Snowsuits and Chickens

img_6975

“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.

20160407-155631.jpg

Keeping Afloat

20150918-132958.jpg
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

IMG_0224

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

IMG_0138

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;)

20141215-190016.jpg
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.