Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The de-Evolution of Fingerpainting

Below you will see proof that my heathens can take even a simple childhood craft like fingerpainting and transform it into a mess so horrific and unholy I question my own sanity for even thinking that said activity "might be fun!" ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!

1. Fingerpainting begins as fun and only mildly messy and kind of cute.

2. The mess escalates but I remain calm. They are outside after all.

3. I thoughtfully provide a bucket to use for washing hands. Then I go inside to sort laundry.

4. What the... This is what happens when I go inside for 15 minutes!!!!

5. Here's what I have to clean up. PS clean up takes longer than set up and fingerpainting combined!

And the best part? Did my sweeties produce any refrigerator art through their "process?" Heck, no! All I got was a huge mess to clean up, three kids that had to be hosed off in the yard before they could go in the house, a load of paint smeared laundry, and a laugh to keep from crying. 7 days until school starts!


So, as I said in a previous post this blogging has led to me visiting a lot of other blogs and websites. There are some really talented and creative people out there and I've gotten totally inspired! Lately, I've neglected my sewing (something I've always loved) and that's about to change. With the kids (all 3) going to school in a few days I was worried about how I'd spend my days at least until I start back to school in late August. Well, I'm declaring it here and now -- I'm going to get sewing!
Now that I've made that declaration I need you all to follow up with encouragment (ie nagging). Please!!! I'm a huge procrastinator. Right now I'm making lists of things I want to sew for me, the girls, and gifts. As usual the list is huge but I'll feel great if I can get a few things done before my classes begin.
Ok, now I've got to go uncover my sewing machine and dust everything off (literally).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nancy Drew

How cool is Nancy Drew? I didn't realize how much I loved her until the other day. Here's what happened: I was in my baby sister, Elizabeth's, room at Mom and Dad's changing into my swimsuit. You know the amount of hopping, shimmying, and writhing invloved in getting into a swimsuit, right? (If you don't I HATE YOU!) Anyway, during said hopping, etc. I hopped over in front of Biz's bookcase and noticed she had her collection of Nancy Drew Mystery Stories there, along with MY collection of the Nancy Drew files (who told you you could borrow those, missy?). As I was pausing to catch my breath after finally wedging myself into my swimsuit (or sausage casing, you decide) I thought maybe the kiddos would like to read Nancy. This summer we've read Ramona, Harry, and a few others so adding Nancy seemed like a good idea.

Now we're reading book #1 The Secret of the Old Clock. It's really good and the kids enjoy it. And I am not too proud to admit that I wish I was Nancy Drew! She's so pretty and nice and smart (not fishing here). She has a blue convertible, for crying out loud! And she spends her days driving around solving mysteries. UGH, now I can't decide if I love her or hate her! Oh, alright, I love her. SIGH.

Friday, July 25, 2008

OK, I'm addicted!

To blogging, that is. Here's what happened....
I was reading in my latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens and came across a piece about a fabric designer named Anna Maria Horner out of Nashville. The photos of her studio were FAB and the article mentioned that she has a blog. Later, I went there and loved it so I checked out her blogroll. From there each blog had another roll and on and on, you get the drift, right? So after literally hours of looking at these amazing, creative and other wise unbelievable blogs, I'm hooked. Scroll down and find my "check these out" list. These sites are awesome and totally creatively inspiring, I think. I hope you'll agree.

To Bliss

Holdyn, Evie, and Kallie drew the fabu works of art and requested they be posted for their cousin Bliss to see all the way in China. So, these are for you sweet Bliss!
The first is by Holdyn, the second by Evie and the thrid by Kallie. We love you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

All Creatures Great and Small...Are Stupid!

What is up with animals? Well, at least with the ones we own?
1. Chickens
So, we worked on Tuesday to make the chicken coop inescapable and comfy for the 9 chicks. Which technically, I guess, are pullets now not chicks. Anyway, we covered the thing in chicken wire, moved in an old bookcase and milk crates that will serve as nesting boxes, and outfitted the whole thing with fluffy, sweet smelling hay. Then we turned the little idiots loose and let them go to town in their new home, running around, scratching the ground, eating bugs -- Chicken Paradise! We even put Marshall on the chain, just in case, any of them found an invisible way out. This was a good idea on our part because later after we went out to eat for K's birthday and came home in the POURING RAIN, we found the chicken coop to be EMPTY and those stupid yardbirds huddled in a clump in the middle of the yard. Bird brained is a pretty accurate description for these 9 birds who, in a driving rainstorm, forsake the warmth of their new roost to break out of said roost and sit in the cold, wet grass just outside their coop. Thankfully, we are only slightly less stupid than them and find them and put them back in their "baby cage" Obviously, they are not yet ready for more mature housing arrangments.
2. Goats
On Saturday K and I slaved in the furnaces of hell that are outdoor Alabama in late July to repair the fallen goat shelter. I felt badly that they were sleeping in the dirt and getting wet in the rain, especially since I read online the goats HATE getting wet. So, we not only repair the goat house we actually build a new one and it takes ALL DAY. Fast forward to Tuesday the aforementioned night of pouring rain and chicken I'm going inside, dripping wet mind you, after getting the chickens settled I glance over at the goats. I'm thinking, "I bet they're glad to have their new house in rain like this!" But are they? NOOOOO! Those stupid things are laying in their dirt-spot, getting soaked, SLEEPING. Hey, National Pygmy Goat Association, I got three prime specimens for you that apparently enjoy water! So you may want to check your expert advice!
3. Dog
In all of this chaos (that, by the way, is totally normal for us), the King of the idiot animals we own, Marshall, is barking and howling and just generally carrying on like St. Peter's calling him to glory. Remember, he's on the chain to prevent any more horrific dog on chicken action? Anyway, yes, he is on the chain but it is next to his DOG HOUSE. Why, in the name of all that is holy, is he out in the pouring rain, too? I mean, my opinion of Marshall's intelligence was very high. He can stand on his hind legs and open fences with his nose, I've seen him! Why-oh-why is he too out in the rain?

You've heard, "They ain't got the sense to get out of the rain," apparently the person who first said that was familiar with animals. I'm surprised they didn't all look up to see where the water was coming from and drown -- IDIOTS!

Sometimes you've got to laugh or you'll cry! And on the bright side, at least the kids have the brains to get out of the rain.....oh, never mind.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

You Say It's Your Birthday...

Happy 31st birthday Krager! Thanks right folks, Doris and Ray's baby boy is 31 today. It's the time of year I wait for, the time when for a short 6 weeks that you are just as OLD as me. Seriously, I love you and wish you a happy day. Here are a few photos of Krager for you all to enjoy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Smells like sunshine

So, its summer which, in Alabama, means its hot. Hotter than blue h-e-double hockey sticks! Summer means its time to bust out the clothesline. Beginning in May I eschew the dryer and hang the clothes out to dry. And dry they do! Most times by the time I get to the bottom of the basket the first things on the line are already dry. Its energy efficient and the clothes smell like sunshine. It may sound corny, but I really do enjoy hanging the clothes out. And it makes me feel like I'm doing something positive for the Earth. (Plus, the colors look pretty on the line!) I know the "green bandwagon" may seem cliche but I'm really getting into "greening up" our lives here on Vaughn Farms.
PS I don't hang out the underwear and socks (too many little pieces).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reporting from the Man Cave

I found two web sites that everyone might enjoy. The first web site is called Woot. Woot is a web site that offers mostly electronics at greatly reduced prices. They only sells one item a day and after that one day it is gone, so you have to really be ready to buy what ever it is. Today's deal is a JVC MiniDV Digital Camcorder for $119.99 (normally around $300.00)

Web site number two is called Ventones. Ventones lets you upload any sound or music file and create a ringtone for you cell phone for free. You can create the kids laughing or load any song and have it be you cell phone's ringtone. I have created several ringtones for Jennie and myself. You will have to create a user name and password, but no hidden charges or spam email later down the road. One important note, all files will have to be in MP3 format. If you use Itunes like I do just open Windows Media Player and convert the song or sound file from ACC to MP3 format, then load it to Ventones.

Man Cave out--

The First Thoughts from the Man Cave

After seeing how much fun Jennie was having creating this blog, I thought that it might need a male perspective every once in a while. Please do not expect regular posts from the man cave, but when I do find something that might interest someone I will pass it on. Man Cave Out-


Most of you know that I am a huge bookworm. I'm usually reading at least two books at any given time. Krager was checking out a few of your blogs and noticed that many of you have booklists letting others know what you're reading. He said that I should make one on our blog and I agreed. Since I read alot I'm going to make this a monthly list and post what I'm reading or have read that month, beginning with July. Check these out, I was lucky and picked some great reads this month! Also, I'm always looking for new things to read, so let me know if you've got some suggested readings of your own.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Little Perspective

I heard an interesting statistic the other day. It's really caused me to stop and think about how our family is extremely blessed. Here it is: If your family earns an annual salary of $40,000 you are among the richest in the world. In fact, you're richer than 75% of all the people in the world! Just something to think about. Take some time to count your blessings!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chicks, Chicks, Chicks!!!!

Here are pictures of the two types of chickens we are raising. The top photo shows a Rhode Island Red, these hens lay brown eggs. The bottom photo is of a Brown Leg Horn, these hens lay white eggs (lots of grocery store eggs come from Leg Horns). In about four more months these hens will be old enough to lay eggs. Between the nine we have we should get about 7-8 eggs a day!

The Great 4th of July Massacre of '08

As usual (and expecially where animals or children are involved) things rarely go according to plan. There's always some unforseen factor that inserts itself into your perfect equation and promptly screws everything up! In our perfect animal husbandry equation the unforseen factor is a Marshall, our huge, sweet black lab whose only want in life is to play with every other living creature big and small. Can you see where this story is going? That's right, Marshall wanted to play with the little chicks. I'm sure he dreamed about it night and day for weeks. Fast forward two weeks after we'd gotten the first chicks...July 4th. The family had been gone most of the morning to the grandparents' and we returned home for a post swimming nap. The chicks are in a small (3'x3') cage inside a large (8'x8') pen. After a blissful nap we awake and get ready to go back for more swimming. I look out the back windows of the house to check on the chicks and see the door to thier large pen is open and I can't see any chicks in the small pen. Immediately I get Krager and send him out to investigate while trying to keep the kids inside away from the carnage. To spare you gory details -- only two of the 8 chicks survived their playdate with Marshall. So, the kids learned about the "Circle of Life" after all. Luckily, chicks are cheap and Daddy bought more the next day. PS Marshall is still literally in the dog house for his actions. The kids decided that he is never allowed in the house again. We'll see how long that lasts, he is terribly sweet and cute and was only trying to play. He didn't eat a single one.

The Circle of Life

One of the reasons that we decided to try our hand at raising animals was to teach the kids about "the circle of life." We assumed we'd have these goats and chickens or whatever and we'd raise them and, in the case of the chickens, eat their eggs and eventually eat them. Thus, we'd teach the children about the importance of feeding the chickens good food and water and giving them good care so that we'd get good eggs and meat for our bodies in return. Riiight...

Marshall loves the kids. He even lets Kallie ride him like a horse!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Throw out the TV, Move to the Country, Eat alot of Peaches

As most of you know, we live in the country. Earlier this year Krager and I (mostly I) decided that we should take advantage of our 3 acres and start a little farm. In May we purchased 2 pygmy goats and a friend bought one to keep on our property. Thus Peter, Anna, and Tink the goats entered our lives. For us they serve a cute lawn mowers. They eat our grass and weeds in a fenced off portion of the acreage and really only need a small shelter and fresh water to be perfectly happy. Holdyn, 7, and Evie and Kallie, almost 5, really love feeding the goats an occasional treat a checking on them daily. Pygmy goats are small about 24-30 inches tall full-grown and only about 50lbs. They are also very sweet and gentle. We've thoroughly enjoyed our three. I'm hoping to get more and I'm trying to convince my Dad to buy a milking machine so that we can have milk and cheese!

Here's Kallie with Tink, our friend's goat. Tink is pregnant and we are thrilled that she is staying with us for awhile. We can't wait to see her baby(ies).

These are our goats Peter and Anna. Anna has on the blue collar and Peter the red. Yes, they have on cat collars. Trust me, if you've ever tried to catch and hold a goat for worming or medicine you'd put a collar on them, too! Peter was sick for a few weeks with scours (diarrhea). He had to be quarantined and given 3-5 pills a day for 10 me. Needless to say I had to get brave and strong quick because the phrase "stubborn as an old goat" is rooted in the truth. Shoving huge pills down a goat's throat was new to me!
It was rewarding though to see Peter slowly regain his health and be completely healed and know that I had a hand in his care.
So, as you can see we are becoming thoroughly countrified and are loving it. Keep reading to learn about some of our other experiments like raising chickens!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yes, it's true we blog now!

Let the stoning commence! After years of swearing that I'd never blog, the fateful day has arrived. Welcome to the Vaughn Family blog. After much thought and soul-searching Krager and I have decided that a blog is truly the easiest way to keep our ever-growing and ever-spreading out family abreast of the goings on in our little corner of the world. Our life can be pretty wacky at times so be forewarned and let the blogging commence!