Tuesday, November 30

Grani and Papa's Tree Trimming

There is an annual Mayfield Christmas Tradition of one of the Mayfield families going to Grani and Papa's house the Monday after Thanksgiving and decorating their tree for them.
Grani always has the tree assembled and it is a clean slate for whatever decorations have been made/chosen to adorn it that year.
 2010 was the Callahans turn at tree trimming.  This photo makes me ROLL!  Those are my dear hubbies legs sticking out from behind the tree as he wraps the lights on the tree.  He has been battling a wicked sinus infection so he was an extra good sport to help out.
 The 'plan' was to use Grani's colored lights (she loves color!) and her fabric garland, and then all the ornaments were white and cream.
 We used all of our white/cream ornaments and then also dug through Grani's stash and grabbed some of her snowflakes, etc.  This soccerball ornament of hers is 'classic' Mayfield.  Soccer and Auburn Football are two HUGE loves in this family.
 One of the first years we did the tree trimming tradition I made a snowman ornament representing each family member.  Grani kept hers and Papa's and they are on the tree again this year.
 Savannah, Christian, and Ty did all the ornament placement.  With the annoying 'peanut gallery' sitting on the couch pointing out the empty spots.  We were lucky they didn't feel the need to lob an ornament attack on us back seat decorators :)
 I think the effect of the colored lights with the white ornaments was quite beautiful!
 Alisha and her family did the tree last year.  Not sure I ever posted about it, but it was phenomenal. Alisha made silhouettes of each family member and put them in individual frames.  After Christmas we all helped Grani hang the 'ornaments' permanently on her entry wall and added this phrase that truly does show what a wonderful HUGE family can result from two people falling in love.
So each Christmas Grani and Papa can look forward to a totally new tree creation and also are guaranteed some extra time with grandkids which is always a perk!

Saturday, November 27

Did you know?

November 27th is Thanksgiving for chickens?
Well, at least it is for the chickens here on the farm!
 It is time to clear out the harvest and get ready for Christmas.
So we cut the stems out of our pumpkins... I use them for another project... and then like most things around here, NOTHING goes to waste.
So in a very short time our cluckers will be in a pumpkin induced food coma... 
similar to the one we humans find ourselves in on Thanksgiving.
 Seriously, chickens are vocal critters... I think I actually heard some humming a happy tune.
 Once the pumpkins are moved on out... the work begins.
 Truth?  I have no real plan this year... going the 'use what we've got' route and not buying anything new... I've been known to say that before to only find out I was lying to myself, but I am really going to try.
 We splurged last year and got a Mummy tree bag.  Have you seen these things?  It has a tree base, ON WHEELS... and you just pull the bag up the tree and zip it up.  Now I just have to unzip and roll it to the bottom, put my tree skirt over the bag and base and whalah.  Minimal fluffing of the tree involved too as we have a slim tree, prelit, remote control... code for lazy girl tree!

Thursday, November 25

{25} I am Thankful for...

... my sister-in-law, Alisha, that invites all the Mayfields plus friends and more family over to her house each and every year for Thanksgiving.

I am thankful that we woke up this morning to the most amazingly gorgeous day and warm weather.  I literally wore flipflops today and Shawn and Ty wore shorts... crazy November weather.
Shawn and Christian woke up early to run a 5K, the Turkey Trot.
Me?  I didn't run this morning but I did wake up early and stroll to the back porch and just sit on the steps taking in the warm air.
When the fellas came back we left to go to Alisha's.
She always sets up her house so that everyone has a sit down meal... literally moving her living room furniture so she can line up tables and chairs for everyone to eat and visit.
This was the children's table... doodleville!  And this is Ms. Bella.
Loved the burlap runner on the Adult table and the nuts, candles, and pumpkins... perfection.
She also had a separate table for just the teenagers... brilliant!  I host our family Christmas dinner and I will sure try and steal this idea from her because the older kids had a paaartay and we loved just listening to them having a blast.

Here is Ms. Eden in her Thanksgiving outfit her mommy made her, adorable... as always!
And did I mention that I am thankful for flipflops?  Oh.  I did?  Well, I am, really, really, am... especially when I get to squeak out a few extra weeks wearing them because of this crazy gorgeous weather.  Yay!

Wednesday, November 24

{24} I am Thankful for...

 ... motherhood.

I never had any illusions that motherhood would be a breeze... I am the second oldest of 8 children after all, so I witnessed the task first hand by watching my mother.

 I'm so thankful that we were blessed with our 3 children.  I'm thankful that against complicated odds that I was indeed able to have children.  I'm thankful that they are all so very different and bless me and challenge me each and every day.  I am thankful that they are all so independent, and while it pains me to see them growing up so fast... I am excited for them to experience all the wonderful things they have ahead of them too!

Yesterday, Ty and I hit a brick wall while doing Creative Writing.  Not a little brick wall, a gigantic big black wall, crunch.  Ty writes all the time!  He has several word documents at this very moment on my computer with 'novels' in various levels of completion.  So can anyone, please, explain to me why in the tarnation does he have such a meltdown when asked to write a story for school?
I've been told that creative types don't do well when asked to do something, in this case writing, that needs to fit inside specific criteria.  I get that somewhat.  But the facts are that the boy will need this skill in the future and he needs to be able to write on specific topics sometimes.
Well, suffice it to say... our little school session ended with me, possibly loudly, sending Ty to time out.  THEN immediately changing my mind, and I sent MYSELF to timeout... afterall, why should he get to go to his room in quiet solitude?  I wanted quiet solitude... so I maturely stomped off to my room and dramatically flounced myself upon my bed. 
Then I promptly fell asleep.  Exhausted I tell ya!!
I woke to my creative writing nightmare of a child, Ty, lying next to me and holding my hand.  I opened my eyes and looked at this beautiful boy of mine.

He whispered that he finally did write his story.  And told me it was about a purple and green dragon that flew into his closed bedroom window at night.  The dragon was injured, so Christian and he bandaged his wounds and the dragon was able to fly away.  

Then Ty looked at me and said, " Do you remember the promise you made me... that I made you too?" 
He continued, "The promise that when you are a grouch that I will still love you, and when I am a grouch you will love me back?" Ahhhh, that promise.

 "I love you son!"
"I love you too mom!"

Tuesday, November 23

{23} I am Thankful for...

... rain.

I didn't realize how much I loved rain until we lived in several states where it is rare.  It is funny to me that out here on the farm when we have a good downpour we are left with quite a muddy mess, but STILL I love it.  Maybe it is the excuse to stay inside, the sound of the rain on the fireplace cap that is very similar to a tinroof, the way everything seems to take a big sigh and gets renewed.  
Love it!

Monday, November 22

{22} I am Thankful for...

... our beautiful views!!

We are having sunny skies and warm temperatures and it is the end of November!!  Crazy!  I sure love some crazy!!  Our trees are so confused, some haven't even adorned themselves in gorgeous fall colors yet and I fear they are going to go straight to dropping their leaves instead.  But today I will just enjoy the view... I hear rain and colder temps are fast approaching!

Sunday, November 21

{21} I am Thankful for...

... our Ward Family, 
who sadly received heartbreaking news about a dear family member last night and today at church the love for this family and their extended members was so evident!  I pray they felt us all wrapping our spiritual arms around them and holding on for dear life.

I am also Thankful for...
the partaking of the Sacrament;
the little nursery child that climbed under his families pew and came to me for a big hug;
the silly little Turkey necklaces we colored in Nursery;
pigs in a blanket for lunch;
a delightful Sunday nap;
the bean and cheese burrito Ty made me for dinner;
peanut butter pie for dessert (little food obsessed today, can you tell?!);
a messy kitchen but not even caring because I am having some one on one time with my youngest;
a darling husband that is beyond exhausted today but isn't the tad bit grouchy and just keeps on doing the many things he needs to do for his calling;
the blessings of an upcoming week with Shawn home, family, turkey, and sleeping in!!

I could keep going, my heart is just extra soft today, but I will save some more for another day.

Saturday, November 20

{20} I am Thankful for...

... to do lists.
I have mentioned my love of to do lists before, but that love occurred fairly recently.  I've always been a to do list maker, but it wasn't till I took control of the list and stopped letting it control me, that they have truly worked for me.
Meaning, I am quite a list snob... not just anything can get on the list.  Nope.  My life is divided into 3 very important categories... I'm sure these categories are different for everyone... and if something comes along and it doesn't fall in one of my three categories, it does NOT get a sliver of my time, an ounce of my worry, nor a line on my to do list.

This gorgeous Saturday morning finds me reveling in the beginning of a very long time coming TO DO.  My sweetheart and two older children are at the temple, Ty is off working on building a birdhouse, and I am giddy about starting a new project.

I am ready to transform our little dining corner.  I had a vision for this dining corner before the house was built... and this ain't it, so this is the 'before'.
When we built the house, I even had the lighting guys hang the chandelier so that it would be placed perfectly for my future vision of this space.
The round table ( I shall never part with) will get some refinishing and it gets to stay.  My newly placed plates and menu board or part of my plan.  And the chandelier is a keeper.  But my yummy comfy Pottery Barn chairs are finding a new home at my sil's house, and everything else changes.
 A quick look at the future 'players' in my redo, but not even they will look as they currently do when I am done, grin.
*3 huge ottomans, which open for incredible extra storage;
 *several cheap linen shower curtains;
 *and 3 new parson chairs (not as comfy as PB chairs but hopeful they will soften up and be great) and I will explain when project is complete why they could.not.be.more.perfect. for where I am going with this revamp.
So, YAY for my to do list, but more importantly... yay for the realization that I must say NO to some things that try to creep onto my list, so I am then able to focus on projects that challenge me and make me happy to start and finish.  I need to have this completed by Christmas when I have a huge influx of Mayfield's over for dinner!  Nothing like a deadline to help a to do GET DONE!

Friday, November 19

{19} I am Thankful for...

... kids that love to cook.
It has probably been well over a years since I personally made the dessert for a Family Night.
And now Savannah and Christian even make their own dessert or snack to take to Bishop Youth Discussions.  Score!  In fact, they have a BYD this Sunday and have already planned out that they will make peanut butter creme pies.  Of course I supported their choice with one stipulation... they have to make one to leave at home for me and Ty, snicker.

Here is Ty making the oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies we had last week.  It was an easy effort from a mix but he did not need my help at all and they were yummy!!

Thursday, November 18

{18} I am Thankful for...

... our animals.
Now, I always knew I wanted to live in the country, but I did NOT know that I would ever own animals.  I did not grow up with animals.  Savannah is a lover of all things with fur and feathers... me, not so much!  So I remember thinking when we moved out here how thankful I was that our neighbors had animals because I hoped this would fill Savannah's need to 'mother' every animal in a 10 mile radius.  But in the end, we started collecting animals... not so wisely in the beginning (lessons learned), and then finding out exactly what we needed and wanted and we have a great little useful mix now.

The real shocker is how much I love the chickens.  After all, they have nasty feathers and beaks, eek!  But they are down right comical to watch.  The funniest dynamic is the one between our overzealous border collie, Cooper, and our chickens.
 I've mentioned before that this coop fence is by no means high enough to keep the chickens confined to their yard.  Its point is to first and foremost be cutey, and secondly to keep Cooper out!  The idea here was to have our obnoxious dog provide the needed incentive for the chickens to stay PUT!
But recently we have noticed a whole lot of this bravery stupidity going on.  Several of the hens and the rooster will perch themselves on the top of the fence posts.  I mean sometimes there are as many as 10 of them all lined up there sitting fancy as can be.  They make a lot of ruckus, so I assume their antics are NOT meant to go unnoticed.  Key point... this is only done when Cooper is off elsewhere.  But it is inevitable... Cooper is always making the rounds and sees the outward display of deviance and puts an immediate end to all the merry making.  The second the chickens see Cooper they ABORT their public display of post posing and return inside the fence as far away from the crazy circling dog as they can get.  Cooper has literally worn a path around the fence keeping surveillance on them.  

In the end, this whole scenario provides a very deep and powerful purpose... it makes the time I stand at the sink (with a window facing the coop) doing dishes so much more enjoyable!

Wednesday, November 17

{17} I am Thankful for...

... the challenge of homeschooling.
And boy oh boy, some days it can be a real challenge but we love it.  So thankful that we gave it a chance because it has been the perfect fit for us at this time.
 Busted!!  Catching a snooze when he is supposed to be reading!
Sorry Mr. Dickens... seems Christian does not find your book stimulating enough.

Tuesday, November 16

{16} I am Thankful for...

... quiet time.
I crave time alone and time to think.  I love when I spy one of the kids doing the same.

Monday, November 15

{15} I am Thankful for...

...aunt mimi.
She is legendary in the Mayfield Clan.

Sunday, November 14

{14} I am Thankful for...

...answered prayers!
Christian worked so hard on Saturday over at my parents house and then he came home only to be put to HARD work hauling tree branches, etc.
After a very long day for him, we were all at the old barn putting away the last items we had used during the day.  Christian had the key to a piece of equipment we had rented.  But when he checked for the key, it had fallen off the clasp he had on his belt loop.  
That just took all the oomph out of his day to have it end like that.
We were all at the barn with flashlights trying to find the key, we never found it.
After church today the kids went back out to the barn to look again, nope.

In one final effort, Shawn and Christian went out and looked again.
Christian said he prayed, he knew there would be a charge for the lost key and he was just so bummed that he lost it.

There was a pile of hay at the front gate of the barn and he decided to grab a rake and begin to clear it all away, again, looking for the key... and there it was!!  We had all looked in that exact same spot multiple times but the key was small and the hay must have just perfectly covered it each time.

Christian said he felt a tad silly praying about a lost key, but it really had him worried, he had tried everything else...
He should sleep quite soundly tonight with that weight off of his shoulders.

Saturday, November 13

{13} I am Thankful for...

...a surprise visit from 5 of my nieces and nephews.
What's not to love about a sunny Saturday with cute kids, laughter, 4 wheeler, and popcorn!
 And lest you forget that we live in the country'hood'... if you are lucky enough to be conveniently plumbed... inside bathrooms are optional. 
The End.