Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015

You Win Some.....

And you lose some.

John did not make All-State band.  I don't think he is too disappointed.  Out of twenty that auditioned from his high school, four made the cut.  They were all seniors.  Maybe next year!

The football team didn't just win some.  They won it all!  The bulldogs are state football champions in the 6A division.  Lots of fun cheering them on this season.

David and I took Grace to the school district's awards program for the Reflections contest.  It was a fun evening.  After the students were recognized individually, we attended a reception showcasing the winning entries this year.  We were able to browse through the many art, photography and literature entries while listening to the students' music compositions (including Grace's) playing in the background.  She was all smiles when she heard her song being played.

We are counting down the days to Christmas!  Presents are bought.  Not many are wrapped.  Well, actually, none of them are wrapped.  With any luck, I will fix that little problem today.  It shouldn't take very long to wrap four lumps of coal.

Gingerbread house construction...

Grace's Reflections awards for winning at the school level...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Catching up

Grant's third grade class performed a very nice Veteran's Day concert on, you guessed it, Veteran's Day.
Grant is in the center of this picture wearing a white shirt.

Grant isn't the same boy he was at the concert way back on November 11th.  He was a mere eight year old.  As of Sunday, he is now an oh-so-mature-don't-treat-me-like-a-baby nine year old.  Lots of fun celebrating his birthday this past weekend. 

Now that NOvember is over.  I don't see as much of this going on...

But I AM able to see my floor that every toy we own is not spread across it like frosting on a birthday cake. (Did I mention someone had a birthday???) 


Birthday party with friends this past Friday night.

Yup.  Store bought. 
 Being the fourth kid means he's lucky he even GOT a cake!!

A challenge made doubly difficult by having a birthday so close to Christmas!

 Squeezing in a party is a little stressful every year.

They had fun though.  That's what counts.

Company Christmas party was last Saturday. (Lots of fun) (no pictures)
John All-State Audition  was this past Saturday (results tomorrow) (fingers crossed)

Worked on barn all day Sunday (pictures later)

Birthday party with family Sunday night (pictures later)

 how was your weekend??

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Finally! A Post!

Lots to catch up on. Lots happening. I'll hit on two of the headlines at the zoo for tonight and save the rest for another day. 

Meet Little Black Mare. 

And Chocolate Gelding. 

Not the most original of names but we aren't known for our ability to name pets anyway!  

We are considering these two as replacements for Juliet, the kids' horse that we lost a few weeks ago. 

We have been riding a lot the past week trying to find the best addition to our horse family. I think we have a winner, but we have not made a final decision yet. Both are sweet horses. Both have good and bad points. We shall see. 

Grace and grant love the little black one and have already named her The Black Stallion after the beloved horse in the series by the same name.....this while totally missing the facts that the horse is neither big nor a stallion....nor was it EVER a stallion seeing as how it is a girl. Oh well. I'm sure the lucky horse will recieve a name worthy of our long standing history of bad pet names. 

In other news Grace's musical composition was awarded first place at the district level in the PTA Reflections competition. Last night was an awards program at school for winners at her school. Next week we will attend an awards program for district winners. District winners now move on to the state level of competition before going to national competition in the spring. Grace's ten year old mind has enthusiastically made the leap right over state level to nationals. I wonder. Could she possibly do it?  The saga continues. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Counting down the days

Not the days until Christmas.

They've been counting down the last few days of NOvember. 

Grant went to bed early tonight so the month would end sooner...or so he reasoned. 

Grace didn't mind quite so much. 

And I'll be happy to have a bit less chaos to deal with. They get a little crazy dragging things out. 

It's been fun. But we are all glad December is here!  Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It Runs In The Family

Loving animals runs in the family.
Grace has to do volunteer work for Junior BETA Club.

She chose to do her hours at the pet store socializing stray cats.
Emily and John did this a few years ago for the same purpose.

And I'm guessing I'll be back in two years so Grant can get his volunteer hours.
My life sort of resembles the movie Groundhog Day.  
I keep doing the same thing over and over!

A love of coloring runs in the family too.
I have seen a lot of this going on since it is NOvember.

I'll have to post some of the finished works of art.

We have the political gene in our family too.
This is our local Junior Achievement Biz Town.
Each year the fifth grade class takes a field trip to Biz Town.

Everyone gets a job for the day.  They learn about invoicing, billing, taxes, licenses, budgeting, applying for loans, paychecks, using a checking account, debit cards, and more than I can even remember.  It's a lot for one day.

The kids really love it though.  It is such a fun experience.  And everyone participates.  They are business owners, CPA's, policemen, doctors, utility workers, sanitation workers and ....well, you get the idea.

Part of Grace's job was to give a speech at the open and close of the day.

She was the mayor of Biz Town.

So if you ever need advice, Grandpa, on how a mayor should do his job, feel free to ask Grace.
She is an expert now.

Something else that runs in the family is our love of a good bargain.
How about gas for 86 cents with Kroger Fuel Points?

I put 25 gallons in my car for less than $22!!!!!!!
That makes me happy.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What's Going On?

 I'm cleaning and organizing and catching up thanks to an unexpected weekend at home.  Yeah!!!

So, the first project involved getting old pictures off my camera.  You're gonna get a lot of old pictures mixed in with new ones for a while.  I'm sure you won't mind.  And maybe, thanks to my early onset dementia, you will see a few pictures that I've already posted previously.  Lucky you!

Grace doing pottery wheel

She is making pencil holders to give her teachers for Christmas

Once again, I marvel at how grown up Grace is becoming.  This fall when I took Emily shopping for clothes, we took Grace with us.  She found some very cute things that fit her pretty well. 

Now Emily's favorite clothing store is also Grace's favorite clothing store.

Plato's Closet Consignment Store
It also happens to be my favorite store. 
 I'm not penniless when we leave there!

 Newest projects at Rock Hills Farm

We are working toward certification as a Homebased Processor.  That would mean we can sell other food items besides syrup, honey and beef...all three which are exempt from most state regulation of food items. 

Once we are certified, we can add a few things to our growing list of foods for sale.

This list might include organic peanut butter

whole wheat bread

and baking mixes like muffin and pancake mixes to complement our syrup.
I've got to take a training class and then submit recipes for approval. 
Sounds simple.
We shall see. 

You know you might be mentally distracted and a bit too busy when you arrive home to find
one very lucky bunny loose in the living room

 where you forgot you put him three hours earlier.

I say lucky because the dogs (who are afraid of the bunny, thankfully) were also in the house.

That could have ended badly. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Emily's First Show - Free Admission

These are all pictures Emily took at the farm. 

She is hoping to get into a photography class next year at high school.  These pictures will be part of the portfolio they have to submit to get into the class.

She is REALLY hoping to get her Dad's Canon 5D camera to use if she gets into the class.

That's what she used to take these pictures.

Not sure either thing will happen, but no matter.  I enjoy her pictures whether she takes a class or not.

Even if she doesn't get into the class, I think I'm going to make her take pictures for our Rock Hills website.  She might as well earn some money taking pictures.  Then someday she can buy her own Canon 5D.

Because I'm pretty certain her father won't share toys.