Puddle Buddies

We had a puddle jumping session a few nights ago. My sister-in-law, Staci, is visiting along with my two nephews and naturally anytime there’s a good rain, puddles are going to happen.

Where there are puddles there will be muddy children.

Here’s the cast of characters:

Taegan:

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The oldest of the four and instigator of all things ornery. Look at those eyes. Mischief. Intelligence in spades. Spirit. Sparkle. Pray hard for us.

Drayson:

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Rough and tumble, fearless, all boy. There’s very few daring things I haven’t seen this little guy attempt. But, look at that sweet, mud-splattered face.

Carson:

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Carson has always been a calm, quiet type (at least around me). He’s shy, sweet, and is usually more content to observe from the sidelines  (sidelines meaning wherever his mommy is). Give him a rock and a stick and he’s good!

Luxe:

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Prissy. Purposeful. Pint-sized sweetness with a smidge of sass. Puppy dog eyes at level 10. Curls for days. Lover of all things cute and cuddly. This was taken after one too many times of being splashed in the face with mud. That’s a look of “Mommy, PLEASE! Can’t a girl get a little time in the mud puddle by herself??”

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To start things off, though, we’re all still relatively clean. Testing the waters. Onesies and shorts are remaining mostly white.

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Sticks and rocks again…Boy, they’re just the most interesting things!

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A good, dry time is being had by all.

And then…

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there were four.

Taegan thought a little too much good, clean fun was being had. If you’ve been following along over the years, you know my eldest has no problem getting as absolutely filthy as she can get.

Exhibit A.

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Exhibit B.

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“Walk with your nose in the air, little lady…even though there’s dirt all over your hiney.”

 

And the grand finale.

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“Dirt Road Camo”

Yeah.

Naturally, she took it up on herself to show everyone the joys of getting a run at the puddle from above in order to land in it with as much splash as possible.

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The race was on after that between Taegan and Drayson to see who could make the biggest splash.dsc_4330

 

On the days she’s not being heart-meltingly sweet and responsible, it’s this:

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A perfectly timed jump just to splash Little Sis. Even though I felt kinda bad for Luxe, I knew exactly what these kinds of antics do in the reward centers of an older sister’s brain. Let’s all just hope this is as bad as it gets and I don’t pay dearly for my raising…

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Whew! I finally got it to myself.”

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“Ohhhh, I see…feelin’ a little bad now, aren’t we?” Meanwhile, I can’t appreciate Luxe more for bringing out the affectionate side of Taegan. Not only does Luxe get the hugs and kisses that she dearly loves and bestows on all of us, but the farmer and I get to enjoy a few extra from Taegan, as well. That wasn’t the case before Luxe. You were lucky to get to steal them. “Hey, Mommy, is it just me…or would you say I won this?”

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At this point, I’m not sure Drayson’s boots are being effective at their job.

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Dirt roads…country kids…rain…boots…and a love of mud = puddle buddies.

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October Update/Ramblings of an Insane Pregnant Woman

1. As much as I hate it, my blog has had to take the backseat lately and my camera has sat in its case far too long. With work, pregnancy, school stuff, and motherhood/wifedom in general, I live in a state of perpetual chaos that I honestly haven’t figured out how to juggle gracefully yet. Add to it the impending extra child and I fake sob maniacally just to get myself to laugh. I think we have officially crossed over into crazy town. A tranquilizer dart may be in order.

A few weeks ago, I had a dream in which my cousin asked me to do her a favor and make the church loaf on Sunday. I walked out of the church house sobbing. Then, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. By the way I reacted, you would have thought it was a nightmare.

The next night, I dreamt that Taegan and I were going to miss a flight we had to be on, yet we didn’t have a car to get us to the airport. Have no fear, though, we could run as fast as cars, so here we are on Highway 60 running alongside a semi like it’s no thing. But, in my head, I knew we still weren’t going to make it.

Dreams reflect the subconscious and mine has been totes cray cray lately.

2. The farmer has been milking, feeding, cutting, baling, milking, cutting, baling, feeding into infinity and this week started planting. Mo’ cows, mo’ work. Inevitably, this means that the tasks that require some brawn or carpentry skill around here have had to take the backburner. I’m trying to be patient, but the pregnancy compulsion to nest takes over sometimes because there’s no nursery to “nest.”

3. I don’t have a single item of the baby bedding I designed done. “Yay, look at me! I’m going to learn how to sew, design and make all of my nursery stuff, and achieve world peace!” Why, why, WHY didn’t I just go buy something? I enjoy the time spent with my mom immensely (she’s helping me make it), but somebody honestly should have slapped me when the idea popped into my head. Taegan’s room was done before I hit the third trimester.

4. I still have to paint the dresser, too.

7. Get the crib out of storage and clean it.

6. Get the dog fixed.

7. Do most of my Christmas shopping because everybody knows that’s not going to happen when you have a newborn at the end of November.

10. Decorate for Christmas? I say BAH HUMBUG to that.

9. Prepare for the fall festival at Taegan’s school.

43. Organize the pantry.

2. Go to the doctor every whipstitch.

-5. Maybe buy a diaper or two.

Quince. Get all of Taegan’s outgrown clothes stored away.

Pickle. Get the carseat in my car.

9. Get all my photo albums up to date.

17. Say hi to my husband.

You know… everything and nothing that has anything to do with having a baby MUST be done YESTERDAY!

20. I need a vacation from myself.

2. I’m hungry.

21. The farmer built me some bookshelves for Taegan’s room. I found how to make them on Pinterest and he took it from there. They’re super cute and so easy. Easy to make and easy organizers because there’s no order or organization for the books. You just throw them in there and you’re done. It makes it a lot easier for Taegan to clean up her own messes, too, and I’d be crazy not to LOVE that.

 

 

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22. Taegan’s been cooking, which is one of her favorite things to do.

 

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She’s also been cracking us up with her maturing wit lately. She told us she got put in time-out at preschool last week. When I asked her what she did, her reply was, “That’s… a long story.”

The farmer took over after that while I stepped around the corner and listened trying not to bust out laughing:

Farmer: Well, I guess I’ll just have to ask your teacher.

Taegan: You never pick me up.

Farmer: Oh, that doesn’t matter; I can call anytime.

Taegan: You don’t know her number.

Farmer: Taegan, I have the school number. I can call up there anytime.

Taegan: (Looks skeptical as to the likelihood of that happening)

Farmer: So, tell me, did you like getting put in time-out?

Taegan: Well, I didn’t cry! (4 year olds and sarcasm…gotta love it.)

Farmer: (Getting a little heated) Well, what does make you cry??

Taegan: (Knowing she’s approaching dangerous territory) *crickets due to wheels quickly turning* “…Bleeding.”

With that response, the farmer was having trouble maintaining the firm look on his face and I was shaking. Making our daughter bleed is not part of our disciplinary repertoire in this house and, clearly, she knows that.

There was once a time before I had a child when I worried that being a stay-at-home mom was not going to be mentally challenging/stimulating enough…

There’s another story I wanted to share. It happened right before Taegan started school. The farmer had gotten out of the shower, so he shut our bedroom door, locking it because anyone with little ones knows that anytime a door shuts, it sounds an alarm to them wherever they might be in the house. They come running. Shut doors are NOT ok. I was in the bedroom folding and putting away clothes and she was watching cartoons. No biggie, right? Wrong. Door shuts. The sound of little feet running and she’s standing outside the door obnoxiously knocking, saying, “I want in!” (BAM, BAM, BAM) “Let me in!” (Fingers wiggling under the door) “Why does Mommy get to be in there?” (BAM, BAM, BAM)

Finally, a small, pleading voice says, “I want to join the herd!”

We about died. By that time, the farmer was dressed and opened the door and she skipped in with a successful grin on her face.

So cute I can’t even stand it.

23. I think this picture was taken by the farmer last spring. He put it on Facebook and titled it, “Tools in back pocket=farm girl.”

 

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Nothing has changed. Currently, a trip to Lowes still makes this girl’s day. I call this “Tools and Tutus.”

 

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Do you think Daddy bought these for her?

Um…yeah.

24. Taegan celebrated Grandparents Day at school with her two lovely grandmas.

 

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I absolutely love this picture.

25. Then, about 2 1/2 weeks ago, Taegan came down with the worst cold I think I’ve ever seen. It came with a high fever and lots of sleeping. Neither I nor the farmer came out unscathed. It took the whole family down for a bit, but we’re good now. The only time my daughter isn’t daddy’s girl all the way is when she’s sick. It’s when she’s not feeling well that only Mommy will do. So I rocked and I rocked knowing that the odds were very good I was going to get what she had, but she’s growing up so fast. If Mommy rocking comforts her, then Mommy rocks. Come what may.

I also allow this when she’s sick.

 

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Our bed. To Taegan, there’s nothing better than getting to sleep in our room. The farmer had to sleep in her room. And, trust me, this was no hardship for him. He didn’t want within 10 feet of us. Something about having to run a dairy or some such. No sick pay and no substitutes or what not. The poor guy got it, anyway, and had it the longest. It’s hard to take care of yourself and rest when you’re a farmer.

26. One morning, a few weeks back, I was working on the computer when I heard Taegan open the front door and go, “Whaaaaaat??”

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Taegan was headed outside to the barn, opened the door, and there stands Triumph. Just hangin’ out on the porch. Waiting. I’m pretty sure this calf thinks she is Taegan’s loyal dog.

Well, cattle on the porch was kinda’ the last straw for the farmer, so she joined some friends on a place we rent…where she can be well-socialized…where she can find herself…where she will grow into a balanced, well-rounded cow.

(Read more about Triumph here: http://wp.me/p1lzEK-qS and http://wp.me/p1lzEK-qS

27. I’m 32 weeks pregnant right now. Here’s a selfie from last week.

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This pregnancy has been as different as I’m sure my two daughters’ personalities will be. With Taegan, I gained 45 pounds, had flawless skin, back fat, horrible all day sickness, major swelling, joint pain, and an overall sense of peace and calm. (It’s called naivete.)

With this pregnancy, the sickness was very tolerable for the most part and I’ve been a string bean other than the little basketball that continues to grow. My fingers have swelled slightly and I can’t wear my wedding ring, but I’ve only gained 18 pounds. No back fat, no sciatica (unless I wake up on my back), no joint pain, and a sometimes overwhelming amount of anxiety paired with a roller coaster ride of happy-sad-happy-sad. Some days, the farmer only has to look at me or not look at me and the tears start falling. I don’t know who the woman residing in my body is right now, but I need her to leave. Fast. Oh, and my face possibly looks worse than it did in high school.

Bless my husband’s heart…he never knows who he’s going to walk in the door and find. He’s rolled with it very gracefully.

28. We celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday over the weekend. She a twin and that’s her on your left.

 

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I should have had them stand this exact same way and do a current version of this picture!

 

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Everyone got together and had a really good time visiting around a fire, roasting marshmallows, and listening to our children play and laugh.

And that’s pretty much what we’ve been up to lately.

Ta-ta for now!

Breauna

Snow Day

Yesterday was another–yet again–snow day and when there is snow, Peanut must play in it.

And when Peanut must play in it, Daddy must play in it, too.

She wanted to make a snowman and as any fun-loving, indulgent father would do, he agreed to it.

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See, she has more of a supervisory role.

Observing while the farmer does the laborious part.

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She might move to the other side, once in a while.

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Now, Peanut, you must punch the snowball.”

He didn’t really say that; I was just narrating.

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Official carrot holder. Somebody’s gotta do it!

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I hear it pays really well.

Then, Banjo arrived. He’s kind of a party crasher.

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This dog is so weird. Army crawling is his favorite mode of transportation. “Pft-puth-puh! Note to thelf: Don’t uthe your nothe ath a thnow plow…” (He has kind of a low, rather unintelligent voice if you’re trying to hear this in your mind. You’re welcome.)

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“I don’t know what that orange thing in her hand ith…but…I want it.”

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“Thtealth mode… keep your eye on the target.”

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“Doh! I’ve been made! I am up to abthoulutely nuffin.'”

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Thtick your nothe in the thnow…that alwayth confutheth ’em.”

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Then roll around…act like you’re just a dog…playin’ in the thnow.”

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“Yawn…look natural.”

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Meanwhile, the farmer is putting the finishing touches on the snowman.

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All done!

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Just your friendly, neighborhood Select Sires snowman. Out here in the cold. Advocating artificial insemination and exemplary genetics.

After that, being the adoring father that he is, the farmer threw a snowball at Peanut. However, Banjo saw this as an opportunity to play, as well. He kind of stole the show, in fact.

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The big galoof was showing off, catching snowballs on the fly.

“Catchin’ thnowbalth…I can do it in my thleep.”

Famous last words…

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“Firtht, you must antithipate.” (It’s kind of a selective lisp. I do it at my own discretion.)

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“Then, keep your eye on the thnowball.”

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“Wait for it…wait for it…”

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“Doh!! Mith’d it!”

In fact, he never…quite… caught it again.

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“But, look how high I can jump! Thee! Thee!”

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“Yeah!!! Th-tuck it!!

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Find the thnowball…and…bow.”

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A for effort, Banjo…ya cute lil’ thang.

Having way too much fun talking for my dog,

Breauna

A Cute Idea for Bathrooms

As all of you know, my house is small little thing, so I try my best to use the space I have efficiently. I can’t stand clutter, so anything that can hang on a wall and hold necessary items is a must.

I found a couple things on Pinterest (of course) and I thought I’d share. I’m combining the two.

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The shelves above the toilet are perfect! I love everything that’s on them. You can put cotton balls and Q-tips in the little apothecary jars, light a candle, admire the tulips, grab a towel,  and stare at the hands on the clock for a good minute trying to figure out what time it is.

Oh wait, that’s just me. Roman numerals and self-doubt.

These aren’t the colors in my bathroom, so I’ll probably try to find either white or espresso colored shelves. Black would look great, but I have disavowed black lately. Dusting every 30 minutes kinda puts a cramp in my style, ya know?

Anyway…

This is the other picture I found on Pinterest.

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I thought this was a really cute idea because nothing is sweeter to me than a bathtub baby picture.

And I snapped the perfect one a week ago.

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I think I’ll put it where the clock is.

Can’t wait!

Breauna

Family & Target Practice

Last weekend was a fun one. We visited a local farm owned by one of the farmer’s cousin’s in-laws.

Did you get that? Ok.

Anyway, she had planned a little get-together for lunch and then some target practice afterwards.

This farm, by the way, is absolutely picturesque.

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It sits in a bottom bordered by beautiful, tree-covered hills. This little driveway is lined with mature pines and a little further down the hill is Brush Creek and it runs right through the middle of the farm.

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It runs year-round and I’m so jealous. The rugged beauty of what Missouri has to offer sometimes takes my breath away and it causes me to  think that if God’s creation can already be this beautiful with weeds, rocks, bugs and other things that come with an imperfect world, that Heaven is going to be this beautiful to a degree of which I cannot understand at this point.

I didn’t get a chance to take all the pictures I wanted to take. There was this old red barn in a field that was really talkin’ to me, but the farmer had to get back to our farm so he could milk. The farmer thinks he’s self-employed, but from my observation, the milk cows are the real bosses around here. They run a tight ship.

Anyway, we got away for a little while and enjoyed some pulled pork from a local barbecue joint and various sides and desserts brought by everyone else.

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I even met some more of my husband’s family that I’ve never met.

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And I had to scold Peanut for picking ticks off the dog.

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After I doused her in a full bottle of Purell, I eventually got over it.

I absolutely inhaled my pulled pork sandwich. One of my favorite things in life is a pulled-pork sandwich, Memphis style. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s pulled pork on a bun slathered in some barbecue sauce with a heaping dollop of coleslaw. Top it with the other half of the bun and you’ve got it Memphis style. My mother introduced this to me and I never looked back. My husband is a convert, as well.

It was so nice to get to visit with family. However, the talking didn’t last long because there was shooting to do.

Peanut was one of the first to do it. That little tyke is always gung-ho to try anything. She’s ready!

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The farmer apparently doesn’t think it’s too young to teach our daughter a healthy respect for weapons, and I trust him. But, I’ll have to admit I was a little nervous even though I knew she wasn’t going to actually shoot. She was just going to stand between Daddy’s arms while he did it.

This picture’s a little grainy, but I just love it.

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It speaks to my heart. No matter what he’s doing, he has a helper.

She wanted a gun her size, so she chose the .22 pistol. And they were off!

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I don’t think the farmer has enough weaponry attached to his person, do you? I’d say if a shoot-out ensued, he’d be ok.

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Daddy shows her the ropes and then they fire.

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This is her running back to Mommy. She wanted no more of that, but I gave her a high-five for giving it a go. It may be a while before she wants to do that again and I am totally fine with that.

And now for a picture montage of the shooters:

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Leslee’s cousin, Deborah, and her husband, Tom. They’re the ones who got everyone together.

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I had to throw this one in the mix because I love how ear muffs make the little kids’ cheeks pooch out. He started hiding from me because I was stalking him and Peanut with my camera.

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My husband.

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Some first time shooters.

And then you always have those people that aren’t first-time shooters and look like they might know what they’re doing, but actually have no idea whether or not they’ll hit the target. Ya just never can know.

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I like that about myself, though. There’s an element of surprise there, ya know? If I ever DID have to protect myself, there’s a 10/90 chance that I will hit what I’m aiming for. Unpredictability, folks. That’s what I strive for.

Now a rifle is a different story. Although I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m accurate… I am consistent.

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How that benefits me? I’m not sure. But, it sounded good, so I said it.

This inability to be a good shot is one of the many ways in which I am humbled in life. It doesn’t mesh well with my quiet, but intense competitive streak.

If I could have thumped my husband at shooting, it would have made my year. Maybe my life.

I’m pretty sure that’s why he never finds the time to work with me on my shooting skills. He’s scared. Yep…

Anyway, it was great to visit with family and be surrounded by beautiful scenery.

And I’m definitely going to work on my shooting. I must be better than him at something…someday.

Pretty sure I can’t write myself out of a dangerous situation,

Breauna