Monday, October 31, 2011

Could You Digital Detox?

A few weeks ago, I got a tweet asking if someone could give me a call.  She had a "story idea".

So, Sarah gave me a ring and I signed us up for her crazy idea.

A weekend of a Digital Detox.

You all might remember Sarah - and Mike, Jon, Rob, Emily, Mike Davis and the gang - from Fox 17 and the fun we had when I was Morning Mom.  I think you all know how much I love them all so it was a pretty easy decision to do a story with them.

I mean, really, how bad could a weekend digital detox be?

No TV, no tv being DVR'd, no radio, no pandora, no itunes, no computer, no cell phones, no facebook, no twitter, no blogging, no texting....






We went between this "it'll be great fun!" to "oh my goodness....what have I done?"

We would be flip cam-ing the whole weekend for the story.  It would document all we did.

The boys thought this was great...until they thought that the fridge and stove were being shut off and how on earth would they eat?  (Notice no thought was given to bathing.)  Once they realized the fridge and stove were safe, they were all about this experiment.

And we didn't think that the boys would have a hard time.  For them to give up tv would be rough on them...but they play outside all the time.  It would be tougher on Jake and I.

Huh, were we in for a rude awakening.

An awakening I am glad we had...but awakening just the same.

You all should know me pretty well by now...I kept a journal for the weekend.  I have twelve - Yes, TWELVE - pages of notes on this weekend.

Ready to take a Digital Detox weekend with us?

Our Story Airs on Fox 17's 10 pm News on Tuesday,  November 15th. 

You can view the story HERE

Redneck Girl

My husband can always claim he married a Redneck Girl...

For whatever cursed reason, I have a serious red neck.

Yes, I said Cursed.

If I feel stress, if I feel pain, if I laugh and am silly, if I eat anything spicier than ketchup - YES, ketchup - I get red and blotchy and it looks like I am about to break into hives.

Today I was sitting in my own house, at my own table, talking to a friend.

Except I had a video camera on me.

And I was thinking I was fine and suddenly....caught a glimpse of myself.

Red. Blotchy.


Soon, like on November 17th, the whole of West Michigan will get to view this great phenomenon because we will be on the news for a fun story that I can't wait to fill you in on...

We were on a Digital Detox allllllllllll weekend.

And survived.

But when you watch the interview with me, you will see what a red neck girl I am.

I thought you all should be warned.

Our Story Airs on Fox 17's 10 pm News on Tuesday, November 15th. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just to Make You Smile

I finally framed this photo.

My Aunt Sher got me a cool frame that reads "The Boys" and I finally got this picture in it.  It makes me smile each and every time I see it.

So I thought I'd share it all with you again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

An Uncoffee-ed Romance

Did the title make you think of Billie Holiday?  Cuz it reminded me of A Fine Romance.

My husband has made the choice to give up coffee....those of you who know him are now attempting to grasp that thought....

Because he really wanted to follow through with this, he went cold turkey immediately.  And the Bunn coffee maker we love so much seemed to be sitting there on the counter mocking him.  So I packed it up and put it far away for him.

And now I'm bereft it what to do to show him I love him.

Because making coffee for my husband is equal to me telling him I love him.

When he gets home from work, I usually have his coffee cup all poured and waiting for him.  I greet him with a kiss and coffee.

When he comes in from a long afternoon cutting wood, I hear the big ol' dodge pulling in and instantly start the pot for him.

When he gets up in the morning, he finds his to go cup filled with his mocha mix.

If he has to go away for awhile (work, plowing, etc), it's coffee and a kiss I send him off with.

And now he comes homes and I just have the kiss - which I know he appreciates - but it's not a warm gift I can hand over to him to say "Hey, I was thinking of you all day."

I shared this information with him last night.  "How do you know I love you if I don't bring you coffee?" I asked him "I wander around trying to figure out what to do for you!"

But because he's not drinking coffee and his brain cells haven't recovered from that shock yet (the man drank a pot EVERY MORNING and at least half a pot at night), he had no brilliant ideas for me.

So here we are, in this Uncoffee-ed Romance.

To be supportive of him, I drank NO COFFEE this whole weekend.  Not once did I heat up the tea kettle for my french press.  I was so worried he'd smell the intoxicating aroma when he walked in from cutting wood or would taste it on my kiss.  But, because I love my coffee so, as soon as he walked out the door this morning, I fired that tea kettle up and I may have moaned a happy moan as I drank my warm goodness down.

But because I don't want to go through those coffee withdrawals like I did this weekend, I plan to cut back a bit on my consumption as well.

Because I love him so.

Even if I can't give him coffee to tell him that.

Anyone have any ideas for me?

To be fair...he hopes that when he gets over the caffeine withdrawals he does plan to enjoy a cup of coffee on occasion...perhaps one cup in the morning and on special occasions.  And I am making him an enormous amount of hot cocoa right now....but it just doesn't seem the same.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sure, Blame it on Daddy

On our way to church this morning - late, but not too late - my husband asked me to read the verse we were supposed to study for Sunday School.  Since Jake is good friends with our Sunday school teacher we know we are supposed to be on our toes.

So, I'm digging around to get the verse and S1 starts kicking my seat.

"Hey, stop kicking my seat," I say over my shoulder to him.

S1, who is always so helpful and good, continued to kick my seat.

Honestly, this really surprised me.

I flipped to the Bible passage and hollered this time, "Seriously! Stop kicking my seat!"

I looked down the page to find the verse and S1 begins giggling and kicks my seat again.

"IT'S NOT FUNNY!  Quit kicking my seat!"

I could not believe he would be so rude.  Did he not see I did NOT want my seat kicked anymore?

I started reading the verse and the boy is STILL kicking my seat and giggling like crazy about it.


I was all kinds of mad now.

S1 started giggling and pointing at his Daddy.  "It's not me! It's Daddy!"

Since Daddy was driving the suburban, I did not see how he figured I would buy that one.

Until we realized that the seat arm rest Jake had been playing with the whole time is what I thought was S1 kicking my seat.

S1 dissolved into uncontrollable giggles.  "I thought for sure you were gonna get me in trouble, Daddy!  I couldn't believe you wanted to make Moma so mad!!!!"

Husband is now not allowed to play with my seat arm rest.

And, yes, I apologized to S1.  Who is still giggling.

I guess we all are.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Grocery Run

Ever realize you just need a few things at the grocery store.

Like, right now?

And you find yourself in the midst of cleaning and you look so rough you are wondering why your hubby even kissed you goodbye as he ran out the door to cut more wood for your heat this winter.

Okay, according to him I am ALWAYS cute and kissable...but I feel that he may be the only one who feels I am always cute and I know he is the only one who finds me kissable.

Anyhow, the store.

We are fortunate enough to have a store one and half miles from our house.  However, this also means I am on a first name basis with nearly everyone who works there (we seem unforgettable for some reason). But on the weekend the employees are different and I don't know them as well.  I was hoping that would be the case today.

I went to the store wearing my hair in a too tight bun because I put it in a bun when it was still wet.  And you know what that does to your hair style.  I have on my most comfy jeans that I KNOW I should throw away...but I just can't.  I also cannot sit certain ways in these jeans either.  I have no make up on and this is one of these days that you are glad you are a girl so you have the option of make know what I mean, it's not a good looking day for me.

I had a tag along of two of my boys...the other two are cutting wood with Daddy.  One is dressed fine enough, the other is wearing a safety green glow in the dark bright shirt.  The shirt hangs to his knees and is filthy because he and his brother have played bunny wrangler, pumpkin chucker and swamp loggers today.

If you seen S3 you would KNOW he has played all these wonderful exciting things.

He has on big ol' winter boots.  Why? I don't know.

My plan was to run into the store, get what we needed and get out.


And the store wasn't even busy when we got there - even better.

I walked in and realized the well dressed man behind us was familiar, and I hoped we wouldn't bump into him again because I couldn't place him.

Isn't that the worst?

But we bumped into him once literally.  And a few other times we passed him. And he remembered us....we are the asparagus growers.  And I remembered him...the super nice rich man who tips us - TIPS US - for picking him asparagus.

Then we seen a kids we knew from school - you know how you know the kids but not the parents?  Well, the parents all got to see who these boys mom was.

I was in the check out line - IN THE LINE - ready to get out fast.  My most favorite cashier was there and I knew she'd understand my day.

But that's when one of the employees who actually runs the store seen me.  She had asked me chicken advice and I had emailed her some info I had and she wanted to thank me and ask a few more questions.

I find her endearing and normally would love to chat but I just wanted out of there.

And what was horribly funny is that while she is chatting with me, other people are joining in.


The WHOLE CHECK OUT LANE was talking about raising chickens and what to do with mean roosters.

This means... 

A. I live in a farming community and that rocks.

B. Everyone in the store now has talked with me and I have so not gotten out of there unnoticed.

I should have just gone in tomorrow when I was all dressed up for church and just had us eat bread and butter for dinner.

Oh well, we've all had those days, right?  RIGHT?  And IS nice to be noticed and appreciated.  Even if it is just for your tasty asparagus and chicken knowledge.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Daddy's Girl

Today I am wearing a brand new outfit.

Brand new from one of my most favorite stores, Eddie Bauer.

On Tuesday night, my Dad took me on a date and bought me two complete new outfits.  I felt like a princess - I feel like a princess.

And if my Dad had taken me along for a ride to check out a garden tractor with him, I still would have felt like a princess.

He drove me to the big city in his 49 Panel van, the only one I know of, the one that is all my Dad.  It has turquoise visors...I love those visors.  I love that my dad built the entire thing himself, that the heat hardly works, that it's loud and echoey and old and fully uniquely wonderful.

For dinner we went to Cracker Barrel, because it's my favorite as much as his.

And to be honest, the whole evening was so wonderful and so dear to me I didn't really think I should blog about it.  Some things are so precious you just want to hold them to yourself.  This is one of those moments.

But last night at dinner, somehow or another my husband recalled this song while he was teasing the boys and - as is typical for us at dinner time - he youtubed it and as soon as I heard it, I knew I had to share it with you all.

For the Daddy's who read this blog - tell your daughter you love her.  For the daughter's who read this blog - hug your Daddy and let him know you will always be his little girl.

Because you always will be.

I love you, Father dear!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our School Morning Ritual

At dinner last night, hubby asked me how it went when I dropped off the boys in the morning.  He hadn't asked us that yet.

He knows me.  He knows I have routine.

Even if our routine runs a little late.

I glanced at S1, who giggled a little, took a deep breath and began.....

Once we get to school, we must hurry to the crossing guard.  If it's the one teacher, S4 begins to giggle and saunter importantly.  He knows what she is going to do. When we are in talking distance, she calls out to S4 "Hey there, Troy" in her best southern Swamp People accent.  He responds with some sort of "I'm gonna get you!" And they do this whole alligator and "choot 'em" routine.

It's our daily school greeting.

If we see that Austin and Blake are about to be dropped off, we must run to get right in front of them.  If we make it in front of them, we must shake our booties and sing "We beat you! We beat you! We really really beat you!"

At this point S2 takes off like a flash for his classroom.

S1 is the first drop off.  His locker is directly in front of the front door.  The teachers there to greet us all wait with baited breath to hear what is for dinner.  

See, S1 didn't hug me when I dropped him off the first week of school.  Call me a sad mom, because I was, I came up with the ingenious idea that if he wanted to know what was for dinner, he had to hug me.  At first it was a sorta shoulder pat thing, but now it's a game and we play it well.

He hugs me, I tell him what's for dinner.

And then usually the teachers nod and agree that sounds good.  Sometimes they ask if they can show up.

I don't think they realize just how welcome they'd be.  I'd love to have any of them over to visit.

Then you hear me say, "Okay, hug your brother."

S3 and S4 jump on him, hang on him, try to climb him like a tree.

Then you hear me say, "Get off your brother! Let him go! Come on, we're late. Really, let him go!"

Every. Single. Morning.

We then drop off S4's backpack, drop his lunch off in his classroom where he teases his teacher he has nothing but bricks to eat (he says this every day he has cold lunch), puts his name under his lunch choice and we are off to the bathroom.

I stand outside the bathroom listening to too many little boys not pee and not wash their hands and I try not to be the mean mom and tell them to behave and try not to feel weird that I am standing outside a boys bathroom.

S3 is no company to me at the point.

S4 comes out of the bathroom waving his hands up and down like he is about to take flight.  Mrs. J told the class she doesn't like the hand dryers (I can totally agree with this) so he flaps his hands dry.

If Blake is at his locker because we are late, he waves his hands in victory and tries to sing our song "We beat you! We beat you! We really really beat you!"

S3 and S4 then have to hug Blake.

If I happen to see Nick, I say, "High five, Nick!"

He always high fives me - I'm the one who helps out at the coolest place ever (the library) after all.  And he is so kind to high five me even though it is sooooooo old school.

We then drop S3 off to class, it's a group effort to get his coat hung up, his back pack hung up, his folder in hand and his lunch in the tote.  Seriously, it's a project.  Because the whole time he is chatting with boy I don't know who fills us in on all the overnight sports scores.

The boy knows every teams score.  It's amazing.

Then S4 and I drop S3 off at his class.  If we stand at the door he forgets us so we just head off to S2's classroom.

S4 sticks his head into the room and S2 heads out of the class room and Jake always tags along.  I give S2 a side arm hug and let him know what's for dinner and if he is a pick up or bus ride home.  S3 then shows up for the hugs.  S3 and S4 hug S2.  We chat with Jake about what he is having for dinner, and sometimes two or three of S2's friends head out to chat with us but I am always afraid I am going to get them all in trouble.

I try to pat Jake's head as he walks back into class.

We then walk past Mrs. V's room just in case we can wave hello.

We give hugs to S3.  But it's S3.  He has to kiss us too.

I then sorta shove him into class because class for him has always started by this point.

If any brother forgets to hug S4, we must retrace our steps immediately.  S4 will fall into hyperventilating tears if he cannot hug his brothers goodbye.

Yes, the same brothers he fought with all morning and will see all during the day at school.

On the way back to S4"s classroom we come across Miss Mandy - the bus driver, the could be future mother in law of S4 - and wave hello greetings.  S4 usually chats the whole time with me about how the drop off went or the dinner work I should do or what Aunt Alicia and I should do at the library.

This is also the time that he can come up with some sort of serious illness - like a sore finger or some other sort of tragedy like painful socks.

At his classroom door I give him a big hug and sometimes a kiss on the cheek.  Sometimes he struts right into class, sometimes he needs three hugs and shove into the classroom.

I hurry on out of school now - it's anywhere from five to ten minutes past eight now, and school starts at eight - and I try to wave a cheery hello to all the great ladies in the office.  They are such dears.

Then I am out of the school.

And ready for more coffee.

When I finished the morning routine, Hubby was stunned silent.  "Huh" was all he finally said.

I didn't even tell him about the all the other friends we have to wave to our call out greeting to every morning.  Sometimes we even have to swap books, soup and such.

Pretty sure Hubs finds me crazy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Lions Football

Before S2 played football this year, we idly watched a game every now and then.

It's not like we had much to watch for.

Until this year.

Any football game can get their attention.  But nothing quite gets them all involved in the game like the Lions.

Suddenly the Lions are amazing and suddenly every boy in my family is fully engaged in the game.

Our house is small, an old farmhouse they just added a new wing on every now and again, leaving the original door frame as the entryway from room to room.  It's small.  It's tight.  

And on Sunday afternoon this week, we had THREE tv's going with the SAME game on.

So now I have to share this terrible secret with you....

Brace yourself.

We have a tv in our bathroom.

We DO!

My husband went on and on and on and on about how great a tv in the bathroom would be and I just put kept putting my foot down saying "NO WAY!".  But then one day I thought I would surprise him because he was so sure he onto a brilliant idea and then he would realize how insane it was and we could be done with the whole tv in the bathroom thing.

Except that he looooooooves the tv in the bathroom.

And...I have to admit, I even turn it on every morning as I get into the shower to listen to the news as I shower.

I am sure you can imagine just how much Hubby rubs THAT in.

Anyway, back to Sunday.

On Sunday the tv in the kitchen (which has the volume going out in it) and the tv in the living room (which is some ancient monster of a thing that is so blurry you literally have to check the score on another tv to see it) are ALWAYS on.

But the tv in the bathroom? It's not connected to the cable network and so it has a few seconds over the other tv's.

And the tv in the kitchen is slightly behind the tv in the living room.

So on Sunday when the Lions make some amazing catch or incredible run or amazing touchdown...

Husband is standing in the bathroom watching it.  S2 is always in the kitchen watching on the little tv (you can see the score then) and the rest of the boys are in the living room.  Husband will begin cheering some wild insane cheer at some "need to see that again" play.

The boys, knowing he seen it before them, run for the bathroom.

At the same moment, the Hubby is running from the bathroom to the living room to see the replay 'live'.

Then, because he needs to see the score and the boys have seen a replay, they all cram into the tiny kitchen to see it again.

Every run means my husband, S1 who is nearly as tall as me and three more boys are trying to barrel their ways through the small doorways all at the same time.

My house on Sunday afternoon is....INSANE.

I try to stay completely out of the way...which is pretty much impossible.  Even more so now that S3 and S4 play football with Beanie Babies while the game is on (the real football got banned from the house...much to the dismay of the boys.)

Beware of our house on game day.  You have all been warned.

On a side note:
S2 lost his last football game.
UofM lost their game (but I told S2 to cheer for MSU the BEST team, he didn't believe me.
He does now.
AND the Lions lost in the last two minutes.
S2 cried and cried and cried.
He says it was a terrible weekend.
Football boy he is now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Day With S4

On Wednesday, my friend An drove the 45 minute to an hour drive to our house.

She had a chicken with her.  Vulture the hen is her favorite, a pet, one not to be sent to the pot.  But that's where her other chickens were headed so she smuggled Vulture out and drove her down to our house to live out her days here on our little farm.

She pulled her youngest out of preschool and I pulled S4 out of kindergarten and the boys got out the train tracks, watching Chuggington, played for a few hours in the sandbox and then we drove to town to eat lunch at the Cheeseburger Shop (as S4 calls it) and coffee with chocolate at a local gem of a shop in town.

It was a great day.

When An and her son - all hyped up on chocolate now - headed home, S4 and I had the day to ourselves.

S4 has been having a hard time not having a day home to himself since school started.  He was skipping happy to have the rest of the day to play.

We wandered the library of that town.  It has a train track in it, S4's favorite.  I had fun looking up new books for my library.

We drove home where S4 wanted me to play geo trax with him.....

And he needed a lot of pictures of his favorite toy.  He asked me if I would play trains with him.
We built a bigger track and each had a train that we drove up and down the tracks.

Then S4 wanted a picture with me.
And when you get a picture with S4, he thinks he needs to take over the picture taking soooooooo.....

Here is our biggest walnut tree.
The suburban....
Our dog.  There were about ten pictures of her being caught scratching.  I spared you those.
S4's thumb and Hubby's buicks....not that I am bitter about them or anything hanging out in front of the silo and my flower garden.
The plate in front of the suburban.  In fact, S4 calls it the John Deere bus when he's a pick up at school.
The old milk shed used for toy storage, the sand box, the walnut trees and S1's shop in the back.
I had to leave him alone to make some cookies for his brothers headed home and he gave me a huge hug.  "Thank you for spending the whole day with me, Moma."

Um, yah, my heart melted at that.

I'm a Chicken Girl, not a Turkey Princess...Yet

My boys are always looking for pretty things for me.

I am currently using a leaf for a bookmark.  I have flowers and pretty leaves at various places around the house.  It's not uncommon for me to have rocks or nests on display.  I regularly sport a flower tucked behind my ear.

If the boys find it beautiful, they have to share it with me.

Today the two little boys brought me in a white chicken feather from S3's recall the one that went to school with us?  Yes, that chickie is still doing well.

They gleamed joyfully as they handed the chicken feather up to me.  "For you, Moma!"

"Oh!"I exclaimed happily, "A new bookmark?"

"No!" S3 nearly spat out, shocked I would mention that.  "It's for your hair." (It was said "like duh!")

"Yah, your hair!" S4 agreed.

I wrapped my hair up in a pony tail and stuck it in the band.

The boys were so impressed.

"It's beautiful!" S3 informed me.

"But not pretty like an Indian Prin-preen-prencee...what's that word?" S4 asked.


"Yah, that.  You aren't as pretty as that Indian girl" - S4 wrinkled his forehead in concentration - "Princess but...I'm not saying you look BAD, Moma, I'm just saying you don't look princess good."

"You'd need a turkey feather to look that pretty," S3 agreed.

"And maybe black hair.  But that would look....different," S4 added.

When S4 says "different" he really means "bad".

They posed for the picture and then ran outside, determined to find me a turkey feather so I could be a princess.

Because with this feather I am a Chicken Girl, not a Turkey Princess.  Yet.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Excuses to Be Late To School

Here's a new excuse for you all to try...if you dare.

The other morning, I woke the boys up 15 minutes early on accident.

Okay, honestly, it was because I needed a good hot shower to wake me up and I knew the boys were gonna have to be moving before I got out of the shower so I got them out of bed early.

And....we were on time to school.

We did lose a back pack and forgot a lunch in the process BUT we were ON TIME for school.

This morning I woke the boys up HALF AN HOUR early.  I mean, why not?

I still had to keep an eye on them because they all seemed a bit more crazy this morning. (This should have been my warning sign.)  And it was confirmed when I went walked out of the bathroom and three of them were gone.

S4 informed they were outside.

Don't think him angelic, he was holding one sock, tears trickling down his cheeks as he looked for just one sock to match it from the mountainous pile of socks.  Had he found it, he would have been outside.

Lunches were half made.  Literally, two pieces of bread and a container of jam and nothing else done.  The table was covered in cereal bowls, boxes of cereal and an open gallon of milk.

I ran around the house frantically getting things done when the troupe walked in.

I was not a nice mom.

"We have to LEAVE!" I hollered in my "you are in so much trouble" voice.

"Where?" S1 asked.

Now......I did not scream.  I was so shocked he would ask me this I just went silent.  Then I barked. "School! Like we do FIVE DAYS A WEEK!"

Then everyone moved toward the suburban...except for S3 who was wandering around outside with no socks or shoes on, shirt half on, no lunch made, no back pack in site and we still needed to locate his glasses.

We piled into the suburban.  Late.

"What," I finally asked, "Was so important you had to be outside?"

"We weren't sure if the chickens remembered how to get into the chicken coop so we thought we would round them up and show them how to get in there."


That was the excuse.

It was kinda hard to be mad at them for that.

BUT there will be a new rule tomorrow...No Rounding Up Chickens Until You are Totally Ready for School.

And, no, I have no idea what spurred this on.

Sending out this yee-ha excuse for you to borrow from over here....where I'll be recovering from the chicken round up all day.

A Basketball Story

The Basketball Story by S4

I was at preschool and I made a hoop in a big hoop.  And then everybody runned up to me and wanted me to make another hoop in the other hoop. But I didn't make any.

School this year...

I made another hoop in kindergarten.  And I was really e-s-sited.  And then nobody wanted me to make a hoop for them.  All of this was at gym class.

I like pretty much nothing at school but gym and recess.

Moma's Note:

S4 has been having a hard time adjusting to school this year.  This all day every day thing is getting a very  tiring for him.  When you think he has had Moma to himself for three years now it makes sense he would be struggling to adjust.

He has a great teacher who seems to think a lot of our little guy.  It's odd to have a teacher who hasn't been introduced to our boys before.  We are sorta rememberable.

Oh as S4 would say, "You can't first-a-get us."

When S4 gets out of school, he does NOT quit talking.  At.  All.  I know who got in trouble and who didn't and who said what and what page he did and if Mrs. J was happy or if she had to be a mean teacher face to someone.  

I sometimes wonder what he tells everyone at school about US since he seems so willing to spill his guts on all the school goings on.

And he still the comedian he always has been.

When he got out of school Friday last week we weren't pulled out of the parking lot when he declared loudly, "I kept allllll my farts in me today! I would feel one coming and I would just squeeze it back in. Not one fart all day. It was NOT relaxing."

Yup, school sure is hard on the boy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bunny out in the Wild

So we were going to the library but we stopped at the Visser's
And bunny was only for five bucks, easy peasy.
Then we went to the library.
Then I let him out to play for a little bit at the library.
Then he found his way out of the box.
But we finally found him again.

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Moma's Note:

S3 was sure he wanted to talk about Bunny.  S4 agreed this would be a great idea.
"Call it Bunny out in the WILD," S4 told S3. "You can tell how Bunny survived in the wild outside!"

Because that happened.

We lost Bunny for a week.

It. Was. Awful.

S1 ended up setting up a live trap with carrots and nearly a week later
we caught Bunny.
There was much rejoicing and tears of joy then.
Since then, Bunny hasn't been the same bunny.

He's a bit of a wild one.
Where Whiskers Gray Dykstra lays around and can be played with in any sort of game (dump truck driver, farmer, hunter, the hunted...), Bunny gets a bit testy.

But we still love Bunny.

And our Library is not wild.

This was S4's title for S3 to tell the Bunny in the grass story.
But S3 loved the title so much, he kept it.

Whatcha gonna do?  The boys took over the blog!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Night Frogs

We went upstairs for bed and we saw a tree frog.  But Eli (S3) says he found him first.  So we brung it downstairs and showed it to Moma.

The frogs were on the kitchen iron roof.  They are always there.  So we do teamwork.  Abraham (S4) opens the window and Eli (S3) leans out over the roof and grabs frogs.

That's what we do.

We show them to Moma, and Moma is always happy, and then we let them go in the cement front porch.

Then we go to bed.

Moma's note:

I did not know they did teamwork and grabbed the frogs out the window.  I've been trying to figure this out because every night I send them up to bed and tell them ONLY emergencies should bring them downstairs.

Apparently frogs are emergencies.

They tell me the frogs are always just there in their bedroom.  And today the true story came out.

Sheesh, these boys of mine.

Monday Ramblings

Today my boys don't have school.

I may be a tad bit giddy about that.

And I guarantee you we don't look nowhere near as clean as this picture I picked to show off today.  This was from our family photos at Portrait Innovations.  But it's the most recent of all the boys and me so I thought I'd toss it out there.  Currently, the boys are going on no shower, no brushed teeth, all sorts of dirty....

In fact, to be honest, as I type this in my shorts, tank top and bare feet in OCTOBER (LOVE this), the boys are barefoot outside setting up a trap to hopefully catch a wood chuck.

You know I'm not joking.

It lives under some huge log outside in the woodpile so they are using kite string to hook up some sort of foot trap and catch the thing.

I don't hold much faith in kite strings but this is MY boys we are talking about...I'l probably have myself a pet woodchuck by the end of the week.

Since we had this whole glorious day to ourselves, I thought it would be a great time to have the boys update you on their lives, since Moma has apparently been slacking.

So far S3 and S4 have and their stories are in their own words...totally un-enthralling compared to the stories they told me they were thinking about.  I might have to add a bit to the end of them.  But to be fair, they were dictating when the wood chuck trap idea was formed by their older brothers.

Blogging was suddenly so not cool.

Hopefully you are all enjoying your Monday.  I honestly haven't been this groovy happy on a Monday in forever, it's a day I want to cherish.  I've missed a full day home with my boys.  I kinda like them a lot.

Be prepared for the boys take over of the blog this week.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Excuses To Be Late To School

I have decided to offer our services to you.

Need a new original excuse to be late to school? Just look up Life With Four Boys...Coffee Please and I'll keep a running tally on all sorts of great excuses.

As an added bonus, I will include serious ailments to come up with in case you need a day off.

Take today as an example.

Tuesday night is football practice.  This week we had a late Sunday night because S1 shot ANOTHER doe with his bow and we didn't get to bed till after ten.  Then Monday was practice and Daddy, S1 and S2 had to watch highlights of S2's game.  Twice.  Tuesday was practice and we all went along, Moma walked the track during practice or helped a crying S3 with homework.  We ate back straps for a special dinner and didn't get to bed till nine.

Enter Wednesday.

It's cold, so it's hard to wake up.

It's spirit week for homecoming so there are specific clothes to search for...and a realization that we do not own any T-shirts sporting any singing groups or stars.

S2 was going to pack a knife in his lunch to cut up the venison he wanted to bring to school to eat for lunch.  Thankfully, S1 and I caught it and raised all kinds of fear in the rest of the boys of bringing a knife to school.

We then had to cut up venison for lunch.

Butter and honey sandwiches suddenly are not liked and much coaxing was needed to convince S4 that yes, his lunch would be good.

Moma got  totally slightly distracted watching about the new iphone4s just released...but then she caught all the boys watching too so she had to turn the news off.

S4 then had to hug every single stuffed animal goodbye.  This is the first day he's not allowed to bring his stuffed friends to school.  He usually brings about four or five.  Every. Single. One. was hugged and lined up perfectly on the dining room table to greet him upon his arrival home.

Here's the best we were leaving the driveway, the chicken literally would not move to let us pass and drive down the driveway.

I can not make this stuff up.

We dropped the boys off to school, where I have not a clue what to make for dinner because I am too tired to think anymore.  Wednesday does that to me.

S4 began to let me know his finger was beginning to hurt so badly and perhaps wondered if I thought he would be all right to be at school all day with such an injury.

I made it out of the school at 8:11.  School starts at 8:10.

Feel free to use all and any excuses.....

But be sure to check out your kiddos lunches.  I was in the kitchen with them and missed the knife.  What makes perfect sense to them does not always fly at school.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

When A Snake Is Loose In Your Car....

I would love to say this happened to me.

Wait, I take that back, I am SO glad I would not ever want to have this happen to me but I SO can see it happen to me.

This is my friend Jenn I am about to introduce you to.  She is a hoot.  She teaches music and I love her posts...even the ones I don't comment on but she is great.

We go to the same church and I have had her daughter in my Wednesday night class for two years.  I KNOW these people.

So I when I seen her husband post this on facebook this afternoon....

Jenn calls me just now and informs me there is a snake loose in her car, as she heads down the highway :)

...... I begged her to let me tell the story on my blog.

You know, in case this ever happens to me you, you'll know what to do.

Here is what she posted on facebook....

When your son has brought the snake home from his class habitat in a plastic container, the words you NEVER want to hear are "Where's the snake?!" closely followed by the words "Mom! Pull the car over NOW!"

Then - after everyone had officially freaked out for her - she told the whole story.....

It can only been told in her own words.......

So here's the story:

 The 4th gr. habitat unit is now finished and the teachers were going to let all of the critters go outside after school or this weekend. Josiah had gotten a snake at my parents' house and it ended up being the biggest one that was brought in for any of the habitats. Needless to say, he had gotten attached to this snake and just HAD to bring the thing home to let it go in our yard. 

Being the understanding mom that I am (HA!) I gave in and his teacher (bless her soul) fished the snake out and we put it in a large plastic container w/ a lid w/ holes. 

The same container the snake was transported to the school in a week ago. 

The only difference...we didn't tape the lid down this didn't even cross my mind. 

So we're driving down the highway when I hear the words I posted above. 

When your son has brought the snake home from his class habitat in a plastic container, the words you NEVER want to hear are "Where's the snake?!" closely followed by the words "Mom! Pull the car over NOW!"

I said "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?! You weren't holding on to the container?! How did that happen? CAN YOU SEE IT?!" 

All the while I'm trying to maintain my composure so Jocelyn (who's five) doesn't freak out (because she was already starting to) while keeping the car on the road in rush hour while looking around my feet for a snake that I'm sure is about to slither up my pant leg at any minute. 

I pulled over on the side of the highway, we looked all around for a minute and then Josiah said "it's under your seat!" So I decided that it was probably scared and would stay there coiled I'd be brave and keep driving to get us off the highway to a safer location. 

I called Jamie (her husband) - who was amused - and then I drove another 5 minutes (silently freaking out and thinking I was feeling something on my leg every few seconds) until I got to the Wayland exit. I pulled into the McDonald's and drove to the back of the parking lot where I parked the car and told the kids to stay where they were while I looked for the snake...

...which didn't work because they were both outta the car like lightening. 

I told them to shut their doors so that the snake wouldn't get out (I was still trying to let Josiah get the snake home safely so he could release it....sooooo stupid!). I looked all around on the driver side and couldn't see it while Josiah went over to the passenger side to help Jocelyn get out safely and shut her door. Josiah yelled "MOM! It's over here under the front seat! Bring me the container...I've got a straight shot!" 

So I grabbed the container and lid and ran over to the other side - and the snake was moving up the side of the car into the front passenger side floor. I quick grabbed ahold of the tail and whipped it onto the parking lot asphalt. Then I grabbed it by the tail again and put it into the container. 

The kids cheered - the man and woman in the SUV next to me were staring with their mouths on the ground - and I felt like Hercules....until I got the kids back in the car, got back on the highway, and started thinking about it. 

And then I almost threw up.

Oh - and the snake made it home where he was happily released in our front yard. And what Josiah won't ever know is that if I ever see that snake again it will be DEAD.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Praise And Coffee Magazine Is Here!

Isn't it lovely????

I love it so.

Sue did a phenomenal job on this magazine.  You just read how busy I have been since school behind the scenes work on this one is pretty minimal...but next issue....oh wow.  We have already started working on it.

But that doesn't diminish this issue.

I love it.

On page 60 you can find me.  But you all know me by now so let me highlight some features in this issue....

You'll get to meet Sue's husband.  And he is a brilliant wonderful man...seriously.

And from Sue you'll hear a beginning story of Praise and Coffee.

You will meet Sarah who has given you a great gift in this magazine...the gift of food.

This apple cobbler I made last year because Ginger (another blogging friend) was raving over it.  My family devours it.

You will all love Sarah.  Her pictures are wonderful.  Her recipe is delicious.  Her husband and mine share the same first name.  She has four boys as well.

You. Will. Love. Her.

AND, she is going to be a regular in the magazine. Squeal!

Big Mama enters the scene as our returning regular.  You must be very very very brave to read her article.  She gives us boots to drool over.  I have a weakness for boots so this article I have to skim over so I don't begin drooling.  It is such a good collection of boots.

(Her last Friday fashion post made me wish she would just fly here and take me shopping.)

Also, you need to check out the news she just broke - she is writing a BOOK !  Thrilled for her!

You'll hear from Kristine ( a former witch - who will be at our local Praise and Coffee this month, days before Halloween ) about her research on Halloween.

You will read Cindy's story.  I have met Cindy - she spoke at our last Praise and Coffee get together - and loved her to pieces.  Her story will make you cry, so be sure to grab some kleenex when you settle in for the gripping read.  Yes, gripping.  And know that she is one of the sweetest people I have met and I can NOT wait for us to be getting together in the near future.  She is a real treasure, and she definitely sparkles.

I just heard of Lisa with her article here in the magazine.  Her book is now on my "must read" list.

It's a great magazine, and I am so proud of Sue and all our writers on this one.  I am sooooooo thrilled to be a part of this great group of ladies.

It's pretty cold here tonight, a perfect night for you to cuddle into a cup of coffee and loose yourself in our magazine.  I can't wait to hear what you all think of it.