Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve was perfect. I love everything about this celebration with my mom's side of the family, especially the church service and seeing row after row of people I love. Here are some of the boys' favorite moments.

Big Boy Cousins!!

Nick's new hunting knife was the Gift of the Year...
but there was plenty of other cool stuff, too...

Of course there were some Wild Times...
and luckily some Quiet Times...

And finally... to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This is my favorite week of the year. There is always beautiful music playing, almost always something delicious in the oven, and the kids are almost almost always happily occupied with something crafty. I don't know who decided we should prepare for the birth of God's Son with baked goods and paint, but I love it!

"What are you doing?" I heard Evan ask Ethan.
"Making presents for Baby Jesus"
"Oh. Can I make sumpfing?"

The Nativity Scene on their bookshelf is surrounded by paper cut up, colored, and taped back together in every imaginable shape.

Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father says James 1:17.

I hope you are loving everything about this Advent, too; I hope that the anticipation of the birth of our Saviour fills your heart with joy today and tomorrow and every day of the coming year. In a few short days we will celebrate His birth, and then we can begin preparing for Him to again come to us with His everlasting grace.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


So I have a 5 year old. Pretty crazy. He is all boy, no hints of baby anymore. Well, except for when he is playing 'baby' and Evan is the dad who fixes tractors. But that's kind of annoying. He doesn't look like a baby when he's asleep, he sprawls out all long arms and legs. (Long being a relative term, of course, of which I am reminded after spending the weekend with my extremely long-limbed 'little' cousins. Relative to me, he is quite long.) He doesn't look like a baby in jammies, or in the bathtub. He rarely runs naked anymore at all, which is clearly a sign of maturity. Every precious bone in his back is defined and surrounded by sinewy little muscles instead of that squeezable, pat-able baby fat.

He can play quietly by himself with Legos, creating elaborate farm equipment and pirate ships. He consistently beats us at Wii games, and after a brief stint with a 'Good Sport' folder last spring, he is a good, well, sport. He is starting to read and I especially love to listen to him 'read' his favorite books, word for word and page by page. He takes care of the dogs and cats and chickens. He hauls wood and steers the truck and brings Matt tools before I can say 'what does that one look like again?'.

He is affectionate, compassionate, enthusiastic. Smart, smart-alecky. Kind, generous, brave, responsible.
I really like this kid.

What are you doing? he asked.
Writing about your birthday.
Do you have a 9?
Well press it!
9 Why?
Because! Today is December NINTH!

I think he is constantly annoyed by my denseness.
Right on schedule.

Monday, November 15, 2010

And now he is Three...

My Baby is three.A three year old boy, to be more specific. He runs and climbs and insists on steering the truck when we drive to the ranch. He makes chainsaw and motor vehicle noises. He tackles people (and the dog) and head- butts to demonstrate affection. He still snuggles and kisses and would rather sleep in my bed than anywhere else. He likes to play "gohn-ups" with Ethan; they talk in deep, grown-up voices about their work and their tractors. He loves to draw and cut and glue. "What does dis say," he asks about the scribbles he has made across the page. "Does dis say Evan?" Almost, baby. He loves to be read to, and I hope he never outgrows that. His favorite book is still Big Red Barn. He loves Sunday School and reading the Bible in the evenings. He loves baking and stirring and spilling. He loves vegetables and meat more than any other foods. (?) He loves putting on his boots and helping his Dad. Ethan is his best friend, and watching them play and learn and work together brings more joy to my heart than I ever could have imagined. His other best friend is Eve.

He loves spending time with his grandparents and aunts and uncles. And why wouldn't he, as surrounded with love as he is?
The highlight of the birthday party on Sunday was a little guitar. "I'm so gad I have mine own contar!" he exclaimed jubilantly. He noticed something was missing, though, and opened up Gramma's case to point it out. "I need dis... sumpsing," he said, pointing to the strap. I pulled one off a duffel bag and Tessa MacGuyvered it into a functional guitar strap. It worked great when he slung it over his head to sing "Dis Widdle Wight of Mine" with Gramma, and it was even more useful when he moved on to play with something (or sumpsing) else.

Happy birthday, Baby. I love you with every beat of my heart. I am so proud of all that you are learning and the sweet person you are becoming.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Neither Art nor Craft

We've been doing a lot of gluing lately. By 'we' of course I mean those two nimble blondes who can scramble onto the counter and into the art supply cupboard before I can say "Don't climb with scissors."

At first I couldn't stifle the inner preschool-teacher-assistant in my head. "Too much! Too much! What are you going to actually going to put on the glue?"

Then I remembered that in August glue was on sale, like 6 for a dollar, and I stocked up. And I thought, what do I care if they don't use the glue to affix something to something else. Everyone is so happy right now, no one has noticed that I am eating chocolate chips out of the jar.

Plus, look at how it teaches them to deal with adversity. "No mo' goo is comin' out!"

And the satisfaction of squeezing mo' goo out all by yourself.

And the utter joy of creating something uniquely yours, even if no one knows what it is and you have glue on your eyelashes.

Not to mention the utter joy of the mama not sharing chocolate chips.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Med School

We couldn't resist this set of little scrubs when looking at Halloween costumes. The boys love their doctor set, and this was just the addition to the dress-up box that we have been needing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat

We were all waiting in suspense to find out what the boys were going to dress as- Ethan had considered pirate, batman, cop, and ghost. Evan was too distracted by the prospect of "knockin' on dohs an' gettin' CANDY" to think about costumes. "Is today the pahrty where we knock on people's dohs?" he asked every morning. Finally, it was... and the streets were a little safer with this policeman and firefighter on duty.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Another milestone- Ethan went to his first slumber party! "Here we are, Buddy," I said as we pulled into Brayden's driveway. "YES!" he exclaimed.
I was a little nervous, but he had a great time. As I've noted time and again, that kid is so much braver than I ever was. I'm pretty sure my first successful sleepover was in 3rd grade. Maybe later.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Girl Time

There are a few more girls now, and many more boys, but it was wonderful to see all of them last week. One thing about good friends is that no matter how many seasons, and babies, have changed since you were last together, the conversation and laughter flow just as easily as those nights in the dorm room or the apartment on West Maple.

The only thing I would have changed on Monday?

Taking the group photo at the beginning of the evening.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Speaking of amazing photography...

My talented friend Kylie took the boys to a deserted country road for a photo shoot. It was win-win because I got some very cool pictures of my kids and I got to hold her new baby the whole time they were gone!

For Christmas I'm thinking family pictures in the snow, perhaps with coordinated red sweaters. Anyone have any Zoloft I could give to Matt?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Fest 2010

Several friends packed up picnic lunches, jackets, and a multitude of children for a day of fun. We started with a picnic at the park, then went to the pumpkin patch. There was laughter, chatting, and of course a few tantrums, but nothing unmanageable. When I saw this picture, I smiled. When I showed it to Matt, he shuddered. "Yeah, that looks like a lot of fun," he said unconvincingly.

Well, it WAS fun. Does that mean that my standards have lowered? Or that Matt is a consummate fun-hater? You be the judge.

My talented friend Kylie took these photographs... click here to see more of her art. Local friends, take note!

One of the highlights was a big pit of shelled corn.

This is Kylie's sweet little peanut, Judah- shown here thinking deep thoughts with Evan.
And the hay rack ride was so relaxing, Ethan almost dozed off on his BFF Brayden.

Fun? Most definitely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Worker bees

The boys and I cleaned out the woodstove last week.

Usually when I say, 'the boys and I blah blah blah,' what I mean is
- the boys spilled flour and fought over the baking powder while I baked cookies
-the boys chopped potato sprouts and pulled baby carrot feathers while I weeded the garden
-the boys put dirty clothes in the dryer and knocked over piles of clean clothes while I did the laundry.
Et cetera.

BUT. Last Thursday, the boys and I really cleaned out the woodstove. They had their little shovels and we took turns scooping ashes into the wheelbarrow. Then they took turns climbing inside (sorry, Mom) and scooping more ashes into my shovel, which I dumped into the wheelbarrow. I kept waiting for them to get tired of it and go play, but they stuck to business til the bitter end. Which actually wasn't bitter at all because we had been having such a nice time together. Then we picked up some wood in the pasture. Well, okay, I picked up the wood but they unloaded ALL of it, even working together to roll the heaviest logs off the end of the tailgate. I couldn't have been more impressed with the little helpers.

"Let's play Tack," Ethan suggested after we had finished. "Okay," I agreed. "How do you play that?" "YOU KNOW," he answered. "We chase everybody and yell TACK."

Man, those boys are cool.

Monday, October 18, 2010


"Evan, let's be human now."
"Woof woof!"
"Evan! Now let's be humans."
Humans! Let's play a new game with HUMANS!

A distant engine was heard and Evan raced to the door.
"My daddy is going tah be here in a few minutes in his aihpane!"

The new Lego catalog is here.
Evan: Dad, I want you to buy me dis.
Matt: I don't have any money.
Evan: Here's my money. hands invisible money Now buy me dat!
Matt: That's not a very polite way to ask.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Snips and Snails

When the boys were younger, I loved writing about moments like these and these and these. Things are a little different these days.

A couple weeks ago, we were driving and the boys' conversation turned, as it so often does lately, to the subject of poop. (Agh, I even hate typing it.) "I am going to suck poop through a straw!" Ethan shouted while they giggled hysterically. "Ethan, don't talk that way. It's not nice," Matt ordered from the front seat. "No, Dad." Ethan's eyes were wide with innocence. "I said suck. Suck is not a bad word. FUCK is a bad word."

Ethan informed me that "if I had a pet dragon, I would stand on his head. Because he would like it."

They were playing with Play-doh this afternoon when Ethan informed me that he was cutting up a dead cat. "Eww" I responded. "Ewww," Evan mimicked. "Evan!" Ethan exclaimed. "Boys do not say ewww about that. Just gwirls."

See? Do you see why I cannot blog these days?!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Some goodies from the boys' 2nd trip to Wyoming that I never got around to sharing:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The boys love running errands in Ord because we can usually sneak in a visit to Daddy's shop. This time was extra-fun since they got to check out Randy's new tractor.
I think they approve.
Follow it up with a picnic in the park,
and you end up with two tired, filthy, and contented boys.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Evan runs up to me several times a day and throws his arms around my legs. "Mine... mommy," he announces with a big smacking kiss. I scoop him up and kiss his cheek. "My baby," I reply. He giggles. "I'm named Evan!" "Okaaaaay, my Evan." Sometimes he relents: "I'm named Baby." Usually he doesn't.
I don't care. I will call him Baby forever. And ever.
The end.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Getting back on the horse- these guys literally, and me in the metaphorical-blog-sense.And trying to figure it all out...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Road Trip

Tessa and my mom took the boys to visit Dad in Wyoming over Memorial Day weekend. "Are they insane?" Matt asked when I told him what they were planning. "What are they going to do with the boys while your dad is working?" "Not my problem," I responded gleefully. It was still cold and snowy in the mountains, but that was not enough to stop my family from building a fire and having some Wyoming fun.
Luckily there was also a community center with indoor swimming pools and a playground.

The boys loved every minute of the trip, and are still full of stories about the big tower crane and the hospital Grampa is building, and the snow in the mountains, and "fwimming" with Tessa and Gwamma. I was pretty nervous while they were gone, and of course my dad thought it was hysterical to have Tessa text me to say they were still in the mountains looking for the boys but don't worry, the snow stopped and it wasn't dark yet. Har har.
I was really looking forward to a relaxing and productive weekend. Unfortunately, Matt's idea of relaxing and productive was slightly different than mine, so the things we checked off the list included fencing, standing up to my hips in a muddy hole fixing a leaky hydrant in the pasture, and driving to Crete to get a sprayer from Matt's parents' and the horse from mine. Things that were NOT checked off the list included napping, weeding the garden, painting the playroom, napping, catching up on laundry, and did I mention napping?
All in all, a good time was had by most of us, and the boys sure are looking forward to the next trip!