You are a joy! I know it's only been two short years since you joined our family but we couldn't imagine our lives without you. You filled a hole that we didn't even know we had. You completed us and we have all been happier since the day you were born.
Your "Bear" lives to make you smile, you chase him around and beg for his snuggles. He is the first to love you up and play with you. You two have become best friends, our little forest critters, that hate to be seperated. When you broke your arm a few weeks ago the only thing you cried out for was 'My Bear', your world could not be put right until you could be snuggling with him in the teepee again. "La-Lie" and you have a bond that can not be re-created. When she looks are you I see a twinkle in her eye that won't be replaced until she becomes a mother. She is always there for you, ready to help and you're always calling her to come love on, hug or help you. You love it when she includes you in her singing or dancing, you are always bringing books to her and begging to be read to. "E-ann" and you are buddies. If he happens to sit still for even one minute you're there tackling him or pulling him to come play "Lell-Lows" (Legos) with you. You love to make him giggle and he loves to chase you and make you giggle. You're a perfect pair. Daddy and I have a love-hate relationship with mornings. While we may want to sleep in more and catch a couple extra zzz's, we love hearing your pitter-patter in the mornings as you run down that hall and climb into bed with us. We love the soft pats you give us, the wet kisses and the quick cuddles that you squeeze in before you're determined to play with us, and wake us up. You then will poke and tackle and 'tickle' to get us up and giggling in the morning. It's adorable and we wouldn't have it any other way.
We've seen you go from baby to toddler since you broke your arm. We can see it hurting you, we see it making you uncomfortable and aching but you don't cry of complain about it. We see it making your everyday activities and games harder but you don't get mad, you get determined. It' so fun to see you struggle with something and just when we're ready to get up and help- you push us away and masterfully climb the stool, or play on the scooter. You're a go-getter and you don't let anything get in your way. You have learned out how to communicate more then ever and your personality comes out in buckets, daily. You've told us your favorite animal is the fox. You beg to watch "The Fox and The Hound" constantly, you try to pull up "What does the Fox say" on all the ipad/phones whenever they're left unattended. You can't sleep without you stuffed fox that you named "pow-pow" and you LOVE snuggling in your "Pee-Pee" and "Ning-Ning" (teepee and Fox sleeping bag). You love to sing and dance with you siblings. You're a daddy's boy and clap for joy every time you hear him coming up the stairs but when it comes to snuggles nothing beats burrowing in with your night-night into Mommy's neck. You might be getting older but, you'll always be my baby.
We're snowed in this week! Yeah its only 2 inches of snow but it has shut down an area of 4.3 million for 4 days. The benefit of snow days with our family is that I wasn't worried anyone would be stuck out stranded away from family in it.... the negative is that life pretty much went on as usual for us- we still homeschooled and Doug still worked from home as always. No forced vacation for us! That being said the kids were still in snowman heaven! We were all tahnkful for the cozy family time it gave us. It was fun to experience snow for the first time with Cam.
As it was coming down he spent over 90 minutes at the window saying "EWWWW!", "Yuck, yuck" because he thought it was gross. Then when we pulled him outside to touch it he almost had a full fledged panic attack but as soon as he realized he was missing out on the fun- he got over it and we couldn't keep him inside no matter how red his tiny cheeks got.
We enjoyed the week reading, snuggling by the fire, catching up on art lessons, playing board games and lots and lots of hot chocolate.
Hope you're enjoying your winter! Stay warm! Joanna
My big brother lives on one of the largest cattle ranches in the country and while we were visiting last summer Cam would just stare out the window for hours, completely entertained and content to watch the cows.
I found myself wishing for a view of a few cow fields this fall. Homeschooling the big kids with a toddler trying to get your attention can sometimes be overwhelming and just enough of a distraction for the students to de-rail your school day....
We found the perfect solution... THANK YOU YouTube!!
Maybe now we can get some schoolwork done today! JJ
Let me tell you a secret kids, people you meet throughout your life are going to me mean to you. Unfortunately, probably more often then not. There will be people that take advantage of you, or don't value the work you do, or don't see you for the amazing, talented people that you are. But want to know another secret? One that is even better? It doesn't matter how other people treat you or see you. What is most important is how you treat others and how you see yourself. If you are nice to yourself and see the amazing person that is you then you will be free to see the incredible value of others then you will naturally be nice to everyone.
Each one of these things I say in our home on a daily basis, and while you might hear it as nagging now I want you to see the big picture someday. I am constantly telling Ethan to be aware of his actions. His autism makes it easy to ignore the rest of the world but it's the rest of the world that colors your life buddy.... let them in. See how they impact you and impact others for good also. Ethan, you are also ALWAYS giving compliments . Owen too actually. You buys are tender hearts and always trying to cheer up others around you with your compliments... keep it up. Lorali is the on that always seems to root for the underdog in this house. She can be found holding the hand of the slowest member of the family. Lorali you see the struggles of others and try to help them through their trials, please don't ever lose that. I see you kids playing together and lately, arguing with eachother a lot.
I want you to see how amazing each of you are individually and become eachothers best friends. You're going to go through life together and the sooner you realize that you're all on the same size the easier and the happier you will all be. Once you're able to see, accept and love your own family for all that they are then you'll be able to ssee others that way too, you'll be the person that is kind and charitable and understanding and non-judgemental . You'll be all these things naturally without even thinking about it because you will see people as Christ sees them. You'll see them the way I see you. Full of knowledge, and growth and love. Talented and hardworking. Learning and growing and trying to figure out the world, one day at a time. You'll see that people make mistakes but you will also see what they are learning as they do. Help them to learn something possitive. Help them to see the possitive in the world by treating them that way with kindess and love.
I know you all have it in you. Please don't forget who you are.
Love always and eternally, MOM
**Inspired by an article I read last week on KSL.**