Monday, September 12, 2011

Keepin' Our Heads Above Water. .

. .but just barely!!
We've been pretty crazy here, and for the first time in my ENTIRE 38 years. .I wonder if I might completely lose my mind before it is over. I did think this morning in the shower that we are very lucky. .we only have to do this super crazy stuff for one year. .then both older boys will be in high school, on the same schedule. .and Devin will still have 3 years before hitting junior high! So, thought I'd update friends and family on our lives. .since I ain't writin' and I ain't callin'!!
This guy. .the oldest. .the one that never talked. .ever. .unless he was concerned about where hair was growing. .has become quite a social guy in our house. .that is. .when he is home.  And he now talks about everything. .and that is great!! We've had great conversations on all sorts of stuff! Football is marching on. His first JV home game is tonight. He will be headed to 2 games per week from now on it looks like. Initially, I thought that would mean I would too. .but I didn't feel a bit bad about skipping out on Friday's game 2 hours away (since he isn't playing varsity). Tristan is slowly figuring out organization (never his strong suit) and scheduling. He has been going to a high school youth group that he likes. .and is looking forward to going on a mission trip to Denver Thanksgiving weekend to help with the Shoebox Ministries (they send shoeboxes to needy kids). He is learning many life lessons already this year about friendships, girls, and bullies. .and his mom is thankful that he has good friends, no girlfriend, and that he is a nice kid and not a bully. He had some projects that he sent to the Kansas State Fair last Friday. He had to make his Milk Chocolate Bundt cake all on his own the other night, since his mom was sitting at a football game in Jetmore (an hour 40 minutes away). Other than lifting up his mixer head while the mixer was turned on and spewing chocolate batter EVERYWHERE (which he still maintains was NOT him) I think he got along ok. The cake looked awesome when I got home. .but I think he may have overbaked it a little bit. .and got a red ribbon at the fair. He also sent his geology boxes of 60 specimen and got a blue. He has certainly grown up a L-O-T in the last few weeks. .and I have a handful of new gray hairs with his name on them! I know that people have always remarked that once your kid hits high school, you don't ever see them anymore. .which is proving to be more true than I would have liked! He's even starting to consider what his future will be like. .and I am pulling for the landscape designer (he was pretty emphatic that he wanted to be the DESIGNER. .and not the guy doing the heavy work. .that's my boy:-)
Grant is stepping up into the leadership aspect of being an 8th grader. He and a couple of his friends are using their last hour of the day to go into the 4th grade classrooms and help the kids with their homework!! What a great gift of service. .and I am so glad he is a part of it. He loves football. .and even though he would rather be playing a different positition, he is grudgingly accepting our advice that his coach NEEDS him to play where he is. .and he seems to be going out to work his hardest in the place he is put. He's got speedy feet and is getting some good tackles. Last Thursday I called his dad and told him he had a great game. .to which Grant informed ME that his game sucked. .mostly because he cost the team a penalty for clipping. .I don't know what that is, and didn't recognize it during the game. .but it must be bad! Still he had several tackles and he played hard. On Friday's he practices for their drum line. They will be THE half time performance for the WEPAC (breast cancer support) women's basketball game the last Friday night in October. It is actually televised on some sport network that WE don't subscribe to, but I could probably find out if anyone wants to check it out! I'm sure it will also be on youtube, so will update then.  
Grant has been one of the guys that runs back and forth to the coach getting plays and relaying them to the team (at least that is what I guessed he was doing)
Grant sent a photo of his dad's race truck to the State Fair, which got a blue ribbon. .and his award-winning apricot bars earned him a purple. He's itching to drive. .and is dying for some spare time to get back to work on his old '55 pickup that he and his dad are refinishing. He wants it done by next summer, when he will get his farm permit too. We started our junior high youth group last Wednesday night, and out of all of my boys, he can actually be found reading in his bible at nights!! I hope he learns alot!
This guy is busy with the 3rd grade, and is learning lots. We are settling into his homework, spelling word study, and reading.  Devin has always been our "not-so-lucky--if it will happen, it will happen to me" kinda kid, and I am convinced that if he LIVES to see high school graduation it will be nothing short of a miracle. As my mom would say, "his guardian angel must get tired." Last weekend while messing around by himself out back of the garage, he managed to tip over the broken basketball goal onto his head and neck. He came screaming to the house, where I found that he had put his tooth ENTIRELY through his face, about 1/4 inch below his bottom lip. When the word "stitches" reverberated from my lips to his ears. .another meltdown. So, we ended up using the glue leftover in my fridge from his bleacher escapade at the fair, and glued his lip back together. .I REALLY had to try extra hard not to put some of that super-bonding glue on his lip and sealing them together in blissful peace. If you've ever spent about 10 minutes with the child, you would TOTALLY understand. The worst part. .not 3 hours later, Grant came laughing to me with the camera "You just gotta watch this video." It happened to be a video of Devin. .riding his bike at full speed across our 40 ft long deck on the west side of the house. .jumping it OFF the 3 steps and landing it on the ground. This particular video showed Dev jumping the bike and face-planting into the ground. He is a slow learner. .but a persistent one. When I get to heaven, I will be eager to ask just how many angels they had to switch out to keep him adequately covered!  Devin's AWANA group started last Wednesday too, so that's an afterschool event on Wed that he will look forward to each week.
And this little thing. .SHE will cause all the gray hair left from her brothers. .to FALL OUT!! This particular day, she was all cow-girled up and showing 100% sass!! The vest was her dad's when he was her size. .and it usually hangs by the back door with some other deco.  The world is her dress up box. She continues to have a great imagination. She loves going to the football games to watch the cheerleaders, and hang out with the big girls (who all seem to love her as much). She is forever saying something that will just make people giggle. .and is pretty good about telling things like they are. She knows everyone,  in any given location that carries gum. And she is developing a taste for shopping (yes). A friend of ours picks her up at daycare on Wed, and takes her to the church so she can be part of the AWANA group too, which she loves.
As for the rest of us, we stay busy tag-teaming kids. Jeremy is trying to get his last licks in with the race car  before the end of the season next month. He took his dad Saturday and they had a good time. The boys were so tired from school, though, that they chose not to go!! Instead. .Devin and Grant decided to swap beds. .so we spent the day (not knowing it would take THE day) taking apart the bunk bed and moving it from the basement to the attic. .taking apart the queen bed from the attic and moving it to the ground floor before realizing (I may be an idiot) that it wouldn't fit into the basement. .taking apart the full bed from the attic and moving IT to the basement. .and moving the queen bed BACK up to the attic and putting it back together. Between that and hauling my laundry to my MIL's to use her dryer. .we were beat!!
Cami and I had a girl's day Friday to pick up a new front-load washer/dryer set that I had been saving for. Unbeknownest to me, gas dryer's that use propane need a special converter for them to work without setting fires.  And. . I didn't ask for one, neither did they ask me what type of gas we were using.  SO. .the washer is totally sweet!! And Jeremy got the dryer back out of the dump and hooked it up. .so I am in business until the converter comes in this week.  I was more than nauseated Friday night though when we discovered the problem, after hours!! It always happens to me!!
I was SOOO glad to see the new growth on the Nandina "heavenly bamboo" plants that I moved from my north garden to the south garden in May. The second one doesn' t look AS good, but showing new growth as well. SCORE!!
Yesterday I enjoyed the afternoon with my co-workers and we made Christmas trees out of used wool. OH, so cute!! And a fun time too!
And the gardens are keeping me busy too. I am back to wandering every other day or so to see what is blooming. I missed these quiet times this summer when it was just too depressing to wander through the crispy plants! The self-seeding orange cosmos are just vibrant!!
And this. .is STILL the Mexican hat plant put in last spring. Two of the three survived, and are still putting on a show!! I will have to see if they are tricky to seed for new plants. Thinking that I will need to try it anyway and add them to the new fence garden.
These cherry swizzle zinnias are finally looking nice. They have struggled along all summer. .in that place right in between life and death. They are shorter zinnias and have a great color variation.
These red spider zinnias surprised me, I thought the blooms would be bigger. Actually, they are very small and quite cute. .I think I will reseed them in other places next spring too.
The butterfly plants are blooming better, and since the cooler temps, the colors are much nicer. I have one close to the house, and am enjoying the scent as I feed the fish. It is a really heavy scent in the cool, dampish evening air! And the butterflys and moths are enjoying it too. .as they are the caryopteris. .which you can tell from the earlier photo with the butterflies.
Here are the two smaller caryopterisis bushes that I located in my gardens, coming up from seed. They both transplanted nicely, and this one is even blooming. I located another one last night. .so will need to move it next spring too. .if anyone wants to give it a home, let me know. .if not, I'm sure I can find somewhere to put it!
I have two boys that are starting to bring me pictures on my camera or theirs of different birds that they have spotted. Dev took this photo of the Eastern Kingbird. yesterday. .I acutally saw a belted kingfisher in my trees Saturday, but couldn't get a photo, and haven't seen it since. .which probably isn't all bad. .since their diet is fish and frogs. I have a lot of baby fish he could eat. .but some of them are developing some really cute characteristics. .so I wouldn't want him eating the good stuff!! And I am pretty sure he wouldn't make off too far with my prized "tank" of a yellow koi!!
So. .guess that is about all we have been up to. .now wake up and go get another cup of coffee!!
Have a super week. .stop back by soon, I hope to have a post about our rustic little Christmas tree project!!


  1. Enjoyed the whole post! You said "I ain't callin' and I ain't writin' ..." and I sure understand why! I hope you enjoy all your family's activities, though. :) Sounds like a lot of good stuff. I had to laugh about the "fruit-basket-bed-moving-upset" ... LOL!

  2. As a Certified Sweets Junkie-I would love to have a son that bakes. Lucky LUCKY you!

  3. We sat down one night and did the math - ok, I did the numbers and Kurt just shook his head - and for 3 years, we will have a child in grade school, middle school AND high school!! Then we got to talking about his folks and they had kids in school for 30+ years! And many of those years, they had kids at more than one level - no wonder my MIL went completely gray at about 40!

    Take time to breathe in and out and pat yourself on the back that Tristan has lots to share! =)

  4. Geez. I don't think I'm even going to survive this year, much less next year!
    Congrats to Grant! I got excited when I saw he got a purple! Jacob was happy with his blue he got on his picture! He was convinced it wouldn't do well. Next weekend is the 4-H rabbit show. Everyone has a list of fried foods to try. My stomach hurts already.

  5. I just loved the posts about the kids. They are all so cute and angelic on Sunday, but their antics at home make me smile! DJ

  6. Wow! Can't wait to here about the Christmas tree party!
    Once again your are so lucky to have such great kids. I know it is a busy time in their lives! But I'm sure you don't want it any other way.
    You can slow down when your 80. Ha ha!
    I love it when kids finally decide to talk and share things. Amazing what is in their heads.
    I'll never for get one of my middle son's first prayer at dinner! He was the one that didn't talk much. Wow! He really blew me away!
    Your doing a great job!

  7. Man oh man, I am tired thinking how busy you are! It's awesome that your kids are so involved in activities. They will be awesome adults with all of this extra learning and experiences.
    I can see that your youngest boy has your eyes!
    Must have been so different to have 3 boys and then have a girl. A house full of trucks and cars...and then baby dolls! I can't even imagine since I have 2 boys and I don't plan on having any more I don't believe there will be any girly toys around here until I have grandkids...possibly.
    Looking forward to the rustic Christmas tree project!

  8. WOW! I am bushed just reading this post...I don't know how you do it all. I didn't notice Devin's lip today, so I will definitely be looking for that tomorrow at school!

  9. In a blinking of you your eyes you will be my age, an empty nester, and still looking back on this busy time and remembering how crazy busy you were and be very thankful you were younger then....we had 5 kids, 10 part-time jobs, 3 paper routes that began at 3 am 365 days per year for 8 yrs, a washing machine that went non-stop, Jene was Sheriff, our bed was not made for years, someone was always sleeping in it...we had such terrible shifts, he was on call 24/7 it seemed, 2 in grade school, 1 in jr hig, 2 in high school, 6 vehicles, 12 gallons of milk per week, every sport imaginable, a little girl that none of them were even used to, plus on top of that we had 4 phone lines ringing 24/7 because one of MY jobs was as dispatcher from home....YOU Will be fine...and just for kicks we remodeled this house in our "spare" this day... I never get bored, I count my blessings in everything that I learned along the way, we are somewhat slower paced now, we keep up with the grands and enjoy the deck every chance we get....I am just jealous that you are a skinny busy body, the end result of all you are doing will be well-rounded talented,hard-working, responsible adults that will amaze the heck out of you....You will just HAVE to trust me on this....I am much older and wiser....::))

  10. Wow, you are busy. You probably meet your own backside coming around a corner. :)

  11. After the game on Friday, we were standing outside the school waiting on Steve. Tristan walked out and said in the most cheerful voice "Hi Connie".... I was shocked! He has never done that before, even if I say hi first. It made me smile! I continue to be amazed that you can keep up with all those activities. I have 4 kids too but never was that busy! love you!

  12. Here's hoping the nandina makes a full recovery.

  13. Wow, you are busy! Can't wait to see you next weekend.