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What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday!  I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Family today!

*Ok, so this is weird but remember when I mentioned Monday that my mouse buttons on my laptop weren't working anymore?  Well, they still aren't so I can't figure out how to right click on anything, including the What's Up Wednesday image.  I also can't figure out how to click and drag on something so can't actually link to her blog in my text.  Ugh, what a pain.  I'm going to call a repairman today and see what he suggests.  In the mean time this will be a weird link up post.*

What we're eating this week...
  Andy and I are enjoying the last few days of 'freedom' before the boys are out of school for the summer by meeting for lunch a few extra days this week.  Monday we went to the food truck here in town for Philly Steak Sandwiches (and some of the best french fries I've ever had - it's like they're double battered or something, yum!).  Today we are meeting for Philly's in the town where he works.  And Friday I think we're doing pizza in the park.  Once the boys are here it's much more expensive eating out so our lunch dates cease until they are back in school next Fall.

What I'm reminiscing about...
  I've been thinking about my memories in my Grandma's house. She has decided that this is the year she moves to town.  She has started going through her house.  For my birthday she gave me a few little things she thought I'd like. Last week she spent 2 days going through newspaper clipping she'd collected and sorted them out into folders for each of her kids and grandkids.  That's 6 kids, 18 grandkids!  That was quite a job!!  I had so much fun looking through my clippings and programs from my First Communion and 6th Grade Graduation.  I showed me that all of my clipping I do isn't for nothing - some day we'll go through those and reminisce.  I'm so sad she's moving to town but if that's what she wants to do I'll put on a smile and help her anyway I can.

What I'm loving right now...
  I am loving watching Aiden play baseball!  Guys, he is a GOOD PITCHER!!!  I am totally surprised by how good he is!  I'm trying not to be all braggy, I hate when parent's do that.  I am genuinely surprised by his talent.  He's fun to watch!  Last night he struck out the first 3 batters in the first inning and only had 1 hitter in his 2nd inning, struck out the other 3.  In this league they can only pitch 2 innings so for the rest of the game he played 2nd.  When he was at bat he got hit by the pitches twice, not hard, but he got walked.  We laughed after the second one because he was laughing about getting hit not once, but twice.  Glad they didn't hurt!  His third time at bat he ALMOST got hit again, but jumped out of the way in time.  I think it almost hit his "you know where".  His face was priceless! The whole crowd cracked up!

What we've been up to...
  Ball practice, working the sheep, getting outside to enjoy the nice weather...

What I'm dreading...
  The first day of summer vacation.  The boys will be super excited and then by 10 a.m. bored and bugging Tate.  I am ready for the boys to be home this summer but not ready to have them constantly riling Tate up.  I'm hoping because they have a busy June planned it'll help keep the craziness to a minimum.

What I'm working on...
  Not a darn thing!  I have all of my scrapbooking/card making supplies packed away because we are wanting to tear apart the basement living room for Phase II of the basement remodel.

What I'm excited about...
  Summer!  We are finally having summer weather - highs in the 80's and humidity.  I actually turned on the AC yesterday afternoon because it was so sticky in the house.  Ahh, that felt nice to need it!  The 7 day forecast shows nothing but 80's, lows in the 60's which means humidity and thunderstorms.  Hopefully nothing severe like Oklahoma and Texas are having, though.

What I'm watching/reading...
  Today I am heading up the library to pick up 'Me Before You' by JoJo Moyes.  If you haven't heard, they have made this book into a movie (that comes out next week) and I want to get the book read before everyone is talking about the movie.  Luckily it was available at our local library so I told my friend and librarian to hold it for me so I could come get it.  I'm hoping it's as good as everyone says it is.  Have you read it yet?  As for what I'm watching, BRAVO TV.  I have 5 shows I record every week which gives me something to watch every afternoon while I'm walking on the treadmill.  Works out pretty nice!  This afternoon I'll be watching 'Southern Charm' while I treddle (what Andy calls walking on the mill).

What I'm listening to...
  Nothing much.  The usual on the radio - oldies, country, pop, rock.

What I'm wearing...
  SHORTS!!!  It's warm enough to put the jeans away.  Just in time since I have worn out all of my jeans.  Need to get to the store to buy some, sooner than later.  There's always a cool down for at least a day in the summer where I can pull out my jeans to wear so need a pair for that.

What I'm doing this weekend...
  I am hoping to finally get the tile laid and grouted this week in the basement bathroom.  It's so hard with the Sweet T's so I need to see if my mom can help out with them.  Also, going to my sister's for a cookout Sunday evening.  I'm excited to get there and see their new baby kittens and my nephew's 4H sheep.  We'll also visit the cemetery - I love seeing all the flags and the headstones dressed up with flowers.

What I'm looking forward to next month...
  I'm looking forward to all of the boys' activities next month.  Baseball.  Basketball camps.  Aiden's first overnight camp.  Swim lessons.  Day camps.  Aiden and Andy's Father/Son Iowa Basketball camp.  Plus the other simple things in between, like bike rides, walks, playing outside, etc etc etc.

What else is new...
  We decided to try having Tenley ride in the cart at the grocery store.  My rule of thumb is that when they can sit up by themselves they get moved to the convertible car seat and ride in the cart.  Tenley is very close to sitting up by herself so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  It went pretty good until we got to the checkout line, then she was kind of over the whole thing and wanted held, which is tricky when you are unloading a cart full of groceries.  But she looked so sweet sitting in there! I'm thinking of getting one of those cart covers for her to sit in - anyone out there have any experience with one?  Worth the money or no?

Bonus Question:  What I'm looking forward to this summer...
  Well, all the camps and activities I mentioned for June.  The County Fair in July.  State Fair in August.  And a small vacation with the family, yet to be determined where and when. It'll have to be after the fair because we have sheep to care for every day. They are cramping my style, ha ha!  I'm also looking forward to being with the big boys.  We got a membership to the local swimming pool and they are going twice a week with a sitter since taking the Sweet T's by myself is going to be quite challenging.  We're going to attempt it for an hour a few times but that'll probably be my limit.

That's What's Up Wednesday!

Life Lately

Life lately has been busy.  

Aiden's 4H sheep take up a good hour of our time every day after school.  There is a lot that goes into raising and preparing your sheep for the fair.  We go out every morning before school to feed them.  After school we go out to work with them.  We have them halter broke, which just means we have them used to wearing the halters.  Now we are breaking them to lead, which means we are teaching them how to walk with Aiden while he leads them around the yard.  We started breaking them to lead this past week on Friday.  That first night it went much better than we expected it to go.  First Andy and Aiden haltered up Ted and Tiny and walked them out of the pasture/pen.  It took a little bit of encouraging and quite a few times Andy had to settled Ted down because he was jumping and getting wild, but they walked pretty well for the most part. Then they haltered Nubby and Skippy.  Oh boy.  I got quite a workout shoving Nubby as Aiden tried dragging him.  He just didn't want to be lead and he wasn't going to do it.  We finally gave up on him after about 10 minutes.  All in all we were happy with that first night.  

Saturday morning Andy took the boys out to the sheep to work with them while I took Tenley with me to a meeting.  When I got home Andy looked wiped out!  None of the sheep wanted to walk so they battled them the whole time.  Add to that Tate stood there and screamed they entire time.  Needless to say Andy decided he was never going out there with the 3 boys by himself again.  :)

Sunday night we gave it another shot and it went really really well.  All 4 sheep walked on the halter and we even practiced setting them up like when Aiden's in the show ring.  We all felt quite a bit better about it all after last night.  

As far as how the sheep are doing health-wise, pretty good!  They are growing and gaining weight, eating and drinking, and come running when we show up. They aren't tame enough to just walk up to them and pet or halter them, we still have to corral them in a corner, but it's much easier and they are more used to us.

While out working the sheep I couldn't help but snap this pic of Tate trying to be just like his big brother Brennie.  Cuties!  At one point Tate also had his arms crossed but I was too late with the camera to get that picture.

Aiden needed a pair of jeans for showing his sheep so I stopped at Old Navy.  They were having a 40% the entire store sale.  I might have gotten a tad off track of the jean shopping and found myself in Tenley's section.  These jellies, a pair of open toed chambray shoes and a shirt might have come home with me for her.  :)

Speaking of Tenley, at a cousin's graduation party we found Miss Ella (cousin) who is 6 weeks older than Tenley.  Ella was 5lbs some odd ounces at birth and it took her forever to take off in the weight department.  Tenley weighed more than her for quite some time.  Well, no more!  Ella has made up for those early months and has filled out quite nicely.  They were pretty excited to sit next to each other and gossip about bows, clothes and cute boys.  

 Baseball has started and Aiden is pitching this year.  He is quite good for his first time out on that mound, I was very impressed with him!  He's struck out most of the batters up against him or pitched so well that they popped it up and his teammates have caught the ball and gotten them out.  It's been nerve wracking and exciting.  Bren had his first practice last night, his games start in June.  We'll be going to ball games three nights a week for most of June, going to be crazy hectic busy!

Hi, my name is Tenley.  I enjoy long stroller rides, bottles, watching my brothers and chewing on my toes.  :)

There's not much cuter than chubby baby thighs in white tights!

Bren's class had their field trip to the zoo last week.  Look how close they were to the giraffes!!!  They could pay $4 to feed them 2 leaves of lettuce but he passed on that.  He did fork over money to ride the train and ponies, though, and loved both!

This awesomely ugly cabinet has finally been removed from the basement so we can start Phase II of the basement remodel (even though Phase I isn't complete yet!).  We moved part of it into the furnace room for extra storage and counter space.  The furnace room has 2 walls of built in shelving that I use for storing my canned veggies, my canning supplies, paint cans, extra car seats, camping supplies, winter coats, and a mix of other random stuff.  It's a big storage room (one of 2 we have!!!).  Now all of the boys' games and puzzles reside in this cabinet in there, temporarily.  Once the remodel is complete they'll be out in the living room on built in shelves and I'll use the cabinet to store ... whatever I want to store in there!  To be determined, ha!

Tonight we are having Tate and Tenley's pictures taken.  These are some of the outfits I have picked out.  Anxious to get these done, hoping Tate cooperates because he's been in a weird funk this past week or so.  Everyone pray for me! :)

Here is my fall hair inspiration - I love the warmth!!!  And the length, but I'd need extensions to get me there by Fall! :)

This weekend we ran into my cousin's wife and their sweet boy, Finnlee.  I snapped a selfie with Finn and Aiden to send to my aunt because I knew she'd be jealous I got to see him.  Finn wasn't super impressed with us, ha!

Sunday was a gorgeous day!  FINALLY we get to see Tenley's bare skin other than at bath time!!!  She was rocking her shades and hat, and didn't seem to mind either of them!  It always helps when you are sitting on Daddy's lap, though. :)

That's life lately!  

P.S.  Do you know how hard it is to do things on your laptop when the mouse buttons don't work?  All of a sudden they stopped working.  I have no idea if a setting was tripped or what but neither the left nor the right buttons work.  Erg!!!  Almost time for a new laptop -- or a Surface?  Any recommendations?  Any ideas on how to get these buttons to work without paying a repairman?  I did check the mouse settings, didn't see anything 'off' in there (like I know what I'm looking at, ha!).  

P.P.S.  Tenley keeps trying to such on and lick my feet as I'm typing this.  Ha ha ha!!

Tenley Louise || 6 Months Old

Miss Tenley Louise, how is it possible that you are half a year old already?  You  have changed quite a bit in these 6 short months, going from a teeny tiny newborn that slept so much to a little baby who smiles and coos and giggles and wiggles and turns circles and rolls over and hollers at me when I'm not giving you enough attention. You sure are something, Little Girl!  And gosh do I love you!

Over the past month you have figured out a sort of 'mode of transportation'.  You aren't able to get all over the place yet but you can roll over front to back, back to front - in both directions (roll to the left or the right) - and spin in circles which gets you to anything within a 3 feet distance from your starting position.  You really like playing with Tate's toys if they are within arms length from you (or you roll and circle around to get to them).  Your favorite 'Tenley toys' are your monkey with the toys hanging from his arms/legs, the flat pink turtle that has little spinners in it's midsection, and all of your stuffed dolls.  I laid a Cabbage Patch doll next to you this month and I swear you thought it was a real baby - you just kept looking at her and reaching your hand out to touch her face (and poke her eyes out).  It was such a sweet moment.

You don't like me leaving the room or walking away from you.  And if I'm on the couch not paying attention to you I'll hear a little holler from you.  As soon as I look down and talk to you you give me that big ol' smile of yours!  Your smile really does light up a room, and is very contagious!

I'm very surprised at how little hair you have at this stage.  Your big brothers all had more at 6 months old.  Thank goodness for all of those headbands I've bought you!  It's rare for us to leave the house without one on.  You don't bother with them at all ... yet ... but at naptime I've started taking them off because they seem to slip down over your eyes and really upset you when you wake up.

You are getting closer to sitting up by yourself.  I've not worked with you on this talent yet but the boys are very anxious to teach you like they did with Tate.  My rule has been not to teach you anything that will take away your baby-ness, you will figure all that out soon enough, but I think this skill is something you should be taught soon.  I have sat you up in front of me on the floor a few times and last time you sat mostly on your own for 10 seconds - that's a good start!  Once you can sit up by yourself we'll ditch the baby car seat carrier and move you into the (rear facing!) convertible car seat.  You aren't too heavy in the baby carrier but it's almost time to move on.  Yet another milestone that makes Momma's heart sad.

Because of your little weight hiccup at 4 months old I've held off on any baby food until we got the all clear from your doctor at your 6 month appointment, which was yesterday.  You have started climbing the percentile scale again so we have the go- ahead to start baby food.  With you we are going to skip the baby cereal since there isn't any real value to it nutritionally - some calories but not much in the vitamins/minerals department.  We are going to start with Sweet Potatoes!  I can't wait to see what you think of that flavor and texture in your mouth.  You have been watching us eat pretty closely for the last few weeks, a good sign you are ready for food, so I think you will take right to it!  I have also bought you a girly pink sippy cup, time to start figuring that out!  I'm happy to be able to give you cold water this summer when it's hot out.

You really love being outside.  When the wind blows in your face you coo and gurgle at it!  You are always so happy when outside which is a good thing since your big brother, Tate, wants to be out there all the time.  The weather has been a little nuts this month but sounds like it's straightening out finally so we'll be outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine quite a bit more. I'm hoping to attempt some pool visits this summer with all 4 of you - I hope you like the water!  I can't wait to see you in your swimsuit!!!

Here are your monthly stats:
Weight: 15lb, 15oz, 50%
Height: 27", 90%
Clothes: 6-9 months mostly, a few 3-6 months tucked in here and there
Diapers: Size 2 Pampers or Huggies
Eating: 5 6oz. bottles per day
Sleeping: Bedtime usually 8 p.m. unless you skip an evening nap, then 7 p.m.  Wake at 6 a.m.  2 to 3 naps per day, anywhere from 1 1/2 - 3 hours long.  Usually naps at 9 and 1, evening naps vary.

You are the very very VERY best little girl God could have given us.  We love you so very much, Loulie Lou!  I'm so glad you are my little Lou.

Stranded \\ A Link Up

This is such a fun link up, I can't wait to share with you the 3 books I'd want if I was stranded on an island!

The first book I've shared with you all before, a few times, and I always come back to it because it is by far my most FAVORITE book of all time.  I'd probably be happy if this is the only book I could have on the island, I'd just read it over and over and over again (and cry and cry and cry again! This book gets me in my heart, love these characters!).  The book is...

It follows Victoria through her teenage years and twenties but is mostly about the friendship between her and Caitlin.  You watch her grow up, fall in love, get her heart broken, learn about life... I could go on and on.  I seriously do love these girls, they've been in my life for probably 20 years, no lie!  And I've read and re-read this book no fewer than 10 times.  It's my go-to summer read, I think I've read it every summer for the past 5.  You will find me sobbing my eyes out multiple times while reading this book, and not necessarily because it's sad but because I feel for the characters.  Gah, I love this book!

Ok, so this is a children's book but it's one of my favorites.  I can easily be transported to Laura's family home in the woods while reading this so if I need a little get away from the island this will do the trick.  If taking the entire series counts as a book then I'd do that, too. :)

My third book would be by one of the following authors: Nora Roberts, Liane Moriarty, Elin Hilderbrand or Stephanie Grace Whitson.  I've not found a single book by any of these gals that I didn't enjoy.  Nora Roberts is all romance, Liane and Elin are life stories and Stephanie Grace Whitson writes historical romance, which I love.  Hers I've read were all set in the late 1800's.  If you haven't read any of these authors give them a try.  I can suggest a specific book if that helps you get started.

What one book would you take if you were stranded on an island? I'm always looking for book suggestions, even if they won't get read for quite some time.  :)  Leave me your suggestions in the comments!

Adding to the Family

This past weekend we finally got Aiden's 4H lambs.  I was a little nervous about it but so far everything has gone great!

Backing up a bit, a few weeks ago we went out to my folks' farm to pick out Aiden's sheep.  Originally we were just going to show 3 lambs but Aiden's 4H leader, who is a big show lamb breeder, talked us into buying a lamb off of him.  We backed down to 2 lambs from my parents, 1 from the 4H leader.  We checked out the lambs in the pen at my parent's and chose 2 that were wooled, not haired.

*** My parents raise both sheep that have wool and sheep that have 'hair'.

Saturday morning was weigh-in day for the sheep.  My nephew is showing 3 of my parent's sheep so we met Charley and my brother in law, Pat, out at the farm to give all the sheep their wormer and over-eater vaccine and then load up the sheep.  Pat hauled them into town for us.  We got to the fairgrounds about 8:00 for the weigh-in that started at 8:30.  We were in a long line of other 4H-ers with their sheep.

After inching our way up the line we finally weighed in our sheep about 9:15.  The 4H leader brought Aiden's 3rd sheep and also a 4th for him to show.  Yep, we now are the proud owners of FOUR SHEEP!!!  Holy smokes.  :)

After weigh-in Pat hauled our 4 sheep out to the pasture we are renting from our neighbor. She lives across the street from us but owns a few farms around the area.  One of those farms is just a few miles north of town.  We built fence a couple weeks ago to make a small pasture area for our sheep.

Once we arrived we unloaded the sheep.  Aiden was so excited!  I think he figured they'd be more tame and want to 'play' with him right away.  Seeing how wild they are was a surprise to him.  Aiden wanted to try putting a halter on one right away so after a few attempts at catching one we got it haltered.  Aiden named him, one of the 2 wethers (male sheep that's been castrated), Nubbie because it had 2 nubs of horns on it's head.  After keeping him on the halter for a few minutes and petting him all over to get him used to being handled he laid down.  We took the halter off and it stayed there on the ground so Aiden sat beside Nubs and pet him some more.  It was a pretty neat moment for him.

We caught the other wether, this time one of the black faced ones from the 4H leader.  We named him Ted, after the leader. :)  He was quite a bit feistier and he about broke my thumb.  It still hurts today, 3 full days later, but getting better.

Sunday we were able to get 3 of the 4 caught and haltered.  The first step in breaking them to lead is to get them used to being on the halter, so you halter them and tie them up to a fence.  We did this and kept them tied up for about 15 minutes. The whole time we pet them, rubbed them, talked to them, got them used to us a little.

We are slowly getting used to running out to the farm twice a day.  Yesterday was a very rainy day, almost 3inches fell, so we were there for just a few minutes to check on them and give them feed. Today is another wet day but hoping tomorrow to get out there and get back to halter training these sheep of ours.

It took him a while but Aiden finally decided to name his 2 ewes (female sheep) Tiny and Skippy.  Tiny is small, thus the name.  She was pretty good at jumping so Andy said we should have named her Skippy instead, which is how we got the name for the other ewe.

Aiden's project goal is to learn how to halter break a lamb.  My goal is for Aiden to learn a lot and have fun (and for me to survive this whole ordeal - STRESS!!!)!

Soccer 2016

The boys had another successful soccer season!

Aiden moved up to 4-6 grade level which was a lot of fun to watch.  They have positions, there are more rules to follow, it's much tougher to get a goal.  Aiden scored 2 goals this season which is pretty darn good at this level! His team, the Bombers, were a lot of fun to watch!

Brennan was one of 'the big kids' on his team this year.  He was on a K-1 team called Big Blue.  Andy coached his team this year and had a lot of fun doing it. They had an awesome season, smoked every team.  All but one game they got at least 12 goals in a game - wow!!  Brennan was kicking up to 6 goals in a game!  He had a ton of fun.  It was fun to see him so confident out there this year.  The team did a great job passing the ball to each other, they have talent!  2 of Bren's best buddies were on his team - Chase and Ayden.  At this age they are still pretty much a swarm out there, they play 5 on 5 (1 of those being the goalie).

With soccer being over we move on to baseball!