Sunday, August 31

Call me crazy...

The Callahans are surviving. The kids are feeling MUCH better. I did not get the worst of this yucka, and I am sure to be 100% quickly. Shawn is exhausted from very little sleep checking on all us sickies, but seems to still be feeling fine. And you know what I am going to do for myself after this downer of a weekend? This will be shocking for those that know me well... I have decided to give myself the OK on NOT having a 'to do' list this week. I mean it! I have a Presidency Mtg on Wednesday morning that I need to attend, and otherwise, me and the kids are going to be crazy all week. Do what we wanna! Afterall, school starts for us next week. We are partying til the donkeys come home (we don't have cows... yet!)

Saturday, August 30

Another one bites the dust

Seems the Mayfield masses have been slammed with a nasty yucka!! It has ruthlessly gone through family by family. We are now the latest victims. Starting around 10am, this morning, it struck... we tried to deny it, futile. Ty seems to have it the worst thus far, I just cry when my kids are this sick, so helpless. I've contacted a few family members with experience pertaining to said yucka bug, news ain't good. 24 hours of viciousness, another 24-48 hours of intense recovery. We have a wonderful Labor Day planned, food is involved, food that NOONE wants to even think about right now! Looking forward to seeing what an improvement tomorrow will bring to our household, I've never had a bad Sunday, I love Sundays, very optimistic. Meanwhile, if you see a Mayfield within 10 feet of you or someone you love, be kind, smile, wave, about face, RUN!!!!

Hugging myself, all day long...

Do you know how you can tell that I am so excited I can't contain myself? I hug myself! Yep, it keeps me from jumping up and down, swinging my arms in pure joy like a toddler, and to ensure no spontaneous outbursts of happy dancing. I did not want to worry the sweet couple we were getting our new pets from, so I stood there... well... you know... squeeeeeze!
Here is the new herd. Six goats and two miniature donkeys. We had to make two trips with a horse trailer to get them all home. The goats were fairly easy... I say easy, but, what I mean is... it was easy for ME to watch Shawn grab them by their horns and show them who is boss. Donkeys were a tad trickier to get loaded. I actually was forced to stop hugging myself during this episode because 'all hands were on deck'. So I cannot be held responsible for the annoying giggling that I did during this roundup!

Ready for more introductions? In the back is Molly, and the rear shot (sorry) is Eeyore.
This is Molly's markings, see the cross? That is why these donkeys are often called 'Nativity Donkeys'. I couldn't get a 'right side up' shot of her cross because we have been told it is VERY unwise to stand behind a donkey, note taken!

And below is Eeyore's marking, they are fainter but his overall body color is gorgeous!

Now for the goats. Look at THIS fella. Shawn and I took one of our favorite vacations to Pennsylvania, and this guy reminds me of the sweet Amish men, very intense, very stoic. So a common Amish name we heard was Eli... so meet Eli. He is short and strong. Funny thing is that he can be pushy with the other male but is quite submissive with the females... what a wise goat!

Here is one of our mother/daughter duos. The mother is Lucy, her daughter is Emme.

This other black mommy goat is Daisy.....

and her significant other... Duke. Whats that? Did those of you, like me, that grew up in the 80s just giggle over Daisy and Duke? snort!

Here is a family shot... Daisy on the left, Duke, and Jilly (Daisy's daughter) on the right.

And do you remember Jack? Him and his mom, Amelia were our first two goats. Amelia has experience around other goats, so she is adapting well and seems quite thrilled for the added company. Jack on the other hand, is less than thrilled. He is very socialized with humans, but not happy with the new animal company. Seems to be looking at the rest, hoping they are only here for a short visit. Notice Jacks tail, usually this signals that he is about to 'drop his contents', but in this case it means, 'I don't want to play with the other goats and NOONE can make me.' Amelia is the cutest little mommy and tries to nudge Jack over and over again to the other goats. He is having NONE of it! OH, come on Jack, don't you see that cute little black goat we named just for YOU?!! Jack and Jilly, you two were meant to be sweethearts!

Wednesday, August 27

Saved by the bell...

This has been a resolution a long time coming. When the kids are out and about, it is hard to find them sometimes. I don't like to yell at the top of my lungs each time I need the children. We tried using walkie talkies, but they don't work properly out here, too hit or miss. Then I bought this cutey dinner bell to go out on the back porch. Savannah was the one that suggested I ring the bell when I needed them to come home. I didn't think the sound of the bell would carry very far, but I tried it... Success! Hopefully the sound of this bell is less obtrusive than my only other choice, grin. Although, the cats are terrified of it.

Tuesday, August 26

Umm, well, maybe a little overboard...

So, do any of you out there in bloggers world frequent craigslist? I must say it has replaced my addiction to ebay, since building the house has left funds a tad low, grin. Well, Shawn, I, kiddos, Misty, and the fabulous Mgirls trekked out to the country (not to be confused with the country we live in), to just take a looksy at something that caught my eye on craigslist.
I have a love for the sound of donkeys... did not know about said love until our neighbors got one, and now I grin, randomly, throughout the day at the sound of his eeeeahhhhh! I've tried to become numb to it, futile, I love it... and now fully embrace it!
So I was quite defenseless, yeah, yeah, I was a victim to my 'gotta see 'ittis', when I saw for sale, nativity donkeys! These are miniature donkeys that have a marking on their backs of a cross. They are so CUTE! Everybit as loud of a eeeeahhhhher as the larger donkey next door. SOLD!! We got a jack (male) named Eeyore, and a gennet (sp?, female) named Molly. From what we witnessed while at the farm, Eeyore has quite a crush on little miss Molly, wink, wink.
So you ask... well, Dawn, I wouldn't accuse you of going 'overboard' just for buying 2 precious, adorable, miniature, nativity donkeys.... why are you being so hard on yourself?
Here's the whole sorted details! I was standing there on this beautiful farm, drooling over my newest purchase of the two eeeeahhhh sweethearts... when out of no where, the seller mentioned that they were streamlining their animals to focus on donkeys and horses. So I had to ask myself, and soon thereafter, Ms. Cheryl... but what about the little goats? Are you keeping them? At which point she looked at me with a NOT SO INNOCENT grin, and said... they are for sale too. WHAT!!??!!
Now, actual pictures to follow once we pick up our HERD on Saturday, but you will see then that I truly WAS defenseless, cause our current goats are gorgeous brown and white goats, and several of Ms. Cheryl's were black and white. SEE?!? How cute will they be running around our back acreage, mowing the lawn for us? I added that 'mowing the lawn' part for Shawn. He is still reeling, doesn't know what hit him, went from 'lets go see these cute donkeys', to a new owner of EIGHT new animals! Yep, there it is, my confession of overboardAGE! Two donkeys and Six new goats, bringing our total to 8 goats. And did I mention the small detail that we don't have a fence up yet on the back property and we pick up the animals Saturday, AND we don't have a trailer to pick them up with.
So, any thoughts on how many months.... years.... it will take me to dig myself out of 'debt' with my dearest sweetheart? Truth be told he was very smitten by the donkeys... he was all about the donkeys once we got there... it was the goats that did him in. Meanwhile, Savannah stood in the background, giggling, clapping, jumping up and down, but ever so silent, as she didn't DARE dream that I was actually going to talk him into this. Her self control was amazing, incredible performance, my dear sweet daughter! I've raised you well, grin!

Wednesday, August 20

Promise, finally fulfilled

Please forgive me, this is a NOVEL of a post. I promised a friend, not local, that I would post pictures of some of these items that I have tried to describe to her. So these pics are way over due for her, and now she has to fulfill her promise to comment more, wink, wink!
This is a pic taken to the immediate right as you enter the familyrm. I call this the family 'hub' cabinet. We each have an individual drawer for our 'junk'. And then the other drawers hold pens/pencil, paperclips, etc.
I can't put magnets on the fridge for Ty's artwork and such, so here is a splash of whimsy in our familyrm. I painted a 'mat' on the wall and then added 3 corkboards so I could add those personal tidbits that used to go on the front of the fridge.
This is our wonderful dish hutch. I had this narrow stretch of wall across from the pantry and I was stumped as to what to squeeze in there. Shawn actually suggested this hutch and I love it. We had just enough depth for plates, so it was meant to be. Now the kids can set the table for meals and NOT be in my cooking space. Its so nice.

And here it is... the item that EVERYONE pauses in front of in awe. Go figure, a fridge has its own 'groupies'. I love it too, the scale is perfect for the room and who knew a fridge could actually be pretty.

This is one of my favorite 'collages' in the house. The canvas print of the entwined fork/spoon makes me smile. And that corbel is off an old church, gorgeous!

I am so thankful I stuck to my gut intincts on the kitchen. So many people tried to talk me out of going all the way to the 10' ceiling with the cabinets. Again, spacially (sp?), it is the right scale. Especially because the ceiling a few inches away, pitches to over 20'. Now I have that rare space up top to store holiday items and outdoor entertaining stuff. More favorites, the backsplash, cabinet hardware, and the pot filler.I love these windows. Someday, there will be a gorgeous view to look at while doing the dishes, grin. I've always loved the single basin large farmhouse sinks. I hate dishes on my counters, so this does the trick. The countertops are honed black granite. It gives a wonderful look somewhere between the look of cement and soapstone, it will get better and better as it ages. The granite also goes behind the sink and into the sill of the window. I want to become a topiary master someday and this is where I will line up my masterpieces!

Shawn and I found this huge slab of oak at an antique store in Cullman for our harvest table. We had it planed, minimally, so as to make it 'semi' flat but leave all the incredible character. We built the legs/apron, I did 10 layers of stain and sanded inbetween, and 3 layers of sealer!! I can fit 12 nieces and nephews around this beast. I usually purpose it as a kitchen island when not entertaining.

And finally, the familyrm. I love this fireplace wall. Eventually there will be a flatscreen over the mantle, but for now I have some artwork there. This is a really good 'holding pattern' look until Shawn gets his bigscreen, grin.

I am so proud of this accent. Shawn has been teaching Christian to use powertools. He is loving it. So I had miscellaneous branches just leaning in a corner and asked Chrisitan to chop them up and stack them in the niche. I left, and when I got back, this is what he did! I don't want to move one little branch, it is perfect. As we find more branches, I know he will be my go to guy to build it up higher.

Here is a shot of my back wall of windows, instant relaxation! This is our PotteryBarn table that I have had for years and will never, NEVER part with. The more wear and tear it gets, the better it looks. I eventually want to slipcover my old parson chairs in linen. I just can't decide if I even want window treatments in here. The windows are casements. Maybe a very clean, linen roman shade, I'm sure they would stay pulled up all the time anyway, thoughts?

And the view out the familyrm french doors. Approximately 150' back will eventually be a manicured backyard, I'm drooling thinking of the future plans. Then the rest of the land will have a pond, and at the very back... a small barn for horse, donkey, cow, and lots and lots of goats. All done, are you still awake?

Our lil' green mystery

Isn't it cute? Usually these little critters are on our windows. This is actually the first time I have spotted one on anything other than glass. Does anyone know what kind of frog this is? Its 'underside' looks exactly like a suction cup, grin. If noone knows, I may have Savannah and Christian tackle this mystery for a science research topic. FUN!

Shhh, its sleeping. Usually its eyes are wide open and they blink periodically so you know its still alive, whew!

Tuesday, August 19

One second you're up... the next....look out below!

We had our Ward Enrichment on our land tonight. So earlier today, I asked the kids to do a few things to straighten up the land/house. Ty was assigned to sweep the front walk. Now given, we have a beast of a front walk, but the drama he displayed was incredible. Around the tenth time of whining and spouting broken child labor laws... he got real brave and told me he wouldn't do it! He was hot and sweaty and could work no longer! So I calmly told him that I was going to miss watching him play baseball. Total confusion, but curiousity got him... what could THIS have to do with baseball?! I explained... you get really hot and sweaty when you play baseball, so I guess there's no more baseball for you, as I displayed a look of such disappointment (afterall, mothers have to be dedicated to the reverse phsychology, when attempted)! Ty sat stunned and thinking... then stormed toward the front door. Then turned, stomped right back over to me and said..." you just wait, I'm gonna grow big, and smarter, and then I will be able to think faster, and THEN I will win a fight with you, and then I will be laughing.... but now I'm mad at you (stomp, stomp, whimper, slamming of front door, for emphasis). Now of course I would not dare let him see me grinning, but I thought he was so very cute in that moment, and I think, THINK, that my 6 yr old still thinks his mom is smart! So here is my SECOND of being UP..... short lived.

Later in the day, Savannah came to me ranting and raving about some absolute travesty, or so how SHE saw it. I let her unload, going on and on, AND on! But then I made the terrible mistake of trying to offer advise tooooooo soon. She wasn't ready for me to reason with her yet, she still had a hissy to perform, so of course all anger, anguish, and emotion plopped right in MY lap. I couldn't backpaddle fast enough, I missed the cues, I lept in too soon. THEN I took a turn at being unreasonable and told her that I don't appreciate her acting as if I KNOW NOTHING!! She calmly and collectively took a breath and said... 'Moooooooom!!! (I never knew that word had more than ONE syllable?!*#) I never said you knew nothing.... you just know VERY LITTLE about THIS! Ahhhh.... there it is, I'm back DOWN to earth again... so a day in the life of a mother, grin.

Thursday, August 14

are you breathing just a little,
and calling it a life ?"

- Mary Oliver

Note - Just a wanna be country gal waxing poetic, must be the weather!

Wednesday, August 13

Ridiculously Happy

It is breathtaking out here in the sticks today, thanks to an entire day of rain yesterday... ahhhhh. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE rain, snort?!

Tuesday, August 12

'Being Home'

I don't know who took this photo!?! But while I was downloading pictures, my heart lept at the sight of it... our front door... our home. I could easily become a hermit, never leaving our home, our land, and most definitely being content and happy. But I know while I love to 'stay home', I gain so much in experience when I must leave home too.
I love poetry, quotes, music... words so beautifully arranged, clearly representing feelings and thoughts. I love to read pieces written by Gunilla Norris. Has anyone read her work? While Gunilla does not have the same understanding of her Heavenly Father and her Savior as I, still her words touch me. She has such a way of meditating on the 'everyday' wonders, even housework. She makes me think differently about my daily 'chores', finding joy in my role as mother and domestic engineer. So with this photo, I thought of Gunilla...

Crossing the Threshold
Many times today I will cross over a threshold.
I hope I will catch a few of those times.
I need to remember that my life is, in fact,
a continuous series of thresholds:
from one moment to the next,
from one thought to the next,
from one action to the next.
Help me appreciate how awesome this is.
How many are the chances to be really alive...
to be aware of the enormous dimension
we live within.
On the threshold the entire past
and the endless future
rush to meet one another.
They take hold of each other and laugh.
They are so happy to discover themselves
in the awareness of a human creature.
On the threshold the present breaks all boundaries.
It is a convergence,
a fellowship with all time and space.
We find You there.
And we are found by You there.
Help me cross into the present moment-
into wonder, into Your grace:
that "now-place", where we all are,
unfolding as Your life moment by moment.
Let me live on the threshold as threshold.
-Gunilla Norris

Sleepy Eyes

First thing in the morning, then last thing in the evening... I just love sleepy, cuddly, children! When I am watching my nieces and nephews, the joy I get from seeing THEIR sleepy eyes in the morning and at night is about more than I can handle. So funny to me, but I must add them to the 'list'... my favorite things in the WORLD list... puffy eyelids!
There's the classic look... moooooooooooooom! Just let me be to get my cereal bowl in peace!!
And our little miss savannah sunshine. She wakes up pleasant and precious. Eager to feed all her many pets and start her day. She is a Morning Person in every sense of the words!

AND, then there's my mini me! Morning comes way to soon for Christian, even if it is already 10am. He's a sleeper, but he gets plenty of compassion from his mom, because I am too. Luckily Christian is also a BOY, and soon enough his tummy won't let him sleep any longer, he must 'feed the machine' and Christian finally joins the family for the day.

Monday, August 4

Am I tough enough?!?

Today?... NO!!! Our precious little ducklings are gone. They held their own against our cats, they ran for cover from BIG birds... but Bella, our beagle pup, snapped her cord last night and got them. I've cried and cried today, so have the kids. I found myself looking at Bella today mad at her, she is my heart, but I am pouting and I may need several more days to get it out of my system. I was already in love with those ducks, I just don't know if I'm tough enough for acres full of animals, but I promised Savannah this experience would not 'do me in'... just yet.

Sunday, August 3

School not quite in session...

Most of our family and friends know this but just in case I have missed anyone... the Callahans are homeschooling this year! We have wanted to do this for a very long time and now we are moving forward. We are so very excited. We took advantage of the tax free weekend, got a couple laptops and other school supplies, and I think we are finally set... well, we will be setting up in the study and slowly making it exactly what we want. Ty referred to the study as 'our classroom' last night so I think it will work just fine! So here we go, well actually we start September 6th so we have a little more playtime, yay!