Tuesday, July 31, 2012


A lovely neighbor shared her over-abundance of cucumbers with us, and so, we're in the pickle-making business today. The little people and I made a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up some of the ingredients. We'll stop by a local farm tonight to pick up the fresh dill that will round out our list of items.

I don't normally take all of the little people out with me. I know they're just like most children their size... but I'm a get in and get out kind of grocery shopper. That isn't conducive to shopping with children. Today however, we made a little adventure out of it. Ellie pushed one of those mini carts and Benett helped to load the groceries. They were all really pretty good, until it came time to put the cart back. Apparently, Ellie didn't understand how the whole thing worked and putting the cart back didn't really fit her plan. Grocery store clerks are some very understanding folks who must have child psychology training and a full goody bag. Tears were quickly quieted and the situation was averted with a treat; consisting of a sucker and a balloon... x3. I know I'll regret the balloons before the day is over... But I'll cross that bridge when we get there.

The magical time, known as Quiet Time here at my house, is upon us. All three little people are in their beds looking at books or (gasp) sleeping. This leaves me with a few moments to slice cukes, before all three little people realize that Quiet Time is a ruse and that being loud and awake is so much better.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Our Saturday was filled to the brim with baseball. Gavin played in his first tournament and though he was a bit heartbroken at the end, it was a good experience.All of the boys played really well and Coach Monte was really impressed with all of them.

The day started for us at 10 AM, which was a good thing for me. I don't think it matters what time we get going in the morning, it's difficult to be anywhere early in the day, especially for something like this. Our van looked like we were going out of town for a long weekend. Between the huge equipment bag, chairs, cooler and everything else that we "needed", the car was so full we had to squeeze in.

It took about 3 minutes for Benett to be fed up with sitting at a boring ball field with nothing to do. He started to whine about being hot and thirsty and hungry and three... just when I thought he'd settle in and enjoy his new surroundings, he had to go potty. Let me just say that I'm glad he had to go early in the day because I don't think I could stand being inside one of those port-o-potty things after it had been baking in the sun for a few hours. Gross.

We made it through the first game. The boys scored 26 runs, crushing their opponent. It was a great win for them, giving them a nice dose of confidence for the rest of the day.

Game two was at a different field, so we packed the car back up and loaded everyone in (plus two additional boys and Grandma B) to head to the next field. The second field had a playground so Benett and Elle were in heaven. They ran and played, checking back in with me every few minutes... each time being a little sweatier (and dirtier) than the time before.

The second game didn't turn out as well as the first. The boys gave up 7 runs in the third inning and just couldn't take the lead back. That game did them in... so even though they played two more games later in the day, and won each... scoring more than 20 runs in each of those games, the boys went home empty handed. Gavin was crushed. I asked to take his picture after the game and I didn't realize until after I snapped the shot that his chin was quivering. He was such a good sport all day. Gearing up to catch for all but one game, in the warm and dusty conditions... even posing for a picture for mom when he could barely keep it together... That picture breaks my heart, but it says so much about Gavin.

He's a great kid. Even though they didn't accomplish what they wanted to, the day was a great experience. I think this will really propel him to work hard for next season. He's got the potential to be a talented ball player, if he wants to do that.

The littles made it through the day too. They found lots of little friends to play with and entertained themselves really well. The team parents stuck together for the most part, so all of the little people took advantage of all the familiar faces, moving from family to family to graze on snacks.

By the end of the day Benett was sweaty but very content. He met a little friend that we promised could come over to play sometime this summer. He's never really asked to have a friend over before... It was cute to see him so excited about his new friend.

Our day ended at 6:30 when we packed up the car to head for home. Ellie looked like she'd been playing in the dirt since the moment we arrived. I think she was asleep within 2 minutes... I could have done the same thing.

Yesterday was a recovery day. I was so happy to wake up and find it was raining. We needed an excuse to stay inside, at least for a while.

Gavin has shook off the disappointment and is on to the next thing today. I think us adults can learn a thing or two from these resilient kids.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Year

I just came across these pictures from the Fourth of July. Although we almost forgot this year, the traditional "knee-high by the fourth of July" turned out to be a keeper. I love any picture where the little people hold hands... it's a rare thing around here.

I almost can't comprehend how much the little people have grown since last year. Ellie especially has changed so much... she's not a baby anymore. She's become this independent little person, intent to follow her brothers, but all while doing things on her own.

The boys have changed too, but those changes are more subtle. Gavin is taller... he's going to be a big kid... he already stretches to nearly Monte's shoulder. Benett looks much the same, but for some reason, I think he looks just like he did as a baby. Some kids change and look like different people as they grow... but not Benett. He may always look exactly the same; that's okay by me.

When I see these pictures side-by-side it makes me feel like I should have noticed how each of the little people have changed over the year... noticed it happening before my eyes.

Monday, July 23, 2012


At the risk of jinxing the whole thing, I have to say that I think that things are getting easier. I say that not because everyone is happy and cheerful and content... but because there are moments when none of those things are true, but still things feel good; things feel right.

We have our little routine and everyone has a good idea of what comes next. Maybe it's just a stage, but Benett especially needs to know what's coming next... he just needs me to give him the run-down of activities until bedtime. I feel like I can do that now, and yet be flexible.

This little glimmer makes me excited for the rest of our summer adventure... and ready for the changes that will come with the autumn season.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This is so typical... everyone looking in a different direction.
This marks the third week that I've been at home, full time, with the little people. And although I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, I'm still unsettled about the change. It will take some time to get into a new groove, and I know that I need to give us more time to for that to happen... but... this is supposed to be natural, right? Raising little ones, teaching them about the world around them and their place in it; that's what being a mother is all about. It's so overwhelming, this important job of mine.

I want so much for my kids. I want them to learn as much as they can and that means being around other people and different experiences; things I can't always directly do for them. We stay busy with physical activities and reading and art and all kinds of things. But it doesn't seem like enough. Much to their chagrin, I don't let the little people watch TV any more than usual... which means Friday movie night is still a crowd-pleaser. I think that TV feels like cheating.

The other challenge that I have is that in this house I have two very distinct developmental groups. I haven't quite figured out how to keep Gavin challenged and engaged while keeping Benett and Ellie content and their needs met. Needless to say, my days are full to the brim and I'm so excited when I see Monte pulling up the drive in the evening.

Things are going to get better; more streamlined. I know it will happen... but until then, I may cheat a little bit and click on the tube every now and then to give myself a few minutes to catch my breath. Even if that is cheating.

Monday, July 16, 2012


We flew off for a little R and R last week, making some sweet memories at the lake. The weather was perfect and with a cabin full of cousins, the little people were on cloud nine.

All of the kids spent the majority of the week in the lake... they couldn't even trouble themselves to get out of the water to eat lunch. Even Ellie seemed to enjoy time in the water, and got her share of the sun.

But the boys, they became avid anglers. Gavin especially stood at the end of the dock, casting and reeling for hours on end. Day after day, it was fun to watch him so intent on his task.

From the time that we arrived at the lake, Benett asked anyone who would listen to catch him a fish. We decided that it would be best (and so much easier) for him to do that himself, so we picked up a pole for him. He got into the fishing thing, but Benett wasn't quite as consumed with it, and found it easy to set down the pole and jump into the water. Some of that might have had to do with the sliminess of the critters... even so, he held them each chance he got.

Monte and I had a good time as well and even though we were a little sad to leave the sun and sand, it was so nice to finally be home and sleep in our own bed.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I approach summer vacations with mixed emotions. The idea of going away for a few days is refreshing. I also just love seeing how excited the little people have become.

But at the same time, I miss home... almost as I'm leaving. I just know that the first tomato of the season will ripen while I'm away. I know the birds will eat their fill of berries. I know the dog will mope around waiting for his people to return.

Homesick or not, summer at the lake waits for no one. We'll have a great time. I know we'll swim from sun up until sun down. I know we'll laugh a lot. I know the little people will fall into their beds each night, a bit too late, but very contentedly.

When we return, it will feel great to slip between the sheets in our own beds. The dog will wag and dance at our feet. The second ripe tomato of the season will find it's way into my salad. And we'll look forward to next summer at the lake.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I got to thinking today that summer has hardly begun, yet we have done so many fun little things with the kids. That's a nice thing... but isn't necessarily the norm. There are times when we race through days and weeks just trying to keep up with the day-to-day stuff. I'd like to say that this summer we recognized that we run from one thing to the next too much, but our fun-filled summer has just worked out that way.

The little people are still talking about the hayride a few weeks ago.  For Benett it combined his love of tractors, outdoors and his grandparents into one awesome event. (The campfire cookout didn't hurt either!) I think the evening was a hit with all of the big people too. It doesn't get much better than a back yard pick-up and a tasty cocktail to sip along the way.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Recently we welcomed nine little gals to our yard. I just love the peeping sound these little chickens make and their bright yellow legs make me smile.

The little people refer to our new birds as the baby gals. I think that's a perfect name... and since we can't tell one from another, referring to them in general terms is going to work out best.

The variety we chose for our second generation of birds is Barred Rock. They're a known to be quite prolific, so I see a lot of eggs in our future... starting sometime in September.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Boat People

We decided that a wet weekend was in order, to help quench our thirst for some summer fun. We're not 'boat people' by any means; neither Monte or I grew up on the water. But with the weather so beautiful and the company so lovely, the appeal for owning a boat is clear.

My sweet brother is becoming a boat person and I'm happy to tag along with him anytime he asks. The little people wouldn't think twice either.

Benett and Gavin especially loved the tubes. I was a wreck each time we towed them... but they both loved every second... and didn't want to stop. Ellie is the sensible child. She was content to sit on someone's lap and only spent a few short seconds in the tube when there was no chance that the boat would move.

By the end of the day, everyone was tired in a good sun-drenched kind of way... smelling of sunscreen and happiness... two of three little people were fast asleep within minutes of being buckled into their car seats for the journey home.