Saturday, May 27, 2017

First Days of Summer

I finally finished up my school work this week and the kids had their first full week of summer vacation.  It has been raining since last week but the last couple of days the sun came out and it finally felt like summer was here.  We got to enjoy a lot of time outside doing yard work and playing.  We also go some new animals to keep us busy.

We already had chickens, turkeys, a calf and horses.  Melissa and Dennis (some friends of ours) brought over two pigs and a miniature pony Thursday night.  Their kids are too big to ride the pony so they brought her over to us for the summer so our kids could ride her.  It's so funny to see them riding around the yard on this little bitty horse named Frannie!  Especially when we are used to riding thoroughbreds!  One day I'll have to get a picture of Frannie next to Nacho.  It's too cute!

Frannie loves to eat grass.  Constantly.

Zane even rode her down the driveway to check the mail.  The Pony Express is back!  Frannie almost made it back down the driveway before she had to stop and eat grass again.  Our pony express rider had to walk the rest of the way back to the house leading her.  Not the quickest way to get the mail!

Our pigs are named Bacon and Porkchop.  Bacon is the striped one and Porkchop is the white one.  The kids named them.  You can tell by their names what their future holds.
We still have our calf that has gone from being named Chocolate Chip to Lula.  Lula fits her.  Zeke and Olivia like to go in the pasture and play tag with her.  She'll chase them for a while and then they chase her.  It's funny to watch!

Today we took four of the kids fishing.  Dillon was with a friend so Makenna, Zane, Zeke and Olivia came with us.  We ended up with 9 trout.  They had a lot of fun and we were the only ones there fishing.  It was a beautiful afternoon.

Can't wait for a few more of these summer days and opportunities to share them with family and friends!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Olivia Turns 10!

Yesterday we got to celebrate Olivia's 10th birthday.  She was so excited for it!  We let her open one present the night before since Michael was going to be gone all day on her birthday so he wouldn't be home for the other gift. Monday morning she got up and opened her other one.  Olivia loves gymnastics and is always doing some sort of cartwheel, round off or hand stand.  For Christmas she got a mat so she could do her gymnastics inside during the winter.  She had been wanting a balance beam for a really long time and I finally found one on one of the rummage sale sites that was a good deal (they are usually quite expensive to buy). 

She loves it!  She has been on it constantly since Sunday night and is getting better at doing cartwheels on it and getting her feet on it when she lands.

Makenna made her birthday cake while I was at work and Olivia frosted it and put the sprinkles on.  Purple is her favorite color so we had purple frosting.  Then Olivia helped make her birthday supper.  She chose chicken taquitos.  They were really good!  It was rainy in the afternoon so she and I watched Liv and Maddie (one of her favorite TV shows) on Netflix for part of the afternoon.

She got a couple of phone calls from family in the evening and got to call Maddi that night too.  We ended the evening eating her purple cake with some cookie dough ice cream.

Olivia is such a blessing to us.  She is stubborn and likes to be right all the time but she is also helpful, happy and kind.  She loves to play games when she is not upside down in the middle of a handstand or cartwheel.  She likes to ride horses, play basketball and swim.  She loves to sing - especially High School Musical songs.  We love having her in our family!

Happy Birthday Princess O L I V I A (spell it, don't say it). ☺

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Last Day of School!

May 17th 2017 marks the end of the 2016-2017 school year.  What a year it has been!  To say it has been trying is an understatement.  This has, hands down, been the most difficult year of my life and I know that my children and Michael have also faced a lot of difficulty throughout the year.

However, there has been a lot of good too!  The kids have been successful in their schooling and other activities.  We have stuck together and made the most of each crazy and difficult situation.  We have been blessed with many wonderful friends who have stood by us offering prayers and hugs as needed (and the necessary Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper). 

Our days have been filled with school, sports, church, FFA, and singing.  Olivia played volleyball and basketball this year.  She also participated in an honors choir and our C25K program.  She finished 27th in the C25K.  Zeke participated in football and basketball.  He also did our C25K program coming in at 9th place.  Dillon participated in football, basketball and track.  Zane did basketball, track and FFA.  Makenna did cross country.  She and her team went to state this year!  She started basketball but her season was cut short with knee surgery.  She is getting her strength built up again for cross country season.  She sang the National Anthem at some of our home games for volleyball and football.  She also sang at some district and regional basketball games and ended with singing twice at the Boys Basketball State A finals.  She was in All State Chorus this year and also a Women's Choir at SDSU.  Maddi had to sit out cross country because of a track injury but was ready to play basketball this winter.  She also participated in FFA.  Maddi and Makenna also did early morning seminary throughout the school year.  The four youngest kids and I also ran a 5k for a church fundraiser. 

Now summer is here!  It will still be crazy busy but I look forward to some down time to clean, sort and recover.  Camps start in a couple of weeks.  Rock picking starts soon too.  We will see some family this summer, some of whom we haven't seen in four years.  We are really looking forward to that!  We will also hopefully fit in some trips to the pool, the lake and the fire pit ☺

Here are our last day of school pictures!
Just finished 4th grade

Just finished 5th grade

Just finished 7th grade (and got a haircut 10 minutes before we left for school this morning because he thought that would be easier than combing it)

Gets to do 8th grade again!  JK He passed ☺ and he can drive so watch out locals your safety cannot be guaranteed!

Just finished her freshman year