Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Last but not least, our youngest son Kenny. Here's the final entry in a 3-part blog series of things I adore about each of my 3 children. My sister recently brought an amazing Ensign quote to my attention about marriage. It said "we should not expose our spouse's Achilles Heel, we should protect it." I totally agree, and I also extend that to our children. While they, as well as WE, all have weaknesses, I think there is so much wisdom in not dwelling on the negatives, and instead, focusing on the positives. So here's Kenny's list of positives... I had fun thinking about little Kenny-Boo and his precious personality.

I LOVE how Kenny:

1. loves the water. He wears his goggles during every tubbytime, and would stay there for hours if we let him.

2. has a tornado/earthquake/volcano fixation. He's petrified of the thought of them all, but is mesmerized by pictures and videos of them. He prays for people in Oklahoma to be safe from them (since he knows about how Aunt Kassie and Grandma Inger almost died in a tornado once when we lived there... he brings that up quite often). In Scotland, I had to promise him I'd buy him 10 wii's if the Edinburgh castle volcano erupted, because I was THAT SURE that it wouldn't go off. He was quite scared, but the promise of 10 wii's helped calm him down.
3. enjoys moving constantly. He has so much energy - he cannot sit still. We laugh about how if we were to simply ape his every move for 15 minutes, we'd be exhausted and have the best workout of our lives... dropping, rolling, kicking, laughing. Here he is practicing a song for an upcoming church Primary activity:

4. uses his words. He phrases things in such a little boy way - I'm always sad to see the kids grow up and stop saying those cute little things. Like when Stephen used to say 'punce awanna time', instead of 'once upon a time.' The other day Kenny called me over to see the "Daddy big leg" spider. So cute.
5. loves to eat healthy things. His #1 snacks he always asks for are carrot sticks and oatmeal. He doesn't like many unhealthy things (except vanilla ice-cream and cheesy popcorn), and he has fun shopping for groceries with me, picking out the fresh veggies and fruit. We now have a smaller fridge to fit it all in, but it's better, in a way, because we're ALWAYS eating through it, then going to get more.

6. says "just to let you know", before he's about to tell us anything... it's his new phrase.
7. is helpful. He likes to help set the table for meals, and get the vacuum out and run it.
8. has one favorite meal: macaroni and cheese. So aside from the all the fresh stuff he likes, this is the one dish he'd love to have daily. (We compromise and have it for breakfast about twice a week...) Thank heavens that Grandma Inger found bulk cheddar powder online and mailed it to us -- we went through all our Kraft boxes very quickly after we got here, as well as all that was mailed to us by other kind souls (thank you Grandma Joy and Aunt Shelley).  So after a painful period of void, we once again had an abundance when this huge bag of powder arrived. Hallelujah.

9. wants me to snaggle him every night. We read scriptures at 7:30PM, then in bed by 8, then I read to them til 8:30, then we snaggle. (not snuggle, it's SNAGGLE - he coined the term long ago). He's a great cuddler.
10. really has no fear. From traveling around and seeing new places, to trying new foods, to meeting people. When we went over to visit Kiki (the cute old man who invited us to come pick fruit from his trees anytime), Kenny pulled his bike right up to him and energetically said - "Kiki! Conton de vous voir!" (I'm happy to see you). It was only our 2nd time to visit him. Kiki just laughed.
11. totally gets excited when he hears the Swedish song "Aftonclokker." I played it in our car today, and he hadn't heard it for months (he used to listen to it in Grandma Inger's car in Houston) and he absolutely went nuts -- started jumping around and laughing, saying "I LOVE this song!" Then he sang along with it. Luckily I had the camera and caught some of his excitement. It's particularly endearing to me because this is the song I grew up hearing about, how our Grandma Lilly played it when my mom was young. It was a very hard piece to play on the piano, but we all 5 tinkered with it.

12. loves trains. Still loves trains. I hope that doesn't end anytime soon.

13. wants to grow up and work at IKEA, so he can have all the 'automatic ice-cream cones' he wants.
14. doesn't like to have consequences. It usually happens when we're with guests. If he does something that he knows he shouldn't have, we deal with it appropriately right then, and later give demerits or discuss it more if we need to, after the guests are gone. But he just gets nervous, and keeps coming to me saying, "Mom, can we just do the consequences now? I don't want to wait til after everyone leaves. Let's just do it now." It's just so funny. He wants to get it overwith.
15. has us all sing "We bow our heads and close our eyes" before every family prayer. We started it to just help us get into a calm mood before praying. But then one time, after the ending of the song - "for blessings we all share," Daron quietly eeked out 'carebears' (since it rhymed, I guess. Who knows). So now, it's a big funny thing, and the kids all crowd around Daron and hop in his lap when they sing the song, then look up into his eyes and wait for him to say carebears. So silly.
16. got SOOOO excited last week when he got to complete his first official school homework assignment! Cute little things like 1 +1, but he's reading the instructions in French. He had so much fun getting to be like his siblings, who've been doing homework for all these years when he hasn't gotten to. I'm holding off on telling him that's it's going to get yuckier and one day he may not want to do it. But I'll just let him come to that point himself. 8-)

17. has good attention and retention skills. Sometimes, weeks after he's had a church lesson, he'll bring up a story he learned and tell it to us all at bedtime. It makes me happy to know he's listening. I think our kids listen to and soak up MUCH more than we realize they do!
18. is a daredevil. He LOVES roller coasters -- always wants to ride the hugest, craziest ones. He laughs so hard when Stephen gets his 'back arch' sensations -- that's Stephen's way of describing that awful feeling you get when you drop or go super-fast on those rides.  Kenny always wants us to ZOOM down the steep driveway to the parking garage below our apartment... they love to yell out 'do the back arch!'
19. is just now starting to like babies. He's never even noticed them before. Kind of like how Kassie used to pretty much care less about them. (Even when Callister was born. Sorry Fef -- thanks for not taking that personally). 8-)  But recently, Kas and Kenny are starting to follow in Stephen's footsteps and genuinely enjoy playing with little babies. It's cute. Especially since it wasn't long ago that he was just a baby himself... (here's one of my favorite shots, of Aunt Jenny feeding (or painting) him with an ice-cream sandwich)
20. says beautiful prayers. The last few times, I jotted down some of his comments afterwards. I just like how he expresses himself so simply: "bless us to be warm and safe; to preach the gospel; to not listen to Satan; to always listen to Jesus because He's our friend and He protects us; to do good things."
21. is incredibly honest. If he makes a mistake, he just tells us. He broke Stephen's arrow recently and he came right out and told us the whole story. (Probably the fear of those consequences). He also is quick to defend his siblings - if they get demerits, he'll say, 'Mom, I want to take those demerits for Kassie instead of her.'
22. tutors us on French. He especially likes to tell Daron how to pronounce his r's.
23. loves to ride his scooter and ripstick. Specifically, he loves to ride Stephen and Kassie's 'Spark' scooters: when he applies the breaks, they shoot off firey sparks. It's pretty cool.
24. laughs -- like he's being tickled. Especially when he's playing 'scare' games with the kids -- even though he's the one getting scared. Poor thing. We woke up one morning to the kids playing this hide-and-seek game in the dark, and laughing their heads off. Look at Kenny clutching his flashlight.

25. constantly makes sounds... whether it's whistling or singing or humming. His teachers have noticed this in the past. I think it's adorable, but I wonder if it makes them nuts in the classroom... 8-)

I'm so happy to have Kenny, as well as Stephen and Kassie, in our home. I read a quote once from a minister ~ 'our children are not ours -- they belong to God, and He has given them to us on loan, so we should treat them with great care and love'.  Daron and I feel blessed beyond words to have the chance to enjoy them and learn from them and watch them grow.

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