Sunday, December 16, 2012


Here are a few of the fun celebrations we've had lately!

11/3 - Girl's weekend for me - beautiful location and amazing friends!
11/5 - Just goofing off and practicing walking.  He is an expert now!
11/10 - I took the boys to my parent's house while Jason went pheasant hunting.  They loved playing outside and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather!

At my parent's house, Josiah got to open some early birthday presents, since he wouldn't get to see my parents on his birthday (he didn't mind spreading his birthday out!).

11/22-11/24 - had a fun Thanksgiving with Jason's side of the family, and then they came to visit us later that weekend, and Jason hosted private shooting lessons/target practice for them.  Our niece Samantha (far left) was a huge fan, and is now putting a .45 on her Christmas list. 
12/1 - we took Josiah for a very last-minute planned trip to Silver Dollar City for his birthday!  He loves that place, especially the roller coasters.  They had amazing Christmas lights - it was a great time of year to go, especially since it was 70 degrees that day!  Last minute planning is very against our nature, but it was a fun day and a great surprise for Josiah!

12/2 - we had a fun family birthday party for Josiah at his MiMi's house!

The cake I made was supposed to be eaten hot, but unfortunately it melted the bottom of the candles and we had to throw this piece away!
12/6 - Josiah's actual birthday!  It was a Thursday, so we took Transformers cupcakes to school, and that evening we went to Bass Pro with friends to see Santa! 
As you can see, Levi thought Santa was going to abduct him. 
That evening we made pancakes for dinner (one of his favorite meals), and then opened presents. 
12/7 - one final birthday celebration - we went to a bouncy house in Springfield with Josiah's best school friend.  They had a blast!  
The evening of 12/7 we left to go to my parent's house for our first Christmas!   We had a great time seeing everyone and getting to relax and hang out. 

After coming home from Christmas with my side of the family, I downloaded pictures from the camera to the computer (the same way I always have for the last 5 years), and then deleted them from the camera.  Problem was, they didn't all download.  It was strange - some in the middle of the sequence got left out.  So I lost about 200 photos - Josiah's birthday and Christmas pictures.  But then my amazing husband came home and was able to do a restore using a program he found online and retrieve the deleted images from the SD card.  He is my hero!!!  Seriously, what would I do without that guy?

The last month has flown by, but we've had so much fun and enjoyed celebrating Josiah's birthday, as well as beginning to celebrate Jesus' birthday!  Merry early Christmas!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall fun

 On 10/11 we went on a field trip with Josiah's class to a pumpkin patch.  I think his favorite part was the tub full of corn!

 Then he really wanted to carve the pumpkin he got.  I kept trying to convince him that a big one would be better to carve, but our little one turned out cute, even though the candle we put in it burned the inside.

 Just hanging out with daddy.  Love those guys.
 For Halloween we went to Webb City to Mi Mi's house.  Josiah (Spiderman) got to trick or treat with his cousin Trent, so he had a blast.
 Levi (Yoda) had fun too, and even got some goldfish (I love that not everyone gave out candy!).
Levi has finally started walking on his own!  Without prompting from us!  He's not walking everywhere, but he is getting braver every day.  He's still working on standing up in the middle of the floor without something to pull up on.  He has been such a happy little guy lately - it has been so much fun (and I am thankful we have gotten past some of his fit throwing!).  He also now says the words "up" and "achoo".

Enjoying these fun boys!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Travel fun and our growing farm

9/14: My cute boys waiting patiently to leave for Ooo Ooo and Paw Paw's house!  About 10 seconds after I took this picture, Levi leaned a little too far forward in that little chair and did a face plant onto the floor.  Big fat lip and lots of tears!
We went to visit my side of the family on the weekend of 9/14.  My uncle and aunt from North Dakota were there - we had not seen them since our wedding 8 years ago!  It was great to see everyone and catch up.

On Saturday we went to a local corn maze, where Josiah decided to run off by himself to check out some bikes they had.  He was lost for about 10 minutes, but it felt like hours.  After we found him, he was crying, and I asked him if he was scared.  He said "no, I just really wanted to ride those bikes!".  I didn't know whether to hug him or strangle him.  I opted for the former.  After that I made him hold hands with an adult at all times.  This kid is almost 5, but if you act like a 2 year old, I will treat you like one.  Despite an afternoon spent at my maximum heart rate, I still had fun (mostly before he ran off), and on the bright side I think I have scared my son into never running away again.
We also got to try out my dad's new (to him) four wheeler.  Jason had just as much fun as the kids!
Levi practiced walking behind the ride-on tractor toy.  We're trying to get in all the practice we can! 
Josiah got to try on my cousin Kurt's fire helmet.  Those things are heavy - he almost fell over!
The next weekend (9/21) we went to St. Louis for our annual Oktoberfest tradition with friends.  It was so great to see them and have time to hang out!

On Saturday we went to Grant's Farm for the afternoon.

The kids got to feed goats (Josiah tried to stay as far away from them as he could - he is hanging on the fence here),
get snow cones, ride the carousel, feed a llama, and see a lot of other animals including camels and eagles.

We also got to see some of the Budweiser Clydesdale horses - they are huge and magnificent.  We really enjoyed the whole Grant's Farm experience!
This picture was taken during a fun little walk in the woods across the street from where our friends live.  Seriously cute kids!  We had a great weekend, and we miss you Hardins and Buhrles!!!
9/29 - Josiah showing off his tool belt.  Love it!  He is in the bed of his Paw Paw's truck.  Thanks for visiting Mi Mi & Paw Paw!
Josiah and Levi "sharing" the toy car. 
10/1 - Levi playing outside - notice the mud around the corners of his mouth.
10/2 - our first calf was born!  We were surprised - we were not 100% sure that she was expecting - she is still so young!  We are thinking she must have been pregnant back in January when we got her, or else the neighbor's bull somehow made a visit to our field!  Either way, it sure is a cute little thing!  Jason got to see the whole birth - he said he was more nervous than when our kids were born!  He came and got me after it was born - around 1:30 am and we watched it for about an hour - the momma nudging it and "talking" to it the whole time to get it up and walking.  It was amazing to watch the miracle of birth, plus the instincts that just came naturally for this first time mom.  Josiah named the calf "Baby What's It's Name".  Baby and mama are doing great!
Couple of notes about the boys - Josiah is doing great with his reading!!  Except the word "the".  He says "is" almost every time.  And he knows how to spell both of them!  Levi continues to refuse to walk (even though he is able to).  He is happy to walk as long as he can hold one of my fingers, but seems to have no desire to walk on his own.  I'm sure he will just decide to take off on his own one day soon - but for now I am getting a great workout helping him walk and carrying him around!  I love my funny, quirky children!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More firsts

We took Levi on his first hiking trip on 8/18 at Busiek State Park.  Jason used to mountain bike here when he was younger, so he knew his way around the trails.  Some of them may have changed...we took a wrong trail on our way back and ended up a little bit lost, carrying a 22 lb baby and eventually also a 42 lb 4 year old!  Jason has a very good sense of direction, so when he started saying "I'm not sure where we are", I got really worried.  I was having visions of being on the next episode of "I shouldn't be alive".  Our short hike turned into 2 hours, but we made it back to our car and learned a couple of lessons.  First, we will not be hiking again until Levi can walk really well.  Second, always take water.  So on the upside, we learned some lessons, enjoyed the nice weather, and got a GREAT workout!! 

 Josiah started his 2nd year of preschool on 8/28.  He loves school and is doing great.

 Also on 8/28, Yoda and Spiderman tackled Jason.  I think he has recovered.  :)
On 9/1 Jason and I dropped the kids off with his mom (THANK YOU DEBBY!!!) and took a little roadtrip down to Bentonville/Rogers, AR.  It a was beautiful and relaxing birthday gift for me!  First we went to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  It was a gorgeous facility, and we enjoyed checking out all the artwork. 
My favorite piece of art!  They had some nice hiking trails on the museum grounds so we hiked around some after checking out the museum. 
Then we went to War Eagle Mill.  It is one of the few remaining working mills of it's kind in the US.  Afterwards we went to War Eagle Cavern and did a tour.  Then we went out for some yummy seafood.  We were only away one night, but it was really fun.  Jason went running with me in the morning, and then we stopped and got some fresh nectarines on our way home.  Mmmmm....
9/3 - Josiah's first time shooting a gun!  It looks like a big gun, but it is only a BB gun.  Even so, he was beyond excited.  :)
 9/5 - my 35th birthday.  Yikes, that sounds old!  :)  Luckily I don't feel as old as I did last year.  That sleeping through the night thing really makes a difference!  Here are the boys being cute for my birthday!  Also on 9/5 Josiah started gymnastics!  He really likes it so far, and got a ribbon today for mastering his somersault.  :)
Levi took his official first steps on 9/8!  He is still not confident enough to walk around on his own, but he is getting there!

Disclaimer: All the pictures we show on the blog of Levi are when he is happy and smiling, but he is currently going through a phase of whining and fit throwing.  It is not fun, but I know part of it is teething, part is testing boundaries, and part is not being able to communicate effectively yet.  We are surviving, but some days I put him in bed early just because I cannot listen to him cry any longer!

Commentary: We picked one of the worst years to start a farm.  July was the hottest month on record, and this summer's drought was the worst in over 50 years.  For a while our cattle had almost no grass to eat.  Everything was dead and brown.  We contemplated selling them vs. having to buy hay ($50 a bale, once a week, plus the high cost of grain) if there was no grass for them to eat.  We were SO thankful for the rain the hurricane Isaac brought us!  It was amazing how quickly everything greened up after just a few inches of rain!  Hate what some of the people in Louisiana went through with Isaac, but thankful nonetheless.  I have family in Plaquemines Parish, but thankfully they are all okay and did not have any flooding.  So we still have the cattle, and we are praying that the rain continues!