Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bovine Status

We took four wheelers back to a clearing behind the house.

Do you like David's ride?
He is so proud of his orange flag!!

He was taking the little four wheeler over the rough parts of the trail for Grant.
Grant wanted to drive his four wheeler, but there are few places on the farm safe enough to turn a six year old boy loose on a four wheeler.

Helmet Head

Another form of helmet head
Funny, John!
Emily watching the fun from the safety of the Rhino

Grace waiting for her turn on the four wheeler

Go, Grace! Go!

Would you believe this tattoo is still stuck on Grant's arm?
Believe it.
We do bathe him.
I'm not sure why is has stuck around so long.

Grant only has four weeks of school left.

That means four short weeks left to decorate my fridge with all of the wonderful artwork he brings home.
He was so proud of his bunny.
He explained in great detail how he made the stripes
and why some stripes were green/yellow instead of red/blue.
I love to listen to kids this age.
There is so much thought that goes into things...
much more thought than I give them credit for sometimes.

A couple pictures snapped on my phone during the 8th grade social last weekend...
Let me just say these are some of the modest outfits I saw!
I don't think I have any of the more INTERESTING outfits in my pictures.
Emily was dismayed because one of the more "frumpy" teachers
complimented her on her dress and its length.
Emily did not consider that much of a compliment considering the source.
No matter.
I was proud of both kids.
I thought they looked nice.
Most of these pictures are from a week ago.
John and Emily left this past Friday at the end of the school day
to go on a field trip to Gatlinburg with their music department.
They did so much in three days.
They hit Hard Rock Cafe,
Clingman's Dome
Dixie Stampede
Ripley's Aquarium
Cataract Falls
Nascar Speedway
all from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.
That's a lot of walking for one weekend.
I picked them up at school at nine o'clock tonight.
They were tired, but they had a great time.
We have been using our newly acquired cattle sweep and head catch to vaccinate and tag cows.

The kids love it.
They like to pet the calves while they are caught.
I don't think the calves are too fond of this activity.
All of this cow stuff has led to some interesting conversations around the Shupe Zoo.
While shopping at Tractor Supply Friday evening,
Grace and Grant got genuinely excited when they found a toy farm set for sale that included among other things a cattle sweep, squeeze chute and head catch.
They begged me to buy it.
I did.
They spent many hours this weekend playing farm at the farm.
While playing, Grace was incorrectly using a boy cow as a momma cow.
David pointed out to her the problem with her momma cow selection.
This prompted a conversation about the differences of cows, heifers, steers and bulls.
Finally, to explain the difference more clearly we put it in terms of people they knew.
For instance,
I am a cow.
Don't laugh.
Grace is a heifer.
I told you not to laugh.
This conversation went well, and the illustration worked to clarify the issues until Grace wanted to know the difference between a bull and a steer.
I told her to go ask her father.
He said to ask grandpa.
Be prepared.
Grace and Grant might just want to know your bovine status the next time they see  you.
Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fun With Grant

Rainbows on doorways

make for great entertainment
for at least fifteen minutes before it moves on and disappears.

Bedtime tents

that hold cats and boys and lamps and water and cat food are good for a little fun too.
The boy loves his tent much more than the cats do.

Mindlessly watching television
while playing with nerf darts

make for some pretty interesting photos.

Not that he needs a lot of help in that category anyway.
Oh Grant.
Whatever will we do with you?!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


David sent me this picture today from Illinois.
It must be springtime.  It doesn't feel much like spring though.

We sat through John's first official baseball game tonight.
When I left a little after ten o'clock, it was tied at 5 runs in the top of the sixth inning.

I don't mind being a baseball mom.
I just want to be a WARM baseball mom.
I will have to update the results of the game when the men get home in a little while.
Mets win 7-5
That is John's team.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grace's Big News

Friday night while John and Emily were at their social David and I took Grace and Grant to the mall.
Grace had a little errand to run.

The errand didn't involve any actual running.
She sat for most of it.

It did involve guns
and the help of two very nice ladies at the jewelry store.

See Grace's newly decorated earlobe?
See her glistening eyes?
Those are unspilled tears she was trying to bravely hold back.
She was a bit shocked when they pierced both ears at the same time.
As with Emily a few years back,
I am not sure she would have sat still for the second ear had they only pierced one the first time.
She is now the proud owner of her first set of earrings.

She is really growing up.
Guess what she wants for Christmas this year?
We told Grant we were going to pierce his bellybutton while we were there.
He had to stop and consider that piece of news for a moment before he concluded we were only teasing.
That doesn't speak well for how seriously (or not) we take our duties as parents.
We are always telling our kids some lame story just to mess with their heads.
We even told Grace she wouldn't be able to swim with her earrings in at swim lessons since the extra weight of the earrings would make her head so heavy she would possibly drown.
We only let her stew on that one for an hour or so.
Yeah, we're messing with their heads.
Just trying to prepare them for the screwy world they live in.
John had his first scrimmage today.  Grant had his second scrimmage today.
It is going to be a long two months or so with both of them playing this year.
I am now the parent with the color coded calendar so I can keep track of all of their activities.
Thankfully it slows down once June gets here and school is over.
I think I can survive at this pace until then.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Let The Countdown Begin!

Pictures taken Friday night outside middle school
8th Grade Social
Forgive the hunched shoulders.
She was freezing.
I made her pose anyway!

John posing in typical John fashion.
We are not so unoriginal as to have both kids wear matching colors.
The theme of the social was something to do with black and white.
The kids were all dressed in black and white.
It looked like I was walking into an old black and white movie
when I went in to pick up John and Emily at the end.
I am going to take up a collection so some of those eighth grade girls
can afford to buy the bottom half of their skirts!!
Hemlines were beyond daring.
They bordered on obscene!!!
I think these two clean up very nicely.
They had a lot of fun and I am sure made a lot of good memories.
Hard to imagine they will be done in six weeks.
Six weeks and counting!!!
They are ready.

Grace has some big news of her own to share, but I will save it for another night.

We were at the farm today getting some spring work done.  We finished planting the last of the grapes and raspberries and blueberries.  The strawberries are looking good as are the peaches, pears and apples.  Hopefully this is the year we start to see some reward for our hard work we have invested out there.

We also painted two more sets of bee hives.  Long story, but we ended up ordering two more nucs this spring.  That brings the total to four.  I think that is plenty!  Want some honey?  Hopefully there will be some to share soon.

David is working this coming week to get water lines, power and fence in place on the third pasture in our master plan (HA! We are not that organized!).  It should be done by the end of next week weather permitting.

We even made it home tonight in time to watch Thunder Over Louisville.  WAAAAAYYYY too cold to go downtown and watch it in person.  We are wimpy. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Goodbye Dear Friend

Over spring break we took time for a little TLC with the horses.
Grace has become best buddies with Brownie.
She loves to groom him and walk him around on a lead rope.
They are a great pair.
Here are the most recent pictures of Snickers
She's gotten so big.

She is doing great.
We are working on her using a lead rope and getting her used to the many things she will experience in life.....
such as blacktop roads, clothes lines, farm equipment,
horse trailers, creepy old houses....
You get the idea.
It is funny the things she is terrified of when first experiencing them.
It has been a continuing lesson for her and for us too.
Spring break was when Snickers said goodbye to her adopted momma.

We made sure to give her a lot of extra attention and love since
she was very lonely without her mom.

This picture was taken right before the lady came to pick up Momma Nurse Mare.

Thank you Momma for doing such a great job.
You hold a special place in our hearts for taking care of Snickers so well.
We love you and will miss you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Now That's Talent

Hey Grant!  Do you have any new talents you want to share?

Sure Mom!

Now THAT'S talent.

Just Breathe - My Motto The Past Week

First, I just want to say how sad I am to hear the news out of Boston.

When will it end?  Will it ever?  Or is this the new life we have to look forward to in America?

I don't think anyone could have predicted twenty years ago the things that would be making headlines today in our country and in our world.

We continue to pray for those whose lives have been affected.

In light of what transpired yesterday on the east coast, my troubles seem trifling in comparison.

Here's the story. 

We received Grant's admission letter from the public school system last week.  This letter lets us know he has been successfully registered for the upcoming school year.


The letter welcomed him to his new school....Norton Elementary.


This town has one of the most arbitrary, laborious, illogical, complicated, impractical assignment plans in the country.  Don't believe me?  Look up the recent Supreme Court case regarding desegregation in public schools.  That's our district.

The short version of the story is that there are five elementary school scattered throughout our city (including the one Grace currently attends) that are in our "cluster".  There are five of these clusters throughout Louisville.  Our kids could be assigned to any one of the five schools in our cluster.  Usually kids are placed in the one closest to where they live, but the kids can be placed in any of the schools in a cluster to optimize the balance of racial, financial and educational backgrounds of the families involved.  Geography takes a very low priority in the decision making process.  Some elementary kids ride a bus for an hour one way each day for the sake of racial diversity.  Stupid, I know.

There are many negatives to Grant's assignment to Norton.  The bus ride to Norton is much longer than to our neighborhood school.  He will leave earlier and return home later than Grace.  He will have to change buses at the bus depot.  Grace has a direct trip to her school.  He has never been in this school.  He knows no one there.  In all likelihood, none of his neighborhood buddies will be there....

You get the idea.

So I have been in a mental funk the past few days trying to work this out mentally.  Do we pull Grace and put her with him at Norton so they are at least in the same building?  Do we have two kids in two different elementary schools?  Do we pull them both and homeschool? (I DO NOT want to do that!)  Private school?  Do we put him in Norton and petition for a hardship transfer the next year? (That would make four different schools in four years if we did that.)

Not one option I could come up with seemed workable without at least one kid being a mental mess.  Trying to sort this out made my brain hurt.  It made my heart hurt a little too to think of what next year might look like.

I did not have enough brain cells to figure out this little mess and blog too.  So blogging has been neglected.

Monday I went in and talked to Grace's principal.  I love this man.  He called the admissions office and got Grant transferred to Bowen for next year.

Problem solved.  Just as simple as that.

Did I mention I love that man??

Now, if only we could fix all of the world's problems that easily.  If only.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Catching Up - Again

Not much to post tonight.
I am hoping to catch the second half of the Louisville-Michigan game.
Go Cards!!
We went to Easter services at church Friday night before leaving town for the week.
Here is the ten second shot on the porch steps before running off to church.

One of Grant's many crafts made at school during the week leading up to Easter Sunday...
I like his color choices.
I hope this is as close as my kids get to a real tattoo!!
He is still sporting remnants of this on his arm after a week at the farm.
These things last forever.
I don't remember which kid it was, but one of ours put one of these things on right before we went to have pictures taken one year.
I think we had to do a wardrobe change to cover up the unfortunate tattoo on an arm that year!
Gotta go cheer on the Cardinals.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

WE'RE HOME!!!!!!

Spring break is over.

Our kitchen floor has been re-refinished.

We have accomplished a ton of stuff at the farm this past week.

I am tired.