Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Today ...

...today and tomorrow may I find laughter, strength, happiness, and those little everyday miracles.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Little R&R

We decided we needed a small break from farm work and a little family time this weekend.  So Sunday we gave ourselves the "day off".  We took the kids to Empire Park in East Moline.  It had a big wooded play structure with lots of mazes and other fun things to play on. 
As always Ethan spent a lot of time on the swings ... some things never change.
We got some ideas for our giant tire pile at home ....
This tire path was a real favorite for Ethan and Reese.

It was by the Mississipppi River and we walked down to take in the view.  We saw "herds" of tadpoles sunning themselves where the light was hitting the water.

We were starving so we headed to our favorite restaurant, Red Robin.  Everyone ate well and was happy.

Later in the day, we went to the Monmouth Swimming Pool with the Mother 2 Mother group.  I joined this group back in January but have never made it to one event yet for one reason or another.  They were having a family swim for a couple hours.
The kids were so excited when I told them we were going.  This is quite the change from our blow up pool in the back yard.
It was a little chilly but not too bad once you got in. 
Ethan would rather walk the length of the "baby" pool a thousand times then get in the big pool.  It was only 2 foot deep in the shallow end of the big pool.  He came in there a few times but pretending you are swimming by walking on your hands is big on his list.
Aaron took Addison over to the diving board where she jumped off no problem.  Caden and Addison also went down the little slide a bunch.  Ethan and Reese were going to also until they got up to the top of the ladder then changed their mind.
She put her head under the water and swam quite a few times.
And look who learned to float with her floaties on.  She was loving the water espeically the deep part where she could still reach.  It was a nice day of fun family time .... and the kids slept really good!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer 2010

I can't believe it's July already.  The summer is flying by as usual maybe a little quicker for me than normal.  We've spent so much time working on my Dad's farm.  There's so much to do  and I'd rather be doing it now than in the cold.  My friend, Trudy, wrote me an email the other day that reminded me that it was summer and time to have fun with our family and friends.  It really made me think .... I didn't want this summer to become the summer we only worked on Grandpa's Farm.  We need to make time for the fun stuff too.  So I made a chart of fun things for us to do this summer.  I thought up most of them but the kids gave me some input too.  
  It's hard to find time to do a lot of these things but I want to try to do as many with them as I can.  It's hard some weeks we are at Dad's farm more days than we are home.  So when we are home I have to play catch on all the regular stuff of laundry, cleaning, bill paying, grocery shopping, etc.  These things are not high on 5 and 2 year olds priority lists.  Their first question every morning to me is "What are we going to do today?" then during the day, "What are we doing next?" and at night, "What are we going to do tomorrow?"  EX.HAUST.ING!

We've done a few things already
  Grammy took us to see Toy Story 3 on Monday.  It was really good and all the kids sat through the whole movie with no problem (even Reesey). 

A couple weeks ago we went to swim at the little pool in Lincoln Park.  It was fun.  We may go back and do that again before the end of summer.
Here's our first Muffin Tin Monday ... although it wasn't a Monday and today we did it on Tuesday.  They love eating lunch this way.  I bought cocktail forks and let them stab their own food.  It's super easy clean up since there's no dishes and today they ate everything except one measly little baby carrot.  They also think it's fun when I let them use the teapot to pour their lemonade.

So our summer is shaping up ... lots of farm work is getting done and we're still making time for the fun stuff too. Although I'm not sure how I will fulfill Reese's request of "Go see the dolphins" but I'll figure that out. Hope you are taking time to stop and smell the flowers this summer (although these are Trudy's flowers ... no time to plant any flowers here this summer .... it wasn't on the list!).

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Animal Fun!

After looking through my photos from the weekend, I saw lots of cute animal photos.
Tippy and Ethan .... I think they have the same smile!
Addison has taken to Otis.  While Aaron and I were working in the barn I noticed these two walking all over the place together.  I think these two are now good friends.
Maybe Tippy is a good impressionist, he has the same look on his face here as Reese.
Snickers wearing Paul's hat.
Addison sitting on Snickers almost all by herself .... pay no attention to those legs behind the horse.
Ethan giving Snickers a try.
And just to prove that I do have 4 kids ... here's Caden.  He's so cautious about everything .... and he's unwilling to try out things like sitting on horses .... he needs to get over this .... he's missing out on a lot .... we'll have to keep encouraging him.  But he is getting good at taking photos ....
He took this one of Tippy and Ethan playing ball.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Paul had 1000 bales of wheat straw to put up in his barns this weekend.  I was glad he was working on putting it away this weekend when we would be able to help him.  On Saturday, John and Aaron were able to help them get about 600 bales in the barn.

After the kids t-ball game we went to watch for a bit so I could show them how it was done. 
Mostly they were concerned with how Daddy got up that high.
They were able to get 600 put away by 1:00.
Mallory lifted the kids up onto the hay rack.  Ethan apparently thought he was the "straw boss".
The girls liked to throw the straw.  After all the work, Trudy treated us to a delicious lunch. 
Paul still had 300 bales in the field to pick up and be put away.  He was going to call us when he was ready to put more straw in the barn.  Later he said, it would have to wait until Sunday.  John and Monica weren't coming back on Sunday.  Brett and Mallory had other commitments.  I wanted to help but I didn't know if I was strong enough to lift straw bales so like a dork I practiced with the straw bales we had in Dad's barn.  Yep, I could pick them up and carry them.

So as proof that I really did help put 300 bales of straw away, I had Caden take some photos. 

Look at this cool attachment Paul has for his tractor.  I don't know what it's called but I'm going to call it a Hay Hook.  I kind of think tractor accessories are like scrapbooking tools .... they make all kinds of things to make things easier.   I'm sure there's a whole catalog of them and when you look at that catalog you want to buy them all. 

It was a couple hours of work and really not too bad.  I can even move today.  I've done worse things ... like lay in a hospital bed for 11 weeks straight "baking" triplets.
Taking 4 kids to the grocery store is far more work than this .... and way more stressful.  I liked it so much I hope I can help more on their farm ..... a true farm girl at heart!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

His Last Crop

On Wednesday, Paul called me and said he was cutting Dad's wheat.  He had 20 acres this year.  Paul had told me that he'd call and see if we wanted to come and ride along for a bit. 
I did!  I think Dad only had me ride in a tractor once or twice that I can remember.

In Paul's BIG combine, all 5 of us fit, so with Paul that was 6 people ... that maybe a world record, I believe. 

Here's the best photo I could get from the inside.  The big windshield gives you a great view.  We went up and back once and Addison wanted to get out. I was going to stay with her while the other kids rode with Paul but when I got out they all wanted to get out.  Since it was the end of the day they were tired especially Reese who hasn't had a real nap in weeks.  So we got out.  I was a bit disappointed they didn't want to ride more. 

Then Aaron came and Reese and the boys rode with Aaron and Paul  while he cut the rest of the field.  Reese fell alseep.
Addison and I hung back.  Then Trudy and Mallory came and we talked for a while. Addison found lots of pretty wild flowers {weeds}.

Addison calls Mallory, "Trudy's sister". 

I'm not the "mamarazzi" anymore ... not I'm the "farmarazzi" with all the photos I am taking of machinery and buildings and farm related stuff.  I'm sure Trudy has never seen anyone take as many photos of people farming as me and my sisters.  Too bad we didn't do it while Dad was farming.

Here's Dad's wheat in the semi truck.  It filled the front half.
Thanks to Paul, all the wheat is now done.  I even got to ride again.  Paul knew I wanted to ride, he said something about it being Dad's last crop and it was nice that I was there while he cut it.

I picked some of the wheat and took it to the cemetery and placed it on Dad's grave.  I know he is happy that it's done and that Paul was the one to harvest it for him.  It's hard knowing that part is over and I'm a little sad about it today .... but like Keely said, "Life goes on ...." even when you don't want it to.