Christmas for grown-ups!

I've decided that there really is such a thing that can cause that giddy, excited feeling in an adult that was once only claimed by small children . . . . . gardens. It's this crazy thing - you have dirt, you put a seed in the dirt and say a little prayer that something will happen if you pour water on the dirt. It's absolutely mind-boggling, but in a matter of weeks, green stuff GROWS! Seriously!
This was my first attempt at a garden, so I kept it small. I actually have no idea what I planted, but I got corn, 5 million tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, cucumbers, thousands of peas (a favorite of the kids!), and the most enormous pumpkin patch ever! I didn't really know how big these plants can get - those seeds are so tiny, you know? So, now the garden is growing all over the place, but it's like Christmas everyday!!
Jake has loved helping me pick the veggies! He tries to feed it all to Bo, our horse. This is in my friend, Kim's, garden. He picked a few tomatoes that he shouldn't have and he was really excited about it! Sorry, Kim!
I just think her dog is so funny in this pic!
Jake and Jack liked hiding in her corn.

They congratulated themselves on a garden well done!

The peas were our favorite. The kids would go out and just plop down next to the plants. I really don't think more than a few actually even made it into the house!

Jake would get a pea and go hide on the other side of the garden so I wouldn't "catch" him eating them all up!
Living with a field means that you need to have cats to keep the mice away. Sometimes, the cat will bring her catch closer to home. I am so dang grateful that our cat likes to eat her mice right in front of us. I especially like that sometimes she leaves a little for us to discover. It's so great to learn about the insides of mice. It's a great teaching tool. I really, really, really can't tell you how much I absolutely love that the kids are fascinated by what the cat is eating. It's just awesome.
But, I DO love my corn!

Jake loves to go out and pet Bo. It's a little scary because Jake would run right out there and hang onto Bo's legs if I'd let him. He's completely obsessed with horses. I love that Bo actually knows when Jake is at the gate - he rushes over to sniff Jake every chance he gets. One more thing about my crazy-man Jake. He's the dirtiest kid ever. He could just THINK about an oreo cookie, and his entire face would be covered in cookie sludge. He has lots of "mini-baths" just to keep the rest of the house clean. He's so messy that I'm afraid I might still have to be doing this when he's 18 years old!


First Day of Preschool and dance!

It was a big day last Wednesday - Chloe finally got to start preschool! She has been ready for this for a long time, and as sad as I am to send her off to school for a few hours a week, I know it's going to be great for her!
Don't let this look fool you - she wasn't nervous at all. You know that feeling when you get so excited about something that a tiny little scream builds up in your throat and it kind of tickles? That's what she was going through out on the sidewalk before starting school. She is definitely a "social" girl who really loves her friends (I just hope she doesn't ever have to experience the "time out five times a day behind the piano for talking too much" that I did in preschool!).
She was so happy to discover that they do a lot of painting! She could color and paint and build things all day long - so it was heaven for her!

We all just love her teacher! She's known "Teacher M" since we moved up here 3.5 years ago and started having her daughters babysit. It's great to have a solid relationship with your teacher even before school starts!
After lunch, she got to start up dance again. Last year was so fun, and this year she'll be doing more clogging and tumbling. She was so dang excited!

Check out these moves!

I just love how happy she is all the time!


No Boys Allowed!

Since Chloe noticed that she didn't have any girlfriends over when we threw the boys their "End of Summer" late night, I had promised her a "No Boys Allowed" party before her preschool starts. So I did. It was just a couple friends, but they had fun. They strung necklaces . . .
decorated cupcakes . . . . all pink, of course! Then they painted a cardboard clubhouse!
Emma came.Abby came.

Jake was the only boy and that's because he's with me. I barely caught him sneaking an extra cupcake off the table! He can be such a stinker!

This is my naked stinker-boy chasing the kitten around the yard with only his brand-new shoes on! Poor kitty!

I think it was quite a success!
And as a bonus! There was a teeny-tiny romance going on "behind the scenes"!

Colten's football team '09

The football season has begun and even though there are a million hours of practicing, and the boys don't get home and in bed anywhere near their regular bedtime, I have to admit that it's really fun. I mean, I actually enjoy watching Cole get into it! It's very exciting! Colten has been in love with football since he could walk. When we brought Sam home from the hospital, our gift to Cole was a toy football helmet with a matching football. He was outside for hours knocking Joe down! He was so little and just threw himself at Joe! I loved watching him get so excited about it, and I see that same excitement now. With other sports, he gets into it, and he really likes it, but he's been waiting for the football season to start, and now it has!

He's #44 - the one running.

The little kids keep cool with junk food while Cole sweats out on the field.

Joe is so happy to be able to help coach the defense. It's quite a time-consuming job! He really focuses all he has on his team, but his coaching style is so great. He's really positive with the kids and always asking them if they're having fun and giving them hi-5's. I can tell the kids really like him and even though he's pretty loud and intense, they really respond well to him and they're all having fun.
I love watching them in the huddle - when the coach gets them all worked up! Cole's face is very focused!
One game was so dang hot that Jake and Jack took turns pouring water over their heads. That would usually get them into a fight, but it was so hot that the cold water was exactly what they wanted. Jake was down to just a diaper by the end of the game after all that water!
The team hasn't lost a game yet, but the coaches all feel a lot of relief when the game is over!
That's Joe giving one of the kids some inspirational advice.

Go #44! Hit 'em hard!

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