Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Manuel on Finding Lost Children

I have had an epiphany. Have you ever lost one of your kids and after calling and calling, they still didn't reappear? You knew they were in the house or around the yard, but were playing their own game of hide-and-seek of which they had forgotten to inform you that you were the counter.
I have a sure-fire way to find those little rascals when they don't want to be found. Hope into the shower.
Yes, the shower. Or, go to the bathroom. Everyone knows that once a mother is in the shower or on the pot that the patter of little feet will soon be heard.
I do look forward to the day when I am in the shower and don't have to grab the inner shower curtain to keep some curious little eyes from playing eye spy on mommy. There is also the child who is determined to hop in with me and stands there at the edge of the tub half-gasping at the water that is splashing onto his face and and half-whining/giggling to get in with me.
It is a no-fail that once I have them fully occupied with something--whether it be a cartoon, crayons (one is still eating them), toys, whatever it may be and I am sure I will be able to get a quick 5 minute shower, that within 5 seconds of me turning on the water, their radar-sharp ears will send out a signal that it's time to leave whatever it was that had fully occupied them and run for the bathroom where I am trying to get clean.
WHY NOT LOCK THE DOOR? Well, there have been times that due to a serious fight breaking out and one child pummeling another on the floor that I have had to jump out of the shower, grab a towel and make a mad, drippy dash to break the offenders apart. In that case, my shower is simply over and I hope that the water has at least washed off some of my offending smell.
I have simply decided that if I can't find one or two of my precious little rascals that I will go straight to the bathroom, strip naked, and hop into the shower. I am sure they will quickly come out of hiding and hunt me down in the bathroom.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ben's Kindergarten Graduation

This year we were very very blessed in our first endeavor with Public School. I know not every year will go so well, so I am so thankful for this first one. I also know grade school is significantly different than middle or high school.
Mr. Smiles was very blessed to be put into the coveted co-teacher classroom with Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Dunn. Both teachers have been a wonderful influence on Mr. Smile's life and he has loved being in the classroom.
This past Wednesday his class put on a little Spring Program for their parents and families. As usual, Mr. Smiles put his whole self in the performance. His smile and laugh just lit up the room and he had everyone around him laughing as well.
The kids performed 5 stories that they had read that year and they were so cute to watch!

Here is Benjamin in The Three Little Pigs. He is the pig who built his house of straw.

The Three Little Pigs getting last-minute performance instructions for Mrs. Fox. = )

"I will go out into the world and build my house of straw!"

They also acted out The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Mr. Smiles was a giggly little fly.

After the performance, the teachers and students held a little reception in their room to hand out their Kindergarten Certificates. The teachers had also taken pictures of the kids doing various field trips and activities throughout the year and each child compiled their pictures into a little notebook about their first year of school. Mr. Smiles was so excited to show us his trips to the Pumpkin Patch, The Walton Arts Center, The Safari and classroom events. He had written little captions above or below each of his pictures.
We will miss his teachers next year!

This is Mr. Smiles in his first public performance as A little Pig. Yes, that girly-sounding scream is his.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Welcome to our newest family members!

My husband and I grew up in or around the country. He grew up on a dairy farm and at the age of 5 was mucking out stalls where manure was up to his little knees. He fed the baby calves soon after and then was helping to milk before he could drive. (He did a lot of things before he could legally drive; including drive tractors and farm equipment).
I grew up in a farming community where most of my friends were farm kids. My parents were teachers, but we lived on the edge of town and I can remember having goats, chickens, baby calves and sheep at various times. Both Luke and I have wanted our kids to have some experience with raising an animal. We didn't think it would be goats per-say, but that is what we are now finding ourselves doing at this stage of our lives. Mr. Smiles was diagnosed as lactose and soy intolerant. He can have high grades of soy, but not the grades that are found in soy milk. He bloats up like a little Buddha and rolls around on the floor holding his poor little belly if he gets into any. We were given some goats milk by a friend and it did not seem to bother him. So, yesterday we welcomed home this little rascal. Abigail and Benjamin promptly named him Edward--Ed for short. He is about 4 months old and we bought him as a companion for the milking goat that Luke had bought that morning. He is a really inquisitive little fellow and may I add--very quick. He escaped within an hour of being put into his pen by running through Luke's legs when Luke opened the shop door that leads into their lean-to home.

Each of the kids are delighted with their little charges. Their little charges are still not so delighted with the kids though.
Poor Luke spent the next 3 hours driving throughout pasture and across the creek to his dad's dairy trying to find little Ed. They were predicting intense storms last night and we weren't sure he would survive the hail or any possible tornadoes or being washed down a swollen creek that is behind our house. Luke came back to the house after I'd put the kids to bed without the little guy. We were sick.
But this story has a good ending. Little Ed showed up about noon today just after I'd hung up the phone with a friend. Our lovely (and very stupid) little dog Thomas started barking furiously in the trees next to our house. I thought he was bugging the cows again; not daring to hope that the goat might have come back. Suddenly I saw the little guy dart through the yard with both dogs tearing after him. Our (somewhat intelligent) lab named Leah cornered him the garage only to be scared out again by a yapping Thomas.
If you can imagine me running through our muddy yard and around the house about 3 times while chasing 2 dogs and a goat until I finally tackled the little beast, you'd get a good picture. I think if someone had had a video camera I could have won an America's Funniest Home View episode.
Good Lookin' and Naters were gaping at me through the front window.
I picked that darn thing up (he was horribly heavy) and carried him back to the shed with our little piranha (Thomas) snapping at his heals.
Needless to say, I am quite proud of myself for tackling a goat and carrying it a hundred yards to the shop. Good Lookin' said it best, "momma, you got some big muscles on you!"

Here is Luke calming Tree before milking her. Poor thing was so out of sorts in her new home. Timothy named her tree because (well of course!) she's the color of our trees. I love that kid!
And yes, I milked her tonight. I'm gonna have to put my hair in a cap because she kept wanting to chew on it while I was milking her.
I'm sure there will be more adventures from the Haak mini-farm to come. But for now, goodnight.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I've been contemplating a lot lately on what it means to be a Mom, Mommy, Mother. I know Mother's Day is past, but here are a few thoughts that have been swirling around in my head.

I remember being a little girl and being asked by teachers and relatives what I wanted to be when I grew up. I can remember naming off things like pilot, nurse, doctor, actress, etc.....

Deep down inside though what I really wanted to be was a mommy. I wanted to have a mommy like mine. A mommy who would hold her children and rock them when they cried, wipe their tears when they were sad or hurt, listen to their latest story about friends or adventures or troubles. A mommy who is there.

I loved holding babies and begged to see and hold every new baby in church. I can remember making lists of names that I would call my children (none of which I have chosen). I wanted to brush my little girl's hair (my little girl hates that. Go figure). I wanted to sit and make mud pies or build a fort with my boys.

I remember lying in bed awake at night praying for God not to come back until I had gotten married and had children. I had tucked in the back of my mind that if I never did marry that I'd move to another country and work in an orphanage just so I'd get to do all those things and many more.

I remember giggling with my cousin late into the night (probably just 9 or 10 pm), talking about all the things we'd do as mommas.

Motherhood has been all that and more. I've not particularly enjoyed being pregnant. I get seriously ill and can't eat and lose a lot of weight. But, labor, delivery (well not labor), new mommy-hood and gazing at that wrinkly, pinched, squished and ugly little face is a beautiful experience I will miss now that we are done. Those little eyes that squint and blink up at you as they open for the first time and search for the voice they hear. The voice that is holding them.

I love the joy my children have at their latest discovery. Today it was another wandering turtle. Yesterday it was mud one of them could sit in and squish between his fingers and toes. It's the little girl who is learning to dance and the little boy who is learning that letters form words and is so excited to show me how to read. It's the "mommy, did you know dat?!" "Look at this!" Their little eyes seeing all that is around them to discover.

Mommy-hood is the sleepless nights when you just want to put the pillow over your head, but instead you stumble to the child crying in his crib and pick him up to wipe his nose and rock until he calms and sleeps. He won't be small much longer and I love to inhale he smell of my sleeping baby.

Mommy-hood is the counting to 20 (or maybe more) so that I don't injure the child who has thrown a tantrum for the thousandth time. It's the trying not to laugh or even smile when their naughtiness is really quite funny. It's firmness and consistency that I have a hard time applying to my own life.

Mommy-hood is the "can you speak a little louder? My children are laughing (or yelling) in the background." (It's another great excuse to get off the phone with sales people.

Mommy-hood is the runny nose rubbed on my just washed jeans or the sticky hug on the clean shirt. Today mommy-hood was letting the 2 little ones play with my hair to keep the occupied while waiting a long time for an appointment. I must have looked like the "It" when the Dr. walked into the room.

Mommy-hood is the tears I've cried when I've been at the end of my rope with what to do with a certain child or the tears from too little sleep.

Mommy-hood is the joy I felt when it clicked with a small boy that Jesus isn't just another bed-time story. The light-bulb moment when he declared awestruck, "you mean He IS real?!"

Mommy-hood is the sweetest of blessings when my child crawls into my lap and declares, "momma, you're my best friend."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Boobies sound like Cooties?

We have a college student who lives with us this year. She blogs and this was a post she wrote after dinner 2 nights ago. I asked her if I could re-post it and here is a view of our little family from the outside.

Tonight at the dinner table the conversation was somehow directed towards the topic of cooties. Luke told the kids that Melinda had cooties before they got married, but he disinfected her so they could get married. I told Abby that at night her parents had to disinfect her from cooties too. So Luke starts into how only girls have cooties, and all that jazz. Now, Luke and Melinda are at the head of the table, and Timmy is right next to Luke. I am directly across to Timmy, and am watching him during this cootie conversation. Apparently, in his little mind, cooties are the equivalent of boobies. As the cootie conversation progresses, Timmy lifts his shirt up, tucks it under his chin, then proceeds to poke his nipples one at a time while chanting in a sing-song voice, "boobies, boobies, boobies, boobies, boobies." Then he lowers his shirt back down and refocuses on eating. Now, I am the only one to have seen this little production, and am laughing at the fact that neither Luke nor Melinda saw, and that Timmy is proceeding on, as if he was able to answer whatever questions he had in his little mind. By this point I am nearly peeing myself, and am bent over double. Timmy is still oblivious to the world, and pays no attention to me, even when I am whispering the story to Luke and Melinda. We arrived at the hypothesis that when we said "cooties, " Timmy heard "boobies." Without delay, we put this theory to the test. Luke said "cooties!" quite loudly. Timmy, again, oblivious to the fact that we are watching, pulls his shirt up again to do the boobie-chant. it is only then, when all of us erupt in our failed attempts at quenched laughter, that he realizes we are laughing at him. and then, of course, it is all staged from then on out, as he knows he has been funny, and attempts to keep us entertained. we didn't ask him about the cootie/boobie confusion (which might be a conversation for another day), but for now, the mental image of a 4 year old in his own little world, singing the boobie-chant, is enough.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Birthday Week

Last week was the craziest week we've had in a while. Both Mr. Smiley and Good Lookin' had birthdays. Good Lookin' turned 4 on Monday and Mr. Smiley turned 6 on Wednesday. Monday evening we had Good Lookin's party with just family and one little friend he had asked to invited.
Grandma asked to get all 6 grandkids together for a picture with great grandma. They were none to cooperative as you can well see. This was the best picture of the whole lot. Great grandma was enjoying herself even if no one else was!

Good Lookin' asked for the same cake as last year...the dirt cake for Lightning McQueen. Luke gets the credit for the idea. It was awesome to see his face! Not this very worried little face you see. Grandma had just lit his candles and blew out the match only to blow out his candles too! Everyone around him was laughing, but poor Good Lookin' was more than slightly distressed. She quickly re-lit them and by half-way through the singing of happy birthday he began to smile. I loved his little face!

Blowing out the birthday cake himself this time!

Little friend and Good Lookin' enjoying cake. Black frosting was hard to get and I was surprised no one's teeth came out black after eating the frosting!

I just love that face!! He is too precious!!!

He had been begging for this pair of Lighting McQueen pajamas. Veins were popping out of his neck in excitement when he opened them up and saw what they were. His expressions are sooo funny! At least we never had to guess what he's feeling!

Then on Friday we celebrated Mr. Smiley birthday. It was a night and day difference between his and Good Lookin's birthday. Good Lookin does not enjoy large crowds. He does not enjoy people he does not know. Enjoy isn't even the right word. He loathes new people and situations. Some might think that we favor Mr. Smiley over Good Lookin' based upon the appearance of their parties. Good Lookin' would have croaked if his party had been like Mr. Smiley's.
Friday evening we counted a total of 20 kids around our kitchen table and the little picnic table and on the floor. Mr. Smiley was in his element.
7 little friends and all their siblings. Wow! We pulled it off!

Happy 6th Birthday precious boy! Sniff! I remember rocking him as a baby!

The much talked about dragon cake. It took me forever to make this thing! I personally think it was awesome. He was so excited when he saw it. You know, it took 6 hours to frost and put together and it took about 1 minute to take apart and devour.

The little clown in his new swim goggles. He can't wait until the pool opens.

Uncle Tony gave all 6 nieces and nephews little Wooly Lamb Kits. Nathaniel would not take his bandana and eye patch off for bed. He went to sleep with it on!
Did I mention that also that same week that another couple of friends and I held a garage sale? Friday morning before the party we spent at the sale and Saturday morning after. It was all crazy....but loads of fun!!!!