Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Tonight this little lady from next door decided to come over or under the fence for  a visit...word must be spreading that the Benson farm is the place to be!  I didn't want to return her, but I did.  It was the right thing to do.  But darn she's cute! LOL!

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

I can't believe I have never read this book before now.  If I still had a classroom, I would definitely do a read aloud with this book.  GREAT story of survival.  I think any 4th grader on up would enjoy it.

Summary from amazon:
 This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared—and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure, recipient of the Newbery Honor.

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present—and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair—it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dose of Donkey :)

 Anything for me in here?
Here it is Elly May!  The chicken party mix! 
 This is what I want!  Open it!!
 Why won't it open???

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Weekend Report

Friday was a crazy busy day with it being the first day of the Fall "Monster" Book Fair!  Exhausting but fun!
In the middle of the book fair, the school district stopped by to deliver an award for our school because we came in FIRST PLACE for the summer reading challenge.  One of our students even won an ipad, because she read the most books!!  LOVE IT!!!
 Each class comes to visit the book fair, and in those boxes in the picture above, we first do a little fun activity so that ALL students have fun at the book fair even if they don't have money to shop.  So, since it's monster themed, I made boxes with "monster parts" like eyes, intestines, fingernails, fingers and the students reach in and feel it.  They love it.  Then, the little ones get to take a guided tour and the older kids get to walk around and make wish lists.  It's truly amazing how exhausted I am by the end of the day! Ha!
And, at the end of this exhausting day, I get a call from our renter that there is a leak somewhere...turns out the air conditioner was leaking inside the house.  Look at those pitiful floors.  All down the hallway, entry way and half the living room.  My first ever insurance claim. :(
Saturday was my niece's last horse show for the season and it was the "fun show" where they do silly competitions.  It was fun to watch, the weather was cool, and I love seeing my family.

We left the horse show listening to the Hog game and made it home to watch the second half.  I am a Hog fan for life, but I don't think it's healthy for us to watch any more games this season.  We were both so mad, it was ridiculous.  The dogs ran from the room because of the yelling.  Something has to give!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fall Book Fair is HERE!!!!

Today was FULL BLOWN Book Fair decorating and the Teacher Preview Party after school.  Once again, Big Bear saves the day and made us an awesome menu!!  BBQ sliders and the sausage and cheese plate were the big hits!
 I have been in crazy "get ready for book fair ... my to do is not humanly possible LONG" mode.  But once again, it is all ready by the grace of God.  Now, tomorrow the kids start coming and a whole new level of exhaustion begins! LOL!
 Elementary school book fair is the like the best week of school! :)  This year's theme is Monster and yes, I will be dressing up again. Boo!

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

I loved this book.  I usually always love a good WWII story and this is a memoir of the youngest member of Schindler's list.  It is the first book I have read about Schindler's list, so I was fascinated.  This book is an easy, fast read.  It is meant for young adults and is only 240 pages. I read it in two days.  :)

Summary from goodreads.com:
Even in the darkest of times—especially in the darkest of times—there is room for strength and bravery. A remarkable memoir from Leon Leyson, one of the youngest children to survive the Holocaust on Oskar Schindler’s list.Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancor, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr. Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Boxis a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Daily Dose of Donkey

This is what happens most of the time when I try to get a picture...Jethro sees me and starts coming on over.  I just love him! :)
 I threw a little chicken grain out...you would have thought Elly May was starving!  She was pushing chickens out of her way, but Henrietta faced off with her.  She lost, but at least she tried! LOL!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekend Highlight

After a Hog loss (embarrassment week 2!!), Alabama loss, and a disastrous Sunday School session with my 7th grade girls...the only real highlight to my weekend was going to Newport to Mom's farm to take care of her crew while she was out of town.  I need a break from this weekend!!!  
This little boxer girl above is Bubba Bear's momma!  Hard to believe cause she's just a itty bitty boxer! :)
I cleaned out the horses water buckets and Duke thought I made him a fresh bath!  He jumped right in!  So much for clean water! LOL!
It takes all my control not to steal this barn cat from my mom!  She is gorgeous!!
I never appreciated just how BIG and beautiful the horses were until I compared them to my little mini-donkeys.  Horses hooves are HUGE in comparison.  I was more than a little intimated and glad all I had to do with them was check on them and give them fresh water!!
 And then there is these two...Bubba Bear's brothers, Leo and Harley.  What a pair!  
 I think Leo is gorgeous (below).  I can't believe Kevin thinks white boxers are ugly. :(
 And then, there is one of the biggest hazards of living in the country...people dump their dogs.  Can you EVEN imagine doing that!?!
All three of these little cuties below were dumped on the dirt road my parents live on.  Hello?  Coyote dinner anyone?  The two rat terriers are sweet as can be.  Makes me so mad every time I think about it.  And even though my mom has her hands full of pets already, what are you going to do?  So...now she has a few little dogs too.  
 This is what happens to your lap when you sit down...haha!  Now how do you just dump those precious babies and drive off and leave?  Makes no sense!
Thankful that in a disappointing weekend, I was able to lend a helping hand to give some peace of mind to my Mom (who majorly needed a break).  

In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

This book was recommended to me about a year ago, and I saved it for the next time Kevin was in the Dominican because it is about the Dominican .  It has really high ratings, but I have to admit, I didn't really enjoy it.  When I find myself thinking, "I need to read so I can finish that book." Instead of reading because I can't wait to see what happens next, I know the book just isn't doing it for me.  It did pick up towards the end, but by then it was too late.  It is historical fiction so read below and maybe give it a chance.  I seem to be in the minority on my opinion of this one. :)

Summary from goodreads.com:
Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands. 

From the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents comes this tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship. A skillful blend of fact and fiction, In the Time of the Butterflies is inspired by the true story of the three Mirabal sisters who, in 1960, were murdered for their part in an underground plot to overthrow the government. Alvarez breathes life into these historical figures--known as "las mariposas," or "the butterflies," in the underground--as she imagines their teenage years, their gradual involvement with the revolution, and their terror as their dissentience is uncovered. 

Alvarez's controlled writing perfectly captures the mounting tension as "the butterflies" near their horrific end. The novel begins with the recollections of Dede, the fourth and surviving sister, who fears abandoning her routines and her husband to join the movement. Alvarez also offers the perspectives of the other sisters: brave and outspoken Minerva, the family's political ringleader; pious Patria, who forsakes her faith to join her sisters after witnessing the atrocities of the tyranny; and the baby sister, sensitive Maria Teresa, who, in a series of diaries, chronicles her allegiance to Minerva and the physical and spiritual anguish of prison life. 

In the Time of the Butterflies is an American Library Association Notable Book and a 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fly Repellant...donkey style :)

This is why I have bald spots in my yard! LOL!  I don't care...I wouldn't have it any other way!  No need for fly spray.  They love a good dust bath! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Home is...

Where the donkeys bray...
the chickens cluck...
the cat sleeps...
the dogs run...
and the HOGS are called!  WPS!  
*May this post and my new display of Hog gear let us win!!  Please and thanks! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Comparing Cuteness

Now :)
April - first day home :)
Now :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dog Day

 It was fetch and wrestling today...I didn't get much "farm" time today.  I had a meeting after work, and then had a girls night...a much needed girls night!   But I managed to get in a little fetch and watching the boxers wrestle before I left Big Bear in charge and headed off to eat mexican food and girl talk. :)

 Stella girl loves a game of fetch!!  And, Big Bear says he isn't a cowboy in his new hat...he's an "ass man"...heehee!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Weekends go too fast! :(

 Tina Turner, Henrietta and Jackie in the background...just enjoying some freedom while I try to find my peace after a bad work week.  I decided NOT to think about work all weekend.  I mostly succeeded. :)  And, this week, my goal is regardless of what happens at work, I will not bring it home with me.  My poor husband just got home from a mission trip and has been sick since he got home and I haven't been in the best of moods.  Ooops!  This week will be better! 
Ruby Rue hangs out on my tables made of barn wood because it's the closest she will get to being a barn cat! LOL!
Saturday while Kevin was working, I decided to tackle some major yard cleaning up before the Hog game (that turns out I should have just keep working in the yard!!!  That game got my stress level right back up!).  I lost count of how many trailer loads of branches, weeds and sticker bushes I hauled to my now massive burn pile!  It felt good!! 
That's gonna be an AWESOME burn!! :)
It's no wonder I can barely move today and have taken multiple doses of ibuprofen!! Ha!
Elly May trying to be helpful and eat some of the tree branches!  Just doing her part to clean up!
And of course, we have to get our daily walk in through the woods.  Instead of 3 dogs on my walk, now I have 3 dogs and 2 donkeys that follow! I'm telling you NOTHING gets past these two!
Success!!!  Tonight is the first night that Jethro put all four feet in the barn!!  I'm going to feed them here all week and then slowly move him further in.  I just want them to be comfortable this winter and now that they are sleeping in the front yard and not down in their shed, well, it only makes sense to use our awesome barn!!
**One year ago today was when we wrote our first offer on this farm.  After two days of going back and forth, we were under contract on the 15th.  One year...what a ride!  I'm SO beyond happy we jumped out on faith on this one!  Can you imagine not having Jethro and Elly May and the chickens? :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Party Time!

 We had a little cheerio party here at the farm tonight.  :)  I've had three bad days in a row at work.  My frustration level is pretty much at maximum.  I felt bad that on Kevin's first day home from the Dominican, I was cranky because of work.  But, how do you melt your stress away?  Throw some cheerios on the ground and have a little party!