Genetics

When Ben was born and through about age 18 months he was the spittin’ image of his daddy at that age. But, as he’s grown and changed he has started looking a lot more like me and my side of the family, particularly the genes from my mom’s side. We’ve been saying for months (a year?) now that Ben looks like my grandpa, Riley Russell. Ben even has some of his mannerisms, which is so crazy because the two have never met this side of Eternity! Also, Ben is quite ornery, as was my grandpa and well, it’ll be interesting to see how the similarities continue. My mom ran across a photo of my grandpa at about age 6 or 7. The resemblance is uncanny. So, the first photo is of my grandpa and then the 2nd of Ben. I’ll have to do another comparison when Ben is 6/7.

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Coloring Eggs

I have mentioned several times how busy we’ve been. It seems like it’s been months since we’ve had time to just sit and breathe. I guess we’re just in a season of busy right now, and I hope it ends very soon! In any case, with Easter being 2 weeks ago everything leading up to that added to the busyness! It was a few days before Easter, and David asked if the kids could color eggs. Oh. Sure. Honestly, it hadn’t crossed my mind, which is weird, because I grew up doing it. This is just how frazzled my brain has been. Because it was so close to Easter we weren’t able to find the coloring kits, so we just used food coloring with water and vinegar, and I’d say it worked just fine! And, I do believe that’s how my mom did it when I was growing up. The kids had a lot of fun coloring the eggs and did a great job! We get farm fresh eggs from a lady my dad works with so they aren’t snow white. I picked out the lightest ones we had and it lead to some interesting results! One of the eggs is naturally a light sage green, and Cora put it into the green food coloring. It turned out such a beautiful, vibrant green! The purple dye didn’t do so well, though and just made the eggs look browner. Oh well! Live and learn, right? Next year I would like to try doing egg coloring with natural dyes from different foods. I think it could be a fun science experiment!

Again, my children's personalities shine through. Cora very meticulously putting her eggs in the dye, waiting a good long time to get them just the perfect color...

Again, my children’s personalities shine through. Cora very meticulously putting her eggs in the dye, waiting a good long time to get them just the perfect color…

Bekah munched on snacks and watched this year...

Bekah munched on snacks and watched this year…

Ben preferred to plop the eggs in and almost immediately bring them out!  We had to really encourage him to keep the eggs in the dye at least 5 seconds!

Ben preferred to plop the eggs in and almost immediately bring them out! We had to really encourage him to keep the eggs in the dye at least 5 seconds!

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Don't you just love that green one?

Don’t you just love that green one?

Thankfulness

A couple weeks ago we decided to try out a new playground in our neighborhood. It was supposed to be a “tot” playground, and so we thought it would be better suited to our kids. We walked to it (about a mile walk), pulling Ben and Bekah in our wagon and Cora walking. The playground was crowded with kids, and I didn’t really think it seemed any better for little ones then the one we usually go to. In any case, we let Cora and Ben go play. David was tired from pulling the wagon uphill for a mile so sat on a bench. Bekah was in the wagon looking cute. See?

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I took some photos of Bekah, and David says, “You need to go help Ben.” He didn’t seem to say it with much urgency so I wasn’t in any big rush. I glanced up, didn’t see Ben at all and said, “Why? Where is he?” “He’s on the ladder! He’s about to fall!” Then I was totally focused and searching frantically amongst all the kids to find Ben. I finally did, and when my eyes finally found him I saw him falling backwards from the top of the playground to the ground. I dropped the camera into the wagon and ran across the playground. I reached him already on the ground, and he was crying very loudly! I was actually very thankful for that. I did hesitate for a second though, because he had fallen about 7 feet, and I didn’t want to move him incase something was broken. However, he rolled over onto his side so I knew at least his back and major bones were not broken. PRAISE THE LORD!!!! I scooped him up, he stopped crying and breathing (he got the wind knocked out of him I think) and turned purple. That scared me. I blew in his face, jostled him a bit and he finally came back around after about 5 seconds, but was pretty limp in my arms. Now, mind you all of this happened in about a minutes’ time. We obviously left right away, and walked all the way back home, David carrying a crying/whimpering Ben all the way. We were finally able to get Ben to calm down enough to see that he was breathing comfortably (no broken ribs!!!!!), and he went right to sleep that night. We had  him lay on ice when we got home and gave him ibuprofen. The poor thing slept all night and was a bit stiff when he woke up but thankfully, he was totally fine! We are so thankful that the Lord spared his life that day and on top of that the Lord allowed Ben to have fullness of health and mobility. Of course, now after it’s all done, we have to wonder what the big deal was. However, it could have been very serious. I’m so thankful for the Lord’s providence in this situation and for his preservation of our little guy.

That night I hugged my Benjamin a little tighter and also Cora and Bekah. I’m so thankful for my children, and I hate that at times things like this happen that bring me a renewed realization of just how blessed I am to have them.

RaasssPberries!

Ok, only a few will get the funniness of my title and will be able to say it correctly! 🙂 Sorry for those of you who won’t get it! 🙂 

ANYWAY! Here are my children enjoying raspberries. To each her/his own! The personalities of my children shine through…

Cora: always neat and clean and rarely gets anything on her face or clothes!

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Benjamin: often has stuff on his face and clothes, though he’s getting much better at eating a bit neater!

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Rebekah: Eh! She doesn’t seem to care too much how much food she gets on her face…hands…arms…clothes (had to throw this shirt away I couldn’t get the stains out!), high chair…table…floor…dog’s head…

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Snow Day!!!!!

Well, this winter has been a doozy, huh? I mean, really, it seems no matter where you live in the U.S. you are getting abnormally cold weather and way more snow than you’re accustomed too! The same is true for us. Even though we live in a the snow belt of our state we have had so much more snow than usual, and the temperatures are just so darn cold!!! The school kids have had more snow days then I think ever before, and Cora has not been happy with all the preschool she’s missing. I’m only able to appease her by saying the big kids also don’t have school. Now when I tell her she won’t have school she says, very forlornly, “even the big kids don’t?” She has also been wanting to go out and play in the snow, but with it being so cold it’s just not been safe. And, the snow we’ve had has been that powdery, non-packing snow and not overly fun to play in. However! The other day everything came together, and it was the perfect day to play in the snow! The night before, and morning of, we got dumped on–my husband figures about a foot. And the day itself was in the mid-30s, so the snow was perfect for packing (making a snowman!), and since it wasn’t bitter cold, and the sun was shining it was just the best time to bundle them up and send them out! David took them outside, and they all 3 had a blast! I took pictures from the porch as I had to keep an eye on Bekah…As they played outside I made hot cocoa inside to be ready to warm them up. I’m so thankful the Lord provided such a gorgeous day, and we were able to have them go outside! It did us all good!!

Ben wasn't too sure he wanted to go in the snow. But, David carried him down and in like 2 seconds he was having fun!

Ben wasn’t too sure he wanted to go in the snow. But, David carried him down and in like 2 seconds he was having fun!

Snowball fight!!!!

Snowball fight!!!!

I sure do love these 3!!

I sure do love these 3!!

Is it good Ben?

Is it good Ben?

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Cora making a snow angel

Cora making a snow angel

Building the greatly anticipated snow man!

Building the greatly anticipated snow man!

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Oooo! Who's that handsome man in my yard???

Oooo! Who’s that handsome man in my yard???

I LOVE the pride shining on Cora's face over her snow man, which she named Frosty, naturally!

I LOVE the pride shining on Cora’s face over her snowman, which she named Frosty, naturally!

I threw a hat on Bekah's head and took her outside with me so I could get a good photo of snowman and his creators. It really was so warm (or felt that way!). No worries, she wasn't even out 5 minutes!

I threw a hat on Bekah’s head and took her outside with me so I could get a good photo of the snowman and his creators. It really was so warm (or felt that way!). No worries, she wasn’t even out 5 minutes!

She's so beautful...

She’s so beautful…

This is how Molly and Bekah spent the time...looking sadly out the door wishing to be out with everyone!

This is how Molly and Bekah spent the time…looking sadly out the door wishing to be out with everyone!

Warming up with hot cocoa!

Warming up with hot cocoa!

Sibling Love

Here’s some of the cuteness abounding in our home these days! It makes my heart burst with pride to see my 3 children love each other. Now, don’t misunderstand. They are not perfect, and they DO argue just as much as other siblings. However, they love each other and are not afraid to show it. I love watching the 2 older ones helping Bekah get toys, pull things out of her way that she shouldn’t have and do things to make her smile. I love to see Ben dole out hugs and kisses for his sisters, color and play with play-doh with Cora. One of Cora and Ben’s current fun activities is waltzing together. Yes, waltzing. We asked where they learned to dance like that, and Cora says, “George!” As in Curious George, the monkey. Made us chuckle, however it is SO dang cute to see them dancing together! I love to see Cora helping her brother put his shoes on, clean up after him without being asked, in fact she often offers. I love how she is a little mama to them and enjoys being so to them. God has blessed us richly with these children. Yes, I have days of immense frustration and times when I wonder, “what was God thinking???” but those are passing moments. And, often in those moments God will have my kids do something precious, and I’m reminded that I love them, appreciate them and am so thankful for them. We know our kids don’t always get along. However, to us, what is important is that at the end of the day they love each other and know they are loved by each other.

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Kid 1 and Kid 2

I feel like Rebekah has been getting a lot of blog posts lately. I know, weird, huh? They say the further down the sibling line you are the less photos (and blog posts) you have. I was determined not to do this to my kids…but it would seem the older 2 have been getting less posts and photos. Ah well! I can only do so much! So, without further ado I thought I would do today’s post about Kid 1–Cora, and Kid 2–Ben.

They keep me laughing and on my toes!

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I am constantly amazed at how smart they are. Cora is so darn close to reading. When we go out to eat and she works on the kid menu things I marvel at how good she has become with them (Ben still just scribbles on or rips them!). She is even finding words in the word search puzzles now! She can recognize all of her letters and a lot of her numbers. The thoughts she comes up with, and the conversations we can have have been great. She is growing like a weed and it seems recently we have not been able to keep her full! Seriously, it seems that 5 minutes after every meal, after she’s eaten a TON of food, she’ll say, “I’m hungry!” Sigh…not sure how to keep that hollow leg filled up! We have cut dairy out of her diet completely and are working toward a gluten/grain-free diet. The no-dairy has helped her tremendously, but I’m starting to wonder if the absence of grain is also doing wonders for her. She LOVES playing with her Hello Kitty LEGOS and Strawberry Shortcake RC car. She’s always wanting to make cards and write letters to send to friends. She LOVES helping me in the kitchen, especially if I’m making hot cocoa! And, she LOVES playing “superheroes!” It absolutely cracks me up! I do not remember playing superheroes as a child, but she and Ben LOVE it! She is always requesting to watch “Superman and His Amazing Friends.” So funny! I’m thankful she and Ben have something they both enjoy playing together. She continues to have such a tender heart, she is a wonderful big sister and does anything she can to make her little sister (and often Ben, too) smile and laugh! She’s also proving to be quite helpful when it comes to feeding Bekah her food. I’ve told Cora she is a mommy-in-training and that just makes her grin from ear to ear. I love my Cora. I have a hard time accepting the fact that she’ll be five in 2 months and is so close to starting Kindergarten. She is shy, my quiet one when in a crowd. However, she is starting to come out of her shell little by little.

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Benjamin…oh, he’s a hoot, that kid! He is ornery, always pushing the limits of my patience, and the limits of his physical abilities, he’s gentle, caring, full of funniness, a barrel of energy and just a joy to be around. He plays hard and he sleeps hard! He is a total ham and has taken to making funny faces in photos. He totally knows how to use his “charm” to TRY and get what he wants. A great story where the charm/humor worked…David was trying to get him dressed for bed. Ben would NOT be still long enough for David to change his diaper and get his jammies on. In exasperation David takes Ben by the shoulder and says, “BE STILL!!!!!!” Ben looks him straight in the eye and begins tapping his little foot. Sigh. Yes, all hope of seriousness was lost and David started laughing. Don’t worry, we don’t let Ben get out of everything. He is often found standing in the corner (he also puts himself there…), or getting spankings. However, we are learning not to take life so seriously with this boy. I love him to pieces. He LOVES both of his sisters to death. He is Cora’s constant shadow and anything she does he wants to be a part of. He is also very good at caring for Rebekah in ways he can (hugs, kisses, helping her get a toy, etc). And, this boy LOVES him some Spiderman! It totally cracks me up! How do boys know about these things? It must somehow be in their DNA. He is one smart cookie too! It amazes me what he knows, how quickly he catches on to things, etc. Ben is still not talking with words a whole lot. Yes, his vocabulary is growing regularly and he’s more prone to TRY and actually say things. We are now debating if speech therapy wouldn’t be helpful. Still trying to decide if we should keep waiting, or if it’s time. We’ll see!

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