Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Week in Review

Clayton cannot be without a hat. All day long, he has some sort of hat on most of the time. His cowboy hat, my cowboy hat, Jake's or Caroline's. Doesn't matter. Or his baseball cap. Or Jake's or a little bucket hat that has stitching to look like a baseball an is too small for him. Or, my favorite, a little pink Easter hat of Caroline's.

We enjoyed a couple of incredibly warm days last week and took advantage of every minute outside. (Good thing, too, since we've had 5 days now of overcast, chilly, drizzly weather.)

Clayton and Grandpa hopped on the tractor last week to spread our er, homemade fertilizer in the garden (We live on a horse ranch, people. I'm sure you can figure out what I'm talking about!) When they were done and Grandpa turned off the tractor to get Clayton down, he had a complete tantrum. Clayton definitely belongs on a farm and I'm sure will be our tractor driver in a few years during hay season.

Yesterday, while the kids were playing/watching some TV, Clayton walked up to Caroline and just put his arms around her. She reciprocated and they stood there for about 5 minutes, snuggling as they viewed a little "Max & Ruby."

When she wakes up in the morning, Caroline has recently begun climbing into Clayton's crib where they will play & look at books until someone comes to get them. Clayton wanted to return the favor, I guess, and insisted on sleeping in his sister's bed last night. Just to see what they'd do, we let them. The condition was that they were not to leave the bed. They were very obedient. I could hear them playing for at least an hour after we put them down, but when I went to check on them just before I turned in, this was what I found.

Again, Clayton's hat (this is the little bucket hat I was describing earlier.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


It was haircut night for the Butler boys last night. Clayton was getting a little shaggy. I hadn't intended to buzz it all off when I started, but: he's wiggly and I didn't want to fight him, it's getting warmer out, and I just got the itch to try something new on his little head. I think he's kindof cute with a buzz, but was worried I'd wake up this morning regretting that I hadn't left a little to comb. No worries - this morning dawned bright & shiny (so did that little head) and I still think he's darling. Plus, hair grows, right?

Jake wanted a buzz too. Uh. No. Sorry, sweetheart.
And, I seriously love warm weather. We can cut hair outside on the deck and I don't have to think about all that hair in my kitchen. Yay!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Mom!" (Door slams open and hits the wall) "The Easter Bunny Came Last Night!!!"

That is how we discovered that Caroline finally "gets it" about holidays. She has to walk through the living room to get to our room, and so, of course, she saw the bunny 'droppings' (jelly beans lining every inch of furniture) and could hear the "peep peep" of new baby chicks. Since the Easter Bunny knows we live in the boonies and that Sunday is not only hectic for us to get to church early but also reserved as a day for our family to really focus on the real reason we celebrate Easter, he visits us on the Saturday morning before. It was so much fun to watch the kids hunt for treats and enjoy their Easter loot. The sweetest was to see their expressions with the new chicks we got to replace the ones the Raccoon got in the fall. They still can't get enough of them, and I can't wait for the dang balls of fluff to get big enough to go in the coop. Not to mention the fact that our hands are starting to get somewhat chapped & raw from all the hand washing after handling them.

When Caroline was Clayton's age, we got tons of pictures of her picking jelly beans up one by one and savoring them with the cutest expressions on her face. Clayton shovelled them into his mouth & basket so fast, I couldn't capture the moment most of the time. But we did get some priceless shots. Later in the day, when cousins came over, we dyed eggs together and just had a good time being with each other. So here's documentation of our day. Enjoy.

"Wow. Where do I start???"

After a couple of trips back and forth, Caroline figured out that it was easier to carry her basket with her on the hunt.

When Caroline describes her Easter egg hunt experience, she says that Clayton got to look for the "low" ones...
...and she got to search for the "high ones."
Easter Basket Booty

A Very Long Visit to Utah!

At the beginning of March, my brave mom and younger sister Marilyn drove out here together & spent a few days. We visited the doctor, did errands and just hung around the house. Marilyn helped me put together bunches of casseroles which we stuck in the freezer over at the bunkhouse in preparation for my absence. Then, on Thursday the 12th, they left. They drove 12 hours to Minneapolis to pick up my other sister, Lucinda, turned around and drove almost the entire way back on Friday. Saturday morning, after an overnight stop in Rapid City, SD, they came back to get the kids and I. Caroline was so excited it was difficult to contain her. She had her backpack on 10 minutes before they got to the house and we found her outside at one point waiting to get into "Mona's van" for the 12 hour drive to Utah. The kids did exceptionally well on the long journey. Probably because they had 2 sweet Aunties to entertain them. Me, on the other hand - not so much. The cold I'd been battling hit full force and I spent most of the time in misery. We got to Lehi, Utah and stayed in a hotel to regroup. On Monday, we finished the last 4 hours of the trip after a stop at the Bean Life Science Museum on the BYU campus (where we had "special priveleges" to see the reptile room and hold the snakes - since I used to work there) and a visit to Deseret Book to pick up Jake's birthday present. (I'm SO EXCITED to give it to him!!!)

Caroline & Clayton were happy to FINALLY be in Monticello.
Well, Clayton was just happy to give loves to his favorite auntie at the moment.
Monticello was a treat! We just enjoyed being at Papa & Mona's house and visiting with Lucinda & Catherine for the first week. Tuesday night, Mom, Lucinda & I were able to attend a beautiful presentation of "The Ten Virgins" - the same one I directed earlier this year. It was beautiful, and so wonderful to just sit and enjoy and not sing & direct.

Then on Friday, we were joined by Nannette & Marilyn. We all helped Catherine get gorgeous for the prom and she left on her date. Papa brought out a surprise for each of us: A corsage or boutenierre. There was even one for Darlamarie, who passed away 7 1/2 years ago - with her favorite flowers, gerber daisies. So before we got all pretty, we bundled up and visited the cemetery to take Darla her flowers.

Catherine & her date, Jesse (my 5th grade teacher's son and a State Champ wrestler!)
Papa & Clayton swapping hats, getting ready to go outside.

Dad & Nanny "pinning on" Darla's corsage.

Then we went home and gussied ourselves up for the prom. I won't tell you how late my kids stayed up that night, but it was a lot of fun to see my youngest sister's handiwork. Catherine was prom chair and did a beautiful job decorating for the dance to the theme of "Star-crossed Lovers". I'm not sure what it's like other places, but in Monticello, the whole community shows up and pays a pretty penny to watch the Junior class perform a "promenade" - a choreographed dance. Many citizens just go to prom for the sake of getting dressed up and getting to dance with their sweetheart - in fact, several of my high school friends who married each other went to the prom for their "date night". I thought that was very sweet and it made me miss Jake terribly! I danced with Clayton. He was an okay substitute. And almost as handsome!

Caroline giving Aunt Lucinda a pedicure the night before Prom.
What in the heck is that thing you're pinning to my clothes???
Caroline's first corsage.
"Oh, Mom's sure pretty, but she's no Jake!"

Watch out, Mom!!!

Whew, no pokes!
Nannette is really concentrating. I think she was worried Dad might miss.

Is prom a spectator sport anywhere else in the U.S., or just Monticello?

Catherine was voted 1st attendent to the Prom queen, which happened to be her best friend, Kendyl. Our 2nd cousin, Jenna, who has Downs Syndrome, was voted Prom princess by her class.

Awwwww, aren't they cute?

We're not so great with the whole centered self-portrait thing. Trust me. We tried & tried. With both cameras.
The next week and a half we enjoyed visiting with friends, having playdates, reading story after story with Mona (thanks Mona, for being so patient!) and going to "the Valley" with Papa to feed the horses, sheep & bulls. He even got out the kite a few times to help Caroline fly it. My camera died, so I don't have any pictures of any of the fun.