Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our First Born

Today is a good day. I have always been a TGIF gal. Although when you farm, Friday is generally just another day, its not like we have weekends off. But in the last year or so, some Fridays are particularly special. Our oldest son attends a college about 4 hours from home. This year he's an RA in the dorms, so we haven't seen much of him. Guess what? Today he's coming home. Actually as I begin to write this, he's likely 3/4 of the way home. (I will likely not post until I get home and can add a few pictures.)
Cody taught us how to be parents. He's the guinea pig. Aren't all first borns? We tried our hand at parenting, read all the books, tried to follow the rules, and then realized that the rules were a guide, find what works in your family and embrace it.
We were very lucky that he was such an easy baby, probably a lot of the reason why he has so many siblings. LOL
His curiosity and imagination are two of the first traits that I found most fascinating. He was always a busy guy. Sometimes that was fun, sometimes that was frustrating.
Growing up, he's accepted the job of 'leader' that oldest kids seem to automatically be nominated for. He's pretty organized with his time and resources. He's great at finding a solution, actually loves the process of finding that solution, as he seems to never be able to learn enough.
I can remember a conversation had with him probably less than a week after school was out for the summer, when he was maybe 9. Cody: "Mom, we are going to NEED to go to the Library TODAY?" Me: "Why?" Cody: "I have read everything in this house. We need to go NOW."
At a parent teacher conference, with his teacher, I mentioned that I am amazed and the amount of papers that they get done during class. And she just laughed and assured me, no they didn't always ALL do that many papers daily, she gave Cody extra papers, to keep him busy and would soon have to find more as he was moving ahead of the group, by leaps and bounds.
I have always been proud of his academic achievements. But, who he is as a person, far outweighs the 'book learning' His love of people shows through in his friendliness, his natural ability to relate to others and the beginnings I have been witness to of what he ultimately wants to do in a teacher.
He has enjoyed helping with the younger kids at church. He's the oldest kid, grandkid, he's ended up being in charge of the group unofficially for years. That was soon followed by other endeavors, like 4H camp, for one example. He enjoyed attending as a camper, but REALLY loved his years as a counselor. Now he enjoys his RA job, which just seems to be the next step in his journey.
Re-writing this post as the original only saved a partial yesterday, so now that its the first day of deer season, I am reminded of another deer season 17 yrs ago. My mom and I went shopping and let the guys do their things. Well we went to a favorite store of ours about 1 hour away. While shopping there, Cody lost his 'bobby' which was a blanket that he loved dearly. I had gotten back to mom's before I realized it. So even though it was getting late in the afternoon and remember its opening day of deer season.............but YES I drove back to the store which was north into the heart of 'deer country' and got his beloved 'bobby' I earned my Mom of the Week Star that day for sure!
You all know me, no post is complete without a picture, so here goes:
....and Momma loves you too, Sweets! 
Thankful for 20 yrs with this guy,
From Tulip~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the Year

A friend posted about her favorite days and how she was thankful about each of them, which was sort of the post that was rolling around in my head as well. I am trying to not JUST do the same old thankful posts that I do every year. While yes I want to make sure and incorporate the people and things that I am truly thankful for, I am trying to do it in a different way this year.
So with that being said, today I am thankful for Special Days. I am also thankful for the people who make them special. Here goes--
I am thankful for four dates...........Sept 5th, Oct. 6th, Nov 1st and 2nd. Those are my kids' birthdays. I never realized as kid growing up just how special my own birthday was to my parents, until I became a parent myself. Their birthday far and away overshadow my own. I want celebrate them, shout from the mountaintops, 'That's my Baby!' So proud of those 4 kiddos.
I am thankful for one other date...........July 14th, the next one coming up marks a Quarter Century being married to my best friend in the the entire world. The person who I laugh with, work with, love with all my heart, my sweet Farmer. (he better take note, I spoke nicely of him on TWO Thursdays in a row, LOL)
I am thankful for Holidays.........we host family dinners at our house on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love having my home full of family. I love the prep, cleaning every nook and cranny (okay almost every nook and cranny). I love cooking the food. I love the extra decorating, burning candles, all the extras that it involves. I also love sitting in my recliner while the dishwasher washes the dishes afterwards and all the food is put away, etc.....knowing I can sit there with no guilt, job done.
I am thankful for Planting time and Harvest...... While I may call it, 'Seasonal SingleParenthood' I really do love those days spent eating meals in the field. Shouting our conversations over the sound of grain being augered into the bin. Helping move from field to field. Bringing more seed to the field. Going after a much needed part. Helping weigh the test plot. All of those extras that I hope my Farmer thinks makes his day run a little smoother.
I am thankful for days spent at fairs.........whether its local, county or state fair. Those are the times we sort of call our 'down-time' we get to visit with old friends, enjoy watching our kids make new friends, teach the public a little bit about what our life is all about and just generally have a great time.
I am thankful for a day of a 1,000 bales of hay........there's nothing I delight more in, than cooking and spoiling the kids who come out and work with us putting up hay. Granted they all probably think its hard work, but I like to hope not one of them has ever went home hungry.
I am thankful for game day/dual or tournament time.......... I love the prep, the anticipation, and finally the actual event. I love watching my kids do what they love, with their friends, seeing them work hard for a goal and enjoy getting to see it with friends.
My Farmer will hear of an upcoming event and I swear no matter where it falls, Jan 1st through Dec 31, he will say that's a busy time of year. And he's right, everyday on the farm is busy. Regularly we are busy with kid activities, church activities, 4H/FFA activities, games and much, MUCH more. For that, and those days, I am thankful.
Remind me when I am whining about it that I really am thankful for BUSY-NESS,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Family (Father and Mother I Love You)

Thankful for so many things and so many people. If there was anyone outside of my own household and the family I helped create with my Farmer, it would of course be my Mom and Dad. I am blessed with parents who live less than a half hour away from me, aren't a long distance phone and are ready and willing to drop everything to help, anytime I ask.
Just a few years shy of a half century of marriage, I think that they are in love more today than they ever were. I think about how I perceive their relationship and how I have seen it evolve over the years. It's a reminder that, you don't just fall in love once in a lifetime, if you are very lucky, you fall in love with the same person over and over, throughout your lifetime.
My mom and dad are the perfect example of that. They had their years of working and raising a family, the years of grown kids spreading their wings, adding in-laws to the mix, semi-retirement, grandkids, now retirement. They built a house. They owned a business. Through it all I think that they just continue to show us what lasting love is all about.
They aren't perfect, none of us are. Sure there are the conversations where its evident they are aware of each others imperfections, but the love always wins out. Because of this strong bond, they totally rock as parents. I am thankful that I have never had serious problems in my own marriage, but even when those littlest of things come up, they are very good at putting it into perspective and reminding me that I am blessed. They can build me up high. They can give me a reality check. They always seem to know what I need. Because they know what it takes.
Feeling thankful for and blessed by the greatest parents in the world,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Proud to be an American

The last two days have always been big ones in my family. Yesterday was the Marine corp Birthday and today is Veteran's Day. In my family service to our country is a BIG THING. My Dad and Brother, both Marines. Both of my Grandfathers served, several of my uncles, cousins, etc.
My Brother, Wayne on his first visit home, after Cody was born. He was stationed in Okinawa at the time.

My Mom and Dad when Dad graduated from Boot Camp in Camp Pendleton, California, 1968

Above and Below are items from my Grandpa's tour of service, he was stationed in the Pacific during World War II.

With things like Purple Hearts and folded flags in the homes of my family, being patriotic and proud to be an American are just what we are. I feel very thankful that my loved ones were willing to serve to keep our country free. If one of my kids decided to serve, of course I would worry about them, but I would also be so proud that they have carried on a proud family tradition. 
God Bless Veterans, Our Troops now serving and the grand ol' USA,
From Tulip~

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friends who are like family and family I am glad to be friends with.

I started to write my thankfulness post yesterday morning and kept rambling (worse than normal) I couldn't seem to tie it together. So I decided to let it sit and 'live my weekend out.' After spending a rejuvenating weekend that included productivity of farm work, catching up on odds and ends, prepping for upcoming events, cleaning my house, then spending time last night with great, GREAT friends and ending the weekend with family; I am hoping that the clarity of this post will end up shining through.
We  have many groups, families I prefer to call them, that are made up from the different activities that we are a part of. Wrestling season is upon us. That is one of my favorite families to spend time with. Of course, that's good, since we spend LONG HOURS together in gyms for the next three months. One of my favorite phrases to describe a wrestling tournament, 9 hours of sitting for 9 minutes of wrestling. Of course that is sort of flexible, since obviously I have a HS wrestler, some many days its more than 9 minutes and if you add drive time, 9 hours doesn't catch it either. We will also being getting to know the younger end of this 'family' as Seth is going to wrestle in the 'club' (little league) this year. He has tried both wrestling and basketball, and isn't really sure what his thing will be yet.
We love this group so much, definitely as close to them as if we were actual family. We have our inside jokes and fun times, we are there for each other in the harder times as well. Just like family.
Today was spent celebrating our two littlest kids' birthdays. We had our parents there, our siblings and my grandmother. We were mostly all here. Our oldest was up at school, wasn't able to come home this weekend. Truly makes me sad that he wasn't here. My brain realizes that the goal was to raise them and they grow up, but my heart wants to cling tightly to my babies forever and never let go. Even without their oldest brother, my littles had a good day.
Which brings me around to my thankfulness for the weekend. I am so thankful that within our lives we have people that we love so fiercely, whether they are related by blood or not. I am also thankful that our family is like friends and that we enjoy their company so much, I know that some aren't afforded that luxury. I am also thankful that among everything else, we just plain had a great weekend that makes me smile and leaves me ready to tackle the week ahead.
From Tulip~