First there is my sweet baby Bella who is 8 months old! She was born and I blinked and now she's big and eating food and drinking juice in a cup! She is teething and so not happy about it, which is a change for Bella. Bella is always happy and a total mama's girl. I love that! She loves to be tickled and she loves when any of her sisters or brother pay attention to her. I swear her hair gets more red everyday and it's gorgeous! I love my little red hair girls. Bella is just happy and sweet and perfect and I am still so in love with my dream baby!
Molly is having a great time with the big kids home. She missed them, a lot. It was Molly who had the hardest transition. She's used to running the house while the kids are at school and having lots of my attention. She has finally found her way with everyone home and now she's loving life again. Molly just finished her first ever dance class and she LOVED it! My little Molly looked so tiny next to the other girls, but she did great. She keeps asking when it's time to go to class and it's over now and she is sad. There is no substitute for dance. Molly will be signed up for dance again in September and she's already asking me how many days until September? Molly is trying swim lessons right now but she'd rather not. Usually, Molly loves the water and she wants to swim on her own. At swim lessons she sits on the side and cries and says she doesn't want to get her bow wet (even when she's not wearing a bow!) Who knows why Molly does anything? She is the reason for all of my gray hairs! She goes to the potty when SHE wants to and she goes to sleep when SHE wants to. She must wear a skirt or a dress everyday and she loves jewelry and sparkly shoes and magic wands, but she also loves dirt and mud and Lucas's bakugan's. She's always saying,"Remember when... That was so funny!" Molly is an individual and she does things in her own way and in her own time. She has been that way since before she was born. I am learning to accept this about Molly. With that acceptance has come less battling and much more laughter and enjoyment. I am still working on it, but oh how I love that girl who looks just like me.
My cute red headed Emma and her cute pink glasses that always slide down her nose making her look like a little grandma. She is so sensitive and so nurturing and so much like me that she drives me crazy! Emma has been doing cheerleading for the past 3 weeks and she loves it. In a few weeks she will start swimming lessons too and she can't wait. I love when Emma is home. She floats so easily between playing with Molly or Bella and playing with Lucas. She loves to help and be domestic. She is always wanting to cook and she can fold a whole basket of towels PERFECTLY (half, half again and then in thirds)! She is so excited for first grade and hoping for the same teacher Lucas had. She loves and looks up to her big brother so much. She is so so smart and loves to read. She is always reading and I do mean always, in her bed walking down the hall, walking down the stairs, in the car, in the bathroom, when she is supposed to be playing with friends or cleaning. ALWAYS! I wish she had more confidence. I pray and worry about that for her all the time. I want her to know that she is good, strong, smart, capable, worthy and loved. How do I make sure my daughter knows that? It took me a LONG time to know that and I still struggle with it.
Lucas is loving summer. All the sports he could want! Finally learning to ride a two wheeler has made bike riding suddenly so much more fun and finally losing a tooth! Lucas has also discovered the wonderful world of Harry Potter and he has caught the fever. I am amazed that he has read the first 4 books in the last 6 weeks!!! I told him I would read the books with him, since I had never read them. It's hard to keep up with him. We are both enjoying talking about the books and sometimes staying up late and cuddling up while we read a chapter together. Lucas has always been my cuddler. Lucas is playing coach pitch baseball this summer and starting swim lessons soon too. He's just having fun being outside and playing with friends. He finished 1st grade in a blaze of glory playing the lead part in his class musical. It was so fun for him and so fun for me to watch him. I think he caught the acting bug! Lucas is growing up so fast and takes good care of his sisters, but still wishing for a brother. We will have to wait and see. The jury is still out on that topic...
Joe is busier than ever before, if that's possible. He's transitioning to a new role at work and feeling good about that. He is the young men's president in our ward and I never knew how much work that was going to be. Holy Cow! It's only been about 9 months so we are in for the long haul on that one. Joe works hard and he works hard for us. I know that. I do. I have to remind myself constantly. Joe never does anything half way or just enough and it's a wonderful quality to have. But, honestly I struggle with it. I struggle with it A LOT. He is gone a lot (work and church responsibilities) and that means the kids and I are on our own a lot. I just miss him when he's not around. I miss him a lot. I am trying harder to just be grateful for when he is here and not thinking how long until he is gone again. It's hard for me and I will never be great at it, but I am trying. I know that when we put the Lord first in our lives, serve first, that everything works out and falls into place. Doors are opened, blessings come. Now if I could just remember those truths when the kids are fighting and the baby's crying and there are mountains of laundry and dishes in the sink spilling over to the counters and cereal smashed all over the floor and earwigs in the basement and the toilet flooding and the toddler has peed on the couch yet again and Joe is out of town on yet another business trip, if I could remember then...that would be something.
I love summer. I love having my family all together. The time we share together is so precious. There is so much I want my children to know and I feel the urgency. I want them to know who they are and where they came from and what they can become. I want them to know that I love them and the Lord loves them. That's what I want and that's what I am trying to do here at home everyday. That's why today instead of starting dinner we played 4 square in the driveway while Bella was napping. And why when I was putting Bella down for her nap, I let her nurse and snuggle as long as she wanted. I didn't look at the clock or think about the next thing on my very long, ever growing to do list. I was just there in the moment with my sweet baby, breathing in that wonderful scent trying to capture that memory.