Made for each other…

You know, I can think of a lot of good things that make my husband and I compatible…this post isn’t about one of them.

I’ve learned to cope with hunting season, I enjoy eating deer meat, but I still get the hibbie jibbies around dead animal skin.

Animal pelts…eh.

Out at my parent's, Wiley gets a ride on a backhoe!
Out at my parent’s, Wiley gets a ride on a backhoe!

For years Danny has talked about making a squirrel skin hat for our son Wiley –

yes, I said SQUIRREL skin hat –

and it began while Danny was practicing for bow season (bowhunting). He caught a squirrel on the run with an arrow. He skinned it, cleaned it and tanned it.

Wiley was in LITTLEman heaven.
Wiley was in LITTLEman heaven.

“Where is the salt, Danny?” “What did you do with the baking soda?”

Someone from my church came over to pick something up last Monday and a squirrel skin was tacked up to a board sitting in the sunshine on our front porch…

That’s not the part that grossed me out ya’ll…

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“Danny, what did you do with my dish soap?” He comes strolling through my kitchen with “something” inside a large plastic pitcher, which he is about to fill with hot water.

Well, if my kid is going to wear it (GAG!) then it ought to be cleaned.

my parents needed their driveway fixed.
my parents needed their driveway fixed.

It was the sound of the dryer that made me suspicious – my husband doesn’t do laundry – and I hadn’t put in a load.

Happy, happy, happy.
Happy, happy, happy.

The next day I asked him if he put that squirrel pelt in my dryer.

“Yes” he answered, “but I wrapped it in something.”

Later that day I was moving my wet clothes from the washer into the dryer, I opened the dryer and a lone beach towel lay in the bottom.

I pulled the beach towel out and threw it on the ground, it was going to be washed again. “No other women I know has to live like this – sharing their dryers with animal pelts!”

My brother Kamron with Wiley.
My brother Kamron with Wiley.

I’m just lucky, I guess.

I found Danny after I moved the load, I raised my eyebrows, “you wrapped the squirrel in the beach towel, didn’t you?” I stated.

He smiled, “yeah.”

Danny has a beautiful smile.

For The Grandparents (Just Some Photos of Your Grandson)

Sandy faced
Sandy faced – out at Papa and Gregre’s house. He was laying on his stomach in the sand, swimming in it.

We took a fast trip to Texas in mid-May, left the day after Dan’s finals, and had to be back in Columbia seven days later.

He is not one to pose for photos.
He is not one to pose for photos.

Houston, Texas is hot, hot, hot in May – which was a huge difference to the weather we were having up in Missouri – it was around 55 degrees (F) every day the week before we left for Texas.

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So we left our house wearing coats and by the time we hit Dallas, Texas, we were all sweating in the 80 degree heat.

Never mind the heat, Wiley would spend every second begging someone to take him outside or playing outside. I don’t mind being outside, unless it’s too hot, but Gregre has lots of trees in her yard, so the yard stays cool.

He loved chasing those chickens!
He loved chasing those chickens!

I really enjoyed to oasis of the country sights and sounds. I’m so happy both mine and Daniel’s parents/grandparents live on beautiful property. It’s like summer camp – for kids and adults.

Someday he'll catch one!
It’s the thrill of the chase!

Where was Danny during all this chicken chasing?

He stopped long enough to pose for me!
He stopped long enough to pose for me!

He woke at 4:30am to go fishing with Papa and two LDS Missionaries.

The four of them caught 138 fish on Lake Livingston – within two hours.

but, knowing my husband and his family…I’d wager most of those fish were caught by Danny and his grandpa.

What took Wiley away from the chickens?
What took Wiley away from the chickens?

and fresh fish in the morning means…

FISH FRY!
FISH FRY!

The tastiest lunch in Texas!

Let's eat.
Let’s eat.

Due to the impending birth of baby number two – we wont be making it down to Texas again for a while… [insert sad face]

HEy Texas family, come see us soon? [insert happy face]

 

Perpetual Summer Camp: Our Life On the Wanch

Danny teaches baby at a tender age:  Man Skills.
Danny teaches baby at a tender age: Man Skills.

My parents call home the “Wanch” – which is a joke name we call it, it does have an official name ‘Glen Creek Farms’ – which is where my small family has called home for a year and three months……

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I step outside every single day and thank God for this beautiful earth. I’m constantly reminded of my years spent out at girls camp or camp TAKATOKA, a YMCA camp in north east Oklahoma, as a camper and later a counselor.

DSC_1695Those were the days I would think to myself, “I could live here forever!” I consider it a small miracle that my husband decided to go to school in Missouri and that my parents allowed us to live in the small apartment in their basement.

Nailed it - although Danny said you're not suppose to shot the arrows this close, he wanted to see if he could.
Nailed it – although Danny said you’re not suppose to shot the arrows this close, he wanted to see if he could.

So, for the last year and three months, I have been able to live in a cabin, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the wonder sights and sounds of Mother Nature.

I’m always picking a different time of day that is my favorite out here.

In the morning – no wait – the evening, when the sun is setting (or rising) over the pond. The ducks are paddling across the water, while the cows and sheep graze quietly (or nosily) beyond the house in a beautiful green pasture.

I take my infant son on daily walks – so I can stay healthy and active – where baby looks curiously at the world around him.

OH LOOK, he nabbed a stuffing stingray?
OH LOOK, he nabbed a stuffing stingray?

I love how even the slightest thing can trigger a memory – the way the light hits a stream, or the sound of water flowing over the rocks. The steam as it rises off the water early in the morning.  The color of the sunset (red sky at night, a sailor’s delight….) as it sets behind the farm.

Good Shot Daddy!
Good Shot Daddy!

I’m happy to show my baby the good things in this world – there is so much good in it – I can’t wait to watch him grow up (meanwhile I get older too….)

Danny and I happily plan our future together.

Yeah, Robin Hood up in the woods here
Yeah, Robin Hood up in these woods here. He can’t resist the urge to be silly on camera.

Now that my husband has completed the last two semesters at a community college, twenty hours of A’s, that’s right 4.0 GPA, hopefully the school of his choice will accept him (I can’t see why they wouldn’t).

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We will be moving on from our perpetual summer camp life and back into town, where the traffic never stops and the neon signs keep flashing.

I want to live here forever.
I want to live here forever…or maybe, “I’m going to teeth forever, bwahaha!”

I’ve been so happy to stay here, but we are also ready for the next adventure in our life together.

What does the future hold?

Well, for me, in two weeks I’m flying to Portland, OR to see my sister and her family, while Danny goes camping or hiking…or something else involving the great outdoors.

Life Is Good
Life Is Good, even with a teething baby.

This flight to Portland will be baby’s first flight – almost 8 hours from Springfield, MO to Portland, OR – any helpful tips with infant flying are greatly appreciated.

teething...always teething
teething…always teething

Life is awesome.

Hamming it up like his Daddy.
Hamming it up like his Daddy.

Happy Thursday Folks – for us that means the trash man cometh and the weekend is near.

awwww...that's nice.
awwww…that’s nice.

Day One Of Camping With An Infant Is The Easiest

Setting up camp, baby and I change clothes as the weather was warmer than I expected.
Setting up camp, baby and I change clothes as the weather was warmer than I expected.

The first day of our family camp out, I was well rested and showered. We found a campsite along side the Current River in southern Missouri. There were no other campers near by, just our small band of family and friends.

Oh what mom?
Oh, what mom?
This rock? well, I ah...
This rock? well, I ah…
I was just going to put it in my mouth to taste it.
I was just going to put it in my mouth to taste it.

It was the first camp out I’ve had in a few years, the first with my husband and the first with a baby. I wasn’t sure how things would go, but I had my husband Mr Outdoors and new gear from Christmas to keep me well cared for.

As the temperature dropped, I put more layers of clothing on myself and the baby.
As the temperature dropped, I put more layers of clothing on myself and the baby.
My mother, 58 years old, is such a trooper, made the trip and so did Spencer (a family friend) who is my new favorite baby sitter.
My mother, 58 years old, is such a trooper, made the trip and so did Spencer (a family friend) who is my new favorite baby sitter.

I changed my clothes twice after we arrived at the site, first I was warm while we set up camp and I put on shorts, while later the temperature dropped, eventually into the lower thirties (Fahrenheit), which lead me to another change for warmth. For sleeping in lower 30 degree weather, I had a silk sleeping bag liner, an outer shell covering my 20° Cosmic Down Kelty sleeping bag and my husband suggested a Nalgene with boiling hot water in the bottom of my bag to keep me toasty all night long…I heartily accepted; while Dan had the baby snuggled with him in his 15° Big Agnes sleeping bag.

The boys each made dinners, while Dan and I made super de-lish steak and potato foil dinners.
The boys each made dinners, my brother’s friend brought his Salad Master frying pan and opted out of foil dinners…while Dan and I made super de-lish steak and potato foil dinners. Foil every now and again doesn’t bother me one bit.

Everything was peachy until bed time came and went with our infant son refusing to go to bed, instead preferring to stay up all night. Eventually, my husband took the baby’s outer clothes meant to keep him warm – to our surprise – the baby slept better in his onesie than in his sweatpants. Who knew? Not us.

Day One closes with marshmallows burning on a cold night.
Day One closes with marshmallows burning on a cold night.

I need to recoup from Family Bonding Time during Spring Break. Hello Monday.

My Man, He Wears “Mom Jeans” Too

SO I am still a bit off track, my head full of yuckies and I’m in recovery from a nasty flu. The baby? Oh, he had croup, no biggie. We both saw professionals.

Don’t get too excited about seeing a photo of my mountain man wearing mom jeans – it didn’t happen – we don’t keep “mom jeans” in our house…but he did take over my mothering duties for a few days.

New lens for my camera came in the mail last week...just days before we all got sick.
New camera lens came in the mail last week…just days before we all got sick.

I felt bad about this abrupt assignment shift and on the weekend of his birthday. In the middle of the night, I wake Dan up because the baby was crying and spitting up and I could barely hold the baby while feeding him. Dan couldn’t figure out why I would need help, I didn’t sound sick or look sick.

So happy the day before disaster strikes, isn't that life?
So happy the day before disaster strikes, isn’t that life?

“YOu saw me give birth, you know I ain’t a pantywaist dude. I say I’m sick, I am sick.”

During the few days I was entirely useless, Dan was “mom” and dad to our 10 month old. He took his little boy to our favorite sushi restaurant Sakura and some of our other favorite shops in Springfield, MO, Dynamic Earth and Mama Jeans.

Can you see the age crinkles by my eyes? I'm just happy to be ALIVE.
Can you see the age crinkles by my eyes? I’m just happy to be ALIVE, I don’t care about the age crinkles.

After lying in bed all day shaking with a fever, living from one minute to the next, my husband returns from his day in the city with our little boy to tell me baby was so good everyone complemented how good he was.  Dan then asked me – feverish on the bed – if I could change the baby’s poopy diaper.

More Male Bonding Time!
More Male Bonding Time!

You can put a man in mom jeans, but you can’t make him a mom.

The entire house is happy Mom is in recovery.

The Legacy Of Manliness Permeates

Literally permeating in and out of the house – the smell of smoked venison.

He does his job very well
He does his job very well

My husband was the only resident of our house that shot deer last season – he bleed the meat out on ice, cut the meat off the bones and put the meat into freezer bags for a later processing date.

My youngest brother helped him cut up some of the meat and I did a little bit of cutting at the end. There were two deer. Dan did the bulk of the work.
My youngest brother helped him cut up some of the meat and I did a little bit of cutting at the end. There were two deer. Dan did the bulk of the work.

Saturday the meat came out of the deep freeze to defrost and Dan bought a smoker.

About four hours of his morning grinding, no big deal.....
About four hours of his morning grinding, no big deal…..

Today my husband processed the meat: season, grind and package. He made hamburger and sausage links.

Baby looks on and hopes to someday get to help Daddy more.
Baby looks on and hopes to someday get to help Daddy more with Man’s Work.

I hadn’t eaten, from what I can remember, meat like this EVER until I met Dan and married into his family.

We got the sausage casings, grinder and seasonings from Bass Pro Shop.
We got the sausage casings, grinder and seasonings from Bass Pro Shop….the “gett’n place.”

My super Father-in-law hunts, cooks and processes his own game as does my husband’s maternal Grandfather (you all know him as Papa).

Tired of filling sausage casings, the rest of the meat was ground into hamburger.
Tired of filling sausage casings, the rest of the meat was ground into hamburger.

With so many manly men in our family, I have no doubt that my son will learn these same skills and someday feed his own family.

Sausage is gett'n smoked at the moment. Smoker from Walmart, the place to be for rural life. Seriously.
Sausage is gett’n smoked at the moment. Smoker from Walmart, the place to be for rural life. Seriously.

That little man of mine is growing so fast!

Sitting on his uncle's shoulders watching his Daddy!
Sitting on his uncle’s shoulders watching his Daddy!

Also, over the weekend, my Sister-in-law had her baby girl and is now the proud mother of two beautiful children. I’d post photos…but we are 18 hours away. Maybe by the summer you can see them…after I do, eh?

Hope you're Monday is grill'n or smoke'n... vegg'n (for you vegans/vegetarians) and sweet.
Hope you’re Monday is grill’n or smoke’n… vegg’n (for you vegans/vegetarians) and sweet.

Happy Presidents’ Day indeed.

What Makes A Man?

Here is one thought that I have that “makes a man.” Being Fearless. There are a lot of people in this world that walk in the shadow of fear…but this post is actually about love.

Here's my Man
Here’s my Man. Dan The Man and he’s my forever Valentine.

I’ve been thinking about love – could it be that Valentines Day is this week? Yeah, probably.

What a handsome couple, wouldn't you agree?
What a handsome couple, wouldn’t you agree? My husband made my bouquet, because he is good like that.

I’m going to tell you my love story. What was I looking for in a man?

Married on HOT July morning in Houston, Texas
Married on HOT July morning in Houston, Texas….what I wouldn’t give for clouds.

Love to me was always something different from the novels and movies about “love.” It was never a crazy feeling of infatuation. Of course I had feelings of infatuation before – but I am remarkable good at ignoring those – I like to take the logical approach.  The times in my life I felt infatuated with a guy – I usually told him how I felt with the reasoning that he would do one of two things 1) date me, so I could figure out if I really liked him 2) go running in the opposite direction and save me some wasted time. It was a wonderful system.

His + Mine = Ours
His + Mine = Ours

The first time I decided that I was ‘in love’ with someone, I was 23 years old. We were very good friends – who started spending more and more time together – because we really enjoyed one another’s company. It eventually got to the point where he asked me how I felt about having 12 kids…..with him.

Just Married - ring out the bells ya'll
Just Married – ring out the bells ya’ll

I’m a nice Mormon girl, always have been, and this particular young man was a nice – non Mormon – guy. He invited me to meet his family. His family didn’t treat me well. Here I was willing to forgo the Temple marriage I had always expected would occur with a nice Mormon boy for this non Mormon boy who I felt was the best thing to ever happen to me and his family of “super Christians” treated me as unwelcomed. Yeah, some “Christians” still haven’t worked out the part about being “Christ-like.” I was still willing to stay with this nice non- Mormon boy, but he didn’t stand up for me and would just say, “they’re crazy.” I don’t like being treated poorly. I made it easy for him to choose, I left.

He looks pretty happy to be with me...if I do say so myself.
He looks pretty happy to be with me…if I do say so myself.

Now, my understanding of being “A Man” takes into account what mother thinks – but, if you love a woman, you leave your mother and father and “cleave unto your wife.”

Guess where my Man married me?
Guess where my Man married me?  …………. give up?

That’s manhood.

In the Houston LDS Temple. Huzzah.
Married in the Houston LDS Temple. Huzzah.

So, painful as life was waiting for a Man to come around – there were so many wonderful things I was able to do during that time.

My Man and I are in it together for this life and Forever. Now THAT is commitment.
My Man and I are in it together for this life and Forever. Now THAT is commitment.

I’m always grateful for that missed opportunity in my life to not marry a boy. Life is full of missed opportunities – for our benefit or our misery. I waited for love to find me and he did.

Today was the start of a New LIFE, as a WIFE.
First day to the start of a New LIFE, as a WIFE.

When I did meet my future husband, as handsome as he is, I didn’t not have immediate infatuation for him. I considered him my acquaintance, then friend and that’s where our love began.  I have been blessed with generous and kind In-Laws, but had they been antagonistic towards me – my husband would have renounced his parents and married me anyway, because he is a Man.

 Monday is the start of another week – happy lovers week – keep the love alive.

My Good Man

THe GIftI’m not sure how I ended up getting the “golden ticket” of a husband, but I did. I asked for a man who loved God and loved the outdoors. I asked for a man who would love me. Done, done and done. What I didn’t know, was he would spoil me, even when I have bad days.

I sent him on some errands last Saturday to pick some things up at the Fabric store in the city.

IMG_0879I also asked my brother, who was with him, to take photos of my husband in the store, because I had to document this and don’t tell the husband you are taking the photos.

I had to be very specific with my instructions of what to get:

DUAL DUTY RED THREAD for finishing hoodie-saurus,

NYLON THREAD for sewing hammock,

HOT PINK TULLE for tutu….

He asked politely if he had to get the tulle, I told him he didn’t have too, I’d pick it up in a few days when I went into the city.

IMG_0887Yep, he got it all done and bought me a backpack, full of gifts…. He bought me a Deuter German made backpack, and told me he filled up with “stuff you could survive with.”

I put the pack on and it felt empty inside, like all I had on was a pack and I asked, “are you sure there is something in here?” He looked at me and said, “everything in there could save your life someday.”

Well, I get to look at this pack until Christmas Day, full of things that weigh next to nothing….and in backpacking speak, that is a very very good thing.

This is me trying out the pack, wearing my comfy after church clothes…I’m also sporting a skirt from the hiking department, a plaid cotton shirt, patterned tights, over which I pulled on some black socks that have snowflakes and reindeer on them, completing the look with my slip on Birkenstocks, another wonderful German creation.

IMG_1343

It’s a super hot look, I know. Be sure to not comment on my lack of style.

Thank you Husband for your wonderful taste, for taking care of me and Thank you Germans for your brilliant engineering. I’d also like to thank Heavenly Father for this beautiful, blue eyed boy, who is always smiling.

IMG_0897

Lucky for us, my MAN has skills

Being the intellectual that I am and seeing as how I haven’t yet acquired the needed skills to survive this world without modern amenities, I married an intellectual man with skills.

I knew he could cook – second date he made me an outstanding dinner – I’m not that fond of cooking, so that was good.

I knew he was athletic, soccer, football, baseball, surfing, skating, biking.

My man is talented.

I knew he was good at chess – good enough to not lose to my bro-in-law every time – and that is good.

But here are a few things I didn’t see he was good at until after our wedding:

He is a great daddy

That was a relief

He is musical. Guitar, Ukulele, and Brass

He was invited to play in a community orchestra in Cabool, MO with the      STARS Foundation.

his particular favorite is the Tuba.

He played on a small Texas high school football team, which meant he played offensive line, defensive line and marched at half-time with the marching band.

on a side note, he can hold his breathe a long time.

with my brother and their catch

If things got bad, he could always put food on the table, no joke. After this next picture, he fried some frog legs, and they tasted good (I just don’t eat fried food).

got him…

well, years of practice will make you good too.

He is so manly

Well, how can a man be this perfect you ask? He isn’t perfect, there are a few things he doesn’t do well – yet – laundry, dishes and generally cleaning up….

but that’s why our marriage is a partnership. Over time, he will teach me some new skills and I’ll teach him some skills I have learned.

Someday we will both be perfect, until then, we’ll just help one another out.