Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Weekend

Happy Easter!  My weekend was filled with work and play and worship!  And despite a mad lightening/thunderstorm Sunday night, we had a HOT and beautiful Easter weekend!

Saturday was work up front, which always is followed by play time, so I'll suck it up at first.  Jeffrey had a pump suck up the (lake) water in the pool, and I scrubbed on my hands and knees handed him whatever he asked for from the bottom of the pool, like a mop or bucket or broom or clorox until it was sparklin' clean.  Then we threw all the hoses we could find in and started fillin' 'er up.

I also had to water my garden.  Oh, wait....I should show you!  You're gonna 'peer die' as mama says!  In two weeks, these puppies have grown like, well, veggies!  It must've been my TALK I gave them....

The zucchinni squash have prospered well!

 Look at my precious little okra (okree--says Mimi), who were just little bebe seeds 2 weeks ago!

And I believe I see jalepeno poppers in my future!  And possibly some stuffed bell peppers!  Mmmmm!

Grow tomatoes, grow!

Now, let me take a minute here to tell you I learn something every day out here.  My most recent lesson was in planting my green beans. 

This papa duck has apparently been sticking his squirmy little neck through and ate every last seed on the back row of beans!  Next recipe to try:  GRILLED DUCK.  Sometimes a farm can have one too many animal.  Just sayin....

After a long day of cleaning the pool and yard work on Saturday, because I'm so impatient with prizes, I the Easter Bunny decided to make a special delivery early to the cute yard boy.  :)

Full of his favorite candy bars (Zeros-yuck), gum, a smell good candle, a movie we've talked about a lot and I finally found!  (Who doesn't love, and CRY at Where the Red Fern Grows...and Old Yeller!)

And an awesome new cookbook called Wild Abundance, a collection of recipes from the south's finest hunting clubs!  This one kept him entertained for a while!  The pictures in here are just a gorgeous as the recipes sound....and I'm hoping he picks out a good DUCK recipe soon (if you know what I mean!)

We watched a breathtaking sunset, and enjoyed a ride around the farm, and I anxiously awaited Sunday....the stone is rolled away!  With skies like these, plants that grow, and animals all around, it's so easy to see how GOOD God is!  How ALIVE He is! 

Sunday morning started unfortunately with a migraine--but we medicated and ignored with a wonderful service at Calvary Baptist where Brother Don told us to watch our punctuation!  Never put a period (or a question mark?) where God has put an exclamation!  So let me say this, He IS ALIVE!!!

I convinced my sweet thang to take a few Easter pictures with me, because we are usually grungy, and I rarely have on lipstick.  Much less hot pink pumps.  Jeffrey calls this my Betty-Boop dress.  I hope that's a compliment. 

Roscoe and I even took a few glamour shots for my love.  :)
After church Jeff ran to pick up the kids from their mama, and I met up with them at my house where the Easta' Bunny had dropped off a few prizes for them there....

Can you go wrong with iTunes and candy?  And for Kyle, a serious slingshot...maybe for my benefit mostly...there are some seriously pesty birds in our ferns...  And Emmy's been dying to read "90 Minutes in Heaven," a tear jerker, but so sweet.  But the best was they thought they'd dug through it all, but Daddy had hid one plastic egg in the bottom of both...they looked over it....until one found it....with a 50 dolla bill ya! 

Next it was over to Grandmama's (Jeff's grandmother's) for lunch.  Lot's of people.  New people for me.  But I already felt like family.  No handshakes, only hugs.  The way I like it.  I'll be back, that's what I told Grandmama.  But what I loved the most were these faces.  Hands down.

A work in progress, no doubt.  The trial of my life.  It's like the test I never knew to study for, but want to pass more than anything I've ever wanted.  And I will.  Those smiles up there, and this smile below, are...and will whole world.  I am so grateful I am beginning to see little glimpses into theirs as well.  I think they're some kind of special.

This Easter was so special to me.  I met some very kind people, who love Jeff like I do.  Who made me feel so welcome in their family.  I spent time with the clowns.  I missed my family terribly, and wanted to call them every hour.  Growing pains are hard.  I cannot wait to go home next weekend!  So as I thought about all the family I have, and miss, and met, and love, and want, I watched this sunset over the farm.

And thanked God for his Son.  For his sacrifice.  For my sins.  For that ol' rugged cross.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bucket List

This weekend, as I was cooking some casseroles to take for Easter Sunday, Jeff comes inside and says, "Let's hop on the Kubota and go down to the barn.  Mr. Burt's milking that cow."


Jeff:  So.  You're gonna milk it.
Me:  Nah.  I'm good.  Just gonna make my pasta.
Jeff:  Ah, come on babe.  You can mark it off your bucket list.

**At this point, I'm thinking silently...Is milking a cow on my bucket list?  Actually, have a made a bucket list?  I've seen the movie.  I love Morgan Freeman-great actor.  I even thought I'd make one.  But nope, pretty sure I wasn't, when I even got around to make that list, was not, going to put "milking a cow" on it.**

Jeff:  Ready babe?!
Me:  I guess.....and where'd you get my camera??
What is it about him that just makes me go???  Is it those blue eyes?  Those arms, oh geez.  Maybe it's just that I'm so content here, with him, everything that's out of my comfort zone, it's suddenly so comfortable.  Except the roosters....I could really do without those roosters. 

So we went down to the barn.  Mr. Burt, a neighbor, and dear friend of the family, is milking one of the Robinson cows.  Mr. Burt is tough but tender.  He is the definition of country.  The kind of man I imagine comes with a lot of stories of "the good ol' days."  The kind of man I would love to sit next to on a rocking chair and just listen to while we sip lemonade....actually, he probably prefers moonshine (I told you he is tough.) 

Anyway, he drinks this milk.  His wife cooks with it. GAG. And since Jeff added "milking a cow" to my non-existant bucket-list, we thought there's no one better to teach me than ol' Mr. Burt.

So I straddled that stool, with my pink flip flips, pearls, and Costas pearched on my head....grabbed a teet....and started squeezing!

So there.  Marked that one off the bucket list.  Jealous?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Garrett turns 2! And behind the scenes...

 This weekend Jeff's nephew Garrett turned 2, so Saturday I went to Adam and Jennifer's to join the family in celebrating in Garrett's "Construction Party Zone" because this little man loves his tractors!  (How'd I do on my sign, Jess??!)

Is he precious or what?! Uncle Jeff's not so bad either...  ;)
 As the guests pulled up, they couldn't miss the house!  There were signs, caution tape, and orange cones leading the way!
 Burgers and dogs were on the menu, and the boys did a great job!  I will NOT tell you how many times I went back for seconds.  Nope, I will not.
 Garrett cut up Nana's hotdog into tiny bites and helped her eat.  :)
 And had deep conversations with Grandaddy.....
 After lunch it was time for this precious cake!
 So he blew out the candles and dug in!

 And then headed straight to the presents!

 I loved this hard hat!  It had Garrett's name printed on the side of it!  I'm not positive, but I think in this moment, I'm lovin it more than he was.  He was definitely more interested in his new weedeater....
 And the rest of the kids found a new use for the traffic cones.   This entertained them for quite a while.  Advice:  Stop going to by your nearest construction site.  If you have trouble, I know some people....
 Kyle and Dad.  One of the few calm moments of the day...
 Now let me say after the guests left, and just the family (and me :) were left....things got a little rowdy.  Like Kyle here.  The next contestant on Fear Factor.  As soon as a GIANT BEETLE landed in his cup, he dared someone to pay him to eat it.  We all immediately offered up cash of course.
 And like any 15 year old, no guts, no glory.  As the rest of us screamed and gagged...
 And he was soon to follow.  But no fear, Uncle Adam paid up.  Amazing what a kid will do for five bucks.
 Emmy, Jeff's daughter, stuck to indoor entertaining...
 We filled the afternoon and evening with feeding the horses, watching the kids ride bikes and run around, sitting around the porch talking and laughing, and riding the kids around the fields on the Kubotas and four wheelers.  It was as near perfect family time as it gets.  (Note:  Heads cut know who took this picture, right?  Ahem....)

There were a few sweet moments to catch....

 But it wasn't all lovey dovey here...let me be clear.  You can't kiss a teenager without retaliation.
 But the question is....
 Will that child ever learn...
 That Daddy will always win?!
 Dinner was offered by Stan, seasoned by Jeff, and grilled by Adam.  Those boys were raised right, all three of them can cook, that's for sure.  And this chicken hit the spot. 
 And as 11 o'clock rolled around, it was clear as we started piling up on the couch, the adults were more tired than the kids were!  So we called it a night, and a day.  A very good day. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Golden Egg, Aunt Pug, Slave Labor, and a Dog

 That should sum it all up I suppose.  Wait?  You need more details...okay, fine.  You know I'm a girl of few words....but I'll try....

This weekend Jeff's mama's church had an Easter Egg hunt, so the whole gang piled into the "Robinson pew" as it's lovingly called there, sang a bunch of Easter hymns, ate our weight in casseroles and puddings afterwards, then geared up for the big hunt!  Which was more like a scramble!  They were everywhere!

Miss Rani's bucket was overflowing within 2 minutes, and had to keep dumping eggs in her brother's bucket so she could keep going!
 While brother Garrett still tried to figure this whole egg thing out....
 Big brother Jake was off with the bigger kids hunting, but I managed to grab Adam and Jennifer for a quick family picture.
 Now this doll face cousin Abigail was off hunting diligently the whole time, I could hardly catch her on the camera....she had her eye set on the prize!  And now I see why!  "Look Miss Jennifer, I got the Golden Egg!"  And you know what's in a golden egg, don't you?  Cold.Hard.Cash. 
 The three stooges, er, I mean, brothers, did a great job holding the tables and chairs in place while we all ran around with cameras.  Good job, boys!
 After the Egg Hunt, we did a quick wardrobe change and ran over to the Party House for Aunt Pug's 75th Birthday Party!  (Aunt Pug is Jeff's Daddy's sister....not that I think you'll ever meet her, but I'm having to draw a family tree, people, there's a lot of Robinson's around here!)

 We loved looking at all these good-looking pictures someone put together of Aunt Pug!  So fun!
 And as usual, most of our time was spent rocking on the porch of the PH, and Rani found her favorite spot in the lap of Uncle Jeff!

We followed Garrett and Granddaddy's (ADORABLE) lead and hit the road after a while....there was work waiting for us back at the house....the kind I'd been dreading....manual labor....

So back on the ranch....haha....

It didn't take long for us to change into "yard clothes" and get to work!  We had a garden to plant!  I'm so stinkin' excited about this, I've never had a garden!  I'm excited to be able to cook with the vegetables and herbs that comes from plants and seeds I've grown myself, I think it'll be so rewarding!
But....good grief....the work!  It all started with my sweet thang (who really was a stanky thing by the end), an orange tractor, and a heaping pile of cow....well, fertilizer.  The kind money can't buy.  My veggies will be fertilized with nothing but the best thanks to all the moo cows they've got out here.  (
So Jeff tossed it around with some regular soil, got the "fertilizer" good and mixed, and dumped it in each of our planting beds he's build.  Next came the crappy part (no pun intended).  We hoed, and tilled, and scraped and raked and whatever else you do to make it as smooth as possible.  This was back-breaking work, people. 
But then, we got all our little plants out of their containers, and popped them in the ground, tucked all the soil neatly back around them, and gave them their first bath.
Then I got down eye level with my zucchini squash and gave them their first parental pep talk.  I told them they will have good days and bad, storms will come and go, beware of ducks and chickens and goats.  I also told them I brought them into this world, and I fully intend to take them out.  So grow, grow, GROW!
I had similar words with the rosemary, mint, parlsey, and basil.  (And may I give a shout to the mint-whoop whoop!  He's already contributed to an excellent mojito on my behalf!)

We drank from the hose like kids, and relished in our accomplishment.  In several weeks we'll have yellow squash, zucchini, tomoatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, banana peppers, okra, green beans, and watermelon!
And like the supervisor he is, Roscoe obediently rode the tractor, operated the lift, brought us shovels, cold drinks, the water hose, kept the cows away, answered the phone....basically all the things you need in an assistant when we are working our fingers to the bone.