Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. Well, hello there. My name is Christina and I have this blog that I never update but I'm constantly writing posts for in my head... :)

2. I'm pretty sure I'm going to take this photo every year for as long as I can convince them (i.e. bribe them) to pose for it. They already look so much older than last year.


3. Moose has learned so many new skills in the past few months from watching TV and hanging out with his older brothers-but I think the one his Dad is most proud of is the one "The Electric Company" taught him a few weeks ago. Beatboxing. Yes, my four year old can beatbox. Apparently if you say, "boots" and then "cuts" repeatedly and quickly, that's the first step to expert beatboxing.

4. How many people are sitting there reading this and saying "boots" "cuts" over and over again? :)

5. Jackson is growing up far too fast for this momma-he no longer believes in Santa Claus ("Mom, it's just impossible for anyone to do that-millions of kids in 24 hours? I may be a kid but even I know that's impossible.") and he had his first friend sleepover this week. Stop growing so fast.

6. Lots of holiday fun going on around here-visits to Santa (the older boys even pretended to believe so Moose could have that experience), trimming the tree, and Christmas parties (so many parties!). The twins are in the children's Christmas drama at church this Sunday night. I'm really looking forward to seeing them perform-I haven't been to any of the rehearsals so this will be my first time seeing it!

7. Basketball season is back in session, which means on any given weekend we can be found in a gym somewhere, rooting on either Jarron or Jackson. Jarron's playing for the Fairfield Tomahawks again this year and Jackson's playing for an Upward program near our home.

8. Still hoping for a white Christmas here in Ohio, despite the near 60 degree weather and thunderstorms we've been having in the middle of December-a girl can dream. :)

9. We found a new and very addictive show to watch as a family-Duck Dynasty. The only problem is the boys are now super interested in duck hunting and all things "redneck". I'm a little afraid of what this means for us as they get older. (Full disclosure-I'm a girly girl-I don't do "dirt" or fishing or camping all that well.)

10. I feel like I should include a few photos from the past few months to catch everyone up on our life-so here you go...be back soon!
lakes family reunion
 jackson at fall lacrosse
moose at itty bitty soccer
family photo shoot

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Moose Turns Four

I can hardly believe it. Our sweet little Moose, the baby of our family, is now four years old. It's been four years since this bundle of energy was placed in our arms and changed our lives.

Brody Edward, you were the missing piece to our family, that one little link that we needed to complete us and make us whole. You have brought such joy and happiness to our lives.
Your laughter and mischievousness are exactly what we needed. I thought as an experienced momma of 3, that I knew what I was doing. Ha! You taught me that I had soooo much to learn. You taught me how to slow down and enjoy each moment (whether I wanted to or not), you taught me that I am absolutely not in control (God has always had a special plan for you), and that sometimes all I really needed to smile was a little boy doing a crab dance for me.

I can see the years slipping past me so quickly now. I'm trying desperately to savor each moment of this journey with you. Your baby years are gone now. There are no binkys, bottles or diapers in this house. No crib or changing table.

I'm not sure it's even fair to call you a toddler at this point. You've just started soccer and you graduated from the Nursery at church. You have suddenly become a little boy. My tiny little Moose is a boy.

I love you so very much, Moose. I love the way you sing when you play video games. I love your sweet chubby little cheeks that are beginning to thin into a little boy face. I love your big blue eyes and your adorable little grin. I love that you want me to read "The Going To Bed" book each and every night, even though you have it memorized. I love that you embrace life and the people around you. There are no strangers in your world (we'll need to work on that). You have so much personality.
I have so many hopes and dreams for you but right in this moment, I hope most that you never lose that-the complete joy of living-you are just so happy all the time-I want that for you, forever.
I thank God every day for you and your brothers. For allowing me to be your momma. For letting me get to know you, to raise you, to have some small part in the amazing men you will become.
I hope you know how much you are loved-it's hard being the youngest of 4, no doubt, but know that your Dad and I love you more than words could ever express.

Happy 4th Birthday Moose Goose! I love you to the moon and back.
Your Momma

Sunday, July 22, 2012

He's Gr{eight}!!

My sweet little brown eyed boy-
{Okay, I probably can't call you little for very much longer, but you will ALWAYS be my brown eyed boy.} Happy eighth birthday! I am so proud of the wonderful young man you are becoming. You are so very smart and kind.
I know that most people, those who don't really know you all that well, think you are serious and quiet. But I know the real you. The little boy with the dry sense of humor that absolutely cracks us all up. The boy with the smile that will literally light up a room. It takes you awhile to warm up to situations but when you do, man, there's no stopping you.

I used to worry that you lacked self-confidence but I know that's not the case. You know who you are, you just quietly go about your business. I love that about you. You aren't at all concerned what other people think, you are perfectly content being you. You are fearless and strong.
I love being around you, because in the chaos and disorder that is sometimes my day to day, you ground me. {Yes, you, my 8 year old son grounds me.} Your quiet spirit and calm demeanor helps me to focus on what really matters.
There's a song that I listen to sometimes called "Quiet Your Mind", one of the lyrics are "If you're too busy talking, you're not busy listening". You ALWAYS listen. You hear everything, it seems. You take it all in and decide what's right, what you believe and then you act.
You really do amaze me, Jackson. You are so very smart but you never, ever show off. You can solve puzzles and clear video games without really even trying but you never brag about it. You win awards at school and I find them crumpled in the bottom of your backpack. Not because you don't care but because the limelight isn't your thing.
You're just you. And the you that you are is pretty amazing. Never forget that.
I hope you come to find that the limelight is okay sometimes-I saw you enjoy it a little bit with your school play this past year-you strolled across the stage in a dog costume {with just one line} and just about stole the show. Because, like me, when people see you, really see you they think you are pretty amazing too.

I love you so much, Jackson Scott. Keep being who you are. I have no doubt you are going to accomplish great things someday. I thank God everyday for giving you to us.
Your Momma

Friday, July 6, 2012

Where The Boat Leaves From...

I'm warning you now-this post has a TON of pictures-so feel free to ignore this one, if you aren't interested in that kind of thing...
It's been about a month since we've been back from vacation and I'm finally catching up on things-life is slowing down a bit.
We went to Destin, Florida for the week of Memorial Day-it was wonderful. Perfect weather, the beaches were beautiful (no Junegrass!) and the crowds were thin. We spent most of our time in the city of Destin-last year we were east of Destin in Santa Rosa and spent most of our time at those beaches-St Andrews & Grayton. This year we stayed in Destin and took a shuttle over to Henderson State Park-the sand was soft and white and the water was bright blue.

The twins loved the beach-snorkeling, skim boarding, even catching small fish.

Jackson, well, he tolerated it. He spent a lot of time building elaborate sand villages and canal systems to protect his sand villages.
Moose, on the other hand, did not care for the beach. At all. He screamed "Go away sun!" and hid under a towel. He refused to go into the ocean unless he was attached to either Chuck or me. The only time he seemed even slightly happy was when he flinging sand at someone. I guess I never have to worry about him dropping out of college and living on the beach some day.
We didn't spend all of our time at the beach-we did lots of other fun stuff too-went to Harborwalk Village for dinner and sightseeing, took the kids to Fat Daddy's arcade (their favorite place in all of Destin), we rented a pontoon boat and went fishing (sort of) and visited Crab Island, Chuck took the twins on jet skis, and we even caught a movie.
We found a fun new area to spend an evening in-Baytowne Wharf- where we tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Chuck to eat 3 pound burrito, the boys got to do the Euro Bungy ride, and Moose got to ride a "Chicken Horse" at the carousel. Baytowne Wharf is located in Sandestin and has such a cool atmosphere, we will definitely be adding it to our list of things to do next year.
We went to the Gulfarium-Florida's Marine Adventure Park right on the beach, where we saw sea lions and dolphins. Jackson and Moosey got to touch Starfish, while Chuck and the twins messed with hermit crabs.
We visited the Okaloosa Pier-with it's colorful shops and restaurants. Definitely want to be spend more time here next year!

 We walked all the way onto the pier and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Gulf-water as far as you could see. People all over the pier were fishing. Very cool atmosphere.

Our last night in Destin, we took a sunset cruise and went looking for seashells. The interesting thing about Destin and Crab Island is that there are a decent number of shells but most of them have live hermit crabs still in them! It's much harder to find empty shells in this area of the Gulf. But Chuck and the twins found quite a few-and all four boys got a chance to captain the boat before we ended the evening seeing a beautiful Gulf sunset.
This vacation was really amazing-so relaxing and fun. I love that I got to spend a week doing the things we love to do most, with the people I love the most. We love going to Destin, it's one of those places you can go back year after year and discover something new each time. I'm already counting down the days until next year's trip. :)
Until then, here's a few of my very favorite photos of my little family...be back next week for a recap of what else we've been up to lately...end of school festivities, VBS week, fireworks and more!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ten on Thursday

1. I can't believe lacrosse season is almost over. My boy has played hard-he's scored two goals this year and improved so very much. I couldn't be prouder of him.
# 18, ready to play

Love this picture of Bryce and a teammate
Fastest game on two feet!

2. All four of my boys received their very last AWANA awards last week. Moosey finished Puggles, Jackson finished Sparks, and Bryce and Jarron finished Truth & Training. They worked really hard all year-the bigger kids finished at least 2 books each. That's a LOT of memory verses!
Moose and Jackson on the top, Jarron and Bryce on the bottom
3. For nearly 14 years I have teased Chuck about eating fruit snacks. About how they are not real fruit or even real food. Last night I ate two small packs of the kind with juice in the middle. And they were SOOOO good. I guess I can't tease him anymore.

4. Prior to my little kidney stone episode (wherein I had horrible pain and will never ever drink soda again) I went on Jackson's field trip to the Cincinnati Zoo. It was the fastest trip to the zoo ever. I think we were there for 3 hours. He had so much fun.

5. I got a new lens for my camera-and it is AMAZING. Seriously. I get it now. People talk about how lenses make a difference and they really, really do. (In case you were wondering it's a Sigma OS 50-200 mm.)
I took this picture! :)
6. I missed posting pictures of the AWANA Grand Prix. No trophies for our boys this year but the two that competed (Jarron & Jackson) had fun!

7. This is what happens when you get two or more Lakes cousins in one place at a time. They start off smiling...

And suddenly everyone's Tebowing?!? Except Moosey...who seemed confused. :)

8. How is it even possible that there is only one week of school left? Rumor has it that in addition to the Character awards the Lakes twins won last week both boys are up for Academic awards NEXT week as well.

9. And what about my sweet Jackson? Jackson is such a good boy. He has brought home outstanding grades all year and Smile a Grams from his gym teacher for good behavior at least once a month. He's my helper at home too. Quietly taking care of little things and bigger things (like keeping a certain 3 year old Moose, that is a bit high maintenance, occupied). We are so blessed to have Jack-Jack in our lives.

10. This Moose goes non-stop all day, every day. It takes ALL of our energy to keep up with him. He literally goes, and goes, and goes until he collapses at the end of the day. Sometimes we find him asleep on the floor with his toys spread out around him as if he fell out mid-play. But he is so sweet and loving. I just wish he'd take a nap every now and again. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012


Eleven years ago I became a momma for the first time. And exactly 60 seconds later, I became a momma for the second time. :)

I am so grateful for each day I get with my sons. I know they are gift from God. I am one of the fortunate people, blessed to be called "mom".

Bryce and Jarron taught me how to be a mom. I knew nothing about parenting before they joined our family. I had no idea what to do when your 22 month old bashes his head on the fireplace mantle (trip to ER for stitches), or whether biting through your tongue requires stitches (it doesn't) but now I am the neighborhood expert on cuts, bumps, bruises, and stitches vs staples.

I had no idea how much my heart would hurt the first time my son was in pain and I couldn't fix it. How many nights I'd lie awake praying when they'd have a problem at school or on the bus.

I had no idea how proud I'd be the first time they brought home straight A's. Or how loud I'd cheer on the sidelines of soccer, basketball, baseball, football, and lacrosse games (VERY loud).

I had no idea how hard I'd laugh at silly knock knock jokes. Or how much I'd enjoy discussing books and TV shows with them.
I had no idea how much I'd treasure crayon drawings of stick figures with the words "I love you Mommy" written on them. Or how as they got older, how thrilled I'd be each time I still got a hug or kiss goodbye in the morning.

I just had no idea how much I'd love this job. How much I'd love being a mom. I had no idea my heart could have that much love in it. And yet each year there seems to be more. More love, more to learn, more joy.
And it all begin 11 years ago because of these two...

Happy birthday Bryce and Jarron! I love you so very much!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. We had a very nice long weekend-it was very hard to go back to work on Monday. Chuck and I are both anxiously counting down the days to vacation. {44 days-in case you were wondering...can't wait to drive until the map turns blue!}

2. Jackson had a particularly social Spring Break with not one but two days spent hanging out friends-he spent one day with his BFF & twin separated at birth, Otto, and we took his friend Everett with us to the park another day. Jackson has a much better social life than I do-I wish I were kidding.

3. Jarron and I were running errands the other night when he shared this little quote with me about middle school lunch:
"Mom, the girls sit on one side of the table and the boys sit on another. They are like cats and we are like dogs. The are pancakes and we are waffles. And we DON'T share the same syrup."

4. Not only did our Kentucky Wildcats win the NCAA championship {woot!}, but I also won my bracket challenge at work. All of my co-workers have to call me "Champ". I'm kind of awesome. ;)

5. I realized last night that Moose doesn't know what the word "filthy" means. He's been using the word a lot lately and I just assumed he knew it meant extremely dirty. Turns out he thinks it means "thirsty". Hmmnnn...suddenly, this conversation makes a lot more sense:
"Moooooooooommmmmm....get me more juice. I'm very filthy! Please, I'm so filthy."

6. We did a bunch of Easter related activities this weekend-including egg-dyeing and Easter at the Lakes'. We still have another Easter to go with the Sawyers' this weekend. Jackson told me Saturday night that he didn't believe in the Easter bunny and then Sunday when he saw his basket, he said, "Wow. There must be an Easter Bunny! I got a Lego Batman set and Mom would have never thought to get me that!" Hmph. Later that night he caught me finishing off the Starburst jelly beans, so I'm pretty sure he's back to thinking I'm the Easter Bunny but who knows.
Egg Hunt with the Lakes Cousins

Egg Dyeing with the Lakes Boys

Easter Morning

7. I discovered another amazing app on my iPad, called Flipboard. Again, I'm probably late to the party on this but it's pretty cool. It takes all of your social media {facebook, twitter, google reader, even news sites) and puts it into one tidy little place and formats it into a 'magazine' type format. If you don't have it, you should go check it out. And it's FREE, because-this girl-doesn't pay for apps.

8. I have done zero scrapbooking in the last 3 weeks and I am dying to get down to my craft room and get a layout or two done.

9. I think my sister in law must put crack in the cupcakes she makes. Because they are seriously the most amazing things I have ever tasted. I. CAN'T. STOP. EATING. THEM.

10. Guess who has a birthday coming up....11 years old?!? Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!