Friday, April 29, 2011

Scenes from Easter Weekend. . .

(Lots of scenes.  And some of the pictures are "grainy."  I need a new camera.  Or at least read the manual for mine and learn how to use it better.  But this post isn't about that. . .   :) 

Rorie's 3rd Birthday Princess Party:
(Saturday morning.  Celebrating a little early since Meg and Rorie are leaving before her actual birthday.  :(

 Finding the Easter Baskets:
(The Easter Bunny hides the baskets on Saturday, and the kiddies have to follow the clues the Bunny leaves to find them.  It's a fun tradition, and this year they ended up in the shower.  Nice.  Love Ben-Ben's mouth full of candy.  And notice Caleb's little basket on the floor with the baby food.  :)

Surprise party for a friend:
(Yummy food, good conversation, great music, unbelievable desserts, and no kids!  Thanks guys! The birthday girl requested no pictures. . . and I was kind enough to oblige, but only because it was her birthday.  hehe.  Oh, and notice in the last picture I'm holding up my finger and thumb a few inches apart. . . showing the size of my c-section scar. . . 'cause someone asked.  :)

Sunday Morning Easter Pictures: 
(Love the kiss for Ben-Ben from Anna. . . and the picture of all three. :)
This was Caleb's first time to church.  What an exciting day!  He got a little overwhelmed at the end of Sacrament Meeting, but mostly did well.  Now, if only his older brother had been so good.  Ben-Ben was in rare form that day.  Too much Easter, perhaps?  :) 

Easter Dinner with Gramma Susan and Grampa Dewey:

Easter Baskets at the Rayhorns, and sweet cousin pics:
(Love the group hug with all four.  So cute. . . and even unprompted! :)

Easter Egg Hunt at Gram Melissa and Grampa Chuck:

What a fun, and busy weekend.  And this is even leaving out another birthday party Anna attended on Saturday (bringing the total to three), some fun quality time hanging out at Beth and Stuarts, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting.  As is my style, I included so many, many pictures.  (But notice how I barely wrote anything?!  That's good for me.  hehe.)  For all our friends and family who were not close enough to celebrate with us on this beautiful, joyful holiday, we missed you!  And I hope you were able to feel a little bit like you were here with us.        

Saturday, April 23, 2011

He Is Risen . . .

I'm singing in church tomorrow with my good friend, Ginny Tanner.  (She has a beautiful voice!  And the very talented Camille Comton will play the piano for us.)  Although I always get a little nervous singing in front of people, I LOVE the song, so I can't help but be excited.  The song is called, Because He Lives. The music, the lyrics. . . I feel like it perfectly captures the testimony I have of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  You can read the lyrics and hear the song HERE.  Beautiful. 

I know He lives!  I know Jesus Christ loves us, and was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of each one of us.  He died for us, but rose again.  I am grateful I can read of His perfect life and example in the scriptures, and try to follow that path he set for us.  Because of Him, I feel hope, comfort, love, and peace.  I love the sentences from THE LIVING CHRIST that say, "He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come."  I know that is true!

HAPPY EASTER!         

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fun In The Sun, Finally . . .

Well, these pictures were taken before we got our traditional spring snow storm.  Everything is covered in snow right now, April 18th, but it will melt within a few days, I'm sure.  Before this, we had weeks of beautiful, warmer, sunny weather, with almost all the snow gone.  Boy did we take advantage!  Seriously - parks, walks, exploring, more parks, playing outside, etc.  Every day!
It is so exciting getting outside and playing - minus all the winter bundling- once spring rolls around.  The pics above are from a very fun "adventure" we took on the bike path near the lake a couple weeks ago.  (Anytime we go exploring/walking - not to a park - the kids call it an adventure.  On this walk, we happened to find a park too.  And of course, once we were as far away from the car as we were going to get - about 15 or 20 minutes - Anna informed me that she needed to go potty. :) 

This is a different day at Ohio Street park - our FAV! - and it was warm enough that they wanted their sweatshirts off too.  Anna looks upset, but really they are both just taking a little rest and having a snack...and squinting because of the bright, beautiful sunshine.  We were at the park for over two hours that day.  Yay!!! 

This is Caleb J's first walk.  He loved it, and pretty much loves being outdoors.  Although, I'm wondering if he has allergies because Caleb always sounds stuffy if he's spent much time outside, or if the windows are open during the day.  We'll see.  (And my mom isn't trying to hide from the camera, she was just getting something out of the basket.  hehe)  The second pic above is brother/sister play time.  And the one below is big brother/little brother play time.  Sweetness!

These few of Mr. Caber-bottoms are simply to show his adorable growth and chub, because he hasn't been featured much in my last few posts.  hehe. Enjoy the pics!  Now, onto a little update on each of us. . .

Anna Banana - Anna recently had her ballet recital pictures taken and they turned out so precious!  See HERE.  (Scroll over to the group shot, and then her three individual ones are a few past that.)  So, I realized that day that I need some MAJOR practice doing Anna's hair before the recital.  In my defense, I didn't have any hairspray...and the hair is supposed to be in a tight bun...even if you have really short hair like Anna! Luckily, it doesn't show in the pics.  So, Anna is getting a little burnt out with Ballet practice, but LOVES the idea of her recital.  (Although she always comes home from her weekly practice excited and happy she went.)  She keeps asking to take Karate lessons next, so this may be a one year experience for her.  (Which I am totally fine with. This has been such a fun, adorable experience for her though. :) 

Anna has been getting positive feedback from her school teacher about her reading skills.  I know I should be more involved in this, but it's been busy around here.  (We read to her all the time, and help her sound things out during the day when she shows interest. . . so it's not like I'm not doing anything.  :)  Anna's ability to sound out words, and the beginning of reading has kind of snuck up on me.  What a pleasant surprise!  Going in to this school year, she knew all of her letter and a few sounds they made.  Well, during a walk we took back in February-ish, something was written on the sidewalk and Anna wanted to know what it said.  I wasn't close enough yet to see it, so she sounded it out on her own and said, "I think it says 'Russ'."  Yep, she was right.  Awesome!  She sounds words out all the time now.  Reading opens up a whole new world to kids, and I'm happy that Anna is having a good experience with it so far.  So fun.  So exciting.
Anna has been writing sweet notes and drawing awesome pictures for people - parents, friends, grandparents, classmates, teachers, etc.  All.  The.  Time.  When they're for her "sweet, sweet momma," she either hides them for me to find - always brightens my day - or just gives them to me and wants me to decorate my room with them.  Sweetness!

Anna has been doing a lot of dress up play, and she usually wants to put on "The Anna Show" once she's dressed up.  (Singing, dancing, tricks, jokes, acrobatics, etc.)  Whenever she says that, or performs one for us, it reminds me how much she's been pushed to the side lately, as the oldest child.  It makes me a little sad, although it seems like it's just the natural way of things.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, used to be focused on just Anna Bean 100% of the time. . . until she was 2 1/2 and Ben-Ben came along.  Ethan and I try to be aware of this and work in alone time with each of the kiddos on a pretty regular basis. . . it's so rewarding!

Dr. Benjamin Parr Rayhorn - Ben-Ben has been big in to playing Doctor lately, and he always calls himself, "Dr. Benjamin Parr Rayhorn."  Adorable!  Speaking of Doctors, he had his Three year old Well Check about a month ago.  He's healthy, and he's BIG.  He was in the 80-85% for height and weight.  Little Ben-Ben was so adorable during the appointment and was so chatty with everyone.  At one point he asked his Doctor, "Excuse me, Doctor Odic (*Godec), do I need to get shots today?"  She said yes, and Ben responded, "Oh, okay, I'm really pretty brave when I get shots.  Maybe I can have a sticker after when I am so brave."  He didn't even cry!  What a cutie.  He gave the nurses fives AND hugs.  They LOVED him there.  :)

Many times when I have been talking with Benjamin lately, I'll have to remind myself that he is just three years old.  This conversation happened a few months ago when he was still two, and it still cracks us up.  Ben-Ben has been referring to Lake Superior as a river lately, because he had just learned about rivers during a Diego movie.  We were driving by the lake, and Ben-Ben said, "Hey look, there's the river."  As I began to respond, "Well, Ben..."  He cut me off and said, "I know you think it's Lake Supeerr, mama.  But, maybe it's a river."  As if, who can really know for sure?  Let's just agree to disagree, shall we?  haha!

Ben-Ben's good friend is moving in a month or so.  It makes me sad every time I think about it...especially since I'm friends with his momma too.  :(  Good friends are priceless, and these two loved playing together, clicked right away, and were such sweeties together.  But, such is life.  We will miss them!

Okay, one last funny story about my little man.  The other day, we put a pair of shorts on Ben mainly because he asked us to (not because it's been warm enough for shorts yet).  Well, Ben-Ben likes stability, constancy, and has a hard time with change.  Even when it comes to his clothing, apparently!  He kept feeling his legs, as if it was the weirdest thing ever to have them all. . . exposed!  hehe.  After about 10 minutes he wanted them off, and wanted a pair of pants on.  Instead of just saying that he didn't like how they felt, he said they were too "girl-ish."  Which is something he's never been overly concerned about before (since he loves all things girly! :).  What a funny reason!  They were basketball type shorts. . . so not girly at all. . . Ben-Ben just didn't like the material, or the fact that it only covered half of his legs.  Funny, funny boy. 

Caleb J. - Cabers had an awesome Physical Therapy appointment about a month ago.  It was so informative, and explained everything related to his chronic lung disease so well, and everything just made so much sense.  (It was fun watching her assess him by playing with different toys, etc.  I could totally see Ethan specializing in pediatrics physical therapy.  He'd be so awesome with the kids!)  So Caleb doesn't need regular physical therapy appointments, they just wanted to have him checked since he was slightly premature and had such a long stay in the NICU.  Caleb looked pretty good, but they base his progress off of his due date, not his actual birth date.  Interesting.  So, he's five months right now, but should be expected to be doing things that a four month old is doing.  That's good to know. 

Baby Caleb has had the typical baby hand obsession lately.  Always looking at them, sucking on them, or trying to get my hands to do the same.  So cute.  He laughed for the first time last week - a few different times - but for the life of me, I can not get him to do it again.  (Ethan is pretty sad about that.)  We'll keep trying.  :) 

I love when Caleb gets all wiggly and kicky when he is happy or excited.  It makes me feel so loved.  That, and the fact that he is such a smiley little guy!  I can make him smile so easily - love it!  Also, he's starting to get a little nervous around people he doesn't know well, or hasn't seen in a while.  When he does, he always tries to look around the room to find me.  Ah, melts my heart.  This is seriously my favorite baby stage.  Cabsie Pie is interactive, adorable, chubby, interested in life, awake more, but at the same time he still sleeps a lot, and can't really move anywhere. . . so there's no stress in baby proofing yet.  He stays right where you put him.  hehe.  Oh, and we're about ready to start baby food with him too.  Let the fun begin! 

I've been calling little Cabers my little Koala lately.  I recently saw a show that had different Australian animals on it, including Koalas.  It totally reminded me of little Caleb.  Whenever he can, he will hold on to you or your clothing, and it just reminds me of a little Koala, all wraped around him momma.  So precious.  I. Love. It. 

Lover Boy - Ethan's new placement in Alpena is going well.  He LOVES the clinic he is working at, and the people he is working with.  Too bad I have no interest in living in Alpena, because it sounds like they're always looking for new PT's.  We'll see.  More on that later. hehe.  I am so happy that Ethan is in a career that he is passionate about, does well in, and that he finds so interesting . . . oh, and that has a pretty nice starting salary, is in demand, etc.  :)

Ethan is also preparing to do the Copperman Triathlon again this August.  Since he can only come home on the weekends during this placement, he's had lots of time during the week to work out and train for it (among other productive things when he's done with work, like submitting resumes on-line :).  Speaking of the weekends, they go by way too quickly.  Ethan gets home about 9:30pm on Friday, and leaves after the kids go to bed around 8pm on Sunday.  So, like always, we are just very anxious for the end of May when we can all be together again full time, just like families are meant to be!  :)

Moi - Well, I think I've written enough about myself lately. . . my feelings, my dreams and hopes for the future, my sweetie kiddies, my amazing hubbers, my experiences becoming a momma of three, and the list could go on and on.  So, I will just say - Have a beautiful week, and a happy, joyful Easter!