Friday, August 24, 2012

Once in a Lifetime

One thing Trevor and I do quite often is drive up to the airport when a cool plane or helicopter flies in.  We have a small rinky-dink airport, but to our boys its totally legit.  Our house is near enough to the airport that we hear the helicopters and will hurry in our car so that the boys can see it land.  We don't do it always, but when we do, Ryder and Brody think its the best!

Today we were out and about and heard a really loud noise.  I kept looking around me wondering where it was coming from, when not 1, not 2, but THREE military helicopters flew over us.  The boys thought they were so neat!  I hurried to the airport so they could get a closer look as they landed.

When we pulled up outside the gate, I got Brody and Ryder out and put them on the hood of the car.  Ryder immediatley started waving (let me add, we were NOT the only nosey {i prefer INTERESTED} onlookers) even though I'm sure no one in the helicopters noticed.  The noise from propellers was slightly deafening, but the kids just loved every second.

After the helicopters moved into place to fuel up, they turned off the engines and I let the kids walk a little closer.  I didn't think we were really allowed to be beyond the first gate, so I was hesitant to even do this.

It must have been our lucky day.  You see, many of the fully military dressed men had gone to areas to smoke and paid no attention to us, but a pilot from the first helicopter saw my cute little boys and made a beeline to us.  He asked if they would like to take a closer look once they were done fueling up.  Without hesitation I answered, yes.  I don't know if I was more excited or the boys!

Once things were all clear he motioned us over.  Not only did he let us get up close and personal with this barely year old (and totally awesome) helicopter, but he lifted my boys up into the pilot's seat!  They were in heaven!  He told Brody he would let him try on a helmet, but didn't want to mess up his hair.  This kind man patiently answered Brody's questions about what certain buttons did, and showed him how to pull a trigger that allows them to talk to one another.  Ryder would fidget in his seat and when I would ask if he wanted down it was always, "no! no!"  I kept wishing I had my camera with phone just didn't do the situation credit!

The man told us they were coming from New York and heading to California.  I asked where in New York and he told me upstate.  When he said that I told him that my husband served a mission for our church in that exact area and when he mentioned his base being just outside Watertown, I remembered Trevor talking about that place.  When I called Trevor later, he even told me that he knew exactly what base this man came from because as a missionary he went into that base.  Such a small world we live in!  I think Trevor might have been a little jealous that he missed out.... 

It was such a neat experience for us all.  Countless times we have watched the planes and helicopters land and take off from our airport, but never has anyone let us do this.  I think this man saw my little boys and thought of his own son back home, who he said was the same age as our Ry, and knew how exciting and fun it would be for them to see the helicopter closer.

As we left not only did our boys say thank you to him, but Brody said, "thank you for all you do."  I am always 100% grateful for our military men and women, but for this particular one to take a few minutes out of his busy time to do something a little extra, I was especially grateful.  I was reminded how lucky we are for men and women like him that protect our country, and for their families that are back home sacraficing time with their loved ones.

Such a great day.  Such an awesome experience. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I am 4!

Hey everyone, Brody Jay here.  I have been 4 for a whole six days now.  That pretty much makes me an expert on all things related to 4 year olds.  Before I really let you know how smart I am, let me tell you about my birthday last wednesday.

I woke up bright and early and as I wandered down my hallway I was met by streamers and a happy birthday sign.  It was pretty fun to run through them!  Once I did I saw a huge birthday sign and all kinds of party decorations hanging over the table.  It was so fun!  My Mommy must have put them up after I went to bed the night before.  She had said she wasn't going to do much, but it looked better than any of my other birthdays.  Silly mom.  She acts tough.....

Speaking of Mommy, she heard me and called out from her bed, "HEY Birthday BOY!  Come here!"  I ran into her room with a big smile on my face and she squeezed me tight and put me in the bed with her.  But guess what?  It wasn't just Mommy in the bed!  Daddy was home too!  Normally he's at work before I even wake up on Wednesday mornings, but he had taken the day off just to be with me!  I think that he must love me or something.  He squeezed me tight too.  All three of us laid in bed for a while talking about my big day until Ryder woke up.  Then it was time to start my birthday breakfast.

Ryder was almost more excited than me when he saw all the decorations up.  He had so much fun seeing everything.  Then both of us boys climbed up on the counter to help Mommy make some very yummy chocolate chip pancakes.  They are our favorite thing to have at breakfast.

After we ate, cleaned up, got dressed, and combed our hair Mommy and Daddy let me open a present from Ryder.  It was a really cool book, and a game!  We even sat down as a family and played one round of the game.  The real surprise was outside, though.  Mommy and Daddy went outside with the cameras and told me when I could come out.  When I walked out I couldn't believe my eyes!!!  I stood on the railing and what do you think I saw?  It was a bike!  My very first bike!  It was orange and just about the coolest thing I ever saw.  I climbed up and pretty quickly got the hang of pedaling.  It was the best.  I had to ride across the street to Laura's house just to show her!

The rest of the morning I was busy riding my bike, visiting both grandma's at their jobs and I even got a fountain soda at the store for our little cruise around town (I never get soda!).  My day got even better when Mommy and Daddy said I could have anything I wanted for lunch.  Of course I chose subway.  I love subway.  Maybe because there aren't very many options in my small town so eating there is like a big treat....The whole time we were in subway I even wore a party hat.  Well, I wore it almost the whole day, really.

We got home and their was a present someone had dropped off for me.  It was the game Operation, but it wasn't the regular Operation, it was Mater from Cars.  With this new game, the other game, and bike I was busy all afternoon playing.  I loved having both Mom and Dad home to play with me.  Ryder kinda got a little jealous, I think, with all the attention and gifts I got. 

Dinner was also my choice and I chose the mexican restaurant in town.  Then we hurried home because my grandparents, an aunt, and some of my uncles were coming over for CAKE!  When everyone got their I decided I wanted to open presents first.  When I opened my present from Grampa and Gramma I saw a helmet.  I shouted out, "Just what I needed!"  It was perfect for when I ride my bike.  I gave them hugs, said thank you, and went to my next present. 

 I had barely ripped off the first bit of wrapping paper when I yelled out, "THE LORAX!"  I had been wanting this movie, and not only did my Uncle Kade get for me, but he wrapped it in silver paper! (Everytime my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday I would just say a silver present, nothing more specific than that)  After giving him loves and saying thanks, I had one present left. 

I opened Red Gramma's gift and got a dream lite!  I have been seeing the infomercials for months and saying how much I wanted one.  When Mommy aked what it did, I told her, "It turns your childs bedroom into a starry night sky!"  Mommy and Daddy say I could be a spokesperson for dream lite, well, that and, that I have seen that commercial WAY too many times.  I thanked Red Gramma, gave her loves, and then had to find any dark room I could to try it out.

After all the cool gifts, I had to show off my bike skills (while sporting my new helmet) to everyone.  Then it was cake time.  Of course everyone took a million pictures of me with the cake.  Then everyone sang Happy Birthday to me and I blew out my candles.  I just loved my purple dinosaur with white and green polka dots.  It looked great and tasted good too. 
Everyone enjoyed their cake and visited for a while until they left.  By then, we were pretty tired from our busy day.  We got into pajamas and settled down on the couch to watch my new movie.  It was such a fun day, and all about me!  Mommy and Daddy say thats how it should be.  I think that they are right.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brody's Bday Cake

I don't know about all the other mom's out there, but as much as I want to make my kids' birthday's fun, it WEARS ME OUT!  I do Brody's bday and then turn around and about 3 weeks later have Ryder's to do, and I feel so overwhelmed.  Last year after the boys birthdays I decided that the next year would be different.  I wanted to take them out of town and buy store-made cakes.  I didn't want to do parties, make cakes, or have everyone around.  I just wanted it simple.....

Cut to this year.  Seriously lack of funds.  That means birthday parties and everything that comes with them.  Yay. (sarcasm at its best, my friends)

So, you would think that I would be smart enough to not ask my soon-to-be 4 year-old what kind of cake he wanted, right?  Well...wrong.  I asked.  What did my Brody boy request?  A dinosaur cake.  Oh, and not just any kind of dinosaur cake....a tricerotops cake.  Say what?  Yeah, that's right.  A triceretops cake.  I don't even know how to correctly spell it, let alone BAKE it.  You know, that might seem like a pretty normal request for a 4 year old, but my 4 year old doesn't even own a dinosaur toy!  Nor has he ever expressed interest in dinosaurs.  This came out of left field.  Seriously.

Well, the research was on.  Very few triceretop cakes were to be found and the ones I did find were either incredibly hard to do or incredibly ugly.  I finally found a pretty basic cake that I thought I could pull off, but it was a stegosaurus.  I showed it to Brody and he flat out turned me down on that idea.  Then he took a nap. He woke up telling us all he was going to have a purple stegosaurus bday cake.  Score!

The day before Brody's birthday, the cake making commenced.  It was quite the ordeal despite it being the "easy" choice of all the ones I thought I could do. 

Finally, I finished it.  It turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.  I put the pan on the floor to take a picture of the finished masterpiece.  Brody was so excited and said he was going to be in the picture too.  Somehow, someway, as I was reaching for the phone to take a picture, he fell and SMASHED THE CAKE!  It was just the head, but you should have heard the yell come out of me!  "NOOOOO!!!! WHAT DID YOU DO?  I AM SO MAD!"  And poor Brod, he was just as sad as I was mad.  (If I hadn't been blinded by my madness, I would have taken some pictures of the massacre.)  It was an accident, and he didn't mean to do it.  I said maybe we should just throw it all away and have no cake.  Brody with quivering lips cried, "no mommy!"  He was SO sad.  I felt so horrible for being mad, but at the same time I just spent hours and in just seconds it was destroyed.  So disappointing.

There is a happy ending though.  You see, there were still a few scraps of the cake that I had cut the dinosaur form out of.  I was able to just finish fully decapitating the dino's head and piece together a new one.  Wouldn't you know, the second dinosaur head wasn't as cute as the first.  That's just how it goes, I guess.  Brody was just glad we could save his purple dinosaur, and I was too.  He ended up with a way cute cake that he absolutely loved and that is all that mattered.  After all, I don't go to all the trouble for me, its for him!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Letter to Brody Jay

Dear Brody,

For the past 2 weeks we have been glued to the tv at our house.  It has been non stop Olympics.  We watched Michael Phelps win the most medals in history.  He is being called the greatest Olympian ever.  I'm sure someday his records will get broken and someone will have more medals than him, but we will never watch the summer Olympics without remembering him.  And-every time we think of Michael Phelps, we will remember watching him win a race by one-one hundreths of a second the night we were in the hospital and you were hours old.  Always always the summer olympics will = you, buddy.  People may have been making history.  People may have been winning medals.  But I became a Mommy.  I think I had the best time at the Bejing Olympics of all.

So much can be said about you, and since I'm your mom and this is YOUR letter, I'm going to do a little boasting.

You are smarter than heck.  I swear.  That isn't just the mom in me talking either.  You watch a show or here a song one time and you remember it.  All the popular songs on the radio, you know.  I think because of the shows you have watched on PBS, you now know your letters.  I would love to take credit, but its not me.  For a long time you have been able to sing the alphabet, count,  and recognize colors and shapes but all of a sudden you can actually pick out letters in words.  You'll see a sign and say, "hey mommy that sign has an E."  I'll look, and sure enough it does.  I could put you in pre-school, but you'd be in it for 2 years before you'd go to kindergarten and I'm afraid that you would learn so much that kindergarten would be boring for you.

One of the best things ever about you is that despite being such a big boy that is super independent, you still like to cuddle up to us.  Throughout any given day you come up to me and say that you need "loves and kiss" so I'll squeeze you tight, give you a kiss, and you ALWAYS say you love me.  If I say to you, "Do you know I love you SO much?"  You always answer me, "yep! and daddy does, and ryder does, and red grandma does....." The list goes on and on.  I know that we aren't wealthy people, but I think that you are SO lucky to be surrounded by so much love and so many people that love you.  What we may not have in money or possessions we make up in love, I think (a little sappy?  yes.  But true?  heck yes).

I know that you are at a young sweet age and so the evil things in the world haven't gotten to you, but I love that you naturally tend to gravitate towards the good things.  Your Uncle Spenser was here recently and he was video taping you and kept trying to get you to say swear words and it made you so uncomfortable.  Spenser was trying to be funny, but you knew it was wrong and you told him, "mommy says I don't need to say that."  If only you can remain that way I will feel like your dad and I did something right.  Whenever I pray I always ask that 1) I will be guided to teach you in a way that would help you grow into a good man, and that 2) because of things you are taught growing up, that you will develop a natural tendency to WANT to choose the right. 

You are such a good, sweet, smart, handsome boy!  The past 4 years have been the fastest 4 of my life.  I am so blessed that you chose me to be your mom.  I don't want you to grow up too fast, but at the same time I can't wait to watch you grow into a teenager, then young adult, and eventually into a man and dad.  I love you so much!!!