DON'T MISS OUT!

It's Fall!

This is how I spent the first day of fall.
Inside in air conditioning because it was 90 degrees outside.

But we still did this:


FUTEbol

That's how Patrick says football.  With some sort of sophisticated foreign accent.

And here's my son, Matthew, that you never knew existed because he hates getting his picture taken in a bad way.
Just like me.

But I got this one while he was famished, right before practice.

It was a beautiful day so I thought we'd go and watch is practice for awhile.  Plus Mr. Two Year Old who worships the ground Matthew walks on, insisted.  Like he does everytime.


Matt loves this sport and has blossomed into a leadership position.  Here's a shy 3rd child, who calls plays, and runs the ball.
I'm impressed.
He's #32.

An Old-Fashioned Fair

I took Patrick to a county fair last week. 
I really was certain I wasn't a fan of fairs.  The last one I went to, to drop Abbey off for a dance show, scared the be-jibbers out of me.
I came to the conclusion that the only thing a fair could possibly do for me is make me lose all hope for the future of humanity.
Until I went to a REAL fair.  Not a fake carnival-like cess pool of degradation, trying to pass off as a fair.
A small, mid-west, 4-H based county fair out in the country.  WAY out in the country.
Like my sister-in-law promised, it was right out of Charlotte's Web.

Lots of fancy chickens but I liked the plain old ordinary the best:

I think she had PMS.  Because I've seen that look in my own eyes before.  "WHAT could you possibly WANT now?"  I respectfully backed away.

Would you call this pear-shaped?

The queen basking in the limelight.

It was hard to not let this little lady out of her cage.  She really really begged me.  What could I do?

Bunnies.  My favorite.

We got stuck here for a long, long, LONG time.

Patrick stayed like this everytime we walked into a barn.
.

We didn't miss the pigs.  They were being auctioned off.  Pigs are smart, did you know that?  They are also loud.  And get really really mad when someone tries to make them do something they don't want to do.  Like walk down a path into an arena to get auctioned off.  I have a hunch they were warned about what came after the auctioning-off part. 
Here's a guy (yes, he's missing an arm) trying to help that kid get his escaped pig back into it's pen.  Patrick and I were sort of freaked out.  If that pig was going to come my way, I would have liked to think I would have helped, but really, I'm sure I would have screamed bloody murder and ran like the wind.

Here's the pig auction.

I only took a picture of this man because I thought he looked so nice.  We sat next to another nice farmer while Patrick was eating a hotdog at the Booster's Tent, and he told me that he had 8 children.  4 boys and 4 girls, but he lost 2 boys to cancer and his wife had passed away also he told me with his eyes glistening.  He was 80.  He congratulated me twice on my five children, and said, "those were the days" and you could see he missed them.  We started to talk about fair food, and he told me that he remembers coming home from school, and it was a lucky day when his mother would be in the kitchen with a huge cast iron frying pan of heated oil (he laughed and said..."actually is was lard"), making fried dough with cinnamon and powdered sugar on it.  He said it was the best thing he ever tasted.  I love meeting nice people don't you?  I could have talked to him forever.

Vanilla.

Isn't this a beautiful?



And when I decided to call it a day:

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry


It seems like I've had a lot on my list lately. Making up for the summer vacation, trying to get things cleaned and organized around here, staying on top of things, which has involved lots of errands, and attempting to establish a good routine to start the school year off right has occupied my mind and my time. Last night, after a challenging evening, I went to bed feeling icky and out of sorts.

Doesn't it weigh heavy on a mother's heart when one of her children are having a "hard time of it"?  Our minds turn circles of "what if, what now, what if always" and just that can keep us awake for hours.

But then I remember what I've learned over the years. This age, and geez, all ages, they need us to SLOW down and STOP. STOP the running, the constant in and out of the car, STOP standing at my kitchen counter and checking off my to-do list and GIVE.

Give them full attention for hours. Look them in the eyes as much as we can. Eat meals with them.  Good healthy meals.  Slowly.  Don't answer the phone. Stop RUSHING. Kids hate rushing, don't they? Especially the little ones.  It's not good for them.  It makes them, well, screech, and stomp and hit and rebel against the world. 

One of my favorite, if not THE favorite, children's books I own is the Harry the Dirty Dog Treasury.  When I hear myself saying, "Hurry!"  I think of the story titled "Harry by the Sea."  Harry gets lost and is finally found when he thinks he hears someone calling, "Harry, Harry, Harry!"  Really it's just the hot dog man, yelling, "Hurry, hurry, hurry!  Get them while they're hot!"   It always makes us laugh.  Hurry might have helped Harry out, but it doesn't help me out.  It's an annoying way to live, and a recipe for disaster for all of our little guys who don't need to see the bigger picture, but are constantly observing and learning from the little things...the things you miss, when you say the dreaded "hurry" word, or the live the stressful "hurry" lifestyle.

We haven't done much in the last couple days, and my tried and true "getting back to the sweetness" has proven to work again.  Train tables, chicken noodle soup and crackers, long baths, (I sneak in some reading time on the bathroom floor while Patrick creates tsunamis), and a hiatus on the icecream stockage in the freezer has made things so much better already.

Bought On the Sly

I bought a trampoline.  The kids have been begging for one for years.  I know how dangerous they can be, really I do.  If ever I was tempted, I'd ask Jeff and he would say, "No way!  Someone will break their leg, or their neck, and it's such an eyesore."

But finally, I caved.  I justified it this way.
1. Jeff says no to everything, but always comes around, and plus he massively owes me one after making me drive 20 hours there and back to CO so he could make me hike moutains and enjoy the outdoors.
2. I want the kids to have something fun to do here with friends, OUTSIDE.

It took me only a mere 6 hours to put together.  I did it all by myself.  Well, Patrick was here, but refused to help.  The instruction manual kept saying, "For this part, you need two people."  They didn't know a mother was putting it together, because really, we're like 4 people in one, don't you think?

I just pretended I was in Amazing Race and I did fine.  Except for a couple issues like when I lost the little thingy in the grass that you need to screw the screws on and it took me and extra 5 minutes to hunt for it.  Also, when I put the springs on, I miscounted more than once and had to redo all my work twice.  And during the middle of it, I had to put Patrick for a nap, so I lost some time there.

But no biggie.
I still think I won.

When they got home from school:

Back packs were thrown and socks were shed.

A timer was set as more and more children showed up. (I posted a list of rules, that only 3 children at a time could jump and they had to be close in size...you'll see how long those rules were enforced.)

Someone needed to be distracted when they didn't understand the rules.


As 6:00 drew closer, I was hoping to have so many children here that Jeff would be convinced that I did indeed, make the right decision by betraying him.  What can you say when you see a dozen or more happy faces in your back yard?



He of course, came around and realized I was a genius.
We sat in chairs and watched the goings-on all evening long.

Till we decided it was our turn.

Blurry picture through netting...my favorite of favorites.