Rubyisms

IMG_8155Ruby is four and a half, loves her preschool teachers and is under the unfortunate assumption that if she squeezes cottage cheese, ranch dressing comes out. She could play in the bitter cold and snow for hours after everyone else has perished from frostbite on their internal organs. I think she’ll do just fine growing up in Michigan.IMG_6158

Here are a few funny things she’s said lately. I keep a list going on my phone because I want to have a word-for-word record of exactly how she says things. Hope you smile as much as I did as I was transferring my list into this post.

  • “When I’m a mom, can you give me directions to Toys R Us? Because I don’t know how to get there.”
  • At dinner one night, “Clara just nails ranch.” Yes Ruby, yes she does.
  • As soon as we get home from wherever we go each morning, she immediately strips off her clothes and puts on her princess dress. And “princesses do NOT wear socks mom!” no matter how cold the Polar Vortex is making our house.
  • “Penny Penny” has been her horse for years. A couple of weeks ago she renamed him “Torlight Sparkle” and only rides him side-saddle now.
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  • “A somersault takes you places you haven’t been before!”
  • She saw a commercial and told me, “You need to get Charlie some headphones so he can rock too.”
  • “Mom, let’s play a guessing game. What am I about to say?” I never win at this game.
  • “Mommy, where do magicians sleep when its nighttime?”
  • She counted to 188 this morning, but she skipped 31-99. I figured she’d do the same thing once she got to 130, but then she kept going 131, 132, 133 all the way to 188 and stopped. They must teach her things at preschool… or maybe it’s the iPad? It’s certainly not me.IMG_7744
  • One of the things we are working on is doing whatever the preschool teachers have planned instead of telling the teachers what the class should do each day. It’s been difficult for her. “But mom, we just didn’t make bracelets today!”
  • “I just can’t wait to grow up and read sentences!”
  • “Mom! Clara thinks termites are good for your body! UGH!!!”
  • “Mom, is Charlie a human?”IMG_6189
  • One thing that has helped me discipline Ruby lately is simply asking her “who’s in charge?” and helping her listen to and obey whoever is in charge. This is great when Ryan and I go on dates and I tell her “Caitlin the babysitter is in charge tonight.” or “Your teachers are in charge so you need to do whatever they say.” The other day on the way to church she told me, “Mom, you can do whatever you want today. I’m putting you in charge.” This is her twisted way of feeling like she’s in charge of who’s in charge.
  • “That good smell is just blocking my view.” From her car seat the new air freshener in the van was hanging in front of the Garmin. I had no idea she was looking at the map while we drive places. ha!
  • At the mall play place one day she was perching herself on top of all the planets and crazily peering down at kids below. I couldn’t figure out what she was doing, but after a while she came over and told me, “Mom, I saw two boys and I was watching over them because I am an angel!”
  • After preschool one day she said, “My friend Ryosei is Japanese. His family was made in Japan!”IMG_8281
  • Ruby is very much aware of what her siblings shouldn’t be doing. “Clara! Stop rubbing your string cheese all over the table!”
  • “You mean Heaven will be more beautiful than our house? But where will the mermaids be? What what will I wear in Heaven? Where can I swim? Can I bring some of my legos to Heaven? Mama, now lets talk about something else.
  • “Mom, Clara thinks termites are good for your body!”
  • “Look at me mommy! I look like a pickle!!”
  • “Mom, I just can’t handle my sister! Things are just not going my way today.”IMG_8299
  • The “Post Officer” is the person behind the desk at the post office.
  • Every time we drive somewhere, “Put your seat buckles on. Daddy, are your lights on?”
  • A “hanger” is anything you hold onto. The banister on the stairs, the handle on the stroller, my hair… etc.
  • “But 4th grade is for big kids, like giants.”
  • She has been praying out loud at night and it’s my favorite thing. “Thank you Jesus for all the things and everyone in the world and all the animals you have made and I just love what you have done. And I always will love what you have done here and I love you more than anything in the world. Thank you Jesus. I love you. Amen.IMG_8243
  • “Mom! Charlie put his own food in his mouth! He’s such a big magician!”
  • “I bet Charlie will know his name when he grows up!” She loves her Charlie Boy so much.

Speaking of Charlie, 9 times out of 10 when we drop Ruby off at school, she introduces Charlie to her teachers Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Jacobson, “Would you like to meet my brother Charlie? He’s right here!” She also introduces us to all the new friends she makes at the mall play place every time we go there. Every few minutes she brings a new kid over to where I am sitting and she says, “I made another new friend named _____. This is my brother Charlie and this is my mom. Okay! Bye!” she says as she runs back into the mayhem.

IMG_5593Ruby Dawn is genuine and friendly and delightful. I’m so thankful I get to be her mommy and pray everyday that she’ll keep those qualities as she grows up.

Claraisms

IMG_6142Sweet Clara Dawn is 2 and a half, loves to sing and dance, twirl in circles, taunt her older sister, hug her little brother, get ticked, act older than she is, collect tiny things, loves Doc McStuffins and giving people “a checkup.” She’s sweet as pie and super feisty and mischievous all rolled into one. Just look at her face!IMG_7823

She adores Ryan. Follows him around, talks to him all the time, asks about him every morning when she wakes up, and gets all excited every night when he comes home from work. Here she is helping her daddy make pancakes on Saturday morningIMG_6420

  • She has the absolute cutest way of saying “my brother ‘Cholly’” when she talks about “Charlie.”
  • She pushes Ruby over then asks, “are you OK Ruby?” Ruby is so dramatic, a tiny push from Clara becomes a full on fainting roll to the floor with sobbing and flailing of limbs. No wonder Clara likes to push her!
  • After I tuck her in at night and say prayers she always wants a kiss and a high-five. If I forget to give her a high-five she will come downstairs and request that I come up and give her a high-five. Once she’s had a high five she can go to sleep. Not so funny at 2am when she’s breathing on my face quietly requesting a high-five.IMG_5760
  • One Saturday we went to the mall so I could do some shopping while Ryan stayed at the play place with the kids. Apparently Clara walked around the whole time crying, “Where is my mother?” and, “I need my mother” over and over. This led to a number of parents being concerned that he mother had left her alone in there. Little did they know, Ryan was standing right there beside her the whole time she was crying for her mother.
  • “If we get wain in ouw jammies, that will take forever. When it wains, we can wear our wainjackets. When the sun goes up it will go up! Just a second! The sun is gonna go up!”
  • “I think my brother likes to sit on the table.”
  • She refused to sit in a booster seat, but loved to stand on it, so we switched her to a full size chair. She likes it.IMG_5820
  • “I have a pocket!” One of the best discoveries in any outfit she is wearing. Unfortunately, she also refuses to get dressed in anything other than jammies or her princess dress lately.
  • Daily questions, “Is it night time? Is it going to wain today? Is it getting dark outside?”
  • “Crackers are good for your body!”
  • “Look at she!”
  • “He is so tall! I can kick really tall!”
  • She always says, “Thanks mom!” for all sorts of funny reasons.
  • During dinner the other night she said, “We have strong muscles to get noodles into our bodies, but you have to chew it up.”
  • During our last drive to Michigan we stopped at a gas station and I let the girls stretch their legs… in the van since it was sleeting and freezing out. Clara loved being out of her seat. It’s the little things.IMG_7844
  • Her hair is still amazing. The sides grow like wildfire and the back has never been trimmed. It’s like a swirly, curly, crazy new hairdo every morning. I still haven’t figured out which direction to comb it.
  • Clara talks more to Ryan when he gets home from work than she talks the whole rest of the day. It’s amazing. It’s like she stores it all up for him and tells him stories non-stop for as long as he will listen. Ryan, of course, loves it. I think she already realizes that she and her daddy are basically the same personality. I’m glad she feels “understood” by him because I certainly can’t give that feeling to her.
  • Lastly, she is always “ice skating” around our house on the rings from Charlie’s toy. She told me, “bye-bye mommy, I’m just ice skating to the pool.”IMG_8088

Cox Family Christmas

We arrived in Grand Rapids late Friday night after driving through some serious fog and rain. Saturday morning the girls woke up SO EXCITED to see their cousins Ellen and Abigail. Clara LOVED helping to feed “the baby cousins” and Kyle took these fist two pictures with his fancy new camera.12-28-2013 Vacation to Florida-44 12-28-2013 Vacation to Florida-103

We woke up the next morning to the beautiful sight of everything outside covered in a layer of ice. Then we realized the ice storm had knocked out the power at Ryan’s parents house. It was really beautiful… and a little bit chilly, but we survived a couple of days living pioneer style. (pioneers got to go out for pizza, right?)IMG_7262 Thankfully, we were all ready for the adventure and had friendly neighbors who used their camping stove to make a pot of coffee for Ryan, Chris and Dad. Sarah fed the babies over candlelight.IMG_7234IMG_7233 IMG_7247

The ice storm didn’t stop us from venturing downtown to get some MadCap coffee with Chris and his friend Josh who had flown home from Malawi to surprise his parents. So fun.IMG_7242

Isn’t East Grand Rapids so lovely? Look at the way those trees are holding hands over the street. Love it.

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One day we went to Breton Village Mall to see the train set. The girls were mostly interested in these goldfish. Can you tell by Ruby’s hand that she was calling them to her?

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Our friends Bryant and Becky were in town visiting Becky’s family and had a couple of hours to meet us for lunch at Cherry Deli. It’s always so fun to catch up with our Hope College friends. If you’ve ever heard Bryant or Ryan laugh, you’ll know it’s quite a treat to be there when they are cracking up about something.

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We saw our friends Lana and Hans from Columbus at the Christmas Eve service. My friend Lacey’s in-laws live in Grand Rapids. So fun to see her over break.

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After the Christmas Eve services at church we drove down the “Woods” streets that are always lined with paper lanterns on the night before Christmas. It’s so beautiful. I keep thinking the kids will be old enough to love it, but mostly Ruby just continually asked from the backseat why were were on the wrong road and “this isn’t the way to Nana’s house!” and “But we are going the wrong way!” Ha.

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Christmas day included a delicious ham which Ryan carved for us and custom mugs Ryan gave to his dad and brothers.

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Everyone thinks Charlie looks like his Papa Cox. I can’t disagree. Genes are crazy.

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Nana gave Ruby a lovely little tea set. Ryan was happy to oblige her request to join her for tea. One of my favorite, most heart melting parts of my life is watching Ryan as a dad. Our kids truly adore him and it’s not a wonder why.

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Chris and Ryan took the girls sledding. It was SO COLD that all of their cheeks were rosy and frozen when they got home, but they had a good time. Ruby loves taking it to the hills. She seems to be quite adventurous and is becoming more confident and fearless with every passing month.

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My wonderful Mother-In-Law is amazing at wrangling children. I was so thankful to have her help for a few days. Such a great Christmas.  It was wonderful to be in Michigan and we were so excited that Ryan had so many days off in a row. So thankful that we would get to see both sides of our family in one vacation. We love our family.IMG_7312

Cox Family Thanksgiving

Friday afternoon we drove up to Grand Rapids to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Cox Family. We arrived in time for a quick dinner then walked over to see Santa and his Reindeer in Gaslight Village. Ryan and Chris told Ruby to ask Santa for World Peace, but when she got up there she forgot what they said and asked him for “ummmm, and that other thing.” which Mrs. Claus thought was hilarious.

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Nana is the queen of the library. She always has a pile of books to read to the girls. They love it.IMG_6828

Kyle and Sarah came over on Saturday with Ellen and Abigail who were quite entertained by their cousins Ruby and Clara. Clara loves babies. She wanted to help Sarah feed them and hold them.IMG_6815 IMG_6824

This was the best pic we could get of all 5 cousins. They’re so funny. Ellen and Abigail are 10 months old now! Nana made those cute reindeer shirts for all of her grandkids. It’s the same pattern she used on Christmas shirts for Ryan, Kyle and Chris when they were little.IMG_6864

Uncle Chris has begun teaching Charlie everything he needs to know about this world.IMG_6866

It’s so fun to see my kids having fun with their Aunts and Uncles like I remember having with my Aunts and Uncles growing up.IMG_6833 IMG_6857

Charlie is so jolly. He’s pretty much the best little jolly Christmas elf in the history of the world.

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Hope you and yours had a Happy Thanksgiving too!

Beeson Family Thanksgiving

FAMILY 112813 Thanksgiving 1 4x6This year we decided to make a whirlwind trip to both sets of grandparents during Thanksgiving break. We spent approximately 1.5 days with each family and approximately 2.5 days in the car. ha!IMG_6586

We got to the Beeson Ranch on Wednesday night just in time for the blizzard. We couldn’t get the van up my parents driveway because of ice under the snow, so after failing a few times and freaking the girls out when we were sliding backwards into the woods, we decided to park at the bottom. My mom drove down the drive to pick us up in the Polaris ATV. We packed the kids in and laughed as they screamed all the way up to the house.IMG_6606 IMG_6609

IMG_6681SixKIDS 112813 Thanksgiving 1Thanksgiving day we spent time playing in the snow in the meadow. Ruby enjoyed throwing snowballs at her dad and uncles, who were busy throwing snowballs at each other.IMG_6646 IMG_6629

IMG_6616 The MEN 112813 Thanksgiving 1b 4x6I love my sister. Dad took this picture of us.IMG_6683IMG_6677Uncle Aaron built a tunnel fort out of cardboard boxes that Lydia and Ruby played in for hours. IMG_6711 IMG_6721

The little girls thought it was hilarious that Uncle Aaron tried to get in their fort with them… I love this pic of Lydia trying trying to drag him out.IMG_6703 IMG_6697

And of course, we shot some guns. IMG_6772Thanksgiving Shoot 112913 Grammy's_1

This picture of my sister is one of my favorites. Best Gela face ever!IMG_6623IMG_6724

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope your time with family and friends was wonderful as well!

Family Zoo Day

A couple of Saturdays ago we had a Family Zoo Day. Ryan didn’t have to work, so we got up in the morning, packed a picnic lunch and made our way to the Columbus Zoo. The weather was cool and lovely, but the local meteorologist predicted freezing rain, so we pretty much had the whole zoo to ourselves.

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I have a major life goal for my kids to meet Jack Hanna before we move in June. Every time I’m at the zoo I’m on the lookout for The Man in Khaki. If anyone knows him or knows a way for me to meet him and tell him how much we love his zoo, please let me know!

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The brown bears are bulking up for the winter. It’s fun to see them getting fatter every time we are here… soon they’ll be hibernating.

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Big news, both of our Polar Bears are suspected to be pregnant!! The zookeepers should know for sure really soon – all I know is that they’ve been taken to a special location so we don’t get to see them until their babies are born in the spring. I cannot wait! This was the last polar bear picture we got.polarbear

How gorgeous was this tree? It looked pretend, so I had to take a picture before all the leaves fell off.

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Here’s Clara enjoying the chocolate cupcake she chose to bring from her Halloween candy bag. She was so excited to find icing inside.

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In closing, here’s Ruby sitting on a toadstool.IMG_5796

Happy Halloween

IMG_5552Ryan and I helped the girls carve their pumpkins a few days before Halloween. Clara added some coloring to hers and Ruby organized the seeds from inside. IMG_5529IMG_5515

Charlie happily watched the carving process. I’m sure by this time next year he’ll be our best helper getting the “gooey guts” out.IMG_5532

It was pouring rain on Halloween night, but that didn’t deter the trick-or-treating excitement one bit!

They got all dressed up, got their candy bags ready, and sat on the front porch waiting for their daddy to get home.

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Ruby did most of the talking. Clara was happy to let people put candy in her bag, but talking to them was not on her agenda. ha! Charlie was a trooper. I tried to keep him under the umbrella but the wind was blowing the rain sideways, so he basically got a bath while we were out there. The spit up down the front of his carrier is a nice touch, eh?photo-96

We were all soaked and a little bit chilly after making it to the end of our street and back, but everyone was happy!IMG_5684

There weren’t many trick-or treaters on our street, so the girls stood at the door waiting and waiting …and waiting for more kids to come by. Maybe next year they’ll get to hand out more candy.IMG_5698

Beeson Family Vaca| Salmon Fishing

Remember a few months ago when we went on the Beeson Family Vacation? Well I’d like to pick up where I left off with a few fun pics my dad took of the men on their fishing trip.

They left early one morning before the sun came up and were out on the water with their chain-smoking captain in time to see it rise above the horizon.080113 FISHING  4FAMILY VACA 081213 _81

Ryan caught one!!
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This picture of Ryan is one of my all-time favorites. So manly. So handsome. So thrilled by his catch. Such a beautiful Coho Salmon. I love love love it.080113 Ryan w Coho 1

John Boy followed suit with this HUGE King Salmon. That thing was as long as John’s leg, and John is not a small man!080113 John w King 1080113 FISHING  14

It should come as no surprise that upon returning from their trip the guys were in the kitchen preparing the salmon for the grill. Within a few hours of catching those fish, the whole family was enjoying the freshest possible salmon dinner. It was amazing.080113 MEN GRILLING 2

Everyone ate their fill and we still had plenty for John and Ryan to bring home. The cooler full of salmon in our van was not my favorite part of the long drive back to Columbus… but the 2 more salmon grill outs that followed made it worth it.

Charlie is 4 Months Old!

IMG_5293Charlie had his 4-month checkup today and is a whopping 14 pounds of man-child. When I arrived at his appointment this morning the receptionist, while looking at his chart said, “I see here that Charlie goes by the name ‘Ruby’?” Ha! I cleared up the misunderstanding explaining that Ruby is his sister and he goes by “Charlie”. That could’ve been awkward later.photo

He’s been spending time on his tummy each day, but usually only last a few minutes before flipping himself over to his back. I caught him practicing his “Super Hero In Flight” pose.

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He always looks a little terrified when Clara is within an arms reach of him… I don’t blame him – her love is extreme. She always wants to give him hugs and kisses and likes to throw toys to him. The fact that he can’t catch does not deter her… most of my time and energy is spent protecting Charlie from Clara’s love. She sits beside his chair and “reads” him books each day, which is the one time I’m not worried about his safety. ha!

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Ruby likes to help Charlie when he is crying. She will sit beside him when he’s screaming and sing him a song while covering both her ears. Amazingly, once he realizes she is singing he calms down. She’s a good big sister.

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Charlie’s little chuckle is probably my favorite thing ever. He’s quick to smile and responds to sounds and faces with similar sounds and faces. He’s drooley and squishy and smiley and I love him so much.Charlie and Amber

He LOVES his daddy. Whenever Ryan is around Charlie is looking for him or at him. When Ryan talks to him it makes him so happy. I love getting to watch their father/son relationship starting to bud.