April 30, 2010

Looking Back-- 2006

This is a letter I wrote for my family history right BEFORE we moved to Lubbock.
Jakob was 7, Drew was 6, Anna was 4, Ellie was 3 and I was pregnant with Leah.
It's so funny to see how my life is pretty similar (add two kids) and pretty different (on the tail-end of school not the beginning...)

I LOVE to read back over things I have written---  I can still feel my life then, and I know that someday my life now will be a sweet memory!!

Life is good.

July 23, 2006
Life is good!  We just got back from our second ever family bike ride.  Jakob and Drew are both proficient riders now, and the girls ride in a little yellow buggy attached to Todd’s bike.  Todd and I bought bikes over the 4th of July weekend—mine has a good wide seat with springs underneath to support my maternally blossoming behind.  Yesterday as I was riding one of my neighbors said, “I thought you were expecting.”  I laughed.  I’m not sure anyone can really miss my HUGE tummy.  She made my day. 

Yesterday, Drew stopped at every curve- he thought he couldn’t turn corners, and he stopped at every incline or decline in the sidewalk- he was worried that he would go too fast.  It was a LONG ride around the lake.  He was sure that he couldn’t do it, but with a lot of encouragement (Todd and I took turns) we made it home and he was thrilled.  I want to teach Anna to ride a two wheeler pretty soon so that Ellie and the baby can sit in the buggy.  Once we learned the trick- to hold onto the child’s arm not the seat of the bike- it was pretty easy to teach the boys. 

Tonight I rode in the back.  What an adorable sight it was watching my family.  Jakob is fast and has to continually lap back to keep up with us.  Drew rides fine, until he gets scared and then he swerves and slows down.  Most of the time his little legs just pedal and pedal trying to catch up with Jakob.  Those boys are growing up so quickly.  They are really cute kids.  The girls are funny zipped up in their little yellow buggy.  Whenever we would pass another person you would hear shouts of greeting from the buggy.  Anna was continually yelling, “Mamma, Mamma…” and then waving “HI!”  Todd is just a perfect husband and father.  He is so cute and so patient with the kids.  I really think that I have a perfect little family.  I feel so blessed.

This is an odd, crazy transition time of life for us.  We will close on our new house in Texas on August 19th, Todd’s school starts August 28th and I am due September 1st.  We still haven’t sold our home here in Michigan.  Last week my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, she and Wally are going through a pretty nasty divorce.  Eric is also living with us for the summer as he completes an internship here in Michigan

Todd and I both just finished a hectic month with our stake callings.  With the Stake Young Men’s presidency Todd had scout camp and youth conference.  The next week I was in charge of Stake Girl’s Camp.  Both of us have learned so much from these callings the past few years.  It has been amazing associating with the good people of the Stake and we have come to love the youth in this area.  I have learned so much about leadership and confidence in my callings.  It was really neat to see my dreams become a reality and to feel the hand of the Lord directing me as I planned camp.  My testimony has been strengthened and I am more confidant to serve the Lord in the future.

As I write down my life, I feel so confidant and hopeful.  I am sure that we are supposed to go back to school in Texas, and I know that everything is going to work out for our good.  It is different when I wake up in the morning with the cares of the world pressing down on me.  I often wonder if I am crazy to pack my house and move across country with no assurance that we will be able to feed our growing family. 

Logically, it is crazy that I am doing all this nine months pregnant.  But spiritually I feel peaceful, I always have felt peaceful about this baby.  She is calm inside my womb- by far the most gentle of all the children I have carried.  I can’t wait to meet her.  I can’t wait for her to meet her brothers and sisters.  They are so excited for this new baby to come out of my tummy.  She will be loved and cherished by all.  (Hopefully not loved too much!)

I think we are going to name her Leah Lynette Moss.  [Note- in the hospital we decided on Leah Jenifer... but, we still love the lanettes in our lives!!]  Leah from the bible and Lynette after Todd’s grandmother Erma Lynette Gee and his sister Lanette Moss Carter.  I don’t love the story of Leah in the Bible, but she was a good, strong woman—Leah is a sweet name that seems to match this gentle spirit in my womb.  Lynette means attractive and little lion.  I think that’s cute and if this is the case she will fit right into our family.  I have felt especially close to Grandma Gee since I started having my children.  She is said to have been a blunt, strict, capable woman and was a teacher and mother of a large family.  She is the daughter of Thomas E. Ricks- good pioneer stock.  From the day I first gave birth to Jakob I have felt her presence in my life.  I think I would have loved her had I met her, and I look forward to meeting her someday.  I am excited to name little leah after her great grandmother. 

Jakob is seven and preparing to be baptized this winter.   I can’t believe how much he has grown in the past year.  I often catch myself staring at him, my baby… growing up into a little man.  He is already as tall as my chest.  He’s really cute, skinny but not scrawny.  He is a good boy.  We do battle his sassing mouth.  Jakob is good, but when he makes a mistake he has a hard time backing down.  He’ll fight the same fight for a whole evening rather than just take the consequence he’s been given and move on.  He is kind, but not a sissy. 

Jakob tries hard at everything that he does.  I loved to bring him to soccer and watch his determination and effort.  He would run one drill and he might not be the first one to the finish line.  The next time he would just try a little harder and he’d be the first one.  He was a quiet, thinking soccer player.  His coach said that he had amazing foot work.  Even though he wasn’t the fastest, superstar player, he was consistent, he tried hard and he played very well.  I was so proud of him and his work ethic.  He is like this in most things.  He quietly works at them until he has mastered them. 

Jakob reminds me a lot of his dad.  Another thing they share is a love for gaming.  Todd, Jakob, Drew and Eric play these advanced strategy games all the time.  Tonight Jakob won.  Later I heard Eric and Todd talking about how surprised they were that Jakob had beat them and they assured themselves if the game had lasted another few rounds they would have passed him up.  Jakob plays with a consistent strategy and sticks to his plan.  He loves to collect development cards in Settlers and blue cards in Puerto Rico.  I have no doubt that he will join the adult game table at family reunions soon. 

Jakob is really cute with the baby in my tummy.  He loves to hear that Todd used to read him stories when he was in my belly and he laughs when I tell him that he would kick back at us mathematically.  If we tapped twice, he’d kick twice.  He will come up to me during the day and just kiss my belly and whisper “HI Leah.”  He’s sweet.  When Ellie was born he said that he wanted 72 more sisters.  Whenever he puts his hand on my belly he says that he can feel her moving… if he hears my tummy rumble he is certain that he has heard the baby burp.  This is his favorite, he tells the rest of the kids and they laugh and laugh. 

I have so much that I want to be sure that he knows before he is baptized.  I want to read the Book of Mormon with him from cover to cover, and I want to be sure that he has his own testimony before he joins the church.  But, I feel comforted to know that Jakob came to our family with a strong knowledge of eternal things.  He is a good, elect, righteous leader.  He was this before he came here and I am blessed to have him in my family.

Drew…  as he writes on his papers, DREW KLUDEN MOSS.  I asked him once if he wanted to learn how to spell his middle name, Clendon, correctly.  He said, “No, I like it my way.”  Drew has a mind of his own.  Most of the time he is a sweet, easy going, fun natured kid.  He loves to laugh and tease.  He is my most cuddley and kissy kid.  He has a teddy bear that he sleeps with every night.  We made a pillow and sleeping bag for his bear and now he is tucked in beside Drew each night.  Drew is kind and loves his little sisters.  He will play family with them for hours and has an adorable imagination.  Drew is always the Dad, one of the girls is the Mom and the other girl is the Sweetie.  Once I asked Drew what the Sweetie was.  He said, “The girl brother.”  

Drew loves to write, and he is very smart.  He writes pages and pages of stories with his own creative spelling.  You can usually figure them out if you read them out loud.  It’s like that game Blurt or something where you have to read the words out loud to figure out the phrase.  Drew and Jakob spend many hours quizzing each other on math facts.  Drew particularly likes to quiz Anna and have her give the wrong answer.  Our car rides are filled with things like, “Anna, what’s four hundred and five million times one?”  She will make up and answer and Drew will laugh… “No Anna, that was even an easy one.”  Anna says, “Drew, I told you I don’t want to play this game.” 

Drew is curious about the baby in my tummy, but unlike Jakob, he can NEVER feel her when he touches my belly.  He is usually frustrated within a few seconds and I have to distract him with stories of his acrobats inside my womb when he was a baby.  He laughs and laughs as I describe the arms and legs he’d stick out all over the place.  Drew loves hearing stories of his active, mischievous toddler years.  He still has the cutest belly laugh that he had as a baby.  Drew wanted to name the baby Clever.  Now he keeps asking me if we are really going to name it Falipa or some girl yugioh that he knows.  I keep telling him yes and he looks at me with a smile in his eyes.  He has been a handful, but he is so much fun.  Drew has an electric personality that just makes you want to laugh and hug him.  Even when he is in an angry rage- which happens anytime his sense of justice is violated, it’s funny.  He’s a strong spirit with a clear, active mind. 

At basketball one night Drew’s primary teacher told Todd that he was a bit worried about Drew.  I guess the teacher taught a lesson on prayer and Drew told the class that Heavenly Father didn’t answer his prayers.  Once he lost his wallet and he prayed and he never found his wallet, so he knew that Heavenly Father didn’t answer his prayers.  We talked about this later, and while he was at school I looked and found his wallet piled in the craft room.  We talked about how sometimes it takes time to receive answers and that just because Heavenly Father doesn’t answer how or when we think he should, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hear our prayers.  Drew accepted this explanation with his childlike faith.  He now tells the story of his missing wallet as an example of how come he knows his prayers are heard.  I love that he thinks for himself, that he questions and then that he believes.  Drew is a strong, great kid.  He says the most adorable prayers- they are sincere and complete.  I don’t think Drew will do many things halfway.  He is a hot or cold kind of guy.

Anna, Anna… She was born mature and continues to be four going on sixteen.  Anna has this adorable confidence and extroverted nature.  She is sweet and interactive with everyone.  We went to the library and I had her sit at a table for a minute while I picked out some adult videos to rent.  She moved to sit by this elderly black man.  I could hear her quizzing him.  “Hi, my name’s Anna, What’s your name?”  She went on, “What’s your dad’s name?  How old is he? Is he dead?  What’s your mom’s name?  How old is she?  Is she dead too?  Where does she live?  Do you have any children?  Where are they?  Why?  Where is your wife?   Is she at home?  What’s her name?  How old is she?...”  I just laugh and that poor man just answered all of her questions with a smile on his face.  When I finally told her to say goodbye the man said, “Wow, she is very bright and inquisitive isn’t she?”  YES!  That’s my Anna. 

At the store she talks to everyone.  By the end of her shopping trip she’s talking to people and they are all saying things like, “Yes, I know your name is Anna.”  At Kohl’s the other day, I was looking at some maternity clothes and there was another pregnant lady nearby.  Anna was talking to her and said, “I think this shirt will look nice on you.”  She goes on to point out that we are having a girl baby and asks the lady what kind of baby she is having.  When she finds out the lady is having a boy, she picks out a few boy outfits and suggests that the other expectant mother buy her baby some new clothes.  There was one time that a lady was nearby and she said, “Excuse me, can you help me find my mother?”  The lady looked at me with a worried look on her face and said, “Are you lost little girl?”  Anna smiled and I shook my head calling her closer to me.  She is so funny. 

We went shopping for school clothes this week.  The kids were all excited and funny.  Since we’ve been home, they’ve all changed quite a few times, but Anna gets the award.  She seriously changes every ten minutes during the day.  On the way home from the stores she said, “Mom, how come my legs are hairy like Daddy’s?”  I just died.  I didn’t think that I would have a conversation with my little girls about shaving their legs before kindergarten.  Honestly, she is four going on sixteen. 

Most of the time she is good.  We do have problems with her leaving the house when we don’t know it and going to the neighbors.  They say, “Anna, is your mom taking a nap?”  She’ll say yes and play with their children for awhile.  Once we had another family over for dinner.  We assumed that she was in the basement with the rest of the kids playing, but around 9pm she came walking in the door.  She said, Mom, Josh’s mom says it’s time for me to take a bath since I’ve been playing in their sandbox for so long.  We don’t even know Josh’s mom, and we didn’t know she was gone.   Although Todd and I were both playing games, he looked at me shocked and said, “Jen, did you even know Anna was gone?  That’s really bad.”  I put the question right back to him explaining that we were both doing the same thing and both of us missed her exit. 

Anna has the most questions about the baby.  How did she get in there?  Is she going to have a baby in her tummy when she’s a mom?  When are these going to grow she asked me one day, pointing to her chest.  She isn’t easy to distract either.  When I give her a broad answer like, you need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby, she wants to know specifically, but how mom?  How does Daddy’s seed get into your tummy?  I tell her honestly.  I swallowed it.  J

Twice the past week she and Ellie have squeezed Ranch dressing and chocolate syrup all over the kitchen table.  I think Anna will do very well once school starts for her.  She gets bored here all day and is very creative in coming up with things to keep her busy.  I have a feeling that she will keep us hopping.  But, she is a good, bright, happy girl.  She is quick to apologize and has strong desires to please and love and make us happy.  I’m excited to watch her as she grows.

Ellie Elisabeth as she refers to herself, has been our baby longer than any other child.  She is beautiful and is the dancing, doll playing, dressing up little sister that we imagined she’d be.  She’s stubborn and manipulative, but as the youngest she really doesn’t get away with much.  The kids are pretty good at bargaining her out of any initial resistance.  You often hear, come on Ellie, put your shoes on and then I’ll let you hold my favorite Poke’mon card.  She is not great at potty training or going to bed at night.  I think it’s funny that she always wants Daddy at night, because she knows he’ll bring her 5 drinks of water.  I hear her explaining to him, “Just one more, Dad, just one more.”  I can picture her holding up four fingers.  He always give in. 

Ellie is the most musical.  She is constantly playing the piano and singing her made up songs.  Anna memorizes real songs, Ellie creates her own.  Many times, they are cute songs.  Most of the time, in the car, she sings things like, “I don’t like Anna, Anna is a poopy head.”  Then Anna yells, “Mom, Ellie isn’t using nice words.”  Ellie ignores any pleading from the front of the van and continues with her blaring poopy head songs.  Ellie plays each of the kids.  When they don’t do something that she wants them to do she says fine, I don’t like you or I don’t love you.  They continually petition her, do you like me now?  She holds them at bay, I like you a little bit, or I like you, but I don’t love you.  If she’s really mad it’s fine, but I will never love you again.  Followed by her song, “I don’t like Jakob, Jakob is stupid.”  If she does something wrong and I am upset with her she’ll say, “Are you happy about this?”  I’ll assure her that I am not happy about this.  Then she says, “Are you happy with Anna?  Anna didn’t go poop in her pants.”  I’ll affirm, Yes, I’m happy with Anna.  She continues, “Are you happy with Jakob and Drew?”  She’s funny. 

Ellie loves to wear her pink leotard, ballerina outfit.  She calls it her “Bal la le Dress”.  She strips all day to put on this leotard and erupts into tears if we make her change so that we can go out.  It’s funny to see her spin around, watching the skirt flare out.  She says, “Mom, don’t I look beautiful?”  The other day Jakob and Drew fought over who could paint Anna and Ellie’s toes and fingers with nail polish.  Ellie picked cotton candy pink nails with blue toes.  For two days afterwards (even though the boys didn’t do a very good job painting—because her nails were so small they explained)  every time Ellie would see her toes she’d stick out her foot and exclaim to no one in particular, “My feet look beautiful!”

Ellie is the most obsessed with the baby.  She asks everyone if they have a baby in their tummy.  One night she was on Todd’s lap and patted his stomach.  She said, “Dad, you have a lot of babies in your tummy.”  We all laughed.  Ellie loves babies.  She is very maternal and nurturing.  She says the funniest things to babies, considering that she is still a baby herself.  She’s the little mommy in nursery.  I know she’ll love little leah when she comes out.  I’m only concerned at how much she will love her.

When David and Rebekah were visiting I let Ellie stay up late on night because she had a long nap.  She misunderstood my reasoning and spent half the night showing everyone her neck and commenting how long it was.  It took us a while to figure out that she thought she was being aloud to stay awake because she had a long neck.  She’s funny.

Ellie is going to transition the most with the birth of this new baby.  I’m excited to see her personality emerge as she hands over her “baby” throne in our family.  I think she’ll really grow up a lot in the next year, and I’m excited to get to know her better as the year progresses and Anna attends preschool.  We were eating celery and dip this afternoon and I dropped some dip on my tummy.  Ellie laughed and said, “Mom, you need a bib, don’t you?”  She’s a hoot!!

Well, these are my family ramblings.  I haven’t written in a while and I wanted to have some record of this time in our lives printed out in my albums.  As I’ve said many times before.  We are so blessed.  This is a fun time of life and I’m tired, but enjoying life as I watch my little family grow.  I’m so glad that I had my first four kids so close together.  It has been really tough, but I’ve learned a lot and I love watching them interact.  I’m also so glad that I have had this space between Ellie and this new little one.  I am really craving a baby.  I know that she’ll bring so much joy into our home and we’ll all just eat her up. 
 Love you all!
 --What a sweet time of life??!!
Can't wait to see what the summer of 2010 is like!!!


corrie said...

Awesome pictures. What great memories! We had so much fun.

Great letter, too. I bet your kids love to read the great stuff you wrote about them.

Ann said...

That was fun to read, Jen! Some of your kids remind me so much of my own. :) Don't you just love watching them grow up?

Shelley Gee said...

What a fun trip down memory lane. I love to hear your stories, I love your details!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...