Sunday, August 24, 2014

We've been...

Spending time at the indoor play place at the mall because it's still too hot for the playground. Ugh.  

 Going to visit Grandma Herring.  Getting together with family to celebrate Elora's blessing...
 Doing preschool everyday with Emma and Hudson.  This particular week we were learning about all the different kinds of bears and the kids had a bear picnic in their "cave" under the table.
 The kids have been in fort mode a lot lately and have been building different forts in different rooms of the house.  This day they were playing castle and had built a fort in the girls room.
 They made a makeshift drawbridge for the door and dressed in their fanciest attire.  Avery was the queen, Emma the princess and Hudson the prince.  Hunter designated himself as the knight and guard of the castle.
 Guarding in their watch tower....
 They had a coronation celebration for Ave to be crowned queen and Deke and I were invited.  There was a royal ball, snacks and we were even asked to stay overnight in the castle.  They played for hours.  Sunday is always fort day and I am pretty sure that every week the goal is to try to make a new fort that is even bigger and better than the last one :)

Catching lizards

As soon as he gets outside Hunter is always on the hunt for creatures.  Lizards namely are his favorite to find and catch.  There are a million up at grandma and grandpas and Hudson followed behind him as Hunter showed him how to find and catch one.  Hudson kept asking and asking to hold it so Hunter put it in his hand and I couldn't believe how gentle he was with it.  
They sat for a long time and played with that lizard.  Hudson was pretty fascinated with it and kept wanting to hold it.  Fun to watch them catching lizards together :)

All our babies

Its bittersweet.  To sit at Ethan and Dylan's gravesite and have all our babies close to each other. The huge void that is always with me feels a little lighter for a moment, and then heavy again as I look at the kids all gathered together and imagine the boys standing alongside them.  Oh how I miss them, wish I could hold them and kiss them.  Right in this moment again it feels too much to bear, then as the tears fall there are small arms all around me hugging me.  Little hands around my neck patting me and saying, "u okay momma? okay?" Oh my babies, how I love you, all of you so much.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Fisherman and Flower queen

These two are the cutest.  While they are most definitely best friends, and the best sisters they often times could not be more opposite.  As soon as the car stopped Ave grabbed her hat and pole and was headed out into the grass to find her spot, which of course was so close to the edge she about went into the water.  Deke showed her once how to cast her line and of course that was all it took and she had it down.  She settled into her red chair grinning, and started to wait for a bite.      
Emma however was a different story.  She had no interest in fishing.  None.  She didn't want to wear the hat, it "looked like a boy and it made her sweaty."  We found a shady spot under a tree to sit and she noticed a whole bunch of flowers.  "Hey mom, I know! Let's make flower crowns!!"  she said suddenly excited about this new prospect. 
So off we went picking flowers, twisting and knotting them together to make a flower crown.  I used a couple bobby pins to secure it in her hair and she was giggling.  A few minutes later Deke and the kids came by asking her to join them.  "No, I don't want to fish, I am just going to make flower crowns with mom" she said.  All afternoon I watched as Avery moved her red chair up and down the bank trying out different fishing spots.  She was loving it.  Meanwhile all afternoon everyone continued to attempt to convince Em to try it out and she just wasn't having it.  She was however loving her crown.
Soon it had turned into a full imaginative play scenario.  She was the queen of the land of flowers were fairies lived.  Hudson was her son, I was her sister and we lived in a giant tree that was actually a magical castle.  She gathered leaves and grass and made us dinner, used piles of grass to make us beds...
She found a long stick and told us it was her magic stick that made any kind of flowers grow in her kingdom.  I'm not going to lie she had me definitely not worrying about fishing anymore and instead deep in pretend play with her and Hudson.  I couldn't help but smile as I watched her, she is such a girly girl.  Stepping into the role of royalty definitely comes far too natural for this girl :) :)  I love the way she plays pretend she has such a big imagination.
Soon the fishing was winding down and Emma still had not yet tried at all.  Leave it to Avery to finally convince her to try if Ave would help her.  I looked over to see Avery lugging the pole, the chair and supplies over to a spot as Emma wrinkled up her nose and commented about her shoes getting muddy.  Oh my.  I sat and watched as Avery got her all situated in a chair, then cast the line for her and showed her how to hold it. Her braid hanging down the side looking ridiculously cute in her camo hat, with the maturity of a ten year old teaching her sister what to do.   
She talked with Emma about feeling for a tug on the pole, how to reel it in and told her that she could do it when Emma said the pole was too heavy.  
I sat back and just watched them sitting in the grass together.  My daughters.  Within five minutes Emma turned around and said, "Mom I don't want to fish anymore.  I have tried and tried and I just can't catch anything" to which Avery started laughing.  "Emma you just started it" she said then smiled, "okay Em give me the pole then" she told her and then took over.  Emma grinned at her and Avery smiled back, they sat there, camo hat and flower crown, chatting away together.  

Going fishin'

The kids had asked and asked to go fishing this trip so we made sure to take the entire afternoon and head out to a favorite fishing spot of grandpa's.   
Hudson wasn't quite sure what all the fuss was about but he was thrilled when grandma gave him an empty Gatorade bottle to collect rocks and sticks in,
The weather was nice and as soon as the kids saw the water they were ready to get going.
Deke headed off with Hunter and Ave to find some good spots.  A couple of watersnakes were hanging out and one tried coming up the bank right where Deke was standing.  Hunter and I were rolling watching him high knee it up the bank as fast as he could. The kids did really good on their own this time and fished all afternoon. Hunter loves fishing and I was surprised how much Avery enjoyed it.  I hung out under a tree with the littles and let them play and collect things.
After trying to fish for hours no one had caught anything except of course for Grandpa, who had gone out a ways and found a good spot.  Pretty sure he never comes back empty handed.
Hudson wanted to touch it and then wasn't sure he liked it.
Hunter enlisted papa's help and they searched for crawdads along the bank when everyone was tired of fishing.  We sat around, snacked and just visited.  Made me think of fishing trips with my grandpa when I was little.  I want to make the most of our time with him every time we see him.  I love watching the memories that my kids are making with him.  These last few years have been hard to watch what he has been through.   I am grateful for these moments.