Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Fun

Jonathan drove up to Ada, Ohio last night. He had to be there at 8:00 this morning for an Ag related meeting. His Dad went to both days of classes, but Jonathan had to work Thursday. Since the weather was supposed to get gross overnight, we both thought it wise for him to go crash in the hotel room where his Dad was staying. That way he would be there instead of driving through windy, snowy conditions at 5:30 in the morning.

Knowing I would be parenting alone from the moment the children got up, I decided I would enlist my children and their boundless energy to help me clean the house. Busy children would lead to less time for 'trouble'. At least that was the plan. Did you know a canister vacuum cleaner is a wonderful play thing? I let Kenneth go at their room for about 40 minutes before I went in to check on him. It is extremely difficult to achieve cleanliness in that room. It has fire engine red shag carpet which was put in there in the mid '70's. I told Kenneth he would have to vacuum many different directions in the same spot to get everything out of that long carpet, and he did and excellent job. He even vacuumed under the bed and in the closet!

I knew the carpet attachment would be too heavy for Samuel, so I vacuumed the living room and hallway, and then gave him a chance at the kitchen. He doesn't have a very long attention span, bless his little heart, so he was "finished" in a grand total of about 5 minutes. I spend another 10 minutes on it, leaving the back hallway for later.

After lunch the boys played with their little box of Legos. We will definitely be adding to the collection for birthdays this year. It provides endless hours of fun for them. Samuel made a little lamb, and then decided to make it a long-legged lamb. I wish I had the camera today (Jonathan took it), because his creation - and his giggly smile - was hilarious.

The best fun came after nap time. I was trying to decide what we could do to burn off some energy since it is too windy today for playing outside. My brilliant mind, which has been fueled by Dr. Pepper this afternoon, remembered we have a sack of balloons.
Watch and enjoy:

I gave them the balloons and shooed them out to the living room so I could finish straightening up in the kitchen from some afternoon 'de-stressing' I'd done (also known as baking). When Heidi started giggling, I grabbed the Ipod to capture the fun!

Now it's supper time. Maybe later we'll do some family baking. We need some treats on this lonely evening without our Daddy. Or maybe we'll make popcorn with our new popcorn popper, peel some oranges, and watch a movie. We have a good musical production of the story of Ruth and Boaz. Or maybe we'll snuggle with mugs of hot cocoa and marshmallows, read stories and sing songs. Any of those would be cozy and "together", which is what I think my little Samuel needs. He's cried for his Daddy a couple times today, and "...why hasn't he stayed home with us for a very long time?!". It has been 3 weeks of his days off being filled with errands, meetings, or farm related projects. We're all ready for some quiet time together!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The PTO-WHAT?!?!

On Sunday, Pastor Hand preached from Acts 8:28-40. It is the account of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch.
The boys have sat with us in the services from birth, and I am constantly amazed at how much they really do pick up. They are constantly bringing up phrases and subjects they have heard Pastor mention. It is really neat to be able to use that as a springboard into some really interesting spiritual discussions with them. And of course, then there are the things they think they hear....

I was gone to the grocery store on Tuesday evening when the boys asked to "read the story that Pastor preached about on Sunday." Jonathan, always ready to test their memory, asked them which story it was they wanted, and Kenneth said, "The one about the PTO-pian man."

Yes, go ahead. Chuckle. Laugh. Guffaw. When Jonathan recounted that story to me, I sure did!! My children see every single thing through the eyes of what they experience here on the farm. PTO shafts being one of those experiences. I can totally see how "Ethiopian" sounds like "PTOpian" to a child.

Tonight Jonathan finished the Scripture passage he chose to read to the boys, and closed his Bible so we could have prayer time. Samuel asked if we could read one more certain story first. It took me a second to realize what he asked for. He'd asked for the story of Philip and the Ethiopian. Only he said "the Ethanol man".

First he was a PTOpian man, and then an Ethanol man. I don't think there is any hope for my boys any time soon!! The Scripture passage in Isaiah 53:5 has also been gleefully recited, "But he was wounded for our transmissions!"

Jonathan and I try SO hard to not laugh in front of them about their innocent comments and then make them feel embarrassed. But you can be sure we enjoyed a good belly laugh this evening after we tucked some little  boys in bed!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Becoming a Geek

I grew up in a paycheck-every-week kind of family. So the budget went off of one paycheck. Mom had the monthly budget worked out to work with that weekly paycheck. And all expenses/income was pretty much set in stone. That is how I learned about check books, budgets, etc.

Then, 6 1/2 years ago, paperwork as I knew it became something vastly different. I married a farmer. And WOW. I feel like I'm just now starting to understand the farm side of book keeping. The household stuff I can keep track of pretty well. I haven't been overly detailed about where petty cash has been spent, but through Mom teaching me about budgets, we've always (ok, almost always), had more money than week/month.

Farming is a whole 'nother ball of wax. For starters, the magazine articles that need to be filed for future reference, and the pile of paperwork that needs to be dealt with daily is insane. Also, we get big checks in July when we grow wheat, but like this year when we will be growing only soybeans and corn, the farm income is in October/November. I go to the bank with large checks, and turn right around and write equally as large checks to pay for the fertilizers, chemicals, machinery repairs, filling the diesel fuel tank, and so on.
And then there is recording prepaid expenses, the figuring out what to purchase each year to drop the taxes we have to pay, depreciation of equipment, what is deductible, what isn't....

Jonathan has taken care of most of the farm budgeting so far, because he understands the terms, the numbers, and well, he understands the FARM. He was born on a farm. His mother rode in the combine with his Dad the entire day before he was born, for goodness' sake. He wasn't born in a barn, but he sure grew up in one!

But. I am about to embark on a new adventure. It may very well transform me into a book keeping geek: Learning to keep the farm records - with the help of the new computer software we bought at the farm show we went to in January. I've already added our household information to it so I could get the feel of the program and make rookie mistakes on little numbers. Like the $3.54 I spent at Tim Horton's, and the money I spent on my haircut. What category SHOULD I create for those things so when I run reports I have an accurate and detailed view of what our family account paid for....

Confession: I had WAY too much fun creating categories like "Gasoline", "Groceries" (with subcategories so I can tract food, baby supplies, etc...), Utilities, etc.

Now on to machinery, deductions, depreciation, paying employees, taxes, inventory....

I am glad there is an "edit" button!!

Hopefully next year our accountant won't cringe when we walk in. No more Excel Spreadsheets, no more half-figured out book keeping software.

Anyone want a cookie? I think it's time for a break...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Brotherly Love...

...looks like this:
 It was going to be Heidi's first time staying with a babysitter. So a couple days before that lovely evening that Jonathan and I had OUT, we tried a bottle to make sure she'd take one, since I wouldn't be here to nurse her. Totally didn't care that it was a bottle (which I've taken advantage of a few times since then!). And Samuel really wanted to hold the bottle for her. He was so attentive, and smiled a "I'm important and helpful" smile for like 30 minutes after she was finished/he got down from the couch.

And this:
The little black Neon, my first car that God kept running until we could afford to not use it, is now sitting in the driveway waiting to go to the junkyard. The boys use it for a jungle gym. I heard them calling to me the other day and looked out of the kitchen window to find this.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our little Teapot

Heidi Marie. Could a baby GET any sweeter and more wonderful? She wakes up with a big smile, gurgles and giggles the whole time she is awake, and goes to bed giving you one last sleepy smile before turning to suck on her fist. I can count on one hand the times she's been really mad, fought sleep, or made me sigh in frustration because I didn't know how to soothe her.
I am in love. Head over heels, can't get enough of my chubby, snuggly, irresistible bundle of BabyGirl. Behold her cuteness:
18 hours old

3 days old

2 months old

3 months old

4 months

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Frank & Leo...& a whole lot of love

Meet Frank. And Leo.

Frank and Leo came to live with us on Valentine's Day. They were the "I love you" present we gave to the boys, who chose the names for their little fish. I can understand Kenneth choosing "Frank", since he'd just watched CARS. But I'm still not sure where Sam's choice of "Leo" came from!

The highlight of every morning since Monday has been to sprinkle the fish flakes onto the water and watch them swim around frantically, nomming each piece. The boys giggling together and saying, "he got another one!" are fun to listen to.

This morning Samuel came into the kitchen while I was wiping up a few crumbs off the floor that managed to jump off the counter during breakfast and gave me a big hug. I asked him if he was ok. "I just love you, Mommy," he said. He turned to go back to playing and then looked at me again and said, "And I like our fishes."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snapshots and Memories

This morning the boys were asking to see pictures from when THEY were little - like Baby Heidi. Unfortunately they have a procrastinator for a mother. I have never put together a photo album from their baby days. Those cute and wonderful little "Baby Books" that good mothers keep for their children? None of my kids have those. I have a folder in the file cabinet for each of them. Kenneth's and Heidi's have their name on theirs. Samuel's just says "Baby #2". My life was a little hectic in 2007, what with having a 6 month old when I got pregnant again, so the file I started before he had a name just never got named.

Today, however, I am going to begin a remedy to the "I don't have time to show you right now" comment i always give them. Today I am going to upload pictures to Snapfish and order some prints. I have a coupon to get 100 prints shipped here for $5. (CUPIDPICS, for those who want to order prints!)
Maybe once I have some pictures in hand, I'll go find one of those cute baby books for each child and attempt to catch up just a little bit.

I've always envisioned myself as having all these wonderful traditions my kids will look back on with fond memories.  The sweetly penned letters I write while they are babies that I'll tuck into their special baby books that will be a window into the mind of their mother. When I heard their hear beating for the first time, their first cry, etc, etc.
Those things I thought I'd have time for - or MAKE time for just haven't happened.

I hope my children will remember the special times anyway. The times we ran through the puddles and got our shoes wet ON PURPOSE. The time Mommy chased them around the house laughing and screaming just as loud as they usually aren't allowed to in the house.  The time we spilled flour all over the floor and we all stood looking at each other waiting to see how the other was going to respond. The time we tried to eat breakfast making fish faces....

I  guess that will be one reason for this blog - a place to record the little things that make our family so special. :)