Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How am I doing?

As I drive down the road to town, the kids talking incessantly in the backseat. I don't mean to, but I tune them out. I reach over and turn on the radio. They quiet down to listen. I switch between the country stations and christian music stations. It doesn't matter which one, I always hear something that makes it happen. All these emotions I have neatly packed away stuffed down and stomped into place. A padlock tightly closed. The key hidden. I didn't mean to put them there, but they are there. I can't get them to come out most of the time. But now and then, especially driving, with the music on, the come up. Such a wave that crying doesn't cover it. I scream. Hit the steering wheel. The kids ask what is wrong, then answer the question to each other, because they know. "Mama is just missing Uncle Bill."

I do. Most of the time life is just routine and I don't even think of him. Or when I do it is a funny memory and I laugh. It isn't even the fact that he is gone that gets me. It's that next week he still will be. Next month. Next year. All my life. My kids will only have stories and pictures to remember. I never know whether to tell people "I have six brother's or I HAD six brothers".

Less often now, but it still happens. I play the phone call through my head. It was not quite six in the morning. The moment I looked at the clock as the phone rang I knew something was wrong. I leapt out of bed and grabbed my phone from where it was charging. It was Mom. Her voice a forced calm. Asking if Stephen is home. My mind thinks "Oh no, Dad...." Then she says "Bill died". Wait, what?? He's only 30. I saw him last week! I'm in too much shock to cry. I just tell her okay. Do I need to call anyone. She says no, she'll do it.

My brothers 'left' and I call each other as we get the news. The tears come. This can't be right. God says we can raise the dead... do I have the faith. I call brothers. They are thinking the same thing. We begin fasting. Tell friends who will stand with us. So sure. Pumped. Excited!

Then coming home... Did we hear wrong? Did we give up too soon? Was our faith not strong enough? I still don't know. But I do know that God is in control no matter what.

I miss you so much Bill. I love you brother.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Catching Up

~Dakota is aaaalmost walking

~Stephen is really enjoying class. He has made two friends in class. They are both named Stephen/ Steven  also.

~I just got back from visiting my parents. It was under very sad circumstances. A very dear friend of ours passed away. I was going to do a whole post about that, but can't yet.

~Kimber will be 3 this month

~My newest nephew will be born either late this month or early next month.

~This is a very birthday rich month for our family actually. Grandma, Father in law, Ben, Friend Brittany, Sister in law, Mom, Kimber, and some more friends!

~I'm getting antsy to know where Stephen will get hired. Looking online at houses in all the areas we've discussed. He's going to go applying in January or so. He graduates in May.

~I have registered to go to the Cowgirl Gathering in November, where I should get to meet some blogging buddies!

~Here is a video of the kids and I making cookies a few weeks ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzHk6EFn8zw&feature=g-upl

Go to my MIL's blog to read about the rain we got last week! I missed it but it was amazing! http://mom2countrykids.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just A 'stache

Stephen came home last night with a very large book about laws and some very sad news. As you go through the academy they hold you to the same rules as they will in a department once you are employed as an officer. That means Stephen had to shave his beard off this morning. I miss it. A lot. We knew that was a possibility, but were hoping if he kept it trimmed he could keep it. Nope. A mustache is the most he can have. He did keep that.

Oh well. At least I have something to look forward to when he retires right?
That book is a lot thicker than it looks in the picture. It is only one of the books he brought home. He is really excited to get started!

In other news, we have a new pup! A friend gave it to us, as he didn't want to go through the trouble of trying to sell them. It is a Hanging Tree cowdog. Tyrel named him Cactus. I was afraid to let Tyrel just name him, as he comes up with some really unusual names sometimes (treeless, truckless, perfy) So I told him we would take a vote. He said "I want to name him Cactus!" and Kimber said "Yeah, Cactus". I used to have a pup name Cactus Jack before we had kids. So I said yes, that would be an alright name.
He's a really good pup, and I really like his personality. He stays with the kids good, but isn't overly jumpy and all over everyone.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Big Boy Is Off To School

No, not Tyrel! He's homeschooled, silly!
My man is starting the police academy today. Well not technically police academy, because he wants to be a deputy, not a city police. But he starts his classes to get TCLOESE certified. He is going at night 3 days a week and every other Saturday. We are very excited for this new path. About everything we have ever done has something to do with livestock. Which is something we love, but Stephen really wants more ACTION! Eventually we want to get our own ranch or something because agriculture is something we love, but we are very excited for the perks of his new career. Such as semi scheduled hours. Scheduled days off. Guilt free vacations. Being able to legally open carry anywhere we travel, etc. Actually that last one is a BIG reason for him doing this.
I am already praying for protection for when he gets a job. There was an officer near here killed a few weeks ago that was just 2 weeks younger than Stephen. I have cried and prayed so much for his wife.
So yeah, if you want you can be praying that God will open up the right job in the right place for him when he graduates in May. He has one place in particular he would like, but there are lots of places that would be good. Including the county we already live in.

I love you so much Stephen and I am proud of you for going where you feel God is leading, and doing something you'll not only be great at, but that you'll love to do!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Birthday Boy

How did I end up the Mama of a five year old already?! This boy is growing SO fast. This year he has learned to ride a bike, to swim, is learning to read, has memorised Psalm 1, and is about the smartest little boy I know. But then, I AM a little biased. But really, he has got a memory like you wouldn't believe. He has a fantastic sense of direction, and NEVER forgets anything. Except where he left his boots...
 He is part mountain goat.
 Part cheetah.
 Part monkey.
 And all boy. He doesn't like cake, pie, cobbler, etc very much and asked if we could just do ice cream for his birthday. I said that was fine, but if he wanted a cake we could make one I saw on Pinterest out of watermelon. He really enjoyed that.
 Stephen and I got him a new cowboy hat for his birthday. He got one for his first birthday and has worn it out. He didn't like it anymore because it does not hold it's shape. The brim is floppy. He got right to work getting his new one good and broke in by helping Daddy load a trailer full of goat. Cowboy hats always look better used.
And here he is growing closer to fitting in Daddy's boots. He may always bemoan the fact that all his 'cowboy shirts'and wranglers are dirty and he had to wear a T-shirt  the day he turned 5.
He loves all things cowboy, has gotten to where he can sit on his donkey, but is still working on making him go, and yesterday told someone that when he grows up he wants to be a cowboy and a deputy like his Daddy. (Which is another post, but Stephen starts law enforcement academy next month!) He loves guns, tractors, horses, cows, and gardening. He is really and truly a help to me now, and not just entirely in training to help. He loves to go to work with Daddy and is very sweet to and sometimes too rough with his sisters. He is opinionated and energetic.

We love you so much Tyrel. I love seeing glimpses of the man you will become. Be blessed son.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Recipe Swap

Grab some new recipes!

About time huh? I have a whole list of lame excuses I won't go into as to why I am just now getting around to posting the recipe I got from Rachel.

 So without further adieu,  Mexican Lasagna. It was very tasty! Tyrel and Kimber give it a big thumbs up!
 This will for sure be made again at our house. Thanks so much Rachel! And also Jennifer for doing the recipe swap!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Zoo!

My niece has been visiting us for the past almost 3 weeks. I may get around to posting more about her actual visit later, but right now here is the zoo! We met my Mom in Ft. Worth at my Grandma's house, and Mom took Alana back to her mom in Oklahoma.  But while we were in Ft. Worth we went to the zoo.
My brother's Daniel and Sam (Who turned 16 last week) had never been to a zoo!
It was a lot of fun and the kids were very good. I think they really enjoyed it.
I think next time I venture the zoo it will be during the school year though. It was very crowded.
Daniel is helping Kimber see the tortoises.  Really Daniel you look good with your haircut. We took a vote.
The kids got to pet some of the animals.
Dakota really liked riding in the stroller. She must have felt like a big girl. When she got sleepy I carried her in the baby carrier though.
Grandpa and Grandma went with us. It was so nice to get to spend the day with family. I just wish Stephen had been with us.
I really like the picture below. This is Kimber watching the river otters swim.
We were there for several hours. My legs were getting sore... and I'm even getting in fairly decent shape.
It is just so neat to see so many of the animals God created! He is so creative!
So yes, it was a good day.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wheat Harvest

 The wheat growing here abouts is just about all harvested. A week or so ago the kids and I went out to watch the neighbor harvest his wheat. I picked up my niece and nephew while walking over to the field.

Tyrel thinks boots are the ONLY thing to wear on your feet.  I have recently made him a very happy boy by making all his western shirts short sleeved. I wouldn't let him wear them every day because it's so hot. Also I would like him to not be pasty white. Thats also why I make him wear shorts when all he wants to wear is Wranglers. And cut offs don't count. Hey, vitamin D is good for you!
 I have no idea... Looks like Tyrel being silly, R telling me Hook Em Horns (Ahem Boomer Sooner to you young lady!) and K and Kimber arguing.
 We got to the edge of the field when he only had about 2 more runs (swipes? rows?) of the field to do.
 The kids all waved to the driver. He seemed amused (from what I could see of him) to have an audience.
Tyrel and R and K spent their time arguing whether it was a tractor or a combine. I told them "Yes". It is a tractor, that is a combine.

As he drove by and the wind blew the chaff over us, my kids and I had a talk about Psalm 1 and the ungodly being like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Then the kids all picked sunflowers for their Mama's.

In other news, my garden is growing better than it ever has before. I think it thrives on a certain amount of neglect. I've tried too much neglect in the past and it didn't do well, and too much water and attention in the past and it didn't do well. Yes I said TOO MUCH water in West Texas. I think I drown the seeds before they could sprout. Last year was too hot and dry for anything I think. About half the corn I planted is growing well. The other half Tyrel's donkey stuck his head through the fence and ate. But all in all God has blessed us so much with this years garden!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

7 Years!

As of yesterday (May 28th) Stephen and I have been married for 7 wonderful years. A friend of ours (pictured below) said he couldn't believe it had been that long, he was thinking about a year and a half...because we act like it. Yes we do Ted, and I am so thankful.
So yes, we went to see Ted on Saturday. He tells everyone that we are his grandkids and our kids are his great grandkids. We might as well be. He is like family to us. He is an old horse trader, who has done about everything in his life. He was a ranch and rodeo cowboy (yes there IS a difference in most cases) as a young man. He can braid and tool leather beautifully. He can make saddles or just about anything with leather you want. He can draw. He was a sniper in Vietnam. He loves his grandkids and spoils and works them all at once. He is the one who gave us Tyrel's donkey. His advice was to put them out in the yard together and if there was screaming look out the window, if there was no blood, then don't worry about it.

 He had some puppies that the kids had fun playing with. And we went out driving on the Gator so Tyrel could show Ted how he is learning to drive.

 This horse is named Stickhorse. He is a great kid horse..... as long as you don't take his picture. Seriously. He was camera shy. This picture was taken and before it finished going "click" He was gone and Tyrel was caught by Ted before he hit the ground. Then Ted turned and told us sorry, he forgot to tell us not to take a picture.
 After we watered the horses Tyrel and Ted had to argue about whether Ted had sprayed him or if the HOSE sprayed him. Ted says the hose did. And Tyrel says Ted did. So they are both right.
Tyrel said "Yeah but I'm telling the truth and YOU are lying!"
 Then we went down to the spring and the guys looked at all the tracks around. Mostly wild hogs and horses.
While the kids and I explored. (Dakota was asleep in her carseat in the Gator)
 Sunday most of the folks from our home church were out of town so we went fishing! It was the first time we went since Tyrel's birthday. In July. It was pretty hot when we got there so the kids and I went and played in the water for a while. It got deep quick so I had to hold on to them pretty good, or I would have had Dakota out there with us.
 Daddy caught a fish as big as Dakota! She wanted to pet it. But since she sucks her fingers I wouldn't let her. Such a mean Mama.
 Both of the bigger kids really like fishing. I hope we go more often this year.
 Kimber isn't sure she wants to touch them yet though.

 But Tyrel doesn't have a problem with it.
 Stephen caught about 4 fish and I caught one. Unfortunately the kids didn't catch any, though Kimber did 'help' Daddy reel in the big one.
For supper yesterday we had some steak and corn on the cob and salad and peach cobbler to celebrate our anniversary. It was a fun, if interesting day! To start off right after Stephen left for work, the kids and I went to the big house (Stephen's parents house) to feed the kittens and such while they were gone. One of the kittens had died in the night so I had to deal with that. We have no idea what happened. So while I was dealing with that, Tyrel runs as fast as he can to the potty. He tends to wait until he CAN'T wait to go. He comes running right back out of the bathroom yelling there is a MOUSE in the toilet! I was thinking "great, another dead animal to deal with". For some reason I asked Tyrel "Is it dead?" He said no. Oh ok. A live mouse in the toilet. Just flushing it down crossed my mind, but I couldn't do it. It looked so scared and drowning would be a horrible way to die. So I caught it in a coffee can and let it go outside.
Then the kids and I loaded up in the pickup to run to town. I was wanting to do a nice dinner for our anniversary. I didn't want to drive all the way to the town we usually shop in though. So I headed to the closest grocery store, about 20 miles away. We are almost out of beef at the homeplace is why I did not just go to the freezer. So I get there and the meat they have out at the grocery store was MOLDY! I couldn't believe it. I didn't even want to buy their not moldy meat after I saw that. So I got some corn and stuff for peach cobbler and headed home and called Stephen to ask him to bring some steak home.
He had to go pick up a load in Ft. Worth this morning so he had me go pick him up at the highway, where he left his truck that evening. On the way up there I ran out of gas in the pickup. I had three barefoot children, was barefoot myself. I was about a mile and a half from the house and about a mile and a half from the highway. So I called my MIL (whom had been home maybe an hour?) and asked if they had any gas in a gas can. My FIL came and put a gascan worth of gas in the pickup. I got about a  mile down the road and thought I ran out of gas again. I thought there was no way unless the gas tank under the pickup had a leak. I looked behind us and didn't see any proof of that. So I called Stephen and he agreed that I shouldn't be out of gas. So he said for me to hit the gas tank with my hand a few times and try to start it again. So I did. And it worked. Which means our fuel pump is going out. So it was a fun day. But really none of it bothered me. I really thought the whole day was pretty funny.

So I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and thanked those who have sacrificed SO much for our country.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Here are some of the pictures I've taken of Ben and Paula since they've been engaged. Some of them we went out with the intention of taking engagement pictures, and some are just, "Hey this is a pretty place, lets take some engagement pictures real quick!" Some are silly, because well, we tend to be on the silly side most of the time. That's how we roll.

When we found the pitchfork (threek?) in the hay barn we couldn't resist.

Here we were just recreating one of my favorite engagement pictures ever. The original was of my cousin Tammy and her (now) husband. It fit them perfectly, but it's pretty cute for Ben and Paula as well.

They are being 'deer in the headlights'
You look lovely Paula dahling. :)

this one and the one above are two of my favorites.

And maybe this one too.

Stephen and Tommy were a tremendous amount of help as you can tell. :) They ambushed them without warning. It was pretty fun.

I mostly added this one because you can actually see how long Paula's hair is. She normally has it in a bun, but its sooo pretty and long.

Look! Green grass! It was in East Texas, but it's kinda sorta almost that green here now! Thank You Lord for the rain!
Congratulations Ben and Paula. I love ya'll!