Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Car Talk and Eggs

Kaity tells some interesting stories to herself when we're riding in the car and she thinks no one is listening. Here is an example from today. She was playing some sort of mommy/baby game in the backseat.

Kaity/baby: "Can I bring baby food to Mr. Ryan's house?"
Kaity/mommy: (in a mean, monster voice) NNNOOO!!

Repeat six times.

Then, she broke into a song about losers which is the new "bad" word in the three old class. I wonder what these things portray about me and my mothering skills.

On another note, Will's banty egg hatched in the incubator last night. He's so excited. Let me back up and tell the whole story.

Several weeks ago, Will came home saying Mrs. Varady (his kindergarten teacher) needed eggs for an egg thing (aka - incubator). He wanted to take one of his banty eggs. I told him I needed to check with her and we'd see.

Later that week, Will collected an egg from outside, washed it off (which you're not supposed to do if you're trying to hatch it), packed it in a box and told me he was taking it to school. I told him I'd email Mrs. Varady and he could take it tomorrow if she said okay.

I emailed her about the egg about 10:30 and she said that Will had already brought it in. (I guess John is more of a softy than I am and let him take it.) She did say not to let him bring any more eggs. She already had a parent bring a dozen.

So, anyways, he's been watching his banty egg next to the big eggs for three weeks. And, saying it's going to hatch and I've been saying don't get your hopes up. He came home yesterday and told me it had cracks and was getting ready. I was thinking no, it's just getting hard boiled. But, it hatched over night and we'll get to bring home a banty chick in a couple weeks.

I love the hands-on learning experience this is providing for the kindergartners. And, we get to add to our flock.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Smokey the Kitten

I've been talking about getting another kitten or cat for a couple of months now. CT passed away in July and we've been without an inside kitty for more than a year. I was kind of waiting for a little later in the fall, but Kathleen came home with a tiny runaway barn kitten yesterday. She called to ask if she could tell the kids about it, and of course, they wanted to bring it home without even seeing it. I worked from home today and John brought her over about 10:30. She's probably 3 or 4 weeks old and came from the barn. She ran away from the barn and is now at our house. She's extremely noisy and likes to cuddle. I think she (we think she) likes Will a lot. He named her Smokey. She's not going out the dog side of the house at the moment (Tebow has accidentally killed a few kittens in the past by wanting to play a little rough). I think we'll keep her for now.

Mini-Vacation Update 2: Tallulah Gorge State Park

Saturday we went to Tallulah Gorge State Park in northeast Georgia. It has a really large ravine with a river running through it. We walked down 600 steps to the suspension bridge and then back up 600 steps. Will walked the whole way, but Ryan carried Kaity on his shoulders. It was only about an hour and a half from Ryan's house and definitely worth a trip back.

This is what we come North for - actual fall color. We hit it a little early, but it was beautiful.

Here I am with fall foliage. It was lovely.

Ryan, Kaity, and John on the suspension bridge.

The view from the suspension bridge. It was long ways down.

On the other side of the dam, the river is nice and calm. They have several scenic spots such as this one where you can sit and enjoy.

This is our great friend Ryan. He let the Eubanks (and all their stuff) stay for three days even though he's not used to kids. He's so nice.

They were great for most of the trip. Very little squabbling and not very whiny. It was a nice trip, but we're always glad to be home.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mini-Vacation Update: Watson Mill Bridge State Park

After my morning meeting yesterday, we headed over to Watson Mill Bridge State Park. It's only a few miles from Ryan's house and was quite the treat. The leaves are just barely starting to change here, so we didn't see quite the color we wanted to (another post tomorrow with more color). Ryan loaded his dogs up in the truck and we piled in and off we went.

It's the longest covered bridge in Georgia and it's a very scenic spot. It was cold yesterday - only got to about 50 because of the clouds - but everyone had a great time. This is the bridge. It's 200-something feet long. We drove and walked across it.

The view from the bridge was pretty amazing. It used be an old mill and has been dammed up. It's got these cool rock formations that are sort of underwater, but not really.

We walked way out on the formations. John and Kaity are waving at me here. For most of this weekend, she has hitched a ride on either Daddy's or Mr. Ryan's shoulders. What a mooch.

Mr. Ryan was in charge of Will while walking in the river. My balance isn't great and Will really wanted to explore. Dally, Ryan's dog, sticks pretty close to him.

I managed not to really have to help anyone climb.

John, Ryan, Will and Kaity - they were pretty chilly here.

I made a bunch of these hats last year for Christmas. Kaity's was the only one that actually fit. She's worn it most of the weekend. I think I'm going to have to try making myself one. It was very warm, soft, and comfy.

Kaity posing with the men.

This is a great picture of Will. Normally, he smiles funny, makes faces, or looks away. I actually got a really nice one this time.

And, finally a family photo. We've really enjoyed our stay here. We miss seeing Ryan regularly and he lives in a beautiful spot. I'd like to visit more often in different seasons.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Headed to North Georgia

Tomorrow, we're headed to near Athens, Georgia (Colbert to be exact)so I can go to a work meeting Friday morning at UGA. The plus side is we get to stay with John's college roommate for the weekend. He works at UGA and lives just outside of Athens on a ranch. I haven't seen the ranch yet, but I've heard it's beautiful. It's in the foothills, so the kids might actually see what accounts to mountains to them. And, we may get to see some fall leaf color! I'm really excited about that. I've never really seen the leaves change. We're expecting cooler temperatures and lots of time outside hopefully.

The only downside is the six hour drive. We went to NC when the kids were 2 and 4 months, but neither remembers that very well. This will be the longest trip they've been on in awhile. I'm packing movies for the computer and I picked up some toys and books from the $1 store which I'll wrap and take out when needed. Kaity loves Mr. Ryan and she's ready to leave NOW, so hopefully once we get in the car, she'll be patient enough to wait to see him.

If we've got web access at Ryan's house, you'll probably see some pics. Otherwise, it will have to wait till next week when get back.


Will's picture day was yesterday. He wanted to be handsome. I think he turned out pretty handsome. What do you think?


I finally got pictures developed from the film camera from Easter. I thought I had lost the roll, but then found it. I took it to Wal-Mart a couple weeks ago, then promptly forgot about it, and when I went back this week, they couldn't find my pictures! Finally found them, misfiled, of course. Kaity seems to have changed quite a bit in six months - not in attitude, just more little girlish and less toddler in her looks.

Great picture of Aunt Alli and Kaity...if only Kaity's panties weren't showing. I guess I could crop it.

I love this picture of Will. I need to do some photoshop work on it to even out the brightness, but he looks so pensive in it.

More Easter portraits of the kids

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Apron Happiness

Since I started my apron, Kaity has been asking for a matching one. Last night, I made her a miniature, simpler version of mine. When I showed it to her this morning, the first thing she said was, "where's the pockets? I wanted pockets." I convinced her that the pretty bow would work instead.

This one was really simple. It's a large rectangle with some gathering and then a really long strip that became the tie and waist band. It didn't seem finished without any embellishment, so I added a little ribbon. I think it turned out pretty cute and it only took me about an hour.

Here she is showing off her new apron.

And, this was her breakfast choice this morning. Without milk, of course.

I made a pattern for a bbq style one for Will last night. It's cut out, but that's as far as I've gotten. I think he's been feeling a little left out. There's just so many cute things to make for girls that I want to make those first. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish his this weekend. Then, we'll all have matching aprons! (I'll be out of fabric by then, so John won't have a matching one...not that he cares.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Look at Me: I'm Crafty!

Who knew? I'm actually somewhat crafty. I've always crocheted, and that's crafty, but I've never been very creative with it and I've never branched out from it. Until now. I'm not as crafty as my friend, the sassy crafter, but I think I did a pretty good job on these projects. Please forgive all the pictures of the same thing (just different angles). I'm pretty proud of myself and want to show off my handiwork!

When Alli was moving a couple months ago, I borrowed her sewing machine. Mine had been acting up and it's really no fun to sew when your machine doesn't work correctly. I decided I wanted to make a curtain for the back door. It faces west and the afternoon sun coming in heats the laundry room into a sauna. John thought it would be cool to do seasonal curtains. So, I started with this really nice neutral pumpkin fabric. I measured the window and proceeded to cut it out. I've made simple curtains before, so this shouldn't have given me any trouble. Later, as I was talking to mom, I realized I forgot to add in measurement for the curtain rod sleeve and to make the thicker hem so that it lays correctly. Luckily for me, my measurement was off in the first place and I had cut too much material (or so I thought...in actuality, it was perfect!) The curtain came out nicely, but really darkens the room. I tied it back with a little bit of scrap fabric and now it lets in enough light, but not so much as to create the sauna feeling. John hung it for me and I took a crooked picture, but it turned out nicely.

Next on the list: APRONS! I recently decided that I really wanted to try making aprons. I love the look of the aprons from the 40s and 50s that coordinated with their outfits and were very feminine and frilly. I've also been thinking it would be nice to have when I feed the animals in the morning since I'm already dressed for work usually. Amazingly enough, there is a HUGE online community of apron lovers. I found several great sites, but my particular favorite is The Apronista. This site really inspired me to try out an apron. And, boy did I pick one that stretched my skills! I picked a half apron that was curvy and frilly. I used the same fall fabric and added a brown fabric with turkeys on it. That way I can use it all of October and November. It seemed simple enough. However, it had many challenges for me. Mainly, curves, rick rack, pockets, double bias tape, gathers, and a waist band. All things that I've never done. I did pretty well following directions and only had to use seam rippers a couple of times. The waist band caused me the most problems, but only because I didn't read the directions all the way through. I think it turned out wonderfully. It has a few minor glitches which only I will ever notice. And, I have enough fabric to make Kaity a matching (simpler) one and possibly enough to make Will a BBQ-style one. I made John take pictures of me this morning in my apron. Kaity was all excited because she found an apron also. She thought I'd made it overnight, but actually my great Aunt Margaret made it for my 5th or so birthday. It's been in Kaity's room all this time, but it's popular now. She explained to me that she gets it now since I grew out of it and when I grow out of this one (the new one) it'll be hers also. We'll see.

I was trying to get Kaity to pose with me. This is what she started with.

And, finally we're both posing nicely.

Will got upset when he was shooed out of the picture (he wasn't wearing an apron), so he got a picture with just me.

At this point, John left to take Will to school and I was trying to figure out how to take more pictures. My solution was the timer and the bar stool. Most of the pictures came out fuzzy (this one is a little), but you can see the detail and the rick rack up close.

And, here are a couple of different angles of the apron without me in them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Working Cows

I grew up in a farming family and worked cows now and then. But, we mainly worked with citrus (aka trees in straight lines). I spent many a summer day working (okay, mom, sorta working) in the orange groves. If I find a picture of myself in the orange grove, I'll have to post it. I might have to hunt.

My kids are getting the same, but different, experience. Since they are growing up on a working cattle ranch, they're much more exposed to hay, cattle, baby calves, and so on. The fall is incredibly busy here with the family working cows almost every week. Since Will is getting out of school at 2 every day, he's spending many of his afternoons helping daddy work cows. He came home the other day and explained what weaning is to me (since I don't know according to him).

Will "weading is when you take the baby cows from their mommas and then feed them"

After getting home with Kaity the other day, we headed down to the barn to check out the action. Kaity loves going to the barn. There are so many cool things to see. And, she gets to wear her pink rubber boots.

She's not allowed to get any closer than this. But, she takes full advantage of it.

Hay bales are a kid's best friend

Kaity was watching Grandaddy wash out the trailer. It took him 2.5 hours.

Feed Truck

Mixing the feed

One of the days I didn't make it to the barn, Will actually got to help in the cow pens. His job was to mark them with the chalk once they went into the chute. I wish I could have seen that. John says he's a little too comfortable in the cow pens, but that's probably because I haven't let him spend too much time in them. He listens pretty good now, so he's able to do a lot more.

BTW - he's started wearing his cowboy hat again (with his zorro cape). I'm guessing that's a result of working cows. But, I'm not sure how the zorro cape comes into the picture.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cool Old Tree

I took these down at the cow pens the other day right as dusk was coming in. I think it's very pretty with the darkening sky behind the skeleton of the tree.

Lazy Hammock Days

My friend Kim gave us a hammock recently. We don't have it out all the time because of the Florida weather and humidity. But, when it does cool off and the skeeters lighten up, we do get it out. Last weekend was the first "fall" like weather for us. So, of course, out it came and the kids had a ball. I took several good pictures of John and the kids (notice who's not in these pictures...but I did fall asleep in it by myself later). I was trying to get a picture of them in the hammock with the barn in the background. I don't think I did a very good job. The lighting was off and I don't really know how to use the camera manually. Oh well, still good pictures.

There was a squirrel chattering at them from up above.

The kids made a "scare crow" earlier in the day. Can't you see the face?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Pancakes and Southern Boys

Will is turning into a true Southern boy. His favorite drink is sweet tea. He says "I'm fixin' to..." and he wears rubber boots all the time. But, he's also turning into a Southern gentleman just like his daddy and helping making dinner for the girls. Pancakes were his menu item of choice.

Will dropped his spoon in the batter.

John's "what the heck are you doing?" look and Will tasting when he's not supposed to.


More stirring.

Standing on the stool to stir.

Pancakes on the griddle. The ones with the nuts are mine since no one else in my family eats them. They're all pretty nuts!


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