Monday, September 30, 2013

Not So Long Ago

I can't get over how fast time is going these days.  We went from a family with lots of little boys to a family of lots of medium size boys in no time at all.  And soon we'll be a family of lots of teenage boys.  Yikes!  I'll need to make an investment in air freshener.  So this post is flashback to a time, not so long ago, when we were a family of much littler boys.
Jumping off the tower at Kanakuk.  Such a brave boy.  He had just turned seven.

When they were all little.  They were seven, six, four, two and 9ish months.

Just some little boys after a game.

Now they are too old to play like this, but it sure was cute when they were three.

This smile and those ears coming out of his hat.  I want to go back and squeeze him.

That smile of pure joy.

This moment is worth sharing with you one more time.

He was funny even back then.

He used to take naps in our closet.  And read books and play with toys while we did some school in the morning.  This picture makes me want to cry the most.  I miss having a baby.

The bond between these two.

These two won a World Series together.

This was one of the last pictures of him where he still looks like a little boy.

His television watching position and chubby fingers.

Playing a favorite game called Daddy Bull.

Graham, our Minnesota lover, and lover of all things cold.

 Baby Samuel, age five, and the cutest little boy named Samuel there ever was.

This motherhood thing is bittersweet.  How can we simultaneously be glad they are healthy and growing, and sad to see their baby-ness fade?  I've enjoyed (most) every moment.  But as I look at these pictures, I want to dive into every one and give each boy a big hug. 

Including the one with mustard on his shirt.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting into a good groove... and some other randomness

 Well, fall (besides the weather aspect) is in full swing.  Fall is the season I miss my northern roots the most.  While everyone else is posting about fall colors, leaves crunching under their feet, and pulling out their jeans and sweaters, here in Texas, we anxiously await a day where the high is in the 80's instead of the 90's.

Back to my point... fall is here.  Our new school year has begun with a bang.  We're doing more school than we've ever done.  Graham and Asher are in 6th grade, Samuel is in 3rd, and Joseph is in 1st.  Nathan joins in on whatever he can learn through osmosis and will start kinder next fall.  All these grades are rather time consuming.  And so far we've finished our days later than ever, like pretty darn close to dinner time.  Or until it's time to pack up for baseball.  It's going to take a couple more weeks to find the perfect groove.  I've tweaked things every weekend in preparation for the next week. Classical Conversations has been wonderful, but there's a lot to explore.  And what I'm finding out is that the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it.  How disappointing that success requires things like hard work and follow through!  

So here's a recap of the last couple of weeks.  These are phone pics.  I haven't uploaded pictures from my big camera since we got back from Minnesota.  But when I do I'll share them too.

After church at Torchy's.  Have you been?  It's a Wolfe family favorite.  I always get the Independent.  Chris gets the Fried Avocado.  And the queso is to die for... not your normal run-of-the-mill queso that's made from some kind of gross cheese product.

Yesterday Asher was the first batter Beckett ever pitched to.  A historic moment between two sweet friends.

We had a birthday to celebrate (Happy birthday, Leighsa!) so we HAD to make this cake and eat it all weekend long.  And don't worry, Nathan got a hair cut the very next day this pic was taken.

I had the realization that all of my example grammar sentences include a trip to Target.  

A morning break on the porch swing.

We just finished reading about the Berlin Wall, and I surprised the boys by showing them a real piece of it.  My Aunt Lianne served in Germany as a missionary all of her adult life, so she blessed us with this piece of German history.

An afternoon pick me up.  Long school days require iced coffee with whipped cream.

Legos everywhere these days.  It kind of gives me the hives but this is what they do while we do school.  I've decided it's better than some form of media.  And one day when the legos are pushed aside for something else, I'll miss it.

My sweet husband reading to his boys.

Laundry needing to be folded at the end of a long week.  At least it's all clean.  Oh, and notice that curtain I made which I still have yet to add lining to.

A trip to Ikea last weekend.  It was crazy town there, but we survived it thanks to the meatballs and cinnamon rolls.

My first time to set a real table in our new house.  I pulled out my mother-in-law's china for the special event.  I think it would have made her happy, knowing that I'm using it.

This one is called Mommy's vice.  I try to stay away from the artificial sweeteners but sometimes you just need a Diet Coke.

Turtle watching during the school day.  So Charlotte Mason of me. 

And last but not least, I finally unpacked the last box... a little over a year later.  
Congratulations to me.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Because he has a birthday coming up.

This month my baby turns five.  This sweet boy is my baby and I can't tell you how much I don't want him to grow up right now.  His little hands are less chubby than even a couple of months ago.  He doesn't have that toddler belly anymore.  He's more little boy than toddler and I'm just not sure what to do without a toddler.  I've had at least one in my life for over ten years.  And now I blinked, and he's five.  So let's call these pictures "ode to four" or "the light was just right at the golf course in Lubbock this summer" or "isn't he the cutest thing ever?"

Thanks for indulging my Nathan photo fest :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Family Vacation {The Minnesota Part}

From family camp, we hopped in the car and headed straight for Northfield, Minnesota.  When you enter Northfield, there's a little sign that says, "Northfield:  Home of Colleges, Cows, and Contentment."  It's a good summary of what this town has.  It's lovely, peaceful, and, well, full of colleges and cows.
This is right before the kid's ceremonial run down the hill into Grandma and Grandpa's backyard.  

We got to see Uncle Bryan preach twice.  Definitely a highlight.  

Discussing great theological truths over the best pizza place in St. Paul.

These cousins and their fondness for each other is the greatest.

Chris was in Texas for our two weeks here, so I figured it was my responsibility to get their energy out.  We exercised most every morning.  It was cool and crisp in the morning.  Loveliness after being in the Texas heat all summer long.

Even he joined me and ran for a 1/2 mile one day.

Mostly, he wanted to walk and collect bugs

They run for treats.  I run for coffee treats.

Eating outside.

Eating in the garage.

Samuel got a new Twins shirt!  His favorite team.

Beaches galore.

Superman antics everywhere we go.

A wonderful day with the Palms where the kids settled and peacefully built these sand tunnels for hours so Tarrah and I could talk.

More Mall of America fun.  And a shout out to Caribou Coffee for their $2 cold drinks after 2:00.

And a little stop at IKEA.  Don't you love this mirror?

Mom had a groupon for the local roller rink.  This is the same one I skated it when I was their age.  It's a little eerie... how much it looks exactly the same.  I took this pic to send to a friend who I used to go there with.

There's lots of great bike trails.

Isn't it peaceful?

My bike riding pal that morning.

Time with Graham on another morning.  He's so old.  How is he so grown up?

Back to school shopping with the girls.  It was fun to look at girls stuff.  But so much more overwhelming.  Boys don't have outfits.  Boys have shorts and t-shirts.  Or t-shirts and jeans.  Or for church a polo shirt and khakis.  This is way more complicated.

The girls thought I needed these shoes.  I said I agreed and that they would be very practical home school mom shoes.

And then we all headed home.  ALL the way down Interstate 35.
Here's some fun with hand dryers at the Iowa rest stop.

Iowa has the nicest rest stops EVER.  So clean and awesome.  This is our little picnic.

And a group shot of us on the road.  We stopped in KC to see some good friends, and unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that.  But that stop made our trip so easy.  They had dinner waiting for us, and a trampoline to jump on, and a big basement to sleep in (that is full of fun toys... perfect after a long day in the car).  Thanks Rothwells!

We did some more of this.  I still love those headphones.  

And this is why I love Oklahoma.  They are so encouraging.  I wasn't feeling like I was looking good in my Transformer t-shirt, but they said I was.  Thanks, OK!

And thanks for being patient and looking at all of my vacation pics.  I have some pics on my big camera too, and hopefully, I'll share those later.