Saturday, January 14, 2017

Odds, Ends and Life Lately

Our lives seem to stay quite busy.  We don't have much noteworthy going on, but boy are we exhausted by the end of the day.  

Wesley has been cleaning out a pond in one of our pastures with the bulldozer.  We've been out a few times to check on his progress and let Kenyon ride with him.  Poor John still draws the short straw and has to entertain his mother instead of doing 'man stuff'.  

On this particular day it was 25 degrees out and there was a sharp north wind blowing.  I insisted Kenyon crawl off the dozer after nearly an hour and come sit in the vehicle with me.  I thought I was performing my motherly duties.  I thought I was saving his life.  

I thought wrong.  I ruined his life.  He was utterly dejected the rest of the evening.  

During the few nicer days we've made sure to soak up as much sunshine and dirt road miles as possible.

Our theme for church last Sunday was 'vests'.  I'm not promising to shoot for a theme every Sunday, but it's worked for us the past few weeks.

The weather forecasters have been predicting the apocalypse for over a week now.  Torrential ice is supposed to cover our area, power will be lost, mass chaos will likely ensue.  (Okay, so I made that last part up.)  

Truth be told, I just can't get that worked up or dramatic about bad weather.  I view it as more of a challenge.  I like to see what I'm really made of; test my moxie.  I'd like to think we are fairly prepared.  Our laundry is totally caught up, dishes washed, children and self bathed.  We can ride out a few days with no power and do alright.  

I ran errands this week and this was a picture of my cart at the grocery store.  Folks would look at my cart, chuckle, and inevitably make a joke to the effect of, 'Getting ready for the ice storm, eh?'  (Actually, I don't think anyone included 'eh' because we don't live in Canada.  I took a bit of creative license there.)  I enjoyed providing my stonefaced reply to each and every one of them.  

"Ice storm?  No, why?"  

This is normal, folks.  (Everything but the 12 boxes of Kleenex, which were on sale and I had some lovely coupons.)  I try to make most all our meals, I had coupons and my mother-in-law was kind enough to keep the boys one morning for me.  I was in heaven.   

Our first round of ice came last night and thus far the roads aren't too terrible.  We've been out and delivered cookies to the men that are feeding cattle despite any weather and now have holed up for the foreseeable future with a few good books.  If you have any weather headed your way make sure to stay warm, friends!  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Year, New News

It's that time of year again; time for me to write the incorrect year on all my checks until roughly mid-March.

My apologies on the lack of blogging lately.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years; its all been a blur.

The boys are fine.  Kenyon asks questions constantly, eats constantly, forgets what he's actually supposed to be doing constantly.  Typical boy stuff.

John has mastered speed-walking, knows he's adorable and is full of vim and vigor.  They keep us running from son up until son down (ha - see what I did there?!) and ensure that we sleep hard at night.
My mother delighted in dressing us in coordinating dresses for church when we were growing up.  This is my version of coordinating outfits for the boys.  Notice the hand on John's shoulder.  It is currently one of the best ways to make him hold still long enough for pictures. 

A snowy day of running errands in the car.
Sigh, yes, I said car.  We traded in the pickup for a car.  More on that reasoning later...
We weigh our kids on the dog scales at the vet's office.
Why?  Where do you?  Is this not normal?

Like I said - he knows he's adorable, even when his face is covered with homemade beef stroganoff. 
And we're pregnant.  Again.  So there's that.  That may be the biggest reason there's been a huge lack of blogging lately.  We're mostly just trying to survive one day at a time!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Little Boys' Heaven on Earth

Life has been zooming by lately and there have been many days that the boys haven't played as much as they would have preferred.  It's hard to run around and get dirty when you're stuck in a car seat and helping Mom pick up a battery for the tractor, parts for the 4 wheeler and groceries (while you're in town anyway).  

During weeks when I'm feeling especially neglectful I try to make a special point of taking them down to a creek to play at least one evening.  It's a few miles from our house but well worth the drive.  We love the flat, rock bottom with little puddles of clear water everywhere.  It's filled with sticks, rocks, leaves and water.  Heaven on earth for little boys. 

I asked for a smile.
I got a raspberry. 


I love it that I can just let Kenyon explore to his heart's content.

Over there, Mom!

Friday, October 28, 2016


The other morning I looked outside my kitchen window to see one of the most beautiful foggy mornings ever in the history of the universe.  I'm sure of it.  At least one of the top 10.  

I neeeeeeeded to take a few photos of this morning.  My soul wouldn't let me rest until I did.  I was torn - do I stay in the house and feed and clothe my beautiful children or do I capture God's beauty? 

I took a moment to assess my priorities.  I rushed to turn on some some Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood cartoons, set up the baby gate in the kitchen doorway and outside I ventured.  

Feel free to click on the photos to enlarge them.  And please note, I'm not claiming that my photography skills are stunning.  In fact, they are seriously lacking in most of these when I review them, and they could use some serious editing.  However, ignore my ineptitude and focus on God's handiwork.  Not. Too. Shabby.

All these views are from our front yard.  *cue happy dance*

Focus near...

Focus far...

I love the way spiderwebs stand out during the morning dew.

And one photo of Laurie.  Because I love her.

And him.  I love him too.  Especially since he didn't completely tear up the house during the 10 minutes I left him unsupervised. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Lately, it seems that we've been burning our candles one of two ways:

  • We've been burning our candles at both ends - weaning, cutting beans, cutting corn and drilling wheat, or....
  • We've been so sick that we've been trying to keep one candle dimly lit in a very small room with little to no breeze lest it extinguish the candle permanently. 
Hopefully we are soon done with the latter and return to the former. 

This would be evidence of poor, sickly days I described.

The weather has been great, so on days when we feel magnificent we soak up all the crisp air and sunshine we possibly can.

Doesn't everyone wrinkle their nose and smile with glee when they finish a field of beans?
If not, you should.

Perhaps this is part of the reason our allergies are attempting to kill us this year.  This is the grill on the front of Wesley's feed pickup, covered in bluestem seed.  Actually, this is a trifling amount compared to just a few weeks ago.

Getting ready to move to a new field and cut more beans tomorrow.

"Mom, I got some work to do."
Kenyon has morning chores, both real and imagined, but all incredibly important.
Feeding the dogs: important.
Kicking out mineral to his imaginary cows in the shop: more importanter.

Bumper cars.  It gets more vicious as they age.

Work, work and more work.  They rarely take a break.
Their great-grandparents got a workbench for them to play with and it was nearly impossible to pry them away.

A pasture picnic.  I love these days.  This is a post in and of itself. 

Yes, he eats off the ground.  Sometimes I feel fancy and call it 'organic' when he eats grass and sticks.

Learning how to operate the hydraulics on the tractor.  You're never too young to learn.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Have Smiles, Will Travel

The boys and I traveled to see my family this weekend for some much needed snuggles and good food.  I'm always slightly embarrassed, slightly proud when I see the boys eat my mom's food so well.  Yes, they do try to eat her out of house and home, but it's not all their fault.  She cooks REALLY well.  

In the event you do not have a proper teething ring available, just throw a stick of celery at this kid.
He enjoys it just as much.
Mom's mums are enormous and gorgeous.  These were knee-high on me, to help you put it in perspective.
 Yes, I see cattle every day.  Yes, we live in the middle of beautiful grass country.  Yes, I drove hours away so I could see the exact same things with my dad.

Now that John is one year old it was high time he had a proper hair cut.  My Aunt Chelle did the honors in her beauty shop.  It warmed my heart to see John wear the same little cape that I wore countless times when she trimmed my hair growing up. 

Before: little baby
After: big man
The boys read lots and lots of books with their Great Grandma S, and Kenyon was kind enough to sing her the ABC's as well.  She's a great audience and fawns over their accomplishments like a dutiful, well seasoned great grandparent should. 

Books, books and more books.  Kenyon has memorized so many of his grandma's that he reads to her these days.
I love John's laugh when he's with them.  He was such a ham all weekend.

His mustache may be a different color than Dad's but it feels the same.
Grandad had a coconut cream pie for his birthday.  We used to say that everyone in the family (besides Grandad) hated coconut cream pie.  That is now amended to say everyone (besides Grandad and Kenyon) hates coconut cream pie.