front burners

It's a busy time of year.
Andy was in charge of after school today. He got Hank home from the pediatrician in time to receive the big boys home from school. They rode bikes in the street for awhile, and were bathed and showered by the time I got back. I walked into the house to four happy boys and dinner warm.
There's something about twinkling lights and sibling harmony, about dogged cheerfulness hitching a ride with the velvety smells of sautéed garlic and butter, that reminds me (even as the boys make lists) : We have everything we need.


signs of life

There are at least ten books strewn about every room, open-paged and upside down to save the place.
And there are as many houseplants with brown parts, with bugs in the soil, with leaves falling off.
I'm letting all of it serve as a reminder that we're raising boys here. Anything else is bonus.


most wonderful time


among other things

Tuck is good at astonishment.


laughing (most of) the way

Hank keeps a pretend green plastic camera in the stroller, where he spends large chunks of time every day - taking the neighborhood kids to school, running to an audition with me, dropping things off at the post office. If we can walk, we do. And if he can photograph something, he does.
Today we walked past a funeral home, and he wanted pictures of the triangle stained glass. Last week it was a metal dinosaur sculpture in someone's yard.

After pictures, he explained that Celia's body burned to ashes there (not quite accurate) and then asked when she would come out of mine heart (where we talk about her "living") to visit him again.

A few other things about Hank, before I forget:

At almost every meal he unfolds his napkin, four quarters into one large square, and puts his plate on top, calling it a place napkin.
And then he invariably asks whether I'm going to wash his shirt, right before he wipes his mouth on his sleeve.

This morning we were in the basement together for a few minutes, where the television is, and he wondered Are you watching the rain forrest?
It was the weather forecast.

On the couch, he looked out through the side window and declared It’s a winter day again! I’m going to have to blanket myself up! 

He's in the habit, when his nap is over, to ask What color are mine eyes? I always say Your eyes are brown, like mine and daddy's. Yesterday he said Yes, but I have green hair, like the trees!

He still calls bananas boo annas, and can hardly say I love you mom, without following it up with you’re fabulous. {this is, for obvious reasons, MY FAVORITE}

He took a break from making muffins for new neighbors this afternoon, and held the bear made from Celia's holiday jammies. He calls it Celia Bear.

Walking to pick up Tolliver from school this afternoon, he sang Jingle Bells at the top of his lungs approximately sixteen times in a row.

Oh what fun it is to listen to him!



We had a full weekend, wrapping up birthday festivities and celebrating a Buckeye victory and beginning to make it look like Christmas at our house. 
The boys played laser tag and went to the movie theater, visited grandparents and enjoyed a football party with friends, participated in a nativity pageant at church and admired lego creations at the museum, took a train ride and biked to get haircuts before bedtime.  
Everyone went to sleep tired and happy tonight.


lucky number seven

Tollie celebrated turning seven with a few friends at the Motts Military museum. The boys admired weapons and uniforms and tanks and had an epic nerf gun battle before dinner at Bob Evans. 
Throughout the week he has received cards and Lego bombers, had dinner at his favorite Mexican restaurant, shared pumpkin cheesecake with Aunt Kate and got the cinnamon rolls he requested in addition to two surprise donut deliveries! He's been playing with giant helium balloons and poring over new military history books, and he's still looking forward to more celebrations this weekend. He's a lucky, well-loved kid.