Thursday, October 29, 2015

Picture of the Week - 10/29/2015

Short update today as we move through the final week of October.  

It's hard to believe, but our hectic schedule is about to take a breather.  Now that football is over for Spencer, we are a 2 sport family at the moment.  And both Zane's football team and Quinn's lacrosse team are going into tournament play this weekend.  It could be the end of both seasons...  but likely one or both will have a final week to practice/play.  

We will have a short break and then move into wrestling (Spencer) and basketball (Quinn) the second week of November.  The little guys are taking the winter off.  :)  

Here's a fun picture from Zane's practice this week.  It was wet and rainy  - and the boys had a blast!

Have a Happy Halloween everyone!  

PS - Happy Anniversary to my parents today!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Picture of the Week - 10/22/2015

Greetings from Vegas

For anyone who's been reading for a while, you already know this is not my favorite place.  Maybe it's because, like this customer conference trip, the vast majority of trips out here have been for work.  On the bright side, it's always nice when I score a good view from my hotel room.  I much prefer the mountain view over a view of the strip.  This trip we are up at Red Rock Resort - which is a good bit away from the strip - and the views are outstanding.  It's been good to meet customers and I would say it's been a productive trip, but it's been a very hard week to be away from home.

Spencer's football team lost on Tuesday night.  Honestly, no one thought they would lose.  It was a shock.  And I'm sad that I didn't get to see the last game of the year.  He's done with football for 7th grade - and already looking forward to 8th grade.  Still...  it's weird to be done with something that he spent SO many hours on each week.  

And on the same day, Zane lost his first tooth.  My dad took Zane to football practice that night for Bob and the tooth got knocked out when putting on his helmet.  I think it was a relief for Zane because he was scared it would hurt.  I hope we didn't scar my dad too much.

Here's a picture of Zane missing a tooth.  (Selfishly I really can't wait until he looses the top teeth.  Is there anything cuter than a little boy missing his front teeth???)

And also a picture of Zane with our Tooth Fairy pirate/treasure chest.  Funny story about this little guy - who used to belong to the big boys.  We used to put the Tooth Pirate right next to the pillow of the lucky boy who lost a tooth.  This caused much stress to the Tooth Fairy who was always worried about waking up the lucky boy.

After a bit of practice, the Tooth Fairy suggested that maybe it would be better to place the Tooth Pirate on the dresser across the room from the sweet sleeping boys.  This caused a tiny bit less stress for the Tooth Fairy, but it was still VERY stressful.  

So, with the benefit of experience, the Tooth Fairy has now instructed the Little Boys that the appropriate waiting place for a Tooth Pirate with a tooth in his chest was OUTSIDE the bedroom on the table in the hall.  The Tooth Fairy is much less stressed now.  :)

Have a great weekend!  I can't wait to get home tonight.  I need some hugs from all my boys.  We have Zane's last regular season football game on Saturday and then 3 lacrosse games with VERY friendly schedules.  I love love love when the boys play in the same place in back to back games.  Makes for such a fun day.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Picture of the Week - 10/15/2015

Beckett will turn 4 years old on Monday.

4 years old!

He's really and truly not a baby anymore.  He's not even a toddler.  He's a full blown preschool BOY.  And while he's had the attitude of a child much more advanced than his age, his body has now caught up.  He's lost all that chubby baby fat.  His little legs are stretched out.  His hand dimples...  gone.  

It's hard for me to believe that Beck has been around for 4 years already.  I suppose this is a sign of my reluctance to acknowledge how fast time is going.  I don't want to believe that it's mid-October.  I can't comprehend that the current school year is already 1/4 over.  How is it even possible that my BABY is 4?

On the flip side of that, can't easily recall a time when Beckett wasn't part of our family.  He so completely filled up all the spaces in our family that needed filling up that it just seems like he's always been here.  We didn't even realize we were missing something until he completed us.  

Maybe it's the great big personality that comes packaged up in the littlest Bovy boy that makes him so hard to forget.  Maybe it's the way he completely lights up a room with that dimpled smile.  Or the way he needs to touch and snuggle and love.  Or the fearless approach he takes with everything from leaping around the furniture to playing sports and wrestling with his brothers.  Maybe it's just that he's really adorable.  

I'm not sure exactly what makes Beckett so special, but I know without a shadow of a doubt how lucky we are to get to call him ours.  They say that the baby of a family is often a free-spirited risk-taker who loves to take on a role of entertainer.  I see all of these things in our last born.  He's easily the most entertaining of all our boys.  I think he benefits from the fact that there's no needy baby vying for our attention and time.  We are constantly dragging him from one event to another, but while at these games and practices and concerts HE is the focus in the stands.  While his big brothers are doing their thing, he gets to hang out with the grown ups and gets first dibs on all the goodies in the snack bag.  

Beckett knows he's loved - and he knows he's cute.  That combo is kind of lethal when you are trying to discipline.  He is stubborn and hard-headed and can be difficult to get under control.  He doesn't care about getting in trouble and rarely reacts to a stern word.  He's too busy marching to his own beat and doing his own thing.  He's definitely not the rule follower that I see in a couple of his big brothers.  I think God really knew what he was doing to save Beckett for last.  We need all the parenting practice we can get to handle this boy.

And while I think our parenting has benefitted from having older boys, I know for certain that Beck benefits in countless ways from having a house full of role models and playmates, coaches and antagonists, cuddlers and sparring partners, teachers and helpers.  Beckett is better because he has brothers.  I hope someday he realizes just how lucky he is.

Because I already know how lucky we are to get to experience life with Bucky.  He pushes us all to the edge and in the process has made our lives bigger - and better.

My birthday wish for Beck is that he has a year full of fun and laughs and love.  I wish him the happiest of happy birthdays.  Here's to FOUR little man!  Let's have a ball!

This weekend we have a full slate of football games and lacrosse games - 1 football, 4 lacrosse, and a BIRTHDAY party!  The Buckeye's were kind enough to schedule a night game for us so we don't even have to miss that.  It's going to be a great weekend!

Tuesday night Spencer's football team is playing in the first round of the playoffs for the Forsyth Middle School championship.  They are going in as a #2 seed with a 7-1 record.  I'm super bummed because I will be traveling next week (conference in Vegas) and will miss the game.  So everyone say a little prayer that they make it through round 1 so I can watch the championship game on the 27th.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Picture of the Week - 10/8/2015

It is no secret that I love our annual trip to Burt's Pumpkin Farm.  I think we've now been there 12 years straight.  It's also no secret that one of the main reasons I love this trip is that everyone involved understands that getting some updated photos while we are there is a very high priority.  It's important to me!  And thankfully I have a good little family who humors me and goes with the flow - that includes Berber and Pappy too!

This year our trip was looking kind of iffy!  I normally look at our family calendar for the month of October with my fingers crossed looking for a decent weekend day where we don't have anything scheduled.  There aren't any of those this year.  (ACK!)  We don't have a single Saturday or Sunday without at least 1 event until Halloween  and that's just too late for a trip to Burts.  

So I went with plan B.  We would go up there during the boys' fall break.  I had a couple of days off and we figured that would be a great time for a little trip up into the mountains.  For all the planning I do, there's still one thing I can't control - the weather.  As we neared our planned Burt's day, the weather was looking very bleak.  Cloudy, rainy, generally gross.  If this wasn't such an important tradition to me, we probably would have bailed and gone out to Publix to buy some pumpkins for our Jack-o-Lanterns.  

Thankfully my dad convinced us to give it a shot last Thursday and I'm SO glad we did!  We drove through nasty mist almost all the way there, but while at the farm the weather was actually pretty nice.  We even saw a peek of sun!  

And I got my pictures!  A whole bunch of them!  Going on a weekday has set a new bar because we had the place completely to ourselves.  It was awesome!  And the boys were awesome!  And the resulting pictures - awesome!

We started with some traditional pumpkin pictures - with the giant pumpkins as our backdrop/props.

I love this ornery face!

Beckett 2015

Zane 2015

Quinn 2015

Spencer 2015

And then we moved on to the group pictures.  I always use this as an opportunity to try for an updated family picture.  I think easily 75% of the family pictures I have are from Burts.  

Bovenizers 2015

Berber and Pappy with the boys

My boys!!!

After getting the required group pictures we normally let the boys run off some steam.  They always love roaming around the pumpkin patch.  This year there was a contest to see who could find the most expensive pumpkin.  I think the winner found one that was $110 bucks - but I can't remember who found it.  There are usually more casual, candid pictures while we are just hanging out.

Berber and Pappy

Little dudes - love this one!

Spencer was hanging out by the tree being mischievous, but I still managed to get a good picture of my handsome teenager.  You can't fake smile wrinkles like that!

After a while we decided to take a hay ride.  In what I would call serendipity, we happened to be up there on the first day of hayrides for 2015.  So we got one of the very first rides of the whole season.  So much fun - even if I was pulling hay out of my back pockets for days.



Little guys! 



Our annual trip did not disappoint!  I already can't wait until next year - when you can bet we'll be visiting Burt's on a weekday again!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Picture of the Week - 10/1/2015

Wow!  Sometimes this Mom stuff still catches me by surprise.  Sometimes when I force myself to take a look around - really look - my breathe catches.  In the very best way...

Somehow, many years ago, I committed myself to making a photo collage in celebration of each of our boys for their birthdays.  Sometimes, I wonder what I was thinking.  It's a bit like committing to sitting down and writing a weekly update message about our crazy little life.  It's a responsibility now.  It sometimes feels a little like a chore.  It's a stressor.  And I procrastinate.  I wait until the last minute for every birthday.  I don't wait because I don't want to do this.  I wait because it's hard.  I want these collages to be special.  I know they take time - a lot of time.  And I know they tend to leave me, well, tender.   

I can't get started on this job without being mentally ready because, despite the fact that I drag my feet to start the process, it always leaves me feeling fuller.  Feeling thankful.  Feeling like a Mom.  A raw Mom, celebrating another milestone I will never get to do again.  It's both gratifying and satisfying to look at a year's worth of memories - captured in photographs - and to spend a few minutes thinking about each moment.  Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed at how blessed I am to be witness to the things I get to reflect on as I plow through picture after picture of special memories.

Zane's collage.  Goodness.  You guys, tears.  Real big ones.  This was such a special year for Zane.  And every picture I looked at made me remember something about him or reminded me of some highlight of our year.  Some of these happened on vacations.  Some are from on random nights during the chaos of our week.  Smiling pictures with Beck's arm around his shoulder.  The beam of pride when he found out he was wearing the same uniform number as Spencer.  Pure joy with a Disney water slide behind him.  His first day of Kindergarten.  His first football practice.  The annual pumpkin patch picture.  A trip to the construction zone.  Hanging out with his brothers. 

The past 12 months have been really awesome for Zane - and with him.  I kind of knew they would be.  I love 5 year olds.  I love just about everything about the transition from preschooler to school age.  There's an increase in confidence.  An emergence of personality.  A new ability to reason and understand that leads to meaningful conversation.  And all of this is delightfully mixed with the play of childhood.  Imagination now matches with a big, wide vocabulary, and results in a magical outcome. 

Zane didn't disappoint my 5 year old expectations in any way - and I think he managed to surpass even my wildest dreams.  He's blossoming.  And I'm so glad we get to watch. 

As we kick off another year with our 3rd little boy, I look forward to seeing how he will continue to build on his growing interests in sports.  He really considers himself both a lacrosse player and a football player now.  He looks to his big brothers and models his behavior after what they do.  He struggles to be as big and tough and strong as they are - and I know he'll get there.  I'm starting to get a glimpse of how driven he can be.  He's got a stubborn, hard headed streak in him that will serve him well if we can harness it constructively.

I'm also very excited to see Zane work his way through Kindergarten.  He's starting on his educational journey and having so much fun while doing it.  I don't worry about how he'll do in school.  He's ridiculously, sorta scarily, bright.  It's not just that he knows "stuff" - because he still doesn't know THAT much stuff, comparatively.  His mind works in some crazy fast ways.  He remembers everything.  Everything.  He remembers stuff that I didn't even notice.  He recalls information and uses it appropriately and craftily.  And he mixes this crazy good memory with a vivid imagination and ability to transport himself into many different varieties of made up worlds.  He fights with swords and guns.  He wrestles with his brothers while acting out elaborate story lines about fighting bad guys or monsters or aliens.  He pulls out all his knights and has battles.  Or he pulls out all the super heroes and fights off villains.  He's kind of amazing. 

And yet, he is still just a baby, really.  He still doesn't know how to handle himself when he is angry.  He has a temper - a big one - and very little ability to get himself under control when things go sideways.  And normally when he spirals he does so because someone has hurt his feelings.  At the end of the day, he's pretty tenderhearted.  And he wants to please - everyone.  If he thinks someone is upset with him, he totally loses his cool.  I know it's a maturation thing and someday he will handle these feelings with grace.  For now, I just try to help him get back on firm ground when he feels out of control. 

I will miss the day when Zane stops sleeping under a mountain of stuffed animals and blankets.  I'll miss the times that he crawls into my lap while he wakes up.  I'll even miss the fits he throws when we sit down to a dinner that he "hates".  I will miss 5 year old Zane.  But I can't wait to get to know the 6 year old version.  I can't wait to see what kinds of awesomeness he gets into over the coming year.  I can't wait to sit down in around 12 months and cry again over all the memories I know we will make. 

I wish the happiest of birthdays to our blue eyed beauty.  May he fill his year with smiles and laughter and joy.  I know he'll fill mine with all three.