We spent last week at my parents house and spent one beautiful morning picking sour pie cherries. I grew up knowing that homemade cherry pie was something special- something we usually had only a few times a year, on Thanksgiving, President's Day (you know, George Washington and the cherry tree), and on my dad's birthday, because it was his favorite with homemade ice cream. For several years this tree has had worms and we've had to bypass the pies or find some place to buy the cherries, but this year the tree is full and the fruit is beautiful. Here's to a cherry pie for the 4th? If I can convince myself to turn on the oven!
The first family reunion of the year was last weekend at a reservoir close to our home. The kids loved the marshmallow guns and playing in the water. I seriously need to get these boys into swimming lessons. I've signed them up for a two week slot in July. It should be fun.
I love spending time with family. We didn't have a lot of structured activities planned and mostly played by the lake and visited. And ate good food. That's a key part of family reunions, isn't it?




Sometimes I just have to smile when my boys insist that they no longer need naps. These hard-working, hard-playing boys are tuckered out more than they'll admit!
We have puppies! They're cute and playful and fuzzy and chunky. And it's almost time to say good-bye to them and send them on to new homes where they will be loved by another family. Once these little guys opened their eyes and started moving around, it has been the boys job to play with them daily. Which really, wasn't too hard to get them to do. The warm weather and the puppies have enticed my boys to head outside for hours every day, and they've got the pink noses to show for it! The sunshine has been good for all of us and I am excited for spring!
One puppy adventure story happened the other day when the momma, Nana, was crying at the door. She sounded awful and we wondered if she'd been hit by a car, but it turns out, she was asking for help for one of her babies. Towards the front of the house there is a small pond- it's only a foot or so deep and maybe five feet across. One of the puppies must have been feeling adventurous as she curiously got closer to the water where we found she'd fallen in and was dog-paddling like crazy. Remember, it's still close to freezing every night and this was first thing in the morning, so it was cold. My mother-in-law pulled her out and we took her inside to dry her off. She shivered for another 25 minutes, the sweet thing, but before long she was ready to go out and play with her brothers and sisters again. 
I am often surprised by nature and the innate knowledge inside each of us and inside animals. When Nana had her pups, it was cold and snowy outside. She dug herself a small den, in the best place possible for her new little family, and we hardly knew that they'd been born at all! When the puppy fell in the pond, she instictively knew how to swim, at least a little, and Nana knew she needed help to get her out. I know we often hear new parents, myself included, wishing our kids came with a User's Manual. But you know what? It's in us. It's a part of us. It's not something you can always generalize and write down or fully learn from someone else or even consciously recognize sometimes, but being a mom or a dad is part of our very nature. It's part of who we've been created to be and it's pretty awesome. 
There's nothing quite like watching the man you love and call your husband become a father. It's little things, like the way he takes the time each night to sing to the boys as they fall asleep. Or the way he patiently explains the project he's working on or takes one of them with when he goes to town for supplies or has work to do on horseback or on the four wheeler. And the boys? They come back from such trips with big smiles and all sorts of stories to tell. One reason we knew from the beginning that we wanted to farm/ranch/homestead was so that our boys would have plenty of time to spend with their dad. Looking at our three boys, someone recently asked us, "how many boys is it going to take to run your farm?" For now, three. If more boys bless our home in the future, I'm sure there will always be work and play enough for all.
Our desire for our boys to have time with their Papi was one of the big motivations behind our decision to move from Idaho to Utah. And I'll also add, I was missing my husband. Cattle ranchers are hard workers. They work from before sun up to after sun down and even in between, should the need arise. It's work that William enjoyed and I love that we could sometimes join him in his work, but it asks an awful lot of a man and his family. It was a constant struggle between loving it and wanting to leave it.
Anyhow, back in Antimony. A week or so after we'd moved I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with unpacking and getting settled, wondering about our future and how all of our dreams could ever come true. How was it ever going to all work out like the pretty picture I have in my head? I was washing dishes and the boys began fighting over a toy pocket-knife. Rather than try to force some sort of sharing, I chose the "distract and separate method" this time and sent Jared outside to "check on" Papi who was out building quail pens. He came back a half-hour or so later, tears dried, a big smile on his face, and a newly carved wooden pocket-knife in his hand. My heart filled with a certain kind of contentment. I may still feel uncertain about any number of things, but I know God is watching over us and I love that when one of our sons was sad, he could tell his Papi all about it and Papi could take the time to listen and make it all better. It's for moments like this that we left our first home and steady income and good friends and moved in with my in-laws to start our own business, buy our own land and build our own home. I know it's going to take some time, but I believe we'll make it if we stick together. We need each other and today I am reminded of how much a boy needs his father. Stay tuned for a review on a book that talked a lot about a father's involvement in raising boys. It was an excellent read, so check back next week!

Since we've been here for almost three weeks now, William has spent a lot of time in the greenhouse building pens and such for the guinea hens, ducks and quail that we hope to have join our farm over the next few weeks. Our kids are still trying to figure it all out. 
J (age 3): "Mommy, can we go to the red house?" 
Me: "Um, where do you want to go?"
J: "The red house"
Me: "Do you mean the greenhouse?"
J: "Yes! The greenhouse!"