Fall Happenings

We seem to go through spurts of busyness and quiet times. Kian has been in Great Start preschool since second week of September and really enjoys it. Fridays are the more kindergarten type focus for the older kids, and Mondays and Wednesdays they do more group and art work. He's making some friends and loves his teachers. My only complaint is their excessive use of purell on every child all day long. Ugh. Especially at snack time. They've had a field trip to the apple farm and yesterday was the pumpkin patch trip. I left Karter at home with NeeNee for the pumpkin trip. Less for me to watch and easier for Kian to hang with the big kids.

The weather is a constant change, some days 70 and sunny and other days 45 and blowing rain. We get out when we can, and have been utilizing all our craft supplies as well as the library a lot more. Kian can't wait for snow and Christmas, I can definitely hold off on snow for awhile yet! The boys think it's the greatest thing when I let the put on their rubber boots and go stomp in puddles. So do I, actually.

The weather hasn't changed the chicken's laying habits yet though. Despite the creeping darkness earlier eacfh night, they're still laying regularly. I get 6-8 eggs per day. They each lay almost daily, which I keep reading isn't always the norm. I credit their free range ways. Although lately, they've had to be locked up more, as they keep running in neighbors' yards and fly out of their pen! We keep the well fed from the house-their favorites beign squash and watermelon. They also love pasta, beans and grapes. They ate the pumpkin seeds like little cyclone vacuums! Still very sweet and friendly and easy to pick up. Now they will stop and squat down if you come to pick them up, instead of running away. I tell them to run from the boys, but they don't' listen.

Karter now has quite the vocabulary and little running mouth. The downfall is that he has picked up the word stupid (our downfall when yelling at animals or drivers) and constant ignoring it is the only thing that works. Unfortunately he knows how to use it properly. Ugh. He's quite the athlete already, spiraling footballs and catching them, begging to go to Kian's football camp when Kian does not want to go. He loves puzzles and animals and tractors. Oh the tractors. He sleeps with 1-3 each night. Usually I make him park them under his bed. But, sometimes I find them in his bed with him. I love seeing the differences in their likes/dislikes, as Kian was more into trains at this age, maybe because he didn't have any tractors yet, but he didn't form attachments like Karter has. He's been going on some bad sleeping patterns the last couple weeks and now that he can open doors, makes it harder to keep him in bed!

Kian, ever the great sleeper, has been starting to read. Forget that dumb flashcard stuff, we haven't forced him into anything, or pushed him, other than when he asked, and he does well with the phonics type learning. He is reading and sounding out words in all the Dr. Seuss books and is quite proud of himself. He also began reading the bank drive thru signs and other things around town. There goes spelling things and keeping things hidden from him. It's amazing to see these growths and changes and milestones. It's a bittersweet type of thing, because then he's not a baby anymore, and to realize how things change and open up once you become a reader... Craziness.

Kevin's still busy, eye deep into 5linx and training. He's building quite a team of reps under him, which eventually will pay off for him/us. He'll be happy once it does so he can stop getting up at 4:30am. We'll be happy to have him here more often. Last night, he got home early and after dinner he and the boys went to the garage to build a cat tree/stand. Karter insists on playing football with him all the time. Kian just always wants to help him and be wherever he is. The boys spent the past weekend with my mom while we went to a wedding. It was Karter's first time away from me/us for more than a few hours. He did great and enjoyed it, they both didn't want to leave. It was nice to wake up ourselves instead of by jumping children, and to eat breakfast in quiet and hear ourselves talk. We did miss them though. The weekend before, I had a chance to help out a photographer at a wedding. I had so much fun! I don't know if the pictures I took were even good, but it was a learning experience and fun to play around and do something grown up, with all adults all day, and feel like I was working again. =)

We're rounding the bend into the holiday season, and with that comes a lot more changes. There's been a lot of changes in both sides of the families and therefore, changes to holidays were necessary. We're going to host Thanksgiving here with our immediate families, smaller than past years, but for Kevin and I, it will be less stressful and incorporate the immediate families and be easier for us to handle. His working so much and having to worry about animals and such, gets hectic, let alone the boys all over into everything.

Speaking of animals... Finn hates us. He has been banished indefinitely to Kourtney's house. I brought him back to our house last Thursday morning. He and Karter were happy to see each other, but then Finn just laid around and wouldn't play with Windsor. He behaved well, as long as he knew the remote/shock collar was on. I didn't have to use it at all, just put it on. Friday night he was testing me and not listening to come back in the house so I did buzz him. Saturday, right as we were leaving for the wedding he acted like he had to go out, and I had taken the collar off, no big deal I thought. Except, he looked at me and took off. That was that. WE had to leave and my mom was worrying about the boys and car seats, so when the humane society called the house to say they had Finn, AGAIN, he was stuck there. We asked Kourt to go get him, and they gave her some threats about fines and judges, etc. since it was his third (at least) time being there. He just doesn't seem to want to stay here and we have 6 stinking acres for crying out loud! So, for now he's back with his doggy parents and Kourt and Jeremy. I miss him some. It's definitely quieter and more relaxed with just one lazy dog, but Karter can't climb on Windsor like he can with Finn. I mean, he's a couple miles away so it's not like he's gone forever...but more changes.

I have also put away dozens of apple filling, grape filling, grape jam, salsa, pickles, banana peppers, apple butter, and more in my 'canning cellar'. It was a lot of work at times, but worth it. So much cheaper and tastes much, much better than store bought, factory stuff. The grape jam is delicious, but not that thick, jello-y glob stuff, smooth, soft, yumminess. The boys have helped a lot and enjoy making dried apple rings in the dehydrator. We're now moving onto pumpkin baking, and with fresh pumpkin! Then, it's onto Thanksgiving menu planning!

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