Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It was Carrollton this time

Yes we managed to find one more playground.

This one happened to be in Carrollton.

These pictures have been languishing in my files waiting to be posted.

Today is their lucky day I guess.

Why didn't places have neat playgrounds like this when  I was a kid?

It was so hot that particular night.
We didn't last very long at the park.

We left there and visited the corner ice cream stand on the town square.

What a mess!!
Grant had ice cream running down his arms and legs and neck because he couldn't eat his cone fast enough.

No pictures of that part of the evening.
I was too busy trying to clean him up!

Good night!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Scream, You Scream

Grace and Grant found a way to beat the heat.
No, not the swimsuits.....

They helped me mix up a sweet treat in the kitchen.

After a little sampling of the goodies, we took the fun outside.

Thirty minutes of running


and kicking

produced a quart of homemade ice cream from the ice cream freezer ball.

Eat up, kids!!

Do you like Grant's outfit?
Take a look at the bling he's wearing!

He has a wonderful sense of style, don't you think?
His boots match his trunks.

Doesn't everyone wear their rainboots with their swim trunks??

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Real Thing

Recently I took three kids to the real zoo.

John was off doing other things so I loaded up the three that remained at home and headed off to visit the animals.

Tradition dictates that every trip to the zoo begins with a ride on the carousel.

Each trip used to end with a ride on the train. 

At least it did until the train derailed and crashed a few years ago. 

 As luck would have it, we had ridden the train that very afternoon only to turn on the local  news that evening and see the train we had been on lying on its side and ambulances carrying away injured passengers.

They've never reopened the train since the accident.
I really don't mind.

Carousel rides are much safer it would seem.

Then it was off to see the animals.
By now we have sort of a routine as to where we stop and what we see.
I'm just the escort.  The kids lead the way.

We did for the first time I can ever remember stop to see the animals in the petting zoo.
It's a bummer that Grace can read now......

she called me out on why I had never taken them into the petting zoo when the area was clearly labeled with a sign above the gate!

Note to self....take lots of hand sanitizer next trip.  Petting zoo animals are gross.

Emily taking a break from the heat.....

The monkey monkeys staring at the real monkeys..........

Onward to the gorilla forest..........

We consider this our family growth chart... I take pictures of the kids at the adult gorilla display.      It's a good way to check if they've grown any. Not surprising, they've never gotten any shorter!!

So another trip to the zoo has been successfully logged. 
I don't figure the Shupes have too many more years of multiple trips in a year to the real zoo. In two short years all of my kids will soon be in school full time.

Then maybe, just maybe, this zookeeper can slow down a little bit.
I'm ready.

Christmas List

While David was on a business trip up north a few weeks ago he stopped by to visit a guy selling this.....

Other than the fact it's red, it looks remarkably like one we used to own.


I think David considered adding this red boat to his Christmas list.
Seeing as how it is around thirty years old, I don't think boats like this are going to be found for sale in this good of shape too often.

I had loaded these pictures onto my computer long before we left for vacation.
I had planned to use them to document the addition of one more boat to the Shupeville fleet.......


I think he's reconsidered this purchase.

It would appear his hobbies are about to change dramatically......

Hopefully, I'll have more to tell about that soon.

Wanna take a guess?

Sunday, July 24, 2011


A few weeks ago a guy was out doing this to our puddle of scum pond.....

as water began pouring from the breach in the dam

my kids stood by and watched excitedly while their dad caught them tiny squiggly things like this.....

Yeah, it's gross.


the real fun came the next day when we had returned to town.
David went back to the farm to watch them begin dirt work on the new pond.

With much delight he slogged through the muck and mud that was all that remained of the old pond bottom.

He produced a net total of seven snapping turtles for his trouble.

Boy, those things are mean!!!

Five have been turned into turtle BBQ for our family.
A couple still survive a rather tranquil life in a watering trough under a shade tree at the farm.

The kids find tormenting the turtles to be great sport....

Grace likes to play 'Poke the Turtle'.....a sweet little game involving a long stick and a very disgruntled turtle's nose.....

Grant prefers to play a game that is a new twist on the old game called

He prefers to call his new game

It requires a very long stick, a turtle shell occupied by one very angry turtle and plenty of space to run when the angry turtle in the shell goes after the boy with the stick.

Strategy of the game involves beating the turtle repeatedly then running.

Fun times I tell you.

Fun times.

Dear God

Dear God,

Thank you God for Mom and Dad.
Thank you for my big brother and big sister.
Thank you for my other big sister.
Thank you for Meg and Remington.
Thank you for making Meg have lots more puppies.
I hope she has ten.
Thank you for turtles.
Thank you for snapping turtles.
Thank you for the baby bunnies.
Thank you for the frog.
Thank you for the baby ribbies.
Thank you for all of the animals.
Thank you for mommies and daddies.
Thank you for the sun.


Some variation of this is said just about every meal.  This is more Grant's style but Grace's leave us smiling just as much.

Gotta love the heart of a child.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Puppy Love

Our kids like to walk down this is on our property at the farm....

when they get to the end they always find......


The guy pictured here lives in a trailer on the farm.  His trailer is down the road and up a gravel lane from our house. 

He raises coon dogs to sell and often will have a litter or two of puppies he's raising.

The kids love to play with the puppies. Ronnie says the puppies benefit from being handled by the kids.

I think he's just being polite, but I appreciate his patience with my kids showing up at least once a day to see the newest litter of puppies he'll have around.

And of course, often when we walk back to our house, we have to stop and pet the donkeys and horse that live across the road.

This particular evening, only one donkey showed up for treats.

He got to eat ALL of the treats.....

well, all of the treats except the ones John decided to eat himself.