Regan turns six

Regan Maui turned 6 today.  Only a few months ago, we were supposed to call him Arlo, after his favorite dinosaur…but now, it’s Maui- a very loud and crazy character from his newly discovered favorite movie- Moana.  When I look at Regan, I’m just in awe of how much LIFE he brings to this world, to our family especially.  He freely gives kisses and encouragement and laughter, yet also doles out plenty of tears and righteous indignation (which I don’t know if that’s the word I’m looking for but, oh well).  He is seriously the life of the party, the life in every. single. day.  He wakes up before everyone else, always.  There is a twinkle in his eye so often, I just can’t help but stare at him…so in awe that this beautiful boy is my son.

This week he started kindergarten and a form came home that I was supposed to fill out for his teacher to better understand him.  My favorite question to answer was the one that started with ‘my child is good at:’ because I figured I should write something academic, but I didn’t.  I wrote that he is good at smiling, encouraging, loudness, sweetness, dancing and singing, imagining…that he protects, he listens, he’s kind.  I would have kept going, but the blank space came to end.  This boy is sooo special.

In the spring, when he’d transferred preschools after we moved to California, one of his new teachers raved about him.  She couldn’t believe how thoughtful he had been that day- when his little friend had gotten hurt- he wouldn’t leave her side and kept comforting her.  His teacher said that this is the same girl he often protects against the bigger boys in class, by literally standing between and telling them to stop.  I’ve seen him plenty of times be this way with his little sister, but it melted my heart to hear that it was bigger than that- it’s a part of who God has made him, inside and outside of our home.

I love how God has made Regan so hilarious, even when he doesn’t mean to be.  I love the way he bounces around…carrying his latest toy obsession or ripped paper that has been taped together to represent his latest toy obsession.  I love the way he gets so excited about food- specifically any kind of protein- bacon, eggs, chicken…not sure why i felt the need to list out protein.  Moving on…we were practicing his letters a few weeks ago, a little refresh before school started and he was struggling with the letter “e”.  He’s so dramatic in his struggles that after not completing the letter many times he sobbed ‘i’m never gonna be a good ‘e’ maker’.  I die.  He hates to fail, but he’s slowly figuring out that it’s all a process.  He hates to wait.  In fact, yet again this summer we changed his birthday…he got to celebrate a full month early.  We’re not helping- ha!

His dancing skills make me cry laughing and he loves to be seen.  He loves all theatrics and bold declarations.  This is the best day ever, this is the cutest little ice cream ever, this is the worst day ever, this is the most amazing thing in the world… I love him.  He still snores like a sailor, sports a gray tooth right up front…loves Reeses peanut butter cups and would do anything for a prize.  He really wants to see Jesus and I’m guessing he won’t stop asking until it happens.

Passionate is such a good word that encompasses my son.  He’s passionate about people and snacks, Jesus and movies, fairness and not doing things he doesn’t want to do.  Regan  Ocean literally means: a royal force…and quite literally that is exactly who he is.  Obviously he’s still working out the kinks, (aren’t we all?) but I can’t wait to see what he does in life with all this passion God has given him.  He truly is one. of. a. kind.  It is one of my greatest joys to be his mom.

Happy birthday my dearest Regan…am I ever glad God gave us you!!  You’re the BEST!

Love, mommy

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i’m here.

It’s my dad’s birthday today!  Happy Birthday POPS!  WE LOVE YOU!

I feel like I’m still recovering from my trip up north- I took the 3 kiddos solo and it was, a trip.  I’m reminded of this article I read last year…Vacation or Trip?  A Guide for Parents and my trip totally included throw-up devices.  Alas.

Also yesterday was supposed to be 116 degrees.  I don’t think it made it up that high, but it doesn’t matter- it’s the principal of the thing.  My aunt from Alaska arrives today, and I’m hoping she doesn’t melt the second she steps onto land here.

I gotta say, as I looked through the Nordstrom Anniversary sale this year, it was so weird to not be thinking about winter coats or even sweaters…I’ve heard it’s warm all the way through the Fall- though, I’m excited for that ‘warm’ because it’ll feel more like a summer I’m used to.  And then we arrived in December of last year and I already know I love winter here, because it feels like fall.

Speaking of clothing…I’m kinda freakin out that I need clothing to dress myself for actual society at least 5 days a week starting very soon.  Guys, I’ve survived on a plethora of comfy clothes not suitable for outside my home walls for years…and a couple choice outfits that rotate around, based on the fact that I don’t usually see the same people ever- so I exist on the outside with the same two shirts with the same one pair of jeans.  AHH!

Other random thought…have you guys ever worn modal fabric?  It’s my absolute favorite thing in the world I think.

Another favorite in life right now- on our road trip, I re-introduced my kids to the original Lion King and forgot how much I LOVE that movie and all the songs.  I was belting them out down the highway louder than they were.  Upon our return I found that  a tv show has been made as a continuation of this marvelous movie…which I promptly bought the first season of.  But even better- they are remaking the original by 2019!

In other news- I found out this week that Maya has to wear close-toed shoes to preschool and thus started my search for shoes for her.  She’s notoriously picky when it comes to footwear- even more than I.  Thanks to my best friend Zappos (free shipping/free returns) I ordered ten pairs to start for my littlest child- to which she literally turned her nose up to all the ones that weren’t pink…until her daddy stepped in and declared some silver shoes to be “Cinderella’s!!” and magic- she tried them on.  She also stripped off her clothing and ran to find her Cinderella dress and I really hope that doesn’t happen every time we try and put them on.  So, right now, we have one pair of shoes that pass her rigorous testing.

One of my other quirky kids is getting to celebrate his birthday a month early…Regan has struggled to wait “all summer” for his birthday every year now.  It’s tough because Josiah’s birthday is June 4 so we start the summer with a bang and then he literally cries at the idea of waiting until August 27.  So…this Friday is Regan’s 6th birthday instead.  I can’t wait to spend the day enjoying the most enthusiastic birthday (or anything!) person in our family.

Then, next weekend my brave husband decided to join Bethel’s Father/Son camping trip- I’m so impressed!  Not one of them has ever slept in a tent…so this is gonna be epic.  It’s designed for boys age 5-12 and their dads- I can’t wait to hear the stories.

I think I’ll probably just watch lots of Netflix while they are gone, but what I should do is work more on reading my first book assignment for school…When Heaven Invades Earth– it’s due by the first week of class.  I started it this week and realized I have an irrational fear of forgetting- based on the fact that I forget what every book I read is about, exactly 5 minutes after I finish.  If I’m lucky, I can remember that I loved it or just liked it- because if I find any disdain, I don’t even finish a book.  EEk.  Now I’m jumping into school, where actual book reports are required.  So I’m nervously reading a chapter and scanning for anything I can use- then furiously taking notes.  It’s taking a bit more time.  Hoping my brain will adapt, sooner rather than later.

If I was really motivated and my daughter was amazing out in public, I would take a trip down to San Fran for the day… just to see the Color Factory.  Have you heard about this?  It’s a pop-up experience celebrating color…and everything I’ve seen so far make it look amazing, incredible and fantastic- I might be a color-lovin’ dork, but I’m proud of it.

Last random thought before I go…anyone in need of a cute planter?  Here’s a cute pink whale… or an adorable hedgehog or even this hedgehog.  So cheap, so adorable.  Buy it and throw a succulent in them.  In my honor.  Because I can’t grow plants in this no-natural-light house.

Okay.  Over and out.

happy birthday brinks

I usually always write a birthday post for each of my kids…but I haven’t done one for Brinks in a long time.  So here I am.  Perhaps I’ll blame it on the most recent dog movies I’ve watched- A Dog’s Purpose *sobs!!* and Megan Leavy *tears*, or her sad leg injury that had me crying at the vet a few months back…but I’m becoming more nostalgic and sentimental (both the same word ha!) about my dearest canine friend lately.  Today is her EIGHTH birthday…she’s 56 if I calculate correctly.

I’ve never been obsessed about my dog but I love her to pieces.  She brings peace to my home- I never have to worry about scary sounds or intruders…have you ever heard her bark?  She brings cleanliness to us daily- I can’t imagine how much more I’d have to vacuum if she weren’t in our lives.  I truly don’t know how people do life with toddlers without a dog.  She brings me joy- perhaps because she’s the easiest of the family to please and never holds a grudge.  She is sweet and patient and ever present.  I just love her.

Happy Birthday dearest Brinks!!!  Now I’m going to go through all our old pictures and probably tear up as I post a few here.  Excuse me while I go now.

 

I bought a paper planner

I haven’t purchased a paper planner in seven years.  I still remember looking at my current planner the year Josiah was born and finding it incredibly empty by the end of that year- 2010.  And I LOVED my analog (ha!) planner, despite so many people telling me to turn digital.  I just enjoy hand writing things…color-coding…checking off boxes and crossing things out.  Over the years we’ve acquired a calendar app for the family which works great for multiple people usage, but I couldn’t wait for a reason to say goodbye to the digital world just a little.

What’s my reason?  Why now…after 7 years, did I purchase the most beautiful Rifle Paper planner?  I’m going back to school!!!  Surprised?  Um, I’m pretty shocked myself.  When we moved to Redding in December, I had no plans…at some point, I knew we wanted to adopt baby #4 but was trusting (and still am) that God will show us the right timing in that.  Honestly, I just figured I’d do the mom thing some more- get involved where I could, make some friends- do life.  In no way did I think I’d be attending Bethel’s ministry school this year, though I’ve always had it on a bucket list for when all my kiddos were done with the toddler years- many years from now.

However, this spring I found myself trying to persuade my little sister into applying… and one night I jumped on the computer and started the application myself.  All the while thinking, there’s no way this will work out but fun to dream nonetheless.  But my heart came alive with the possibility, so I just kept going.  When it came time for my interview and was asked ‘why do you want to do this school?’ I could confidently say that

I want to be pushed out of my comfort zone…

I want to be challenged…

I know there’s more for me, for my family…

I want freedom in areas of my life that I don’t even know are locked up…

I want to know God more.

Several have asked what I will “get” at completion…implying that I might be attending to pursue a specific career in ministry…but I’m not, at least that I know of.  Ha!  There’s no degree or credits or anything of that sort- this is purely for spiritual growth.  I’ve heard it’s like being at a Bethel conference for 9 months!  I’m excited and nervous but so ready for a change.  While I have loved having my sole career be ‘mom’ for the last 7 years, I’m looking forward to adding to those joys/responsibilities this fall.

I have loved watching God work out the details- my kiddos were all accepted to Bethel Christian school for the fall, which means the times of my classes and theirs will work out seamlessly.  Praying for all the finances to come in, but I just feel so confident that He is leading and this is exactly the right timing.  As of now, I’m taking it one year at a time (there are 3 years of schooling possible) and seeing what happens.  BSSM starts at the end of next month- crazy!  I am hoping to post more on this little blog as life changes drastically soon…but time will tell.  This space may go on hold…we’ll see.

Last month I ordered 3 little enamel pins very strategically, for my school bag (eek! I have a school bag now- ok, it’s an old bag I used for a carry on but now…).  I am claiming them as my little mantras if you will, a few words to live by.  (asildastore.com)

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I know it’s going to be crazy and hard and wonderful, but through it all, I want to truly enjoy the journey, as cheesy as that sounds…I want the JOY.

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I want to keep what matters and get rid of the rest.  I also want to keep what is most important in the front of my mind…my relationship with Jesus, my marriage, my children… they all come first.  But I don’t want to be afraid to say goodbye to a lot.

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This is what most excites me…creating something new- new habits, new beliefs, new ways of life…new hopes, new dreams…HE makes all things NEW. 

 

my son is buying kindle books and can’t read.

It’s almost 11pm right now, and as I type I am simultaneously waiting for amazon chat to issue refunds for 3 kindle books I apparently downloaded tonight while I wasn’t even near a device to do so.  I got an email telling me that one of the books At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe and successfully arrived and did a double take.  I couldn’t for the life of me remember wanting that book, let alone buying it.  And then I remembered we let our sweet middle child get a turn in our bed to fall asleep (our boys are not good room sharers, as in they don’t fall asleep very well together).  Usually it’s Josiah in our room until Regan falls asleep but we thought we’d switch it up for an evening.

Sometimes I forget the curiosity of one regan ocean…that little rascal.  So first I thought to myself ‘that’s lame- but it’s $8 and i’m tired’ but thankfully I checked my amazon orders instead of chalking one up to crazy reegs.  Turns out he bought two other books tonight- both at high prices- one entitled Radical Candor: Be a Kick-A$$ Boss Without Losing Your Humanity and it was at that moment I became thankful that he can’t actually read yet.  Phew!  The last chosen book The Light We Lost looked to be a romantical tale…not my cup of tea either…geez.  He was a busy little bee tonight.

Just in case you’re wondering, you can get refunds on digital orders.  I was nervous they wouldn’t, because well…if I was some genius who reads fast, I guess I could have downed at least one of those books in 2 hours.  But never fear, amazon chat to the rescue- my favorite form of customer service by far- the chat window.  God bless em.  I wish medical offices would offer those.  Oh, I just saw a message that her return requests came through…so my $ is on the way home- hooray!

Anyway- now that I’ve basically finished a post, I guess I can fill in some gaps…this week is the official start to summer.  Last week Josiah had a little school and then we started potty training (I saw we meaning: Josiah, Regan and I as the teachers…Maya the student) because they were super helpful and great.  She was rocking it all for several days and I was feeling so good- my apathy had paid off…until I made the mistake of adding undies to the mix… accident city.  So, we headed back to commando land but I realized I can’t be quarantined for much longer without losing my sanity.  Tomorrow starts hardcore underwear training…whatever that means.

We have a babysitter now- hallelujah!!  She is starting tomorrow and coming to my rescue once a week for 4 hours…glorious!  I also got things rolling for the boys to attend Bethel’s children’s choir camp since I keep striking out on VBS dates all over town.  It starts in a few weeks, right after I get home from my sister getaway in Bend, Oregon.  Bend is exactly 5 hours for both of us to drive, so we’re meeting in the middle.  I can’t wait!

Okay, I’m seriously just rambling.  so boring.  My bed is calling.

 

josiah is 7.

*Seven is significant.  I can just feel it.  This year is gonna be big for you buddy.*

Happy 7th Birthday Josiah Henry!  Today we celebrate you with rainbows, trolls and butterflies…as you requested around January 3.  You are always one to look ahead, yet you are the same one who gets lost in the moment over and over again.  This year was definitely one of big changes and growth- and you took each challenge in stride.

We moved across the country and you accepted all of it with such grace.  You are doing your best at sharing a bedroom with your looney bro- it’s a good thing you’re so patient.  You jumped right into a brand new first grade class with excitement…declaring you are friends with almost everyone- you don’t claim favorites.  But you do in other things…like colors.  I love that your favorite colors are still pink and red.  I love that you tried choosing pink and purple glasses just this week, after your leopard print ones bit the dust.  Sadly, you had to settle for cool honey colored (as you call them) ones instead.  If I let you pick out your own clothes, you often try for monochromatic outfits…one day is red, one day is blue…you’d probably try that all the time if I wasn’t so picky.  Ha!

I love that you’ve become more confident in hearing God’s voice.  Your heart is so tender towards the Lord and He is so proud of you.  You are confident in His love and who He has made you…it’s amazing to watch you trust Him.  It seems so natural, so effortless and I pray that it will be this way all of your days.  I love watching you learn about God and discover more of who He is.  Your curiosity and fear of the Lord are both gifts I want to emulate.  I’m so thankful for your tenderness…you are so humble and kind.

You are still such a wonderful big brother.  You give and give and give.  You encourage and serve…rarely saying no when asked to help.  I love watching you teach your siblings, most often just simply by example.  You are so peaceful, even when you’re crazy.  You’ve mastered bathroom cleaning (the best!) and chapter books and sleeping in.  Your sense of humor is maturing, and it’s fun to see you understand my jokes and weirdness.  You have the best poses for pictures and dancing is a daily ritual for you.  This year you’ve discovered legos and I’ve finally given in…but I love that you only want the rainbow colored ones.  You are unique and special and so so colorful.  You, my son, are a priceless treasure.  I am so grateful that I get to spend my days with you…even if you won’t let me kill a spider because it’s God’s creature.

Happy 7th birthday my dearest, handsome, wonderfullest son,

Love your co- wheel-a-fortune gamer, mommy

 

my two boys

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I took this photo over this last holiday weekend and seriously couldn’t stop staring at it.  My boys are growing up.  I mean, seriously growing up.  Eek.  You know that feeling when you spend every day with someone you don’t notice the changes as obviously as if you only see them once a year.  This picture feels like I just noticed that they are grown.  Just kidding, not grown…but definitely older than I thought they were last week.  Ha!  I just LOVE these two kiddos- what a gift they are to us.  GOSH.  Thank you JESUS!