Saturday, June 27

North or South

Our kids love to hike. The decision is never if they should go on a hike... but whether to go North or South.

If they go North... it is up the mountain. There are trails and it is mostly in the shade. It takes about 2 hours for them to scale to the top and get back down again.

This day they decided to go South. Which means they exit the back of our property, go through some farm land, then end up at the river. There is so much to do back at the river, but the trek there is in FULL sun so they usually go later in the day. They always head out with so much excitement and energy.

Then they return totally exhausted! The exhaustion where they are like zombies... ready to collapse... and often do!

Savannah literally fell asleep here in the middle of the familyroom with noise and chaos all around her... no difference... she snoozed away. Very active kids sleep so good!

Tuesday, June 23

1+1+1= ouch

Its simple arithmetic, really!

What do you get when you have one cute, fearless, speed craving 7 year old...

Add to that, one red 4 wheeler...

And then add a great big hole that is bigger than red 4 wheeler...

What does that equal?

BIG Juicy bruises,

and as a little extra bonus... a red 4 wheeler that has seen better days.

The story as told by Ty:

"I was going real fast down the tree line (our property line between us and our neighbors). I didn't see a thing until it was too late. I remember flipping completely over in the air and landing flat on my back. Not sure how long I laid there because I just remember looking up and trying to get my helmet off.

I didn't even cry (this fact was relayed several times during the retelling). But wow did my legs and man parts area hurt! I can't figure out how I hurt that stuff cause I just flew right off the 4 wheeler... like really flew... did I tell you I flipped completely over? I wish I could have seen myself."

This is where I had to interject with... 'SEE why I insist on you wearing a helmet... aren't you GLAD I make you always wear a helmet!!!!!' And then I told him that often the most vicious injuries from 4wheeler/dirt bike/motorcycle accidents are in the 'man part' and thigh area because you slam into the handlebars and shield. Ty just looked at me and said... in a very bored to death tone... "are you gonna yell at me about this?"

Nope, I think those bruises (of which I only photographed ONE, for modesty issues) will teach you quite a lesson in the next few days. They are turning a myriad of different colors and JUICY, ugh!

Monday, June 22

Foliage, Blooms, and Peeps

It has been so amazing to see the normal Alabama rain make a return. It currently is typical scorching temps now for summer, but most of my plantings are thriving due to the wonderful Spring Showers.

I love pots dripping with plants on my front porch. This year I did tons of ferns and hostas.

A favorite that I always seem to use each year is sweet potato vines, so easy!

A new favorite is this chartreuse fern. Gorgeous, but I got two of these on the nearly dead rack at Lowes and it had no tag... so I am clueless what its actual name is. But I managed to revive them, pat on the back... my track record for saving struggling plants is not stellar :)

I love the 4 windows on the right of our house. These windows are actually on our attached garage section. I knew I wanted to have a large window box under these. I looked all last summer for a very natural window box, found the style I liked but never could find the size I needed. This year I found this 10' doozy online, thrilled with it!

It is almost at the yummy stage. Everything seems to be happy here... mostly ferns, hostas, ivy, sweet potato vines, bacopa, and a few impatients too.

This is the second summer for all my hydrangeas... they can be whimpy... but so far so good.

These are at our entrance. Tough to get hose to them but the shade is so dense they fair quite well.

Look what Savannah discovered. These are snuggled into a wild blackberry bush on our neighbors chicken fence. Tons and tons of thorns to protect them... smart mommy bird!

Summer at its best. The boys are currently camping out at the old barn with friends. 4wheelers have been running nonstop. Freckles galore. Fireflies. Hikes up the mountain. Climbing trees. Love it!

So blessed

We sure do love this man! Happy Father's Day... Shawn... Coach... Sweetheart... Hero... School Principal :)... Daddio... Dad... Daddy... Son... Uncle! We appreciate you!!

Saturday, June 20

Making note....

Hot off the presses... Shawn helped milk the goat tonight!!! Savannah had a babysitting job til real late so milking duties fell to me, and then Shawn actually helped too.

What was his response to said experience?

"very odd".

Not convinced that response means he plans to ever repeat, but I was there, I witness... it did INDEED happen.

He'll probably try to blame the whole thing on too much sun exposure today. Chuckle!!!!

Friday, June 19

Country gal at heart

This is my beautiful niece, Ava. She spent her time on the farm collecting rocks, taste testing rocks, picking flowers, climbing, chasing kitties and puppies, and refusing to hold still long enough to let her aunt take a good picture of her.

Ava hates to wear shoes. Which worries her Aunt Dawn because we have lots of critters, ants, sharp thingeys, etc. But Ava is a strong willed and strong footed gal... when I take my eyes off her for a second... barefoot!

Speaking of shoes,

Someone please tell me at WHAT age do children simply do what you ask... and not leave a job 1/2 done? Please, oh please, don't say never...

While packing up my nieces and nephew to return them to their mommy... I asked assistance from my 14yr old daughter to load the truck. I try to keep all the bags and stroller and shoes neatly behind the door so they are easier to grab and go. So Savannah loaded the truck and told me it was done. Great! Load carseats, load kiddos, off we go...

Upon returning home, this is what I saw. Pack stroller... CHECK! Pack bags... CHECK! Pack pile of shoes (and random night shirt)... I assume Savannah felt this NOT necessary. Her response when confronted with her obvious oversite, 'Oooops' accompanied with a cute grin.

So I guess this means my dear hubby will get to take me out on a hot date tonight to M'ville so we can return some shoes... not that my little niece will actually wear the adorable hot pink crocs pictured above... but I should return them, nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 17

A new favorite on the farm

My little nieces and nephew came to the farm today. They were eager to check out our newest addition...
A huge hammock, a two person hammock, or in this case... a FOUR kiddos hammock!

The boys, Gavin and Ty, had Georgia convinced for a while that the 'fun' part was to swing them in the hammock.
She soon wised up and insisted on equal riding time. Littlest sister, Ava, was totally relaxed. Then they tried to convince ME to stand there and rock them, grin. It is sure hard to beat a hammock strung between two shade trees, especially on a hot day like today.

We have this bridge between our land and our neighbors. Georgia loves to sit here and swing her feet. Contentment.

Georgia strolled to the front of the farm with me to grab the mail. She was such a good girl, remembering to stop at the gate and stay put while I go a little further to the mailbox. Gotta love a little girl that follows the rules :) She had loaded the top of her dress with pretty rocks on our walk... that last big one would not fit so she had a good grip on it. I bet she had at least 5 boulders packed in her dress, love it!!

Gavin, Georgia, and Ava's mommy and daddy return tomorrow. I'm willing to 'borrow' these sweeties anytime their parents need, indeed!

Tuesday, June 16

Operation 'Goat Rescue'

We had a terrible storm blow in last night. There were continual lightning strikes and it sounded all around menacing. I realized as the rain really started to come down that we had left Jack, our goat, alone in the back pasture. Our back pasture is wonderful for grazing but it has no shelter! All the donkeys had been moved to the barn earlier in the day because the farrier was coming, and Amelia, our doe, was taken to the barn to be milked. But poor Jack was left. I just couldn't stand the thought of it.

Here come the heroes to the rescue. Shawn drove the truck to the back. Him and Christian heavehoed Jack into the back.... managed not to get the truck stuck LIKE SOMEONE ELSE WE KNOW... and safely took Jack back to the barn with the other animals.

I was not thrilled that Shawn and Christian were out in all that lightning, very worrisome! And they came back drenched. But I was so very thankful! And I have to mention that Christian is NOT an animal person. He loves the land... but the animals are not how he enjoys spending his time at all. So I really appreciated him going to the rescue, and I know he did it simply to ease my mind, which makes me love him a whole lot!!

Friday, June 12

Feeling the love...

Ty and I were goofing off in the kitchen this morning. When we had laughed ourselves silly, we collapsed on the couch with content sighs.

Then Ty informed me... " Mom, I love you more than GirlScout cookies with Cool Whip on top!" Not sure when he has ever had that concoction but that is a whole lot of love, don't cha think?!

7 yr old boys with lots and lots of freckles are sure loveable!

Thursday, June 11

I love small victories!

May I preface this by saying I am not a techy... seriously. I do not possess enough patience to sit down and do the least bit of research to improve that title. So I muddle through things and rarely accomplish much on the computer.

But today, I am very proud of a goal reached. I received my completed blog BOOK. To do the book was a challenge to say the least. But actually I found it really creative and I was so thrilled to see the end product. I'm sure there are errors throughout it, photos that are blurry, but I love this end product... imperfections and ALL!!

Here is the cover. This is a very low quality photo... but it is one of the first snapshots I took of our beloved barn and this photo perfectly represents what I love about our property.

Front and back covers... I added a quote by President Monson that I love. On the spine of the book I wrote the title 'Once Upon a Farm 2008' and the author... thats me!

Cover page... perfection!

I have some artwork from Ty included and I sure hoped the drawings would translate well... and they did.

Photographs are gorgeous!

I just love everything about it. This is fulfilling such a wonderful dual purpose for me and our family... journaling our daily lives and scrapbooking photos. I just could not be more pleased. I am busting with happiness. Busting!!! And again, for any of those that want to attempt this, KNOW that you will be successful because I am queen clueless, and muddled through it. I did mine through!!

Now my face hurts because I have been smiling since I received this book yesterday in the mail.

Wednesday, June 10

2:18am... wake UP!!

I fell asleep hard last night. Don't remember anything once my head hit the pillow. Don't you love that. BUT, then... at 2:18am I am startled awake. My heart was racing... I had to sit up and focus! What had woken me up?!

Then, I hear it...voices. Voices I don't recognize! Someone is in our home, with my babies! I seemed to have forgotten, in my panic, that we have a very sophisticated house alarm, window break alarms, and door charms. I just KNEW that someone was in the house. I didn't even wake Shawn, I bolted for the bedroom door.

There, there they are again! I follow the voices... straight into the TV room. Weird thing is that the volume to the TV is on... LOUD... but the picture is off. So confused, delirious, but relieved...WHEW! I have to shake Shawn to wake him, he could sleep through an earthquake, to help me figure out what craziness is going on with the TV and how to turn the thing off.

Relief... I snuggle back in bed. I lay there, I keep hearing little sounds. I can't relax. Its gone. My sweet, restful sleep... poof!!

So I decide, even though it is EARLY, just get on up. So I busy myself in my quiet home. There were garden veggies to chop, dirty dishes, loads of laundry to do. I read a little, surfed the web, etc. Then I found myself circling back into the kitchen, busy, busy, busy.

Out of nowhere... sobs! I am uncontrollably sobbing. Literally tears pouring. I realize that I am very hazy and have been zoning out. Snap out of it gal... what has got into you... take a deep breath....




I was so out of it... when I could not function anymore because of the tears, it took a good 2-3 minutes to realize that it was the onions I was madly chopping that had me gushing.

I managed to get so much done this morning... never did return to bed until a big ole nap at 2PM!! And surely... surely... I will rest more peacefully tonight. Sweet dreams that don't involve voices and ONIONS!!

Tuesday, June 9

First Harvest, ever!

We planted our first garden this spring. The initial prep of raised beds, etc, was not so fun. Then we planted seeds and the rains sure made a big mess of our nice, neat little rows. But everything is doing really well.

You wanna know the very best thing about this garden? Shawn is really the head hauncho. His mom gardened and so it is a wonderful memory of her, he is really in to it. I so love taking orders and letting him figure out the details, grin.

We planted two kinds of green beans, Shawn can't remember the exact kind his mom did so we will be taste testing them both to figure it out. I think I will like the fat beans better. We'll see.

Some of the new potatoes were ready too. Yum!!

Looking forward to peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers in the future. We have also harvested cilantro, lettuces, and onions. So fun. I'm loving this!

We currently are gardening up at the old barn, and next year we will plant watermelons, gourds, and a pumpkin patch there also. Eventually, we will have a garden closer to the house behind the Carriage House. I want tons of herbs, salad fixins, and hamburger toppings... in that garden...nice and close to the kitchen.

So we have donkeys, goats, chickens, and a producing garden... are we an official farm now?!