Saturday, December 17, 2016

Milk and Cookies 2016

It may be a Christmas miracle as I have my postcards and I am typing this BEFORE the big guy has taken to the sky to deliver presents! [fingers crossed the labels and stamps make it on the cards in time to be in the mail to make it to all of you before the stockings are stuffed] This year we decided to wear shirts with a few of our favorite things for our annual family photo in front of the tree.

(and as always we got a picture for the card on the first try!)

A few of our favorite things by Slidely Slideshow

The cows continue to be one of Mark’s favorite things as close to 80 of them keep him company twice a day in the barn each day. Gretchyn has taken to joining him in the barn to finish milking and washing up most nights. She also made sure she was there to tag along as he went out hunting this deer season. Together they were able to get Gretchyn’s first buck! He again took a few days off the farm at Country on the River in Wisconsin to enjoy some country music and even relaxed one morning by sleeping in past 8:00. When he isn’t farming he is fixing and he even managed to have the patience and give me the right instructions to help put the combine back together this fall.
We all enjoyed a trip to the Omaha Zoo this summer to enjoy some time with our favorite people and animals!
Just five years overdue I have made my way back to being a teacher-librarian so I guess this is the way the story goes. I am still in Anamosa and continue to be at the HS for ½ the day and have also expanded to meet and help the staff at the MS for ½ the day. There is never a dull moment and that is how I like it! Being a mom is still the best job I have as the girls continue to grow (as Mark pointed out just tonight) almost taller than me. We filled up a pool this summer and between cooling off in there, enjoying some sun and pages of a book, and Mark continuing to challenge me with things on the farm I never saw this city girl doing this year leaves me knowing I have all of my favorite things!

This year brought double digits for the first child in our house when Gracyn turned 10! She continues to be the girly girl as her favorite thing is planning a trip to Paris someday. [I can only hope Mom gets to take a long]. She was able to participate in showing at 4H this summer and enjoyed showing off her talents in finding a second hand outfit for $15, taking pictures, creating a video to tell about accessories in fashion, and even earned a Junior Purple for her stop motion video of her Lego Friends making a smoothie to share a healthy snack. She continues to participate in Girl Scouts and will have her 6th dance recital in May be learning moves in Hip Hop and Ballet.
This farm girl helped unload more than 40 bales of hay this summer! She loves to spend time milking, taking care of cows, learning, fixing, and building with her dad. Their latest project was painting the blind Mark made - her job was to paint the tires so they would blend in too! And as you read above her hard work paid off when she was able to shoot her first buck during first season. She has continued as a Brownie for Girl Scouts and along with Gracyn will sell cookies again in February. After taking a year off she has decided to try out Clover Kids for 4H again this year - she is not quite old enough to show an animal officially, but she did have her dad break out the harness this summer as she led a pretty tame calf they named Felicia around the yard. She is also working hard to learn a new Hip Hop dance each week.
This little girl started Preschool two days a week this fall and has already learned all of her letters (except Q) and loves to tell us what all the letters are on the shirts we are wearing. It is so fun to hear what her and her sisters share about their days at school. She spends most of her days at home trying to keep up with her big sisters and beating daddy back to the barn after feeding calves, but still finds time to snuggle with her mom and gives some of the best hugs around. She became quite the mermaid in the pool this summer and tried out  both ice and roller skating in the rinks this year. She loves spending time with the kitties in the barn and can always make us smile with the contagious laugh she has.