Friday, May 30, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Bridal Portraits, Chainsaws and Hiding

Linking up with Jen for Friday's 7 Quick Takes

I took some bridal portraits of my sister on the ranch when she was at home last week.  Obviously, I cannot put any of them up until after the wedding, but I did manage to crop this one...

These last few weeks of this fourth pregnancy have been a bit different than the other three.  It's the first time I feel like I'm not going to make it to the induction date.  Which probably means I'll head into the induction without any progress whatsoever.  Without complaining too much about the inevitable and realizing it's all SO worth it, I've just lost momentum (and the ability to take a non-fuzzy picture).  

Carter went missing yesterday morning.  Well, I knew he was in the yard, but exactly where I did not know.  Thank goodness for a curious John Paul who saved the day.

We had appointments in Amarillo early in the week, after such a  long weekend for the boys, so a promise to the toy store was made.  If you have boys and need something to keep them busy for a LONG time, these chainsaws from Toys R Us are a dream come true.  They were thrilled, and they've been "cutting down trees" ever since!

I know everyone has probably seen the blog post on secondary drowning already, but incase you haven't, here it is.  Drowning is on the top of my fears list, for me and my children, so here's just another thing to worry about.  But, really, it's such great information!

Remember that summer activities link-up I helped host a few weeks ago?  Well, I'm teaming up with those moms to host a link-up every second Monday of the month.  So, get your summer recipes ready to share...that's the next topic on June 9th!

This little guy turns four the week Sophie arrives.  In fact, we'll be home from the hospital on his birthday.  I hate it for him, but he's not too aware of the actual date yet, so we're having a fun little family day for him this weekend.  Pizza at the park, a trip to a kid's museum type thing and strawberry cake are on the agenda.  Plus, we're going swimming.  I can't think too much of him being a teeny, tiny one seconds ago, but I'm so happy to celebrate another year of life made better with him in it!

Have the best weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What a Weekend (Week)

As my stomach grows to unbelievable lengths/widths/depths (ha!), my blogging slows.  However, we had the best time on the ranch last week celebrating Rozann and Sean's upcoming marriage.  It was amazing to see so many people come together from everywhere who love them so much.  We had tons of people from the Chicago area, and then there were those from Michigan, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, etc.  Over 200 people came for dinner, dancing and celebrating these two!

The week before things were a little crazy getting prepared (well, a lot had been done weeks before that), but plag poles had to be put up...
signs posted...

and the grounds cleaned and prepared for any and all scenarios.  The morning of the big party, we ended up moving most everything to the barn because of impending rain.  Thank goodness we did!  We had people in to smoke brisket and sausage on a stick.  All of the ladies in the family (and some wonderful neighbors, too!) helped make over 1000 cookies.  Some of the siblings and cousins teamed up to host a washer pitching tournament, 

and a former boss and amazing friend of Rozann's had caps made for every guest.

More than anything, it was just special to be together in preparation for one of God's greatest gifts to us...marriage.  

The boys cannot wait to have a new uncle to go with their sweet RoRo...

and we're thrilled to welcome Sean to the family! 

His family is a testament of the love and beauty that a big family holds (he has seven siblings).  While smaller families can have just as much love to share and not all big families are happy families, I was in awe all weekend of the bonds between the siblings and their parents and the obvious graces and sacrifices made.  Beautiful.  

 We're on our way there, maybe...

The evening before the ranch party, my aunt had my family and Sean and his extended family out for a New Mexican meal of enchiladas, posole, and all the sides.  Carter, who has always been a little anxious around crowds, made it through the evening spending most of his time outside and kind of secluded.  At the end of the gathering, he looked at us and said, "Maybe next time you can tell everyone to just talk ONE AT A TIME!"

It was a weekend full of families reconnecting...

kids playing...

and one last hoorah before the big day.

It was perfect.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What I Wore Sunday: 37 Weeks

If they're doing a link-up at Fine Linen and Purple, I'm linking up...if not, here's one of the last weeks of What I Wore Sunday (maternity style)...

top // Pea in the Pod (old)
linen pants // Old Navy (non-maternity)

14 days left unless she decides to come early!  Everything is still as good as it can be.  I feel like there are a lot of things that happen throughout pregnancy that you can talk/complain about, or you can realize that everyone who has ever been pregnant has probably experienced it or is currently experiencing it, so why bother?!  Our lives will be changed for the better very, very soon, and that's what we cannot wait for!  

Hope you all have a blessed Sunday and a wonderful day remembering those who have given their lives or who have fought for our freedom!  

Friday, May 23, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Party, Hearing and Rain

Joining Jen for 7 Quick Takes this Friday...

Tomorrow marks one event closer to my sister getting married!  My parents are hosting a huge ranch party...somewhat of a reception in order that those closer to home can celebrate with the future bride and groom while not having to travel to Chicago.  My sister is incredibly talented and has been sending out the neatest invitations, designing the coolest graphics and painting signs all week to make this party look like something out of Style Me Pretty.  No detail is left unnoticed.
Complete with a barn dance, a washer pitching tournament, local food and lots of guests, my favorite part might just be the theme to everything - celebrating in the two "windy" cities.

  I have a weakness for caramels (among plenty of other sweets).  My sweet sister always brings me a few from Chi-town when she comes home.  Sometimes that even means stopping in Caribou Coffee at the Denver airport for their cinnamon caramels.  My favorites might be from here
However, my sister's coworker found out how much we both love them and made a whole box of cinnamon caramels that were brought home this weekend.  Addicted...that's me.

Some days I feel myself counting the seconds until nap time.  Today was one of those days.  Seriously I think my kids could use a hearing test (or a comprehension check).  As Carter said to Aunt RoRo on the phone, "Wait a second, I can't hear you - you're cranking up!" - I feel like they're living in that state with me lately.  Honestly though, I think kids sense when you've got a lot on your mind/plate and just need to mark a few things off the ol' to-do list.  Seems like those are the days when someone gets scratched, dead/wet grass is tracked all through the clean house, a completely potty-trained boy has an accident all over the newly cleaned bed (and again the couch), the toilet plunger suddenly becomes a giant stir stick in the toilet and you notice outside that they're trying to prove that regeneration is in fact true with earthworms.  Maybe that all happened before naps.

However, the earthworms in the sidewalk were great news - we got half an inch of rain last night!  Praise be to God!

Mango.  I used to hate it.  Seriously, I thought that a mango tasted like perfume.  Fast-forward to the last few weeks of my fourth pregnancy.  I am a girl who has never really seriously had cravings (how many times have I said "seriously" this post).  I LOVE them.  I mean, can't get enough.  I've even ordered these because we don't always have them fresh at our grocery store.  Crazy, I tell ya!

Monday I'll be guest posting at Bonnie's place talking about my time working at the White House.  Be sure and "tune in"!

Finally, remember the fallen as we celebrate our freedom this weekend.  This is my Ranger, and I know he'll be remembering so many.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Conversations with the Boys

Last week I was asking Carter about turning four...
Carter: What is turning four?
Me: Well, when you have a birthday soon, you will be a year older.  Four instead of three.
Carter:  Oh yeah.  I'm excited, but not as excited as I am to see Sophie!

Peter telling me something to do, "Do you unstan me???"

Carter talking to his new best friend, the barber, about a poster on his wall of a nebula...
Barber: It's when lots of matter collides and forms a star or a planet.
Carter: Or you mean a meteor?

Driving to town to get a treat after naps on Monday...
Carter: Mom, when you come home, don't be mad about the medicine mess.  I will go in my room first. Don't go in.  I will clean it up.
Apparently he didn't nap like I thought he did but instead decorated his bathroom mirror with Vaseline. Funny how he waited to say anything until he and I were both secure in our seats and on our way to do something fun.

Peter as we put him to bed...
Peter: Dod bless you momma (with his hand on my head) and Dod bless you Sophie (with his hand on my tummy).  I going to seep now, Sophie!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Activities

Last week, I hosted a Summer Activities Link-up with 7 other bloggers. It was so much fun seeing all of the great activities linked up over the week, and I'm anxious to try a few with the little guys this summer!  Below is a list of all the ideas that were linked up over the week (thanks to Keri for putting it all together). Thank you all who linked up with us! We loved having you at the party. Make sure and check out these links to read more about these great activities.

Thanks again for sharing your ideas!

Monday, May 19, 2014


Jeremy came home from work on Friday with a bag full of picnic supplies and a plan to go roast some hot dogs along the creek.  As we were getting everything ready, though, the wind picked up majorly. So, we decided to keep it a little closer to the back yard.

The boys gathered up some blankets.

 Then they had a Cheeto fest while Jeremy grilled the hot dogs.
(Those scratch marks - well, Peter pushed Carter to his very small limits.  Carter quickly transformed into Wolverine mode and tried to scratch off Peter's forehead.  Brilliant.)

This little guy is walking now!  About half the time it's a crawl and the other half a walk - progress.

After a hot dog or two, we moved the party inside for some s'mores.

It was really low key, but in Carter's eyes it was "da best picnic ever!"

They are lucky to have such a fun dad!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Branding 2014

Yesterday we branded our small herd of cattle.  We're one baby calf away from all of the moms having calved, so we'll have to catch that one later.  The boys were excited to come watch all of the "cowboys" do their work.

Helping Elley as they sorted the babies from the mommas. 

John Paul didn't quite get in on the action, but he was pretty content just watching for awhile...
Deciding which ones we wanted to keep for bulls...
Then the boys got distracted by the tools.

I asked them to put their arms around each other for a picture.

But, they had "work to do" over at the water tank.
Elley getting all of the medicine ready.
Uncle Chase and a friend waiting to flank.
Our little babies.

Papa dragging.
The crew at work.

Carter evaluating what was going on.

"Hmmm, what do I mell?"

"Been ranchin' long?"

Peter's calf.

And, a little horseplay at the end.

John Paul not too happy on Uncle Chase's horse.
Finally, getting all the meds put back and calling it a day.
Only a few hundred more to go, but branding season has officially begun!