Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby

It's been nine years since we were married; sealed together for time and all eternity. The time has gone by quickly but I love you more today than I did then. You are my best friend, my eternal companion, my hero. Nine years down and eternity to go - I'm glad it will be with you! Happy Anniversary my sweetheart. I love you! --J

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post Holiday De-Briefing

Whoa! Our week has been full, exhausting, and fantastic. It all began on Saturday when my sister Lacy flew in from Utah. Then on Sunday my sisters Sara and Emily and their kids (5 in all) came down from the Huntsville area. The four of us spent the next three days cooking, shopping and laughing! It was fabulous to be together again. On Tuesday evening the hubbies arrived with David coming in from Utah and Blasen and Danny driving down from Huntsville after work. K also worked through Tuesday and joined us that night for a feast of salad and enough appetizers to feed a Roman legion. Yummy! Finally, my baby sis Elizabeth and her hubby, Joe joined the fun late, late Tuesday night as they drove in from Gainesville, FL.
So, by Christmas Eve the entire Ford clan was together for a day of eating, presents, and tons of laughter. The day began with Dad's traditional oatmeal, fruit and nut pancakes for breakfast. That afternoon was a family "photo shoot" led by my talented photog sister Emily. We took tons of pictures which all induced giggles, guffaws, and snorts! Next, was dinner and then present opening time. We had so much fun and it was all over too soon! The Huntsville girls and their families had to leave that evening to make it home in time for Santa's arrival.
On Christmas Day we were awakened at 2am by hoots and squeals of delight as the kiddos found their Santa stash! We played for about an hour or so before K and I begged them all back to bed for a few more hours sleep. Later that day we went back to Mama Ford and Grandfather's house for dinner with them and the Freistatders (Lacy's in-laws). It was great to visit with them. They all left early this morning with Lacy and David in tow for a few days visiting the rest of his family in North Carolina. Whew!
Today's been clean up day with lots of rest sprinkled in. So, enjoy the photos of all the hilarity. I hope that 2009 brings you blessings, memories, and joy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Here are a few photos to update what's been going on with us -
First, a brand new Bass Pro Shops store has opened in our area and we LOVE it. We've visited the Atlanta store but this one is bigger and better. K calls it "our store" because it really embodies a lot of the things we love like wildlife, camping, fishing, etc. These pics are from our first trip there a few weeks ago.

Second, last weekend we had a double cousin birthday party. It was cousin Brett's b-day and we visited him. He's so sweet and was kind enough to share his day with cousin Bliss who just returned from China. Bliss was with his family in China when it was his birthday in September so we missed his party. He was super excited to get his Superman cake for which he has been pining (no superman cakes in China).
Lastly, school's out, yipee! Just before the last of school the PTO always hosts the Santa Shop so that the kids can shop for their families and friends. Last year we started a simple tradition. Each of our kids gets $2 and can buy a gift for a sibling. This year Holdyn bought for Evie (a ribbon baton), Evie bought for Kallie (a High School Musical pen) and Kallie bought for Holdyn (a sports watch). They love the Santa Shop and were so excited to give and get their gifts. Each was super excited about the gift they received and there was much exclaiming along the lines of, "It's perfect!" "Just what I always wanted!' "I love it!" All that and tons of smiles for just $6!

Monday, December 15, 2008

So don't freak out on me...

If you've noticed my bookshelf there to the right you've noticed that I'm reading Twilight. I thought I was the last person on Earth to read this book but apparently my sister, Lacy, is even farther behind the times than me. Actually, I've known about this book for around a year now but haven't had the time to read it. First, my library didn't have it over the summer when I did the bulk of my reading. Then, K bought it for me but I was knee-deep in reading and projects for school so I had no time to read -- anything. Well, school's out for now and I've got some time so I started reading Thursday...

CAUTION: Here comes the don't freak out part!!!

I, uh, well, see the thing is, um
I don't really like it.
There, I said it.

Now, before you start cursing the screen and heatedly beating out a comment on your keyboard, just slow ya roll. I didn't say I hated it (although, I did hate Ms. Meyer's other novel the Host). I just said I don't really like it. Maybe my expectations were really high after all the hoopla or something but I'm slightly disappointed. I thought that I'd be sucked into this book by the way everyone drools and palpatates over it. Don't blame yourself, EVERYONE told me it was great, fabulous, terrific. Anyway, I'm just over half-way through so maybe by the time I finish I'll change my mind.
Oh well, I guess I can relate to Bella, afterall, because I know she would never like a book just because everyone said she should! Am I right Twilight fanboys and fangirls? You know I am, ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Arch-enemies in Kindergarden

So the other day Evie tells me that Audrey in her class is not her friend. I was only slightly concerned. I mean, there are tons of folks who aren't my friend, no biggie.
Anyway, I say, "Why is Audrey not your friend?"

Evie replies, "Well, we like the same things. I like pink and so does she. I like princesses and she does, too."

Now I'm confused. So I ask, "If you like the same things why aren't you friends?"

To which my sweet Evie replies, "Because she's my enemy!"

Ok, time to be concerned. "You shouldn't say she's your enemy. That's not really nice," I say.

Evie thinks for a minute then says, "Well, ok then she's my arch enemy!"

Wow, I've got two kindergardeners, one waiting for her super powers to "grow in" and the other with an arch enemy. I think we spend too much time playing super heroes here at Vaughn Farm. What do ya think?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Prayer of Thanksgiving

I thank thee dear Father in heaven above,
For thy goodness and mercy, thy kindness and love.
I thank thee for home, friends, and parents so dear,
And for every blessing that I enjoy here.

Help me to be good, kind, and gentle today,
And mind what my father and mother shall say.
In the dear name of Jesus, so loving and mild,
I ask thee to bless me and keep me thy child.

"I Thank Thee, Dear Father" Children's Songbook, pg 7

This simple, children's song expresses my gratitude and thankfulness for all that I have. I know that I and my family are truly blessed. All that we have and are comes through blessings from Heavenly Father. I could make a list a mile long for all that I am thankful for! I love you all and wish you a safe, happy, cozy Thanksgiving Day with your loved ones.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sleep Reading?

Tonight we were having our usual family scripture reading. Here's how it usually goes: Holdyn reads a verse or two then Evie and Kallie read a verse with help from me or K.
Tonight, Evie wanted to go first. I helped her read her verse and she did a really great job of sounding out the words. Next, Holdyn read two verses and Kallie read a verse and also did a great job of sounding out the words. In the meanwhile, Evie had crawled up into K's lap and promptly fallen asleep. After scriptures is prayers. Kallie said her prayer first and then Holdyn. We noticed that Evie was asleep so I called her name and K told her to say her prayer. She sat up, bowed her head, folded her arms and began, "Wu, wu, wu-i, wu-i, wu-i-th, wu-i-th, with" She was sounding out the word "with." I, compassionate mother I am, realized she was still asleep and immediately cracked up laughing. Holdyn and Kallie joined in. K shook her gently and said, "Evie, say your prayer." Her eyes popped open and she said, "Oh, I thought I was reading my homework sheet." Bless her heart she was so tired! But still, I had to laugh. As my family knows, I've had my share (and then some) of sleep talking outbursts. That girl is me made over, in that respect!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


That's right, it's official. We've got eggs (two to be exact). Yeah! Holdyn went out to feed the ladies and gent this morning and found these two sweeties in the new house we built over the weekend.

Maybe that means we are officially a farm because now we're producing and growing something besides little heathen monsters! ;)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pioneer Spirit

There's an old saying most of us have heard before. It goes something like this, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!" It's a great motto to live by always but especially in these more difficult times. As I've said before, we're striving for a simpler life here on Vaughn Farm. That means lots of repurposing - especially where animals are involved. Here's what I mean...

This is our scrap wood bin. K made it last year after we were nearly all killed by a scrap wood avalanche when we opened the barn doors. We've been living here for 4 years and remodeling just as long. Needless to say, we've collected a lot of wood. We try to use it as much as possible. For example...
Casa de la Goaties was built by K for the 3 Billy Goats Vaughn to live in. Although, they don't really sleep in it (they're somewhat intelligence challenged). All this leads up to yesterday. It's cold here in AL (by our standards at least); it was 33 degrees last night. We were worried that the chickens might get too cold over night so we worked for about 3 hours and built this...
Well, it ended up looking like this...

A cozy home for our 8 girls and 1 guy. We added a light and the place was perfect. Except, the ding-a-lings did not use it! Well, I guess they DID use it. They spent all night on the roof! All that work to keep them toasty and they sleep OUTSIDE anyway. The more I deal with chickens the more I understand the term "Bird Brained"!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you.

To all the veterans of the US Armed Forces:
(and especially those in our family)

Thank you for your service. (My Dad, Donnie)

Thank you for your sacrifice. (Dad's older brother, "Snooky", killed in Vietnam, age 19)

Thank you for your devotion. (K's Dad, Ray)

Thank you for your courage. (K's older brothers, Kurtis and Kent)

Thank you for your selfless service. (another of K's older brothers, Kolton)

Thank you for your love of country. (My Dad's other older brother, Len)

Thank you for your love of family. (My great-uncle Jim)

Most of all, thank you for defending our freedom. Happy Veteran's Day, you are not forgotten!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Things have been crazy around here! K's Mom, Nana, came to visit two weekends ago and we had a great time. She is awaiting her 3rd mission call, it should be arriving soon. In the meantime she is making the rounds to visit all her children (8) and grandchildren (25). We had a fun few days together. K even set up a blog for her at www.nanaonamission.blogspot.com.
Last weekend we had a family camp out on Halloween. It was our first and it turned too cold to actually sleep outside but we set up the tent, filled it with pillows and blankets and then cooked hotdogs and smores and had a great time together. I'll try to get some pics up; my camera is on the fritz. The camp out was great fun and we've decided to make it our annual Halloween tradition! Since we live in a rural area trick or treating is not really an option.
On Monday I finished my student teaching practicum! I had a great time teaching 8th grade. It was fun and never dull. The experience has really reinforced the fact that teaching is for me! After my practicum I wanted a day to rest and clean the house. Yesterday I did just that. Today was my first day as a substitute teacher and I was in kindergarten! It was just for a half day but I go back tomorrow for a full day. Actually, kindergarten and 8th grade aren't all that different ;)
Well, that's a quick update on life at Vaughn farms! Back to busy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dr. Horrible and his two-headed monster

As I mentioned in the last post, Saturday was also the school's Fall Fest. Last year, I was PTO Mom and worked the entire festival while K and the kids toured the booths and played. I missed it and was excited to be free of PTO responsibilities so that I could participate this year. It was a good time. This year K and I brought along Dr. Horrible and his two-headed monster, just look!

Although we took only the children with us to the Fall Fest we returned home with a new member of the family, Goldy the fish.
Holdyn won Goldy at the bean bag toss. So far, he/she/it has lived since Saturday. We have been sure to explain to Holdyn that gold fish don't necessarily live long lives. On Sunday morning Holdyn woke up and ran to the kitchen where Goldy was living in a Mason Jar until I could dig up a fish bowl. He peered into the jar and let out a sigh of relief. He came over to K and me and said, "I knew Goldy would still be alive. I said two prayers last night to Heavenly Father that she wouldn't die." Such sweet, pure faith.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


This weekend was Homecoming at my and K's alma mater Jacksonville State University. Most of you know that's also the Ford family hometown. K and I also lived there for the first few years of our marriage until just before the girls were born. So, it really was coming home for us. We went to the parade and to the bookstore and then to the place that NO ONE in the family can resist whenever we're in town....
That's right, eat your hearts out! J/K we really missed everyone and wished the whole family could have been with us. (Maybe at Christmas?) Anyway, here's what we ate....
However, after our feeding frenzy (all this was gone in about 5 minutes) we were heartbroken to find that they were OUT OF PEANUT BUTTER!!!!! No PB milkshakes for us :( boo!
After eating we went outside and enjoyed the parade. It's been at least two or three years since we've been to the parade and we had a lot of fun.
Evie shakin' her stuff as the bands march by.
Pretty colors...

Marching Ballerinas....

And none other than the JSU Marching Southerners, Blow Southerners!!!But these guys are my #1 favorite of the entire parade

They were walking, shaking shakers and yelling "Go Gamecocks!" They even tried to get K to join them!What good sports! And, BTW that's the most backhair I've seen in awhile. We had so much fun! Later we went to the school fall festival more on that next time. Love ya!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm Ba-aaaack!/Crazy hair day

Hello all,
I've missed you so! I've been slammed by school and projects. But finally last night I turned in my huge mid-term assignment and I've got some time to breathe. My family is glad I'm back and I've really missed them. I feel like I've been secluded in a dark closet for days and I'm finally stepping back into the light and the world! Thanks for all the kind comments I've missed you all, as well.

I've got some pics to share from a few weeks back. Each Friday is spirit day at school and a few weeks ago was Crazy Hair day (a personal fave). Our kids love to participate in these days and Crazy Hair day was fun. Just look...

And finally, I didn't have crazy hair for Crazy Hair day but I feel like having crazy hair today!

Love you all!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Daddy's Art Class

Since I have to go to class 3 nights a week K and the kids have been spending their afternoons and evenings together. They've been having a lot of fun (and fun is good, right Dr. Suess?). They've been shooting with bows and arrows. They've been practicing reading. They've been playing Wii games. And they've been having Daddy art class. The kids are enrolled in an after school art class that meets once a week. Holdyn took one session of this class last year and loved it. This year we've been less than enthused (the teacher changed) but we've payed for 7 (non-refundable) lessons each so art class it is. Anyway, Daddy's art class is awesome. K loved to draw as a kid and so do our 3. They've learned to draw cartoons like Dora and Wubzzy. Holdyn, who is currently on a STAR-WARS kick, has particularly enjoyed learning how to draw a battle droid and R2-D2. I think K should teach their art class, the pieces they've produced with him far exceed those from their actual "class." Needless to say, we have only two lessons left and we will not renew. Daddy's art class is way better in many ways. But, isn't that how it should be? Even if he was only teaching them to draw stick figures and happy faces thinks of the memories they are making (for free)!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Please to enjoy!

My favorite holiday is Halloween! I love playing dress-up and pretending to be someone else. Perhaps that is the repressed actor in me.
In honor of the upcoming fun of Halloween I've commissioned a new design from my personal blog design team (actually my super talented sister, Sara). I hope you enjoy it and the new playlist I've composed just for the occasion!
We all could use a distraction from troubles these days. Grab your favorite Halloween treat, your favorite people and have a great time together!
Much love to ya'll!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon vine



That's right, folks! My inadvertent watermelon vine has not one, not two, but three little watermelons growing on it. How amazing is that? Seeds thrown out in the yard have actually grown into a vine that is producing fruit. Just another one of Heavenly Father's miracles evidenced in everyday life. Cool, huh?