mutton bustin'...

...is awesome. It really is.

About a year an a half ago, the very kind Vanderbeken family took our kids for a few days (with about an hours notice) while we went to our annual Elder's retreat. The most talked about portion of their visit was how they got to watch Mutton Bustin' on YouTube and thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen.

Fast forward to a month ago at the HigLig dinner table. Somehow Mutton Bustin' comes up, as it has many times since the kids first learned of it. Geet and Bop decide to declare (out loud and everything) that we should all take Cal to go Mutton Bustin'...mind you, this is before we even knew this was a publicly accessible activity. Calvin could not contain his excitement. Fortunately, Google was able to help us find some Bustin' at The Puyallup Fair the following month.

Since Calvin had never been around livestock of any sort, we did take him to a smaller fair before committing to the event. We stuck him right next to a sheep, had him grab a handful of wool and he acted like everything was totally normal, no hesitation of any sort.

On to Puyallup!

We asked a few of Cal's friends to join him as well. Aaron Vanderbeken thought it would be awesome, and we sort of talked Sam Rothenberger in to it as well. To be honest, we didn't think Sam would actually ride, but he did want to come. (When his mom asked him, "But Calvin is going to do it, don't you want to too?", Sam replied with a very final, "Mom, we will sit on the bench and watch him.")

I don't know who was more excited, the busters, the siblings or the parents.

So Monday we all headed down to Puyallup (our van took two potty breaks on the way...that's a detail to make you feel like you were there). As a side note, the Puyallup Fair is killer. Puyallup might be the dumbest city name I've ever heard, but the fair is fabulous. We got the boys signed up and got ready for some bustin'.

I don't know what cowboy first had his kids prepare for bull-riding like this, but Tommy G has turned it into a great show. All the people the kids encounter are great at what they do. Everybody has fun...what isn't fun about little kids riding terrified sheep? It's hilarious.

Here are a few shots before the riding got underway for the three from our posse.

the sheep whisperer

skh really liked this sign


Sam was up first. We weren't sure he was going to go, even here.

listening to wise council from mom

But he did!

the sheep is outta here

And he did awesome.

basking in the glory

Then it was Calvin's turn, and he was ready to go.

cal's up, ready to go

Our boy is bustin'!

whoa, a little bumpy!

Cal's ride ended with a nice face full of dirt.

close up of the landing

He kind of looks irritated here as he looks back at his wooly nemesis. He thinks the sheep won since he didn't last the six seconds.

looking back at his wooly nemesis

Aaron was last from our group to go, and I'm not sure he was ever nervous; he's been waiting for this!

handsome aaron is observing

Bustin' his mutton.

holding on...

Aaron's dismount was my favorite.

almost a flip!


We also ran into some friends who were there separately, the Mallory family. They had two riders from their pack of five future men. These are the most manly boys I have ever met. Which is a good thing as one of their two had his sheep roll on top of him. I cannot believe it, but my camera malfunctioned during his ride, so I have no photo-documentation. I did catch his brother, though...

slippery sheep

Click here if you want to see all of the bustin' pictures. (There are a lot.)

Moving on to the video department, I have two perspectives on Cal's ride.

The official Tommy G footage...

And the official Higgins-Flip-Video version...

Eventually I'll be able to post the rest of the kid's rides, but I have to go pack for the big-time date skh is taking me on, and this is not an egalitarian blog.

But here's a great way to end the post...look at all these cuties!

look at all these cute faces!


whoa, two posts within a week?

It's Maggie's seventh birthday today!

Oh, wait, it's already 12:18am.

It was Maggie's seventh birthday yesterday!

For a multitude of reasons that I may or may not elaborate on at another time when I'm not supposed to be sleeping, we are celebrating throughout the week - Seven Days of Turning Seven!

I really can't believe she's seven. We love this girl.

Check out the pictures by clicking below...

once kit was free, she was given a lot of affection

Oh, wait! There's more. Video and everything, courtesy of skh.

If you have a hankering for more moving Higgins children, you can wander around Vimeo a little as we have a few up that haven't been blogged...since I don't blog.


hey, i've got pictures!

Well, once again, I come saying that I really do have some posts that have been percolating for many moons. Someday, someday, they may actually emerge. Many things, including my absolute lack of writing skillz, are slowing that process...so for now, I bring you...


And really, I know that's why you are here anyway. Who cares about serious, thought-provoking posts when you have kids that look like this?


Oh, wait, I don't think that was quite what I was looking for. (But if you click on goggle boy, there are more oddly endearing photos just like it.) You may also be interested in a video of similar ilk.

So, let's get going.

First up, Hallie is ten months old. How did that happen? I have no idea. I feel like I just took this exact picture of Maggie. (Who, despite all of my efforts to convince her to get younger, is going to be SEVEN on Tuesday.) I have taken a monthly picture of each of my chillens, and this is Hallie's ten-month installment.

You may wonder why I haven't posted other pictures from the series...and I wonder that as well. Most of it is because when I start doing that, I think about how cute it would be to post Maggie's and Cal's with Hallie's...and then I start wondering where those (pre-digital, totally unorganized) pictures are and I get up to start looking for them, on the way see a few papers that need to be dealt with, smell a diaper that needs changing...and things go downhill from there pretty rapidly.

So...I'm just gonna go with what I have. Here is Hallie. Did I mention that she's ten months old?

this is as good as it gets

Click the picture to see the rest of the shoot. Unfortunately, this was her least happy session so far, but there is one decent shot of where Hallie has eaten away part of her crib.


Next exciting event! Last week a big giant box of awesomeness arrived at our house from Grandma Higgins. I was waiting to post pictures until I took a picture of all the stuff, just so you could really appreciate how awesome it was, but that just never happened. So I'll have to tell you instead. It had a lot of great things in it for the kids and I. Sean was left out this round, but he had all sorts of Mom Higgins awesomeness all growing up.

Anyway, the main event for the kids were the matching cowboy and cowgirl outfits. Anyone who hasn't been here for 15 seconds recently might not be aware of the all-things-cowperson obsession that our children have. Calvin, the main addict, spends 95% of his time holstered and riding some sort of "horse".

The outfits, of course, inspired a quick bunch of pictures. And somehow, there is one where all. three. children. are looking at the camera. I know you can't believe it. See for yourself...


Again, you can click it for the rest of the pictures.


Last, and certainly least, we have some hair pictures. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, well at least a galaxy before two hyperemetic pregnancies, I used to keep our child/ren immaculate. Immaculate and dressed in non-Wal-mart-shopper-attire. Maggie's hair was also always "done" in some way - never anything elaborate, but combed and out of her face. That has fallen by the wayside for a long time now, but today I was feeling like it was time to start moving that direction again.

Another benefit to this activity is the string-tying that it accomplishes with my very (very, very) girly eldest daughter. She was thrilled with the adorning and eager to talk about how her heart needed to be even more beautiful than her hair.

Awwwwww! Okay, so here is a not-so-exciting picture to prove that I beautified our girls.


Do you see that teeny tiny ponytail? How cute is that. It's even more Hallie Lou Who than ever. And for more...click on those pretty faces.

That's it for now! Hope to (maybe) post again in the somewhat near future.


amazoning the process

Uh, wow.

That's skh's book! I'm so proud.

Obviously a lot of info is missing over there, but still, that's his book!!!


this just in...

(Yes, I am aware that I NEVER post on my blog. I do apologize. I have a lot of pictures here, three or four posts that have already been started and many more in my head. Getting things to a posting point is the difficulty. I'm working on it, I promise. Until I work harder, here's a quick one for you.)

skh just got back from evening service with the two older kidlets (the younger was crouping it up at home with Mama) and delivered the following Calvin story.

Sitting in church (listening to the sermon like a big boy [!!!]) Calvin tapped Sean's arm, pointed at a few quarter notes in the hymnal he was inspecting and whispered, "Are these golf clubs?".

I found that hilarious. Boppa will be very happy.


andrew mark

As many others have already posted, please be praying for Andrew, Grace, AJ and Gracie Mark as it is likely that Andrew will be called home sometime today.

I feel much closer to the Marks than I really am. My best friend was one of Grace's first disciplers at UCLA - I already cared for them before they moved up to Washington. Once they were here, my parents began discipling them and became good friends. My dad was there for the first doctor's appointments as Andrew and Grace began their battle with this cancer and he is on his way to Minneapolis right now - hopefully to say goodbye to Andrew (for now), but at least to be there for Grace and the kids during this difficult time. I'm praying that God will use him alongside of the family and great church body that are there to bring comfort as it is needed.

Just the other night Sean and I were watching Prince Caspian (kinda lousy movie for such a great book, but whatever) and I was so struck by the scene where the Pevensie kids are back in the treasure room of Cair Paravel, remembering back to who and what they were in Narnia. I was overwhelmed by how true it was. God's children really do get called back to an amazing place that makes this world look like a dirty subway station. We really do go reign with our Lord in glory. That really happens.

It's happening to Andrew right now.

Praise God!