Cousins are Forever Fun

Cousins are friends forever. They are the ones that you run around with all summer long; climbing trees, catching lightning bugs, water fights, slurping popsicles, riding bikes, and playing make-believe games (my favorite of the kids’ right now is their time travel game where they go to dinosaur world, leaf world, swimming world, you name it and they have a world for it).

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Cousins are what childhood is made of. I am so glad that I am able to be home this summer so all the kids can play together. It never ceases to amaze me that after spending all day together they still want to spend the night with each other. They are the best of friends.

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And as exhausted as I am lately, summer is wearing me out and I am ready for school to start (and I think I’m the only one), I am thankful for the chaos of the kids.

Today they made me so happy.

It all started with a craft. “Go outside and sit at the tables and we will do our craft,” I hollered to the kids. They all cheered. But do you think they went and sat at the tables and were ready?

NO WAY! Of course they didn’t listen.

I put the paint box under my arm and headed outside. What in the world were they doing?! I could hear their voices through the window and it definitely didn’t sound like they were sitting at the table ready for our craft, which really kind of annoyed me because I thrive on organization and structure.

But what I found (I was so lucky to have the camera in my hand) just made me smile and laugh.

This is what cousins are all about…(and why I was laughing instead of being annoyed because they didn’t listen.)

Having fun and making things up on the spur of the moment. They have the moves! And Collin being Collin, did you catch the part where he tried to take Kiley’s leg out from under her? I didn’t until the second viewing. Geesh!

And it also made me realize something…I am so task driven and love my schedule…But sometimes you have to stop and dance. Enjoy the moment.

I think of all of my cousins and the fun and trouble we created, especially over the summer time, and I can’t help but laugh at all the stories that run through my mind.

Today I am thankful for all my cousins. We had a lot of fun. And I am going to stop and have a little fun before the kids start school.

What are some of your favorite past times with your cousins? Share them in the comments. I would love to hear your stories!

***note: That was Elsie screaming at the end of the video. I was not stepping on her and she was not hurt, she was just under my feet throwing one of her normal tantrums, which is a whole other story for another day. We are just used to it.***

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Farm Pictures and Childhood Memories

I took these farm pics the weekend before last. It is just a pain to get them off of my phone. (I don’t have a smart phone).

These cuties follow each other around everywhere. It is so adorable.

The boys love it out on Grandma Chris and Grandpa John’s farm. All kinds of animals from feathers to fur. They feed, pet, and chase them, and occassionaly get chased.

Wide open space to run and big hills to roll down. The fresh air and dirt help wear them out and they are always sure to sleep well. Good ol’ days on the farm.

Here are some of my favorite pics.

Bradley found some eggs in the hen-house. But oops, he accidentally dropped one.

Bradley wishing he had more bread to feed the chickens. The red rooster kept trying to sneak up behind him and peck his legs. More food would help alleviate that problem.

There is that pesky red rooster again. He didn't really bother Collin too much. He was just around. But he tried to bully poor Bradley.

And we can’t wait to meet the newest addition to the farm.

All of these pics remind me of my childhood. My Grandma Jean lived on a farm. I loved tossing a handful of chicken feed around the pen and watching it scatter in the dirt. The hens would kick up plenty of dust to get to that one kernel first, even though there were hundreds of little kernels splayed across the yard. Feeding the chickens made me feel just like Dorothy on Wizard of Oz, minus the apron and cool shoes. Sharp beaks would peck at the ground and follow me around, bawking for more. I loved ducking into the old hen house, looking for eggs in the big comfy hay nests.  Some days you could fill a basket full. I never could eat those fresh brown eggs though. Yuck.

And of course, with every chicken coop there is a mean rooster. My grandma’s rooster was  mean as hell, but regal. He was dark brown, almost black, and when the sun hit just right his chest was a majestic emerald and he would perch on that fence post like he was a king. He would also chase us. Man, he was as fast as the road runner. My sister,Jessica, and my cousin, Ryan, and I would run away from that rooster as fast as our legs would take us. And then we would giggle so hard out of terror and fear and  collapse from exhaustion. It was also a relief we made it away from the pointy beak and razor talons because he got us a couple good ones now and then, and it hurt like you wouldn’t believe. It never helped that we teased the ol’ king, either.

And you had to be alert on that farm, because that damn rooster would wait until you were alone and hide around a corner to bombard you. It would also hide in the corner of the barn for a sneak attack. Man, he scared the crap out of us more times than I can count. We would just about pee our pants and pitch a roller coaster scream as we would go running wildly to grandma. “The rooster,” we would pant, “is after us,” we would say between gasping breaths. Grandma, such a good grandma, knew that it was never our fault. Always the damn roosters fault. hee hee!

My grandma’s farm also had sheep that would try to ram you off the tire swing, which we knew would seriously hurt, severely injure us, cause death, or possibly land us on the moon. The herd of sheep would sneak up on us also, just like the ol’ king rooster. Either we were really unobservant children or just didn’t care, I don’t quite remember. But it was always a pain when you wanted to play on the tire swing. You had to wait and wait until the sheep were way out in the fields. You could try to shoo them away, they ignored us. Try to pet them, they ignored us. They were not very entertaining.

One day they must have come in early. We didn’t see them. The only thing I do remember is screaming and scrambling up the wooden fence as a large male came running at us full force, head first. It was never this bad, with the whole herd right behind him, and we knew it was serious. We practically flew over the fence in extreme fear and panic, except my sister was still on the swing. Why was she still on the swing? Why didn’t she jump off? I had no clue how to save her. Ryan and I held on the fence, screaming for help. Jessica was holding onto that splintery rope so tight her hands could have turned into porcupines with all the splinters sticking out. And when you have a ram bearing down at you full speed, I’m sure your life flashes before your eyes.

 Before anything could be done the ram head butted the tire swing and my sister went flying. She hung on for dear life, almost turning upside down with the force of the blow. Then the one right after it rammed the tire swing again. By this time she was half way up the rope and would pull her bony knees to her chest for each blow. I wanted to cry. I wished I could save her. No matter how much she annoyed me, I didn’t want to see her sent to the moon. 

The whole herd seemed to be lined up, some coming towards us on the fence. It was like some sort of animal vs. kids standoff. We screamed and  prayed that Grandma would hear all the screaming to come save us. I should rephrase that. She always hears us, but I can hear her now as she loops her yarn around her crochet hook, “Ed, do you hear those kids? What do you suppose they are doing? There is an awful lot of screaming.” And Grandpa would say, “Well I don’t know, Jeanie baby,” as he reaches for the salt shaker out of his breast pocket to sprinkle on his beer. If we screamed and hollered long enough someone would save us…and there were no neighbors, so sometimes it took my grandparents awhile. Don’t worry, she made it out alive. We were all a little shaken, but for the most part I was just glad to have my sister in one piece, no matter how much I played it off that I didn’t like her.

We laugh about it now… and she always points out that we did nothing to help her, but left her for the rams. It always brings a good laugh.

Winding country roads, wagon rides, dirty toes, tornadoes, and ice cream cones…oh, the memories. Makes me smile.

My kids will be creating some of their own, hopefully with dirty toes too.

xxx