Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall is here!

I think it's a pretty good indication that I need to post more often when my post titles are the season that we're in. It's been a while and I have a ton of pics, so here goes.....

These past few months have flown. I don't think I realized how much the house-building was going to take up our time. It's been tougher than I thought keeping up with the gin, a toddler, the house, and being pregnant. On top of the project of the house itself, I have about a dozen projects going trying to get ready for the new house. The tiny house we're in now is just about to bust. One of the projects I am currently working on is my baby bedding, which will be..... PINK! Yes, Tac is going to have a little sister!

Taegan is just a couple months away from turning 2! He's talking a lot and is never still. Tac is in the "I do it" stage, which is sometimes cute, sometimes frusterating, and sometimes hurts my feelings a little. I'm not ready for him to not need me anymore!

Ainsley Grayce
 Crista took family pics and some of just Tac back in August. I thought they turned out just precious. There are so many good ones I wish I could post them all. We keep saying that we're not going to encourage the bull riding and that we're going to put up all of Al's old pictures so Tac won't want to "be like Daddy", but at this age it's just so cute to see him get into it. Maybe next year we'll put up the bull riding stuff....

 I think my favorite part of toddler-hood is that there is no shame. Things that would normally make you or I blush don't even phase him. He's completely uninhibited. For example, being a little gassy or having food smeared all over his face doesn't bother him a bit. He waves at every stranger we see in the parking lot of a store and if he sees someone using a cane to walk with he goes and takes it from them so he can try it. And my favorite is when we're in a church service after a prayer or a song and it's deadly silent when Tac busts out clapping and saying "Yay!" I think it's refreshing that he doesn't care how he looks, how he smells, or how he pronounces words like "football" and "elephant". I saw him get embarrassed for the first time the other day when a pretty girl caught him dancing to the music playing over the intercom at the grocery store. It made my heart sad to know that this stage won't last long. Who tells kids to get embarrassed or worry over what people think? If only we could all be as innocently oblivious as they are....

Baby bump! Just starting my last trimester.

September 1st is nearly a holiday around here. (That's the opening of dove season for those of you who don't hunt.) This year was really fun since Tac was "hunting" with the guys. It's amazing to watch him because he can actually pick the birds out in the sky and he gets his little toy guy up and aims right at them. He's a little hard on the guys, though, because if they miss he sure lets them know about it. (I didn't tell you that they actually miss, though.) Tac even helped clean the birds and eat them, too.

We started up the gin toward the end of September. Starting up is always exciting- the guys work so hard all year long, but until they have cotton to run through it, it's hard to see the fruits of their labor. Al made so many changes to the gin this year that, unfortunately, startup was a little rocky. We only had a little bit to gin, so thankfully we got it done and got all the kinks worked out of the gin. Now we're just waiting for more cotton. I'm afraid this season is going to be like that--- what little cotton there is will be a lot of hurry up and wait.
Tac and Josh playing in the cotton. Tac thought that the cotton coming in from the overflow was about the coolest thing ever. You may notice the splint on Josh's right hand-- he badly cut his hand while changing a starter on a fork lift. The bummer of it was that the cut is right over his trigger finger. I'm not sure he really cares about learning to write left-handed, but shooting his bow left-handed is definately at the top of his list.

Summer days at Mom and Dad's. What a life....underwear and flip-flops.

Tac is absolutely enamored by tractors. Papa lets him drive and he thinks he's soooo big.
We've learned to say "cheese" and this is the result.
Out celebrating Al's birthday
This is the new barn cat, or what Al calls, "the mouser." This is probably the most patient and laid back tom cat I've ever seen. The way Tac handles him, you'd think the cat had no bones or joints. I'm sure the cat wishes he didn't.

My little stud at homecoming

At the rodeo
This is the latest picture of the progress of the house. I hate to even say how much we lack because I just seem to jinx us everytime I do, but we are definately in the last stretch now. I'm soooo ready.

The past several weeks we asked our friends and everyone from the community to come bless our home by writng their favorite scriptures on the walls of our unpainted house. We left a bag of markers on the fireplace and invited everyone to stop by on their way through. I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed we were through this. We are so humbled to be getting our dream house to start with, but to walk in and see the word of God written all over the walls by people that care about us was absolutely breathtaking. It was also neat to see which scriptures people chose. If Al or I were ever gone for the day, the first thing we did when we got home was go look to see if there were more verses and who they were written by. When it was all said and done, there were close to 200 scriptures written all throughout our home. Thank you, thank you to everyone who participated. We are so honored and dedicate the gift of our home to the Lord. Here are just a handful of what was written in the house....

I wish you could read this- It's Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and it's the verse that inspired this little project. It talks about having the commands of God impressed upon you and woven into every aspect of your life. It ends by saying, "Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Al and I both worked Walk to Emmaus's this fall, and so both of our lay directors wrote the theme verse of our Walks', which was really special to us. Thanks Mike and Penny!!
This verse showed up in our bedroom, but the culprit didn't sign it. I think we all can take a pretty good guess at who was responsible. :)

Thank goodness, Josh got his splint off just a couple of days before going to the ranch for the weekend. Right off the bat, he got this monster pig with his bow. Woohoo!

We all had a great time at the ranch the weekend before, especially Tac, who stayed covered in dirt the entire weekend.
How wonderful to be completely content to dig in the dirt all day long with no apparent purpose at all.
Oh, the treasures we find at the ranch. Tac and Cotton fighting over a deer leg. Cotton won out with the deer leg, so Tac had to settle for a rotten old turtle shell. Maybe we'll get him his very own deer leg for Christmas. If he's good.

It may already be too late to put up the bull riding paraphanalia. This was completely unprovoked, and anytime Cotton is still long enough, Tac climbs on and begins spurring. Maybe you should all start praying now.
This is how you know if Tac is really serious about what he's doing--- the more crack that shows, the harder he's working. It's like having a built-in meter.
My two favorite boys in their matching pj's. It just makes me swoon.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer 2011

Well, I know I'm a little late getting this posted, but for those of you who don't already know.... BABY #2 is on the way!! I'm just finishing up my first trimester, due Jan 12. I have to say, being pregnant is REALLY hard with a toddler around. Little man just doesn't understand why mom is suddenly such a bum all the time. He also thinks I've invented a new fun game where we run to the bathroom, stick our faces in the toilet, and make spitting and gagging noises. I have to admit, it is pretty funny to see his spin on all this. Taegan is 18 months old now and is loving summer. We are busy with taxidermy and have several projects going: rebuilding the inside of the gin, building the house, and getting ready for baby. (sigh).......pray for rain!!!!

Everyone, meet Josh. Josh is Al's cousin and is currently the newest resident of Punkin Center. (Can you believe in the last two years we've doubled our population here? At this rate we may need to go ahead and elect a mayor...maybe even set up some city ordinances.... #1: No shooting birds out of the trees during napping hours ...)
 Josh moved here almost 3 months ago and is doing taxidermy, helping with the house and gin, and is occasionally forced to hunt. I really don't know what we'd do without him.
Easter seems like forever ago, but I never did post pics so I wanted to share these. We had so much fun, and as you can see, the Easter bunny was good to Tac. This is a good stage because he cares more about opening and closing the eggs than he cares about what's inside them. Also, it doesn't even have to be candy or a toy inside the egg; a rock or piece of trash will do just as long as it makes noise when you shake it. ;)

He can be a little dramatic.

The confetti eggs were a lot of fun, but after a war a few years back, Mom now has a rule that all confetti eggs have to stay outside. What a bummer.

Krue Ryker Gray. My new nephew born just in time for Easter.

Cousins. Addisyn-4, Taegan- 16 mo, Krue- 4 days. As rough as Tac is, it's pretty nerveracking to sit him next to a 4 day old baby. Makes me wonder how our baby #2 is gonna survive.

Tac's favorite thing is for the guys to shoot their bows in the evening, and thankfully, it's really not too hard to talk them into it. Tac gets so excited and then can't wait to go get the arrows. Is it a bad thing when two of your baby's first words are "shoot" and "deer"? Not joking.

I blink and things like this happen.

We just got back from the state taxidermy convention. We had such a good time and learned so much. These are our competion pieces with our ribbons. I took a bobcat, Al took a whitetail, nilgai, and pronghorn, and Josh took a whitetail.  

Aren't my guys so sweet? This was for my birthday. Al brought me roses and Tac brought me carnations. It was precious seeing them walk in with their flowers. I'm a lucky girl.

Summer days. So much fun.

All my guys with their trophy pig. A 3-legged one to be exact.
 Wish the video wasn't so blurry so you could see Tac's face. He's having a blast.
 After the taxidermy convention we went to Uncle Bill and Aunt Kristi's. I think Tac would move in with them in a heartbeat. He is definatly a little fish and isn't the least bit afraid of the water. Makes me a little afraid....

 I know it was probably wrong to post this picture, but it was pretty funny after the fact.
Tac just doesn't understand why he can't get up there with daddy.

This past weekend everyone came in to help Al get the electrical in on the house. It was soooo hot and the guys worked so hard, but I thought it was kind of fun. Kind of like the old days of barn raising when all your family and neighbors came in to help you build. I never got a picture of all them together, but our electrical crew consisted of Al, Josh, Curtis, Dad, Trever, and Wayne....and Tac whenever he could get a hold of one of their tools.

The guys putting in Al's safe door, which according to Al is the most important part of the house. He swears that angels start singing everytime he opens it up.

Trever, Dad, & Curtis


Just wanted to show ya'll how the house is coming along. I'm so excited- every day I have to make myself not start packing.