"Hey boys, we're going to film a movie today, and it's going to be AWESOME!"
I grinned at five sleepy faces staring blankly back at me from the breakfast table.
The boys turned back to their cereal bowls, wondering why on earth I was excited this early. Burnell (the oldest of the Bend Soap boys) shared my excitement.
"Katie, you are my favorite cousin!" he beamed "'Cause you're always so hyper! Hours later, I couldn't help but wonder if he was still thinking that as I continued making the boys pose in the hot sun.
"Smile! Orin, look here... Chance, don't bump into Quint... Look here, look here...look here! Soo cute!"
After breakfast, the boys and I stampeded upstairs and began digging through their closets.
"I want to wear this shirt," Tye pointed to his rumpled green t-shirt.
"Ummm... That's not going to work," I laughed, tossing him a plaid button-up. "No, you can't wear swim trunks today, Orin. They look cool, but they'll have to wait. Can you show me your jeans?"
Aunt Marilee came up the stairs with baby Royal on her hip and began backing me up on style advice the boys weren't too sure about.
"You get to wear your vests and cowboy hats!" she smiled.
"Yay!!!" Instantly the boys were happy about getting dressed up. Two hours, four vests, seven pairs of cowboy boots and a missing belt later, we all wandered outside into the bright sunlight.
Sweet smelling fields of fresh hay and the beautiful Cascade mountains were the perfect backdrop for our poses, but a picture and a half later, I was playing hide n' seek in the weeds, and trying to keep adventurous Vienna Rose from diving into the creek. Even super well behaved kiddos get restless.
"It's goat milking time!" Aunt Marilee called.
Instantly, the boys seemed to forget their sweaty shirts and itchy hat bands as they jogged toward the golf cart with me and my camera in hot pursuit. No one needed to tell them what needed to be done and they worked together like a well-oiled machine.
The moment Burnell shoved the golf cart in park up at the goat barn, the boys began filling the grain and calling which goats they would milk.
"I call Patches!"
"I call Friendly!"
"I call Skitso!"
I stifled a laugh as I imagined how these sweet goats got their names. Around the corner came one goat then another! I stumbled out of the of these well-trained animals that dutifully jumped up into their milking stations and patiently waited for the boys to come by and lock them up.
I watched through my lens as each of the boys small yet strong hands squirted streams of fresh steamy milk into their pails.
"Hey, Katie," Burnell called. "Come film me milking Buttercup. I'll have my hat like this on my knee and you can video me from over there."
Burnell is actor, director, and total ham. He knew which shot would look good our film and just how he should act. Aunt Marilee laughed along with me as he constantly called for the attention of the camera.
Even though I had seen goats milked before, I marveled at so many young siblings working together and having such a blast doing it! What a party!
A week later, I traveled back to Bend with the edited footage and listened to the boys giggle as they watched themselves. "It's time for a voiceover, guys!"
"Oh, like the talking part you did on our Father's Day Video?" Chance asked shyly.
"Yeah! Only I didn't write a script. I'm just going to turn on the video and as you boys watch it you're going to tell me about the process."
"Awesome!" Grinned Burnell. "I'm good at stuff like that."
He sure was. Burnell and Orin each described the milking process in one take with Chance and Tye putting in their two cents every once in awhile.
To the boys and me, this video tells of a lot more than just milking goats. It's about family, fun, giggles, crazy cousin moments, and our lives.
Burnell, Orin, Chance, Quint, Tye, Wyatt, Vienna, and Royal, and me, Katie.
P.S. We couldn't have done it without Aunt Marilee's support! Thank you for being such an awesome Mama, businesswoman, and Auntie!
This blog entry was written by Kathryn Joy.