Monday, June 27, 2011

Little Britches Simulation

Full moon over the Teton Mountains with storm clouds. I love Idaho!

"If (a man) tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn't do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth."

If you have ever read the book Little Britches:Father and I were Ranchers by Ralph Moody, then you will be familiar with the character house. My favorite part of the book! If you haven't read the book I highly recommend it.

It isn't a book that will leave you riveted like a lot of popular books. No vampires or zombies, no corrupt politicians, no drugs, no scandals and YES it is a great book! It is a simple story about a boy, Ralph, and him coming of age with his Father. They live during hard times on a farm in Colorado. In short, they work hard, work together, and find lots of life's lessons everyday. Little Britches is similar to "Little House on the Prairie" but for boys.

I am blessed with some fabulous parents that live on some acreage in Idaho. It is beautiful farm land that I would LOVE to live at. My Dad asked if he could have my boys for a week to do some "farm work." I almost jumped out of my skin with excitement!! Their own Little Britches simulation!

I have great memories of my childhood digging fence posts, branding cows, birthing (well helping) cows, feeding cows and riding in the tractor. I remember staying outside until the stars came out, helping in the garden, and more cow care. At the time I wasn't a fan. I drempt of living in the city with lots of people and a large variety of things to do. However, now I dream of living that kind of life again.

Feeding the calves when I was about 7. I can still smell the milk. And don't feed the calves with your good shoes!! Lessons that I understand now.

When the opportunity for my boys to have a slice of that experience I was ecstatic! My dad is so much like Charles Moody. He is gentle, patient, and knows how to teach boys. Granted, after a while with the kids he is ready for a break....just like me. I couldn't ask for a better Grandpa for my kids.

James giving me a ride on the four wheeler to see "their fence."

So off Luke and James go to Grandpa's house to work on the farm. And I missed them so much!
When we arrived in Idaho a week later, there was a noticeable change in my boys. They were so excited to take me to the fence that they had worked so hard to make. Both boys talked about what a great feeling of accomplishment they felt. They showed me their blisters, their working gloves (that they still use!) and their newly acquired farmers' tan. Their visual representation of their sweat was PRICELESS!!

I have learned a few lessons about my boys with this experience. First, the importance of hard work for my boys. Hard, physical work. Next, they really love the feeling of accomplishment and being able to SEE what they have done. And finally, they love the creating process that is found in a farm setting.

Once I figured out those 3 lessons I have really tried to incorporate them more into our family and the experience has been very powerful. But I'll write about that next time.

Did I mention that they have the best places to play hide and seek? Just ask Mark.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who's that?!?!

While we were driving to Salt Lake City we noticed a billboard with someone familiar on it...

You can click on the picture for a closer look, but we thought it was an uncannily resemblance to our Ben!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Time for camping!

We recently took our first camping adventure as a family. The boys go so much more with their scout group, so it was nice to have the family all together in nature.

Luke is in that be tree right next to Cory's head....somewhere. I could see him when I took the picture, but I don't see him now. The arrow is pointing to him, you may need a magnifying glass to actually see him.

Yes its a picture of me..Ben was on camera duty. I love camping! Being in nature rejuvenates me and I love it! Next time that we go camping I want to be further away from everyone else. We had to be much to friendly with everyone.

Mark was OBSESSED with getting into the van. He wanted to open the doors and climb inside his own little playpen. It drove Cory NUTS!

The boys got some good time on their blow dart guns. No worries, the squirrels were quite safe.

Luke was sawing wood...a was good for him. Even if we ended up leaving a lot of the wood there for the next camper.

James was STOKED about carving up some wood. We started a nice large stick to make into a large spoon for our 5 gallon cooler.

We tried to make cookies in a solar oven but it wasn't sunny enough. We ended up cooking them over the fire..they were....ashy.

And James is awesome.

Love being with my family.