Monday, March 30, 2009

The Other Side

Most of the time when Noel and I do something with the "safari" we are not in the pictures because either we are taking the picture or distracting the "safari" so that the other can take the picture. I love the male look. Those are all the men in my life. I pray everyday that the boys will grow up to the husband, father, son and friend that Noel is.

This picture is nothing but love and laughter. I love the smile on both their faces. Do you think they are having fun? Our "safari" gets a lot of that from Noel. I love the look in their eye's when daddy comes home and they know that it is wrestling time. Jacob is the one that thinks that gravity is for people without imagination and ambition. When you see Noel ask him how that feels to know that your son has no fear of gravity.

That is my "safari", they may look tame but that is just the moment that I caught on camera. They are all over the place. I cannot imagine life without them. My "safari" is so unique in their own way and I love each of them for that. Noel and I were talking the other day about what God has done in our lives. We have been blessed with FIVE wonderful children and I am glad that I am NOT in control because only GOD could have known that this is true happiness. Would you have picked it?
I left this picture for last because this is the true nature of my "safari." No one wants to cooperate and everyone looks so innocent even the little one. These are the moments that make me smile and laugh because I can only imagine what it is going to be like in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. What a journey Noel and I are going to have. May you enjoy even these moments and cherish them. Enjoy our out takes and laugh with us.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


If you live in Texas you know that at the end of March and early April is when to get your bluebonnet pictures. Noel in all of his traveling found a perfect spot for pictures. It was a side road with a cement walk-way in between a "sea" of bluebonnets.

Today we went and took our pictures. This is the first year that we have gone and we are going to make it an annual event. When the "safari" gets older we may find a new spot but the spot for this year was amazing. Our friends the Conroy's went with us. The bluebonnets that we found were in La Grange, Texas. Noel pulled up and all you could see was the entire hillside full of bluebonnets.

The weather was great. It was a little windy and there was a chill in the air but there was not a cloud in the sky. The "safari" was perfect; they sat when told to sit and moved when told to move. Yes, Hannah decided that she wanted to try the bluebonnet. We have been praying all week that the weather would be nice and that we would get some good pictures. God is good all the time.

There are more photos to come and I know that the grandparents will want photos to hold so that will come as well. I just wanted to share some of the amazing pictures that we got and give another reason why we LOVE living in Texas.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Prayer Time

Noel and I have made it a routine that we pray at meals and at bedtime. Everyone likes the "amen" part. Lately Elijah has wanted to pray for himself and does not like when mommy or daddy does it for him. So at dinner there are two prayers mine and then Elijah's, with mom's help. At bedtime there is usually more than one prayer, but Noel and I try to make it less than 5 prayers. Also every prayer has to have the people that we know in it.

The last couple of weeks we have been praying for rain every chance we get. Last week we got some rain and the "safari" were thrilled. Well yesterday during dinner it started to hail, Elijah looked at me and said, "pray not." In other words we did NOT pray for hail mommy. I explained that God is in charge of the weather and that He thought we needed the hail and the rain mixed together. Of course my car did not need the 300+ dents.

We are glad that the "safari" are getting in the routine of prayers and how that is important in our family. Jesus loved the children and he shows extra time for them in the Bible. I feel that God enjoys the prayers of the children and that it warms his heart when He hears how hard they are trying to pray for themselves. I know that it warms our hearts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today Noel turned the big 30! His life did not end and he did not die. We were actually talking the last couple days about how turning 30 is not bad, I turn 30 in May. Noel and I looked at where we have come since we had met. At 30, Noel has:

1. A love relationship with God.
2. His Children (all 5 of them). Noel is excited because he wanted a big family.
3. A job that he loves.
4. A great family and he even loves his in-laws.
5. Great friends and a great church that we both love.
6. An awesome wife! (well that is what i think)
7. A home, not a house, but a home that we both love and enjoy being in.

That is not too bad for being 30! LOL.
So this morning all the children said "Happy Birthday" the best they could maybe next year they will be able to sing, but Noel was smiling when they said "happy birthday." Children are so great they can brighten any day with a smile or just a show of affection and then everything is great in that moment.

I am so glad that God brought Noel into my life and that we have the life that we have. Yes it is hectic, stressful, draining, exhausting, and time consuming. At the end of the day I would not trade places with anyone. I love you sweetie and I hope that you have a wonderful day, we love you and are very proud of you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

When All You Can Do Is Laugh!

Elijah has been known to take his clothes and diaper off. We went through a time when we had to Duct tape his diaper on so that we would not walk into a war zone in the morning. After about a month we did not have to put Duct tape on Elijah because he learned that we were just going to continue to put the Duct tape on.

Elijah has been doing great. He still likes to take his clothes off but his diaper has remained on. Well the other night Noel and I were heading to bed and I went in to check on Elijah. When Elijah goes to bed we allow him to play in his room because that is the only true time that he gets alone to himself besides nap time. He plays with his Leggos and cars. When we go to bed we make sure that he is in his bed and that we turn the light off. Well I went in to check on him and he was in his bed and so I was just going to turn the light off and go to bed. Something in my mom sense told me to go check on him in his bed.

I walk up to the bed and I find him in his bed with no diaper or clothes on. I tried not to laugh. What did I do, I went down stairs and got the camera so that I could take a picture before waking him up. I took a couple of pictures and Noel went and got him a new diaper. As I was taking the pictures he looked up at me and with the most convicted face says, "I was hot!" and then laid back down.

Noel put his diaper on and he went back to sleep. All Noel and I could do was laugh. What do you do with these moments? We like to think that we cherish them. Being a parent of a toddler is a joy, stress, priveldge, and a draining job but I would not trade it for anything.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Four tots in a tub

The original rhyme has the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. I have the talker, the flyer, the follower and the instigator. Noel says the heart breaker. Who knows?

My children love to climb in or onto anything they can. That is why the play room is empty. We had to take the couch, toy chest, toy bucket and anything else they could climb on. My children have no fear and do not respect gravity. Jacob thinks that he can fly. When he is playing with Noel he will climb on his chest and without warning run and jump into the air. Noel has to be very aware when Jacob is around.

So they know that when I pull out the blue bucket that it is time to pick up the toys. Also we sing a little song. "clean-up, it's time to clean-up!" The kids like that it is simple and they try to sing along. They push the bucket around the room and pick up all their toys so that "Revi" (my roomba) can vacuum while they are in bed. It does not fail that every time that we pull out a bucket that they try to all climb in at once. Tonight I finally got a picture of all four of them in the bucket. Yes, they do not have their shirts on because they just finished dinner and were heading to bath time after "clean-up" time.

Another moment in our day here at the "safari."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Revi vs. Hannah

Today is vacuuming day in our house. So I make sure that our Roomba, Revi, is charged and we start downstairs and work our way upstairs. Since we have taken down the gates we have to use the virtual walls to make sure the Revi only goes in the rooms that I want her to. This makes watching Revi work easier.

Hannah was playing in the playroom and saw Revi. She stopped what she was doing and decided that Revi was a better toy than what she was playing with. So she crawled and tried to catch Revi and then tried standing up at the stairs to get a better perspective. Finally she stopped and sat in the middle of the floor and waited for Revi to come to her. I had to take some pictures. I think that I have found another member of my "safari" that loves Revi.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Stages of Frustration

The first stage of frustration is the realization that you have been left. When the "safari" and I go to the mailbox we leave Hannah with daddy because she cannot walk. This is the look that she gives daddy because we have left.

The second stage of frustration is knowing that you are all alone. Hannah loves the "safari" and follows them where ever they go, not as fast but she eventually gets there. This is the look of abandonment.

The third and final stage of frustration is knowing that she cannot do anything about being left. I love this picture because she is so angry that she is all alone with daddy and that she cannot go with the "safari." When we come back from the mailbox she has made her way to the storm door and is standing up with her face pressed against the door. This is the look that she gives the person staying with her. She does not hide her emotions.

Hannah has been such a great baby. I know that we all want to think that, but she has been very good and we are glad. When we found out that we were pregnant again after having triplets we knew in our head that we were going to get the fussy, no sleep, no eating, just crying baby. Instead we got the no crying (unless hungry), sleep through the night at 6 weeks, eating all things except baby food, calm baby. We are very grateful to God for blessing us with good babies and hoping that moves with them as we reach the 2's and 3's. Thank you for all the people that pray for us and think about us, we appreciate it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Today we had my brother, Ben, and his wife, Tracy, over for dinner. We had a great time with the "safari" and with the company of other adults. Tracy has a fondness of my "safari" and really enjoys Elijah and Esther. Esther because she is a girl and Elijah because he can communicate more and interacts with her more. My brother loves them all because he can be a kid around them and that is normal. I love them both and we had a great time. We are praying that soon they will be starting their family, but that is in God's timing. Ben I wanted you to know that I am proud that you are quitting smoking because you want a family, you are already thinking about your kid(s) future before even seeing them. Tracy you will be a great mother, trust me I can see it. We love you both very much.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wear Socks or Not?

If you ask anyone that spends a lot of time around me or has spoken to Noel would know that I do NOT wear shoes or socks unless I have to. This means that my children do not wear shoes or socks unless they have to. Just another reason why I love Crocs.

My "safari" has had their own emotion when I have put socks on them as a small child. Elijah would just pull them off, Joshua would stick his feet in the air, Esther did not mind too much, Jacob would rub his feet together until his socks would come off, and Hannah has now shown her own expression to socks. I can tell they are my "safari."

Everyday I look at my "safari" and see how alike they are and then in the same moment see each of their personalities. Hannah is no different she is showing her personality more and more every day. For instance, since she was a newborn she has let the person trying to feed her know when she is done. She will violently turn her head and refuse the bottle, that is when you know that she is done, there is no guessing. Now, when she wants more food and it is not there or you are not feeding her fast enough she grunts and slams her hand on the tray in the highchair. She loves her "safari" buddies and wants to play with them. She laughs when she thinks that they are playing with her and she loves it when she thinks they are playing chase with her.

The good thing is that my "safari" love her and each one shows their affection toward her differently. Elijah likes to kiss her on her head all day, Joshua likes to lay next to her when she is sitting up playing, Esther touches her to say that everything is okay and Jacob uses a high pitched voice when saying her name or talking to her. Also they know when she is not in the room with them and immediately ask where she is. It only gets tricky when Nana is around and there are bananas in the house because that is all the same word, "Nana" is Nana, Banana, and Hannah.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Four peas in a pod

My "safari" is a wild bunch. Someone is always getting a bruise, scratch, rug burn, black eye, "owe" (boo boo) , or hurt feelings. I have to kiss a lot of fingers, heads, toes, feet, knees, arms, legs, noses, foreheads, etc. So as you can see from the photos my children have battles scars or marks. Esther is the latest person with a huge mark. At church on Sunday she decided that she could climb anything and better than anyone else. So as she was climbing the WRONG way on the little slide in the room when she fell and hit her eye and got a rug burn. So there goes getting a new family portrait for at least a couple weeks.

My children are not afraid of anything and if one of them can do anything then the other three have to try because they cannot have someone being able to do something that they cannot. For instance, Elijah likes to climb on the changing table and so now all of them can do it. Elijah learned to climb into his chair at the table and now they all do. Elijah learns something and within a couple of days everyone can do it or at least try and then get hurt and then try again.

I decided to take some photos of the legs of my "safari" just so that you could get a glimpse of the survival that they go through with each other. The first set of legs are Jacob's, then Esther's, Elijah's and then Joshua's. Jacob has lots of bruises because he thinks that he can fly and that the law of gravity does not apply to him. Esther has to prove that she is not a girl but a boy. Elijah has to be the alpha male and Joshua just does not want to be left out so he tries even though he is not really interested in continuing after accomplishing the new activity. Also my children were blessed with Noel's skin and so they have sensitive skin and bathe in lotion two times a day. So they react to new environments or climate changes.

The other thing that is funny is that they want to do the same things but sometimes they are not on the same page. I took the photos of them touching their heads, bellies, toes, eyes, and noses but as you can see not everyone in on the same page. Usually it is Jacob or Joshua that are the ones that more slower because they want the change in direction on their time.

Enjoy my "safari" and the new adventures that we will have this summer with the heat and the excitement of being outside more and being able to jump off everything and climb everything. We will see who survives. I think I will be the one with all the makings and in need of a vacation. But the blogs it will create.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hannah Update

Here are some new pictures of Hannah. She is getting her own personality. She is crawling like crazy and pulling herself up. Enjoy the pictures.

The Safari in Public

For the last several months Noel and I have been taking the "safari" to the park almost every Saturday. We have also been practicing with the "leash" walking to the mailbox and then at church walking to and fro from the van to the cornerstone building. The clan has been doing well with the distractions. We are getting them ready for our vacation in May when we are planning on going to the aquarium in Dallas and the Ft. Worth Zoo.

Today we went to the park like normal. Our children get up early so there were only a few other children that were at the park. We put Hannah in the playpen so that she could play while the other kids played. Then we went to Sam's to get diapers and formula. Of course the "safari" did well it was everyone else that had to adjust. The "safari" held onto their animals like normal and walked through the store. They did very well with all the people that wanted to say "hello" and stop what they were doing and just stare at them. The funny thing is that the "safari" wanted to touch every display and item that they walked by.

I think we are getting closer to being ready for our vacation.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Total Exhaustion

So for the last couple of weeks Hannah has been trying to play with everyone. With her new found freedom she wants to hang out with everyone. So she tries to play in the games of chase and likes it when the "safari" comes around and plays with her. But at the end of the day she cannot hang with the rest of them. We gave the "safari" a bath tonight and came downstairs to find our little one no longer in the game but in dream world. Some of this exhaustion is because she is a stubborn one. She can stand up in her crib but refuses to fall on her butt. So today I went to get her from nap time to find her holding on to the railing in her crib and resting her head on the top of the railing, sleeping. Hopefully that will not last long and she will learn to let go. It was precious and I was mad that I did not have the camera around to take a picture. So sweet dreams my little one, you are growing up so fast.

Testing Boundaries

God has blessed Noel and I with wonderful children. In a way I think that God gives us children to give us a glimpse of what He sees in us and how we test boundaries with Him. If you have a toddler then you know there comes a day when they are going to test every boundary that you set not just one time but hundred of times. Each time to see if you are going to say and do the same thing that you did last time or if they have "broken" your will to be consistent.

Today has been that day. With our "zoo" becoming a "safari" there have been more boundaries to test. My four toddlers are no different than any other toddler except that I have four. Each one tests the boundaries and sometimes they all test the boundary to see if I have the will and energy to be consistent with my rules and consequences. Sometimes I just want to let them do what they want because that is easy for me, but then I have to think that I am not setting a good example or a clear example when I change the rules/consequences because I am tired.

God sees us the same way. I think that we are his toddlers just testing boundaries to see if He is going to do anything about it or if we think we are going to get away with something. Except that God has the ultimate patience and we do not as parents. So God, please let me have a fraction of the patience that you have with my four toddlers. I love them to death but some moments in the day I just want them to get a mysterious 10 minute bug of laryngitis and be immobilized.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

From Zoo to Safari

Since the triplets could move around Noel and I decided that we needed a designated playroom so that our house did not look like a daycare center all the time. There is a room in our house that is adjacent to the kitchen and was big enough to hold the "zoo." Well the "zoo" has grown and gotten bigger, stronger, smarter and unruly. So Noel and I decided that it was time to take the gates down. Someone is going to get hurt because they climb on the gates and some of the "zoo" even know how to climb the gates and escape.

Today has been the first day that the gates have been down and my "zoo" is testing its boundaries. So our "zoo" has become a "safari" with restrictions. It is so funny to watch them because they are really a in this together. Each one has a special skill that they use in certain situations; it is funny and scary in the same moment. I have one more to add to this herd and she is going to have her own special skill. Elijah is the talker, Joshua is in charge of distraction, Jacob is the boy who wants to fly, and Esther is the look out. What will Hannah be?