Friday, July 29, 2016

Lucky Number 7...

For seven years, our Kael has bee the all-important first page, in the best chapter,
of the story of our lives.
He represents our fight when it would have been easy to give up.  He is our faith when it seemed God was silent.  He is the warmth of the sun after a long gray storm in our lives.  He is hope and courage and love - all perfectly packaged in that toe-headed, sweet-faced, sun-tanned little boy body. 
Our story is different than I expected it to be.  It's what was MEANT to be, and it's far better than I could have ever imagined.  It's a story of miracles and love, and it all started with the birth of Big K seven years ago today. 
For his seventh birthday, Kael requested a "Water Baseball Party".  We held "training camp" and had a slip n' slide for sliding practice, a batting tee with water balloons for batting practice, and a dunk tank for pitching practice. 
And some of our cousins and best friends were in town for the main event to make it even sweeter.
I'll let you look at these pictures below, then give you one guess as to which part of the party was the biggest hit.  ;)
 The rest was just "fluff" as they say.  Still fun, but not the main event.  
There has to be some sort of psychology about the level of fun going up exponentially when you get to inflict pain/cold/surprise attack against your friends.  Especially for little boys.
 We grilled up some hot dogs and served chips and watermelon and punch bags for lunch.   
We sang to the birthday boy as he admired his chocolate-chocolate baseball cake that had been long requested.  'Atta boy, Kael.  Chocolate is always a good idea. 
We are so grateful that Grandma & Grandpa Gardner and all of Ryan's sisters were here to help.
They tended babies and cleaned up itsty bitsy water balloon remnants in 100 degree weather.  And generally kept me from totally losing it as the ratio of boys to adults would have been a sorry number without them!
 And we're especially grateful for this sweet kid, who is the best big brother around.
Thanks for kick starting a tribe of wee gents that seemingly can't be shut down. ;)
Love you, buddy.  More than you will ever know.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wayne Wonderland - Again... Again...

You guys - I'm starting to get why people have "their places" they always go to.
And I'm starting to see patterns in my preferences too.
Give me deserts/mountains/pretty spots of the earth, with the people I love, please.
One of my favorite things is to see my kids' sense of familiarity and ownership.  Ace at the fish grab?  Dax on the little wheeler headed to the park?  Kael on any hike in Capitol Reef?  They're all "this is MY place". They Know every turn and where to go and when to go there.  And by where to go, I mean the quarter machines at "Lola" of course.  :)
But seriously, we enjoy our time in Wayne Wonderland.  And it's a good thing, because Ryno went and bought us a plot of land to call our very own.  It is the greenest pasture of perfectly flat land that looks out to the Boulder Mountain and is flanked on one side by the red rocks I love.
It's perfect.  And if we ever build our little getaway spot there - we'll have a zillion stories to tell of the memories we made with our tribe of boys.  I'm so proud of RyGar.
We played with cousins at Grandpa's red house and rode Uncle Brandon's horses.  We attended the town party and tried in vain to get the boys to commit to any long day trips because all they wanted to do was stick around the sand box and the four wheeler and play with cousins.  
Boone met Jesse and the gang for the very first time and seemed pretty pleased about it.
We went hiking on Pioneer day!  And by we, I mean my Mom and the boys and I.  We told several Pioneer stories as we walked.  My mom told the boys about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  We looked for fossils and identified lava rocks and lizards and squirrels and sedimentary layers.  It was educational and beautiful and so fun to share that time with my Mom.
And my clan...
And a beautiful summer morning in July.
And little Boone took his morning nap on my back and was thrilled as can be to have woken to the sight of Hickman Bridge.  Little free loader was a love the entire time (per usual).
Happy New Week to you on a Tuesday... because yesterday I stole more time from the week to make it an extra long, special and gorgeous weekend in a pretty place with my favorites.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Tactile Learner...

Boone is strictly on formula and baby food at this point in his life.
The formula part is a welcome change...
The baby food part?
Not so much.
He is SO messy!  
And if I'm being honest I think he kind of revels in it.
He holds the spoon every time I shovel it near his mouth (so helpful)
Insert Sarcasm
He slaps his little hands on the wet tray full of mini piles of baby food & drool --
Causing a virtual baby food splash fest. Sigh.
And he giggles his way through most of his time in the hi chair.
What I'm saying is... can't the boy just live on baby puffs and cheerios for a good while?
Because I don't know if I have the stamina in me.
But I do have indoor plumbing - Praise the Lord - so this boy gets his fair share of baths.
And there ain't nothin' sweeter than a babe fresh out of the bath.
I guess we'll rinse & repeat...