Friday, April 18, 2014

A simply happy birthday for my five year old.

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I love my little five year old!

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He is excited, curious, and brave. (Maybe a bit too brave for this poor mother's heart! I have to tell him no. A lot.)

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He loves his siblings. He is a people person. He can't wait until summer, when the court out front will be full of friends and bikes. Just this last week, he learned to ride his without training wheels.

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He has no fear of what happens next. He knows school starts in the fall, and there isn't the slightest hint of anxiety in him about it.

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His birthday was wonderful. It makes me happy to see how excited he gets when he opens even the smallest of presents.

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He loves play-dough. He always has. He carries it around with him and uses it for various things. Sometimes the dough is a plane, or a snake, or some other object. Other times, it's the support system to hold up another toy. Or the ground that records the tire tracks from his various trucks. But most often, it is the sweet shape of the inside of his hand.

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He is working very hard on his writing and mark making skills. Within the past six months he has really taken off with his artwork. Something clicked, and he learned to connect the ends of the lines he draws to form objects. He takes paper by the stack and draws tanks and helicopters.

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And he tries really, really hard to write his name the right way. We're not there yet, but he's close!!

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He is going to be a tall boy, just like his older brother. But they have completely different builds — it's fascinating to see how similar, yet how different they are. Those two are great friends!

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My 5 year old is ready to tackle Kindergarten, and ready to take on another year of life. I feel blessed to be here with him while he does this.

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I love watching the children at this stage of life, the amount they learn each year is astounding!

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The development of a child's mind is stunningly beautiful, and always unique.

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Happy birthday little one. I love you. May the coming year be full of little things to be excited about!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

An escape, for a man who needs an escape.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how much I have on my plate. I can't seem to keep up with the schedules and the events and the to-do lists and the whole raising four kids thing. It comes with the job at this stage of life, and I'm happy to make the sacrifices needed. Thrilled, to be honest. It is an honor to live with these people who fill my home with their custom-built personalities, talents, and abilities. I would say that for the most part, I have a huge grin on my face as I wade through the agony of early motherhood.

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Thankfully, I have someone at my side who feels the same way I do. We know how lucky we are to be here, even with all of the poop and constant needs and the sinking feeling at the end of the day that we didn't do it quite right. Serving our family is an honor and a privilege.

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My husband feels the same way about his job. He is humbled by the opportunity to be a firefighter paramedic. He's just that kind of guy — always happy to offer you his truck and his manpower if you need it. It's this freely giving spirit that I adore in him. I've mentioned before that I see his love of duty to others as a third spouse in our marriage. It's just me, my husband, and Duty. We make it work!

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This spring, he added even more to his plate. He is volunteering 15 hours weekly at church, and recently, he accepted a volunteer position as a flight medic. In his eyes, again, it is a privilege to serve — especially if there's a helicopter involved.

This man just keeps on giving, taking pieces away from his personal down time in the process. When I heard about this project by Indian Motorcycles to honor hometown heroes, I had to nominate my husband. The winner receives a one year lease of a cool bike.

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I have this image of him pulling out of the driveway on a motorcycle. The only concern he has, (and it's an important one), is personal safety. I imagine the hum of the machine beneath him, the noise forcing the ever-present cares and responsibilities to the background. I see him taking the time to be close to nature, and even closer to his own thoughts. I picture the scenery flying past him. As he absorbs the scents and sights swirling around him, his concerns are scrubbed away. He comes back home rejuvenated and ready to dive back in to the minutiae of daily life and dinner plans. Duty and I are happy he is back safe, and happy he had a much-deserved break.

Maybe he'll drive his motorcycle on the way to the helicopter, after cutting a hole in the roof of a burning warehouse the night before.

Sigh.

This man and his penchant for adrenalin!!


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This is a sponsored post, in partnership with Indian Motorcycles.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Garden Losses

I have been working on getting my garden back into shape. Spring came really early this year, so I felt the pressure to get it done. The trees started blooming in February!!

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Actually, it's like we went straight from fall into spring. There wasn't much of a winter at all. Thankfully, some clouds eventually did roll in and our lake is filling back up.

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I think the drought scare is over.

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It rained and rained for weeks.

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Soft, beautiful, drenching rain.

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I loved every greening minute of it.

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Outside has come alive.

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While the lake has been filling, I have been scrambling between the onslaught of rain storms to get my garden back into order. I spent a few days cleaning it up...

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I even found some unexpected gems, like this dried up melon full of seeds.

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I started most of my seeds a couple of months ago, right around the time when the rain hit.

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The rain has slowed down, the sprinklers are back on, and the plants are finally all transplanted into the garden now.

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Which would be great, if there weren't so many critters trying to UN-plant my plants! I have been fighting one battle after another all spring.

The biggest problem this time around has been the neighborhood cats. Apparently they like how soft and fluffy I made the dirt in my carrot and onion beds. I have been trying several methods to keep them out. Most recently, I did this:

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Try to poop in that, kitty!!

So far, so good.

But now I have something else snipping off the leaves of my peppers!!

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Grrrr. A friend suggested it may be cutworms. I don't know what those are, but I feel a killing spree in my near future.

So far this year I've lost most of the carrots, all but one beet, all of my cucumbers, and the vast majority of my peppers. If the critters attack the tomatoes, I may resort to electrifying those metal supports!

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(Okay, I wouldn't do that to the nice neighborhood kitties. But the thought has crossed my mind...)
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