Monday, August 24, 2015

You Say Tomato...

I have a few gardeners on my hands.  In more ways than one.  Especially the big guy. We've joked and sung, "The Farmer that's in Kael, the farmer that's in Kael, Hi Ho the Dairy-o, There's a farmer inside Kael."  He is serious about checking his crops first thing every morning.  :)
Yesterday, while I was mowing, they set up a system for collecting their harvest.  It was pretty adorable and efficient all wrapped into one.

Kael picked.
Dax washed.
Ace dried.
They were proud as punch.
Sure, I had to mop the floor afterwards thanks to the superfluous water from the sink that dripped from hither to dither.  Which led to tiny black footprints smudged from the sink to the back door.  And yes, I had to remove a sliver from Kael's foot.   But still, it was worth it.
It's fun to see the three main things I'm trying to grow up good and sweet (with just enough tang) spend their morning teaming up to pick the other things we're trying to grow up good and sweet... 
Love them.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Last Few Drops...

My kids suck on Otter Pops all summer long.  Well, Kael and Dax do... Ace has a serious aversion to all things cold.  I watched them the other day at "The Red House", their red cheeks slowly cooling to pink as their core body temperatures came down with the aid of the AC and yet another frozen treat...  They lift the little plastic sleeves and suck the very last drops of sticky cold juice from the packets every time they polish one off.  It's their ritual.  And I whole heartedly relate at this time of year.

It's the end of summer.  My mind is going through dual lists:  What's left on the summer to-do list and What's left to do on the prep for school list.  Both are good.  Both bring growth and adventure.  And both run simultaneously through my brain these days.  This week is our last of summer.  And that means I'm sucking the very last drops of marrow out of our summer days.  We're enjoying slow mornings with no where pressing to be and long afternoons in the sun.

Also Enjoying...
Making mud pies at Grandma's Bakery.
She embraces the mess and tells me,
"She's raising grandkids and memories and NOT the perfect back yard."
His daredevil leap off the high dive x forty-nine.
His unusual trepidation this go around, "But what if I fall?  Oh darling, but what if you fly?"
Lazy pool days with cousins
Sweeping the ladies right off their feet. 
There are two months that separate these two and they have a hot/cold relationship to say the least.
But man, he likes to be the big brawny one, for sure.
Parades... with Paddington.  :) 
They all yelled out and waved to "Paddington" so it would seem the National Forest Service needs to up the ante in their Smokey the Bear education department.
Parade Shenanigans...
Shooting with Daddy-o.
And those proud faces after shooting a few rounds.
Waiting Like Gentlemen
Which is harrrrrdddd!
And more scenes like this... 
Red, White and Blue All American Summer 2k15 --
You've been dreamy.

Monday, August 17, 2015

World's Fair...

We spent another weekend in Wayne County and these tough little cowboys entered the "Small Fry Rodeo" where they busted their very first mutton, had stick horse races and chased after a chicken and a "bunny" which we REALLY wanted to bring home.
(God bless the speedy kids that actually made it to the animals first!)
The Small Fry was also where Grandpa bought them each a blue snow cone... obviously.  :)We prepped for the evening by watching a few YouTube videos of other little cowboys and cowgirls riding sheep.  My little hombres were downright excited.  Not scared a bit.  Ready to ride!And dressed to kill, might I add.  Oh, wee little Wrangler butts and dusty boots -- You have my heart.
 Kael rode first.  Please note the size of this giant ram and it's HORNS!  What the?  This was my only picture in focus because I was so nervous for them!  He did great!  Landed hard (as do most little mutton busters) and walked off unscathed.
 This was Dax's dismount.  After this moment there was a few whimpers and a limp out of the arena.  I was beginning to doubt the whole thing.  But don't worry... I threw Acey up on a giant beast of a sheep since he was ready to ride and not about to pass up a chance to do what his brothers had already done!
Zoom in and you'll see the tiniest boots poking out from a sheep's butt... yep.  That's Ace. 
(Insert swear words here)
Meet Ace, the boy crying and bleeding profusely in the middle of the arena!
It should probably be noted that he had the longest ride of my three little amigos.  So there's that as a silver lining Ace Face.  As your mama, I'm sorry!
And here we are... me and my hard headed little cowboy who was the youngest to ride that evening with his trophy:  A bloody nose and a deep hatred for all things sheep.
Poor little cowboy!
I was so proud of them for even riding!  There were many a kiddo that scoped out the size of those "Infamous World's Fair Meanest Mutton in the Land" and passed on the entire experience.  These guys were tough despite the betrayal of those damn sheep rode on to another day.  And a more pleasant riding experience entirely...
 See?  We support riding domestic animals in this family too.  :)
It was an epic weekend for us.  A perfect way to tie out summer and squeeze the last few drops of adventure out of one of our favorite seasons.   We made some new memories in the fresh mountain air with our tribe... the whole clan on the Albrecht side.  
And some bonus stray kittens, of course.  :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Homework, Oh Homework...

I've broken out the summer workbooks maybe five times this summer?  Far less than I hoped for, but better than nothing at all, right?!  Sundays kind of count as double duty since they have to practice holding still and remain relatively quiet with just crayons for entertainment for three hours at a time... or so I tell myself.

I always feel as if I'm channeling my mama, the teacher of all teachers, when I get my homework game face on.  Just a girl carrying on Grandma Gail's torch of enlightenment and education...
You know, no big deal.  :)

The other day I got on a little manners kick.
Which led me to teaching the boys how to properly set the table.  I almost keeled over and died at how seriously they took this little exercise.  Kael was baking a cake for desert, Dax set the table, and Ace was "making his bed" (which is a work in progress to say the least).  
They may not have it yet, but dangit... future wives of the Gardner guys, we be workin' on it!  :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Snippets...

I'm a list girl.  I thrive when I set myself those little mini-goals on a sheet of yellow legal paper.  I diligently cross off my self-imposed "to-dos" daily.  It's my jam.
And you know, here we are at the close of summer and we're darn close to making big, dark, lines through the last of our summer scripts.  It feels good.  It helps me feel ready for the inevitable next step: school, schedule, homework & lessons.
We've had "play in the sprinklers" on the list all summer.  Now, I have to say that I thought playing in the hose and playing in the sprinkler were one in the same, but I had two little summer aficionados who begged to differ yesterday.
So sprinkler it was.  And of course, it didn't end up looking all "run through the sprinkler-like" but rather fill up buckets, dump buckets on one another, repeat.
It was a gorgeous afternoon with little friends.  Our time on the front lawn morphed into bubbles and sidewalk chalk and bikes.  And there it was, begging to have it's picture taken, the last few snippets of simple summer pleasures at home.
This weekend we'll be getting our fair on - and we're all "fairly excited" hardy har har.  We hope to make some corn shucking & mutton busting memories.  It's gonna be great.
But seriously, with our toes in the shallow shoreline of summer, it feels good to have crossed most of our lofty "sprinkler, swimming, hiking" goals off our list.