Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from the Cranneys!
(the headbands were their idea)
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For those of you who love reading updates as much as I do:

We moved mid-year from Waco, Texas to Provo, Utah for Stephen to teach adjunct at BYU while working remotely on his research for Baylor.  It’s been a great experience for him teaching and for all of us to be closer to such fabulous family and old friends.  We decided to try the whole millennial trend of moving back in with the parents (a couple months with his and a couple with mine) but with four kids.  It’s been a fun adventure and we will forever appreciate them opening their homes to us and our four mini-tornados of children.

I’m loving the chaos and thrills of being a mom to my wild crew.  I still have mixed feelings about sending the older boys to school, but will forever cherish the extra time I had with them at home with me longer the last two years and adventures we had in Texas. I’m enjoying the slower pace a baby makes a mama take.

Stephen has loved being back in the motherland so that he can haunt the library of his youth and read every non-fiction book slightly interesting to him in the entirety of it’s collection.  For months he was making bi-weekly visits coming back with stacks of books.  He’s finished now and seems to be moving on to the BYU library while he has access.  He ends each night doing “Daddy homeschool” teaching the kids what he’s been reading about on their level and they eat it up.

Christian Mordechai (8) was baptized in November!  Every request for Christmas presents this year has been books (or a phone, which he won’t be getting).  His love of world history has not waned and it’s not uncommon for him to jump into our conversations with his draconian opinions from what he may have read.  I’ve learned far more Greek and Norse mythology this past year than I ever cared to learn, but watching him run around outside with only his stick and imagination commanding the seas and sending thunderbolts makes up for it, We’re doing his first real year of public school.  He might ask to be homeschooled every day, but for now he’s doing good where he’s at.  

Simeon David (6) loves chess, ninjas, piano, “The Great British Baking Show” and, well, anything competitive. No, piano isn’t necessarily competitive, but when you have an older brother doing it too—it is. He climbs into bed with us every morning and asks us to tell him what he was like when he was a baby. Having broken his arm that required surgery to fix and needing his tongue stitched up this summer, he is especially thoughtful towards anyone in pain. However, that doesn't stop him from wrestling, poking, and teasing his brothers. He complains that he only learns how to “keep his hands to himself” in kindergarten, but even if that’s all he learns we’re thrilled.

Joshua Levinas (4) is who we endearingly refer to as our “black hole of attention.”  While the older two kids seem to tire of our attention after a good solid 15 or 20 minutes, Joshua can absorb ours for hours and hours.  His long luxurious baths and drawing are the only activities that he is not begging to have us there by his side for.  I may or may not drift asleep to him telling me stories instead of the reverse, but we love his creativity and love of beauty.  

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The best, brightest, and loudest update of our year is the welcomed addition of Levi Grant (8 months) to our family.  Bald and fat has never looked so good! His dimpled smiles charm us into so much holding, feeding, and general spoiling that he might just be ruined for life.

We send our love and all the best this Christmas!

Rachel, Stephen, Christian, Simeon, Joshua, and Levi