Sunday, April 22, 2012


So...apparently, UTVs and trees don't mix well. Who knew?  OK - I'm guessing most people did, but I had to test the theory!

We went out for Family Fun Day again yesterday. We loaded the UTVs and the dirt bikes for a fun outing. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not in on our plans. It was colder than we wanted and never warmed up as it was supposed to.

As we were unloading the UTVs, The Boy and The Girl took off on their dirt bikes.

Neither went on trails; they simply rode around the prep area. They had a lot of fun with that.

Afterwards, we loaded up in the UTVs and headed up the trails. Typically, The Husband starts out with one child and I with the other. After lunch, we switch. Since The Husband took The Girl alone last weekend (The Boy had football), he took The Boy for the first round yesterday.

Generally speaking, I have NO CLUE what I'm doing in these UTVs. I just follow The Husband wherever he goes. We had been riding the trails for a while and he stopped to ask if I wanted to go where he and The Girl went last weekend. I said sure...I'd follow. As we were riding along, I managed to hit a tree. It was not a big deal...I heard it, but it did not stop us at all. The branch hit the roll-cage. All was well.

We continued along up through the trails. The Husband, who was driving the Rzr, went between two trees. It seemed to be a narrow trail. I, driving the Ranger, turned to The Girl and said, "This seems to be a silly thing to do!"  Of course, no sooner did those words come out of my mouth than we were stopped.


We did not fit through the trees! I managed to back out (after cracking some plastic and bending some metal). It was a long trip back to the truck. I managed to bend the tie rod (whatever that is), so the two front wheels could not be facing the same direction at the same time.  Despite it all, I managed to limp the Ranger back to the truck where we loaded it up for the day. To say The Husband was upset would be the understatement of the century!

Apparently, this part it not supposed to be is supposed to look like this...

 Another angle...Again, this part is not SUPPOSED to be "U" shaped, but rather straight...

I maintain it is a testament to my AMAZING driving skills that I was able to get through the trails and back to the truck with a bent tie rod. It took MAD skills to maneuver the Ranger and I did it because I'M THAT GOOD!

After we loaded the Ranger, we sat down for lunch. Everyone calmed down (and yes, everyone is OK - no injuries). The day turned out to be great because since we only had the Rzr (which seats 2), the kids had to ride their bikes more. The Boy decided to venture off up a trail with The Husband following. When they returned, The Girl wanted to give it a try. Both kids rode their dirt bikes and The Husband and I followed in the Rzr. We were so impressed by how well both kids rode the trail (which was, for the most part, a simple ride...almost like a dirt road). There was only one big hill and The Girl did an awesome job on it, despite her fear.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

This and that

Well, we *do* have cement; I have seen it. In fact, I even have photographic evidence; however, I have not put said photos on my computer yet, so you'll have to wait for them.

We also have about half a building. I have not seen it yet, but The Husband has. Progress is slow, but moving steadily. The weather has cooperated, so there has been, as I said, steady progress. We are hoping it will be completed this week.

In other good news, we have an address for our place! This does not seem like much, but in order for us to run electricity to the place, we need an address. Shockingly, it was a rather easy process and took less than a week.

We have been keeping busy. Yesterday, The Husband took The Girl on a 'daddy-daughter' day trip. They spent their entire day trail riding and having a blast. They took only a handful of photos and I hope to see them soon! The Boy was busy with football. There was a QB camp at his school and they needed receivers as well, so he spent his weekend working out. I went and watched (and got sunburned)...and was reminded again how much I love the game.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Catching up

Rumor has it, we have CEMENT at our property! I have not actually SEEN it, but The Husband has, so I'm guessing it's true. All things being equal, we should have an actual building before long. Woohoo! We only ordered the thing in DECEMBER!! Ack!

In other news, I am so happily relaxed after a wonderful spring break. I did not go anywhere (The Boy and The Girl do not have the same spring break I do) but I definitely was able to relax. At first, I thought it would be bad not to have the same break, but now I realize how wonderful it is. I get an actual BREAK - a whole week TO MYSELF. Loved almost every minute of it!

Family Fun has been in full swing as well. Last weekend, we took a break from working and went out to have some fun. We took our "toys" to an OHV park for the day.

It was a lot of fun. The Husband had wanted to do this for a long time and we finally had a free day, so we loaded up. This is the before picture!

There was beautiful scenery along our ride:

We had quite a muddy adventure:

Eventually, we stopped for a picnic lunch...and, of course, we HAD to skip stones. Technically, The Husband and The Boy did most of the skipping. Neither The Girl nor I seem to have that ability. Most of our stones went "plump!"

I love shots of The Kids from the much photo-editing I can do with these!

Alas, the fun day had to come to an end. Well...sort of. The FUN part came to an end...the clean-up took a few more days!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Still raising a man!

MANY, MANY (ok - 4) years ago, I wrote a post on raising The Boy to be a man. Today, I have an update.

This afternoon, I received a phone call toward the end of my day at work. I saw the name on the phone was the head of intermediate school at The Boy's school (and for convenience sake, we'll call her the principal).

Uh oh!

I answered my phone and was greeted with an immediate "He's OK and She's OK!" Have I mentioned that I love their school?! After that initial comment, the principal went on to tell me about an incident at school today. Apparently, it was something that had been brewing for some time and started coming to a head yesterday. Today, it did.

In a nutshell, a young lady has been pretty ugly to The Boy for a while. She frequently calls him names and hits him and such. I took it as her having a crush on him, so I mostly ignored it. He took it as 'she's annoying!' and mostly ignored it. Yesterday, though, it was a bit much, and he said something ugly and hurtful to her. He later said he thought it'd make her stop and go away. (It didn't.) Today, she physically attacked him. The Boy simply raised his arm to deflect the hits and scratches (and has a nifty scratch on his arm).

In my conversation with the principal, I could tell the incident was about 85% this girl and 15% The Boy, although she never actually said that. She also went on and on to say how proud she was of how The Boy handled the situation - both with this girl and also with her when she questioned him. When he came home from school, he immediately told me we needed to talk. Once again, I was struck by his maturity as The Boy told me the entire story as it had unfolded. I explained my disappointment in what he said to this girl and he agreed it was not smart. Still, I was proud of how he handled EVERYTHING else. He even told me about another small incident at school that was also VERY well handled.

The boy was assigned Saturday school for inappropriate language. He is OK with that. He understands and is not upset. His only concern is that he almost never has homework (he finishes in class or study hall) so he will have nothing to do during his time. Instead, he is going to speak to the principal tomorrow about working off his time instead.

After The Boy and I spoke, I called the principal back and thanked her again. I told her how happy I was with how The Boy had come to me and handled himself and she was thrilled. She was also impressed with his forethought in knowing he'd HAVE to have homework to do and she said she is very receptive to the idea of his working off his hours instead.

I think something is working. We are raising a MAN!

Monday, March 12, 2012


You would think that in the TWO weeks since I last posted, I'd have LOTS to share.



We still have a square-ish area of gravel and no cement. And no building.


We have cleared out more logs and made a ton of progress in THAT department, but that is all. It's somewhat disheartening...especially since we ordered this building back in DECEMBER! Here's to hoping for some more photos soon!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More Progress

We are putting up a building on our property. We are not at the point where we are ready to build a home yet, but we do need a building to house our tools and toys. Back in December, we contracted to have a building erected. Work has finally begun! Here are the men clearing and leveling the space.
I had another photo but when I tried to move it, it disappeared! UGH. It is too much trouble to upload it again! Once they had the area leveled, this is what it looked like. All of this took place last week.
When we arrived at the property this weekend, this is what we saw:
We were so happy! We had somewhat hoped to see cement, but sometimes the weather is not as cooperative as one would hope!

In clearing space for the building, some trees had to come down. We were aware of this. The men who did the work said they'd bring the trees up to the existing clearing for us so we could cut them up. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of what greeted us yesterday. It was a HUGE pile of TREES...full grown 15+ foot trees all in a pile. What a mess! So...we got to work. We started cleaning up the mess of trees, which, I must add, was no small feat. It was, however, fun! We chose the trees in order from the top, attached the winch from the Polaris, and pulled. Once the tree fell from the pile, The Husband cut it into 6' lengths and we started a pile. He and The Boy worked hard at moving logs while The Girl tended to the fire. Here we have The Husband moving a lighter log by himself.
This is not a great photo - it was dark when we decided to call it quits (mostly because we couldn't see anymore)! Still, I tried to get a shot of the log pile we made. It is quite large. I am not sure how many trees we cut up, but I vaguely recall counting 8 roots.
The tasks at the property are seemingly never ending! We will have plenty to do next week!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Family Fun Minus One

Yesterday, we went out to the property to do some work. The Girl was not with us. This was not so much because of her injury as it was because she spent the night with one of her best friends and, since they don't get to see each other too often, they decided to spend all day together as well.

We had a good day and got a lot done, but it just wasn't the same without The Girl. We have really enjoyed our family time out at the property and her absence was all of us. Even The Boy missed her (although he does not like to admit it)!

The good news is that progress has begun on our building. When we arrived, there were already men there unloading equipment to begin leveling the ground. We decided to put up a building back in December, so it is nice to finally see progress on that front! Pictures to follow!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Traditions are a funny thing. Sometimes, they seem to be far more trouble than they are worth. Other times, they are too good to give up! We have one such tradition that is fairly new, but far too fun to stop!

This particular tradition began in September. It was homecoming. The Boy and The Girl go to a school in which the middle school kids also have a homecoming dance. It's pretty cool. They have a lot of the things the high schoolers have...sports, dances, etc. So, after the homecoming dance, we knew the kids would be hungry. We took a group of them to Steak 'n Shake.

Since then, after every dance, we take the kids back. Last night was no exception. Last night was the Valentine's Dance. We always have a large group of kids (no fewer than 6...last night there were 9) and at least 4 adults (last night we were 8). We always have the same waitress (who, on our first visit, had blue eyeshadow all the way up to her eyebrows). She never gets our orders quite right. We have found it does not really matter what we order...she is not likely to get it right, but she is usually somewhere close. But she is funny. She is also slow, but she is entertaining! And the kids always get their little Steak 'n Shake hats, and they always wear them. And we love that they are so busy being kids!

Next year, the majority of the group will be in high school. In fact, they all will except for The Girl. Hope they still want to continue our tradition. I have a feeling they will!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

National Junior Honor Society

Today, The Boy was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. We are so proud of him. He is usually such a great kid most of the time some of the time. I'd love to share photos of this great occasion; however, despite the fact that The Boy does, in fact, enjoy seeing the pictures from events, he does NOT enjoy having them taken. To be blunt, he loathes the fact that I am always poised with a camera in hand...EXCEPT when sports are involved (specifically football). In that case, he is THRILLED with every photo of him I shoot!

And so I have very few photos of the induction ceremony today, and in the ones I do have, The Boy looks pained. I think, in one shot, you can actually *see* the hot poker I have pressing in his back so he will be still enough for the picture!

In all seriousness, Congratulations to The Boy. We could not be prouder of you!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Technology today...

Earlier this week, (or maybe last week...I can't remember), I received an email from my mom about how easy life is for kids these days... Here is part of the email:

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning....Uphill...Barefoot...BOTH ways...yadda, yadda, yadda. And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that I'm over the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

1) I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!
2) There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!
3) Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

Anyway...I found the email to be chuckle-worthy. There were 13 points made, all of which are funny because of their truth.

That being said, I just went upstairs to tell The Boy something. I went into the bonus room and he was sitting at the computer (which was not on) doing his homework...EXCEPT, he was doing it with a friend and listening to music. His friend is not here...she is at home. They are working together while on FaceTime on their iPhones. (I'm fairly certain he 'muted/paused' the conversation when I came in to speak with him). As I left the room, I could not help but chuckle. How far we've come with this technology stuff!!