Spotlight: {Jacob}

Jacob:  I hope it hasn’t been too hard for you to think about something good about me…

Andrew: I want to go first.

Daddy: Andrew is prepared with the opening salvo.

Daddy: Caleb! Stop throwing it in the air. Put in on the floor please. (purple frisbee dot thing)

Drewby: I like Jacob because he lets us play with his Legos.

Jacob: My private collection is awesome – with many specific pieces.

Caleb: I kinda broke my castle.

Daddy: Can you build it again? Jacob, are you reading over there?

Autumn: He is also a really great babysitter. And he’s very responsible. Responsible enough to stay up.

Josh: I like Jacob because he plays Pokemon cards. Pokemon cards rule!

Daddy: Joshua, close the book please.

Jacob: I like me because I am one with myself. I forgot the word that means multiple personalities… schizzlefriznick??

Daddy:  Schizzle reminds me of Scrubs. Fo’schizzle!

Jacob: Whenever I hear schizzle I think of bacon, because it sounds like sizzle.

Mommy: I love that Jacob is such a good learner. And he remembers things.  Last night he told us all about the fireside he went to. There were sound effects, and actions, and scripture stories… He even remembered the Stake President’s jokes and all the treat toppings.

Jacob: Well, that’s obvious. Even a kid with a bad memory would remember treat toppings.

Mommy: And Jacob shared all the information with us. I loved it.  He also applies the lessons he learns and that might be the best part of all. Such a wonderful young man.

Daddy: I love Jacob because he has brown hair. And I love Jacob’s finely tuned sense of humor and sarcasm.

Mommy: Josh put away the book. (a different one…)

Daddy: There is such a thing as too much reading!

Josh: No, there’s not.

Daddy: You’re right. There is a time when it’s inappropriate to read. This is one of those times.

Caleb: I love Jacob because he helps me make Lego things. Heh Heh. And he makes toys for meeeeee! and Katey too.

Katey: I’m trying to decide.  All I can think of is Legos.

Daddy: What does Jacob do that you like?

Katey: He plays with me. He plays for me too.

Jacob: With my clarinet.

Katey: Yep!!

We love our super handsome young man that is full of fun and so considerate of all of us. He has a special relationship with Meri. When he gets home from school each day she goes running to him squealing and saying “Jaaa-cob!” It was one of her first words and she adores him. We all do.

Lesson: Testimony Glove

Treat: Spring Popcorn

Spotlight: {Mommy}

Daddy:  Who would like to start?

*All hands raised* – They know how to make a girl feel loved.

Daddy:  Now remember the rules – you need to stand on your head, plug your nose and tell Mom why you love her.

Josh:  *while standing on his head & plugging his nose* I love Mom because she does these spotlights and if she didn’t do it, our Family Home Evening spotlights would never exist. Or her blog.

Jacob: So, we’re going to actually go through with this? Okay… (also standing on head and plugging nose) You cook all our food and make our lives such a wonderful thing. I also love you for all the love you give us. And you have lots of patience.

Drewby: Mom, can I sit by you until Dad returns? (Dad’s taking a photo upon my request.)

Autumn: I like Mom because she makes really good treats. She bakes really good tasty things. She is always taking pictures and is creative.

Drewby: Ummmmm… I love you for all the stuff you do for us.

Caleb: Now it’s my turn! I love Mom because she makes the best food. Heee hee hah hee. And the best day is my medicine. (He has antibiotics he’s taking right now and the last few days he has rocked them.  A beautiful, welcome contrast to the first few days.)

Daddy: I love you Becky because you are the shoulder I can cry on, you’re the grave I want to die on… just kidding. It’s a good thing I have edit powers on your blog.

Caleb: What animal makes two sounds?

Daddy: Rawwrr and Oink Oink (thinking Caleb asked him to make two animal sounds…)

Caleb: A humpback whale. There are lots of humpback whales in real life. They are big. This big. And they live in lots of water. Now this is really tricky – what says woockcht woockcht woockcht?

Daddy: A pig?

Caleb: You got it!! (Not sure how he got that one…) What says mooooo?

Daddy: Cow?

Caleb: Yes! And what says shine shine shine?

Daddy: ???

Caleb: The Sun!

Daddy:  Alright Katey – it’s your turn. What do you love about Mommy the most?

Katey: What??!? I thought we were doing scriptures.

Daddy: Go ahead. Mommy’s waiting.

Katey: I can’t think of anything… Oh, Daddy I’m ready. I love Mommy because she makes food. If we didn’t have Mom she couldn’t make the food. Only you could Dad!

Daddy: That would be tragic.

Drewby: If we didn’t have Mom, we wouldn’t even be born. (The deep thinker…)

Daddy: Everyone listen up! This is going to be epic.

Katey:  Wait. wait. I want to do another one. I wasn’t finished.

Daddy: *sigh* go ahead.

Katey: I also love mom… because yeah. I’ve got to think of something… Well, *lip smacks*, …um… uh… *pant* *pant* what I like about mom is that… uh… what does she do? I’ve got to think of something… But I don’t know one. Awww… I’m not finished.

Daddy: Katey, you don’t have one…

Katey: Yes I do. I love mom because she gives us hugs and kisses. (Good one.)

Daddy: I love mommy because when she has very little time to do things that she would like to do she gives up that time to do things for us. She doesn’t get to read as much as she wants, or ride her bike as much as she likes because she gives up her time to do things for you. She does the same thing for me too.

Autumn: Is that it?

Daddy: No. If this is the longest spotlight ever I need to think of something else to say. And mom always makes birthdays epic. Good thing mine’s tomorrow… nudge, nudge. (no pressure)

Autumn: I’m pretty sure you’re done – right dad?

Daddy: I’m just getting started…

The end.

Dessert: Apple Pie Cake

Spotlight: {Daddy}

Daddy:  I love me because… oh, okay – Mommy can start.

Mommy:  Daddy rocks the treats for Family Home Evening.  Tonight it was all about the yummy theater popcorn.  He even acquired the popcorn maker this evening.  He has big plans to grow Glass Gem Corn for popping.  Beautiful!  Also, for a few days now Jim Bob has been playing Letterpress with the kiddos.  They all love playing together – and I’ve heard him comment that he loves having smart children that play well together. {And in true geeky form – I have no less than 4 links for this man of ours we love!}


Jacob:  I love that Dad takes time to play with his kids. Whether digital or physical.

Josh:  I like Dad’s ideas. The bright ones and the not-so-bright ones. One bright one was having me steer the car today while Dad pushed.  The other one is to put up a railing in the loft in the treehouse so we don’t fall off.

Autumn:  I like Dad because he’s always smiling and he likes to wear hats a lot. And I like about Dad because he always likes to make us laugh and I like that part about him a lot.

Andrew:  Dad is so nice. He shares his stuff with us.

Josh:  Like power tools!

Jacob:  And belly button lint!

Andrew:  No – hahahhaa *giggle* – his popcorn and things he buys.

Katey:  I love Dad because he cooks food for me.  For the family.

{Dad makes breakfast almost every single morning.  It’s wondrous! He “magically transforms oats into oatmeal” – his words.  He also magically transforms bread into toast.}

Caleb:  My best part of Daddy is doing Pledge of Allegiance with us. And my other favorite part is Meri drooling on a car outside. {??}

Katey:  I’m not done. Well, um…

Caleb:  Rock faster Daddy.

Katey:  And I like Daddy because he paid for this house.  Because if he didn’t buy the house we would just be outside.

Caleb:  In the treehouse. And we’d get rained on.

So thankful for our house-buying, popcorn-providing, game-playing, laugh-inducing, breakfast-making man! What a catch for us all!  🙂

Spotlight: Meri

Autumn:  *hand raised*  Can I start?

Andrew:  Can I go first?

Katey:  I want to.

Daddy:  No, I’m going to.  (That’s how you settle an argument.)  I love Meri because her smile is amazing and her eyes just light up when she’s excited or happy.  She’s just adorable and so sweet.

Jacob:  Meri Jane has a beautiful laugh.  It’s amazing.  I didn’t know anyone could laugh in that tone until she came along.

Josh:  2 words.  Epic cuteness.

Daddy:  I’m pretty sure cuteness is not an official word.  Maybe you can get creative credit in a dictionary.

Autumn: I love Meri’s laugh.  It is just so funny.  She just giggles really funny.  She also is really happy when she goes up high.  I like that she likes to get around to places really fast.  When she crawls, she crawls fast.

Andrew:  I love Meri because she is so cute.  I’ve never seen a baby cuter.  And I also love her because her laugh is so cute.

Katey:  I love Meri because she is so cute and has a cute laugh and is just so cute.  I really wanted a girl baby when a baby was in mommy’s tummy and it was a little girl – Meri Jane!

Josh:  I want to add on something.  I forgot to say that the most fluent word she’s ever said was when Cali (our cat) brushed her tail on Meri’s chin and Meri said “Kitty!”

*Censored conversation – about poufs.  Between our two oldest boys.  We’ll leave it there.*

Caleb:  I love Meri fighting with swords and with arrows.  (um…??)

Daddy:  What else do you love about Meri?

Caleb:  None else.

Daddy:  What does Meri do to make you laugh?

Caleb:  Kangaroo hoping in a house.

Daddy:  Did you do that?  Did Meri laugh at you?

Caleb:  Mmm Hmmm.

Caleb:  Mom – are you working on mine?

(Oh yes.)

Mommy:  Meri is an explorer.  She loves to feel, touch, see and taste – everything.  She is especially loving tam-a-dreams (tangerines) and a sippy cup full of milk that she discovered this morning.  Her happy gulps were hilarious.  She has huge bright eyes that reveal what she’s feeling.  She’s always happiest when her daddy walks in the door.  Bright eyes and huuuge squeals.  🙂

Meri is our sweetheart of an angel that loves her family.  She is the Bear Scout mascot – a little bundle of joy and so very fun to have around.  She is starting to stand on her own right from sitting and then waits for a reaction.  Happy sounds and enthusiastic clapping (on her part – and ours) and then she falls over, stands up and does it all again.  Thankful Meri is in our family!   (She’s snoozing right now after an event-filled day and missed her spotlight.  Sadly.  She would have loved the attention.)

Spotlight: Caleb

Josh:  I love that Caleb is sooo hyperactive and has such a giggly laugh.

Mommy:  Who’s next?

Caleb:  Meeee!  (slightly excited)

Jacob:  I love that Caleb is smart and imaginative.

Josh:  Yeah, he pretends his bed is a banana tree.

Andrew:  I like Caleb because he plays with me a lot.

Katey:  I love Caleb because he loves me and he hugs me.

Caleb:  I love Katey hugs me real tight!  Hey – what’s that? (checking out the Children’s Encyclopedia)

Daddy:  A Viking boat.

Caleb:  Can the people all fit?

Autumn:  I love Caleb because he loves to read books and sometimes he even makes up the words in his book.  He likes motorcycles and said he’s going to ride a green one with Dad someday.

Caleb:  No!!  It was a blue one.  We’re going to ride a blue one.

Katey:  Or a scootcher.  (complete with peddling actions)

Daddy:  I love Mister Caleb because he lets me listen to his prayers at night when I tuck him in.  He also loves to read my motorcycle book in bed and dream about riding bikes.

Caleb:  The blue one!

Daddy:  Yep – he loves that chopper.

Caleb:  Mommy reads books in bed!  A big chunk of one.  With a light on.  Hahhaaaahahaha.

Mommy:  I adore Caleb’s vocabulary.  He can explain so much of what he’s thinking.  It cracks me up.  Today he was carrying something to the table and he just talked to himself about everything he was doing and thinking along the way.  So silly and cute.

Caleb is a sweetheart in preschool too and wants to do everything his big sister is doing.  He sings, says prayers, does the Pledge of Allegiance like a pro (well, almost), has the 2nd Article of Faith memorized (because he is 2! – and reminds us all the time), knows his colors, adores Signing Time, and sits through long stories.  Today he pretended to be a horse for hours.  He neighed all over the house and licked Katey’s dress.  She didn’t like that part – but that’s what horses do.  Caleb is amazing, and silly and can’t wait to ride a motorcycle (steel horse according to Daddy).  Obviously.

Spotlight: Katey Belle

Daddy:  Katey Belle, I love that you love to dance and I’m so happy you had fun at your first dance class this year.  You also love to twirl.

Caleb:  I love her.  I love her dance class.

Daddy:  What else do you love?

Caleb:  I love Meri.

Joshua:  What I like about Katey is that she has such a great smile and that she’s creative.

Jacob:  I love that Katey is bubbly and funny.

*Katey starts blowing mouth bubbles.  and laughing voraciously.* – Jacob is so right.

Katey:  I must be the bubbliest one in the family.

Autumn:  She has a giggly laugh.  I love it.

Katey:  cackley-goodness

Drewby:  I love Katey because she is so funny.

Daddy:  She is funny!… and sweet.

Mommy:  I love when Katey sits on my lap and snuggles in.  She picks great books that have lots of stories and we read and read and read.  She is so focused and loving.

Mommy:  Ok – last paragraph – anything anyone else wants to say?

Jacob:  I’m trying to think of something unforgettable.

Katey:  Daddy – it’s your turn.

Daddy:  I did the first one!  We love you Katey Belle – even Meri does.  Meri Jane flips for Katey. (She really does – right over Daddy’s legs.  She is all over the place right now.  Even taking side scooches and holding on with one hand – she is way too close to walking.)

Katey is a sweet, sweet, sweetheart.  She is also a riot to have around.  She does funny things, has funny thoughts that come right out and keeps us all in stitches.  She is protective and kind both.  She can be thoughtful and silly and is a good sharer.  And Autumn thinks Katey’s dance shoes are cute.

*spotlight* Brendan

Jacob:  I love that Brendan is so inventive and creative.

Katey:  Us too! (Her and Hailey)

Hailey:  Yeah, we’re going to be doctors!  (inventive and creative?  I guess that could work for a doctor.  😉 )

Katey:  When I grow up I’m going to be a doctor like Autumn.  We have band-aids.  We’re ready.

Faith:  I think Brendan is very good at drawing and artistic.

Steven:  And bowling.

Jim Bob:  I love that Brendan is so compassionate.  Having watched him over the last month when Caleb or Katey needed help – he is very observant.  When he sees someone that needs help he is more than willing to stoop down, stop what he’s doing and help out.  Brendan is compassionate and observant.

Josh:  Merciful.  Compassionate and now merciful.

Duke:  Brendan pets me.

Brendan:  Yes and I’m a sucker to stay for at least 10 minutes.

Calvin:  I think Brendan’s salsa is good.  And I like his treats.  And his scrambled eggs – they’re tasty.

Hailey:  You’re great at artist.  And at drawing.  And you jump on the tramp with me.  And you’re good at sharing.

Katey:  He watches us.  He babysits me and reads me stories.

Hailey:  And gives me rides.

Andrew:  I’m glad Brendan is my cousin.

Jim Bob:  Why?

Andrew:  I don’t know.  I haven’t thought about it.  Can I have some time?

Logan:  I can’t think with everyone looking at me.  Everyone has to close their eyes.  … Brendan you are really good at scrambled eggs and treats.  You are really good to have around.  That’s all I have to say.  The End.

Ruth:  I really appreciate that Brendan cares about people.  He cares that people are happy and he tries to be a peacemaker in our home.  When I have a hard day he can tell and tries to help me.  He is a peacemaker and a friend.  He is also getting really good at playing the piano and we have missed it.

Jim Bob:  *singing* “And I can’t fight this feeling anymore.” – Jacob freaked out when he found out that was a love song.  (which led to a discussion about how Brendan didn’t know for a long time either – he just thought it was a neat sounding song.)

Kyran:  *yawn* (Nothing to do with Brendan I’m sure.)  Love you Brendan. (prompted by his mom)

Steven:  Brendan has a soft heart and that very much impresses me about him.  It is one of the things I prayed for when you were born.  It’s something that your uncle Brandon has and partly why we named you after him.  I didn’t want you to be exactly like your uncle, but the soft heart is one of the best parts.  You are the kid I wish I could have been friends with growing up and I’m glad you’re my friend.

And “I can’t fight this feeling anymore…”

Kiara:  Brendan is a really great pianist.  He’s really confident and helps me when I’m upset and a good babysitter.  And he has handsome red hair and lots of freckles that are really handsome.

(and now a discussion on freckles – and how Steven wished he had freckles growing up because his mom called them Angel Kisses.  He would look in the mirror and hope for at least one.  It never happened.  Bummer.)

Autumn:  I love Brendan’s red hair and he is a really good babysitter.  And he’s a great pianist.  And at sharing candy.

Brendan:  My hair must be stylish.

Becky:  I love that Brendan is a huge sharer.  He is constantly sharing what he has – cards, candy, time, music.  One day he told me that when he’s feeling a little sad or lonely he shares and feels better.  What a great lesson! – to reach outside of yourself when feeling down.

Caleb:  I love his shirt.  (Marvel Heroes)  I love monsters on his shirt.

We have loved having Brendan live with us!

(We have cousins here!  Could you tell??)

Spotlight: Andrew

Brendan:  I think you are very thoughtful.  You had some pretty good ideas for the Spy movie we are going to make.

Andrew:  There are some gadgets we don’t know how to make yet though.

Jacob:  I think Andrew is funny and humorous.

Joshua:  Creative.  Imaginative and creative.

Daddy:  He’s a drawer too.  On this fine drawing day – he is an artist.

Autumn:  Andrew is a good cook.  He helps with stuff.

Andrew:  I helped make a cake today for part of summer chores.  (For our neighbor across the way – she turned 80 today!  🙂 )

Katey:  He helps me build things.  Like towers and houses.  With Legos and blocks.

Daddy:  You do all that?

Andrew:  Yes (said in a high voice)

Daddy:  How aout you Caleb?

Caleb:  He makes cake.

Daddy:  And Caleb likes cake.  We know that.

Caleb:  We put it in a bowl.  Then cook it.  Then put frosting on it.

Daddy:  Then what?

Caleb:  Then put frosting on it.  Then put it in the oven.  Then put it in the oven.  (feeling repetitive?)  Then cook it.  Then we take it out.  Then we eat it.  And it’s yummy.

Mommy:  Andrew is my buddy.  He has the cutest smile and is full of fun ideas.  I like spending time with him.

Joshua:  You should have said he has an epic-ly cute smile.  (it’s true!)

Daddy:  Did you see the little video on lolly-cup?  It’s about shave snow.  It’s got a milk base and looks delicious.  (focus, focus – can you guess what Family Home Evening treats are tonight?)

Daddy:  Andrew is truly one of the most helpful people I know.  And mommy stole my other one.  I love your smile.  I love the way your eyes twinkle when you are truly excited.

Andrew:  Can I have insurance?  Of three quarters a week?  (Thinking he meant allowance ;))

Meri:  (all sorts of full-on smiles)

We love our mister Drewby-Doo.  He makes us smile – by talking and helping and sharing with and loving us all.  His chore right now is washing dishes – which is great for spending time.  Sometimes we even do it two times a day.  He is a great reader and remembers stories so well.  Drewby is also a big eater and would eat fruit all day long if I let him.  Today he ate cantaloupe, pineapple, mango, apples and apricots.  Today.  He just now went to the “anytime” shelf and brought back a handful of sliced cucumbers.  He’s versatile like that.

Spotlight: Autumn

For fun (and perhaps to save time 😉 ) we decided to say one word to describe something we love about Autumn.

Jacob:  Enthusiastic.

Josh:  Humorous.

Autumn:  I was just about to say, “Can I say one? and I would say funny!”

Andrew:  Love.

Autumn:  You mean loving.

Katey:  Because she reads me bedtime stories. (someone didn’t get the memo… 😉 )

Caleb:  Super-Reader!

Caleb:  I love you… and all of us.  (said as his hand sweeps the room)

Daddy:  What’s your word Caleb?

Caleb:  Um, picking my nose.

{laughter all around}

Katey:  Boogie-oogey-oogey.

Brendan:  Silly.

Mommy:  Effervescent.

Josh:  Supercalifragalisticexpeladocious.

Daddy:  Full-throttle.  Full-bore.  I’m going to have to look up synonyms or something.

We love our Autumn.  She does live life fully.  She loves playing with friends and is a sweetheart to her little sister.  They make cards and watch movies (latest right now is Bo on the Go) and just have so much fun together.  So thankful Autumn is part of our family.

Spotlight: Joshua

Andrew:  I like Joshua because he is always caring for Meri.

Katey:  I love him because he plays with me.

Josh:  I do.

Caleb:  Um, I love Meri.

Daddy:  We’ll do Meri a different night.

Caleb:  Big, big horse.  (reading)

Daddy:  Why do you love Joshua?

Caleb:  Josh loves horseys.  Look at these orange ones!

Josh:  Remember the time our neighbor got picked up from scouts at the church by his brother on a horse?  I got to ride it that day – he even let me be on the front.

(What I remember is the horse dropping a whole load right by the front steps of the church.  The encore for scouts that day was learning how to clean horse apples off of cement.)

Daddy:  Josh always has a big hug if you need it.

Jacob:  And sometimes if you don’t need one.

*hug fest happening*  – except for Autumn who is roller skating through the living room – headed to putting them away after being told to do so.

Mommy:  Josh has a huge smile and likes to make others smile too.  Why just today at scouts we had chocolate cupcakes.  After the boys were done eating they all had messy mugs and Tana thought it would be great to get a photo of them.  We grouped them all up and Josh took an extra cupcake he was given and smashed it all over his face.  Well, not all over – just from the base of his eyes to his chin.  He got lots of smiles with that one.

Josh:  Okay, who needs a hug?

Andrew:  I do!

*another hug fest*

Jacob:  Joshua has a loud, strong laugh.

Andrew:  Do the belly worm Josh.

Autumn:  I like Josh because he likes entertainment and because he’s good at doing entertainment.  He also has a super huge smile.

We love our Josh.  He seriously has multiple funny bones, loves a good laugh and to make others smile too.  He reads lots, loves running around outside playing imaginary games and eats like a horse.  He also enjoys riding them.

Josh:  Free hugs for everyone…

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