I love this kid

For a while, we were a tiny bit afraid he would never talk.

Trust me. That is not a problem.
I love getting pictures of this boy’s brain. He tells me everything. (yes everything) he is thinking.
And he’s sensitive too. When I have to get stern with him, he’ll be so crestfallen and sometimes run to his room crying. He’ll pop back out in a few minutes with that sweet grin and “Gaw-rwee, Mama! Gaw-rwee!” (he substitutes the hard” g” sound for “s” and”j”)
After getting in trouble for getting lotion all over the bathroom, Cadrian is eager to prove his lotion worthiness every time we’re in the bathroom together, which come to think of it, is frequently. He’ll ask me if he can use it and then show me, “Ghee Mama? Dist one pump? Ghee? Dist a wittle bit!”
We got a new McDonald’s in our town and every. time. we drove by it (which is a lot since it’s right by the turn off to the library) he would say, “Unca Donald’s almost build!”
He loves to go get the mail for me. “By my ghelf!” I asked him if he was going to be a postman when he grew up and deliver the mail. He thought about that for a minute, and then said, “No be postman wike Dewr-wek.(our cousin) Be fawr-mewr wike Papa!”
(He just started calling Kevin Papa sometimes. We don’t know why, since we always call him Dada)
The best though, is the first time he’ll see me dressed for the day, and he’ll light up and say, “I wike you in dat Mama!”
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The Ick.

We’ve all had it for about a week now.

Denton despite the green goo oozing now and then from his eyes and nose, is a happy little totter-er. He insists on walking a few steps when he first lets go of whatever he’s holding on to and then plops to his bummie. He holds his hands up in a finger splayed “stick ’em up” position as he totters. So stinkin’ cute.
Cadrian just mostly has the runny nose, but occasionally wants extra cuddles so he’ll tell me he’s “gick” so I’ll scratch his back and nuzzle him. Then he’s off to the next thing–especially if it includes sand or dirt or both.
Brielle had pretty much dodged the bullet, with the exception of Saturday when she was too sick to go to Aunt Katie’s bridal shower, (“Mama,”she asked plaintively from the couch, “will you doe det my fancy dress?” she couldn’t get up but she she sure wanted to be at the shower!) but now she’s lost her voice and fell asleep on the couch when she should have been coming in for dinner. She at around 8 pm. and went straight back to bed.
Aviana has had me up in the night with sore throats and ear aches. She seems fine during the day, singing as she’s puzzling, playing and reading a new Little House book every day (she’s in the Rose years right now) but awakens shrieking in the night. I’m praying she sleeps through tonight; I don’t think I could take another day of this.
Kevin, bless his heart, has worked out in the rain or sun with a stuffed up face and aching head, treating cattle, combining, baling hay, fixing–the endless jobs he’s conquering every day. If he feels as half as cruddy as I do, I don’t know how he finds the strength.
And me, I pulled together the energy to go to Heartstrings this morning, which was a blessing because I realized I would get a migraine if I didn’t get to the chiro stat, so since I was already in town it was a piece of cake. Relatively.
The kids waited in the toy room for a while, then about 1/2 way through they came to the exam room where the doctor suddenly looked up and quipped, “Wow! This room just got…populated!”
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We met up with some home school friends today. When we arrived, it was beginning to rain and we saw a teen (tween? whatever.) boy in the yard spinning in circles shouting “I love the rain! I love the rain!” My girls were giggling at his delight and wanted to join in.

That moment has stuck with me all day. I am pretty sure I would NEVER have done that as a teenager. I cared too much about what other people thought of me. I was too insecure. I was craving the approval of others and never wanted to get negative attention for my behavior. Even if I felt like dancing in the rain, I wouldn’t have, unless I knew the others would approve.

I’ve always been somewhat of a free spirit and that was hard, not fitting in. Not being the same as the others. Not liking the same things. I also wanted to do things my way and that was hard too, when others wouldn’t cave to my will.

I would be myself only within a certain range, only when I was pretty sure it would meet someone else in my peer group’s standard for my behavior.
What a gift that mom is giving her son. To give him the confidence to dance in the rain, to be who he is, to be how he wants to be, to be crazy and silly in front of his peers, to play.
Thankfully, I’ve outgrown that and now dance and sing in the rain and don’t care who’s watching.
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In my imagination, I would have a well stocked larder like this:

But in my reality a day of canning went like this: After getting the baby down for his morning nap at 9 a.m., I went out to pick apples. With muchísimo help from my 7 and 3 year olds who think they can operate the apple picker I haul a five gallon bucket inside. Now, my original goal was to can 56 quarts of applesauce, because then we could have a quart a week, and since my mother-in-law’s canner holds 7 quarts, I wanted to do multiples of 7. I figured a five gallon bucket of apples would fill 7 quarts. I also figured that I would be done peeling coring and slicing since I have a handy dandy machine by the time Denton got up from his nap.

Can I just say? Sometimes I’m wrong. Very. Very. Wrong.
By lunchtime I had 3 and a half quarts full of applesauce; even with the apple peeler-corer-slicer doing the peeling, coring, and slicing and my Vitamix doing the pureeing. I’d used up all my apples and thankfully Kevin offered to pick me more.
Finally, by the time Denton was down for his afternoon nap, I had filled all the jars.
My mother-in-law had showed me how to use the pressure canner when we canned tomatoes together and it seemed very straight forward. It’s an awesome canner that she got for a wedding present in 1962. (Wedding presents have changed somewhat in the ensuing 40 years, haven’t they?)
She graciously had made sure the rubber ring was at it’s full width by boiling it so had given it to me not installed in the canner. Trouble was, I didn’t know where to install it. Even more troublesome, I thought I did.
After messing with the fool thing for 45 minutes, and reading the instruction booklet eleventy-seven times, I called Kevin to see if he could help me. That would be a big negative. Although his mom put up gazillions of quarts of produce every year his whole growing up life, he had never helped her. Suddenly, I noticed a small illustration that seemed to show the rubber ring going in the lid, not on the pot and voila, we could make the canner close and seal.
I happily canned my applesauce. Or so I thought.
When I took my lovely quarts out of the pressure canner around 5:15 p.m. the little button on the top of the jar lid still went up and down! They hadn’t sealed! ALL THAT WORK and I still hadn’t done it right!!
I called my mother-in-law who by now was off work and on her way home to see if she could stop over to see what I had done wrong this time. I was very near meltdown stagetears when she kindly informed me that it sometimes can take up to 24 hours for them to seal; they don’t just seal right away.
“OH.” I said, sheepishly.
And sure enough, I now have 7 quarts of applesauce canned in sparkling jars.
I had 1/2 a quart left over that the children devoured for dinner. Which is all they are going to get, ever, because after all that work, NOBODY is going to be eating that applesauce.
Today I canned seven quarts of green beans, without much fuss or ado. It was much simpler because I had already snapped most of them (the children helped one day and I had a friend over who helped another day) and they were waiting in the freezer.
I think there is a learning curve with this, but I do think I am really going to enjoy providing home grown produce for my family all throughout the year with the beauty that is canning.
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Reading Last Light by Terri Blackstock.

Buying a generator.
Building and stocking a storage pantry.
Wearing my poet shirt I got in high school.
Trying to talk my husband into a wood burning stove.
Researching composting toilets and water sanitation systems.
Harvesting some veggies from the garden.
Freezing them plus more I bought from real gardeners at the Farmer’s Market.
Falling in love with Backwoods Home Magazine.
Implementing the Two Minute Tidy.
Not stressing about the state of my home. (it’s been a beautiful thing)
Brushing off the sand from my bed (see the post about the two sandboxes :-))
Designing our Christmas photo card.
Getting ready for my brother’s wedding.
Noticing that I am up before the sunrise now.
Making stuff with my sweet girl.
Spending a lot of time outside.
Preparing to make a lot of applesauce.
Learning how to can tomatoes. (And hopefully applesauce)
Loving my first cup of coffee and my second and frequently third (and even, sometimes, fourth) (I tell myself, hey, it’s better than the Diet Dew habit!)
And snuggling with my husband under a yummy fleecy sweatshirt blanket free from the seed corn salesman.
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Playing in the sand

Dada made a sandbox.
He plans to make a digger like these too.
See that tiny reddish blob right in the middle? That’s Denton–He crawled all the way from me, to the sandbox. It has quite the appeal.
Of course, it means I have to give baths more frequently now 🙂 and comb sand out of hair quite a little bit. But the delight we see is worth it.

Oh and the industriousness!
And there was enough sand left over that Dada made another one out the back door.
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