Friday, June 21, 2013

Time with Three Cowboys and Ruthie

The Cowboys' and Ruthie's Shoes - lined up and ready for the next morning.
Pop and I are privileged to spend a lot of time with our grandchildren.  In a day and age when so many families are scattered across the country, the Four Sisters have stayed fairly close for most of their adult lives so far.  Right now, DW and her family are several states away temporarily and the whole Four Sisters Farm family pines for their return.  In the meantime...

Shortly after the Unconventionals latest visit, the Farm Hands (Three Cowboys and a Cowgirl Princess) returned to the farm for a visit while EJ and Farm Chick at Heart went out of town for a few days on a business trip.

We opened up the swimming pool. The fellas were prepared with their goggles.  The water was a little cool but the picnic table was nice and warm to lay on.

The Cowboys are good help - especially with the swimming pool setup!
Goggles and squirt guns add to the fun!
When you get too cold in the water, warming up on the sun-heated picnic table is so nice. 

We hunted turtles for our Family Fourth of July Turtle Race and were very successful!  We created a turtle habitat to keep them in (Pop actually had to create a better one as two escaped from our habitat.).

We helped Pop, ate "alotsa" snacks, had waffles and pancakes for breakfast, played with our superhero cousins, and generally had a great time just running and playing at the farm.

Bubba made a "C" out of his waffle - homeschooling is fun!
Lil Ruthie eating a less messy version of a s'more.
The cowboys' Lego creations and proud Ruthie
Wubba driving Miss Ruthie
Ruthie checking out another "ride"
B: This grasshopper pooped on me!
Grammy: No, it's just chewed tobacco.
B: What's tobacco, Grammy? 
That opened up quite a discussion...I explained that when I was a kid we called it that because it looks like tobacco spit...that will teach me!  It is actually just a chemical produced as a defense mechanism for grasshoppers that was called chewed tobacco because grasshoppers were pests in tobacco plantations. (Put that in your pipe and smoke it! Hee hee!  We seem to use so many crazy non-concrete sayings!)

B and W:  Cool mushrooms (toadstools)!!  Can we touch 'em?
Grammy: Sure!  But you can NOT eat these things!
Whatcha doin', Pop?  Cool! A spider web in the pole barn!
Cactus flowers that Pop brought us to see and a poison ivy lesson.
We don't want to touch it or the cactus!!
We heard from their momma that the following Monday back at The Growing Table, the kiddos were a bit bored.  That is good news for a tired but happy Pop and Grammy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Time with the Unconventionals

We miss our Unconventionals SO much now that they live in Indiana and can't wait until they tell us they are moving home again...but we are very grateful for some time with them recently.  We packed as much into the visit as we could with a lot of cousin play time.  It was hard to load them up and go to meet DW so they could go home.  What a blessing to have a daughter and son (in-law) who let us keep them from time to time.

We started out with an injury before DW and Doc could even involved siblings and riding on a metal corral gate.  Ouch!  Good thing Southern Gentleman's daddy is a doctor!  He recovered quickly with the help of this handy velcro/ninja ice pack.  Guess Pop will be padlocking that gate to spare the grandchildren.  It has been interesting trying to stay one step ahead of them as they grow and get stronger!

Lou Lou has always loved the kittens/cats and tries to take care of them when she is at the farm. They don't always cooperate but there are some sweet times that they let her pet, brush, and play with them.

Ladybug is novelty as far as children are concerned.  She LOVES to clean up and straighten things.  When she disappears and gets quiet, she might be making your bed and putting things away for you.  She ASKED to vacuum several times while she was visiting and being the loving Grammy, of course I said yes!  Ha!

These Unconventional kiddos had a special request this trip.  They wanted to go to their Kansas church to see their friends there.  So Pop and I loaded them up and we drove them to church.  I sent DW this picture via a text and she said, "Yay!  Shiny, happy kids are the best! Have fun! Tell our people hi for us!"

Grammy texted Aunt Pretty Princess to see if she, Uncle Romeo, and cousin Bitty Princess would like to meet us for lunch...and they did!  Happiness was everywhere!  These cousins love all their cousins but they love the baby cousins a LOT!  It sort of runs in the family.  It is precious watching them play with the babies.  It makes my grammy heart so full of love!

Another day we met up with Aunt Rock Star and her crew to play at their place.  They recently got a new swing set and the back yard was the place to be...we all made superhero masks before we went out.  Aunt Rock Star does the best crafts with the kids!

Somehow we didn't get pictures with the cowboys and the princess but we got several play dates in with them as well.

Much of our time was spent outdoors and the weather was pretty much perfect for it.  I had no idea that our Pawley's Island hammock would be so much fun...but Pop said he knew.  He just knows stuff like that.

We made swords and daggers (well, Lou Lou didn't need any swords or daggers) and we had tons of fun with them.  Bub got really good at using electrical tape to embellish the weapons.  He also has an incredible imagination for how to use them.

Ladybug, Lou Lou, and I went to the field one evening to gather wildflowers for a bouquet.  I think we did very well!  To our delight, two of the farm cats came along with us.  They weren't much help picking flowers though.

We ate ice cream or sherbet (or both) pretty much every night.  One evening, Pop had them each select a skipping stone down at the pond...then they were to choose their rock skipper...the number of skips was to equal the number of scoops of ice cream!  (I can't skip a rock to save my life.) I've learned to trust Pop with these things...of course, he was the chosen rock skipper and skipped rocks like I've never seen him skip rocks...then he scooped up the corresponding number of scoops for each Unconventional...using a cookie dough scoop instead of an ice cream scoop.  Hee hee.  But no one complained.  That Pop!

The pond is always an attraction and the kiddos had requested some swim time.  Pop said yes!!  The pond still is not full so with careful supervision from the "beach" by Pop and Grammy they waded, they swam, they had a great time.  Near the end of swim time, Lou Lou asked about fish in the pond and Pop assured her they were not swimming alone.  There are most likely fish and turtles (and snakes but Pop was wise not to mention them).  The pond may not appeal to Lou as much in the future.  That's's not my favorite place to swim either.

We wanted to share the Unconventionals with Doc's parents who live near by and when they suggested meeting up at a fun park we were thrilled! There were a lot of rides to ride...Bub found out he doesn't like things that spin so much as the tilt-a-whirl made him nauseous.

Southern Gentleman was a bit frustrated because he wasn't tall enough to ride many of the rides he wanted to ride.  But all in all, it was a great time with dinner at Freddie's complete with frozen custard.  Good stuff!  It is always a bonus for us because we knew Doc's folks for some time before he and DW ever met.  What a blessing to share grandchildren with people you already know and love!

The kids learned to shoot a BB gun with Pop while they were at the farm.  It was an intense training session!

Ladybug practiced with a rubber band gun and took in everything Pop was telling Bub so she'd be ready for her turn.  Turns out the kids are pretty accurate!  I know that part of that is the incredible instructor they had.  Bub can't wait to show his dad how he can shoot. Here they are pointing at their damage done to the target.  Well done!

One evening while we were waiting on Pop to get home after an extended day at work, we had our ice cream on the porch...the cats were very happy about that and the Unconventionals were happy to share a little of their ice cream...even if the sharing started accidentally.

I happen to know that Doc loves ice cream (his folks do too) so we enjoyed it (mostly in moderation).

We had TONS of fun and when I returned home after Doc's mom and I drove with the kids to meet up with DW, I came home to a house that was way too quiet.  I always take my time cleaning off the hand prints and changing the sheets and putting things back in order.  Pop and I cherish the time with all our grandchildren and know that all too soon they will be older and not as available for Pop and Grammy time so we want to soak it up as much as we can now.

Thanks, DW and Doc for letting them stay without you.  We love you all!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Turtle Time Two

If I had any doubt that the word is getting out about the upcoming Four Sisters Farm Fourth of July Turtle Race, it was confirmed today.  I found an inquisitive turtle doing laps around the farmhouse several days ago and this one keeps coming back for cat food snacks!  The Unconventionals and I marked him with nail polish so we'll recognize him.  Good stuff!