Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Locks of Love AKA Jenna Loves Grandpa Bob

Many of you know that my family has been struggling for quite some time with David's dad, Bob's struggle with cancer. We know that chances are this won't be happy ending for us. For him, he will go and see his heavenly Father and await the rest to join him someday. We struggle with our selfish thoughts of how much we will miss and can't imagine him no longer in our daily lives, it's hard to even type these words much less consider that we will unfortunately be living them some day. While we struggle with our own personal thoughts and feelings about this, as parents, we don't want this process to be any tougher than it has to for our kids. Although the loss of a Grandparent regardless of your age isn't an easy one for anyone, we are trying to explain this process to our kids slowly to hopefully help ease their pain and maybe help us focus on something besides our personal pain as well. For the big boys, Cody and Sam, we've been pretty upfront with them and I think that they have a pretty decent understanding of what's ahead. But for the shorties, it's a different deal. I have tried to explain things on their terms along the way so they have some understanding. But I am many times at a loss for what to say. So I have tried to educate the kids on things that they could do to help.

Jenna has been 'growing out bangs' for a year now. What used to be her bangs are now quite long and have for sometime been long enough to tuck behind her ears. We have talked off and on for the last year, what she might do once they are grown out. Well the talk has evolved recently into possibly donating the hair that got cut off to Locks of Love. So we had to wait until there was enough to donate and still have some on her own head.........finally today was the day.

While I think that she understands now, throughout our conversations she's had cute questions, things like, 'Do you really think Grandpa Bob will like my yellow hair'? She's so cute, I love it. Well today while we were cutting and asking many times over, are you sure, I watched my little girls generous heart bulge with pride over what was her first act charity, one that she did without hesitation. Oh sure she loved the compliments and such. But I think that she grew today, and probably so did I.
Wiping a tear and wishing all five pictures would upload so you could see the whole process,
From Tulip~

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Boys of Fall (and a girl too!)

When I feel that chill and smell that wet cut grass
I'm back in my helmet cleats and shoulder pads
Standin in the huddle listenin to the call
Fans going crazy for the boys of fall
They didn't let just anybody in that club
Took every ounce of heart and sweat and blood
To get to wear those game day jerseys down the hall
Kings of the school man we're the boys of fall
Well it's turnin' to face the stars and stripes
It's fighting back them butterflies
It's call it in the air alright, yes sir we want the ball
And it's knockin heads and talkin trash
It's slinging mud and dirt and grass
It's I got your number, I got your back
When your backs against the wall
You mess with one man you got us all
The Boys of Fall
In little towns like mine it's all they got
Newspapers clippings fill the coffee shops
The old men will always think they know it all
Young girls will dream of The Boys of Fall

Well it's turnin' to face the stars and stripes
It's fighting back them butterflies
It's call it in the air alright, yes sir we want the ball
And it's knockin heads and talkin trash
It's slinging mud and dirt and grass
It's I got your number, I got your back
When your backs against the wall
You mess with one man you got us all
The Boys of Fall
Well it's turnin' to face the stars and stripes
It's fighting back them butterflies
It's call it in the air, alright yes sir we want the ball
And it's knockin heads and talkin trash
It's slinging mud and dirt and grass
It's I got your number, I got your back
When your backs against the wall
You mess with one man you got us all
The Boys of Fall
The boys of fall
(The boys of fall, the boys of fall..)
We're the boys of fall
That Kenny Chesney song brings goosebumps to me EVERY time I hear it! As long as I can remember, I have ALWAYS loved fall. I will admit that I was one of those goofy kids who looked forward to school starting. I have also always loved jumping in leaves, still rake 'em with the kids and jump in at least once, and have great memories of doing that with my brother and my cousins, Eric and Chad, who lived across the road when we were little.
As I got older, I started appreciating other great things of fall, like trees changing color, mums and pumpkins, and craft shows. After I married the farmer, I look forward to the Harvest! All of their hard work comes to a finale. I love memories of riding in the combine when we were younger, SKINNIER and dating! I rode with DH alot in the combine. Mom and I did Craft Shows in the fall, the crisp cool air, friends and fun.
Then in 1994, I had a whole new reason to love fall, my first baby was born. Cody Garrett was born on the last 'unofficial' day of summer, yes, you guessed it, Labor Day. I could write a thousand blogs about how kids have changed my life, but I am trying to focus on my love of fall. Seeing my favorite season in the eyes of my child, made me fall in love with it all over again. That 'first fall' was kind of a blur, sleep deprived and adjusting to the new stage in my life, that fall moved in to winter before I even realized what happened. By the next fall, I had this lil fella who couldn't wait to ride in the 'bines' with Daddy and Grandpa. We spent many of the next years discovering new traditions like painting pumpkins. Fours years after my first fall harvest of a baby, we did it again, Sam is my October baby, four years later, Jenna and two years after that Seth finished up our run on fall babies.
As the kids have grown, fall has taken on many more new meanings and fun activities. Trick or treating and what was my one sewing project a year for many years, homemade Halloween costumes. The first one I made was Bugs Bunny when Cody was 2. In years since, we have had pirates, Batman and Robin, a knight, a muskateer, several versions of Princesses, Elvis, the Disney character Stitch, cowboys, Darth Vader, baseball players, a witch...........this year so far Seth is going to be a 'bowl of rac-n-roni' (macaroni, if you don't speak Seth-ese) I kinda get sad when I think about that two of my boys of fall are too big to dress up anymore, thankfully Seth and Jenna still enjoy the 'magic' and the nephews and niece are still willing participants in my sewing craziness!
Also as the kids have grown we've added a family activity that at some times of year, all but dominates our lives, first 4H and now FFA. Being farm kids, our kids love their animals and 4H has been the first vehicle for getting the opportunity to show their animals and promote our way of life. Now we don't generally 'show' animals in the fall, but the new 4H year begins in fall, we celebrate 4H week, which by the way is the first week in Ocotober (Sam's birthday week!) and now with having a highschooler, we are part of another farm family tradition in rural America, FFA. Fall is busy in FFA as the kids have their first BIG fundraiser, fruit sales, in which the kids really work hard at since their sales help to pay for their trip to Nat'l convention ALSO in fall (end of October, if you are keeping track).
We love all of these fun great events, its a challenge to juggle it all at a time when harvest at home is in full swing, but after 20 years of marriage, I have found that there is not one part of the 'year' that's not busy with something on this farm, and that's okay, that means we are doing our job, hopefully doing it well! :)
If you are keeping track, harvest, birthdays, 4-H and FFA............think that we are busy? Nope apparently not busy enough...........we participate in one more great 'fall tradition' especially in Centralia, our boys play football! If you had told me several years ago, that I would write about football with love and passion and exclamation points, I would have laughed in your face.............hahahaha, well times change. I LOVE football! I don't know that I will ever get real into college or NFL, but I love me some youth football, so far Cody has played since 7th grade and this year Sam is playing on the 'little league' 6th grade team. I love love LOVE it!!! Yeah I complain with the rest of them the long drives to games, the kids getting home late from practice and I won't even start to describe how much I wish someone would invent something that gets the stink off of shoulder pads! But I can't get enough of Panther football! I am a very proud parent and thrilled that my boys are part of a long standing tradition in our mid Missouri rural town.
When I first heard Kenny's song, it gave me chills, he did a great job of capturing the feelings and emotions of football season and our much loved 'Boys of Fall'
Looking forward to the fourth night of Friday night football while watching the sileage wagons drive by outside my office window this morning,
From Tulip~

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Panther Bag

Panther Bag
Originally uploaded by tulipfarmmom
Since I have started sewing like a mad woman, I have given home made gifts to several friends on their birthdays. This particular tote was made for my friend, Tonya. She and I have gotten to know each other over the years through our kids activities. We sit togther at school concerts, football games and of course wrestling tournaments. I thought this would be a fun tote for her to carry to these events. The squares are 5 inch 'charm squares' I quilted the bag with a lightwweight batting and added extra firm interfacing to the interior to add stiffness. I thought that the Yo-Yo paw print was a fun touch, since our school mascot is the Panthers. It also features a magnetic snap closure and interior pockets. The finished size is approximately 18"x18" so roomy enough for a camera and a book for those long wrestling tournament days or a small umbrella and or mittens and a hat for football games, plus all the usual purse items.
I am sewing alot lately, have many small projects to complete, this one was actually made and given back in March.
Tying up the loose ends of summer,
From Tulip~

Friday, July 30, 2010

Girls Night Out!

Can Coolies!
Originally uploaded by tulipfarmmom
I love my husband and I love my kids, even if they all drive me crazy from time to time. But I also love my girlfriends and we are having a Girls Night Out this weekend. Billy Currington is a favorite singer of ours and in honor of his new song, 'Pretty Good at Drinking Beer' we decided we needed our beer to look pretty, hence the cute coolie cups. This was a fun quick project, literally took less than 5 minutes a piece to make. I really didn't have a pattern, just used a coolie cup that I had. I flattened it out and placed it on the fabric fold, cut two pieces of fabric and one piece of quilt batting. Then I zigzagged the edges (along what will be the top and the bottom) picked a 'wrong side and sewed up the sides. Cute quick project and I certainly see myself making many more, b/c I know several ppl who are 'Pretty Good at Drinking Beer'
See you tomorrow night Billy,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Focus on Missouri Agriculture Photo Contest

Since I bought my new camera in June, I simply can't take enough pictures, and of course with it being summer, most of the those pictures are kids and cows. I know that this red calf is something new for regular viewers of our kids with their calves. So here's the story of Rose. Since Jenna has yet to turn 8 and actually officially be in 4H, which by the way, she's getting very tired of waiting on. We have let her have a bottle calf for the last SEVERAL years, I think this might be her 4th one! We've had Lilly, Barbie and Sparkles. This spring we were lucky enough not to have a bucket calf, although Jenna didn't think that was a good thing! So a plea was sent out amongst our cattle friends and a calf was found. Our friends, the Nelsons, had just the thing. No she wasn't a black calf, but Jenna didn't care. All the usual frustrations of trying to get a calf to take the bottle seemed amplified this year, but finally, FINALLY Rose caught on, thanks to much time and patience from our daughter. That will be such a blessing if she continues to have that much patience later in life! Once Rose and Jenna got feeding down, Jenna started training her to wear the halter, and be led. Once those weren't a big deal, they started their daily routine, which generally includes a bath (some days, more than one!) brushing Rose's red coat, applying conditioner and walks around our yard and love LOTS of love. A good friend said some little girls play with dolls, some little girls play with calves and she was right. Our little girl loves Rose with deep true love that is truly beautiful to watch.
Learning how to blog via Flickr this morning,
From Tulip~
PS-- I submitted this photo in the Focus on Missouri Agriculture Photo Contest, hence the title of this entry!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unanswered Prayers

Everyone who knows us, knows that Seth was the prayer answered that we never knew we were praying for. What would life be like without our littlest ray of sunshine? I have no idea and nor do I ever want to. This summer is a special one for me. I learned at least a kid or two ago to quite wishing my life away and savor the moments, as they seem to be running past us faster and faster. I try to appreciate the fact that he still likes to come to our room about 2:30 most mornings and spend the rest of the night with us. Although as this mornings crook in my neck would lead one to believe, its not his most enduring quality.

Seth or Seffy Kamps as he has nicknamed himself is a young man with many, many things that just make you fall in love with him over and over! His funny personality, and the man of million faces just screams of that mind blowing sense of humor and fun that will take him so far in this world. He's certainly a 'youngest' child. He is more street smart than any of our other kids. Has 'friends' many years older than he. He has a confidence about him that will take him places that most would only dream to go.
I have been blessed with a special privilege in this life and that is one of a stay at home mom. I have been at home with kids for 16 yrs. I know that many moms don't get this opportunity. While it has its wonderful qualities, its not been all wine and roses. I have gotten my share of criticisms. I didn't do everything exactly like it ought to have been done, but it was me who paid the price, I didn't hire the raising of my kids out to whomever was cheapest and most convenient. Please don't take that as an insult, I am just trying to demonstrate the nasty sorts of comments that I got from time to time. There have been many things that David and I would have love to have done through the years, that we weren't able to do. But there's been one thing that we have done that I am certain without a doubt that we both realize how blessed we've been to be able to do and that was raising our kids and putting them before ourselves always.
Several weeks agao, Seth, Jenna and I were laying on our bed reading and I was lamenting the fact that the two of them no longer would fit in my lap because they were getting so big. Without hestitation my littlest blessed ray of sunshine said, 'I will stay little for you forever' OMG, does that little boy melt your heart?!?! Love you Seffy Kamps and your brothers and your sister.
Not looking forward to the swollen eyes of the first day of school,
From Tulip~

Friday, July 9, 2010

More ReRuns

Keeping with the idea behind my last blog, here are a few more 'Re-runs' from Facebook. This First was titled 'Yes or No Share' where you were supposed to only say yes or no to a question, but of course you all know me and I did not only say one small word. But some of them were kinda funny, so here goes:

Yes or No SHARE
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12:58pm
You can ONLY answer Yes or No! You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages or comments you and Asks! Now, here's what you're supposed to do... And please do not spoil the Fun. Copy and paste this into your notes , delete my answers and type in your answers. Then see what happens.
Kissed any one of your facebook friends? Yes SEVERAL, I am FRIENDLY like that LOL
Kissed someone you didn't like? I liked them at the time
Slept in until 5 PM? Yes worked midnights at MBS
Fallen asleep at work/school? Yes who hasn't, I am sure at school, don' tthink so at work
Held a snake? No not a live one
Ran a red light? Yes mostly likely
Been suspended from school? No but probably should have been if we had gotten caught
Totaled your car/motorbike in an accident? Yes Feb 07
Been fired from a job? No
Sang karaoke? Yes with many Angle cousins after many beers
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yes unfortunately
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Yes mostly recently thanks to Billy
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes of course
Kissed in the rain? Yes and in a car and on a train in a box in a house, not with a fox or not with a mouse
Sang in the shower? Yes sadly for those within earshot
Sat on a rooftop? Yes not b/c I wanted to I am sure of that
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes? Yes Thank You Terry Harper!
Broken a bone? Yes random fingers, toes, some strange named one in my lower back when had wreck
Played a prank on someone? Yes fun times!
Felt like killing someone? Yes but I haven't I promise ;)
Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Yes good cry's mostly
Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? No we weren't that cool growing up, lol
Been in a band? No, oh wait school band, not near as cool as the other type
Shot a gun? Yes I would be the daughter of a Marine, HELLO!
Tripped on mushrooms? No never ever even been interested
Eaten alligator meat? No doesn't even sound appealing
Eaten cheesecake? Yes as often as possible
Still love someone you shouldn't? No
Think about the future? Yes everyday, when I look at four little faces
Believe in Love ? Yes I AM in love
Sleep on a certain side of bed? Yes the middle 2/3's

Written about 6 months ago

Nicole Lannert- Umphrey
You didn't follow the directions!!!!! You were supposed to answer YES or NO without any other comments. LOL ;0)
January 30 at 11:01pm

Kathy Angle Hasekamp
have you EVER known me to only say ONE WORD................ I couldn't JUST answer yes or no, there's no story in that! LOL :)
January 30 at 11:02pm

Brent Gibbons
My favorites were the "Green Eggs and Ham" reference on kissed in the rain and certain side of the bed "the middle 2/3s" ha ha. :-)
January 31 at 7:45pm

Kathy Angle Hasekamp
thinking that Sam (I Am) walked through as I was typing that, thus the inspiration and of course your buddy came up with that phrase about the middle 2/3's, I don't know what he's talking about, I just like to sleep close, snuggle, LOL he's a whiner! hee hee
February 1 at 2:22pm

This one was kinda cute, a little cheesy, but not too bad:

STEP ONE: Spell your name with songs.
Karma Charmelon (Boy George, there's an oldie!)
All My Exes Live in Texas (George Strait)
The Fireman (King George AGAIN!)
Highway to Hell (AC/DC)
Lost in Love (Air Supply)
Elvira (Oak Ridge Boys)
Every Step you take (Police)
Nikita (Elton John)

All I Need (Jack Wagner)
Never Say Goodbye (OMG, who sang this, I am getting old and forgetful!)
Nobody in his rightmind would have left her (George Strait, wondering if I could have done this whole thing with his songs?)

Hicktown (Jason Aldean)
Amarillo Sky (Jason Aldean)
Sweet Home Alabama (Lynard Skynard)
Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears)
Keep On Loving you (REO Speedwagon)
Addicted to Love (Robert Palmer)
Maggie May (ROd Stewart)
Panama (Van Halen)

Here was one that was neat. Never thought I was 'well read' but looking at this list, I scored higher than several. The list was neat, it reminded me of several that I WANT to read.
Here goes:

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. Tag other book nerds...
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austenx
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte x
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling -
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x 6 The Bible- X
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens-x
Total: 7 (ha to the BBC, already over THEIR average!)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott -x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller -
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare- (not fair have read several, just not all!)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier-
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien -
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk -
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger -x
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffeneggerx
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
Cumulative Total: 10
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald -
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens -
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy -
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy -
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky -
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll -X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame -
Cumulative Total: 13
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy -x
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens -x
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis -x
34 Emma-Jane Austen -
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen -
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis -x
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini -
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden-x
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne -X
Cumulative Total: 19
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell -x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown -
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving-
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins -
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery-x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd -
Thomas Hardy- 48
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood -
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding -
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan-
Cumulative Total: 21
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel-
52 Dune - Frank Herbert -
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons-
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen-x
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth -
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon -
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens -X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley -
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon-
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -x
Cumulative Total: 24
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov -
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas-x
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac -
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy -
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding-x
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie -
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville -x
Cumulative Total: 28
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens-x
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker -
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnettx
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson -
75 Ulysses - James Joyce -
76 The Inferno – Dante -
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome -
78 Germinal - Emile Zola -
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray-
80 Possession - AS Byatt –
Cumulative Total: 30
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens -X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell -
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker -X 84
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro -x
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert -
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry -
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White -x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom -x
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton-
Cumulative Total: 34
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad -
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery -
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks -
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams -
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole -
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute -
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas -
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare-x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl-x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo-
Cumulative Total: 36
Grand Total: 36

Okay hopefully next week will yield the opportunity for a 'real' blog. We are amidst fair cattle showing season at our house and that is very time consuming, besides show day there's generally a preparation day and a clean-up after day, which means missing 3 days of doing whatever, and of course that means catching up on the in between ones........ I wouldn't miss this time for the world as I know it will soon enough be a memory. Hope everyone else is having a great summer, I know we are.

Getting ready for the fair~
From Tulip~

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Re-runs

Now with cable TV where 'seasons' run year-round and there's always a new season of something on, there's a younger generation of ppl who have no idea what summer re-runs are. They are the same people who have no idea what it is to wait for Saturday morning for cartoons, don't know life with internet, cell phones and iPods. They are also the same ones who can usually fix my computer, cell phone and iPod (if I had one of my own).
I love my kids very much and they are the reason that I am busy ALL THE TIME. And probably why I don't blog as often as I would like to. But they are certainly 'inspiration' for many of my blogs. With that thought in mind and the fact that not everyone is on Facebook, although I think it might down to Mom and David by end of summer, I thought I would publish a few 'Facebook notes' here on my blog. Notes are sort of a Facebook version of a blog, but on there you invite ppl to read your note, by tagging them, hence the social networking underlying theme of Facebook. Here are a few:

"25 things" is a popular Note that ppl make. Right before Mothers Day this year I wrote:
Okay since Mother's Day is coming up soon and my good friend mentioned the other day how she missed all of us writing those '25 things' note, I decided to start one. I am gonna write 25 things about my kids, tag 25 other moms and challenge them to do the same thing! Here goes: 1. I love you, Cody Garrett, Samuel Earl, Jenna Claire and Seth William, with a love so fierce it sometimes scares even me, anyone ever tried to hurt my kids and I am pretty sure I can scare them as well! 2. The other day while Seth and Jenna were snuggling with me on my lap, I said I was sad that they were getting big and soon wouldn't both fit. Seth instantly promised to stay little forever! I love that kid! 3. I am amazed by Cody's hands, first those little newborn borny hands, before they get any fat on them and you can feel bones in the palms of their hands, now a mere 16 years later, his finger are each at least an inch longer than mine. 4. Sam's drive and determination is something that I find both frustrating and mindblowing. You can see it in the things that he does. I love to take a picture of him at the beginning of a wrestling match, just so I can remember the look. 4. I already know that Jenna will be a great mom. She's Seth's mother hen, she takes care of her calf so tenderly. Her attention to detail will take her far in this world. 5. Seth has surprised me from the beginning. He just keeps evolving everyday into the neatest little kid, I love his sense of humor and his sweetness. 6. My most favorite sound in the entire world bar none is that of my children laughing together. 7. We might live far out in the country without any close neighbors. But you know none of my kids are ever bored, there's always someone to play with, sure they fight and argue like all siblings but mostly they don't and I so glad that they are each others' friend. 8. I love that they have nicknames--Twig, Bubba, Sis, and Fred.......I love that they call each other those names, we do it, and those around us do. 9. I love that I can look in my kitchen sink and tell who ate what when I have been gone. They each have their own things they love. And I am also glad that they mostly pick up after themselves. 10. I love to ask Jenna the question, 'What did you think about (fill in the blank) I am always entertained by her take on things, the tidbits that she thinks to share are price-less. 11. I love the look of little boys who come in my house dirty from playing outside all day. 12. I love that Cody is a 'sponge' as Mrs W called him in Kindergarten, she is right. He can't learn enough, I love to watch him pouring over a book, sports statistcs or whatever he happens to be studying. 13. I love the pictures that are in my minds eye of my kids, like, when they were teeny tiny and had been asleep laying on my chest while we were both napping in the recliner and they would wake up and look up at me or now that they are bigger and we are at a cattle show and everyone is walking together to the show ring. 14. My heart just swells watching them get to new milestones, I might be crying like a baby, but you can bet they are happy tears. 15. I love how they look when they are asleep, that innocence that they had as babies that I hope never totally leaves them. 16. I love when they fall asleep in my lap, yeah there's only two who still do that, and mostly there's only one, but I love when it happens and pray it happens again. 17. They all four have their likes and dislikes and the variety that brings is the spice of my life. 18. I love Sam's nurturing spirit, examples that I love the most are things like watching him put on and tie Seth's shoes or when he helped Jenna learn to ride a 2 wheeled bike. 19. I love hugs. I love kisses. I love 'thank you mom' I love 'I love you mom' 20. I love being the mom of four kids. We women are a special group, some of you are ahead of me on this journey, some are behind me, but only moms of 4 kids get the true meaning of group mentality! Love you ladies! 21. I love the ball games that go on in my yard almost daily for about 8 months out of the year, the type of ball doesn't matter, the teams don't matter, everyone plays. 22. It makes me sad to think how empty my life would have been without kids. They have taught me so much. I am blessed. 23. I love that I can't always remember what happened last week, but the memory of my kids being born is as clear as it happened yesterday. 24. As a mom, while holidays like Christmas and Easter are still pretty great, for me the four greatest days of the year are Sept 5, Oct 6, Nov 1 and Nov 2. 25. Again I say I love you, Cody, Sam, Jenna and Seth, with a love that so deep that it has no end.

Here is a recipe I shared on Facebook for Blueberry Cobbler, which reminds me once again that I need to get over to our friends' and pick blueberries! The kids love them and I never seem to get there, maybe once each year. (Hope to see you soon Cindy!)
The recipe:
I found this recipe the other day on my search to find a diabetic recipe. David is on board that meets monthly and one of the members is diabetic, so if I send something, I always try to send something that he can eat as well. I didn't name the recipe, the submitter did, but they are right it's really good. Here goes: 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries 1 1/2 tsp vanilla Juice of one lemon 1 c Splenda or to taste (I bet with fresh berries, you wouldn't need that much) 1 tsp flour 1 tsp butter, melted 1 3/4 c flour 4 tsp baking powder 6 Tbsp splenda 5 Tbsp butter (softened works best) 1 c milk 2 tsp splenda 1 pinch of cinnamon Lightly grease baking dish I used the Pampered Chef oval one that is probably 8 inches wide and maybe 12 inches long, I think that a 8x8 would be too small and a 9x13 would be too big. Place berries in dish, mix with vanilla and lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 c splenda and 1 tsp flour, t hen stir in 1 Tbsp melted butter. Set aside. In a medium bowl stir together 1 3/4 c flour, baking powder, and 6 Tbsp of Splenda. Rub in butter using your fingers (which is what I did) or cut in with a pastry blender, until it is in small pieces. Make a well in the center and quickly stir in the milk. Mix until just moistened. You should have a thick batter or very wwet dough. Cover and let better rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Spoon batter over the berries, leaving only a few small holes for the batter to peek through. Mix together the last splenda and cinnamon and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days, but it didn't last that long at my house. Enjoy!

Okay here's another '25 Random Things' note:
1. I love baseball, everything about it, growing up listening to Jack Buck with my Grandma Angle, the smell of the leather of gloves and balls, to pitching to my kids in the yard, to it's "evil twin" softball, a cold beer at the game and the sound of cleats on a hard floor. 2. I love to do all things with reckless abandon, sew till I am out of thread, read a good book till dawn, cook till I have till go to the grocery store for more food and enjoy every opportunity that life has to offer, we only get one chance, gotta make it count. 3. I love that all four of my kids think they are my favorite and they are for different reasons. Cody for his budding dry sarcastic humor, Sam for his sense of fun and competitiveness, Jenna for her deep compassion, and Seth for his innocent sweetness and affection for everyone. 4. I wish I had realized when I was younger how precious time is, to be spent with those you love, to make a few better choices, and to use my time wiser. 5. I like nothing better than to have an absolute blast with my friends. I am thankful that I have several and wish that I spent more time with them. 6. Laughing till you cry or till something comes out your nose has got to be one of lifes greatest pleasures. 7. I have recently started walking, and can't walk enough, I did three times yesterday ( probably back to the comment on doing things with reckless abandon, 7miles total) and already have this morning, hope to get in shape, and kick it up a notch, maybe I will jog or run. 8. I smile when I see, my kids laughing together, baby calves, buckets of veggies from the garden, Christmas TV shows advertised, notes in my inbox on here, family chowing down on a gob of food I cooked, my nephews, my niece. 9. I am so unorganized, I wish I was better at it, another one of those things that the whole reckless abandon has affect on, wish I could organize with reckless abandon, guess you can't have everything. 10. There are four things that I could drink till it ran out my ears--Sweet Tea, Mt Dew, Bud Light and Smirnoff Ice, and I am not worried in the least that two are alcoholic and the other two are full of caffeine. 11. I want to get my kids a puppy, not that we don't have plenty (probably too many) dogs as it is, I just think that every kid should have a puppy once in their life and living on the farm, we get everyone else's cast-off that already grown. 12. I could probably take a vacation every three or four months if we could afford it, there are so many places I want to see, places I have been I want my kids to see. 13. As much as I enjoy being at home with my kids, I sometimes long for the days when I worked, I miss being around alot of people, I loved decorating the furniture store, setting up displays, selling, man I liked selling stuff, maybe I will go back next year when Seth starts school, not sure yet. 14. I love that I can go for months (and sadly it's been that long a few times) without talking to my best friend and within seconds we are right back to giggling and bs-ing like we have since we were kids. 15. I envy people who look put together all the time, like it is so effortless, maybe it is for them, it sure isn't for me, I hate that I sometimes go places looking like a bum, I don't think about it till I am somewhere, then I just get frustrated, I have been trying in the last few years to be better about that. 16. I wish I could play the piano, was more musical in general, maybe even have a singing voice that I was willing to use, other than drunk kareoke with the Angle cousins, you know who you are and what we always have to sing...... 17. I am thankful to live in a country where I am free to do what I want, when I want, with whomever I wish and I am thankful to my family who have served and are serving in the world's greatest military to give me that right. I don't think we are as grateful as we should be. 18. Nothing makes my blood boil worse than irresponsible adults, think about mostof the pet peeves you have with ppl, most of those go back to being irresponsible about some thing, how tough is it folks, suck it up and do the right thing. 19. Saying that someone is closed minded because they have different views that you do is about the most lame thing that I have ever heard of, and is particularly pitiful when it comes out of the mouth of a so called education person. I am not closed minded because I don't agree with you, I just have a different opinion based a different perspective and different life experiences, just sayin'. 20. While I am on the subject of views, shoving yours down my throat makes me only disagree even more, I hope I never push my views on others, and nothing is more irritating in my opinion. you believe this or that good for you, noted, now move on. 21. I wish there were enough hours in the day to read all the books that I would like to read. 22. Every person on my Christmas list is getting something handmade, not saying what since a few of them are on facebook. :) Mostly because I have gotten to the point in my life where 'it's the thought that counts' is the ONLY thing that counts to me anymore, so sick of commercialized see what all you can buy Christmases, so not what it's about. 23. This is the happiest time of year to me, I love fall, I probably almost decorate more for it than Christmas, all of my babies have their birthdays now, I love harvest, football, craft shows, bonfires, raking love love FALL! 24. I love about anything baked, but only while it's fresh out of the oven, I will practically burn my mouth on a cookie, after it's cooled, eh, could take it or leave it. 25. I say that I procrastinate because I work well under pressure, that is just bullshit, because if it's something that I really want to do, it's the first thing that I do and I think that is true about all people. (okay I had a hard time coming up with 25 things and everyone knows how I like to talk/blog/whatever)

Okay maybe I will get a chance to write a 'real/new' blog soon. But fair season is upon us and since I don't have a laptop and wireless internet, it is liable to be awhile. Those who are my facebook friend and have already read those, sorry. Those who haven't hope you don't get mind already been written notes/blogs.

On the 'Eve' of Independence Day weekend (and three days till MY birthday~
From Tulip~

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What a Week!

Our life with four kids is rarely dull. As one would imagine. Oh some weeks we might have just a few extra-curricular school activities and maybe a church event. But those are once in a blue moon kind of weeks. This last week wasn't one of those weeks, nor will the following weeks be. Until school gets out, we have LOTS going on.

This last week has been busy. Monday David returned from a trip to Texas for his Uncle Wayne's funeral. We will miss him so much, but know that his hurt is gone for him. Monday was the Reading Assembly at Chance Elementary. Jenna received her 1000 minute reading award. As a first grader, alot of those minutes are still ones read by mom, but she probably read 1/3 to 1/2 of the minutes herself. Tuesday was kind of quiet. Wednesday was filled with 'restocking' supplies. Buying groceries and household items for this household, is a fair size job as well. Thursday was spent going to the dentist. David, Jenna and Seth all went. Also Sam's class had a field trip to the zoo, which meant a trip back into town later to pick him up. Friday was very eventful. It was the last day of Preschool which meant the picnic. Since we've had so much rain and he wasn't super busy, David went along. I think he was glad he went. He visited with some of the other dads. It was to be our last Preschool Picnic, kinda bittersweet. Last night was the FFA banquet. I am such a baby. Why do I cry at that stuff? Cody got medals and awards and yeah sure that was cool, but seriously, tears? Geesh, anyway we are very proud of his accomplishments. Got a pin for Knowledge Team, got a medal for Diversified Farm Operation. And the highlight of the night for us, he was awarded the Star Greenhand Award. This is the highest award a chapter can bestow upon a Freshman. Yes we are VERY proud.

The coming week holds many more memory making moments and probably be many more tears for me. Some of the coming things are.

Tomorrow is Seth's preschool program and graduation. Monday night is Sam's Fine Arts night. Let me throw in here that Sam is blowing me away lately with his improvement playing the trumpet! WOW! Sounds great!!!! Tuesday night is 'Kindergarten Here We Come' this is the finale in all the preparations that our local Parents as Teachers program puts on for the children coming into Kindergarten this fall. We will tour the school, ride a school bus and do all those last minute preparations to get Seth signed up for school. Wednesday being the first Wednesday of the month, means 4H for our household. Even that meeting is over the top, there will be a foods project meeting beforehand, Clover Kids also beforehand, Show Me Quailty Assurance qualification class AND movie night, maybe we will get our business meeting squeezed in somewhere. Thursday so far is open. Friday is 5th Grade Civil War Day. Sam fit into the Civil War Officer Jacket that I made Cody 4 years ago and is on the same side again, so that was helpful!
As you can see like I said at the top life with four kids is rarely dull, but it also means being blessed four times over and for that it is all more than worth it! Love you, Cody, Sam, Jenna and Seth.
Listening to the birds sing outside my office window,
From Tulip~

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Growing Great Memories

When I received the email as an official Fair Fan a few weeks ago, I got such a lump in my throat. This year's Missouri State Fair slogan is 'Growing Great Memories' oh so appropriate! I just love it and I have been thinking about blogging this since I saw it and for some reason today I just couldn't get my mind off of it.

For me Missouri State Fair holds so many memories. As a child I remember going to the fair for a day. All the sights and sounds overwhelm my senses if I just close my eyes and remember back. As a child you just suffered through all the walking through a million buildings that you could care less about for that finale of the day, the Midway! The tilt a whirl, the fun houses, the 'Himalaya' and I could go on and on.

Then there are State Fair concerts, some of the early ones I remember are Beach Boys (my mom and dads favorite) Alabama (Randy Owens was a first crush I think) and as the years went on Hank Jr. and of course my man George Strait.

There were the years that I went for several days with my BFF Michelle, we stayed with her Grandparents in their camper. Explored the fair for the first time by ourselves. Went to see T Graham Brown in the Bud Tent, we thought we were cool to be there, since we were about 14, LOL.

As I got older in HS went a few years with friends and a boyfriend or two, more concerts, the Midway............but little did I know what a special place the Missouri State Fair would hold in my heart and that place was getting ready to firmly plant itself in my soul as my journey to 'growing up' was about to conclude.

At the end of my Senior Year in HS I started dating David. His family has a great heritage of times spent at the State Fair, although their experience was much different than my own, I soon learned to love and look forward to that change in my life.

MSF of 1989, is where it all officially began. Just a week before the fair, I began college at NWMSU, in Maryville, MO. I have no idea what possessed me to think that a college four hours away from was a wise choice (okay yeah I do know, but not going there) But alas, I had just spent my first week at college and was missing my sweetie something awful. So Akemi (my roommate, now my relative) and I drove from Maryville down to the fair. Us two 'town/city' girls got broke into what being a state fair exhibitor was like. A world within the fair that neither of us had ever known. Fun times amongst our group that camped together from water fights at the wash racks, short sheeting beds, the famous drop a rubber spider in front of people walking through the barns and so much more. We had the greatest time at the fair that year. I was hanging out with my sweetie and conveniently his cousin Dale Toedebusch was there as well and Kem and Dale met (the rest wasn't history till the next weekend when I had car trouble driving back to school and they came to rescue me, but thats a whole 'nother story)

I really couldn't say if it was the last night there or not, but one night while walking around the fairgrounds with David, we decided to rest/sit for awhile. Now David grew up going to the fair and he knows his way around the fairground fairly well. Packed fairgrounds no place to sit.......nope not a problem. So as we sat on some FFA kids' trailer/fair exhibit we talked about life, love and other stuff. I was painfully homesick and really hating the choice that I had made to be away from home and him. And while sitting there on that flat bed trailer, David said the words that would forever change both of our lives. That night he told me how much he loved me and reassured me that that fact would never change and then said the words I will get down on one knee right here and propose right now if you need me to. I knew I loved him for about three months before that, was pretty sure I wasn't going anywhere away from him wither for about that long, but that moment in time will forever be etched in my mind. It wasn't the official proposal, that happened about 4 months later. But that memory to me is almost as precious.

Well by the time State Fair rolled around the next year, we were 'old married folk' celebrating our one month anniversary right there at the fair! :) For the next few years we went with David's sisters for at least part of the time that they were up there showing or met friends and attended more concerts (shout out here to Mark and Tammi Miller, wasn't Huey Lewis a great concert?)

State Fair time 1994 was a time of great anticipation for us, Cody was due at anytime. That is the only year since we've married that we didn't go at all. I was swollen up like a tick and sitting at home in the air conditioner with my feet up was about my favorite hobby. The next 8 years saw us attend the fair anywhere from a day to several days. There was a year in there that saw me as a very pregnant State Fairgoer when Sam was on the way. Many more memories of fun times spent in the cattle barns, sitting around camp, Sam's first tractor pull, where in utero he didn't care for the vibrations coming from the loud engines.

As the years went by there was sort of a changing of the guard, David's sisters got 'too old' to exhibit just as Cody got old enough to exhibit. Our first year at the State Fair as a cattle exhibiting family was spent with a 8 yr old, his 2 hiefers, lil brother who enjoyed playing with his tractors in the sand of the floor of the barn and our lil bucket baby.

Jenna was 9 mos. old and not walking and was SO LITTLE it was really kinda hard to find a good place for her to enjoy the fair. As a joke one day David stood her in a 5 gallon bucket and she loved it. She was little enough that she could sit down in the bucket and play with a toy or stand up and be cute for all the passersby. Within probably half a day word spread and Bucket Baby of the Angus Barn stole the show from all of the high dollar black hided exhibits. She was a star!

There have been so many more memories at the Missouri State Fair. I think of the ones with my kids as the most precious. Taking the stroller to the shower house when I had two very little ones to get bathed. Cooking supper at the camp which was right by the cattle tie-outs and smiling proudly as practically every exhibitor who was exercising their cattle would stop by and ask when supper would be ready. We have our State Fair friends, ones that it seems like we never get around to seeing but during that week of our pilgrimmage to the fair. There are so many traditions that are engrained in the souls of myself, my husband and our kids that absolutely personify 'Growing Great Memories' that makes that lump in my throat all the bigger. Four months from today we will be packing up and heading to fair. The fair is full of endings like the show season and summer and beginnings with the school year right after and definitely full of memories.
Wiping a tear which seems to be a regular occurance while blogging,
From Tulip~

Friday, April 2, 2010

Projects, lots of projects

If anyone follows this blog anymore, I am sure you are in total shock that I am actually blogging today. It's been 4 months, how sad that is. I told myself at the beginning of 2010 I was going to start blogging again regularly and here it is April, every four months, hmmmmm, I really had in mind SLIGHTLY more often than that, but life just keeps happening and I just don't get it all done.
I don't get it all done because one of my favorite mantras should probably be why finish a project when you can start a new one, thanks Meredith! ;)
Lately I have been sewing up a storm. I have made a few projects for friends. So far towards Christmas I have completed a quilt top for Cody, started one for Sam, relocated and reworked one that I am planning to give Jenna and purchased the fabric for Seth's. I think that MY KIDS should really probably be one of the recipents of my hard labor.
Made a totally cute quilt for my Aunt O, in remembrance of her 60th birthday which was in February! Too cute, if I wasn't so lazy I would post the picture, maybe another day. We have several young people who are special to us, who are graduating from high school and college this spring, so graduation quilts are in process, wish me luck, I just may have bit off more than I can chew on that one.
I have big plans for sewing including a quilt for our bed, I am calling it our 20th wedding anniversary gift, but secretly hoping we get to go somewhere for our anniversary and that the quilt isn't the only gift, especially since who knows if I will actually complete it BY our anniversary! There are many other projects that I hope to do as well.
I am truly loving the time I am spending sewing. I definitely think I have addictive personality, I may not smoke or drink, but fabric is my vice!!! LOL
Besides sewing, I am making plans to do some painting and updating in our house! I have paint purchased to do our bathroom, kitchen back splash area and want to possibly do some decorative painting in Jenna's room. Along with the updates, I have some ideas in mind for some meaningful wall art. I have made some yo-yo's that I am planning to arrange like a flag to hang in our room and tie in with the new quilt and bedding(planning to make some pillows too!) I have some antique postcards that belonged to David's great uncle Bill (Seth William's namesake) that are 4th of July ones and a few Memorial Day ones that I am wanting to frame for a picture in our Dining Room. And I have been thinking of some way to preserve a family heirloom from my side of the family and I think I have finally come up with the idea. I have pictures of Mom, Jenna and I each at about a year and a half old, all wearing the same dress. I want to frame the three pictures AND the dress for a piece of wall art/ family history. I even wrote a poem to add to the picture. I am not sure this is the final copy, but here's the rough draft:
The Little Blue Dress

Purchased and worn on a very special day,
In 1950 in the month of May.
Bright blue cotton, in the back, a bow.
Sweetly trimmed in lace for a little show.
Kids do lots and especially grow,
It makes Moms sad, for this they know
With future dreams, it’s packed away
To be worn again, on some future day.
Granddaughter came with eyes of blue
Grandma said, she’ll wear that dress too!
Laundered and pressed, ready to go
Over the head and tie the bow.
Pictures taken and memories made
Captured in time before they fade.
Packed up away, saved and treasured
For a mothers love cannot be measured.
Would we see it again, who’s to know?
Such a cute little dress, tied with a bow.
Grandkids finished up just in time,
Great grandkids came right along, next in line
First a son, then another
Soon enough, they’re both big brothers
More blonde hair and eyes of blue
Absolutely! She will wear the dress too!
Love’s passed on, once again
Where’s it end? Where’s it begin?
To the daughter from the mother
Four generations, love one another.

Okay so it's Good Friday, we have eggs to color, a few chores to finish and lots of fun to have. Wishing you and yours a Blessed Easter weekend. Hoping to get back here very soon.
Until we meet again,
From Tulip~