Sunday, December 30, 2012

Missed Us?

We've been missing.
Some of us are missing more than others......
Grace has been working on a top tooth for several weeks now.
It was so wiggly that she could point it straight out to the front and even move it over the top of her other front tooth.
Finally, last night it popped out.
The tooth fairy dutifully dropped a dollar beneath Grace's pillow.
The other front tooth on top is wiggly now.  At the rate she loses teeth, she might have that one out by July!
We have been busy.
Grant had a birthday.
David had a birthday.
Christmas came and went.
We celebrated the birth of Jesus.
We've also been busy with this....

We've been babysitting.

This little lady came to live with us for a few weeks.
She is keeping us hopping!
The short story is we started doing a home study back in the spring to be foster parents for a private adoption agency.
This little gal came to live with us until her adoptive family can get the paperwork on her adoption finalized.
The kids have fallen in love with her.
So have David and I.
We will all be sad to see her go next week, but are so glad she has a forever family.
Maybe then I can get back to blogging!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hug Your Kids

I watch my kids fairly bubble with excitement about the rapid approach of Christmas

We smile and laugh.
We watch Christmas movies and munch on Christmas treats.

Yet my mind continually returns to the horrors on the news that I strategically mute or turn off when kids enter the room....
trying to protect them from the ugly reality that some families are facing today.

So as I continue to celebrate the birth of a baby boy in a small town called Bethlehem

this year my heart also aches for those families in a different small town
who instead of celebrating
are planning what no parent should ever have to plan for their own child.

As you gather with family and friends

remember those whose hearts are hurting
as well as the hope that we have beyond the hurts of this life.

Hug your kids tonight.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Revelation 21:4

...and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the former things have all passed away.

Our hearts are broken for families mourning the loss of innocent lives today.

Praying for all those in Newtown, Connecticut.

And the next one falls...

Poor John.

Now he is home sick.  Grant missed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. 

Now it is John's turn to be home sick.

The worst part for John is that today is a big concert day for the school band.  The band and orchestra are both headed to Frankfort to perform a Christmas concert in the rotunda of the capitol building. 

Sadly for John, he will not be going.

The kids have worked very hard preparing for this.  John is first chair trumpet out of about twelve trumpet players.  I just saw a text on his phone from one of his classmates that the band director, Mr. P, is 'freaking out'.    I'm not sure who is more disappointed that he is missing the concert, John or Mr. P.

He had also been asked to accompany the orchestra on one piece of music that needed a trumpet.  I have no idea what they will do about that little issue.

Life really doesn't seem fair at times, especially when you're thirteen.  Cheer up, John.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Look Who's Six

Six years ago
(though it seems like yesterday)
I was taking care of this little chunk.


Not much has changed in six years.
Now he is just a MUCH BIGGER chunk!
Today has been a busy day for Grant.
I took in treats for his class and he picked a book to take to school that I read to the class as well.
I had a parent/teacher conference with his teacher while I was there.
She says he already is doing everything that she should be teaching him the rest of this year.
She explained that he is driven to be first at everything including his seatwork.
She told me he is kind and thoughtful with a streak of silliness mixed in for good measure.
She told me he is going to do just fine in life.
I told her I knew all of that because
Grant is just like his dad.
we headed to the doctor's office for a six year check-up because our favorite pediatrician in the whole wide world works at our local office on Thursdays.
Isn't a visit to the doctor what all kids want to do on their birthday?
Dr. Belza gave Grant the thumbs up for good health.
After his appointment, we went home to gather the family.
Grant decided to eat out for his birthday.
Fazoli's was the restaurant of choice.
We then returned home to celebrate with cake and presents.
Grant wanted a dinosaur cake again this year.
He picked the colors...including the purple claws.
Here's the one from last year's party.
I liked the green one better.
He was very proud of his cake this year.
In typical six year old boy fashion, Grant thought it was funny to put his candle in the dinosaur's eye.
Partying hard at the Shupe household...
Then it was on to opening presents.

The truck he wanted for birthday.....
Thank you Grandma for the package.
He was very excited to see his presents.
He still is not feeling super great.
Today was his first day back at school, and of course it was a busy day too.
He was worn out by bedtime, but he fell asleep with a smile still on his face.
Happy Birthday, Grant!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cow - Candy - Christmas

Tell me which one you want your name stamped on.
Four of these go to market in three weeks.

David must speak 'Moo' fluently, otherwise I don't know how he got them to line up and pose so nicely.

I am excited to get some steaks!!
I guess that shows how incredibly mundane my life is most days.

Gathering for the daily Christmas Tree drawing.

Bet you can't tell how excited Grant gets during this event each day.

Here Grant is opening the next door to see who the lucky winner is.

Don't be impressed with the Christmas decorations...

instead be impressed with the clean floor!!

This tree is in the dining room/play room at the front of the house....
Excitement is building around here.
Today we stayed home from church.
Grant woke up in the middle of the night sick.
He has laid on the couch/slept in his bed all day with fever and generally not feeling good.
I am not sure why we have made family illness part of our Christmas tradition, but it seems like the Shupes cannot make it through the month of December without at least half of us sick at some point.
Being the loving caring mother that I am, I left my sick son in the care of his dad while Grace and I ran off for the afternoon.
I had tickets for the two of us to see The Nutcracker.
I took Emily to see it when she was about this age, so it was time for Grace to have a turn.
The reviews were mixed when we got home.
She enjoyed seeing the performance, but there is no doubt she was done long before the performance was.
She was ready to leave at intermission, but we stayed for the entire thing.
Grant is feeling better tonight, but I think he is going to be the first Shupe to miss a day of school this year.  I figure he will be home with me tomorrow.

More Music Making Merriment

Grant's live performance in our garage....
Grace wanted to share her music too.
This one will get you in the Christmas spirit.
If you are still listening.....
Last one.....
If you want to make her happy, mention that you saw these online the next time you see her.
She will be thrilled.
Storming tonight like it is April instead of December.
Weird weather!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like....




Thursday, December 6, 2012

Merry Music Makers

Today has been a busy day.
After dropping the kids off at school, I headed home to tackle making friendship bread.
Fourteen hours and twenty-four loaves later I am sitting down to catch up at my desk.
Tonight was Grant's Christmas program at school.
All of the four year olds along with the kindergarten class participate in the performance.
Below is a clip of one of his songs.
Please excuse the terrible image quality.
I have never been known to do a good job holding a video recorder at one of these events.
Here he is playing Silent Night with the hand bells.
We are enjoying the countdown to Christmas this year.
Now if only we could get a little snow to really get the kids excited!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Living History

Sunday afternoon David took John and Emily to meet a real national treasure. 

John and Emily were given an assignment for American History to interview someone who was in the armed forces at the time Pearl Harbor was attacked.

A call to our local VFW produced the name of a gentleman who was a Marine at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack.  Tom Crump made a career in the military retiring as a sergeant major after thirty years of service to his country and fighting in three wars.

He is a gracious host and eloquent speaker who has dedicated his retirement years to speaking to groups about America's place in world history.  He speaks to groups large and small, young and old.  He also had a display in his home showcasing an extensive collection of war memorabilia.

I think my kids came away with a new appreciation of the sacrifices made by those in the military to protect and defend our country.

People like Tom Crump are truly part of America's greatest generation.  He embodies that title.  What a treat that John and Emily could sit down with him and hear about history from someone who has lived it.

Thank you, Tom Crump, to you and to all who serve....past and present.

Growing Up Fast

August 10, 2012

Standing by Bella, the mare that took her away from the birth mare

The nurse mare a few weeks after we got her.
This is an extreme improvement from the condition she was in when we got her.
This is the nurse mare now.

October 2012
Snickers with the nurse mare

Snickers getting a lesson on wearing a halter

Learning to use a lead rope

Positive reinforcement

Eating big girl food with the nurse mare
Her coat is pretty dirty and rough from lying down to sleep in the grass, but she has really filled out and grown taller the past month.
Romeo looking wistfully at the bucket of feed being given to the mare and baby.

Snowball planning what new mischief he will get himself into.
A little late, but the first week of November David put our new fish in the pond.

Grant's buck impersonation

New run-in for the cows on the second pasture.

New cows will soon be added to the herd.
David is getting ready to buy some more to feed through the winter.

How many cows must a person own to be a cattle farmer?

I think David is close to having enough cows to qualify.