Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some Pig

Yeah, she is some pig.... hey, she is 6 weeks old and still alive!

She is not quiet as smart as Wilbur and hopefully she does not have a big spider friend out on our porch. And, well, she is not quiet as pretty as Miss Piggy, but she is a bit sassy. We don't have any sheep for her to herd like Babe, but there is Lucky the dog she romps with all day.

How I know that Little Buckaroo and Tonto the Pig are like Winnie the Pooh and Piglet:

'When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,' said Piglet at last, 'what's the first thing you say to yourself?' 'What's for breakfast?' said Pooh. 'What do you say, Piglet?' 'I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?'

I love Little Buckaroo's joy and anticipation of each new day. I hear him say often, "mom, this is the best day of my life."

This little piggy went "Wee wee wee!" all the way home.

The Park Wife

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Identity Only Temporarily Lost

Mommy identity crisis over, for now. I am not promising that it will not happen again, and I am so relieved to know I am not the only one that goes through this. Thanks for your support and camaraderie!

I believe what precipitated this is that I was on Facebook and added some high school friends and let them know about my blog. Now, I believe my only high school friend that reads or even knows about my blog is BooMama and as her reader's know, she is an incredibly Godly woman who loves her family, friends, and, well Mississippi State athletics. So, even though she would probably not have a baby pig in her backyard, we are a lot alike.

But, then I wondered what other people would think of my life (um, the people pleaser in my kicked in) - living on a state park, growing and eating organic meat and vegetables, living sustainably, homeschooling my kids, you know, the list goes on.

I let unthankfulness (and ego) seep into my being. Now, I know that is crazy, I have a husband that not only loves me but also cherishes me, two little boys who are amazing and wonderful friends and family. I started focusing on the wrong things, not being thankful for the life that I have. Since I feel called—and blessed—to be home with my kids, I need to embrace that and rejoice in each of the areas in which I’m gifted and able to practice those gifts.

Thankful people have a view of life that begins somewhere deep in their souls, and outside circumstances just can't mar their joy. I want to be a thankful person.

By the way, after my whining about losing my creativity and success in the business world, I got a call from the international development organization I worked for before babies to quote on a freelance job on a huge grant proposal they are working on. I am overwhelmed by His grace in my life, I whine and He says, "I am here Park Wife, seek Me".

A thankful heart is the result of a person who decides to give thanks. Thank you, God, for my life, my incredibly blessed life.

The Park Wife

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mom Identity Crisis

I try to always be upbeat in life.. and on my blog.

However, I am human, I do feel down at times. Shocker, I know, um, I am a woman. So, in an effort to keep it real, I have decided to talk about something that has been on my mind, heart, um, hormones lately.

I have been going through an identity crisis off and on for a while. At times, I feel bored. Is it possible to be bored when you have a husband, kids, house, animals, church projects, etc. all depending on you? It is a different kind of bored, like my creativity is dwindling, that I need something new and different. Maybe I should apply for The Next Food Network Star, do you think they will let me use my smoke detector food timer?

Now, I know that I am doing exactly what I have been called to do, to be the wife of Big Buckaroo, the mom of my precious Little Buckaroo’s, our Family Manger, housekeeper, purchasing agent, teacher, well, the list goes on. But, I sometimes miss the excitement, travel, and accomplishment of working in Public Relations. I had worked real hard to get to the position where I was doing what I liked and doing it well. Deciding to become a stay-at-home mom was not a hard decision for me, and it has been the most rewarding thing I have done in my life. I would make the same choice every time if given the opportunity. So, sometimes I feel selfish for feeling this way. Can I hear a big “mom guilt”?

I identified myself for so long by my job and how well I did my job. I think at times I feel like I am not enough, I think many moms, working outside the home and at home feel this way. Mom guilt, yep, mom guilt.

I miss the spontaneous, ambitious, fairly intelligent woman I used to be. Now, of course, my wonderful husband thinks this is crazy, he is so wonderful at being supportive, understanding, lifting me up and mostly thankful for me taking care of our precious gifts. I know this is sickening people, but my husband is just incredible.

So, as I go through my perpetual identity crisis, I seek ways to quench my creative thirst, trying to identify my natural qualities and appreciate them as gifts. And, I will use my gifts in doing what I have been called to do and with a good attitude (I am convincing myself here).

Do any of you guys ever feel this way or am I a resident on identity crisis mom planet alone?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Homeschooling Here We Come!

I can't say that it has been any busier around here, same amount of house work, chores, kids, husband, dog, pig, chickens, but, I seem to have been overwhelmed and not on my computer as much. I have missed you all. It must be the heat here in the South.

Last week I went to the school Superintendent's office in our closest town to turn in my homeschool form. I was a little worried because I had heard accounts of them not being very nice to homeschoolers. But, our first visit there went great.

As soon as the lady at the desk turned around, my 5-year-old Little Buckaroo held out his hand and introduced himself. He had her wrapped immediately. Then, she saw Littlest Buckaroo's big blue eyes and melted. She was more than helpful and courteous and all my apprehension went out the window. I had heard that when it is your first year to homeschool that the superintendent might want to meet with you. It is not required by law that you do this, but I was more than willing. I am more than happy to help break down the stereotype that homeschooled children are unsocialized, weird kids. I did not have to meet with the Superintendent, he was not there and the nice lady said it was not necessary.

Now comes the hard part, I actually have to get ready to begin homeschooling Little Buckaroo. I have some various curriculum's and new school supplies, so I guess I just need to decide on the start day (which of course will be a big first day of school party). It' s the after the party stuff that has me a little scared.

Watch out Kindergarten, here we come!
The Park Wife

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sleep Tight

Have you ever heard or used the expression "Sleep Tight"?

One possible origin of this phrase is that before the days of sprung mattresses, one method of creating a comfortable surface to lie on was to stretch ropes across from side to side of the bed frame in a criss-cross pattern. The ropes sagged after a while, and it was necessary to tighten them from time to time.

There are examples of these beds at some of the homes in the historical park where my husband works.

So, when Big Buckaroo began working on bunk beds for our boys (which will end up in our cabin one day), he designed them around this idea.

Big Buckaroo built the beds without screws or nails, only dowels. Yes, I know, he is ALL THAT and a good carpenter. I am a blessed woman.

Weaving the rope.

The top bunk~ Little Buckaroo already called dibs on the top bunk. I am sure there will be a lot of bunk bed diving happening at our house. Don't worry he is going to put a safety rail up there.

The almost finished project.

Well, I guess I better get to work on the quilts I have been planning for the bunkbeds. My to-do list is getting longer and longer. Maybe I should just take a break and enjoy a yummy, calorie-filled snack. Um, well, I guess that is not on my healthy eating regiment.

Ugh, o.k. I am going to cut fabric now!

The Park Wife

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cowboy and Indians

Little Buckaroo is now interested in Indians. On the way home from church a few weeks ago we heard him mumbling something, we asked what he was saying and he told us that he was just talking to his friend in the trunk of the car. Of course, I was a little worried because I was afraid that one of his church friends climbed into the trunk and their parents were scouring the church looking for them. Until Little Buckaroo said, "no, mom, it is my friend Sacajawea."

Now, Little Buckaroo gets VERY into what ever he is interested in. He has been wearing his "Indian clothes" for a few weeks. Then, he said he would like to go outside and build himself an Indian home like we saw in Colorado last year (Mesa Verde).

So, off we went!

I showed him the best hill behind one of the barns (where I could open the big barn doors with a fan on me, it is HOT people!) and he got to digging.

Our hardworking cowboy jumped in to offer some assistance, cowboys and Indians are friends at our place. Notice his cowboy boots that even go with shorts.

Meet Lone Indian Buckaroo (mixing his favorites, Lone Ranger and Indians) and Muscle Man Littlest Buckaroo, yep, they made up their own Indian names. There is not much left of this hill now.

Their cousin came to visit this past weekend and of course he had to have some Indian garb. Meet White Buffalo.

As I watch my cowboy and Indian running around playing together, I am so happy to see brothers that love each other so much and can run around our place and be BOYS!

I pray that they will blaze trails, be warriors, and live lives full of adventure!

Avoiding arrows and bullets,
The Park Wife

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tyler's Masterpiece

As I have said, we took our 15-year-old nephew with us up to our land, can I hear a hooray for child labor! Oh, now we did not make him work too hard, he did not almost have a heat stroke or get eaten up by chiggers, oh wait, that is me.

We are going to have to move our campsite at our land soon to be closer to our building site. So, I told Tyler we needed a fire ring, he has experience building these so I gave him free reign. Rock is not hard to come by on our land so he started digging a circular hole and for some reason his old aunt (um, yea The Park Wife) got charged with moving all the HEAVY rocks to where we were going to build the fire ring.

It was hot, we sweated, and thankfully, we got to stay in a hotel instead of camp out in 900 degree heat. I am not going back until it cools off, really, well, O.K. if Big Buckaroo REALLY wants to go, but, I am checking into Bed & Breakfast's. It is HOT outside people! We live in the South.
This was the second layer of rocks. Do you see the huge center ones? Yes, The Park Wife carried, well drug them. I need a massage! Well, at least some chigger medication.

Tyler's Fire Ring. The boy did good! I am very proud of him, he is a great kid!

Our trip was nice, we topped it off with a visit to an extraordinarily beautiful State Park Lodge. Stay tuned I will post photos soon, really, I will.

Sorry for not posting as much, I have been busy with kiddos, family visiting, church commitments, solving world trade problems, the U.S. deficit, and on and on.

Thanks for your understanding,

The Park Wife

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family in Town

Last week, my mom came to visit and brought my 15-year-old nephew Tyler. We had a really nice visit and of course, all I hear from the Buckaroo's right now is "when is grandma coming back?"

My mother is an extraordinary grandma. She is the kind that actually gets on the floor with the boys and builds with Lego's and blocks, plays guns with them and lets them do, well, pretty much anything they want (within reason, grandma reason that is).

Big Buckaroo and I took Tyler with us to our land and left the boys with grandma for two days, the longest we have left them with anyone. I am still trying to straighten them out from grandma spoiling.

Tyler, my 4-wheeler riding, white water rafting nephew, took a big risk and hopped on the Go-Kart with Little Buckaroo.

"Hey, Little Buckaroo grandson, how fast can this thing go? I can't believe your parents don't make you wear a helmet!"

I know my mom played with us as kids, but I think once they have grandchildren they have used up all the "No's!" on their kids and let the grandchildren do whatever they want. Even drive you around on a Go-Kart at top 5-year-old speed.

It was a great visit, just too short. We can't wait for grandma to come back and play!

The Park Wife

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Lost Park Wife

No, I am not lost. I know, I have not blogged in a week, that is not like me. But, my mom came in town for a visit and brought my 15-year-old nephew. Then, we left her with our two boys and went to work on our land for a few days.

Oh, faithful reader or readers (if Betty, Mapper, Valarie, Lisa, Hallie, Memaw, onecowgirl, and others are around), please do not lose faith, I am back. I will have tons of pictures from the past week, plus the next installment of The Park Wife Meets Her Ranger Story (just for you Patriot!).

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer!
The Park Wife

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fun on the 4th of July

We had a great 4th of July celebration complete with burgers on the grill and fireworks.

Sparklers! These are much better than the metal ones we had when we were kids. Those could have sent you to the emergency room if you were not careful.

Little Buckaroo is wearing half of one of his dress-up outfits, this week he is an Indian. I am not sure where he comes up with all of this, but I let him be creative and pretend.

Littlest Buckaroo loved the sparklers as well, I love seeing this kind of excitement on our boys faces.

Big Buckaroo's assistant superintendent and his wife (my workout buddy) spent the evening with us. As a young couple without kids, we filled their evening with lots of noise.

Speaking of noise, the little things you throw on the ground and they pop freak me out. Of course, the boys loved them. I tried to explain the danger when they started throwing them toward me but they just laughed. I am so mistreated as the only female around here.

Is there a law against driving while fireworksing (I know that is not a word but it sounded fun)? This my friends takes some coordination and hey they did not burn each other!

We hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July full of good friends, fun, and above all celebrating the freedom of our great country.

The Park Wife

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tanto Lives - So Far

Tanto is 2 weeks old, I have not killed her yet!

And, I am worn out. Between bathing, feeding, and cuddling, she has been as much work as a newborn baby. Little Buckaroo is enjoying this and helps, but I got the brunt of the job so far. As soon as Tanto is out of the woods and healthy, I am SO done.

Got Milk?

She loves being cuddled and taking her bottle. I really did not know what I was getting myself into. I did start her with her milk in a bowl today because frankly, I am sick of all this. It was cute and fun for about two days. Plus, I don't like anything that stinks in or around my house, so she is bathed frequently. She has also moved out on the screened in porch, maybe this will reduce the stinkiness factor that I am battling.

O.K. she is pretty cute, and O.K. I guess I like her a little bit. But, I am done, really, I am done with all this. If I wanted this kind of hassle I would have had another Buckaroo!

Did I say I am done with this?

Famous last words,
The Park Wife

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Your Walk

Before kids, I was fortunate enough to travel with my job. My boss Mary and I used to love to people watch, New York was one of the best places to grab a Coke (actually a Dr. Pepper but I am south of the Mason Dixon line so we call it all Coke), lean against a building and just watch people.

It struck me one day at how differently people walk. Some walk like they have the weight of the world on them, some carefree and bouncy, others determined. I often talk about how Big Buckaroo sauntered into my life. I can see him from far away and know it is him coming my way by how he walks (hey, everyone around this place wears a brown uniform, so from far away it takes a minute to know if it is my husband or someone else).

Yesterday, the 4-H group from our closest town, which Little Buckaroo is going to be a part of, was spending the day at the Park and I took this picture.

Here you see the Buckaroos with an adorable young lady that we know through our local homeschool group and she does not live too far from us. Her parents are doing an extraordinary job with her. She is bright, polite, incredibly well-mannered and an all-around joy to be around. So, when I saw this picture of our little ones where it looks like they are watching her steps I thought, I am alright with that. She will not lead them astray.

With the help of good, Godly friends, obstacles (like steps for the Littlest Buckaroo) are much easier to overcome.

Big Buckaroo is so much like his Papaw from what I hear from many of his relatives. His Papaw was the main male influence in his life and helped raise him. Unfortunately, I did not get to meet him. One day we went to visit the grave site of his grandparents and on his Papaw's headstone it says "He walked with integrity" Wow! His life summed up in this one sentence. I am so blessed to have a husband that epitomizes that statement and I am able to spend my life with him.

And.... he is teaching and guiding our boys through God's grace to become men who will walk with integrity.

How do you walk?

All the glory and praise to God.
The Park Wife

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When Pigs Die, I Mean Fly

The Betta fish that Big Buckaroo brought home from his office died. I did not know until I was unloading the dishwasher and saw the container it had been in. Here is the following conversation.
"Um, honey, did the fish die." ~The Park Wife
"Yes" ~ Big Buckaroo
"Oh, you robbed me of a whole blog about a fish funeral and how the boys reacted."~The Park Wife
"It was a inspirational sermon and a slow flush." ~ Big Buckaroo
Cute and funny, I am one blessed woman.

So, now that the fish that was on one last fin when it arrived here has arrived in its destination, of course we have to add another animal to our brood. And, no surprise, it is a weak one that needs constant care.

Big and Little Buckaroo had a talk and decided that a pig is what Little Buckaroo wants to show in 4-H this year. So, we went to get a piglet. The mom of this little gal laid on the rest of her piglets and they did not make it. She is only a week old and has a 50/50 chance of making it. Circle of life is REALLY taught around this place people!

She smelled real bad so she had to have a bath.

All clean and needing to check everything out, meet Tonto. I know it is a girl, but Little Buckaroo is insisting that since he is the Lone Ranger that she has to be Tonto.

Lucky and Tonto hit it right off. He is very protective of her. After a little romping around and a bottle....

It was nap time.

Littlest Buckaroo likes her too. I walked in on him stroking her head and he said, "what are you going to be when you grow up? Oh, an animal." The innocence of a 2 1/2 year old, when she grows up she is going to be dinner! No angry comments from PETA please!

If anyone has any experience with piglets, let me know as we embark on our new adventure ~ 4-H.

The Park Wife