Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pirate Party Planning

Pardon my absence but I've been busy the last couple of days. For those of you who have followed my blog for awhile now, you already know that I am a crazy party planner! I love birthday parties and am excited to now have an excuse to throw two next year... (although Daddy has different ideas about that). He thinks that since our children will have birthdays so close together, that we should have just one big party for the two. I say, OK, but that means I'm going all out! And in case you were wondering, yes, I do already have ideas of how to do just that!
Normally I do a mural on one our basement walls to go with the theme of our party, but wasn't able to finish this year's painting due to pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm really disappointed because it's something I love to do and Jaxon was helping this year. I plan to finish after "Baby" comes and the CTS disappears, but I'm going to be busy w/ a few other projects so it may be awhile before it ever gets done!
This year's theme is Captain Jaxon's Pirate Party. I have been wanting to do a pirate theme for some time now. There are tons of party supplies out there for this theme and it seems to continue to trend well in the party supply world. Here's the thing about this theme that really bothers me though... it's just not cute enough! Most of the supplies I have found have been kind of scary and I am not into "scary pirates" at all... I like my pirates cute & cuddly! Kent thinks I have lost my mind! "Cute & cuddly pirates? Only you could create a cute and cuddly pirate!" - Kent
I am fully aware that some day my children are going to come to me and say, "Mom, could we go a little less cute and do a little more cool?!", but until then, this Mom is doing as much cute as I can! And while all of the supplies are run by Jaxon first, I do admit that I am very strategic about picking and designing the supplies before they are run by him, making sure to not include anything that isn't cute enough!

Here are few of the things I've been working on! Everything pictured came from Hobby Lobby... I simply added the personalized touches to each product. The image at the top of my post is a serving bowl, it came as a set of two. I plan to use one as a "party favor" dish and the other will serve as a food bowl.

The banner pictured above was exactly what I was looking for but I did make a few changes to it by personalizing one of the tiles. The favor bags were given personalized touches by adding the names of each of Jaxon's party guests.

The formula cans are something I use every year... I simply wrap them in scrapbook paper and personalize them to fit with the theme. And finally, the little, wooden pirate hat on a stick is a fun "add-in" that I place in each of the formula cans along with a few balloons to make centerpieces for each table. These I have also been able to find each year at Hobby Lobby (I love that place)... they cost about 67 cents a piece. I hot glue them to kabob skewers and stick them into the weights for my balloons so they stand up straight.

I have a few more last minute things to finish up and I will be done with this year's party planning. It's bittersweet every year when we get to this stage, but even more so now that I will no longer be planning for just one child, but two!

Friday, September 24, 2010

This Week @ PreSchool...

Here's a review of some of the fun things Jaxon did at PreSchool this week!

Monday, September 20, 2010...
Today in preschool we got to ride on the BUS to go and get our pictures taken. Exciting! The preschoolers also painted with corncobs, rolling them in paint and then on papers to make designs. We sang our new nursery rhyme for the week, "Baa Baa Black Sheep" but we worked on our color recognition by changing the color... of the sheep. Baa Baa "Purple" Sheep made the kids giggle pretty hard :) ~ Mrs. Amy

Jaxon had to be at school a little early on Monday morning for his pictures which was not a problem... he's usually ready to leave every morning by about 6:30 anyway! Out front the big, yellow school bus was waiting w/ their driver who was greeting the kids as they arrived. Jaxon couldn't get out of the car fast enough... he was so excited! When I got there to pick him up, he was grinning from ear to ear... let's hope he grinned that big for his pictures! Daddy had lots of questions about the bus ride... Jaxon's only response was that their driver drove slow, "He was an old man, Dad."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010...
Today we painted with sweetened condensed milk, making colorful, glossy pictures. It was fun to drizzle and swirl this unusual paint. The preschoolers also sorted a variety of farm products by which animal we receive them from. Eggs and milk were easy, but where does bacon come from? ~ Mrs. Amy

When we get home from PreSchool, it's time to make lunch. Normally I ask Jaxon what they've had for snack, what books they read, songs they sang and if they've played outside that day. He can normally tell me what they've had for snack and if they've played outside but other questions don't get answered until later on in the day.

While making lunch Jaxon asked where sausage comes from, I thought nothing of it because it's not unusual for him to ask questions like this. After telling him that it comes from pigs, he chimed in, "So does bacon!" At that point he went on to share what they discussed at school about farm products, and has been full of questions ever since about where certain foods come from!

Thursday, September 23, 2010...
Today in preschool we completed a new class book, a lift the flap farm book called, "Good Morning, Farm!" I was really impressed with the artwork and I am sure you will love the book when you see it. All of the kids said the nursery rhyme "Baa Baa Black Sheep" perfectly, and got a small piece of candy for their memorization prize. ~ Mrs. Amy

I am so excited to see their new book! Jaxon hasn't said much about it but he has definitely been singing "Baa Baa Green Sheep" a lot this week! (We even drew pictures of green sheep with chalk outside.) After PreSchool, Jaxon had a playdate with his classmate Andrew. They went out for pizza, checked books out at the library, went shopping at Dollar General and played at Andrew's house. Jaxon had such a good time and can't wait to play again soon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesdays w/ Mommy

Yesterday should have been Library Day but after a bit of car trouble and a very exhausted Mama... the books were put on hold till Friday! Not sure what it was about our day, but I couldn't get going! I fell asleep every time I sat down (which was quite often), and poor Jaxon had to keep waking me up!

In order to keep him busy we did some chalk drawings, watched some movies we hadn't seen in a while and caught up on a few art projects for our farm theme.

Monday afternoon we had popcorn for a snack and I don't know about you, but we never finish an entire bag at snack time. Normally our pet steer, Crutch, gets the left overs! But after finding this cute craft, there wasn't much left for poor Crutch!

All you need for this project is a piece of white paper (preferably something thick like card stock or construction paper). You will also need a pair of scissors, glue, a few markers and leftover popcorn. We started by drawing a sheep on the paper, we then cut him out and drew a face on his head. And finally we were ready to start gluing on the popcorn! Your sheep ends up looking like he's all woolly and ready for winter in his popcorn coat!
For our next little project, we decided to make a piece of corn on the cob, (one of Jaxon's favorite foods from the farm)! Again you will need all of the same things you used for your popcorn sheep but instead of white paper, you will need yellow. There's no need for markers with this project, just a pair of scissors, glue and whole kernel field corn (that's ready for harvest)! This project is great for improving fine motor skills! Picking up each kernel of corn and gluing them in rows also helps with counting!

We also checked on our seed experiment. Jaxon was excited to see the first sign of a plant growing from his pumpkin seeds. (It's hard to see but there is a little, green leaf that has sprouted from his seed.) He also discovered that the seeds are starting to grow into the napkin which is pretty cool!
And I thought since normally I review a few new books, that I'd throw this bit in about our at-home field trip we took the other day to Grandpa's dairy. Grandpa has only cows on his farm but there is another animal that we see quite often when visiting and those are pigeons! In the picture above Jaxon is holding a pigeon feather. He was really excited to find this feather because we are currently reading a new book we got from his school book orders called, "The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog".

The author of this book, Mo Willems, has won 6 Emmy Awards for his writing on Sesame Street. We had never read any of his stories before about Pigeon, but we will definitely be reading some now... this book is really cute!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reflections of Motherhood

One of my FaceBook friends and fellow bloggers, Holly, posted a link to a site called GodTube earlier this evening that I found to be really cool! Like YouTube, GodTube has videos of all sorts, all of which have a Christian message. The video Holly linked to FaceBook led me to find this video called Reflections of Motherhood. The mothers featured in the video were asked to write something on a card that they would have liked to have told themselves, before their first child was born.

Looking back, the only advice I could have given myself at that time was this...

RELAX! Remember no one's perfect, including your child! Take in every moment, they go by way too fast! Take time to appreciate your spouse for all of his good qualities, they are about to really shine through! Remember that one day you will sleep at night again, longing to be kept awake by another tiny, crying baby!

What advice would you give yourself?

Seeds Experiment Update

Last week on my "Tuesdays w/ Mommy" post, I blogged about a science experiment that we could observe over a period of time. We are starting to see some changes in our little seeds! Here is Jaxon w/ one of the pumpkin seeds. He was so excited to see that one of them has now sprouted after only 3 or 4 days.

I took these pictures on Friday. Today we will take them out again and see how much they've changed since we observed them on Saturday.

And our corn crop has now started to show some signs of growth. All 3 of his kernels sprouted and he couldn't have been happier!

Little Boys... BIG Toys

Jaxon and I got a call from Uncle Tony Thursday night telling us that we needed to come and see what he had at his house! He was all excited because he was in the process of digging a BIG hole to bury some of the junk around his place. W/out hesitation, we rushed right over to see this BIG piece of equipment he was using to dig the hole! But when we got down the road to the dairy, we were sidetracked by yet another digger! We stopped to take a few pictures w/ what I thought Uncle Tony must have been talking about, wondering the entire time why he had brought the digger back to the dairy if he was using it at his place! Jaxon was really intent on finding this hole in the ground and kept insisting that we go to Tony's because the hole had to be there!It was starting to get dark and I was ready to go back home when Jaxon noticed Grandpa heading up the road in the tractor. He knew where Grandpa was headed and continued insisting on getting over to Tony's to find that hole! "Mom, if we go to Tony's, you can see Alivia!" So now my own child is bribing me! I told Jaxon we would go over there, but if there was no hole we needed to get home! Before we left I told him to jump up on one of the tracks, open the door, get inside and I'd take one last picture of him "driving" the digger... the door was locked! This was very unusual! When we got over to Uncle Tony's, there was the hole and another digger! (The digger at the dairy belonged to someone else, hence the locked door!) I'm not too sure who was more excited about this BIG toy... Jaxon or Uncle Tony! I wanted to take a few pictures but it was too dark and I was concerned that if I took my eyes off Jaxon for too long he'd be in the hole! I promised him that we'd go back over sometime this week during the day so he could investigate this hole a little further. If I know him, he'll insist on going today, so maybe I'll get some pictures of Uncle Tony's BIG hole yet!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Smell That Dairy Air

We talk a lot about senses with our children. "What do you see?","How does it feel?", "What was that sound?", "How does it taste?", "What's that smell?" Visiting a dairy farm (for some), can be a sensory overload! Jaxon's PreSchool class visited a dairy this week on their very first field trip. And these little troopers got to experience first hand each and everyone of their 5 senses!

I have to admit, when Jaxon's teacher first told me that they'd be visiting a dairy for their first field trip, I was a little nervous! In the back of my mind all I could think was, "Please don't let it be Grandpa's dairy!" I was afraid if it were, when it came time to leave, we'd never get Jaxon back on the "bus"! Luckily, there are a few dairy's in our area and it was a relief to hear that they'd be touring a different one!

I was lucky enough to be able to tag along and see first hand how a tour is done for a group of 7 very curious young people. Mrs. Becky of Ohlde's Dairy, was nice enough to guide us through the process of how milk gets from the cow to the store. She started our tour w/ a look at the milk parlor. The kids were able to stand and watch as a group of Holsteins had their udders cleaned and milked. She passed out a piece that is placed on the teats, taken off of the actual milking machines for the kids to see and touch... Jaxon of course wanted to take this little souvenir home! (I reassured him that we could probably find him one at Grandpa's farm if he really liked it that much!)

Here is Jaxon holding the piece off the milking machine.

And while we are on the topic of teats, Mr. Jaxon gave me a very informative speech the other day about our heifer. While we were out checking our calves Wednesday afternoon, Jaxon informed me that "Mama" was needing us to milk her "teeth"! "You see her udder Mom?" She wants us to milk her teeth!" I explained to him that "Mama" isn't quite ready to be milked yet since she hasn't had a baby yet... he corrected me at that point and said that yes she had, all of the small calves in our pen are her babies! He'd even seen some of those babies getting milk from her "teeth"! How do you argue with that?!

After our tour of the milk parlor, Mrs. Becky took us into the bulk tank room. She had the kids feel a pipe that goes directly from the milkers to the bulk tank asking them, "does it feel warm or cold?", it felt warm. She then had them feel the actual tank and again asked what they felt, this time they felt cold since the milk is cooled in the tank. They were told all about how the milk truck comes to pick up the milk and takes it off to be shipped out to stores where we buy it.

Here are the kids listening to Mrs. Becky as she explains the process of cooling the milk.

Here are Jaxon, Mrs. Amy, Josh and Cody feeling the bulk tank.

Next, we were paraded back through the milk parlor and out to see where the milk cows sleep and eat. On our way out the kids were excited to see a few pieces of farm equipment... the combine was a BIG hit! When we got outside and into the free stall barn, I found it pretty hilarious that every time one of the cows pooped or peed the kids had to point it out... this happens a lot! Mrs. Becky talked to the kids all about what the cows are given to eat and drink and how much. She compared the amount of water they consume in a day to the amount that our bathtubs can hold! The kids were allowed to pick up the silage and sift through it to see what was in it.

This is the entire class w/ their teacher & our tour guide, Mrs. Becky.

While we were visiting the free stall barn, the kids were lucky enough to watch as a worker bedded down some fresh sand for the cows to sleep on. He uses a skid loader to bring the sand in and place it into the stalls... the kids were fascinated by this! At one point all 7 of the little munchkins had their heads through the stances... it was pretty cute!

Here they all are watching the skid loader.

I think for most of the kids that the best part of the entire tour was visiting the newborn calf. The kids were encouraged to stop and pet a female Jersey that was born that morning... she was adorable as you can see! And for some of the kids, this was a first!

Here's Jaxon's class petting the newborn calf.

Jaxon's friend Aiden isn't a huge fan of animals but cozied right up to this sweet, little baby. (He's the little boy to the left of Jaxon in the blue sweatshirt. His Mommy was so excited to see him get right down with the others and pet the calf!)
At the end of the tour, Mrs. Becky led us back into the barn and served up a refreshing snack of chocolate milk and cheese curds. The kids got to share snack time with one of the employees who was having his lunch. What a great way to end a really fun and educational field trip!

Here are some of the students enjoying their snack.

After the kids finished their snacks, they took some time to stop and look at the posters on the walls hanging in the break room. Jaxon & I even found a picture of his uncles Tony & Micah and aunt Sam from a club herd project through 4-H!

Jaxon and I both had a really good time! It was so much fun to see the excitement on all of the little ones faces as they got to experience something most people don't see everyday! I asked Jaxon, after we got home from the tour, where he'd like to go for our "at-home field trip" this theme. He suggested that we head over to Grandpa's dairy and visit his cows and I think we might just have to do that!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesdays w/ Mommy

Jaxon and I had so much fun w/ our first experiment of the day Tuesday, that we decided to try another one. This time we picked something that we could observe over a period of time.

Last summer we planted pumpkins and gourds and had planned on doing the same this year but decided against doing so when I found out I was pregnant. I didn't think at the time that I'd probably want to be doing much weed pulling this summer... and I am so glad I didn't have to!

I had already purchased several packages of seeds this spring so we were prepared to do this experiment. Plus, we feed whole kernel corn to our calves so we had some of that on hand too! The only other things you will need for this project are paper towels or napkins, water and sandwich bags.
After gathering our supplies, we first started our experiment by dampening our napkins. We then placed three seeds on one damp napkin and three kernels of corn on the other. Next, Jaxon folded the two napkins in half and placed each one in it's own sandwich bag. DO NOT close your bags, the seeds and kernels need air to breathe. I labeled each baggie and dated them so we could tell them apart. I also drew pictures on each one so Jaxon could tell what was what. And finally, Jaxon hung the bags in the kitchen window to expose the seeds and kernels to some sun light.

At our house we are always discussing crops. Every time we go in the car, Jaxon and I play a game where I point to a field and he tells me what's growing in it. (I sometimes wonder if he'd been a girl what games we might play?!) This experiment was right up his alley and the first thing he asked this morning was to see his seeds.

Over the next week and a half we will be watering and observing our plants each day to see how they change. Farmer Jaxon is looking forward to watching his crop flourish!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Farm Science ~ Milk Experiment

I'm always doing art projects with Jaxon but decided that we needed to mix it up a bit and try something different for a change. I'm hoping that by doing some fun hands-on experiments, I can encourage Jaxon to get excited about science! To keep w/ the "farm" theme, we chose an experiment that uses milk. This a very PreSchooler friendly project that once again uses ingredients that can be found in your kitchen.

You will need...

  • a shallow dish

  • 1/2 a cup of room temperature milk

  • food coloring

  • a few drops of dish soap

  • Q-Tips

Find a cookie sheet or other shallow dish and set it on the table. This experiment works best with a shallow dish. (I used a small frying pan.)

Pour a half a cup of room temperature milk into the shallow dish. If you get the milk directly from the refrigerator then you can microwave the milk to room temperature. Make sure your preschooler can see the milk easily in the shallow dish.

Squirt the food coloring around various spots of the milk. It's best to keep the colors close for this experiment. Take a Q-Tip and dip it into the dish soap and touch it to the milk on the sections with the food coloring. Hold it there for a few seconds, approximately 5 to 10.

Remove the Q-Tip and notice the continuous swirls going on even without the Q-Tip.
Dip the Q-Tip in the dish soap again and then touch the milk to continue the swirls.

We swirled and swirled our colors until they had all mixed together. It was fun to see the expression on his face when the soap touched the food color for the first time! During our experiment we talked about where the milk that we used came from and why he thought that cow's milk was white not green!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jaxon's ArtBoard ~ Back to School w/ Bears

Jaxon's PreSchool class just finished up their theme "Hungry Bears", last Thursday. Here is a rundown of their first two weeks taken from their PreSchool FaceBook page! (These are all quotes from Jaxon's teacher, Mrs. Amy!)

"Hooray for the First Day! We had a great time in preschool today starting to learn about BEARS. We sang the Gummy Bear song "Down at the candy store, what did I see, 5 little gummy bears smiling at me, along came Jaxon with a penny one day, he bought the green one and he took it away". We work on our counting and color recognition with this fun song!" ~ Mrs. Amy

"Today in preschool we made our first class book, Preschooler, Preschooler, Who Do You See? The book is making the rounds home with the kids, so when it comes to your house please enjoy it with your child, then return it to preschool for the next family. We also went "On a Bear Hunt", pretending to climb trees, swim rivers, and tiptoe into the bear's cave." ~ Mrs. Amy

"Today in preschool we wrote in our journals for the first time, working on our small motor skills with pencils and crayons. We also played Winnie the Pooh Memory, and tried to remember where the pictures were hidden. In Jesus Time, we prayed to say thanks for our favorite animals. Cody is partial to dogs, Andrew and... Jaxon like frogs, Riana likes elephants, Aiden's favorite are cheetahs, and Ethan likes kitties." ~ Mrs. Amy

"Today in preschool we cut out bears and gave them some good smelling fur, coffee grounds! We ate gummy bears for snack, and if we counted our bears for Mrs. Amy, we got some more. Mrs. Amy read us Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, and we sorted the 3 Bears items into Small, Medium, and Large sizes. We also went to Chapel... for the first time, Baptismal Remembrance chapel, and the preschoolers were excellent listeners!" ~ Mrs. Amy

A BIG thanks goes out to Mrs. Amy for sharing what their class did on those first few days! Here at home we continued w/ the "Hungry Bears" theme by cutting out pictures of bears from magazines, creating our "coffee bears", reading books about bears and painting pictures of bears using our homemade watercolors.
This is a picture Jaxon drew of his teddy bear that he brought from home on Thursday. The class finished up their theme w/ a special "Teddy Bear Day". Jaxon's bear apparently has two noses and wears glasses according to his picture... what a wild imagination he has!

Today they start w/ their "Farm" theme. When I dropped him off this morning he was headed straight for the "corn cob" sensory table... can't wait to hear all about what they learned today!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Year of Memorable, Mommy Moments

Today I celebrate my first anniversary as a Mommy Blogger. What started out as a gift for Jaxon's grandparents (on Grandparent's Day 2009), has turned into my personal place of refuge! At the time, I thought what better way to share stories from our everyday lives w/ those around us that miss out on so much. There were so many times that I thought, I need to remember this so I can share it w/ so and so, and then like always would forget. After going back and rereading all of my posts over the last year, I had forgot some of my favorite Mommy Moments too!

My most favorite moments come from "Jaxon quotes". Here is a list of my top 5 favorite "Jaxon quote" posts, over the last year...

  1. Wrestling Rather than Rhyming
  2. Santa Questions
  3. Lots & Lots of Questions
  4. Motivation to Keep w/ the Diet
  5. Butt Scratching Demo

Scroll through my "Blog Archive" off to the right hand side and read for yourself what kept me laughing all year long! And while you're at it, share some of your favorite "kid quotes" w/ me that keep you laughing?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday's Photos ~ This Week @ PreSchool

Jaxon's PreSchool has a FaceBook page where his teacher can write about their day, communicate with us parents and upload pictures. I love this because I am an avid FaceBooker and don't always get a whole lot of detail from Jaxon about what he and his class did while at school!
These are a few of the pictures shared this week on their PreSchool page! This is a picture that was taken last week of Jaxon with his entire school. It's kinda small, but he's on the first row, second from the left. (He has his eyes closed!)
Here is a picture of Jaxon with one of his favorite PreSchool playmates, Ethan. They were mixing up a bowl of chocolate pudding for a painting activity. Jaxon sampling some of the paint (or chocolate pudding)! Yesterday, Jaxon's class had Teddy Bear Day where they were all asked to bring a teddy bear from home. Here are some of the kids with their bears. (Jaxon is the last in line.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Mystery Bag

Jaxon came home from PreSchool yesterday again w/ another fun, little project! He proudly bounced up the stairs from his classroom, Mystery Bag in tow. He made sure to announce to me that he had been chosen to take home the special bag.

When we got home, he was on a mission to fill that bag, but Mommy being a little slow, had to read the instructions first! Inside the canvas bag was a paper lunch sack. On the outside of the paper sack, the word "Green" was written. His duty was to find items to place in the lunch bag that were "Green". He had the option of choosing a color, shape or number... I wasn't surprised that he chose a color or that the color he chose was green!

The only rules were that the items chosen had to all fit in the Mystery Bag and none of the objects could be live objects! I naturally assumed that he would head straight to the toy box and choose his big green tractor, but I was wrong! In fact, he didn't choose a tractor at all! I asked if he'd like to make a scavenger hunt out of the project and he thought that sounded like a good idea. So out we went in search of green objects!

He spotted something almost immediately that caught his eye. He headed straight for the tree in our backyard that we pick leaves from to feed to the bunnies and calves. He wanted to pick the green leaf himself, so he did like he always does, and started to climb the tree.

Successfully, he was able to reach the particular leaf he was after and was very proud to show it off! We continued on our scavenger hunt but the only other green object he showed any interest in, was of course a live object! He wanted to take the live object but after explaining the rules again, he settled on taking his rubbery grasshopper, "Grassy", instead!

We continued our scavenger hunt inside where he also chose his green boat, his green Percy the train and his green rubbery alligator "Chilly". He was so excited to show his friends his green objects!

When Daddy came home from work, we had to do a "practice showing". He was most excited about sharing the story of our scavenger hunt and the green leaf he had picked from the tree.
Jaxon was up bright and early this morning ready to show off his green objects as well as his Texas teddy bear for Teddy Bear Day. I can't wait to hear all about his special day when he gets home!

Our Favorite Side of Beef

It's hard to believe that Crutch has been with us now for almost a year! I remember telling Kent about him and hearing him say, "Well, you are the calf whisperer, we'll see what we can do!" Dad had asked if we'd consider working with an animal who had sustained injuries from trying to jump out of his stall in the barn. He came to us w/ partial paralysis in his hind legs, which meant he couldn't walk or even stand on his own.

It was October 22nd of last year, my brother Tony thought I was crazy for taking on such a big project that would probably end in the calf dying. If it had been up to him, they would have put Crutch out of his misery then. Dad repeatedly told me there was a chance he'd never come out of it and to not get my hopes up, but I felt it was worth a try.

The first few days were tough! We had to put him in a sling two to three times a day and hang him from the ceiling of our barn which involved me raising him on a pulley system, by hand! Jaxon would help me secure a piece of carpet under his belly that wrapped around his sides and back, which we then attached to the pulley. Jaxon would sit on the bales stacked behind him encouraging both Mommy and Crutch, "You can do it guys!", he'd say!

Once I got Crutch lifted into the air, I would then place his legs in position to where they'd be if he were standing on his own. And eventually he got strong enough to do just that! We then were able to start moving him around the pen. We'd bribe him with treats and he'd follow. This took several months but the day finally came when he was strong enough to be let out with the rest of the group. I was a very proud Mommy that day!

We started out slow, letting him out once a day for about 30 minutes at a time. He would run around that pen kicking and jumping, things he could have never done those first months! I finally got comfortable enough to let him out permanently and he has blossomed ever since. We were never able to sell him since he suffers from arthritis, but deep down I never wanted to sell him anyway!

Kent thinks I'm crazy for being so attached to a 1000 pound steer but after hand raising him and spending so much time one on one with him, I couldn't help but fall in love! I swear he comes when I call his name, he bawls when I walk back up to the house from the pen, he follows me around the fence when I mow and he keeps me company when I hang clothes on the line! I truly think he sees me as his Mommy and the day he leaves us, I will be the one standing at the fence bawling! When I told Jaxon that Crutch was going to have a birthday, he asked if we could make him a cake! I told him that cows don't typically eat cake, but then again, this isn't your typical cow! Instead, we decided to serve him up some of his favorites... watermelon rinds, tomatoes and popcorn! It's important to celebrate all of God's creatures, BIG & small!

Happy Birthday Crutch... you are loved!