Valentine's Day 2018

As told by pictures:

Jacob worked for THREE hours on valentines for his class. 

We ordered some cookies from a young woman at church, and the boys were thrilled when she delivered them a few days before Valentine's Day. They were good!! 


John thought the flash was funny. See his new front teeth?! 

I for some reason let Jacob browse boxes on Pinterest and he picked out a Darth Vader one.  After three hours of card-making, my mental health could not stand another crafty project with him, so I made his box for him. 
I think he liked it, but he sure talked about a classmate's mailbox one an awful lot...
John was super cute the whole day.  His daddy was out of town, so he was my Valentine this year. 
We ended the day with a homemade, heart-shaped (kind of) pizza! It was yummy too. 

Holidays are so much better with kiddos!

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 6:18 PM | 0 comments

John is 12 Months...ONE YEAR OLD!

Dearest angel baby John,

YOU ARE ONE! You've been earthside for 12 whole months, one whole year! It has been the fastest, yet longest year yet. It's true what they say: the days are long, but the years are short. Whoa. You've been an absolute angel since day 1, and I'm so so grateful you joined our family. I don't know what we'd do, any of us, without you.  Your name, John, means Jehovah has been gracious. And how true that is. He's been so gracious in letting us have you in our family.  Happy birthday, little angel.

Well, it's been a crazy month! You are really starting to grow up! You got some new front teeth and they make you look so much older. Cute, but older. There are a few more that are surely not far behind, too! Soon you'll have a mouthful. Which is good because you like to eat! You LOVE any kind of fruit.  Meat is so-so, but you especially like it hidden in other things. You like spaghetti sauce, but you don't like plain noodles. Black beans you love, green beans you don't. Really any kind of veggie is not your favorite. Wonder where you get that from (cough cough DADDY). Yogurt, cheese, fruit, oatmeal, fruit, bread, fruit, tortillas, and more fruit are really your favorites.  And you really love feeding yourself finger foods! Mommy takes too long with spoons I guess.

You now talk up a storm. Mostly just gibberish, but some words, too. Mama, Dada (which really applies to anyone other than Mama or Jacob), book (BA! BA!), Jacob I think (buh-ba). And you're working on more. You're also signing some--all done, sometimes more, and nurse. Hopefully you'll keep being able to work on communicating with us so you don't get too frustrated.  Once you get what you want, you're very content!!

This month your great-grandmother Ellis died. Thankfully, we were able to go down and see her and say goodbye the day before she died. It was your first time meeting her! I guess you wanted her to know you were there, because you weren't very quiet! ;-) She would have loved you.  She loved babies! You and I were able to take a quick trip to North Carolina for her funeral. You did so well for it being such a rough time for you. We flew down after bedtime, you had to share a room with me, which you aren't used to, you had to skip your naps, and then we flew home LATE at night.  You didn't sleep a wink on the plane! You are clearly a Wilson, and wanted to know what was going on. But you also really like to sleep, so you were conflicted and talked and cried a lot on our last flight.  You went right to sleep in the car when there wasn't much to look at.  I'm so grateful you were able to meet and visit with so much of that side of family.  And you quickly got back into your routines. I couldn't have asked for a better travel companion to keep me company. Thanks, angel!

You still aren't crawling with your belly off the ground. You got very close at the airport.  The last few weeks has really been the first time you've not really been content to roll everywhere, and I can tell you want to start really going.  I imagine it will happen soon.  You don't pull up on anything yourself, but if I put you on something, you can stand there. I think you're not only content, but a little cautious like your oldest brother, too, so I don't imagine walking will happen in the near future. And that's ok! I want you to do it on your own time and at your own speed. I like content babies! And I don't want you to grow up. Selfishly, I'd like for you to be my baby a little longer.

You LOVE reading. You think cars, balls, teething toys, etc are ok, but you really love books! No wonder it was the word you first started saying consistently. That you get from me! I'm rarely without one, either. It does make it tough when we need you to put it down. It makes you very sad, and because you are rarely sad or mad, it makes me sad to see it! I hope you'll always have a love of reading, and I hope you'll always let me read to you. It's something I hope we can enjoy together, like I do already with your older brothers! Your favorite book is one with pictures of grizzly bears, I think because there is a picture of one that says he's playing peek-a-boo, which you also LOVE! It's your favorite game for sure. And you're so cute playing it.  You cover your eyes while we say, "Where's John?" and you quickly lower them with a smile for us to say, "PEEK-A-BOO!" I think you're working on that word, too, to play with us even better!

John, what a blessing you are in our lives. Writing this, I just had a smile on my face thinking of all the funny things you do, and all the laughs you give us, and all the cuddles you give me. It makes me want to get you out of bed for a big hug! Which you would probably not be thrilled about (since you love sleep), but which you would tolerate because you are an ANGEL. Straight from Heaven. Thanks for coming to our family.  I personally have had a rough year, but you've saved me! And I know that wasn't your job, but you did it! Probably without even trying. Just by being you. Thank you.  I will forever and always be grateful to have you as a part of our family. I think we all will. We love you, angel baby. Happy birthday.

Love you forever,

12 MONTHS OLD! Not the greatest photos this month, because he had just woken up and then I took a book...

Always pulling his or my hair.  

What most of them looked like because he didn't have a book. 

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 9:03 PM | 0 comments

Jacob's 6th Birthday Party

Jacob's birthday fell on a school day and he LOVED taking treats to his friends and teachers, and getting some attention there. They made him a crown and sent him home with a sucker and a new pencil!

After school, we had the dinner of his choice (quesadillas), his choice of treat (cheesecake), and opened his presents from us.

Then a few days after his actual birthday, he planned a pizza party with our extended family. He requested Lightning McQueen decor and cupcakes with Lightning McQueen papers, pink strawberry cupcakes, white icing, with green sprinkles.  I thought they looked a little weird, but he thought they were great and that's all that matters, I guess! Well, that and they tasted good.

Uncle Taylor and Cousin Mila
Cousin Henry and Baby John
Cousin Eleanor

The big cousins always try to help open presents. Jacob wasn't having that this year and tried to hide in the corner. 

John copied Eleanor's expression. 
Playing with cousin Paige
And cousin Jenna (who is Ethan's favorite!)

Aunt Chelsea and cousin Paige

It was a fun birthday!  Still hard to believe he's SIX!

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 8:36 PM | 0 comments

A Letter to Jacob on his 6th Birthday

Dearest Jacob boy,

You are SIX years old.  It seems like just yesterday we were heading to the hospital to bring you into the world. And yet, it also seems like you've been a part of our lives for much, much longer. We are so glad you came into the world. You have sure made our lives better, and I'd say you've made the world a better place to, just by being in it.  Yes, I say that about your brothers too, but it's true! I can't imagine this world without you in it.  It just wouldn't be the same. We love you, dear boy.

This has been a year of firsts for you! You finished pre-K, and a few short months later, started kindergarten! Real school! You were so nervous, but as a family we set a goal to be kind, to be brave, and to make good choices. You took especially the courage thing to heart.  You have been so brave! You are doing so well in kindergarten. You love learning.  You are really starting to read, and recently met the school's goal of 10 AR points for the year. So, you set a higher goal and are aiming for 15 by my birthday in a few months. You love math and computers, and you really enjoy your Japanese class! I love hearing you saying hello and goodbye and counting and telling me all the colors in Japanese that you know. And almost everyday when you get off the school bus, you say "I'm hungry!" but in Japanese. So, you're teaching me a lot, too!  I do worry about you getting frustrated though, when you get an answer wrong or when you aren't understanding something. It's ok! We have talked a lot this year about doing the best we can and not getting upset if everything isn't perfect.  It's the trying the matters! You just really don't like to be wrong!

You also tried soccer this year! And scored two goals for the season! I was so proud of the way you listened to your coaches, and how much you improved over the season. The first practice, I basically had to force you to get out of the car (because you were nervous), but by the last game, you were sad that it had to end!  I really loved watching you practice the things you learned in the back yard so you could get better! That's so important! Almost everything in this life requires practice and diligence!

You are currently loving basketball! You play every day in the basement.  You're getting pretty good at shooting on little goals, and you've even made a few shots on a full-size rim. You are also interested in learning the rules and I hope we can get you on a team soon so you can learn the game. This year, you've become particularly excited about the Kentucky Wildcats! Just like mom and dad. BBN!

This year, we also welcomed your baby brother John into our family. Jacob, you're the best big brother! You have been kind and considerate and loving toward John since the day you met him. You never stop giving him hugs and kisses. You have done so well adjusting and realizing that sometimes John needs more attention than you. You are so helpful in doing things to help John and to help me care for him. And you're so careful and attune to his safety. It has really made the transition easier and smoother. And as a reward, I think your brother John is absolutely smitten with you. He just adores you!

You are never ashamed, and never have been, to show your emotions, both good and bad. We love when you get excited about something, because you get SO excited. You love to be happy and you hate to be sad!  We often have to talk about and work on getting our emotions out good ways. 

You are a generally kind and considerate boy. You usually use good manners, and you are sensitive to people's feelings. You know when you hurt someone, and are pretty quick to apologize.  I really hope you know how far kindness can take you. It's so important and we need so much more of it in the world today. It also starts with one person, so I hope that person is always you!

There's probably so much more I could write in this letter. I have so enjoyed watching you grow up and mature. And become a big brother again. I just think you are a great kid. Even when your stubbornness is threatening to drive me mad. We are so glad you are our son. Keep being brave and kind, and making good choices and you will change the world. I'm glad I get to witness it as your mom. We love you, Jacob.

Forever and always,

Stubbornness showing. 
Because I asked him to smile normally for a few before I let him make a silly face. 
Silly face! 

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 9:03 PM | 0 comments

John is 11 Months!

Dearest Angel Baby John,

You are 11 (ELEVEN!) months old! How is that possible? While it seems we've known you forever,  it seems like just yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital and snuggling with our newborn boy. You're still a snuggler, and I LOVE IT, but you are definitely not a newborn anymore! You're almost as big as your older brothers were when they were 2 years old! Luckily for us, you are still more baby-like than toddler-like. I don't want you to grow up too fast.

You love to eat! You love any kind of fruit.  Apples/applesauce seem to be your favorite, though.  You're starting to eat more meat, especially if it is hidden in something else, like spaghetti sauce. You love to feed yourself, and you're starting to make less of a mess each meal time. Your brothers love to help feed you, either by spoon or just sticking pieces of food in your mouth. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but you love it.

Speaking of your brothers, you basically love anything they do.  You worship the ground Jacob walks on.  Ethan is still sometimes a little more rough than you'd like, so you're more cautious around him.  You laugh at basically anything Jacob says or does, and you love to watch both of them together. THey're good big brothers.  You're a lucky baby brother. And one of my favorite things is watching you all interact with each other. It warms my heart. I'm a lucky mom. I hope y'all will always be close.

You are still not crawling, but I really do feel like any time you set your  mind to it, you'll be able to do it! You are just so content and are fine with rolling where you want to go. But you do occasionally get on your hands and knees and rock and rock and every time, I think "this is it! He's going to do it!" and then you plop back down. I mean, I'm fine with you not crawling.  As soon as you're more mobile, I'll be in trouble.  Sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with you three as it is!

You are such a good sleeper, and I'm so thankful.  You love your morning nap, and most days you love your afternoon nap, too.  By the end of the evening, you're ready to go to bed, too.  You just love to sleep!  I love to come get you when you wake up though, because there is almost always a big smile on your face. This afternoon after your nap, you were pretty quiet when I went in to get you, you smiled, reached for me, and then wanted to snuggle.  I can't even say how much you've saved me these 11 months. I never feel better than when you're snuggled in my arms. I hope you won't ever grow out of needing a minute or two of snuggles.

You still have just your two bottom teeth, but I know your two front teeth are about to poke through.  The gum on one side is white!  I feel like it might make you look more grown up when they do eventually come. Over the Christmas season, the song "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" was often in my head.  Oh! Christmas! It was your first one! It was so fun.  Unfortunately, you had a cold starting on Christmas Day. It was sad.  It was fun opening presents with you, even though you had no clue what was going on.  I think your favorite present was the one Jacob bought you all by himself at the holiday shop at his school. It was an ice cream cone teether. I guess considering you are working on your front teeth it isn't very surprising that you haven't let it go! He is so thrilled that he gave the "best present"! Maybe TMI, but I did find wrapping paper in your dirty diaper the other day, so I suppose you liked Christmas festivities even more than I thought...

John Hiram, we love you, you angel baby.  You really are an angel. Sent here to us straight from Heaven. I really can't imagine life without you in it. You make the world, our world especially, a better place, just by being in it. I hope you know how much we all love you. Surely you can tell, since there isn't a waking moment of the day someone isn't loving on you. You have made our family so much better. Thank you.

Love forever and always,

ELEVEN MONTHS OLD! Not super happy that I took away the sign that says 11 months.

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 8:40 PM | 0 comments

Christmas 2017

As told by pictures.  I failed to take any pictures of our time with my Dad and stepmom before Christmas, but it happened! Actually, there's a lot I failed to document this year. I guess I was living in the moment! Aka trying to keep John from eating wrapping paper (only semi-successful at that).

Christmas Eve:

We went to church in the morning and had a nice service full of singing Christmas hymns.
Came home and carried out our tradition of watching The Muppet Christmas Carol. 
Ate Christmas Eve dinner in the dining room. I think it was our first real meal in there. It started snowing while we were eating. When we were done, we loaded up the car for our tradition of a looking-at-lights-drive. The snow really picked up while we were out. 
Opening their traditional new Christmas pajamas. 

Boys put their new pajamas on and went right to sleep, even though the bigger ones were VERY excited. 
Right before Mom and Dad went to bed. All was quiet and calm. And peaceful. 

 Christmas morning:

We woke up to a White Christmas! The only day I think snow is a little acceptable.
The boys' first glimpse.
John's first stocking. 

I apparently didn't take many photos of the gift opening. But here was yummy breakfast! 

After breakfast, the boys went out and played in the snow and then came in and warmed up by the fire. 
Once they were warmed up, they used their new track pieces to build their railroad "ALL THE WAY TO THE TABLE!"

Christmas at Mimi's:

After our little family's Christmas morning, we packed up and headed to Mimi's for Christmas with my family. Here is cousin Mila, the youngest on my side of the family! 
Jacob was standing on a stool. I just want to remember that he wasn't actually this tall this year. Because probably in a year or two he really will be! 
John really wanted Mila's bow. 
My sister's family. 
My brother's family. 
My mom's tree. We weren't allowed to put our presents under the tree until after pictures because her's all matched.  It was really pretty. Mimi is talented. 

 Christmas with the Wilsons:

We enjoyed spending time with cousin Everett. Jacob read him a book!
John didn't nap well at Grandma's house, but he looked awfully cute while I was trying to get him to sleep!
The only picture I took of the gift-giving. Obviously it's the best gift. 
John dressed up for Malone's. 

Boys before Malone's. Jacob picked out his own clothes for the "fancy restaurant."

After Malone's we had ice cream. Jacob was in heaven. Unfortunately, the next morning, many members of the family came down with a stomach bug. It quickly passed through everyone in our little family. 
Poor Ethan. 
Daddy didn't get it at first. But there was a lot of TV watching going on for all the other victims. We had planned to come home a couple of days earlier, but got stuck there. 

Everyone started feeling better. See? A few hours after this picture on New Year's Eve, we ventured home. And had a fake countdown with the boys, then everyone went to bed early. Bryan and I woke up right at midnight. At the literal moment neighbors lit their fireworks. Because he fell victim to the bug. Haha. I'm so thankful for health. As Jacob says, that was a "bad few days" of illness. 

And that's it! We're so thankful for the birth of our Savior and to have this time to spend with our families celebrating it. Until next year! Jacob is already counting down.

Posted by Anna Wilson | at 9:40 PM | 0 comments