Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Music and Memories

Dear Josh Groban-

I have always been taught "Give Thanks, Where Thanks is due".  My thanks are due to you.

 First I must thank you for the magical moment you helped create on my first date with Tyler.  We danced as you sang (on the radio) in a parking lot- it was perfect and according to Tyler it was the moment he knew I was going to be his dancing partner FOREVER. I admit I didn't know what he knew(it took me a little longer) but it was magical all the same.

Then you came through for us again at our wedding reception.  We were married that morning, we celebrated with family at a luncheon then we had a simple but lovely reception with so many friends.  The day was perfect and at the very end before we drove off as two married people we danced as you sang.  It was beautiful.

Since then Tyler and I have continued to dance as you sing in the background.  If we ever hear your music we look at each other and smile and we are both caught up remembering all the times we have danced as you sang.  We smile because we know we will be dancing for years to come.

I must tell you there was a time when I thought your music was meant only to get Tyler and I up dancing.  Then you entered our lives again...this time singing on a holiday CD.  Now all year I anxiously await the time when I can pop it in and listen as you fill our car and home with the most beautiful Christmas songs (#2 is my Favorite).  We don't normally get up and dance, we hold hands as we listen and sometimes we sing along.

 Awe, the Christmas season.  Awe, the beautiful music. Awe, the magical moments.

Thank you for the music!!!  Thank you for the good memories it invokes!!! Thank you for the new ones it is creating!!!

A fan,

Rachel

***I realize Good Old Josh will never see this (especially since my blog is not suppose to come up on search engines- dang).  But seriously I could listen to it all day!  We have had Drummer Boy on repeat and the kids are starting to sing along---doesn't get much better than that!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend- The Good, The Bad and The Peas!

 The Good-

*Naomi Got here in time to hold Smoky (he disappeared the day after Thanksgiving and we haven't seen him yet- See "The Bad" for more kitten details).

 *Aunt Leah is such a great Aunt....she even did Adele's hair!!!Woo-woo!
 *The women of the family- We were missing a few but it was great seeing Anna and Leah and Mom.  I love them SO much.
 *Silly Billy- Dad read his favorite book from his childhood to his grand kids that were there.  How cool is that?!
 *Cousins- Oh how they have missed each other.  They enjoyed their visit together and Grandpa even helped them create slug picker uppers and flingers. 
 *I should have had a funny category...Dad got the "high" chair for dinner!
 *Dinner- You know it's a great Thanksgiving when the table stretches on and on!
 *My babies- Love them.

 *Titus and his Great Grandma...He has always been taken with her.
 *After dinner games...."Chicken, Chicken, who has the Chicken?"  I am glad I am not the only one that has a difficult time figuring it out!
*Charades Anyone....Can you guess what my Mom is? (Answer at the end of post!)
*The Root Beer Expert- Saturday our friends (they were on our first date with us) came to visit.  He is always looking for the best root beer.  He brought his current favorite over for us to try!
*The kids all had so much fun together!

The Bad
* Titus welcomed Thanksgiving by giving us a little present!  (He actually explodes often...It's pretty comical).
*Kittens-  We have had our kittens for over a month and had no problems.  All three were growing and knowing their way around the property.  Thanksgiving we woke up and couldn't find Lala (Adele's kitten).  We all looked but Garret was the most persistent.  Thankfully, he did not find her. Tyler and Joe found her.  We believe she was hit by a car but we didn't spend too much time analyzing we didn't want the kids to see her.  Garret took it really hard.  Luckily we had had the scare of them getting lost a few days ago and been able to talk a lot about things that could happened. He cried a lot- it broke my heart.  If we ask Adele what happened she says "Lala in heaven, I gonna go find Lala...Here kitty kitty kitty". I know that's life, but it doesn't mean it wasn't sad watching them hurt and trying to parent them through it. 

*Kittens part 2- At least we still had Smoky and Tiger...right?  Well after Thanksgiving Smoky (Garret's kitten) just disappeared in the middle of the day.  We have no idea what happened.  We looked A LOT.  This one hit him hard too.  Since we didn't ever find him we were able to say that hopefully he wandered to someone else's house and since they didn't know where he belonged they adopted him.  It was a rough weekend in regards to the kittens. 


The Peas-

*I must preface this by saying my Mom is an AMAZING cook.  She decided to try something new to go with Thanksgiving dinner.  Cold peas in a sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon mixture.  I took a decent size scoop because I like peas and I like my Mom's cooking.  After the first bite I knew it was going to be hard to eat them all. When Titus started to fuss, I didn't want to leave and have a huge pile of peas on my plate so when I thought no one was looking I scooped them onto Adele's plate.  No one gets hurt feelings when a two year old doesn't eat her peas.  I went up and fed Titus.  While I was away I guess word got out that the peas were not the highlight of the meal and everyone scooped their uneaten peas onto my plate. So much for putting them on Adele's I came down to a huge plate of unwanted peas.  Needless to say...My Mom is going to be eating leftover peas for a long time!!!  



 ***For those of you wondering what my Mom was in the Charades game- She was bacon.  She layed down and twitched occasionally- bacon sizzles when being cooked- She is the best!

- I must add that when this Thanksgiving rolled around it brought back lots of memories of last year. Last year Mom was in the middle of Chemo.  I am so Thankful this year to have my Mom here and healthy.  It was a long year for her and she is doing great.  She is a blessing in my life!  

I hope every one's Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Add this to the list

I have a list of moments that have been really scary and had the potential to be disastrous.  I won't go into the others right now.  Today's very scary moment went something like this....

I was downstairs on the phone.  Adele and Spencer were playing upstairs and Titus was in his walker.  I was talking to my Mom and kept thinking that it smelled really bad in our house.  Our house has a tendency to smell bad thanks to Titus and his diapers but this was different.  I walked around the downstairs while on the phone but couldn't pin down where the smell was coming from.

Finally I got off the phone with my Mom and something in me told me to go up and see what the kids were up to.  The smell was worse as I went up the stairs. When I went in the boys room, where the kids were playing, it was awful.  Immediately I started looking for where the smell was coming from.  My sweet little Spencer had put his socks on top of the light (they are wall lights that have a cover around them so you can't really see down in them).  Once I figured it out I acted fast, I pulled the first sock out and it was only seared the second one was melted and on fire.  I put it out and in as nice a way possible made sure Spencer knew the severity of his actions.  I really wasn't mean but I am guessing by the fact that he hid under his bed crying for a few minutes that he got the message.  Don't worry we talked about it a lot after and I don't think he will ever do it again.  I think our house might smell like burnt sock for a while but no damage was done.

It was a brief part of our day but I still can't shake it.  The thought of what could have happened is still too fresh and scary.  I am thankful right now that I followed the voice in my head that sent me upstairs.  I am thankful that my kids and house are safe.  I am thankful that this moment gets to go on my "could have been disastrous list" and not on some other more tragic list.

Titus is Thankful for his Toes

 Titus understand the simple pleasures in life!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for Friends

We have lived all over and we have friends all over.  A lot of our friends have become like our family.  The other night I had some of our newest friends over.  I don't think it will be long before we feel like family as well....for that I am truly thankful!

*I realize this is a terrible picture- we had no power, it was dark and cold...which is one more reason I think these girls are awesome- they laughed it off, wrapped up in blankets and stayed til one in the morning!

My Little Family

It's chaos and I Love it....






I am thankful for them!
(Photo credits- My awesome sister Heather...Next time we play with the camera hopefully the baby weight will be gone!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"It's not just a kitten, it's a little boys heart"

Let me tell you about my day...

This morning we walked to the bus stop in the rain.  I had Titus in the front carrier and the others walked.  The kittens followed us to the end of the road.  They have done this a couple of other times but not many.  We got to the end and waited for the bus to come.  Garret left and we were about to head back when a noisy car drove by.  Two of the kittens dove for the bushes.  I tried to get them (they are very friendly normally), but they ran deeper.  In the rain with the front carrier and kids I wasn't able to look very hard for them so I headed back.  Put Titus down and went back out looking.  I looked for a while, no luck.  Put food out, called them.  Walked the road again. Called the neighbor so they could look for them.  By the end of the day I was sick inside.  Not so much for the kittens ( I do like them ), the real thing that gave me that deep down sick feeling was knowing that I would have to tell Garret when he got home.

As I made my way to the bus stop this afternoon, I said a silent prayer that went something like this "I know they are just kittens, but please if you could just  help me find them.  Garret's heart will hurt so much if I don't.".  Some may call it coincidence, I choose to see the miraculous in it- as I finished, the bus came around the corner and kittens walked out of the woods wet and muddy.  

Today I am thankful for little miracles- and a God who cares about the hearts of little boys!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Bits of Thankfulness

 I am thankful for good books and a sense of humor.  Seriously, its been a couple weeks since we read Where the Red Fern Grows and I still am hearing about how they want "Red Bone Coon Hounds".   The boys told Adele today to say "I want a red bone coon hound" and she marched around saying it all morning.  I am so glad they loved the book and can't get it out of their heads.  You can tell a book is good when you think about it long after you read it.  And I am thankful that I can laugh at their pleas!

I am thankful for the kids in Garret's class.  I don't know most of them very well but I know that they had a chance to be mean and didn't.  Yesterday Garret was at school and had to go to the bathroom.  He went to use the classroom one and someone was in there.  The teacher gave him permission to go the the bathroom in the hall.  He couldn't find it and had an accident.  This kid never has accidents and I can picture how devastated he must have been.  I know him so well I can almost guess his thought process and how worried he was. The nurse gave him a set of clothes (which I am not sure why because he has extras in his backpack just in case) and he went back to class.  He said no one said anything but he knows they all noticed.  A big thank you to those kids for not making my little boy hurt emotionally.  And thank you to the parents that taught them how to act.

I am thankful for caterpillars.  If there were no caterpillars I could not have enjoyed a very funny moment on Sunday.  Our hall closet where we hope to put all our shoes is under repair so the kids kick their shoes off outside a lot of the time.  Garret had left his dress shoes out on the porch the Saturday night.  Sunday morning he ran out and got them.  At the end of church (which is three hours long) he came to me and told me that a caterpillar was in his shoe but he didn't know what to do with it so he had just left it there.  Poor sweet boy that doesn't like drawing attention to himself (at least not in large groups).  I thought he had been walking funny, I guess he was trying not to squish it- he didn't succeed.  It was not in very good shape when he showed it to me.  I stifled my laugh and told him to dump it out and get rid of it.  It wasn't really a cute one either it was a green hairless one.  You should have been there it was great!  I admit it may not have been quite as funny had it been a slug.

I am thankful for new jammies.  Tonight when I put Adele in her jammies they were some bigger ones I had just pulled out for her.  She immediately put them on and said "I look adorable".  She has no shame!

I am thankful today for paper.  If there were no paper I am not sure what I would find the million little picture Spencer makes for me on.  He is always drawing me pictures and hiding them for me or giving them to me.  He is getting pretty good.  I think he has drawn on an entire trees worth of paper I will never get tired of them!  (What better way for a tree to go!)

And one last bit of gratitude for the day goes out to my Grandma.  I love that she came over to see my house today.  How blessed I am to live near enough now that I can have her over.

There is no way to capture all my blessings but its fun singling out a few.  Isn't November a wonderful month?

Thankful for Each Day

I had planned to sit down and write about some more of the small blessings in my life that I am thankful for (and I will another day) but something happened that changed my plan.

My cousin Anya's husband died in a car accident.  She is just a couple years older than me.  She has three little kids- two boys and a baby girl.  I have not seen my cousin in a few years but I have wonderful memories of all of us playing together when we were young and a few memories from dinners when we were older.  She was always a cousin that I enjoyed being around and loved.

Ever since hearing the news of her husband my heart has hurt for her.  I can not imagine the pain she is enduring right now.  I am thankful for the gospel and that we know there is life after this.  I believe in the power of Christ and his ability to heal.  And yet I know he allows us to feel pain and I am sure she is feeling a great deal right now.  She will be in my thoughts and prayers and if you have a second include her in yours as well.

Things like this remind me to be grateful for each day.  So tonight I am thankful for each moment I get to live.  Each moment I get to love my family, watch my children grow, each moment I get to be alive and experience this world.  I hope I can find ways to embrace it more fully and make the most of the moments I am given.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why We Moved To The Country and Thankful Thoughts

 We moved to the country so our kids could spend hour after hour doing real kid things....like building teepee's for cats (seriously is there a better use of a kids time!)


 I love watching them work together and play together.  I love watching them get bored and then  come up with something creative to do.  I suppose there are lots of reasons we moved to the country (we can have a garden, play sports, seclusion etc) but the big reason was to provide an amazing backdrop for them to be children.

Today's thankfulness is this- When Garret had his two friends over today, he didn't leave his brother out.  I hope that no matter what friends he makes he still remembers his buddy Spencer.  I am thankful that they are brothers and friends.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Night Time Gratitude


This morning I woke up feeling a great deal of gratitude.  My sweet little bundle of joy went to bed at 6:30 last night, fussed a little at 10 but Tyler was still up so he just went in and put a blanket around him.  Then we both went to bed and we didn't hear from our TyTy until 6:00 this morning.  I admit I still woke up often during the night.  I kept wondering when he was going to wake up and listening really hard to be sure I wasn't sleeping through his screams.  I realize there is a high probability that it could take a week or two before this becomes common place but I am thankful for the rest I got and I admit I look forward to a few more nights of sleep (I have some serious catching up to do!).  As much as I love him being little the middle of the night feedings will not be too hard for me to let go of (just a very teeny-tiny part of me will miss our snuggle time at night- Ill find a way to make up for it during the day).  He is a sweetheart and so easy to be thankful for.  Thank you Titus for a good nights sleep!!!
I think he might take after his sister in the face making department!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday Thankfulness

My Family Name-  Now that I leave near where I grew up and where my parents still live it almost feels like I should introduce myself with my maiden name and my married name.  It is weird seeing or calling people I used to know and not calling myself a Beck.  When people do find out I am a Beck we always find connections.  My parents know  a lot of people and I am thankful that when people find out that I am a Beck it is always met with excitement and story telling.  I am glad I come from a family that I can be proud of.  I had one of those "oh, you're a Beck" moments Sunday and it made me once again grateful for my background.



Another quick bit of Sunday gratitude goes out to my crock pot.  Strange I know but that crock pot has cooked me many Sunday dinners.  There are few things that can beat walking into the house after church, hungry and tired, and meeting up with the aroma of a dinner already made and ready to eat.  Tyler made Chili Sunday and I am not joking when I say it was right up there with my Moms (and that says a lot).  We have so many conveniences all around us and the crock pot is one I am very thankful for.  I love being able to get dinner already early when the day is still fresh and I am motivated.  I love that when the end of the day crazy hours are upon us I do not have to cook while wrestling kids.  Yes-sir-re I love my crock pot!  (If only I knew more good recipes that I could cook in it- I might just use it every night!)


Friday, November 4, 2011

More November Thankfulness

Yesterday I was thankful for teaching moments.  Garret's in kindergarten so he is new to school and friendships and following the crowd.  He made a wrong choice (nothing to drastic).  He talked to me about it and even though my internal response was disapointment and frustration, I was able to stop myself from spewing out whatever came to my mind.  Instead I waited to talk to him until I had thought it through.  We talked about it and it was productive.  My ultimate goal is to help them grow up well, yelling would not have gotten me there.  I know he is little and mistakes happen and I know he has a good heart, I talked to him in kindness and he responded.  I pray I can keep my perspective as he grows and we face more challenges together.  I hope he always feels like he can talk to me.  I hope he always feels the love I have for him when we talk.  I am thankful for the chance I had to guide him.


Today our power was out all morning.  I have no idea why.  The kids seemed to think it was awful.  Which is funny because the sun was out and they could do all the same things they normally can do.  Anyway, rather then listen to the complain we decided to do a project together.  We got out four big bins and then we put one of their names on each one and we went through the box that had all the ultrasound pictures, hospital souveniers, baby blankets they don't use right now, blog books, blessing outfits etc.  We sorted them out and put them in the right box.  We had so much fun.  The kids loved seeing the little treasures and they loved hearing me talk about why it was special.  We had the best morning together- it was productive and fun.  If the power had not gone out we may not have felt like taking on the project.  So today I am thankful that the power was off, that there was no extra noise, no internet, nothing but me and the munchkins together!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Goodbye October, Welcome November

 I am so glad that October is over.  It was definitely not a bad month- but it was busy.  We celebrated two birthdays, bought a house, moved, met lots of new people, started house projects and celebrated Halloween.  I spent way too much of October thinking about things I wanted- things I wanted for the house, how I wanted the birthdays to go, how to make Halloween fun for the kids.  Now it is November and I plan to continue working on projects but to try and relax and enjoy life a little more.  I want to focus the month on being grateful for the MANY blessings in my life.  Ever since Titus was born we have been deep into trying to figure out the future.  First it was what to do about a job, when to move from Yakima, then it was moving from Yakima and trying to find something more permanent.  Now that our lives are finally starting to find a rhythm I want to enjoy it.

Yesterday as I was taking in the new month and feeling grateful that the last was over I sat and watched the kids bike around and around and around the circle driveway.  I thought to myself- I am so blessed to have this paved circle driveway.  For a moment I did not see all the yard work that is undone- I just saw them.  A circle driveway really is a great blessing.  They never run out of space to bike.  Garret has really mastered his two wheeler and gets more daring each day.  Spencer slowly makes his way around the circle and is convinced he is ahead whenever Garret passes him and is behind him again!  And Adele just chases them on foot!

Today I had to walk the garbage cans to the end of our LONG driveway in the rain.  I had no kids with me and it was very peaceful.  I listened to the rain hit the leaves of the trees, it was as if the drops were purposely playing their own music.  I do not doubt that I will be very sick of the rain at times, but there will also be moments like tonight when it was peaceful and enchanting in it's own way.

Today I was also very grateful for the good school Garret goes to the kind teacher he has.  He had his first conference today.  It was so much fun going in and talking one on one with his teacher.  I knew it would be a good report but it was fun watching him interact with her and learning more about his time spent at school.  He was very concerned going in that his teacher would say he doesn't follow along well in story time with his finger.  When we went in he got very clingy and I said "I think he is just nervous because  you haven't seem him track with his finger well".  My sensitive boy burst into tears and said "I'm trying so hard".  She was very kind and pulled out a paper that said different things they are doing and how he is doing with them.  Under tracking with his finger it said he is doing great.  He was so glad she had noticed and you could see relief flood over him.  He has a high standard for himself.  She has no complaints with him and says he is a joy to have in class.  He is ahead in a lot of areas but doesn't act up when he is bored.  She says she uses him as an example often.  He is quite at school (not at recess, which is fine), he follows directions, he is nice to others.  I don't know the right word for how I felt hearing this good report.  It is very reassuring to know that my little boy knows how to be good even when I am not there to reprimand and encourage.  It felt good knowing that he does his best without me looking over his shoulder and telling him to try harder.  He is such a great kid and I am so blessed by his presence.

Welcome November!  A month to dwell on the blessings in our lives!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

We forced the kids to eat something healthy then headed out the door.  We stopped by the neighbors house (we were the first trick or treaters ever and they were SO excited), then we saw some friends in Shelton, then we went to my Mom's (my Dad is in DC), then to my Grandparents and finished up at Dan and Heathers.  The kids got lots of candy and made lots of people smile.





That's it for the Star Wars gang.  They are alright with it though because now their costumes are in the dress up box and they get to play with them whenever they want!  It was a very Happy Halloween!