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Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Visit In Studio with Fox 17 Morning News

July 27th was a big day for us. It was circled on the calender. It was scheduled with a week as well as a day before reminder on my blackberry. As if we would forget. We were headed to Fox 17.

I was giddy with joy. The boys were impossibly excited.

The morning arrived cool, and I just couldn't believe it was THE day. I laid there in bed, trying to wake up, nervous butterfly's in my tummy.

I had all the boys clothes laid out. I had himmed and hawed and sent pics of possible outfits to friends and come to the conclusion that it DOES take a village to dress an indecisive girl, and I ended up picking the outfit no one did....and then promptly forgetting to grab my sweater on the way out. Nerves.

S4 woke up wailing.

This was not good.

He decided he wanted to wear shorts rather than pants. I had picked clothes out for the the two younger boys the night before, they had gotten to choose their shirts from the options I put before them so they felt the dressed themselves cool. S1 and S2 I let wear whatever they wanted...as long as it was clean. But now S4 wanted shorts and although I had done mostly all the laundry, no one could find one pair of shorts for him.

He was devastated.

I did not want to see this drama on THIS morning.

But we rolled with it, ran late as usual (I cannot even trick my mind to be on time, I swear) and as we were headed out the door, literally, the phone rang.

Thinking it was my mom to wish me luck, I answered to hear it was Curt, from Fox 17. He asked if it was correct we were headed up there today. I told him yes and braced to hear how something had come up and we needed to reschedule.

Nope, he asked if we could be ON TV.

I told him since the boys were bathed and in clean clothes so we would be okay with that. Really. That is truly what I said.

So we rushed off to the huge cement city, during a busy time of the day, to a place I had been once...but not from the direction of our house.

Hubby told me that he should pass us south bound on the highway so while I was praying that God would calm my nerves, S4 would behave and we wouldn't make Fox 17 look bad, I was also looking for a white semi truck.

I waved to numerous truck drivers, only to realize it was not my hubby and quickly yanking my arm back into the window. But we did see him and we did wave like crazy, which was all kinds of fun.

Well, except that S3 and S4 did not see their Daddy and then began wailing about the unfairness of that. So I had S1 stick in a CD (thanks An and Jeff for making it for us!) and we jammed to "We Will Rock You" and, of course, "Fred Bear". You know, great city driving music...for country boys.

We arrived and never once made a wrong turn. This is huge.

We were ushered in where we met up with the wonderful and super sweet Andrea who led us into the Studio. Past the "On Air" light. Some scurrying around and suddenly there were five chairs lined up for us to sit in.

It was surreal for a few moments. It was also very cold.

Mike and Sarah waved and greeted us. With it being bubble gum day, Mike had a BAG full of bubble gum that he kept pelting the camera guys with and shared with the boys. The boys could not believe their luck, bubble gum first thing in the morning! This place totally rocked!

Because you want to know...the studio is super small. The whole building is small. I think it is a large part of the reason why you feel there is such camaraderie amongst the crews. You sorta have to get along. You are all that close to each other.

Floor director, Mike (not to be mistaken for anchor man Mike) offered us coffee, spent time explaining different things in detail, read my panicked look when S4 decided he needed the bathroom....he is the sweetest. I could go on and on and on about the wonderful Mike, he was that great. You can "like" him on facebook HERE. You should.

During one of the commercial breaks, the boys got to check out the weather screen. Kevin was in for Jon this week and he offered to show the boys the screens. It was then floor director Mike thought "hey, lets have the boys do weather!"

So they did.

You can watch it HERE.
Here is floor director Mike getting the boys in place for the weather segment with Kevin.

Other than suddenly not being able to find the cities on the weather map, the boys loved it. They had all kinds of fun. The boys could not get over how cool it was that the screen was green. All. The. Time. Since we have been home they get quiet when the weather comes on just to try to take that moment all in again.

I was totally fascinated by watching it all. All the behind the scenes stuff is so thrilling to me. Well, except that remember I told you how small the studio is? Imagine keeping FOUR BOYS QUIET...on spinning bar stools.

But really truly, they did great.

Floor Director Mike asked if I had ever been mic'd up...which of course, I had not...so he sweetly explained how I would need to get the mic on and run the cord under my shirt and up to my collar. He was thoughtful enough to stand in front of me so I could easily run the cord up.

Now, here is some little tid-bit that you all love to hear that no one would know if I didn't share it with you. I was wearing one of my most favorite outfits, the one my Dad bought for me a few years ago. The skirt had no pockets, and really, it is a little loose in the waist (my aunt and I had taken it in before but it's just something I have to watch). Not wanting to have a pantie line, I had worn my biggest boy short type pantie that just happened to guarantee no pantie line...but also was so high it could possibly be pulled up to my belly button.

I am sure the floor guys have easily gotten a good view of these pink panties at any given moment with the weight of the two mic boxes on the back of my skirt.

In the F block...floor director Mike asked me if it was okay to be in that block, which I had no idea what that meant but, sure, why not?...he ushered me up to the desk, and sat me on the stool with wheels. I was so glad there was a lip all the way around the platform, I would have rolled off. I am sure. Floor director Mike told me not to worry about the cameras, just look to anchor man Mike and Sarah and chat with them. So I did.

I'm sorry I don't have a picture of this, I didn't get many pictures at all of the day. I was too busy drinking it all in. But this is what I wished I had somehow captured. However, you can watch it all HERE.

And then the news was done. Mike and Sarah had some more segments to tape with the super bubbly and friendly vet who comes in once a month so Andrea took us for a tour of the building.

This is the time when the S3 and S4 hit meltdown.

All four ran to the suburban to get all the zucchini and summer squash they had picked themselves, this was a big deal to them, when S4 realized he would not win the race back in and so he gave up and fell to the floor, taking S3 with him.

They laid on the floor, in the little glass enclosed waiting area you had to be let in from, and screamed the injustice.

I just held the door shut. I leaned around the corner to see the secretary watching us. "They'll be okay in just a second," I assured her.

She couldn't stop laughing at us.

I found the tour thrilling. Everyone I met was just as nice as I would have imagined them to be...and then even nicer than that. They are friendly and kind. I cannot rave about this great company enough.

After all the segments and bits were done, we got to pose for some pictures.
I still can't believe Sarah held a super sad S4, who had been just covered in chocolate donut.

And then we said good bye, loaded up in the suburban and I gave Hubby a call. It was then, talking to him, that it hit me just what had gone on.

We had been to Fox 17. We had been in the studio and on TV.

I began screeching with joy, all my words tumbling over themselves.

S4, however, leaned his head back and fell asleep. Mornings are not his thing. At all.
I can't thank Fox 17 enough again.

Here are a few more links for you.......

You can facebook friend the anchors here.....Mike Avery, Sarah Brodhead, Mike'd Up, Kevin Craig, Robb Westaby.

You can also follow them on twitter..... @FOX17 @averyFOX17 @sarahbrodhead

You can facebook fan the morning news HERE.

You can check out the website Fox 17 Morning News HERE.

Did you notice my new Fox 17 Morning Mom button on the side of the blog? That is a direct link to the Fox 17 morning news. You can't always find me there....and I'm not really sure how long I'll be around there (I hope for a really long time though, I cannot stress to you enough the fun we are having!) but the button is there to take you there (I feel like we should break into song "I'll take you there!" by the Staple Brothers.)

Getting back on track....

There was a lot more that happened that day. Special things. Some things I just don't want to share because, well, some things are too special. And some parts I will wish I had mentioned because I wanted to share it all with you but have forgotten for the moment.

But this is what I want to end with....

Thank you to my boys, my wonderful funny boys. If they disliked being on the news, if they didn't think this was just as fun and just as cool as I do, I could not do this. Without my boys I would be boring. I am blessed by the fun they are.

And by the fits they have to share with all of you.

And thank you to my husband, who didn't complain when he got home and we ate one of his least favorite dinners because it was an easy meal. Or complain because I crawled exhausted into bed at 8:30 pm after all the excitement.

And to Mike and Sarah, it was soooooooooooooo wonderful to finally FINALLY meet you!!!!! Thank you for being so kind to us since May, thank you for making my boys feel like super stars. It has truly been wonderful getting to know you both....and Andrea, and Jon and everyone else I have chatted on the phone with. (sorry I never said hello, Curt!)

Okay, my eyes are filling with tears over how over flowing with blessings I feel. I'm done now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

3 Quick, Funny and Gruesome Updates

Just a few quick stories for you before I work on my super fun can't wait to share it all with you trip to Fox 17.

But I've had one of THOSE days today. Here is why......

Earlier today, as I was quickly cleaning up because while my husband had not said he was irritated at the state of our house, I could tell he was. You just know when you are moving things to get to the coffee pot and then can't get water out of the sink 'cuz the panS are still in there it's not a good morning. Anyhow...

S4 was standing on the porch, peeing off the porch to the driveway, waving.

I'll let you take in that mental image.......

Now, keep in mind, to get to the porch he had to walk past the bathroom. Because we only have one bathroom, I peeked in there and sure enough, it was EMPTY. It was as though he is so used to it being occupied he never even checked.

But why was he waving?

I asked him.

His "I can't believe you had to ask me this" reply was (brace yourself)......"It's just in case someone sees me peeing," he explained, "If they seen me that would be bad. They see me waving and that makes them happy."

Yes, that does make perfect sense.

Not very long after this, S2 and S3 were fighting, AGAIN. They were on the floor wrestling with anger. This never ends well. And it had been going on all morning and I just snapped. I hollered fear into them, getting them to settle down and quickly thought of the first thing that popped into my head. "YOU, sit at this end of the couch. YOU, sit on the other far end of the couch. You will sit there until you think of TEN things you like about your brother."

They were stunned.

Silenced.

Lunch was made and served and suddenly S2 came up with Ten things that I made him tell his younger brother. He thought he was in the clear, until I then made him WRITE THEM DOWN. The TORTURE!!!

He did, and then scarfed down his mac and cheese, letting me know just how this was the best ever in the whole world mac and cheese. Brown-noser.

It was after he had handed me the list that S3 began sobbing. SOBBING gut wrenching awful sobs. "What is it?" I asked, worried he was ill.

"I can't think of TEN things about Isaac that I like. I can't think of ONE. I'll be on the couch for the rest of my LIFE!!!" he wailed.

Thankfully, RC had set up a beach day for us and we were leaving in half an hour so he was spared the torture.

When we arrived to the beach, it was shockingly windy due to a thunderstorm and cool front moving in. I am not fond of this lake near our house, in stead I prefer the awesome lake we camp at. But this is literally mere moments from the house so it works well.

Usually.

RC and I sat in our beach chairs in the water. The water that is only chest high on S1 at the "booboo" as S4 calls it. (Buoy) We sat in water that was just up to our chair seats and I could not see my feet with the swirling seaweed and sticks and rocks and sand and FOAM. The whole lake was covered in foam today. RC knows I do not handle this well. But we were in desperate need of girl time so we were suffering through until, suddenly, behind us I spotted something so awful I screamed and made RC jump up and grab her chair.

A big old rotten cat fish floating by behind us.

The boys, of course, found this fascinating. I warned them to not touch it. RC realized that I could not handle water time anymore and graciously kept her chair firmly on the sand for me. We continued chatting away S3 calls out to me with glee to look at him.

On his shovel his is holding up the rotting dripping catfish carcass. I holler at him to drop it, which would be at my feet I realize so I holler at him to toss it in the far weeds near us. He does...but I never fully recovered from it.

That's my day folks. I am ready for bed. And the sun hasn't even set yet.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Why We Are a Memorable Family

I could have titled this "Why No One Wants To Sit With Us At Church", but the other title sounds nicer, don't you think?

I mean....we are memorable, right?

We woke up late Sunday, which isn't really abnormal on a Sunday for us (our one day off, really, as a family) and when Hubs decided we would skip Sunday School I went into overdrive and quickly threw together a dinner to cook while we were in church so when we got home, the nearly starved to death boys would have food.

As I was mixing up the lasagna, S4 informed me he could see those baby feeding things on me that are bigger than his. Lots bigger than his. I was wearing a slip (I didn't want to spill on my dress!) and his comment to me should have warned me this day was going to be odd.

Further evidence of this was that S1 was outside wrapping a pig skull in chicken wire so it could rot away and we could have the skull to show off. Sorry, HE could have the skull to show off. I was okay with not seeing the skull. S1's scent arrived to the house before he did....the boy STUNK. And he had five minutes to shower and dress.

We arrived to church, late. But, the lasagna was in the oven cooking - minus cheese because while Hubby had run to the store to get milk I had not picked up, I hadn't realized I was out of mozzarella cheese too, which is key to lasagna, you must admit, so we were going to have to do a store drive by on the way home.

So, we arrived late. We have two options. Beg to sit in the back row with another family or sit all the way in the very front.

We begged.

They were kind, we were at church you remember.

So we are all huddled closely in the back pew and I ask S4 if he wants to go to Junior church which he declines but S2 begs to go...he is just too old by a mere three years to go...and S4 begins to do his sad face of "I'm just so sad you would ask me to go somewhere fun all by myself so I must be miserable now" and begins to turn this way and that way and swing his legs and scooch around until he finally finds some who-knew-he-could-find-that-comfortable way of sitting and lays his head in my lap and falls asleep, soundly.

So now we are even more huddled together and scooched rather close to the other family (who has no kids with them this Sunday) when S3 asks for a Kleenex.

Upon digging through the bag I carry to church every Sunday I hand him the Kleenex and I watch as I assume he is going to blow his nose but no, he sticks the Kleenex in his mouth and begins to wiggle his tooth. He is one sleeping child and one drawing child away from me so I can't whisper to him to wait till we get home.

He gives me a play by play, in a whisper, of course. His whisper, however, is loud enough for three pews to hear him.

"Look, Moma, a wiggly tooth!"

"Look, blood!"

"Moma, there is more blood!"

The tooth is barely hanging in there, perhaps by one string of tooth root, when he points to it and says "Do you see my wiggly tooth?"

The Kleenex is covered in blood now and so he is also wiping the blood on his jeans. The jeans he slept in and wore to church. The ones I now see have his zipper completely down. Thank goodness he had underwear on.

His too big cowboy boots are swinging wildly with every wiggle of the tooth when suddenly I see him panic. He searches the pew, his shirt, HIS unzipped ZIPPER and I know the tooth has fallen out and is MIA.

S1 finds it. In the bloody Kleenex.

He holds the tooth up triumphantly, standing up (of course) huge grin minus one tooth and he is so excited and so happy I can't help but give him a thumbs up and grin back at him. The other family, who of course has seen this all play out, had the genius idea of putting the tooth in the offering envelope for safe keeping.

S3 licked the envelope and held it close to him, checking every few seconds for the hard spot in the bottom of the envelope to let him know his tooth was indeed, still there.

And then church was over. And S4 was awakened by the organ music, sat up, leaned his head back and went right back to sleep. The entire front of my dress was soaked with his sweat and drool. I ended up carrying him out in my spiky heels that sank in the grass with ever step I took.

Next week, I think we will try to be earlier. No one will have mercy on us and let us sit next to them if we are late.

An Evening at the Park in Photos

Recently, the two oldest boys were at a Tractor Show with my Dad for a few days so Hubby decided to spoil the boys a bit and take them to McDonald's for dinner. Afterwards I asked him if he wanted to stop by the park so we did....and I am so glad we did because it ended up being the absolute most fun thing. It is going to be one of those FAVORITE memories of mine for a very long time.

So here is our night, in photos........
First of all, we have the lion. There is always a fight to see who can get the lone lion first. S4 won, can you tell?

S3 is a swinging monkey bar king. So he tried to teach S4. And by the end of the night, they were both swinging monkeys.

I love the "oh no!" look on S4's face.

S4 mentioned to his Daddy that he would just really be happy if he could just hear that song "What the world needs is a few more Rednecks." Why? I don't know. But hubby was more than happy to look it up on youtube and play it for him. He spent the rest of the evening at the park singing bits of the song at odd times. Every time he burst out a new line I would start giggling.

Notice the cards on the table? We had just played cards at McDonalds and I thought I could beat him at another game at the park but we had so much fun we never played cards!


The boys spent a good long time on the tire swing chatting about what to move on to next to play on.

Since I was busy snapping all these photos of the boys, i asked Hub to pose with me. I love this picture.
And here are the boys being silly. They pulled this look off all on their own. Think they are having a good time?
While I was running around getting photos, Hubby was sitting at the table playing with his phone. The man would be L.O.S.T. without his Droid.

And then it occurred to me suddenly that I don't have hardly any photos of just me and the two youngest boys. It's always all four of the boys together. So i asked Hub to snap a picture before we left.

I am framing this one.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Critters on the Farm

(this post is dedicated to KE, who will despise this blog post, but her kids will love.)

Because we get too many in one day, and because I was going through all my photos and seen all these pictures I thought I would post them up here for you all to get a glimpse into what our boys consider a good day.

You know you are having a good boy day when S4 asks to pray and he prays "Dear God, thanks for the turtle and the frog and the snake and the watermelon. It's a great day. Amen."

So, here is a picture of a gartner snake, my hubby is holding it, he thrust it at my face and I screamed bloody murder. Notice the green shirt of one of the boys, scared they are not. Laughing they all were at their girly moma. I LIKE being girly!

Here is a garter snake that S1 is holding and I zoomed the camera in to get a close picture of it and it just is blurry but nightmarish so why not share? It was on the camera, I figured I might as well.


Here is a blue spotted salamander. This is the largest one I have ever seen, I believe. Hubby found it in the field and handed it off to S3 who was more than happy to take it for him. We used to catch these all the time as kids but the boys don't find too many. I think they are too cool so I make sure they let them go the same day they catch them. One time we tried to keep one, later in the day we had to have a funeral for it after the unfortunate bathtub incident.


See, aren't they just the cutest? Love those salamander smiles!


This is a big honkin' bull frog. S3 thought it should live in the house. I did not. I am not sure how I should feel about him thinking that our home is PERFECT for bullfrogs.



A painter turtle + two toads = a great day.




This, THIS, is the cutest toad EVER. How can you not smile at that cute face?



One morning, S2 went outside, seen this baby bird on the grill, picked it up and brought it in the house to show me at 6:30 in the morning. He had been headed out to check his tomatoes, of course. He named this bird Wing. Wing lived with us for a day. The boys informed me it had a hurt wing. It seemed to fly around the house just fine, I thought. And when we let it outside, it flew to the squawking and calling birds in the old orchard by our house.


Here is a boxer turtle. I literally turned around to go back and get this cute thing. It rode on the back seat of the suburban and seemed genuinely happy for the ride. He was a big hit at the Vacation Bible School pick up time too. This is Lauren (check her mom's great blog and great stories about Lauren here) and she informed me that she doesn't like this turtle. She only thinks Snapping Turtles are the pet turtles to have.


But I think Boxer turtles are by FAR my favorite turtle. And we let it go in the swamp out back so I hope that I cross it's path very soon. No turtle is as cheery as a yellow boxer.


And to leave you with, here is a picture of the bunny that got away and hid in our house for about 48 hours only to be found, and then once put on the porch it escaped again but it escaped outside so I wish it only the best. And you have to admit, it was adorable.


So there you have it, a glimpse into some of the wildlife on our farm here. We don't necessarily find them all in the same day...but all in a week or so wouldn't be out of the realm of possiblitly. Which is why Becca won't be visiting any time soon, and why KE thinks our life should be a reality show. Hope these pictures make you come visit us soon, Farmer's Wife! Maggie would have a ball playing Survivor man here, I am sure! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

SKYPEing with Fox 17

It's been awhile since I have talked about Fox 17 and Morning Mom updates and I really wanted to share this story with you all.

After our completely uneventful camping trip (a moment of silence as you all laugh hysterically, because I have more people telling me how hard they laughed at the naked shower incident. I still can't believe it happened...or that I posted it.). For whatever reason, my most favorite news people wanted to chat about our camping trip.

And they wanted to SKYPE.

I've never SKYPEd. The whole idea frightens me. I mean, other than the fact that I get red and blotchy all over my neck and upper chest when nervous, embarrassed, stressed, scared, laughing too hard, driving with a seat belt on, eating ketchup.....well, you get the idea....there is the whole WHAT COULD HAPPEN while on LIVE TV.

I live with my boys. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. I KNOW.

And besides, I've seen people SKYPE. It seems like it's hard to catch the delay well. Awkward. And I like talking on the phone. It works well for me. But for them I am willing to go out of my comfort zone....as my husband has been surprised to see (talk to strangers, no prob! drive far far far away? sure! go places I have never been before? why not? Leave my little farm? Happy to! Out of my shell, people, and it's GREAT FUN!)

So, I woke the boys early. To them. Jr was over, and one can only imagine the chaos. Hubby was home from work that morning, oddly enough, because he was working nights. And he absolutely did not want to me on camera. So while setting up the computer (iphoto booth ROCKS on my mac. I turn it on, we see how scary we look in the morning and adjust lights as best as possible) my hubby was calling out ideas and reminding me not to be nervous and then dunking and diving to be sure to NOT be TV.

As we sat in front ready to go, Jr filled his diaper. Loudly. What could I do? They couldn't smell it, so we smiled and waved to the news people we watched. Mike waved a donut in front of the camera as we were waiting, I heard four boys tummies growl.

And honestly, I ate it up, watching them get ready for the news they had to report on. Fox 17 is funny, entertaining, caring, high energy, willing to laugh at themselves and really know how to report the news in a fresh way....even if I hadn't been chosen to be Morning Mom, I would say this. They are that great. And watching them behind the scenes on my mac computer screen, well, I had new appreciation of them again. And I honestly do feel these people are good friends, even if I have never met them living face to living face before.

So we did the live shot and as usual, once chatting with them I feel like I am just sitting at the dining room table chatting, cuz, well, I am. The boys were sleepy. They were momentarily tongue tied. Jr ate up being on live tv. You can watch it HERE. We ended the bit and S3 let one fly. And I nearly gagged.

For the next segment, I really wanted to see if we could pull of having the computer being outside. Since the boys all but live outside all the time, where better to be? And then they all wanted to show off frogs and snakes and chickens. But it was cold (thankfully) so we just grabbed chickens.

Jr loves chickens. He was thrilled.


S1 has his pet chicken, named Broadhead after an arrow broadhead. But it just so happens that the morning anchor is named Sarah Brodhead. You can imagine how that would appear.

We found the place we thought would be best and when the time got to be close, we huddled around the computer.

Along with a million out of nowhere mosquitoes.

As we seen the commercial coming to an end and knew we would be up next, S4 suddenly decided he could not hold the chicken anymore, it being a nice healthy fat hen. Fat means HEAVY. Suddenly, he drops the hen.

It flies through the air.

Toward my computer.

I would do a great many things to protect my computer.

And I also wasn't aware of what great live TV this would make, cutting to us as a giant hen flies toward the viewers.

But it missed us.


No one seen the hen. And the segment went just fine and dandy. You can watch it HERE and let me know if you can tell we were trying to regroup just as we came on.

(notice the Praise and Coffee mug? Coffee is ALWAYS near!)


I never know what will happen. I have more than a few people telling me they wished that there was a camera running here all the time (I am soooooooo glad there isn't. No one should know how many loads of laundry and dishes I really have to do.) But it was a fun morning, chatting about Canada and on Canada Day and having Hubs home to watch us and snap a few photos.

It always amazes me that Fox 17 really does seem to enjoy chatting with us, that we are entertaining, cuz to us it's just regular daily life.

But Fox 17 makes it much more fun, our daily life. And I am forever grateful to them.


(You can become fans of Fox 17 HERE. Stay tuned next week...we will be visiting THE studio. I am soooooooo excited. Mom and I went shopping and we found an adorable outfit...with a scoop neck. Working on being brave enough to wear it...I'll keep you updated..........)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Our First Trip Ever to Craig's Cruisers

This week a dear friend of ours treated all the boys and I to a trip to Craig's Cruisers. We have never taken the boys there but they know fully well what it is because we have to drive by it regularly on the high way. They have a prominent real estate location, right where every child and man who wishes he was still a child can see.

The trip was a total surprise to them. If you would like to watch their reaction, you can HERE. Think they were excited?

The biggest thing they could not wait to do is ride the Go Carts. Sadly, I have no video of this event, only this photo. But I am confident the memory will last a good long time in their heads. At this photo, S1, S2, S3 and I were waiting for our turn to drive. S1 was confident, being the professional garden tractor driver he is. S2 was nervous, he and S1 had ridden a bit before and he had crashed, getting a mark on his wrist band that stated if he crashed again, he would be banned from driving that day. S3 was ecstatic, he was riding in the BIG cars, he didn't even mind that Moma had to drive him.
So we piled into the cars. S2 was relieved to get the junior sized car, S3 and I got the double passenger and S1 was ready in his speeder.

But his Moma was gonna make a race of it. As I sat there rumbling my innards about in the little go cart, I knew my chances were not great. But if I could just head out before the crowd....and we did. Being a double seater it wasn't as fast as a regular one but S3 and I gave it our best shot. I kept the gas to the floor (as soon as I figured it out) and we gunned it. S3 kept sticking his head out to look back and give me play by plays.....and when S1 gained on us, we swerved, we shrieked, we jumped up and down to urge the go cart faster, and he passed us, that S1, laughing giddily as he did.

It was a great time. No crashes, no hits, just laughs.

And S4 didn't mind. Because he was having too much fun doing this.........
In fact, S3 and S4 spent a large majority of the day here. S4 grabbed the John Deere cart as often as possible, but here he did not. And this is the only photo I have. But if you would like to see a short run around the track, you can see it HERE. The poor young girl who was working here, I am quite sure she was weary of my boys. S3 had a plan, to drive fast and if you were in his way, he would push you out. He took the parking spot for the carts as a short cut, ramming the tires as he tried to speed by. And when it came time to stop, he assumed that meant everyone but him. And since he had just been racing and not braking, instead of stopping gradually, he slammed into the protective wall and waited for the girl to come rescue him. She never complained, she never sighed in disgust, she was kind to them all day long.

And it was hot. And she had no shade. She could have been grumpy.

After the cart rides and the water ride, we headed in to eat. It's a kids paradise. More so for my boys...who could eat AS MUCH AS THEY WANTED.
Even ice cream. That you could get all on your own.
They will have happy dreams of this for years to come.........

After lunch we thought we should do something not so motion related so we thought a peaceful time of put put golf would be perfect.

Please believe me....I am not even slightly exaggerating, my life flashed before my eyes.

Put put golf is DANGEROUS.

It started innocently enough. And there were happy moments, like when S1 finally was able to inspect this house he had been wondering about all these years as we drove by it. (the funny thing is that there was a little itty bitty rocking chair on this porch that was the perfect size for S4. He would have been content to stay there, I think.

It might have been safer.
I'll just give you the basics....

S3 nearly took my entire left side of my face off. He went to swing....and he swung high and fast and hard. Sue and I are still dumbfounded how it missed me.

S4 was running to chase his golf ball, because, why would you ever let it roll away from you?, when S3 hit another hard liner....right for S4's back side. He does have a faint bruise we seen after bath time. At the moment, we told him to shake it off, trying to avoid a melt down. But then Sue and I looked at each other and winced. It had looked painful.
A golf ball was lost to a fence, a bush, a fence again, more bushes, tall grass, another hole, rocks...and all were rescued. A ball hit the waterfall and we almost lost S3 who chased after it. All of us were screaming for him and he had one thought, "my blue ball is floating away in the blue water". But he stopped short, miraculously.

I'm not sure how we survived. It was the longest game of put put golf in the history of put put golf. I have never golfed. I haven't put put golfed but maybe three times in my life. There should be warning signs about it....I have no idea how on earth it could ever be called relaxing.

But we did survive.

And all in all, other than the phone that dropped in the toilet that we are praying hard over to come back to us and not be permanently damaged....we had a super duper great time. In fact, the boys would dare say it was one of their best day ever...but then S1 would pause, blush and mutter "well, except that one incident....."

And I'd smile at him. Because I seen when he accidentally walked into the girls bathroom, embarrassingly realized his mistake and back tracked quickly, hurried so fast to get into the right bathroom that he literally walked right into the wall.

Other than that, it was a perfect day. A dream come true for my boys. And my dear friend, I could not thank you enough.

But it's so great a thing you did for us that I must say it again....thank you.

S4 may have said it best..."I just have to give you a hug Moma, because I love you and because when I go to sleep tonight I will see go-carts in my eyes."
And I think we should start visiting all those little coffee shops for research really soon....minus about five kids.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Rule of Three

Many apologies to Becca who tagged me ever so long ago and I am just now responding. I didn't totally forget, Becca!

Our Crazy Boys is a great blog I have been following for awhile now. Becca answers all my Mac questions with patience. She lives a life totally unlike mine, I do believe, and I have come to think of her as a dear friend. She has literally kept me giggling in waiting rooms of the Walk in Clinics and given me new ways to think about my life that is always refreshing. Her blog is a hoot, check it out because I know you will love it.

The jist is, I give three answers to the questions. You can check out Becca's answers HERE.

Three Names I Go By.

Moma.

Dee.

Auntie Dee.

Three Jobs I Have Had.

(other than being a wife and mom)

Farm Market.

Newspaper Stringer (for a super short time).

Waitress.

Three Favorite Drinks.

Coffee.

Iced Tea.

.....water.....but I can live dangerously and add lemon.

OH! I like those fruit drinks...what are they called? Vitamin Water. XXX is my FAVORITE. But I hardly ever get them.

Three TV Shows I Watch

Fox 17 News...all the time. :)

24, when it was on.

Glee. I admit it. I watch it when I can.

And I am currently looking for a new show to watch, to look forward to every week this fall and winter. Suggestions?

Three Places I Have Been.

Hawaii my senior year in high school, to see my Aunt.

Canada two boys ago, to visit that same Aunt. (she is VERY loved)

When I was little, my parents took us all to see the coal mines in West Virginia and the Ocean. I loved it. And only remember snippets, which is sad.

That's it....other than Upper MI or Indiana, that's all the places I have been other than home.

(though I really really really liked Becca's answer on this.......I've been there, AM there, too!)

Three Places I Would Like To Visit.

Montana. Especially a farm in Cohagen.

All of the USA, really. I hear about it all and would love to just travel it over. In an RV. With a full time tour guide and me not driving. And especially Becca's pool when it is cold here. And R's place in Texas, cuz she lives around the corner from Cabela's and didn't even know what it was and she runs to Starbucks all the time and that would just be fun.

Germany, to visit my cousin and travel around with her. We could go to all of Europe and I would be okay with that.

And Australia. Because I want to say "good'ay" so badly. And Paris, because I read Almost French and now I have to go to BOTH Australia and Paris.

And I know that's really four places. But Montana is IN the USA so really it's three.

Three Favorite Dishes

Anything my mom makes. Really.

All kinds of bread.

Peanut butter. I eat it every single day.

Three Things I am Looking Forward To.

More beach days this summer.

Helping Sue with Praise and Coffee, especially the tour of coffee shops and writing. I love to write.

Sleep. I just have to say, I just love to sleep. Read and sleep. And I don't get nearly enough of it. Ever. I always am not finished reading and not getting enough sleep.

Thus another reason for coffee.



So, now you all know......I am sure your life is better by knowing these things about me.


Dirty Pics...as in Muddy Dirt

You have all seen the pictures....you know that our boys can be mud covered. VERY mud covered.But recently, this is how I looked...pretty much all day long. Notice my hands? Covered in mud. I was completely drenched in mosquito spray...it was like this invisible protection all around me. Sadie did not fare as well.
The funny thing is, Hubby thought it was the coolest thing ever to see me all dirty in my garden trying to start this perennial garden. He wanted to capture the moment.

So since we usually just post nice pictures of us, when make up and clothes and hair are just so and we are feeling pretty confident in sending it out into the cyberspace, well, I am taking a huge risk in showing you these.

Just trying to keep it real out here on our little farm.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary to my Wonderful Husband

Today is our anniversary, Hub and me.
We spent part of this past Sunday afternoon on our front porch, rocking in our separate rocking chairs, quietly chatting so the boys wouldn't know we were out there eating ice cream without them as they watched Duct Tape forever...again.

It wasn't anything deep. We were discussing the book I had just read, the crops, the wood he had cut, how to get over poison ivy...just random pieces of our weekend.

But there is no one else I would rather spend the rest of my life with on a little front porch rocking in the rocking chair, eating ice cream and discussing mundane life tidbits with.

We have reached that point where we are no longer newlyweds (thank goodness!) but we aren't the oldest couple out there either (ie, much to learn). Some days it seems like we have just gotten married, but then we glance back at all the boys in the back of the suburban and know full well it's been awhile since we said "I do".

When I said "I do" to him, I did not think I could possibly be more in love. I looked at our brand new future life through rose colored glasses, and at my husband the same way, sure our life would be a fairy tale.

And now I look at him and love him more than I can put into words, I know very well that life - married life and life in general - is tough. But I also know that it is worth all the work, a hundred times over it is worth all the work.

Because I am truly blessed. I am truly head over heels in love with my hubby. And I hope that one day, fifty years from now (when I am still younger than him!) we are still rocking in rocking chairs on our front porch, staring out at the crops, discussing grand kid tid bits and eating ice cream.

THAT is a real life fairy tale life.

I love you, ever so much, Jake. Thank you for marrying this little country girl all those years ago, and then spending all these years laughing and being my best friend and loving me on my bad days and holding me on tough days and being a great daddy to all the boys we've been blessed with.

You make me laugh, you make me break out in silly songs...you make my tummy do butterfly flip flops and my knees go weak.

Here is a song we both really liked, but didn't know the other liked it, till we watched the top 20 countdown one lazy coffee drinking Saturday. I think it's one of Reba's best. Enjoy.....



Monday, July 19, 2010

S1 Turns Eleven

On Friday it was S1’s birthday. He turned eleven. ELEVEN.

He wasn't even home, he was at a tractor show all weekend with his Papa. He didn't mind at all.
fixing bikes while we are camping this June

I blinked. Really. All I did is think I’d catch a few seconds of rest and I blinked and woke up to a boy who has the same size feet as me, stands at my shoulder, and is more little man than little boy.

I’m not sure I am ready for that.
with Daddy

It has amazed me over the past year how much older he has gotten. Last year, watching him, I had the sinking feeling it was his last year as a little boy. I was right. Now when we go camping or to the beach, he is ready to play and laugh with his brothers but he wants to be with the adults or lost in a book as well.

He saves his money to buy, get this, TOOLS or another pig hunt. Honest.


ready for Memorial Day on his Wheel Horse tractor he restored with my Dad


I find myself asking him for help more than him asking me for help. He helps get his brothers in order to head out, he helps fix the cupboard that is falling off the wall, he helps take the door down, helps take a hitch out…the boy has taken over the old milk shed on our property, it’s tiny, and he has it just right, every tool and fishing pole in the right spot (if only he cleaned his room like that!).



with his Russian Boar mount, July this year

He is sensitive, he is strong, and he has such a strong black and white view of things that he causes others to rethink their positions on subjects. He eats more than his Daddy and then he eats more.

I love him. I can’t believe he is eleven. I can’t believe I blinked. Because it is becoming all to clear to me that I have such a small amount of time with all my boys.

Happy birthday, Andrew!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

S2 And His Garden

S2 had spring fever probably worse than any of us. Before the time change, he was awake at six, he was out the door before seven and he played until we left for school. When he got home he literally dropped the book bag at the door and RAN outside to his 'garden'. When the snow was still on the ground he was scouting a spot. When the snow melted, he dug out child sized rakes and raked clean the grass. He has asked about every other day if we will get the rototiller out so he can plant some seeds.

His plan is to grow his own little garden, set up his own little stand at the farmer's market and sell his own produce. He would like to make one hundred dollars.

What will he grow? Oh, he's not sure yet.

What will he do with the 100 dollars? He's not too sure about that.

When does he want to start planting? Yesterday!

It is fun to watch him. I have ordered him a bunch of books from the library about kid's gardens. He struggles with reading and this project he is actually looking forward to learning more about and I will feed that just as much as I can.

He scouts out his Daddy's garden and will dig up things he feels Daddy has neglected. That had to be stopped.

We went to a greenhouse on the last day they were opened and he was ecstatic when the owner pointed to a huge mound of discarded vegetable plants and told him he could take all he wanted. For FREE.

He cleaned the place out.

He gingerly takes care of all the tomato plants he has rescued. When he got his first cucumber we cut it in teeny tiny pieces and layered it into our salad for dinner and he beamed with pride.

He notices any body else's tomatoes and has long conversations with him about them. He checks his tomatoes as soon as he gets up and again in the afternoon and just one more time before he goes to bed. He gives me updates all day how red certain tomatoes are getting.

The boy got his Daddy's love of gardening.

Wanted, Dead or Alive

A few nights ago, my Hubby was out working in the fields when he came upon a little baby bunny. A "Wild Rabbit" as my boys call them. It was so tiny and he was able to just scoop it up. And this was just too cute not to share, so he brought it to us in the house. I oohed and aahed over it, cuz it IS that cute, but the boys fell in love with the little thing and wanted to keep it for forever and forever...or until it got so big it could live on its own.

Before we could even say, "we'll think about it" they had a milk crate lined in an old towel, a little dish of water, grass and a carrot in the milk crate and every one of them was taking the time to cuddle with the bunny to show us how responsible they all are.

So we agreed. In hopes it would be let go later this week.

And it was, just not the way we intended.

The bunny escaped the coop. Some time in the night, it got out of the crate and is hiding in our house.

I have searched every corner I can, I have crawled on my hands and knees, I sorted EVERY piece of dirty laundry, and I still cannot find it.

Anywhere.
I think I'll put a poster on the door for anyone who stops in "wanted, dead or alive, this cute bunny".

Cuz when the weather man is talking 95 degrees with high humidity this week, uh, you don't want to smell out the little bunny's hiding place.

And once we do find it, cute as it is, it's living outside, where if it escapes again, it can find other bunny friends to live with instead of dusty house corners.

PS As I was loading the photo up on this story, Sadie began tearing the living room apart. As I hollered at her, from the corner of my eye I seen a flash of brown. Followed by the clamor of Sadie in hot pursuit. THE BUNNY!!!!!!! I was screaming at Sadie so loud to stop that the boys came falling into the house and what do they see? Their moma, still in her jammies, diving over the garbage can to pick up a bunny. Unhurt. And now it lives outside. In a crate. On the porch. The end.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Mom is Ready to Defend Her Swing...Again.

Many of you recall my recent story of my mom and the snake that is huge at her swing. If you have missed this must read, you can catch up here.

My mom has tried to resign herself to the fact the snake, in fact, is staying under the swing. When the huge blue racer sees my dad, it slithers quickly away. And so a 'happy normalcy' has settled upon the quaint homestead of my parents.

Until the other day.

My mom called me. The conversation went a little like this...

Mom. "You will never ever guess what."

Me. "What?"

Mom. "THE SNAKE....(by the way, this is all she calls it now. THE SNAKE. We all know whom she means.)...it has relatives."

Me. "Oh. No."

Mom. "Yes. I went out to the chicken coop...barefoot...because why wouldn't I? And there, in the corner, stuck in a corner by a fence, is a three or four foot blue racer."

Me. "What did you do?"

Mom. "Screamed and ran all the way to the house."

Me. "I guess I would too. Is it still there?"

Mom. "How would I know? I'm waiting for your Father to get home. But you know he will let it out to meet up with the rest of the snake family."

I know this too. My Dad just can't kill them. He has too much respect for a large snake like these are.

And Blue Racers keep Rattlesnakes away, he reasons, so they are WORKING snakes.

My mom would agree. They work hard at keeping her from her chickens and her swing.

So she calls me yesterday.

Mom. "I have a snake update for you."

Me. "Great! I need to do a blog post update anyhow."

Mom. "You know how it was weird storming this weekend? Well, it was raining and the sun is shining so I thought I would try to go out to the swing. I haven't seen THE SNAKE for a little while now so I thought it would be safe. So your sister and Baby Back-up went with me since they were over. Well, Baby Back-up picked up a broken hoe and she began to hit the platform the swing is on and guess who decided to see what was going on."

Me. "THE SNAKE."

Mom. "Yes."

Me. "What did you do then?"

Mom. "I screamed. Your Father got a good chuckle out of that. He was up at the house and he heard me scream and he knew exactly what had happened."

Me. "What did my sister do?"

Mom. "She told me it's a natural thing, a snake, and there was nothing to be afraid of. But," mom chuckled, "she had her feet up in the air like me with Baby Back-up squeezed tight in her arms."

Me. "What did THE SNAKE do?"

Mom. "Raised it's head, stuck it's tongue out at me and went back under the swing."

Me. "How did you get off the swing."

Mom. "We jumped as far as we could and ran for the house."

Secretly, I would have laughed had I seen this. I mean, I would have done the same thing, but I sure would have loved to see my mom and my sister holding her little daughter jumping as far as they could off a swing and running for the house.

So, when I was walking out the door today to spend an afternoon with a friend and seen my mom call, I picked up wondering what story she had for me this time. All our conversations of late seem to be about the snake or get around to the snake and since we had just spent the morning chatting, I figured a new story was about to be told.

Mom. "Have you been watching the news?"

Me. "No. Why?"

Mom. "I just would have never believed it if I hadn't just seen it on the news....did you know that there is AN ALBINO PYTHON loose IN MY COUNTY??????"

Here's the thing. She is right. According to Fox 17 and many other area news stations, there is an ALBINO PYTHON on the loose. It is literally less than ten miles from her house, this huge albino python no one can find but lots of people have seen and the news is advising people to keep small pets in sight so as not to be eaten. Ten. Miles. From. Her. SWING.

Honest.

It's so crazy I just can't make this stuff up.

It's huge. They have people searching for it and still can't find it.

Mom. "Here's the thing. I just know THE SNAKE is sending radar out to that albino python saying "come live here! This swing is great!""

And see, we KNOW how far a snake can travel. My mom is a nervous wreck, and will be less a nervous wreck when the python - the PYTHON, people! - is caught. Then she will just have THE SNAKE to worry about....and maybe it won't seem so bad if a python isn't there.

Maybe.

But I doubt it.


Barefoot with a Fishing Pole In Church

We have VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church this week. Yesterday, S3 refused to go. He didn't want me to be home all alone. Isn't that sweet of him? I was completely fine, COMPLETELY fine, to be home alone but how could I refuse him? So he stayed home with me where we made up a special lunch for his brothers and he played quietly, enjoying his time alone at home.

It was nice. Really, it was a sweet time together.

This morning, however, he decided he would like to go to VBS. So, we hurried around (because we always and forever seem to run late) and we rushed off to church. Rushing off I felt that sick feeling you get when you realize that all to soon I will do this EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL MORNING.

May summer never end.
Upon arriving to church, S1 began to pull out fishing poles out of the back of the suburban. It's fishing theme day at VBS and, let me tell you, we are prepared for such a day. He had thought to take all the hooks off, which was brilliant of him.
It was about this time we realized that S3 had forgotten his shoes at home. We did not have a spare pair in the vehicle. S2 panicked. "How can he go into church with no shoes on??????"
S1 answered him with a practical reply of "It's church. What's he need shoes for inside a church?"

Brilliant son, I tell you.
So, just to get this image correctly formed in your head, S3 is going to church with long jeans and a long sleeved hooded shirt on because the poor thing has poison ivy. The poison ivy is less tempting to itch if he has long clothes on. But just the same, you see the rash prominently on his forehead and chin. He is barefoot. And he is carrying a fishing pole. Into church.
I am thankful for our church family. They love us anyhow...and I do believe we are memorable family there.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yummy Blueberry Shakes

I have five million blog posts to write to you all. Okay, maybe not five million but literally I am jotting notes all the time down next to the computer. I need to be grounded...sent to my room and refused to be let out until all these blog posts are done....I wish. Kids, they have it so good.

But I do have this funny little story to tell you.

I heard Cohagen's Chronicles talking about Blueberry Shakes and got thinking how yummy those are at the 50"s diner my Dad and Mom take me to every once in a blue moon and then wondered, hey, why can't I make them?

So I made the boys be my guinea pigs.

I made them with enough blueberries to make them blue and chunky a bit, vanilla ice cream and milk.

S1 sipped long. "Moma, these are sooooooooo good. You could, like, be a professional shake maker."

S2 agreed with, "Yah, you should really get a job at McDonald's."

"McDonald's!" S1 cried. "Oh no, somewhere better than McDonald's!" He sipped again. "Burger King or some place nicer like that!"

I'll take a compliment any way I can.....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Feel Loved Now, Daddy?

Recently, the boys had a bought with the flu. When S4 gets the flu, he is really good at running to the toilet on time. However, he gives me a play by play leading up to being ill. I appreciate you all, so I will spare you the gruesome details.

He also requires me to rub his back. Demands it, really. And even with his head over the toilet he holds one hand up giving me directions on how I should form my hand to rub his back, open hand, fisted, knuckles, etc.

The other night, we were done with dinner and the table was being cleared and Hubby asked for a back rub. The boys rushed to his aid, and S4, rubbing ferociously, asked if it felt good.

"Oh, yah," he answered.

"I knowed that, Daddy cuz it's my pukeded rub. When I pukeded, Moma rubs me like this."

Wow, Daddy, feel loved now? Cuz that is true love back rub there!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Handwritten Note

Some time ago, the Grand Rapids Press had an article asking if the art of handwritten letters was lost in this time of facebook, email etc. At the time, my friend An and I were writing to each other, long hand, once a week. She and I both entered to try to win the book they were giving as a grand prize, but, we didn't win. I did, however, get mentioned. I came across the letter I wrote and thought I'd share it with you......

Feb. 6th 2008

Dear J-,

Hello!

It was wonderful to read your recent article "Write On". The title immediately caught my attention. A dear friend of mine and I write letters to each other as often as we can - we try for once a week -. With seven boys between the two of us (ages 8 to infant) it is much easier (and way more fun!) to write than to try to call. What fun to get a letter from her! We decorate the envelopes with stickers to make them as girly as possible - we need to express our inner girl being surrounded by boys as we are! We just fill each other in on the day to day "going-ons". and for two happily married stay at home moms, we have a lot to write about!

For instance, last week I was attempting to get some chocolate chip cookies baked before my two oldest got off the school bus. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a big flash of white and turn in time to see out my kitchen window my two geese flapping their wings and squawking loudly down the driveway. Josie, my darling dog, was right behind them. This is not a scene that promises to be good. I quickly checked on my youngest two, who were watching a movie, called Josie back into the house, and took off running the driveway. I seen a car slow to a crawl and heard a squawk and knew my geese were definitely in the road. Thankfully (maybe? I know I seen them laughing!) there were two commercial trucks sitting on the side of the road, slowing traffic. And there, in the middle of the road, were Mr. Goose and Miss Goosey, looking completely flustered. I was sure they'd eaten enough over these three years to not fly but they, in fact, skimmed over the road surprisingly well. Imagine the scene...two large geese being chased down the middle of the road by a woman in a bright yellow apron. This is just not something one sees every afternoon! But those geese flew right into the side yard and once they had gotten over the shock of it all, waddled - rather loudly - back the to the safety of the coop.

And although I was WAY winded after that, the cookies were still done on time and when my hubby called to say "anything new with you today?" what could i say? "Oh, same ol', same ol'," I replied, "you know, typical chase the geese day." It concerns me slightly that this even seemed normal to my husband of ten years.

This is the live we love, these are the stories we live, and we laugh through it all - even when we are so tired we have tears as we are laughing. Our letters keep us laughing and it makes our friendship a special treasure.

So, thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you are bombarded with hand written notes.

Happy Reading to you!
Denise

I miss those hand written letter days. I hope your day is going great today, An!

So what do YOU think? Is the art of hand written letters a thing of the past?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!

Amoung all the cheering and parades and fireworks and picnics and vacation days...there are soldiers far away from family. Fighting hard so we can enjoy this day.

And there have been many who have fought for us for generations.

In all the time of celebrating and thanking God for this amazing country we live in, please take a moment to check out this blog...


This girl, bravely, packed her two young boys, lived in a terminal for FIVE days to fly to be with her soldier who was in Germany for a week. I have cried lots of tears reading this saga...start at Part One, and read up. You will be glad you did, you have a better appreciation for our Soldiers and the Families that are keeping the family working all alone.

Thank God for our wonderful Country. Thank a soldier. And thank the families behind those soldiers.

"Land of the free because of the brave."