Farm Fun

Our sweet neighbor – who takes care of things when we are out of town, helps us thaw frozen pipes, rescues me when my battery is dead…seriously, he’s a saint – invited the kids over the other day for some farm fun!

There are new baby lambs on the place so we had to go check them out!

How cute is this guy, backwards hat and all?

How cute is this guy, backwards hat and all?

She's pretty cute, too!

She’s pretty cute, too!

Look at that sweet baby!

Look at that sweet baby!

Sayble loves having her wheels under her and just wanted to explore!

Gettin' a little help from dad...

Gettin’ a little help from dad…

and Mr. Doug!

and Mr. Doug!

We are so thankful to have such wonderful neighbors!

Family of the Spirit

Oh, my heart.  The bestie and the adoptive momma, Nonna, came to visit earlier this week.  They hadn’t been out to our new home and with 3 kids, 3 and under, it was quite a feat!  That’s how much she loves me, people. 

Almost here!  EEP!

Almost here! EEP!

The kids had a good time being wild and wooly together!  Wryder and Eva teamed up quite a bit being that they are both three.  Day one, she thought he was wonderful!  Day two, the new had worn off a bit and she clung to Sawyer most of the day.

There was lots of book reading and stroller pushing and game playing.  Dessa mainly ran back and forth from basement to the main floor as she shuffled kids from place to place.  That girl was busy!

1, 3, 1, 3

1, 3, 1, 3

Toys!

Toys!

Bedhead

Bedhead

The highlight of the day!

The highlight of the day!

Nonna is always a hit amongst the grandkids, mine included.  She has this knack to see people…and not just with physical eyes…but to see them and get them and call the best out in them.  Ask me how I know.  The kids are always drawn to her sweet and melodious voice, her loving eyes and open arms.  Plus, she has this ability to make each kid feel like they are the most important person in the room.  She always takes the time…

Games with Nonna!

Games with Nonna!

Making birthday videos!

Making birthday videos!

This girl knows how wonderful Nonna is!

This girl knows how wonderful Nonna is!

It was so nice to have them here, even for just a few short days.  These women are two of my most trusted allies, my biggest cheerleaders and staunch encouragers.  They are women of deep and abiding love, full of Godly wisdom, brimming in grace and mercy.  They have had a HUGE hand in making me who I am today by loving me and mentoring me in my impressionable twenties.

I woke up crying yesterday morning, knowing they would be leaving and it didn’t get much better the rest of the day.  These women have been my sister, my mother, best friends, baby deliverers!  They make me desire to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, ministry partner, lover of Jesus.  Their love is deep and true and though we talk and text and email, I miss the days of seeing them multiple times a week…the family dinners…the birthday celebrations…the Bible studies…the long talks…the sense of family that was just right down the road instead of a state away.

The beautiful thing with the family of the spirit, is that the Holy Spirit binds you tighter than any amount of physical proximity can.  These ladies are in my heart.

They’ve Been At It Again

I’ve written several times before about funny things the kids say.  I’ve had a growing list on my phone so I decided I better get them on the blog so they can live in infamy!  ;)

Wryder-isms:

  • Boobie button = belly button
    • “Look!  I can see Sayble’s boobie button!”
  • Lucas = mucus
    • “I’ve been swallowing a bunch of lucas.”
  • Flushel = shuffle
    • “That is so cool!  When I can learn to flushel?”
  • Gutter = udder
    • “That cow has a big gutter!”

****************

Other funnies he’s said lately…

He and Sawyer were playing Awana and practicing the pledge to all the different flags.  They starting pledging the Bible and while Sawyer was saying, “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s Holy Word…” Wryder was saying, “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, Bob’s Holy Word!”  I about busted a gut…and then wrote new lesson plans to go back to the basics of our Bible study time.

***************

Sawyer has her fair share of funny/interesting observations.  She was telling Wrex about how bad the feedlot stunk one day and she said, “It smelt as bad as your poop!”  Wrex looked disgruntled, as he thinks the only legacy he’s leaving with the kids is how bad he smells.  Sawyer saw his face and was afraid she hurt his feelings, so she quickly recanted, “Ok.  It didn’t smell THAT bad!”  I loved her “apology!”

****************

Wrex was not feeling 100% one day after work and I was asking how much water he’d had that day (because it’s usually not much).  He began explaining that that might be the case.  He said, “I shouldn’t have gotten pop earlier but I stopped to get gas and they were” and before he could finish, Sawyer chimed in, “worth it!”  They come by their love for pop honestly, trust me…

****************

I’m SURE there have been others, but these are the ones I’ve taken note of in my phone lately.  I’m also certain that little Say will have her named added to these lists of hilarity in short order!

New (Eaglet) Life!

We have had more fun checking on the eagles (via live cam) in Florida who were incubating two eggs.  We checked in on Harriet (the mom) and M15 (the dad) several times a day and finally got to see their sweet baby Saturday morning!

Checking on her eggs

Checking on her eggs

A pip!  We could see the eaglet moving around inside the egg!

A pip! We could see the eaglet moving around inside the egg!

Look who finally arrived!

Look who finally arrived!

You have to love modern technology when it comes to stuff like this.  Very cool to watch the eaglet pip out, break all the way out of his shell and then be fed and cared for by mom and dad.

Eating dinner

Eating dinner

The parents have brought a LOT of fish to the nest!

The parents have brought a LOT of fish to the nest!

We got to see both of them on the nest a few times!

We got to see both of them on the nest a few times!

New life is always miraculous, whether through birth or hatching.  I can’t help but awe over the majesty of the Creator…

He's sure a cute little thing!

He’s sure a cute little thing!

We’re still waiting on the other egg but are starting to wonder if that one has a sweet little eaglet or not…  Either way, this has been SO very fun!

Christmas 2016

This Christmas has been one for the memory books!  It doesn’t hurt that I love this house and decorating it (even as minimally as we did) was a lot of fun and made being home something to be treasured…

My real live wreath from a dear, dear friend!  (I've always wanted one!)

My real live wreath from a dear, dear friend! (I’ve always wanted one!)

Welcome home

Welcome home

Dining room tree

Dining room tree

dsc_0023

He is with us

He is with us

The entry way

The entry way

Our tree full of special ornaments from years past

Our tree full of special ornaments from years past

and it doesn’t hurt that the kids are at such fun ages, where everything is exciting and they want to be a part of everything holiday…

She LOVED these antlers

She LOVED these antlers

There was lots of nativity play and Christmas store re-enactments

There was lots of nativity play and Christmas store re-enactments

and it doesn’t hurt that I love to invest myself fully into the advent season with a slow down in our schedules so that we can really focus on Emmanuel.

I remember fondly celebrating Christmas when I was younger.  We always had our family Christmas and would invite my dad’s parents (who lived across the street – if only I TRULY knew what an incredible gift that was at the time) to join us.  Then, we’d have a Christmas celebration WITH them and the rest of that side of the family.  Then we’d usually travel to my mom’s parents and do Christmas there, which was Christmas done BIG.  While we were there, we’d usually do Christmas with my grandmother’s side and my grandpa’s side.  Christmas was always this full, loud, joyful, family-filled celebration and  I loved every minute of it!

Things feel a little smaller now and while that’s not always a bad thing, I miss the multitudes of family and piles of paper and lots of cousins and aunts and uncles and mounds of good food and Christmas treats and the excitement of all of the different places we’d go and people we’d see.

This year, we traveled to Kansas to Waco’s for Phipps family Christmas.  They just built a beautiful new house and we all got to be the first house guests – a really big treat!  They were wonderful hosts and though it was a mad-dash, quick trip, a really good time was had by all!

ALMOST all of the grandkids!  (One REALLY didn't want her picture taken - ha!)

ALMOST all of the grandkids! (One REALLY didn’t want her picture taken – ha!)

We tried again on the stairs...

We tried again on the stairs…  Pictures are hard, unless you’re Sawyer or Breckyn.  :)

Beauty

Beauty

Sweet cousins and friends

Sweet cousins and friends

These 2 had fun together, too...

These 2 had fun together, too…

Present time is always a good time!

Present time is always a good time!

She's got this present opening thing down!

She’s got this present opening thing down!

This guy likes opening presents, too!

This guy likes opening presents, too!

Her favorite gift from RaRa and PaPa

Her favorite gift from RaRa and PaPa

He LOVES his Paw Patrol sleeping bag from Goo Goo!

He LOVES his Paw Patrol sleeping bag from Goo Goo!

We made RaRa's favorite iced sugar cookies!

We made RaRa’s favorite iced sugar cookies!

Stockings!

Stockings!

Wryder sure loves his PaPa!

Wryder sure loves his PaPa!

Sawyer with the bird she picked out just for RaRa

Sawyer with the bird she picked out just for RaRa

Playing dolls with Uncle Waco

Playing dolls with Uncle Waco

Bedtime stories with PaPa

Bedtime stories with PaPa

We came home on Christmas Eve and had our family Christmas over the next two days.  Since Wrex had the week off, we spread our gift-opening out so the kids could enjoy every last little thing!

For their big gifts, we splurged a little this year and got them each (save for Sayble) metal pedal tractors.  We knew this was a gift they would love and really have fun with and could pass on to their own kids one day.

Two hours of work later...

Two hours of work later…

They were a hit!

They were a hit!

She's a good tractor pedaler!

She’s a good tractor pedaler!

Little Say wanted in on the action, of course...

Little Say wanted in on the action, of course…

Ready to get to work!

Ready to get to work!

This little cutie loved to rip paper!

This little cutie loved to rip paper!

She got her own truck, trailer and horses so she could play with brother and sister!

She got her own truck, trailer and horses so she could play with brother and sister!

Train tracks might just be his favorite gift - who knew?!

Train tracks might just be his favorite gift – who knew?!

She has had her eye on this chicken house for months!  We were so happy to get it for her!

She has had her eye on this chicken house for months! We were so happy to get it for her!

Sayble LOVED the blanket Sawyer made for her...

Sayble LOVED the blanket Sawyer made for her…

Sawyer’s other special gift this year was a Calico Critters set.  She’s talked about them for a while and I had one as a little girl that I absolutely cherished!  I wish I still had that thing…  They were on sale on Zulilly one day so I got her her very own.  Sweet girl cried because she was so happy.  It was a special mother/daughter moment that I’ll always remember…

With her Calico Critters tree house...

With her Calico Critters tree house…

Wryder and his giant combine!

Wryder and his giant combine!

We’ve had daddy home all week and get home him for three more days!  I never look forward to the Monday after our Christmas break but I’m sure we’ll survive…

2016 has been such a good year for our family.  This has been a year of the Lord’s faithfulness (which I’ll share even more of later).  In a lot of ways, I hate to see it end.  I wish I could just freeze time right this very second…our kiddos are at such fun ages…we’re all healthy and whole…we love where we live…business is good…  I’m not a fan of the unknown, but I know that whatever 2017 brings, He will be right there with us.  He IS Emmanuel…

Random Rambles

We officially started school today!

What a sweet student I have!

What a sweet student I have!

Sandhills Sonrise Christian School had it’s inaugural day and it was a success!  Sawyer is such a good student and loves to learn, so teaching her is quite fun.  I’m sure there will be harder days down the road but today?  Today was a good day.

Also, just so we get it out there, Wrex totally laughed at me for getting her a first day of school outfit but I couldn’t resist!

***************

After Sawyer’s baptism last week, Wrex’s Grandma (and the kids’ GooGoo) stayed with us for a whole week!  She hasn’t gotten to do that in more than a year so it was such a special treat for us!

I love this pic!

I love this pic!

I know I’ve talked about her several times before, but she really is a magnificent lady.  She is leaving a legacy of the fear of the Lord and a legacy of familial love with all of us, and we can’t thank her enough for that.

The kids adore her and she spent more time playing with them than anyone I know!  She even got in and out of Wryder’s little playroom multiple times a day, despite her being “not as spry as she once was!”

Snuggling GooGoo

Snuggling GooGoo

They read every book on the bookshelf and watched a few fun cartoons and ate snacks and did hair and played farm and sale barn and Paw Patrol and Barbies and Uno until she was just plain tuckered out!  She even slept with one of the kids almost every night, which they loved.

Lots of time in her lap...

Lots of time in her lap…

My favorite moments where some of the quiet ones where I could hear her talking to them about being kind or using manners or how to show respect to someone or how to include someone that was lonely.  Wrex has always attributed a lot of his kindness and manners to her and I love seeing her pass a piece of that on to the next generation.

We took her to North Platte on Saturday so she could start her journey home and when it was time to say goodbye, there wasn’t a dry eye in the car…except for Wryder because he had just gotten a toy train from RaRa and that seemed to assuage his heartache.  *ahem*

We sure love our GooGoo and all that she does to pour into our lives and our kids’ lives…  Come back soon, Grandma!

***************

While we were in North Platte, we had to make a stop at Cody Park!  The kids rode rides with RaRa AND GooGoo!

Fun!

Fun!

So. Much. FUN!

So. Much. FUN!

I’m telling you, she’s the coolest!

We also checked out the Fort…

Love these people...

Love these people…

Here comes Sayble, riding on a pony...

Here comes Sayble, riding on a pony…

and the kids loved the wooden display in the back.

Sawyer was so inspired, that she came home and made a paper version!

Cowgirl, cowboy and horse

Cowgirl, cowboy and horse

Calf by a pond with water, complete with a boat and a DUCK!

Calf by a pond with water, complete with a boat and a DUCK!

I love that girl’s creativity and drive!

***************

Wryder got a special gift on Saturday, too!  The grands were going to wait until Christmas but decided he was gonna be too big if they waited any longer and let him have them now.

What is it?

What is it?

He got PaPa’s chaps from when HE was a little boy!  His mom had them custom made and he wore them and then Wrex wore them and now Wryder will wear them.

Pure joy!

Pure joy!

In case you can’t tell, he was FIRED. UP.

Is that cute or what?!

Is that cute or what?!

He’ll wear them proud, PaPa!

***************

While I bought groceries, the kids played at the park with daddy.  Sayble had a BALL!

One of my new favorite pictures of her!

One of my new favorite pictures of her!

That smile!

That smile!

Seriously, she's darn cute!

Seriously, she’s darn cute!

Wrex and I were talking the other day about how her adventures and discoveries and her new tasks and words are still just as exciting as they were with the other two.  It never gets old…

I’ve said it a million times – and I’ll say it again – these ARE the best years of our life!

***************

This week marks the beginning of the busy fall season for us.  Sawyer starts dance next week, Awana starts this week (Cubbies next), Wrexy’s sales start getting longer and of course, school.  All of these are such good and fun and wonderful things but they can leave us scrambling to get from one place or event or thing to the next.  I’m such a lover of peace…I’m trying not to spread myself too thin.  I want my the Lord and family to come first and to truly come first…not just get lip action.

As I was shutting off the lights in the school room last night, I was uttering little thoughts to the Lord about our school adventure and my heart shouted, “Lord, I just want to be pleasing to you.”  It caught me off guard, yet settled my soul.  Though I care about what she learns this year, more than that, I just want us to be a family that pleases Him.  Let it be so, Lord…

 

A Week Ago Today

A week ago today, Sawyer took a big step in obedience to the Lord and got baptized!

She was first!

She was first!

Nervous smile

Nervous smile

Comforting hug - she needed that!

Comforting hug – she needed that!

Dead to sin...

Dead to sin…

She was pretty nervous when it came right down to it, but she did so well and had a great big smile on her face when it was all said and done.

Joy!

Joy!

It was a joyous occasion and we had so many sweet friends and family join us to celebrate her big day.  THANK YOU to each of you who helped make her day special!

We all had lunch together and spent time feasting and visiting and thanking the Lord for all He has done for us!  (Can you believe I didn’t get a picture of the actual lunch festivities?!)

Let's feast!

Let’s feast!

A timeline of some of the things that have lead her to Jesus...

A timeline of some of the things that have lead her to Jesus…

Sawyer girl, we are so proud of you and Jesus is, too!  We love you dearly and know that the Lord has specific plans for your life.  We pray that you will seek Him with all of your heart, all the days of your life.

The day she asked Jesus into her heart, 2014

The day she asked Jesus into her heart, September 2014

A week ago today was one of the best days of my life to date!  So proud of sweet Sawyer and so thankful for the group of people He has given us to do life with…the day was PERFECTION.

County Fair Cuties

The kids had their first taste of showing at the county fair this year.  Each of them entered a bucket calf to show and it was a really good experience for them!

With their new halters

With their new halters

Sawyer took care of a little bull calf named Buttermilk.

Sawyer and Buttermilk

Sawyer and Buttermilk

Wryder showed a little heifer calf named Baby Wanny.  :)

Wryder and Baby Wanny

Wryder and Baby Wanny

Daddy fed them most mornings but they helped feed them every evening and worked on breaking them to lead – not an easy feat.  At different points in the process, they both told me this was a lot more work than they thought it would be.  If they only knew…

Sister helped, too...

Sister helped, too…

If this isn't cute...

If this isn’t cute…

Working on their walk

Working on their walk

Answering questions for the "judge"

Answering questions for the “judge”

Gettin' good

Gettin’ good

They were both overly excited the day of the show and did an EXCELLENT job in the ring with their calves and answering questions.

Goin' showin'!

Goin’ showin’!

Just waiting for the show to start

Just waiting for the show to start

Wryder keeping Baby Wanny in check

Wryder keeping Baby Wanny in check

Entering the show ring

Entering the show ring

He stopped so I could take a picture.  Love this kid!

He stopped so I could take a picture. Love this kid!

Ready for the judge!

Ready for the judge!

They got ribbons, bubbles and candy - what could be better?!

They got ribbons, bubbles, candy and new halters – what could be better?!

An old pro...

An old pro…

Daddy loved showing cattle growing up and these kids are fourth generation cattle showmen!  We are so glad they had a good first experience!  Here’s to many more years in the ring…

Dreaming of the big time...

Dreaming of the big time…

Kids in the Hood

Sawyer turned 6 this week!  Where, oh where, do the days and years go?  She is such a sweet thing.  I mourn the loss of her baby days but there is such beauty in these days, too.  Her independence allows us to do more than before and she’s just growing up to be such a pleasure.  She is – truly – one of my favorite people to hang out with!

On her actual birthday, we went out for Chinese and ice cream – her choice and then opened presents when daddy got home.

She's 6!

She’s 6!

New bed for baby

New bed for baby

Barbie Veterinarian!

Barbie Veterinarian!

DANCE!

DANCE!

She's gonna love it!

She’s gonna love it!

She doesn’t have the most crazy, expressive personality so she didn’t really say just a whole lot regarding dance lessons, but as the night wore on, she tried on every outfit and danced her heart out for over an hour.  She’s gonna love it!

Today, she had some little friends over for a Robin Hood birthday party!  We LOVE that movie!  Why, oh why, don’t they make little kids movies like THAT any more?!  I made the mistake of taking the kids to see “The Secret Life of Pets” earlier this summer.  I did my homework beforehand and read reviews and really thought it was gonna be fine.  The first 15 minutes were REALLY cute.  What wasn’t cute, was pets that band together to KILL their owners. Yes, that’s right.  My mind was blown.  Are there really no creative individuals out there that can think of a better storyline than that FOR CHILDREN?!

*Ahem*

Back to the party.  It was really fun!  She invited 4 of her little friends (and brother, too!) and we made Robin Hood hats, shot arrows at balloon targets and watched the Disney classic!  She had a great day, as evidenced by her never-ending smile, even at bedtime!

Here are a few pictures from the day!

Helping get the house clean

Helping get the house clean

I am a sucker for last minute projects, I guess and made her this little shirt last night to wear today.

Mr. Hood

Mr. Hood

She looked as cute as a button!

Ready for the party!

Ready for the party!

She wanted to wear braids so her Robin Hood hat would fit well.  :)

Good gravy, she's cute!

Good gravy, she’s cute!

The mantle

The mantle

Sweet little fox!

Sweet little fox!

Love all of these images

Love all of these images

Entry way

Entry way

Oh yes - that's Sir Hiss!

Oh yes – that’s Sir Hiss!

Farthings for the good boys and girls

Farthings for the good boys and girls

Robin HOOOOD!

Robin HOOOOD!

Golly what a day!

Golly what a day!

One must wear a Robin Hood hat at a Robin Hood party

One must wear a Robin Hood hat at a Robin Hood party

Target for our arrow shooting - LOVED this!

Target for our arrow shooting – LOVED this!

Maid Marian's milk bar - these kids could put away the milk!

Maid Marian’s milk bar – these kids could put away the milk!

Put our sweet little milk bottles to good use!

Put our sweet little milk bottles to good use!

Lots to eat!

Lots to eat!

She wanted a big carrot/spice cake!

She wanted a big carrot/spice cake!

And we had cupcakes...because who doesn't like cupcakes?!

And we had cupcakes…because who doesn’t like cupcakes?!

Sheriff of Nottingham's 'Nut Butter Sandwiches

Sheriff of Nottingham’s ‘Nut Butter Sandwiches

Sir Hiss' Salty Snack and Friar Tuck's Fruit Skewers

Sir Hiss’ Salty Snack and Friar Tuck’s Fruit Skewers

Look at all those sweet faces!

Look at all those sweet faces!

Modeling their hats

Modeling their hats

Shooting the bow!

Shooting the (cross)bow!

They had so much fun!

They had so much fun!

Miss A always had a good aiming face!

Miss A always had a good aiming face!

Miss H was always quite intense - a good shot!

Miss H was always quite intense – a good shot!

Time for prezzies - such generous friends!

Time for prezzies – such generous friends!

Cake time!

Cake time!

She had a GREAT time.  And my feet hurt.  Must’ve been a pretty good day…

Love these rats!

Love these rats!

Home Tour Wrap-Up

You all have been so kind regarding our sweet little home – thank you!  All of your comments have brightened my day, no doubt!

We’ll finish up today so we can move on to bucket calves tomorrow.  The kids are showing at the county fair and – oh my word – are they cute!

So off of the kitchen is the great, big living room/den/family room – whatever you prefer to call it. This room has a LOT of wood going on but it’s quite pretty!

Living room before

Living room before

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this room or not but it turns out, I do!  It’s just a big, cozy space for the fam to hang out and play games and wrestle around…  We’re dying to host our first pitch party/game night!

Living room after

Living room after

Living room before

Living room before

We replaced the cowhide with something a little brighter against all the wood!

Living room after

Living room after

Living room before

Living room before

And in these built ins, we put a pretty paper on the backside to give a little pop of fun…

Living room after

Living room after

Living room after

Living room after

Living room after

Living room after

More pretty windows…

Across from the living room is the laundry room and a half bath/mudroom bathroom.

Wrexy built me a sliding barn door for the laundry room and I love it!  I wasn’t sure I wanted because it seems EVERYONE has one these days, but it’s really functional and it fits the house well.

Laundry room

Laundry room

The previous laundry room door wanted to whack the washer.  If we moved the washer to where it didn’t hit, then I had no room to fold clothes and with as much laundry as we do around here, I NEEEEEEDED a place to fold clothes!

Laundry room

Laundry room

The appearance of the mudroom bathroom was one of the biggest changes in the house.  It was wall-papered, but yellowing and peeling.  Would you believe I don’t have a single picture of it before?!

Alas, we painted it (and LOVED the texture the wall paper gave), put in a utility sink (so Wrex could make messes here as he mixed milk or whatever instead of the kitchen sink), and gave it an updated, clean look!

Mudroom bath after

Mudroom bath after

Mudroom bath after

Mudroom bath after

Mudroom bath after

Mudroom bath after

This bathroom comes right off the garage door and is so nice for washing dirty little hands when they come in from outside.  ;)

We didn’t do much work in the basement except for some touch up paint.  We just used what we could to make it feel a little more homey for guests.

Basement before

Basement before

And, yes, we took down that HUGE mirror!

Basement after

Basement after

Basement after

Basement after

Basement after

Basement after

We turned the small room in the basement into the perfect sleeping galley for kid visitors!  (This is the kids’ favorite room in the house – ha!)

Basement after

Basement after

Basement after

Basement after

There’s also a really good sized storage room that we chocked full of party supplies, winter coats and what not.  I LOVE having a basement in case of severe weather – tornadoes and I are not friends – and this one is quite cozy should we ever have to hang out here for a while.

In case I haven’t said it before, we truly do love this home.  We feel so grateful to live here and hope to use every square inch for His glory!

Thanks for humoring my little home tour – it’s been fun!

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