October 2014 archive

Piggy, Kermie and a Few Other Characters

I love a good handmade, put-together costume.  For her first halloween, Sawyer was a Chia Pet.  We made a little pattern and glued a LOT of moss on it.  It was highly original, albeit itchy.

Chia Pet (2 months)

Chia Pet (2 months)

The next year, my sister in law sent me an adorable idea for a peacock costume that she had seen online.  I loved it so much we made it happen!  We found peacock feathers at the floral shop, glued them to a belt, paired them with a tutu, dyed some tights and voila!

Peacock (1 year)

Peacock (1 year)

When she turned two, she was really into Dora the Explorer so we turned her into Dora!

Dora (2 years)

Dora (2 years)

We even had Map and Backpack!

We even had Map and Backpack!

Wrex and I even got in on the fun; he dressed up as Swiper the Fox and I went as Boots the Monkey.  :)

The whole gang!

The whole gang!

Last year, a friend of mine gave us the cutest little Indian papoose costume for Wryder so we went on the hunt for something matching for Sawyer.  We found the main piece of her costume at the thrift store in Denver.  We used some leather, ribbon and feathers from home to make her head piece.  We gave her a few stripes of paint and some little braids and she was one cute Indian girl!

Indian (3 years)

Indian (3 years)

With brother (6 months)

With brother (6 months)

This year, I wanted them to be able to be something together so we were trying to think of famous duos and Miss Piggy and Kermit the frog came to mind.  I knew she would love all of the frilly, girliness of Miss Piggy so we went for it!

We made some felt ears and glued them to a head band, bought a pig nose on Amazon and a feather boa from the dollar store and paired that with some pink, fru-fru clothes and Miss Piggy was born!

For Wryder, we used sister’s green tights and a green hoodie to make the base of his costume.  We cut a Styrofoam ball in half, painted on the eyes and glued them to the hood.  We then made Kermie’s famous pointy collar, hands and feet out of green felt.  Easy, peasey!

All in all, we spent less than $13 on both costumes – score!

Miss Piggy and Kermit

Miss Piggy and Kermit

Seriously, are they not to-die-for adorable?!  I really couldn’t get over how cute they looked!

My little Kermie (18 months)

My little Kermie (18 months)

Cute toots

Cute toots

Our church hosts a harvest carnival every year so we put on all of our garb and headed to town.  They played games and ate snacks and rode the horse and buggy until they were worn out!

Trying to win a bottle of pop!

Trying to win a bottle of pop!

A little tic-tac-toe cheating

A little tic-tac-toe cheating

Riding the horse and buggy with our dear friend Jim

Riding the horse and buggy with our dear friend Jim

We’re not just uber Halloween fans nor do we (remotely) get into the dark side of the ‘holiday’ but I do love the innocence that can be found in dressing up and getting to be whimsical and downright silly.

We still proclaim the name of Jesus and worship (only) the one true God, but we do let our kids dress up and trick-or-treat.  Dressing up in costumes doesn’t make us satanic evil-doers any more than wearing a suit to church makes you a follower of Jesus; it’s all about the heart, ya know?

For a TREMENDOUS read on a wise-woman’s opinions on Halloween, read this lovely little blog post.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Sure is Purdy Out

This fall weather has been absolutely astounding!  Normally in Colorado, we’d have had at least one snow by now but it looks like nothing but sunshine on the horizon.  While I don’t really appreciate 86 degrees in darn near November, it has made going outside quite enjoyable.

Daddy went to a funeral this morning so the kids and I decided to take advantage of this nice weather at the park.

IMG_5581IMG_5580IMG_5582IMG_5583IMG_5584IMG_5585IMG_5586IMG_5587IMG_5588They LOVED all the leaves!  We have a few trees around the place but they’re all either cedar, pine or Chinese Elm; not too many leaves falling around here.  Sawyer picked her three favorites to bring home for daddy.

We spent the majority of yesterday outside, too.  We surprised daddy by cleaning up the barn and the feed room – a chore! – and this afternoon,  we hope to finish a new cover for the well house.  AND…I have GOT to finish little Wryder’s Halloween costume…but I need my handsome seamstress for that.  :)

Enjoying the warm weather but yearning for a good freeze…I’m a little over all things that fly…namely flies.

Random Rambles

It’s Wednesday…and it’s felt a bit like a Monday.  Sawyer had Cubbie bear for the week and I needed to print pictures for his adventure journal.  Lo and behold, of the seven ink cartridges in our printer, light magenta was out so it refused to print a thing!  Is it just me or does it sound like the printer needs to learn how to compromise a little??

I saved the pics to my flash drive and loaded everybody up so we could go print them in town.  As I was buckling Wryder in his car seat I realized I didn’t have my keys, even though I had just locked the house door.  No biggie, I’ll get the spare key.  Oh.  Wait.  The spare is on my keyring because I lost the original.  *ahem*

I called Wrex and he told me the best place to break into the house (which I shall not divulge here).  I got in and went to grab my keys which I knew were on the kitchen table…but they weren’t there now.  I looked EVERYWHERE.  Trashcan…toy room…mud room…car…called Wrex to see if he had them…confirmed with Sawyer they were on the table.  At this point, I knew Wryder must have been the culprit.

I finally told the Lord that I had no idea where else to look and I asked for His help – novel idea!  I went back inside and I felt like I was supposed to put a bag of tortilla chips back in the pantry that Wryder had drug out (seriously, what is this kid’s deal with corn chips today??) and as I did, I thought they might be in there!  I looked where we keep the chips and saw nothing.  Just as I was about to shut the door, I saw a little glint by a bag of potatoes – my keys!

He cares, even about my keys…

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So, back to Cubbie.  He go to spend the week with us and I had one happy girl on my hands!

He's home!

He’s home!

Cubbie even got to travel to Denver with us for the weekend and we made a stop at Krispy Kreme’s so he and the kiddos could watch them make the doughnuts!

Frying some doughnuts!

Frying some doughnuts!

Are they cute or what?

Are they cute or what?

When we got home, we had three day old baby chicks that they had to check out!  Cubbie even got to hold a couple!

Cubbie and his chicks

Cubbie and his chicks

Sawyer's favorite - Marshmallow Gravy

Sawyer’s favorite chick – Marshmallow Gravy

These two had a lot of fun together.  I’m sure she’s not ready to let him go but it’s time for another adventure with one of her classmates.

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Our time in Denver was so special.  We got to spend some good time with the bestie and her family – always a good time!  The kids love playing with Baby Eva.

Toys!

Toys!

Eva's cheese!

Eva’s cheese!

My faves!

My faves!

It’s so fun to watch my kids play with my bestie’s kids.  It’s one of those things you kind of dream about and then when you get to watch it come to fruition, it’s a sweet, sweet thing.

We got to spend some time with the bestie’s extended family…which is our extended family.  Sawyer’s Cubbie’s lesson this past week was about how the Lord gives us family that aren’t always blood, and that’s exactly what these people are.  We may not be flesh of their flesh, but we are definitely family of the heart and soul and spirit.

He has been so faithful to do this for us…for me.  When everyone is scattered across the country and some homes have been broken, He’s been so faithful to fill those gaps with some of the most important people in my life.  I’m forever grateful…

Friday night, we celebrated family birthdays with them and it was just such a warm, familiar time.  Sitting around the living room as the evening wore on, I just sat there observing the circle of people around me and thinking, “I want this.  I love this.  THIS is family.”

There’s trust and respect and genuine affection…there’s easy smiles and belly laughs and warmth…I just wanted to freeze that moment for all time.

The grandkids organized a talent show of sorts and about four people in, Sawyer wanted to get up and dance for everyone.  While this is something she would do at our house for Wrex and I, our little introvert wouldn’t do that everywhere.  I LOVED that she felt safe enough to do so there; it was so telling.

Seriously, it was a good night.

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I’ve been reading in Isaiah lately (one of my FAVORITE FAVORITE books) and this morning’s passage was so beautiful.

It was from Isaiah 65 and He talks about the new heaven and the new earth.  It says, “The former things will not be remembered,  nor will they come to mind.”

“Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,or an old man who does not live out his years;”

“They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.”

I guess I had never read those verses before?? OR maybe they haven’t meant as much as they do these days. 

SOOOOOOOO often my heart longs for heaven.  Usually, it’s a selfish, please-rescue-us-from-the-madness-and-injustice-of-this-world kind of thing.  I’m not really ready to go without my family…I guess I’m just ready for Him to come and this new reign to begin.  And I think that’s a good place to keep my heart sometimes.  Not on this world…on Him and His heavenly kingdom…but it’s not always easy.

There will be a day…when all you’ve gone through…will be no more.  No more tears…no more suffering…no more heartache…no more bitterness…no more hurt…no more what ifs…no more…

Until then, I will attempt to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus…the author and finisher of my faith.

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In case you missed it on Facebook this morning, my sweet boy was up to his usual food scavenging shenanigans.

I had just finished cleaning up from breakfast (in which he had two scrambled eggs with cheese, a piece of toast and a cup of milk) and sat down to help Sawyer with Cubbies when he came in munching on a taco shell.  What?!

I have no idea how he even got in the pantry, rummaged around and got one out of the box…or why he thought he was still hungry.

Regardless, how could you be mad at this sweet face?

YuM!

YuM!

 

Mars Vs Venus

Our sweet neighbors are in the throes of corn harvest and the kiddos got to go ride in the combine this afternoon!  They were FIRED UP!  Wryder is all about anything tractor related and any time Sawyer gets to spend with Mr. Rick, she’s all about.

She got her cowgirl clothes on again…

My little ranchy girl!

My little ranchy girl!

and out they went!

I stayed home to finish unpacking and doing laundry since we were gone all weekend in Denver…and tomorrow is doomsday in my book.  I have to go to the dentist and get at least one tooth pulled.  Fun yes?  NO.   Pray for me…please.

I asked daddy to take some pics since I wasn’t gonna go this time…………and this is what he came home with.

Corn

Corn

More corn

More corn

Even more corn

Even more corn

And a little more corn

And a little more corn

That’s it.  That’s all the pictures he took.  Not one of the kids in the combine…or with Mr. Rick…or by the grain cart…just corn…that I see out every window of our house every day.

Sigh.

I mean, I didn’t specify pics OF THE CHILDREN or the experience, but I guess I thought that was a given?!  Sawyer said, “I guess we’ll just have to go again!”  I wasn’t quite that gracious.  *ahem*

Funny how different we can be sometimes, yes?  I just have to laugh…

Worth 1,000 Words: Cute Kiddos

My “babies” are at such fun ages!  Sawyer is so creative and persistent – and Wryder wants to do anything she does – so our days are pretty exciting.  :)

I must admit that I firmly believe that I have the world’s best job.  There are some hard days – what career doesn’t have those?? – but the blessing and reward and good days outweigh those tough times, by far.

I’ve finally gotten some more room on the ole iPhone and have been a little snap happy lately.  Enjoy these pics of my cuties!

Sweet cowgirl, ready for harvest

Sweet cowgirl, ready for harvest

Not at all enthused about wearing an owl hat...

Not at all enthused about wearing an owl hat…

Really, he didn't like it...

Really, he didn’t like it…

But look at THAT smile!

But look at THAT smile!

My big boy eating a midnight snack...

My big boy eating a midnight snack…

With another smile...

With another smile…

Sawyer and the giant tumbleweed

Sawyer and the giant tumbleweed

Cats in a cage...

Cats in a cage…

with a tumbleweed...

with a tumbleweed…

and another...

and another…

Black beans are gooooooood...

Black beans are gooooooood…

Time for a haircut!

Time for a haircut!

Random Rambles

It’s fun Friday and while the weather is cooperating beautifully – I love this cloudy stuff – poor Wryder’s not having much fun.  Little guy has been a bit fussy the past two days and today is no exception.  Pretty sure he’s got some major teeth trying to make their way in.  He has fever this morning so back to bed he went!  We’re really wanting to go watch some high school football tonight so we’re hoping he feels better soon!

Our good friends from church have a son, whom Sawyer adores, who plays football in Grant.  She’s convinced he plays for the Broncos so we’re hoping she’s not too disappointed tonight.  ;)

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Speaking of the Broncos, this sweet girl has football in her blood and I am LOVING it!  Wrex isn’t the biggest fan but he’ll watch with me…just not as spiritedly.  Sawyer is my official football watching partner!

Last week, she posed the following question:

“Mom, I always wear dresses to church.  Do you think it would be ok if I wore my Broncos shirt this time??”  Of course you can!

She was fired up!  We ate lunch at Wendys and she kept yelling announcing, “Go Broncos!”  There were quite a few people that got a kick out of that (thankfully).  One gentleman asked her if she was gonna watch Peyton Manning get his 500th touchdown and she goes, “You mean Paytie?”  Apparently, they’re on a pet-name basis.

A friend of ours blessed us with some hand-me-downs for her and there was a little softball shirt inside with the number 18 on the back.  She went to put it on the other morning and came squealing downstairs, “I’m like Paytie!”  Gosh, I adore her…

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On Sunday, she got to take part in her first Lord’s supper and yes, I had to take a picture.

IMG_5486It was a sweet moment, Bronco gear and all.

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The bestie had her 20 week ultrasound and they’re having a….

10703785_10152746636298815_7200685928593073847_nBOY!  We’re so excited for them!  Sawyer has lots to teach baby Eva about being a big sister to a little brother….

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On the pregnancy note, my nausea has subsided significantly, praise the Lord.  I’m in the “I don’t really feel pregnant just bloated” stage…t’s better than the former, for sure…

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Colorado is one of the states that often skips fall (and spring for that matter) and goes straight into cold and snow, but this year we’re actually having a fall!  My flowers are still blooming and growing and we keep saying we’re gonna mow the grass “one last time” and that has yet to happen.  The trees all around are actually getting to go through the whole color change process…

It’s a wonderful change!  It’s nice to able to go outside in long sleeves or a sweatshirt without there being snow on the ground.  We’re going to soak in all of this autumnal beauty for as long as we can!

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Happy Friday!

Blog Buddies

Yesterday was this gorgeous lady’s birthday.

Momma Jeanie

Momma Jeanie

This world needs more of her, no doubt.  I need more of her for sure!

She blogged yesterday about being a darn good nonna, which she most definitely is.  This blog is one of my favorites she’s ever written.  SOOOOO much wisdom for you other mommas (and daddies) out there.  This is the kind of parent I hope I’m becoming…one just like my Daddy.

Read up here:  http://www.jeanierhoades.com/on-being-a-grand-mom-nonna/

Guaranteed to bless your heart…

Worth 1,000 Words: Pumpkin Patch 2014

This past Saturday the weather cooperated beautifully so off to the pumpkin patch we went!  This one is the closest one to our house and it is well worth the money!  Here are a few pics from our day!

This girl could pick pumpkins all day...

This girl could pick pumpkins all day…

This guy was a pretty big fan, too!

This guy was a pretty big fan, too!

In charge of the gourds...

In charge of the gourds…

Racing ducks...pink ones, of course

Racing ducks…pink ones, of course

Her favorite part of the day, according to her.  :)

Her favorite part of the day, according to her. :)

These pedal cars were SO fun!

These pedal cars were SO fun!

Wryder on the spiderweb...

Wryder on the spiderweb…

In the corn box...

In the corn box…

This boy had a diaper full of corn at the end of the day!

This boy had a diaper full of corn at the end of the day!

The BIG slide!

The BIG slide!

This thing was FAST!

This thing was FAST!

Having fun on the jumping pillow...

Having fun on the jumping pillow…

Wryder didn't know what to think at first so he just laid there...

Wryder didn’t know what to think at first so he just laid there…

Getting sleepy on the horse swing...

Getting sleepy on the horse swing…

Living Proof

So yesterday, I wrote about my Mema.  And today?  I have to brag on the Lord.

I think you may have picked up on it yesterday, but I have carried soooooooo much guilt in my heart for the past 10 years about her passing.

I think most of the guilt stems from that last time I saw her, the day she passed, as I mentioned in the blog.    It was just so hard for me.  I absolutely stink at awkward situations because they affect me (and hurt me) so much…which I’m slowly learning just isn’t an excuse.

Everything I blogged about was all I remembered…  I remember that my parents and my brother were there and my dad’s brother, but that’s all I remembered. I remember we drove all the way back to Colorado that night, but I don’t remember a ton else.   I didn’t remember really telling her goodbye or going near her and it has hurt all these years.   How could I not??  How could I not just wrap her up in a huge hug and make sure she knew that I loved the stuffing out of her?

Last night, I cried for almost four hours off and on!  I was just telling the Lord that I KNOW guilt isn’t from Him – I know that – I just couldn’t pin point why I was feeling it so heavily.  I  asked Him to help me to assuage that guilt…to receive the grace I have no doubt that my Mema would’ve given.  I just wanted to make sure she knew I loved her…

Some of my cousins replied and shared good memories and it was so sweet to see how much they loved her, too.  Truly a testament of her love for us.

I woke up this morning and I had a message in my inbox and when I saw the little red 1, I assumed it was from a cousin like before………but it wasn’t.  It was my brother.

And? He was used as an answer to my prayer.

He said this:

Hey fyi you weren’t selfish in mema’s final moments…. I can remember that day very clearly and while you were standoffish at first, Wanda started talking to her and you and you sat on the bed with her for a few min…. It was a hard day but she knows you loved her very much and that it was hard for you to see her that way…. Love you stef

OH.  MY.  GOODNESS.  He remembered what I couldn’t!  I had totally forgotten that Wanda (who was a special, older cousin to us.  I distinctly remember being little, little, little and EVERY time we saw her, she sang “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine” to me.  Still can’t hardly listen to that song without crying) was there!  After he said that, I COMPLETELY remembered!  And I do remember sitting on her bed next to her tiny body and petting her hand.

I don’t know what I said, if anything, but I’m so glad to know that I didn’t just stand against the back wall and just be present…

My goodness.

I’m just in such awe this morning.  Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayer…for healing my heart…and for a brother who took time out of his day to make sure I knew that.

While I’ve had a few more tears this morning and find myself fighting the enemy, I do feel so much freer.  It still feels raw and there’s lots of emotion, but it feels different.  It’s like I can smile through the tears…

He is so good, friends.  He wants us whole…and free…and healed.  This little story is living proof of that.

My Mema

Tonight after supper, we were sitting around listening to music as a family.   Wrex started playing the kids some of his favorite songs growing up and before long, “Song of the South” by Alabama came up on the list.  Trust me, it is one of his favorites; I can hear it blaring through the halls of the boys’ dorm in Clarendon now…

That song got me thinking about Mema, my dad’s mom.  She picked a lot of cotton in her day…for sure one of the toughest (yet sweetest) ladies I’ve ever met.  She wasn’t afraid of any kind of work.  I would stand to reckon she was on her feet 12 hours a day, even in her 70’s.  It’s hard to do her justice with a simple blog post…but I’ll try.

She was known for her good cooking!  She was a true southern woman that cooked from scratch…with lots of Crisco.  She cooked three meals a day, every day and often invited our family over to partake in her fixin’s.  She made the world’s best roast and world’s best pinto beans and fried cornbread – my favorites!  And her sweets!  She made chocolate cake with this thick, fudge icing that was to die for!  At every holiday, she probably made ten or more pies because each guest had their favorite.  (Mine was this lemon gelatin pie with a graham cracker crust…delish!)

She loved my brother and I to no end!  I think I mentioned before that she always had a little shed or playhouse for us.  She’d buy us 5th Avenue bars and circus peanuts and we’d eat them while watching the Price is Right or Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman.  We were fortunate enough to live across the street from them for a good ten years of our life and got to spend significant time over there, especially when we were younger.

In the summer when my parents were working during the day, we spent most of the work day running in and out of her screen door and making mud pies in her backyard.

She gave the world’s best back scratches.  I can still see her hands in my mind.  They were old and arthritic; her knuckles swollen to twice their size a lot, with pretty filed up fingernails.

She was a worshiper!  She sang and hummed all day long…washing dishes or cooking with her dish towel thrown over her shoulder, much like I find myself doing when I’m in the kitchen, too.

I always loved her Bible.  It was a big, black one with rose colored page edges.  She always had the inside covers filled with birthdays and anniversaries and baptisms and I loved to skim through it and read all the little notes she’d written inside.

She had the cutest little curse words, too.  :)  I can still see her face screwed up in disgust over something on the news and can hear her saying, “Well, pudding foot!” or “God bless a mule!”  Of course, there were some “bless his heart”s thrown in there every now and then.

My parents did a really good job of teaching us to honor our grandparents and to serve them when they couldn’t serve themselves.  Every Saturday for a good ten years, my mom or dad would load them both up and take them to shop at Wal-Mart and then the grocery store; no small feat with two kids and two people in their 70’s/80’s.

They came to any and every function of mine and my brother’s that they were able to.  They showed us so much love and so much encouragement and so much devotion.  Pretty sure we did no wrong in their eyes…  I loved any and every minute that I had with them and doggone it, there just weren’t enough. 

My Papa died when I was a junior in high school and my Mema seemed to go downhill rather quickly after that.  She bounced around from each of the siblings’ homes for a while and then had to be put in a nursing home.

I wish I’d have had more time with her.  I wish I’d have listened to more stories and more history.  I wish I wouldn’t have thought my life at 18, 19 and 20 was so much more important than anything else in the world.  I wish I would’ve made the time to see her more, even if she had no idea who I was.  I wish she were still alive and lucid so that my husband and kids could really know the wonderful woman I knew…I have no doubt that she’d think that Sawyer and Wryder hung the moon!

Wrex and I happened to be in Texas when we got word from the nursing home that she didn’t have much longer.  We all went down to see her and it was such a hard, awkward thing for me.  I’m one of those people that feels so things soooooo deeply that it physically hurts…and this was one of them.

I remember being half scared to move or say or anything; I just stood towards the back of the room and looked at her from afar.  Oh, the guilt I carry from that…it kills me.  I remember she kept moving her arm or hand under the covers and we didn’t realize what was going on and it finally hit us; she actually did recognize my brother and I…and she was waving.  Once we waved back, she stopped.  It was one of those beautiful God moments that I don’t feel like I took full advantage of.

I remember my dad giving her drops of water with a cotton swab and him petting her hair and talking to her so sweetly.  I remember thinking that this really couldn’t be it, could it?  She seemed half alert and ok, though she was so small and frail.  I don’t really remember saying goodbye…a proper one at least…and then we got the call as we were driving back to Colorado that she had passed.

I am so thankful that she knew the Lord and that because of that, I will be reunited with her in heaven one day.  I just have to believe the Lord will allow me redeem that time with her…  Mema, forgive me for being so awkward and selfish in your final moments; it wasn’t a true reflection of my heart for you…

Oh, how I want my kids to know and understand the rich history and heritage that they come from; to know and appreciate their grandparents and great-grandparents.  I want them to sacrifice their days serving them and caring for them; they are why we are.  I want them to truly understand that our time here is short and the things we think are important in the moment, just might not be. I want them to be unafraid of their emotions and to understand that showing love and letting go can hurt…but that not doing so can hurt worse…

She was a good woman, that Mema.  Darn these pregnancy hormones…

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