Thursday, December 27, 2012

Picture of the Week - 12/27/2012

We had a magical Christmas! It's difficult to put my feelings about this year's Christmas into words. Here are a few random thoughts...
- Christmas with 4 kids is loud
- Christmas morning with a toddler who doesn't like to sleep comes way too early
- Matching jammies are adorable, but this may be the last year I can pull that off which makes me kind of sad
- Tyler, our elf, doesn't come until the tree is up and decorated, leaves on Christmas Eve, and is kinda creepy with those eyes that always look like he's looking at you
- We made a LOT of trash
- We made a LOT of memories
- If anyone tells Spencer that the only purple robe I could find was a woman's, I will be very angry!
- Some of the best gifts were big surprises (hello, dollar bin stocking stuffers and birds you balance on one finger!)
- Watching movies about the holiday spirit really does put you in the holiday spirit
- So does alcohol
- Three year olds totally understand Magic
- Willow got a new dog bed which is about 2 sizes too small (was on sale), but in an effort to please us she curls herself into a ridiculously compact ball so her back end doesn't fall off.
- Our mantle (in the picture) is about to get a makeover with my favorite gift of the year - family portraits. Stay turned for an update. (And yes, that is a set of paper reindeer antlers up there. Classy!)
- The Polar Express is just as real as Santa - you gotta be able to hear that bell - and we watched it multiple times this year (also, the soundtrack is awesome on surround sound)
- Santa appreciates a LARGE glass of milk
- Hanging out with family has really been fun
- Bows are frivolous.  We had no bows and no one was bummed about that.  Except maybe the people who sell bows.
- Quinn made an excellent Santa Cop - making sure everyone took turns. His excitement this year was infectious
- Even skeptical 10 year olds get sucked in on Christmas morning.  (No way mom and dad could have gotten this much stuff.)
- Christmas cookie trays are the BOMB
- Chick-Fil-A peppermint chocolate chip milk shakes are addicting
- Peppermint Oreos are sinful
- Breakfast casserole recipe for Christmas morning was NOT a keeper
- Zane loves his flashlight from Santa (odd) and if you look closely you can see how dark it still was when we got started. Coffee!
- All boys got a Fisher Price Giggle Gang - don't get these if you don't like giggles. (No off switch) ((But super cute!))
- Beck was appropriately destructive and has now mastered opening presents. He also loved the boxes!
- Christmas is Magic
- Having time off to relax and play with my boys was priceless. They are, simply, what makes it all worthwhile. Love them!
- Is it too early to start thinking about next year???
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We are semi-back to normal for a couple of days with the little boys at Goddard and the big boys off to a Lego camp. We just have to get through a couple of days before another nice long weekend to ring in the new year. We are looking forward to a visit from Grandpa Bob and Grandma Phyllis and then some more rainy weather, which is the perfect excuse to sit on the couch in comfy clothes and watch bowl games and movies and whatever Zane dictates for the day. 
Be safe! Be Happy! 
See ya in 2013!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Picture of the Week - 12/20/2012

Merry Christmas!
I wanted to take a moment today to send our wishes for a very safe and happy holiday season to all the people we love.  In light of all the recent "things" that have happened lately, we will be keeping our loved ones held a little more tightly this year, both literally and figuratively.  Enjoy each other.  Love each other.  And (hopefully) take advantage of some extra time to sit around in matching pajamas!
I didn't send out Christmas cards this year.  (Didn't think I could top last year's picture of Beckett sleeping on Santa.)  So please consider this your Merry Christmas wish from "The Bovenizers".
PS - Totally random thought...12/20/2012 has almost as cool a ring to it as 12/12/12!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Picture of the Week - 12/13/2012

One of the best things about this time of year is getting to spend time with the people you love the most.  For us, life slows down a little bit and we find ourselves with more time for things that are really important.
This probably sounds like it's in direct conflict with the impressive "to do" list that I'm sure we all carry around this time of year.  Along with the holidays comes a ton of extra activites.  (I refuse to call them chores.)  There's extra shopping and baking and wrapping.  There are parties and get-togethers and traditions.  There is always something that needs to be cleaned or picked up or washed and folded.  Someone, at least at my house, is always hungry.  And with all these extras, it's pretty easy to let the stress factor make every little activity seem like it's 10 times bigger and 10 times more important than it really is.  My sanity is often saved by the fact that I am choosing to refuse to let the "to do" list take the fun out of the holidays. 
We do all these extra activities for (or hopefully with) people that we love.  We do them because we want to make memories and we want to show others that we care.  And if taking a little time to bake our favorite holiday treats or shop for some silly gift that one of the boys will love means that my floors are dirty and the laundry doesn't get done, then I'm super OK with that!  If stopping a particularly productive Saturday afternoon streak to play Xbox means creating a memory, then sign me up.  If letting the boys "help" make cookies means that I get half as much done in twice the time making twice the mess while bumping into elbows and heads, I'm up to the challenge.  And while tackling all these activities, I will try my very best to keep a smile on my face, because I will only get to experience Holidays 2012 one time.  I'm gonna make the best of them!
We purposely decided not to participate in any sports or other extra curriculars through the winter so we could take a breather.  Our falls (and our springs) are so super crazy that, while we can, it's nice to take a little break.  It's nice to have evenings with nothing penciled onto the calendar.  And I think, based on the things we've witnessed lately, that the boys appreciate this time too.  We've watched the littlest Bovy boy turn from baby to toddler - aka wrecking ball!  We've literally seen him explode with new capabilities and interests and new ways to create chaos.  And it's impossible to get upset with him because he does it all with a giant, dimpled smile on his chubby little face! 
Zane has changed just as much lately, but in WAY different ways.  He's still stubborn (and spoiled) and he still gets his way more often than not.  Even though he can still be unpredictable and demanding, he gets a little easier every day.  He can occupy himself for long periods of time now.  He's really into a few shows that make me smile - Little Bear and Oswald. Zane is starting to understand his letters and has his own friends and is doing all those fascinating pre-school things that I take for granted in the big boys.  He's growing up - fast.  If only I could get him to stop calling everyone a "Pootie Tootie"!
Speaking of the big boys, they are pretty awesome.  It's nice to spend some time with them, especially Spencer, and get to know him a little bit.  Spencer's current favorite thing to do with me is sit side-by-side with iPod/iPhone and play Bloons Tower Defense 5.  (Don't knock it til you try it!)  He also seems to have more than his share of extra energy to burn in the absense of football and regularly initiates hallway battles with his brothers.  Our foam swords and shields have gotten quite the workout lately!!!  It never ceases to amaze me how awesome Spencer is when playing with the little boys.  He's just aggressive enough to give them an idea of a real battle while being ever vigilent about not hurting someone (badly).  I love his big heart!  It's pretty nice when our biggest challenge with him is the fact that he's going through books on his kindle almost faster than we can load them up.  That boy is a voracious reader!
And I can't forget Quinn...  could never forget Quinn.  He's probably the most visible of all the kids (except the wrecking ball).  He's always in one of two places lately - either right beside us just to be around or downstairs playing Madden on the xbox.  He's developed this new, and somewhat surprising, interest in the NFL and knows the players and the teams and who is better than who and what team should win what game.  It's pretty fascinating.  (Maybe moreso because Spencer could still care less about watching football on TV despite how much he likes to play!)  Quinn continues to by my worrier.  He worries about things being fair (which drives me nuts) and worries about everyone being OK.  He makes sure that his little brothers are OK and happy all the time.  His new favorite saying is "Oh dear", which just makes me smile.  Lately Quinn has become Zane's favorite bedtime reader.  There are many nights when Z won't let Bob read to him, insisting that his Quinn read.  And that's just about the perfect proof that slowing things down and focusing a little more on each other was just what we needed!
So here's to taking a minute or two during the fast and furious last 12 days before Christmas to slow things down and enjoy what's going on around you. 
"You will never have this day with your children again, tomorrow they'll be a little older than they were today.  This day is a gift, breathe and notice, smell and touch them; study their faces and little feet and pay attention.  Relish the charms of the present.  Enjoy today, mama.  It will be over before you know it."  ~ Jen Hatmaker

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Picture of the Week - 12/6/2012

I think I mentioned this before, but my word of the season this year is Magic.  I am really loving how the boys are getting into the season.  Their excitement is contagious!
One of the funniest things to watch is Beckett trying to figure out our Christmas tree.  We kind of knew that he was going to be a handful this year because he is SO busy and SO curious and SO ornery!!!  (He can empty the tupperware cupboard in 37 seconds flat.  He can sense when the bathroom door is open providing him access to play in the toilet.  He regularly runs away while giggling when someone tries to catch up after he steals something he shouldn't have.)
He has not disappointed.
At first he was content to stare at all the lights and point at all the pretty ornaments.  That lasted about 5 minutes.  Then he moved on to grabbing.  Then grabbing and shaking.  With vigor!
He was so interested in the fake cranberries that I got sick of trying to get him to stop (and I was also increasingly worried about the entire tree getting pulled over) that I took the off and gave them to Beck to play with.  He was SOOOO tickled with himself.  He wore those beads around his neck and dragged them all over the house for hours. 
I really can't wait to see how our Christmas Magic continues to grow this year.  We ought to be bursting with Magic by Christmas Eve!
Speaking of magic...  if anyone has a way for me to magically get back home without the 3+ hour drive I am facing, I would be very grateful!  (Being away from home for work during the holidays is cruel and unusual punishment!)
Have a great week!  I intend to fill my house with the smells of Christmas cookies and Gingerbread this weekend.  Yum!