Category Archives: Bobert

Finding the Joy

Ah the Goof

is

BACK!!

Here I sit with my foot wrapped and propped up. (It’s looking like a sprain and is already feeling better than it did this morning)

Sitting around – especially on a beautiful day – is not much fun, but it gives plenty of time for thinking.

And I found myself thinking about how lucky I am to have such an amazing family and how proud I am of the choices my kids are making.

I first thought of it when James wandered up from the basement in the late morning. He didn’t say anything to me, just walked to the dishwasher and quietly opened it. I thought he was getting a drink when I heard the chink of dishes, but as the chink lasted longer than a few seconds I realized he was quietly unloading the dishwasher. No one had asked him, he just decided to come upstairs and do it for mommy.

And I smiled and thought of all the joys of parenting.

Sometimes we get bogged down in the negatives – I know I do – how hard it is (after all – being a parent is one of the hardest jobs we’ll ever do). And I wondered if I told my kids how much I look up them and how they set amazing examples for me.

Almost every night when I go into Jacob’s room to tell him lights out he’s sitting on his bed reading his scriptures.

Emily frequently goes out of her way to help friends, siblings,  parents, and teachers. I often hear her ask, “Anything I can do to help?”

Even Robert sets an example with his loving hugs and willingness to help pick up toys.

And Dot – I  am often so amazed by my Dot. She seems fearless and is so courageous when it comes to standing for what is right. The other day I picked her up from Stage Band and asked her how her day went.

“Good,” she replied, “but I think my whole science class hates me now.”

I of course asked why and she explained that the class before hers – or maybe it was hers had angered the sub so much that he had walked out. Not having a teacher, Dorothy got up from her seat to report the situation to the office. The class members told her not to go – “We can have a party” they said. But Dot went anyway, informed the office of the situation and a sub was provided for the class.

To me that was pure bravery. That was awesomeness. I am in awe of the courage and example that she set. The youth theme for this year for our church is “Stand Ye in Holy Places and Be Not Moved” – she embodied that to me and I couldn’t have been more proud of her.

Sometimes I want to stand on top of a mountain and shout for all to hear

“MY KIDS ARE AWESOME !!!!”

Sure, kids are hard – and I know many stories of how difficult teenagers and preteens can be – but there are SO many joys. It’s worth it. Those moments when you see and hear of your child making the hard choices and doing the right thing – standing up in the face of possible ridicule to do what’s right – standing up for other kids who are being made fun of – not being afraid to live up to their standards and not compromise them. Sure they will make mistakes and maybe they won’t do all of these things all the time – but the moments they do should be celebrated and remembered. I hope I can remember to focus on all the good my kids do and not get bogged down in the negatives of parenting.

There’s so much negative in the world today – we don’t need more. My kids make plenty of mistakes and poor choices and it’s easy to think that’s all they do and then I remind myself that they do just as many good things if I’m paying attention. Most people are eager to point out how hard parenting is, how tiring, how difficult – how awful the dreaded teenage years can be – most people know all these things.

But, how many point out all the joys, the rewards, the pay offs, that come with it? I can’t count how many times I heard the words loaded with negativity “Just wait until their teens” when I talked about how good or hard my young children were. How discouraging those words felt. We don’t need to be told and tell other parents how hard things are – or how hard they may get – I think most of us already have a pretty good idea of the heartaches – just check the news – what we really need to to remind each other of are the things that make parenting joyous.

Let’s not be so eager to point out all the negatives – let’s encourage, lift & celebrate all that our children are and can do. I know I have hard years ahead – what stage in parenting doesn’t? But I know for every battle lost or mistake made there are many battles fought and won.

Celebrate the amazing in your kids!

And who knows – maybe it will give them the courage

to be even more amazing than they already are.

MY KIDS ARE AWESOME!!!

AND YOURS ARE TOO!!!

(I think this calls for an ice cream party – and when asked why, I think I’ll just say “Because you are all AWESOME!!”)

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Jacob, James, Parenting

A Bit about James

Each of our children has had a very distinct personality:

Lizy was the quiet one who had a goofy streak and a temper.

Dot is the social, strong willed, nutty one.

Emily is the sweet bubbly, always smiling one.

Jacob is the class clown goofball type.

Robert is still a little young to know for sure, but he tends to be a little more on the serious side  – though he can giggle with the best of them.

But, James is the ultimate

Ham!

Throw him on a slice of bread with swiss cheese and you could just gobble him up.

He loves making you laugh, and he knows just how to do it.

He was the one who started the underwear ninjas at our house among the boys – he came bounding out of his room with his underwear on his head pearing out one hole. He struck his most serious ninja pose and said:

“I am a ninja.”

And I dissolved into laughter

(at least the underwear was clean).

Jacob soon followed suit and soon both boys were running around as underwear ninjas.

Last spring just before he [finally] potty trained, I changed his pull-up one morning and sent him off to the bathroom before putting a clean one on. As he went, he wiggled his wee little naked bum all the way to the bathroom, singing:

“Shake your booty.”

“Shake your booty.”

I giggled.

A lot!

He has this funny thing with clothes. (though he’s finally starting grow out of it now that he’s in underwear). He will wear all the shirts in his drawer – at once – and

NO PANTS! 

One morning I was talking with a neighbor in the driveway and he came running out with nothing on but a cape and his diaper – oh, and socks on his hand. He zoomed around us a few times as I tried not to be mortified before dissapearing inside the house. My neighbor patted me on the shoulder, laughing, and said,

“It’s ok. He’s a boy.”

He rolls, tumbles, dives, climbs and has the goofiest, cheesiest grin and faces. His please face would put all puppy dogs to shame. And his pirate roar would make everyone tremble.

And he’s my Glue.

I nicknamed him that because he just sticks to me – the ultimate snuggler and in these months since Lizy, I am even more grateful for those snuggles. He’ll scootch right up to me and say

“I am your glue.” 

So, that is James in a nutshell:

my Ham & Cheese sandwich.

All of my kids are amazing and I am so blessed to be their mom. 😀

1 Comment

Filed under Bobert, Children, Em, Humor, Jacob, James, Lizy

The Faces of My Motivation

I’ve been asked sometimes, how do you do it?

How do you keep going?

Stay positive?

Be strong?

I’m not and I don’t. Not all the time at least. I struggle and I cry.

Sometimes I sob.

But, I can’t let myself do that a lot.

I can’t afford it.

I might have lost one precious and amazing daughter,

562130_3420842712559_893696188_n

but I have five more children who need me to keep it together.

So, when all else fails. When I’m tempted to give in, hide for a week, or turn into a quivering mess and stick my head in the sand for the rest of the month, week, or even year…

These are the glorious faces that keep me going:

Bobert

IMG_0868

Jamesy

IMG_0681

J-Kabob

IMG_0680

Emmy

IMG_0677

Dot

IMG_0679

They are my joy. I look at these photos and my heart swells and thumps and my eyes tear at the beauty in their face and their joy, even amidst the sorrows (these were taken this summer). It shines through and fills me in the darkest moments.

And of course, nothing would be possible without my amazing Husby.

Paul Wagner

He doesn’t mind if I soak his shirts with tears, or snap in frustration after a bad day. He always makes me smile and laugh. He is my hero.

So, the answer is, I do it for them. I do it for Lizy. We can only be together forever if I keep on keeping on. 🙂
Without them, I think this journey would be impossible.
They are amazing and I love them with ALL my heart.

7 Comments

Filed under Bobert, Child loss, Children, Dot, Em, Family, Gratitude, Jacob, James, Lizy

Problem Solving 101

To all toddlers…..

Feeling thirsty?

Too small to pour yourself a drink of water?

Or, perhaps, you just ran out of cups…

Robert demonstrates the perfect solution….

Step 1: Obtain and insert straw

Step 2: Grasp straw firmly in hand – puckering up in preparation is key

Robert Drinking from Pitcher

Step 3: Drink away

Step 4: Smile for the Camera and congratulate you on a job well done!

Hints:  A chair with a booster seat strapped to it helps a lot.

Take advantage of the oportunity to blow copious bubbles after your drink – you’ll look so adorable your mom won’t tell you “no” & there’s a lid on the pitcher, so you won’t make mess (stay on her good side).

*Mom’s Note:

This happened this morning after breakfast. The girls had left the pitcher of water on the table, and Robert must have been thirsty. He’d snagged straws from various water bottles and stuck them into the pitcher spout. Paul found him, and called me down to take a look & to bring the camera. He was quite proud of himself, adorable little tyke. 😀

4 Comments

Filed under Bobert, Children, Every Day Life, Humor

All I want(ed) for Christmas is (was) a Toilet Seat

Ah!

What a lovely Christmas we had!

And birthday too, as James turned 4 two days after. I will write about that later though.

We had our traditional re-enactment of the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve – which turns out more COMEDY than seriousness – but I think they still get the message of the true meaning of Christmas.

See Below:

2011 Christmas Collage 1

First Jacob looks like he’s doing some sort of crazy bizarre thing.

Then Dad is giving him a talking to while James looks like he’s about to pounce on Emily.

Finally they all manage a quick smile.

Then Dad insists that Mom hop in the picture and Jacob spreads his angel wings.

So that is reminiscent of the whole evening – as you can see here:

2011 Christmas Collage 2

I think that the idea of Jacob as the angel was amusing in and of itself as he tends to CAUSE (and get into) the MOST trouble

After we sent them off to bed “Santa” came…

2011 Christmas Collage 3

2011 Christmas Collage 4

Christmas morning dawned with EXCITEMENT and FUN

 

2011 Christmas Collage 5

The boys LOVED the quilts that I managed to throw together in five days

(silly me, thinking that I had plenty of time…)

And Dad loved his presents, apparantly….

2011 Christmas Collage 7

But the FUNNIEST moment of the days was when…

The kids opened up their brand new toilet seat!

2011 Christmas Collage 6

So, the story…

A few days before Christmas the toilet seat in the kids’ bathroom broke. While Paul and I were out Christmas shopping we bought a new one.

That night, as we went through our stash and tallied things up, we pulled the toilet seat from the pile.

“What if,”  my husband suggested, “we give it to the kids for Christmas.”

“Oh, that would be a riot!” I exclaimed.

So we did, and it was.

Though Dot had to ask,

“Is it clean?”

2 Comments

Filed under Bobert, Children, Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Humor, Jacob, James, Lizy

Washington D.C.

I have never had a trip with SO much good and SO much

crazy

at the same time!

So, we started off sleeping through our alarm, returning to the house for directions on where we were even going, and finally were on our way. That’s when we remembered to have our prayer of safety as we traveled. Paul just had to silently add

“if anything is going to happen to the van, let it happen now”

– ten seconds later the power steering died and our battery light came on. We nursed the car to an auto parts store who, thankfully, knew exactly what the problem was. Thirty or so minutes later, one serpentine belt richer, and our wallets a bit lighter, we FINALLY made it onto the freeway. (and we were VERY grateful it happened while in town)

Thankfully, at that point the drive went nice and smooth. It wasn’t late when we arrived at our campground, but it was quite dark. We managed to scavenge a little firewood and had a small fire before tossing the kids in the tent. It was cold, but not freezing, and the days were very nice.

Friday dawned and we munched on cereal in the car on our way to downtown D.C. Luckily Paul knows the D.C. area (he served his mission there) so he was able to get us to where we wanted to go without getting us hopelessly lost – and we had a GPS 🙂

Our first stop was the Air and Space Museum. We had a blast exploring – everyone loved it – and we met up with Vesna who Paul taught and baptized (along with her daughter) while on his mission.

Air & Space Museum 1

Air & Space Museum 2

After we finished exploring the museum we had lunch and headed out onto the National Mall. The kids were ecstatic to see the Capitol building.
US Capitol

We walked down the the Museum of Natural History. The kids of course were delighted with the dinosaurs. While we were there we met up with our good friends, the Johnsons. We would have stayed and seen more, but the kids were anxious to see the monuments and two of boys were taking a snooze.

National Museum of Natural History

By the end of the day we had done a TON of walking and

EVERYONE was tired and

our feet Hurt!

We saw the Washington Monument, White House, World War II memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (which was SO awesome!).  By then the sun was going and we could barely drag ourselves back to the car.

Washington Monument

Whitehouse

WWII Memorial

(We had to have our picture take above the date for D-day because we were married on June 6th)

Vietnam Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Korean War Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

After we finished staggering to the car we drove to Vesna’s for dinner – which was AMAZING and snuck into our campground very late. The kids were asleep the second they hit their sleeping bags.

Next morning we were up bright and early taking luke-warm showers (brrrrrrr) and getting ready to go to the temple. The kids hung out with a very nice elderly couple while Paul and I went with Vesna and the Johnsons to the temple.  Our friends, the Feinauers were there too! It was like a mini Newberg Reunion! It was so neat to be so far from Oregon and yet be surrounded by old friends. I have always wanted to go to that temple and I was so excited for the opportunity.

Temple with Vesna

Afterwards we drove to Arlington National Cemetary and saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. I stayed with the girls to watch the guard change (it was a little hard for the boys to be that quiet for that long).

Arlington National Cemetary

A little ways away was the Iwo Jima statue, so we drove over there – I remember loving that one as a kid.

Iwo Jima

Then we drove back to the National mall and saw the Jefferson Memorial. By then the sun was setting, so we drove back to the temple so the kids could see it and go to the visitor center.

Jefferson Memorial

Washington DC Temple

That night things got a little crazy. James threw up as we ate a late dinner at the picnic table. We figured he just choked on something, but when he threw up a second time in the tent, we knew he had a bug.

Throwing up kids are no fun in tents!

Luckily we had extra blankets. We also slept a little cooler that night, but we made it through (James threw up two more times during the night) and enjoyed sitting in a warm van once morning came. I hung out in the tent with James while Paul took the kids to church at one of the wards he was a missionary. He really enjoyed seeing old friends. When he got back we packed up the car and went on our merry way.

The interstate happens to pass by a very special park, though, and I couldn’t resist a stop. We used to go here all the time when I was a kid and really wanted to take the kids. I couldn’t believe it when we saw the signs to it on the way to D.C. and Paul asked if I wanted to stop on the way home.

Oh, boy did I?!!!

It was awesome. Sometimes you revisit a place and it isn’t all that you remembered, but this was all I remembered and more! The kids and hubby absolutely loved it and we can’t wait to go back and camp there sometime and really explore.

Coopers Rock 1

Coopers Rock 2

Coopers Rock 3
Coopers Rock 4

No one even got sick on the way home! So, while we definitely had our challenges, the trip was wonderful. Paul and I had so much fun showing the kids the sites that we remembered from so long ago, and the kids had fun seeing all the places they had heard about in school. I don’t think we could have crammed anything more into that vacation if we had tried! There is still a lot we want to see and do, so….

I can’t wait to go back!

13 Comments

Filed under Bobert, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy

Our Summer in Pictures Part 2

We went swimming at Houston Woods State Park a few times

Houston Woods 1

Houston Woods 2

Houston Woods 3

Cincinnati Fire Museum

Cincinnati Fire Museum 1

Cincinnati Fire Museum 2

Cincinnati Fire Museum 3

Serpent Mound

Serpent Mound 1

Serpent Mound 2

Serpent Mound 3

Serpent Mound 4

We went Canoeing at White Water Miami Forest

Whitewater Miami Canoe 1

Whitewater Miami Canoe 2

and at Houston Woods

Houston Woods Canoe

Jacob participated in his first Raingutter Regata

Raingutter Regata

Finally, we made a number of fun zoo trips to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Zoo 1

Zoo 2

Zoo 3

Zoo 4

2 Comments

Filed under Bobert, Children, Dot, Em, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Nature