Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tiny Rakes...

I've told you about our grand plans to have a little yard care crew in about ten or so years, right?  You know, to fund missions and college and cars and what not.  Well, if for some reason I left that out along the way... now you know.  The "Gardner Boys" will probably be taking care of every yard belonging to every cute little old lady you've ever met; and so, I have taken it upon myself to provide them with the proper training & tools so they'll be good and ready.

Enter - tiny rakes.
They are a fantastic addition to our tiny lawn mowers, tiny yard gloves, tiny planting spades and of course, the beloved tiny snow shovels.

And you guys... I know I'm biased, but these little dudes are quite the crew.  When they put their minds to it, they actually can get some serious work done.  It makes me a little heady with pride.

It also makes me a little delirious with fall fever.  What is it exactly about kids and fall leaves?  It's like the most magical combination of all the seasons.  But don't hold me to that because you know I'll recycle that exact same line when I see the little misters in the season's first snow fall, or when they're crouched over the first tulip breaking through the frozen ground.  It's what I do.  It's who I am.  Sign me up for "Prodigious Over Exaggerators Anonymous" right this second.  What can I say, Mother Nature is the bomb and I can't be held responsible.

But I can be found in the yard, enjoying the last of the season's colors with my little worker bees and their fine new tools.  They kind of "Tom Sawyer" me into it most days by making it look so dang fun.  

And Lawd knows I've never been good at resisting boys that are having a little fun.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Visit...

Oh Hey!  And how was your weekend?
Let me just tell you a little bit about ours... it was a virtual Octoberfest around here complete with pumpkin patches, the raking of fall leaves and football.  And after hunting the prior weekend, that all seems to make everything well-rounded and complete in the land of little men, right?

It also means their mama totally deserves a cupcake.  I might be feeling the tiniest bit exhausted.  I suppose a loaf of pumpkin bread, heavy on the chocolate chips, will suffice.

I present to you, the Vineyard Pumpkin Patch...
And you guys, we hadn't even made it through the main doors yet.  THAT is how exciting we think a big ole' pile of seasonal gourds actually is.

We have yet to perfect our "stick your head in the hole" science to these little photo ops.  To their credit, the back side was a jimmy-rigged, disaster waiting to happen, cinder block atop a stump, kind of a deal, so they probably weren't feeling real "steady on their feet" if you know what I mean.

Oh, And Acey was right there as the smiling face of the black cat just a milli-second before I took this picture.  And like horseshoes, almost totally counts around here.

This next little group of pictures is maybe my favorite.  Because, my babies + baby animals is a formula that will equate to cuteness no matter how you slice it.  Kaelster and Acers are my little snuggle loves.  They kind of adore to pet furry little things and have them nibble on their fingertips.  

Daximus puts up with it but only if you very clearly point out that the next phase of Pumpkin Land includes a playground complete with slides and monkey bars.  And for such an adept little climber, I suppose that creates enough motivation to grin and bear it.

Until you finally reach the mecca that is a jungle gym.

As a side note, my brother dubbed Fritos chips, "Grease Hogs" way back in the day and I shall forever smile and refer to them as such.  Isn't that just about the most perfect name for a food you ever did hear?  
I know, he might have a future in food nomenclature should his fisheries science-y thing not work out. :)

And since there was about twelve preschool groups visiting Pumpkin Land this very day, you can see the wisdom in my wardrobe selections for my tiny trio.  You can never go wrong with neon for public outings and you also can't be shy about pattern.  The fact that they could not care less about what they wear everyday is about the only thing I have working in my favor here.

Oh, who am I kidding, I have just about everything working in my favor.
I love these little punkins'.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dangle Me a Carrot...

Wanna know what I'll do for this?


Holy crap, I'm good.  Or I'm just fearful that A) If I don't reward myself it will never get done.  And/Or B)  If I don't do it, our casa will start to look like one of those houses on Hoarders.
Seriously... this is ONE WEEKEND worth of laundry... a hunting weekend, so, you know... 
but TWO days is what you're looking at.
Heaven help me.
Or bring on the Sugar Cookies in bulk, please.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Games People Play...

I'm going to divulge one of my favorite games to play with the Hubs.  If I'm being honest, I'm a little bit better at it than RyGar is, because, well, nonsensical babbling is one of my gifts.  In fact, RyGar has even said to me in socially awkward situations, "Man am I glad for your gift of gab."  And I take it as a compliment every time, because, why not.

Anyway, when we actually get to go out together, to a public place (our favorites are airports and amusement parks for this game and holy Vegas... gold mine) -- we la-la-la-LOVE to "ad lib" peoples' conversations.  Let me give you an example.  When you can see a couple arguing down the path toward the cotton candy stand and you're far enough away to not be able to hear but close enough to see their facial expressions and their hand gestures?  THAT is a golden set up for our little game.  And seriously, the things we can come up with on the spot would amaze you.  I usually start (note aforementioned yackety-yack syndrome) but when the Ryno jumps in... it's usually unforgettably funny and or crude.  Mostly crude.  It's deliciously naughty is what it is and we crack ourselves up every single time.

Airports are rad because there is just so much going on at airports.  Literally so many moving parts.  Escalators and luggage carousels and security checkpoints naturally require people to really focus and thus they totally forget the fact that they are in public.  It's a fantastic little stage for our dramatic finesse.

And these little drama cats of ours are just, well let's just say the apples don't fall far from the trees. Holy moly, can they commentate what would seem to be the most mundane of all afternoon events and make up the best little stories known to mankind with next to nothing as props or inspiration.  

This one involves a race to a fire where "Daxi will help you if you have a broken leg and he will carry you on his back and crawl through the smoke to get you to the ambuwance."
He already has a hero complex.  Impressive.

This one is just pretty obvious, "I'm standing on top of an airpwane flying HIGH in the sky!  I won't fall, Mommy.  I'm super bery awesome at it.  Do you see me waving up here?"

And this one... I couldn't really tell for sure what was going on, but I could tell this story was a knock-out... "Something Something Something and a BIG TREE!  Something Something Something I TWO, Happy Birthday and Presents!  Something Something Something Because, Well, Chickens want some Moy.  Something Something and a Mean Spider and a Bald Eagle!  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!"

Oh man, he's gonna beat me in my own game.  And with so little practice.
Raw freakin' talent.
I'd better go park my butt in a restaurant with the hubs soon for a few practice rounds before we get too rusty.  If you see us, just nod knowingly and give us some good material, eh?  Maybe throw your glass of water on your lunch companion or something like that?  Thanks a mill.  :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

And So It Goes...

Shall we have a continuation of "the hunting weekend Part I"?
OK, Let's.

This past weekend was the deer hunt.  I was the only lucky tag holder.  With four very expectant men/hunting guides.  OK, Acey isn't officially a hunting guide yet.  We've decided that three is the very best age to start a guiding career, so he's not yet entered his rookie season.  And thus, he held down the fort with Grandma Gail and Baby Haven.
Insert cute picture of Ace.  Perfect.  Moving On.

We got all packed and ready to go and off we went to hit up the hills for some delicious jerky meat.
Which I got, but seriously, I kind of feel like the picture isn't even worth posting this year.  I shot the tiniest legal buck I've ever shot?  It's hard to tell since I get "buck fever" and excitedly take aim at anything with horns.  You see, me and patience, we have a long history of not being incredibly in sync with one another.  What can I say... it's still not my virtue.  Just zoom in if you want to see this animal's ginormous rack.... BUT, it was all still considered to be a victory according to my little companions as they excitedly announced to everyone and anyone that they "GOT A DEER!"

The master butcher did his best work and then washed his hands - thank goodness.  I know, I know, this picture looks a little bit Halloween/Dexter-ish what with the bloodied hands, but just know, he was in his finest meat prepping form here.  And the little blaze orange buddies dutifully commentated and asked about body parts during the entire process.  It was all very educational in a sciencey kind of way.  And then they inquired about the "gut pile" and were downright thrilled with the fact that it would be consumed by birds and or a coyote.  "A coyote!  Let's wait and see!" 
It's the circle of life y'all.  

Since the deed was done exactly three minutes after sunrise, we opted to hike around with the boys just to hone their skills a bit more and you know what?  They got it.  Here is a "Where's Waldo" opportunity for you... In this picture they have spotted a deer... can you?

I told you.  They got mad skills.  And their Mama is gonna work on her patience. 
And that's a wrap on Hunting Season 2013.
Tiny buck slayer... Out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ohhh a Field Trip...

I have to say that on any given Monday morning, I'd like to be one of the Gardner three.  Let's take this past Monday for instance.  They rose (with the sun, dagnabit!) to cups of chocolate milk with a side of Fruit Loops.  They watched one of their favorite cartoons.  "Helped" get themselves dressed and make their beds, and then adventure number one began promptly at nine o'clock.

Enter Itty Bitty Ball - at the local Rec Center, where they get to play with some sort of ball every Monday and Wednesday for forty-five minutes with little friends and adoring coaches in a gym complete with crash mats and colored "cozy cones" and a water fountain.  Heaven I tell you. 

Afterwards they head to the park to roll around in all the germs they can find to kill a half hour where they collect rocks and slide and climb until they vaguely hear that lady with the Capri Suns in her hands yell, "Boys, let's go to the Fire Station!" and they run as fast as their little legs can carry them to rehydrate, then receive an exorbitant amount of praise for using the toilet in an efficient manner, and THEN they high tail it to see the beloved Fire Trucks.

And let's face it - a fire station might as well be an amusement park for little men.  I swear to you, they stood a little taller, spoke a little more frequently of "helping people" and wore their little badges with complete pride.  As all budding heroes do, you know.

SO - a huge thank you to Lehi Fire Department for being so amazing.  It's my job as the mama of this army of little men to make all the appropriate little boy dreams come true while I'm in charge of them and this was a giant, CHECK!  

And thanks to Miss Amy who arranged this little field trip where siblings were welcome to attend.

And as a P.S. we totally practiced "Stop Drop and Roll" and going to the "Safe Spot" at the mailbox thanks to this little excursion, and as a girl who survived a house fire, I rested a little bit easier that night thanks to our safety drills that were spawned by our little outing.
Now go have a safety drill of your own, OK?  Scouts Honor?  Good.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Camo Hugs...

You wanna know what is the absolute greatest thing about camo hugs?  You really can't tell where one ends and another begins.  I mean, have you ever?

Such a plethora of camo and flame orange can only mean one thing... 'tis hunting season.  

This weekend we joined Daddy-o for the last weekend of the spike elk hunt.  These little men could not be held back any longer... they HAD to get out in the mountains in their "deering pants and deering jackets" immediately.  And who am I to argue with such a compelling plan?

Of course, the first evening out, about fifteen minutes in, our mighty hunters looked like this...

All that anticipation was downright exhausting.  Oh Geez...
By six p.m. this Mama was nervous that bed time might never come if nap time drug on any longer, so I broke one of life's cardinal rules and I woke sleeping babies.  Three of them to be exact.  They were thrilled.  I mean daggers, is what I got, in multiples, but eventually they came around with the help of Pringles, and "Chalk-a-Lot" as Acey says, and cool mountain air whisking in through open windows. 

Day two they were all powered up and raring to go.  I kissed the big littles' cheeks and packed their cooler full of good stuff and oogled at their little man camo get ups and stayed home with Acey. 

 Where despite the freezing wind, this little BOY wanted to soak in the sunshine on the swingset for a good decade.  Oh kids and swings = Heaven, I say.  But then my version of Heaven came about... a nap with a warm, breathy little bundle for TWO WHOLE HOURS.  I seriously must be livin' right.

And next weekend?  We will press repeat on our camo wardrobe and our diet of apples and pine nuts mingled with junk food because it's the annual deer hunt.  This mama is the only one with a tag.  A tag and four very expectant men.  Wish me luck.

 I'm fairly certain I'll shoot 'em up!  :)