Friday, March 25, 2011

Life's going too fast, but I'm learning so much!

"While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about".
~Angela Schwindt

I never imagined how much JOY I would get from having children, but they have filled my life with SO much joy, happiness and more than anything, I learn daily 
all about LIFE from my unconditional love, true friendship, how to be silly and have FUN under any circumstance!

My Sweet Ethan Kip came into our lives nine years ago and life has never been the same. I learned so much from this sweet little guy this past week.  
Tracy and I made a quick trip to Idaho Falls to do some birthday shopping for our little guy. We wanted to something meaningful for his birthday. One of the sweetest moments came after we had been gone about an hour when Ethan called us on the cell phone and said the following:

"Dad, where are you? 
I don't need any presents for my birthday. I already have all the toys I could ever want. In fact, I have too many toys. I just want to have a day creating memories. I want to have pancakes for breakfast, I want to play "multi-player" NOVA with you on the iPhone for a few hours, I want mom to read out of the Boxcar Children to me, I want some homemade spaghetti and pecan pie.
I just want to spend the whole day with you and mom and Jade!

GASP, I learned a valuable lesson from my son that day...more than anything, our children just want the  
gift of TIME!
(even for their birthdays and holidays!!)

Here are some of my favorite photos of Ethan over the years
Smile, Smile, Smile!
There's hardly ever been a moment that he hasn't had a precious smile to give us!

He never tired of being packed around on my hip and always let me help him when he got hurt.
He always wanted to be just like dad...when dad wore a hat, he wore his.
When dad grabbed his tape measure, he grabbed his!

Ethan LOVES people...especially Grandpa Smith.  Tracy's dad used to work out of town and so it meant that we only got to see him every few months. Ethan LOVED going over and playing with him. This series of photos shows Ethan throwing an absolute fit and bawling when grandpa left to go back to his job in Utah.

He LOVES to help us out, no matter what it is we're doing and no matter how hard it is. Here he is trying to help dad change the flat tire. He had to help Tracy with every turn of the jack (although, he wanted to make all of the turns himself). 
(what a lucky kid that has a dad that will take time to let his little boy help him, even though it would sometimes be easier to do it all himself...Tracy is awesome!)

One of my all-time favorite photos! 
We had just hiked over 15 miles with our 4 year old son and he was tired, hot, sunburned, dirty, but he NEVER stopped, except to have a drink and take bites of his CLIF bar!

(I miss the days of having a little boy that could ride on his dad's shoulders!)
 He is one of the most 
determined kids I have ever met! 
This backpacking trip he walked all but the last 4 miles of a 21 mile hike.  His determination is something I am always amazed at and he has been like that since he was born.
 When we were potty training him, he was so bound and determined that he was going to get the Millennium Falcon space ship (we opened our big mouths and  told him we would buy him whatever he wanted as soon as he was potty trained and that's what he chose) AND he wanted to wear big boy undies like his dad, that all it took was a week and he was completely trained. He knew he didn't want to lose the Millennium Falcon and he didn't want to resort back to pull ups. We were heading on a week long family trip just a few days after getting potty trained and we were at a camp ground and Tracy and I had walked to the bathroom and came back to our tent and Ethan had squatted on the ground to go to the bathroom because he didn't know what else to do. We laughed hard! 
It was such priceless unforgettable moment!
It was a similar circumstance when he finally weened himself from nursing. (he would nurse in the morning, in the afternoon and before going to bed...just three times a day) Tracy and Jade went on a father and son's camp-out with our ward and Ethan was SO sad that he couldn't go, that he decided that night they were gone that he was a big boy and wasn't going to nurse anymore. The next day, he didn't want any...he grew up overnight!
Whether fishing, eating dinner in the mountains (even though we're getting eaten alive by mosquitoes), having dinner in the park, or hiking in the mountains, I ALWAYS see the sweetest smile on his face!
I can here his sweet little voice saying the words 
"CHEESE" when I look at these pictures. 

He LOVES adventures of all kinds and never turns down any opportunity to get outside!  

He is the first to pitch in and help us
whenever we have work to do.
This middle photo absolutely breaks my heart as he worked SO hard this day, unloading logs that we are going to eventually assemble in our yard into a play area for the kids.   
He is wearing that cowboy hat as Tracy told him he needed to go and find a hat so he wouldn't get sunburned...that is what he chose (smile!)...he's SO cute!!

He isn't afraid to get dirty and to work all day if need be to help us with our home projects!!  LOVE that SO much about him!

Absolutely adorable kid  
who brings joy DAILY to my life with his energy, great attitude, best helper ever and make me melt smile!! 
(love how sweet the bottom right photo is...he had set out his soccer clothes/shin guards as he was so excited for his first soccer game. The excitement of kids!)

Birthday Celebration...
March 19, 2011
 We decided to give Ethan 
a wonderful experience this year. 
Since Ethan talks all of the time about how he wants to be a Doctor someday, we thought it would be fun to take him to 
BODIES...the Exhibition
which is showing right now at the Museum of Idaho. 
Tracy got out his pens and colored pencils and went to work making the most wonderful and unique "COUPON" and birthday card for Ethan.
Can I just say how much I LOVE Tracy's amazing talent with his artistic side!

He even made a little monster
on the outside of the envelope to match the monster bag that we put Ethan's birthday surprises in.

Ethan was SO excited
to open up his card and read about his birthday surprise! It was priceless!

(he was also excited about his new Comic book that he opened up and got to enjoy on our drive to Idaho Falls).
After an afternoon of FUN at the museum being fascinated by the wonderment we experienced there, we came home an enjoyed blowing out candles, Pecan Pie and opening gifts!
Birthday dinner 
of homemade Spaghetti, French Bread 
and sparkling cider was enjoyed on Sunday after church.

I sure love my "little monster"...
Ethan Kip...
Thanks for teaching me what life is all about!


Ann Marie said...

VERY cute photos of Ethan!!
Hope the "grateful" little birthday boy had a fabulous week!
It shows in his face how truly happy he is. -- He has a precious family!!!

Love the picture of him with his "monster bag" and Birthday bucket! :)

Connie said...

This is the sweetest post ever. Loved seeing all the pictures of Ethan and am truly impressed with his diligence and sweet smile.

Being able to go to see the Bodies is a fabulous gift. We went when it was in Salt Lake and I was amazed and awed by all of it.

He's very blessed to have such a wonderful family and you are blessed to have him.

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Our Paper Plates said...

Oh my goodness - he is a cutie! Happy Birthday Ethan!!! What a great mommy you are to make it so special for him! We love birthdays at our house too!!!! :)