Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Evening Walks

We have been taking evening walks, lately. Some nights, the kids ride their bikes. Some nights, they walk with us. Some nights, they ride horses. Those are the especially interesting walks. 

We have to start out with some tricks on the pony. This is Degnan's project pony, Brown Derby. If you had seen Brown Derby when we got him, you wouldn't believe this was possible. More on that later. 

We are spread out for a few reasons. Makenna's pony needs more attention from Dad. Josie is an exhausted mess and can't stand to be near anyone. No one is fighting her on that. It's been a rough first week of kindergarten. Degnan is piddling with his pony. He is turning circles and getting him to collect. Chaney and I are too impatient to wait on them. 

Josie eventually took the lead. She and Casino are big buds. 

Wait!  I forgot to mention our other walkers. We have the dogs:  Banjo, Rawhide and Camper. We were also blessed with Buckets' presence this evening. 

Yes, the goat joined us. She is convinced she is a dog. She and Banjo are best friends, in her mind. In his mind, we are all exhausting. 

There you have it, exercise the creepy country way. If you are ever driving down a dirt road and see three dogs, three horses, two adults, a stroller and a goat .. Wave at us. We are a friendly bunch. We just look crazy. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

How Josie Sees It

We woke up early this morning and went to watch my cousin, Jule, bulldog in Dodge City. This was a partitcularly early early morning for Josie. She prefers to sleep in.  The long day made for candid conversations with Josie. 

While straightening Josie's shorts, I discovered she wasn't wearing underwear. When I asked her about it she replied, "Mom it was really early when you got me up.  I didn't have time."

After her really early morning came meltdown afternoon. Mid meltdown, she stopped and said, "Don't even tell me not to cry because if you felt like this, you would just cry and cry.  You would probably just never stop."

Josie and Makenna wanted to watch "Goonies" tonight. Fifteen minutes into it, I heard Josie say, "Well, that's not safe,". Five more minutes pass and, "Sewiously!!  That is just not safe and dumb!  I am not watching this."

One thing about Josie, you always know what she is thinking. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Whatcha Been Up To, Chaney?

Consistency is both my strong suit and shortcoming, in parenting. Tomorrow, Chaney will have her 9 month checkup. She is 11 months old.  Right on time. I thought this would be a good time to update everyone. 

 I can not so happily report that she took two steps tonight. 

She has said "Mama" once and refuses to do so, again. She chooses to spend her time whistling at the animals instead of talking to me. 

She looks just like her daddy. 

She has one physical trait of mine, shoulder dimples. Yep, that's all I passed down to her. 

She is still the absolute center of her siblings' attention. 

She would rather crawl over rocks than cuddle. I have zero idea how she will turn out. For every sweet moment, there is an undercurrent of ornery. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bad Lesson. Good Teacher.

Bad day in our world on Sunday. We had to put our new puppy and our old dog down. The puppy was cute and we all really liked her. It's losing Sapo that hurts our hearts so bad. 

Austin and I had him before we were married. He was our practice run at keeping something alive. He happily, and then not so happily, and then completely perplexed, and then in complete disbelief, watched us bring home four babies. He protected us from numerous strangers. Most of them were harmless but there were a few I have no doubt weren't so harmless. He kept the kids out of the way of more than one snake. He knew I was pregnant before I did and made sure I didn't do anything harmful. I could go on and on about all he did for us. He left a very sad family behind. 

Makenna was talking to me about how sad she is. We were on the way to town, yesterday and she was telling me that she was crying earlier and sad. Then, she said "But, I am a lot better since I talked to God."  I asked her what she meant. What she said helped me more than she will ever know. "I was so sad and I prayed about it. I told God how much I missed Sapo and God told me that Sapo feels much better.  If you listen hard in your head, you can hear God answer you. He is in heaven, now.  That's where you go when you are too tired to live anymore. It's a great place."

As parents, we feel like we are supposed to teach the life lessons. I feel like I learn just as much from them as they do from me. Maybe more. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Best Problems

We love to have problems. I don't know what it is about people these days but problems have become badges. 

Right now, there are a ton of problems at our house. 

Know what our problems are?  The BEST problems. Every one of them represents how much rain we have had in the last three weeks. 

We can't go over thirty miles per hour down our road.

 Our drive resembles a swamp. 

We are pulling each other out of the mud every other day. My floor is a muddy mess. The dogs are filthy. The pens are sludge. We got kicked out of the line at the car wash for having too much mud. 

The arena is too wet for practicing. The horses are leaving LARGE prints in my yard. 

Between the water in the terraces and the green grass, there is no reason for the horses to come into the sludge and mud pens. We have only seen them from the road for over a week.

 The pigs wallowed their way out of the pens. 

The yard looks like it needs a swather.  There are wind rows. 

I have to admit, it's a foreign feeling to have so much water. It does come with a few issues but, the good far outweighs the bad. Next person who complains to me about the mud is going to get THE MOST annoying pep talk about giving up complaining and embracing the positive. That's right, I will make it RAIN happy news on you. One person at a time, I am turning the complainer's tide. 

** I can name about ten people who will avoid me like the plague in order to avoid being subjected to my cheerful nature. Im'ma hunt you down. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

So Much To Do

I just went through book bags. It took me fifteen minutes to read through all of the great activities the kids can do this summer. Golf camp. 4H camps. Basketball camp. Gymnastics. Baseball.  That is only a handful of the options. I am grateful for activities and people willing to put them on but, it got a little overwhelming.

As I read through it, I kept thinking: "Gosh, they may like this.  It's not something we have ever tried."  "Oh, I bet their friends will do this."  "They may want to do this in high school so we should get them started now." 

Then, came the "How do I work all this in and get some time to do things as a family?"  

Austin and I are going to do the wildly unpopular and soooooo outdated thing. We aren't going to try to do it all. If the kids ask about it, we will talk about participating. I seriously doubt we are killing a Major League Baseball career by not participating in baseball this summer. A Tiger Woods golf story isn't going to be made or broken in one summer. Four vacation bible schools isn't going to be the deciding factor between atheism and Christianity. 

We are going to spend an old fashioned summer flying by the seat of our pants and having fun as it comes to us.  I am observant enough to know we aren't going to get many more summers where the kids want to be together. Instead of driving from one camp or class to the next, am soaking this one up. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Draggin' Calves

The kids and I played hooky from school and work yesterday so we could help drag calves. 

I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to bring all four kids. But, I am sure glad I bit the bullet and brought everyone. 
Chaney made sure everyone was following the feed truck. 

Degnan and Makenna got some practice holding calves down. They were a little disappointed there weren't more small calves. It's a good problem to have. 

Grit your teeth and hold on, Makenna. 

I appreciate it when people are patient and don't mind showing the kids the ropes. 

This face got a little chilly but stuck it out and notched ears. 

She also picked on Uncle Kyle. 

Watch out, Jule!  Josie is coming to rescue Makenna. 

Chaney took it all in. She should be ready to go. 

Things got a little fun to watch when they had to rope a cow and trim her horns a bit. 

There isn't a better way to spend the day than working and having fun with your family.