Life in the Country

Taking one day at a time with kids, cattle, and farming!


on Monday, March 31, 2008

Well our wonderful weekend didn't end so wonderful. Blake started getting a headache last night, but I thought it was just because he was absolutely exhausted..... asleep on the couch at 7:45 p.m. He woke up this morning with a cough coming from his toes and a fever. I had already planned on taking the morning off to take him to the dentist so I call in to tell my principal I needed the whole day. Then....Brooke came moseying into the bathroom with flame red cheeks and an earache. She has been complaining of her ear being "clogged" but I really thought it was just because of her getting water in her ears during her shower. So off to the doctor we went. Our regular pediatrician was out of town (for 3 weeks!!!!!) so we had to see another one in the office. After waiting almost an hour, we finally got in. That is sooo frustrating! The "sick room" was full of kids so I knew if we didn't have anything serious when we went in, we would when we left! Everyone was coughing and a couple kids were sick to their stomachs. Fun times I tell ya!!! So, $100 later (by the time you pay a copay for 2 kids and get medicine), Brooke has an ear infection and Blake has some type of virus, he said that he could be getting a cold or the flu. They both laid around all afternoon. Blake slept for a couple hours and woke up with a fever again. Darn it!! So I hope they will be on the mend soon. No fun at all!

More Racin' Pics!!

on Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm still not very good at this blog stuff so here's some more pictures!!

Oh my goodness!!! I can't begin to tell you what an absolutely AWESOME weekend we had around here! First of all, the kids had a blast Friday night at the "Dive In Movie" at the YMCA. They watched Evan Almighty while they were swimming. While they were there with Aunt Cathi and Rachel, I had dinner for my wonderful friend Emily's birthday! It's not too often that all of us girls get together. We all teach together and have become great friends through that, so we try to go out for each other's birthdays! We had a lot of fun. I came home early, but they continued to party until early morning hours!! Whew! Then
on Saturday, I took the kids and Rachel down to Roseville to the WIU Hoof & Horn Cattle Show for a while. It was sooooo cold and the kids were freezing so we cut the show short and meandered our way out to the Amish bakery/grocery store. It was really fun seeing how they live and operate. We came home with mouth-watering homemade bread, candy, apple butter, & noodles. If you haven't been there - go!

Yes, this is my little scooter in his first ever Quad race!! He has been so excited about it. I was really excited, too, until they lined up to race, my heart dropped into my stomach. We had so much fun!! He got 3rd place out of 8 in the Kids

Quad Race and came home with an awesome trophy! Luke (nephew) also went with us. He raced for his first time, too - but with about 75 other Quads! I had never seen so many four wheelers and dirt bikes in one location in my life!! There must have been about 500 dirt bikes, 200 four wheelers, and 1,000 people! It was a long day as we had to drive over an hour just to get there. Poor Blake was up at 6:15 a.m., in the truck at 7 a.m. and didn't race until Noon. He was absolutely starving right before the race so I had him down a 3 Musketeer bar to give him some quick energy!! Brooke opted not to go which I wasn't too sure about, but she probably wouldn't have had much fun at the races. It was cold and there was a lot of sitting around & waiting. Luke even brought home a trophy! He got 12th out of 30 in his class. I'll put some more pictures of the races here. I thought they were really cute! They had so much fun... and looked great in all of their gear!!

Oh, I'm so sorry...

on Thursday, March 27, 2008

To my sisters who don't "blog" themselves, I'm sorry I haven't updated my blog as often as you would like me to! I just hate it that I let you down once again! Cathi, you are such a "blog addict", maybe you could start your own! You'd have such great stories to tell to us. Just how you manage to get through your busy day would be fun enough to read. (For those of you who don't know my sister, Cathi, she works for my dad as his bookkeeper, personal chef, personal assistant, personal chauffeur, laundry-ist, housekeeper, large animal vet, nurse, medical researcher, and babysitter. Also she is a bookkeeper, water fetcher, dirt wiper-upper, manner reminder, dog sitter, and sometimes personal chef/baker to my brother and nephew). Just listening to all of the things that happen throughout her day is hilarious! Come on, Cathi - just BLOG!!! She's soooo addicted to reading like 11 or 12 blogs a night that it interferes with her sleep!

Getting ready for Spring!!

We sure are hoping that spring is just around the corner. The kids are ready to be able to spend more time outside. They are outside whenever it is nice, but today it's cold and rainy. It even hailed a little bit! Yuck. Since it is officially spring, it should not be able to be 35 and rainy ANYMORE! Brooke and I went and got our spring haircuts. She decided to get about 3" cut off her hair. She has a phenomenal amount of hair! She gets it from me. We both have very, very thick hair. By the time Angela got done thinning and cutting, it looked like there were a couple small animals laying on the floor! I think she looks a lot more grown up. She has been bugging me to take her to the mall so she can get her ears pierced for the second time. Rachel just got hers repierced after letting hers grow shut so I guess that has inspired Brooke to get hers done with a second hole. She'd really like to get it done on the upper part of her ear, but I don't think she'd like the pain that it would cause!! She needs to save that for when she's older.... a lot older! Well, Blake is anxiously awaiting this Sunday. He is convinced that he is going to race his 4 wheeler for the first time in Hooppole, Il. It's a "hare scramble" race which means that they count how many times you can maneuver your way through a course in a given amount of time. I think it's 30 minutes. He is so excited about it. I tried explaining to him that he may not win or get a trophy. He just looked at me for a few seconds and said, "I know....". Yeah, right! I know he was really thinking "Shutup, mom, I will win and get a trophy". I just don't want him to be disappointed. I did read his journal at school (one benefit or working in the same building as your kids is that you can kind of "sneak" into their classrooms and look at things like their first grade journals!) and he talked about going racing and then finished his journal entry with "It's not about winning, it's about having fun!" Maybe my little talk to him really did mean something!! I guess we'll see on Sunday. Brooke thinks that she wants to race, too, but we haven't decided about that yet. She doesn't have the full set of gear like her brother and I doubt they sell racing gear in pink and purple! I think the worst part of it would be if she finished before Blake.... that could make for a LONG ride home from Hooppole! It's suppose to rain on Sunday so neither of them may race anyway! I'll keep everyone posted on that. We're off to Brooke's dance class tonight. Always something to do!

And they're off....

on Monday, March 24, 2008

Yes, the kids had a great time hunting Easter eggs in the snow!! All 4 of them were searching in the back yard at Roger and Cathi's yesterday. It was quite a sight watching them hunt while the biggest snowflakes were falling to the ground. Brooke took it seriously and even resorted to pushing anyone down who got in her way! Do or die!!! They all had one golden egg that they could find that had $2 in it. They thought that was pretty cool. After they were done, they took turns hiding the eggs in the house and finding them in there. They must have done that for an hour or so. We had a great day. Our meal was awesome! It was a lot of fun visiting with family and friends. It's probably a good thing that we only eat like that on holidays. Otherwise we'd all need to go on a major diet! I wasn't even hungry this morning, I ate sooo much. And I don't care if I ever fix another meal again!

So much to do... so little time!

Wow! Each break from school is always filled with so much to do. I just hate it. We try and try to cram more and more in every time we're off of school. And spring break was no different. This year Blake's birthday was so close to Easter. All I did over break was cook and have/go to birthday parties. This kid had 3 birthday parties. I didn't think his birthday was ever going to end. He had a lot of fun though and got so many nice gifts. He even got a new Tony Hawk from Papa for his birthday. He enjoyed every bit of it! And I tell ya... that sister of his sure likes to perform for our family and friends! She was so funny on his birthday. Every time I tried to get a picture of him, she popped in it! Everyone always tells me how funny & dramatic she is. I hope she makes it big when she hits Broadway or Hollywood. Maybe she'll be able to support her poor ole mom and dad! Just look at her in the back of this picture of Blake! We did get some other things accomplished during our time off of school though, like me getting my first pedicure of the season (yeah!), Brooke went with Rachel to get her ears pierced (Rachel had let her first piercings grow closed a couple years ago-and she was brave enough to get them redone), Brooke got to spend the night with her friend Shaniah, Blake spent the night with his friend Jonah, and I even got to lay around last night and doze on and off! But, it's back to the grind tomorrow! We're going to have to go to bed at about 6:00 tonight to get caught up on our sleep!!

Birthday Fun!

on Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wow, what a night! I took Brooke, Blake, and 2 of Blake's friends to the movie and to Happy Joe's tonight so Blake could celebrate his birthday with his friends. We went to see "Horton Hears a Who". It was cute, but I think the boys kind of got bored with it. Blake and his friends are into dirt bikes and four wheelers, so this Dr. Seuss movie just wasn't enough action for them! We headed to Happy Joe's after the movie where they played games, had pizza, and ice cream. I only wish I could describe how loud these three boys were! I thought having 9 girls for Brooke's birthday party was out of control! These 3 boys put that to shame! I kept having to tell Blake to be quiet so his friends could say what they wanted to say. He tends to dominate most (all) conversations. They sure had a good time though. He ended up spending the night with his friend Jonah so it's relatively quiet here. Although Rachel is here spending the night with Brooke. That Brooke is such a comic, she just loves to perform for Rachel..... and Rachel cracks up at everything Brooke does! They are quite a pair.
I always have funny stories to tell about Blake, but really some of the things that Brooke says are absolutely hilarious! For example, tonight as we were driving through Alexis, she noticed a lot of cars parked along the side of the street. Her comment was "Man those people are always having a party. We always see a ton of cars there!". Well..... it was Turnbull Funeral Home! I had to laugh because you should have seen her face when I told her it was funeral home and that there must be some type of service there tonight. Her response was, "Well, then yeah! There is always a party there!" . It was too funny. (Please don't think I'm insensitive.) She always seems to lighten the mood whenever I'm mad about something or even sad. I think that is such a great quality about her. I can just look at her and laugh, thinking of all the funny things she says and does.
Tomorrow is Blake's big 7th birthday! Say a little prayer for us.... he truly thinks he's getting a laptop for his birthday! Guess what...... he's NOT!! He'll have a big day. Brooke went shopping for him last night. I was so proud of her because she insisted on using her own money to buy him a gift. She found 2 really great things for him and spent her own money on it!! They must have been getting along yesterday! She'd probably buy him anything he wanted today because she was so excited he was going to spend the night with a friend! They are too funny.

Where does the time go???

on Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gosh, I can't believe that my "little" boy will be 7 in two days! Where does the time go? It seems like yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital. His birthday is on the first day of spring, and what a great way to bring in a new season! We've got a jam-packed week of "birthdaying" to do. Tomorrow we are taking 2 of his friends to see "Horton Hears a Who" and to eat at Happy Joe's. Then on his actual birthday we'll probably just drive through his favorite McDonald's on the way home from Brooke's dance class. We are having the Flatt side of the family over for dinner Friday night and are celebrating with the Ryner side on Saturday night, along with Easter dinner. Wow! He's going to have a great time. He is so excited about his birthday this year. He was sick at this time last year so his birthday kind of got put aside. I guess we are definitely making up for it this year.
Another funny story about today - things are always crazy here in the morning. It seems like we have been rushed getting ready for school since this time change thing! It has really screwed up our internal clocks. This morning Blake was supposed to be getting his clothes on while Brooke was finishing up in the bathroom. We got all ready and out the door we went. Well, at about 2:00 this afternoon, I was walking down the hallway at school as his class was headed back to their classroom. I looked at him and thought to myself "why does Blake have that shirt on? That's not what he was supposed to wear to school?" Oops, he had forgotten to change out of his pajama shirt (which thank goodness was just a United tshirt) into his school shirt. I just started laughing. It had been quite a day at school so that just lightened my mood! At least I can laugh at myself, right? Is that a good sign or not??

Who is being photographed?

on Monday, March 17, 2008

This is the kids' first year in 4H. Instead of starting out with a "small" project... like a rabbit maybe...we jumped in with both feet! They each have a festival calf that they are using as their
4H project this year. Blake is just a 4H Cloverbud since he was only 6 when he enrolled so he has to make a poster showing how he works with his calf and how it changes through the upcoming months. So since it was halfway nice yesterday we (Brooke & I, since Blake really wants to sell his calf for a dirtbike... hopefully he will be more interested soon) headed to the barn to take some pictures. I guess Brooke thought that maybe we were out there taking pictures of her as she tried to pop into every picture I was taking! This picture is really suppose to be of Steward and Bullet (the calves) but rather it's of Brooke. I thought it was cute anyway so I wanted to share it. She really likes her calf. He's really tame and tries to lick her every time she walks into the pen. Blake's, on the other hand, pretty much has us buffaloed and he knows it! He's not quite as calm, but he'll come around - we hope! Hopefully Blake will come around, too!

Battle Wounds....

I always like it when Blake and Jeff are outside working together on some type of project. But... almost everytime, Blake gets hurt... and fails to tell me about it until much later! Yesterday it was time to clean out the calf shed. Jeff had the skidloader in the barn cleaning out all of the manure, and Blake was right out there with him. He was using the pitchfork and trying to move hay, was wanting to ride in the skidloader with Jeff, and was climbing on the gates. He managed to climb on top of the cattle chute and was just sitting up there watching Jeff move things about. Well just as he was perched up there, Jeff caught the bottom of the chute with the skidloader bucket and lifted it up off of the ground, letting it slam down on the concrete..... completely bucking Blake right off of it. Now instead of Blake falling to the ground, his little 55 pound body slid through the rungs of the chute and he hung upside down by his hands with his feet caught in the rungs!!! Jeff said it scared him (& Blake) to death and he said that he was lucky he caught himself or he would have ended up head first onto the manure covered cement. I'm not sure how he only ended up with this scrape on his back (& a bruise on his butt that I couldn't photograph!)!! He sure was lucky. That's always been Blake - "lucky"! He's had plenty of mishaps and thank heavens he always comes out fine! He worries me to death!

Daddy - Daughter Dance

on Sunday, March 16, 2008

On Valentine's Day, Brooke and Jeff headed to the YMCA to the Daddy-Daughter Dance. Brooke was way more excited than this picture shows! She was glad that her dad gave up a snowmobiling trip to Michigan to go to the dance with her. It meant a lot to her. They ate at Coconuts with Rachel and Uncle Roger. I don't think they danced together too much, but that might have been okay. For those of you that have seen Jeff dance, you know what I mean!

Mud Anyone??

When there's mud, they will find it! This picture doesn't even come close to doing their "filthiness" justice! The kids had a ball a couple weekends ago. It was so muddy out, but they had such a great time. They got on their four wheelers and went riding through the feedlot. They knew that when they came in the house they would have to go to the shower, sooo.... they just didn't come in! That solved that problem! They were out all day and were so good. It's very rare that they actually get along for any extended amount of time. Brooke is 9 and Blake is almost 7 (the 20th of this month). He thinks he rules the house and tries to run all over his poor sister. She gets so mad at him. She can't even get a word in when he's around. According to his teacher, he's that way in the classroom, too! I just can't imagine. Ha! I guess they've been discussing in first grade what it means to be "green with envy". Last night I was listening to him and his friend talk.... first of all, that was a big mistake.... I guess I learned not to listen anymore as they were discussing what they were jealous of. Keep in mind that they are 6 years old and were in the bathroom together. Never will that happen again either. They were suppose to be brushing their teeth! Another lesson learned.... and believe me, I've learned lots!

Wow! My first blog. I've been reading a friend's blog for about a year now and have been so envious of how she has time to even sit down at the computer with 4 kids three years and younger. Now, here I am! I guess she's inspired me to do something more with my life! As I look into the living room right now, I see my 9 year old sleeping in the chair! Getting only 4 hours of sleep at a sleepover sure is taxing on her! My almost 7 year old is just about asleep on the couch after having a friend spend the night last night. They look so peaceful and innocent when they're asleep, don't they! Hopefully this little blog will teach me to take more pictures and publish them so all of my friends and family can keep up on the goings-on out here in the country!!