Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Sam!

Sam had a great birthday and got to do lots of fun things throughout the day. We had a little party in the morning with some of his friends (most of them were related to him). We decorated the living room and dining room with balloons and streamers after he went to bed the night before so it was ready for him when he got up at 5:50 the next morning. He came and got me out of bed and took me to the living room and said, "Wow, it's party!!" He was so excited!

I made him his favorite, chocolate chip pancakes, for breakfast. We ate under a chandelier of balloon which added to the festive mood...but made it a little hard for conversation!
The thing Sam talked about the most in the days leading up to his birthday was the cake. He wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. He helped me by sampling the frosting and putting on the candy decorations. We made three small cakes with three of his favorite chocolate treats. The boy is a choco-holic! (I have no idea who he could've gotten that from...)

Sam and Dylan (second cousins) waiting anxiously for the cake and candles to be delivered.

Joe has been busy building a sandbox as a surprise for Sam and he loves it! Here it is filled with some of the toys he got for it. Thanks everyone!

Joe's parents bought the boys (combo gift for both of their birthdays) this bike trailer. We don't have a bike for me yet, but Joe took them for a spin around the block a couple of times to try it out and it was hit. The only problem was that Sam wasn't thrilled with Andrew invading his space, Andrew, on the other hand was thrilled to be sitting so close to his big brother! It will make for lots of fun family trips this summer, I'm sure!


Yesterday we celebrated Sam's third birthday. It was a fun and action-packed day and we were all exhausted by bedtime. His birthday is always marked by a wide array of emotions for me. The normal, "my baby is getting so big" and "I can't believe how fast he's growing up" stuff along with remembering what a miracle it is that he is so healthy and leading such a "normal" life. And then there's the part where I miss Benjamin and wonder how different things would be if he were still here with us. I know it's okay, and things are the way they are supposed to be and that we will see him again. But I can't help but wonder. And I like to take an opportunity to remember him, honor his short life and look forward to seeing ahim again. So this is my minute. Okay, sorry to get all deep, but sometimes I have to spit out my thoughts and I figure this is a good place to do it. For those who don't know or don't remember, I posted some old pictures of Sam, to show how far he has come.

The dollar bill pictures. The nurses suggested to put him next to the dollar to give perspective on just how small 1 lb 10 oz is. It's hard to believe!

May 29, 2005. The day we said goodbye to Benjamin. This series of pictures are the only ones we have of the boys together and I cherish them. BTW, that's a preemie sized diaper that Sam is wearing, and they were huge on him!

Friday, May 23, 2008

He's Got a Point...

So, Sam is loving the warmer weather. We spend as much time outside as possible outside and he is drawn to the dirt. A couple of days ago, I was outside clearing weeds out of what will someday be my flower bed in the front of the house. I dug a little trench to separate the grass from where I was clearing. To keep Sam busy, I gave him the hose and just turned it on a little bit and asked him to water the grass. I got distracted with the weeds and didn't pay attention to what he was doing. A few minutes later I looked up to check on him. He had filled the trench with water, well mud, he was standing in the mud shin-deep and was totally covered in it. I made some exasperated cry and said, "Sam, you're a mess!!" (Or something to that effect, maybe slightly more stern...) He didn't move an inch and just kinda looked at me with a slightly confused look and said very matter-of-factly , "It's okay Mom, it's just mud." And he was right!

One other funny thing that happened this week... We were at my parents house and Sam, Ela and Andrew were playing in the backyard. I was looking at my mom's garden boxes and we were talking about planting gardens and stuff. The kids eventually wandered over by us, but we weren't paying much attention to them. Next thing I knew, Sam was saying that he was stuck. I looked at him and just busted up laughing. He had taken one of the wire tomato cages and climbed inside it, the wider part at the bottom, the skinnier part was right at his shoulders and his arms were pinned to his sides. It's moments like those that I wish I carried my camera with me!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Family Home Evenings

We've been trying really hard to have regular Family Home Evenings, some weeks it's easier than others. It usually consists of a story from the Friend or we tell a scripture story using the Gospel Art Kit, with a couple songs and prayers, and then a treat. Some weeks we do a game. Some of Sam's favorites are Ring Around the Rosie, Duck Duck Goose, and Red Light Green Light. If you can picture that with just the three of us, it's pretty amusing! Especially Duck Duck Goose. Sam doesn't get the concept of someone else being the goose, so whenever we say goose he just gets up and starts running in a circle around where we used to be sitting, we usually end up in a dogpile. Last week we made chocolate chip cookies for treats and this is a picture of the boys when they were done eating them. That's what I'd call some pretty happy boys!

So if anyone has some great ideas about what to do for FHE with preschoolers, I'm always looking to switch things up and try something new, let me know what you're doing!

Playing Together

Sam has discovered that he can actually make Andrew laugh...and they both love it! It's so fun to watch!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Even though Joe has been done with his classes since December, we decided to go back to Utah and celebrate his graduation and all that goes with it. It was a great trip. His parents came from Virginia and we spent almost a week just bumming around and eating at our favorite restaurants.

Joe and the boys with Grandma and Grandpa Lodge.

This was at the Marriott Center, right before Joe had to go and get lined up for the Processional. Luckily, both of the boys slept through most of Commencement. Elder Bednar gave a really good talk, I should've taken notes though, because now I can't remember what it was about!

Andrew with Grandpa Lodge (Doesn't Joe look just like his Dad!)

This is Joe in the Tanner building which is where he spent most of his time over the last few years.

Boys will be boys...

My boys are true boys, through and through. All they need is to be outside with a stick and/or rock and they are happy, it's amazing. This was a trip that we made to the park that's about two blocks from our house. It was one of the rare sunny days we've had so far this spring, so we had to take advantage.

I love this picture of Sam because he looks so deep in thought. He was sitting at the top of the big slide, deciding whether he wanted to go down or not.

And this is when he finally got the guts and went down, all by himself. What a big boy!