Thursday, July 28, 2011


We lived in the Peruvian jungle when I was little, where houses were built with screen windows and tin roofs. In one of the houses we lived in for a while, my bedroom was in the attic, and it was not an uncommon thing to be awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of wings fluttering in the darkness as a bat flew around my room. It was more irritating than frightening, and the remedy was simple. I just laid still in my bed and shouted:

"Daaaaaaddyyyyyy, there's a bat in my room!"

Soon, the light would come on, and up the stairs would come my daddy, armed with a tennis racket. I would pull the sheet over my head, and Dad and his tennis racket took care of the bat. (I watched him chase bats the first few times it happened, but when one landed on my bed after meeting the racket, I quit watching and just waited under the sheet from then on.)

Yesterday afternoon, Isaak was absolutely convinced that there was a bird in our house. We looked everywhere, and when we didn't find a bird, or any evidence of one, I convinced him that because of the way the light was shining through the window, every time a bird flew by outside, the shadow went across the wall inside. And then a bird flew by and showed him what I meant. So he agreed that that was probably what he saw, I told them the story of Grandpa Bill chasing bats in my bedroom, and we went on with our day.

And then, when I went upstairs to go to bed, I heard a little scratching noise from up high by our open attic/loft. Thinking that maybe Isaak really HAD seen a bird, I turned on the light, and then stood and watched a bat crawl around on the wall by the ceiling.

Of course I did what any sensible, grown-up girl would do.

I called my Daddy.

"Daaaaaddyyyyy! There's a bat in my room!"

And like any sensible Daddy who is two hours away (and not currently feeling up to doing any bat-chasing anyway), he asked me if I had a tennis racket.

I have a racket. I also have a large plastic container with air holes punched in the lid for catching and examining creatures we'd rather not hold (like bees, tiny lizards, and bats). Armed with both, with Jaela and Macey close behind me, I approached the bat in my bedroom. It flew toward me, and I swung the racket. It dodged. Jaela and Macey shrieked with laughter and ran out of the room to report to Anya, who was hiding quite sensibly under a blanket in the hallway. The process was repeated. And repeated. And repeated. Until I accidentally dropped the racket.

At which point I just threw the container at the bat. The bat dodged, and Jaela and Macey laughed even harder. The bat flew up into the loft, and refused to come back down. So I dragged over the ladder and climbed up after it, racket first.

I couldn't find it. I looked all over the lighted part, and saw no sign of it. I was thinking about crossing over into the unlit side of the attic in search of it when I turned my head and saw it clinging to the side of the beam at the roof line.

It didn't seem fair to smash it with the racket, so I opened up the plastic container and held the lid ready. It took me a few minutes to cross those few feet between us. I didn't want to spook it, and I like to think that it was lulled into stillness by my repetitive muttering. "It's only a bat. It's only a bat. It's only a bat. When I get close it's going to fly into my face. No, it's only a bat. It's only a bat."

And then it was in the container, and the lid was on. I climbed down out of the loft and we took the bat where the light was better so we could examine it. The girls exclaimed over its little tiny teeth and claws, how its ears moved as it listened, and how funny it looked when it tried to crawl, like it was wearing a dress that was too big. And then my animal lovers decided that instead of saving it until morning to show Isaak what his "bird" really was and risk letting it suffocate, we should let it go.

So we did. Outside, of course, where it belongs.

After the girls had named it Robert.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Still Hungry...Maybe

After dinner, Isaak came and found me where I was working.

Isaak: Mom, I'm still hungry.
Me: Really?
Isaak: Yeah, but if I don't like the idea, I'm not going to have it.
Me: You mean, if I tell you that you can have a carrot, you won't still be hungry?
Isaak: Yeah.
Me: You can have a carrot.
Isaak: I guess I'm full.

Our Family-Filled Weekend

Last week, the kids and I counted down the days until Saturday. Grandpa Pat and Grandma Suzie were coming, and they were bringing the horses! When Saturday morning arrived, we
started counting the hours until they got here, but I got a surprise first...

I had just put mail in the mailbox, and Isaak, Anya, and I were picking wildflowers next to our driveway when a car pulled up next to us. I though it was my neighbor's car, but the door opened and one of my Portland-area cousins, who I hadn't seen in six years, got out! Kim had only found out the night before where we live, and she was driving right by our house to pick up her daughter from the camp at the end of our road. We got to talk for a little while before she had to go pick up her daughter, but it was SO much fun to have her stop by!

A few hours later, Grandpa and Grandma got here, and we had some very excited kids running around! (They even abandoned their lunches, and if you know my kids, that's saying something!) After we got the horses settled in our round pen, we headed off to the farm supply store and picked up supplies for an electric fence. The kids played inside while the grown-ups worked on getting the new fence set up. I quit helping part-way through the job, because more cousins showed up!

Roy and Kerri got to stay for about an hour before they had to head north to Kerri's house, and the kids got in as much "Uncle Roy" time as they could. (We all love Roy so much that "Cousin Roy" just wasn't sufficient any more, so we just adopted him as an extra uncle. He hasn't complained yet!)

Sunday morning, the kids took turns riding the horses, first in the round pen, then on a "trail ride" around the front yard. They had a blast, even when it was time to do horse chores! We let the horses (and the grandparents) rest in the afternoon. They'd earned it!

(And they even promised to come again!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Green Machines

I have always loved my LawnBoy.
We've covered a lot of ground together, and it has never failed me.

But with all this grass we've got now,

...I'm loving my John Deere even more.
(If only I had a friendly, working relationship with my weed-wacker...)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Take Another Picture of Me!

I started it.
I took a picture of the boy
before he knew what I was doing.

Isaak: "Hey, Mom, take another picture of me!"
Me: "Okay..."

Me: "What was that?!?"
Isaak: "That was me smiling!"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Rainy Evening's Activities

They tried coloring upstairs in the girls' room,
but decided it would be better
if they kept Ruger company... the laundry room.

Macey: "Mom, can we let Ruger in and color with him every night?!?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

They Dress Themselves

My self-appointed job is to make sure that their clothing is modest, clean, in good condition, and appropriate for the day's weather and events.

It's up to them to decide how to wear it.

(Anya wearing her favorite boy's vest
upside-down and buttoned over a sundress)

(Isaak wearing an undershirt under his t-shirt,
jeans tucked into rubber boots,
and a dress belt tucked back into itself.)

Because belts are very useful when you're hunting.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's Official!

We met his former owner today, and she gave me his pedigree papers (which are entirely in German) and said goodbye to him. He's officially OURS!

whose father is Balko vom Konigsforst,
and whose mother is Yes von der Hegge,

but we'll just call him Ruger!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More From the Land of Randomness

This afternoon the kids played in the sprinkler.
The big, black, furry kid is a bit of a water hog, but he's learning to take turns.

Our resident buck has decided that he likes to lay in the sand next to the barn.
I caught him there twice today.
However, he does NOT appreciate having his picture taken.
Isaak put Daddy's pile of scrap wood to good use and built a "house" for his men.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Front Porch Sittin'

Yesterday I was sitting on my front porch listening to this:

and this verse popped into my head:

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Letter D

D is for (our last name).

D is for Doormat.

D is for Dog.

D is for Dog on Doormat.

D is for Dog on Doormat...
who dares to deliberately destroy and devour dastardly dive-bombing bees.

Friday, July 1, 2011

From the Land of Randomness

Our new neighbor is a real bear. No, really. The big, black furry kind. I looked out my kitchen window one evening, and there was a bear in our backyard. By the time I grabbed my camera, it had wandered into the tall grass behind the barn, but at least I have visual proof...kind of.

See the black fuzzy blob in the center of the picture?
That's my bear.

Look what else we've got! We had a manual well pump installed, so now if we ever lose power, we still have water...and four kids to help haul it.
It's pretty cool.

We've also got quite a few of these. We've even named some of them:
Dinner, Lunch, Stew, and Yummy.

Tonight as I was making dinner, Isaak commented from the living room:
"Mom, being a knight is hard."

And on one of our exploratory hikes before we moved in, our realtor took a picture of these signs on the hill behind the house:


Many Hands Make Light Work

My friend Hanna and her two boys came up to visit this week, and we had a great time talking and spending time together again. We also worked hard and crossed a lot of things off my to-do list!

What used to look like this:

now looks like this!

This building isn't really leaning...

but it was surrounded by piles of debris.
And spiders.
Hanna hates spiders.

Remember the laundry room cupboard with the broken top and loose corner joints?

Hanna made me a temporary top for it using rejected countertops we had removed from other rooms!
(And while I may have helped with the other projects, this one was ALL Hanna!)

While Hanna and I were talking and working, the kids were busy too. They piled rocks around the fire pit, rode bikes, played with the dog, read together, explored the creek (under Hanna's 14-year-old's supervision), played games, and generally had a blast.

As well as supervising the younger kids on their creek excursions, Nathanael also spent hours and hours weed-eating. He told me at one point, "My services are rendered to those who serve us." Mike is away again, and weed-eating is not my favorite chore. I spent three+ hours mowing today, and I can't count the times that I was grateful to not have to try to mow a certain spot because Nathanael had taken care of it for me.

They left Wednesday night, and we're still trying not to miss them!
Thanks for coming, guys, and thanks for all your hard work!