A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Temporary Home

We made it to my parents' house. In one piece. And OH MY GOODNESS ... moving isn't for the faint of heart! I am amazed that there are still remnants of the Brooks family at the old house that we're carting out to the trash or the storage unit and how much stuff we have! And I don't even want to be a person with a lot of stuff! Yikes. Hopefully when we move into our next home at the end of the summer, the more permanent one, we can continue to clear out un-needed stuff as we un-pack again. I'm pretty tired, but happy that most stuff is taken care of. We have lots of cleaning to finish up at the old house this week because I want the new owners to walk in and "see" how clean we left it for them! I want them to know we left it the very best that we could. I want them to love that little home as much as we did = )

Everyone is adjusting - in their own ways. Boys are still waking up a bit too early in the mornings, so they're worn out by the end of the day. Working on learning when and when they cannot run up the stairs to visit Opa and Oma. Jonah misses the old house and his routine ... he is a creature of habit just like his Mommy! But, I think considering the upheaval for three boys who lived in one place their entire little lives, everyone is doing pretty well.

My sister came over this morning to give us a break from entertaining ourselves. The weather is heating back up, so we took the kids outside in the backyard with the sprinkler to just run off energy and enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Finish Line

We're moving in less than 48 hours! Hardly seems possible ... and when I look around the house and still what needs to be done, maybe it IS hardly possible! Friday morning Eli has a truck rented and he is going to work like crazy with a few other strong guys to move all the big stuff - whether to storage or to my parents' - and get us getting out of this house and into the next chapter.

I took most of today and have packed and packed and packed. And maybe packed a little more. And took some breaks for peanut butter and celery, which is a daily staple for this pregnant mama. Maybe I have it three times a day? Eh, it always settles well. And there are definitely foods that still do not, so I just embrace what does and leave the others behind for now.

Stacking boxes in the living room and trying so hard to organize and pack the boys' toys. Which proves to be challenging for me. Which ones to send to storage? Which ones to keep at Opa's house? And how can I throw the pile of junk ones away when they aren't looking so that the peace stays? = ) I, thankfully, have a friend coming over during nap time to help pack the kitchen with me. Because we really haven't done anything in there yet. Most of what is in there is actually necessary for us, because we packed away extras last spring when we first listed the house. So, we just need to pack it good enough for the two mile drive to the next house. If I didn't have her to look forward to, the task of doing it alone might bring me to tears!

And so, as the boys play outside right now, and I continue to search for the right size box for the next project, it almost feels bittersweet. I am not too sad to leave this house - I have been ready for a year! But, at the same time, this house, that backyard, they have been the backdrop for many a memory for this little family. Eli and I moved here when we were just married a year and a half. This is all the boys know! They love this home, and I love hearing their laughter floating in the window right now (never mind they are shooting at some kind of a turkey target). And I've loved living here. And as I leave, I take wonderful memories of our first house, and all the "firsts" that happened here!

Heading down the home stretch and towards a big weekend finish! We'll still be in next week to finish a couple projects and clean it super good (I want the new owners to walk in and be able to TELL I left it pristine for them!), but the main push happens so soon! Here we go ...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tough It Out

Pre-Race Photo
Last weekend, Eli ran in a Tough Mudder race in Topeka. 12 miles, with many obstacles, and he loved it! When he first decided to do this race, he asked if I wanted to do it with him = ) I told him I don't like getting dirty and I like climate controlled workouts! So, he rallied four friends to join his team and they trained together as often as their schedules allowed over the last few months, and totally rocked out the race last Saturday.

I was so proud of him! It was a great motivation and he likes having a goal to work towards. The boys loved seeing all the pictures (thanks to his sister who went as a photographer for the team!) afterwards of their Daddy going hard core in his race.

He's already looking for another challenge to put on the horizon's schedule = ) He asked me if I wanted to do just a 5K or 10K this summer, but I told him I wasn't too interested in racing during the Kansas summer heat as a 5 month pregnant Momma ... but I would be there to cheer him along if he wants to do one. (I think he just really wanted to beat me)

What a great memory for him to have and we really are so grateful that Joy went along withe camera to document it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Reuben suffers from allergies ... honestly, all of his symptoms sound just like what Eli had at his age! So, we work to keep symptoms at a minimum, dusting a lot and when seasons get bad, he is on his meds. So, preventative inhaler, rescue inhaler, and now since allergy season is at a peak for a bit, Claritin every day. But, since we eliminated him drinking cow's milk everyday, his mucus situation is so much better!

But, yesterday morning, we were reading his Bible together. And there was a picture of a lady, with a happy tear on her cheek. And Reuben looks at me, points at her;

"Oh Mom, look! She has allergies too."

Made me chuckle a little bit, and then I had to explain happy tears and that the Bible wasn't picturing people with allergies. = ) Poor kid, that is truly what he has to live with most days.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dog Biscuits

When Eli was probably early teens, his mom was selling baked goods at the Farmer's Market here in town. At some point, he began making angel food cakes to sell alongside her cookies to make a little extra cash on his own. Fun memories for him to remember (and stories about people asking him if he really made those angel food cakes!), and she is still selling each weekend through the season of the Farmer's Market. Grandma is now known as the "Cookie Lady", and she expanded to sell some jams/jellies, chipotle powder, and now dog biscuits. Of course, there are lots of dogs getting to walk around the market with their owners on beautiful Saturday mornings, so selling dog treats ends up being a pretty good deal.

It was actually Eli's youngest sister who did those for a few years to make money, but she has kind of lost her drive to do it, so Robin just added that into her cookie baking and does them herself. But, she normally sells out each week pretty consistently with what she makes.

So, I proposed to her that the boys make a batch each week to add to her table, and then they could keep the profits off their sales. Eli and I have really been wanting to give them a practical way to learn about tithing and giving ... but we don't give normal allowances to them at this age, and so it has been tough to drive the lesson home, so to speak! She agreed, and last week they took their first batch, which sold, and they each made $7. They each had to pay $1 for ingredients (I let some just go off our normal groceries), and put away $1 to tithe/give at church. That left them with $5 whole dollars each! Boy! Were their eyes big!

This week we made carrot/banana treats
Their dreams of how they are going to save/spend this money is absolutely hilarious to hear. Nearly every day, what they are saving up for changes, and how long they will have to save up for, and whatever Jonah decides he wants to spend his money on, of course Reuben says he wants to save and buy the same thing.

They take their work seriously = )
But, they have never had the opportunity to consider a regular source of some money to plan on. So, I enjoy seeing their minds work out how long they will have to save to have enough for a certain item, and so on.

Right now, they are pretty motivated to help! And last weekend the weather wasn't great, so they didn't end up getting down to the market to actually be there during the selling process, but tomorrow I will drop them off mid-morning to "help" Grandma sell. I hope the enthusiasm continues ... and although when I look around at a house that needs packing and we're still finishing up schoolwork, making dog treats seems like a time sacrifice - I think this is worth it!