Monday, October 23, 2017

Sentimental Yard Work

Ridge gets lit about mowing the yard with John. LIT! He rather mow more than dessert, playground, or a movie. Mowing is his absolute favorite. (He also likes to multitask too and nurse his fox at the same time.)

The last time they mowed together, John and I had a full circle, palm-to-face, struck by lightening moment. Burl (7 1/2) used to be the exact same way. He even wore the clothes and shoes that Ridge wears now. At the very moment we realized that Ridge has the same passion that Burl used to have, we realized that Burl has traded his interest for bike riding with neighbor friends. He was off climbing trees or playing with pocket knives or something boyish like that. Woah. We stood there for a minute and could not take it in. All of the sudden, basic yard work is sentimental. 

We love it. We love this stage with Ridge and we love it with Burl. Sometimes the shift happens so slowly that we don't realize we're moving. Next thing we know, our parenting boat has slipped off one shore and headed to another shore and we're left there in the middle of the open water. We're wondering how it happened, looking at each other knowing full well that we're not made to put our anchor down in one spot of time. We're made to move. The crazy part is that we forget and it hits us that all of the sudden. We look at each other and realize that we've been slowly moving the whole time. Oh yeah, time changes. We live in the moment, and we don't want to change that.  (How's that for a drawn out metaphor.)

For the grandparents and my loyal friend and blog reader, Lauren, click HERE for pictures of Burl around the same age doing the same thing. Mind blown.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Ridge & Lark

Ridge got home from being away and walked into the room where Lark was. Lark saw him, got excited, and crawled right to him. Ridge got down on the floor and hugged him for a minute. Ridge definitely feels possessive over Lark, and sometimes will bear hug him away from us and say, "MY LARKY!" When he puts it that way, we let him have Lark to himself. 

While they don't exactly play WITH each other, they play BY each other. 

Their relationship is slowly developing. With the older two away at school, I'm seeing it more and more. I take a backseat to play director and become spy photographer. 

I wonder what these two will be: co-conspirators, fierce competitors, or best friends. Probably a combination of all three, a season for everything. They are all smiles and love right now. We call them the babies but one thing is for sure about their future: baby won't last long because they are going to be big. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Another Farm Birthday Post

Maybe it's the kids, maybe it's my growing love for everything outdoors, maybe it's my camping enthusiasm that's spreading, but this is true: I REALLY, REALLY look forward to going to my dad's farm. For the past nine years, we've been making the pilgrimage to his farm as our birthday and father's day gifts to him. 

The first few visits were rough because of the destitution of his site. He's come such a long way since no indoor plumbing to the trailer to his two room house with a Keurig! Bless it. 

All along, I've been pregnant four times and nursing four babies. (I'm still nursing Lark if anyone is keeping tabs on that.) Ruffin' it on his developing farm has had it challenges for pregnant ole me-even if the visits were one or two days at length. 

Like I said, we've come a long way-bless it. 

For his birthday this year, I took the three big kids a night early to camp. 

Here's the thing about having four kids: anytime I can drop it down to three, things are a breeze. It doesn't matter which three, but having three is like being on my own compared to having four. So, it's nothing for me to pack up the supplies and camp by myself with three kids. Easy peasy. 

I honestly don't know who was more excited: me or the kids. They were looking forward to all things adventure and I was looking forward to the slow pace and the outdoors. It took me a while to see it, but his place really is picturesque. The property is beautiful and there's a great spot on the hill to watch the sky. (This Tennessee mountains girl loves anytime I can see a big stretch of sky.) The road in front of his house is a tree tunnel. WHO DOESN'T LOVE A TREE TUNNEL!?! Plus, the colors were starting to say fall.

The morning we woke up there, Burl and Fern snuck out of the tent and made about 4839530 cups of hot chocolate and drank 1/4 of a cup. Burl never stopped talking, Fern never stopped changing clothes, and Ridge never stopped playing. Burl got to go with my dad and his neighbors to heard cattle down the street from one field to another-it's totally lost on him what a special thing that is for a city boy. 

Eventually, John, Lark, Joseph, and Chloe met us there and we had more of the same. Farm fun and great burgers! A new chapter was open: Burl learned how to drive the four wheeler (and this is NOT lost on him-he's so proud!). 

I look forward to going again because the farm is rich in charm and serenity. Happy Belated Birthday Post, Pops-you've made a special place for us all. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"It Works!"

As I came around the corner outside, looking for these three, I spotted this scene. I slid back inside for my camera and ran back to capture it. It's full throttle childhood magic. 

I love this. I absolutely eat this stuff up. When I find them busy creating some new world or stretching their imaginations, the only words that come to mind are "it works!" My mama skills, a precious family, a happy life, it all works and I know by watching them create beautiful, simple, rich play like this. It happens daily, but it never ceases to amaze me and almost take my breath away. I'm in awe that they are here and they are being the best versions of children, just like they're suppose to be. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dandelion Fuzz

John calls it his dandelion fuzz.  This is what his hair looks like straight out the crib (and most of the time):

Little Lark is a treasure and like all babies to their homes, a joy and delight to the rest of the family. He's been hitting milestones quicker and earlier than my others. Sure, there's the fourth child factor (meaning I'm watching him less than I did the others because I'm watching more babies collectively). Beyond that, in the past two or three weeks he's done several notable things. If I was the scrapbooking type, then I would be very busy recording it all. 

He lives in a fast paced household with older brothers and sister to keep up with, so it's no surprise that he's doing just that.