I feel the need to put it on the record that Raine picks her own outfits. Despite my best efforts to persuade her to wear something “normal” she insists on wearing Punky-Brewster-style outfits. Believe it or not, this outfit was a tamed down compromise of what she proposed to wear — plaid bermuda shorts with the pink leggings. Imagine her tearing around the playground in this outfit, along with her white pageboy hat and polka-dot sunglasses, that was the scene at the playgroup a couple weeks ago!
I’ll be honest, the reason I feel the need to put this on the record is because my sister and I have relentlessly harassed my mom about some of the hair-dos we are sporting in the family photo album. I can see Raine looking through this blog ten years from now saying, “Mom! What in the world did you dress me in!” So I just want to say, “IT WASN’T ME!!! That was all you baby!”
This year we had the full Stock Show experience. It started on a warm January day a few weeks ago when we watched the parade through downtown. It is almost two hours of horses — cowboys, rodeo queens, Texas rangers, Mexican riders, horses with braids, horses with their nails painted, jumping horses, horses pulling wagons, ponies pulling wagons, if it is possible to do with a horse then it was there — immediately followed by almost two dozen street sweepers trying to wash all the “apples” off the road. The kids loved every minute of that parade.
Then on Friday, we took Grandma Anderson to the rodeo. It was so much fun! During the grand entrance, Carter just about fell into the people in front of us as he tried to point to every horse in the arena, it was too much for him to handle!
We saw all sorts of exciting events. Bareback riding:
Then we made the rounds through the barns. We saw all sorts of perfectly manicured bovine and ovine (that’s cow and sheep to you city-slickers . . . wait, we are city slickers).
Along the way we snacked on giant corn-dogs, red-velvet funnel cake, and cinnamon roasted almonds.
Another fun, but un-photographed, event we saw was the gypsy horse jumping competition. These long-tailed, furry-footed, fairy-tale looking horses pranced around the arena jumping fences — a very stark contrast to the rough-and-rumble bronc riding we had seen earlier.
By the end of the day we were pretty exhausted . . . and heavy laden with deep-fried foods!
January has supplied us with some really BEAUTIFUL weather. To make the most of the sunshine — and to tame Raine’s insatiable need to make crafts — we made bird feeders. A LOT of bird feeders. We started with this one, made from a milk jug:
Then the Texas ruby-red grapefruits came into season and we made quite a few of these:
Finally, we whipped up this gooey concoction for our pine-cone feeder:
The grapefruit feeders were, by far, the most popular. They attracted all sorts of birds.
After watching a few birds attempt to eat from the milk-jug feeder, we realized that it needed a perch for them to stand on while eating. We added this large stick and it soon became a popular feeding spot.
Our pine-cone feeder had a few takers, but the cherries in the tree were far more popular.
Raine gave her first Primary talk today. She was super excited to be up there teaching the kids, but she was also kind of nervous. She climbed up to the podium and gave her talk like a natural-born teacher, but she spoke in her crazy nervous voice. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I recognized it as the voice she uses to talk to strange people who strike up a conversation with her in the grocery store.
Her topic was agency and she painted this CTR shield to hold up during her talk.
Here is the talk she wrote: “Agency is a gift from Heavenly Father that lets us choose. Heavenly Father and Jesus help us choose the right. Someday I am going to choose to go to the temple because I want to live with my family forever.”
Carter is officially in nursery!!! Raine held his hand and walked him the entire way to the nursery room. Then she gave him an encouraging shove through the door. Carter never even looked back, he was off playing and couldn’t be bothered with such things as kissing his mommy.
Carter is such a good kid. There have been a few days over the past couple months where DJ and I both had to do things during church and Carter just had to come along for the ride. The first Sunday of this year was one of those times. I was teaching Sharing Time and DJ was giving the Bishopric message so Carter came to Primary. He sat on one of the little chairs in the front row, with the CTR 4 class, and listened. He LOVED it! He was such a big kid — we laughed afterward because he was a lot more reverent than most of the kids in there.
Carter has the most adorable smile. He loves books, balls, his “wuf-wuf,” and his big sister. Anything she does, he does. From princess shoes . . .
. . . to baby strollers.
With Raine, I remember thinking that I would never forget how cute she was at this stage. But now I realize that I won’t, because I don’t. So I have been trying to get as many videos as possible of Carter’s current cuteness so I can look back and remember. Here is one of my favorites.