Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween Highlights

A few weeks before Halloween I got to go with Emmett and his Kindergarten class to Stoney Ridge Pumpkin Patch. 

These are all gourds, quash, and pumpkins that we grew in our garden this year! Beautiful.

My little posers at the local co-op.

This girl of mine is such a sunshine.

Pumpkin carving was a hit. Gage liked the goo more than I thought he would.

Adelle chose an A for her pumpkin. Then when it was done she put a crown on it. Princess Adelle she called it. This girl did not want to put her hands in the pumpkin this year. She is growing up.

Jeff worked so hard carving out Emmett's Seahawk Pumpkin.

Braxton did his own #12. He did a great job.

Gage was the only kid who complied this year to be a chick. The other kids had their own ideas for costumes which were really cute. 
Gage wore his costume all week and pooped out eggs everywhere. This boy really knows his chickens. It was cracking me up.

Cutest little chick!

Braxton: football player
Emmett: Seahawks Mascot
Adelle: Princess Ana
Gage: little chick

Jeff was a rooster and I was a hen. It was pretty hilarious!

We partied all night at our friends' Lynn and Shane's. That has turned into our Halloween tradition the past few years. Lots of cute kids in costumes and good friends and food. 
Adelle and Maia are the only girls each year. There are boys galore. 
Love Braxton photo bombing this pretty picture.

Chad wore this mullet most of the night until he gave it to Braxton to wear. Makes him look even more like a Seahawk player. Cracks me up!!

And then all of a sudden I have a 10 year old!

 At the beginning of the month we celebrated Braxton's birthday with Kate and Gage. He asked for Seahawks anything, again. 
 Getting ready to blow out his candles.
 Braxton with his popcorn football cake that my mom made for him 
 Opening up his gift (cowboy boots) from Jeff's mom
 On his actual birthday with his sissy
 Playing football, the 6 of us, Braxton's #1 request for his 10th birthday.
 Talking about the next play.
 Face paint and more Seahawks gear!
 Pizza and a movie.
 Game time huddle.
My handsome double digits!

Braxton has been really excited about his birthday this year. Not the party, or the gifts, but just the fact that he is turning 10 was really exciting for him and he had been talking about it for a few months.

It's amazing to me that I have a ten year old. There are so many details I remember about him as a baby. Time really does fly. Braxton is a good boy. He is the best oldest child and the greatest friend and example to his siblings. 

Unfortunately I was sick this year on his birthday but luckily I know my kid pretty well and so regardless of how crummy I felt I was able to make him feel pretty special. 

I made him homemade bread early in the week and this boy loves, loves, loves my homemade bread. He is always telling me how much better it is than the store bread. He was so happy when it was ready for an after school snack.

On Friday, the day before his birthday, I made a list with numbers 1-10 and he got to write down the top 10 things he wanted to do for his birthday. They were:
1. Play a football game with my family
2. Bring cookies to the team football game 
3. Eat Pizza
4. Eat Ice Cream
5. Go to the movie
6. Do my homework, lol
7. Open presents
8. Paint faces
9. Chex cereal for breakfast
10.  (oh no! I can't remember #10)
He was really excited about getting to pick so many things and now all the other kids are asking if they get to do this on their birthdays. It's so funny what they get excited about.

Saturday morning Braxton had a football game early. We had to be to the field at 7:30 for an 8:30am game. Braxton played awesome. I made chocolate chip cookies, per his request, and put them into little brown bags that I decorated as footballs. After the game with whole team sang Happy Birthday to Braxton and then he handed out bags of cookies to all his teammates.
My parents were at the game so they offered to take us all to breakfast afterwards. I got to choose and I chose Diamond Jim's in Bellingham which is delicious but also a little sentimental because it is where Jeff and I went for breakfast the morning we had our ultrasound and found out that Braxton was a boy! Breakfast was so delicious and Braxton ate two huge pancakes, eggs over medium, and bacon.
Then we came home and suited up for the family football game he has been wanting to play. We drove to Meridian High School and played on the real field. Emmett and Braxton insisted they were on the same team so Gage was with them and Jeff, Adelle, and I were the opposing team. It was a great game, great day. Everyone was good sports. Braxton and Emmett were so patient with Gage who wanted the ball everytime and who didn't run in the right direction. I think we all scored a touchdown and got lots of good running in.
Then we came home and chose to rent a movie instead of go since I was feeling more lousy after the football game and the kids were happy to eat Pizza in the living room in front of a movie.
I painted everyone's faces while Jeff went and got the Pizza.
Probably my most favorite part of the whole day was Braxton running his fingers through my hair watching the movie. That is something he has done since he was a tiny baby and I love that occasionally he still does it, without even thinking.

I am so proud of this boy. He is growing into a kind, helpful, courteous, young adult and I am so blessed to be his momma.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gagey Baby turns 3

My baby turned 3 today and we partied!
I feel so much love for this little boy and his big self. 
Gage is the boy that tells me to stop what I am doing and look at him.
The boy who lights up any room that he walks into.
The boy that makes jokes and is a crowd pleaser.
He is the boy that lives and breathes his routine and if I don't give him his vitamin when he wakes up he goes ballistic. 
He's the child that I have had to negotiate the most with. He will argue with me all day that he is taller than me, which he is not.... yet.
He is the boy who loves me so much and says sorry when he's done something wrong even without me asking him to because he can read me like a book.
The boy who works just as hard as the other kids around this farm and my personal helper when it comes to collecting eggs everyday.
He is so spoiled and it's so wonderful. 
He is genuine and true and I love that he doesn't pretend to be happy if he's sad and he doesn't hold grudges. This kid is angel boy or monster boy and sometimes both in the same 5 minutes. 
He is our favorite fourth and we all love him so, so much!!

Happy Birthday Gagey!

Gage waiting so patiently last night at his birthday party combined with Kate and Braxton's

They even all took turns opening gifts and he waited so nicely each round for his turn. 

Boy was he happy to receive his granola from Auntie Melissa!

If nothing else, four kids has taught me that when your sister invites you to her daughter's October birthday party you hop right on and combine both of your October kids in there too. 
And when your mom asks your two year old what he wants for his birthday and he says, "A popcorn cake!" you let your mom make it for him.
The party last night was so awesome and all I really did was make homemade salsa for the tacos and homemade pumpkin pie.

The first thing he said this morning when he came down the stairs was, "I'm three now!" 
And all day he continued asking me, "mom, am I two or am I really three?" It was so much fun.
He asked to eat his granola for breakfast with yogurt.

After we got the kids off to school Gage and I played with some of his new toys. We read his books with the computer from Bama and Umpa. We set up with marble tower and tried to put all 400 marbles down it. This boy is so funny with his gift requests but Bryce and Chelsey and Lesha and her family came through with the marbles he asked for and they are his new thing.
Then we played with the trucks he got from Auntie Angela and Auntie Rebecca and cousins Baylee, Joe, and Ole.
After we played in our jammies for a few hours and read all of our favorite books I asked Gage what he wanted to do. He quickly responded, "make more popcorn cake!" But since he already had a popcorn cake that his Bama made him I asked him what else he wanted to do. Next he said, "eat at my restaurant." I said, "you have a restaurant?" He answered, "yes, the pig slop one is mine!" Ha, that's my aunt's restaurant in front of our property and we are lucky to get slop from there for our pigs. His perception was cracking me up.
I said how about we go pick apples and he loved that idea so we drove to our neighbors, Bellewood Acres and got busy!

It was a rainy day so we bundled up before we left and got rained on the whole time which was half the fun. I drove the golf cart out to the orchard and I would have taken more pictures except that every time I took my hand from his grasp to shoot the camera he would say, "give me your hand back," so I decided to hold his hand rather than to take a bunch of pictures. 

Here is my little apple picker with the only apple he actually picked. He was all about picking out the apples, pointing to them, and then having me actually pick them. Which worked for both of us.

After we picked our apples Auntie Rebecca and Ole and Uncle Bryce and Aunt Chelsey met us at Bellewood for lunch and Gage ordered a burger. It cracked me up how specific he was. First of all, he never orders burgers. Today though he said, "I want a burger for lunch, mom."  It was like, "now that I am big and three I am going to eat burgers." Then when I ordered the waitress said, "without cheese?" and I replied, "that's fine," to which Gage interrupted, "no! that's not fine I do want cheese on my burger!" Cracked me up the whole thing.

After lunch Uncle Bryce and Aunt Chelsey came back to our house and played with Gagey and his new toys and then Chelsey got to lay him down for nap.

This Gagey guy is so loved. He is funny and full of whit and he is constantly making us laugh and roll our eyes with what he comes up with.

Jeff laughed that I put a candle on a big football plate with our dinner which consisted of carrots and crackers and tuna fish. I am not a pro at this mom thing and I am certainly caught off guard everyday with my children and their various needs but today I figured that playing with Gage and his new toys all day was more important than making a big dinner. And none of the kids even noticed that we didn't even eat cake.

There is nothing quite like seeing your kids love each other. It's just really the best thing ever.

Braxton wrote on the chalk board his own message:
Happy Birthday Gage
The best football player ever!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

This is my heartbeat song and I'm gonna sing it..

The neighbor found me at church and asked me if everything on the farm was okay. She said she saw that the chickens had gotten out. I wonder if she saw the farmer throw the jack across the field as well? That part she didn't mention, neither did I. If she knows anything about the farmer she would know that he must have been at his whits end and if she knows anything about farming she would know that such is the name of the game sometimes. She is older than me, and wiser, because I am figuring out that those two things go hand in hand.
It wasn't the first day that the chickens had gotten out but it was the first day the chicken tractor collapsed when the jack broke and the first day that our kids didn't get breakfast until almost noon. I wouldn't have chosen for my kids to be so hungry but in the scheme of things it's not all bad and I think more kids these days should have the opportunity to work hard, even if it means waiting on breakfast until all the chickens are back and safe within their fence.
Later I taught my kids a lesson. Something along the lines of the chickens are in the fenced area with food and shelter and water because that is the safest area for them to be. Likewise, mommy and daddy have rules for you to follow because we want you to be safe and we know what is best for you. Venture out of the fence rules and you will be some coyote's dinner. More or less. I think they got it though and they will most likely never break any of our rules. So I am glad that we all had that experience.

Then there was the day that the pig got out of the fence. While I was in the garden harvesting corn on the cob I could hear the pig snorting and it sounded as if he were right beside me. Come to find out he was right beside me, beneath the apple tree eating not only the apples but branches and leaves as well. Better those then Emmett's shoe I guess which he later tasted only to find dissatisfying. 
Being the confident, get in and get dirty, farmer that I am I quickly grabbed my two year old and ran to my house to find my cell phone and call my ever ready reinforcement, the real farmer, to come help me. He was on his way home anyway which was helpful and sure enough, without really even sweating it, Jeff saved the day with a stick he guided Wilbur back into the pen. I called my brother and then a girlfriend while I waited for him to come home figuring that if the pig attacked me someone would hear and get help so even if my life was taken, Gage's would be spared.

And that, you might think, is life right now. And it is. And it's wonderfully fun and entertaining and tiresome. But the real life, the one that weighs on my heart, is the one that accounts for the little chicks that I have here in the home. My little nest with my four little peeps that if I could I would just probably sit on for the rest of their long lives. Not really, of course. But with school starting this past week and our momma hen hatching 5 little chicks, I have been teasing my kids about being a momma hen myself. 
"Look at momma! She's tearing the french fries so that each little baby chick can have a small bite," they notice and I tell them that that's what momma's do. 
Braxton has surprised me that most with how concerned he is for momma. He was the one who found the hatched chicks first because he had been checking on momma and he heard the first peeps. Then after school he ran from the bus stop that day to see momma and hopefully one or more of the chicks. 

But I am not a hen and my kids are not chicks and I don't know if that makes things easier or harder but I know it makes this life better and fuller. Momma hen thinks she has it good because her chicks enjoy the french fries she gives them but I know I have it better because I get to see them hope and dream and become good people. People who care about each other. People who care about themselves. People who are anxious to get out and experience all there is out there in the big world including a new school, new friends, Kindergarten, riding the school bus, playing tackle football.... and the list goes on.  Momma hen doesn't get to take a tub with her one baby who is still at home during the day. She doesn't hear him say to her, "I am a big, nice, human shark!" as he splashes her and dunks under the water. Momma hen doesn't get to hear the voices from the back of the bus hollering, "Braxton, back here," as her 4th grader gets on the bus to find teammates in the back wanting him to sit by him. She doesn't get to see the smile of her daughter on day two of school when she made a friend and her expression went from uneasy to excited to go back. And lastly, that momma Hen has never taken her little cherub to Kindergarten only to have him look at her with eyes that go all the way to her heart, and confidently say, "mom, please can I ride the bus home instead of you picking me up?" 
They are not chicks and I am not a hen, but man do they have wings that are spread wide and man is it joyfully uncomfortable to sit back and watch them fly.