Wednesday, February 27, 2013


If you recognize this ride, then you will have 'It's A Small World'
stuck in your head for the rest of your day.
You're welcome!

The Buzz Lightyear ride is a big hit with everyone.

Right before we checked out of the resort to head home

Grant being typical Grant in this one

Good-bye Baylake Tower
We will miss you!
The kids are out of school this week.
The powers that be have decided to build snow days into the school calendar.
We get a full week off at the end of February now for unused snowdays.
Have they never heard of snowstorms in March?
We are going to take advantage of the days off and go play.
I finished the LAST of the maple syrup last night.
We finished with roughly two gallons.
That means we boiled roughly eighty gallons of sap down.
I wish I was kidding.
Have a great day!

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Fun to Play at the ....





It's fun to play at the
Y  M  C  A!
Doing the rock climbing wall

Grace and I went on Sunday evening last week to our local YMCA.
It was a school sponsored family fun night.
Boy, did she have fun!

Grant and I mobilized his army one afternoon.

It took FOREVER to set up all those little guys.
Then it took exactly 1.3 seconds for Grant to knock them down.
And yes.
We did it again.
and again.
and again.
Thank you brother John for spending the weekend with us
and for all your help at the farm
and for entertaining our kids.
Thank you Christy for sharing him with us this weekend!
We had a lot of fun.
Hope you did too.
John and Emily went to a youth retreat in northern Kentucky this past weekend.
They had lots of fun and little sleep.
That combination made for a very sombre Monday morning at the Shupe zoo.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Well Shoot!

 Target practice
with real ammunition

Getting some advice from Dad

Poor smiley.....

Smile Grant!!
Don't you wear monster teeth when taking target practice?

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The kids always want to open this little trailer when we pass by it.

We did.

Someday this might be a playhouse in the back yard.
There are no such plans for this house.

 It has definitely seen better days.

The kids still love to explore in it.
Grant is fascinated with the curved narrow stairs and the open attic.
I have to confess.
I really like this old place too.
It whispers tales of people and things long forgotten.

I love the many layers of paper that mark the passing of time.

It seems Grant has the same love affair with old things.
He salvaged this cup on our most recent trip through the house.
We will both miss the old house when it is gone.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Battle Rages

I called Grant into the office this morning so I could take a picture of him before school.
This is what arrived in my office......
Grant holding one of the many weapons in the Shupe Nerf arsenal.
Grace came to find her most recent ally in the war raging inside our home.


She too was fully armed for battle.
The five kids (four plus the overgrown kid) have dug out every nerf gun we own.
We are waging an all out war in the Shupe household
though who is ally or enemy changes daily.

I just smile and try to dodge the stray bullets
because some day
I'm gonna miss this.
my original purpose was to get a picture of Grant ready for school.
Today was Pajamas and Pancakes Day at MCPK.
He was so excited (along with about a hundred of his closest preschool friends).
It was WILD at school today.
Not only did they all wear pajamas, but they also were entertained by Mr. Magic's Magic Show.
they got to eat pancakes for snack time.
I helped a couple other moms cook three hundred plus pancakes for the kids today.
I'm not sure who had more fun....
the kids eating them or the moms fixing them.
I really think the moms won that contest.
It was a good day.
The lack of blogging is without excuse this time
unless you count Emily being sick
Grant being star of the week at school
Valentine parties at multiple schools
multiple maple syrup cooking parties
and the ongoing effort to dry out and rebuild the soggy portions of my house.
I guess that is excuse enough for not blogging.
Emily ended up home from school Thursday and Friday with fever and sore throat.
With the help of an antibiotic for strep,
she's feeling much better now.
Grant was the long awaited star of the week last week.
This involves many duties such as line leader,
flag holder,
calendar/weather guy,
and on and on.
It is a very important position as you can see.
The star of the week is allowed to bring in toys to share each day of his/her week.
Grant was more than happy to fulfill this obligation.
He also picked treats to share Friday at snack time
along with Mom reading his favorite book to the class.
The highlight for this kid was being able to take his favorite pet to school.
Once we established that Snickers (the baby horse) would not make a good pet to share and that the ducks were also not a viable option,
Grant settled on taking Bella to school that day.
This whole situiation put Mom in charge of showing up with
snacks, books and a cat all at the appropriate time.
Some day I will miss this part of parenting too.
I keep telling myself that.
He had a great week.
He did a great job too.
Sunday and Thursday were spent boiling down more sap.
With what we have not processed yet,
we should have well over a gallon of syrup when finished.
I let one batch stay on the stove too long.
It started to crystallize so I went ahead and cooked it down to make maple sugar.
It has a slight maple flavor and can be used just like cane sugar.
It is a lot sweeter than cane sugar so I'm not sure how to translate measurements.
I'll have to work on that.
The war on water also continues here.
The floor guy came to look at the damage.
He has us scheduled for spring break again this year.
The kids are not too thrilled at spending another spring break working at the farm.
They will survive.  I'm sure.
The biggest problem right now is that the floor guy says there is still too much moisture in the floors.
So I have dehumidifiers and blowers sitting in my house once again.
The biggest news is that Sara has now begun her second battle with cancer.
She went in for surgery yesterday
and is home today beginning the long process of recovery.
We wish her a speedy recovery.
Hang in there, Sara.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Sappy Story



(Some tried to beat the sap from the trees instead of tapping the trees.)


Wait some more


Head for home



Still lots more to boil down.
Just tried a small batch today since I didn't want to ruin too much if things went wrong.