing with this beautiful choir in this glorious building. We were all asked to wear white shirts and black skirts. Julie Beck, the General Relief Society President visited one of our rehearsals a few weeks back and explained to us why we were asked to wear this particular uniform. She explained that as she and her counselors travel to different parts of the world visiting and teaching the sisters in our church, they frequently were honored by the music of choirs. And no matter where they went in the world, no matter the socio-economic status or the living conditions - somehow the choirs were able to wear white shirts (even if sometimes it was just a white t-shirt turned inside out). So as the Relief Society presidency was discussing the uniform of the choir for the upcoming conference - they felt like white shirts and black skirts would be something that all the women members of our church could identify with.

Singing in this choir has been an opportunity for learning and growth not only musically, but spiritually as well. I had no idea it would have such an impact on my life. We have had the opportunity to be directed by Merrilee Webb - an absolutely incredible woman who creates such a spirit of joy and love that when I come home from rehearsal - I feel uplifted and rejuvenated. Please if you ever have an opportunity to participate in this choir - do not pass it up!!!

Another special part of today's rehearsal was having my family there for part of the time. And after they were able to take some pictures - none of which turned out very well. But no worries - just watch the broadcast next Saturday evening and who knows, you just might catch a glimpse of little old me!

Second row - on the right end

After the rehearsal we treated ourselves to a lovely lunch at The Garden restaurant at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. I don't know what I enjoyed more - the food - or the views!

My mom happened to bring a book of poetry that I loved as a child but had forgotten about. Here is Addie reading Hailstones and Halibut Bones to Grandma. Now I need to get my hands on a copy!

The Grandparents were nice enough to take the little ones to a babysitter while we took the older two to see this...

They loved it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weekend Review - Part 2

This year we had the opportunity to buy tickets to three BYU football games. And these aren't just any seats! These season tickets were purchased by my grandfather back in the 1960's when he taught zoology at the university. Two seats - row 13 - just a few yards shy of the 50 yard line! Too bad these prime seats that have been in our family for over 50 years will be lost with my mom's generation...it can't be true!
Anyway, after digging up the time capsule and a great lunch at Grandma's house it was off to the game. We took the kids to the pre-game activities outside the stadium where they won free t-shirts and other cool stuff. Then Wes and I took our seats to enjoy a fantastic game! What an onslaught!

The kids getting ready for their piano recital that evening (the one in red doesn't play yet)

Sarah Jane - still little!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Review - Part 1: The Time Capsule

Eight years ago in 2002 we buried a time capsule with my family. On Saturday morning we dug it up! Here is our morning hike:
Ski poles helped Grandma make the hike. She did great!

Getting ready to dig

SJ looks on. Both Cate and SJ were just twinkles in our eyes when we buried this capsule.

The Treasure! (that's what the kids called it)

Each family filled their own little capsule

Our capsule included pictures, little toys, and a written history of our little family. We just had Addie and Isaac and Wes was in his last year of medical school in Pennsylvania.

Amy had mostly family artwork, Kip had something from his work and Grandma was smart enough to put money in hers!

It really was a treasure afterall!

Cate was thrilled to receive the fake family jewels!

We left thinking of all the things we wanted to include for our next time capsule!