Monday, April 30, 2012

Why I Have Gray Hair - an essay in pictures

When John was a young boy he loved to ride his four wheeler.
He was so responsible and very safe driving it.

Too bad those days are gone.

That's not John on the four wheeler.  It's Grant.

He was terrifying me so badly that David finally got on another four wheeler and played follow the leader to beat down a path in the grass and make a 'racetrack' for Grant to drive on.

The entire time Grant was riding that thing he could be heard giggling and squealing over the noise of the engine.

He has absolutely



I have enough for the both of us.

Now with renewed vigor and enthusiasm I keep hearing

"When are we going to the farm, Mom?"

As if that was not enough stress,
then Grace had a spin on the thing.

She didn't last long though.
She said pushing the throttle hurt her thumb.

I better go buy a box of Loreal.
I think I might be completely gray by the end of this summer!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cooking 101

Creative cooks use what they have in the kitchen

even if that means their soup contains carrots, corn, eggs, strawberries, ice cream and bananas all in the same batch of soup.

I think it had a pancake thrown in for good measure too.

Dinner's ready!!!

Speaking of dinner........

our future dinners are now walking around at the farm tonight getting acquainted with the horses.

I think we'll name one Chuck R. Shupe.
The R is short for Roast.
Cruel, I know.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Watch closely.

When Grant pokes his dagger into the correct slot

Mr. Pirate lets out a squeal



Now what could be more fun than poking pirates in the bottom on a rainy day?

Hope you are having a good weekend.
We were going to Thunder Over Louisville this weekend to watch the airshow and fireworks, but opted to stay home and watch on television from the warmth and comfort of our living room sofa.


We are wimps.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Spanish lessons

 My Favorite Fruit

 It is a fruit it is not a vegetable. It is red or green or yellow. My mom and my dad love fruit. I like fruit. It's big. It is not small. It's sweet not sour.

What is it?  ____________

Answer:  an apple

That is the loose non-Spanish-speaking-person's interpretation of what it says.  I'm sure I've got verbs and such messed up....or more likely Grace and I both have verbs and such messed up.

But you get the idea.

Love Letters for Grant

Lindsey is in Grant's class.

She drew a picture for Grant.

That is her holding hands with Grant.

That is also her heart she drew on herself.

I can't be sure, but I think Grant just got his first love letter from a girl.

I didn't ask what prompted the impromptu love letter.
It might be best that I don't know.

I seem to recall Grant's sister getting caught last year kissing one of the boys on the playground.

Just to clarify.....I am referring to Grace, not Emily.

lecciones espaƱolas

Mi Fruta Favorito

Es fruta no es vegtalas.  Es roja or verde or amarillo.  Mi mama y papa la gusta la fruta.  Mi gusta la fruta.  Es grande.  Es no pequena.  Es dulce no es agrio.

Mi fruta es       ??        .

Grace is taking Spanish lessons at school.  The other day she came home with a paper filled with her first grade scrawl just as she would any other day.

I had to take a second look at the paper though when I realized I couldn't read it. 

Well, with a little thought I knew what it said, but I couldn't officially 'read' it seeing as how I dodged the foreign language requirement all the way through my school years.

I'm proud of her accomplishments,


imagine what benefits America could reap if we put as much effort into teaching the minority to speak English as we currently spend teaching the majority to speak another language?

Okay.  I'm not going to make this any more political.   I'll leave it at that.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Ride of His Life

Disclaimer:  No reptiles were harmed in the making of this blog post.

It is surely springtime again.

With the nicer weather comes the endless parade of new found victims friends Grant captures around the house and farm.

Meet Mr. Turtle.

Here's Grant giving Mr. Turtle a little test drive on the skateboard.

Mr. Turtle seemed terrified unimpressed.

After several trips up and down the driveway with Mr. Turtle, Grant finally tired of his little game.

With an almost audible sigh of relief Mr. Turtle was released by his captor.

Here he can be seen making a quick exit......well, as quick of an exit as a turtle can make I guess.

Thanks Mr. Turtle!

See you later!!

I think he's smiling here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Don't You?

Don't you sit around with your sunglasses, helmet, shield and
 golf club sword
while watching television wearing camo rain boots?

We do.

Well, one of us does.

Make that two, if you count the cat.

I picked the four animals up from the kennel today after they spent a week there.
I'm not sure who was happiest to see the other, Grant or the cats.

I am certain after the first hour back at home entertaining Grant though the cats were ready to return to the peace and quiet of the kennel.

Lately Grant has started doing something that makes me laugh every time.
If we are the only two at home and I try to go to a different floor of the house to work, he gets scared.
He doesn't want to be alone on a different floor of the house.

I've asked him why and he says he's afraid the bad guys will come get him.
I have no idea what planted that idea in his head, but hey, we'll work with it.

So now if I announce I'm going elsewhere to work he has agreed to stay put on the condition that I give him a weapon to use in case the bad guys come after him.

Now when I leave him I simply announce I'm going elsewhere and hand him his golf club (his weapon of choice).  He will happily continue playing/watching television holding onto his weapon just in case the bad guys get in the house.

I wonder how long this phase will last?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Where are you summer?

Spring is in full bloom at the farm.

The  TO DO list is growing daily as gardening and yard work commences for the season.

We spent all of spring break at the farm mostly due to being evicted from our house while floors were refinished.

Being there lent itself to working a few items off the TO DO list.

Lest you think I am a wicked slave driver that never lets kids be kids, let me reassure you there was a lot of down time during the week too.

I caught Grace and Grant playing on the tire swing one evening and had to stop and grab the camera.

This sight makes me ready for long summer days without schedules and calendars.

Come on summer!  We're ready!

Oh, and those pants WERE white.

Not any more.

Friday, April 13, 2012

At the Farm

Silence is golden. Too bad there hasn't been much opportunity to enjoy the silence of the country around here this week. Instead I've heard kids. Lots of kids talking all at once most of the time! Whose bright idea was it anyway to have no tv or electronics at the farm?! Oh yeah. We've had a very enjoyable week sitting at the farm while someone has been busily sanding and refinishing hardwood floors at home. Four kids two dogs and two cats sounded like a recipe for disaster when mixed with wet floors that could not be walked on. So we came here. To relax. At least that is what the kids thought. Instead we've done quite a bit of prep work for spring. We got the orchard in good shape. The yard and flower beds are all cleaned up. We picked up rocks from a newly built road that Glen the bulldozer guy made out back for us. The kids have really worked this week, probably more than they planned or wanted to, but not too many complaints were heard. There has been some fun thrown in too. Last night we had a weiner roast. I think that is the first one of the year. Grace and Grant got to take a tour of the sleeper cab of the truck that hauled our fence posts out to us yesterday. The driver let them crawl up and get in the sleeper part of the cab. They were excited and the trucker was tickled to see their enthusiasm. Grant told him he was going to drive one of those when he was big. I'll have to add truck driver to Grant's growing list of future careers. Horses have been ridden and loved on. Neighborhood puppies have been loved on too. All is good at the shupe farm. Sorry no pictures. I loaded some before we left town monday, but i cannot load them here. I dont have a computer with me at the farm so no way to reload them or add new ones. Pictures will have to wait i guess. I'm hunkting and pecking this out on the ipad with no proofreading. Hope you can make sense of it. I'll be back to a computer in a couple days. Have a good day!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Hope your day was bright with promise.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Chitting - It's Not What You Think


(telephone ringing)

Me:  Hello!

David:  Hello, love of my life.  I hired a babysitter for tonight.  How about you and I go out for a date and do something fun....just the two of us?

OH, ALRIGHT!  He really didn't say that.  A girl can dream though.  Let's try that again.

(telephone ringing)

Me:  Hello!

David:  What are you doing?

Me:  Chitting potatoes!

David:  WHAT THE...???  You're what??  Is your phone not working right?  I thought you just said you are #$%^^ing potatoes!

Gardening has been a walk on the wild side for us the past few years.
In spite of growing up in families that had gardens at home, David and I were both a bit in the dark about the skills needed to grow a garden.

Each year we've worked a little harder

and gotten a little smarter

 and thankfully been able to buy at the store all the things we failed to grow in our own garden.

But it has been a lot of work, frustrating, overwhelming, a good learning experience for both of us.

We've tried to help the kids learn along the way with us.

Here is a very useful thing to do with your unused bag of fifteen bean soup beans after you learn that fifteen bean soup might sound appetizing to you but makes everyone else in your family gag.

Have a science lesson with the kids about how plants grow and how they begin their life cycle.

We talked about all of the things plants need to live.
We watched beans split open and sprout changing into leaves, stems and roots.
That led to discussions about how they drink and breathe and eat.

Not bad for beans that were never going to be turned into soup, huh?

Definitely novice gardening has had its ups and downs.
Some lessons we definitely learned the hard way through much hard work and very little success to show for it.

But once in a while we stumble upon a gem so fine that it makes the entire process worthwhile.

Such was my experience a few weeks ago.

While cutting seed potatoes to be planted in the garden I was dismayed to find many had already sprouted

Being a novice gardener I did the only thing reasonable.
I googled "seed potatoes sprouting".

What did I figure out from my internet search?

I had unintentionally and totally by accident


Yeah, it made me laugh too.

Chitting is the act of intentionally forcing potatoes to sprout before planting them in the ground.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one to ever find that forgotten potato or two lurking in the dark with sprouts all over it.

Who knew?

All that time and I didn't even know it.
I was a natural at potato chitting. 

I am a gardening ninja!

Good night, and happy chitting!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A rose by any other.......color?!

Grace brought home a weekly reader explaining how to make roses change color.
Now I have done this trick before, but I had never tried to make a rose change to multiple colors.

We felt we were up to the challenge so I picked up a bunch of white roses at Kroger.

After carefully slicing the stems we placed them in multiple glasses of colored water.

Within an hour the colors could be seen appearing.
By the end of the second day we had some very unusual looking flowers.

The kids were excited by the many color combinations we created.

We declared the experiment a success.

Bonus:  I got to enjoy a dozen roses even if I had to buy them myself!!