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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Loving Coffee, Choosing Joy

I'm over at Sue's blog, Praise and Coffee today. She did a great job with all the pictures, the first one I was all "gasp! that's on her coat rack!" Enjoy! :)


With four boys, there are some mornings I wake up with one thought....I need coffee. We have a Bunn coffee maker here, my husband can't stand to wait for coffee and I have to say....I cannot imagine my life without my super fast coffee maker.
And as fast as it is, I still find myself standing in front of it waiting for it to finish only to take out the carafe to drink it before it's ready.
I had a day like that recently............................................................



http://praiseandcoffee.blogspot.com/2009/12/loving-coffee-choosing-joy.html

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Great Christmas Play

The boys were in a Christmas play for our church this Sunday and I could tell you that it went off without a hitch and it was perfect and all went smoothly.

Then you would look at the title of the blog to make sure that you were, in fact, reading the correct blog and then you would believe it had been hijacked.

But it DID go very well. The play went perfectly. The boys were great......
Well....
Sorta.
Here is what happened.

You recall my bad day that wasn't so bad. Yes, well, the glass places are closed until Monday so we did not have the suburban. But we had the great to the rescue cab and half, nice and cuddly close, plow truck.

On Sunday, the day of the play, we had church, we had dinner and then I had a little tiny bit of time to clean a big huge mess. And cook. And bake.

But I had a great plan. I made the cookies and then when husband brought the boys to church for their last practice at 4:30, I would clean the floors, wait til then to clean the bathroom, and be ready to go by 5:15 to be to church by 5:30 to get a great seat and cheer on my handsome fellows.

I have great ideas.
They just rarely work.

As I was getting the boys their shoes and socks (this is a big deal, they all had socks on!), I told S4 to go in and wash his face. He was gone a very long time. He came running out of the bathroom grinning. “See my hair, Moma?” he asked. “I cut it just like Daddy does!”

And he had. A big huge bald spot right in the very front of his head.

You see, Husband cuts his own hair. He buzz cuts it, along with the boys hair. But he trims his goatee with scissors, it gets singed by the hot wood heat so often he usually trims it every few days. And always always always when we are headed out to church or some other look nice event.

What do you do? I just sweetly smiled and said “Wow...how about we not use the scissors again though, okay?” His hair is so short I am hoping no one notices the bald skin....but I will.
Not long after the boys had left and I was jamming along to great Christmas music, the phone rang. It was husband. “Honey, please tell me that JM is home with the extra set of keys to the Dodge.....”
JM plows with Husband.

“Um, I think so.....” I said, straining to see if she was but not seeing her car. “Why?” I asked afraid of the answer.
“Somehow we locked the truck. And it's still running.”

Well, I skedaddled, grabbed the extra set (we so are making hidakeys after this!) and jumped in the big mean Dodge with the hunking huge v-blade and raced to be the hero.

It's kinda fun being the hero for Husband for once.

Except, the gas light was dinging just as soon as the Dodge rumbled loudly to life.

But I talked to Dodge, told him how to shift correctly and warned him of the predicament he'd put me in if he left me stranded with no gas and made it to the rescue, and then Husband and I celebrated by rolling into the gas station.

We are very romantic.

This put a HUGE crimp in the getting the house ready for the Christmas play party but I figure they are family and they are forced to love us anyhow so we raced to the church and arrived five minutes before the play began, when our family was all there already, waiting for us.

The play went off without a hitch. S1 had a speaking part and he has been grounded from all hunting or target practicing until he memorized his lines and since he said them correctly I am sure hunting will be in the very near future. S2 grinned perfectly, stood perfectly, sang perfectly. S3 was hard to see because he was on the far side of the group and I could only catch glimpses of him from where I was sitting. Then there was S4.

This was a big deal to S4. He was finally old enough to be in the play with his guys. He knew every sang every line with determination, a constant bop of his head to keep time. “Gloooo,oooo,ooooo,oooo, ria” was a fun one to watch him sing. Every new “o” was a new bop. When the play would start up again after the song, he would turn and watch it, I mean, why not, that's why everyone was here. And since he was at the end of the row, why not get comfy? Here's a few poses.


GM, my sister in law, and I especially liked when he was up on his knees waving his butt in the air like he had a tail. And then there was time when just the girls talked in the play and who wants to listen to girls? Apparently not him, because he just laid right down on the middle step in the middle of the stage and waited for them to be done.

But when it came time to sing, he stood up straight and sang proudly.

GM and I giggled through the whole play. Husband, at the other end of the pew, couldn't see him. So only half the church seen S4's antics.
Which is good.

(after the play, S4 didn't get the mic during the play, thank goodness!)

Afterwards my parents, Husband's Mom, my brother and sister in law and Jr and my sister and her husband and baby Back-up all came back to the house to eat the cookies and sloppy joes I had made and we ended up having more food than we needed and having more fun than expected.
It was a great night.

That went perfectly.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Bad Day filled with Clouds

I should have known back when I wrote that article for Sue's Praise and Coffee newsletter about clouds being a reminder of God being with me I should expect to have to remember that. Because I have failed miserably at it.

Take today for instance.

It's Saturday, the first day of Christmas vacation. The first day of relaxation. Except I woke up in a panic at 5:30 thinking I had overslept to watch Jr today. But I hadn't, it was just Husband's phone alerting him to go plow.

And we weren't suppose to get any snow.

I awoke later to S3 and S4 taking turns tattling. “Moma, he just kicked me FOR NO REASON.”
“Moma, he just took my toy FOR NO REASON.” (which means there was a reason)

And in between all that it was “I am going to tell for real this time....” Then the tattling, then angrily calling out as soon as he stepped out of the bedroom “See, I did tell you on you!”

When I made pancakes for the boys, S3 and S4 had to sit in the same yellow chair I have in the kitchen and not speak to each other at all. That's just not the way you want to start the day.
We were running late, which just doesn't seem right on a day off, a day of vacation to boot, but the boys had Christmas play practice. Walking out the door we got an important phone call and the snow had made the roads truly awful and we were running late.

As I pulled into the church parking lot, still unshowered, wearing Husbands big t shirt, my favorite comfy jeans, a flannel and my big outdoor coat and hoping no one would see me at all, the suburban, that hardly ever slides on me, slid. As I was pulling into the drop off porch area of the church. The suburban was suddenly sideways and I was mere inches from the big decorative rock in the front.

I wasn't speeding, I wasn't in a hurry, I wasn't trying to do such a thing.

Had I hit the rock or, much worse, the church, I would have been humiliated beyond imagination and would beg Husband to never have us return. Ever. As in forever and ever. And move. Far far away. It would have been terrible.

But it wasn't.

Instead, the boys all did a collective, “Woa, that was SO COOL! Did you try to do that? Can we do that again? That was awesome!”

I am so thankful they find me cool.

When I got home, my two favorite neighbors stopped by. EG and KM are sweet girls, I just wish that when they stopped over it wasn't the moment I was not properly dressed, unshowered, have my hair in weird braids or buns for style's sake, have mountains of laundry.....you know, normal every day stuff. But I did have coffee on....and I think they secretively love this about me. And I did mention they are my favorite girls...so we chatted in my dirty dishes cluttered kitchen. They had stopped by to say goodbye to the boys because they are headed out for two weeks. That is sweet, I tell you, these are sweet girls!

But when they left and I jumped in the shower I was soon running late again when I headed out to pick the boys up. But I drove slower and was in four wheel drive the whole time. I pulled into church less than five minutes late. I hopped out of the suburban into the still accumulating snow we weren't suppose to be getting, shut my door and heard a weird cracking sound. As I walked around the back of the suburban, I noticed black things falling on the ground. Like muddy ice from a dirt road or like...glass.

As in my whole back window had just cracked, shattered and fallen to the ground.

I had to pick all the glass up off the ground and the bumper. Every time the boys got in or out of the suburban, more fell from the back. My thumb and finger were dripping blood by the time I was done.

I had no idea how it broke.

We had quite the little kid crowd staring at us.

When I pulled out of the parking lot to take the boys home in the broken window suburban, it was 12:30. They had to eat lunch and be back at the church by one for caroling with their WOL group.

I didn't have any food for lunch for them.

So, we stopped at the grocery store on the way home, grabbed two family cans of ravioli (can't even stand the sight of such food but they love it) and hurried home where I started barking orders to get the car seats (S2 and S3 still have to be in boosters and S4 has a car seat still) into the plow truck.

In the meantime, I was getting the ravioli in a microwavable bowl and into the microwave, getting disposable bowls and forks from the cub hoard and then we were all in the plow truck headed back to church where I would have the boys eat the icky smelling food they all so loved. We were home a full five minutes.

I have never driven this plow truck. I have not driven a straight blade plow truck in a long time. And did I mention it was still snowing snow we weren't suppose to get? The roads had completely deteriorated now.

So I am driving in an unfamiliar truck on nasty roads hoping the plow does not cross the center line.

We made it to church late but not too late and I spooned up the boys food and as they were scarfing it down so they could leave with the group, I felt like crying.

It was too much today.

But I held it all together, got the two younger back into the truck after cleaning up the church kitchen and headed slowly home. When we arrived home, I recalled how Husband wanted me to get familiar plowing with this truck just in case I ever had to help him in a pinch and so I began to plow the driveway. It's been many years since I have plowed. I got our driveway all done, not too great but not too shabby and headed over to do the rental. I made one great push of snow, impressive really how smoothly it went, when I noticed the front blade was dripping fluid.

And that is not good.

Remorse filled my tummy and I did began to cry.

I went back into our messy cluttered home to wait for Husband to come home and pray to God it wasn't a bad break whatever I had done.

I had a message from my Mom asking if I would have cookies and cocoa and coffee after the play Sunday night. I looked at the messy house and bickering boys and nearly called it all quits. It wasn't my mom's fault, it was a great idea really. I just felt like such a failure at that moment.
S4 jumped on the couch in joy to watch a movie, fell backwards and hit his head on the heater.
He didn't seem to have a concussion or anything so I left him in the house because Husband was pulling in and after I had just sobbed my apologies on the phone to him (very literally here) even though he assured me he was sure the plow was fine, I figured I had better go face the awfulness my 'helpfulness' was.

He was right, it was nothing. He had just filled the fluids and they were just dripping from being full. No problem at all.

So I jumped in the truck with him so he could finish plowing and poured out my woes to him.
Not a thing was wrong. I hadn't hit the rock, the insurance will cover the window, the truck was not broken, we had an extra vehicle for me to drive, we have a warm home people want to come over to....blessing upon blessing upon blessing.

But I had forgotten it all, and Husband gently reminded me.

Which was good, because when I got back in the house, S3 had a bruised eye because S4 had kicked him to get him off the spot he was sitting in to watch Clifford.

God was in the cloud that followed the Israelites thru the the desert in Exodus. He never left them, He kept them protected. Just as God never left my side today, kept us protected and sent blessing upon blessing upon me.

And the biggest blessing was my Husband, who reminded me of all that as we sat in an unbroken plow truck and just him being near me was making my day better.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Beware of the Name Stinky

As I write this, I am wearing a crown.

No joke.

Some lovely friend of ours gave us a bag full of hats to S4 and S3 thought we all should sit around tonight with one on. He and I were the only ones who kept one on but S3 has long since fell asleep on the couch beside me as we watch Miracle for the upteenth hundredth time but for the first time on our brand new Blu Ray that my hubby won at his Christmas party so we are feeling spoiled rotten and watching Husband's all time favorite movie...or at least on his top ten list.
There has been so much going on these past days that I have had no time to write at all. And even Husband has mentioned I have more than enough to write about...funny how when life is most write worthy I have no time!

So there has been Christmas shopping, Christmas programs, practices, Christmas parties, S4's issues, S1's special dinner, S3's special reward, S2's fashion advice.....

All upcoming blogs. I just have to write you this teaser now.

But here is a thought to leave you with...

A few days ago, S4 was sitting on the toilet and stinking just terribly.

“Ewww! You are STINKY!” I declared.

Instantly his feelings were hurt. “Why you call me Stinky?” he asked.

“Cuz you are super stinky!” I laughed. I should not have laughed.

“I don't like that name. I not Stinky.” He explained to me.

Every single day now, no matter how many times I have apologized, S4 will say to me.

“Remember when you call me Stinky? I did not love that so don't do that again.”

Sometimes, you just can't win.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blizzard

Yup, here on the farm we have a blizzard. At least that is what the meteorologist keep telling us. I am in hopes that it doesn't get that bad, really, I am. But we were supposed to end up with 20 to 30 inches of snow. We have five. Where Husband plows, they have two at the most.

Not exactly what one would call a blizzard.

It is supposed to be bitterly cold today. As in, wind chills below zero. That is the coldest it's been since last year some time. And I am not looking forward to that at all. But yesterday we had a snow day. It wasn't even bad out, not that I am complaining at all, it was just rainy. But every news cast said we were getting a blizzard by one in the afternoon and I was thankful to have the boys safe at home.

As I type this this morning, way too early, I am watching to see if we have a snow day today and desperately hoping we do.

All that to say....

Snow days can drive a moma insane.

I would love to tell you that we all had a joyous, fun filled, Norman Rockwell type day but it wasn't at all. It was an odd day. Husband was trying to get some sleep for the upcoming storm and couldn't. The boys were ecstatic to go out and sled in the maybe one inch of really wet snow we had received over the night but it was raining and miserable. I refused to let them watch TV so they made paper airplanes and somehow they all flew next to the few nice pretty things I have left in the house. The tonka truck races through the house (I will have to write a blog just on those) were insane. But the worst was that they just kept fighting. Literally. They thought it would be fun to punch each other and act like boxers, until two punches later one or two of them were crying because so and so had hit them. Makes me want to pull out my hair I have been trying so hard to grow out.

At one point a very whiny S3 and very "I don't know why I hit him with my stuffed animal" S4 who had fought and annoyed eachother all day long had to sit on the same couch cushion until they could get along. They sat there a long time....but it really did seem to help. Well, that and I gave in at night and basically begged them to watch a movie. Upstairs. Away from me for a little bit.

And food! We had three kinds of pancakes for breakfast; grilled cheese, ravioli, mac and cheese for lunch and BBQ beef and fried potatoes for dinner. And they were still hungry. And always in need of hot cocoa. With extra marshmellows.

And that is a lot of dishes, by the way!

I had visions of us playing games, catching up on home work, cleaning their rooms. Instead, I looked at the clock and it was nine thirty and I had no idea where the day had gone....other than all the time in the kitchen.

So, yes, I want a snow day today. Why? Well, because I want my boys to be safe today. I would like them to enjoy the few inches of snow we have today, even if it is not a blizzard. And I would like one more chance to have a fun snowed in day. I desperately want another chance.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We Made Christmas Cookies

Rarely do I do a blog with mostly photos but sometimes a photo is worth a thousand words so, well, let me explain the photos.

My mom has these awesome Christmas cookie recipe she has handed down to me. Okay, really she probably got it out of some cookie recipe book of Christmas ideas in the check out line in a grocery store when we little but it's our family recipe and it's a tradition and there a million happy memories surrounding these cookies. She has perfected it, she and i have tweaked it and oh my, they are scrumptious.

S4 has been very anxious to put the 'sparkles' on the cookies. But he was happy to help roll out the cookies. My plan was to have cookies baking for the boys when they got off the bus and then they could decorate their own cookie before making their own.

Husband was home (being laid off now) so he snapped a few photos. Oh look how happy we look. It really is a cute photo. You must realize, S4 has on this apron, but no pants. He is good on wearing pants only out of the house. otherwise, they just slow him down.


mmmmm! Don't they look yummy baking! My cookies are boring circles (snowballs I call them). We have a polar bear, a reindeer, a Christmas tree and a snowman cookie cutter.

The boys were ecstatic to get home and see I had cookie dough all separated for them and ready for them to make their own cookies. I had thought this up ahead of time...if everyone has their own dough and their own cookie sheet and their own frosting germs might not be so bad and then when they are starving (again or still) they can just grab the cookies they made. A brilliant idea, don't you agree? Really, it is. See S3? He is already sneaking tastes of the cookie dough.
S1 took a diligent approach to cookie making. I see a potential great pizza crust maker in his future...which is good cuz his moma can't make pizza crust to save her life.S2 said "Oh, this is cool, dude" many many many times. His cookie dough got rolled out so thin you could see the table through the dough. I made the dough up and it needed a light dusting of flour. In the time it took the boys to make cookies, they went through an extra four cups (approx) of flour. They think their cookies are scrumptious still, however.S3 was worried about the dough stuck on his hands. He hadn't noticed I kept seeing him sneak pieces to eat so when this was stuck I could see the "I really want to eat this but I could get in trouble" look on his face so I said, "Just eat it off!" Oh man, after that almost all of his cookie dough just disappeared. I seen S1 began to nibble a bit, S2 said it was great and S4 claimed the whole idea to be disgusting.S4 FINALLY got to put the "sprinkles" on the cookies. This was what he had waited for with anticipation for FOREVER.Here is one of my circle/snowball cookies baked, frosted and sprinkled. Notice my fancy spancy Wendy's napkins. When these cookies are still warm they are just the best. Like, I can eat way too many warm and nibble once in awhile on the regular 'room temperature' ones. I hadn't even eaten one at this point but prepared this cookie all ready for Husband who had run outside to do something......
And apparently it wasn't going to well with the plow truck. He was kinda too busy to eat a cookie....This is love. He is trying to get the fan belt on and he still sorta smiled for me. Notice he is not looking at me but still concentrating on getting that fan belt on.....

Only the boys ate the cookies rolled out, cut out and frosted on this table. It's scary a little, isn't it. But I love this picture, you know they are having a great time!Husband even made it in to enjoy the cookie and survey the mess. He didn't say anything other than "yup, this cookie is good."Here is S1. He made a monster cookie.S2 couldn't wait for me to take this photo. Notice the deer has blue eyes. He spent a long time decorating this one 'just right'.I love these photos of S3. He hardly noticed me taking pictures of him until I told him I needed to see if the cookie was good when he took a bite. I think he liked it.This picture of S4 eating the cookie is just great. I decided to add the photos of him dancing around with a cookie because that is just S4. He is always doing something like this.It took a LOT of elbow grease to get the table clean. I had no energy to make more cookies after that, but I still have a bunch of dough left to make some more cookies today... alone. I would not take back an evening making cookies with my boys...it took close to two hours...but I would so not eat anything they made either! And I just wanted to share a little snapshot (okay, a lot of snapshots) into our making Christmas cookies adventures.

I hope you loved this post! I just have to say, it took nearly five hours to get all the pictures on it. My computer went super duper duper duper slow (that's an understatement!) but I think it was worth it to share it with you! Besides, I was busy in between times checking out Carrie Underwood's dresses on her TV special (that girl can sing! I would love all those dresses and heels...I'd have no where to wear them but they sure are fun to see!) and getting a few things taken care of for the next day.

Hope you have a chance to enjoy making Christmas cookies with your kiddos!

Monday, December 7, 2009

S2's Style

S2 has his own sense of style. I think you can see that by the photo here on the side of the blog. He dresses to the beat of a different drum, if that makes sense. Sunday's are true challenges. Why can't you wear gym clothes to church? I like to have one day he looks 'normal', that's why. However, when he looks normal he ends up looking abnormal.

It's one of those things I just love about him!

So, it was really no surprise after watching Davy Crockett (the original) that he would decide he needs a coon skin hat. And it shouldn't surprise any of you by now that he had a coon tail all ready...thanks to my loving parents.

He put the coon tail on the back of his beloved Red Wings hat and I could tell by the light in his eyes that this was going to be his new fashion statement for a good long time.
The next day, when he wore his hat proudly to school, he got many a reaction, as I am sure you can imagine. Our first drop in the morning is the kindergarten room for S3. All the little kindergartner's swarmed S2. They all seemed to have a bit of fear in their eyes.

“Is it real?” they asked.

“Yup. But it's not alive,” S2 replied.

They would look at the tail, then the front of the hat. All hovered near him, but not too close. Finally one little boy dared to ask “Can I touch it?”

“Sure”, S2 allowed.

The little boy held out his hand and it was quivering. The closer he got to the tail, the more his hand shook. He would get very close and then jerk his hand back. It took him SIX tries before he actually let his fingers just barely graze the tail.

It was all I could do not to cheer for the boy as well as laugh hysterically.

S2 has caused quite the phenomenon at school now. I wouldn't have expected anything less.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Morning with S4, Part Two

For breakfast we made chocolate chip pancakes. By we I mean I had two shadows, S3 and S4, who were determined to be the first to stir, the first to flip, the first to eat. I first drank a cup of coffee.

Husband was out to breakfast with a buddy so it was just the five of us. We just got our first snow of the year and it's measurable snow (well, technically we had a dusting the day after thanksgiving that was gone with the sunshine). We have about four inches, if you really stretch the ruler down into the grass. Just a bit north of us, where AD lives they were dumped with well over a foot of snow from the same lake effect snow storm. Anyhow, the boys were discussing going sledding as we ate our pancakes.

Just on a whim I looked to S4 and said “Hey, did you ever go sledding when you were a little kid?”

He chewed his pancake slowly as he began to sit higher in his chair until he was on his knees so he was as tall as any of us and with a swallow declared loudly “Yes, I did.”

“Really?” he had all our attentions now. “What happened?”

“Well,” he began, “When I was a little kid I went sledding out there (he points out the window) because I lived here, you know. And I went sledding for a little bit and then I got a Christmas tree all by myself.”

“Really?” S1 asked excitedly.

“Yah,” he answered as if to say 'duh!'. “You remember the tree because you were there too.”

“I was?” S1 asked.

“Yah, you rode the horses to pull the tree and you shot a deer while you were on the horse.”

“Cool!” S1 agreed.

“So you cut the tree down all by yourself?” I asked him.

“No, I was just a little kid. I was only five. S3 was three then.”

S1 began to snicker. “He just swapped ages with S3!”

“Yah, I was five,” continued S4, “And when I was done being five I turned, um...” He began counting quietly, one, two, three, four, five, six.... “I turned six. And then S3 was five!”

“So what did you do with the tree?” S2 asked.

“I decorated it all by myself,” S4 answered. “And then I opened all the Christmas prizes by myself cuz they were all for me. I had a Mater and Lightening McQueen and Doc and Mac and real road.” He sat down and speared another piece of pancake. “But that was when I was a little kid.”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Morning with S4, Part One

He was just too funny to not blog about today.

We heat with wood here on our little farm. That means the house is usually toasty warm and our skin is super dry. I found a bottle of baby lotion the other day and after my shower this morning decided to lather up on it. S4 knocks politely on the bedroom door (this shocked me, he usually bursts in like thunder wherever he wants to be) and came in with his nose in the air sniffing like a dog. “What is that smell?” he asked quizzically.


“What smell?” I'd taken a long shower, who knows what smells the boys could have cooked up in that time?


“The smell like sunblock.”


“Oh!” I handed him the baby lotion. “It's baby lotion, not sunblock.” You see though, I DO lather my boys in sunblock. Even S4 knows this! So if they burn, it wasn't because I neglected their lotion!


He handed me the bottle back with a “moma is crazy” look on his face and in his voice when he said “Moma, we are not going to the beach.”


“I know, hon, we won't for a long time.”


He looks out the window and then explains to me slowly, as if I didn't hear him the first time. “Yup, there is snow in the sky and it is snowy on the ground. It is almost Christmas.” He turned to me for dramatic effect. “It is NOT beach time.”


“Yes, I agree.” I nodded seriously. If I had laughed, I am sure he would have thought me a lost cause.


He walked out of the bedroom. “Well, goodbye.” He shut the door and I heard him authoritatively tell his three brothers, “Guys, it is NOT beach time. Not for long time. Not until we have Christmas.”


“We know.....” they had a 'roll my eyes' type of response. That taken care of, he jumped on the couch to continue watching his Saturday morning movie.

Friday, December 4, 2009

"When I Was a Little Kid"

S4 began this story – or bunch of stories – this summer. I have thought to not write them out to you but was encouraged to do so the other night so here it is.....

One night when we were eating dinner, S4 began telling us a story about when he was a little kid. I don't recall how this all even began but it went something like this...

“When I was a little kid, my other Dad and Mom........” and he would tell this elaborate story with all sorts of details.

Here is why I didn't want to share this story...he would end it with “But then they threw me in the fire so now I live with you.”

How awful does that sound? Why would he say such a thing?

Now he doesn't end them that way, thank goodness. But I have found the other boys begging for his stories but I think I ask for them the most. It is such fun to hear his imagination! The stories usually happen when we are cuddled together, as in, Moma needs a nap will you cuddle next to me and tell me about when you were little? And then he will snuggle up next to me, tell me the story, tell me he will tell me another he just has to think of it and then he will fall asleep.

This week with my fuzzy head cold I got a chance to hear a new story so here it is for you...
“When I was a little kid, a long time ago, I went hunting. I shot a bear and a racoon and I made the racoon into a hat and then I shot a deer just because I seen one and could. Yup, I was a good hunter when I was a little kid.”

When he gets some new stories, I'll try to remember to post them.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why the Coffee is Always on...or Should be

When we came up for the name of this blog, the thing we debated over the most was “coffee please”. Coffee now, double shot, espresso on the double...those were coffee terms I thought resonated more with my life. But if you say the word “please” desperately, it gets the point across.

And this is why I need coffee.

I have this fuzzy head cold thing going on. I will feel fine and then not be able to breathe thru my nose again. I know, lovely image there. But it's my sinuses that are so sore and leaving me feeling wiped out. So, I took some cold medicine before I went to bed last night that is just for sinuses. It worked great. Today I have a zillion things to do so I took some more of that cold medicine last night as soon as I got home from church and figured I would wake up feeling wonderful and fully healthy this morning.

I woke up alright.

Husband came home from Bible study and I woke up to realize he was home and fell back asleep. I remember thinking “oh, blessed sleep!” That was elevenish.

Some time later, I woke up again and just reveled in the quiet waiting for the alarm to go off. I waited and waited and waited and waited and then I looked at the clock. It was just after one.
I found that odd, but then again, I get to go back to sleep!

Except I woke up at 2, 2:45, 3:15 and at 3:15 I never fell back asleep. I just laid there waiting for 4 to come around when I would have to get up. My leg was twitching. My mind was racing, a thought would come to mind and I would be seized with panic (the biggest thought was PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let us find S3's glasses tomorrow morning at school! Because, as you can now guess, he had lost them the day before). The panic things really frightened me.

And oddly, one line from Miley Cyrus kept running thru my head “who's that chick rockin kicks, she must be from out of town”. Why that line, why that song, I don't know but it was on insta replay in my brain all night/morning/whatever.

Jr arrived at 4:30. Jr was happy swinging in his swing at 5:15 so I took a quick shower. He was dozing when I got out. Until Fernie Cow the cat decided to pull a surprise attack on Josie the dog and the cat ran into the baby swing and woke Jr up. I tried to get him to sleep because by then the cold medicine was beginning to wear off and I was finally a little tired and thought an hour nap might be nice. But Jr never fell asleep.

And at six in the morning, I jumped with shock to hear the huge crash coming from the boys room. I hurried upstairs to see S2 dragging S4 from his room by his feet. “What is going on? What was that noise?”

“We bonked heads and I want him out of our room,” S2 explained as if it's a normal occurrence. I think more happened than that, but how could I prove it so I just told them to go downstairs and get some breakfast. S1 clicked the light off and I am pretty sure I heard him sigh like “finally, peace”.

S3 had been sleeping on the couch (not sure why) and when he woke up he was crying (have no idea why). S1 finally came downstairs to show me his drawings of how he thinks a gun could be improved. That seems too difficult a conversation to comprehend before seven in the morning. Jr was jumping up and down in his exersaucer as if to say, “Hooray! I woke you all up!”

I was debating whether or not to make a pot of coffee. You see, Husband is home today (he will be for awhile, he is now laid off) and I was pretty sure the sweet aroma of coffee would wake him up. Who wants to get up early on their day off? So I had put it off until adorable KM (the next door neighbor girl) knocked on the door to plead “Denise, I am so sleepy from taking NyQuil for my cold...could you make me some coffee?”

Oh, I love this girl who loves coffee like me!

The pot was on before she was all the way in the door. My cup was gone in mere moments (I had a lot of milk in it to cool it), why had I ever wondered whether the coffee should be on at all? Then all five boys and I were out the door, leaving husband to sleep and me to herd them to school. We arrived and found S3's glasses under the computer table where they had fallen (said many “thank you, God”'s for that, really) and when we arrived home I got the next pot of coffee ready to go when husband wakes up.

Yup, two pots gone before nine am.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Tooth Fairy Found Our House

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all of you and Merry Christmas season to all of you! I apologize for not blogging earlier (it's been EIGHT days) but we were swamped busy for five of them and now I have a cold and my head is all fuzzy. I do not look pretty at all....and I have sent the boys outside to run hard on this clear blue sky day so I can catch up with all you, my dear friends! Besides, they need to run off some energy before the snow storm hits this weekend and I need let the 'get charged' tea I am drinking to charge up my fuzzy brain.

All that to tell you this story....................

The tooth fairy arrived at our house last night.

S3 has kept 1st Lost Tooth on tour for quite some time. It spent a few days lost in it's home baggie under some laundry but nothing too traumatic. It was finally time to bid it goodbye and hope the tooth fairy really did exist.

Somehow, S3 has in mind that the tooth fairy gives out gold dollars for first tooth lost. Since he has another loose tooth, I have a sneaky guess that tooth 2 will need a gold dollar too.
S1 and S2 came pounding down the steps an hour after they had been sent to bed to get another pee and drink and to inform Daddy that S3 was sound asleep. “Go be a tooth fairy!” they giggled to Husband who retorted, “Hey, don't be calling me a fairy!”

Visions of husband as Tinker Bell made me laugh out loud.

He was able to remove the tooth from the bag and leave the bag and the gold Sacajawea coin behind. This morning, Husband didn't have to be to work until later and as we laid in our bed to get a few more morning snooze minutes in we heard our usually earliest riser, S3, suddenly exclaim “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! The tooth fairy did come!” Laughter. “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Guys, the Tooth Fairy came!”

His pajama-ed feet came sliding down the steps. Husband had gotten up by this time and greeted S3 at the foot of the steps. He was waving the gold coin. “The tooth fairy came!”
“Alright!” Husband high fived him.

I stumbled out of bed and S3 gave me a giant hug. His face was beaming, all trace of sleep gone as he held up the gold coin. “Moma, look, the tooth fairy came and left me this!”

I rubbed his back, “that's great, honey!” His enthusiasm was contagious.

He walked toward the table for breakfast staring at the coin and saying “Yes, yes, yes! It really is a gold dollar! The tooth fairy came! Oh, yes!”

Now that is a great way to start the day!

He spent every free moment of the morning wiggling away on Tooth 2.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Moma is funny?

S1 has started up with asking us questions, of all sorts, at weird times. For instance, scooping soup for lunch yesterday he asked me what games I played the most when I was growing up (pioneer, in the woods with my brother or in my playhouse, in case you were wondering too. I loved my barbies too, they were pioneers, but I figured I would have to explain what a barbie was and didn't feel like getting into it). He will search me out while I am getting laundry out of the washer and ask me how many knives or guns his uncle had growing up...how would I know that?

So, it wasn't surprising when Husband came in to say he had a surprising conversation with S1.
By the crinkles around Husband's eyes, I could tell this was a good one. At my expense. The cries from S1 outside of sheer panic calling out “Noooooo! Don't tell her!!!!!!” was also a tell tale sign.

“So, I was talking with your son and he asked me what I thought of you when I first met you.”

“Um-hm,” I answered, waiting.

“I said you knew a lot about agriculture (okay girls, this was the FIRST thing he said! REALLY!) and you were nice and you were really funny.” Husband paused for dramatic effect. “And S1 said just as serious as could be, 'Moma used to be funny?'.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Make-up Less Days Make for Unforgettable Days

This morning I was awakened by GM whispering my name. Which meant I had overslept, meaning my sister in law was calling my name to get up to watch Jr.

That's when I heard my alarm going off on my cell phone in the other room. The one next to my head had never gone off.

So not a fun way to begin the morning feeling all confused over the time and all that. To add to the confusion, the boys hadn't taken showers or baths when we got home from WOL last night and by the time I had fed Jr his bottle, fed him some oatmeal, made the boys lunches, made Hubby's lunch and began to wake up....well, by then it was debatable whether or not I could even make the shower and still get to school in time. It was worth the risk.

The boys decided to build roads with blocks again, then they decided to go out IN THE RAIN (sprinkling though it may be) to play. The whole time Jr cried. S3 lost his shoes and is currently wearing rain boots to school today because by the time I got out of the shower, I had just enough time to get dressed and get Jr dressed and get out of the door. My hair was wet and in a out-of-my-face pulled back bun, my face was makeup less, my eye lashes had no mascara to make me look more awake than I felt.

It was not a pretty or graceful arrival to school this morning.

The rest of the morning I spent feeling in that odd “woke up late” state one is in when they wake up late and when GM came to get Jr, all I could think of was the coffee the Farmer's Wife had mentioned on her blog today and I needed coffee and coffee is on half price sale at the store so I looked at the clock and figured the only people I should run into at the store should just be the people who work there. It wasn't even close to the school rush time so S4 and I took off.
And you know it, I met up with someone I hadn't seen in nearly a year. And me looking my best.

I figured that the coffee I was getting was worth it though....

Then I went to check out. Somehow or another we (2 check out girls and the bagger boy) got chatting about cartoons. S4 had crawled through the window of the vehicle cart like in the Dukes of Hazard which got us talking about things like “Muppet babies” and “teenage mutant ninja turtles”. We were all laughing and I was feeling old and thinking “why can't I have fun conversations like this when I look like a productive citizen instead of being half asleep and rumpled looking?” Yet still I was thankful for a good laugh. I had six cans of coffee, Hubby and I go through a can or more a week. Impressive, I know. The check out lady there (well, both of them) know me well and I wanted to know if I came back could I get the turkey they had on special since it just said 'one turkey per customer'. “Oh sure” they said, “no problem!”
“Good,” I replied, “I'll come back tomorrow for more coffee and another turkey.”

And that led into how much coffee we drink...which left them in shock. I explained how we make two pots every morning and they were still in shock. I explained how we made a pot every night and on the weekend we make it in the afternoon too. They were even more in shock.
When I turned to leave so the very patient next customer could check out, I thought the girl behind me looked vaguely familiar. Like, I should know her but wasn't quite sure.......
She's friends with Hubby on face book. They have been friends for years.

And I would, of course, run into her when I have no make up, my hair pulled back in a bun and confessing my complete dependance on coffee.

However, this girl loves my blog and told me so. So this blog is for her. Thanks for reminding me about the Go Fish story too. After you commented on that blog, that week S4 found the cards again and we have played it every day since. Just before we left for the store, S4 and I were playing cars on the wood race track that made us late for school this morning even though he choose a Grandma driver for me. It was you reminding me of that blog I had forgotten that has gotten me reading books and pushing cars and playing cards and I am forever thankful to you for that.

Hope you can forgive my makeup, disheveled, uncaffeinated self......

Making Farmer's Wife Coffee now......


http://cohagenchronicles.blogspot.com/

Dinner Without Daddy

Last night Husband had a dinner/meeting/night out with his very best friend. It's an all night out event, they just can't chat 'quickly'. Which means the boys and I get to eat whatever it is we want to eat. It's usually something like tuna noodle casserole, pancakes or hotdogs and macaroni and cheese...simple stuff like that. Ice cream is usually involved as well. Just the way it is around here when Daddy is gone.

Well, tonight at dinner, in the middle of singing “Pharaoh pharaoh”, well, I thought this might make a good blog.

Here is what you need to visualize.

Three boys have taken a bath by now. To my left is S4, wrapped in a towel only in fear we would eat all the food without him. S2 is next to him and he has on his grundies and his red wing hat and hanging on the back of his hat is a raccoon tail, thanks to my parents who brought it back from Mackinaw Island. S3 is next to S2 and he too is in his grundies and he is on his way to bed for annoying his brothers, he just doesn't know it yet. S1 is at the head of the table and he is the only fully dressed son, directly across from the completely naked son. Who, I might add, I did not realize was naked sitting on a bath towel until he was eating and then I figured why bring it up now?

S4 was the first to raise his hand and the shrillest to pray. He prays things like “thank you God for Daddy at work, thank you God for pancakes, thank you God for Jr and for cars” etc. His prayers always crack me up, I usually can figure out who he feels has been mean to him, what he did for the whole day and what he is bothered with from any prayer he prays. Cracks me up every time.

We pass out blueberry (which are VERY blueberry because I accidentally dropped more frozen berries in the batter than I planned) and plain pancakes. We get to drink orange juice tonight and this is a very special treat, all five of us love orange juice.

We chat about pancakes, take bets on how long it'll be before Daddy gets home, hear about all the escapades of the school day when suddenly S4 says....

“Moma, how that song go?”

I knew exactly what he was talking about. In Word of Life class last month we leaned a song called “Pharaoh Pharaoh” sang to the tune of “Louie Louie” RC had given me the words so I got them out and we sang them at the top of our lungs, all of us, and did the motions sitting in our chair. We sang so loud that we couldn't' even hear Johnny and June Carter crooning on the stereo.

I don't really enjoy nights when Husband doesn't make home, but we try to make it 'special' and last night, well, last night I think we nailed it. It was the most fun we have had at dinner in a long time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Blog-Worthy Morning, Part 3, The Climatic Finish

With the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom TV broadcasting the news, we were still waiting to see if the bread would be mentioned on the news.

And I was thinking, “does this make me prideful to want to hear my home made bread mentioned on the news?”

But we were too busy to think on it.

Why were we busy? Because we woke up late? Oh no, we were right on time this morning (rare, let me tell you, rare moment here!). However, because it was so early still, the boys decided to build a race track out of S4's wooden blocks and were racing matchbox cars. I was in the bathroom getting ready, blow drying my hair so I don't catch a cold going out with wet hair and because it is very bright out when we get to school in the morning and I just feel sorry for all the people who have to see me on too- tired- to -wear -make -up -or -open- my -eyes -all -the -way -yet mornings.

I told the boys to be sure they were dressed. To be sure that they had dug out their socks to wear out of the basket (gotta get those folded). To brush their teeth, pack the back packs, get their coats....you know, morning stuff. And I would see them hustle when I called, but then when it was time to go, S4 wasn't dressed, S3 had no socks or shoes....you get the idea. The wooden race track, that was superbly built and the cars lined nicely and wins being discussed seriously.
We were now late.

So, we hustle hustle hustle and get in the suburban and S4 is screaming he has no coat and I take a count to make sure we are all there and run back for the coat and to see if my bread made the news yet and rush out of the house.

Not wanting them to arrive to school thinking their morning went badly, I put in Buck Howdy's Christmas CD for the first time. There were cheers. We arrived to school in time. We had smiles.
I looked to S3, adorable S3 with his hugs and yarn bracelet and who loves my home made bread toast, to see he had no back pack. I could live with the fact that he had put on his play coat, just as long as he had his back pack. And glasses. But he didn't have either. Not a back pack, not a lunch, not his glasses.....

Happy morning gone.

I give the boys ONE “I will bring it to school for you” trip each school year. I knew this was going to be his. S3 was hanging his head and crying, shoulders shaking, snot being wiped away with his coat sleeve as he thought how awful his school day would be.

So, I dropped the boys off at school. I drove home. I packed S3's back pack, I grabbed his glasses, I decided to get squash for one of the teachers, I drove to school, I dropped off the squash, I waved to S2 in his class, I delivered the glasses to S3's face and his back pack to his locker, I drove home, I walked in the door to catch the last five minutes of the news.
I have no idea if the bread was ever mentioned.

I am now going to make another pot of coffee and make some toast. With butter.

My Blog-Worthy Morning, Part 2, Before 7am

We turned the news on at five. Right when they start. To be honest, this is my last sleep in morning of the week so I have the hardest time getting up on Wednesday mornings. Thursday and Friday are Jr days, which means I'm up at four. So, the news was on in our bedroom and my eyes were closed. S3 came hobbling down the stairs and cuddled up next to me and fell back to sleep. Ah, how sweet!

I stumbled, literally, out of bed and felt the blinding dining room light on my eyes. “What are you eating?” I asked my husband.

“Cocoa pebbles.”

There were three loaves of bread on the stove. Two had been cut into and were in plastic bags already, one was wrapped up for later. My husband loves toast. He eats toast and nasty margarine and honey all the time. He eats it for a bedtime snack, he eats it for a morning snack, he loves toast.

It's one of the reasons we love Mercy Watson stories so much.

“Not...,” I tried to get my mind to work saying words, since it moves really really super slow in the morning, “Home made toast?”

“Aunt Millie slices bread for me so why should I have to work to slice bread?” he asked.
I will wait while all you women who have worked hard to make bread and have it TWICE put down (last night with the margarine and this morning with the pass) gasp your “he did NOT”'s.....

But he did. Really. And then I seen what he was doing as he ate his cold, sugary cereal. Looking at the seed catalog. Here is my theory...my husband is a one track mind kinda guy. I know he only was thinking of what seeds he can plant next year. I also know that to him, dripping honey on his new catalog would have pained him beyond, well, beyond what he how badly he wanted to be pained. Milk can be mopped off a catalog with very little damage. Honey, well, that's just a sticky mess.

Now, something else embarrassing about our family that I am now letting blogosphere know about...we have a TV in our bathroom. Yes. We do. My husband has always thought this a most brilliant idea and so, after him going on and on and on about it, I took our camper TV and put it in the bathroom. Our one and only bathroom for all visitors to see. However, this morning it was great because in the shower I could listen to the news to see if they mentioned my homemade bread!

As the boys woke up, I asked them all if they wanted a slice of toast and S3, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes as he hugged me, let me know he would love a piece of bread with brown butter (peanut butter) and honey. Oh, bless his heart! S1 requested some for his lunch but wanted his cereal for breakfast.

I just love that cuddly S3! He gobbled up his toast till it was gone, checked to make sure I was wearing the yarn bracelet he made me the night before, gave me a hug and we continued getting ready for the morning....

Not knowing how it would keep going.....

(PS As I was writing this, Hubby called to say hello and I told him I was writing a blog about how mean he was to me this morning and he said “what? How? I'm perfect, you know that!” When I reminded him about the bread he said, “Well, you have to slice it for me....” Yes, I love my husband!)

My Blog Worthy Morning, Part One, Home Made Bread

When Hubby left this morning, he gave a kiss and a grin and said “you are going to blog about this, aren't you?” So just after six this morning, it was already a blog worthy morning.

To tell you the whole story I will have to start....too far back. So I'll just start with yesterday and we will move from there.

Yesterday, November 17th, was National Home Made Bread day. I have no idea how these days come about. But I heard it on the local news and thought, “I can celebrate this day. I can bake bread.” I tried to remember the last time I made bread...I might have made two loaves last year. Once upon a time, when I just had S1, I thought I would be this super ultra cool pioneerish type woman and make all the bread we ate, that lasted an entire winter. Rather impressive, but after that winter I didn't make bread for a looooooonnnnnnggggggg time.

Well, I made bread yesterday and it was fun to do again. It was great sinking my hands in the warm dough and it smelled heavenly as it baked. Recently, I made up some frozen bread dough and it was so deformed and awful it's embarrassing to mention. This was thick and no holes and just scrumptious. So I made two more loaves. Why ruin a good run?

I took a photo of my home made bread and posted it on face book. It was just so beautiful and it was in honor of the National holiday, after all. In our local area, our local news cast has face book accounts and I am 'friends' with some of them and the morning anchor (my favorite, the same who put the boys photo on the news on the first day of school) seen my home made bread and said she was going to mention it on the news in the morning. How sweet is that? Just a side note, the idea to have the anchors broadcast that they have face book accounts and allow us all to be 'friends' with them, brilliant. You feel connected to the local news and since you are already watching them for four hours out of your morning, you end up feeling like they are 'friends'. Because you feel you have some sort of a relationship with them, a connection, we are totally loyal to the news cast, choosing them over other local news broadcasts.

S1 and S3 were huge fans of the bread. S1 raved how wonderful it was. I even sliced him a piece off of the just out of the oven bread so he could have it with the butter and honey all melted in to it. Hubby wanted some too (I knew he would!) and I sliced his extra thick. But he likes margarine on his, the only one in our home who eats the nasty stuff, and it just doesn't spread well. I had tried, but it wasn't all smooth and he requested a knife so he could show me how to smooth the margarine out better. I told him 'use butter and you won't have that problem'.

Minor issue.

I cleaned the entire kitchen of all the flour and mess of making bread, sliced bread for Hubby's sandwich the next day, had it all set for the next morning, and went to bed exhausted.

Part Two to come soon....this was just the intro for the good stuff.......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Answering Machine Trials.....

Starting in May, our answering machine says things like, “Hello from Full Circle Farm! Asparagus is finally here! Leave the amount you want, name and phone number and we will have it ready for you on the porch. Strawberries next. Anyone else, leave a message and if we get a minute, we'll call you back.”

And it just goes from there. We go through the spring, summer and fall with Hubby leaving a message like “hey, pickles are done for the year and mention we won't sell tomatoes by the half. Where the dickens you at? Well, love you. Call me when you get done napping or whatever you are doing.”

Which will leave me fuming. So I'll change the answering machine and call him back to say I was hanging more laundry on the line and never heard the phone because Curious George was too loud.

No hostility there.

In the late fall, we get to have fun with the answering machine until spring again. It's fun to have the boys on the machine, in case I have to call home (this never happens), I can hear my boys sweet voices on the phone.

Getting them to sound sweet is quite the trial....

So, we decided to change the machine this weekend. We just got a new phone and the answering machine is pretty tricky. I'll finally have it figured out about the time we need a new phone.
S3 has learned a new song at school “The turkey is a funny bird his head goes wobble wobble the only thing that he can say is gobble gobble gobble”. Adorable! So, we practiced this song (pretty easy, you have to admit) and even Hubby agreed to sing it with us on the machine.

After dinner, I had us gather around the phone (that's how you record your message, you talk into the phone and not the machine...) and did a quick practice of the song. That is when the trouble began.

S4 had napped earlier in the day and he suddenly realized that we all knew this song because we had practiced it while had slept. The nerve of us! He was sure he didn't know the song and he couldn't sing it. He hung his head in sadness.

Thinking quickly, I offered him the prize...a lone speaking part. “Can you say Happy Thanksgiving?” I asked.

He was appeased.

We sang, we got to S4's part and he cheerily called out “Happy HALLOWEEN!”

Three tries later with the same results, I offered whispered “Happy Thanksgiving” in his ear and he said it out loud and S2 screamed “yah!” in victory before we could all do the grand finale ending.

So we tried again.

Every time S4 said it right, someone cheered.

Finally, we gave up. If you call our house, you will hear us singing but Husband, who called all ready to check out the answering machine and make sure I wasn't napping (at 8:15 in the morning) said it sounded warbled and distant but it might work for a bit.

It'll be awhile before we feel like attempting the answering machine again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

S3's Lost Tooth

When S3 began his school year, he became rather obsessed with his teeth.

As in loosing some.


It did not matter that he is one of the younger kids in his kindergarten class. Oh no, he just wanted a loose tooth.


A missing tooth would be even better.


I think he secretly hoped one of his brothers would knock in out of his head and save him some time.


So it was with great joy he got his first loose tooth. I do not recall any of the first two boys being more excited than him.


Now, husband, he just can't stand loose teeth. He feels the boys may accidentally swallow them in their sleep (I have never heard of such a thing). He has an obsession with teeth, really. He always is commenting on people's teeth (those of you who know him, well, think of that next time you smile your pearly whites at him!) and I am ever so thankful God blessed with me with nice straight teeth because I'm not sure my husband would have married me without them.


Anyhow...


Husband tried to wiggle the tooth for S3 for him. S3 would shriek and giggle and then cry he would be so overwrought with emotion for moment. Husband offered to get out the pliers and pry it out of his mouth, S3 refused to even say no, he just kept his mouth closed tightly for that one. S1 offered to tie the tooth with a string to his arrow and shoot the arrow but S3 didn't think that was a good idea too.


S3 spent a lot of time with his Moma who just would say “Boys, the tooth will come out when it is good and ready to come out.” S3 also spent a lot of time telling his Moma what he could and could not have in his lunch because of his tooth...it was pretty much just cupcakes, bread, cookies, pudding, maybe some tootsie rolls....


On Wednesday nights, RC and a few others teach a class at our church for 4 and 5 year olds called Gopher Buddies, part of the Word of Life program. S4 was helping me, as he always does, put out the snacks and cups of water for all our Gopher friends in the main room when from the gathering room we heard a loud cheer and clapping.


Last I knew they were just singing a song.


S3 comes bursting out of the room to me holding the tooth triumphantly in the air. RC went all out with her congratulations for S3. RC has true talent with kids, some people have that gift and she has it abundantly, and it made S3's entire evening just spectacularly special.


When it came time for snack, S3 could eat with ease because he had been favoring that tooth for so long. And it was his Moma's chocolate chip cookies we had so he was even more happy. I ran S3 down to the dodge ball game so he could show his Daddy, who I don't think heads up that game so much as he makes gets as many kids out as he can. S3 took a few balls on the back but his one less tooth smile never even dimmed.


We still have the tooth in a bag, blood and all, to be shown to everyone...the kindergarten class, the Gopher class, anyone who wants to stop over. The tooth has been so busy on tour that the tooth fairy hasn't even had a chance to take it away! But isn't his grin worth it?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

S1's First Hunting Thrill

Today we are turning the blog over to S1, he will recount his first hunting thrill.

S1 begins with.....

It all started when I was putting up a ground blind and S2 lost his shoe in a leaf pile behind the ground blind when a deer walked out of the field.

I told S2 and S3 to stay by the ground blind to look for S2's shoe while I RAN for the house. I was sure it might be the best day of my life. I grabbed my bow and ran back to the field. S2 told me that the deer was hiding in some brush at the end of our property line.

I came up over the top of the hill and I never knew that a six point buck was staring at me. The buck ran into the neighbor's field. With sadness, I walked over to a tree where many bucks have passed by. I waited and waited and two does came out. It was getting very dark and I watched the deer for about 15 minutes and I spooked them a couple times. Finally when they were about to leave, I took a shot that I should have never shot. The deer was 32 yards away and I shot thru grass. I thought I was having a heart attack. And I have yet to find my arrow.

My uncle came over to help me look for it, and even an experienced hunter like him never found no blood or no arrow. Wish me luck next time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Day off

It's been a busy week here on the farm. Not with farming, but just with errands. Wednesday I went to the other cement city and ran errands with my mom. I cannot remember the last time I ran errands with my mom. We went to Sam's Club and she was happy she didn't have to buy a huge thing of toilet paper and I was happy to buy a huge thing of toilet paper because I am tired of always running out. Wednesday night we had church. Thursday I watched Jr and we had school conferences. School conferences times three. And today, oh today, we had a day off!

I talked with Jr on Wednesday and again on Thursday to remind him that Auntie would really appreciate a day of sleeping in. When he arrived on Friday he smiled big for me and his cute little dimples did still make me melt but I reminded him we had a deal. I made up his bottle and he sure enough kept the bargain and slept in. So, after making lunch for my hubby, I returned to bed where S4 woke me up to let me know he had peed the bed so could he please sleep with me, S3 woke me up to ask me if he could have cereal or if I would make him breakfast, S2 wanted to watch tv and S1 let me know he was headed out hunting. So, yes, I slept in. No, I didn't really sleep much. But I was in bed and never got up till quarter after seven. Bliss!

After making the boys a big breakfast, to which they thought they would starve before the bacon was done, I began to conquer the mountain of laundry. Literally a mountain of laundry. I could not see out my window it was so high. That is just sad. Anyhow, after hours of reminding myself I had said I would not do this to myself again, I have it all folded and I have been told it is all taken care of upstairs too. I have not wanted to check, I prefer to believe them right now.

It's fun to have this day off of school. It's a 'bonus' day, you can just feel it. S1 has spent a good portion of it hunting or practicing his aim. S2 has been playing ball with anyone who will play and practice if he is the only one who will play. S3 has wandered around playing on the swings, playing in the sandbox, playing with S2.... S4 has been faithfully practicing his lassoing. He has successfully lassoed a “metal stick” (fence post) and S3. S4 considers this great success.

Right now all the boys are playing baseball. It's fun to hear the ball hit the bat and hear the boys laughing as they run around.

There is something to be said about a full day home where no one leaves the driveway. There is something healing in having a day of laziness. There is something that warms your entire heart hearing the boys laughter.

I want to bottle up the day and treasure it.

They are getting tired...and since all the laundry is folded (just had to add that big hooray there) there is a huge basket of socks to fold so I do believe tonight I will be making brownies and we can eat them with ice cream and watch a movie and fold socks as a family. Does that not sound delightful? Okay, you obviously can see I will have to bribe the boys with sweets and movies to get them to help me fold socks but it'll be so worth it to not have the boys looking for socks and underwear on Monday morning.

Sometimes, it's the little things that make life wonderful...like a day off and folded socks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Morning I Forgot my Coffee

The morning I forgot coffee was not good.

For whatever reason, probably had something to do with the cat fight of Georgia and Calico in the middle of the night, I woke up exhausted. Like, pry my eyes open, used shampoo twice instead of shampoo and then conditioner, make the boys make their lunch, pour the coffee in the filter with an extra scoop exhausted.


Maybe it was in the air because S4 slept with us in the night (that might have had something to do with it to), S1 was late getting up for school and S3 forgot the “wear shoes to school, cowboy boots to church” rule.


Anyway, my hair was too snarly to do anything with, we were too late to look pretty, the 3 younger boys all decided to have a football pile up game instead of getting in the suburban, S1 needed a note written for school and we rushed out of the house.


My coffee in my orange and brown Tupperware coffee cup thingy (this Tupperware cup thingy ROCKS, by the way) sat forlornly alone on the counter. No lips had ever touched it.
I realized it before I was a mile up the road and literally groaned aloud.
Now just imagine what we looked like when we arrived at school. I was there in my still trying to prop my eyes open, hair snarly and wet, with lipstick on. Well, not really lipstick, I thought I grabbed my chap stick but it was my Burt's bees dark tint lip balm and it's my emergency lipstick. And that is what I grabbed. So my lips looked beautiful on my makeup less face framed by my wet snarly hair.

S1 was trying to untangle his back pack because it had literally been tossed into the back of the suburban and was a mess.

S2 was covered in mud. It's a balmy 45 degrees this morning, perfect shorts weather, don't you know, and he had to dive to catch a football apparently and we can't get his Red Wings shorts, t shirt or jersey dirty, we must sacrifice skin. Skin heals, stains don't come out. He was sight.
S3 was sporting cowboy boots, one pant leg tucked into the boot, one hanging out. I am nearly certain he has no socks on. He has on gym elastic pants, and a monster truck sweatshirt and S4's play winter jacket.

Imagine what S2 and S3 look like standing next to each other.

S4 looks cute. I just have to admit it, he does. He has on matching clothes, his shirt is some ultra cool guitar shirt I just love. He has on his correct coat. He has shoes and socks on. He matches. He is adorable, even if he is bald right now. He races up to the school screaming and yelling and laughing like he is a bit crazy. This comes as shocking, he has been crying all morning because he had to wake up and no one got his cereal bowl, no one prayed with him, no one saved his favorite cereal, no one...well, you get the idea.

I finally make it into school with the troop of boys and I see that S4 needs to be reined in. He is going to crazy run into someone and I am certain it will be one of the kindergartners or preschoolers carrying breakfast to their room...no doubt the child carrying syrup.
I go to hold his hand and he says “I'm big, I can walk by myself.”

Yesterday when we went to school, they fought to hold my hand. S3 and S4 usually hold my hand on either side all the way down the hallway. Yesterday we had Marky (and his cool car seat) and it was me, Marky, S3 and S4 all holding hands and walking down the hallway like some beautiful picture you see posted on school brochures and think “i wonder how much they payed those poor people and how much they bribed those kids too look that perfect”.

Not this morning. He shrunk. I mean, he squatted down so he was walking with great difficulty so that his hands all but dragged on the floor. His face was one of complete dejection. If I wanted to hold his hand, I was going to have to monkey walk like him.

It was like this that we made it to S1. We didn't have to walk to his locker because walking like a monkey takes so long that he met us halfway. His friends were standing around staring at us and I felt a little bad for S1, I mean, we were pretty embarrassing I thought.

His friends stood there staring at monkey boy, cowboy boy, hockey boy and half awake mom and said “ahhhhh, I wish we had your family. I think I'll take a picture!” He pulls out his IMAGINARY camera and snaps photos. I have seen this boy regularly for four years, and every morning of school this year. “Really,” the boys continues, “I love your family.”

Yah, I wouldn't trade them for the world (or coffee) either.

But I am drinking my coffee rather quickly as I write this now. I don't know what it'll be like when I go back to pick the boys up this afternoon......

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Georgia the Cat

Here on our farm we have one dog and one cat. Here is the dog.....
Josie Posie is not all that bright but she is loyal and so we keep her around. Notice the purple crayon. For whatever reason, that is her favorite snack. That and the tootsie roll pops she keeps pulling out of the boys Halloween buckets.

This is Fernie Cow, the cat. She is the Queen Princess. This means she rules above all and she must be spoiled rotten like a princess. Folks, I followed her all over the house to get her photo. She ended up finally stopping in our BASEMENT. A creepy, don't go to at all cellar. THAT is what she did to me...crazy cat. She had to twist and turn on the floor and suddenly take an interest in darkness specks and then she finally, hearing the desperation of my voice, looked at me. No, the floors in our house are not gravel. No, our steps are not that bad. It's our CELLAR !!!
Anyhow.

Fernie Cow, keeping the princess theme, must never step outside. Imagine the barbarity of it! (keep in mind, she was born in a barn. Next to a manure pit.)

So when the boys came running down the steps (when they were supposed to be cleaning) and told me that Fernie was outside, well, I was pretty sure that they were just trying to get out of cleaning. And when Fernie was found sleeping, I was sure.

Except they kept informing me that Fernie was indeed outside.

And then one day, here comes this big male cat and he does look shockingly like Fernie Cow.
Eerily so.

S2, who knows all animals are pets whether the animal knows it or not, was determined this cat needed to have a home...in our home. Our neighbor, IM, was more than willing to help. It was “operation save cat”.

They would sneak cat food out...and Fernie Cow being the Queen Princess she is, needs hairball food. I mix a little with the other food she has to help with the feline problem and THAT was the food the boys grabbed! Thankfully, it was just a handful.

They called the cat. The chased the cat. They 'cornered' the cat in a pile of brush. I came around the corner to find them holding the kitchen door open with a trail of food headed into the kitchen and the two boys cooing “here kitty kitty....” I think the idea there was that the cat looked so much like Fernie Cow that we wouldn't notice it.

Between the boys harassing the cat and the fact that the cat found out that the chicken scraps don't always make it out of the chickens at night and instead spend the whole night unguarded in a bucket by the kitchen door, the cat has decided it loves our house. Go figure.

We eat dinner and the cat looks in the window and meows. We go outside and the cat meows. The cat meows to say hello. The cat meows to say goodnight.

The cat has the worst sounding, most hideously loud and annoying meow.

The other night we are sitting at dinner and S2 is going on and on and on about the cat. The cat's name is now Georgia. “Georgia?” I ask, nearly spitting my water out.

“Yes.” He says “He told me that would be a great name because it's kind of a boy name, George, and kind of a girl name, Georgia.”

How do you argue with that?

The problem is, the word is out. I am cleaning yesterday and a beautiful calico cat shows up right to my kitchen door. I call JM, my neighbor/renter and IM's mom, “do you have a calico cat?”

“Is it big and fat?”

“nope. Kinda skinny but pretty looking. I'd say teenager cat.”

“No, not mine." Pause. "Oh no,” she groans, “the word is out.”

“We had better get a big bag of cat food at the feed store,” I agree.

Because, really, who can resist two boys who name a cat Georgia and are sure they are your long lost best friend?

My Sister VS the Boys Room

My sister is the complete opposite of me. I have written about DP before, about how she is the neatest, most creative girl I know and I am, well, totally different than her.

I have been working on really really cleaning the house. Fall deep cleaning. It's not going well. I am pretty sure I am going to 'fall' over from not getting very far...did you catch that joke? Yah, I am that overwhelmed...and under caffeinated right now!

The boys room is, well, a fire hazard. Literally. For those of you who have followed the blog awhile, recall I pulled all the boys toys out of their room in hopes to get them cleaning what they have so they could get the toys back. It seems to have backfired. Who ever knew that clothes and blankets could wreck such havoc in such a small portion of time?

The room overwhelmed me. If I imagine myself as a young boy, I would see no end in sight to cleaning it. I'm not exaggerating, it was that overwhelming!

So I called DP. Told her I was in need of her help in a bad way. She graciously agreed to come to my rescue. And I frantically cleaned my downstairs so that when she did come over, the house would at least look 'presentable'. But I still hadn't touched those boys rooms. At all.

In defense of my sons, their rooms are small. You walk through S3 and S4's room to get to S1 and S2's room. But, the fact is, they haven't made their bed in forever (once,when camping, S3 told me he was concerned. Every time he had looked at my mom's bed it looked the same (because she made it as soon as she woke up). He was worried she wasn't sleeping in her camper and wondered when she got her sleep. Guess I need to work on making my bed too...), while I thought they were taking care of their clothes they were just piling them (get this) BEHIND the BEDROOM door!!!!! They had piles in the closet, they had piles on the dressers, they had piles on their beds. Their dressers were empty.

S3 and S4 have the cutest truck bedding. They decided they liked the sleeping bags we take camping better. So all those blankets were everywhere.

S1 and S2 have saved every single solitary school paper and drawing and every imaginable piece of garbage a boy could carry home from school and church. They also have every shotgun shell they find, every cool stick they see in the woods and every broken hat they have ever worn out.
See, I take their toys away and they just have sticks to play with.

Anyhow, I bring my sister upstairs and she sees the landing and I see the horror in her eyes. I know the landing is bad but it's not that bad. She sees S3 and S4's rooms and she is speechless. She sees S1 and S2's room and she is gasping for air, holding on to the side of the door jam trying to speak but unable to.

“I'll make coffee,” I offer weakly. I made the coffee strongly.

“This will take more than an afternoon,” she states and sips her coffee. She has a steely resolved look to her eyes as she heads up to the rooms. It's as if she wonders if this room may swallow her up but is determined to beat it back.

I am thankful she didn't bring along baby Backup.

“If these were my boys, well.....let's just say they would be grounded till forever and I would take every little thing out their room and make them just have beds and that's it. I'd even take their clothes and make them keep them downstairs for you to keep an eye on and I would get rid of everything they have.”

Perhaps we should warn baby Backup to always keep a clean room.

I suggested we take pictures so I could blog about this. She gave me 'the look' and said “I don't think you want people to know about this.”

By the time the bus rolled in about two hours later, the beds were made, there was a mountain of clothes to get rid of, a mountain of clothes to wash and bags of garbage to be thrown out. I was amazed at the progress we had made, this job would have taken me a full entire day! Mess doesn't mess with my sister! S1, who once thought it would be great to live with his aunt and uncle and baby Backup has declared full loyalty to his family after the stern talking to from his aunt.

I sheepishly followed my sister down the steps where she marked on my calendar what day she would return and I stumbled over words of “I will keep cleaning until then...”.

I would be lost without my sister. Really truly. She is amazing.

I am sure there will be much more on this story, check back next Thursday. But for now, all four boys went right up to bed without a fight. S3 and S4 actually went to bed an HOUR early. I think we will have to work harder on this keeping their room clean thing. I am open to all suggestions.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Haircuts

All our boys get their hair cut by my hubby. It didn't start out that way. I would wait till the boys were about one and take them down for a hair cut. So cute. The only one this didn't work with was S3 because he was born needing a hair cut. Seriously. My Dad called him the Amish boy because I cut his hair and it looked 'bowlish'. I'd show you a picture but I have none to share. Anyhow, Hubby despises this idea of boys getting hair cuts. He has not had his hair cut since, well, since he bought a hair cutting kit the year we were married and decided that giving himself a buzz cut couldn't be too difficult.

I have traded hair cuts for asparagus, sweet corn and the such. But once our boys turned two, he would put his foot down and that would be the end of it. He would wait until he had the boys alone and I was to the store or taking a shower or something and he would buzz cut the boys hair and say “there, now they are big boys and not moma boys.”

And after that day, no boy is allowed to see Darcy, my hair stylist.

S1 has a cowlick that is so pronounced he will sport his own style for the rest of his life. S2 has curly hair, when it gets long it has soft wavy curls. S3 has the best high lights, every woman envies them, and he also has the longest, fullest lashes. Just not fair. And S4, well, how do you say this nicely? He was born with a large head...seriously. We had to bring him in regularly for head check ups...he was just fine and dandy. But, well, I have to say of all the boys who get buzz cuts, I like them on him the least.
It doesn't matter. Until they pay for their hair cuts on their own, they will be sporting buzz cuts.
They get the buzz, then their hair grows out long and hubby calls them hippies and cuts it short again.

Tonight, for no particular reason, Hubby cut the boys hair. Here are photos for you......

(oh, here is where I say...S4 is colored with marker because....he is S4. I awoke to see his colored face in my face. "Look!" S3 exclaimed, "I drawed glasses on him!" Later, S4 decided he needed more and colored his entire face. Entirely. His arms and tummy too....it did all come off in the shower, with MUCH scrubbing....)
On accident, he cut S4's hair with the super short blade. Of course it would be S4. Hubby says it's an accident, I am pretty sure I believe him.

I asked all the boys to line up for a picture. Since it was such a nice day today, totally unexpected nice out, they played hard all day long. It was just eight at night when I snapped this photo and had to wake S3 up to do it. His look is pitiful. The things I do for you all to have something to read on this blog!

P.S. the next morning S4 woke up, rubbed his head and said "why Daddy cut my hair off?"

"So you look handsome," I answered him.

"I not want to be handsome. I just want my hair," he bemoaned.

Now, just what do you say to that?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

S4 Has a New Carseat

It is big news over here. S4 has grown out of his carseat and needed the booster seat. When we purchased the last carseat, I was sure it would be the very last carseat ever boughten. But alas, with the law requiring seat belts for all kids under eight I had three new seats to purchase. This one was suppose to be until eighty pounds. S4 is less than eighty pounds and when he has his coat on there is no way to buckle him in at all. We are saving his car seat for Jr, which he was happy about but the transition to the new seat went completely differantly than I thought it would go.

S4 wanted a seat JUST LIKE MARKY. Now, Marky got his big boy seat a very long time ago. I have no idea if they even sell Marky's seat at Walmart any more. And there is no way I am driving to the big cement city to get a seat that looks just like Marky's. We went to my favorite small farming town with a Walmart and looked at their three options. Well, four really but pink butterflies are never an option for us.


We had to sit on the seats and look at the colors and, yes, we found a seat. A gray and black seat that does NOT look like Marky's, but should be 'okay'.


I put it in the cart to go get detergant...an always need in our household...and S4 began to moan his blues. "I just love my seat."


"It was a good car seat."


"I love my car seat."


"I will miss my car seat."


He was truly awfully pitiful.


We checked out and headed for the suburban where he began his slow march to say his final goodbye to the car seat. We opened the door, he looked at his seat, hung his head and cried " I will miss you good car seat."


Then, as though someone had switched children on me, he looks to me with a big smile and says, "Okay, new seat now!"


There was no way I was putting together the car seat in the middle of the Walmart parking lot on a windy cold day.

About five minutes later, we had the old car seat unbuckled and stuffed in the very back of the suburban and I had the car seat parts all over the parking lot. In order to do all this, my groceries were still in the cart because and because of the wind I was continually trying to hold the cart in place with my foot and try to snap the back on the carseat at the same time.


I have four boys (as you all well know). I should be an expert at putting together a car seat. I could not figure that thing out for anything. I could not find the directions for the life of me. When I FINALLY got it snapped in and went to put the comfy cover on it, well, THERE were the directions.


Figures.


The entire time I am bent over a hunk of plastic trying to figure out how to snap it together, holding the cart in place with my foot, nearly doing the splits too many times, showing my backside to every passing vechicle, S4 was sitting comfortably in the suburban, minching on donut holes saying things like.....


"There, you got it, Moma."
"Oup, nope, you don't."
"This is a nice seat, Moma, not like Marky's."
"Can we go see Marky and show him my new seat?"
"It's cold, Moma, got it done yet?"
"How long will this take? It's been DAYS!"


He was a great cheerleader.


But, this grin at the end of it all was worth it! And buckling him in to a seat with his coat on is pretty great too!