Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stories of Bedtime

Bedtime has become such sweet time in my house. We put the boys to bed at the same time. They individually go to their rooms, brush their teeth and then get in bed and wait for me or Billy to tuck them in and say prayers. Here is a glimpse of our time before bed tonight.

Grayson has been into sleeping the opposite way in his bed. I have no idea why and there is no rhyme or reason to it. Some nights he sleeps normally and some nights he wants to move his pillow to the opposite end. There is no reason to argue the point, so we let him. Tonight he decided was an opposite night. I tucked him in tight with a blanket since the sheets and comforter are no longer effective. This boy walks to the beat of his own drum. I have no doubt that he sees things from different angles. He is officially left handed and he is my thinker. He loves to sing every night before bed. Many nights we can still hear him singing 20 minutes after we have put him to bed. It is so cute. I can not wait to see what God has planned for his life.

Gage was so cute at bedtime tonight. He told me that when he was 6, he was going to get a girlfriend and that he wanted to be a Daddy. Of course, I explained that you have to be a little older to have a girlfriend and that before you become a Daddy you need to get married. Thankfully there were no questions on how you become a daddy----whew! He just loves his Daddy and wants to be like him----and I guess he is processing what it takes to have a family. He then proceeded to tell me that he wanted to have 8 kids---all girls!!?? Then he changed it up a bit and added some more kids----and some boys. It is so cute to see him trying to figure out life in his head. Something else funny about Gage and bedtime---he likes to know what he is having for breakfast before we can shut the door. If he does not like the first choice, he will give us some other suggestions. It is so funny and we have been doing this for months. I guess it is comforting for him to know how his day is going to start the next day.

I told Gavin tonight that he was getting so big and before he knew it he would be as big as Mr. Derrick (who is his 16 year old babysitter). I asked him to promise me---when he got older, that he would still love me. He promised and then said he would even still love me when he got married. I said, "you promise?" And he stuck out his little pinkie finger and said, "Want to pinkie swear?" So we did....tears welled in my eyes----I told him, I loved him and goodnight and he said, "Mommy, when you make my lunch tomorrow, will you write me a love letter?" I, of course, said, "yes buddy" and gently shut the door.

I treasure these moments with my boys before bed. Some days bedtime can be more stressful than others, but I really try to devote one-on-one time to each of the boys at bedtime. They are all so different, but so special just the same. This is precious time that Billy and I never want to forget. We are blessed!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just to get you into the Christmas season

Papa took it upon himself to put together a disco Christmas video of us....it is too funny. Enjoy! :) Don't forget to pause the music...

Oh, and Gavin's first comment after seeing Billy was..."He's not suppose to have hair.." Ha! :)

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Halloween 2010

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Halloween. Grannie and Grandpa came in for the festivities but for some reason, we did not get any pictures with them. Boo!
The boys wanted to carve pumpkins so we obliged. Last year, we used a kits with designs, but this year, they wanted to design their own. Each one has its own personality---which to me, matches the kids personality. It is kind-of funny to see that.

The boys wanted to be the characters from their favorite video game---Super Mario Brothers. Gage is the mushroom guy, Gavin is Luigi and Grayson is Mario. I was not planning on dressing up, but when they asked me, "Mommy will you be the princess so we can rescue you?" How do you turn that down? So I order and adult size princess peach costume that turned out to be pretty large on me---actually making me look much heavier than I would have liked, but I love my boys and I was their princess for one night (no matter how big the costume made me look---satin and all.)
We had to get Daddy in on the fun. The boys actually requested for him to be Browser---the dragon, but we could not find that costume---so he ended up being the flying question mark. Our family costume's were a success. The kids enjoyed it so much.

Our neighborhood has an annual cul-de-sac Halloween party and here are most of the kids. So fun! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cry Joy

I wrote this last week, but finally got around to posting. I hope you enjoy. :)

This morning started like most mornings---I hit the ground running. I got up, made coffee, checked email & facebook (priorities people!), made breakfast for the kids, picked out clothes, helped get the kids dressed, fixed their hair, made sure back packs were in order, took Gavin to school, came back home, packed the little boys lunch, got their shoes on, finally got myself dressed, took them to school, came back home, loaded the dish washer, loaded the washing machine, picked up the house from the morning, and FINALLY sat down to do my quiet time. To say that my morning routine is busy is an understatement---it is non-stop, especially when Billy is out of town. This morning, I felt God calling me to spend time with him, but I kept saying, “let me do one more thing, then I will sit down.” This went on for at least an hour before finally sitting down and my sweet precious God knew exactly what I needed to hear this morning.

October 13, 2010 “Jesus Calling” devotional by Sarah Young

TAKE TIME TO BE STILL in my presence. The more hassled you feel, the more you need this sacred space of communion with Me. Breathe slowly and deeply. Relax in My holy Presence while My Face shines upon you. This is how you receive My Peace, which I always proffer to you.

Imagine the pain I feel when My children tie themselves up in anxious knots, ignoring my gift of Peace. I died a criminal’s death to secure this blessing for you. Receive it gratefully; hide it in your heart. My Peace is an inner treasure, growing within you as you trust in Me. Therefore, circumstances cannot touch it. Be still, enjoying Peace in My Presence.

Numbers 6:24-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shin upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.

As you can imagine, reading these words resonated deep in my soul. So much that tears rolled down my face as I read them…tears from a beautiful place. Tears of joy. God was meeting me right where I needed this morning and it was amazing. What is even more precious about our God--- is when I looked up Psalm 46:10 (even though I already knew the verse), He brought me a little further down the page. I will share the verse in a moment, but before I do, I want to tell you a sweet story about Gavin last night.

I was putting him to bed, doing our normal nightly routine…prayers and talking about our day. I love this time of day with him because he shares more with me right before bed than any other time of day. Anyway, we finished our time together and he reminded me that he needed some Vaseline for his dry lips. We have been putting that on his lips for over a week. I ran down stairs and grabbed it and brought it back up stairs. I opened it up and scooped a nice amount of Vaseline on my finger and proceeded to put it on his lips. I have been doing this for over a week and never once--- was I silly about the application, but for some reason last night, I decided to run my finger back and forth on his lips really fast. If you have ever done that to your lips, you know that it makes a silly sound. And if you live in a house full of boys, you know that they love silly sounds. Love. Silly. Sounds. Gavin started to laugh so loud and deep that it brought tears to my eyes. It was a soul-filled belly laugh; you know those laughs that are good for the soul. I was laughing and he was laughing. We honestly could not stop laughing. It was one of those precious moments as a parent that you never want to forget. I love to laugh and even more, I love to laugh with my children. In the midst of all this laughter, Gavin said something that stuck with me, he said, “I am laughing so hard, I am going to cry joy!” I don’t think I have ever heard my child use the word joy. The definition of joy is the expression of a wonderful emotion. He hit the nail on the head. He was experiencing a wonderful emotion that could only be expressed by the word joy. As I left his room, I came down stairs and wrote down on a post-it the words, “I am going to cry joy.” I knew it was something that I wanted to journal to share with Gavin later. It was just so sweet that he knew that you could cry and it could be from a happy place. He is growing up indeed.

Ok, so back to my morning, my tears this morning were tears of joy. They were brought on from a place of so much love for My Heavenly Father and the wisdom (as little as I can have at my age) of knowing how much He loves me. He is always meeting me where I am with unconditional love. I found a great definition of biblical joy on the internet at www.bibletools.org

Biblical joy is inseparable from our relationship with God and springs from our knowledge and understanding of the purpose of life and the hope of living with God for eternity when there will be joy evermore. If God is actually present in our lives, the joy He experiences can begin in us (Psalm 16:11). Joy is the sign that life has found its purpose, its reason for being! This, too, is a revelation of God, for no one can come to Him and find the purpose of life unless He, by His Spirit, calls him and reveals it (John 6:44; I Corinthians 2:10).

My joy was flowing deep within my soul this morning. It is a joy that only he can provide. It is not something we can have on our own. I think He gives us glimpses of it in laughter, just like I experienced with Gavin last night, but the sense of purpose behind my tears this morning was so much more. More than words can ever describe.

Ready for the icing? And the whole reason for writing this story this morning? As I read down further in Psalms after reading, “be still!” My eyes focused on three words “cries of joy”. Remember I wrote that on a post-it last night?! I went back and read the whole verse,

Psalm 47:1 – Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”

I have no doubt that God knew that I was going to make the connection this morning about Him and the joy only He can provide. He laid it all out for me. He just wants us to be so connected to Him that we cry tears of joy. I write this today to share apart of me and my relationship with God. His joy resides deep in my soul and it can in yours too. I am not saying I have all of this perfected, far from it really. I am just on a journey and have quickly realized that our only hindrance is our self. When is the last time you have stopped and let God be God? 30 minutes ago, a day, a week, a year, 10 years, never? Wherever you are right now, just be still. Ask the God of the universe to meet you right where you are and ask Him to show you what joy really means. He just might surprise you.

Blessings sweet friends – Tanni :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall Baseball

We are in the middle of Gavin's second season of competitive baseball. He seems to be liking it. This year, it is coach-pitch so that has been a little bit of a challenge for Gavin, but he definitely has come so far from last year when he would stand in the outfield and look at the sky. This season, he is leading the cheers from the dugout when they are batting. How did he get so old? Only 6 months ago, he was missing his two front teeth. Time keeps passing us by...but we intentionally try to take it all in as it comes.

Gavin and Kaden---his life long friend. They have known each other since very early in their life---I think the playdates started at 4 months old. I have pictures to prove it. It is fun to see them enjoying a sport together.

Kaden was batting and hit his very first hit (ever) at the game this evening. This is a picture of him and the coach as he made it to home plate. We were all so proud of him. Way to go Kaden! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dreaming of February

I don't know about you, but I am officially over the heat. It is mid September and still super hot here in Houston. Last night, I was shuffling through pictures of winter months---longing to wear long sleeves---when I came across these precious little pictures. The boys were playing outside in their "dress-up" clothes. I have no clue where Gage was during these shots, but Gavin and Grayson were having a blast riding their John-Deere and jumping on the trampoline.
Things that make me smile about these pictures:
1 - they are dressed up
2 - that the dress-up clothes are way too small---gavin has on a size 2 superman costume
3 - Grayson has no shoes on and it is clearly cold outside---it is February for goodness sake!
4 - that the dress-up clothes are put on over their pajamas---notice Gavin's yellow sponge bob jammies and also his black baseball socks with Crocs, how could that not make you smile? :)
5 - they have made toys out of the gumballs that fall from the trees in the winter
6 - they are having so much fun being together
Thanks boys for a sweet reminder of cool winter days!

Friday, September 3, 2010

PK4 - Here we come...

Wednesday was Gage & Grayson's first day of pre-school. The are in the 4 year old class called the bears. Gavin was a bear at this school when he was 4, so the room is familiar. They were super excited to start, but really...they just can't wait to be at school with Gavin. Mommy, on the other hand, can WAIT! We are going to try to have the best year ever.

One-eye Gage---this is his signature look... :)
Now the other eye...

Sweet brothers!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Heart Faces – Beach Fun

“Beach Fun” is the photo challenge theme this week at I Heart Faces. I have not entered a contest in awhile, but could not pass up the beach fun since we just got back from the beach a few weeks ago.
The boys were buried in the sand all the way up to their necks. They thought it was so funny they could not stop laughing. It was one of those moments you will remember forever. I am glad I captured their laughter.
If you want to see this image larger, just click on it. :)

If you want to see more beach fun, stop by I Heart Faces.

Wish me luck! And I promise to post more from our vacation soon.

First Day of 1st Grade

It seems like yesterday that I was posting about Gavin's first day of Kindergarten and here I am posting about his first day of 1st Grade!!!
How did this happen?

Gavin holding up one finger for 1st grade. He was eating his breakfast...per his request---blue eggs and bacon. I have no idea why he wanted blue eggs and I know what you are thinking----they look green. Well, I guess I did not put enough of the blue food coloring, but that did not matter to him. :)
I took a picture of his feet on the first morning of school last year. He has officially grown.

Gavin and Daddy

Gavin---a little scared and a little excited for his new adventures at school.

Gavin with his apple for his teacher. He was getting "embarrassed" that I was taking his picture while people were looking. And so it begins....

After the embarrassment, he took off and walked fast in front of me.

He was still cool enough to walk with his daddy and brothers.

Then he ditched us all....he knew where he was going.

At last, he arrived at his classroom and with a little persuasion, he let me take one last picture. Love you Gavin---one day would will be glad I took all these pictures.

Gavin loves his teacher already. After picking him up from school, I asked him what his favorite part was----he said, "everything". Last year it was lunch. :)
The next time I post about the first day of elementary school---Gage and Grayson will be included. Only a year from now....it will go fast.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Growing Boys

It has been several months since the boys turned 6 & 4 so we are well past their wellness visits. I typically don't like to go during the season of their birthday's because the doctors office is a germ fest. Anyway---we FINALLY went in for check-ups. They do adjust their ages on the growth charts to reflect years and months so Gavin's growth would be like 6 years and 5 months.

I have NEVER taken all they boys to a visit at the same time. This visit was a milestone for sure. They all did really well. Prior to this visit, the thoughts of bringing them all would create images in my head of monkey's caged in a very small cage swinging from wall to wall. Their energy can get overwhelming at times. You get the picture. I made sure Billy was available to help out--mainly because 2/3 of the boys had to get shots.
I prepared Gage & Grayson a couple of days before their visit that they were getting shots. We prayed about it, talked about it and they did extremely well. Grayson cried for less then 45 seconds and Gage was a little more upset but got it together before we left the office. He is definitely the more sensitive one---of the two, really of all of the boys. I finally felt at peace to give the MMR. I have always had anxiety going into the shots and this time---not so much. Praise God!
These boys are growing like weeds...
weight:52 1/2lbs (74%)
height: 48 1/2 in (88%)
weight: 40lbs (60%)
height: 42 1/2 in (75%)
weight: 37 1/2lbs (50%)
height: 41 1/2 in (55%)
We are gearing up for school starting next week. I am also traveling to Odessa for my grandparents 60th wedding annviersary on saturday. Grayson is going with me alone and we are flying. Should be fun. Hope to post pictures from our vacation soon. Our summer has been loads of fun.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Seasons of Lasts

I have been blessed over the past 6 months to read The Redemption Series by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley. There are 5 books in this series and I have loved every single one of them. Did I mention that I do not read all that often? Yes, they are THAT engaging. Life changing, I tell you! It is such a beautiful story about family, love, loss, legacy and of course God is smack-dab in the middle of it all. Amazing!

Beyond me just recommending that you go out right now and buy these books if you have not read them, I wanted to share something with you that touched my heart so much----I cry every time I read it. The tears come from a place deep in my soul. A longing to hold on to every moment as it was my last. It encourages me to be present in my life and enjoy everything life brings me.

What I want to share is a poem from book #4 Rejoice. The poem is on page 209. I share the page number because when I read this page of the book, Billy and I were away in San Antonio for a kids free weekend. As I laid by the pool and read these words, I started to sob---not just a little bit--it was the big ugly cry that you would never want to happen in public---yes, that was me. I will own it. Thank goodness for sunglasses. :) As you can imagine, Billy was quite shocked that I was a ball of mush because he rarely sees that side of me. I tried to explain, but decided I could never do the poem justice so I just read it to him. I barley made it through 1/2 of the poem and I still can't keep it together, but he gets the point. Emotions stir inside of him too, but being the man he is, he does not show this outwardly. Anyway, there was a point here...oh, yeah, the page number. As we sat there having a moment, reflecting on how precious life really is....we both take note of the page number for some reason and realize that it is also our room number in the hotel. Yes, it was---Room 209 at the Westin. It was a sweet little gift from God to us.

Ok, I know you are sitting on the edge of your seats ready to hear this poem. But before, I share, I want to give you a little bit of background.

The mother in this book is writing a poem to her son that is getting married the next day. She is reflecting on the difference between when her daughters got married versus her son. There is a difference. Sad---but true. You know I have 3 son's right---hence the tears.

Ok---here you go, make sure to grab yourself some tissues especially if you are a mother of boys.

Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.

The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips…
Last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip…
Last time when you had a binky stuck inside your mouth…
The last time that you crawled across the floors of this
old house.

Last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold,
Last time when you said you’d marry me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from the past,
Would I have held you longer... if I’d known they were the last?

Your lst few hours of Kindergarten, last days of first grade…
Last at bat in Little League, last colored paper made.
Last time when you wore your beat-up Green Bay Packers

Last time that you caught a frog in that old backyard pond…
Last time when you ran barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn.
Silly scattered images to represent your past.
Would I have taken pictures…if I’d known they were your last?

The last dark night you slipped in bed and slept between us two,
When last I read to you of God or Horton Hears a Who!
Last time that I smelled your hair and prayed after your shower…
Last time that we held devotions in the evening hours.

The last time you were M.J. in our games of give and go…
Last time that you made an angel in the melting snow.
I never even said good-bye to yesterdays long passed.
Would I have marked the moments …if I’d know they were the last?

Last piano lesson and last soccer goal you kicked…
The last few weeks of middle school, last flowers that you picked.
Last time that you needed me for rides from here to there…
The last time that you spent the night with that old tattered bear.

Last time that I helped you with a math or spelling test,
Last time when I shouted that your room was still a mess.
Time and life moved quicker, taking pieces of your past.
Would I have stretched the moments….if I’d known they were the last?

The last time that you needed help with details of the dance…
Last time that you asked me for advice about romance.
Last time that you talked to me about your hopes and dreams.
Last time that you wore a jersey for your high school

I watched you grow and never noticed seasons as they passed.
I wish I could’ve frozen time, to hold on to your lasts.
For come tomorrow morning life will never be the same.
You’ll pledge forever to your girl, and she will take your name.

And I will watch you, knowing God has blessed you with this day.
I never would have wanted, son, to somehow make you stay.
They say a son’s a son until he takes for him a wife.
You’re grown-up now, it’s time to go and start your brand new life.

One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss…
One last time to understand just how much you’ll be missed.
I’ll watch you leave and think how quickly childhood sped past.
Would I have held you longer…if I’d known it was your

I hope that these words mean something to you as they touched me so deeply. Over the rest of the weekend, Billy and I discussed this topic more. Just about being present and knowing that moments may leave us as quickly as they find us. We came home from the weekend refreshed and full of gratitude for our life and family. As you can imagine, our kids were extremely exhausted from being at the grandparents all weekend so we decided to put them to bed early. I took the little ones and Billy took Gavin. I finished with the twins way before Billy did and came downstairs. At least 30 minutes passed and finally Billy surfaced from Gavin's room. He was visibly tear-filled and begins to share with me what he just experienced. He was doing his similar nightly routine. He sits in Gavin's pottery barn kid chair and Gavin sits in his lap. They discuss the day's details and sing a song. Gavin proceeds to lay his head on Billy's shoulder and he falls asleep in his arms. This NEVER happens. It did not even happen very much when he was a baby. He can't stand to miss a moment. But on this particular night, he laid in the arms of his father and fell fast asleep. He is 6 1/2 years old. Recalling the discussions from the weekend about our kids "lasts", Billy realized that this was quite possibly the last time he would ever hold Gavin in his arms as he fell asleep. It was an emotionally joyful gift from our ever-present loving God and a moment in Billy's life, as a father, that he will never forget.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I have always called the boys my 3 little monkey's. They really are similar....really they are...

See the resemblance?

I took this picture in June while doing a little photo shoot for Billy for Father's Day. We have never discussed imitating the monkey's pictured above. I guess it just comes natural! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Toy Story

So-- if you have been on facebook, you would know that I have been cleaning the playroom in our house. I might have mentioned to the boys that we were going to dump all the toys out of the binds and go through them one by one. Gavin---being the leader that he is---took it upon himself to start the project without me. This was the result...

a HUGE pile of toys in the middle of the playroom. This was not EXACTLY what I meant when I said that we would dump them all out and go through them one by one. However, I can completely understand why Gavin thought that was what I meant.
Two days and many, many toys later, we finished our project. Let me correct myself---I finished the project. The boys were willing and able when the dumping was happening, but notsomuch---with the cleanup. :)
I think I removed 4-5 boxes of toys to sell/give away---remember that we have 3 kids---toys are coming out of our ears!!!
The good thing about going through the toys/sorting is that it makes the kids rediscover what they have.
This afternoon after church, Gavin decide that he wanted to have a sale. He initially wanted to do this outside in our front yard, but I convinced him that inside would be better. I offered myself as a customer and told him to set everything up like a store and I would come in and buy some things.
Shamefully, I am about to admit something I am not too proud of, but it is---what it is. We drive thru---somewhere, at least "onceish" a week to get food. GASP! I know---I am a bad mother. :) During my sorting, I made a basket of "toys from fast food" because Gavin likes to collect them. I was astonished that after several years of frequenting the drive thru's (x3 kids)--that we would end up with an ENTIRE basket of toys. SHAMEFUL--I tell you! :)
The upside is that Gavin rediscovered all of the fast food toys and placed them up for sale. There were even some "non" drive thru toys. He displayed them nicely. It was a proud moment for Momma :) I know the suspense is killing you---so here he is with his imaginary store---he created all on his own.
Customer #1 - Gage
Customer #2 - Grayson
The selection....

Displayed all nice...
Gage purchased a sheriff badge for $.25
Grayson purchased a bouncy ball for $.25
These drive thru toys are just happy to finally have a purpose in the Gerwick house.
Finally---the biggest rivals---Chick-filet vs. McDonalds---the winner depends on the judge---Mommy or the kids?