Sunday, December 21, 2014

Our Christmas Tree Adventure and Quinn turns 5!

We leave for Texas tomorrow so I'm blog cramming to get all caught up before we leave. 

One nice sunny afternoon we went out to the ranch to find a Christmas tree.  We drove all over until we found what we thought was the perfect tree.  It was the top half of a huge tree, so Kory had to do some work to get it down.  

He climbed up the tree and started sawing. 



After a lot of effort, and not much progress, he told me to grab the hatchet out of the back of the Ranger.  The hatchet was easier, but he still had to work pretty hard to cut through the tree.  Suspended on a limb, I might add.  Ha! I was kind of dying laughing the whole time.






We all found it quite entertaining.  Here's Quinn observing the strange happenings of a Christmas tree chop down.  


Our lumberjack finally got it down and the much anticipated "TIMBER!!!!" was yelled by the kids and we had ourselves a lovely tree.  





Only problem is that when the tree fell, it landed on its top and broke the tip off.  KLP was VERY upset by this. He immediately vowed to tape/glue/tie it back to the top of the tree when we got home. 




This was our self timer group shot with the tree.  My apologies to June for almost cutting her out of the picture. 



This is it once we got it home.  Turns out we didn't need the top anyways since our ceiling was in the way.







A few days later, On December 8, this little boy woke up and decided to turn 5!!!!  We had such a fun day with him. Quinn Spencer is a great kid and sure is fun to be around.  He has turned it to quite the big boy lately and on the one hand it tears my heart out, but on the other hand, its so fun to hang out with him and spend my days with him as he grows up. He's just so much fun!  A few weeks before, he said he wanted a Raccoon birthday party (random, yes.) So the day was all about raccoons! 

I have always wanted an excuse to get one of the boys a coon skin cap and this was the perfect time! We let him open that present first thing in the morning so he could wear the hat.  



One of his requests for his "party" was that everyone wear raccoon masks. He wore his most of the day.  I think this shirt was the inspiration for the party. I'm thinking maybe he had it on the day we talked about his party and the idea stuck with him.  Here he is all decked out in all things raccoon (and chocolate chin from licking the icing for his cupcakes).



That afternoon, we walked/rode bikes to the variety store to let him pick out balloons.  He chose black, gray, and one ninja turtle.  He loved riding home with his balloons on his bike.



He requested cupcakes so I slapped some raccoon faces on them and called it good.  


Party Time! Kory's parents and grandparents came over to celebrate with us and they were all good sports about wearing the masks for the picture. 



Quinn is 5!!!!!






My little raccoon family. Ha! 



Time passes and somehow that chubby baby is now 5.  As each phase ends,  I always feel so sad but the truth is it just keeps being a blast. Each phase is as good or better than the one before.   As I've mentioned over and over, the kid loves weapons. He is also in full on Ninja Turtle mode, he's a great helper which is VERY valuable to me, he has a compliant personality, and I am proud of how much we can trust him.  He's a great big brother to Jaylie June and the perfect little brother to Kanyon.  He loves getting to go to work with Dad and the guys, but also loves to cuddle with his Mommy.  My most stand off-ish baby has become my biggest snuggler.  He is sensitive and tender hearted (to a fault at times) but definitely the one in charge amongst the siblings. He is so musical and I'm constantly amazed with how quickly he learns the words to songs.  He will sit and listen to songs over and over and is almost always singing.  He got a keyboard from his Gram and Chief, so I'm hoping he can start learning to play that over the next year.  He doesn't really like to draw (he says he doesn't know how) but he loves to spell things.  So I'm constantly answering "how do you spell......" all day long. His imagination is always running wild and free and constant entertainment for us. My plan was to make him stop sucking his thumb when he turned 5 but when it came down to it I just couldn't. We used to talk about it a lot and he would dread turning 5 because of it, but we hadn't mentioned it in a few weeks so I'm just gonna let it go for a little bit.  I am defending that decision by the fact that he only sucks it as he's going to sleep, not while he's asleep and his teeth aren't messed up.  But mostly because I CAN'T HANDLE IT. I mean that is the last of my little baby and I just can't force it. Its dumb, I know, but I feel like the thumb goes and then he's grown. So for now, he still gets his few minutes of bliss and I get to think how cute he is.  I can't say enough how thankful we are for Quinn Spencer and how great it is to be his Mom!



He got some fun Play Doh toys for his birthday and the next night Ray Ray came over and we had fun playing with the new stuff!


Bacon and Eggs by Q


He wanted me to take a picture of him with his birthday presents from us.  Michelangelo Nunchucks and a Donatello Bo Staff.  He has wanted nunchucks for a long time....about 2 years ago he saw some at a friend's house and wanted some. I made him some out of paper towel rolls and torn fabric.  They did the trick for almost 2 years.  Then when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said, "I want some Michelangelo nunchucks...but like...the REAL ones." Fair enough.  Haha. In fact when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday this was his list: 
Michaelangelo nunchucks, Donatello Bo Staff, BB Gun, Marshmallow gun, or a gun to shoot an elk with.  Can you say WEAPONS?! Ha! He was so happy to get the Ninja Turtle weapons and hoping Santa will bring him a BB Gun.   


Totally unrelated....At our small group a couple of weeks ago we played "Heads Up" where you hold the card on your forehead and your team acts out what the card says. I guess Jaylie June was watching because she found this coupon card and came up to me like this and said "Whats this one Mommy?" Ha.  Crazy girl. 



We are all geared up and ready to head south for Christmas!!!!  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

More Fall and Thanksgiving Road Trip

One day when Kanyon was at school, Me, Juney, and Q went with KLP to the sale for a little bit.  
Jaylie was excited EVERY time a cow came in to the ring.  

These two ventured off to sit by themselves.  


This was our view.  I kept making Kory nervous by scratching my hair while people were bidding.  I think he was scared he was gonna get stuck buying 34 bred heifers! ha! 


Leonardo all ready for bed. 


We had a little movie night around here and watched How To Train Your Dragon.  Q got double comfortable with his chair in a chair. 


We got some snow and had fun playing for the first time this year. 


Now she's Iron Man. 


And this is how she poses for pictures.  She thinks she's soooo cute. 



And this is how she poses with guns.  


And this is her best double chin look.  




klp came home from school with this.  Pretty sweet. 


Speaking of Thanskgiving, it was our year to spend Thanksgiving with Kory's Mom's family.  They meet in Tipton, Oklahoma where one of her sisters lives.  Our whole family was there. Clint, Sydni, and their girls flew there and our crew, Wes, Susan, Tye, and Rachael drove the 19 hours.  We had very VERY yucky roads through Wymonig.  It was a long, tense night, but we made it to our hotel and had a much easier travel day the next day.  

Cool traveler.  I guess I said "Cool dude!" a lot when my kids put on sunglasses because now they think anyone that is wearing sunglasses is called a "dude".  Haha.  



We made it to Tipton Wednesday night and were so happy to see family.  This gathering happens every other year so it had been 2 years since we'd seen some of these cousins! The weather was nice and the kids enjoyed the little parks in town.  


I LOVE TURKEY DAY! 


This is cousin Jaylee.  The original Jaylee.  Last time we were there for Thanksgiving my boys called her big baby Jaylee.  haha.  


I did a terrible job taking pictures but we had a blast. We had a little home church Sunday morning and hit the road.  We had much nicer roads all the way back.   New day...Same seat, same toy, same cool chick.  


This is how Kanyon slept for about 2 hours. Strange. 


We got home Monday evening and quickly decided to opt for flying to Texas at Christmas.  The chances of bad roads was too high and we were not interested in driving like that again.  Ugh.  


Back home we got back to our usual....carrying 3 purses and a baby bed full of babies.  


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Shipping Day(s)!!!

The time rolls around once a year where the long discussed, negotiated, and thought about calf contract comes through and the buyer is ready to pick up the calves he's buying! The work starts the night before as they gather the pairs from whatever pasture they're in and get them in close to the corrals. Then waaaaaay early the next morning they finish gathering and then sort off the cows from their calves.  This is where it is not good for me to empathize with those mama cows.  My mama instincts kick in and I just CAN'T BELIEVE WE ARE JUST SORTING THEM OFF AND LEAVING THEM WITHOUT THEIR MOMMY!!!!  AND THOSE POOR MAMA COWS...NO BABY NURSING ANYMORE, NO LITTLE ONE TO TAKE CARE OF!!......Then I remind myself that they are cows and they probably don't even have those thoughts and after all, we are in a cow/calf operation here so we'd better sell these things if we wanna pay the bills. But I still try not to think about it.  sniff sniff.  


  With a few separate herds scattered around, shipping was done in 2 days.  The first day was lovely and warm.  Susan thought maybe the warmest shipping day they'd had.  It was November 1 and people were shedding layers and working in Tshirts! Wohooo!!!!  

Here are the big trucks arriving to pick up their load.


Chief busy talking business. 


Kory  and Keithon (a friend that came to help) waiting for the next load to be ready. 


Brothers! 


Calves about to be loaded up in a trailer never to see their mommies again....I mean calves that we get paid for.


Kory and Chief sorting and counting loads


All the grandkids were there for the festivities. 


All 5 kids playing inside the Ranger (jjp was in there somewhere)


More helpless, oblivious calves....... I mean our paycheck.   


Constant talking and figuring and discussing.  Its a big day around here. 






Q checking in on Daddy making sure he doesn't need help in the corrals. 



Your basketball rolls into the corrals.  
#Phillipsboyprobs


And there they go!!!!  


Father and Sons after a hard days work. 


(they're standing in front of the scale house thingy....thats the official name)


Chief and Gram inside by the scale house. Another year, another shipping day for these 2. They've had had a few of them! The scale house is a little building thing where they put 10 calves at a time in there and they weigh those 10. They do that with the whole bunch and then average it out to get the final weight of the calves.  


The second shipping day was about 2 weeks later and if the first one was warm and pleasant the second one was the opposite.  When they woke up to gather the calves early that morning (on 4 wheelers I might add) it was -20 out there!  By the time me and the kids got out there it was -9....so, no biggie.  Actually the sky was clear and the sun was shinning and most importantly, there was no wind so it wasn't that bad.  

Jaylie disagrees.  



Jaylie June helping Chief at the scales. 


Me and the kids brought cinnamon rolls for the crew working.  


Q and Juney got to share one. 

"one bite for you....."


"....and one bite for ME!"


And that is all the pictures I took that day....I was busy eating cinnamon rolls. 



Each shipping day was celebrated with a steak dinner/lunch with the crew that helped. It was a fun day to be a part of. Its our "harvest" of sorts and a day where you just can't help but think back on when those calves were born and all the hard work that the guys put in to them and how great they looked the day they shipped.  Those mamas are just 3-4 months away from having another calf and the whole thing starts over again. We are thankful for a good year and for the chance to do this.