There are few things that reward and frustrate me more than my boys. With 4 boys close in age our house is typically loud, messy and a whole lot of wild. But wow are the rewards huge.
Raiden- age 7, my particular cowboy
This kid is so FUNNY! He has the best sense of humor and is SO particular about what he wears. It’s strictly Wranglers, a belt buckle and a PRESSED button up. It’s a fight to get him to wear a regular t-shirt to school. No joke, the struggle is real with him. However if he is just headed to work with his dad he will wear the holiest jeans he can find and t-shirt stained with grease, no problem. Oiy! But man is he handsome.
He makes friends SO easily it blows my mind that he is mine. He’s currently in 2nd grade and finally starting to get caught up to his grade level in reading. We used to live in another town where he went to kindergarten for and they did him no service there. So when he started 1st grade in his new school he was so far behind that we were worried we would have to hold him back a year. But with lots of work and thanks to AMAZING teachers and resources he is finally getting caught back up. And I couldn’t be more grateful!!!
I’ll be sharing more on what we did to help him better his reading later in another blog post.
Dillon- age 6, my tender soul
My oh my does this kid have an attitude. Like bad. BUT he is by far the most tender souled kid I have. He feels things, and he feels them DEEP. He’s totally my kid. He has a pretty serious obsession with Transformers and the movie Pacific Rim, which honestly I wish he liked a better show. Watching it on repeat some days is just more than I can handle.
He can literally get just about anything he wants when he flashes that sweet smile at his mama. Ah, the smile. He has this way of touching your soul without even trying. He is able to connect with those around him on such a deep level, which just leaves his encounters in awe. Including his parents.
Kase- age 4, my wild man
By far my most accident prone child has been Kase. He has NO fear and wants to live life on the edge. When he was smaller, he had this gorgeous red curly hair. Melted my heart every morning when he would come walking into my room with swollen eyes and his hair completely out of control. When Kase had barley turned 3 he had an accident. A freak accident. And now almost 2 years later I still struggle with the memories and nightmares. He fell into a septic tank. I remember watching my son disappear in the dirty water after I tried to grab his hand and failed. He slipped right out of my hands. It was then I knew that I would lose this sweet face and red hair if I didn’t go in after him. He’s safe and sound and has an understandable weariness about holes in the ground. There’s more that happened during that event but those are the bullet points you need to know for now.
So to say that I am grateful for all of the fights I have to break up between Kase and his brothers is an understatement. We would have had a huge hole left in our family if he had left us that day. So he reminds me daily with his constant need for chocolate milk (we have an addict, I’m sure), loud laughter, constant fighting with Dillon and Mack and love for anything that has a motor. Like I said, this kid has no fear.
Mack- age almost 2, My rainbow baby
Mack is my rainbow baby. But not in the sense how that term is usually used. I was 7 1/2 almost 8 months pregnant with Mack when my little brother, Jake, passed away at 19 in a car accident. Just 4 days after Thanksgiving. Worst. Day. Ever. Hands down. So when Mack made is big debut in February, he brought a whole lot of healing and love with him. Even my parents have made the remark that he is a little piece of Jake that we got back. But man did we get more than that. This kid is out of control. Like most 2 year olds he has an endless supply of energy. Energy that I can rarely keep up with.
He has a big passion for anything with a motor. Like. It’s a big deal. He will pull this wide stretched surprise face anytime he sees anything cool. Which happens a lot and always results in me laughing. To which he fake laughs and then the laughing gets louder from those around him. I swear he has this insane connection to his mama. I mean all kids do I think, but our connection is different than my other 3 boys’s. Not that it’s any better. But I have a theory that because we spent those last couple months together going through the hardest thing I have ever dealt with, he gives me a little more slack and a lot more understanding during those times that it’s just a little harder. He gets it I think. Or maybe that’s just my little brother showing me that he is still so so close. Mack has two dimples. Just like Jake did. Neither my husband, me or my boys have dimples. When those two indents above his lip showed up I cried. I cried very very happy tears. Mack understood. He got it.
Jud- age 27, my rock, my love, my soulmate, my bestfriend
I know when you hear someone say that they have found their soulmate or that their spouse is their best friend and you think to yourself what a cliche or ridiculous thing to say, or how could that really be true. Well I am here to tell you that it is oh so true. It really does happen. And I can honestly say that all those ring true for my sweet husband and me. We’ve know each other since we were 5. Really my parents actually taught a class we were both in when we were about 5 during church. Jud was the only boy in a class that was otherwise girls. Which left him and my dad no choice but to draw tractors together. I promise I’m not making this up. This literally happened!! I think my mom even has a couple of those drawings still in her hope chest!
We ended up starting to date during high school after I had a very long crush on him. He finally decided to take notice of me at our high school football game. I was there with my homecoming date… and Jud positioned himself between me and my date and talked to me for the rest of the night. Sorry Drew! The rest was history after that. We date from our Sophomore to Senior year. 9 months after graduating he proposed. We were married in March and 4 months later I was pregnant with our oldest boy Raiden. Our life has always been fast paced and quick. We’ve had really really big major things happen in a matter few days. Like when we decided to move our family 2 hours away from home and to a place where we knew no one. We were moved and into a new house with a new life in about 2 weeks. The night after we made the decision Jud left to go live at the new place and learn how to run the farm that we would be taking over. I was left home with the boys and house to move. We did that for almost 3 weeks. Not one of my more favorite memories but you get the idea. We’ve had a lot of life thrown at us in the almost 9 years we’ve been married.
But man can he give me butterflies. We haven’t lost that new love spark and he truly is my best friend. He’s the best dad and exactly what the kids and I need. We currently live on his families farm. He works endless hours raising wheat and seed potatoes. It’s a work that he loves almost as much as me. Living on the farm gives us amazing opportunities to raise our boys in real life settings. Raiden can drive a tractor and a pickup with a little help. And frequently drives a 4 wheeler around the farm fetching parts and tools for his dad or checking on something. He has always made sure that me and the kids had a hand in the farm. Which I appreciate more than I can say. Having been raised on a potato farm myself I have a large understanding for what needs to happen and I’m not too bad of a farm hand either. I’ve often had to fill in here and there, with kids in tow, when needed. I remember driving the combine for a few hours with Raiden when he was only a few months old. Or driving the grain cart in Downey while breastfeeding Mack. We’ve done it all and I seriously love it. It’s a huge part of who I am and what I value.
Jud has always been a little kid at heart. He has legos around the house along with toy semi’s and trailers that fill his heart with so much joy. He has a deep love for diesel pickups, specifically anything duramax. I mean, I might too. But his is bigger and so much more fun to watch. I admire his passion. The passion that he puts into anything he’s doing, whether is playing with the boys, building his legos, dreaming of a pick up or farming. He leads with this heart and it shows. The men that he works with genuinely love him. To say that I am blessed is a huge understatement.
Every morning I wake up I am reminded of that when I see these people. My people.