Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Today is Wade's 4th birthday!
Wade is an important part of this very large family
And an important part of this smaller large family
and a very important part of this even smaller but large family
I wrote about Wade on his birthday last year in this blog post:  2016.  And that post has links to his previous posts and they all tell a lot about Wade through the years and show in pictures how he's changed since he was born.
So I'll just show a few pictures here.

And now I want to talk about what's been going on in Wade's life during the previous year!  The biggest change?  He became a big brother for the second time but for the first time he has a little brother!
And he's been busy learning his ABC's and how to count because next year he'll be going to preschool!
He's still very strong.
and athletic

He always has been and still is a real thinker
And he's inherited his mother's ability to hear a song once and then be able to sing it.  But more importantly he's sensitive and sweet.  When he went to bed last night for the last time as a three-year-old, Amber sang him a sweet little song that she learned as a child.  When she asked if he wanted her to sing it again, the other boys said no because it was boring but Wade put his little hands on both his mother's cheeks and asked her to sing it again.
And although he's learning to maneuver in the water better and better all the time, he's still more comfortable staying close to Dad when he's in the big lake.

But he's fearless and brave even with a nerf dart on his forehead.
Ultimately Wade is truly one of the sweetest, smartest, and most loving little boys I've ever known and I've known lots of them.  He's trusting and helpful and kind.  We could not be more proud of him or love him more and we're wishing him his happiest birthday ever but one only half as great as the many more to come.  Happy Birthday, Wade!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Today is Beth's birthday!
Beth is our 5th child and 3rd daughter!  And she's an important part of this core family,
this large, extended family,
and this beautiful family!
I wrote about Beth on her birthday last year in this post:  2016.  And in that post are links to all the other posts I've written about her.  There are also lots of pictures that show how she's changed over the years so I'll just include a few more here.  (I'm sure she wishes we would have had newborn photographers like her back then.)

So now I'll just say a little about what's been going on in Beth's life during the past year and what changes have occurred.  First of all, Beth has always been athletic and competitive

and has continued her strength training with Lynette Will-Murphy of Will Power Fitness but this year she's upped her game by adding the Couch to 5K running program to her repertoire!
She's also enjoyed the experience of having two kids in middle school who are both competing in voice and band.
and she has one in first grade
and one in preschool five days a week so for the first time all the kids are going all five days although Clara's are only half days.
Also Beth's business continues to keep her really busy.  She's added some classes and enhanced some of her regular sessions.  I got to watch a family session and loved how she interacted with all the kids.

And she managed to sneak away for two very short visits to Florida - one with the kids where they visited Disneyland,
Universal Studios
and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,
and Blue Springs State Park where she did not swim with the manatees
but did have dinner at the World's biggest Hard Rock Cafe.
And the second visit to Florida was to her brother's house with her parents for a weekend in July.
But the most important things about Beth this year have nothing to do with her short getaways or where she visited.
The most important things are what she does on a day to day basis. On her own.  Holding it all together.  She runs a successful business.  She's a dedicated and conscientious mother - rarely resorting to fast food or boxed meals.  Beth is a scratch cook and a careful planner of nutritious and delicious meals and snacks.  She gets her kids to their practices and to their competitions and to their games.  She makes sure the demands of schoolwork and extracurricular activities are met for each of the kids.  And she carves out time to exercise and keep herself healthy.   And she doesn't stint when it comes to being a mother.  When time is required or discipline or support - she's always there.
We are incredibly proud of you Beth and we don't know how you do it but we know that you do it ALL!  Happy Birthday to one of the most amazing people we know and who we're lucky enough to call our daughter!  We love you so much!!!