Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my dad's, aka Papaw, birthday. Happy Birthday!

Last week at the fair was crazy, but good. Kellen's rabbits placed about the middle of their class. He was slightly disappointed, but we were happy. The kids had a grand time being at the fair everyday. We walked the animal barns everyday. We watched the demolition derbies, mud bog, fireworks, and motor cross. Kellen showed his rabbits twice, and then sold them twice on Friday. Lydia participated in the open class for rabbits. They were both nervous, but did well. Kellen also took part in a watermelon eating contest.

Monday Kellen participated in the annual Battle of the Books. His team took third. They had all the questions right until the tie breaker round. His team has won the previous two years, so third was a slight disappointment, but Kellen handled it well.

Today Kellen is having Ryan over to spend the night for a late birthday celebration. It is actually Ryan's birthday tomorrow. Have I ever mentioned how crazy the end of July is for birthdays? For some reason the majority of the birthdays in this family are clumped around May and July. Kellen's was the 21st, Torrey ( a cousin) the 22nd, Avery's (Jake's youngest) the 27th, Jeff's (Tim's dad) the 28th, Jake's the 29th, my dad's today, and Gage's (Tim's brother's son) the 1st. It really is crazy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Big 1-0

Today Kellen turns double digits. The fair also starts today, so we will be celebrating his birthday next week. And how does the birthday boy want to celebrate this special occasion? He just wants his best buddy to spend the night, and to eat pizza and cheesecake. Kellen is becoming a very practical kid! Happy birthday Kellen. We love you!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Filling in the blanks

Alright so my last post was a little brief and some people would like more details. I'm happy to oblige.

Roller Coasters & Rock Bands
Last weekend I made an unexpected trip to Kings Island for three days. My parents had promised to take my oldest niece and nephew along with my two oldest to Spirit Song. Papaw isn't a huge fan of amusement parks to start with, and he wasn't feeling well that week. So, he asked me if I'd like to go instead, and I did.

This was the first year Lydia was tall enough to ride the big coasters. For the most part she rode all that she could, and loved it. The people on the platform cheered for her when we were in the cars for Son of the Beast. The attendant made Lydia get out to double check her height. When Lydia got back in the people still waiting cheered for her. That was one of the last coasters
we rode.. Honestly, it was a little much for Lydia, but she was a trooper about it.

We spent the days riding rides or at the water park. The evening were spent at the concerts. "Rock Band" may be a stretch for some of the artists there, but there was some rockin' bands there like Skillet and Kutless. Kellen loved these. Lydia said they were too loud. It is funny how seeing groups live is completely different than just listening. Some groups I like recorded were not that great live. My favorite live was Toby Mac. I also enjoyed Jeremy Camp and David Crowder.

Kellen, Lydia, and Nolan too will soon be getting some more roller coasters in. They will be heading to Cedar Point with Tim's parents the first week of August.

Rabbits & Rockets
These are Kellen's 4-H projects this year. The fair starts Monday (Kellen's birthday.) He's been busy finishing up his project books, making display posters, and getting the rabbits tame enough to handle in the show ring. I guarantee you will hear more about all this in the next week or two.

Beans and Blackberries
The beans are producing full force. 51 quarts canned so far. The first planting is starting to fizzle, but the second is still going strong.

The blackberries are late this year, but they are beautiful. We've eaten some, made a cobbler and one batch of freezer jam. Then we started selling them.

A few weeks ago an acquaintance noticed all the unripe berries along our drive and asked me if we sold them. My first reaction was no, and that is what I told her. Later I thought why not? It would be a great way for the kids to make a little cash. They were all for it, so I sent an email out to some of our homeschool group. I offered for anyone to come and pick free. Our plants are loaded. Then I offered them for sale picked if anyone was interested. We got requests for 26 quarts!

There are plenty of berries, but we've (Yes, we. I've been helping!) been picking for orders first. I will get more for jam, shrub or other things when we are done.

Other news
Lydia got ten inches cut off her hair! You can see pictures here.

Vivian is no longer sleeping in the crib. While the older two and I were in King's Island Viv wanted to sleep in the bottom bunk the whole time. Tim let her, and she liked it. So, the crib came down.

We had our first lamb from the farm. It is delicious. I'm not sure why lamb isn't more popular in the U.S. It really is good. I was expecting a stronger flavor, but apparently that is only in mutton (sheep over a year old.) Our lamb was five months old and the flavor is wonderful.

Ok. I think I'm caught up on the details now! :) It has been a busy week, no a busy month, no a busy summer. . . I'm going to bed!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What have we been up to?

Oh not much, just....

  • Rollercoasters
  • Rock Bands
  • Rabbits
  • Rockets
  • Blackberries
  • Beans

You know, just our typical quiet life. . .

Monday, July 07, 2008

You Might Say She is Determined

On the agenda for the day we planned to get a little outside work done in the morning, and then my three oldest would walk to the creek with Ashley and Miles for a picnic and to play. Everything in the morning went as planned with minimal fighting or arguing.

When we came back in the house it was close to lunch time and Vivian needed a nap. It was a bit of a juggling act trying to get Vivian something to eat and facilitate the older kids packing their lunch and things for the creek. Just as I was thinking things were going smoothly and Vivian did not seem to mind that the other children were planning something without her, someone said the trigger word, swimsuit.

Apparently Vivian did not mind that the other kids were having a picnic or taking a walk without her. She did mind, very much, that she wasn't going where swimsuits could be used. It was instant tears. She kept repeating, muffled by her knuckle in her mouth, "Swimsuit. Go." Knowing she was very tired I tried to get her to eat a bit, finally gave up and put her in bed. We went on with our afternoon plans. The kids headed off to the creek, and I started in on laundry, dishes, and my to do list.

An hour an a half later while I'm hanging clothes on the line I hear Vivian crying. Crying when she first wakes up really isn't that unusual and I didn't think much of it. Sometimes when she wakes up crying playing peek-a-boo with her at the door helps lighten her mood. I went in the house, and cracked open her door, ready to play peek-a-boo. As soon as she saw my face, "Swimsuit. Go," and a fresh burst of tears.

It took me almost 15 minutes to calm her down. She ate a little more lunch, and I hoped that she would be over it. That hope was quickly diminished. About every twenty minutes she asks me, "Swimsuit. Go?" Or she may ask, "Boy, girl, where? Swimsuit?"

You might say she is determined.....

Friday, July 04, 2008

It is Friday? What! It is July?!

How can it be Friday already? The three oldest have been with Grandma and Grandpa all week. The traveled to Tennessee to visit with family there. Though I do miss the kids, my nice quiet week has gone so fast. We had company Wednesday. A friend came over to help can some green beans, and Tim's dad, Jim, came for the night from Virginia. Other than that there was not a lot of scheduled activity this week, so you'd think I would have a lot done. Well, it didn't happen, and the kids will be back tomorrow.

It isn't only the week that has gone fast, but the whole month; make that the whole summer. I think every week since the middle of May we have either been getting ready for an event, participating in it, or recovering from it. There has been no normal, no routine, and a quick glance through the calendar shows July to be just a busy. I've even said no to several things, even things that I really wanted to do or thought the kids would enjoy for the simple fact that I need some white space on my calendar. Even so life is so busy.

Around the homestead the garden is doing well overall. All the baby animals are doing well, and Kellen will soon need to pick rabbits for the fair at the end of July. We took the first livestock to the butcher. Next week we will have lamb in the freezer. Tim has butchered the chickens, rabbits, and the deer, but we decide the price was right just have the butcher do the work for the goat. We will probably continue to butcher our own small animals, but the large ones we'll send out. Now I need to learn how to cook lamb. Always something to do! :)