Saturday, August 18, 2012

asa poops turns 4

Ah, Asa.  I sure do love this kid.  He's quite the character that brings a lot of joy to our family... a little madness at times, but mostly joy :).  Here's my list for my four year old, Asa:

1.  He is LOV. A. BLE!  He has such sweetness about him that it's quite easy to be smitten with him.  Even his dear preschool teachers seem to have a special place in the hearts for him.  His laughter makes you laugh and his smile makes you smile.  He's contagious.

2.  BUT, he can sure be a little stink!  When he's in the mood to antagonize, disobey, or be naughty, he can sure drive us nuts.  Especially, when he's laughing about it the whole time.  Like I said, he's a character!

3.  He is very affectionate.  Luke doesn't particularly appreciate this about Asa.  Which is interesting, because Luke is very touchy feely himself.  But, Asa wants all of his family to receive equal amounts of his affection so he forces it on Luke.  If he doesn't hug and kiss his big brothers before they leave to school, I have to spend the next five minutes consoling his tender heart.  If you are upset with him, or show any frustration with his stubbornness, he will insist on hugging you before he can proceed to receiving a consequence or correction.

4.  He is SO SLOW!  Eating, dressing, getting in the car, pooping, telling a story... it all requires a lot of patience... and planning ahead.  Part of it is that he obviously has no sense of urgency (even when I'm laying on the pressure thick) and part of it is he has to do things on his terms (which means the pressure I apply just works against me).  I'm not sure why I still pray for patience.  It's apparent that I have been given the perfect little being to teach me patience in abundance.  I guess I didn't expect to have to work for it so hard :).  I do feel like I am doing much better with this though and I'm pretty sure if I keep it up, I will technically be considered a saint by the time he is 18 yrs old.

5.  He thinks he has to plant any and every seed that he comes across.  If he eats an apple, he saves the seeds.  If I cut up veggies, he'll dig through and save the seeds.  Any seed he may spy outside, he saves.  Then he puts them in a baggy (he puts EVERYTHING in baggies) and saves it for the right time to plant them.  I guess he is just copying me - I have saved a variety of seeds from plants and stick them in a baggy... he just takes it to a whole new level.

6.  He also insists on collecting just about every rock or leaf that he crosses paths with.  I know this is a kid thing, but he borders on compulsion.  Unfortunately, I'm not the best pocket checker and so I end up washing about 5 lbs of rocks every time I do laundry.

7.  Something that I hear from him on a daily basis is, "You're my best mom."  Which is good.  My self esteem might take a hit if his other mom moves to #1.  You know what's sad?  I take these little sayings for granted.  Sweet things that my say every day.  Will I notice the day that I don't hear it anymore?  I need to appreciate it while it lasts.

8.  So, my kids like me to sing them a song when I tuck them in at night.  We have our usual's:  "You Are My Sunshine", "Please Think Of Me", "Rock-a-bye, Don't You Cry", "I Am A Child Of God"...  but Asa always wants me to make up songs for him.  And, he usually wants them to be about skeletons, eyeballs, or creep crawlies.  I'm definitely not a song writer, so it can be pretty challenging.  Luckily, he's pretty easy to please though - it doesn't need to make any sense to make him happy.

9.  He talks SO MUCH!  He always has something to say, and he is always saying it.  Words always seem to be pouring from his mouth, kind of like a river - always running.  Whether you can actually understand him half the time is another story.  He has some speech issues that can make him  hard to understand, but hopefully we're making progress.  Interestingly, he goes to a speech class and his teachers have said that he doesn't talk much.  He's definitely not a shy kid, so I find that fact interesting. Oh, to be a fly on the wall.

10.  Asa is a happy, easy going spirit.  He wants to play, tag along with his big brothers, and occasionally be told how big he is getting.  He loves his family and will be friends with literally any body who is willing to play with him.   I feel so blessed to have him in our family and I'm grateful for all the lessons this loving little man is teaching me.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

isaac. turns. EIGHT!

This is definitely one of those moments in life that reminds you just how fast time is going (and how old you are getting)... sort of surreal.  My first born turned eight, which means that he was also baptized.  So cool!  It was complete joy to watch Adam baptize him and see the Spirit radiate from his countenance.  

Isaac is such a great kid.  I see a goodness in him that has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with him being a stalwart spirit.  I just hope I can do all in my power to guide him to the excellence that he's destined for.  A few things about Isaac:

1.  He is (and always will be) the definition of inquisitive.  No, it never gets old.

2.  He just wants to play, have a good time and laugh. He loves fun (yes, I realize that's sort of a kid thing).  But really - if Isaac gets the slightest hint that a house guest (an uncle, an employee, a home teacher) will tolerate his peskiness, then he will bug and pester until he has literally driven them from our home, vowing never to return.  We're working on personal space, but man, he sure is quick to get in on any rough housing. That being said, I am very glad that he does know how to have a good time - I've met plenty of uptight kids.

3.  He may be playful, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a serious side.  He does.  He can be quite the regulator (oldest child syndrome).

4.  He is very sensitive - especially to spiritual things.  This is probably the coolest thing about Isaac.  I marvel at how easy it is for him to recognize the Spirit.  He loves to talk about  the gospel and God's creations.  He loves to listen to "church music" and family stories.  This is when I wish my dad were still here to sit on the porch with him talking and listening away.  They would have gotten along quite well.

4.  He has a great appreciation for the beauty of all of God's creations.  He often suggests that we go out and look at the garden or sit on the porch or go on a hike.  As playful and busy as he can be, he has an equal appreciation for stillness and relaxing.

5.  He doesn't take no for an answer. He can be the most persistent little bugger - even when such persistence has earned him many a consequence.  I do have faith that this trait can become a great strength so long as I can guide it in the right direction... no pressure, right?

6.  He LOVES his grandmas, cousins, aunts, and uncles.  He is border line ecstatic whenever he gets to be in their company.  When I asked him if he'd rather go to a family reunion on his birthday or have a friend party - he didn't hesitate to choose his family.

7.  He loves to shadow Adam - offering his two cents at any given opportunity.  He definitely is mechanically minded like Adam and, with a few more years under his belt, will be well on his way to fixing engines, washing machines, or nuclear reactors.

8.  He loves to eat.  If it's something he likes, he could easily out-eat the most ravenous elephant.

9.  And, most importantly, he still doesn't mind giving me a big ol' hug or holding my hand in public.  Although, he has recently decided it is time to drop the "mommy" and start calling me "mom".  I can handle that as long as he is never too cool for me to cover him with kisses.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

luke turns six

Well, Luke is now six and he's still full of all the same Luke-isms he was a year ago - just tweaked and refined a little, maybe.  This may be a tad repetitive of last year's birthday post, but you just can't take the Luke out of Luke.

To celebrate his birthday this year, he had his very first friend party (which was actually a first, ever, in the Pulley home - I'd successfully dodged that bullet, until now).  When I asked him what he wanted to do, his only request was to have everyone plant some seeds in pots.  Well, he did come up with a party favor that he wanted to give everyone:  eggshells in a plastic bag... because they are enjoyable to crunch.  Hmmm... thankfully, he sort of forgot about the eggshell idea, once I threw out the prototype.  But, we did proceed with the seed planting.  The party went well - it was pretty low key, but I figured the kids would end up running around, playing the whole time anyways.  Which, they did.

Here are a few things that stand out about Luke.  We sure love this kid!

1.  He is still extremely loving and uber affectionate.  He wears his emotions on his sleeve, so you always know what sort of mood he is in.  As loving as he is, he also has a bit of a temper that makes for an emotional roller coaster.

2.  He savors his food.  If he is eating something that he enjoys, he takes his time, nibbling and "Mmmmmm - ing" every last bite.  My other boys must think that their food might walk off their plate, because it's more like a race for them.

3.  He has to lick every bowl, spoon or beater that has been used in the act of cooking.  Seriously.  Everything.  Not just the sweet stuff, either.  Mayo, ketchup, pureed pumpkin.... it doesn't matter - he wants it.

4.  He is big time into arts and crafts. BIG TIME.  He spends many an hour drawing, coloring, cutting, painting, and gluing.  In fact, when I went to buy him some birthday presents, I was having a hard time finding something that I thought Luke would really like in the toy section.  Then I strolled over to the craft section and hit the jack pot.  Sand art, clay, velvet posters, bird houses... everything a little artist would love and more.

5.  He is over-the-top enthusiastic about animals and plants/flowers.  They inspire most of his artistic work.  It's pretty easy to figure out what animal is at the top of Luke's 'favorite' list by what's on the countless pictures strewn about the house at any given moment.  First, it was squids.  He had to know everything about squids.  Squids were the coolest.  Squids everywhere.  Then, it was peacocks.  My, how lovely those feathers are!  Then, lizards...  Then, snakes...  Pictures galore.  Countless conversations.  He gets so passionate about it all.  He is absolutely convinced that he will own just about every animal out there someday.  He dreams of the day when his job is an animal collector.

6.  He still loves to collect everything under the sun.  He cannot look upon a bug without instantly wanting to grab a jar.  He cannot pass by a flower without wanting to carefully transplant it to a pot.  He cannot walk passed a rock (or 'crystal', as he calls them all) without it immediately ending up in his pocket.

7.  My most favorite thing about Luke is how little he cares about appearances.  He likes what he likes and he assumes that everyone else shares the same enthusiasm for his passions.  He's not worried about fitting in nor with the "who's who" on the playground.  To illustrate this, here is a perfect example:  So, we were on our way to the zoo.  As we were leaving, I realized that Luke's booster seat was in Adam's truck and Adam was gone.  So, we stopped by Walmart to grab one.  The only boosters that they had were pink ones.  I didn't even hesitate in buying it, because I knew Luke wouldn't mind the pink.  Well, not only did he not mind the pink, but he was ecstatic with how comfortable the seat was.  Of course, now I have Luke and Asa fighting over a pink booster seat on a daily basis.   How many boys out there would be fighting over a pink booster seat?

8.  Despite his love for all the beautiful things in life, he is still a mischievous, sneaky, curious, destructive, obnoxious, dirt covered, whirl wind of a BOY.  And, I wouldn't trade him for the world!

Here is what Isaac likes about Luke:  "He helps me and he pulls me on my scooter and plays with me."

Here is what Asa likes about Luke:  "I play with his snake and play with his ball."  (How unfortunate that those were the two toys that he immediately thought of, right?)

And, when I asked Luke what some of his favorite things are:  "Digging out plants and planting them, smelling flowers, checking for eggs, eating yummy food.  Even, I love you and I like that you play with me and I like that you help me and you're my favorite mom and I'm glad that Heavenly Father gave me you."

A few pictures from Luke's birthday:

 Isaac was feeling pretty grown up getting to light the candles.

I just have to show off how filthy Asa ends up at the end of a day.  Look at that shirt!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

spring break = moab

Well, spring break was over a month ago, but here are the pictures from our fun at Moab.  As usual, we had a blast and enjoyed every single minute (okay, maybe that's an exaggeration) of it.  Andrew and his family were down there as well, so we even had some company, which made it all the better.  And, you know what?  I was able to maintain our "special diet" the whole time we were there.  Everything homemade and GAPS legal.  That's right.  A little advanced preparation and it was easy peasy... or just plain crazy.  But, the kids were happy, I was happy, and Adam was happy since he got to sneek away and enjoy dinner at a burger joint one night.   But, seriously, how great is Moab?!  Now, on to the pictures:

Our Razor ride was a little more... intense this time.  The pictures don't do it much justice, but I thought for sure we were going to somersault a couple of times.  Then again, I've never been a big Jeep Safari sort of gal, so maybe I was being a tad wussy. 

The trail was actually super fun.  Having Andy's family with us was a huge bonus.

One worn out Little Miss.

Luke had filled his shorts so full of "crystals" that they were literally falling down.  He had to hold them up like this the whole way back.  

Ah, Sand Dune Arch, thank you for providing plenty of sand to fill every last crack and crevice of my children's bodies.  

Elise is a big fan of the sand.

 Isaac learned a valuable lesson on this particular hike.  We decided to do a hike that we have done in the past and have loved.  At a certain point you can go left or right.  We have gone left in the past, and decided that we should see where the right would lead us.  Isaac immediately had concerns with that decision. Well, at first it wasn't all that impressive and Isaac started complaining that we should have gone the other way.  He was having a pretty bad attitude about it at one point, and wasn't quite agreeing with us that sometimes it's nice to try something new.  WELL, the right paid off!  We found some really cool pools of water  and we all agreed that it was actually cooler than the other way.  Adam and I were very grateful for those pools that day... the lesson wouldn't have had quite the same impact if the hike had ended up sucking.

So, we learned something about Elise on this trip.  She has an obsession with plastic water bottles.  I really think she had one in her hands 90% of the time we were there.  And, to try to take one from her brought on wailing and gnashing of teeth.  She would even wake from a slumber if she heard the crinkling sound of the plastic when someone was drinking.  We're happy to say that we have broke her of her addiction since being back.

FROG!  Luke saw a frog on this rock wall a mile away and immediately scurried up to catch him a new friend.  Unfortunately, the frog was too quick.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

time just flies by

Okay.  So, it's been a while since I've updated the blog.  And, since I can't remember much of the last few months, other than being all consumed trying to house break the dang dog, this will mostly be lots and lots of pictures... I think pictures are more interesting than words, anyways.

1.  One major change in our home, second to the dog, is a semi-intense diet change, aka GAPS.  I won't bore you with the details, but basically, the kiddos and I can only eat food that I have prepared (to ensure it's GAPS legal).  I have to say, I was quite nervous to start on this journey, but it turns out that my kids attitudes have been beyond amazing.  Especially Luke and Asa, whom I had expected to fight me the most on it.  Little Asa, is a pro at turning away treats offered him because they aren't part of his "special diet".   Even their teachers have been amazed at how well they have handled it - enjoying some carrots while their classmates are munching on Goldfish.  And, an added bonus (well, I think it's a bonus), is that for the first time since having these boys, they actually have an appetite.  They eat!  And, they will eat just about anything placed before them.  I never thought I'd see the day when Luke Pulley would eat sauerkraut, and actually like it (which my boys pronounce 'sauer-crap' - not even realizing the humor in it... I have yet to correct it, because it's too funny).

2.  Isaac's school had their big 'Hope of America' program.  It was surprisingly... enjoyable.  One of those things that only a parent would appreciate.  Even Adam, who couldn't produce a good enough reason to get out of going, enjoyed watching Isaac.  It took me back to my own patriotic program at Scera Park elementary, singing along with Neil Diamond's, 'Their Coming to America' - which a group of old ladies performed a dance number to, interestingly enough.  It was fun to watch Isaac, and be able to pick him out among his peers based upon his movements, efforts, and such.

3.  Here are some pictures of a visit to the zoo.  What's so special about going to the zoo, you ask?  Well, the fact that I took all four of my kids by myself, managed to keep track of them the whole time (for the most part), and actually had FUN, warrants some recognition.

PEACOCK!!!  Had this been the only animal that we saw at the zoo, Luke would have left, happy as a clam.  They're pretty much his favorite animal (for now).

No way!!  A peacock lover's dream come true!

I love the face.

4.  Somewhere over the last few months, Luke learned to ride a two wheeler!  What was the hold up?  Me. Or, Adam.  Either way, we dropped the ball with taking the time to remove the training wheels and get the poor kid riding on two wheels.  With Luke's personality I expected it to be a little (a lot) rough... a lot of pouting, a lot of 'I'm never's', and a lot of collapsing into a heap of frustration (on my end).  But, wouldn't you know it, he just took off, and never needed my assistance with any of it.  So, it just goes to show that once in a while, your kids do surprise you.  Unfortunately, we failed to get a picture of the big day.

5.  Lots of pictures which sum up the last few months, not to mention a strong need for me to do my poor girl's hair once in a while:


... sure...

... likes...

... Gus.

Boy, he sure puts up with a lot from the kids.

HAIR!  I tried to capture Elise's awesome nap hair, but this doesn't quite do it justice.  You just never know what you're going to get when she wakes up.

A true musician.

Now there's even more competition for the heat vent in the mornings.

Elise loves to sit on people's heads when the opportunity presents itself.  She especially loves to sit on Gus' head... but, this isn't Gus... it's Luke.

Isaac loves his Jazz jersey.  It's his go to shirt after school.  He even hangs it on his wall at night on occasion.

This was the first (and only) time I got to see Isaac ski this last winter.  Since he goes to Soldier Hollow, it's a regular thing, but alas, winter is now over, and I never made it out with him.  At least I was able to support him in his very first olympics.  What a fun school!