Monday, June 30, 2008

Raccoon Number One

Last year WITHOUT our chickens we trapped 6 raccoons and 1 skunk. Guess we'll see if we *attract* more raccoons this year WITH our chickens. (Gosh I hope not...)

These things LOOK so cute, but dang! Look at those CLAWS!

There are so many pros/cons to living on the back side of water. LOVE the fact that I can irrigate my lawn, and never turn on my sprinklers... but not so thrilled at what the water "attracts".

Thank heaven it's not a "rat" year. I'll live with the mean raccoons over those, thankyouverymuch.

Crazy Creatures

We had a good time last week. Not much got done around the house, but hey... some weeks just need to be that way. :)

I've been *trying* to do some sort of activity with all the kids at least a few times a week. (It's hard! Sometimes it's so much easier to just let them do their own thing while I try and play "catch up"!) We made some Crazy Creatures (thanks to THIS website) and it was a BLAST! In fact, the kiddos made more of them the next day.

Reagan's MESS on the table. Thank heaven for washable markers!

Give it a try! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Missing the Boat

Jordan was very excited to receive an invitation to a "water party" in the mail last week. I was a good girl, even RSVP'd.

He waited all day yesterday to go.

Oh... I didn't forget to take him, he went... It's just that after Brian returned home from picking him up he said: "Did you know that was a BIRTHDAY PARTY???"

I'm just wondering... would anyone else out there think this was an invite to a BIRTHDAY?

I feel so bad that I sent my kid there without a gift. DUH! I didn't even THINK of it being a "birthday"... Taylor had an "out of school water party" just a week ago - I figured it was the same type of deal.

And while the mom told Brian that it was just fine, not to worry,Ethan got plenty of gifts... what do I do? Send over a "late" birthday gift? Let it go?

Maybe if the invite would have had balloons or a cake on the front of it, I would have gotten the clue. Obviously, everyone else at the party caught on that it was for a BIRTHDAY since the kid actually got presents... But I totally missed the boat on this one!

Yikes! I feel so bad!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Slip Sliding Away!

The neighbors "slip-n-slide" is working this year!

We've watched Dave slave over this *little* project for YEARS. My kids are totally excited to take advantage of living across the street and get their slip-n-slide action in! (Thanks for a great Saturday, Dave and Camie! The kids had an awesome time!)

Taylor, Nathan, Spencer and Jordan



My Boys


Friday, June 20, 2008

My Apologies to the Chickens

I've worked hard in our ugly backyard. REALLY hard.

It's been a few years of neglect - just so much work needs to be done back there. I finally decided to just "dig in". And I've made so much progress! (Okay, Brian's helped too... but if you'll notice please - *I* am the one with more of a tan... just sayin'.)

We let our chickens "free range" all day long. This can create a problem when you're trying to garden as they do like to eat things...

This is the part that I must apologize to the chickens.

Dear Chickens -

I'm so sorry that I made you stay in your "cage" all day yesterday. I really just didn't want the new pepper plants eaten AGAIN. They cost money you see, and chicken feed is MUCH cheaper than new pepper plants. And new cucumber plants for that matter. Oh, and basil plants, but I'm not apologizing for that one, because I know it was you. ALL of you - I saw it with my own eyes.

Nevertheless, I kept you contained in the coop all day to try and spare the pepper/cucumber plants. This mornings task was going to be fashioning chicken wire "cages" for the plants so you could roam free, without my plants suffering devastating results.

But a curious thing happened this morning. I went out to feed and water y'all, and decided to take a look at said plants. They are eaten to the stem after just being planted yesterday. None of you were out, and I'm sure there isn't a mass flock of neighborhood chickens sneaking into our yard to eat my pepper plants.

It's the SLUGS that are to blame and I'm fighting MAD. (Hey... couldn't you just eat them all? I can show your where they're hiding...)

I'm sorry, little chickens... I now know it is not you that's to blame. (But you're still in trouble for the sad destruction to the basil plant... shame on you all!!!!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Swimming in Laundry

The pool is finally up in the yard - the kids (and myself) are enjoying it since it's pretty hot around here these days...

I decided to snap a couple of photos while the 3 older kids were in the pool. (Reagan can't handle all the splashing for very long, so we only get a few minutes in the pool.)

The photos reveal something about the way we're currently living. You see, my dryer is broken. And try as he might, Brian hasn't had enough time to devote to fixing it. (He spent last night "fixing" it to find out that the part he replaced wasn't the "problem".)

So, my "dryer" is the back deck currently.

I've had offers to do laundry at my parents house, but honestly? Dragging ALL of my laundry over there just doesn't sound thrilling. Especially when I have PLENTY to be doing around here.

The towels are all nice and "crisp"... Our jeans are "crunchy" and hard to put on... but everything smells so "fresh" that I'm looking in to having a clothesline installed along the house and just hanging the clothes (or at least towels, sheets and blankets) out all summer.

Gotta love Swimming in Laundry! :)

Fathers Day

I was asked over a month ago to speak in my parents church on Fathers Day. The long story short, I ended up with the flu on Saturday night - I was WAY too sick to give the talk. My sister had to step up and read it for me. Bummer! Anyway... Hope my Dad knows how much I WANTED to be there to pay "tribute"... and I heard that Kellie did a fantastic job for me! :)

Brian wanted to spend some time with his family up at the cabin on Sunday. Reagan and I stayed back in the valley. The pictures pretty much speak as to what they did the entire time - looks like everyone was having a fantastic time!

Grandpa Art, Taylor and Jordan "plink" some cans

Taylor takes his shooting seriously. He wants to get better than his Mom...

Loved this shot! (The camera shot... not sure how the actual "shot" went...)

I'm guessing he hit the target

Man, I just love that cheesy grin...

My Father in Law seriously might kill me for posting this photo... but it's good for a laugh... even if it's my last...

I think we need to work on Jordan's "form"...

He'll get it sooner or later!

Stacie wants a turn!

Photo Op...

3-2-1 SHOOT!

In all fairness, that's a BIG gun for such a little guy!

Brother in law Kelly and his son, Jackson

Jackson (Isn't that picture so darling? Look at the EXCITEMENT! I love it!)

"My Turn, Dad"

Jackson and Kelly

Jordan and Auntie Stacie

The view of "the valley" on the way home from the cabin... The boys couldn't stop talking about it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Fun! Anybody need a new Chiropractor?

Our first week of Summer Vacation!

Kicked off by having a great time at Heather's house for a "School's Out Party"!!! So fun Heather! Thanks so much! :)

Madison was having a great time at the party. (Sorry... no photos... didn't even THINK to take the camera with me, duh...) Not too long before we were going to leave, I saw Madi laying down on the grass. "Typical" I thought... "One of her brothers must have taken something away".

I went over to talk to her about her grumpy attitude.

She told me that while on the trampoline, someone had knocked her over. "Sorry! " I say... "It's all part of playing!"

Her neck was hurting on the way home . We decided to give it some time to feel better - by laying on the couch, watching a movie and eating ice cream. (I mean, wouldn't that make just about anything feel better?)

Turns out that it didn't help much.

After she complained about her neck for a long while, I decided to call someone about it. Our Dr is out of town. (Great... shouldn't he call me before he's allowed to leave??? *winks*) I can now see that she can't straighten her head, she's totally leaning to one side, and STILL complaining that it hurts.

Long story short... (too late, I know...) We're off to the Chiropractor (who was absolutely FANTASTIC and I love her love her love her - it was our first visit and she was AMAZING).

Tests and scans later show that she really DID bugger up her little neck on the trampoline. We'll have a few more visits to get her on the road to recovery... but thankfully nothing was broken or terribly severe.

We're ice packing and putting Biofreeze pain relieving gel on it between visits. Madison fell asleep so quick last night after I put it on - she doesn't like the ice pack much, but the biofreeze makes it "tingle" and feel so much better.

Photos of her are from last night. She went to bed with her ice pack, still dressed in her clothes. Poor little "pain in the neck"!!!
See her neck all over to the side? That's how she's been walking around... it hurts to bad to straighten out. Her muscles are so tight... we'll probably see the chiro today and tomorrow at least.

Thank goodness for the comfort of a teddy bear!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Schools Out for Summer, Day ONE

I must be sick in the head or something, but I really enjoy having my kids out of school for the summer!!! Maybe all that will change once they're in jr. high...

When Brian got off of work, we decided to make a quick "field trip" to Wheeler Farm. Madison has been DYING to go since her preschool canceled the trip due to rain, so we thought we'd surprise her with our own field trip there.

(Also, we had to have some excuse to try out the "new to us camera"... Brian did some extra work for his former boss in trade for the Cannon Digital Rebel... I'm excited to use it more!!!)

Just as we get there, we take the opportunity to snap a photo. Reagan could see a bunch of animals in the distance, so she just couldn't stop pointing. :)

"COWWWWW" Reagan says the entire time we're by them. Then it's "BABY COWWWWW" when we see the calf. You ask: "Reagan? What does a cow say???" and her reply is: "COWWWWWW".

Jordan on the Tractor. He's such a CHEESE.

I loved this shot of Jordan and Madison. Brian took it (of course... he takes all the "good" photos...) They were having such a good time together.

Madison's Tractor shot.

Serious Taylor. (He was concentrating hard on the road ahead of him... Nobody tell him it wasn't moving...)

Madison on the OTHER Tractor. One tractor just isn't enough.

The kids thought the goats were stinky.

This is Reagan's sign for "Pig". Great shot, again thanks to hubby.

Reagan didn't have a tractor picture, so she gets one alone in the "clubhouse" instead.

Snapped a picture of Brian and our kids together. He's such a great Dad.

Some song about Monkeys in a tree comes to mind... Love the photo of just "my boys".

Time for a photo of just the girls. If I would have known I was going to be in photos, I would have maybe showered and done my hair. OH WELL. We're making memories here and I guess the kids "normally" don't see me with my hair done nice!!! ;)

Madison took a nice spill out of the tree. It was only fair to take some extra shots of her because we felt so bad.

Hey, come to think of it... if I would have known we'd take so many photos, maybe I would have done EVERYONES HAIR! Madison looks like a rag-a-muffin!

So here's a great story. Since we were all together and having fun with the camera, we decided to "try" and get a family picture. Brian was setting the timer and ready to run up to the tree when a cute couple came walking down the road. Brian isn't shy about asking people for things like I am, so he yells over "Hey! Do you mind taking a picture of our family??"

The guy starts to chuckle and the girl walks over happy to help out.

Brian picks up the camera and before handing it to her says something like "I don't want you to be intimidated by the camera - I'll set it so you just have to point and shoot." She laughs and says: "I'm a wedding photographer".

She put us all in position in the tree and snapped the following photos for us. (At this point I'm REALLY wishing my hair was done, AND that we were wearing something other than "everyday" busy clothes!!!)

I think she did a FANTASTIC job, and if I could ever find out where she works, I would totally send her some hair bows or *something* for her 17 month old, Olivia! (Anyone know a Michelle Taylor in the Salt Lake area???) A HUGE thank you to her for taking time out of her "date night" to take some photos of a grubby looking family!!!