Snowsuits and Chickens

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“It’s a five egg day.” I told my 17 month old as I came out of the coop. I showed him the last egg, a little spotted and creamy brown. He batted at it with his snowsuit arm, because

One cannot do anything in a full-body-snowsuit.

We had just popped over to feed treats to the chickens.
It’s kinda like feeding the ducks at the park;
little people love it.
Some of the birds peck nicely from your hand and others are convinced your flesh is part of the package and try to take some of that too. We’ve figured out which ones are which and try to distract the crazy birds by sprinkling seeds in the snow, then we hand feed our favorites. Silas waddles around in his suit and occasionally squishes a chicken between his outstretched plank arms.
Yesterday Sammy, three, tried to feed a chicken in his snowsuit. He removed his mitts. Tried to squat. Tipped over. And got a poop on his hand. Then wiped it in the snow… and got a poopy snowy hand.
I try my best to maneuver Silas around the fresh poops when we’re in the chicken run, but eventually I have to take him out and close the gate because the odds get worse as the chasing of chickens increases. Besides he’s particularity interested in their little ramp going into coop… and if he crawled in there I’d have to throw out his snowsuit.
We’re trying the “Deep Bedding Method” which in a nutshell is leaving all your chickens crap in the coop over the winter mixing it, and just adding more bedding. It composts and keeps some added heat. You don’t crawl in that.
I gathered up my pail. The chickens had gone back to tucking up one foot into their downy feathers and standing in the snow with the other. Then the quick switch to warm up the other foot; waiting in hope that I might still have more tasty treats in my bucket.
I slid that last warm egg into my wool pocket and started down the path to the house calling Silas.
Looking back I see Silas has wondered off the path and is trying to tread through deep snow. He’s headed to the ditch in the yard…

You don’t land well in full-body-snowsuits either. You kinda just… plop.
Like a forward facing snow-angel.

I jog back and am careful not to crush the egg in my pocket as I direct him back onto the path where he picks up speed. I give him an airlift over the ditch and we progress towards the house until he spots the giant inflated turtle the kids abandoned to a snow-pile. Then he sits.

Now a full-body-snowsuit sits O.K…
Un- sitting is where
things
get
complicated.

You must roll to your belly, go on all fours then walk backwards with your hands till you reach your toes. At which time you stand hoping you don’t have too much momentum which would topple you… back onto your back.
It’s all worth it though-the snowsuit. He’s as warm as toast.
In fact, come inside time, he’s the warmest.

Once indoors I get to do the chasing.
Chasing that toasty-warm-fully-bodied- snow-suited- chubby-bub out of that orange thing.
It’s almost like catching a chicken.

The Song

After a severe case of writers block I’m back.
Who am I kidding? It’s more like Mom fog.
Clusters of thoughts, things to do, and then long stretches of fuzzy BLANKS. (I accomplish this once the children are in bed).
But tonight, while I soaked in a tub of warm water, I re-visited a ‘good feeling’ memory. And the words came, bumping and feeling their way into place.
My memory,
Well I was probably 8.
The details are a little hazy… But the just of what I’m getting at remains intact.
My older brother, whom of all my 4 brothers I argued with most, told me something kind.
He happened to mention that he sometimes fell asleep listening to me sing my made up songs. That they came down to his room from the heater vent in the floor at night. I don’t remember if he said he didn’t mind it, or if he liked it. But I remember the feeling.
And it felt like he liked it.
Like I had a listener.
Anyways, it wasn’t the aroma of the strawberry Disney bubble bath getting to me tonight. The reason this memory popped up as I soaked is that tonight something happened.
Elise (5) with her wet hair, and yellow daisy nighty crept quietly into her room where her little brother slept.
I followed behind.
But the sneaking was in vain. My 9 month old stirred, and spotted me. And he wasn’t in a good mood.
Crying.
So much for my planned bath…
After a while I decided to just lay him back down, go tuck the other boys in, then come back and try to settle him.
As I closed the door I heard Elise break into song in her flowy child voice. She always insists Silas loves it, but often I tell her to be quite, that babies have a hard time falling asleep with noise. But as I was coming back anyways, I left her to it as she created an adorable song just for Silas.
A little while later I came out of the boys bedroom and all I could hear was Elise’s song.
No crying.
I smiled. “We’ll ill just run the tub, then get him if I need to.”
Tub filled.
Silence.
They were both asleep.

And so, that’s why I thought of my ‘good feeling’ memory.
Maybe Silas didn’t mind her song.
Or maybe,
he liked it.

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Keeping Afloat

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This morning Silas screamed, and the kids fought, trying to shout their complaints to me OVER the screaming baby. Sammy took it all to his advantage and destroyed all the creations of the other children.
I wanted to do Social Studies with the kids and yet all I could do was try to settle my baby.
Then with time, I was able to read half the lesson jiggling Silas, and the other half once he was asleep.
Now the Nomads are in the tree house “cave” eating their forged lunches to the sound of pattering rain. Laughing that the cheese could actually be animal fat or orange fish that they caught.
And like always- I had thought how can I possibly teach school when they are already this bad?… but then as soon as they are learning and working away at something they become SO much better.
And it’s… easier??
I’m still finding my groove with Homeschool. Cause it once again got changed by my daughter entering kindergarten and my youngest being born.

I’m very thankful that God is a “Kid and Baby Person” .
By this I mean He wont flee when everybody’s screaming.
He has so much love for us, no matter our moods.
And He is full of insight in all things, dropping wisdom my way to my everyday puzzles.
Like reminding me yesterday that my baby might just be over tired due to no longer being able to sleep through noise. .. and to try napping him in his own room.
Or that my Oldest would be motivated by a competitive game to teach him to get his food in his mouth without mess. And I wont have to spend meals nagging.
Truly, in the kayos of life, with its weird sleeping patterns, I know that these small but wise clear thoughts are from the Lord.
And OH how I need him.
Mothering is not for the quitter or weak.
Homeschooling isn’t either..
So since on my own power Im both- it’s sure good He’s with me and in me.

Christ in me, the hope of Glory.
Colossians 1:27

 

Submerged

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Complaining about kids is easy to do. Social media is full of stories or video’s of parents pulling out their hair, never getting sleep, and slaving away frazzled under the command of little people and their never ending messes.
It’s pretty entertaining to read. I’ve written exasperated posts myself… and probably will again.
I recently watch a video clip, however, that made me sit back and think. It was intended to be very funny, but left me feeling sad. It portrayed the hard side of being a stay home mom- playing the same games over and over, never ending messes, wanting to just sleep, counting the hours of the clock, negotiating with toddlers, and dreaming of when your husband will come home and save you… from them.
Which is all really real.
But it’s only the hard parts.
Like most things in life; if you only focus on the difficulties you will miss all the joy and beauty.
Toy cars in your boots, necklaces taped together out of shoe strings for your neck, little kisses, family game nights, tickle fights, brushing and rolling silky hair by the fire. Singing belted from the bathroom- off key. Breakfast made for you- bread smeared with butter and globbed with jam. “Momma”. Blankies smelling of your baby. Whipping cream from a can- a pure miracle. Stories with pj’s and little toes. Outrageous clothing choices. Noses pressed against the glass when you drive away. Encouraging words- “wow you look beautiful Momma!” and “it’s ok Mom”. Precious prayers, and honest little confessions. Pictures plastering all boring appliances and most walls. Toys coloring your yard, and gumboots lining your steps. Playing and laughter. Joy. So much joy.
Beautiful little heads to kiss and be thankful for as you fix the covers, tuck in a leg, remove the truck, slide out the book, turn off the night light, and silently close the door.
LOVE.
Not enough said, about the incredible gift of love children bring. God’s gift.
Being a mother is by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

My water pitcher isn’t 3/4ths empty-
It’s the perfect height for a Yellow Submarine.

Busy Boy

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Sammy was busy this morning.
You know, Christmas things to do. After all, he’s nearly two.

Presents to unwrap, while Mom tried to get dressed- I dashed about my room grabbing the first pair of pants I could find.
He’d stripped a large present clean. Looking terribly guilty with the present in his lap and shreds of evidence surrounding him.

Then Sam caught him with handfuls of gingerbread house- cheeks stuffed with his tempted treasures.

He unrolled a whole roll of wrapping paper looking for the tube.
Then used his new sword to fight the Christmas tree.

My ornaments are up high on the piano.
The “tink” tink” of keys alerted me.
Sammy stood there with his arms full of candles, one tucked under his elbow as he knead the keys.

But seriously, that little guy fills this house with Joy.
Sometimes it’s the memories of the moments, yep the crazy ones, that are the best gifts anyways. And I get them EVERY day;)

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Sammy with his blanket climbed onto a neighbors yard and stood transfixed with the manger scene. We were all calling him away and then… I realized how precious it was.

 

Date with Sammy

This past week I felt like I fell in love with my 19 month old all over again. Everything he does is so darn cute. His kisses, little hand pumps for fair-well, the way he runs with his arms behind himself to go super fast.
He barely talks but understands everything. He is silently the cutest baby around;)
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I wasn’t feeling quite as warm and fuzzy towards him a week before…

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And the week before that…

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I was beside myself with the sudden storm of temper-tantrums. Tell me your kids never had them- whatever. But all three of mine have a Will like the Hulk. Around age two it takes over their bodies and screams and flails till eventually its tamed and put carefully back in place.
Usually by age three.
Just when I felt I was unable to bear another day with Hulk Sam- a beam of grace came down from Heaven. We had had an amazing Family weekend camp trip, and when we came back we brought back a much happier little boy.
I know… It could be just this week. But I needed it.
As if to celebrate Sammy and I found ourselves alone yesterday evening. So we went to a restaurant together. He enamored all the old people, pointed out the flies, dipped all things in ketchup, and bulged his eyes at Root-beers fizzy wonder.
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We went and fed a goat, took a long drive munching on apples, visited the swing and playground and met all the people, dogs, and sea gulls at the beach. He was the perfect little date, and even gave me chubby kisses before bed.
Thankful for Sammy.

 

 

Please No

It was a series of bad decisions.
As most great mishaps are.
We were camping, having breakfast.
Eggs and English muffins.
Sammy, my 1-year-old, was done and messy. So I just took his pjs and diaper off to get him dressed.
He slipped away and ran bare-skinny in the morning sunshine with his sun bleached hair- cute and free.
Before I knew it he was on the other side of the picnic table, butt naked,  stabbing at an English muffin with a fork.
I left him naked to grab a camera.

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As I lowered the camera I looked more closely at the brown bench.
Sammy had dropped

a log.

Amongst the “Ewe Sammy”s I put Sammy on the grass, so he wouldn’t step in it, and raced in the trailer to grab paper towel.
But I left him with the fork.
The bench and its bounty now at eye level.
The warning first came from my friend Anna camping beside us, “Sammy don’t!!”
The English muffin was forgotten.
I saw my mistakes colliding before my eyes and the word FORK blurring my vision as I finally located the paper towel. I raced out of the trailer my voice breaking as I screamed, “SAMUEL NO!! NO SAMMY!! YUCKY!!”
He bit it.
His poo.
My eldest, sitting on the bench, was gagging trying to keep in his breakfast.
I never even stopped my run. Under my arm I ran with him to the tap throwing the fork as we flew. My friend just steps behind me with a bottle of dish detergent.
Poor kid was scrubbed with in an inch of his life under that cold tap.
We returned to my stunned children staring at the “Horrible” with a small gathering of other children.
When it was all cleaned up I laughed. It was after all an epic poo story my child will never live down.
And half an hour later I found myself distracted by 250 matches.
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Camping was great, but it’s sure good to be home.

Our Dog Baby

When I was pregnant with my third there was a push from my husband and 2 children to get a dog. I explained to them all that I was brewing the very best pet they could ask for, and that I wasn’t going to chase, potty train, and pick up poop after BOTH:
The baby AND a dog.
So our son Samuel was born in January, and as a newborn, wasn’t a very fun pet. The kids were a bit disappointed.
But now he’s 8months old and all the fun I said he’d be.
Our little chubby Puppy.

He chews on absolutely EVERYTHING

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He crawls around with his tongue hanging out, chases things you throw, and comes when you excitedly call him.

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He eats EVERYTHING. Table scraps, books, flowers, bugs…

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He’s sad to see you go to work and excited when you get home. He also whines to get out, poops in his diaper in the yard then whines to get back in.

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He likes to hang his head out the truck window

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The kids can snuggle him; he chews on their noses and leaves slobber.
They try to pick him up and move him to where they want him, but like a dog he’s too heavy so he gets that “my arms and neck are going to get ripped off look” and worried brow. He also never stays where you want him to.
And Mom gets to clean up lots of poop.
All around I think my family’s got themselves the very best pet. Sammy.IMG_0039
and the best part? It’s only for a short fun time, till he grows up.
THEN we’ll talk about getting a dog.

Oh Baby

Today my baby ate the word of God.
“For man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4)
Unlike the biblical Prophet Ezekiel, who rolled up a scroll and ate the Word, Samuel ate his by the fist full. It was my other children who warned me, rescued my bible, and helped me flatten out the slobbered mangled pages.

Samuel- my youngest

Samuel also ate sweet-potatoes today. They aren’t a favorite. But I sneaked them in.
He was wearing a shirt I love on him, so I brought out The Bib. After some perseverance, and the help of a cloth; we made it through his dinner without spoiling the shirt. Mom was triumphant!
Setting him down on the floor with his toys to play, I went and cleaned up.
And then came the alarm.
“Oh mom poop! Sammy Poooooed!”
Yesterday’s sweet-potatoes up to the pits.
With just two inches of white left around the neck line; my favorite shirt is now two-tone.
Mom looses.