Wednesday, July 25, 2012

that's what they get for hiring an amateur

July 25th. In a month, Mr. Samuel will be one year old. Courtney will be another year older too. And the lambs? One month from today is lamb selling day! Yee-Haw!  This all means it’s lamb walkin’ time around here.  Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of what some must think a very odd hobby.  As in, I find it a very odd hobby.  Yet, most days find me pushing a stroller amidst a gaggle of girls and three woolly buggers. 

After almost four years of this sheep gig, this is the conclusion I am coming to:  Sheep + me = neon light flashing above my head that blares "this chick has no idea what she's doing!"

Exhibit A: 

Back in June, we had to tag the lambs for the fair.  This means we go up to Grandpa's house, load up the girl's lambs, and drive them down to the fairgrounds where we wait in really long line so the lambs can be weighed and tagged for the fair.  This being before any of the kids have worked with the lambs very much- which basically results in a big 'ol ruckus.  Courtney couldn't come, so I had Sam on my back, Claire in one hand, and Ryenne's lamb in the other (she couldn't come on account of her attending a "young females" activity).  Awesome.  Claire just so happened to be in one of those moods.  Oh, and it was a gazillion degrees outside, so Mr. always-happy-Sam wasn't so happy.  Thank goodness Grandpa was there is all I can say. 

Well.  The point I was going to make is that before we headed up to round up the lambs, I took a minute to ponder what I should wear for such an occasion.  Being that in the past I have typically worn my Chaco sandals, only to be stepped on, pooped upon, and generally made to look like a nincompoop, I decided to be a little more prepared.  Boots, thought I!  And so.  I tracked down the only set of sort-of chore boots that I own- a neon colored, flowered pair of rain boots.  Practical and cute, I decided.  Sure that Claire wouldn't be very happy if her bare little piggies were stepped on by a woolly beast, I held my ground and made her trade in her flip-flops for chore boots, too.  Polka dotted and flowered, we were on our way.

Wouldn't you know it.  I finally thought I had my farm footwear figured out, and everyone else bucked the trend.  Guess they looked at the ninety-five degree weather or something.  Here Claire and I were, sweating in our rubber boots- while the rest of the lamb- toting country folk looked on wondering what we were thinking.  At least I wondered.  Turns out, rain boots are HOT. 

Exhibit B:

Yesterday.  Where do I begin?  It was a classic mom's sort-of-a-lamb-idiot kind of a day.  First of all, it was raining.  The girls were sure that unlike Gene Kelly, lambs don't sing in the rain, but I stood firm.  "Onward!" I shouted.  Once we got started, all was going well.  An adventure, even!   I held Claire's hand and watched as the girls giggled and danced amidst their four-legged friends.  That is, until it was time to turn around.  The problem is that Ryenne and Kate like to let their lambs run the whole way home, which freaks Emmy out because she can't keep up with her lamb once it starts running.  That means either I take her lamb and try to rein in back in, or have Emmy in a full-blown freak-out the whole way home.  If  you've ever seen Emmy fall apart, you know which one I chose. 

So, I'm walking along with Mr. furry bum, thinking I've got the whole thing under control when Ryenne and Kate turn around and start laughing their heads off.  "That is soooo cute!  You walk a lamb like you're walking a dog", they say.  What?  I don't even know what they're laughing at.  They keep after it, poking fun and saying how they wished they had a camera so dad could see how I walk a lamb.  Like it was the first time I'd ever done it or something.

We make it back, at which point the girls inform me that Emmy's lamb goes in a different pen (geez mom, don't you know anything?)  Emmy opens the gate and casually points, making me think that this is the place.  Patting myself on the back for a walk well done (despite what the girls said), I pull the halter off the lamb and let it go just as Emmy yells, "No, not that pen!"  At that precise moment, her lamb bolts.  It and about thirty or so other lambs.  They take off on a dead run.  Did I mention that the gate to the pasture was open?  Oh, it sure was.  And you can bet the whole herd (or whatever you call a bunch of sheep) took off into the pasture just as fast as they could go. 

When Ryenne and Kate saw what I had done, they threw their hands up in the air and ordered me to follow them.  To make a long story short, every time I did what I thought they wanted me to they either laughed their heads off or yelled in a fit of exasperation.   What did they expect?  How was I supposed to stand my ground when a whole grundle of big, fat sheep started running toward me at full speed.  I was wearing Chaco's for heaven's sake! (wrong choice again).  I had good intentions, but at the last minute I couldn't help myself from bolting.  Hadn't anyone ever seen the movie BABE?  I thought there were dogs that were supposed to do this sort of thing!  Ryenne kept yelling, "No, No, NO!" and finally gave me a sassy smile and ordered, "Watch and LEARN."

Finally, one of the girls resorted to getting Grandpa to help instead, who shook his head and said that all he had gathered from Ryenne's explanation of the situation is that I looked like something out of an "I LOVE LUCY" episode.  Finally, with his help, he and the older two wrangled the runaway lamb into a halter. 

The whole spectacle reminded me of a time in high school shortly after Courtney and I had started dating.

Exhibit C:

One day after school (I'm guessing it was after school because I NEVER skipped out of school) we had gone to Fielding to Courtney's house to get something, only to find one of the lambs had gotten loose.  I'd never dealt with anything like this before, and so I hung back waiting for my knight in shining armor to save the day.  To this day, I've never been able to figure out if he really thought I could help or if the whole thing was part of a scheme to get a good laugh, but he told me to stand down at one end of the yard with my arms straight out, waving them up and down.  I did just as he'd said, the whole time wondering what in the heck I was supposed to be accomplishing.  But wave I did.

Now that I think about it, I'm sure his family laughed themselves through dinner that night.

At least the lamb whispering gene as been passed on to the girls, despite my ineptitude.  One of grandpa's visitors watched them the other morning and remarked that they seem like "quite the girls- not afraid to get in and get their hands dirty, are they?"   He may have noticed them throwing sheep poop (don't worry, they ensured me that they only use dried poop, not fresh).  Or maybe he saw how excited Ryenne was to find the jawbone of an . . .'er, well, I'm not exactly sure.

 I'm not too great at this country-girl business, remember?

two "trippas"

We just returned from an eleven day stretch of family reunion/vacation which included a WO-JO (Courtney's family) reunion to Blanding, Utah (never heard of it? Well, you're about to- if I ever get caught up!).  After four days of fun with cousins, we loaded up and drove straight to Lake Powell to spend the next week with Grandpa Bop.  Fun was had by all. 

Before we left, the girls could hardly contain their excitement for the upcoming adventures.  It's been a long, long time since they've had cousins + a daddy for eleven days straight.  In fact, Claire excitedly told everyone she met that we were going to "two trippas!" 

Two trippas, indeed.  During which Claire concluded that what she really wants is a tattoo and a "zucchini" (bikini).  Hmmm.  I guess that's what a little family time gets us.  Tattoos, zucchinis, and a whole lot of laundry.

Pictures and travel log coming soon.  (Tattoos and zucchinis on hold for the time being.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

in other news. . .

Summer is flying by way too fast for my liking.  I can't believe it's already July. 

We've been having fun at the farm, and the girls especially like to visit the woodwright shop where the shopkeeper has promised to teach them how to carve their very own wooden spoon.  Claire is loving to play up in the attic of the farmhouse and talk to everyone who comes to visit, sometimes even leaving with a visitor family to continue a tour.  We have to keep an eye on that one, I tell you.  She is the talking-est girl I ever did see (I think I just made up that word).   In the farmhouse, we cook lunch on the wood burning stove, and when visitors come they like to see how it works.  One story that often gets told is how the families used to use the warming oven in the top of the stove to keep premature babies warm.  Claire must have been listening, because last week she was in the summer kitchen talking to a group of visitors when she pointed to the warming oven and said, "And that's where we cook the babies!"  A few gasps were heard, of course.  Historical education at its' finest!

Tonight, the girls are walking lambs.  I stayed home with the "littles" to get them down for an early bedtime.  Of course, I'm really broken up about that.  This year the girls (and their dad) have their eye on the state fair, which means they need to start walking two lambs at a time.  Needless to say, I'm thinking that will be real interesting.  More to come on that later (with pictures if you are lucky). 

Kate turned ten last week.  Holy cow, my babies are growing up.  More to come on the birthday celebrations too.  I even did something crazy and threw her a birthday party, a first for Kate.  I'm a really awesome mom like that- my kids are pretty much decided that they will probably only have one friend/birthday shindig in their careers.  Well, we'll see how ambitious I am, but we sure love our Kate.

Last but not least, Claire cut her hair again the other day.  Yip, she's kicking my pants that one is.  I had taken the older three to see Romeo and Juliet (which they said was "awesome, but it would be better if they could just speak in English).  When I returned home, Courtney mentioned in passing that the scissors and multiple chunks of blonde hair on the table were due to Claire's most recent adventure (we have them daily, trust me).  The best part is that, after she cut it, she came to Courtney, hair in hand with the scissors behind her back, telling him, "Dad, some of my hair just kind of fell off my head".  Ohhhhhh, Claire. 

I live in a circus.  Life is good.

the cutest little guy i ever did see

At ten months (almost a year, it makes me want to cry) is as sweet as he ever was.  He's more mobile at this age than the girls ever were and wants to walk so bad.  He started out with a little army scoot, then started to crawl on all fours, and has since taken to doing what the girls call the "Mogley walk", crawling with his arms and legs stiff and his bum way up in the air.  He loves to walk behind his walker and thinks he's big stuff. 

While he's getting around plenty good, he doesn't have much to say.  He's been saying "Dada" for a few months, but despite all of our coaching, hasn't taken to saying anyone else's name.  Just today I walked in and he looked up at me and said, "Mama".  My heart about jumped out of my chest.  I admit, he pretty much has me wrapped around his chubby little fingers.  We love him to bits! 

So far, he's super friendly and is the cuddliest, most loving baby we've had.  He's always giving "loves" and likes to wrap his arms around everyone and snuggle into their neck.  He's also a pro at wide-open-mouthed baby kisses, although they've gotten a bit painful since he's gotten a few teeth!  At church, he flirts with all the ladies and goes down the rows, being passed from one to the next and giving them his famous loves. 

We might be biased, but we think he's the sweetest little guy around.  So glad he came to our family!

ballet recital- 2012

kate's 4th grade program

Kate was so excited for her 4th grade program this year, which told about Utah history.  She had a speaking part and was supposed to dress up as an indian, which I was happy about because we already had a costume.  The week leading up to the program, she asked me each day if we could get into the costume box and find her clothes.  True to form, I put it off until the morning of, and then remembered that half of the costume I thought we had actually belonged to Aunt Kerri.  Thank goodness Kate is so easy going.  She took it all in stride and told me that "at least we have brown leggings and no one will really see the bottom of the costume anyway".  What a trooper. . .just one more reason to love our "Kate the great"!  We loved watching our little brown bear in her program!

special delivery

she's pretty much a professional

No need for me to pay for a pedicure or a makeover.  I've got an in-home expert at my disposal.  As you can see, nail polish and lipstick happen to be her weapons of choice.

ryenne's birthday

So, um. ..Ryenne's birthday was kind of in April.  I realize that was quite a while ago, but here's a little bit about it:

She turned twelve.  Eeeeek!  She was super excited to start attending Young Women's, and just actually just returned from girl's camp.  She thinks it's pretty awesome.  As for me, it kind of freaks me out.

For her birthday, besides our little shopping trip to outfit her ever-growing legs- she was outfitted for the whole growing up business.  Mascara, razors, her own curling iron, yummy smelling glitter spray, etc.  Once again, she was very excited.  And again, it kind of freaks me out.

A little bit about Ryenne at twelve:

 *She has become a bit of a clean freak with her bedroom, which I never would have guessed would happen even a few years ago. 

*She has become a super-duper organzer, which is really cool for me.  A few weeks ago, I set her to work and she organized our entertainment center, the hall closet, and my bedroom closet.  It was FANTASTIC.  The only drawback is that she gets a leeeetle bit perturbed when her sisters mess up her finished product.  What do I say?  Welcome to homemaking, my dear.

*Ryenne has grown a lot this year!  She isn't too much shorter than I am, and we only wear a 1/2 size different in shoes.  She has pretty good taste, so I might be hoping we wear the same size soon.  Ryenne does not want to be tall, but we'll see what the next few years bring.

*This past year, our girl turned into a fabulous student.  She had a terrific year and loved almost everything about 6th grade.  Here's to hoping for another great year to come.  She is looking forward to being in the band again (she plays the flute), but so far has not decided if she'll continue ballet again.  We'll see!

She loves the Lord of the Rings movies (as do all of her sisters) and is starting to read the books at the suggestion of Kate, who is reading and loving them.  The other day Grandpa asked the girls what movie they wanted to watch and Ryenne told him, "Do you even have to ask?"  I have nothing to do with that obsession. 

Overall, Ryenne at twelve is a funny, creative, artistic, dramatic, smart, and GOOD girl! 

We love you Ryenne!  We're so glad we've had twelve years with you!