Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What we've been doin'

Where the heck have we been?! Well, we've been busy and blogging has been the last thing I seemed to have time for. Instead of feeling like I need to make a special post for each of these every day life moments, I am taking the easy way out and blogging about them all. Then I'll feel all caught up and can go back and expand on them later (if I get time!).
Canning! My husband is a canning slave. We have literally been canning some kind of fruit or vegetable, sometimes more than one item, every single night after work. Usually when the kids are in bed. Which means great quality time with my husband in the kitchen, but also, tons of work. I won't be sorry though. I'll take the "after" picture of my shelves when we are completely done canning. AND when he finally decides to mount more shelves. We are totally out of room in the basement to put the filled jars. So we have jars on the counter, on the basement floor, in the back bedrooms. EVERYWHERE!
Here is a look at the corn we produced. The kids then had sack races around the yard and used them as bags to jump on the trampoline with too! It was A LOT of work to shuck, de-cob and then pressure cook. But fresh Loman corn in the dead of winter cannot be replicated any other way!
Papa Milo turned 66 and we celebrated out at his cabin. We had been talking about my shooting skills. I seemed to have lost them a bit over the years. I was a dead eye when I was younger. Milo was patient with me and taught me all I know about shooting and hunting. Now with my husband, I can barely see the dang bird in the woods, let alone shoot one! So Milo dug out the .22 with a scope and let the boys shoot at some pop cans. They are still too little to steady the gun themselves. And the trigger is super hard to pull. So we'll wait a few years for them. But I was the first to shoot the gun and did hit the pop can off the target! I missed the second time though. We do manage to get to church on most Sundays. The kids love to play in the trees after church. It's something they have come to "earn" when they are really good at church.
One of our weekends at the shack we got to see our Ruby! She's getting big and she's MOVING! She is now standing on her own. She crawls. Fast! You forget how quickly they change. Her cousins love to interact with her and she is always ready to smile for them!Most of the time I am sitting on the wheeler with the kids. This is what we see. Bear searching for the bird one of us saw (usually not me) and preparing to shoot it! It's so fun watching the boys react to the food dad has brought in for us!We have gone searching for dinosaur eggs too! AKA puffball mushrooms. The boys still really believed they were dinosaur eggs. Parker was the one to figure out it was just a mushroom. The debate is still out for Emmitt I think.
Our little hunter. He tends to treat the dead birds with affection. Not sure why? We will find him carrying around the bird, cradled in his arms! It's bizarre. But then he is totally fine with it being cleaned up and eaten.

One weekend Bear was out working on trails and the boys and I toted Papa Don back and forth between trucks and tractors. He was moving tractors from one location to another and kept leaving behind the vehicle he drove there! So the boys took many different tractor rides with Papa. While I was the cabbie for the day. Papa stuck them each up on a hay bale and let them slide down in their carhaarts. FUN!
The rides down the road and through the fields were even more fun! Papa let both boys steer the tractor. Parker found his favorite spot looking out the back window at the road below.
Papa does most of the cooking with daddy. Sometimes I bring a dish for all of us. But I am usually off the hook. And I rarely do dishes or pick up. It's nice to let them do the work as I sit back and watch. Papa makes the best pancakes for breakfast. On this day it was Frosty the Snowman and Pluto the dog. The boys talked about each part they ate one by one.2 Fridays ago, the Bilbens welcomed #3. Jens Daniel came into the world at 8:32 am. I happened to be working that day and took my break to visit the new family. He's tiny (8#3oz) and adorable. This little guy may be the one who finally resembles his momma a bit. The other two are all Derek!
Right after Jens came, I headed down to Lisa. I watched her 3 year old twins while she worked the night shift and slept during the day. I took Emmitt with me, while Bear and Parker went to the shack. Gwen and Griffin are both adjusting to their new school better. I can see improvements in both of the kids. And funny little things they do, that we don't want to forget too soon. I made sure to snap some pics of them while they were in their natural environment and it was a blast!Emmitt had a great time with his new best friends! From a pumpkin patch to tubby time with extra kids. Lisa and I did get to visit and hang out, but we will definitely be planning a non-working trip down to her!

Our next weekend back we had 2 birthday parties to attend. Jessalynne turned 4 and Jillian turned 6. I only brought my camera to Jessalynne's party. They had a pee-on-ta (pinata) as Emmitt would say. Parker saw kids from his class. Raija has been a teacher-helper in both of the boys' rooms. It's crazy that they live down the road and we are actually related (Bear and Raija are 2nd cousins) and we don't get together. Ever! Life has been busy for us, but I've taken more time to enjoy it (and capture it) than feeling like I need to sit down weekly and write about it. But I never want to forget the things we do. We do make time for fun things. Not too many things, even though looking back at this post can be exhausting...but we make memories together as a family.

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