The Owen Observer

The Owen Observer
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened, and maintained.” -Winston Churchill

Friday, February 15, 2019

Owen Family Update 2018

We have finished our first full year living in St. Louis (St. Charles), MO. Our family has grown and our lives are moving forward.



Liam finished the First Grade this year on the A Honor Roll, Outstanding Citizenship, and Second Place in the school Science fair for his grade! He rides the bus to and from school, which is only about 1.2 miles away, but he loves the independence and I love the convenience. He has a handful of friends his age in our neighborhood and has enjoyed being able to walk to his friend’s house to play, ride his bike around the neighborhood, and participate in nerf gun wars. He turned 7 years old in July and we had a fun “Backyard Bash” for him complete with water balloons, squirt guns, corn dogs, and cupcakes. So far, he has remained on the A Honor Roll for Second Grade and has enjoyed his newfound reading skill by devouring book after book. His favorites are the Magic Tree House series, I Survived series, and National Geographic early reader books. He builds and creates worlds in Minecraft and with his Lego sets, still loves cats more than anything, and is learning to beat his dad in chess. We are continually impressed with his knowledge and passion for life.



Ezra finished his first year of preschool completely exceeding expectations, but due to Missouri age requirements, he is doing a second year of preschool. He continues to be our sweet, sensitive boy. When I came home from the hospital after having JoceLyn, he sat and cried in my arms with me for a few minutes. He has such a big heart and is a good friend to anyone he meets. Because of this, his social life has exploded. He has been invited to lots of birthday parties and his teacher says the other kids in his class have started to follow his lead when it comes to play time. He still loves Star Wars, but this year has also adopted a passion for dinosaurs. We have viewed every Jurassic Park/ World movie, every dinosaur show on Netflix, and checked out every dinosaur book we can find from the library. He says he will be a Paleontologist when he grows up. He also had a blast learning to play basketball in a six week rec class this Fall. He has the exuberant energy of a puppy which we have yet to figure out how to channel into something more productive than jumping on our furniture. He is an excellent big brother to his two little sisters and we love his love.


RoxaBelle has grown by leaps and bounds this year. She is extremely independent. At the beginning of the year, I introduced her to potty training and soon realized I needed to step aside and let her take the lead on it. Once I did, she was potty trained in two days. It was lovely having no diapers to buy for a few months before her baby sister arrived. She surprised me by quickly warming to the idea of a new baby in the house. She began telling anyone who called her “Baby”, “I NOT a baby!!!” She also has not taken to any nicknames, nor can we use her middle or last names. If I slip up and call her RoxaBelle Berlin, she yells, “I NOT Berlin!!! I RoxaBelle!” She was very upset this Fall when both of her brothers got to go to school and she had to stay home. So, we enrolled her in ballet/tap class at a local dance studio and she has completely blossomed into a very avid dancer. I am looking forward to continuing to watch her learn and grow, especially now that she’s a big sister.



JoceLyn’s birth was scheduled and calm compared to all of her siblings. It was, all things considered, very uneventful, which is perfect. I had so much anxiety throughout her pregnancy. I was plagued with thoughts of: “how can I possibly be blessed with four healthy, uncomplicated babies?!” I was certain something would go wrong. So, when she came screaming into the world, I cried and cried tears of relief… and then threw up. She came home to a very hot summer, but proved to be a welcome addition to our noisy, chaotic lives. Her siblings adore her, her parents can’t get enough of her, and she steals hearts everywhere she goes. She is growing far too quickly, but will always be considered our baby.



Jason switched jobs from Express Scripts to Edward Jones in June. While the transition came at a chaotic time in our personal lives, it has been an excellent professional move for him. His work environment is a lot less stressful, he enjoys his coworkers, and feels confident in his work output. A happy husband makes for a happy wife (and vice versa). Besides being a great company to work for, they are also very family focused. They hosted a Take your Child to Work Day over the summer, and Liam enjoyed being able to go to work with his dad. Then, in September, Edward Jones rented out Six Flags for their employees and families. We enjoyed a free lunch and our kids’ first time at an amusement park together.



As for me, I have enjoyed making new friends here in Missouri, exploring new places with my kids, reading new books, and adapting to my new role as a mother of four. Missouri is beautiful and interesting. St. Charles is historic and also extremely haunted (as I’ve learned through my excessive reading). I continue to try to find time to focus on me, while still being the best mom I can. I understand that this is a season of my life, having all of these young kids at home, that is hard and wonderful, terrible and great, and I will never have these years back again. I am trying to hold that perspective and indulge while I can.

Monday, July 3, 2017

If Only the Walls Could Talk




 A couple weeks ago I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite places. The place I called home for almost three years. We did a lot of living in this place. Oh, if only the walls could talk, what would they tell you?

They would tell you of the time we first walked into our new home with a rambunctious three year old Liam and his toddling little brother and how Little Liam ran from room to room saying, "Oh! New house! Thank you Mom! Thank you Dad! Thank you new house! I love it!"

They would tell you how much I loved my one story house, and not having to trudge up and down stairs with my little children following like ducks. How I didn't have to worry about them tumbling down any stairs.



They would tell you how many meals I made in my tiny little kitchen with the adorable white cabinets and the large counter that I used to cut fabric for quilts as well as roll out cookie dough to cut and decorate with my little ones.

They would tell you how much my little boys loved to pull up chairs to that big counter to make their own oatmeal in the morning for breakfast!

They would tell you how after dinner, the boys would run circles around us in the kitchen space until they were worn down and ready for bed.

They would tell you how my baby Ezra grew up and became Little Liam's best friend.

They would tell you how Liam went off to preschool and Kindergarten from this house.


 They would tell you of our excitement when we learned we would have a third child and our overwhelming joy when we learned it was a GIRL!

They would tell you of that little girl and the love that surrounded her arrival. They would tell you of her first smile, her first laugh, her first step, her first words...

They would tell you of the friends we made and the play dates we had! They would tell you of all the little friends running from room to room screaming and laughing and jumping on beds.

They would tell you of lightsaber fights, squirt gun wars, and endless games of tag and hide n seek.

They would tell you of the wonderful women I am privilged to call my own dear friends, and the Sonic drinks that were shared and the conversations that were had and the bonds that                                                                 were formed.



 They would tell you of Christmas family breakfasts, birthday parties, Easter egg hunts, Halloween outings, and other celebrations with the people we love.

They would tell you of the fires that were built in the fireplace when it finally grew cold enough outside to light a fire.

They would tell you of family cuddles and back scratches that cost a quarter.

They would tell you of the movies we watched and the popcorn we shared.

They would tell you of our beautiful backyard where the children spent hours playing make believe and sports and jumping on the trampoline.

They would tell you of the laughter we shared and the tears that we shed.

They would tell you of the prayers that we prayed and the decisions we made.

They would tell you of the food, of the love, of the friendship that was created in this house.

They would tell you our story.

Now it's time for the next chapter, and as we turn the page and move away, this house holds a special place in my heart. I hope these walls hold and protect its next family as well as it did for mine. I hope to fill my next home with just as much love. Oh, the living we did in this house... if only the walls could talk...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

January

January of 2014 dawned cold and bleak. Apparently the coldest it has been in this part of the country in over 25 years. Fabulous. Please note my dripping sarcasm. I am so homesick for the Southwest United States at this point that I just want to throw things at people back home who are sharing pictures of themselves on hikes at Red Rock or at the park in their cardigan sweaters while I am here in Oxford perfecting the art of layering clothes and basically becoming a hermit. Okay, positive thoughts. January, here we go!

Ezra turned five months old and became even cuter than the previous month. We can hardly stand it. We also started sleep training and he is now successfully sleeping through the night! Which makes us love him EVEN more. His hobbies include: eating, sleeping, squealing, eating, laughing at his brother, and eating.



We drove to Memphis to see a Memphis Grizzlies game with some friends. It was a blast, but I forgot my camera, so now we have to go back and do it again!

I turned 26, and was showered with gifts and chocolates from my family. The best of which was this bench that I fell in love with at an antique store which doubles as a toy chest which makes my living room adorable and which my husband went back and got for me when he realized how badly I wanted it! We also got to go eat some hibachi sans kids for dinner one night thanks to our awesome friends!




Liam and I made a cake for my birthday!


But it turned out terrible...


 Just kidding... we just hate to have messy fingers in this house. 'Tis a tragedy. We invited friends over for a playdate to help us finish the cake. It surprisingly is very easy to get people to come to your house when you tell them you have a need for someone to eat your birthday cake! It was a fun time.

The rest of the month we spent inside. We read lots of books.



Ezra became a giant from eating so much, so we bought him a big boy car seat. He was pretty stoked about it! Liam likes to hold his hand and give him toys to play with, so now Ezra doesn't mind being in the car as much! Awesome. Too bad the only place we go nowadays is the grocery store and the library.


So, that's about it. Kind of an uneventful month. Jason has gone back to school and the boys and I are still hunkered down at home trying to keep ourselves entertained. We love you all and hope it is warmer where you are and there are more indoor activities where you live! Hugs and kisses from Mississippi.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An Owen Christmas in Oxford

I know, I know, I know! I am behind in my blogging AGAIN! I know y'all have been on pins and needles to know how our Christmas went! We had our Ward (church) Christmas Party which consisted of a special Christmas message, singing by the Primary children, a visit from Santa, and then some DELICIOUS (and free) dinner which consisted of Red Beans and Rice or Jambalaya, or both, if you prefer. I had never tried Jambalaya, but it was so so so good! Liam was pretty excited to get a candy cane from "Tanta."

Ezra wore his Christmas jammies to dinner because it was past his bedtime.
 The cold weather drove me to lock myself and my children inside for most of the month, but I have gotten very creative with ways to keep Liam occupied.


FINALLY, Jason got on break from school, hurray! So, to celebrate we went to an Ole Miss basketball game and then out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was a blast and we were all very excited to have a few weeks to spend with our "Daddy!"
The boys watching the game.

My goofball at BWW.

Ezra chillaxin in his carseat (for once.)
 I was determined this year to make stockings for our family. I was also determined to teach myself machine embroidery since my mom's talents are no longer readily available to me. So, I worked hard, practiced, ripped lots of seams out, but finally had a finished product that I LOVE!!! Do you love them, too?


We actually didn't have too much of a problem keeping Liam from UNdecorating the tree. He did, however, find creative ways to REdecorate the tree. Whatever keeps him happy, I guess?!


I decided to make sugar cookies for Liam to decorate. I thought it would be a fun activity. Liam thought it would be MORE fun to put frosting on the cookies, lick them off, and then start over. So, then I decided he and I should take most of the cookies to neighbors to prevent future sugar highs! We got them to the neighbors just in time for our very first Tornado watch. It was a very scary storm, but we all cuddled together in Liam's room and got through it.

Mmmmmm, SUGAR!

Liam's decorated cookies.
 The Sunday before Christmas came, and we got our boys all dressed in their Sunday best and enjoyed a beautiful day of church services and a relaxing day at home with our family.


The cutie patootie pantses.
I love these brothers.
 On Christmas Eve, we went over to our friends' house for pizza and then Jason and I put the kids to bed and watched Elf. In the morning we opened presents. We had LOTS thanks to our gracious family who mailed us so many gifts this year! We had some very happy little boys!

Ezra with his stocking.


Liam with his new toys!

New Toy Story sheets for Christmas?! SWEET!

Liam got a kitchen set for Christmas and enjoys making meals for his Mama and Daddy.
We were grateful also for the time we were able to spend celebrating and learning more of our Savior. I spent the month reading the New Testament and gained a better understanding of the life of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Him and all he has done for me.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Beginning of the Holidays


So, the leaves changed colors and the weather cooled down and everything was marvelously beautiful for like, a week. And then the weather took a turn for the cold and then the colder until this Desert Rat Mama secluded herself and her children inside. Which resulted in boredom, which resulted in creative play, which resulted in Liam walking around like this:

Which resulted in me feeling less of a mother, so I decided to engage Liam in some productive activities such as baking and helping me around the house. Which resulted in this:



Liam put the groceries away for me. This is the outcome of my pantry.
 Luckily for all of us, we have Holiday activities to keep us warm and boredom free! For Thanksgiving this year, we got together with a few of the other small families, couples, members, and missionaries from our ward for a dinner at the church. I made a turkey, sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes with gravy as my contribution. It was a busy day of cooking and made me miss my sister, Maggie, who used to help me cook on Thanksgiving! We met at the church at 4:00 and had a very casual meal. Liam got to run around the gym with his buddy Ross, and our friends' daughters Reagan and Katelyn. Liam is especially fond of 7 year old Katelyn and followed her all over the church. Now whenever I mention that we are going to church Liam excitedly asks, "Dinner?!" And then I have to explain to him that we will not be eating dinner every time we go to the church.

Liam and Katelyn
 A few days later we got out our Christmas tree and decorated it as a family. Liam was absolutely delighted! He loves the "lights" and in the morning when I have not had a chance to plug the tree back in he shouts, "OH NO! MOM! LIGHTS!" until I turn his beloved Christmas lights back on.




The following Monday, Oxford had a Christmas parade! At night! I insisted that Jason take us down there and I am so glad I did! The weather was beautiful (thank goodness) and it seemed like the whole town was either in the parade or watching it! The Ole Miss Marching band performed as well as the two high school bands and the two middle school bands. There were lots of other trucks and parade floats covered with lights and Christmas decorations, lots of candy was thrown, and Santa Clause arrived with Mrs. Clause at the very end! It was so fun!


Liam in awe of the parade, holding tight to his Candy Cane!

Santa and his reindeer.
 Ezra suddenly decided he wanted to be bottle fed this month. So, we worked out a new feeding schedule with each other, and he now breastfeeds at night and drinks formula during the day. I also started him on some baby cereal and he is doing a pretty good job learning how to eat with a spoon, though it is tough work! Liam likes to sit next to me while I feed Ezra cereal and with a concerned look on his face asks, "EW! Mom! What's that?! Ewwww!" I guess it doesn't look very appetizing. This results in Ezra laughing at his brother which causes him to choke on the cereal. Sigh. These boys!


Ezra is now 4 months old and SUCH a joyful baby! He has discovered his hands which are now constantly in his mouth and he is starting to reach out and grab things. He still punches himself in the face most of the time, but he is very determined! He had his 4 months check up yesterday and weighed in at 16lbs 8oz! The NP said he is right at average height and a little over for weight, but that makes a good combination. She also remarked that he looks perfectly healthy! So, of course he decided to come down with the little virus that Liam had today, but it doesn't seem to be affecting anyone too terribly. We are looking forward to Christmastime here in Oxford. Jason will be all done with exams this Friday, so we will get him all to ourselves (for the most part) for seven weeks! Woo hoo!

Four months old with a big smile and pretty blue eyes!

Chompin on that fist!