My youngest brother, Mack, recently graduated from Stillwater High School and I have been so behind in my posting that I haven't gotten around to posting about it. His graduation was a wonderful accomplishment that we are all so proud of him for. Not only did Mackie (what his family affectionately calls him) earn his High School dipolma but he took a semester(+) at Meridian Tech and recieved certificate in CAD. Way to go, Mackie! He is now working full-time building fence, and what not, and working for Cold Stone Creamery (yummy) on the weekend. He is also preparing to become a full-time missionary for our church. Yay for Mackie...can ya' see I'm just a bit proud of him? ;) I recently took some pictures of Mack, and thought that I would show him off a bit. I just had to say what a cutie-patootie he is! Mackie also is such a wonderful help with my boys. They have so much fun plaing with their "Uncle Mackie". Mackie and my fam will often go to lunch or dinner just to hang-out. What a guy! What 18 yr. old likes to hang out with his older sister?? But he humors me enough to say that he does. :) We have had great talks over dinner or just at my house and I know that we won't be living close for forever so, I have come to cherish that time.
Today my baby decided he just wasn't a baby anymore. I've been recently noticing indications of that. Such as, he has decided to use the phrase "that's just a figure of speech, Mom", what?!! Where did he pick that up? And, he doen't fit the same way in my arms as he used to...he's, I guess, just gotten bigger. He's reading and likes to leave messages on the phone...I'm still nervous when I hear somebody's answering machine click on. He will go around and pick up toys and make beds...even when he's not asked and today...he lost his first tooth. Normally a person wouldn't get all misty about a tooth falling out, but it signifies to me that my little boy just isn't little anymore. He's going to go to 1st grade...I remember 1st grade. How can my little boy be going to 1st grade when I remember going like it was yesterday? So, today we say good-bye. Good-bye to a little piece of my baby and hello to a bigger and just as wonderful Cooper. We are also saying hello to little teethies in my little Ella's mouth!! She has sprouted two on the bottom and they have fully grown in and she cut one on top and is about to cut the other. This has been fun to watch, as we haven't had a baby in our home for nearly three years. It has been so fun watching her sweet personality develop. We are all very excited to see what she looks like with all four teeth. So, if you look at the picture, you'll be able to see us saying good-bye and hello, hello, hello.
So. I'm in love. Yes, yes, you all say, you're in love with Phillip. Yep, you're right, I am...but that's not what I am referring to. I'm in love with a bag...a diaper bag to be exact. Wait!! Not just any diaper bag...the best diaper bag...ever! I've fallen in love with Ju Ju Be diaper bags. You can check 'em out and fall in love, too. The features are super cool, if I must say. I've been flirting with this bag. Don't ya love a good, ol' fashioned crush?
Phillip pointed out that I hadn't posted pictures of my little ones lately. I have to admit, I hate posting pictures. I only have a little bit of time to myself everyday and when I finally get around to my blog, posting pictures takes me forever. I don't know why, it just does. But, I recently took my kids to the OSU Botanical Gardens to take a few pictures of them for Father's Day and to update their pictures have on my wall in an arrangement. Now, I love taking their pictures, I really do, but after this time I swore I would NEVER do it again. It was a nightmare. Cooper has come to the age where he can't figure out how to smile on cue. After me nearly pulling out my hair over is half-crooked, not really smiles, he told me that he lost his smile. I felt horrible. I explained that he didn't loose his beautiful smile (he has one of the best that I have ever seen), that it's still there, he was just trying too hard. He did eventually figure it out (horray!). Now Greyson, as opposed to Coop, didn't really care all that much. He did give it an effort...kinda...but then when he didn't care, he just didn't try. Then there was Ella. I took my kids in the evening, when there was shade. A great idea, if it isn't bedtime. Ella loudly let me know she hates grass and would much rather play with the blanket I put her on then look up and smile on cue (go figure). I looked like a three-ringed-circus out there trying to get all three of my children to actually look at me and smile all at once. A HUGE feat, I have decided. I have gone to the Botanical Garden nearly every year since Cooper was 18 mos. old and I have always walked away with some beautiful pictures. This year wasn't an exception, but I was beat and I really don't know if I can do it again. We'll see, I may have to come up with another gameplan. Well, here you go...the good, the bad and the ugly...there was quite a few more...but I thought I would spare you. ;)
My sweet sister made her way (bravely by herself and her three boys) back to Alabama. Sad for me and my family, but a happy thing for her and her hubby. To be away from my husband for a month would be so difficult!! So....thank you Kit, I loved spending time with your family!! I decided that Lib leaving is still too sad to post, but I had to say that we had a great time. We went to the Zoo, Leonardo's Discovery, Mack graduated, Grey had his 4th birthday (another post I have to catch up on!), the Cushing pool (love it!!), and just had a blast being together. It is so much to write, and so I decided that I would just say, DITTO!! My sis posted about it and so I thought that I would refer you to her post to get a little bit more detail. I had a great time and it was so sad to see one of my very bestest friends leave. I was talking to Lib the day after she got home and I said, it's not fair that I always have to say good-bye to one of my very best friends. Best friends are supposed to share life together, and I guess we do, mostly, just over the phone. :) Anyway, I love you Lib! On a different note, I thought that I would share what my family and I did this morning. A soldier from Stillwater died recently and his funeral was today. He was 41 and left his wife and two sons. The community asked our church to help hold American flags while the procession drove to the cemetary. As far I understand it, the First Ward held flags at the funeral home and my ward was responsible for the flags at the cemetary. Phillip and I decided that it would be a good thing for us to do, and to help Cooper and Greyson understand what a high price that some people pay for our freedom. We went to the cemetary and Phillip and I each got a flag and later Cooper decided that he also wanted to hold his own flag. We let him, and for the most part, did a fantastic job. It really made an impact on me when I saw the procession drive by and the casket covered with the American flag. I am truly proud to be an American, I know it sounds cliche, but I really am. I am grateful that I live in a country that allows me all of the freedoms and luxeries that I enjoy. I am especially grateful for the men and women that fight for that freedom and the very high price that they and their families pay. So, especially in light of today's events, thank you to anyone that helps me and my family live the life that I get to enjoy, thank you.