Wednesday, July 27, 2011


One of my favorite things about summer is all the bouquets of cut flowers I bring into the house to enjoy! Here's a peak at a few I've enjoyed the last couple of week, and a few shots the flowers.

Ohhhhhhh I LOVE flowers! Keep them watered has been a challenge this summer. Worth the effort!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Barn Addition

No, not another animal addition....instead a DOOR INSTALLATION PROJECT. When we bought the house we noticed that this barn didn't have an entry is was one of the projects we added to our priority list to accomplish this Spring/Summer. Here is a picture of the before....

Here is an AFTER shot....the door needs clean and painted, but it was a quick easy installation! ( A BIG thank you to my wonderful father-in-law for his help!)
Another look at it...just because I LOVE it!
QUESTION: My husband suggested to paint the door white to match the barn. I was thinking of putting a color on the door...what is your opinion?

Yahoo for completed projects!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Swine Show 2011

Lance took two pigs this just (the same as last year). He enjoys taking care of them...I really could skip the whole pig thing, but they are an easy 4-H project for the kids. Before the fair started Lance made a poster to put above his pen to thank the buyers of his 2010 pigs!

The morning of the pig show Caleb helped carry the needed cooler to help keep us cool. I think this 4-H fair is one of the hottest and driest on the books...or so we were told.
Lance showing his black pig....this pig didn't make the required 200lbs to go to market on auction day so he came home with us and will be ready to get butchered in a couple months. I'm really excited to have our own homegrown pork in my freezer soon! He got 4th with this crossbred.
Next he showed his other crossbred...which he placed 2nd with! He was thrilled, and so were we.
Here is Lance penned up for 2nd place....Isn't he a good looking young man?
We had the fun of lots of family support at the fair. It's always fun to have others share in fun of the fair....Julia and Ben enjoying some "fair food".
Then they thought they needed to figure our who was the tallest..Zach was the official decision maker.
Caleb couldn't resist entertaining/dazzling us with his undiscovered abilities......

It was a hot fair, but that didn't stop us from making some great memories! Caleb will join the 4-H mix next year (he is by far the animal LOVER in our family). They are both making a LONG list of animals and projects they'd like to do next year.......I better start preparing now!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Woodworking Project 2011

Our 2011 4-H fair has come to a close, and we had such a fun and memorable time. Lance took two projects this year woodworking and swine. The woodworking judging is just not my favorite...really the waiting is what seems the most challenging with 3 other little people to keep busy.

Here is Zach looking through an I SPY book
Caleb reading to Julia
After waiting our turn for over 2 hours....judging was under way. I'm not sure what Lance said to make him laugh, but they seemed to have quite the conversation (not a surprise to anyone who knows Lance.)
Lance made a garden tool box for me out of some of the barn siding we had left over.....SWEET HUH?
A little closer look at the results...I suggested he use a hand held torch to "burn" the wood edges a bit to give it a more aged look to match the barn siding patina. It worked really well!
He brought home a BLUE RIBBON for his efforts! The judge also gave him a few encouraging pointers to improve on with future projects.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hauling Hogs....

Last Friday morning was check-in time for our hogs at the fair. The weather was absolutely gorgeous the Thursday night before hand and we decided to load up the pigs then and have them ready to haul in the morning. If you've ever loaded pigs before you understand that it can be quite an event. If you have never loaded pigs....well lucky you!

Lance was in charge of moving the pigs towards to trailer...Caleb, Justin , & I ran gates. (photo by Julia)
Here we are getting closer....(photo by Julia)

We loaded these pigs in 5 minutes or less.....a total breeze! Which was WONDERFUL! 
Must have been the cute helpers we had!
Ready for FAIR!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Motocross Mania...

Last year at the country fair we watched all the dirt bikes and 4-wheelers whizzing by course which much excitement. It wasn't three weeks later that I had 3 dirt bikes sitting in our garage...kinda funny how that happens. So this year my boys were all "amped up" about riding in the event themselves. But anyone who is anyone knows you can't your bikes or 4-wheelers to the country fair unless they are all shined up. (Well at least that's what my hubby says.)

 TEAM work got the job done.....
Zach & Caleb rinsing off Zach's ride
Here are the two trouble makers who thought they were very helpful when they would steal the 
rags/sponges the boys were trying to use....
Little sister waiting to help shine them all up!
 After they were all nice and clean we loaded up and headed to the fair. We stood around in the melting temperatures and awaited sign up and practice time. (I took my pictures during there practice time so I could be closer and get better pics.)
Lance taking it nice & easy testing out the course.
Steep hill by the finish line.
 Caleb's turn to try it out.
I think that's a little air I see under your tire!
Zach on the mini-quad
Having a blast!

So how'd they do? We went with the goal of having fun and trying out a real motocross track. We accomplished that goal. We didn't break any speed records or show off any fancy jumping abilities.....but that was never the plan. The boys had fun and we are very proud of them for trying something totally new to them...even if all those hills, moguls, and jumps were pretty intimidating. I'm not sure who will want to try again next year, but I am thankful for your prayers of protection. Even with several mishaps the boys were not hurt.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's County Fair Time Again!

We officially begin hauling in our pigs to the fair tomorrow morning! I'm very excited that my hubby has taken the whole fair off work this year!! (Selfishly this makes my life so much easier this week, but really I'm most excited for us just to get to hang out together....YIPEE!!) This past week we have been getting things in order to take our animals and we had woodworking judged on Tuesday. Then there was the poster "Thank You" to hang above our pen, and the last minute purchase of a new belt and show shirt. I have spent the past 24 hours preparing little snack bags to take along with us throughout the week. I'm hoping it not only helps to ease the damage done to our pocketbook , but also helps to ease grouchy, whining children (mine are always perfectly pleasant of course) who never seem to have enough food to eat! I have cleaned my house and tried to finish up the laundry, although somehow more always seems to appear. I thought know my house will be a total pit by the end of fair but at least is will start off looking all nice and tidy. Prayer for a safe week, and lots of fun as we share in the great fun of 4-H would be much appreciated! Also the boys are in a little open mini motocross event on Friday extra prayers then, please and thank you! I'll be sure to share all our fun with you next week sometime after the storm has calmed once again.

I have also spent my week planning for the new school year (I got a new planner and organizing our year is a highlight of mine.....NERD....I know, but I LOVE it. I think we are starting August 2nd, and doing a Tues., Wed., Thursday schedule for the first month. With Friday's being field trip days. I wanted to ease into our year like we have the past several years. I really want to start off year in fun fashion and I am hoping field trip Friday is just the trick. Any suggestions of fun field trips you have been on would be great! So far I am thinking a pottery studio for painting fun and Science Central for science fun! We already did the zoo a few weeks ago before our membership expired. I'm considering the place in Shipshewana that talks about Amish living (can't remember the name of it).

Friday, July 8, 2011

A few more farm additions....

We ordered some more meat chickens, and a few more layers from a hatchery...they all came in perfect shape all soft, fuzzy, and as cute as can be! Unfortunately less than a week later the kids forgot to put the top on the box that holds the chicks and some kind of animal (we assume a raccoon) got in and killed 10 chicks and 2 baby ducks. Bummer, right? Well the issue is now resolved and our chicks are safe now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Fun Part 4

Here are a few more things that have been keeping us very busy this summer.......

Rub a dub dub...three chickens in a tub!! We butchered our first batch of meat chickens....thanks to Nathan & Christa Miller who spent the with us showing us how it's done! 14 birds in 3 hours start to clean up...not bad!! Next time will be faster because we can keep them all as whole chickens and put them in freezer bag!
I completed this quilt top a could weeks ago. It will either be Zach's or Caleb's we haven't decided yet. One will get this quilt and the other will get a quilt with X's on it. (Once I actually start on it that is!) This was my first time to machine applique, and I was happy with the results.

NEXT: We head to the zoo last week so squeeze one more trip in before our membership expired July 1st.....ohhhh what fun we had!
First stop was the sea lion feeding/chat.
No matter how many times you see them this close they are still amazing
We listened to several chats and then headed for a picnic lunch.
I let the kids ride is Caleb!
Zach was so stinkin' cute to watch!
 Julia's pony kept trotting around instead of walking...she thought it was great and giggled the whole time! Then a helper had to walk beside her the rest of the!
Then we went to the aviary chat and then everyone posed on the frog.
Lance apparently confused this frog with the horses we rode earlier :)
One of our last stops of the day was the aquarium.
We listened to this diver talk about cleaning the tank and she told us about some of the fish swimming around.
Here are a few other animals we saw that day....
Coming up VERY SOON is the county fair! Yet another thing on the schedule to keep our summer hopping!!

Design by Amanda @ BloggerBuster