Journey to The Land of the Naked Trees

Yesterday, the kids and I took a walk on Grandpa’s farm. The sun had just set, and it was making a couple of trees at the west end of Grandpa’s farm look pretty awesome.
Sunday night, I took a walk with the kids in my new stroller (double. running. awesomeness.) and I pointed the trees out to the kids.
“Look!” I said, “See how awesome the naked trees look with the sun wehind them?”
*Note: wehind=behind and naked trees=trees with no leaves on them*
*I’m not the only parent who has started talking like their children. Pommiss.*

“Take a picture!” I said, and handed them my phone. That was a disaster because my son couldn’t figure out how to not put his finger over the lens, and my daughter was simultaneously JEALOUS that he got to go first and PETRIFIED that we were going to get killed by an oncoming vehicle.
But we got this, which isn’t terrible.

Yesterday, Grandpa’s trees looked like that. And I gasped. Loudly.
“What?” My daughter asked.
“Come here,” my voice sounded almost panicked, full of energy and excitement, “Come close! Quick!”
My kids both ran to my side. I crouched down on the ground and pointed toward the trees.
“Loooook. Far beyond the field they live -they wander.”
“Who, Mom?” My daughter asked, her eyes fixed on the distant trees.
“The PEOPLE! who LIVE! in the LAND of the NAKED TREES.”
The kids oooooohed.

“They’re small -as big as as bees. They think we are giants. They never come out…”
“Can we go SEE them?” asked my daughter.
“I don’t want to,” my son was fairly shaking, “That sounds scary.”

“We can’t see them,” I went on, “They dress only in clothes that are the colors of the trees they live in. BUT! We can visit them.”
“I want to! I want to!” Lacy jumped up and down.
“Ugghhhhhh,” Trenton whined.

“Tomorrow we will have a journey. Only brave people take journeys,” I said, “Are you BRAVE?”
“YES!” Lacy cried.
“Yeah…” Trent was unsure.
“We will take some food to The Land of the Naked Trees. We will have a picnic. We will share our food with them. Who will help me make blankets?”
“Me! Me!” The kids said.
And so the date was set. Preparations were made. And suddenly my house was abuzz with The Land of the Naked Trees and the Naked Tree People.
The “naked” applies to the trees and not the people, in case you forgot OR your mind is paddling through the gutter.
Also: if you remember: the naked tree people are dressed in tree colors.

This morning, I powered through an electric breaker issue and made WAFFLES, syrup, and two very small “blankets” for the naked tree people.
I threw an old blanket my husband has tried to throw away so very many times into a big basket, topped it with our food and wedged my camera inside and off we went!
To where?

I had a baby carrier in one hand and a basket in the other.
(“I had a terrible time trying to find a suitable basket.” -Can you name the movie? Can you?)

“Are you BRAVE?” I kept asking.
“YEAH! We are BRAVE!” My son would respond, his binoculars hanging from his neck. He was more sure of himself today -and determined to find some naked tree people.

Our cats are brave too.
Just so ya know.

Lacy ran ahead, ran up the small hill near the naked trees and proclaimed (I kid not), “This is the place!”

We laid down the tired blanket, said a prayer of gratitude, and ate our waffles in the Land of the Naked Trees while the cows watched and baby sucked on her own lip.

There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.

Ah, kids…

After lunch, we went in search of a possible naked tree person sighting.

Lacy swears she saw one (she’s pointing at it with her stick) and she’s pretty sure she found a naked tree person’s egg as well.
I didn’t find any tree people gems, but I did find gems in my memory card when we came inside. Gems like this:

And the kids made sure to find a small clearing between a few dried up camel thorns… they left some waffles on some blankets.

The blankets were green, of course.
The Naked Tree People would have wanted it that way.

March Madness

Lacy found one of our old engagement pictures and gushed, “Look! Look how young you are! When you come back from heaven you will look like this!”

Lacy really is something else. Really, really. That girl is smart.

And her little sister is showing a lot of personality for such a little thing. It makes for a really fun baby. She refuses to take a pacifier and she won’t suck her thumb… what will she suck? Well…

My husband couldn’t figure out who drew on my lip with a marker.
What a weirdo. What would lead him to believe I would allow someone to draw on me?

Honestly, that man gets the funniest ideas in his head…

His kids are pretty awesome. They all look like him. He has a pretty strong STAMP.

I’m just the vehicle.

And, like I said, I’m really enjoying this baby:

We all are.
I’m enjoying my other kids too… I haven’t forgotten about them.

In fact, just the other day I snuggled up with them on the couch and we watched an early 90’s version of “Hansel and Gretel.” Trenton was horrified. He couldn’t sit through it. He kept hiding under the covers.
“I just hate this, Mom! I hate it so much!”
Lacy watched it twice.
The movie wasn’t nearly as scary as eating tongue which -thanks to Steve -the kids and I did.

We are so daring.
And so darling.

Alice’s Blessing

I have been so excited for my little girl to get blessed. I was excited to hear her blessing, to see her in her blessing dress, to see family, to eat food… it was all too much for me and I woke up Sunday morning with terrible nausea. Thank goodness for my essential oils!
I made enough chicken gravy to feed an army that morning (I’m not exaggerating). I used three pounds of butter and 1 gallon of milk and I convinced myself that when it comes to special occasions, butter = love.
I butter my family.
I bathed Alice that morning and snapped this picture which will be whipped out when she’s 17 and her prom date is in the living room waiting for her to finish putting on her prom dress:

I love her after-bath hair.
Family was bustling around my house just before church started, but my bedroom was calm and quiet.
I had a few minutes to dress my baby in her precious blessing dress. My mother, her sisters, her daughters… all had been blessed in this dress. Lacy was blessed in it, and now Alice has been blessed in it as well.

I put her in the dress, and then I just HELD that baby. I looked at her beautiful blue eyes, I kissed her sweet new baby lips, and I cried because Moms can’t help but cry anytime the smallest speck of emotion rises up in their brains.
I felt the reality of daughters, of sisters -my daughters ARE my sisters and my sisters are daughters as well.
Her body, her soul, her spirit: they are all so priceless, so precious, so absolutely perfect.

The day she was born, my mind was screaming. The pain was so intense, the pressure was mind-blowing. Posterior baby all natural? No joke, people.
But despite all of that, Alice was calm. She was 100% calm. Calmness radiated from her brand new body, and every time someone held her for the first time they couldn’t help but notice.
“She is so calm.”
I felt such peace as her father held her and blessed her with the ability to be calm -to have a calming influence throughout her life -to be able to diffuse situations with that gift.

She’s been my baby that has smiled the earliest and the most. She talks more than any of the others. She loves to interact, and she loves social situations. Where there is a lot going on, she is at her calmest. Being at home in silence with nothing going on? She’s one fussy butt babe! I just love that about her.

The luncheon served was Hawaiian Haystacks and salad. There’s was WAY too much food (better than not enough!) and everyone went home full.

Because I don’t buy new blessing dresses for my girls, I’ve made a tradition of buying them an after-blessing dress. Alice’s came in the mail on Friday though it wasn’t due to be delivered until Monday (the day after the blessing). The fact that it came in time is a miracle! a tender mercy!

We had the luncheon at great-grandma Hansen’s house, and it was great!

I just love this little baby so much.
Everyone does. You can’t help it! Just ask Uncle Dusty:

All of my husband’s family was able to be there and it was AWESOME! I really lucked out in the in-law department. No foolin’. I still remember when I was 14 and my husband’s uncle JC (who is a little younger than my husband) had his mission farewell. JC was in my ward. I watched his family file into church and I watched a group of them come up to the microphone and sing a musical number and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that is one good looking family…’
And then I married one.
It’s how I roll…

And it’s a little off subject, but I should note that my father in law looks like William Holden. It’s uncanny.

I loved this weekend!
I’m slowly recovering.
The house is recovering even more slowly.
And Alice? She’s totally unaware of it all.

Frightened Baby Syndrome

It’s all in the family.