Cousin fun

Rylee had the great privilege of feeding her baby cousin a bottle today while we watched him for a bit.

Holding hands…

Papa doing a ‘weight test’ with the babies-Isaac won!

Sleeping Isaac in his cousin’s arms.

Rylee and Isaac laying on the couch together, he slept there for a half an hour!

This is for you Steph-isn’t he cute?


I love hearing big words out of little mouths…

Rylee (on the way home from an egg run to the grocery store): “Mom, look McDonald’s is still open.”

Me: “Yes, they are open all night long.”

Rylee: “When do the people sleep? Do they eat there?”

Me: “Different people work different times, and yes they get free food when they work.”

Rylee: “We don’t eat there much because it’s not nourishing.”

Me: “That’s right, it would make us sick to eat there every day.”

Rylee: “You make lots of nourishing things for me. Your mom must have taught you about nourishing. She taught you all the things that nourish me. You know lots about nourishing.”

Me: “I try to, that’s my job. Yes, Nana taught me lots of good things. She taught me lots about nourishing.”

Sweet little girl. Glad to be the one who nourishes her heart and body.

We don’t keep score…


Here are the Sharks going through their pre-game warm-ups.
Here are the Sharks going through their pre-game warm-ups.

…but we are undefeated (1-0-1).  And if it weren’t for some heroic goal tending by the opposiing five year old, we would have two straight victories.  This year Rylee joined a soccer team for the first time.  She is having and blast and if you ask her what her favorite part about soccer is she will say “having my daddy as my coach.”  This of course is music to my ears.  


I did not sign up to be the coach, but when we got the email back to us letting us know that no one had volunteered, I decided to step up and coach.  It has been a great joy actually over these last two weeks.  We have one practice a week and then a game on Saturday.  Teaching five year olds how to play soccer is super fun.  

Some of you know that I had surgery recently…nothing exciting, just a simple laproscopic hernia repair.  I was laid flat for a few days and then severely hampered for about a week.  I am doing much better now thank you.  However, Rylee’s first soccer game was three days after the surgery.  I knew that I could not miss that game, so I decided to pop a couple percocet and see what would happen.  What I hoped would not happen would me passing out from pain or drug overdose.  As it turned out, our team went on to a 6-0 victory…but we don’t keep score.  

Action Shot!

It has been a blast, but of course the best part of the deal is I get to have an on the field view of my sweet five year old daughter having fun and gaining confidence playing soccer, a game I have always loved.  Here is a picture of Rylee in action!

Go Sharks!



Me (listening to Rylee be super bossy to her brothers): “Rylee, are you being too bossy?

Rylee: “No mom, I’m just telling them what to do!”

Spoken like a true firstborn (I should know…although truly, Danielle was more bossy than me growing up, mainly because she was more creative and thus had to tell us all what to do!)

One more thought from today-the best part about schooling at home is that I can’t let the day get away and just try and do laundry, dishes, cooking, refereeing, etc. I get to do my best at those things but much more importantly, I am far more intentional about my time with the kids. With that, the days go smoother, I work more on housework late at night and leave my days as more ‘kid time’. It surprises me how wonderful this is to me.

Fires and other firsts

Tonight we had our first fire in our side yard to celebrate the fact that we finally have completed the project (well almost…we’re still missing the top of the arbor).  We added the new fence, finished the fort/slide, added a climbing wall, brought in 6 yards of pea gravel, and built a small outdoor fireplace.  So, Karissa headed off to the store to grab some necessities (marshmallows and roasting sticks) and we roasted the night away.  I was completely impressed with the roasting skills.  Both Rylee and Caleb were doing a tremendous job making mouthwatering nicely browned mallows.  Kyler would put the marshmallow near the flames for about 1 second and bring it back to his mouth, take a bite and repeat step 1.  The big projects are over for now…we are looking forward to many summer nights spent outside with the fire pit.  Any takers?

In other news, Audrey is smiling now.  For the last five days or so she has been responding to her mama and daddy, and I think Dee Dee with the cutest little Audie smiles.  Another first for Audie is that she slept for 6 hours straight, ate, and then went right back to sleep for another 3 (two days in a row now).  I had forgotten what a good night’s rest looks like.  Also, Rylee now puts Audrey to sleep by holding her and gently bouncing up an down on one of our inflatible balls.  It is quite handy having a sweet little girl who adores her little sister.

In the “I’m thirty now” news, it appears that although I am still capable of running a quick 4.5 miles on a whim, my legs hate me for the next three days straight.  Add that to the list.


Bugs, Bath, and Back to Work

I am back to work today but wishing I was at home.  We gave Audrey her first bath today, she was a champ.  Rylee of course has been a huge help with everything Audrey.


Here is the team



A little helping hand from her sister
The finished product...a clean Audrey!






Rylee words

Even with all of her efforts at taking care of Audrey, she still has time to learn to write.  Here are a few of her recent words: 


He has had better days...


Unfortunately Kyler got some bug the other day and woke up with a nose full of the junk.  Here he is looking a bit out of sorts.



What about the Boys?

Rylee is so excited to have Audrey as her baby sister.  In fact, many of the pictures we have of her involve Rylee in one way or another.  Yesterday, I sat down on the couch next to her as she was holding Audrey and just watched in awe of my beautiful daughters.  Rylee looked up at me and said “Daddy, out of all the things that I have gotten since the new baby came, the baby is my favorite.”  This just melted my heart.  We had put a bag together full of new toys for each of our kids in celebration of the new addition to our family.

The real question, though, was how were the boys going to react to Audrey when she showed up.  Before she was born, Caleb was asked several times what he thought about the whole deal and his standard answer was “I don’t think about it.”  Kyler of course did not have much to say.

Since she has been home, Caleb has looked at Audrey from time to time, but is kind of pressing on with life knowing she is now a part of it.  Twice now he has asked to hold her, but for the most part he has kept to his usual stuff, baseball, monster trucks, digging in the yard, and throwing balls.

Kyler has probably felt the most change in his status.  He, of course, is no longer the baby and has done his best to demand a bit more attention.  Often this is seen in trying to be funny to get everyone to look at him.  He did this before (he is quite the comedian) but I feel like he has amped it up a bit.  Of course, this morning, he got Dad to himself by virtue of a 5:20 wake up.  Coffee anyone?  The most affection he gives to Audrey is a lick on the head.  I am not sure where he learned that one, maybe from Maggie…

I am anticipating both boys connecting on a deeper level with their  Daddy as Mom needs to spend time bonding with Audrey.  It will be an interesting journey as we watch these two little men grow up in this family of six.  Yesterday Karissa and I looked across the dinner table at each other and just took it in that we really did have a table for six.  We love it and look forward to watching each of these four children grow up learning to love God, love each other, and to serve others generously.


Birth on 405 Southbound? Almost!

Well, we didn’t actually have Audrey on the side of 405, but it was close.  Karissa woke up on the 18th, two days past her due date, with contractions that would not allow her to sleep.  This of course is the day after her 30th birthday where we stayed up way too late with our dear friends.  Karissa and I went to bed hoping that everyone would sleep in, but of course little Kyler was up and ready to go by his usual 7am.  One way or another she was entering a long day without much reserve.


When we didn’t show up for church the rumor mill was out in full force so the text messages started coming fast and furious but we had nothing to report.  The kids all woke up from their naps and it was back to letting mom rest by getting the kids outside.  We played with the neighbor kids, and filled out the evening with more scooters, bikes, and bubbles.  On a side note, we live next to some of the best neighbors.  Their three boys (6, 12, and 14) love to play with our kids and seem to actually enjoy it!  I would continue to check in with Karissa throughout the evening but although the contractions were growing in their intensity, they were still not rapid enough to warrant a call to the midwife. 


A few hours later the kids were put to bed and Karissa and I knew that it was going to be that night sometime so we decided to pass the time with a movie.  At about 10:30pm the contractions really started kicking in hard and fast so we called the midwife.  She told us to meet her in an hour so we began to get things ready.  We woke up Rylee, put her in the car (she was so groggy she couldn’t do it herself) and headed down the freeway to the midwife. 


This is where things got interesting.  Between Karissa adjusting the temperature in the van from full bore AC to heat and back about 20 times, her squeezing my hand until I thought it might fall off, and the very specific driving remarks coming from her it was one of the more interesting drives of my life.  However, at one point I looked over and thought, this would not be good if we did not make it in time.

The love that Rylee has in her heart for Audrey is so precious.


We finally made it to the birth center around 11:50 pm.  We got Karissa into a beautiful room with lit candles and a pre-drawn tub.  She immediately got into the tub and just about three minutes later we met Audrey Rose at 12:02AM on May 19th.  It made for a long day but we could not have asked for a greater gift from God.  Audrey was in great shape, completely beautiful, and the most perfect little head.


Three hours later we were heading North on 405 praising God for this gift and that the freeway was not the location of the birth now knowing just how close it was.