Monday, October 26, 2015

Sweet Peter - He's Four!

Last week, sweet Peter turned four.  Part of me feels like he's already been four forever, and the other part of me wonders how he got this old so quickly.  Anytime I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he would always say, "A stwabewwy cake, a sharp knife and a dangerous gun."  He is all boy.  Of course, he didn't get the last two requests, but we found a pretty neat little wooden knife for him that he loves.  And, the strawberry cake was a hit.  So, it ended up as a win.

Here's a bit of the day...starting with a giant pancake and our traditional birthday banner and poster...

opening his gifts with a key :)

He also wanted to ride Sugarfoot.

Then, we went to Church and afterwards had a little party with our cousins.

Peter has such a big heart.  After he opened a few presents, he passed the rest out to his brothers to open.
While tough, he's sensitive.
That one dimple in his left cheek gets me every time.
He's ornery and antagonizes his brothers...but typically it goes both ways!
While he was obsessed with camo last year, this year it's "cowboy" shirts and jeans.  
He loves "looking nice" and notices when other people try to do the same.
He loves looking at books and enjoys finding a good rock or feather outside.
He's a worker - whatever he's tasked with, he's hard at it.
He's the shyest of the four, but this year he's really opened up.
He's probably the most like his momma, so sometimes I have a hard time knowing how to parent him (seems odd, right?), but we're learning as we go.
Peter is our precious second-born, and we couldn't be more blessed to call him our own!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


How do we only have ten weeks left in this year?  So crazy to me.  I always say it goes so quickly.  It really does.  This week, we were taking in a few nice days before the cooler weather hit.  We also had Peter's well-check and flu shots all around to prepare for the season.  Just a few snapshots of us in our day-to-day...

Carter // 5 - he said out of the blue this week, "Momma, I guess we should just name the baby Agnes, the saint."
Peter // 4 - he's four!!  My goodness.  He got all of these little accessories for his birthday, and he wears them all at once.
John Paul // 2 - well, Peter wears them when John Paul doesn't swipe them away.  John Paul may be forever obsessed with tools!

Sophie // 1 - for now, Sophie's just obsessed with being held by me

Saturday, October 17, 2015


This morning, we had a few weaned heifers brought to the house.  So, we stepped outside to feed them and watch as Papa and Elley ran them through the chute for branding and vaccinating.'s Peter's birthday!!!!

Carter // 5 - picking out the little pellets and taking them to the water tank to make cereal for the cattle.  I had no clue what he was doing as I took this photo, and it quickly stopped.

Peter // 4 - he was gathering up the bigger pieces of cake for that same cereal.  Crazy boys!

John Paul // 2 - he kept turning around to ask if I was scared being so close to the cows, haha.

Sophie // 1 - here she is in my first pair of boots just taking it all in with her Daddy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Our Annual Trip to Decorate our Home

So, I'm not much of a decorator.  I mean, I love seeing other people's decorations, and I really love decorating for Christmas but that's about it.  Minus Fall.  I love everything about Fall...the leaves, pumpkins, smells, colors, you name it.  So, when it's time to go to the pumpkin patch to pick out a few (or a few too many as Jeremy would say) pumpkins, it's the highlight of our week!

Yesterday, off we went!  It's about an hour away, and I've talked about it before, but it's a little boy's Heaven of a pumpkin patch.  You either get a Gator or a wagon, your own set of clippers and the ability to pick whatever pumpkin(s) you want!

Mom, the kids and I loaded up in a Gator to get the first round of the big pumpkins...a few for carving for Halloween.

Peter was in charge of the clippers at that point and took his job very seriously.  Carter would yell from yards away, "I've got a beauty right here, Peter" and Peter would hurry on his way to clip it off the vine.  
Sophie crawled to a few she liked and waited until we came to get them.
John Paul managed to pull some off the vine without any help, too.  It was a full family affair, with Mom and I doing most of the carrying.

Then, we'd drive a little farther into the patch for extra variety, and Sophie enjoyed her post in the cab.

 We filled it up and off we went to load up the van, and head back out to get more little ones.

 This time, we went out with wagons!

 The kids found tons of "little cuties" - and everyone had a turn at clipping things off!

As we finished up, we tried to grab a photo on the hay bales, and well, you can take a look at the way that worked for us...


Our house now looks like a pumpkin patch.  I never know when to stop, haha!  But, it's safe to say we're ready for the season!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Carter and His Learning

Carter and I have been doing a little homeschooling.  I think I've mentioned before, but since he's a summer baby, and a boy, we decided not to do kindergarten this year.  So, in order for me to see if I could handle things in terms of homeschooling, and to work with him a bit on a daily (sometimes not daily) basis, we decided to do a couple of things.  

First we're going through the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  That's always our first priority when we sit down for a little school.  If he's still aching to do other things after that first 15-20 minutes (which includes a bit of writing), we do one of these things...

Maybe we do a little project via Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven which I love!  It's just such a sweet little book, and it helps us focus on a Saint and virtue each week if nothing else.  We've done a bit of cutting, some baking, gluing here and there and some math...all very simple yet fun things.

Some days, we just read through one of these books: Farm Anatomy or Nature Anatomy.  These came recommended by Jenna, and I cannot tell you how cool they are and how much Carter loves them.  I think these pictures may give you a clue where his heart lies.  After looking at a spread on different kinds of lizards in one of the books, he happened upon this little guy outside...

With the attempt at homeschooling, I'm my own worst critic.  I wonder if I'm doing enough.  I wonder if I'm doing it the "right" way or if I'm a very capable teacher.  Because in this short amount of time, I've realized I'm fairly demanding...and I need to learn to be a bit more relaxed.  I also really just want what's best (in every area) for these little ones, so I'm trying.  I really think having a planned curriculum (rather than one I'm just piecing together) will help next year.

I think the most difficult part thus far (and we're not even really doing kindergarten) is knowing what kindergarten kids are doing in formal settings.  I don't want to hold my kids back, but then I read articles like this one and am so thankful these little guys have the chance to relish in their childhood for a bit longer.  

I think the key for us will be to find balance.  We are so blessed by where we live and our livelihood, and I know there's more education in that than I can even imagine.  It's just harnessing it and using it to our advantage.  And, it's letting these little ones continue to be just that.

So, I've got some learning to do...and some chilling, I guess you'd say.  But, we're getting there.