A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

7 Years Old

What a week it has been! Full of good things, but oh-so-full. Add in a couple short nights, and I thought often of jotting down my thoughts on Jonah's birthday after the boys went to bed ... and then I decided to just go to bed myself!!! Too tired = ) I had to get up super early again today for work, but slept hard before the alarm clock went off, so hopefully this sets me up for more energy this weekend !

I can't believe that Jonah is 7! I still remember expecting him, and all the wonders you experience with your first pregnancy. I remember those moments in the hospital when he wasn't responding well, and I was put on oxygen, and all we're thinking is "Be safe and healthy, Little One". And he was! Just tiny and happy to stay put where he was.

Since Reuben celebrates his birthday only a few weeks before Jonah, it is needless to say that Jonah REALLY starts to anticipate his birthday ... seeing his brother enjoy lots of fun things. We decorated for him, and then had to head off to church since it was Sunday. But, he got to walk around and have it "be" his birthday, so I don't think he minded one little bit. And then we headed home, had lunch, and let him open his presents from us. Which, of course, led into play time with Dad and his brother.

We didn't really have anything else planned for the day, so we ended up just calling some of Eli's family to come over for ice cream and visit for awhile to end the day with family and fun.

Jonah, Jonah! Sometimes he'll say things that just make me stop and realize he is growing up. Of course he is, but there are moments when it is very apparent. He loves to sit and just talk with myself or Eli. About things he is thinking about - or anything under the sun! That boy is a true Brooks, often found looking at birds with his binoculars and marking in a notebook which ones he has seen. He can't wait for when he can get a pet - because we promised once we are able to move into a new house, the boys can get a lizard.

Like Reuben, he has a math brain, and although he complains when doing math at school time, he sails through it and brings up problems he has figured out in his mind at different points during the day. He would rather eat the cake than the frosting (I just CANNOT understand that one!), and he now offers his opinion on if food has enough protein in it since he hears Mommy and Daddy talking about those things. He highlights his favorite verses in the Bible, and solemnly told me the other day that it would be better if he did things "even before I get asked to do them ... but I forget too much, Mommy!"

I take his hugs and love seriously, because as this little boy now missing another tooth grows taller and bigger, I want to squeeze him while I can! Love my Jonah Willem Brooks.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bedtime Memories

Bedtime is always filled with its own beauty and madness at the same time. Boys in soft jammies, snuggling blankets, wanting to read books together. Buuuuut, also little boys who protest at going to bed, and "why do we have to brush our teeth EVERY DAY????", and just when you're so exhausted yourself that you feel like your eyes won't stay open - someone has a pressing (in six year old terms) question that mustbeansweredimmediately.

Gotta love it.

And I feel like each week gives its own little memories to hold, but here are a few from this week for me to remember a glimpse into the Bushel at this point in time:

Rocking with Matthias in his chair tonight, I say "Thank you Jesus for today" and he repeats "Thank you Jesus" in his little voice. And then "Thank you Daddy", which can be interpreted to mean Thank you Jesus for Daddy. Which I say for him. So he can continue on to "Thank you Mommy" and I repeat "Thank you Jesus for Mommy" and he goes on: "Thank you Jonah" and down on the list of everyone in our house, and every single family member he has encountered today, plus the babysitters he had at the gym. Completely out of his own little memory. And then he suddenly grins from ear to ear, reaches up, pats the top of my head, and giggles "Duck Duck GOOSE!!!!"

A night or two ago, Eli was laying by Reuben in his bed, praying and singing while I hung on the ladder to say goodnight to Jonah. I climbed down and start to walk out the door, and hear Eli's chuckle. He had been talking to Reuben about his little life, and how the week had been while we had been gone on our retreat, and asking him questions about things, and suddenly Reuben pipes up: "WHAT IF YOU HAD AN ANT ON YOUR HEAD AND YOU TRIED TO CUT IF OFF! WHAT WOULD HAPPEN THEN TO YOUR HEAD???" And yes, I type it in caps because that's how Reuben TALKS. You can't miss it = ) Sometimes he seems super tuned in ... and other times? Well, who knows exactly what's going on in his mind!

Jonah's wise thoughts tonight as he goes to bed his last night as a six year old: "Mommy, turning older is a strange thing. Because last year when I went to bed my last night as a five year old, I thought that I would wake up feeling and being older, but I kind of felt the same. I wasn't any bigger! And so, when I wake up tomorrow, I will still be the same Jonah. But, I will have this wonderful warm feeling in my heart, because I know that I really am turning seven. But I might look the same ..." But I am so glad this almost-seven-year-old still wants Mommy's hugs and kisses each night as if I won't be there the next night. I cherish his tender heart.

All that to say that, once again, I look around me, and my heart is full. Full of the relationships - family and friends - that I am so so blessed to be surrounded by. My Bushel.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


We were celebrating five birthdays on my side of the family tonight! Whew! Talk about accomplishing a lot of celebration in one day!

The boys have been anticipating this evening because both of their birthdays were going to celebrated, along with their cousin Ben. Lots of little boy toys! Or, big boy toys, I guess = )

I made a giant cookie to take for dessert, and the boys were super excited to spend time this afternoon decorating it with me while Eli was working at church. We pulled out the frosting supplies and had such a fun little time together (and some frosting tasting along the way!).

Sometimes I forget that it is in these little things when we really have such a special moment together. This 20 minute decorating made it into their "favorite part of the day" comments that we always share while tucking them in to bed. It takes a little extra time to include them, because I certainly could have just done it myself, but the mess and the smiles and the fun were worth it!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Toilet Water

Sometimes there are just stories that plant themselves in front of you, just to make you chuckle, laugh, and embrace the lighter side of life and parenting.

This morning I went in to pick up the boys from the daycare at the gym after finishing training a client. Matthias ran up as usual right to me, and as I picked him up, one of the teachers said, "I have story to tell you about Matthias today."

"I went in to the bathroom to change another baby's diaper, and Matthias followed me in there, and he was just chattering to me. And suddenly I looked over and he was sticking his face in the toilet to take a drink!"

Oh, she was soooooo mortified! And I just laughed and laughed.

"We washed his face and mouth as best as we could! We really hope he doesn't get sick or anything!"

And Matthias looks at me seriously, wags his finger in my face, "No Water."

Thankfully, I have never NEVER had to witness this happening at home, and although I have no idea what on earth got in to him, I'm hoping this isn't a repeat problem. They have one of those little tiny toilets in the bathroom, and apparently he was thirsty! = ) When I told Eli later, he just laughed too and commented that it was better it was a small one - if it was regular size, he probably would have toppled in! I reassured them I was not worried at all, and that I was sorry they had to deal with an almost two year old thinking the toilet was for drinking.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Great Outdoors

We have been blessed with days of beautiful weather. We've been taking advantage of every second that we can ... walks, a couple times at the park, a walk on the levee, and LOTS of time in the backyard. The boys are sooooo happy when they can be outside! Matthias would spend nearly the entire day out there, I'm pretty sure, and Jonah would be much happier if Mom would just let him use the bathroom outside = ) Not with a fairly busy street AND a regular 'ole fence - not a privacy one! Camping? Yes. Backyard? Not so much.

The weather was a huge blessing for our open house Sunday. We had a pretty good turnout, which was very encouraging to Eli and I, as we (translation: ME) had been feeling quite a bit discouraged last week about the entire house selling situation. I know know KNOW the Lord is at work ... I just wish I could figure out what this work is all about! But, we got to take the boys on that walk on the levee during the open house, which was fun. Right out Grandma's back fence!

And while keeping the house clean is always a constant project here, letting everyone run around outside a lot has helped: less bins of toys have been emptied in the past five days because everyone has been playing on the swing set. The boys' room has stayed picked up, and my job has been more sweeping up the twigs that accompany little feet through the back door. That is a breath of fresh air for me.

Looking ahead at a busy week with added meetings in most afternoons seems a bit daunting, but seems much easier knowing that I'm not facing freezing temperatures at the same time, which means facing cabin fever-ed boys. They are ready to take their binoculars outside, tell me all the birds they are seeing, helping me clean out flower beds, kick soccer balls to each other, and get sweaty.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5th Birthday ... A Mother's Reflections

Yesterday Reuben turned five. It's hard to imagine when you're holding a freshly birthed, 6 pound, 10 ounce baby in your arms that one day he'll get bigger and bigger.

But, of course, that's exactly what they do.

It's almost unfathomable to think at that moment that you'll have a defiant toddler someday - looking right at you when you say "NO!", and then he turns to do exactly what he wanted to do and that you didn't want him to do.

You can't imagine the sweetness of a little boy's arms wrapping around your neck for the tightest, most intense, squeezy hugs ... and thinking as he does it "One day he won't want to give Mommy squeezy hugs, so I'm going to make this hug last".

You don't realize that you'll say things to this little baby that you never thought that you would say to anyone: "Please get your hands out of your pants"  or "You can eat grass, but I really wouldn't try eating the hay" or "Can you stop making that gross noise with your finger in your nose?"

This little baby isn't a baby anymore. My Reuben is five. Oh Reuben! He is the funniest kid to me ... he says the most outlandish things, and then will suddenly pat my hair and tell me I am a beautiful mommy. He wants to do everything EVERYTHING Jonah does - and is often pretty successful at getting close to that! He has a math brain and he can disappear for moments into his own world.

And we love him.

We let him start his day with a pancake and candle yesterday. Most of the day was normal: gym; homeschool coop; school work at home; etc. But he basked in the fact that it was his birthday. His day. Mya spent the afternoon and evening with us after she got off school, and was there when he opened his two presents from us: a Skylanders figure, and a Nerf bow. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of practice the rest of the evening!

He went to bed so thrilled to have had his birthday. And we were so glad to give that middle boy bits of a day to remember.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rainbow Snow Day

It snowed some last night, and now is still snowing some here during the day ... which means although we made it to church this morning, we're hanging out at home the rest of the day most likely. Staying warm in cold temps and maybe cleaning a bit around the house (aren't we always???).

So we decided to let Jonah give Reuben his birthday present early. Reuben had been learning a couple basic things to do on Jonah's Rainbow Loom - because what little brother doesn't want to be doing what his big brother is doing all the time? Jonah had already decided to get Reuben one for his birthday, so we picked it up for him yesterday since Reuben's birthday is in two days!

And once we realized that we would be indoors A LOT today and possibly tomorrow, we let Jonah give it to Reuben after church.

And away he went = )

He has been so thrilled, and he has already been "looming" away and having Mommy help him figure out a bracelet. I'm glad to have them working on these kinds of things together! Now, I just have to deal with Matthias trying to get up on the table wanting to make one himself!