Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Dream of a Child

The other day we were spending some quality family time building a deck flooring for our temporary tent arctic entry that extends into our future home.  It was a day full of laughter, strategizing, measuring, sawing, screwing, and problem solving all while working together as a team.  Pretty special day if you ask me!

During the prep work for the flooring, we were set to the task by the boss man of leveling the ground which we attacked with shovels and a rake.  When Tucker got to a particularly hard section of stubborn ice he couldn't break up, Stretch directed him to the pick ax in the storage tent (we have a lot of tents currently on our property.)  After instructions in safety for others and toes, Tucker decimated the ice block within a few minutes.  He then decided the random spilled concrete patches around the area needed destroyed.

After some much needed further slow motion form and movement tutorial from Stretch, which was impressive and had my heart pitter-pattering *wink,wink*, Tucker was off with a vengeance.  After decimating every possible patch and several large rocks, he decided that he'd make a good miner, which we wholeheartedly agreed with.
That got us talking about mining and the wonderful people we know who mine.  I asked him what kind of miner he wanted to be.  Of course, he replied that he'd be a gold miner.  We briefly talked about the different type of gold miners and how a pick ax operator would be an important skill for either type.  We also talked about whether he'd want to work for a mine or own his own.  After thinking not so long, he decided he'd own his own.  Here's approximately how the conversation continued:

Tucker: I'd like to own my own gold mine when I turn 13.

Me:  13, huh? (At the time, I wondered at the seemingly random age thrown out there, but as I think about it in my 10-year-old son's mind, it make sense.  Most of the 13-year-olds we know are incredibly capable individuals who would be able to do just about anything physically and intellectually they wanted to if they put their effort to it.  Plus it's an attainable age that makes the dream realistic.  So...13 it is!)

Tucker: Yeah, 13.  Could I own my own mine at 13?

Me: Probably.  However, maybe what you'll want to do is talk to our friends about coming up for the summer and interning at their mine.  That way you'd learn what is needed to mine beyond a pick ax, and you'd get to see if you truly like mining.  Then, if you still want, maybe our friends would help us get you a mine that you can own when you are 14.  How does that sound?

Tucker:  Do you think they'd give me some of the gold we mine?

Me:  Well, you'd have to work that out with them when you negotiate the terms of your internship.

Tucker:  Cool.

Very.  It's amazing to me that when you give children room and time to dream and explore, they find a world of opportunities available.  When they aren't stressed with quizzes, tests, and homework, they find that they actually love learning new things.  I never would've thought Tucker would be so interested in mining, and when we were stuck in our rut of getting all the school work done, I may never had realized that.  The kids now spend their time doing the things they truly enjoy and are finding that their interests are a heck of a lot more varied then we originally thought.  Sure, the boys still are obsessed with anything superhero related and can't get enough of Minecraft, but now we're also excited about bird biology and gold mining along with other interests.  So, while we are waiting for 13 to come along, we'll maybe go for a few visits with our friends.  Maybe find some exciting videos or books about mining (if there are any).  And who knows....maybe my 14 year-old-son will find enough gold to buy his little mama something nice.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Rare Day of Domestic Divaness

Today was an incredibly busy day full of extra domestic duties.  Normally a day will involve cooking, keeping track of the kids, cleaning (hahaha), dishes, etc., etc.  Today had extra measures of June Cleaver.

This morning started out with the normal breakfast, getting dressed (jeans today--probably going into town) and drinking my coffee.  Titus has been sick and hasn't been able to participate in the weeks activities, so I told him we could do any project he wants today.  He decided he wanted to do an art project and after looking through all the boxes upstairs, I realized the bulk of our art supplies hadn't made it here yet.  So, into the suburban we go for a trip to one of our three store facilities-Stretch's shop.  Off to home again.
Upside down pineapple bundt cake

Then came the fun stuff.  This Sunday we have a potluck after church so I needed to make some food.    I stumbled across a box of acini de pepe just waiting to be made into frog eyed salad.  However that particular salad has both gluten and eggs in it, so definitely not something I can partake in.  Since I always take something I know I can eat so I don't starve before I get home...I made a gluten free, egg free upside down pineapple bundt cake, because lunch can totally consist of just cake!  If it turns out as good as it smelled, I'll get you all the recipe.  So there my kitchen was with breakfast dishes, lunch dishes, and the insane amount of dishes it takes to make two potluck dishes.  Then, just for the fun of it, I made a new sensory bin with the big bag of oats that Maddox so thoughtfully dumped out onto the floor for me.  With that project done, we are on to the next activity.

The three younger kids and I went outside while the cake was baking to do a little yard clean-up.  Since we don't have a yard, just dirt that's been dug up by the bulldozer, yard clean-up consists of taking big branches and roots to the burn pile.  During this time, I realized that I haven't unpacked my cake plate with the handy bundt cover.  Now remember, we have three places we store our stuff at the moment since the house is just too small, two tents here at the property and the basement of Stretch's shop.  After frantically searching through the tents and coming up empty, I realize we have to go back into town.  The timer goes off, the cake cools on the counter and we load everyone back into the suburban and head into town.

Digging through the boxes at the shop is more times then not like a treasure hunt.  You aren't real sure which box contains what, so a systematic digging is in order.  After looking through the most hopeful boxes and then moving onto the "Please Lord, let it be here!" boxes, I come up with a war cry of success, shaking the cake plate high above my head in triumph.  Then, loading everyone back into the suburban, we head on home.

When we get home, Maddox goes down for his nap and the middle two kiddos and I start on our art project.  We made mandalas.  Titus and I both decided we needed to work on our drawing and symmetry skills.  Titus and Sadie painted their's with watercolors, which turned out absolutely beautiful.  I put my coloring on hold until I can sit for a bit.

While the little artists cleaned up their mess, since good artists must take care of their supplies, I washed the mountain of dishes so I could create more dishes needed cleaned.  With that task done, I went onto making dinner.  Tonight was Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken, which was absolutely delicious, and a super yummy salad.  While that was cooking, the littles and I took a nice walk around the drive.  The mud puddles are especially nice.
Pile o'dishes

With dinner served and scarfed down and dishes done, I was able to sit out in the sun with the hubs while the kids and dogs ran around like wild animals.  Then back inside for a quick vacuum of the floor (there was still oats lingering around).  Now I believe I'll relax and watch Pippi Longstocking with the kids.
Pan roasted lemon chicken

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Encouragement of a Child

My Biggest Encourager

The other day I was driving with the children to my chiropractor appointment an hour and a half away.  Normally the kiddos sit in the back watching whatever movie they decided to watch, but this time Sadie picked Dora *gasp of shock* which Tucker isn’t too fond of.  He decided to sit up front with me and chat. (I’m planning on telling Sadie to pick Dora every time!)

We get to chatting, and I’m telling him about how we are going to go to the National Cattledog Trials in Meeker, Colorado this summer.  We talk about what they do during those trials, how we are probably going to be camping for hopefully three nights and how I’d like to use the trip to also do research for a series of novels I have rolling around in my brain. 

Tucker looks at me and asks, “Like in books?  You want to write books?”

I reply, “Yep!  I’d love to write books.”

Tucker then asks, “What’re your books about?”

I then spend the rest of Dora telling him all about the series of books I’ve been writing in my head for the last two years or so.  We talk about the history of the military in Meeker, what it would’ve been like to live in that area in the 1850s, what it’d be like to time travel…all very interesting and engaging. 

When Dora was done and I finished giving him a synopsis of the series, Tucker looks at me in all seriousness and says, “When you finish writing them, I want to read them.  It sounds really cool!”  Coming from my non-reader, that was the best encouragement I could’ve ever gotten! 
Following his dreams of entrepreneurship

It also got me thinking.  If I’m too afraid, unorganized, unmotivated, etc. to do the things that I have a passion for and dream of doing, how can I expect my children to embrace the things they are interested in with zeal?   If I'm not willing to go beyond myself and my discomforts, can I honestly expect my children to?  I’ll be honest, I’ve been hesitant to put my thoughts down because, as great as they are in my mind, do I have the ability to convey that in print?  Tucker reminded me in his nonchalant way, that if I never try, I’ll never know!  So, for my dreams’ sake and, more importantly, my children’s, I’m starting the process of becoming a novelist.  I’ll keep you posted when you’ll be able to read my first book along with Tucker.