Brother: 5 years old

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He loves all things rocket ships, volcanoes and dinosaurs.

When he grows up, he’s going to marry Mommy and invent a single machine with a multitude of booms to do every kind of construction from bucket wheel excavating to bull-dozing.

He is determined to dig up a dinosaur bone in the backyard and insists he will dig until he finds one. He also insists there is a pile of dinosaur fossils at the soccer park down the road and adds them his rock collection.

When he helped Mommy dig holes in the garden to plant potatoes and carrots he gloriously declared, “I LOVE working in the garden with you, Mommy! I want to work in the garden with you EVERY DAY!”

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He has a wonderful heart and his prayers have reached new heights as he truly talks to his Heavenly Father and sincerely requests that “tomorrow will be the BEST day of my life” in every nightly prayer.

The day one of the chickens died, Brother stayed with her all afternoon, talking with her and comforting her. After Buddy passed, he was immensely sad and the next morning was comforted by drawing his favorite memories of Buddy.

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Every night, Daddy or Mommy ask him what his saddest and happiest parts of the day were. Frequently, he doesn’t have a saddest part and, without fail, his happiest part is when Daddy comes home.

He treasures his “alone time” with Daddy and Mommy every night where he requests a melodramatic “Drake and Char-LOTTE” story from Daddy (who stole the characters from Mommy’s LDS romance novel) and a “true chicken story” from Mommy.

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He is a fabulous older brother and would rather roll up in a blanket and pillow in the hallway to play “camp-out” with Boots than watch TV. Mommy’s heart melts through the floor when Brother looks over at his brother next to him on the hardwood (rolled up in his own blanket and pillow) and happily says, “I love you very much, Boots.”

He is very patient and kind with both of his younger brothers and a great help to Mommy and Daddy. He is especially mindful of his chicken chores and takes them their coop lantern every night.


He has a special love for drawing and often sits with his magna-doodles to draw intricate pictures from memory of rocket ships, machines, family portraits, dinosaurs and chickens. He’s not allowed to erase them or sweet notes he writes to Mommy and Daddy until a picture is taken of it.

He also loves seeing his friends at a weekly music class to prepare for learning the piano. It’s even more exciting now that Boots is three and allowed to attend as well. Brother dutifully protects his little brother and reports to Mommy that no one has tried to attack him.

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He enjoys his group lessons with Boots and Mommy and will aptly listen to any book read to him. For his individual lessons, he reads outloud to Mommy and spells simple words. Then he goes to his desk to independently compute addition and subtraction problems in his head or on his abacus, practice handwriting and any other worksheet Mommy has assigned him.

His favorite books are The Magic School Bus, The Magic Treehouse and anything about his favorite subjects (dinosaurs, volcanoes, rocket ships, etc.). His favorite videos are LeapFrog, Berenstain Bears, train documentaries, The Emperor’s New Groove, Robin Hood and Monsters, Inc.

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He is wonderful. An absolute joy and a blessing and we love him dearly.

Snapshot in time: 2 years old

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Hello my friends!  Can you believe it?  Another year has passed and it’s time for another snapshot.  Mommy and Daddy can’t believe how much I’ve changed since my snapshot last year!


I have a real gift for speech and language and people often say talking to me is like talking to an adult.  I carry on conversations with ease and especially love to talk to Daddy at work.  I also love to ask questions and learn about what I see.

Mommy is a little sad that I only have one articulation error left.  I still say “w” for “l” and she thinks it’s so cute.  But I recently started saying it correctly when I read and while she’s glad for me, she’s a little sad for her.

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I have a gift for being happy!  I sincerely love life and my enthusiasm for almost everything is adorable and contagious.


And would you believe it, I learned to read this year!  We started lessons last September and it took Mommy a little while to figure out the program and how she wanted to structure it, but we both kept plugging away and we can’t believe the results.  Now we do short lessons each weekday sometime during the day and I’m just taking off!


I’m currently on Lesson 40 (of 100) and I love when Mommy makes up sentences with the word lists.  I also love reading the stories and looking at the pictures!  I often smile after I figure out a word. :):)


We also do math or writing lessons and I enjoy those a lot.  I’m getting really good at counting and frequently “sight count” by looking at a group of objects and knowing how many there are without needing to count outloud.

I also recognize numbers and can tell the hour of time.  I know that my clock says “7” when I go to bed and at least “6” when I get up. :)


And if we have time after our lessons, we get to snuggle!


And Mommy reads a book to me while I eat the jelly beans that I earned during my lesson.


It’s a really special time for us.


This year I have developed a serious passion for trains!  I have at least five different train toys downstairs and two upstairs.  I love to build with my wooden tracks and then lay inside to watch the trains go by.

I also love to read train books and watch train video clips and then act out the stories.  Mommy loves to hear me quoting lines from The Little Engine That Could or a Thomas episode or the All About Trains video to myself as I play.

Just tonight I kept saying, “Wook down to the right.  You’ll see cwouds of steam rushing out under pressure.”  That’s from All About Trains. :)


I also love my vintage Casey Junior!


Mommy got it off ebay and gave it to me after I finished potty training!  I love to load it up with circus animals just like on the cartoon!


Then I toot his whistle and we go “chug-chug-chug-puff-puff-puff”ing around the house as I sing his theme song!

And if Casey Junior’s lucky (and Scooters isn’t blasting around in his walker) I convert his flat bed car into a coal car and fill it up with “coal” (handfuls of pinto beans from my digging table!). :)


And speaking of digging, I also love construction vehicles!  My favorites are dump trucks, excavators and front loaders.


I also have a great fondness for garbage trucks and love to wait each week to see their biiiiiig arms that reach out and GRAB our garbage cans and then *BOOM-BOOM-BOOM!!!* empty them into their truck!!


I love to cut with scissors and can easily *snip-snip-snip* an afternoon away!


I also love to draw, write and color.

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And I enjoy building (especially building temples!), playing T-ball, swinging, chasing, soccer, visiting different places (especially Jetty Island!!) and gardening.

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Oh, and animals!  I love animals.

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And Mommy let me have my first pet (two cat spiders!) for two or three days before we set them free.  It was a true test of her deep love for me.


The jury’s still out on what color my eyes are.  Daddy says brown.  Mommy says they’re a new color.  A new color that sometimes looks brown, sometimes looks dark blue and sometimes looks dark green.  Either way, they both say my eyes are beautiful! :)


I also have a vivid imagination!  I love to pretend to be different characters from books, stories, or YouTube clips I’ve seen.  My favorite roles include: Rudolph, Little Foot, Little Roo, Skippy Jon Jones, Annabelle and baby animals.

When I play these roles, I prefer to be called by my character name and to call Mommy, Scooters and Daddy by their respective character names.  I frequently wake up from naps and begin calling for “Kanga!  Oh, Kanga!” or “Long Neck!  Long Neck?  Are you there?” or “Star!  Oh, Sta-ar!”  And Mommy laughs as she hops up the stairs to get me. :)


I have an insatiable appetite for hearing books and stories!  And one time I was in heaven when Daddy combined the two by acting out my entire Lady and the Tramp book with my stuffed animals.  It was awesome!  And I asked him to repeat it every day afterward. :):)


And I really love to look at books!


I frequently create “book circles” after reading next to one of our many book baskets.  They make Mommy smile. :):)


It also makes her smile when I furrow my brow as I read.  That’s how she knows I’m still her baby.

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And check it out!  We’ve got a real growth chart now!!  Now I have Mommy’s permission to grow (just a little!).  My first measurement on it was almost 6 months ago and I was just shy of three feet tall.


And now, just six months later…


I’ve grown even more!!  (And down below in the column next to mine, you can see Scooters’ first height measurement!!  A few inches over two feet tall–what a cutie!)

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And just think of it…  Someday, we’ll all be as tall as Daddy!


I’ve also learned to be a big boy this year!  I’ve taken over almost all restroom duties now and only need a pull-up at night (and every once in a while at nap time).  Sometimes I even request my own privacy and Mommy smiles as I shut the door.  :)


Ta-dah!!  This is how I love to get in my crib!

I’m still a great sleeper, though I try to delay the inevitable as long as possible. :)

My bedtime routine is quite elaborate and currently includes:

Playing with Mommy and Daddy all by myself for about 30 minutes after Scooters goes to bed!  Then we go upstairs to their bathroom where I use the restroom and change into my pajamas.  Then we take turns brushing my teeth.  I use real toothpaste now and even know how to spit it out!

After that, I turn on the hall lights with help and my bedroom light all by myself!  Then we snuggle in my glider for a prayer and daily scripture study.  (We’ve finished all four of my Scripture Stories books, so we’re going back and repeating them. We’re currently in the New Testament again).  I typically choose Mommy to read to me, but sometimes I pick Daddy.

I recently convinced Mommy and Daddy to add a little more reading into our routine, so after scriptures, we read a couple pages of my Beauty and the Beast chapter book.

Next I turn off my light and race Daddy to my crib and jump in.  Then he tucks my doggy under my right arm and Lumpy under my left arm. Then he covers me up with: my green blanket, my alphabet quilt and then my teddy bear quilt.


After that, he sits next to my crib, holds my little hand and asks, “Which Ruff Ruff story to do you want tonight?”

One night I said, “Ruff Ruff and the Yellow Blanket!” and then Daddy made up a story for it.   The next night I requested, “Ruff Ruff and the Biscuit Flying” and then Daddy laughed and made up a story for it.  Tonight I said, “Ruff Ruff and the Teeth”, but then changed it to “Ruff Ruff and the Hippopotamus”.


Then Mommy joins us and we all hold hands as Mommy and Daddy sing: Curious George, I am a Child of God, Once There Was a Snowman and We love you, [insert name of current character I’m playing at the time]! It’s wonderful.

After that, we have kisses and say, “Night, night! Bye, bye! Woooooove you!” and wave “I Love You” signs goodbye as they close my door.


Oh!  And If I get scared of the shadows that look like monsters or the monsters under my green glider, I just cover my head ALL THE WAY (and the heads of my buddies!) and then I’m okay.

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I don’t like to be left alone, get my hair cut, my nails cut, my leftover food eaten by someone else or my hair washed, so Mommy often coaches me through them.


And recently she started letting me watch something while she cuts (just like she does for Daddy!) and I hold really still for her.  She loves it!


And she loves my toes! :)

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Aaaahhh!!!  I also got my first Easter basket ever last year!


I also really love to play with my friends!!  This past year we’ve made so many new friends at church and in our neighborhood and we feel so blessed to have them all in our lives!!  Thank you!!

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At church, I moved up to the Senior Nursery class and I really love it! (Mommy even got to substitute for a month while they called new teachers and it was so fun for us!)

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And something really special that happened this past year was Scooters!

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I became a big brother!

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And what a big brother I have been!


Mommy just adores watching us together and is so grateful for how fun, loving and gentle I am toward Scooters.


I really do love him!

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And I can’t imagine our family without him!

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I really love my Daddy!  Whenever he leaves for work or school, I always beg, “Daddy?  Pwease pway with me for just a couple minutes!  Pwease?”  And even if he’s late, he’ll stop and play with me.  I love it!  And I can’t wait until he comes home again every day so we can play some more!

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Daddy especially loves… holding my hand… hearing about my day, seeing my enthusiasm for saying silly things… playing outside with me… seeing me hit the baseball with my T-ball bat… comforting me after he accidentally injures me… when I push out my belly to be as big as his (one day!)… when I hook arms with him at the dinner table… when I tackle him… when I explain to him why whatever I want to do is okay… when I hug and kiss Scooters… when I say “pwease” and “thank you” without being asked… and every minute he gets to spend with me.


I also really love my Mommy!  I melt her heart every time I say, “Come pway with me, Mommy!  I want you to pway with me!”  We love to pretend things together and play together.  I frequently ask her to carry me up and down the stairs for extra cuddles and she happily obliges me. :)


Mommy especially loves… cuddles while I drink my milk… cuddles while we read books… cuddles, cuddles, cuddles!… when I hide under my covers and giggle while she tries to find me after nap times… when I call for her by her character name after naps… how thoroughly and sincerely kind, generous, and sweet I am… how my eyes sparkle with delight when I look at her and smile… when I use the word “chuffing”… the sound of my voice..  when I sincerely cry out, “Oh, thank you!!” when she does something for me… my cute morning breath when she gets me out of my crib and hugs me tight… hearing me play with Scooters and Daddy… the tiny little freckles I’ve started getting on my cheeks… my love for learning… teaching me about Jesus… when I ask questions about Jesus… sharing a big huge hug after we’ve been away from each other… and, well, everything about me. :):)

When I Least Expect It

It always happens when I least expect it.

Like yesterday morning after Bubbers got out of the bathtub.

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We were on my bed laughing and being silly.

And then I reached out and took his little hand to clip his fingernails.

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“Wow, Little Man!” I said, “I guess you were in the tub for a while. Look–you’re all wrinkled up!”

“Hee, hee, hee,” he giggled, “I’m aw wrinkowed up!”

After his fingernails, I reached for his foot to clip his toenails.

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I glanced at the bottom of his foot and then suddenly stopped. My heart skipped a beat and a smile crept into my lips as I gently held his foot and stared.

Instantly, I was there again, laying in that hospital bed full of exhaustion and euphoric joy…..

“Oh, Love,” my husband suddenly laughed with delight, “You have to see his feet!”

“What is it?” I asked with an expectant smile on my face.

I watched as my Prince Charming carefully laid our newborn son across my legs.

Gently, he reached down and held up our son’s feet for me to see the bottoms.

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“He’s Mr. Wrinkle Foot!” my husband laughed.

“Oh!” I exclaimed with surprise.

I laughed along with my husband as I reached out and gently traced the lines etched into the bottoms of my dear baby’s feet.

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As quickly as I left, I was pulled back again.

“Mommy? I’m aw wrinkowed up!” he said again.

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“Yes, you are,” I smiled through the lump in my throat.

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“Yes, you are.”