Wednesday, November 26

Look what the wind blew in...

Its officially Turkey Day Eve, and look at the little turkeys that flew in to help us with some tasks.
Here's an action shot of Nate helping Christian with a construction project on the Fort. Please note that Nate refused to let go of a little car he found earlier,
showing his true talent of holding car in left hand and hammer in right.
He's a stud!!
Carden and Emma hoisting the Fort Flag

And in classic Emma fashion... shhhhhhh... please don't tell her mom but Emma's Aunt Dawn did not even notice that her niece had NO shoes on the whole day. I only noticed it at the end of the day as she was running back to the house and I saw white socks with muddy bottoms, oooops... those socks are a total loss!

Two turkeys under the bridge, gobble, gobble!!

How many cousins does it take to pound in a nail? Ty's thumbs look mighty close in proximity to that dropping hammer don't cha think!

Task #2... feeding the barn animals. Carden tried to organize the whole process. I think she was asking Amelia the goat to use her manners and say pretty please before she could have the squash.

Meanwhile, Emma in her timid, quiet, style... chased the goats around the pen, flapping her arms, to show them WHOs boss!

Tomorrow we are off to these little turkeys home, because their delightful mother is just insane enough to have us ALL over for Thanksgiving dinner. And we all support her in her insanity, and hope she is downright crazy for many years to come!!

PS - I did not notice the embarassing BUM shot of Ms. Lucy above until after I posted. Sorry for such a scandalous shot!!

Tuesday, November 25

Please don't hate me...

I am one of THOSE people that makes New Years Resolutions and actually does them. Yep! I can't help myself.
But as way of explanation, I do my resolutions in a very specific way and then tell a lot of people, of which YOU are now a part by reading this post,
what my resolutions are so I feel the Joy of returning and reporting.
Its how I'm wired... organized resolutions and to do lists... they make me a happy gal.
Many years ago I read an article on 'The 4 F's of Resolutions'. I tried it and it worked for me! And has, every year since!
So as I always do, I reflect on the current years (2008) resolutions and plan out the next years (2009) resolutions throughout the month of December.
I was 100% successful on my 4 resolutions for 2008, yippeee.
Always keep in mind that there is a very fine line between a 'burden' and a 'challenge'. I never resolve to do something that will burden me, forget it, not worth it... but I don't go easy on myself either... I want to grow.
So here are the 4 F's of Resolution:
this is where I set a spiritual goal, sometimes this involves just me and my personal spiritual growth, some years it involves goals that involve my whole family.
this is where I add something new to how our family 'works'. Something to make us stronger, closer.
yep, this is very important!! you know those things you rarely give yourself permission to do, but they give you joy. Well, now you can tell yourself that when you do those little, fun, things... you are actually keeping your New Years Resolution!
Forget IT:
each year I evaluate how I 'do' things, and decide if they have real value. I give myself permission to OMIT something from my life, or routine, because of this resolution. I find that I do some things simply because of habit... this resolution allows me to say, nope, nada, I don't wanna, anymore... and edit! Ahhhhhh! It always feels good to let go!
So to keep it real, I'm going to post my 2009 Resolutions at the end of next month and on to another successful year. I look forward to it!

Monday, November 24

Name that tune...

I can't sing a lick!!

But I love music and more specifically, I love the lyrics to songs. Since I can't read a note, lyrics truly read as poetry to me.

And so today, it began, my 24/7 playing of Christmas music.
Savannah is convinced I am the only person alive that 'rocks out' to Christmas music...
is she right?!? I just can't get enough of it, and I love it to be LOUD...
maybe the truth of the matter is that I don't want to hear myself sing,
so to truly enjoy the experience, I MUST crank it loud.
And so this brings me to my all time favorite Christmas song....
This song has always been able to create a visual image for me, even when I was little.

And my favorite part of my favorite song....

Little Baby,

I am a poor boy too,

I have no gift to bring

That's fit to give our King.

Shall I play for you!

On my drum.

Pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum

Can you name that tune???

And in my opinion, NOONE sings this song better than Josh Groban on his CD Noel, song 2, if you haven't heard it... please, please, go listen to it... you can thank me later as you wipe the tears from your eyes!

Friday, November 21

My Favorite Person....

A 'tag' about the person I adore the most!

Where did you meet?
Quite cliche... but in a singles ward in Utah. I could not keep my eyes off him. I even caught myself peeking at him one Sunday while he was blessing the sacrament, naughty girl!
My southern accent and Southern Belle charms got real thick during that time...I had to use something to stand out in that dating meat market, grin.
How long did you date before you were married?
Too long, I prayed about him after our second date and knew I would love him forever.
We dated 3 months before he proposed, and we were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple 3 months after that. I never got nervous, never got cold feet, never wanted anything more in my entire life!
How long have you been married?
15 years. We have lived in 11 different wards, 5 different states, 4 years of college, 4 years of graduate school, 1 year of residency, 3 years in the AirForce, and now we are happily settled in the country, whew!
What is your favorite quality of his?
Easy... his short memory.
He has tremendous, unconditional love for me. The one person that knows ALL of my weaknesses and faults, loves me more than anyone else. Amazing!
He sends me flowers, he comes to me first when he returns home each day, he tells our children how much he loves ME, and kisses me goodnight... everynight, without fail!
What is your favorite feature of his?
His blue eyes. I still remember being lost in them across from the altar.
Does he have a nickname for you?
'My love'
What is his favorite color?
He says he doesn't have one, but I personally love when he wears light blue or orange.
What is his favorite food?
Toughy, he has a different food he chooses at each restaurant we go too. But I would say Mexican wins, he especially likes pico de gallo and shredded steak in his mexican anything.
What is his favorite sport?
He has played a little of everything in his life. He was his high school jock and valedictorian... not a combo you see very often!
Shawn just loves staying active and is willing to try anything that gets him outside.

When and where was your first kiss?
Precious moment in time... standing in my grandmother's kitchen.
It was after our second date and he was leaving.
We had just laughed about something concerning our first date, and he leaned in and kissed me.
I must have looked shocked, because he apologized afterwards.
NO APOLOGY needed, I assured him.
He left, I ran straight to my room to wake my sister up and tell her he was the ONE!

Do you have any children?
We have 3 children that we adore. Having children was not an easy time for us, so each one is a true miracle and blessing. Shawn was always so kind and understanding with me.

His favorite type of music?
He listens to a wide range. But oh do we enjoy torturing our children when they are trapped in a vehicle with us and we blast the 80's classics. Ahhhh, good times!
What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We love to travel,
take Sunday naps together,
work on projects together,
sketch out or make a 'to do' list of our future dreams,
but my favorite thing to do is, wake up with him, nowhere we have to be,
no alarm clocks, and a whole day at home with him.

What do you admire most about him?
His Ambition...
this trait of his drives me wild, seriously!
I noticed this about him the first time we met... he 'had a plan', he had goals, he didn't mind working real hard to achieve them.
The man can't just be lazy, he just can't, he has to be able to get in bed at night... give a big sigh... and say, 'I got a lot done today'!
Never, ever, did my Utah boy think that he would be living in Alabama, owner of donkeys, 15 acres, and more vines and brush to be controlled than humanly possible...
yet, here he is... willing to tolerate the humidity, mosquitos, build fences, and barns and sheds, and, and, and, ummmmmmm
MY many landscaping dreams!
And just when I think I can't love him any more... he tells me that he loves it here,
and he loves my big, crazy, fabulous family, and he loves me....
and there it happens again,
my heart flips,
I get goosebumps,
and I smile! I'm a blessed gal!

Wednesday, November 19

Made my day.....

Who knew when I created this lil' ole blog that I then would be chosen, albeit randomly, to receive such a prestigious award. Laughter!

Thank you Dana....


The rules of this award are:

1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.

2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.

3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.


Instructions:On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then "add image" it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the "picture" gadget. Also, don't forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.

I chose my 5 Fabulous Bloggers by simply listing the last 5 blogs I read prior to learning of this award. I'm not sure if these blogs have already been 'awarded' but if so... ladies enjoy your additional 'awardage'!!

1. Sharon

2. Karen

3. Cari

4. Misty

5. Alisha

5 Fabulous Addictions of particular order...

1. Hersheys with Almonds

2. Antique Shopping

3. Gardening

4. Quiet time, especially spent reading

5. moisturizers, lotions, lipglosses... I'm a dry skin gal, grrrr.

I'm now off to find a special place to put my new award!

Monday, November 17

Worth the Wait...

I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for my absolute contentment.
I always wanted to have a bazillion children.
Although my mom will laugh when she reads this...
I totally loved growing up in the wonderful chaos that was and still is the Mayfield family.
And yet, the bazillions of children I envisioned just did not come, but instead...3
of the most beautiful, hard fought for, sweethearts I could have ever dreamed for!!
Savannah was our first, long waited for, baby.
Next, very quickly thereafter, our wonderful surprise, Christian.
And then a very long, hard, heartbreaking 6 years later, our precious Ty!
In a normal homeschooling day, I spend the bulk of my time with Ty.
He is in the 1st grade and is brilliant therefore it pushes me to be creative
and inventive to keep him eager to learn.
Ty's spelling words up to this point have not challenged him. This week, however, he has some doozies. Now he's grumpy because they're so hard. So keeping a level head and staying forever calm... because I NEVER loose my sweet tone or loving looks... grrrr... I simply reminded him that he's not happy when they are easy and he isn't happy when they are tougher, so happy or not... here we go with this weeks spelling words.
Shall I say... Ty was less than thrilled with my lack of compassion.
So after pouting and holding a grudge,
he looked at me and said, "Good thing I love you!"
Isn't that what mommies say about little boys?!? NOT what little boys are supposed to say about their mommies!?!
But in the end, that little anti spelling list turkey was and STILL is worth all those years of waiting!

Saturday, November 15

slow transformation...

I have never been a great cook, simple, not-so-sweet, fact!!!
I have never enjoyed anything associated with the process of cooking... grocery shopping, dishes, etc!
Once, when Savannah was little, she said, "mommy, you must really love us!" I asked what helped her know this... she simply stated, "cause I know how much you hate to cook and yet you do it for us all the time." What a sweet statement from my sweet daughter, but I had a twinge of regret that she was so VERY aware of my dislike to cook.
So, with this new beautiful home, with its wonderful appliances and conveniences... I have hoped that I would embrace this very important task.
So I have set the goal to shop weekly, to be sure and keep fresh ingredients more abundantly handy, and in the spring we will plant our first REAL garden and we will be getting chickens.
Fresh, yummy ingredients helps the creativity when it comes to cooking, FOR SURE!
And I have organized my recipes, rotating them often, cooking and then freezing many items like hamburger, etc, to help with prep times.
Do I dare say I am a changed woman?
I am still using the same pots and pans that my MIL gave us for a wedding gift, and hope to trade them in for new ones, but even until then... I have found contentment.
Hopefully not to late!
Now I enjoy making bread, canning, and creating in the kitchen.
Maybe I looked at cooking wrong all those years. It wasn't entertaining enough, it was monotonous, daily....
Yet, isn't it the simplest form of service, genuine, simple....for my most favorite people?!
I love books of poetry by Gunilla Norris,
especially her book Being Home that beautifully ponders on everyday tasks...
Measuring, pouring, stirring, folding,
shaping, baking, peeling, cutting,
frying, turning, slicing, serving.
These are words I cook with.
They are all motion, all process.
I know as I create this meal
there is another cooking going on.
It, too, is all motion, all process-
an inner transformation.
Help me to give myself away
as easily as this carrot, this new potato.
I want my layers to peel away like the onion's.
I want to be as empty and clean
as the universe in a sweet green pepper
with its white star seeds.
I want. I want. In the heat of Your will
help me to give up wanting!
I am so full of urgency, expectation, image,
I make myself spiritually hungry. You are here,
therefore, there is everything to recieve.
With this daily bread I am fed.

Thursday, November 13

Cootie Potatoes?!? Oh My!!

A little explanation before I get to that 'curious' title, wink!
Our home was built using that new fangled cement wall system. Now, Shawn was hooked on this idea from the get go. Although expense wise it isn't that different from traditional framing, the time line was considerably longer with cement walls. I was not happy about that!
I had had about as much delayed gratification as I could stand at that point.
But then came the clencher.
An after product of cement wall systems is that you get the really deep window sills like on older homes.
I love deep sills, never mind that I now have to dust them constantly, shhhh, I'm in denial and loving them in spite of that glitch!
So here is a shot of how deep my sills are... ooohhhh... aaaaahhhhh, the little things are what thrill me!
They are 8-10" deep, just realized I've never actually measured them, but as you can see I can put substantial 'goodness' on them.
Oh Goodness, wonderful, glorious, goodness... then there is the 'sill' behind the kitchen sink.
I had them extend the granite clear to the windows. I picture yummy herbs, gorgeous topiaries, lush goodness spilling out of pots here!
BUT what do I have here NOW?! Science Projects! Lots and Lots of 'things' to prove a lesson to Ty, object lessons if you will.
This was the HIT of our homeschooling last week. It is called a 'cootie potato'. Ty was learning about germs and how they are spread, and then attack our immune system.
We took a potato and cut it in half. Placed 1/2 of the potato in a ziploc bag. Took the other 1/2 and rubbed it all over Ty's hands, then placed it into a separate plastic bag.
Ty was to document the compared changes between the two halves each day for a week.
The 'cooties', aka germs and bacteria, transferred to the potato from Ty's hands were quite visible.
The 'clean' potato aged normally... getting a tad brown, but otherwise looking quite the same.
The 'cootie' potato changed immediately... getting real brown, dried out, wrinkly, in essence was deteriorating before our very eyes.
I did not get a final photo, one morning I could not stand the sight of it any further and tossed it in the trash and didn't think till well after that I should have documented the results, oops!
So go try this with your kids. It will really teach them the importance of washing their hands... often!!

And here's a classic... Celery Straws! Where you put celery in colored water and watch the celery 'wick' up the coloring and turn different colors... could also be done with a carnation.
This was also during the GERM lessons. Giving Ty a visual of 'why he should never drink after another person or put his hands/fingers in his mouth, eyes, nose (well, I just added this one to try and discourage the ever present 'pickin', grrrr).
So, Ty learned if he drinks after someone else and they are sick, their germs would then enter his body and 'travel' throughout his body just as the food coloring traveled through the celery stick.

Now this week, our experiment is Living Limas. Ty has a jar of dried lima beans and another jar of lima beans that he soaked in water for 24 hours, then has rinsed twice a day all week.
Lesson to be learned is how vital water is for living things to thrive.
So he is enjoying watching the beans sprout... although, the first day they started to sprout, he screamed, 'the limas have maggies!!!' Took me a minute...wait for it... still thinking... a mom's brain is a clever thing isn't it... cause I soon figured out he meant maggots!!! There's a glimpse into a 6yr old boys mind for ya, enjoy!! As of today, he is finally convinced they are NOT maggots but indeed sprouts.

And so goes the daily saga of my gorgeous kitchen sink window sill... that ONE day, I promise myself.... SELF.... you WILL have topiaries and other yumminess located here, and a view out these windows that takes your breath away, and birds singing you songs outside, and maybe just maybe... my windows will even be clean!! Ah... that will be the day!

Tuesday, November 11

Campfire Cuisine, lazy man style

Christian and Ty decided since it was such cozy weather outside, NOT, that they wanted to camp out. They found another fella crazy enough, er, uh, I mean adventurous enough in our neighbor, J.
Knowing boys can't plan ANYTHING that doesn't involve food, they whipped together some tin-foil dinners...
Cast of fancy fixins':
hotdogs (darn carnivors)
potatoes, aka french fries
salt and pepper
and other necessities like Pam and aluminum foil

I'm told... the assembly process is crucial!!
1. Spray foil well with Pam,
2. Add layer of french fries,
3. Sprinkle cheese,
4. Meat, meat, and more meat,
5. Then top off with another layer of french fries

The 'Chefs' concentrating on their masterpieces!

Christian being a tad hasty, silly guy, you gotta cook these gourmet vittles,
then, and ONLY then,
can one truly appreciate the...
hotdog, hamburger, cheese fries delicacy!
Or so I've been told,
haven't actually sampled this goodness myself, shhhhh, shudder....

Sunday, November 9

Bart and Jenne

I never knew I would grow up to collect Donkeys!
We first fell in love with our two miniatures, Ms. Molly and Eeyore.
Then I recieved an email from a fellow mini donkey owner, that there were two donkeys that needed rescuing.
Shawn and I set out one Saturday to take a look. The minute I saw them, I knew I was quite possibly in over my head. There was obvious abuse and neglect.
Savannah was not with us because I thought I would not be able to make a rational decision with her there.
Little did I know, I was the one that could not be trusted.
Jenne is our little blonde gal. I felt immediately that she had something very basic wrong with her, possibly weened way too soon when she was a newborn or something like that.
My neighbor told me that she thought we had gotten a llama, that is how pitiful this little donkey looked!
But I felt in my heart, that Savannah would love her to pieces and give Jenne
every bit of pampering she needed... and I was right!
So this is my fearless daugher and her future Blonde Bombshell!
If I am in a teasing mood, I refer to Jenne as our 'Ugly Donkling', I find this quite creative and hilarious..... Savannah?!?... not so much!

Jenne and Bart both still have their infant fur, and they are starting to get their winter coat too. Savannah gave Jenne a mane 'chopping' shortly after we got her... lets just say she needs a little more practice!
And here is Black Bart! He has been sorely abused in the past and has the scars to prove it. Breaks my heart, truly! He is skiddish and very wary but I can always tell when Savannah is in site of Bart, he EEEAAAAWWWWs and gets so very excited. He always sticks out his nose for a kiss! In addition to Bart's beautiful 'nativity' cross on his back, he also has 'tiger stripes' on his legs. I've never seen this before! So very beautiful!

Notice his ears, hilarious!! When a donkeys ears are forward they are concentrating or listening for something. Straight up like this is excitement. When their ears are laying flat back... well, lets just say you better not be standing behind them!
Bart also adores Jenne. He is very distressed if she is not near him. Jenne can play hard to get, quite aloof, this only serves to drive Bart crazy.
Jenne is a wise gal, I say!!!

Saturday, November 8

Ty's Future Career?

Could Ty possibly be a Meteorologist when he 'gets big'?!
If this week in school is any indication, than he very well could be.
Ty learned about meteorology this week in science, might I add that I gained new knowledge on this subject too!
Ty studied Highs, Lows, Fronts, Jet Streams, etc. He studied the weather patterns over the Western United States and predicted this 6-Day Forecast for the H'ville Area.
Its not 'right on' with the nightly news, but pretty close!
We are excited to watch and see how accurate Ty's forecast will be, starting today... Saturday!
Ty is my 'perfectionist'. My older two kiddos don't bother themselves with such expectations, grin. Ty gets this from Shawn. So he wants to be clear that Saturday is 'MOSTLY SUNNY' and Monday is 'MOSTLY CLOUDY'... he wasn't sure his drawings were clear enough and begged me to let him do the WHOLE thing over again.
Being the ever patient, compassionate, relaxed, tolerant, jovial teacher I AM...
I said 'NO...
Its fine... now lets move on to History!'

Friday, November 7

Shy Guy

my birthday buddy, my tree climber, my heart!

Thursday, November 6

Never a Dull Moment...

my laughter, my excitement, my compassionate son...

Tuesday, November 4

Breath of Fresh Air

My Daughter

Monday, November 3

Condition of the heart...

A farmgirl knows she can choose to live a less complicated life.
A farmgirl knows she can find the inner strength to create the life she wants for herself and those she loves.
A farmgirl knows that her heart is big enough, her shoulders wide enough, and her gifts and talents plentiful enough.
A farmgirl knows the rhythm of working hard when there is hard work to be done, the rhythm of finding joy in the doing of the work, and also the rhythm of slowing down to enjoy each moment.
A farmgirl wants her world and her children's world to be a better, safer, and simpler place.
A farmgirl's heart is as big as a washtub!

I just had one of those unbelievably wonderful days that lasted forever and even then... ended too soon! Wasn't today just breathtaking?!?

Sunday, November 2

Flushed Away?!?

So, have I mentioned recently how creative my oldest son, Christian is!
Ty had asked to be something for Halloween that I deemed easier to just buy than make, and I asked Christian to make his own costume... and cheap!!
After much contemplation, soul searching, and sleepless nights. He came to a decision....
he was to be (insert drum roll here)...
Now don't you just KNOW that made his mom so proud!

Shawn snapped this photo before Christian was completely 'assembled', he had yet to tape down his tank top... but you can still get the idea, right?!

Please note the finer details of this costume: the flusher, the string that allowed him to lift the lid to put candy in his 'bowl', the roll of toilet tissue that doubled as a safety device (flashlight).
I must add that when he wore this costume for Trunk or Treat on Wednesday... his YM Leaders were even MORE helpful and tossed some Whoppers and an unwrapped BabyRuth candy bar into the 'bowl' for special effect.

All the Mayfield's gather at James and Sarah's home to trick or treat together. We are quite the huge, motley crew! And look what Christian's cousin Kyle dressed as... a whoopie cushion... can you tell they are related? Boys!!

And here is Ty, in his not so cheap costume... but he knew exactly what he wanted to be since June. I've never seen the Star Wars Movies but I'm told he is a bounty hunter, Boba Fett.
Ty was in awe of Christian's costume.
He actually made a smaller version for himself, but said it was just to 'play in' because Ty is much too shy to wear it in public.
And the last I will say about 'the toilet' is... midway through trick or treating... Emma, Ty, and Gavin decided they needed a potty break and asked kindly for Christian's services. He was not very abliging! Emma was a poodle and Christian didn't miss a beat when he said SHE could DRINK from his bowl though.
OK, promise... no more bathroom humor!