Monday, June 30, 2014

In Bulk...

Sometimes I want to move out to the hills and work a ranch.  Complete with fields of billowing golden grain, a fence, some chickens, a couple of cows and grazing horses.  

And boys and puppies.
In bulk.
Ace Face would happily concur.  This boy and those pups.  He only wished he had more arms to scoop up more furry friends to snuggle and pet and shmoosh.  When he stumbled upon another pup at his feet the conundrum on his face said it all... for the love, that kid.
I don't know how I got so lucky.  I know it sounds trite but I mean it.  I have the benefit of having perspective regarding kids... years without and now a few years with.  And lemme tell you, I'll take these years a thousand times over.  And the fastest, fleeting years when these guys were rolling around in diapers like little puppies themselves?  Be still my beating heart.
These moments when I see all this adorable-ness in pictures?  These are when I pat the hubs on the back and even congratulate myself on making perfect babies.  It's bonkers, is what.  And it makes my uterus implode.  Yes, they are rowdy and dirty and loud and can't sit still to save their lives... but oh, they are perfect to me.  My soul dances as they thrive.
So, I'm in the market.  For a ranch.  With land and chickens and cows and horses...
For these guys.  And their furry friends.
Sign me up, Buttercup.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Work It Out...

We had some work to do this week.
For real:  Our little entrepreneurs had orders to fulfill for family, neighbors and friends.

Know why?  I'll tell you why.  This mama of little man folk was kind of having a panic attack about raising upstanding citizens.  You know, Ryan and I work hard to provide a nice childhood for our kids.  Even a "comfortable life".  But the truth is, a good portion of life is just WORK:  dirty, grimy, unpleasant, "just do the damn job until it's done because it needs to get done"... work.  Isn't it?  Much of my life is comprised of doing things I don't really feel like doing; but I do them anyway.  Oh, yours too?  Thought so.
Well, Ryan and I are realizing that sometimes kids need this hard work.  Against every shred of their desires they need to be made uncomfortable and get ticked and not want to do it but know that people are depending on them and DO THE WORK ANYWAY.
At least we think they do?
SO, in our quest to ask our kiddos what can they contribute instead of what they can "get or take", with a side lesson on money management and saving for a rainy day, we present to you, the building of the "Gardner Guys Cooler Sticks".
They are PVC pipes filled with a salt water solution and sealed to be frozen and used in your coolers to keep perishables cold without the mess of melted ice.  Home made ice packs at their finest.  Hand made with love and a little frustration and thirty of the most adorable tiny fingers that ever did slave away.
Want one?  They're still taking orders.  Much to their chagrin.  And they make them out in the sun with me and they get flushed cheeks and sweaty necks and then they polish them up and hand deliver them.
You know what I think I saw when they delivered their first batch to their customers?
And that's a lesson all on it's own.  Hard work and grit feels good and looks fantastic on 'em, you know?
As do Super Hero costumes, but alas, we digress.
Now if only someone could promise me that all this panic, followed by action, followed by pride would equate to a trio of upstanding citizens?  Anyone?
Fine then - just cross your fingers and send us your best juju, eh?
Much obliged.  
And thanks to our family and friends that are supporting these cool little business dudes.  :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Mermaid Lagoon"...

We did Lagoon this past weekend.
We didn't just go to Lagoon - we "did" it...
Little Gardner Guy style.
To accomplish this requires you ride every single ride you're tall enough to ride at least once.  The wet and fast ones definitely more than twice.
I should back up a wee bit - my kids were calling it, "Mermaid Lagoon" all week in anticipation of our visit.  Maybe you aren't as familiar with Jake and the Neverland Pirates as we are here.  In that cartoon the mermaids live in "Mermaid Lagoon", so all this talk of magical rides and the epic fun that is Lagoon, just kinda led them to what I think Lagoon should probably be called from this point forward.
Anyway, back to "doing" Lagoon... You have to change your clothes mid day and put on a new pair of shoes because your little toes are white and shriveled from being in the "baths" known as your kicks all morning long.
To "do" Lagoon you have to appreciate the smell of wet and sweat and greasy AND curse the fact that it costs a bazillion dollars to ride the freakin' Dragon Coaster and buy them an ice cream cone.
It does come with its perks, though, this Amusement park madness.  It's basically an open crayon box. A dirty old box of crayons, but nevertheless, colorful.  And Lawd knows a little summer color can go a long way in the happy kids/happy life department.
Plus, guaranteed, you can't draw a picture of a peacock without some crayons, you know?
So doing Lagoon... made for a loud and dirty and possibly even over-stimulating day... but it was perfect.  Seriously.  How fun is it to watch my boys in childhood bliss?
Sometimes, we have to put our adult eyes away for a day to see that joy offered by a silly Amusement park.  If not, we'll miss the wonder.  And I'll be honest... I'm not ready to outgrow the magic of a "free" toy in a McDonald's happy meal or the thrill of being given a sucker by a drive through bank clerk.  Yes, everyone should, every once in a while, shed the stiffness of maturity and go to the Amusement park and eat a corn dog and think nothing of saturated fat because it's not about nutrition... it's about interrupting the norm with spun sugar and wet kicks and calliope music and magic.
'Til next time "Mermaid Lagoon".

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Rain Came Down...

It rained in our valley this past week.  Not a warm summer's rain.  A cold, take-your-breath-away, icy rain that made for a short splash session - but a splash session nonetheless.
I don't know about you, but I could get transfixed in lashes laden with rain drops.  And hair with frosted tips peeking out from rain coat hoods.  And shorts that sag after puddle jumping to reach the tops of galoshes.

And this.
The family that sprays together stays together.
I don't remember a colder spell of weather in June.  In fact, our mountains were covered in white and green.  Snow capped and lush.  The dichotomy of the two was so delicious even my cell phone pointed out the window of my car could pick up on the brilliance.
 And the sunsets that God delivered after our little summer snap of winter?
Fuh-get-about-it.  They've been out of this world. 
June, between this and your killer "Honey Moon" you might get my vote for favorite month
of summer in 2014. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Life Lately...

You know those moments when life requires a massive photo dump of a week's events because it's summer and you're light on time to wax poetic about trips to hither and thither, but you totally believe in documenting these crazy amazing days of summer?
Yes, that.
"Cali-bunga" so named by Acey, was a total success.  If you're looking for a water park experience for little ones... Cowabunga Bay gets two thumbs up from us.
And from them.  The little slide demons of the world.
TBall continues to slay me in the best possible way.  Sure, I could deal without "coaching" and let's be clear that we use that term very loosely, but I'd do it all again just to watch them in their oversized hats with their mitts on the wrong hand.  LOVE.
Splash parks still reign supreme around here.
As do these killer hazel eyes.  Even with the obvious atti-TWO-d.  That's right.  I'm gonna coin that phrase for two-year-olds.  We're makin' it all the way to Webster, y'all.
I got my girl on with my little niece Alli-pants.  She shook her groove thing to "I need a Hero" and made me laugh as she twirled in her sassy tutu.  Thanks for letting me tag along swista-friends.
We park... (not that kind) the kind with slides and teeter-totters and little under slide areas that so obviously spell out, "Drive Thru".  I'm greeted every time by three little order-takers that collect my fictional money and deliver my fictional Diet Coke with Extra Ice.  :)
 We climb trees like monkeys.
 And built vast mountain eco-systems in our sand box.  Kael and Dax are bossing the neighbor boys around since they know every last detail about the Boulder Mountain and which lake should go here and which four-wheeler trail should go there.
And we toast.
To summer.
With "Snow Cones" of the "Blue and Yellow" variety.
Of course.