Saturday, August 31, 2013


summer days at the farm


Here are a few more pictures of our summer days at the farm.  The girls had fun collecting eggs, chasing peacocks, panning for gold, and showing people around.  I had to laugh when, one afternoon I was in the farmhouse kitchen and here came Claire and her two new "friends".  She was giving quite the tour.  She came barrelling through the door with them close behind, with her talking a million words per minute.  She pointed as she talked, "And this is the stove, that's the warmer where they cooked the babies, this is the where we start the fire, that's the I don't know, that's the I don't know. . . ."  The man and his wife (who were visiting from Germany and spoke just a little English, just looked at me and smiled.  "She is a brilliant guide!" he said. 

Of course, I had to watch out the window after they left the farmhouse.  She continued her tour, showing them the chicken coup, the summer kitchen, and then giving them a detailed lesson on how to laundry by hand.  She couldn't reach the clothes line to hang up the shirts she had just washed, so she made several attempts at chucking them up and over, hoping they caught on the line at some point.  If nothing else, she was good entertainment.  When I went outside to rescue her sweet new friends, they asked me to get a picture with their favorite tour guide.

Claire also met Jack the donkey this summer.  Supposedly, he was kept as a pet inside a ladies house (!) and has a fondness for little girls.  It was pretty crazy to watch the two of them when  Claire went inside his pen.  He would come over and snuggle right up to her, and stay that way as long 'til she left.  Pretty cute.

We were excited when Aunt Kelsey and Gray came to visit, along with Aunt Kerri and her boys.  The girls had a great time showing them around.  I think it just happened to be the hottest day we have ever spent at the farm, so we were all melting!  It was so fun to have some familiar faces!

poor sam

The girls were bored one day and this is what happened.  Yeah, we had to put a stop to this one. . .

more pictures from ryenne's birthday. . .


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

little ballerina

Yesterday Claire went to ballet class for the first time.  Officially, that is.  (She has been a student in our imaginary, sister-taught classes for years!)  "Real" ballet classes are a major deal- she's been waiting to be a "big girl" (five years old is the magic age at our house) for a looooooong time!  She woke up at sunrise for her big day, and was so excited for 4:00 to roll around.  She's even been praying for the past week or so that she will learn everything she needs to learn at ballet.  Her excitement has been contagious and we've all become excited to see her dance her little heart out in a real ballet class.

When the magic hour finally rolled around, she looked as cute as can be in her little black leotard, pink tights and tiny blond bun.  I walked her in, helped her find a bin for her things, get her slippers on, and then left her in Miss Michelle's care.

When I arrived at the studio at the end of class, I watched as Claire came out with the hugest smile on her face.  I helped her take off her ballet slippers and replace them with sandals.  And then?  I was lucky enough to see one of those moments.  You know the kind.  One of those magical little moments that imprints on your memory so you can tuck it away in a special place in your heart.  I like to pull those little moments out and relive them on those days when I need something to smile about. 

Claire walked close to her teacher and asked in a quiet little voice, "Miss Michelle?"

Her sweet teacher got down on her knees so she could look right into her eyes.  "Yes, Claire?" 

With that reassurance, Claire threw her arms around Miss Michelle and gave her a big bear hug.  Then, snuggled into her neck she said, "I love your ballet class."

So happy that little Miss Claire finally gets to be a real ballerina.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Today during church Sam had a treat someone had given him and of course, Claire wanted a taste.

She worked him over in her sweetest sing-song voice.  "Please Sam?  Can I have some?  I'm your favorite sister!" 

Then came the kicker, "I taught you kung-fu!"

Silly me.  Here I have a Kung-Fu master in my midst, and I didn't even know it. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

ryenne and her "selfies"

Ryenne has been teaching her little siblings the finer points of self-portraits, which seems to be a favorite hobby of hers.  I laugh every time I see these little "selfies" of all of them (except when I have them by the hundreds).  Someday a few of these may come in handy as blackmail!

summer days at the historical farm


serious business

It's that time of year when we're up to our eyeballs in all things lamb related.  It feels that way, anyway.  Ryenne's lamb is a monster.  HUGE!  So in addition to his Weight Watchers program, the girls are walking them once a day.  Last weekend Ryenne thought it would be smart to tie him up behind the 4-wheeler so she could get him up to a good trot.  You know, make him sweat a little.  Well, that didn't work so hot.  He would dig in his heels (?) and practically sit on his behind.  Thinking it probably wasn't too good to drag him down the road, Ryenne resorted to yelling, pushing, and finally- giving up.  She's been walking him the old fashioned way ever since.

Anyway, I came across these pictures today that I had taken back in June.  Often, the girls go help Grandma and Grandpa when there are shots, etc to be given.  (I say etc. because I really have no idea what they do.  All I know is that is takes quite a while and they come back awfully smelly when it is all said and done.)  They love it when their cousins are there to help too.  This day happened to be one of those extra fun days.

This particular day they happened to be vaccinating the lambs.  After a lamb had been through the drill, one of the girls was supposed to mark him to keep track of things.  As much as grandma tried to encourage a simple marking system (ie: a quick line on the back), the girls were way too creative for that.  I laughed at all the smiley faces.

Of course, they had to mark Grandma's behind too.  It was way too tempting.  Funniest part was that she didn't even know what they'd been up to.  Who doesn't need a smiley face on their behind?  Happy, happy, happy.

To top off the fun, Uncle Shawn's friend Nigel was visiting from Australia and came to see what all the ruckus was about.  The older cousins just might have been a little giddy about meeting a real Australian.  He was chatting with all of them and I could see the girls holding their ipods on their laps in an awkward sort of way.  It took me a few minutes to realize that they were recording him so they could show their friends his awesome accent!   I think "Uncle Nigel" got a few new facebook friends that day! 

another year of school in the books

 (Kate and Mr. Esplin: first of year, end of year. . .not sure why she's wearing a mustache?)

The girls had a great year this past year.  Sadly Ryenne won't let me go to her school and take pictures with her teachers anymore. (Really, Ryenne I don't think it would be that embarrassing at all to have me come and stage a picture with all fifteen plus teachers you have during a year.  I think we should give it a go this year?)  And I did have to make several trips to the elementary school to get pictures with Kate and Emmy.  BUT.  Here they are.  I like to take one on the first day and another on the second so I can see how they've grown.


 (Emmy's teacher was out at the first of the year with a new baby, and so she got two 2nd grade teachers!)

Kate was awarded the "Cougarette Award".  Neither of us is sure exactly what that means, but I know Kate so I know it means that she is really cool.  A very good student, and an all around nice gal- that's our Kate.
Of course, I couldn't help but get one last picture of Kate and her fourth grade teacher, Miss Litchford.  She is amazing and Kate loves her.  Even though Kate wasn't in her class this year, they continued to tease and prank eachother.  The last week of school, Miss L filled Kate's desk shredded paper and smelly air fresheners and wrapped the whole thing in saran wrap.  Kate loved it, of course.  To get her back, Kate and her friends gave Miss L's car a "heart attack".  They even had uncle Shawn and Grandpa (being in the car business, they are really good at breaking and entering when it comes to vehicles!) come and break into her car hide super smelly car fresheners under the seats  (Kate's uncles informed her that "pine tree" is the worse and even donated a stack to the cause).  However, when they told the girls the alarm was going to go off  as soon as the door was opened the girls threw them in and bolted.  I'm thinking they don't have much of a future in crime. 
Once the alarm went off, the principal played his part by going to Miss L's class and informing her that someone must of tried to break into her car.  Of course, she was alarmed (sorry, couldn't help myself), and ran to her car!  Miss L was a great sport about it and came into their class and got down  on her knees and bowed down to the girls, telling them they were the queens of practical jokes.  She even left all the hearts on her car for a few days and Kate loved it when we saw her driving through town in her "heartmobile"!
The girls also gave Miss L a big bottle of her beloved Diet Dr. Pepper, however they had swapped the soda with prune juice.  She could tell the lid had been tampered with, and had a good laugh when she realized what they'd done.  Those girls make me chuckle.

(Miss Kate at 5th grade graduation.  Holy smokes, the years are flyin' by.)

Friday, August 9, 2013

almost 101 pictures from george creek 2013

To kick off the summer, we spent a fun weekend out west at George Creek with the Wo-Jo family.  It just happens to be one of the kids favorite places of all time, and looking at these pictures, I can see why.  So much fun!


Kate and Emmy and the younger cousins put on a little play for all of us.  I have to say that for an original composition, it was very cute!  We had to laugh at the program we were given, where several of the actresses were cast to be a "ninga".  Of course, all the uncles had to capitalize on their spelling mistake and the girls were called nin-ga's for the rest of the weekend!

Sam loves his little cousin Josh.  Sadly, they are moving to Jeruselum for a few years and so he will lose his buddy for a while.  He is always trying to give him hugs and kisses!

(a horrible, blurry picture- but look at that dirty face!)

Everyone left on Sunday evening, but we decided to stay with our little family for an extra night.  Once we got through the "What! No cousins to play with?" stage, we had such a great time.  At dusk, we went on a little walk up to the old house and these horse came over to say hi.  The kids loved being up close and personal.

While at the old house, we recorded another original feature film (I guess this place really brings out our creativity).  It was titled, "The Cows of Mordor" (a spinoff from Lord of the Rings, of course).  It is really sad for you that I don't know how to upload it, because it is a hit.  Let's just say that when it comes to acting, we are pretty much professionals.


Later, the girls went fishing.  With sticks and string, of course.  Being the amazing fisherwoman that she is, Ryenne caught one.

All in all, a very good weekend!