Saturday, October 31, 2009


Ginger has the endearing trait of willingness to share. Once in a while, I let her buy some candy at the grocery store, and without fail she'll make sure to save some of it for "her friends" (her brother and sister) As soon as I got out of my room this morning, Ginger came up to me and asked: "Do you want a smartie so you'll be smart"?

She not only a good sharer, but usually is also very willing to do anything to help. When I asked her a few minutes later, to throw the rapper in the trash, I got: "Now you'll be smart, right mom"?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trunk or Treat

Tonight our ward celebrated its annual trunk or treat. It's fun to be in a ward where the grown-ups dress us too.
Winter was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
Sterling was the leopard (just like last year)
I was the wicked witch
Ginger wore her unicorn outfit, just long enough to take this picture
I barely recognize myself!
I got quite a few stares, and some people couldn't figure out who I was. Note to self; don't grow a big nose, get glasses, and get too old... it's not flattering.
Unfortunately Joe couldn't be there, he was on the way home from a week in Phoenix for work

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Easy to Please

I wish I was as easy to please as my kids. The elementary school had their annual Fall Festival/fundraiser. I usually shy away from these kinds of events, but I've been feeling cabin feverish, without Joe around. In an effort to ward off nagging, and disappointment, I decided to give the kids an appointed amount of money. If they would do their chores, without fighting or whining, they would each get $5. Winter and Ginger ended up only getting $4, after being docked for fighting.

Once we got to the junior high parking lot, they had to buy some tickets to be able to do the activities. When I asked for $5 and 2x $4 worth of tickets, I got a little bit of an annoyed/confused look from the helping moms. All the cool kids get to buy $5 wads of tickets. I distributed the tickets, determined NOT to be the one to tell them what they could and couldn't spend them on. They wanted to spend 8 tickets ($2) on a tiny thing of cotton candy? or 4 tickets to go down a blow-up slide ONCE? Fine. I wouldn't have. But the kids were happy as clams. Winter lost track of one of her tickets, and the only thing she could get from me was "sorry, I dont' have any more money". (which was planned of course). They excitedly threw bean bags in cans, went "fishing", and picked out candy and so-called prizes. I wouldn't give a penny for those Sonic toys.

The one thing that irked me most about this whole thing, was that their teachers wanted the kids to "donate" $5 so they could rent the bounce houses. So, you want me to pay $5 to rent it, and then come and spend another $2 to let my kids jump on it?? I think my $13 donation was plenty for 1 night. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for helping the school raise money, but I'd rather they don't use the money to rent huge bounce houses, and instead buy some art supplies with it! Neither of my kids have ever come home with any art. What's wrong with that picture?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cat Maniac

I've been struck by the craziness of our cat situation at the farm. I wanted to know how many cats we've had here, but I can simply not remember. We don't have pictures of most of them, some never had names, and some were only here for a few days. Here's what I do know.

11/6/2007 - 11/30/2007
Sunny - grey girl kitten. She disappeared after a few weeks

11/6/2007 -2/13/2008
Pumpkin - orange boy cat. He was our "dog" cat. He f0llowed you around everywhere. Unfortunately he followed the suburban a little too closely.

2/15/2008 - 9/25/2008
Brownie - calico girl cat : from Teresa's house

3/13/2008 - 9/15/2009
Scat cat - black boy cat for Sterling's birthday. He was our best mouse hunter. He started coming around the house less and less, until he just stopped coming back all together.

4/23/2008 Brownie's 1st litter: 5 kittens
2 went to Teresa's house
2 went to ward member's houses
1 died

8/30/2008 Brownie's 2nd litter: 6 kittens
4 went to the Brooks house
1 died
1 came back to our house (on 10/10): can't remember her name (whitish fluffy calico)

9/25/2008 Brownie disappears

10/10/2008 Patches is adopted from Brooks house, as well as whitish fluffy calico..

5/1/2009 - 8/30/2009
Ariel - Aubrey Brooks gave her to me at church. She died while I was at Education week.

7/5/2009 Whitish fluffy calico has 2 kittens.
Both die while I'm at Education week, and the whitish fluffy calico disappears too.

8/30/2009 Tiger - brown girl cat with cool patterns. Joe and the kids pick her out at the pet store, while I was at education week.

10/15/2009 Socks - black and white boy cat, coming from Teresa's house

So at this time we have 3 cats: Patches, Tiger, and Socks. We'll see how long they'll stick around. Patches has been with us for over a year, and I think it's because he sticks close to the house. Coyote's haven't had a chance to nab him yet. If my count is correct, that is about 21 cats/kittens over a 2 year span......

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pure Bliss

We love to get together with the Allreds. We were lucky enough to have them all last night until this morning. When we are with the Allreds, the rules change; especially for the kids. They get to eat whatever they want/don't want. I think they horked down a sleeve of Oreos each, plus a bag of candy and a bunch of 's mores. Bedtime does not exist. Sure, they'll be little helliens the next day, but we can deal with that the next day. It's just a whole night of pure bliss.
Poor Charlie isn't even a year old, and is already hosting riders. He was a little stubborn, and wouldn't walk very well, but what can you expect from a steer? When I put both Olivia and Winter up there, the poor thing just about toppled over.
We have been saving up our firewood for almost a year now, and this was the perfect occasion to burn it all up.
The cats got plenty of attention
We also found out that some door are mostly made of cardboard. It was scary to see how fast those doors went up in flames, and how much heat they created.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


After venting my frustration with my super duper slow computer on Facebook, Joe offered me the use of an extra work laptop. At first I was only using it to work on my blurb book, but I soon started using it for all my other computer needs. The more I use it, the more I don't think I can't ever live without it again.

Instead of being cooped up in my office, I can hang out with Ginger in the living room.
Instead of a hard office chair, I now sit on a soft couch.
Instead of printing recipes, I just put the laptop right on the bar, and work from there.
Instead of taking a break for going to the bathroom, it comes with me. Okay, hold on. Let me explain. I have only done this once. When I was in the middle of reading a long article, and I didn't want to rush in the bathroom......
Instead of reading a book during downtime at grandma's house, I can work on my blurb book.
And most importantly, instead of a slow internet/computer combo, I can now watch shows online, and easily browse the internet without frustration.

Unfortunately I won't have access to this laptop/sprint internet card forever. So eventually I'll have to go back to the lame bogger. Maybe next time we're up for buying a new computer, I'll choose a laptop instead of a PC.

Monday, October 19, 2009


My baby is 4. Yep, I don't even have a toddler in my house anymore, let along a baby. I haven't had to change diapers in almost 2 years. All my kids can, and will, make their wishes known. Soon, all my kids will know how to read. We celebrated Ginger's birthday at Joe's parents house, so that everyone could be there. When I asked Ginger if she wanted to celebrate her birthday early, she looked very hurt and confused. Turns out, she thought I wanted to "sell" her birthday away. Yeah, at least they are still little enough to make cute comments like that.

Ginger loves anything to do with horses. She plays with her stick horse "Jenna", and is quite the master rider. She loves to pretend play with dress-ups, dolls, and little figurines. I was super excited to find this magnetic dress-up doll. Ginger seems to like it too!
Winter helping Ginger turn into a ballerina
She's good at twirling
Ginger decided she wanted chocolate cake. I asked her what kind of frosting she wanted: chocolate. She got very frustrated when I then asked her, what she wanted for dinner. Exasperated, she told me: CHOCOLATE CAKE!Ginger's friend Emma from Plano 8th ward
Poor Joe was feeling under the weather. Flying always seems to get him!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have been way too stressed about getting this house on the market than I should be. It's not like it's "now or never". Sure, the sooner, the better. But it's not like the world will come to an end if it's not for sale tomorrow. I just HAVE to keep that attitude, or I might just go crazy. Right now is also a stressful time jobwise. Joe's company is reorganizing his job, and he might not have a job anymore after that. I can't even think too much about that possibility, or I'll have an anxiety attack. I mean, we are barely surviving as is. But wait.... lets not think that... cause then I start stressing about the house again. See the endless loop??

I've been keeping busy with my blurb book. I'm working on 2008, and it's taking forever! I'm only on February, and already have 40 pages! That'll be one big book.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Texas State Fair

The kids had the day off school for Columbus day, so we took advantage of the opportunity to spend some quality time with the Morphy.
The State Fair of Texas is open right now, and I have never been to an American Fair. It was quite the experience. Fairs are expensive! They like to milk you for all you're worth. I took the cheap skate way. Parking ranged from $10 - $20. After driving through a mud pit parking lot, where they wanted $10, we found a spot on the street. I had 2 free tickets for Winter and Sterling. Katie negotiated a free ticket for Ginger and Sabina, and we got $4 off for our adult tickets. We enjoyed all the free entertainment, didn't go any rides, and definitely didn't buy any food, and managed to spend $11 (for my discounted adult ticket)

A big surprise: Oprah was there, and Martina McBride was performing on the big stage. Unfortunately I was vetoed for watching them, because the kids all voted for the petting zoo. This petting zoo had a huge variety. From regular goats and pigs, to zebras, ostrich, giraffe, water buffalo etc. It was nice to have endless bottles of hand sanitizer lined up by each exit.
The Texas State Fair is famous for crazy food.
Just in case your arteries weren't clogged enough. Or you could go for a healthier option, and buy corn on the cob for a mere $5...
Another fun activity especially for the kids, was the "farm to market". Here, kids learned about the process of farming, taking care of animals, getting animal products, and selling their products to the market for money. The kids then got to use their earned money to buy a snack. It was interesting for the kids, although I think it's more of a unique experience for city kids, rather than my kids who are around animals all the time. I'm not going to spend $1 for 1/4 cup of feed. If my kids want to feed animals, they can wait till we get home, and feed our pig, or goat, or cow, or chicken.
There was also a great African acrobat group. The guys were so funny. They were all ripped, dancing around, and one of them even put his dreadlocks in a pony tail. The kids were absolutely spellbound by their tricks.
After the acrobat show, Winter asked: "Why were all those men brown?" I explained to her that they are from Africa, and that most people from there are black. She very confidently replies: "Yeah, they have to be very strong, because they always have to fight the kangaroos!"

Probably the funnest thing we did, was the Pee Wee rodeo. Kids between the age of 3 and 6, could participated in a special rodeo. Each kid got a stick horse, hat, and some even chaps. Kids were assigned races, according to their age. Ginger did steer wrestling

"This event involves a cowboy on horseback, whose aim is to throw the steer onto his side so that all four of its feet are off the ground".
Sterling rode an insanely wild Bull. He almost won the price for the best bull ride, but came away with a ribbon instead.
Birds shows usually don't interest me at all. They're just not that exciting to me, and when there's a whole bunch of other things to do, I prefer to skip that. Grace was really excited about the bird show though, so we went. It actually wasn't too bad. They had the famous parrot "grouchy" singing some songs, birds flying right over our heads. They also tricked me with their 'girl falls in the water' trick. They asked for a volunteer, and when a particularly large bird came right towards her, she stumbled backwards into a little pond. I totally believed it was real! What a sucker I am.
After the bird show, all the kids were getting thirsty. We only brought 4 drinks, and in order to minimize the backwashing, the kids lined up with open mouths like little birds. We strolled off, and after about 6 minutes, I realized we didn't have enough kids anymore. You know, we had enough kids to get a comment from a total stranger: "look, they brought a gaggle". So Max wasn't with us. Panic set in, and I sprinted back to the last location we saw him at (the bird show entrance). Luckily, he had made the best decision, and stayed in the exact same spot.
We finished off the day with a BMX show, and a cow milking demonstration. It was a wonderful, interesting, and tiring day. At the end, Winter shared her bag with Big Tex (who is 52 feet tall), which made him happy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Young and Free

Last night, I was reminded of what it was like to be young and free. My friend Dee's daughter, was in the Fannin county fair Beauty Pageant. She wanted to be able to enjoy the show without having to worry about taking pictures, so Renee and I came as her professional photographers. I even got free parking when I told them I was there to take pictures of the pageant. I was a little bummed when I found out that the 2-4 year old had done a pageant just the night before, because I just happen to know that the cutest 3 year-old lives in our house. She would have easily won over all the judges hearts. Maybe next year....

The girls were cute, and their talents interesting. Some better than others. Dee's daughter Claire did an awesome hip hop dance routine. Another girl did some crazy basketball dribbling tricks. There were a lot of Taylor Swift songs, and hip shaking dances. On girl lost her nerve, and left the stage craying. It's not easy performing for a big crowd for a 10 year old girl. In the end all the girls got a trophe (which I totally don't agree with), and the runners up got more of a sympathy vote if you ask me.

Of course a Texas country Beauty Pageant isn't complete without some good country music, and gospel songs.

It made me wish our hymns had groove!

As a thank you, Dee treated us to Braum's chocolate milk shots. When they were ready to close down, we weren't done partying, and I remembered that Dee has Dance Dance Revolution, so we kept the party going at her house. I LOVE DDR! I think I can easily become addicted to that game. I played it, until my legs were hearting, my heart was pounging, and my armpits were sweaty. Yeah, I worked off all that frozen yogurt and chocolate milk!

As with most girls nights, it's hard to call it a night, and head home. You want to hang on to that fun time. Usually, on nights like this, there'll be one person who needs to head home, and most others follow suit. Not this night! We just kept talking, and laughing, and almost peeing our pants laughing some more. At one point we had a fun little mouse scare. We could hear a mouse, and Dee just freaked out. Mice don't scare me too much, but it was so hilarious to see their reactions. The dogs got all worked up when all of a sudden we all started screaming, jumping on couches, and laughing uncontrollably. We never did see it, but it kept taunting us.

Both Renee and I had a good sized drive home, so we kept each other awake by chatting some more on the phone. I climbed into bed at 3.38am........

Friday, October 9, 2009

The real deal

There are certain things in life, that unconsciously stay with us through childhood memories. Maybe that particular thing or place is no longer available or reachable. We might search for it occasionally, just to be disappointed. But then, one day, all the stars align. This once happened for me when I found my childhood cereal Weetabix (which they stopped selling at Target). The universe must favor me, because it happened again. I was wandering around the Asian market, when I spotted this.I've looked for Ovaltine before, and found an impostor, counterfit American version of it at Walmart. It didn't bring back a flood of memories. It tasted kind of similar, but not really. So when I spotted that container the other day, my heart started pumping a little faster, and my mouth involuntarily grinned. I didn't want to get my hopes up, just because the packaging says "European formula". The packagers spoke the truth. It Is the authentic Swiss ovaltine! Drinking it brought back memories of Swiss ski slopes. Wahoo!

Monday, October 5, 2009


We've had our first calf birth here on the farm, just over a week ago. He's a cute little longhorn, white with brown legs. We all piled on the 4-wheeler together, to drive to the lower pasture, to get a good look at him. He's pretty shy. His mom is our wildest longhorn, so unfortunately there's a slim chance that he'll ever be fully comfortable with people.


Missionaries are always around. Sometimes I am more aware of them then others. While living in Boise, I don't think I ever knew any of their names. Maybe that's because there were less missionaries per member, or because I assumed that other members would feed them.

Joe's the Elder's quorum president, and frequently goes on splits with the missionaries. Fewer members feed them, so we have signed their meal calendar more often. We have had some great missionaries in the Bonham ward. Right now we have Elder Nielsen and Elder Zobell. Elder Nielsen is the one that came over to kill the goat (on my birthday), and is hilarious.

They were coming over for dinner on Friday, and had some extra time to do service. We have a lot of things that we need help with, so we gladly accepted. We have a wilderness weedpatch right outside our back door. see those little white flowers? Ginger was so upset when they pulled out her "special" bush.
We eventually want to install cobbler stones for a patio, so we totally let the weeds go wild. The missionaries helped Joe pull the dead, ugly bushes out. The next step is to get rid of the rest of the weeds, and then haul in a bunch of sand to go under the stones.

A while ago, we sent some missionaries home with part of one of our homegrown watermelons. This is what they choose to do with it! Haha! (and no, I won't name names!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Even though it's still 75 degrees outside, we have started making some preparations for winter time. As the summer progresses, my chickens spend less and less time in their hen house. Even though they all lay eggs in their nesting boxes all winter, by the end of the summer, they have found new spots for them. Some in the bushes, some in the lawn. Once in a while, you'll run over a real old one with the lawnmower... that's fun.

My egg supply has been dwindling, and when I was baking the other day, I barely had enough eggs. That was the last straw. I mucked out the chicken coop, and put fresh bedding in the nesting boxes. The missionaries were at our house for some service time, so they reinforced the outside pen for me. For the past 4 days, I've only gotten 1 egg per day. I can vaguely recall the same thing happening last fall. Hopefully the hens will quickly re conglomerate, and start supplying me with fresh eggs again.

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