Sunday, February 28, 2016

It Comes As No Surprise

I am neither shocked nor surprised at the unusual things I find on a daily basis at the zoo.

For instance, I considered it perfectly normal when I found a nerf water gun in my shower.  I didn't think twice when a few days later a golf club joined the water gun on the shower floor.  Doesn't everyone shower using a golf club and water gun?! 

I know the water gun contained Grace's proprietary concoction of shampoo and conditioner.  She uses the gun as her personal dispenser.  

The golf club?  I have no idea its contribution to the shower experience.  Neither do I intend to ask.

Upon investigating the strange noise coming from our half bath, I found one very terrified cat trying to escape a chamber of horrors.  SOMEONE (ahem, Grant) had shut the cat in the total darkness of the bathroom.  That alone would send the cat to the brink of insanity.  As some sort of twisted scientific experiment on cat trauma, SOMEONE (ahem, Grant again) placed a multi-colored disco ball in the very dark bathroom with the cat.  Red, blue and green lights were swirling crazily on bathroom walls and ceiling.  I did the math and figured out the poor cat had been in there for more than three hours.
Not a bit surprised.

Ranking even higher on the scale of strange-items-found-only-at-the-zoo was Grant's toothbrush....

 The toothbrush plays a song while being used.  Grant needed a new toothbrush, but he liked the song his old toothbrush played....Rock And Roll All Nite by KISS.

Instead of throwing out his old toothbrush, Grant taped the cap from an aerosol can onto the brush.  


Instant speaker so he could hear his favorite song without having to put the toothbrush in his mouth.

Who needs iTunes when you have tooth tunes?

 Puppet person made by Grace

Friday field trip with some of the fifth graders.  These students are part of the student workforce at school.  They do jobs such as safety patrol, tutoring, cafeteria workers and office helpers.  We spent the day visiting the University of Louisville.  While there, we saw a dorm room, classrooms, the library and the recreation and fitness center.   Grace in in the center of this mob of students.  She is wearing a pink top.  Think of it as a Where's Waldo picture.

The highlight for most students was eating lunch in the college cafeteria.  Hey, they're fifth graders.  They are serious about their food.

I am saddened to report that Grant did not make the school soccer team.

Secretly, I am quite okay with that development.  There will be a lot fewer nights involving soccer and a lot more playing time if Grant does YMCA soccer. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Zoo News

 John and Emily are loving the new found freedom of a driver's license.

Suddenly it is imperative that they get to the office supply store immediately.  Gotta have those pens now.

A new reason to drive to school materializes every morning.  Strange how there are so many things to do after school once driving became a viable mode of transportation.  Bus??  What bus?? 

Can I go to the movie with Katie?  Can I go to House of Boom with Regan?  Can we go out for coffee?  Can I meet a group for pizza?  Can I go to a youth group activity at church?  

Good thing gas is cheap. 

Sounds like they're going to be buying a lot of it.

Grant tried out for soccer at school Tuesday.  We find out today if he made the team.  Not to worry if he doesn't make it.  He is already signed up for YMCA soccer...just in case.  Like it or not, I get to be a soccer mom again this year.  

I like it.

Valentine's Day at School

Sorry for the poor picture quality.  

Third batch of cookies...Cale did manage to get a few....although he never did get one with icing.

Not to worry...I think you will soon have a steady supply of cookies, Cale!

Because someone (not me)  is very Type A.... I found this on the kitchen counter.  Tootsie Pop sold bags of red suckers for Valentine's Day.  I think our family has consumed about 600 suckers this month, give or take a few hundred.

Because we joke a lot in this house about being passive aggressive...
 I had to buy this card for David.

Happy Friday!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Happiness is when....

The dog joins me on the couch for some television watching. 

David greets kids coming home from school with a barrage of nerf darts from his hiding place. 

Yep. That's a nerf gun. And yep. That's David under that blanket. 

Some days I'm raising five kids. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February is the new April

Saturday was almost perfect. It felt like a beautiful spring day. What a treat!

On Saturday, John and Emily participated in the high school solo and ensemble competition. Emily performed her first solo at a competition. She received a top rating of 1. 

John performed a solo plus two ensembles plus he played piano accompaniment for two other girls doing solos.  He received ratings of 1 on his performances too. 

Grace, Grant and I took advantage of the beautiful weather. We hung out at an outdoor playground at a nearby McDonalds while waiting on all of the soloing and ensembling to take place. 

Once Emily was finished....not done ;-) .... we snuck over to the zoo which was close by. 

It was a great idea.  We enjoyed the unusually warm and sunny day at the zoo along with about half of the population of Louisville!!  I've never seen the zoo so crowded. 

In spite of the crowds, we enjoyed a trip around the park to see the animals before heading home. 

Today has been peacefully spent at home trying to get prepared for the crazy week ahead. John and Emily cleaned offices. Grace and Grant played outside most of the day. David worked at ECO, and I got the yard and landscaping cleaned up. 

Hope you enjoyed Mother Nature's tease. I'm sure she's not done with winter yet. 

Did I mention we did not tap trees this year?  Mother Nature has been so schizophrenic while controlling the thermostat that we gave up collecting sap. Maybe next year!!  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What's Up?

It has been close to a week.  I better post before it turns into two or three weeks!  Time flies.

We celebrated Valentine's Day Sunday.  Candy and cards were passed around.  Love was expressed.  Money was spent.  We contributed our fair share.  Those who market such holidays should be pleased with our efforts.

We had a house guest this past weekend.  Cale came to visit.  He and I spent many hours visiting and wandering around Louisville.  We had a productive and enjoyable weekend.  More on that later.

There was a bit of civil unrest at the zoo this weekend.  Darts were flying as members of the zoo took part in a full scale military operation involving nerf guns.  No one was safe.  At times it was difficult to determine who exactly was on which side.  Loyalties were short lived as friend fired upon friend and enemies made unholy alliances with one another.  The battle raged for most of two days before warring sides called an end to the violence.  We shall see how long the peace will last.  Thank you Cale for adding a new level of crazy to our nerf wars.  Much appreciated!

We had another snow day Monday.  That means we are now adding days to the end of the school calendar.  Our new date for the end of the year is May 26th.  That is still far better than June 6 from last year.  Let's hope for an early spring.  Please be right, Mr. Groundhog!

John had a recital at school tonight.  Members of the band were given the opportunity to perform their solos and ensembles for parents and friends.  This is preparation for their upcoming contest this Saturday.  He and Emily both have solos to perform.  I think John is part of four other ensembles as well.  Emily chose not to perform tonight.  I don't blame her.

John and Emily are driving to school tomorrow morning for the first time.  Say a prayer.  They could use some divine intervention I am sure.

No pictures tonight.  Goodnight!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Be Warned!

There are two new drivers on the road.  You might want to exercise caution when driving in close proximity to our neighborhood.

I promise you will smell them before you see them...since they're in the mouse-mobile.

More barn pictures....cattle working area in one of the lean-to's

Still don't have the chute put together, but we are progressing!

Here you can see the "bridge" as the kids call it.  It is a walkway connecting one side of the hayloft to the other side.  There is a bridge at each end of the barn.  Now the kids get up in the hayloft and run laps around the inside of the barn.

Inside view of one of the "bridges".

 Instructions for using the stairs...

Sometimes we need instructions to use the stairs.  It gets pretty complicated.

Jet obviously didn't read the signs.  He wasn't stepping where he was supposed to.
What a rebel.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Riding horses Saturday. Enjoying the beautiful weather. 

I failed to get pictures of Grace and Grant riding Hershey. I did take pictures of David riding Hershey before we took Grace and Grant for a ride. 

David was supposed to wear him down and burn off any excess energy before the kids rode him for the first time. 

As you can tell from the picture Hershey doesn't have a lot of spunk. David dropped the reins, and Hershey plodded right along. Perfect. That's the horse we want for the kids. 

Grace made her first chicken pot pie for lunch Saturday. It was delicious. She made it all by herself. 
She drew ROCK HILLS on the top crust. 

Her fifth grade class performed a concert Friday. It honored Martin Luther King. She sang a short solo. We are very proud of her. 

She was also inducted in to Junior Beta Club last week. It is an academic honors club. This is the first year her elementary school has sponsored this club. 

John and Emily had a driving lesson last week. They take their driving test Monday afternoon. IF they pass, they will be able to drive by themselves. 
You have been warned. 

Miss Grace working at my desk. What a mess she is!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Snow Pictures

Kids are pretty smart.  Especially when it comes to getting things they want. 
Here are three pretty smart (and pretty sneaky) kids.

 For a whole week these guys would get dressed and disappear for hours...presumably playing in the snow and sledding.

They would come inside red faced and cold wanting hot chocolate.
Of course, I would oblige and make some for them.  Then they would get dressed again and go back out to play.

What I didn't know until much later was that they were NOT playing outside for three or four hours at a time.  They were playing outside for an hour...going to Clay's house for a snack....playing outside for an hour....going to Grant's house for a snack....repeat...repeat...repeat....

I talked to Clay's mom after they had been doing this for a few days.  We compared stories and realized things didn't add up.







 Not sure what he had been up to, but doesn't Remington look guilty??

 All walls are finished.  The only thing left outside is to put doors on the second lean-to.  That is going to be storage for now.  Probably keep cattle trailer and hay wagon or horse trailer in there.
The side with the end closed will be used to put the cattle working equipment.  It is done.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Camera Cleaning

Playing Toss Up with Grace and Grant.

A game can take hours because they do not understand the concept of "playing it safe".  Both of them will continue rolling the dice until they get reds and lose all their points.

And being the good mom that I am (sometimes), I try to lose my fair share of games.
That way everyone has fun.

Hot Chocolate Chef

Couch Queen - Emily

Playing with Magic Sand that belonged to David

Pretty weird stuff

Grant and his buddy, Clay, getting ready to go sled on one of our many snow days. 
I celebrate the fact I don't have to help kids get snow clothes on.  Nor do I have to be outside with them while they play in the snow.  I'm sure my snowman building, snowball throwing, sledding days aren't gone forever though.  It just doesn't have to be every time the kids want to go play in the snow now!  Yeah!!