Thursday, October 26, 2017

Random Fallness

I love that we have the colors of Fall right in our own yard.
There is something so exciting about the change of the season. When we lived in Arizona, I thought it was great to have warm temperatures all year round. But it seemed to always be the same. Here, we get the seasons and it is beautiful.
It's fun having these two kittens. Well, they aren't much of kittens any more. I love how they seek us out when we are outside. They are very bold and can easily stand their ground with the goats and dogs. They even hang out with the chickens sometimes...just watching them with big ideas.
Just by browsing through this blog it is easy to see what is important to us. 
Our family and the many animals that we have.
If you like us I sure hope you like being around animals too.
Sam, the old man that he is at 9, is somewhat jealous of Jasper. I think he'll get over it at some point.
I just keep reassuring him that he is still my baby.
The wooden frame on the grass is an enclosed area that we put our tortoise in on sunny days for a couple hours a day. It makes a perfect spot for the cats to hide in. Notice the ears sticking up.
She's getting ready to pounce the puppy.
In just a matter of days this tree has turned yellow.
Thunder is pretty sure that she can reach the rope......


A face only a mother can love.
How can this little guy cause so much havoc in our lives?
He lived in the house for 10 weeks, was bottle fed on a schedule,
pee'd down the heater intake
jumped every fence that was ever between him and us....until it was 10 ft high,
ate a magazine, Victoria's homework, an American flag, mail
cuddled with a stuffed horse,
thought he was a dog for quite some time, 
and he pees on his face! 
How gross!
I told him that just because he was a boy didn't mean that he 
needed to pee on his face like all the other billy goats out there. But no, he didn't listen.
He decided to join the other big boys and 
act like them thinking that he was spraying himself with lovely musk cologne. How could he?
Awww, we still love him!

I love this tree

I love this tree!
I love the leaves!
I love seeing it out my back window every single day!
I love this tree in the Spring,
in the Summer,
in the Fall
and in the Winter!

October Birthdays

October is a very busy month for us. It always seems to just zoom past us if we aren't prepared. This year we celebrated the girl's birthdays on the same day... which is always interesting. They are so different in so many ways. Where Daphne's favorite color is pink, Victoria's is blue. Where Daphne loves cats, Victoria loves dogs. 
We had two monumental occasions.
Daphne turned 25!
And Victoria is an official teenager at 13!
We celebrated in the Canyon with grilled hamburgers! It was an awesome day even though it was a little chilly and windy. It had been warm all week until Saturday....figures.
Nana was all bundled up. She had just had another back surgery a week earlier so we 
wanted her to stay warm.
It was fun to be away from home, listening to the river, watching the leaves fall, visiting with each other without the distractions. Our family has grown up and I am so thrilled that they still like to be in on another's company. They don't want to miss out on family time.
That means so much to me.
I baked this awesome gigantic cake per Victoria's request!
Guess who won on the color of the frosting? Not that Daphne would have demanded pink.
A perfect tree for a nap.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fall Leaves

There is just something about a pile of leaves that makes you want to jump into them!
 It's hard to be annoyed when you are raking up leaves to have someone or some creature making a mess of it all. The lovely part about all these leaves is that they aren't wasted. We rake them up and bag them for goat and chicken bedding to keep them warm in the winter. 
The funny thing is that the goats will eat their beds.
 We are training Jasper to help with the goats out back. So far he is doing pretty good. He makes a nice distraction so we can actually get something done while the goats are out. Goats are extremely curious and bossy creatures.
 Sven had to check out this really cool pile of leaves!
 So Kaleb knocked all the leaves off the swing platform and down the slide. Jacks passed up ALL the leaves on the ground because the one in the trough slide look far more appetizing.
Goats are actually very picky eaters!
 Jacks loves to try to head butt you when someone is on the swings. More fun with a moving target.
 It always amazes me how much of a time suck it is when we are outside and all the animals want to get in on all the action. Our cats are not afraid of anything but cars and Jasper is doing pretty good with the cats. He just wants to play with them.
 Jasper and Lightning
 Lightning loves to hang out on our shoulders. They love to be held and cuddled. Lightning went from Kaleb's shoulders to mine to the fence post. 
 Victoria was jumping off the swings and into the pile of leaves. Everytime she did this Jacks would get all excited and either run through the middle of the pile right over top of her or run up to her and start chattering goat talk. It was hilarious. We got it on video.
 Lightning laying on his back next to Daphne thinking that he is well hidden.
 Goat grooming. All you need is a leaf rake. These guys love to be raked, brushed, rubbed, scratched...if you have leather work gloves on, Jacks loves, loves, loves for you to rub his face and eyes. You just need to be prepared to take a few extra minutes with him if he sees you with leather work gloves on. 
 Frederick watching from a distance.
 Sven had to come over for some raking too.
 We couldn't leave the girls out. Lizzy started to fall asleep with her raking.
Having goats have been a total pain in the butt sometimes! Like when they have gotten out and practically destroyed the peach trees, the boys push hard on the fences and can bow out cattle panels. If they want something, they will find a way to get it. Or if you have a jumper like Sven. Wow, that little guy was a challenge when he was little. On the other hand, they eat weeds, they are sweet, they provide great responsibilities to kids, you can play with them, they love to interact with you, you can milk them. We have more plans for their uses like making soap, cheese and eventually have them pull a cart. Either way, they have been a wonderful experience for our family.
And we couldn't have done it without all of Jared's building expertise in goat house building, Kaleb's ability to repair any fence, and Victoria's strong muscles in feeding and watering. Daphne is the baby sitter filling in when we aren't home. It's a family affair.


 We have a new puppy!!!
We've had him for a couple weeks now and he is the sweetest little guy.
He was 3 1/2 months when we brought him home. Henry is struggling with Victoria's 4H dog agility program. So he is being semi-retired. This little tri-color border collie is built for agility. What better way to start out the new 4H year! Victoria and I have him  enrolled in classes at K9's Unleashed Academy. Kirk is painting a mural for their indoor dog park in trade for classes....and some cash!
We are so blessed to have this opportunity. He is quite the little pleaser too....unlike sweet Henry who completely has a mind of his own! Victoria should see some real results with this little guy. Though we can't say little for too long. He has some really big paws to grow into.
We love our new addition to our family!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Bike the Bear

Jared, Kaleb, Michael and Mark biked around Bear Lake in September on an extremely cold Saturday morning. The night before it was snowing. They slept over Friday night and set out with 140 other bicyclists to trek the 50 miles around Bear Lake.
I am so proud of them. 
Kaleb, of course, biked it in 4 hours! That is him. He has always had the stamina and he rode his bike to and from work all summer, which is straight up hill twice a day. (He came home for lunch every day) Jared did it in 6 hours! It just amazes me how "able" they are.
They were equipped for snow, rain, and wind chill. Jared rode my awesome mountain bike...since he snatches mine anyway. One of these days he needs to get his own.
Kaleb was telling me that at one point he was bouncing over rocks and riding in the dirt along the shoulder of the road while the street bikes were avoiding potholes. He was having too much fun.
At one point Kaleb was singing "The Long Way Home" by Stephen Curtis Chapman on the eastern shore. Jared said, he couldn't even think because he was just focusing on pedaling.
There is a poster in the art room at Hobby Lobby that has a guy standing with his bike up over his head that says
 "Success...there is no greater reward for a job well done
 than the personal satisfaction of having done it"
Kaleb told me that he was going to do that, hold his bike over his head at the finish line and say what was written on the poster...
when he made it to the finish line, he held his bike up over his head and yelled
He couldn't remember the rest. 

Jared said they looked like homeless people the way they were dressed but they were dressed for freezing temperatures, rain, snow flurries, wind chill and comfort.
I am very proud of my boys for setting their sights on a goal and achieving it.
That is SUCCESS!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Biking Mantua

 I am desperate to get as many outside excursions as possible before winter sets in, so Kaleb, Victoria and I biked around Mantua. It was absolutely beautiful with birds everywhere. 
 My extremist son.
Who would know that he enjoys the great Outdoors!
He goes for distance and challenge.
When Victoria and I set out with him we have to remind him that his 50 year old mother and little sister is with him so don't leave us in your dust....Buddy!
I can always see a little disappointment in his face when I remind him that 
we aren't killing ourselves on whatever we are doing.
Victoria has always done an awesome job of keeping up with the rest of us. Though now, she has passed me up. I'm usually last now.
I've earned that bring up the rear.


Cornelius wanted out so Kaleb put his hand in his aquarium and he pitched a fit.
So he ducked his head down and Cornelius climbed right up on top of his hat.
He can be such a finicky guy sometimes.
The reason I took his picture is because of how Cornelius is holding on to Kaleb's glasses and how his tail was curled up underneath the brim of his hat.


Thunder is so cute how she likes to sit in things.

A new Goat House

It seems like we are always in need of something that requires carpentry skills. With Kirk off working and painting a mural for K9's Unleashed, that leaves Jared to build the goat house for the billy goats.
I am so thankful to have boys who can build.
 It probably wouldn't stand up to Jacks headbutting it if I built it. 
 Sven has already taken ownership of it. 
Jared walked out one of the days and found his bracing busted in pieces.
I guess Jacks got a little too wild and broke it apart. 
 I love watching my boys work.
I love seeing them get dirty.
I love that they aren't afraid to jump into a project like this.
They aren't intimidated by hard work.
I hope who ever they marry will be good cooks, 
because these boys love to eat after working hard.
 I also love how they get their little sister to work hard too. 
She thinks the world of her brothers and manages to get roped in to some 
of their projects by challenging her. They are always challenging her to be tougher than what she is even though Victoria is not a girly girl in any way.
Little Sven is trying to let Jared know that he is the boss but little does he know that Jared is the boss.
I don't think he will ever figure it out...that's Sven for ya.

Jared's Tonka Truck

Jared and my Dad finally got Jared's Truck all worked out and running.
There was lot's to fix on it. The electrical was all messed up for one thing.
Who ever had it didn't know what they were doing. Leave it to Poppa to know how to fix it. 
Jared has learned so much working with my Dad.
Victoria loves it when he picks her up from Ice Skating. Though you practically need a step ladder to get in the darn thing, and you can hear him coming down the street with the
 typical drone of the womp, womp, womp of the motor.
It is very fitting for Jared to save his money and pay cash...for an adult Tonka Truck.

Hawk Baby

Our little hawk baby flew the nest. He's all grown up and off on his own.
So now our Great Horned Owl is back.
We can hear him every morning around 4 am hooting from the Norwegian Spruce in the front yard.
So awesome to have so much wildlife out our front door.

Kids for Sale

 We have one little buckling left to sell so I requested that Kirk build me a frame so I can paint a sign to put out front. I came up with this eye catching idea of painting Kids for Sale on it.
We have had so many people stop out front to take a picture of the sign. I counted three cars in 20 minutes once. We even saw a car stop and put their kids next to the sign to take a picture.
Our neighborhood loves it. only sell the cute little buckling named Frederick!

Math or Carpentry?

The fun thing about Homeschooling is that you can incorporate life skills into the subjects you are studying. Kaleb and I got talking one day back in February about angles and such in the Geometry that he was studying. We decided that we really needed some Adirondack chairs to match the one that Jared built a couple years ago. It took us a couple months juggling around Kaleb's and my work schedule but we finally got them done by the end of summer!
I learned so much about carpentry from my 17 year old son. He ran the show. He has gleaned so much knowledge working along side his brother. I didn't know he was so comfortable doing so. We only goofed a couple times that we refuse to bring to anyone's attention. Some things are better left unsaid. I think they are beautiful. I can't wait to get the other three done so we 
can all have one to sit around the fire pit. 
Nothing like a comfy chair to sit around a campfire.

The New School Year

 We started the school year with a bang....
It happened so fast, we were enjoying summer at the lake and then pow!
Time to start school.
The kids were excited to was me who felt like I was dragging my feet.
After some reflection of days gone by and looking forward to the future I slowly became excited about the new school year. Kaleb is a senior. Wow, when did that happen! And Victoria is 7th grade going on 10th if that is possible. 
We are in our 20th year of Homeschooling!
I deserve a few moments to drag my feet.
This is our last year together before it will be Victoria and I for 5 years.
They have plans. I have plans. We have plans together.
 Kaleb is welding part time at Bridgerland and loving it.
We are studying Kitchen Chemistry together, Screen printing, ice skating, art classes, literature through art and American Literature. Oh yea, math of course. That should keep us busy all year. With some hiking, snow shoeing, carpentry and lots of animal husbandry. That should give the kids a well rounded education.
Did I mention animal husbandry?
Can you see Veterinary Medicine is in the future?