Friday, September 26

An Olde Fashioned Ball

Savannah was so excited all day today! She recieved an invitation to a 'Ball'. Our neighbor girls are the hostesses. All the attendees are wearing old fashion dresses.
Savannah was gracious enough to pause for a split second for a photo, then she ran over to the neighbors home early because she was bumming a hoop slip, oh dear.
Such a beautiful evening for a party!

Thursday, September 25

Education... at its finest!

So, truthfully, science was never my favorite subject in school... old report cards would prove that fact. But doing science with Ty has been a BLAST! That cutey thinks everything is super cool and ooohs-aaaaahhs at all the right times! Love 'im!
This week we are studying the Creation. We've done 3 different 'joy directed activities'... which means activities that bring concepts to life.
1. We learned how so many things are unique. Snowflakes look identical to the naked eye, yet we know they are each so different. Crystals seem the same, but are not. Ty made some salt crystals. Has anyone ever done this? It is so incredible! Ty made his blue and they are breathtaking... my camera did not even begin to do them justice, so I refuse to post the pics... no way hosea, nadda, ain't gonna do it!
2. We learned about how people are unique too. We did fingerprint animals, listed Ty's difference/similarities to his sibling, but then the STAR of the show.... fake skin. Surely everyong has done this! If you haven't, stop EVERYTHING this minute and do it because your life will be void and meaningless otherwise, grin. We smeared a bit of glue on Ty's hand. Then let it completely dry. Then he peeled it slightly off, and noticed that the skin 'prints' and grooves stayed in the dry glue, making it look exactly like skin.
Science just isn't exciting enough unless youngest sibling, aka Ty, runs into the classroom screaming!!! OWWWWWWWWW, I've got a huge blister and it is hurting SOOOOO bad. Then youngest child watches as older siblings FREAK OUT at his 'injury'... him keeping a straight face the entire time. Christian even hugged and kissed Ty trying to console him. Maybe a teensybit of guilt felt there, but the scam went on. Then Ty grabbed the 'blistered' skin and RIPPED it off... Savannah and Christian gringed and screamed that he shouldn't have done that, now his blister was really going to sting... and Ty cracked, started laughing his head off. Science experiment completed!

3. And finally, whats a lesson on Creation without going out and collecting a sample of some of the gorgeous things we have around us everyday?!

Didn't know though, that Ty was going to go collect dead insect carcasses off the back porch to add to his collage, gross. Do you see the little mosquito? Now do you see the giant blob of glue Ty used to secure it to his project? Splat!

Now we are off to do math... after a yummy lunch that is....priorities!

Monday, September 22

Back where they belong...

Shawn and Christian left on Friday to go to Baton Rouge and help with Hurricane Ike Relief. They just got home last night, Sunday, none too soon.
I am the supreme whimpo when it comes to time away from my sweetheart. He is my absolute favorite person in the whole world and there is noone I rather spend time with. When I heard how much my two conquering heros were able to accomplish while in Louisiana, I sure was grateful that I bit my selfish little lip, and helped them pack to go... instead of my 'plan B', pout, whine, whimper, and yes... hold my breath till turning blue cause I don't wanna let 'em go!
Quick side note... at around 11pm last night, Shawn and I were settling in for the night, peaceful, quiet country night... THEN, our security alarm goes off!! Do you even KNOW how panicked I would have been if this had happened while the fellas were still gone?! But it was a false alarm, funny thing is that something on a TV commercial hit the perfect pitch to set off our 'glass break' sensor in our masterbedroom. Savannah and Christian shot out of bed and scurried to us... Ty slept through the whole thing!

Thursday, September 18

Life... in 6 words

childhood dreams realized.
Describe your life in six words. I just loved this 'tag'. Six words came to me instantly.
Now, how about you?

Wednesday, September 17


That's me trying to 'sound' like a pirate, cause at the moment I 'feel' like one... minus the fancy eye patch with the skull/xbones! I was feeding the donkeys some leaves yesterday and had a mishap. I was holding a bundle of branches and Ms. Molly got a little excited and grabbed an entire branch out of my arms and the end of the branch flipped up and tagged my right eye!
I was taken to my knees by an unprovoked donkey attack, it was brutal, I fought through the pain, pulled myself back to the house on hands and knees... struggling, grasping to hope....
OK, so I was taken 'out' by a tree branch. OUCH! It was an instant take down, complete surrendor to the tears that poured from my eye. I did manage to walk back to the house fine. But I spent the next hour desperately trying to open my eye to see what could be causing so much pain! No success!
Shawn got home from work, and I was a true mess by then. Didn't know the eye was capable of pouring out so much water and it continued to gush. By that point I was convinced that if I had something in my eye, surely the tears would have washed them away by then, so I feared a scratch of some sort. Shawn was finally able to crank my lid open long enough to see a definite scratch.
Dr. Cliff Stratton to the rescue. Blessing for us that he was still in his office when we called. My whining all the way to his office made the trip downright miserable for Shawn but he was such a tolerant hubby, love that guy! Dr. Stratton had some miracle drops that numbed by eye, whew, instant relief, and that allowed me to actually open my eye for the first time in 2 hours. Yep, it was a scratch on my cornea. But nothing more serious, thank goodness. But the doc couldn't give me any miracle drops to heal the scratch in 10 seconds like I was hoping, I've just gotta be a big girl and wait it out.
This morning I still can't open my eye. My kids think I look funny, glad I can at least be entertaining in my pain, now thats a good mommy, huh?! I'm taking pain medicine and applying a bag of frozen corn... I was a little bit rebellious because Dr. Stratton suggested frozen peas, giggle, but I have bags of frozen corn in my freezer, so wild and crazy as it may be... I shall be a rebel, here with my little bag of corn!
So, in the end, I shall indeed survive, it was iffy there for a little while. Dr. Stratton PROMISED me, no pressure doc, that I should be all healed in a few day... may get worse before it gets better, but better is the ultimate goal.
PS - I still very much love my Ms. Molly, she apologized to me and begged for my forgiveness, which I granted immediately with a bucket of sweet feed. All is well, er, uh, well, it WILL be well when I can quit walking around like 'one-eyed Jack' or more amusing...'Pirate Jack'!

Saturday, September 13

A beautiful MESS

Now I've really done it! Through a series of events, we were contacted about 2 more donkeys that needed a new home. We were told they were in poor shape because the owner was unable to give them sufficient time/care. Shawn and I went to see them on Friday and I did it, yep, I really stepped in it this time. When we arrived, I was NOT happy with their appearance. I am no donkey expert, but I found myself looking at two of the most pityful looking animals I have ever seen. My heart was broken for them. Savannah was not with us, and I immediately thought that she would cry over their condition. My very next thought was, 'Savannah could love these donkeys back to good health, and if not, they would be so much better off with us anyway'. I called Savannah and the decision was made, we had to DO something. So I have been quite a sleuth and we are armed with hopefully enough knowledge to give these little donkeys a fighting chance. I'll promise to post pics just as soon as we feel they are both in the 'clear'. It is just a little too sad to do a photo shoot just yet.
I believe the jack, we call him Black Bart, will be fine eventually... IF him and Eeyore can quit being such macho, alpha males and play nice, grrrrr. But the little jennet, Jenne, is very bad off. We have her isolated, so very delicate. She will have a long way back to health but if the reaction she already gives Savannah is any indication... once again, Savannah will be victorious. So after just 48 hours, Jenne's little life is so much more joyful. I love my daughter, she is my hero!!
So, a beautiful mess indeed! Thankful we could rescue these 2 babes, but never figured we would own 4 donkeys, never a dull moment!

Wednesday, September 10

And so we begin...

Today we started homeschooling. The kids were busting with excitement! Some of there curriculum is done on computers so they spent the morning getting more familiar with that. Conveniently for me, they will have 'homeroom' sites that log their work/hours and will help when it is time to report their progress. First order of 'business' is to help them become better typers! They are one finger key pushers, and while that does not seem to bother them in the least now, I'm sure it will in the future, and it surely will save me from pulling my hair out! I received one recommendation for a fun 'Learn to Type' cd and have found it on Amazon. Any other suggestions?
So don't think us anti-social when we don't answer the phone from 8am-1pm... the Callahans are just doing some learnin'!
Totally unrelated subject... I am reeeeling thinking about how much my daughter has converted me to loving these animals of ours. Who knew?! My objective to moving out here was the lifestyle... helps us slow down, invite silence, etc. Secondly it was the Land, I am a wanna be landscape designer... now if I only had the big bucks needed to do my big plans, grin. And of course, I had my dream home plan that I toted around with me for over 10 years. But it was NEVER about owning animals for me. I knew that I had run out of time and excuses and would have to get at least a few furry, stinky thingeys to please my ever patient daughter, but I thought I would just tolerate it. Quite the opposite, while I would not dare say I love them to the same degree Savannah does... that is quite unique... I do enjoy them a lot!
While on a trip with Shawn recently, I needed to waste some time while he was in a seminar. I strolled through a mall. And there was a little shop with WillowTree figurines. I don't really 'collect' specific items... I do enjoy antiques, but otherwise I just buy what I fall in love with. BUT these figurines draw me in, everytime. So much feeling and emotion in them... and they don't even have facial features, it amazes me! In this store they had a few miscellaneous figurines marked very low because they had no boxes or were bits and pieces of a larger set that were incomplete. For the first time, I really noticed the animal figurines. They are so very precious too. I got this girl, love her! And this random goat, I think it should belong to a ensemble cast from Nativity set, I got him and a bull, or maybe it is an oxen from the nativity too. Now I want to run up and tear in to my Christmas boxes and see if I have anymore animals from my nativity set, I think I only have sheep, but then cluster all these lovelies together. Won't that be cutey. Tap, tap, tap... is this thing on?...Silence... chirp... chirp... OK, so work with me here. Don't you think it may be cute on my little table I have by my front door?! I think it would be quite representative of our 'life' and 'loves' to greet you as you enter our home. So I am off, to hunt down any other WillowTree animals I may already own and make a wishlist for ones I would love to receive. There is a donkey available right? Don't need a camel, even I know when to say when... I think! Let me live in bliss, or is it sillyness, either way, I have a huge grin on my face... next comes the ever faithful.... hugging myself, I'm so predictable!

Tuesday, September 9

Calling my bluff

A little background, Savannah and Christian learned how to ride bikes at 4 and 3. One evening for FHE, they both begged to be taught and so we thought we'd try. About 1 hour later, they both were riding, they skipped the training wheel step! Savannah never crashed, but was very timid and was very stop and go, but got it quickly. Christian crashed repeatedly. Was insulted that his dad kept wanting to hold on to his bike, wanted to be LET GO!!! But again, he was riding by the end of one evening, and had blooding elbows, knees, chin as battle scars!
Years later, there is Ty. Now usually Ty is a go-getter, very shy, but loves to master things. At the age of 6 he is amazingly good at chess, and other games that he has no business playing... RISK, MONOPOLY, etc, or so according to the age suggestions on the boxes. I guess he has reaped the rewards of having older siblings and loves to 'overachieve' in most matters. BUT ONE! The kid has NO desire to ride a bike. Not his thing! NOT interested in the least! He loves scooters and 4 wheelers but not the bike. This has worried me for some reason, doesn't every kid need to at least KNOW how to ride a bike, even if he rarely uses the skill? Ty says, "NO!!"
Until, we find ourselves at Tractor Supply. Don't laugh, we frequent this establishment quite often, NO JUDGEMENT!!! Back to Ty.... he sees a dirt bike there. Now this is no ordinary dirt bike (which are incredible all on their own). BUT this is a heavy duty, tank looking dirt bike. Ty's eyes glossed over. He stroked it, he petted it, I wiped the drool from his chin... it was getting a tad embarrassing. And then it began.... please, please, please, mom, please, I will be a good son forever, I promise, I won't ever ask for anything, ever again, as long as I live, I promise, really, come on, don't you think I would be so cute on this, mom, don't you, whatabout for Christmas, can I have it, what about Christmas AND birthday, don't say no too fast, just think about it, mom, will you think about it?!!!
But unbeknownst to him, I was on the top of my 'mommy game' (or so I thought) and calmly replied, "but sweet, yes cute, son... you would first need to know how to ride a bike before you could ride a dirt bike." Squashed! It is so heartbreaking when being a mom requires you to state the facts and dash hopes and dreams... but thems the facts cutey 6 year old.
So began the great pout of 2008! It lasted the rest of our shopping excursion and we finally arrived home. After unloading the truck at the barn, Ty ran off. I figured to ensure that the silent treatment could continue. Once I was back in the house, maybe 1/2 hour later... I hear screams for me, like crazy... alarming screaming, the ones that make you drop what you're doing and run, tears of panic starting to well up! I bust out the front door, Savannah and Christian are pointing... down the forever long drive! Lo and Behold, there's Ty, riding a bike! We were all shocked. NOONE helped him! Christian said he just got on the bike and started working at it. Please keep in mind this is on a gravel drive to boot, thankgoodness for stubborn 6 year old boys. NOW... THIS is where I immediately try to remember EXACTLY what I said at Tractor Supply... is there any 'OUT' clause for getting the dirt bike for Christmas, I'm thinking NOT!!! UGH!!!! Note to self, next time be more specific, have child sign contract that he understands learning to ride a bike does NOT guarantee ownership of said dirtbike! Back paddle, back paddle, back paddle, blirp!

Saturday, September 6

Cheap Farm Hand Needed

Savannah and Christian left at 6am this morning for a temple trip. We were left short-handed for help around the farm, who would help feed all the animals?! No ordinary farm-hand could replace superhero farmgirl Savannah. Who Ooooohh who is precious enough to fill her shoes?
And this helper must work for CHEAP! We have a bag of these to offer as payment? Any takers?

Who's that to our rescue? Seems this little gal's parents had some Auburn tickets, so she was free to help us out this Saturday. Whew! Now lets see if she's tough enough!

Taylor was never more than 10 paces behind Ty the whole day. She held her OWN, gotta love a strong girl. She walked, never asked to be carried, from one end of our property to the other. Even walked over to Papa's house to visit too. Wherever Tayter (this is what her cousin Georgia calls her), was... so were the kittens. They loved her!

She even offered to share her wages with the kitties!

The biggest job of the day... feeding the goats and donkeys. Now keep in mind that these rascals can get a little fiesty when it is breakfast time. Taylor would have NONE of their unruly behavior, she scolded them properly when they got a little wild. It was nice to have a farm hand that kept control like Savannah does.

No fear! While our donkeys are miniatures, they are still large in comparison to Taylor. She marched right up to Eeyore and fed him some hay. They had a bond instantly. Taylor did 'no no' Eeyore for the huge piles of manure he recklessly dropped everywhere. Eeyore took the reprimand in stride, and then was Taylor's little (I should say BIG) shadow for the rest of the time in the pen. When we needed to leave it was TOO soon for Taylor's liking, that was the one and only time she got diva with me, it was short lived though.

The rest of her day consisted of MANY wardrobe changes, thanks mom and dad for sending her well prepared for a dirty day on the farm (I'm not sure her shoes will EVER recover though), feeding the herd some cut down brush from Uncle Shawn's project, helped pull a long hose to the back of the property, helped carry water and watermelon to Uncle Shawn, and supervised the puppies getting a bath. After a good bath of her own, she sat on the front porch waiting for the arrival of mommy and daddy. At which point she sprinted down our FOREVER long sidewalk in pure glee... and crashed inches away from leaping in her mommy's arms, oh drat. Good thing we got all that work out of her before she went and injured herself, grin. Seriously, she was OK, and after a busy day with a very minimal nap, I bet the following quote came true.... 'a very busy day brings happy sleep!'
Thank you Taylor, we'd hire you again... ANYTIME!

Thursday, September 4

SOME assembly required??!

Tad misleading... the description SHOULD have said.... 'every little tiny microscopic bit of assembly will need to be sweated, toiled, and done by purchaser!' Whew!
I love adirondack furniture. It is classic cottage seating, don't ya think? I have started to collect miscellaneous chairs that I find on sale/clearance because I want several out by the barn. I want some to surround the future pond. And I would like some to circle the fire ring. I don't mind at all, them being all different, I love the look of them and they will eventually all be painted white.
But I about peed in my pants when I found these A.chairs. I love that they had the straight upper back instead of the classic shell or arch cut (although I love those too). I think they give them a modern spin on a very traditional style. And because I have the large arches on the front porch and front door, I loved that the straight back would not be 'overkill' on the arch feature. I'm a firm believer that you can overdue arches, I prefer them to be random details, not too repetitive.
My dear sweetheart assembled 1 chair and 2 ottomans and really washed his hands of the tedious task. Christian and I did the rest and it was INDEED a task! Even though they are beautiful cedar, I definitely want to paint these eventually. From a distance they get washed out with all the neutral paint tones on the porch. Should I do classic white, very safe... or should I paint them black, very nontraditional, but I think it would be modern like their shape and possibly help them pop more from a distance out. Thoughts?
Our front porch is shaped like an 'L'. I love this little nook. I'm sure this will be my favorite spot to sit. I am thinking I need to add a little table and possibly something on the wall. I'll keep you updated on the whole front porch additions. More pics coming!

I don't know if I have already 'goooooshed' over my piece of driftwood, hopefully not, but if so, I shall gooosh again! One Sunday after church, Shawn took the kids to Ditto Landing for a stroll. I, in very predictable fashion, remained at home taking my nap, my beloved nap that I think fondly of all week long and would never deny myself of! While at Ditto, Christian saw this chunk of driftwood and thought I would love it. He thought RIGHT! Now usually driftwood drops most of its weight, but this chunk is heavy. My sweet boy hefted this piece up and carried it the rest of the way on their stroll and then all the way back to the car. When my sweeties returned home, I was waking up, and could hear a conversation going on in the next room about when Chrisitian should give 'it' to me. I laid in bed grinning, wondering what 'it' was. This was back around Mother's Day so Shawn was telling Christian to hide 'it' and give it to me then. I heard my precious guy say, 'but I want Mom to have it NOW!' And then (insert tears here) Christian said..."I don't need a special reason to give this to mom... it is Sunday, I found this for her, and I want her to have it today, cause she'll love it!" Then came the knock on my bedrm door and he entered, as I was playing oppossum! I can't tell you how much I adored my 12 year old son in that moment as he described finding that hunk of wood and KNOWING I would think it was cool, so he HAD to bring it home to me. And he WAS right, I do love it, and forever will. I have several pieces of driftwood around my home that I have collected on family reunions, etc, but this one will always be my favorite! Please notice it on my front porch when you come over, and feel free to make an obnoxious scene (in front of Christian) about how FABULOUS it is! He'll get all embarrassed and I will just melt again, ahhhhhh, the love of a son, it really is unique!

Wednesday, September 3

Friends don't let friends drive red tractors!

Thats a 'catch phrase' out here in these parts. I wish we had a tractor, this is actually a rental with a bush hog attached. Shawn should know exactly what he DOES want in a tractor once we are able to buy our own... in 20 years or so!

This pic made me giggle. Can you read what is on the back of his shirt? It says 'Dentistry 99'. It is an old sports tee from dental school. Bet he never dreamed back then he would be in AL, driving a tractor, owner of donkeys and goats, laughter!

It was hazy all day today but the temperature was great and we always get such incredible breezes especially in the back. Not sure he would admit it, but by how fast he was rattling off his many adventures of the day... I think he actually loves the tractor life!

Tuesday, September 2

Anatomy of a 'To Do' list

Well, I didn't even last 24 hours on my whole... live spontaneously, no havta getter dones, its MY week and I'll do what a want to... no 'to do list' hissy (see prior post)! I have found that my list actually makes me happy. Truly! Do you think my addiction is linked to the process of making the list? Or is it something deeper, like the little boxes that I put next to each line item? You know.... the little boxes that were next to those ever critical notes in elementary school. "Do you like me? yes or no." I love, LOVE the little boxes. I would never tarnish 'the list' by scribbling out the whole line item when done, a nice, precise, check in the little box brings such satisfaction.
I even have my kids treading down the same addictive path of the list. Yet they are quite rebellious, love to taunt me really, because even though they make the neat little box... they check it haphazardly, usually blacking out the whole chore, whimper. WHAT?!?? That isn't how I raised them! Sometimes I look at their completed list with its doodles, scribbles, heavy markings, and wonder.... 'where, OH WHERE, did I go wrong?' Where is the respect? Half the time they don't even write the correct date at the top! No dated TO DO list? What has this world come to?! inhale... exhale... inhale... exhale... whew, all better now... just remembered I have a beautifully arranged list to get to, and all is good in my little world!