Thursday, December 23, 2010

The True Meaning...

A little while ago, I overheard Josiah telling his little brothers about Santa.

"You know, Santa brings us gifts to help us remember about the true meaning of Christmas. He gives us gifts to remember the greatest gift was Jesus. Jesus was born-that is Heavenly Father's gift and Jesus died for us-that was Jesus's gift for us. So, then all Santa asks is for us to be good like Jesus asks us. I know Santa will bring me lots of gifts, 'cause I've been good...I don't know if you're getting a lot. Maybe you need to be better."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Baptism Day

Oh, my sweet boy. It is so crazy for me to think you have reached the grand ol' age of 8. Ancient, wise and oh-so-strong of an age in your mind. To me, it is just a blink past the moment I first held you in my arms. You were a scrawny, fuzzy little red-headed Yertle the Turtle. Now, you are still scrawny and fuzzy, but so much bigger. It is definitely much harder to cradle you in my arms now.

Your baby blessing spoke of your curiosity of the world and your quick, questioning mind. Nearly every day I think of those phrases when I think of you. I love that you have such a fast-paced mind. You puzzle things out and wonder over so many things. I especially love the desire to learn more about our Savior. I will never forget the night you came down (waaay too long past your bedtime) to double check with me about a scripture you were looking up to "read what the prophets said in their own words about the birth of Christ".

I appreciate how different you are from me. You, my son, are a born leader. Too often I am reminding you not to be the parent. But-I rely on you to help me with your brothers and sister often. Your love for them is so apparent to anyone who meets you. You are so quick to help them up and cheer them up. All your little "treasures" you bring home from school makes their eyes shine. Thank you for being such a wonderful brother. Thank you for being a wonderful son.

I am truly so pleased with you and your decision to get baptized. You have always wanted to, but wasn't sure in your mind if the Church was true or not. You wanted to believe, but just wasn't sure. My heart burns when I think of your fervent prayer. Sweet, honest, pure Josiah-ness coming through in the words you spoke to our Heavenly Father. The answer was so strong, your dad and I could feel the knowledge you received simply by being in the same room as you. I was so proud that night. The Lord let me feel, see with my heart, a glimpse of the great warrior you are. The great warrior you are growing into. I thank our Father for allowing me to be your mother. I only pray I will be able to be all of the mother you need to see you through the trials that will come. I know you will succeed in becoming the man our Heavenly Father sees you to be. I love, love, love you.

Your Mom

Again, thank you to all of our family who made it this far east to attend Josiah's baptism. We are so blessed to have such a loving family.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fabulous Family

And when I say family, I mean A LOT of family. It was absolutely wonderful! The weekend before Josiah's birthday, my mom, my sister, Stephanie, and her family (after a 2 day trip!!) arrived. We saw a few sights and hit the largest craft store on the east coast, The Country House.
Then it was Josiah's big day. As the day before Thanksgiving, we didn't want it lost in the preparations. We had nothing to worry about. He partied very well with his cousins until Grammy and Papa arrived at lunch time (can we say early, early morning flight). A little later in the afternoon, Aunt Sydnee, Uncle Dale, Parker and Ellee arrived after a day's drive from Ohio.

The family count: 9- adults, 1- 13 yr. old and 8- 10 yrs and under. Our little house was filled to the brim (thankfully we have 2.5 bathrooms), but we wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I think we rubbed along quite fabulously despite the close quarters.

Happy to open gifts!
Thank you Auntie Stephie, for this caught-the-moment pic. Ok, credit for all the photos need to be given to her...
Aunt Ashlee got the right thing! He wears them everywhere. He justifies this as "you never know when you might need to hike!"
It was one big crazy fest, let me tell you!
I love this grin. Pardon the fuzzy hair. We did it after the morning gift opening, but after a day of partying, eating and bowling, by the time it was time for cake, well...definitely back to undone-do-ness.

He is grinning about his fabbity-fab "OSU" cheesecake. He loves Kit's cheesecake (Grammy's recipe), but was thinking of straying for a regular cake if he could have colored frosting, etc. When he found out his daddy could make him his very own black and orange cheesecake, there was no looking away again!
This is what too much partying and sugar does to warned...

The next day was Thanksgiving. With all the hungry mouths to feed, I didn't even have an urge to whip out my camera. Probably a good thing. With Kit's knack for clicking embarrassingly ugly moments, way to many of us would have been remembered by our posterity for our ability to shovel the food in (I say many in hopes I wasn't the only one eating myself sick!). I wanted everyone to feel like this was their Thanksgiving, so I had each family pick a couple of dishes they have as their traditional fare. It was delicious! Kit fried us a yummo turkey (my dad's turkey is amazing, but I will have to say I could not do without Kit's rubbed, injected and fried turkey again...yummm), Grammy took care of the dressing, Sydnee made the broccoli casserole and cranberry freeze, Steph took care of many, many pies and everything else was a group effort. Yu-ummm!

The day after Thanksgiving was NOT spent hitting the stores. Although Kit and my brother-in-law perused the ads just in case. After Josiah's baptism (an upcoming post, I promise), we decided to head out and visit historical Jamestown. It is amazing to live so close to early american history. I can't wait to go back when we have a little more time. With the damp cold weather, we got the barest hint of what the poor settlers dealt with. It definitely put technology, medical knowledge, warm clothes and a heated home on my list of things to be thankful for.

Cousins posing by the unrealistic statue of Pocahontas. One of the site workers laughingly mentioned how too like Disney's version she was. In reality, by all accounts, she was about 12 years old, short and rather sturdily built. Yeah...not like Disney's at all. This statue is one no one will admit to accepting, he told us. It doesn't look like Parker minds holding her hand, though. ;)

Again, please excuse the bad hair! Agggh! So, looking past the do, I love these boys so much.

I am so, so very grateful of everyone's sacrifices and efforts to make it here. I know we have many loved ones who simply couldn't make it, but to those who could and did, a heart-felt Thank You.

Monkey on my Back

Phew! I have quite a few things to cover...hold on for upcoming posts. Sheesh...the pressure is getting to me!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I am crazy-excited family will be getting here starting on Saturday! (the others will follow a few days later)
Hmmm...if only my house could gussy itself up just a bit on its own...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Nose

We should simply call my second son, The Nose. He sniffs out even the most obscure smells. From a very early age he would comment on how the road smells on a hot day, the stink of his baby brother's spit-up or determine if he would like something or not from the scents wafting up to his little schnozer. A couple of weeks ago we had a FHE on the fly as we were driving dinner to Daddy (standing duty) that night. We were talking about our senses and how blessed we were to have them. Josiah mentioned his favorite sounds and the things they made him think of. We then moved on to the sense of smell. This was Gavin's forte. While the rest of us mentioned such things as molasses cookies, pizza and flowers, Gavin's were more unique. He loves the smell of ice-"it just smells nice and cold", the smell of horses-"makes him think of Grandad and his work clothes", and the smell of the outside of a gas station-"makes me think of trips to Oklahoma".

So, when he came to me this morning wearing a shirt pulled from his drawer claiming it smelled "just like Grammy's house", I just had to have a sniff. I bunched the shirt up, tucked my nose in, closed my eyes...and smelled the warm scent of the Applegate home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My husband is worried I am turning our only daughter into a prissy princess with her big hair bows and girly things. Considering her 2 favorite toys of the moment, I think I have a pretty good balance...don't you?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy Hauntings

We celebrated Halloween well this year. We tried a basic version of the "13 days of Halloween", munching on ghastly dinners and snacks. It was fun for me to get into the feel of the holiday. In addition to fun meals, Kit and I thought we'd try out a local pumpkin patch. After a mishap of wrong times printed in a flyer for my children's schools, an hour drive, sad kids and the resulting McDonald's dinner, I ended up taking the kids myself another day while Kit was on duty. The end result was so fun. I only wish we had been able to stay longer (we rushed back for the boys' primary program practice).

Gunnison loved the chicks and ducklings.

The corn maze. The boys had a blast. Gunner was worried a couple of times, but Josiah, our navigator, made sure we all made it out alright in the end.

There was something about the giant ones that attracted Gunner He was determined to choose the largest one there to bring home.
The only picture I took of Emmeline. She was trapped in the sling the entire time. She doesn't seem too worse the wear, however.
Our family pumpkin carving. Josiah was completely grossed out scraping out the guts.

My sexy husband...he's going for the "psycho" look...yea, I can see it...
We attended 2 parties this year. The Coast Guard base party and the Trunk-or-Treat for our ward. The CG party was a bit of a bust, but at least we got a couple of pictures. the Trunk-or-Treat was a blast, but of course I forgot the camera completely. Blehhh.

Our 3 Little Ninjas. Ready for action...well, all except Gunner there. He looks a little bit unprepared if someone came to battle.
Little Miss Emme...may I present my first pink Halloween costume! I was so excited to dress someone in something girly! Ahhh, it felt wonderful!! She's our little flower fairy.
Kit, dressed as the OSU fan, holding our little pink. He thought she was adorable, and was just a little bit irked she didn't win the costume contest. "A plush Frankenstein costume won, a plush Frankenstein!" He did, however, think it would have been even cuter if she had been a little girl ninja, too.
The ninjas trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. They had a blast!

Whew! Quite a bit of pictures to get through. If you made it, hoorah! In case you didn't notice, I did another post before this one of Gavin's birthday.

Gav Turned 5

Yes, Gavin had his birthday a while ago, but life seems so crazy around here...and yep, that would be my excuse.

Gavin is now officially 5. He has been working towards getting a year older...well, for a year. He is ALWAYS looking ahead and trying to be as old as Josiah. I think he is finally realizing he won't ever catch up. He is our "all rough and tumble" boy. From 9 months he was walking and he hasn't slowed down since. We love you, Gav!!

Surrounded by gifts. Huh, not quite the happy face I was expecting from someone about to tear into wrapping. I think he was spacing out.
In his requested skateboard gear and his new wheels
Gav requested we go to Red Robin for his birthday dinner. He wanted to have the "Tower of Onion Rings!". Which I found a little comical in that he only really likes the breading on the outside. No problem, Kit and I love onion rings!
He was so excited when the waitresses and crew came and sang to him. They brought not just one sundae, but 3-one for each of our 3 boys. Nice move!! Note Gav's head gear. He received this birthday crown from him teacher and wore it all. day. long.
His cake of choice was a box of cupcakes with white and dye-your mouth black frosting. He wanted the cool transformer rings artistically placed on top of each.
We let him go outside and practice some cool moves after cake and ice cream. We love the boards from Target-you can get starter ones with tighter bearings so they don't roll away from you quite as much.
Gav making a "fierce" face.

I will take the time to brag a bit about Gavin here. He was chosen from his class (with another little girl) to be the Citizen of the Month. With being the first of the year, they didn't have a character trait chosen to be exemplified, but chose children who came into the school year already above and beyond in good citizenship behavior (sharing, listening, honesty, etc.). I was so proud of Gavin. He can be a bit of a stinker at home and I was slightly worried about how he would take to going to school, especially all day. He has loved it and according to Mrs. Blake, his teacher, they love having him.

Nice hair, dude. I do send him to school with cuter do's than this. I believe he has played much already.

We love you Gavin!! You are one blurred movement most of the time, but when you slow down, we get to experience your sweet heart in motion. Thank you for being our favorite red-headed 5 year old boy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Delivery Service

I love libraries. The warm smell of paper, beautiful orderliness and the quiet snick as people type, searching for information. It holds one of my favorite addictions-books. A place where I could spend hours, if allowed.

We made a run to the library today. It was all four beasties-the big boys had a half day. We traipse through the library, a miasma of sounds surrounds us, interrupting the hush. We pick out movies, then off exploring the shelves for waiting treasures. I love how my children love the library...I just don't love bringing my children there. Where once a peaceful place, you add my brood and it becomes active, chaotic. I catch Gunnison as he runs to show Josiah a "special" book shouting at the top of his lungs, "Jos, it's your favorite!". I herd Gavin away from his typing on the computer-to look for books on ninjas (hmmm...are we surprised). Josiah wanders over to the non-fiction on his own. Emme, thankfully, is trapped in her carseat carrier. She, however, adds to the cacophony with her squeals, turning quickly fretful. Me? Do I get a chance to feed my lust for letters lined neatly on the page? No, this visit isn't for me. I'll get my fix sans beasties around, thank you.

We collect our chosen items and head for the front desk. Gav isn't feeling well, so he lays down. Josiah joins him. Gunner is off, well...who knows why Gunnison likes to meander off, and Emmeline has now officially had it. I stand patiently (as much as I possibly can) bouncing the car seat to calm Little Miss, but set her down to dart after wandering Gun. Her fussing reaches shrieks. I think we have officially passed the point of "you sure have your hands full". Yes, we have. We have reached the point of "Delivery Service". I entered the realm of fast food library-ness. With the suggestion and understanding smile (from a second librarian who arrived on the scene), I pack up my beasties and move on out to the car. They delivered our literary goodies right to my driver's window. With great gratitude (and a wee bit of shame) I appreciated the delivery service.

There will always be another library outing. How could I possibly keep my children from learning to love the library as much as I do? BUT- Here's to hoping I won't be using that particular service again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dinner & a Show

The show was a farce...

We settle down to eat the chicken noodle soup and biscuits I made for dinner. There is a bit of a scuffle over who gets to say the prayer. Gunnison asks first, so he is the lucky one. Gavin, the unlucky one taps his spoon throughout the prayer in defiance over the situation. Kit and I ask the big boys about school, people munch, I feed Emmeline, things are good. Kit turns to me, "Where's Gunner?" Hmmm...youngest son is missing. We find him, make him stay at the table and eat a little more of his, as of yet, untouched food. Gavin tells Josiah to pull his finger (??!!!). I quickly put a stop to that-I don't like potty-humor, especially NOT at the table. But, the discussion of what pulling your finger (or hand) means ensues. I sigh, Kit laughs...dinner continues. Where's Gunner? We find him, remind him he has to stay at the table until he is excused. He picks out a few pieces of chicken from his bowl and starts eating (sans silverware of course). Kit and I start talking about the house; Josiah breaks out in song (we actually have a rule against singing at the dinner table-cruel and unusual, I know). Gavin shows off by seeing how high he can flip his spoon by slamming his fist on the handle and...where's Gunner? We haul his skinny little bottom back to the table, make him eat one more bite, ask to be excused, and now he's legitimately on the loose. Gavin tells us the noodles taste funny and asks to be excused. He's legitimately on the loose. Josiah asks for another bowl of soup, his third (!!!), but only the "liquid soup part" because "I don't really like the rest of it". He hunches over his bowl, his hands demurely laying in his lap, and proceeds to slurp loudly from his bowl, with just his mouth. Emmeline, not to be outdone by the chaos around her, decides to squeal and make herself heard. Gunnison comes running into the room, Gavin's chasing him. We send him back out. We look down, and Gavin is skulking in and trying to hide under the table and Emme's high-chair. He is "spying" and "being a ninja"; we send him back out. Josiah declares loudly he is stuffed, and to prove it, lifts up his shirt to see just how much his belly protrudes from between his bony litttle rib cage. He asks to be excused and heads out to join the fray of the chase/battle we can hear coming from the family room beyond the kitchen. Kit and I smile, laugh...or cry?? and comment on how in 30 minutes, the meal had become a dinner and a show.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Despite living away from good ol' Stilly for 6 or so years, we still think oRAnge on weekends
(you're not seeing things, she does have a dirty face, orange with sweet taters)

This was the first photo that popped up when I was moving my pics to my computer. Hmmm...could he possibly have tried out my camera?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Do You Do in the Summer Time?

Hmmm...what did we do this summer? The beginning of the summer was busy with our move and crash-course painting our house. Once my parents left and Kit started back to work, I was left at home. Alone. With 3 sons, 1 daughter and one empty summer looming ahead of me...overwhelmed? Heck yes! I will never profess to be one of the fabulous mothers who have craft time, enrichment activities lined up and everyone has a fun and educational time. Do I wish I was? Definitely. Right now I'm just striving to get a hold on my life and from there I'll work to improve. Baby steps, right?

So, after realizing staying home meant children fighting, me yelling, children crying, me yelling...I decided we all needed to try to get out and GO and DO. Expend energy. Each week we found things to do. We attended the free movie at the Regal Theater once a week and made sure to go to the library weekly. And- we went to the park. Newport News Park. {cue heavenly singing and trumpeting} Seriously, this park saved my sanity and my childrens' lives. This park has hiking trails, wildlife winking at you from behind trees, multiple playground sets and bathrooms. Yes. Sounds to good to be true, huh. It gets better-it is about a 2 minute drive from my house. It has been our second home (the preferred home to my beasties). We would pack a picnic (sometimes healthy, often happy meals) and just play or hike around. The weather is gorgeous and there is so much space energy can fly and noises don't seems quite so loud.
The park is also a nature reserve and the animals must know they're safe. They frolic around us. Birds fly around and dive for fish, bunnies nibble grass, squirrels attempt to eat our lunches right off of the picnic table and deer taunt us with their steaks waving in our face. I have never seen so many deer so unafraid of humans. They are a bit on the small size (we nicknamed them the dog-deer) and they permit us to get quite close for photo-ops.
We did spend a little time taking care of chores around the house...curses to laundry...and relaxing with books and movies from the library when it rained.
Emmeline is quite the favorite sibling of her brothers. They compete for the right to hold her, pick out her clothes and dress her up. The little diva is sure loved.
I came back into the kitchen from setting the dinner table to see this-
What cracks me up is that she is letting Gunner feed her. She just opens up wide and chows down.One of our rainy-day activities was to go to Toys 'R' Us and make a photo-Christmas List. Fun, now I will be able to (hopefully) remember what they want for their upcoming birthdays and Christmas.

Another positive aspect of the park was the harmony we found there. My boys argued less and helped each other more. Josiah was quick to push Gunner on the swings and they loved exploring things together.Not everything was fun and games, but sour moods were overcome quicker and I retained my temper easier. felt good to yell less and laugh more.
Where was Little Miss in all of this play? Generally she was simply content to just perch in her car-seat and watch her brothers' antics. If that wasn't good enough, there were many hands ready to cuddle her close.

School starts on I ready? I would have to say yes. Life is going to be simpler with just two little beasties (well, beastie and beastette) at home. But...I will miss their giggles, listening to their crazy play and silly thoughts.

So, what did I do in the summer time? I not only survived, but enjoyed it! Here's to another fabulous summer on its way out...