Friday, April 29, 2011

Think Pink

A phone call...

a knock at the door...

a special delivery...

Notice anything in particular about this bouquet?  I saw it immediately...
...and the sweet card written in Daddy Buffalo's own hand confirmed what these (all pink!) flowers had been sent to celebrate.

They are the first of many pink things that will make their way into our home in the coming months and years.

I cried sweet tears, enjoying this special delivery and eagerly anticipating the one yet to come!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On failure, recovery, and leaky balloons

It's finally time.  I have had a post idea cooking in my head for a couple of weeks and between baby announcements (it's a girl!) and all the weather, it's taken me a while to get to it.

It all started with Suzanne's comment on my blanket training post.

She said:
So, I gotta know.. Is it always calm for you? Homeschooling, I mean? I feel bad now that I've never done this with any of mine and I feel like I've failed. Did I miss my window of opportunity with Baby? I need reassurance!
Upon first reading "is it always calm for you" I laughed out loud.  Then I thought, "hey! I must give the impression we've got it all together!"  And then I thought, "Oh no! I don't want to give the impression we've got it all together!"

Because we don't.  Oh things go smoothly enough.  We have our routines here and there that we adhere to with varying degrees of discipline.  I can look back over each school year and see that yes, we did make progress on things.

But there are plenty of days that I grow frustrated or despair over one thing or another, or, unfortunately, lose my temper with these precious boys.

Recently it was bugging me that we don't seem to do any fun crafty projects anymore.  

I remembered seeing yarn easter eggs much like these from Family Fun:
Only I couldn't remember where I had seen them and didn't bother looking up any directions.

I had this.  Easy stuff.

However, this project turned out to be one of the biggest disasters I've ever experienced, as far as crafting with my kids goes.

It started out ok:

But it wasn't long before the crafting was not going like it was supposed to.  And the boys began to whine and complain.  It's haaaard.  I don't want to get glue all over my haaaands.

The combination of the quickly failing craft and constantly complaining kids got to me, and I nagged.  Then it got worse, and I yelled. :(

The table cleared, the boys went off to play, and I was filled with regret.  (Ok, and still a little mad, too.)

I hung the balloons up to dry, not incredibly hopeful they would turn out.

Sure enough, later on we found them with air leaked out and looking like this:

In the end, all we had was a heap of crusty yarn:
Which, if the only failure was in the outcome of the craft, wouldn't have been that big of a deal.  The boys weren't too disappointed anyway, but the whole thing left me with a sour feeling.  If only I could have handled the whole situation better.  The good thing about 'if onlys' is the opportunity they provide for next time.

So to answer Suzanne's question, No, it isn't always calm.  Sometimes it's the crafts that go bad.  Sometimes it's cleaning the kitchen.  Sometimes it's the math.  It can be anything.  It has been everything, at one time or another.

But we've also shared priceless special moments learning, laughing and loving doing all those same things.  I am very thankful that there are more good days, more average days, more success days than whiny, leaky balloon, yelling at my kids days.   

This whole parenting/growing up thing is a process.  Isn't it amazing how having kids grows you as much as it does them?  I hope they soon forget the yarn egg flop.  I hope I never do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The results are in...

... and there is one phrase that sums it all up perfectly:

"This changes everything."

Yes, my friends, believe it or not (and we almost don't!), 

baby #4 is really, truly...

a GIRL!!

Maybe you all are not as surprised as we are, since only 5 of 14 guesses were for 'boy'.  Make that 6 of 15, if I had entered my guess. ;)  I loved all of your guesses and comments.  As promised, all of the girl guesses were entered twice.  This morning we put all the names in our Easter basket and Alan drew the winner....
Tiff!  Congratulations, Tiff!  You can email your address to bzcookie AT yahoo DOT com and I will get your prize in the mail to you!

Thanks all of y'all for playing along!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Guess! That! Baby!

It's that time again... time for the 2011 edition of...

Guess That Baby!

Leave your guess for BOY or GIRL in the comments.

The boys and I will have a drawing for a real in-the-mail prize later this week!  Each incorrect answer will be entered once, and each correct answer twice.

This is open to anyone who doesn't know yet.  Which is... everyone.  So technically... I could enter! :)

Have fun guessing.... I'm out the door on my way to a sonogram!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It was kind of like a surprise party, but not.

Another round of severe storms blew through yesterday.  Ah, spring time in the south. :)

Not long before the boys' bedtime, we watched the radar carefully as a storm worthy of a tornado warning passed by just a few miles north of us.  It looked pretty ugly both on the computer and on the horizon, but once it was gone, things looked all clear.

After the boys were in bed we watched a live online news feed for our favorite Arkansas station.  Having lived there 4 years and with family still there now (not to mention a few blog buddies - Hi y'all!), we are always interested in the weather happenings up that way.

We finally got tired of living vicariously through other people's thunderstorms and went to bed.

Not long after drifting off to sleep, I was awakened by thunder, and surprised to find us under a new thunderstorm warning.  The warning stated up to golf ball size hail and 60 mph winds.  The warnings always say something like that, and we all we ever get is lots of lightening, some big gusts of wind, and lots of rain.  So I went back to bed.  

And a few minutes later, a quiet -ping.  Followed by -ping, ping. And -ping, ping, Ping!


Hail that was quickly getting bigger, and bigger, and falling faster and faster.  When chunks the size of walnuts started falling, I started to worry about the garden.

When chunks the size of golf balls started falling, I started to worry about everything else!

I don't know how long the hailstorm lasted, but it was very LOUD.  And the ground was very WHITE.  The ground is littered with leaves.  The hood of Greg's vehicle is covered in little dents.  The plastic covers on the roof of our camper are shattered.  

And our garden... our poor garden.  I am hopeful the majority of the plants will recover.

All of this just goes to prove I was right earlier in the evening: the excitement of a storm is all well and good until it gets a little too close for comfort.  And I felt a good bit sheepish for being even a tiny bit disappointed when it all passed over with barely a sprinkle earlier.  

Still, Greg and I do love the excitement of thunderstorms.  We have said that when he retires and our kids are grown we will be storm chasers.  Of course, by then we'll probably be taking care of grandkids and aging parents, but we'll take that as it comes.

In the meantime, we enjoy watching the weather as it comes our way, whatever the weather may be.  

And yes, there are hailstones in my freezer right now. :) 

P.S. One other casualty of the aftermath of the hailstorm: my camera!  Outside taking pictures of all the hail, my hands were full of towels and a flashlight, and the wrist strap slipped off my wrist.  The camera hit the concrete and hasn't been the same since.  I have more hope for the tomatoes recovering than I do the camera, but I'm not ready to give up quite yet!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Remember this post where PawPaw pulled Dale's tooth with a special set of pliers?

Yeah, well Alan remembered it too.  This weekend Dale announced the looseness of tooth #4, the second one on top.

It wasn't long before Alan caught Dale watching tv and made a trip to his own toy toolbag.

Dale was -briefly- a good sport, but I think it could almost go without saying: loose tooth #4 is still firmly and safely lodged in his gums for the time being.

But isn't nice to know Alan is on-call if needed?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stormy Weather

In the literal sense, it could be headed our way in a few hours.  Hail, wind, possible tornadoes.

In the figurative sense, we've been in the middle of it for days.  As of right now, I am the only one of the five of us that has not run a fever in the past 6 days.  Am I nervous?  Why yes, yes I am!

Here's the run-down:

Saturday/Sunday: Tyler
Tuesday-now: Alan
Wednesday morning - now: Dale
Wednesday evening - now: Daddy Buffalo

Thanks to Alan and his transplant issues, we made trips to the doctor on Tuesday and Wednesday.  He got a complete workup Tuesday and another test on Wednesday, and we still don't know what it is.  Most likely culprit: a virus of some sort.  

No cold symptoms.  And -oh so thankfully- no throwing up.  Just a fever that stays up no matter what.  Stubborn too, lingering on for days like this.  

But please, don't picture us all laying around on our sick beds. Ohhh no.  I can't convince the boys they are sick.  They have each had a few hours of lying around feeling terrible, but other than that, they've felt... well... great.  They run, they play, they laugh.  And I'm thankful for that too.
The boys before all the sickness.

And in the midst of all this?  I got some fillings replaced at the dentist this morning.  Oh the numbness.  If it wasn't so entertaining not to be able to feel or maneuver half your face it would just be torture.  ...or something.

So.  I am tired.  But -so far- I am not sick.

And that's all I can muster up for the ol' blog today!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Family Tradition Continues...

Dale has finally hit that stage of childhood.

The one where he goes around with his tongue halfway poking out, or one finger stuck in his mouth....

... wiggling a loose tooth.

He lost the two bottom ones on his own; after much wiggling they just sort of... fell out.

Then the first top tooth got loose.  And hung around for quite a while in a funny, sticking-out-forward position. I started calling him "Bucky".  

Finally, enough was enough, and the tooth had to go.

I certainly was too squeamish to pull the thing, so I called on the same man that had pulled a few of my and my sister's teeth: PawPaw.

I asked him if he was still in the business, and sure enough, he was immediately able to put his hands on that same ol' little pair of pliers.

The pliers, I remember.

The headlock, I think may be new.

Nevertheless, the extraction was successful.

No more Bucky.

Just a cute snaggletoothed Dale!

Monday, April 11, 2011

You know you are a mom to boys when...

... you hastily grab a band-aid for your shoe-blisters before heading out the door, and all you can find is this:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Not?

Catching up on my blog reading, I saw that two of my bloggy friends have joined with a third homeschooling blogging mama to form a linky-up blogging group.  Thing.

This week is introductions, so here I am, two days late to the party and jumping right in. :-)

We have three boys, 7,4,1 whom we affectionately call buffaloes.  If you have boys you know why.

Some of our current goings on:

1. Baby #4 is due at the end of September.  Yes, we are planning to find out.  Yes, we fully expect this baby to be a boy, too.

2. The garden.  It's our 3rd or 4th year, and maybe the biggest yet.  The big boys and I should be out weeding right now.

3. Baseball.  More specifically, Texas Rangers.  Speaking of.... I just remembered they are playing this afternoon!  The garden will wait, right...?  ;)

4. I'm sure there are more than these three things going on.   But as soon as I finished #3 I turned on the tv, completely blowing what little concentration I had left for today.  I think it's time to sort some laundry or print some worksheets.  Anything I can do and keep up with this baseball game.  :) 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where I've Been

In spite of the fact of having a blog and putting all sorts of information out there for the whole wide world to read, I actually tend to be a very private person.

This means that when there is 'stuff' going on, I usually don't blog about it.  And often end up not blogging at all.

Which is exactly where I have been.

It was a long week.  A week that ended in a loved one passing away, followed by the days of preparation, and family, and a funeral service.

This passing was expected.  Prayed for.  In some ways, a relief.

The loss, however, is not a relief.  It is sad.  It is still sinking in.  And though it was expected, I suspect it will continue to surprise me in random moments and memories for weeks and months to come.

And yet, much of the weekend was celebratory.  This was a home-going.  A heavenly reunion.  A face-to-face meeting with our Savior and Creator.  Can you imagine?  Are you ready?  There is only one Way.  Have you trusted Him?

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

Thanks for your patience, friends.  I'll be back here (hopefully tomorrow!) with all the usual bits of bloggy randomness. :)