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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ramblings as Summer Comes to an End

I am apologizing now for any therapeutic blog posts i may, in fact, post this week. This is our last week of summer vacation.

The.

Last.

Week.

I imagine you know this about me already, but in case you are new to reading this blog, I like my kids home. I enjoy watching them play. Oh, sure, they make me pull my hair out and I loose my patience with them but as a whole, I'd rather have them home than anywhere else.

Because I enjoy them.

Because I love them.

And because all through the summer I know everything about them, I get to see their personalities explode outdoors as they play, and then they go to school and I won't know them again until June.

This is rough week for me....because I go between getting teary eyed and emotional to being all "we must live every moment to the fullest!" to thinking I should start them on a schedule of proper sleep.

I'm a basket case this week. I just wanted to forewarn you. Next week I'll be sobbing. Seriously.

But then you will get normal blog posts from me again.

I just felt you should be warned.


Cuttin Wood...

I am supposed to be over at Praise and Coffee today but I didn't get to writing that article and I hope that if I arrive with cookies Sue will forgive me and next week you can find me over there.
The reason I didn't is because over the weekend I was too tired to write...and if I did have a burst of energy, my fingertips were too sore to type.

Seriously.

Over the weekend I helped my hubby cut firewood. Now, as I kiddo I used to do this with my Dad and siblings. We would get a clear cut and go in and cut all the wood and haul it up hills to fill a truck that would be overflowing with wood and slowly drive it home where we would then fill our basement for our years worth of wood (that part of the basement is now where my boys play and sleep when they visit, this is astounding to me) and then when that was full we would stack it up and sell cords and ricks of wood.

So when we got our outdoor wood burner to heat our house and hot water, hubby was sure I'd be great help. He had married him a wood cuttin gal.

Except we kept having kids........so I have never helped him cut wood. I have, however, filled the wood stove many many times. But out in the woods cutting wood with him? Never.

But this weekend he had to get some wood, it was sorta an emergency gather, and asked if I would help.

The first load of wood really wasn't too bad. And I have to admit, smelling that wonderful red oak smell of fresh chopped wood and hearing the two youngest boys playing in the woods building forts made me think fondly of my wood cutting days with my Dad and siblings.
Here I am, after the first load of wood. This was our small load.

When we got this loaded, hubby and our super great neighbor who just likes to throw wood (really???? just enjoys all that hard work??? Thank you a million times over T!) I was rushing around getting lunch for everyone and then getting more cold drinks, getting snacks, getting laundry on the line and getting the tomatoes stocked on the stand.

And then all six of us headed out to get the big log out in the deep, beautiful woods. This log had fallen, blocking the road, and we were called to remove it. I love the woods we were at, my creative mind goes into over drive as the boys and I explored as Hubs was cutting up the wood. I can't stress it enough, these woods are BEAUTIFUL.

(this pic is especially for the Farmers Wife, who has ONE tree on her ranch)
Here is my super strong Ax Man chopping up the logs for us to fill the trailer with. We worked until dinner time and got the trailer fully loaded. S4 came up with some interesting music, a variation of Buffalo Bob and Michigan Man from Michigan Outdoors and with S3 as his guitar player stick player and serenaded us all afternoon. ALL. AFTERNOON.

Our two oldest were so tired from a sleepover they could hardly keep their eyes open. And then they were starving so they had to share a peanut butter sandwich and some cookies...which they devoured.

And I got to watch my husband chop and cut wood up and was amazed - again - at his immense strength.

But when we got home and our terrific neighbor T helped unload the wood again and I got dinner started I realized I couldn't feel my fingertips.

The next day, Sunday, I nodded off in church a bit.

I came home Sunday, served the family dinner, fell on our bed and slept for three solid hours.

Apparently, I am a wimp.

But I am a wimp that truly had a great time spending time with my family out in the woods.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Meltdown

In church last Sunday, we arrived close to on time. This is huge. We attended Sunday School, minus one boy who was visiting his aunt and uncle, and I watched as church began when S4 leaned against S1 and they were all so cute I leaned over to Hubby and whispered. "I'm so glad you gave me four boys."

It was a beautiful moment but I jinxed myself in that moment.

After the singing and scripture reading, S3 took it upon himself to use his hands as a telescope to check out the guest speaker and the congregation. S1 was sitting right next to me, which never happens by the way and I just was soaking up, so I had to reach around him to flick S3 in the ribs and mouth "knock it off!"

The looks a moma knows how to give.

Usually we sit in the back of the church. For some reason, we didn't this Sunday. We were near the front. Very near.

S3 continued to pull his shirt up over his head, skooch around I don' t know how so he was in essence mooning the back of the church and every time I flicked him, gave him "the look", he hung his head, waited for me to pay attention to the service and started up at it again.

So I hauled him out of church.

And I am sure we were a sight because I was, at this point, angry. And he was, at this point, realizing he was in BIG trouble. And I was in a little black dress with black heels feeling all girly and grown up and he was dragging behind me in his light up blue shoes with tears and quivering lip.

And I was dragging him.

RC later asked how he was doing. She says she feared for him as she watched him...from the back of the church.

I hauled him into the women's bathroom where he spilled his guts "I don't want to be here! I want to go home! I want to go home! I want to sleep! I want to go home! I don't want to be here!"

He went hysterical on me.

And the timer on the lights in the bathroom was off and so it was dark and we were sure to be heard so I quickly hauled him outside where he continued his wailing of "I want to go home! I want to go to sleep! I don't want to be here! I want to go home!"

So I drug him to the suburban, told him to get in, shut the door, and let him wail. And he did for a full solid ten minutes.

While I sat on the back bumper and felt the sting of tears and wondered just how I was supposed to handle such a situation.

I mean, what would you do?

Me? I hung out on the bumper, watched ants crawl in the gravel, waited for church to get done where my husband knew I was barely hanging on (and also knew I was going to find a way to blog about this) and when we got home I fed him lunch and sent him to bed. Where he didn't sleep...but was angelic for the rest of the afternoon (that evening was a different story, where he was sent to bed early, and promptly fell sound asleep).

I, however, took a nap Sunday.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Day we Got a Lizard's Tail in the Mail

Over the past some time (times get blurry for me. Since I am no longer pregnant, I can't judge time according to who was in my belly or nursing anymore so it just all becomes one long sleep deprived blur) I have gotten to be good friends with Becca.

This week, Becca sent us a package from way far out west where she lives.

Jack helped her pack it up.

It was the sweetest thing of her to do, I have been anxiously waiting its arrival.

I wasn't prepared for what we received......

Four Bottles of Vitamin Water for the four boys, one big bag of licorice in every conceivable color, Starbucks Via for iced coffee for me (she musta known I needed it) (and she has a great recipe for it), paper that says "You can't scare me, I have children", and then, in a little container, a LIZARDS TAIL.

How did she get a lizards tail?

Here's how......


Just you wait, Miss Becca. We have plans for what we will send you in return.......

Friday, August 27, 2010

S1's New Shop

Sometimes I wonder if by sharing so many snippets of our family's life makes our precious memories less precious?

So I wasn't sure if I was going to share this with you all or not. But I decided to...because I do believe I will have many Blog Posts in the future about this.

While we were camping, my Dad was home, building S1 his own shop.

S1, who fixes bikes and tractors and doors and anything else that needs work. Who took over our teeny tiny milk shed when he was old enough and was happy to be there. That son.

My Dad wanted to give him something he knew he would have appreciated when he was that age.

So my Dad built this.........
And he hauled it to our house on the back of truck trailer (can you imagine seeing that come down the road?), and then he spent dinner and then brunch the next day to get it all set up right for him.

And he brought over the 1960 Wheel Horse they had put together so he could store it in his own shed now.

I don't think S1 could get any happier.

I don't think this Moma's heart, this daughter of my son's Papa, could have been any more full.

Thank you, Father dear.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Camping Trip 2, The Food - the End

When my mom and I got asked about what we were looking forward to camping, we both agreed it was the food.

And now that we are home, we get asked what our favorite part of camping was and we still roll our eyes, get a dreamy look and longingly say "the food".

Let me explain.

Here is exhibit A. Hubby got me this spider legged camping Dutch oven for my birthday just before we left. This was my first time using it. I made peach cobbler and ice cream...the ice cream was just cream. Really, I can make GREAT ice cream...just not when we are camping. Next time, I am just throwing a gallon of vanilla in the freezer for camping.

Anyhow, this cobbler was supposed to take 45 minutes to take by using seven coals under it and eleven coals on it's lid in a checkerboard pattern. My brother - who spent a summer in the state of Wyoming as a guide for hunt trips and well acquainted with cooking in campfires - told me to stick it in coals and pile them on top. But I tried it the book way.

And then I tried it my brothers way.

It took SEVEN hours to get this made...but had we made it my brothers way it would have probably taken just an hour.

I told everyone to they had better like it even if it was awful. They all claimed it was wonderful. Then I didn't know if I believed them. But I had some, and it WAS good.
We tried Oreo S'mores because they were suggested to us. (Tara, this picture is for you.) If one needed a chocolate fix, this would be their s'more.
We don't usually eat S'mores when camping. I'll eat one and then be good for the summer. But we ate at least one of these a night, I'm pretty sure. And since we made it home, I have maybe had one or three or so. The secret, reece's peanut butter cups. Ohhhhhhhh, I may need (another) today.
I will print this picture and look at it in winter to remind me of summer campfires.

This is my brother. He's making breakfast in this picture but he was the brilliant one of us who said "Why don't you bring a grill when you go camping?' and we all looked at eachother and thought, "Why not indeed?" He shook his head in wonderment that we girls survive camping at all and brought his grill.

Then he had an even MORE brilliant idea to have us just chip in a bit of money and he would make ALL OUR MEALS. My mom and I nearly fainted. ALL our meals?

My brother is a very very very very very very very very very very good cook. That may be an UNDERstatement. Honest.

I kid you not, S3 and S4 were sure by the end of camping that their Moma and Oma did not know how to cook at all and if Uncle left, they would surely have to survive on marshmallows alone.

We. Ate. So. Well. I could never ever thank my brother enough!
And here is the thing about camping with my mom and my brother and my sister in law and Egirl and Jr and my boys....it's family. And family like that is wonderful.

I rarely get a chance to hang out with my brother. I see his wife every Thursday and Friday but rarely my brother and it was so nice to just spend time with him. He is a hoot. If I could write the way he tells a story...oh my, I shake my head because I'm not even sure how to put it into words. He is that great of a story teller.

And it's nice to be sitting at the campfire, watching my boys sort their tackle boxes and I say "You know what plastic worms make me think of?" And he chuckles and says "I was just thinking the same thing!" and that's all we have to say.

Camping with family means you aren't worried about making a good impression...no, we've all seen eachother at our very worst and our very best, and we just love eachother.

Camping with my family is the best. The very very very best.

I leave you with a picture and story of the beach. My husband is not a beach person AT ALL. But when we camp our day is breakfast, pack lunch, beach, campsite, shower and then do it all over again. We beach bum it every day. It's so splendid and summer perfect! Husband can't handle this.

But this particular weekend the humidity was 76 percent or some craziness like that. And he came down to the beach and we floated on rafts and laughed with the boys ALL DAY LONG.

I think he got tired of me saying "I love this day so much. It's so perfect with you here. I love you so much! Thank you for coming to the beach with us!"

My husband - and those of you know him will be shocked by this - relaxed. And it was grand. It was one of my happiest memories of summer. All six of us lounging at a lake all day long. Wonderful.

Ah summer, why do you have to end?
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Camping Trip 2, The Puke Night


On Monday afternoon, S4 told me he was tired and needed a nap. So I made him up a bed and he fell asleep on the couch in the camper for a bunch of hours. When he woke up, or as he says, "I didn't sleep, nooooo, I RESTED, Moma.", he was starving hungry so we had lunch and then Mom came and picked us up at the empty campsite to go to the beach with everyone else.

That night, he ate a good dinner, watched a movie and then decided I needed to be cuddled to not be so lonely at night as I finished the dramatic end to a book I was devouring at the moment.

S4 talks in his sleep. A lot.

More than usual, I thought, as I tried to tune him out and gobble up the words.

Until he suddenly bolted up, screamed he had to puke, and quickly climbed over me, holding his hand over his mouth and falling into our little closet bathroom that I am ever so thankful for numerous times in a camping trip...especially this time.

In true form, S4 leaned over the toilet, puked and then held up his hand to show me how I was to rub his back. He needs a "puked rub", you know.

And then, in his infinately wise mind, S4 decided I could not, after all, have him cuddle me as I needed him too because I would indeed catch his germs and be sick like him and I need to be well to give him back rubs. I made him a bed in the tiny hall that then blocks anyone from the bed or the toilet and he promptly fell asleep.

Sorta.

He began talking so much I was afraid he might be delirious. I kept checking his forehead. Half the time he would call my name he would be asleep and talking and the other half he would have woken up and really needed me to answer him so I was answering him every time.

For three hours.

He had a fightful three hours. For three hours he had to yell at his brothers, numerous times.

At one point I was ready to yell at them both to stop it and sit on either end of the couch and think of things they liked about eachother but one was soundly asleep on the couch and the other was sleep talking on the floor. But S4 kept going on and on how much his older brother was bothering him and shutting his arm in the door and hitting him and so on and so forth.

The funniest, even to me who was severly sleep deprived at this time, giggled when he yelled out "Eye-Zick...EYE-Zick (S2). When I wake up, I am telling on you"

He didn't when he woke up, but it was still funny.

Needless to say, I finished my book that night. And the ending made me ponder it long into the night as I listened to S4's various conversations, until he finally fell asleep soundly, slept till eleven in the morning, and awoke happy and well.

I, however, drank coffee all day long.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Camping Trip 2, The Fishing Side of It

One of the biggest reasons our camping trip was ever so relaxing and fun and a boys dream is because my brother came along.

I adore my brother.

He brought his fishing boat and took the boys out on the various lakes around the campground every morning and night. The boys caught fish and had fun...and...get this...their Uncle MADE them their fish for dinner.

This was unbelievable to them, since their Moma can't eat fish...or even stand the smell of them. I am fish incapable.

But here is yet another reason why my brother is so wonderful...he also cannot eat fish. So he cooked these up for the boys and everyone else and he made him and I pork chops instead.
One morning, as they were leaving to go fishing, I suddenly remembered they didn't have a camera so I hopped out of bed, ran for my sunflower golden bike, jumped on still in my pj's, no contacts - a truly rumpled me - and raced as fast as I could down the path to head them off so they could take my camera.

I missed them.

But then they forgot something so they swung back through and I handed them the camera. And I am glad I did, because I love this picture of S3......
S1 didn't actually catch this fish...but, the little itty bitty fish he DID catch is actually inside of this big fish and when we shot this picture a split second later the little fish hopped OUT OF THE FISH's MOUTH. I cannot make these things up.
S2 was sooooo excited to use a knife and learn how to clean the fish and use a knife. Did I mention he got to use a knife? S3 did not...and you can tell he wants to, badly.
I wish I had gone out on the boat, just to see what is out there on those lakes. But I can't handle the fish part of it well, so I missed out. But the boys, they had more fun than I think I even realize. And they ate lots and lots of fish.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Camping Trip 2, The Tooth Fairy Visits

This post is for Kelli, who has waited so patiently for me to post something, anything...

Every time we go camping, I am amazed at how different every trip is. I mean, after all the camping we have done I should have figured it out but this trip, this trip was much different.

It was relaxing.

Totally relaxing.

It was eventless, no shower incidents, nothing.

Sue mentioned that this is so unusual for me and she is sure that I must have enjoyed myself. Which I did, immensly.

It wasn't till a few days later when I looked at the pictures I uploaded on the computer that I realized I had a few things to share with you all......

So here is the first of a few moments.

When we packed to leave that full of anticipation day, S3 mentioned to me that he had a loose tooth. Now, I knew he hadn't had a loose tooth so I just let it slide...told him to leave it alone and grab this that or the other thing to put in the camper.

But he didn't leave the tooth alone.

That night, as we were all zoned looking into the campfire, exhausted by the amount of energy it takes to haul us all out there, S3 yanked the tooth out of his head.

Seriously.

It had not been loose yesterday and now it was out of his head. He stood at the step of the camper where he had gone in for another kleenex for all the blood and held it triumphantly with a sheer gleeful smile...well, it was a smile covered in blood with a gaping hole in his teeth but a smile just the same.

He dropped the tooth.

A gasp was heard around the campfire pit.

His lip just began to quiver when S4 found it and all was good again. We put it in a sandwich baggy and tucked it into the top under ware drawer so it didn't get lost and since the tooth fairy was afraid the raccoons may find her, she dropped off a dollar post haste.

A dollar which S3 immedantely found before he went to sleep and was simply amazed. However, that was when I learned that when a tooth is lost while camping, it deserves a GOLD dollar.

So the tooth was packed away again and by the next morning, yes, a gold dollar was there (this is one impressive tooth fairy, I'd have to say!).

And S3 admitted the missing tooth was a bit sore and maybe he should listen better to his Moma and not pull it out in one day.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ready for More Camping Stories?

As you read this, I am headed home. I am writing this and scheduling its arrival to your computer on the day I am headed home, driving my champagne colored suburban with white knuckles over roads with no names as I haul our long camper home from a long week of camping that will have seemed too short.

And I hope we have had no camper issues, no suburban issues, no animal attack issues, no shower issues....I hope we have just had a wonderful time.

Because when I get home, we have very little time before school starts and I just despise that S word.

And, also, to be honest, I hope we have a wonderful time camping because preparing for camping is NOT fun. Not at all.

The idea of camping is grand. That is what spurs you on to load half your house in a camper smaller than your living room, to figure out how you can pack enough underware and still have some when you return home, to make sure you have every loved stuffed animal, enough mini marshmallows for the marshmallow gun fights, enough books in case you dislike one you brought with you or in case you love it so much you read it all in one day, enough food...good gracious, let there be enough food to keep the boys fed!...enough water to survive 90 degree temps, enough "fun" stuff in case it rains.

Enough of everything, pretty much.

But when we go to leave, the boys will no doubt cry and say they did not have enough time.

And I will sniff with them because leaving for camping makes me grouchy and short with them, and then for seven glorious days we have fun and tease and tell stories and eat junk and play and swim and enjoy each others company.

And then we come home.

And the camper has to be unpacked, and the laundry has to be done, and the dinner needs to be made and, well, REAL life crashes in.

But I wish there was a way to make the feeling of camping last long after we return.

Either way, you are still probably guaranteed some great stories. I mean, it is US we are talking about here. Me, the four boys, Hubs for the weekend, one dog, my mom, her dog, my brother, sister in law, Jr, E-girl and a bunch of visitors.

And racoons. The racoons have been counting down for our arrival.

I'll fill you all in just as soon as I get the laundry going, the food cooking and the coffee brewed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Farm Day at the Library

Our little small farming community town has a brand new library and a staff at the library that is just amazing. Honest. I have another town library that I usually go to and have always brought the boys too but this library here in our home town, oh my, they are top notch. Organzied and helpful and when it comes to kids, they go all out.

They are amazing.

Every Saturday they have a special day planned just for the kids. A special theme day. And it's then the kids turn in the hours they have spent reading and get to have fun all over the library so it seems less....well, librarish.

On Farm Day, we didn't think we could make it. But Husband had to work so we decided to head into town and I messaged Alicia (head Librarian) to see if we could bring Broadhead the Rooster. She eagerly agreed.

And so we brought a rooster to the library.

Now, I am going to go out on a limb here and say, I think this is the fist time a chicken has been IN the library.
Broadhead was a HUGE hit. He behaved well, He made no messes. When the story about a Farmer was read he made little clucking sounds every once in a while to make sure all the kiddos were listening and to remind them that he was still there. Still a big deal.

After the story time, they had show and tell time. And it was then that all four of my boys brought in their show and tell. Show and tell I had not realized we had until we had arrived at the library. We had no idea they would get in front of everyone, but they did. And they did GREAT.

S1 talked about Broadhead and the care of him.

S2 showed off a tomato plant.

S3 brought in his birthday fish.

S4 hauled in a five gallon bucket lined in mud and showed the frogs he and his brothers had caught in the swamp.

They were the only ones with show and tell.

They were sorta a big hit.

A local farmer brought in some tractors. All the kids got a chance to sit on them.

S2, decked out in his farmer gear.



S1, thinking this would be a great addition to our farm.




I gotta admit, I love this shot of S4.






S3. Please keep in mind, it's sweltering out. But he was sure this is what a farmer would wear in the summer heat. It's painful to see this!




And here I am with all my boys. I decked out in my farm girl shirt and braids in my hair and my good friend Korene snapped the photo for us. it was a great day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sandhill Cranes

Once upon a time, these things were nearly extinct around here. Endangered I guess you would call them. Now they are a nusance, eating the seed right out of the ground when you plant it. Literally.

But I am still amazed by them.

As are the boys, apparently. They seen this bunch land in our field and snapped these pictures.
See, nothing. But then next one? Love it! It's as if it is saying..."hello? Anyone out there?"

Blurry...but these birds are BIG.

This one is really a good shot!

Can you just imagine the four boys, hunkering down in the grass and plants, fighting over the camera, trying to be quiet and talking amoungst themselves and snapping pictures? I know, makes me giggle too.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

We Met Red Green

Every Thursday night, at 8:30, our entire household stops moving and for a few moments there is complete silence....until the laughter begins. All my boys...all five of them...line up on the couch and watch with anticipation for Red Green to come on PBS.The boys have watched and watched this show. If ever one of them is grounded from tv, they usually get ungrounded just so they get that Daddy time to see Red Green, that's how popular he is in our house.

I often think that Hubby and S1 watch it as a tutorial show, since we seem to fix a lot of things with duct tape.

We had heard that he was going to be at Rylee's Ace Hardware Store in Grand Rapids on a particular Sunday. We had heard if we brought our own roll of duct tape we would get in faster. So we left with enough time to get us there half an hour before he was to arrive so we could indeed, meet THE Red Green.

Rylee's Ace Hardware was a store I did not knew existed. Now that I do know, it is probably not a good thing. As soon we walked in, there Fiesta dishes everywhere and aprons and kitchen tools. Husband reminded me we were here to conquer Red Green, not conquer browsing so we got in line with a man who had a Red Fox in a carrier (I kid you not) and stared at all the duct tape in front of us. It was the good stuff, not the dollar store stuff we buy. 3M duct tape, NAME BRAND stuff.

It was with mixed emotions that we learned in order to get a signature of Red Green, we had to buy that fancy duct tape for five dollars a roll.

Husband painfully parted with 20 dollars, but it seemed a waste to just get a signature on such nice duct tape so he ran the good stuff out to the suburban (which was across the street because the place was filling up so quickly) while the boys and I learned we had to wait to be called in the next group...twenty minutes or so from then. We were all of five people away from being in the first group to meet THE Red Green.

But we were in a hardware store so the boys wandered off to look at boring fishing poles and hardware stuffs while I wandered here..........


And then drank the beauty of all the colors in.

I just so wanted to bake in the test kitchen!

And the aprons, the hand towels.....


Do you see these colors? How can they not make you happy?


Fiesta ware, people. FIESTA dishes! I have never in my life seen so many Fiesta dishes. I was sure I was dreaming, afraid to touch them less the vanish...or my boys bumped me and I broke it and then had to pay for a dish I have always wanted and purchased just to never have.

Yes, people looked at me oddly as I snapped all these kitchen pictures. But I HAD to share them with all you girls who are reading this not caring (or even knowing) who Red Green is. These photos are for you so you can mention them to your husbands who will, no doubt, want to read this just to see what we thought of the read Red Green. You don't think he knows who Red Green is, but dear, he does. He does. It's a man thing.

It didn't take long for husband to see that if we didn't get in line, we would be far far far back in line. Knowing how close we were to be in the first group, knowing Red Green was THERE, we had just seen him!, knowing his garden was calling his name, he left me in line and began to scout out ways to get in the line he knew we should be in.

He couldn't find a way.

So we stood in line about fifty people back.

And then the waiting began.

Since they had us all snaking along the back of the store that no one really cares to shop in, we had long isles empty of people. It didn't take long for the boys to start realizing that the duct tape would make good racing toys. And the isles would be good racing ground.


Red Green would have been proud had he seen this.

Now, a little know tid bit about my husband. He meets the most eccentric people in the world, I swear it is true. (I don't believe I fall into this category) We stood next to, and I do mean RIGHT NEXT TO, this man.

This man, we came to find out, was conceived in a chicken coop. Really. He says it's why he is sort of a bird brain. His words, not mine.

His parents had bought a farm and while they were building a house they lived in the only building there, the chicken coop.

He was full of all sorts of information on past movie stars, past Red Green shows (he knew them all), every show ever on PBS.....he knew broadway shows and books and literature and every story he began began with "I have a story about that".

Seriously.

Anything we mentioned in passing, he "had story about that".

We would have been annoyed had we not been so bored. And when we found out he had been a life time Marine (sort of came as a surprise in one of his "I have a story about that" bits) we had to have some awed respect for him as well.

I am not exaggerating one little bit. This man talked the whole entire long hour or longer we were in line.

The WHOLE time.

As we got closer to Red Green, there was a woman with a little table selling shirts, hats and the movie Duct Tape Forever. The boys nearly burst they were so excited they could own a movie with Red Green in and not just have to wait for him to be on Thursday nights. We purchased one movie....I mean, you sort of feel you should standing there in front of her like that.

Besides, how could you not when you seen the look of sheer elation on the boys faces?

And then, as we rounded the stacks of ladders and rows of paint cans, there he was, Red Green.


S3 and S4 could hardly believe he was real and wasn't sure what to think. They just kept staring and looking at him.

S1 and S2 were so excited they could hardly speak.

S1 did have the kind heart to ask Red Green to please sign his roll of duct tape three times because he had two friends at school that he always always always talked Red Green things over with. And he was so nice, he did.


He also signed the new movie we just had bought. The movie the boys now have memorized.


I love this picture. S4 has to check it all out.

S3 wanted to know if Red Green was watching us on tv. I knew what he meant, he wanted to know if Red Green seen us on Fox 17 in the morning. I held my breath as he asked this but the good hearted man answered patiently, "I sure do. Every time. I'm in that tv looking back at you!"

S3 was in awe.


This dear Red Green took longer than he needed to to sign every roll of dollar store duct tape, answer the boys questions, pose for pictures (I took nearly ten or more). He was patient and kind and good natured.

The boys were shocked he didn't speak in Red Green dialect, but as his normal Steve Smith self. But that didn't stop them from calling out as we left "Keep yer stick on the ice!"


And all in all, it was a forever memorable, happy, well worth the time in line sort of day.

Even husband agreed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting out the Storm

Today I have informed the boys that all the "deer blinds" they have made all over the living room must be cleaned up. For all this week, they have hauled down all their comforters and pillows and favorite stuffed animals and made themselves "deer blinds" (or tents) to sleep in. I know it is cooler downstairs than it is upstairs in our ninety degree heat with high humidity, but sleeping in an enclosed winter warm blanket that no fan can penetrate seems to defeat the purpose of the cooler living room versus the steamy upstairs bedrooms.

But it's made them happy.

However, right now I have informed them they must pick this stuff up. We are about to get a huge storm to roll through our little farm here and so it's a great time for them to clean it up.

And please keep in mind, I am fighting an awful cold. My head is stuffy and hurts. And wrong though I know it is, I am short tempered with them today. When I told them to clean, I expected it to be done. That moment.

So, with all that background into this moment, I want to share with you this.....

The sky is dark. Very dark. It went from sunshine to gloomy night light in moments. The dogs are barking at every roll of thunder, not sure where the attack is coming from but knowing it is. The wind is picking up.

It sorta matches my mood for this morning that I wish I could shake.

The two youngest boys are wrestling, screaming, crying and tattling. S1 is in the bathroom suddenly enthralled in the a boar hunting magazine.

And S2 is outside on the porch. In my favorite rocking chair. He is sitting there, rocking away, tucked away in a corner that you must be sitting at the desk to even see him at, watching the storm roll in.

He is quiet. Silent. Studying the way the clouds are moving. Calculating in his eight year old mind how the rain and wind will effect the crops.

And I love this image so much, I just let him be.

Just thought I would share that with you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Snippet of Conversations Here

S4 was getting a piece of my birthday cake. Not the one with peanut butter that technically could be called breakfast food because it has a peanut butter filling, no, the cherry one...which is a partial serving of fruit (along with chocolate, cool whip and coffee).

He is holding the fridge open so I am forced to get the cake out for him and he says "Moma, did you know that apples grow on trees?"

I am picking out the smallest piece of cake for him. But my wonderful mom loves us so much she cut us HUGE pieces. "Yup, I knew that."

"It's really true. Almost all apples grow on trees."

Silence as I did not correct him to say ALL apples grow on trees.

I put the cake back in the fridge as I got him a fork. "You know what would be even awesomer?" he asks me.

"What?"

"If cookies grew on trees. Wouldn't that be awesomer? Yup, it really would."

It's moments like this that I cherish...and also yank my heart strings. I'll miss them so much when they go to school in a few weeks...especially my baby boy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

SKYPEing with a Snake

This morning we were on Fox 17 Morning News again. You can watch the action HERE.

And just so you know, I don't like snakes. At. All. My mom called to tell me she could not believe I let the nasty thing so close to me. S2 (Isaac) had one in his hands but it got all wiggly and he had to go put it back in the bucket. You know, the one that is TEN STEPS FROM THIS COMPUTER.

I was sure one would drop in my hair. The boys had strict instructions to keep it away from me. I did not sound like a happy mom going over "keep it away, stay away from me, don't put it near me....." before we went on live.

But the boys? The boys loved it and thought it was SO cool.

And honestly, when they are back in school in a few weeks, I will miss the moments they had snakes ten steps away from me.

Honest.