A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Today is my mom's birthday.

You know, the older I get, the more I appreciate my mom. The more I ask for her insight and wisdom about situations. I can't imagine her not being around, and I am so so sooooo grateful that for now we get to live close to each other.

She is truly an amazing woman. Her life growing up wasn't the most picture perfect, but she has allowed so much healing to take place. She is kind. She is gentle. She will tell you like it is (and I love that!). She is not an attention-seeker. She plays a mean game of cards. She takes my boys out for treat time with Oma. She has a great laugh. She is a wonderful wife to my dad. She is waaaaay more stylish than me. She is strong.

My mom lives with a lot of pain due to back trouble. She doesn't complain. She still exercises, plays tennis, and stays active.

A lot of times I will ask Mom "How did you handle this? What do you do about ____?" And she will laugh and tell me she can't remember anything. And then I remember that I can't even remember what I cooked for dinner yesterday, let alone remember who's teeth came in when except for the one child whose teeth are actually coming in at this very moment, and I just ask for advice anyway! = )

She will pray for my kids when they are sick or hurt. In fact, often when one of the boys has come down with something, that want Oma to come over and sit with them. Stroke their heads.

I truly cherish my relationship with my mom. Sometimes we have lots to talk about. Sometimes we sit in silence (neither of us are good at small talk!). I am so proud of her. She has walked many paths with grace. Not perfection. None of us are there. But grace. And as she walks an unknown path ahead with that same grace, I am cheering her on. Hoping to encourage her. Hoping she knows that I believe in her just as she has so often believed in me when I needed someone to tell me I could do it.

I know the year ahead has beautiful and good things for her. I can't wait to see them happen and see her surprised by the goodness of God popping up in unexpected places.

Happy birthday Mom - I love you!

Monday, September 14, 2015


Today Abram is 10 months. Maybe it is that each and every child only is a stark reminder that time flies too fast. They grow up too quickly. Stages are achieved and passed on to another in only the blink of an eye. Maybe it is that I know there is a strong possibility that this is my last baby. My last toddler. My last chubby-cheeked Brooks boy. Or maybe it is because I can see even more clearly the miracle of l.i.f.e.

Probably it is the combination ... but this little sweet faced guy is such a joy in our days.

And not just me. The moment I walk into the living room with him in my arms at 6:30 am (because why would he want to give me more sleep, right???), the boys are all over him: "Abram! Abram!" Wanting him to give them smiles and giggles. Playing peek-a-boo with him. Matthias trying to hold him and walk him like he sees the other two do. I know that one day Abram will be 2 or 3, and will be the ornery one like Matthias is now ... and he won't seem so cute to Jonah and Reuben OR Matthias then! Because he will be getting into their things. But now? Now we just relish our ten month old.

Abram is crawling like a little mad man. He can move fast. He pulls up on everything - EVERYTHING. And he is completely comfortable with cruising along things as well. I don't think it will be long before he is attempting a few steps on his own. He is thrilled that he is mobile and is happy to follow us, or make a mad dash for the bathroom when he thinks no one is looking.

He loves to smile and giggle. He has learned to wave now, and mimics the sounds for "Hi" and "Bye" when he waves. He is very friendly to anyone, although he doesn't like to be held by strangers. He wants to give hi-fives, and is eager to give kisses to Momma and Daddy.

I would love to report that he sleeps through the night, but he doesn't. Sigh. I still am up with him at least once, maybe twice a night. We will get there! And I know I will feel amazing ... because I am going on 10 months without a stretch longer than six hours of sleep.

About two months ago he had no teeth. And now he has seven, with an eighth one looking close! That also might contribute to some of the not-so-great nights. Lotso teeth in a short time! But now those little boy grins are so cute with teeth popping through. He is long, but he isn't a chubby boy. He moves too much! = )

Abram is a great eater. We didn't do too many pureed foods, waited until about six and seven months, and then have done of lots of letting him try what we are eating as long as he can mush it and won't choke on it. He eats basically everything! Meat, pasta, veggies, fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, crackers, cereal, oatmeal, you name it! Hoping this trend continues as we have already weathered our share of picky eating issues in this house.

He loves to play with his brothers, wrestle with Daddy, and pretty much be close to me whenever possible. He does well in the daycare at the gym for the hours that I work. He loves Oma when she comes over to help the boys with math or piano. Sure, there are times when I wish he was a bit more easygoing and would sit with toys or books and not find me and want me to hold him. But, I also remind myself of what I just put at the beginning of this: time goes too fast and soon enough I won't have a baby. I will have a toddler. And then a little boy. So, I give him snuggles and love and pray that he grows strong.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Matthias is in full-out THREE YEAR OLD stage.

I am not sure who said that the two's were or are terrible. And I'm not even saying three's are terrible, but I find them much more challenging than two's!

Matthias is extremely verbal. He always has been. This is great in so many ways, because he can communicate what he wants, what his needs are, what is hurting when he has an injury or feels sick. But, it also means that little boy can talk back like nobody's business. = ) Sooooo, we're working a lot on saying "Yes, Mom" instead of "no" or just spouting off whatever he feels like. Using kind works with his big brothers and not angry ones when he feels left out.

But this verbal ability keeps us rolling with laughter! This kid just makes us laugh. Because he says this silliest things every day! And he is processing new information all the time. Trying to figure out time: past and present. Many days he looks at me, "You're my Mom." and I respond, "Yes, I am!" And he responds back in a very satisfied tone of voice: "And I'm your son." And how can you not give that boy a squeeze after that and reassure him how glad you are that he is your son??? Cannot resist.

Matthias loves to play play play. Normally, he is always attempting to keep up with his big brothers and do what they do. But, in the last few months, it has been great to see him make good friends with a couple of other three year olds at the gym and really play more age appropriate games with them. House. Pet Store. Babies, Dinosaurs ... etc. He loves it!

He just started preschool yesterday. Just like the other two boys went to preschool at 3 years, so is Matthias. I think it is such a great time to play with other kids, learn to listen to teachers and follow instructions. Enjoy making messy crafts and singing songs. Preschool is full of those things, and I don't always get those kinds of things done in my house! He is pretty much fearless - in many areas, and there was no looking back at Mom when he ran into class yesterday! "Bye Mom!" as he settled right in at the playdough table. Although, after we picked him up and the boys were asking if he did his school, he quickly responded "They didn't even have any math books there. I will have to do my real work at home like you."

Matthias doesn't know strangers, and is happy to talk to most people. And he will ask you if you have any gum or lip gloss to share = ) He plays hard all day long, and usually falls asleep within minutes of laying his head on his pillow at night.

It thrills both Eli and I as we already see him desiring to know more about Jesus. The other day he was asking me when Jesus died on the cross. And then "where did he die on the cross???" And I was telling it him it was a long time ago, and he just sighs this huge sigh ... "BUT I WANT TO SEE HIM DIE ON THE CROSS FOR ME!!!!" He loves to sing songs from VBS and play praise music on his guitar for us. He is already a force to be reckoned with, and we pray all that energy get used for the Kingdom as he grows into a mighty man.