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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BB Gun Fun

All S3 wanted for his birthday was a BB gun. He was so excitedly wanted one that he was afraid to even say he wanted it. I'd ask him what he wanted and he would start to giggle. "If I tell you, you'll say 'no'," he'd say.

But the week of his birthday I called my local TSC, told them I was coming in with my four boys and needed them to have a BB gun at the front so that I could easily purchase and walk out with it before the boys knew what I was doing. I asked them if I could leave the boys looking unattended at the rabbit cages while I purchased the gun. My local TSC rocks and helped me pull this off so that there was a BB gun safely hidden under a blanket in the suburban so one little guy got to have the happiest birthday ever. (Thank you!)

He could hardly wait to go out and shoot something.
He had to wait until the next morning when S1 set him up a mini shooting range and strictly went over ever rule to follow for proper BB gun safety.

One day S1 will be teaching a gun safety class for kids, I am certain.

Anyhow....S3 spent the day with his big brothers learning to shoot his BB gun. S4 tagged along with a nerf cross bow.

My house looks well protected when you pull up, I guarantee you.

They headed off to "put meat on the table" and I was worried they might actually shoot something and I would actually have to cook something icky. I've cooked squirrel before...it doesn't look pretty no matter what plate you put it on.

Since he didn't get anything, S3 thought he should maybe practice with a moving target.

Enter his birthday balloons.

S4 thought this grand plan with him and together they headed out with a BB gun and a balloon. I was on the phone about a car with the insurance company...ironically...and watched them walk excitedly out the door and thought "this could be bad."

So, here i am in the house craning my neck out the windows to keep a sharp eye on them as they take the balloon down to the "shooting range" and....

Let the balloon go.

On a very unusually windy day.

I watched the balloon quickly drift off toward the house and since S3 knew he can't shoot toward the house, he just took off full force with S4 trying to grab the string on the balloon. It was a lost cause. S3 held his gun protectively as they jumped and leapt and finally realized it was gone.

Until it got stuck in the walnut tree right next to the house.

I thought we were gonna just be glad it has stopped. But apparently S3 realized this was his moment to shine.

He must shoot the balloon out of the tree.

He brought his bb gun up to his shoulder, aimed, and then aimed again.

Straight up.

"NO!" I hollered! "Don't shoot that gun straight up! You'll shoot your eye out!"

I had become that mother.

And that is when the insurance girl came back on. To her credit, she kept her cool...and when she asked me what my email was and I answered "life with four boys" she sorta snickered and said "Well, that explains the never a dull moment at your house!"

Why, yes, yes it does.

It's why I love my boys so.

Friday, June 24, 2011

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

Last week, my husband was out of town.

He had a job he had to do, working nights, a loooooong ways from home and so it was the boys and I holding down the fort.

Or, actually, the farm.

Strawberries have come into season here and this is the first year we have really been able to say we have a crop of them.

As in, there are so many strawberries I cannot even begin to pick them all. Seriously. We pick until Moma is so stiff and sore she can do no more. And then we start again the next day. And every strawberry we pick we sell. And for every quart of strawberries we sell, there are more calls on my answering machine waiting for more strawberries.

And I was home alone with four boys, trying to keep them fed and keep the house walk throughish and it was just so overwhelming to do it allllllllllllllllllll.

Enter.......my friends.

Alicia, who knew I was swamped at home and lent me her son to help me. Who gave me a listening ear when I was overwhelmed even if she and I were swamped with things to do at work.

Korene who showed up at my door one morning just to pick strawberries with me. Just cuz she thought it would be fun to help us. She and I picked 30 quarts of berries that morning and drank a few cups of coffee too.

Sue showed up at my house with lunch and homemade, still warm, blueberry cake. And then she and I drank a ton of coffee and just chatted away - how great was it to talk to an adult...and my best friend at that...face to face.

Kristi, my neighbor across the field, kept in contact and helps keep an eye on the things going around so we can watch each other's backs...and I'd be lost without her now.

Becca who is my texting buddy. She sends me pictures of dead rattlesnakes after I have watched True Grit, all alone, late at night just to ask if I want it sent to me. I lover her for things like this...and so much more.

I hate having my husband gone. He's been gone before. We try to make light of it a bit. He jokes he has given me four boys to do farm work so it shouldn't be tough - even though I know it kills him to leave all the work for us. We talk about when he gets home and the date he is for sure gonna owe me. ;)

We appreciate each other in so many more ways. We find absence does make the heart grow fonder...

The boys step up and try to help me too. I depend greatly on them. And the time with them just one on one has been great, I have to admit. It's been fun to do some things we never do...like take an afternoon and go to McDonald's for lunch or spend some hard earned money on some crazy fun toys or get their opinions on flowers for the yard (that was a hoot...like a whole hoot and half.).

When my husband was gone on a job before, years ago, I felt so alone and I think he remembers how scared I was then. I was responsible for all the boys, I was picking asparagus with S4 in a back carrier, I was exhausted beyond the meaning of exhausted. I had no one...or so it seemed at the time. And I was totally lonely. Desperately so. But he mentioned how comforting it is to know what a great group of friends I have now, friends who have truly stepped up to the plate and helped us all.

I would fill my husband in with all the tid bits of my day and he laughed one day when I had been especially blessed with friend visits. "Wow. You really know who your true friends are." And then, as he so often does, he broke into song. This song, actually.

You can't get any better friends then the ones I have been so richly blessed with.

And I hope they know just how much I love and ever so appreciate them.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Our New Family Members....

Some time ago, S3 got it in his mind that he wanted a bunny.

Years and years and before one boy was even born ago...S1 had some bunnies. We had a rabbit coop that had been abondened and neglected and is a montrosity and s3 decided to fix it up.

He figured he would do this with the tools of...a measuring tape and hammer (if anyone would give him a hammer).

My husband surprised me by telling me he thought it would be fine to get him a bunny.

So I contacted a truly wonderful girl we know who owns a rabbitry. Yes, really. I figured I could ask her to just be on the lookout for a bunny for us.

But the day I talked to her, she had two adorable non show worthy bunnies that were ready to go to a good home.

And apparently we fit the bill.

So, we actually left EARLY the very next morning and picked up two little bunnies.
One for S3 and one for S4 and we were so happy to see they were different colors.

The boys were just happy. As in, thrilled to pieces and could hardly contain their excitement.

We brought them into work for the day - you know, the library that I work at - and it wasn't long before one had escaped.

Do you know how many hiding places there are in a library. It reminded me of this book...The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians. It's a great book, you should check it out. At a library. And then buy it.

But anyway...back to the library.

I should have known something was wrong when I seen the two boys crawling on the floor. "What are you doing?" I asked. They didn't answer. But they were being good so I let it go...until I realized they were being really good.

"What is wrong?" I demanded, quickly heading in their direction.

"We lost a bunny," S3 mumbled.

"What?" I screeched. "Boys! Find the Bunny!" I hollered. (In emergencies, you can be loud in a library.)

Alicia went into full out bunny search mode. "Shut the doors, watch the doors. Everyone search the floor...."

The bunny was hanging out next to a bookshelf in a tiny little corner. I think she was checking out the Clive Cussler books, personally.

We then told the boys that the bunnies had had a traumatic morning and they needed to nap and shut the box lid tight and all seemed well.

Until lunch time.

When Alicia was in the back eating lunch and the boys had to check their bunnies when suddenly the SAME bunny jumped all the way out of the box.

Alicia was in total shock.

We went into full bunny mode - again - and much laughing ensued as we wrangled the bunny again and put the lid on VERY tight.

Before we left we did a thorough search to make sure that all rabbit poo had indeed been cleaned up.

The boys waved goodbye to Alicia. "See you next week! We'll bring a bigger box next time for the bunnies."

I whispered "We won't bring the bunnies again" as we left.

I think our bunny adventures have just begun........

Stay tuned.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Buck Howdy Concert

You all should know by now that my family is a HUGE Buck Howdy fan.

I have long suspected he is one of the nicest men ever...I've blogged such thoughts...so when he contacted me to do a FREE concert at our little small town library, my suspicions were confirmed...

He is one of the nicest men ever.
We were exceptionally grateful he would do this for us. My friend (and head librarian) Alicia and I worked to make sure we were ready for the day. My friend Korene (who is the most awesome graphic artist/artist/generally all around awesome person) made flyers and invites and all sorts of things that I have no idea how to do or who to talk to about. My friend Sue, whom you all know and love, helped me out of a huge pickle when all of our town went dark with no electricity mere hours before the concert due to a huge wind storm. Thankfully we gained power LESS THAN AN HOUR before the Buck Howdy was due to arrive. Sue rocks, that's all there is about it.



Buck Howdy rocks. Literally.

And our little small town PACKED the library to let him know how much we loved him and how thankful we were to him for taking time out of his travels to stop by and sing a bunch of songs with us.



Even the adults had a good time. How could we not? Buck had us laughing and singing along. I think a smile was on my face for an hour straight. Seriously.

Our boys? They are huge fans. And they were the rowdiest, loudest group in the back. I loved watching my boys sing along to their favorite songs...which was about all of them.

I am forever grateful to Buck Howdy for making such a wonderful memory for my boys.



For an entire town.


We were all impressed with his personalized guitar.


And I was super impressed with his boots. But I didn't tell him that. I just took a picture and thought "The Farmer's Wife HAS to see these!"


As our time came to an end, we were sad to see him go. In fact, one little girl was so distraught she cried for him to say and sing some more. So he got out his guitar and sang a song, just to her, and gave her a hug goodbye.



He took time to take pictures with everyone who asked for pictures. He took time to sign every piece of paper.

He took time for all of us because he cares. Because he is really that great of a guy.


I am so thankful that Sue asked me to start blogging. That she posted a picture of Buck Howdy's cd on her blog for a post I wrote and she shared. I am so thankful that Buck Howdy read that post and has been a friend of our family ever since.

I am so thankful that he is, in fact, just as wonderful as I thought he would be...even more so. And I really could never thank him enough for his generosity.



Buck Howdy has no idea I wrote this post. But I wanted it out there for people to know how thankful we are, and how wonderful he is. Please take a moment to check out his great kids music.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mom Colored Glasses

Isn't that a great title?

It's not mine...I took it...from a friend of mine who featured me on her great website. The website, as you may have now guessed, is Mom Colored Glasses.

Rachel and I met at Breathe's Writer's Conference two years ago. I wasn't sure what I was there for, I wasn't sure what she was there for, I did know she was teaching a class at the conference and she knew such things that are important words to me that others didn't seem to grasp...blog. Face book. Twitter.

A blogger who was on facebook and had a twitter account?!?! I loved her.

Our paths have crossed here and there and I enjoy when she and I can connect over something in cyber world. She and a small team have begun a website called "Mom Colored Glasses" and they run it so professionally. Every week they ask for a mom to "profile" and this time they asked me.

I honestly was so honored that she asked.

So, I am linking the post I wrote and the interview. If you get a chance, link to some other search out some other interviews too. Some of the recent ones include local celebrities Michele DeSelms, Rachel Ruiz but the fun one to look for is Anna Dewdney of "Llama Llama" books (what kid doesn't like those?)



So please, favorite this website in your list of sites to check out, follow them on facebook and twitter, and Please oh Please, read the post and profile and leave some comment love.

Thanks, have a great weekend!!!!!! I am now pushing "publish" and headed out to pick strawberries on my sunburned knees (I got lost in a new Susan May Warren book (My Foolish Heart) yesterday when I took the boys to the beach and my knees got the brunt of the sun), then we get to pick asparagus and then I shall drink my starbucks via recipe from Becca and hope to not pass out from exhaustion. It's bound to be a GREAT weekend - if I don't come across the black rat snake that seems to have taken residence in our strawberry patch...somewhere. Wish me the best!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Truck Got Stuck and I Got it Out

My husband and I were out with the boys picking asparagus - as usual - in the evening. It went much faster than we had thought it would go and as I hopped in his big green Dodge truck that he loves so very much (cuz, I know it's a truck, but there are vehicles we do love...like my 87 Chevy short-box pickup (manual transmission) or my 1972 cherry apple red Nova).

When I pick asparagus with my hubby, he drives the truck out. We crank the country music and it helps the time seem more like a party than just a lot of work.

Anyhow, we got done, I hopped in the truck and as we turned around in the to be pumpkin patch he said "Wow, these weeds just aren't so bad this year, are they?'

Because we are farmers. We comment and take note of weeds and color of dirt and how the heavy the soil is.

"Wonder what it's like over the hill?" he mumbled and we drove the truck up the little knoll down the next near the huge maple tree that I love. The tree is monstrous. I take pictures of it but they never do it justice.

I thought to myself how it was good to see it wasn't flooded in the little dip of the land over by the maple tree about the same time my husband thought to himself "Oh, it could be a little wet here". Neither one of us mentioned it to the other.

But we should have because we sunk.

Deep.

In thick slimy mud.

I have never gone "mudding" when someone drives their vehicles through mud in a the middle of fields. I am always too worried that the truck would get stuck or broken or the wear of the mud on the working moving parts of a vehicle would ruin it.

I am fully aware that I am my father's daughter (he is a mechanic).

But those who do go mudding speak of it with such enthusiastic joy that I was curious to see how this would go for us. My expert driver of a husband (really, he is) nearly got us out.

Nearly.

But not quite.

So we walked back to the house where the boys were waiting for us. "WHAT?!" S4 exclaimed, "Where is the truck?"

"Moma got it stuck," his Daddy said not missing a beat.

S4 looked questioningly at me. Just this week we were about to get thunderstorms so I had driven the Dodge out to the field to listen to the weather on the radio. We had crossed through the big puddle in the trail (the one you seen the boys bathe in in the previous post) and mud had flung up over the cab making my passengers - S3 and S4 - get wide eyed and scream "Whoa! That was soooo cool!" and make me instantly much cooler of a moma. I knew this was running through his head.

"Moma?" he asked sadly, as if he were afraid to know the truth, "Did you?"

"No! I'm gonna go get it out," I assured him.

So my husband started up the MF tractor and we headed out to the field.

I must admit my heart did little pitter patters of love to sit next to him on the tractor. I even got a kiss. I so love being a farmer's wife!

But I have never been pulled out a mud pit before so I was more than a little nervous as he hooked the chain to me, began doing all those hand motions that men all seem to know and women look at them as if they are trying to decide if they just made those up right then and there and how on earth are we ever to know what this or that means.

But it went as smooth as can be.

And I just loved seeing S4's eyes as I roared through the giant puddle and rumblingly arrived in the middle of the yard.

Yah, I know my husband pulled out his truck with his tractor in the mud pit he got stuck in, BUT I drove the unstuck truck into the yard.

And that's all that counts.

And it's the story S4 will proudly tell you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mud

On Sunday it was finally hot.

It went from a full week of rainy and cold and windy and cold and rainy and cold and drizzly and cold to sunny and hot...in the evening.

Yup, really.

My parents had just returned from a trip along Route 66 and come bearing really cool t-shirts earlier in the week and the boys had worn them to church on Sunday. When the rain had finally stopped, they literally fell out of the house to get outside and play. I hollered that they should take their shirts off.

That's all I said. "Take your good shirts off!"

After they flung their newest favorite shirts to the floor, they sprinted outside and silence settled upon the house.

And the yard.

My husband, being six foot three inches (so much much taller than me) sipped his coffee and as he looked out the window and said, "You should see your boys right now."

When he claims them fully mine, I know to brace myself.

He informed me they were in the mud. How "take your shirts off" turned into "and then go roll in mud" means the same thing, I'm not sure, but I figured it would be worth it to grab my cameras and head out to see them.

Do you see the shoes? There are two in the picture. This was my first indication that they cared for nothing but the mud they had somehow been drawn too.....

As I came to the end of the trail, S3 greeted me. His teeth were a bit chattery and he was headed back in but I persuaded him to show me his brothers because it would make a great picture.

I am always bribing them for good pictures.

I was so happy to see that S3 was wearing his good shoes in the mud. I'm thankful to see he was thinking of safety first.

And I am super glad to have persuaded S3 to tag along because as he ran ahead to alert his brothers of my arrival, I was able to get this picture.....


And this one.
This was a part of the field that my husband had just plowed but hadn't gotten any further on because, well, it's been raining all week. But rain all week mean this mud.

And sheer joy for my four boys.

As they headed back to the house (S3 was so en-caked in mud that his shorts wouldn't even stay on), they stopped at a "clean puddle" to wash up.

In case you are wondering, you can't get very clean in mud puddle. Even if it is a "clean" puddle.

And I am, in fact, still working on cleaning up after the boys on this muddy mess. They came into the house for warm showers, and then had to take another later because they were still finding mud on themselves, but the laundry? Oh my. And the floors? Oh me oh my. And the tub? Oh me oh my my my.

But it was a great beginning to summer, I do believe. And it will all clean up (eventually). The video I shot of them is definitely a new favorite. And the pictures? Gonna frame them for sure!

Happy summer everyone!