Tuesday, July 27, 2010

First came the chickens...

So in the spirit of my day of "Finish What You've Started" I shall attempt to finish a post I started back in February and then again in June. Since I don't know how to change the date or order of how things post I will start anew with a bit of cutting and pasting. Here is what I was saying back on February 27th:

The boys arrived home yesterday with these chicks...they are pretty cute. The boys and the chicks.
We went to visit our cousin's baby chicks the other night and Mason said, "I wish I could keep one." Josh has been researching and learning about them for a while now. Saturday morning greeted me with exhaustion, so Josh and Mason went to get groceries and let Ellie and I rest. A few hours later I got the call...
"Mommy I hope you got some good rest and we are bringing home baby chicks."

Josh and Mason had been to many feed stores in search of chicks and couldn't find what they were looking for. He told Mason we can stop looking when ever you want to. Mason said, "We can't stop until we find baby chicks!"

They found them and home they came. The first to be named was our little golden one that Mason named, "Grandma". Along with Grandma we have Grandpa, Uncle Chris, Lola, Charlie, Raven, Princess Buttercup, White Floor, and our Rooster, Hawkeye.

When Josh first told me his idea of raising chicks a couple of years ago I thought he was joking. Who knew we'd be farmers? I was not ready to take on the responsibility of chickens especially last year when Ellie first arrived. Even in February I was still not quite so sure, but the boys were. They knew and they love the chores. Mason wakes up each day eager to get out the door to check for chicken eggs. The other morning when he woke up I went to snuggle him and he said, "Nope I need to go outside and check to see if there's an egg."

Each day the treasure hunt continues. He keeps a careful watch and will come running with his hands behind his back. "There's something round my back... It starts with a...(pause for thinking of the letter it starts with)..an egg." This has progress into "...it starts with a chicken egg." Today he was so excited to show me that when he swung his arms around the two eggs cracked together. "That's okay," Daddy said, "I''ll hurry in and make you an egg burrito."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Medieval Tournament of Sorts

The idea if the theme parties began years ago; back when we first moved into our little plastic castle on the Big Brown Lawn. Back then the lawn was much bigger and much less brown, but we have been dilligent with under watering it, and now it has taken on a husky, golden hue. The past parties have included a regatta, mini golf, Greek olympics, and now medieval games.

This year's event was medieval themed. Well that was the intent. Along the way, some of the theme focus was lost and historical accuracy was put to the wayside. Oh, we still had the common things you would expect from your average party: the catapult, a castle, foamy broadswords with fancy shields. Yet the "Black Knight" was never unhorsed (did I just make that word up?), and the King spent much of the party in his work clothes.

In the end, it was a fun time with the lords and ladies of the land. We will be back next year to do it Bigger... Better... Bears... Beets... Battlestar Galactica!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Garden Babes

The other day a dear friend of mine asked me if there was content missing from our blog because when she had gone on to look the last post was in April. I have been "writing" many posts, in my mind, and just can't seem to find the time to put them on the "reputer" as Mason calls it. I have actually started 3 and they sit in our file waiting to make their debut. Until then, here here is a glimpse from today of my little "helpers" as we were making a special delivery to our thoughtful neighbor.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Too Hot!

When the temperature gets so warm the sidewalk is blistering and even the tomato plants are looking for shade, then life at the Big Brown Farm turns inward. 900 square feet may not lend itself to such cool inventions as carpet skates (I saw these once at a toy store and thought they looked cool and I should get some, then realized that our 5x8 foot rug might not be the ideal skating rink.), but there is enough room to do some crafting.

This day, the craft was decorating egg cartons. This, of course, with the expectation that our Hot Chicks will be laying more prolifically in the near future, and we will need custom storage for their calcium coated bundles of joy.

Mason, no stranger to the medium, dove into the watercolors with gusto. While Ellie, curious about the culinary aspects of the pigments, tasted each color much to her mother's disapproval.

In the end, we created enough storage for seven dozen eggs.

Now it's up to the Ladies to come clean on their end of the bargain. So, come on Ladies! Get those pushers pushin"!

Top Ten

Yesterday Josh and I celebrated our 10th anniversary, well actually we have been celebrating for a few days now. I mean why must it only be a one day thing? A dear friend of mine asked me yesterday while wishing me a happy anniversary, if there was some content missing from the blog for when she went to read it the latest entry was from April. The answer is yes, there is so much that I want to write and share and remember, but I have yet to master the art of dutiful blogging. Perhaps I will find the time and energy to be more consistent, but I am not making any promises. I did receive some comments this week on the blog from readers in far away places who stumbled upon this page and were moved by what they saw to write and share their thoughts. One writer was from Brazil. It always amazes me to think of who is out there reading about our silly antics.

It is these antics that make our lives rich. Rich with experience, rich with love. And it is with that I begin my top ten list for why I love being married to Josh. They are not in any particular order. I have been thinking of them for a while now, but if I am ever going to get them from my brain into this piece I must write as they come and worry about order later. This is much like my housekeeping style I suppose.

* Creativity: Josh is constantly creating. It can be seen in his garden, his "chef-ing", his music, the list goes on and on. Since it is anniversary time I think back to one of my favorite creativity stories, our engagement. Those of you that know me, know that I have a unique engagement ring. Where most have a diamond, I have a Lego. That's right, a Lego. Over the years I have been asked about it many times and have had many guesses about what that unique blue "stone" is. I think my favorite was the man at the post office, "Is that some sort of diamond cover?" Yes, I cover my diamond in plastic, Ha too funny. Before Josh proposed he had shown the ring to colleagues at work, friends and family and got just about every reaction you can think of from good to bad. The guys were usually super excited and the gals had mixed reviews, one flat out said, "I would say NO!" But he wasn't asking her, he was asking me. The other night we were at a friend's going away party and I overheard Josh talking to other guests about the ring. The typical question why a Lego? was asked. Josh told about how he proposed to me at Legoland and how inside the ring it is engraved, "My missing piece". Hearing him say that reminded me of how special that ring is to me. It is easy to get caught up in the busy of our lives and forget to stop and remember these special moments.

Strength: Josh is a performer, a musician. He is not shy in front of a crowd. These were all things that were the opposite for me before I was married to Josh. Over the past ten years I have found courage and strength to speak in front of large groups of people. I lead our whole school morning sing assembly, which used to terrify me. The first time I had to do it I wore a costume so I could somehow hide. Josh has helped me see what joy music can be. We have attended countless workshops and shared the joys of music with Mason and Ellie. I always loved music, but was too shy to feel like I could create my own. I will no longer say, "I am not a musician."

Pride: We recently went to Seattle to visit Josh's brother and future sister-in-law. They, along with other family members, ran the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. 13.1 miles. Even when I was in elite athlete shape living at the Olympic Training Center, running was always a challenge for me. When Josh said he was going to do this, I was excited for the trip, I love Seattle. I was glad to have the kiddos to watch and not have to run. The day of the race Josh was up early and off to get started. Me being a novice marathon spectator thought, I have all the time in the world to get there. So we got up ate breakfast, met up with his aunt, and drove over to the race. As we drove through a tunnel on the freeway there were tons of runners in the center. The view was breathtaking: Seattle, racers, Josh was a part of it all. I started to get all misty and proud of him. I told Mason and Ellie, "Look and see if you can see Daddy. Don't worry if you can't there are 28,000 runners in this race." Later Mason told me, don't worry if we don't see Daddy, there are 25 people in this race. That's a lot of people." It was all real now. We found the parking structure and I drove in not knowing I was supposed to pay upon entering. Debi followed in after me and the attendant chased her down hitting her car to catch us. We had a good laugh at the top of the parking structure and got busy making posters for the finish line. Josh called to tell us they were a mile away. I thought, "Cool, we have plenty of time to get there." Like I said, novice spectator. Trekking down to the ground level with the wee ones and over to the finish line...they beat us to it. I was heartbroken. I wanted to be there for him. We found them and shared our poster and love. Next time we'll be ready.

Humor: The other night on one of his Facebook rants Josh was on about LOL. This is one thing Josh and I have always joked about. Like Strongbad says, "Why do they have to abreve everything anyway like bus-cas-fri?" I loved when Josh said he knew I was the one because I could truly make him laugh out loud. I love this about him, too. "Everybody Dance Now."

Passion: My rowing coach in college once gave our crew a huge talk about needing to have passion. Passion for life, passion for rowing. You can't truly win without passion. I believe it. It amazes me when people say they are bored. I can't seem to find enough time to do all that I want to do. Josh and I often get so involved in projects and things and then more ideas emerge and we don't finish what we have started. Too much passion....we are working on this one.

Friend: Josh is someone I know is always there for me. Even when he doesn't have an answer for me, he knows what to say. I love him deeply for this.

Father: A wise woman told us, "Find what you like to do and do it in front of kids." This is Josh. He shares so much with our children. Mason is his sous-chef, his handy man helper, his chicken farmer, gardener, artist, writer, musician...the list goes on and on. The other morning I woke up hearing them in the kitchen cooking breakfast. I heard Mason say, "I'm not a good chef." It was the saddest thing to hear. Later Josh told me how Mason had brought in an egg from the chickens, cracked it, mixed it and was going to cook it. He had done so much himself and then his hand got a little close to the pan and he got a little burned. Josh consoled him by saying he was a great chef and that he burns himself lots of times. "Why?", asked Mason.
So I have 7 are you even still reading? It is late, my how it is late. I will hurry these last 3 along, not because they are not important, but my how it is late.

Travel: I love the adventures we have taken and look forward to more.

Good Eats: I love that Josh loves to cook!

Good Earth: I love that you care about our Earth and our place here on it. I love our Little Plastic Castle on our Big Brown Lawn. I love that passion you have for making our home the magical place that it is. I love you dearly, I look forward to the next ten and beyond.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

The boys woke me up today to tell me that the dump truck that was bringing us piles of stuff had come with one load and would be back soon. Mason was inspired to write and perform this new hit song, "Com Back". He even got "dressed up" for his first music video.

"Come Back" Lyrics By Mason
Come back, come back, come back
My pretty, little dump truck
I wonder if you are getting more stuff
I got a new bell for my big ol' bike

After rockin' out it was time to become king of the hill.
Better get some rest tonight, we've got a lot of stuff to move tomorrow.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break, WOO HOO!

"Rise and shine Mommy!" A greeting that was not met with feelings of rising at that moment. Our first day of spring break was upon us and all I really wanted to do was fall back asleep and relish in the fact that I didn't need to get up and rush around to get somewhere on time. Mason, on the other hand was ready to spend our "not a work day" being the busy bee he likes to be, so as I found ways to stretch out my "having to get up moment", my mind began to go down the list of options of how we could spend our first day. We landed on taking part in our Preschool Group's snow day trip and it couldn't have been better. What a way to kick off the week together.
I didn't escape the rushing around to get somewhere, but packing snow gear was more fun than the daily routine. We drove up to Yuba Gap and the weather was spectacular. I loved how Mason kept saying how Ellie would be so excited to see the snow for her first time. She woke up just as we were driving down the road to the Sno-Park and he was telling her to look out her window and see the snow. Too cute.
We got out, got suited up, hiked up to find our friends from the preschool. Then the fun began.

We found a tree cave
A hunting we will go...

Solo sledding on the bunny hill
Let's do that again...

Here we go!
The girls


Bump, bump, bump! (Look at that hair!)

Ellie hangin' in the snow.
Snow Angels

Snow Snacks

Family Fun at its finest!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Brother Needs A Sister

"The Picture" by Louden Wainwright sums it up well. "A brother needs a sister to watch what he can do, to protect and to torture, to boss around it's true. But a brother will defend her for his sister's love is pure, because she thinks he's wonderful, when he is not so sure."

Here we are at the Farmer's Market last weekend.

Mason and Ellie's favorite song is Jingle Bells. When we were first driving with Ellie and she began to cry Mason sang it to her and she calmed right down. To this day it works like magic. I think it must be from hearing it so much in the womb as Mason loved hearing it all year long.

Here's to brothers and sisters. I love my brother, too. Happy almost spring, Chris!

The Girl's Got A Lot To Say

On Top Of Spaghetti

My budding musicians practicing away.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How Can I Remember When I Am Up This Late?

So it is crazy late and I should be in bed, but I fell asleep on the couch watching old favorites with Josh and eating tasty desserts to be woken up by Ellie. Then while reading blogs and such online I began to think of how I haven't updated in a while. I think of updating and then the moment is not right or something and suddenly so many moments have happened that I don't know where to begin. So I am not going to try to figure out which story or photo is right and just say, oh how I wish I had a way to remember the magic that happens around me daily as Mason and Ellie become their little selves. They are amazing and I know I won't remember it all because our brain just can't work that way. I learned recently that for our brain to move things from working memory to long term memory we need to sleep at least 9 hours to get to our 3rd REM cycle. No wonder I don't remember things I can't remember the last time I slept 9 consecutive hours. I wish I had time to blog more, but then when would I have time for the fun we are having?

This week I remember why we live in this little plastic castle on our big brown lawn. Mason ran around singing a song today about how we never have to go to work and we just stay home and play forever. Forever...a difficult concept to grasp. Just the other day he asked me why are we going to keep Ellie forever? I said, "Because she is our baby Ellie, your baby sister. Do you want to keep her?" "Yes," he answered. Tonight at the grocery store he laughed as she played with him hanging over the cart seat backwards and "talking" to him. "Ahhhhhhhhh." "Look at Ellie's new teeth, they're coming in!" he shouted all smiley and proud.

Wait, that wasn't about why we live here, but I guess it is a bit. I love that we have this amazing space amidst the craziness of life. This place where you can go outside and lose yourself in the outdoors. Today we dug in the dirt, planted seeds, flowers, found ladybugs and Mason let them crawl all over his hand and up his arm talking to them like they were the best of buds, we imagined we were sailing on a ship and much more.

In the photos at the top of this post they both look so grown up to me. Ellie with her very first "Rebloon" as Mason calls them these days. A couple of weeks ago he discovered the prefix Re and is attaching it to many words such as Rebloon, Remana (banana), Resposed (supposed), and so on. I love Rebloon, it sounds so pirate like. Anyway, she adored this balloon I should try to upload a video of her playing with it, but not right now it's late.

The other is of Mason on our hike with MaryEllen by the river. He officially looks like a boy or as he would say, "bay". "That bay at my preschoo-ool..." Yes there is an extra syllable there. He is holding her thermos, carried it the whole way taking coffee breaks (like the dog on Shaun the Sheep we later discovered) along the way. Tonight he brought it to bed (Thank you MaryEllen for the gift, he loves it!) Loves it so much he brought it in while we read Wacky Wednesday and Wocket in my Pocket and he took a couple of "coffee breaks" before falling asleep snuggling it.

When people ask me if I want to move to get a bigger house, I always feel funny. I never really think of that and wonder why they are wanting me to think that. I am happy here and love my family. I have what I need.

So if you have made it to the end of this post with any sense of what I have written about I applaud you. You appreciate the joy in living and taking note of the small stuff that makes you smile. I hope to return with more stories, photos and videos so that I may look back and remember what my brain has forgotten. Why can't it erase silly things I don't want and keep the good stuff? I guess that's what photos and journals and blogs are for. As I watch our new shuffling screen saver and see photos of our tiny Mason, I hardly recognize him when he was so new. He is ever changing and so is Ellie. I guess that is how things work, you can't capture it all, so there is always something new to create.