Monday, April 30, 2007

That aint no filly!

Papaw got a closer look at the foal today, and what he thought was a filly, is actually a colt. So, think boy names. Blaze is a good one don't you think, Delilah? (Sorry I couldn't resist!)


Mamaw and Papaw's newest GrandAnimal:

Sophie had her foal early Sunday morning, a little filly. She is a cute, leggy little thing. No name yet. We are waiting to let Miles and Ashley help with a name this weekend. Mama and baby are doing great!

You'd think Mamaw and Papaw had a new grandchild. Sunday they were calling family members and we had to take the camera to church to show people pictures of the new girl.

The next animals we are expecting are ducks. Not baby ones, but four adults. Ducks weren't exactly high up on my list of animals to get, but a friend is giving them to us. Hard to pass up free (useful) animals. We should get them next Sunday. We are hoping to let them hatch out some this summer too! All these new animals! This is the fun part of the farm!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

From Tree to Siding

By all rights, this is Papaw's story to post, but since he has abandoned his blog, I will have to tell you how he is making siding for this house.

You may wonder why put siding on a house that is temporary? Good question, and one I've asked as we put in a permanent foundation, a new roof and a very large deck. The reason is that this house is temporary, to Tim and I. In fact, we just rent it from Papaw and Mamaw. The house itself will be staying for other family members that may need it, or for use as a guest house if no one currently needs it to live in.

We joke that Papaw is making this double wide so nice, we may never leave. He is quick to respond that he will have to raise the rent to get us out of here. Tim and I believe that Papaw and Mamaw will probably end up here, while Eric stays in the house they live in now. They say that is not the plan. I guess only time will tell.

At the top of one of the hills is a place we call the clearing. At the clearing you will see a pile of logs. These are all logs that were dead, or were cleared for the power lines and mobile home sites. Late last fall, Papaw purchased a saw mill. Not a cheap endeavor, but he reasoned that by the time we build the houses, the outbuildings, and other things like, rabbit hutches, it will pay for itself.

Last weekend he had it up and running to cut boards to side this house with. Tim posted a video of it, if you would like to see it in action. Papaw is siding the house with oak in a rustic barn like style. It looks very nice. He has the back side of the house more than half done. With the new roof line and the new siding, this house will not look like a trailer at all, from the outside.

That is Papaw's story of taking the trees from our property and turning them into siding for our house. I'm sure he is saying that he doesn't have time to post about it, because he is too busy doing it!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Post I Can't Post and One I Can

What I can't say:
I have this great story to post. I want to tell it so badly. I want to remember it later.

But I can't post it. It's not offensive, but Kellen (8) says it is embarrassing. It is nothing he did, but it is about him. I've tried to tell him that in ten years (or less) he will be happy to have a story like this. He doesn't believe me.

Out of respect for Kellen, I'm not posting the story. I'm just putting this here so I remember it later. Memory Joggers: And we were worried about Lydia. I'm not sure this story would be so cute if it was about Lydia. (Why do we feel more protective of the girls than the boys?) He's got a face that more than his mom can love.

What I can say:
Rabbits again! Regular readers may remember the stories of the rabbits breeding that we didn't want to breed. A few weeks ago, when we got back from vacation, we finally had the New Zealands we want to breed, and we had a four day window of breeding time for the 4-H.

We put the first doe in with the buck. He was trying, but she was not interested. We tried one of the other does. She was a little calmer, but he acted like he could care less that she was in there. So, we tried the last doe we had. Neither seemed to care about the purpose we had them together for! ARRRGH! Now that we want rabbits to breed, they aren't cooperating? Whoever heard of rabbits not breeding when given the opportunity?

Kellen's remark, "I think he is a Christian rabbit. He only wants to be married to the first doe."

We called the breeder, and made the hour trip to exchange the buck. We were under a serious time crunch for the fair. The new buck was very frisky.
(I really considered not posting Kellen's remark. I hope I don't offend anyone. Please know it was made in innocence. I'm not sure he even fully understood it.)

Kellen's remark, "I think the new buck must be a Mormon."

The does again were not that cooperative. We did what we could, and are hoping for the best. I'll let you know in a few weeks if things were successful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

After Much Waiting

No really, much, much, much waiting!

Last fall Papaw & Mamaw bought two Black Agnus cows. Both were bred and the previous owner said the one should have her calf in DECEMBER. December came and went, then January, and February, and March, and even half of April, and we began to wonder will she ever have this calf?

A week ago she finally did! Meet George:

George is a little bull calf. He wasn't supposed to get a name. See the plan is female calves will be kept. Papaw wants to have five total. Males calves. . .well they are destined for the dinner table.

You don't name your food, but when Nolan saw the calf, he said, "He looks like George." George the monkey? I am not sure, but the name has stuck. Hopefully the kids don't get too attached.

This should be the beginning of lots of births here on the farm. We should have a foal next month, and baby rabbits, and then another calf. Fun and busy times here in the 100 Acre Wood.

Good Reading

Lots of great carnivals and festivals out there today. Here are some things to entertain and to make you think.

Carnival of Debt Reduction
Must look here for more ideas!

Festival of Frugality - Definitions of Frugality Edition
Good posts to get you thinking, and practical applications too.

Carnival of Homeschooling - The Bee Edition
There are lots of entries, not just about bees either.

Carnival of the Recipes - Tour of Italy
Is it wrong to be craving lasagna at 7:00 AM?

The Carnival of Family Life
Laughs and knowledge to be had.

The Thirteener Carnival
This is a carnival for participants of Thursday Thirteen and their other posts. No lists in this carnival.

The Carnival of SAHM
Not sure how I missed this carnival before. Looks like some good stuff!

Is that enough reading material for you? Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

They Just Won't Stop Growing Up!

After taking her first wobbly steps over a month ago, Vivian has decided walking is the way to go. The steps are still wobbly, but come in 10's instead of 1's. She has also decided that staying put in the stroller or being carried is not the way to go. She wants down to show off her new skills, and isn't afraid to let you know!

Lydia is reading! We are on lesson 23 of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. She is reading sentences like, "This is a rock. Sam is at the rock." We have Storybook Treasury of Dick and Jane and Friends (Dick and Jane). I bet she could read those stories, easy. She is so proud, and so am I!

Nolan is playing Elmos Preschool. It is a CD-rom we got when Kellen was a preschooler. Nolan looks so big sitting on the computer, headphones on clicking away with the mouse. His favorite game is making silly faces. He especially likes the mad face.

When Kellen saw Nolan playing the game, he remarked, with nostalgia in his voice, "Ah, I remember when that was such a fun game!" And I think, "Wasn't that just yesterday?"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pets TT #3

There have been a lot of pets in my life. When I was in grade school, we lived on a farm, so I've had many and some unusual pets. I thought I'd share some with you.

1. & 2. Ponies named Betsy and Metsy
These were the sweetest things. My best friend and I rode them everywhere. We had no idea what we were doing. We first started riding them bare back, with baler twine tied to their lead halters. Eventually, we did get bridles, but I don't ever remember having a saddle.

3. & them some? Lambs
I had several lambs. Sadly, I don't remember their names. I didn't have them long. They were 4-H market lambs that ended up on the auction block, and then well. . . the butcher block. The first year I cried like a baby at the auction. I got a very good price that year.

4. A cow named Joy
She was a Guernsey; a dairy cow. Her off spring ended up at the butchers, but she was my pet.

5. Bunches of rabbits
When I was little we had a chicken house full of rabbits. I don't remember any of them by name, but I do remember it was my job to care for them.

I would feed them before school. One morning I got up to feed them, and slipped on my jeans and coat over my night gown, as normal. I went out and fed them, and came back in the house. I sat on the couch, for a minute that turned into a half hour. I woke up to the sound of the bus honking.

I jumped up and ran to the bus. About a mile down the road I realized I was still in my night gown. The bus route went past my best friend's house twice. I begged and pleaded, and convinced the driver to let me off the first time by. I borrowed a sweater. It was rather tight, but not nearly as embarrassing as wearing my night gown to school.

6. Brandy, the Irish Setter
She was a good dog. Much calmer than other Irish Setters I've known since.

7. Lady, the mutt
After Brandy was put down, we got Lady. She was the sweetest dog. She really was more Jake's dog, but we all loved her.

8. More cats than I can count, but one by name.
On the farm we had lots of barn cats. Many too wild to ever consider pets. One that was tame was a calico, named Calico. So creative, I know. She was the only cat we took with us when we left the farm.

9. Another cat
When I was in college, I really wanted a cat. One of my room mates picked up a stray kitten. She was disgusting, and sick. I cleaned her up and took her to the vet. She had this green discharge from her nose that didn't clear up for a very long time, but we loved her. We named her Stoli, yes, like the Vodka. Why we named a black cat after a clear alcohol, I can only explain by saying, "college days."

She didn't like Tim much. When we got married she started peeing on things occasionally. Funny how it was almost always Tim's clothes.

10. Rabbit
When Kellen was a preschooler, Delilah gave us Scotty. He was Kellen's first pet. He died a few months ago.

11. Another mutt; Pac.
He was the first animal we bought after moving here. As a puppy, he was pretty rambunctious. He seems to be calming down now. He has been a great companion for Kellen, even though Kellen sometimes gets frustrated with him.

12. 13. & beyond: more rabbits.
We now have six rabbits. Two, Cha Cha and Peter are strictly pets. Cha Cha is Lydia's girl. Lydia carries her around like a baby.

The other four are New Zealand's; meat rabbits. We are breeding them now, which has been its own story, and subject for another post. Within a month, we should have quite a few more rabbits.

Many good memories of my childhood revolve around animals. Now my children are creating those type of memories too. I hope that one day they will look back at all the pets and farm animals with fondness. Thanks for joining me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Our OBX Vacation

As promised, my vacation story and pictures. (I kept the pictures small here. If you click on them you can see a full sized image.) Remember you asked for it! LOL This vacation was our second to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The first trip was with my parents and Jake and his family. We stayed more toward the middle of the Outer Banks then.

This time we were at the Northern end, in Currituck. We shared a house with my parents, and two other couples. The other couples each brought one older child and a friend. There were 16 of us altogether. We ate dinners together and did some activities together, but did most things on our own or in smaller groups.

Overall, sharing the house worked out well. There were some minor annoyances, but no big deals. It was not a stress free vacation, but the times I was really stressed were dealing with my own children, who were out of schedule and lacking sleep. Once they settled in, we were all able to relax and enjoy.

Easter Sunday we had our own little worship service, and just took it easy. Later in the afternoon, we walked to the beach. It was chilly, so I was not prepared for water play. The kids though, could not resist the water and the waves. The boys walked back soaking.

Monday, we went to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. There were some nice historical displays, full sized reproductions of the gliders and planes they built, and a very informative presentation by a park ranger. And Kellen thought he was on spring break! HA! This was one big field trip disguised as a vacation.

The next day was Tim's favorite. We went to Corolla. There are no roads there, just sand. You drive on the beach up to the Virginia line. There are all kinds of huge vacation homes there too; all with sand roads. The whole group went, taking 3 Subaru's and one 4x4 truck. We later read that AWD vehicles (like the Subaru's) are not recommended. 4x4 are the recommended type of vehicles. I don't really understand the difference though. The cars did fine as long you kept them at the tide lines. They did get stuck if you were in the loose stuff. Luckily we never got stuck, but two of the other cars did.

In this area there are wild horses. We were lucky enough to see three of them. The were drinking the sea water, for salt, I assume. You could tell they were used to being around people, but they weren't exactly tame. After they were done in the water, they rolled around in the sand.

We drove as far as we could. There is a fence a bit after the Virginia state line. We walked around some and ate our lunch at the beach, flew kites, and played some more.

The next day we visited Currituck Beach Light Station, and climbed the 214 steps of the lighthouse. Mamaw was a bit unnerved by the climb. She made sure that I had a firm grasp on Nolan the entire time. I have to say though, that looking down the spiral steps did make my stomach a bit queasy.

At 30 mph, the winds on the observation deck were intense, but the view was stunning.

Adjacent to the lighthouse is the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. This also had some excellent educational displays. While there we also learned that they offer free classes. Most of the classes offered during our remaining time were full, but they did have some openings for a nature journal class the next morning. It wouldn't have been my first pick of the classes, but since the weatherman was calling for rain that morning, I signed us up. Kellen, Lydia and I went. We enjoyed the class and learned a bit more about some shells and local wildlife.

Though it rained that morning, the afternoon was gorgeous. We relaxed and enjoyed. Friday morning we did the same, and headed for one last trip to the beach in the afternoon. The thick skinned played in the water, but mostly we built sand castles.
Saturday we loaded the car, did a little shopping, had lunch and headed home.

It was a nice family vacation. It is nice to have a change of pace and see new things. It made a wonderful field trip too! :)

Tuesday Links - Lite

Today's list is a bit smaller than normal. With vacation and all, I just didn't get that many gathered, but here is what I have:

Make it From Scratch

Carnival of the Recipes - Meatless Edition

Carnival of Environmental Education

Better list next week!

Monday, April 16, 2007

We are Back!

We made it back, though I would have liked a few more days. Apparently, Nolan would have like a few more days too. He keeps saying, "I want to go to our big house." A big house it was, but with four families there, a big house was needed.

Overall, we had a very good time. The weather wasn't great. It was a bit chilly most days, but it didn't rain much, and we were still able to enjoy the beach and the sites. At the beach, the chilly weather didn't seem to bother the kids, (or the biggest kid, Tim) for that matter. They still played in the sand and even splashed around some in the water. Too cold for me though!

I will be posting more later. Now I need to get laundry started, and try to get us all back in the routine. Tim did a post a video of us driving on the beach. That was a lot of fun! I promise I will bore you with more stories and pictures later! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Links from the Beach

From the Outer Banks, here are the Tuesday links!

Make It From Scratch

Festival of Frugality

Carnival of Family Life

Carnival of the Storytellers

Enjoy! I'll have beach pictures and stories for you later!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I Lost Dinner

This is the kind of week I am having. As the kids say, "Two sleeps until the beach." Normally, I am a pretty productive and efficient person, but this week I am having trouble focusing, and feel like my head is going twenty directions. Here is the latest example.

We got most of the groceries for vacation yesterday, but today I wanted to make one more stop to pick up some chicken breasts that were on sale. The store was on the way to Kellen's orthodontist appointment, so it really wasn't much extra to make another stop.

While there, I saw some pork chops marked down, because they were close to the sell by date. Yesterday the kids and I joked that we weren't eating anything until we went on vacation. It seemed like all the groceries we unloaded were quickly repacked for our vacation. There is food in the freezer, but since I hadn't gotten anything out, those pork chops looked like a quick and easy dinner to me.

Upon arriving home, we unloaded, and put away the groceries. After that last bag was empty, I realized I hadn't seen the pork chops. I looked through the things set aside for our trip; not there. I dug through the fridge; not there. I searched for an over looked bag in the van; not there. I walked around outside, looking for chewed up packaging, thinking maybe the dog got a hold of it somehow; no such sign.

I can only hope that the package never made it to my van. My fear is that the package is sitting in a cupboard or other some such place, and won't be discovered until we return from vacation to a house wreaking of rotten pork.

Two sleeps until the beach, and I can't even keep track of tonight's dinner. How I am I supposed to organize and pack all the things a family of six needs at the beach for a week?

Monday, April 02, 2007

A Busy Weekend and a Rough Monday

Grandma and Grandpa (Tim's parents) came for a visit this weekend. Uncle Kent came too as a surprise! They came Thursday afternoon and stayed until Saturday afternoon. It was a weekend jammed with family fun!

Grandma brought three new games:Apples to Apples, UNO H2O Splash, and Blink . We played games most of the weekend. We played out on the deck, and in on the table. We played morning, noon, and night. We all had a lot of fun. She left the UNO and Blink. I am thinking about getting the Jr. version of Apples to Apples before we leave for vacation.

When we weren't playing games, we were eating. Yes, we did a little more than that. A rabbit hutch was built. Grandpa, Uncle Kent, Kellen, Lydia, Tim and I went for a hike to the creek. Grandma stayed back with Vivian who was running a fever, and Nolan, who actually asked her to tuck him in for a nap!

It a was a great day for a walk. It was sunny, but not too hot. We found wild flowers, a turtle, and
some oyster mushrooms. We enjoyed the mushrooms as a side to dinner. The adults took a little break, while the kids and the dog played in the creek. Then we headed back.

Vivian was still not feeling great, but we had a belated birthday party. She made it through with a little help from some infants Tylenol. She wasn't too sure about the cake or the ice cream, but she did enjoy the presents! She would grab them (mostly clothes) and then whip them beside her, and grab the next one. It was really cute!

Saturday afternoon Grandma, Grandpa,and Uncle Kent went with the three oldest kids to an Easter party at Mamaw's work. The kids reported they had a great time. They brought back a ton of candy, if that is any indication. Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Kent headed home from there.

Vivian seemed much better in the morning, but by afternoon her fever was pretty high. She was very grumpy, even with medication. That night she slept well, until about 1:00, and then was up about every hour.

I stayed home from church with her Sunday. She finally did sleep, and slept most of the morning. I tried to get some sleep too, but mostly laid there thinking about everything I need to do. I ended up walking around, trying to get a few things done in that groggy state called exhaustion.

This morning her fever was all but gone. Unfortunately, she is still pretty grumpy. We all had a rough morning. Everyone is a little tired from the weekend, and it is hard to get back into the routine.

We leave for the Outer Banks (N.C.) on Saturday. I'm trying to get laundry done, knowing I will probably have to do a few loads at the end of the week to finish packing. I'm trying to plan and pack for our vacation, but my head still feels groggy.

I think for now I'm just going to concentrate on laundry and the house. I can do those with out much brain power. Tonight the three oldest are going with Papaw to pick up the cousins. Then I will sit down and start my lists. I am a list maker you know. I need a list for clothing, food, (we are in a house, and will be cooking most of our meals)games, toys, and baby stuff. It will get done, I know. It just feels a little overwhelming coming off a busy week, and weekend with a sick baby.

Well enough of my whining. We really did have a great weekend, and are looking forward to a relaxing week in North Carolina. Now, I better get back to that laundry!

Blogging Parents

Jennifer over at Parenting Toddlers added me to her list of parenting blogs almost two weeks ago! Sorry Jennifer, it has been kind of crazy here.

The idea here is to list parent blogs. I get to add up to five more. I was looking at my sidebar and all the blogs there, except The Family History and Kellen's, are blogs written by parents. I also noticed that my links badly need updated. I decided to make my add ons places I do regularly go, but don't have listed over in the side bar. Some I've been reading for awhile, and some are pretty new to me. There are a wide variety of places listed, so go enjoy! If you go and visit any of these, tell them I sent you! :)

Here are the rules:

1. Write a short paragraph at the beginning of your post and link back to the blog that put you on the list in the paragraph. This isn’t a suggestion. You need to break up the duplicate content string. Someone took the time to add you so the least you can do is give them an extra linkback.
2. Copy the list of originals below COMPLETELY and add it to your blog. If you would like a different keyword for your blog then change it when you do your post and it should pass to most blogs with that keyword.
3. Take the adds from the blog that added you and place them in the “Originals” list.
4. Add up to 5 new parenting or (Mommy/Daddy) blogs to the list in the “My Adds” section.

My additions:
Mom's Musings
Special K Family
Baseballs and Bows
Contolled Chaos
Bean Sprouts

The originals:
A Work of Art: Raising Our Exceptional Son
Ever After … My Way
Adventures In The 100 Acre Wood
An Island Life
Adoption and Fire

Lala Girl
The Bookworm Broadcast
Parenting Sites 411

Cass Knits
Geni Desu Yo

No Average Mom
Notes From The Trenches

Groovy Mom
Coffee Time
My Thoughts, Ideas, and Ramblings

My Single Mom Life
Tips From The Money Goddess
Army Mom: New Jersey

Melissa’s Place

Three Sons and a Princess
Moot Thoughts and Musings
A family runs through it
Parenting Toddlers