Wednesday, January 10, 2018

20 Questions

Have you seen this circulating on Facebook?
 "WITHOUT prompting, ask your child these questions and write EXACTLY what they say about you."
 I think it's fun to do these every now and then with the kids. It's a very good reminder that, yes, our kids are watching us and the see more than we think they see. Among the 100 answers here, there are very few wrong answers, and many of the questions have multiple answers. I think my kids have me pretty well pegged. Oh, and if I did have to choose my favorite set of answers, I'd choose Nash's. As the youngest child he certainly sees this world as revolving around him!

 OWEN, age 14

 1. What is something I say a lot? A gasp noise
2. What makes me happy? When I don't spring school projects on you
3. What makes me sad? When a duck gets hurt
4. How tall am I? 6 feet
5. How old am I? 42 (Thanks a LOT!)
 6. What's my favorite thing to do? Social media
7. What makes me proud of you? When I get good grades
8. What is my favorite food? Pizza
9. Do I have a favorite child? If you did you wouldn't tell me (ha!)
10. If I could go anywhere, where would it be? Tennessee
11. Do you think you could live without me? No
12. What's my favorite song? You Broke Up With Me
13. How do you annoy me? Pacing (Seriously!)
14. What is my favorite movie? A Christmas Story
15. Who do I have a crush on? Dad
16. Where was I born? Flushing
17. What's my favorite show to watch? Friends
18. Who's my best friend? I don't know any of your friends
19. What scares me? When you trip
20. How do you describe me? Funny and sarcastic and caring


 EMERSON, age 12

 1. What is something I say a lot? Ow!
2. What makes me happy? Quiet (Ain't that the truth!)
3. What makes me sad? Death
4. How tall am I? 6 feet
 5. How old am I? 41
6. What's my favorite thing to do? Run
7. What makes me proud of you? When I'm on stage
 8. What is my favorite food Sweet potatoes
9. Do I have a favorite child? Owen (ha!)
10. If I could go anywhere, where would it be? Tennessee
11. Do you think you could live without me? No
12. What's my favorite song? Piano Man
13. How do you annoy me? Ask the same questions repeatedly
 14. What is my favorite movie? The Goonies
15. Who do I have a crush on? Dad
16. Where was I born? Flint
17. What's my favorite show to watch? Orange is the New Black
18. Who's my best friend? Dad
19. What scares me? You're not really scared of anything
 20. How do you describe me? Tall and likes to run and had a lot of followers on Instagram (ha!) 


GREYSON, age 10
 1. What is something I say a lot? You yell at Nah a lot
2. What makes me happy? When one of us kids does something good
3. What makes me sad? When someone dies in your family
 4. How tall am I? 6'1"
5. How old am I? 41
6. What's my favorite thing to do? Run
7. What makes me proud of you? Getting good grades in school
 8. What is my favorite food? Roast beef and mashed potatoes
 9. Do I have a favorite child? No
10. If I could go anywhere, where would it be? Bahamas (Let's go!)
11. Do you think you could live without me? No, because I wouldn't even be alive without a mother 12. What's my favorite song? My Girl
13. How do you annoy me? When I hurt someone and make them cry
14. What is my favorite movie? The Goonies
15. Who do I have a crush on? Dad
16. Where was I born? Michigan
17. What's my favorite show to watch? Naked and Afraid
18. Who's my best friend? Us kids
19. What scares me? When I do something crazy like walk on thin ice or stunts (This boy gives me gray hair!)
20. How do you describe me? Happy and nice and you have five kids


 ALAYNA, age 8

 1. What is something I say a lot? The S-H word
2. What makes me happy? When we do our chores
3. What makes me sad? Having one of our animals die
4. How tall am I? 30 feet (OMG!)
5. How old am I? 41
6. What's my favorite thing to do? Sleep
7. What makes me proud of you? My gymnastics skills
8. What is my favorite food? Lasagna
9. Do I have a favorite child? No
10. If I could go anywhere, where would it be? Chicago
11. Do you think you could live without me? No
12. What's my favorite song? Taylor Swift songs
13. How do you annoy me? Ask for something a thousand times
 14. What is my favorite movie? The Grinch
15. Who do I have a crush on? Dad *giggle*
16. Where was I born? Tennessee
17. What's my favorite show to watch? You don't watch tv
18. Who's my best friend? Makayla's mom
19. What scares me? When we stomp down the stairs and you think we are falling (This gets me every time!)
20. How do you describe me? Pretty and nice


 NASH, age 5

 1. What is something I say a lot? Pea soup
2. What makes me happy? Nashy!
3. What makes me sad? When you have nothing to do
4. How tall am I? 50 (wow!)
5. How old am I? 10 (thanks!)
6. What's my favorite thing to do? Make dinner
7. What makes me proud of you? Everything
8. What is my favorite food? Noodles with gravy
9. Do I have a favorite child? Nashy!
10. If I could go anywhere, where would it be? Walmart (ha!)
11. Do you think you could live without me? No
12. What's my favorite song? Taxi (I think that's HIS favorite)
13. How do you annoy me? Call you on the phone
14. What is my favorite movie? Willy Wonka
15. Who do I have a crush on? Me!
16. Where was I born? November
17. What's my favorite show to watch? You don't watch tv
18. Who's my best friend? Nashy!
19. What scares me? Monsters
20. How do you describe me? A mom (That I am.)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Shoulder to Lean On

I swear I was JUST writing about how my oldest child had become a teenager and here it is, a whole year later already.  What can I say about the boy who first made me a mama?  It's strange...I can see him in my arms, moments after he was born, and I can see him putting his tiny feet in the lake for the first time, and I can see him getting on the bus for the first day of Kindergarten, and I can hardly believe that little tiny blonde-haired boy is now fourteen.  In just nine short months, Owen can take drivers' training.  Let THAT sink in.  Freaky.


This fall, Owen started school as an 8th grader.  He was ready to rule the school!


But when the first day actually arrived, he made it well-known how he really felt.


Owen also got braces this year, and he has absolutely no trouble showing them off. See?


He also continued with cross-country,  coming into this year with the confidence he hadn't had his first year.  I had such a good time watching him at his meets, and sharing his excitement when he finally came in under the 16 minute mark in one of his final races.





Even during the off season Jason and I can talk Owen into running a few miles with us and we both enjoy the time and conversation with him.



Owen continues to enjoy his time on any body of water he can get to, where he enjoys fishing, swimming rope-swinging and kayaking.






And then there's the chickens.  Don't get me wrong, we all love our chickens here, but when I was pulling out photos for this blog post, the number of photos I had with Owen and chickens was staggering.  It must be his calm demeanor, because these animals literally flock to him.




 He just has a soft spot for animals.  If the chickens didn't convince you, check out the bond he made with this dog at the Humane Society.


Even our two cats can't resist him!



Ok, so maybe it's not just the animals.  We kind love him, too.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, Owen is the perfect big brother for our children.  He is kind and thoughtful and generous and so funny.

I am thankful that he and Emerson are so close in age.  They have very different personalities, but they balance each other perfectly.



And Greyson?  He is my loud and rowdy contrast to the calm and quiet that is Owen, but these two still manage to have fun together, even if it's for just a Nerf battle or a game of tag at the park.



Alayna has always had a soft spot for Owen.  They remind me a lot of each other, and it's fun to watch them as the grow.



And then there's Nash.  What can I say?  Sometimes it takes extra strength for Owen to handle his shenanigans, but in the end Nash usually wins, whether it's help with Legos that he's looking for, or just a shoulder to nap on.



I would also just like to go on record and say that Owen is a very good writer.  He puts thought into everything he writes, from basic school assignments to birthday cards and thank you notes.  I know he doesn't LOVE writing at this point in his life, but one day I hope he finds a spot for that in his life.


Lastly, let's talk about confidence.  I mean, it takes a special kind of 8th grade boy to have the guts to choose this as a Halloween costume.  And bonus points to Owen for making it look good! Haha!


 Soon he'll be off to high school and he'll face all of the challenges that come with that.  I'm not ready for it, but he is.  He's always been ready for what's in front of him.  I think it's because he can see the beauty in simple things.  He's not interested in expensive clothes or material things-he's an explorer and a nature lover and very down to earth.  If there was someone who I'd want my other children to lean on, I'd choose him.


Happy Birthday, O!  Mom loves you.

Monday, November 27, 2017

After Four Comes Five

Me: I can't believe you're five years old!  It seems like you were born just yesterday!
Nash: Well, I wasn't.  Yesterday I had a party and opened presents.



About six weeks ago, Nash started counting the days until his birthday.  He decided to make a paper chain to count down the days until the BIG day, and he was pretty disappointed to have such a long chain with so many days to wait.  Everyday he would tell me that five comes after four, and sometimes he'd even tell me that six comes after five.  HOLD ON THERE, BUDDY.  Let's not rush into anything!  Jeez!  It's hard enough on your mama that you're turning five.  Let me let that soak in for a while, please!

That's right-my baby is FIVE.

Let me say that again.  My baby is five...





At this point, I think it's safe to say that farm life agrees with Nash.

From chickens...






To ducks...




To kittens...









To early morning pig visits...



To horses...




To corn...



To climbing trees...




To home demo...



To finding treasures...



To camping...



To balancing...



To target practice...



To the edge of the pond...



To reading...



To s'mores (minus the chocolate) at the bonfire...



To exploring the property...



To playing in the leaves...



To dirt bikes...



To dandelions...



This boy is busy.  And when we take a break from the farm, the adventures don't stop.

There's the park.





And the cabin,











And the pool,




And sledding,



And Florida,



And parades,



And blueberry picking,



And driving heavy machinery,



And taking rides on Dad's shoulders,



And the local beach,



And the doctor and dentist,




And school.






I am happy to report that this boy loves school.  In just three short months, Nash has gone from knowing only one letter to knowing twenty letters and fifteen numbers and can officially write his name.  This is the big league, folks!



And as a student in our Early 5's program here, he got to walk in the homecoming parade.  He only made it about a quarter of a mile before he decided it would be more fun to watch the parade and collect candy than to actually be in the parade, but still, we had fun.



I think his favorite part of school is saying goodbye to all of his friends after school when I pick him up.  He is happy and giggly and says goodbye to everyone he knows.  One day, as I hoisted him up into my arms, he yelled out, "Hey, JACKSON!"  And Jackson said, "Hey, WHAT?"  Nash said, "What do you call a sleeping bull?"  "What?", said Jackson. And Nash yelled, "A BULL DOZER!" and then completely cracked up.  I think all of the parents were laughing just as much as those two boys.



Of course, with all of those adventures, he was bound to get a few scrapes and bruises.  When his head met the pavement, he got some groovy head rash, and his chin managed to catch the edge of a bench one night, which sent us to urgent care for a little professional TLC.




Are you tired just from reading about Nash's adventures?!  Me, too.  That's a lot of action for a little four year old boy.  But don't you worry.  Nash might play hard, but he sleeps even harder.



And when he's not on the move or sleeping, Nash also finds time for Legos-endless Legos-and Nerf wars.  Finding darts everywhere is one of my very favorite things.  (Where is the sarcasm button?!)







Being the youngest of five children, Nash sometimes can't do some of the things the older kids can do.  He's been known to sit and wait for someone to play with him, or to come home from school, or just sit and ponder life as a bigger kid.







Nash is a very thoughtful boy and I've said before that he's like an old man in a child's body.  Maybe he has a little bit of a sixth sense about him.  Every once in a while he says strange things.  Once he said, "Remember that time you fell down the stairs with baby Greyson and he was screaming?"  And another time he said,"Alayna sure was a cute baby with that bald head."  And every time we pass the cemetery where Grandma Lois is buried, he perks up and points and says, "There's Grandma Lois!"  This is especially strange as he slept through the funeral which was over two years ago now.  There is definitely something special about my Nash.




As the baby of our family, Nash's attachment to me is extra strong.  See this belly with him inside?



Sometimes I think he'd still like to be inside there, so he could never be apart from me.



Nash has officially left his toddler years behind him.  He's growing and learning every day.  He is opinionated and strong-willed, and thoughtful and sweet.  I truly believes he just wants to make everyone happy.  He is always ready with a joke or a smile or a funny face.







Someday, after five will come six and after six will come seven and I will look back and wonder how the years flew by like minutes.  Maybe yesterday Nash did have a party and open presents, but I'm pretty sure the day before that he was a tiny baby.  Five years have gone by in a blink, and time is showing no signs of slowing.  I am thankful for his adventures and giggles and snuggles and I am thankful  that this boy is mine.



Happy Birthday, Nash.  Mommy loves you!