Sunday, April 26, 2015

Introducing Jethro and Elly May

 Jethro (the white one) and Elly May (brown one) are the newest members of the Benson clan!!  They are miniature donkeys and Jethro is 8 months old and Elly May is 10 months old.  They have the same daddy but different momma's. :)
 When we bought this place, we said we wanted miniature donkeys or goats and chickens.  We really wanted goats to help clean up the land.  There are briers and stickers everywhere.  Turns out if you don't give donkeys grain and a lot of hay, they will clean your land for you.  So...we may not need goats after all.  And, donkeys to me are MUCH cuter AND a lot less maintenance/trouble!  
I have searched high and low for miniature donkeys with no luck and then out of the blue I decided to check Craigslist again, and there they were...only 3 hours away!!  We called early in the week and the guy said he would hold them for us until Sunday when we could get there.  So yesterday, I drove to Newport to borrow the horse trailer and today we went to get them. :)  It was just past Mena in Hatfield and a gorgeous Arkansas drive in the hills and country!!
 Today is their first day away from their momma's. :(  And, it was no easy task loading them into the trailer for their FIRST trailer ride for 3 hours with lots of hills and curves.  Poor babies!  They didn't come out of the trailer for almost an hour.  We left the back door open and just eventually walked away and came inside knowing they could see the green grass and if they got hungry, they would get out.  Sure enough, I went outside to take them fresh water and I could hear them braying and see them running.
 They pretty much immediately settled and started grazing (aka mowing the grass! whoop!).  They will bray occasionally and it sounds like they are crying.  And, oh my, it is LOUD!
 I thought they weren't going to get out of the trailer, so I had already put my PJ pants on! LOL!  Anyway, this picture is purely to help show how tall/short they are. At the withers, they come to just under my thigh.  It will be a week of trying to get them to trust us and come to us.  And, of course, we have to introduce the dogs.  THAT should be interesting!!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

What have you missed?

Working on the chicken coop (aka Cluck Cabin)...
Visited a friend's Great Pyraness (sp?) PUPPY (4 months old)...left wanting one and was shut down quick by the Big Bear! LOL!
Had fun with my 6th grade girls...prayed about it and am moving up with them next year to the PreTeen building and teaching 7th grade Sunday School!  Who would've thought?!?
Librarian Appreciation Day was AWESOME!  My coworkers spoiled me good!!!
Baby chicks keep growing and loosing their cuteness by the day, but they are all 8 still alive and well!
Hosted a Spring Book Fair all week because I am CRAZY!

Big Bear ROCKED out the Teacher Preview with some awesome food!  AwEsOmE!!!!
The baby chicks needed more room so we moved them out of the brooder box and rigged up an area about 1/4 of the horse stall until Cluck Cabin is finished.  They are happy hens!
No more heat lamp as of last Friday. :)
Farm boys...chilling while Mommy and Daddy do chores.  We just pretty much love our new place!  So glad we took the leap of faith and made a dream of ours reality.  God is good!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

BEST book I have read in awhile!  5 out of 5 stars!  READ IT! Just add it to your stack.  You won't regret it!

Summary from
In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another. 

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

This is a quirky, fun, light read.  Not earth shattering, but a fun read.  I found myself actually laughing out loud a few times.  If you need something that isn't too heavy, give it a whirl. 

Summary from
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

First Horse Show 2015

 Saturday was the official start of Horse Show season!!  Autumn was a happy camper!!  Dad even entered an event on Dobbin!! 
 I know I am biased, but I think my niece is beautiful!!  I would love to rock a cowboy hat, chaps and boots like that!!  Oh, to be 16 again (or not)! 
 Look how good Dobbin is doing for Mom...that didn't last!  The excitement of the day was when they went to exit the arena and Dobbin decided to rear straight up with her.  It was like it happened in slow motion.  Mom held on though!!  Freaked me out!

 Autumn gets to ride the flags in for the national Anthem...this is her favorite horse, Mindy.
It was a good day (with the exception of Mom almost getting thrown).  Autumn had a good fan club presence. 

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

Ok, I have admittedly been in a book slump lately, so I probably can't fairly judge this one!  It was the first book in a long time that had me thinking about it when I wasn't reading!!  Yay!  I don't think it is a "must read" but this author is a fun, light read.  I would give it 3.5 out of 5 rating.

Summary from
A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past--and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Worst book I've read in awhile.  The only reason I finished it was because it was short - less than 200 pages and I though maybe it would wrap up at the end and make some kind of sense to me.  It didn't.  You've been warned.  It's on all the must read lists and has won awards, but it is weird and I can't really even tell you what it is about.  Don't do it.

Summary from goodreads (summary makes it sound's a trick!)
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.