Wednesday, April 30

Rare, very rare

So, I have had two of the most incredible mommy days in a row. After a wonderful day yesterday with the family, outside, pizza rolls for dinner (huge hit with kids because I usually only consider them a junky snack), and fresh strawberries with cool whip... I barely heard it... but there it was... my little boy reclined on the couch... showered... pjs... waiting for everyone to gather for nightly prayer... huge content sigh... and he says, "I am so happy!" I felt my heart leap in my chest.

Then tonight, Savannah and Christian went to youth night. Me and Ty went to his baseball practice. We picked up the big kids and lo and behold a huge spiritual conversation with all 3 kids ALL the way home. You know the type of conversation you dream of having with the little people you adore most in the whole world. Where they are totally engaged, asking the questions, gushing with testimonies, blessings realized. As if this wasn't wonderful enough... we got home, settled in beds, and one of my children quietly called my name and asked me to come sit with them. I just spent the last while in deep conversation, being a mom - have I mentioned lately how dearly I love being a mom, and having my child need me and the Spirit was so very strong with us. I just had to document these two wonderful days. I'm so grateful for these moments, truly grateful! I don't know if my tears are ready to stop, nor my heart ready to calm, but I want to go right to bed and have sweet dreams. Looking forward to a wonderful Thursday!!

Tuesday, April 29

Dappled Willows

WOW! Got tons of emails and comments asking about the Dappled Willow in prior post. Gals, it is worth all the curiousity! I've seen them at Lowe's, in fact I think that is where my sister originally got hers. Sometimes you may find it as a bush but it is spectacular tree'd, which is what my sister got. I know its botanical name is Salix (something or other, I'm thinking it may have something after that but I have gone blank). TidBits to tempt you further... it loves full-part sun... grows 10-15'H and 15'W... and the color is amazing, new foliage is pink which matures to a creamy white and speckled green... stems turn red in winter. Whew! Thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not covet, I must go repent, or finally go get my OWN!

Sunday, April 27

Moving Day

It was moving day for Cari and Chris. Their first home sold and now they get to move all their goods to their new home. So I arrive early to flex some muscles (or more accurately GET some muscles)... and lo and behold look at the two cuties that greeted me at the door. While we waited for the Uhaul to arrive, I snapped a few pictures of Noah and Taylor. These two are only 4 months apart and I think we have another 'Emma & Ty' on the horizon.... Taylor organized the play, and Noah nicely did what he was told, grin.

Cari planted this gorgeous Dappled Willow just outside her front door. It is breathtaking. She wisely reserved the right to move it to her new home. Noah was stroking the leaves ever so softly.... then RIP, he skinned a branch and made me squeal. I COVET this tree... Taylor promptly told Noah 'No, no!'

I just love his little profile. He was so amazed by the trees movement in the wind.

Its inevitable! Let a child loose in the yard and they make a run for the dandelions. So of course, they must blow, blow, blow, and make many more baby dandelions, giggle.

Taylor sharing her dandelion with sidekick Noah. He didn't even try to eat it... I guess even HE draws the line somewhere, yucka. A gorgeous day, and all was moved safely. We should open up a family moving business... TONS of Mayfields & a truck!

Wednesday, April 23

the ABC's of Me

A - Attached or Single: Attached to my favorite person in the whole world, Shawn.
B - Best Friend: Shawn, and my Sisters... they've NEVER let me down.
C - Cake or Pie: Neither, I prefer something crunchy and salty to splurge on.
D - Day of Choice: Sunday, we guard this day visciously & it is always about family time.
E - Essential Item: Mascara
F - Favorite Color: Green... but I love to decorate with blue and brown.
G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Neither, give me chocolate instead, yum.
H - Hometown: H'ville
I - Indulgence(s): time outside gardening, datenights, Savannah's hugs, Christian's cheek kisses, and Ty's nose kisses... I could never get enough of these, love 'em.
J - January or July: July... sunshine, fireflies, and children climbing trees.
K - Kids: Savannah- my intensely happy and brave girl. Christian- my brilliant, sweet, and generous son. Ty- my shy, stubborn, and loving youngest son.
L - Life is incomplete without: My FAMILY, our land, and daily quiet time.
M - Marriage Date: March 19, 1993
N - Number of Siblings: 5 Brothers, 2 Sisters, 4 BILs, and 7 SILs (one more real soon)
O - Oranges or Apples: Clementines... does that count?
P - Phobias or Fears: Birds...beaks & feathers!
Q - Quote: 'Teach us delight in the simple things' - Kipling
R - Reason to Smile: Children's laughter and snuggletime with Shawn... good stuff!
S - Sappy or Adventure Movies: Sappy all the way.
T - Tag: Misty
U - Unknown fact about me: I am painfully shy... its true! I struggle with this daily, sigh.
V - Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals: borderline vegetarian, I LOVE fresh salads and veggie sandwiches... but I just gotta have a good ole cheeseburger or concession stand hotdog once in a while.
W - Worst Habit: chewing the inside of my cheek... this drives Shawn up the wall.
X - Xrays or Ultrasounds: Toughy... they have BOTH been so very good to me!
Y - Your Favorite Foods: cucumbers and white mexican cheese dip... not together though, giggle.
Z - Zodiac: Aquarius

'Pineycone' trees

When I picked up the kids from school today, Christian reminded me that it was Earth Day. Not knowing he was totally about to fall into my 'trap'... I asked all the kids if they would like to do something to celebrate Earth Day. Gleefully they shouted YES... my plan unfolds. *Background Info* - Shawn and I bought 5 itty-bitty white pines almost 2 months ago. Shawn got 3 of them dug in. Then I bought 6 large maples right after that and they were BEASTS to get dug in. With the kids help, I thought we could surprise Shawn and get the 2 remaining pine trees in the ground. Mind you... these are tiny pines, but if you have ever dug pines in before... you know that their rootballs are ridiculously mammoth (I may be exaggerating a tad, maybe, er, um, but it was just little ole me and 3 delicate children)! So I grab the smallest shovel out of the barn, Savannah grabs the biggest shovel, and Christian the pickax, yikes! Lets just say that I managed to stay out of the kids way and they had both holes dug, trees planted, and Ty mulched them, in less than 45 minutes, WHEW!! We decided to not tell Shawn what we had done and see how long it takes him to notice. But tonight, Ty ever so quietly whispered to his Grani (so as to not spoil the surprise for Dad in the next room), "we planted 2 pineycone trees for Dad today... shhhhhhh."
*Update* Shawn noticed the pineycone trees the very next morning... Good, observant husband. My sweetie just can't relax though... he spent the whole next evening on the lawnmower and with the weekeater... I guess I rather be married to an overachiever than a bum, hee-hee.

Fast on their way to Buddies

You'd think with a simple point and click camera I would have had more pictures on the mountian turn out... but noooo... I've got a lot of practicing to do. Not even I could mess up a picture with these two cuties in it, Nate and Noah. I handed a bunch of empty plastic eggs to Noah to entertain him. Nate was way too clever for that though... he kept getting the eggs from Noah and cracking them open to find the 'loot'. It took me a little while to figure out why Nate looked so distressed... EMPTY EGGS... what a tragedy... get that little boy chocolate... STAT!! Smart boy! He KNEW those plastic eggs should be loaded... what a cruel hoax!

Sunday, April 20

Rocket Scientists

Christian got this rocket for Christmas. He is in the Technology Club at school and they are making rockets as their current project so Christian was especially eager to get THIS rocket up and soaring. I was amazed at how high this thing goes, it was very exciting. We may have been pushing the limits to Sabbath Day activities but it was wonderful family time...5, 4, 3, 2, 1... Blast off!!

On the Mountain

Every year, usually around Easter, the Mayfield's go to the mountain and welcome-in Spring. Yesterday was the day and we didn't want to miss it. So we had to RACE from Ty's baseball game (which they won), to the family activities. This is Ty goofing with his cousin Emma, they are silly kiddos and just love each other tons!

There is a hilarious story behind this photo. Ty and Emma were teetertottering and so I asked them to FREEZE. Emma was a trooper keeping Ty elevated and then I got the 'shot'. Immediately after taking this photo, Emma couldn't hold Ty any longer and down he came. Upon which, Ty got up and screamed at Emma... " YOU almost broke my man parts!!!!" Resulting in, Emma rolling her eyes.... Ty making a quick check to indeed see that his 'parts' were all intact... and everyone else in the park within hearing distance, getting a great laugh. I guess even with a shy guy like Ty, there are times to voice concern... loudly, whew!

This is my beautiful, patient, forgiving daughter... Savannah. She hates chaos, frantic racing from ballfield to mountain, and most of all a grouchy mom. So we had a spat on route to the get together and she was not happy with me. Luckily, after venting to her Grani and Aunt Cari, she was able to forgive me and enjoy the day with all her younger cousins. I keep reminding her that if she still loves me during my grouchy spells, I'll return the favor and love her right back when she has an off day. So far so good, we still love each other to pieces!!

Friday, April 18

Multiply & Replenish

Good ole reproduction is alive and well out here in the sticks! Savannah got these photos yesterday of the neighbors kittens. Charcoal is the exhausted mommy of 5... WHEW!!
Savannah is petitioning to adopt these two little cuties... I'm on board but her Dad may need more whooooing. Cats are a must out here, there are no better hunters. Something I have learned from our current cat, Oreo, is that cats like to bring you 'trophies' to prove their worth. No further details, yucka, but I love that two of her favorite things to hunt are mice and snakes.
I think this little cutey is my favorite. Its markings are very unique.
The neighbors goat just had a baby too, whew, a bunch of Fertile Myrtle animals... must be the fresh air and wide open spaces. The neighbors think the donkey is preggers too.
Here is Tyger pestering our sweet neighbor J. It does the heart good to hear the kids laughing and playing outside.
Ty is being very persistant... J is an absolute beauty so this chasing might not end any time soon, giggle. Notice our neighbors' gorgeous acreage and a glimpse of their pond. Another incredible, lazy day enjoyed, SCORE!!!

Wednesday, April 16

Savannah's photo gallery

It has been a wonderful uneventful day at the Callahan Cottage. I just love quiet days like today. The only exciting news was that the neighbors' cat just had 5 kittens, so Savannah just flipped over that. She is now begging to adopt a couple, I don't think her dad is on board though. So due to our lazy day, I thought I would post one of Savannah's favorite photos that she took herself. This is her adorable cousin N, he is wearing Christian's Superman hat... too CUTE!!

Tuesday, April 15

So VERY thrilled!!

I just got news that my youngest brother, Dave, proposed to his girlfriend, Jessica, and she said YES!! Marry her quick Dave, before us Mayfields do something crazy and scare her away, grin!! I was just telling a friend of mine today (her and her family will be moving to Madison 3rd) that I have the best sils... and the wonderful streak continues! YEAH!!

Gotta brag a tad

Christian had a baseball game last night and his team won, 12-3. Christian got a RBI and a base hit that he scored on. He was on cloudnine. I was home with Ty, so I sent the camera with Shawn and he never even took it out of his pocket. He was promptly fired! We were supposed to feed the Missionaries dinner, so they met Shawn, Savannah, and Christian at the ballfield, and YES, you guessed it... they TOO got to sample the yummies at the concession stand. I will try to get some future game dates/times to you asap but it is all up in the air because opening ceremonies and first games were all rained out... flying by the seat of our pants, yeehaaw!

Monday, April 14

I probably don't deserve a Mommy Award...

but am I alone in the thought that I'm not ALL sad when my kids are sickly. WAIT!! Don't judge me yet... I have a little 6 year old son that is slowly but surely not needing me as much. More and more I have to request lovins when I used to get tons quite spontaneously. So today, said 6 year old, aka Ty is home sick from school. Nothing serious just some lingering cooties. I have been snuggled, told 'I love you', and hugged all day long and I fear when I put him down to bed for the night, that he is ALL well. Sigh, whimper, pout. Hopefully I will be needed again, but I sure don't wish him sick, I just hope he is once again taken over by his tender side REAL SOON. I love this guy!

Sunday, April 13

Super Sabbath

Christian was called as the 2nd Counselor and Secretary of the Deacons Quorum today. He is loving the Young Mens Program and is excited to serve. I conducted Relief Society for the first time. Hopefully given some time I will be less nervous. Savannah did our Family Home Evening since we have another baseball game on Monday night. She did a review/discussion of 'The Proclamation'. Aunt Mimi, the M sisters, Papa, and Grani (Ty's spelling :) joined us. We played a game of SWAT!, and the M sisters provided us with dessert... yummy mini cupcakes. I hope everyone had a wonderful Sunday, OH how I love family Sundays!!

Saturday, April 12

B is for Baseball and Brrrr

We spent today at the ball field. It was a cold day, very sunny but the wind was ruthless. Ty didn't seem to mind a bit and it was a very exciting game. Sadly, once again, they lost 8-7. And once again, seconds after the loss, all the players were happy because they got a treat... wish I could say the same about all the dads. The poor dads in the crowd seem to take the losses worse than the players, grin.
Safety first! Ty gets frustrated with his batting helmet because of the face mask, but it is required so he deals with it.
Here's a good action shot. Ty is the youngest on his team. Technically he should still be playing Tball, but since he can hit a pitch, we moved him up. Shawn promises that he will become a better player being challenged by the older boys. I think he just looks so small out there, but OH how proud I am of him for hanging with the BIG boys!
Here are the fabulous M sisters. They came to cheer Ty on and sample some of the fine cuisine at the concession stand. Great day, and we all defrosted nicely.

Friday, April 11


Due to lack of money and good ole know how, we are currently living vicariously through our neighbors. Enjoying all their beautiful animals and goings ons. This is the newest addition to the 'neighborhood', a colt that Savannah is in love with. It has her favorite markings and she covets it daily, begging to own it about that often too.
A goat goat here and a goat goat there....
Next door is also a fabulous pond. Here is our puppy, Bella, trying to decide if it is worth getting wet over, to terrorize the poor duckies. We hope to make a pond on our property in the far away future because we get a lot of rain water run off the mountain and it would be a natural addition. Shawn hopes for the 'works': a dock, fish, ducks, etc...
And here is my favorite of them all. I don't know what in the world I would do with a donkey, but I grin everytime I hear it, it never gets old... EEEEAAAAWWWWWWWWW!

Thursday, April 10

Boys of Summer

My handsome fellas had baseball games tonight. I was able to snap this photo before the camera battery went dead. Christian is a Boston Red Sox and Ty is a NY Yankee. They both had close games but neither of their teams ended up on top tonight. Never fear, nothing the concession stand can't fix! Christian felt better after his cheesburger, nachos, and drumstick icecream... Ty's happiness was restored with a hotdog, cheetos, and drumstick icecream. Money well spent.

Wednesday, April 9

DEEP Ponderings...

If dreams can tell a lot about a person, I often wonder what my THOUGHTS say about me? I've found that I can't listen to an ipod while I work outside because I hate not being able to hear all the things around me. So I really enjoy getting lost in my thoughts as I weed, but todays thoughts have me giggling at myself.... should I seek out professional help?!?

Thought: How can something that 'icks' me out, still fascinate me? I have a bird thingey, feathers are yucky and I'm scared of beaks. Yet the sound of birds is my second favorite sound outside... the first being the EEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH of the donkey next door. I had a huge cluster of birds in the trees above me this morning, and while I hoped they would not come any closer to me, I loved them being there. I also appreciate that they didn't feel the need to drop any white 'stuff' on my baseball cap.

Thought: Why when there is a spider is my house do I react differently than when I see a spider outside. In my house, I say... "OH NO YOU DON'T" ... then go get a papertowel, smash the spider, open the papertowel to verify the spider has indeed deceased, then flush it... because just tossing it in the trash is not final enough for me. Contrast this with my reaction when I come upon a spider in the wild. I immediately jump up and do the 'spider dance'! You know the one... jump up, step back, get the creeps from head to toe, stomp, stomp, eek, eek, and then take a few minutes to get your heart rate back to a decent pace. While this reaction perplexes me, I'm sure the drivers of vehicles cruising down the road enjoy the spectacle of me doing the 'spider dance'.

Thought: While weeding, praying no more encounters with poison ivy, I often wonder about the past owners of our property. We know this property and much of the surrounding properties were once owned by a single family with separate lots given to newlyweds as gifts. Our neighbor said he used to play in our old barn as a little boy, sweet. So as I dig in the dirt I always secretly hope to find 'treasures' of days gone by. Today, my only sign of prior inhabitants was 7 MountainDew cans, 17 SunDrop cans, and 2 MoonPie wrappers... I did learn something I didn't know prior... they make vanilla MoonPies not just chocolate!

Then I move on to mowing. I don't enjoy the loudness of the mower but I still manage to THINK! Of course there are the normal thoughts like: "what pattern shall I create today", "was that a frisbee I just ran over?", and I ALWAY think..."10 points for yet another fire ant hill, hooray!"

Main thought today: Is our riding lawnmower machine enough to tackle that ditch? I think it is, er, but what if I get stuck, I'm gonna do it, but wait..... Yesterday I found out that cellphones don't bode well when ran through the washing machine. Maybe I have done enough property damage for THIS week... I'll tackle the ditch NEXT week!

So are there any professional THOUGHT figure-outters in the audience. Well, in the end, I sure enjoy hanging out with me, myself, and my thoughts, good times!

Tuesday, April 8

Are you smarter than a kindergartener?

So can you read it? I just love my lil' southern boy! Last week he brought home a paper where he was supposed to describe one of his favorite foods. He spelt everything correctly until the last sentence... ' Hotdogs smell so very dulishus.' I laughed out loud, because it makes such sense!

Monday, April 7

Callahan Reunion 2008

Shawn's Dad & Brothers reunion is in OUR neck of the woods this year. They plan to spend some time in Guntersville at the new lodge there. Have any of you seen the Lodge since renovations? It is incredible! This photo was taken from the pool deck at the back of the lodge. It is just breathtaking, they have little cottages that you can rent right next to the lodge too. The original cabins look pretty much the same though. There were deer everywhere, if I hadn't been such a chicken they would have let me pet them. Just been a long time since I had been up there, so when Shawn and I went to see the renovations, thought I would let everyone know it is a MUST see!

Saturday, April 5

And so it begins....

While simply showing the new blog to
my kids, I got wonderful reviews from Christian... afterall he is currently featured in the 'heading' photo. BUT Savannah & Ty quickly pointed out that they TOO have cool photos. Today is a yucky, drizzly day and I choose to blame THAT for their criticism... afterall, it couldn't be bad parenting, snicker! Therefore, I attempt to right a wrong, and please the publicity hounds, er, uh, I mean my dear children.

So ladies and gentlemen, here are ALL 3 of our children... aka
The Callahan Bobbleheads!!!

Our speed DIVA, Savannah feels the need to go crazy fast everytime, whew!

Christian was the first to get all 4 wheels off the ground. He also worked hard to land all 4 wheels at the same time to not give himself whiplash!

YeeeeeHaaaaaaaaw, we could here Ty laughing over the sound of the 4wheeler and through that helmet... I think he was a tad impressed with himself!

We couldn't take too many photos of Ty because he felt the need to be polite and LOOK at the camera which sent me into a panic, there are a WHOLE lot of big trees out here!

Ty also likes Remote Control trucks. This one would go so fast it would toss gravel back behind its wheels. Sad to say this truck didn't last long because Ty 'rolled' it a few too many times... fun while it lasted.

Please notice the two innocent cats in the background... can you guess why they feel the need to be a safe distance BEHIND Ty and his truck... can you say 'crazy driver?' Ty has a mischieveous giggle when he gets behind the wheel of a remote, must say I kept MY distance too!

What we've been UP TO for past 2 years.....

One Sunday we were taking a drive down a country road. We were looking at various areas of town to get an idea of where we may want to eventually settle. We saw a 'For Sale' sign on the back of a VERY old barn and we were hooked. Called the realtor and saw the property, with the barn, just a few days later. It was love at first sight. The land was being used as a horse farm, I instantly saw the placement of our dream home and general layouts for driveway, pond, henhouse, etc. It was literally instant for me. Shawn took a leap of faith with me and my vision and we bought the land. This picture is taken looking to the front of the property and the mountain.

This is an old silo at the front entrance to the property. Prior owners stored horse supplies/feed here. I just love its charm. In the woods to the back of the silo is several old farming implements and a beautiful wooded path to explore.

This is again looking to the front of the property, standing at the edge of what would be our circular drive to our home. Notice the BARN!! It is actually structurally sound yet looks like the next gentle breeze could send it tumbling to the ground. Around this barn is where we will eventually have a garden and I want a pumpkin and gourd patch.

And here is our home. I carried around this house plan since 1996. We had some hurdles as house codes have changed since 10 years ago, but we tackled those obstacles and it is finally done, sort of, giggle. It is in a comfortable 'holding pattern' I should more truthfully say. We love it and I have lots of 'touches' still to apply.

This is a three car garage, er, uhh, Carriage House, doesn't that sound much fancier! I had my sil's dad create this design from a photo I found of an old European barn. It is so very original and I love it. Eventually we hope to finish the upstairs into a Guest Cottage and primarily have it waiting and ready for our Utah family to come and stay in the 'Callahan Bed and Breakfast'. It is still very much in the rough stage but I can see it completed and it will be quite the gem.

So here we are... I joke that our home looks like Dorothy's home in the Wizard of Oz... picked up by a tornado and plopped in the middle of a field. It will take years to implement the landscaping dreams that are in my head but it will be a complete joy plugging away at them. Meanwhile I have decided that I want chickens... is that laughter I hear... I KNOW I have a slight fear of anything with feathers and beaks, but I want em, really I do.

So meanwhile, I hope you enjoy by many Before and After photos as I tackle this mammoth project. Projects we hope to finish in 2008: More identifiable entrance, prepare garden lot for spring of 2009, we need a front sidewalk so guests enter the front door not garage, grrr, and last but not least... when you see our house, you might THINK we have a front yard swimming pool! We are SO not that fancy... it is a badly draining circular drive island that needs serious rescuing. So there you go... now if I wasn't so very vain I would include a photo of MYSELF right now.... suffering terribly from head to toe poison ivy. Thats right, I was diligently working on the entrance area like a good little homeowner, and POW, my first attack of poison ivy ever. Its a doozy, and lets just say I didn't know ones face could get so distorted, Shawn is doing a magnificent job of loving me in my pityful state, now that is REAL love or should I say BLIND love... times like these make me thankful for any kind of loves!!!

Friday, April 4

Am I too late?

So... starting a family blog was one of my 2008 resolutions. April 4th is probably a tad late to start on a resolution but it IS still 2008, so hoorah to me. After spending Christmas 2007 with the Callahans in Utah, I wanted to start this blog so we can stay in better touch, we miss them already. So please be patient, here I go!