Names & Blessings

Each of my kids has had a name carefully selected for them.  Their first names were just ones we liked, but their middle names are more meaningful.

Miss B has my middle name, Elizabeth.  Handsome H has his father's middle name, Glade.  Sir L has his Grandpa De Groot's middle name, Norris.  Princess P is named after my best friend from high school, who's nickname was Bre.  Charming C was born in Sao Paulo, so we gave him a Brazilian middle name, Luiz.  And Baby M was named after his daddy's brother, and has his middle name of Scott.

Originally we were going to stop naming our kids after someone (or something) after our first daughter and our first son, breaking the tradition with #3 Sir L, giving him the middle name Steel because I thought it sounded cool ;)  Then he unexpectedly came 3 weeks early on my dad's birthday and that changed everything, and I am SO glad it did!  It is such an amazing thing to be able to explain to our kids why we chose their name and have it go deeper than "we thought is sounded cool".  And so it was with our sweet Baby M.

With 4 boys in the house, I have seen some pretty tender brotherly moments.  As a woman I always figured the need to have a lifetime bond was more of a female trait, and put more emphasis on my girls and their sisterly relationship over my boys and theirs.  That all changed when we moved to Texas, 15 minutes down the road from my husband's brother, his sweet wife and their 6 children.  Seeing my husband with his brother, strengthening that bond that I don't think he ever realized he needed until now, has been such a rewarding thing to see.  They are as different as night and day (and not just in appearances!), but that doesn't  seem to matter at all!  It helped me realize that I need to encourage my boys to have strong bonds as well, and not just my girls.  Despite whatever differences may arise between them, the day will come when they are all wise enough to realize they can each benefit from one another, regardless of history or birth order.  And who better to help you reach your potential than your brother?  Hence, our sweet Marshall was given the middle name Scott, after his Uncle Brian Scott Hooley, in hopes that someday the story of his dad and his dad's brother, their relationship and individual as well as collective strength, will give him resolve to always stay close with his brothers.  I am so thankful that for his blessing, both his father and his Uncle were there and worthy to participate in this special and sacred day!
Baby M and Grandma R, the mother of the brothers :)
Having family close is made all the more fun with cousins to play with!
Even Bella has a playmate when we get together! :)
And when you've warn out your dad with sweet talk, there's always an Uncle you can try out.. ;)
These two are truly fantastic!  Texas just wouldn't be "home" without them!
Proof that I was there that day.. in all my awkwardness..
..but that runs in the family too it seems..
Despite the lack of sandy beaches, mountains and visual seasons, there is no doubt in my mind that we are where we need to be right now.  They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I have inherited a pretty great one!  And because of that, despite whatever this world throws at us, this little man (and ALL my children for that matter), are going to be just fine!



By living in Brazil for 2 years, we thought we were giving our kids experiences that would help to shape and mold them into culturally aware adults, and thereby give them a love and drive to explore all the wonderful places this world has to offer..  then we came back to the US.  I once thought we didn't have much in the way of deep rooted culture here.  Boy was I WRONG!  In order to re-experience what it means to truly be American, we took our kids to their first Texas Rangers game.  The entire drive over our kids shouted and bounced with excitement.  They were going to see a "real" baseball game!  As parents sometimes do, my husband and I exchanged loving glances and silent conversations applauding one another for what was bound to be a fun filled family evening!  And then it happened.  The 3 words that changed everything.  Three little words that made us realize what crummy American parents we really are.  "What IS baseball?"  The loving looks turned to stunned silence as we realized we were the shame of our country.  Americans who didn't know what baseball was.  That's a first!  So what's an American drop-out-parent to do??  Enroll your kids in Tball of course!  It's the only logical thing option..  

I'm not going to lie and say I dream about Yankee Stadium, would choose a to watch a game for anything other than social reasons, or even know 5 major leagues' names from any lineup, but THIS, watching my boys have a ball, (pun intended.. lol, I'm so funny.. ;)), this I could do all day! :)
Baseball.  It's serious business.. despite what little brothers may say.. ;)
The support section :)
Handsome H caught on very quickly!  Most often playing 1st and 3rd, and swinging like a pro, he was allll business out there!
Sir L was most often seen in outfield, his name being called countless times by coaches and assistants to be "baseball ready".  But his favorite part?  Crossing home plate.  In fact, he loved it so much he always managed to do it twice each time.  Such a talented boy! :) lol
With one great season under their belts, I think it's safe to say they are excited to play again very soon! :) And I'm happy to report that ALL of mu children know what baseball is.  Mission accomplished!
Of course we had to maintain balance, so Miss B started soccer this past season as well!  
Apparantly not many Americans know what soccer is because they enlisted my sweet husband to coach which is ironic because he's never played soccer a day in his life.  Americans were ok with this fact.  I think I just heard a Brazilian somewhere cry in agony of pain..
Attendance was poor so Miss B played on a co-ed team that consisted of many 4th grade boys.  She held her guns though and made mama proud!
It's WONDERFUL living close to family and having extra support for the kids!  It makes them feel like a million bucks! :)
..and it makes my photo sessions much easier having free hands! ;)
For his first coaching season, my man rocked it out!  The kids loved it and he received many requests to do it again next season.. we shall see ;)
I'm not going to lie - I miss the beaches terribly!  But Saturday games with the family is pretty sweet too! :)


May was just another fast paced month for us, but amidst the usual craziness some GREAT memories were made!  First and foremost, sweet Baby M came home with us! :)
3 days old and OH SO handsome! :D
Curly hair throwback to my childhood memories brought to you by none else than Grandma of course!
It was wonderful having my mom in town to help with the kids!  She was able to stay until Baby M was 6 days old.. it's true what they say - saying goodbye is hard to do! :(
1 1/2 weeks old :)
Handsome H presented me with a ceramic cupcake and card during his Mother's Day program at school.  Did I cry?  Yes I did.
 18 days old :) - they change SO much in the first couple of weeks!
Sir L's last day of preschool and pool party to celebrate was so much fun!  It was an incredible year for him!
The woman who made it all possible :)  Princess P is SO excited to attend her class this coming year!
My super sweet and amazingly smart hubby presented me with the BEST present ever!  Love LOVE my Wusthoff knives! :D
Just a little bortherly love :)
Sir L officially joined the gap-tooth-grin club.. he smiled obediently though he really wasn't quite sure how he felt about it all!
With so much to do, one month flies by SUPER fast!  Baby M at one month and getting cuter by the minute!
..even when he is tired of having his picture taken! ;)