June 13th email: “And baby makes 5”

Hey family,
We have some news from New England…. Baby Linville #3 (nickname Blueberry) is due on Christmas!
See attached for a pic of Natalie and Elliott with the ultrasound.  They just found out Monday and are very, very excited.  Natalie: “I’m going to be a big sister times 2!”  Elliott: “I’m not the littlest.  I’m a big brother!”
Thanks in advance for prayers and well wishes…. which includes no early arrivals.  I don’t think Nat would be too keen on sharing her bday (Dec 19th) with a sibling!

We love you all.

I feel so lucky the kids have taken the news so well, as Natalie has been telling us (and Elliott) for at least 1.5 years…. “4 is the perfect number family.  If we would have 3 kids, then we wouldn’t get as much time with Mom and Dad.”  So, I didn’t know how she’d take it, and we figured Elliott would take Nat’s lead.
After breaking the news, she even told me: “I totally thought I wouldn’t be excited but I was!  I was like WHAT?  Whoa!”  and later she says…. “I’m going to get to cuddle and kiss on the baby all the time!”
Elliott’s reaction was basically…. “I’m not the littlest!  I’m a big brother!”
They have also done lots of talking at my belly so that the baby can learn their voices.
As my stomach has grown larger (I’m still only 14 weeks but it definitely popped out sooner than it did with the first), Elliott and I have had some more difficulty snuggling.  His favorite snuggle position is me laying flat on my back, and he laying flat on his back on top of me.  As we’ve attempted to find a more comfortable position, I said sorry…. he sweetly goes: “You shouldn’t.”  I said, “I shouldn’t what?”  He continues… “You shouldn’t feel sorry.  You just have a baby in your tummy.”
He has also always loved the story about how, when Natalie was two, I used to read to her on a rocking chair, with her on my lap, but as my stomach grew bigger, she would try to push it to the side to make it more comfortable for her.  Elliott has this image of himself inside me pushing back, saying “Nope, I’m here.  You have to move.”
Jordan came up with the name Blueberry – based on the size of the baby in one of their earlier weeks.  When we told the kids around 12 weeks, the baby was the size of a lime, so Elliott wanted to call the baby Lime.  But Blueberry has stuck – which conveniently, is one of my fav foods these days.
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Church Camp

St. Mary’s church camp is awesome!  4 different bouncey houses – two that are water slides – greet the kids everyday and I think they get to go out 2x/day on them.  But there’s been some other nice highlights too….

Day 1 – Elliott gets to stay after with the neighbor girl & counselor (10th grader) who brings him home.  He gets a free counselor-only watermelon and a piggy back ride part way home.

Day 2 – At dinner, “Mom…. do you know who the King is?”

Me: “Um, no.”

Elliott: “Guess.”

Me: “King Edward?”

Elliott: “No:

Me: “Prince Henry? Prince Charles?  Prince William?”

Elliott: “No… those are princes, not kings.”

Me: “Who is it?”

Elliott: “JESUS!”

And then goes on to sing “Hallelujah, hallelujah, we’re going to see the king.”

Day 3 – He proudly shows me the sign of the cross.  (Woo hoo!  He’s learning more this week than in the past 450 Sundays.)

Day 4 – Elliott is like a rockstar with the kindergarten bible camp counselors.  Every time I go in to pick him up, multiple counselors (all teenage girls) ask Elliott for extra good-bye hugs.  Today, the hugs took so long that we missed the freezes on the way out (which Elliott doesn’t like anyways).

Then, when he got home…. “Mom, I’m so hungry.  I didn’t get to finish my lunch.  Can I finish it now?”

Me: “Sure bud, why?  Was it a short lunch.”

Elliott: “Well, there’s this thing called shout outs and I got called up for shut outs and ran out of time.”

Me: “Wow – cool.  What’s your shout out for?”

Elliott: “I don’t remember. ”


Elliott: “Do you know about the 9:30 choir?  I want to be in that.”

(I’m thinking…. whoa, seriously?  It’s almost all girls.  You’ve never shown interest in it before.  You like to eat O’s and play with cars… and what about when you “help” me be Eucharistic minister?)  but instead I say…. “That’s awesome bud; let me check into it.”

Meanwhile, Natalie is at basketball camp, which she apparently doesn’t like, even though she apparently likes basketball.  And she’s requested pick-up 1.5 hours early b/c she doesn’t like the 0.5-mile walk from the high school to the cold park pool.  Did I mention basketball camp was more expensive too??


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Fathers Day

We celebrated a hot Father’s Day at a college summer league game.


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Pre-summer vaca kick off

Nat has one more half day left but we got a jump start on the kick off to summer vaca!

Swimming with some of our first Longmeadow friends – and a hot fudge sundae and chocolate Oreo shake at max burger!  Nat can def swim and is working on her freestyle stroke  the head turn is the biggest challenge  elliott can dog paddle for about one arm length but can still kick his way to the edge  needless to say, we signed up for another eight week swim lesson session

How can these two cuties be entering Kinder and 2nd grade?!?

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A piece of…

Jordan Linville to Elliott: “isn’t your mom a piece of work?”
Elliott: “um yeah? (Looks at my face). Well actually a piece of art.”

Seriously, could this 5 year old be any sweeter??? Now his Dad on the other hand…. has that Linville teasing gene too deeply engrained.



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“I just love math so much. I cannot wait to work on my long chains. I would skip recess. I would skip lunch. I would just do math math math” – Elliott

pic is of him doing a mirror illusions science kit from Aunt Becky and Grandma  he is totally a future engineer scientist or mathematician




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Happy Mother’s Day to our favorite Moms!

This past weekend, we had not one but BOTH grandmothers here in Longmeadow for Mother’s Day!  They actually came more for Natalie’s dance recital, but the fact that it was Mother’s Day was an added bonus.  We had a ton of fun, and both kids were so happy to have both Nana and Grandma here.


We love you favorite moms!  And shout out to Mammaw and Grandma Linville who we love TONS but were not here this weekend.


Below are some pictures:



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Empathy by Elliott

The other night, I was snuggling with Elliott before bedtime. He likes to have all the lights turned off, no singing, and just snuggle in silence. He sometimes says to me, “Don’t talk,” but other times, we will chat and it’s often when he drops some of his best pearls.

I asked him, “Remind me, what do you want to be when you grow up.” Sometimes, he’ll say paleontologist, but i think it is just to appease adults who ask. He seems acutely aware that he does not really know and his answer will change.

So he said, “I do t know.” To which I responded, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up either.”

“But Dad, you alweady grown up!”

“Yeah, buddy, I guess you’re right.”

“So you…you a nothing!” Haha. He laughs and finds this quite amusing. Then he gets serious.

“It’s ok. I understand. I a nothing, too.”

“What do you mean, E?”

“Well, I just a kid. So I not know what I want to be.”

“Yeah, that’s true. But you’re just four years old so you’ve got some time to figure it out. No one really expects a kid to know what he wants to do.”

We lay there in silence for a bit. “Well…you are my Dad.” It was dark, but it sounded like he said it with little smile.”

“Yeah, buddy. And that’s probably the most important think I can ever be.”

Snuggling resumes. And both of us feel a little better with our place in life.  🙂


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It’s Show Time!

natalie had her third receital. We are lucky that both grandmas could come in. She had two numbers with her class, a daddy daughter dance where she and Jordan were front and center, and was chosen to read! So many people ask her – are you nervous? Answer is No. this confident girl is well prepared and loves the limelight.


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Elliott Pre-K School Pictures

The 2018 pre-kindergarten pictures are in!   Hooray!  I’m not going to brag and say that he is the cutest kid in the school.  But I will factually state…he has to be the cutest kid in the school.  Just look at that boy!


And here’s a new Elliott-ism for the blog.  We were at the airport last week and going down an elevator under the runway.  I told him that we were entering the core of the earth.  I was expecting a reaction like “No!” or maybe some feigned fear.  His only response?

Which one?  The inner or the outer core?



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