Saturday, September 28, 2013

Our Seventeenth Anniversary

Today is our 17th anniversary.  
Lucky for this farmwife, it rained today so that meant we actually got to do something.  
I'm not sure I was really thinking that through when we made our wedding plans so many years ago...right in the middle of chopping corn silage.  
I also distinctly remember Ray Dahlen chastising me for scheduling a wedding on the opening of duck hunting.  
So today, to celebrate our anniversary, we went to town.  Ruby came along to entertain Abram in the back seat (he HATES being alone) and we dropped off Ivy for the afternoon with her bestie Julia.  Linnea held down the fort with the rest here at home.
As we were heading onto the interstate, Ruby said sweetly from the back seat, "Daddy, did you know that people can go *IN* McDonald's?
And did you know they have *tables* inside?  I saw that once when I went one day with Grandma Harriet.  Daddy, do you think we could go *IN* to McDonald's for our anniversary?"

We most certainly did.

We followed that with a trip to a furniture store, just to dream a bit.  She had the TIME of her LIFE.  I think we sat on every couch and watched her fling herself back on every mattress.

We topped off the afternoon with a stop at a jewelry store to see how much it would cost to re-size my ring. (My hands have re-sized since the day he gave me that ring back when I was a senior in high school.)  Maybe when the beans come off, we can make a return trip to get that done.

Our life is far from glamorous; it's filled with the everyday-ness of every day.  
I know that he's the one who will empty the mousetraps and take care of the bats and I'm *pretty sure* he'd have taken care of that snake, too, once he quit laughing at me.  
I'm not good with puke & germs, but he'll stay up all night with a feeling-icky kiddo.  
I find too many nails, pocket knives, and hardware coming through the loads of laundry but he doesn't care when it's fried eggs again for supper.
He loves me even when I'm icky to him.  
He rejoices over each new baby.  He plays football with all the kids on the yard and shakes his head at just how stinkin' cute these offspring are.
Seventeen years doesn't seem like enough years for all the life we've lived within them. 

Happy Anniversary, Dennis.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bipper Had a Birthday

Bipper had a birthday.
(Why do we call him Bipper?  Read here.)
He turned 8 years old last week.
We gave him a SuperMan t-shirt.
 I think he liked it. :)
We like super heroes around here.

 He was mildly impressed with his Vikings hat.
Perhaps more than mildly impressed. :)

 Elijah was the lucky boy who went in to Wal-Mart with Nathaniel a couple weeks ago
and came out with a Superman shirt that Nathaniel bought for him.
Christopher wished and wished that he could get one for his upcoming birthday.
These boys are often asked if they are twins; they think that's funny so they purposely dress alike to increase the incidence of that question.
Dressing alike in Superman t-shirts is just gravy.

 Per our "tradition" we have pizza for birthday suppers.
The birthday kid also gets to go to town for lunch on their birthday at the restaurant of their choosing (within reason) and they can pick a buddy to accompany them.  Christopher chose Andrew and Elijah so those three boys plus Abram and me met Grandpa Gayland and Grandma Harriet at Pizza Ranch.
While we were gone, Linnea decorated his cake.

This boy is just such bright spot in our lives.
We are so proud of him and so glad he is ours.

He came to me before he headed to bed the night of his birthday.
He leaned his head on my shoulder, sighed, and said,
"Today was a good day.  Thanks, Mom."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


This guy really is pretty super.
This biggest brother has lived his whole life remembering to keep legos out of reach of little hands. 
He's been leaked on by diapers and handles spit up like a pro.
He has corralled early walkers and negotiated with terrorists toddlers.

He has taught the kids to love Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, and Roger Miller.
Because of him, they know the difference between Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.
He introduced them to the classic Batman, Spiderman, and Superman.
Because of him they know Captain America and IronMan.
Because of him *I* know.

He can laugh when the dinner table is chaotic.
He calls it "art" when Elizabeth writes on her arms & legs....or the wall.

He knows the importance of laughing at kids' jokes, admiring their projects, and complimenting their achievements, whether it be figuring out a rhyme or making it all the way across the monkey bars.

He has been working a couple jobs this summer and fall so it's been a little different having him gone.  Elizabeth is so excited when he comes home.

I'm proud of him, proud of who he is becoming.  
I'm excited to see the paths laid out before him and how he'll navigate them.

Because we all think he's pretty super.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Poor Boy

He just didn't stand a chance, did he?
 With four sisters, 
it's remarkable it took this long.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013


You can see it, right?
 How much she loves him?
And how he loves her?
'Cause I sure can.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oh Yeah. I Took These.

I mentioned that Isaiah and Linnea were at the 
Minnesota State Fair
but I didn't post these pictures about the day they loaded up to go down to the cities.

 Elijah & Christopher (sort of) posed by Isaiah's goat for me.

 I didn't adequately account for the sun in this shot,
but Cocoa is all like
"Yeah.  I'm all that."

 Excited for FIVE DAYS away from Mom  home!

The girls and Elijah thought it was great fun to have free reign of the show arena
while we waited for the semi to arrive so the animals could load.
My younger ones only ever see the arena when it's packed with people and animals 
so this was a fun time for them.

the semi arrived & the loading began

 Hey, there's almost a smile on that boy's face!
Again, the whole "five days away from Mom" is rather exciting.
Lately, I think I'd like to have five days away from me, too.

They had a fabulous, exhausting time,
came home, slept for two days, and everything's back to our normal I guess.

Dennis and I are pretty sure there are many more years of State Fair trips ahead of us!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I realize these are all pretty similar, but I think they're pretty funny!
When Elizabeth jumps, she jumps straight up in the air and then lands flat on her rear end.
And then does it all over again.

 She can really get up high!

 Kids in large families are used to crowded spaces.

Elijah, Ruby and Ivy

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Labor Day Baby

My Ruby-girl...
She was born September 1, Labor Day 2008.
The first time I've ever "celebrated" Labor Day!

This year, her fifth birthday, was a very special weekend for her--
she got to be the flower girl in our friend's wedding

and this handsome guy was the ring bearer

the bride's brother said to me as Ruby walked down the aisle,
"she was born for this..."
She did SUCH a great job!
(and so did Elijah.)

We had her birthday party on Sunday at Grandpa Wayne & Grandma Cindy's house
so the kids got to ride the horses and ponies.
 Ruby and Grandpa Wayne

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