The last few weeks have been busy! I started a new job. We've been working on getting the garden in, appliances and equipment have been breaking, and Jake and his kids are visiting. We are trying to keep up with everything. It has left my head spinning. Here are few updates and funny things in no particular order.
Yesterday, while I was at work, Mamaw was watching my kids and Jake's three also. Papaw, Tim and Jake were working on connecting the water lines to the pig barn. First, they had to fix the excavator.
I did not see this event, I only saw the after effects. They were working on the hydraulic lines. Mamaw and the kids were standing back, at what appeared to be a safe distance, watching the guys work. One of the line connections came loose and sent a hydraulic oil shower on everything below, including Mamaw and the kids.
When I got home Mamaw had just finished giving five kids a bath. (Thankfully Vivian had been taking her nap, and Kellen was counting his Wii money, or there would have been seven to clean up.) One bath was not enough. Their hair was still greasy. They all got a second bath before bed.
This week one of our school projects was to make soap carvings. The idea was to carve a figure of a fish and a man to remind us of the story of Jonah. Um... the carvings didn't really turn out all that well, but the kids had a fund time making them.
It was a little messy, but I'm not complaining. They grated about five bars of soap that I can use for Laundry Detergent.
Vivian (3) has developed this fascination with driving lately. She will ask me if she can drive up to the barn to feed the sheep. Then she will tell me that when she is the mommy she will drive the van. Perhaps I should have mentioned this to Papaw before he took Viv up to the barn with him.
Vivian rode up to the barn with Papaw to feed the cows. On the way back he stopped to open the gate to drive through the pasture. As he was walking back toward the truck, he sees Vivian in the driver seat. Then the engine revs loudly. She was pushing the accelerator. Luckily, she does not know how to put the vehicle in gear - yet.
Nolan (4) has been quite the character lately. The other day I was trying to put laundry away. It had been a long morning with numerous interruptions. The kids were having a hard time staying on task for school, and I was trying to get a list of things done before work.
I was in the boy's closet hanging up Nolan's clothes, and he comes in to ask me for a snack (again.) I said, "Isn't it almost time for lunch? What time is it Nolan?" I know full well that Nolan is only beginning to grasp the concept of time, and he does not know how to tell time yet. The question was a blatant attempt to buy me a couple minutes to finish my task while he went and looked at the clock and asked Kellen or Lydia what time it was. It didn't work. He didn't miss a beat, but looked right at me with his mischievous little grin and said, "It is snack time."
Nolan completely adores his older brother, much to Kellen's annoyance. Nolan wants to do everything that Kellen does. Nolan loves and hates everything that Kellen loves and hates. If you ask Nolan what he wants to drink or eat, he asks Kellen what he wants, then asks to have the same as Kellen. It really is very cute, at least from my perspective.
We got our income tax returns this week. Most of that money is slated to pay off debt, but there are a few things that we've been waiting to buy with it. One of those things is new mattresses for the boy's beds. Thier mattresses are very old and in poor shape.
Friday, Tim came home with the new mattresses. He and Kellen took the old ones off and put them in the burn pile. A little later we see Nolan crying. It was the hurt feelings cry. He, Lydia and Jude had been playing. I assumed that somehow his feelings had been hurt while they were playing. I was wrong. He was crying because he didn't want a new mattress.
We tried talking to him about why the new mattress was better. We tried using the fact that he wants to be just like Kellen. Kellen likes the new mattress. Nolan bought that for about five minutes before he was in tears over the old mattress again.
Nolan literally pouted and cried over that mattress for about 24 hours. Of course it wasn't constant. He would play for awhile, and then out of the blue he'd be crying about the mattress. Who knew a little kid could care so much about a mattress?
Then for some reason, last night at bed time, Nolan suddenly decided that the new mattress was nice. Relieved, we all went to bed peacefully.
The kids have a plan. They are saving their money for a Wii. I posted about it today in The Wii Fund. They are doing really well too, saving money and working together. Well, not all together. There is one who isn't with the plan.
Whenever we are out running errands Vivian always wants to go out to eat. I wonder where she got that from? Going out to eat is not in our budget right now, and my response usually runs along the lines of, "Do you have any money?"
This week Vivian got some birthday money, and Lydia got some late birthday money from a neighbor. The kids and I were talking. Lydia and Kellen were talking about adding Lydia's money to the Wii fund. I looked at Vivian and asked, "Do you want to add you birthday money to the Wii Fund?" She replied, "No. Out to eat." The girl knows what she wants.
It finally feels like spring! The kids are spending the better part of the day playing outside. Lydia has mastered the art of bike riding. She really could ride at the end of the summer last year, but lost her confidence after a wreck. This year she hopped right on, and is riding all over the place.
The frogs are singing and laying eggs. The daffodils are blooming, and it is warm, gloriously warm. There may yet be cold weather in store for us, but we are enjoying the warmth while it is here. And of course spring means garden!
We've learned with this clay soil if you want to get early vegetables in you have to move fast. The last two springs early plants never were put in. We'd miss the opportunity when it was dry, and then it would rain and the garden would be too wet to work. The past few days the weather had just been perfect. Unfortunately, it did not coincide with my schedule.
I'm always bugging Papaw to till the garden in the spring. This year I was trying to not be a pest about it. Saturday I was gone all day. When I returned, my little garden had been tilled. The new hillside we are planting was tilled, and there were loud pounding sounds coming from that direction.
The pounding sounds were these posts being driven in. Do you know what these posts are for? They still need a few rows of wire added to them, and then they will be ready for the grapes that Mamaw ordered! Grapes! Yippee! That new area will also be home to strawberry plants, asparagus, and rhubarb that will be arriving soon.
Yet, another new small spot was tilled for blueberry bushes, and for extra space for corn and other vegetables. Papaw also tilled the big garden.
I was so excited, but you know what tilling means; planting. I wasn't sure when I was going to plant the early seeds. I was gone all day Sunday, needed to get groceries, and a whole long list of things that I need to get done was weighing down on me. I figured I'd squeeze it in somewhere.
Sunday when I was gone Tim secured up the chicken fence. (We had a few renegades that were finding their way out. Don't want them to scratch up all the garden seeds.) And when I got home there was this:
Actually, there was a whole garden full of these markers with different names. Mamaw, Papaw, and Tim filled the whole thing with peas, lettuce, Swiss chard, beets, radish, and carrots. What a relief! There are a few more things to plant like onions and potatoes, that should arrive soon, and some broccoli and Brussels sprout seedlings I need to harden off, but they planted everything that was ready to go! I am so grateful!
Today is little Vivi's birthday. So hard to believe that she is three!
She sure keeps life interesting around here. She is cute and sweet, and happiest when she is helping. She loves to "help" cook, clean, and feed the animals. She is not afraid to tell you how she feels, and is very independent. (Traits, I'm telling myself, will serve her well later.) She still loves to suck on that knuckle though, and like to play the baby when it suits her. Well, she is my baby! :) We love her to pieces!
Tonight, we will have a little family celebration with a menu of Vivian's choice. We are having pizza and cake. The cake will be topped with a Blue's Clue's decoration a friend gave us awhile back. She has asked about the cake ever since we were given the decoration. Persistent she is!