Friday, October 10, 2008

May the Fall Be With You

I love fall: the cool afternoons, the crunchy leaves, the fabulous food and the pending holidays. So here and the really fall-y things we have been up to:

We picked apples when my parents came to town over Conference weekend. The above picture can really only be titled "The Precious." It is well to remember how much I love His Preciousness when I hear him in the other room trying very hard NOT to nap. The last couple of weeks have brought major changes in our house. My gorgeous doll-baby toddles all over the house trying desperately to communicate, "talking" in his own fashion, and in general acting much more like a little person than a baby. It is funny and tender. It is liberating and heartbreaking. It is happy and sad. In light of his growing up, and his uncanny understanding of how to use a light saber, he will get a new blognym: YOUNGLING.

My nearly four year old is having a rough fall. His tantrums, which had once seemed to be subsiding are back in full force. We are trying to work our way through this one. On the upside, he loves school and is acting like he wants to try and read. I'm not really surprised: I think he is going to be my odd-man-out in some ways. His older and younger brothers so far look a lot, and even act a lot the same. He does not. He spoke and walked earlier, he is stockier. He has my fair skin and exactly my eye color. When he isn't tantrum-ing (mostly age-related) he is easily the mellowest of the three. Though all of my kids are amazing to me in their own ways, this is the one I watch with fascination over the way his mind works. His new blognym is PADAWAN. If you aren't a Star Wars fan that will mean very little, so I'll explain. In Star Wars terms, a Padawan Learner is someone who is an apprentice Jedi. This is very apt for my #2 at this phase in his life. He is anxiously soaking up everything around him. He also thinks that he must follow older brother in every particular.

Here is the "baby" with Grandma J. The best shot of these two was actually on her camera. If I could somhow teach Grandma how to send me a picture I may actually get a copy of it one day.

Plantboy got a chance to go fishing on the Alsea River the weekend before my parents came up. His parents are visiting later this week. He has been given strict instructions not to take off on my again just before company comes. I was cleaning my house until about 30 seconds before my parents' arrival. The spotlessnes lasted about 10 minutes. I will say, however, that Plantboy's 15 pound salmon was delicious.

This is kind of a lame-o soccer picture. The rest is all video footage. I will spare you. Imagine a school of hungry piranha and you get a sense of Scallywag's swarm soccer team. Or not so hungry piranha--they run after the ball, but swarming would indicate some kind of sincere interest.

Youngling hasn't been able to stay out of the apples since they were picked. Plantboy tried this particular picture about 8 times. He kept running away. I've never seen an 18 month old with such a highly developed sense of teasing. I'm sure it comes from being the youngest of three rowdy-ish boys.

This is Plantboy during a backpacking trip with the young men. The boys griped for two days solid. I think this greatly diminished hubby's own pleasure in the excursion. He came home, sank down on the couch and said, "Do all 14 year old boys complain so much? I just don't remember being such a whiner. If I'd heard one more word about how much they wanted to be home playing video games, I would have probably strangled one of them." Take home message? Don't send your boys to Scout camp with a deranged leader.

In addition to this, we did another 20 pints of applesauce and another 10 of salsa. The salsa is Plantboy's pride and joy. He is torn between hording it and generously giving it to everyone he talks to so that that can share his success. I think that hoarding will probably win the day.

The last three, however, have to be the best. Scallywag's new blognym can be non-other than JEDI MASTER. The Star Wars thing is definitely our latest kick that seems it will last for a while. I'm taping the Clone Wars every Friday night, having a special order Darth Vader pinata made for his birthday (beating it sill with their light sabers is the compromise to the full-on war he wanted all of his buddies to be a part of for the party), and wanting all the paraphernalia he can get his hands out.

I found a costume on-line and nearly ordered it, but decided at the last minute to check The Goodwill instead. Jackpot! I found a "tunic" and leggings in nearly the right size (the top a size too small and the bottom a size too large though both pieces are to the same costume), but mostly I found the Jedi master robe. He wore if for a solid 24 hours, until I warned that it might tear before he had a chance to wear it at his birthday party or on Halloween. He folded it very carefully then and is waiting patiently for a few repairs and modifications.

I imagine this is who he is fighting. Life size of course.

When I asked him why he kept holding up his hand he said, "I'm just using the Force, mom." Right, duh.


Janssen said...

Bart was an 11-year-old scout leader for two years and he said the same things - the boys were unbelievably whiney and only cared about their video games.

Kids today. . . (I'm an older person now, obviously).

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

And my husband can't understand why I don't want video games in our house.

Also, if I had Jedi robes, I'd want to wear them all the time, too. :)

Sunnie said...

love all the pics of your boys! they are too cute! i wish we had fall around here. i really love fall, but texas doesn't do it justice.

kanaboke said...

sometimes I think that time is going soooooo slowly, and then I see pics of your boys (Youngling in particular) and realize that time flies way too quickly! He was only a baby when you all left and now he's eating apples and running away from cameras...I can't even believe it!

Christie said...

Oh those cute boys! With their new blog names and the Star Wars theme, they remind me of my brothers. My oldest brother was WAY into Star Wars and has now shared that love with his own boys. It makes for good childhood memories. (I'm speaking from experience -- although my hair would never do Princess Leah's cinnabon hairstyle justice.) Thanks for sharing!

Mommy of Five said...

Cute boys! I love the new Star Wars Names. Are they over their Thomas Love??

At the reunion, Sterling asked for the strawbery jam and Plantboy said he was keeping it. Later, I saw we had it in the freezer at home. That Plantboy is very nice! (Or maybe Sterling swiped it??)

I hear the same thing about our YM and YW group. The leaders can't remember every being as whiny, emotional, or dramatic, as our youth.

Kathleen said...

So much to comment on, Nan. First things first. I seriously hope that you guys are buying for us for Christmas this year because I want some of that Salsa. That looks so yummy. Tell Jeff congrats on his Salmon. He must have been so proud. Your kids are all adorable. I love fall too. We got to pick apples off of someone's tree a couple of years ago and I just went crazy with the pictures. Precious is a great word.

Z. Marie said...

I love the apple-eating photo.


I've always reminded my kids to be appreciative of their leaders and to thank them for organizing the activity and then help clean up, because honestly, I'm sure most of the leaders have other things they'd rather be doing. The last thing they need is a bunch of gripey kids.

The above statement might make it sound like I'm some sort of June Cleaver but the truth is that the lesson has only stuck with the older kids. My younger two are still little hellions who probably make their Primary teachers want to go all apostate.


We called Stef "Queen Amidala" for years. My mom scored some Hanes undies stamped IRREGULAR at the Dollar Store and bought all they had in Stef's size. They featured a huge portrayal of Queen Amidala and her horizontal bouffant hair-do smack across the butt.


Can I just say how much I love Oregon? Those few days I spent there in August were glorious! By the time Monday rolled around I was trying to figure out ways to convince my Papi to move there. Sadly, the cost of living and the taxes are way more than a family of 8 can afford. But then I think about how much money we'll save on A/C bills.

Dickey said...

Can I come over?

Slyck and Slim said...

I have been thinking alot about you lately as I'm planning a bday party for my soon to be three year old on Halloween. I kept trying to remember what you used to do for your Jedi's bday parties so long ago. Those were fun memories. Your boys are growing up and you live in the most beautiful place. The hikes you must get to go on! And I can almost taste the dust on a freshly picked apple -- that is the best taste that is forever erased once they wax them before they ship em to the grocery store. Fall is the best. Your Youngling looks JUST like his mama!

Ashlee said...

Your littlest guy is seriously too cute. There's definite scheming behind those eyes. Love the pic of Joannie! And SO impressed with the canning...on my list of want-to-accomplish-someday. Way to go.

Amy said...

I can't believe how BIG your boys are getting. The party looks like it was a GREAT success.