Octopus and the Catfish

Tucker and I went out in the paddle boat with Cousin Adalyn at her ranch this weekend. It was a relaxing sunset cruise filled with colorful toddler conversations. One of them was particularly entertaining. The funniest thing was the serious tone they had.
“So, do you have any octopus in this pond?” Tucker asked his cousin.
Without any funny faces or hesitation, she replied, “Nope, we don’t, but we have catfish.”
Somehow, the fact that they had catfish surprised him.
I tried my best to contain my deep hearted laugh and not disrupt their conversation. Lucky I didn’t fall out of the boat. It was definitely the comment of the day that’s for sure.
Tucker had a lot of fun with his cousins that day, and I did too. We sat on the front porch enjoying the post-rain waterfront views. Our fishing ponds sure do look pretty when they are full.
Sure is nice to have so many cousins. There’s nothing more fun than hanging out with family and talking about old stories. Someday when they are older, Adalyn will be sitting on a front porch with Tucker, saying “Hey Tucker remember that time you thought you saw an octopus in our fishing pond?”

Easter Bunny Assistant

We had Easter a little early this year so we could spend more time together rather than rushing off to other gatherings on the big day. I think it’s safe to say, our kids have no shortage of candy. I did remember to order some of the eggs filled with toy dinosaurs so there isn’t so much candy, but of course, there’s still too much. Funny thing is the kids and adults probably love the colorful hardboiled eggs just as much.
Grandma stuffed a few golden eggs with $10’s and even a $20, so that ensured the teenage grandchild enjoyed the hunt as much as the toddlers. We were at my mom’s house which has a big glass window and as I was helping the Easter Bunny hide eggs (sneakily I thought), I turned around to see our two toddlers standing at the window staring right at me laughing. So Aunt Brittany assured them I was just helping the Easter Bunny that day. Because you know “his legs are not that long and he gets so tired of hopping everywhere in one day.”
Mom, aunt, sister, fairy God mother, Rapunzel, I have a lot of titles….and you can add Easter Bunny Assistant to that list, officially.

Weed Whacking

I did some mowing with the good old fashioned push mower this weekend. It’s quite the workout when there’s overgrown grass, let me tell ya. I hope I lost some weight or something! I tried to teach my teenager how to use the little electric weed whacker, but it broke about five minutes into it of course.
I lost the battery, so I had to order a replacement. Then I couldn’t find the string, so I had to order a replacement. And now a little tiny piece broke off inside the thing that holds the spools of string. Some projects are just like that. I thought I was gonna teach my teenager another great “life skill” but it just wasn’t meant to be that day.
At one point, I told her if she didn’t whack all of the weeds in a certain area, I would make her pull them out by hand one at a time. As hard headed as she is, she said she would rather do it that way. Long story short, after the weed whacker broke, she got to pull a lot by hand after all! Of course, she still insisted it was easier. My achy lower back says otherwise.
I have a feeling she will soon change her mind about how easy it is to pull weeds versus whack them!

The Challenge

Man it sure can go from hot to cold in a hurry around here. Had to put up the old shorts and pull out the old jacket.
I enjoyed writing this week’s feature story about the Davis family who is raising genuine, pure Texas Longhorns. One of the pictures they sent me looks just like an old Longhorn cow that was one of my daddy’s first cows, or at least the most memorable. I hated that Longhorn because she would turn and chase after us when I rode by on my horse if we were anywhere in the vicinity of her calf. She was quite protective of her babies and it was pretty terrifying to see those horns coming toward you. I doubt she ever got too terribly close. It was “appeared closer than she was” in all my young terror, I’m sure.
But now, ten years later, I miss that old beautiful Longhorn cow. They are so iconic.
This weekend started off kind of interesting. I had my niece Audrey over at my house and we go to talking about her big “party” aka fundraiser that’s coming up April 15th to support research to find a cure for Audrey and other kids battling A-T.
Anyway, some craaazy people (you know you who are) created the Princess and Protector challenge, where you are supposed to dress up like a princess or superhero and make a funny (aka embarrassing) video so other people will share it and help promote Audrey’s event. I had no intention of becoming a singing princess, but let’s just say, I guess Audrey can talk me into anything. She is such a darling child. I have long hair so they often call me Rapunzel. I mentioned the idea of ordering some really, really long 4 foot real Rapunzel wig hair and Audrey got really excited really fast. Before I knew it, I was asking what Rapunzel sings anyway, and she immediately burst out into a song called “I have a dream.”
I have to admit, it is the perfect song for this challenge and it’s quite catchy. So we pulled it up on Google, and I started humming along and before we knew it we were singing a little parody about Audrey’s event, which she even helped me write, so then I had to sing it….. “I have a dream, I have a dream, to find a cure for A-T. And with every passing hour, I’m so glad I left my tower. Come to Devine Acres Farm for Audrey April 15.”
Long story short, the Rapunzel wig was atrocious, so I won’t be wearing that, but you can soon indeed look forward to the release of the musical renditions of a not-so-good singer called Rapunzel, who really, really, really loves a little girl named Audrey (who is also featured in the video and now calls herself Rapunzel’s helper).
Don’t laugh too hard…you might be challenged next…. Aunt Debbie!

Spider Webs on the Cake

When you have most of the family together and good weather, well there’s not much better than that. This Sunday was one of those days at the ranch. It was a little toasty earlier in the day, but by the evening that cool breeze was just right.
To top it all off, we have one of those big inflatable waterslides for the kids, which means they stay in one place for longer than five minutes and us moms actually get a chance to sit on the front porch swing.
Tucker celebrated his birthday this weekend with lots of his little boy cousins. Cousins, cousins, cousins…he sure loves cousins. They are a wild bunch, but they sure know how to have fun. They even got the cops called on them for the first time! Apparently one of the boys was yelling for the others to get off of him as they were wrestling (which a neighbor heard) and my husband was standing outside the yard nearby chopping wood with an axe, and the combination of the two I guess is what ended up with the officers calling for backup before they approached. My husband got quite a nice surprise when he turned around and saw a deputy standing in our driveway.
I think Tuck’s favorite present was a bargain I got at the flea market for $3. The extravagant Pirate ship was all the rage when opened it, with secret compartments and all. One of his other favorite things was showing off his cake, which he helped decorate. I had gotten angel food cake so I needed a skinny pan, and the only skinny pan I had was in the shape of a cross (used for a baptism party years ago I guess). He decided he wanted his birthday cake to be a Spiderman themed, so we can a cross shaped Spiderman cake when all was said and done.
I’ve always hated spiders, and never imagined I’d be drawing spider webs on a pretty birthday cake, but hey, we’ll do anything for our kids won’t we?
It started off pretty fancy looking, until Tucky grabbed a hold of the white tube of icing to add to the “spider webs” I had neatly drawn. Let’s just say Spideyman had plenty of icing webs to climb on when the birthday boy was finished decorating his cake. But it’s okay, because Tucky sure took a lot of pride and joy in showing off his cake. In fact, he wanted to open the refrigerator and pull out the cake to show each and every guest for the first hour or so.

Little Man

Tucker’s playground took off like a jet airplane in those howling winds Thursday night or whatever night that was. But his daddy was real proud when Tucker saw it and took up a can-do attitude. The little man rolled up his sleeves and said “Well, I’m gonna go out there build a new playground, one that no wind can ever blow over.” Armed with duct tape and lots of determination, he taped a few boards together and moved a few boards here and there. We picked up the slide and set it up on a nearby tree stump, and he was happy.
Daddy and Tuck have a lot of plans about how they will re-construct the two-story playground into something better like a clubhouse later this week, and let me tell you, Tucker’s none too patient about it. Seems like every five minutes he heads outside to duct tape something else together.
We finally rounded up our free range, egg hiding chickens and put them in a makeshift chicken coop a couple nights, but still no eggs are to be found. I sure don’t know where they are laying them, but they must have quite a stash by now. One of the hens really loves us now though. She’s been following me around like a Raptor ever since we started feeding them bonified chicken scratch.
Weather has sure been nice; the kind of weather that begs you to come outside. Kids got to play on the waterslide at the ranch this weekend and I didn’t swim but I got hit by plenty of water balloons.

The Jumping Sailor

My 4-year-old son is jumping on his indoor trampoline while watching TV, wearing a white sailor’s cap and a dinosaur back pack, and two un-matching shoes. Yes, these are the good days, and I hope I can always remember what his cute little face looks like right now at this second, even though he won’t let me take a picture. He couldn’t look cuter.
And yes, that’s right, I have an indoor trampoline. I am glad I do, because it certainly gives him an outlet for the massive amount of energy he has. I only wish I had energy to jump on the trampoline with him. I’d be in good shape if I did!
We had a wedding shower for the beautiful bride of one of my little cousins, Richie, whom I will always remember as a 3 year old, blonde headed sweet toddler. I babysat him all the time, and every time I see the 6 ft tall guy he is, it freaks me out. I think that’s a sign that I’m getting old. Before the shower, I interviewed the bride and wrote their love story. Then at the shower, each guest illustrated one of the scenes from their love story. The happy couple, Richie and Sabrina, met and fell in love at the Quihi Dance Hall. It was a lot of fun reading their love story, and I think my aunts and cousins all had a surprisingly good time sitting down and using crayons again as they drew the pictures! It is pretty fun after all.
Turns out that coloring pictures is a good alternative to feel young again, and it’s a lot easier than dressing up in sailor hats and dinosaur backpacks and jumping endlessly on a trampoline!

Like Gold

Parenting tip of the week….A bag of 10 goldfish costs $2 at the pet store. Minnows are even cheaper and faster.
Yesterday on a whim I went and got 20 goldfish, 10 minnows, filled up a few empty buckets, handed my son a cheap net and wa-la…endless entertainment!
 After he transferred all the fish to their chosen buckets, he relocated them a few more times.
Even more fun, Tucker and I scavenged the yard and field for little “fish houses” and rocks to put in there.
Goldfish are only 20 cents. I don’t know why I never tried this before!

The Moon and Back

Tucker woke up with a colorful thought this morning.
“Mom, if you can get me and my cousins to the moon, we are gonna kick the alien’s butts!”
I don’t know if he was having one heck of a dream or what, but this is one guy who doesn’t “come in peace” I guess. Life is always exciting with Tucker and he sure enjoys his “cousins.” Everywhere we go, he tells all the other kids he’s playing with about his cousins.
He hit some big milestones this week. Best of all, he spontaneously decided to clean his room by his own free will, while I was cleaning the kitchen. I was so impressed! Number two, he volunteered to give me a foot massage yesterday. I don’t even know how to say how much I love that!
He’s obviously not a big fan of aliens, but he sure does love his mommy.
I love that kid–to the moon and back!

Case of the Missing Eggs

We got some new chickens so it’s been kind of egg-citing around our house to say the least. These hens have a mind of their own, that’s for sure.
We have our fake ceramic eggs and plans, making little nesting boxes for them to lay eggs, but they have other ideas. They are flying up to roost in our trees at night, and then getting all sorts of creative when it comes to finding a spot to lay their eggs.
So far we’ve found 6 eggs, out of what I estimate to be 18 eggs hidden in our field, based on each hen laying 1 egg a day. So I guess that makes the score about 6 to 12, hens winning.
I’m a little exhausted of this non-stop Easter egg hunt, but Tucker is loving every minute of it. He even insisted that we make a “treasure map” of our property, showing where all the eggs we found were hidden.
It’s a pretty confusing map so far!