Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Visiting the Dairy Farm

This summer we took a trip to Colorado to see Aaron's family. His brother's family was on their way overseas to their next assignment and we wanted to see each other before they left. We were busy, busy, busy! One of the things we did while there was visit the dairy farm where Aaron's cousins live. The kids loved it!

There was a baby goat to hold!

A bucket calf to pet (and suck on your fingers but my kids wouldn't let him!).

And lots of cows. And since they're diary cows, they're very mild and used to close human contact.

So out they went to pet the cow!

That's Aaron's cousin Shelley, not me, holding the kids!

The fun didn't stop there. There were baby kittens to hold, too!!

It had been a long time since all of us were together. It was fun to chat and catch up.

Then there were all the calves to see!!

Oddly enough, Jacob hated the 4-wheelers. He loved Uncle Terry's last year, but he definitely doesn't like them now!!

Anna loved the calves. She walked up and down visiting all of them. One of them even got antsy and jumped out of its pen when she was standing right next to it!! She was startled but she didn't cry and went right back to petting the others. And then her mother won the "Mother of the Year" award. I forgot her up on the hill with the calves!! There were a bunch of people and Aaron had already taken Jacob back to the house. The older kids were around riding the 4-wheelers and I just completely forgot about Anna. I guess out of sight, out of mind, and I thought she was with Aaron (even though I knew he hadn't taken her). We get about 1/4 mile down the driveway and here come the older kids on the 4-wheelers saying, "We heard Anna yelling 'Mama!!' and didn't see anybody". It didn't even register at first (I didn't see Anna on the back of a 4-wheeler). There's another Anna (who lives there) and I thought why was she yelling for her mom?? And then it hit me. I HAD COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT MY OWN CHILD!!!!!!!!!! Good grief. I felt horrible. Of course, everyone was like "oh I've done that before" but I still felt horrible. So many things could have happened to her-there were cows and bulls all around; she could have tried to find her way back to me and gotten completely lost and turned around...BUT God kept her safe and she just stayed right where she was and yelled for me. Thank the Lord those other kids were still up there! Anna was a little upset but got over it quickly. She didn't even cry. What a deal.
We had lots more fun while in Colorado and now that I'll have so many hours without at least one kid (this morning stretched on forever!!), hopefully I can get the pictures done and posted quickly!

Anna's Frist Day of Kindergarten

This is the day Anna has been anticipating ALL summer long!!! Her first day of kindergarten! We've been driving by the school all summer, checking out the progress (we built a brand new grade school!). It was pins and needles as to whether everything would be ready to open and if it would pass the fire marshal's inspection. Everything worked out! There is still a lot of work to do on the outside, but pretty well all of the inside work is done. There was even an open house last night. Which was a good thing since nobody knows where anything is now!

Anna took her school supplies to open house and got to put them all away in her desk! She was excited to see she sits next to Malachi (from preschool) and that there are 2 other kids in her class that she already knows. I think there are 16 in her class. Makenna is in the other class :(

I can't believe it's been a year since she started preschool!!! I think she might have been even more excited this year!

Such a big girl at her new desk!! There wasn't the tiniest hint of hesitation this morning. She was READY!
Tomorrow, Jacob has HIS first day of preschool!! He'll be going to 2 days a week for more work on his speech and he is going to love it!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Roses

I'm slowly going through my 300+ pictures I downloaded from my camera. Finally. Here are a few of my beautiful roses. I seriously am not an expert gardener. I just go with the flow and if I remember to water then I do! :) I have 3 rose bushes in my backyard and planted 6 out front, but not many of those have survived yet. I'm working on it!

He's not a rose, but he's pretty cute :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Travel Diaries *updated*

Okay, I emailed the wrong picture! Yes, I AM a tired girl:) But this picture is great as well...and from our drive home. We'd already stopped in KC for supper, but the kids were antsy and Mom and I needed to stretch our legs. So she pulled off in the Flint Hills along I-70. And much to our delight we found horses in the pasture next to the road! It was a pretty steep ditch down to the fence so I carried Jacob down and Anna surprisingly walked. I whistled and called for the horses and they came right over. I could tell they were very used to people. The male was a gorgeous paint-dark, dark brown and white. The mare wasn't as interested in us. To my surprise, Jacob wasn't the least bit afraid. He let the horse sniff his head and get really close. And he just belly laughed! Pretty soon we were pulling grass to feed him (which, by the way, Jacob declared was HIS horse and asked to ride many times!). Anna was a bit intimidated to feed him more than a couple times, but Jacob wasn't in the least! At one point when I turned around to grab some grass, the horse decided Jacob's hair looked good enough to eat! He just laughed and laughed. We stayed there for at least 15 minutes and when I said it was time to go, Jacob had a complete and total meltdown. "Nooooo! I not yeave my horsey!!!!!!" He had tears streaming down his cheeks as I carried him back up to the van. We went up the road a bit to turn around and as we drove by the horses again, Binga said "Tell the horse you'll see him next time!" To which Jacob sobbed "NOOOOOO!!! Not say bye!!!!! Not neh time!!!!" He cried for another 5 minutes. And then Anna decided to inform him that we could go to Scott's and actually ride horses (she was trying to be nice and comfort him, but it didn't work). Which set him off again. He wanted that horse. It was his after all, didn't we know?! We were almost home, it was completely dark, and he said something about his horse being asleep. Too sweet! Well, Daddy...I don't think there's any way you're going to get out of us eventually having a horse now!! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Only $1!

He climbed into the box himself...I guess that means he doesn't like it here!! ;)
Sent from Jennifer's BlackBerry

Stick 'em Up!

Until I can get my other pictures downloaded, here are some pictures from our week so far in Iowa! We squeezed one last trip in before school starts. The kids immediately discovered some new toys...

Toy guns and even a holster!! Just like Grandpa & Grandma had at their house when we were kids! Anna rode the mower with Papa to keep him "safe". haha

Reloading :)

Jacob would sit all day in the sandbox and play! He loves it, even though there's hardly room for him and the tractor and digger he insists on having in there with him.

Then Cowgirl Anna held up her little brother! She backed him clear up to Papa & Binga's bedroom...

Then back down the hallway...

Back to the family room where she got him! Of course, he thought it was hide'n'seek so he laid there and counted to three and then said "hewe I humm!" hahaha

Then the tables turned and Jacob became the cowboy!

Got her!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anna's Preschool Program

Anna had a great program at the end of preschool! She was so excited and Aaron and I were completely floored by how much Mrs. Z taught them in 2 hours a day!!!!

Little brother sneaking in to the picture :)

She picked out the dress. What a beautiful little girl :)

Anna with all but one of her classmates. I was really surprised that she wasn't nervous sitting in front of everyone. She did great and had a lot of fun! I'm working on getting the videos uploaded, but am having some trouble.

What a big girl. We're so proud of how well she did in preschool! She is so excited for kindergarten. ONE WEEK!!!! It's not possible for me to have a kindergartner!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Random Pictures

We went up to the college soccer field one day to fly Anna's kite. The kids were happily surprised when Daddy came over to visit!

I babysat a precious little girl for a few weeks in April. Jacob was IN LOVE with her. "Bebe Hair-iss!!" (her name is Karis-long a). Now every time he sees her mom or dad, he asks where Baby Karis is :)

Seth left his hat...again! Jacob loves wearing it around.

Church burning video

Kite Flying Video!

It's a long one and there is much laughter! :) It was family supper night so all the "foster" kids were over. I'm not sure who had more fun, but I think it was the big kids telling Anna and Jacob to "RUN!" and "TURN AROUND!!" (I messed up on the uploading, so even though it shows the church burning, that's not what the video is!!)

The Church Burning

At the beginning of May, we went to the farm to help with the church burning. It was quite an adventure!!

These hands work hard. And play hard!

These hands are where he learned it! So full of character and so many memories.

Some neighbors came and took out the front door and Mom & Dad have the side windows.

Seems to be plenty of gas...

Binga, Great Grandma, Anna, and Jacob sit back in the car and watch.

Pouring the gas! I think he used 5+ gallons along the walls.

Grandpa rigged up some torches to throw through the windows.

The way the torches lit right up we didn't see any reason the same wouldn't happen inside. Boy did we have another thing comin'! It took at least an hour for it to really get going...after several attempts to accelerate it! Dad jokingly told Grandpa he shouldn't have gotten the cheap gas! :)

Finally it started flaming upstairs. The basement lit right away but for some reason it didn't go through the ceiling very quickly.

We thought we were in trouble! ;) On top of the church excitement, we got to see some military helicopters flying over!

One of the attempts to get the fire going...not the smartest idea Dad! He's lucky he didn't catch his arm on fire!! He teases Grandpa about getting cheap gas but he wouldn't just throw the glass jar filled with gas in the widow--he just threw the gas in!! "Well I didn't want to throw away the jar...it's glass!" As if Grandma doesn't have another 30 at the house!!

Watching and waiting...

Believe it or not, the fire still isn't really picking up on the top floor. It caught around that window (where all the gas was thrown in) but the rest of it didn't catch.

And then it started smoking. And smoking. And smoking!!

Dad's taking the tractor to make sure the fire break he made earlier is still holding.

And then the smoke got black and the fire was raging!!

This picture isn't out of focus...that's the heat radiating from the fire! We were probably 100 yards away and it was almost unbearable!

The day was fairly calm, actually cold, until the fire starting catching. Then the wind picked up! And of course, the fire created its own strong wind.

What happened next is craziness. There is part of a field between the church and Grandma & Grandpa's house, with 2 large wind breaks (rows of huge pine trees) in between. There's about 1/4 mile between the church and the house. Once the fire really started, things got out of hand pretty fast. We were standing there watching and all the sudden Dad takes off running for the tractor (you can see snatches of this in the video I'm posting next). He takes off across the field at rabbit speed, so we figured we better go make sure everything is okay. The fire had jumped the fire break he'd made and was in the field and heading toward the wind break! He was trying to put it out in the field when Aaron saw that there was a very small fire at the end of the first wind break. Aaron was running around trying to find the hydrant and hose, Dad was trying to keep it from going any closer in the field and Mom & I were arguing over who should be out there helping (pregnant or not, I won :D). In the meantime, the kids were standing by the back door (well out of danger) and I realize Anna is crying her terrified cry. Mom had run back out to give me a mask and Anna thought she had left her and Jacob there alone and that the house was going to catch on fire. Poor girl. Binga made everything all right, no worries. :) So Aaron, Grandma, and I work to keep the small fire at the wind break small and put it out. Aaron ripped up his shirt and his back running in the trees. Grandma and I had shovels smashing out the embers. Then Grandpa comes over in the pickup and says we need to get to the other side of the house because a fire has started in the ditch (on the other side of their driveway!)!! So she and I jump in with him and we go put out that fire. After the wind break is taken care of, we head out to the field to help stomp out embers there before they can spread again. Grandpa and I are in the middle of the field when I look over toward the road and notice there's a fire by a big silver tank and the sprinkler engine! I holler at Grandpa and ask what's in the tank. I didn't like his answer...FUEL!!! So we hightailed it over there to get that out. It took us quite a while before we had all the embers out and things under control.
Now, some of you may be thinking why in heaven's name didn't they have the fire department out there?! Dad had called to ask them to come out and be there, even to use it as a training exercise. Turns out, because of insurance they aren't allowed to do things like that (isn't that kind of an oxymoron?!?). So they told us to call if it got out of hand and they would come out. Here's the problem with that...the farm is probably 10 miles outside of town and it's a volunteer fire department so it's not like they had a crew of firemen waiting at the station for the next call. By the time they would have gotten there, we had it under control. So no, we're not a bunch of crazy hicks! :)

When the fire started so slowly, we were sure we'd have to take shifts through the night to keep watch over it until it had the church down. But it only took maybe 30 minutes to burn it down once it got going!

The next day or so was spent hauling junk from "the hill" to dump in the basement.

After that raging fire, the bulletin board still stands!!

After everything was cleared from "the hill", a hired man came with his bulldozer and pushed in the foundation and buried it so the corner (the "lot" where the church stood) could be planted to grass. Now, you'd never know there was ever anything there. What an adventure!!!