Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sweet Prayers

Two Little Girls have recently decided that they would like for us to hear their prayers before they go to bed at night. This is already proving to be a sweet and touching addition to our already beloved bedtime routine, adding exponentially to the smiles and fond memories each night.

Littlest One's prayer tonight:

"Dear God, thank you for Bandit. And thank you for my mom, and my dad, and my sister. And thank you for Angel, but not Little Bay because he's a punk. And thank you for Goldi (even though she is handicapped) and for Grammy and Jupiter and Matilda and Lazarus and Lavender and Tinkerbell and Freckles and Twilight (even though she runs away from me) and Penelope. And thank you for the rooster-boys (except the one with the gold neck that tried to attack my mom's foot.) And thank you for Liberty (even though she is at Ms. Kris's house being 'breaded') and for Justice and for Justice's babies that she's gonna have. And thank you for Huck, and thank you for Izzy, and thank you for Milo and for all of the barn cats, Batman, Buffy, Fluffy, Poofy, Sally, and Gabriella. And thank you for my room. But not my bathroom, because I don't live in it. Amen."

And the Oldest's:

"Dear God, thank you for my mom and dad and sister. And please make Izzy's leg better before my birthday so she can play in the snow with me on my birthday. Amen."

Don't they just warm your heart? Okay, so they aren't perfect prayers with fancy words and all of that. But it's clear that the things that matter most to these girls are very real things - their family, and their animals. Both of those things are precious, and I'm glad that they realize it. I hope they continue to thank God for these blessings, and that they never take them for granted. And I hope that, as long as they live, all it takes to satisfy their hearts are the people and the animals that they love.

Oh, deer: The Irony

Deer season came and went, without a buck to put in the freezer.

The irony of this, of course, is that the day before my hunting season started, my dog was grumbling and looking out at the driveway, where I saw a lovely little buck, just inside the driveway gate. He was just standing there, watching and listening, grazing occasionally on the long grasses along the fence. Eventually he made his way up onto our mountain, where it is clear that he disappeared into thin air for a week.

And then, after spending a week watching out every window, driving all over looking for deer, and even tromping up the mountain in eight inches of snow, wearing a skirt and carrying a rifle in a last ditch effort to find a deer, I look out the living room window the morning after hunting season ends and there's a little buck, walking along the ditch at the fence line, grazing with a couple of does. It would've been about a 25 yard shot from the balcony of my bedroom. But he was safe, hunting season was over. I'm pretty sure he knew it.

Last night though... last night takes the cake for irony. It was nearly midnight when I woke up to a sound of something banging around on the front porch. Scared the heck out of me, as no one wants to hear anything that close to their front door in the middle of the night. Our dog wasn't impressed either, and started growling and barking. Andrew got up and went to see what was going on while I looked out our bedroom window, which overlooks the porch. As he makes his way down the stairs, I watch a small herd of deer scatter off the front porch and back out the driveway. Several others followed. We went back to sleep, hearts racing after waking up in such a startling manner, only to have it happen again an hour later.

This time, I walked downstairs, turned on the porch light and looked out the window. There was a four point buck, munching away at one of the pumpkins that had been decorating the porch. He was knocking over flower pots, trying to shove his antlers into the little space where the pumpkin had fallen. I opened the door, and off he went.

Two days after hunting season ends, and I'm shooing a buck off of my front porch.

It's almost hilarious. But it would be more hilarious if I'd have had a venison steak for dinner, first.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Hunting"... if it can be called that.

With the back seat of the truck filled with kids and guns, we set off this afternoon to try to find me a buck to shoot.

An hour of "Are we almost there?" and we arrive at a spot my husband deems worthy of hunting.

Two Little Girls, swimming in adult-sized blaze orange vests, hopping up and down in excitement as we tell them repeatedly, "Hush! The deer can hear you!" We get our gear together and set off down a trail.

The Man of My Dreams and I walk along side by side, guns slung over our shoulders, as our children wander around as silently as they are able.  Which is, of course, not silent at all.

It's amazing how loud Two Little Girls can be when they are trying their best to be Very Quiet. The Oldest immediately gets hiccups. Littlest One whispers non-stop about every little bit of nature she sees. The Oldest tromps through every bit of mud she can find. The Littlest scuffs along in her boots, occasionally breaking out into a skip. And then she whispers to us about how quiet she is trying to be, and isn't she being so very quiet, and do we think the deer can hear her since she's being so quiet? If it is possible to whisper at the top of one's lungs, she's mastered the skill of it.

We sit after awhile, listening and looking. Littlest One curls up into a blaze orange ball in the dirt, tired from walking and enjoying a rest. The Oldest sits next to me, chewing a blade of grass and listening to the wind rush through the trees. That lasted about two and a half minutes. Then she announced, in that deafening whisper, "I'm restless." So she wanders up the trail a bit to examine a culvert where a seep of water is trickling through. Littlest One, fully rested after that two and a half minutes, sits up to scoop up handfuls of dirt and watch it trickle through her fingers. She then rolls around on the ground and rips her vest. "Oops!" she 'whispers'.

We get back in the truck and drive for awhile longer. Two Little Girls amuse themselves in the backseat by making silly noises and falling into fits of hysterical giggles that had me giggling along with them. We get out to walk again. The Oldest crunches through all the crusty, dried mud she can find. Littlest One pokes a stick into every snow bank on the side of the trail. As we turn to go back to the truck again (walking any distance is nearly impossible with two of the short-legged crowd along) they run to a fallen log and balance-beam their way across it. We arrive at the truck with two new 'walking sticks' that they toss into the bed. They will be added to the pile of walking sticks which has been acquired over the course of several years.

We give up on hiking. Two Little Girls play "statue" in the back seat. They are the noisiest, giggliest statues I have ever seen (or heard.) We proceed to drive... and drive... and drive. Bumpy, bouncy, washboard roads. Eventually they lay their heads against their windows and close their eyes.

No, we didn't find any deer. With two small children along, what we were doing could hardly be considered hunting. But it was sweet, and they had fun, and we were all together. I'm disappointed that I didn't manage to put meat on the table (yet) but there's still time, and in the meantime, we created some great memories.

And tomorrow, The Man of My Dreams and I will sit quietly on our mountain while Two Little Girls make themselves a breakfast of cold cereal and play as loudly as they wish - in the play room. Hopefully we'll have a bit more luck that way!