A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Reuben is such a great kid.

Maybe we would all say that about all our kids - and of course I think that about all my boys. But, each day, Reuben just does something that makes me laugh or smile or want to just pull him in my arms and squeeze him to death.

Reuben can be super intense. Watch out! If he is wanting to tell you a story, or recount something that happened, or explain something about Minecraft (sooooo not my favorite topic right now!), his blue eyes get really wide, and his voice gets and loud and you HAD BETTER PAY ATTENTION. Or he will keep getting louder. When he is allowed to play video games, the entire little six year old body in engaged. Mind you, all you need to do is push buttons, but his legs are kicking, his mouth is open, and he is moving all over the place. He reminds me so much of my younger brother Isaac. Watching them play video games together last week was sooooo much fun! He loves to do dance moves, and again, super intense and focused on his moves. And we just started soccer this week, and I have heard him say several times to me "My big game is in ___ days!!!!!" Focused. Intense. Ready.

And then there is the Reuben that moves s.l.o.w.  Like molasses. Like could you walk any slower down the hallway??? He can work hard, but then he gives out. He has a smaller gas tank that Jonah, who requires probably two hours less sleep than Reuben for a good day. Reuben needs to go to bed early and sleep late to really have a good day. He is just that way! And how I mentioned in the last post that Jonah is ready for the next thing??? Reuben is always the one we're turning back around to and reminding to catch up (this brings back lots of memories of zoo trips and Silver Dollar City).

Of course Reuben wants to do everything that Jonah does. And many challenges in his little world are continuing to see that Jonah truly is two years older than him, and therefore things just sometimes are not fair. He can't run as fast, he doesn't always catch on to games as fast. This is hard for him, because he wants to be with Jonah always. And for the most part, Jonah is happy to have Reuben as his partner, but there are times it doesn't work out that, and Reuben takes it pretty hard.

What is Reuben into? Reuben loves music. Dancing to music, singing songs, learning piano. He is very excited about this soccer season. He often wants to play card games. He still likes to pull out stuffed animals and play with Matthias every now and then, but also loves to play with our neighborhood friends. And a lot of the time, he likes whatever Jonah likes. He has been saving saving saving up his money that they earn from making dog treats for their grandma to sell at the farmer's market, and is hoping Eli and I will give him permission to spend it all on a huge Lego castle set. We're still deciding on that one = )

Reuben loves Jesus. He loves to sing worship songs at church. He struggles with being afraid of being alone. He reminds me of myself when I was young. I have strong memories of going to get my dad in the middle of the night because of nightmares or feeling afraid. Reuben is like that. So, we're working through some struggles of trusting that our lives are in God's hands with him.

This boy is sooooo special. He has a generous heart. Some nights when I say goodnight to him, he will say "Mom? I think we forgot to snuggle today. Tomorrow can we make sure and have some snuggle time on the couch?" He needs those physical hugs. I pray that we instill courage into this mighty little man!

Sunday, August 16, 2015


I figured I would write about my firstborn first, as I think about where all the boys are currently at.


8 years old. Preparing to start third grade within this next week. Growing up. Wearing size 4 shoes (yikes!). But still little boy enough to come and ask for some snuggles on the couch.

Jonah has a tender heart. Especially for the little ones. He adores Abram to pieces. He cares deeply for his little cousins. Love animals. Likes hugs.

But he is also growing up. And while Abram receives lots of smiles and tickles, Jonah struggles with Matthias. Matthias who wants to be "in" all of his business. Wants to mess with all of Jonah's things. And as any older sibling out there knows, it is a challenge! A legitimate challenge. And so there are lots of learning opportunities in Jonah's world right now about handling conflict appropriately.

Jonah is ready to be big at times. He wants to join Eli at youth group activities. Wishes he could carry a phone around at all times like the teenagers and his parents (not yet!). Likes to point out that it will only be three more years until he can come to youth group himself. He wants to go fishing and hunting with Eli.

And then there is still my boy that comes up and asks if he can help me mix brownies. Or when he gets hurt, there is still a little boy in there that would love the comfort of mom or dad's arms. And rightly so.

He is wondering about his world. He asks about right and wrong - and like any firstborn there is a lot of black and white! He asks questions about things he learns about church, and hears from friends. But I still see his childlike faith as he tells me the Trinity makes complete sense to him = )

When I think of Jonah and the things that he is "into" right now: He is a reader. We find him with his nose in books all the time. And getting him to put down a book can be tough! He is taking piano now, and likes to master songs. The game minecraft is waaaayyyy important to him right now. So much that Eli and I feel like plugging our ears sometimes when he and Reuben get to talking about it!

Jonah is still a super picky eater. We offer new foods, attempt to get him to try new foods, but this isn't an area we have seen lots of progress. So, we just pray a lot that at some point it will change! And we consider it a miracle he is so strong and healthy, because his diet is so limited.

He is already ready for the next thing. When we go places, Jonah is always steps ahead of everyone else, moving on! He wants to check the mail everyday, just in hopes something new or exciting is there for us. He can't wait to experience things, so much so that we often have to remind him to slow down a bit.

He is a blessing. He couldn't be anything else! I pray a lot that as Eli and I experience parenting with him first, God's grace will be on him. Being the first child, we of course make choices with him that we might not make later on because we ourselves are learning from our own mistakes. But each child is unique. We pray as we raise him, that we parent him and teach him in a manner that means something to him. That resonates with his personality and giftings. I can't wait to see what this school year brings for him! I love this boy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Abram will be 9 months in just two short days! Yikes! My little guy is growing fast. My goal (fingers crossed!) is to do a little post about each boy this month. So that I can remember where they are at right now. What they are learning, what do they struggle with? What are my favorite things going on with each of them during these particular ages!

But, we did have a little milestone with Abram last night. Ever since he has been born, this little boy has disliked water. Baths have always gone hand in hand with tears. I kept thinking that surely he would get past it! But, no matter the toy, the water cloth to suck on, the position we tried, that little baby would cry.

The pool was not any better. We tried, but even just getting his toes in the water made his little face scrunch up ... and then he wailed! So, the couple times we have headed to the pool, Abram has gone to Grandma's instead. It just doesn't work! Hot hot weather means a little baby needs to cool off. But if cooling off meant getting in the water, then why? I couldn't deal with keeping an eye on three other boys plus holding a baby that freaked out every time a drip of water hit him = )

I basically had given up. Baths were as fast as possible, and I didn't foresee a change.

But then last night! I was running water because he needed a bath. He has had a cold and that little face had snot all over it. His knees were dirty from crawling all over the house the past few days. It was just time!

Matthias ran in and asked if he could get in too. Why not? So, I let the water get a little deeper. Matthias climbed in. I set Abram in next to him, aaaannnnddd ...

He loved it!

He started splashing around and giggling and smiling! Oh, I was so happy. You have no idea how often I have put off baths with him because it felt so traumatic!

And Matthias just L.O.V.E.D. being the "big brother" in the bath this time around. Getting to show off toys. Helping wash soap bubbles on his little brother. He is so used to things the other way around in his world. I kept Abram in there as long as possible, because Eli was running an errand and I wanted him to see the boys in there too.

And of course? Had to take some pictures. Some of my favorite pictures from over the years are of little boys sitting in the bathtub, peeking little faces over the sides. Laughing. Splashing. Big 'ole grins on their faces. And finally, finally, Abram can join the ranks.

Are baths a mess? Yes. Water gets all over the bathroom. Heck, it gets all over me! But, seeing those happy faces is worth it. So worth it.