Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Things you can do in a community pasture

Last weekend we were invited to a 'barbecue' at my brother in law's fiancee's sister's house. Got that? Anyway, we figured it might be an important barbecue so we made a point of showing up. As it turned out the 'barbecue' wasn't at the sister's house, or even in her yard. It was in a pasture. There was a white tent set up in the middle of the pasture, within walking distance from the road. We had our suspicions at that point that this wasn't going to be any ordinary barbecue.

It had poured rain for a few days before - and that morning, so the pasture was very boggy and just so we knew we shouldn't attempt to drive in - there was a 4x4 stuck up to its axle about halfway between the road and the tent. By the time we got there it was very hot and sunny so we just walked in from the road carrying some salads and the kids and whatever. I was glad I didn't bring a fancy pair of shoes. If I owned a fancy pair of shoes - which I don't.

Arriving at the tent, it looks like Martha Stewart might have dropped by to do some decorating inside. There's a table set with wine glasses and an interesting centerpiece of field grasses, paper lanterns, etc. I strongly suspect that this isn't going to be a barbecue, but since I am not one to argue I begin washing lettuce for the caesar salad I was supposed to contribute. My lettuce-washing was interrupted when a big truck decided to risk the mud and flew through the soggy pasture to park by the door of the tent. And, inside:

Careful! Don't get mud on that dress!!!

Next thing I know, there's a bunch of pretty bouquets being handed out to her sisters, and his sister - and the lady I thought must be from her side of the family is actually a JP or something, and she's getting a picnic table hauled over to the middle of the pasture and we're all moving over there to watch my brother in law and his fiancee getting MARRIED.

instant bridesmaids, just add flowers!
We are gathered today to witness....

Exchanging rings

So, there you have it. I have a new sister-in-law!! It was such a perfect way to have a wedding and we really enjoyed the day there. We had a nice supper, the kids ran and played, the bride and groom had their pictures taken - the rest of us sat in lawnchairs and drank wine and enjoyed the evening. Just as it was getting dark we were all chased inside the tent by a torrential downpour which made getting back to the road VERY interesting in the dark. Did I mention the kids caught a snake earlier in the day and let it go somewhere between the tent and the road? And that this is a pasture? You know, where COWS graze? Yeah - so the walk back was pretty scary. But the rest of the day was perfect.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Just for Stacey

We've spent the last few Saturday evenings out on the quad:

Looking down at our house (the last one) from the top of the hill

ie/ from where my children went when they ran away from home 2 weeks ago.

From the top of one of the sand hills

Taking a break at the quad shack
Heading across the PFRA pasture, along the top of the valley

Where the train tracks go over the culverts

I'm not impressed about the mud.

(I know, there's still skin showing. I'm not nearly muddy enough!!!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

All the pretty horses

Since we have one night this week without anything to do - and it happens to be the same night that the Musical Ride is in the community where my sister lives - I decided to take the girls. I still remember the first (and last) time I saw the Musical ride - I was about six years old and completely enthralled. So I couldn't wait to take the girls to see it.

They absolutely loved it - we were outside waiting when they rode past my sister's house and A. loved the sound of the horses' hooves on the pavement. If you ever ask any of my kids what sound a horse makes, its never 'neigh' - always "pitty-cupitty-cupitty-cup"

So A. was saying "pitty-cupittycup" all the way to the fairgrounds and through the parts of the show where she wasn't jumping and bouncing and singing. She liked it, to say the least. I fear that it was one of my children who said "its a big line of BUTTS!!!" very loudly at the very beginning when all of the horses lined up to get permission to begin the ride- and well, we *were* seated on the butt-side. Something a 6 year old couldn't help but point out.

There. Now everyone gets to see their butts.

The weather was beautiful - sunny and warm and amazingly, NO BUGS. Its been raining so much the last few weeks, everything is shockingly green - I regret not bringing my good camera to take pictures, but it just didn't make sense to juggle that along with everything else. The crappy Nikon did get a few shots - and I will upload some video tomorrow if I can figure out how.

The girls meeting "Leanne"
I didn't get very good pictures of the kids with the horses, mostly because I had A. in the sling and she wasn't letting me get close enough to take pictures - she kept bailing out the front because if we got close enough, she wanted to touch the horse TOO. She has no fear, that little one. I just gave up, put the camera away, and took her right up there so she could touch the horse. My nephews, on the other hand, were having none of that. Horses are good from far, but far from good.

Here, Christy - this is why the ride is musical. ;)

Just for Heather, the "Music Box Dancer" part:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No time to blog!

If you're counting (and I am!) this is the end of week 7 out of 8 weeks without DH at home. He is home every weekend, thank goodness. But its a hectic time of the year to start with, and I will be SO GLAD when its over. One more day, then one more week. I think we'll make it.

Last week was absolute hell. The DVD player self-destructed earlier in the week but we barely missed it, until we had no TV. The night the TV went down, I took the DVD player apart with a screwdriver, held a flashlight under my chin, and tried in vain to locate the laser-eye thing that I was supposed to clean with a Q-tip to get it working again. After about 20 minutes of swearing, I realized that the problem is much more likely the fact that the thing doesn't spin anymore. So I told my husband not to come home unless he was carrying a new DVD player. Then, I called the satellite company over the weekend - they couldn't do anything since we live in a rural area so I had to make my own arrangements to get it fixed - the guys did come out here but they took one look and got back in their van. They can't fix my dish - the problem is the trees grew or something (in a week??) and they need to be cut or we need to cement a pole in the ground in a particular spot and make some kind of bracket to attach a dish to, and THEN call them and they'll get it working again.

Seriously, now. Do you not see me here, alone with THREE KIDS in the house. No husband. No TV. We will certainly not survive until whenever this pole is constructed and cemented and hooked up to a sattelite dish. You know what's going to happen. Don't be surprised if one of these mornings you see me climbing those trees, barefoot in my pink spongebob PJ's, with a wild look in my eye and chainsaw in hand. Its getting close, I tell you. Its been RAINING for three days straight. Pouring rain. Don't think I can't use a chainsaw. I don't even have to climb the trees, I can take them out at the base.

Of the 7 weeks we've been without a dad/husband in this house - we have also been three weeks without the Good Brush. You know, the one that keeps the children from screaming (as much) when I brush their hair. We did manage to find the brush that comes apart whenever it encounters a knot. So, every morning has been a total joy. To add to the misery, the tangle spray went missing on Tuesday and has not been seen again.

At the end of last week I thought I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown of sorts. My kids ran away on me Thursday at suppertime, they aren't supposed to leave the YARD, but somehow while I was getting supper for the baby, the older two got out of the house, across the street, and climbed the hills across the street. It was a very windy day so they couldn't hear me yelling and just kept on climbing, and I watched them reach the top, thinking they'd turn around and come back down. But they disappeared over the top of the hill and didn't come back. I had no idea what to do - I actually had to phone my husband who is 5 hours away and ask him what to do. He said to phone my in-laws and send his dad to go find my girls. I felt like the worst mother on earth - they were gone, there are bears and cougars and lord knows what else up there - who knows where they went? My father in law found them - the kids could see the school yard from the top of the hill so they ran down the other side and were playing there when he found them. But that's when I started to think maybe I can't handle this anymore. My kids ran away and I didn't even know what to do - I must be losing it.

However, this week is much, much better. I've had a little help and it goes a long way. I'm so much more relaxed, I don't feel so alone - I have more patience with the kids and I am no longer overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. Its been a long seven weeks but we just have a few more days, and its going to be over.

Even with all the chaos, we're getting a lot done. I've kept my flowerbed weeded, and the lawn and dandelions somewhat under control. The there are baskets of clean, folded laundry in among the piles of dirty laundry. The dishwasher runs daily and the house isn't quite ready to be condemned. The kids eat three times a day and M. gets to school every morning. We wrapped up preschool and t-ball. We've ripped apart the deck on the house, and I've done a lot of paint scraping and a little staining so hopefully it will be done this weekend. I have been going to one bazillion meetings and I even arrived on time for some of them. There is so much happening right now and a lot to do - I can't put it all on hold just because my husband is away. We have a library opening in the next couple of weeks, where there was no library before. We had a successful used book sale last weekend, and the shelving went in last week, the books should be arriving next week - we have a librarian training and some last -minute details to iron out - but it is REALLY HAPPENING, and I am so excited. Its all going to be worth it in the end - I just need to hang on for one more week.

Somehow in all that, the scrapping fell by the wayside - but I did find enough time to do a couple things this week.

layout for my friend for her daughter's first communion

coffee cup insert for Father's day

that goes in a travel mug like this:

I am also thinking I'll get him a pair of crocs for Father's day - but he's going to have to pick them up himself since he's the one living in the city. Oh well, saves me agonizing over colors. I told him to get a pair for my father in law, too!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Weekend at the lake

A. is going to be a water baby. She soaked three outfits before we finally gave up and put her in a swimsuit - then she just sat in the water and played.

Oh, we needed this SO BADLY. An absolutely beautiful weekend at the lake - the water was like glass most of the time, the sunshine was warm but not too hot - and we just relaxed and had a good time. We had our first campfire, and the water was warm enough that the kids could play in and around it for hours and not turn purple.

C. playing in the water for hours, and hours
There were cousins at the lake for the girls to play with - boy cousins, but they would do just fine. We barely heard a whine or whimper out of any of the kids, they played so well together.
Within the first hour M. was already changing her usual mealtime conversation to include blood and gore to impress her audience.

M's mealtime dissertation on what the cat dragged in...

Boys are different. Fun, but different.

But, now we're back - its back to real life and school and meetings and babysitters and a pile of dandelions and long grass to mow. I don't mow, but its looking like I'm going to HAVE to - when I find the time - not sure when that will be. Three more weeks of school for DH - this can't be over fast enough for me.