Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to All...

Well, we're in full-on Christmas crazy mode here! I'm going to unplug for the rest of the month, at least, but before I do I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Even though it is totally crazy here we are making a special effort this season to focus daily on the real reason we celebrate Christmas - the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

This year, more than ever, we are concentrating on His love, birth, and sacrifice. We're thankful for all that we have been blessed with and pray that we can be instruments to bless the lives of others!

We echo the words of the prophet Joseph Smith and Sydney Rigdon who testified:
"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father - That by him and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God"

We all are sons and daughters of God. Christ is our elder brother. They love us as we love our families. May these thoughts bring you peace in these perilous times in which we live!

--Merry Christmas and Much Love
the Country Vaughns

Friday, November 27, 2009

Roll Tide!

Last Saturday K and I headed over to Tuscaloosa join about 88,000 of our closest friends at the Alabama game. Although the weather men predicted a 50% chance of rain, the weather was great! We had fun strolling campus and picking up some souviners at the Supe Store before kick-off. The Tide rolled all over the UT Chatanooga Moccasins 45-0. Next year, we're taking the kids to a game! It was a fantastic day, just look:

Bryant-Denny Stadium

My home's in Alabama

The Millon Dollar Band

The University Campus with Denny Chimes in the background


Monday, November 16, 2009


This may sound ridiculous but I've made a recent discovery that has changed my life! I love to cook and expecially love to bake; but, my free-time is venturing into the negative now with no remission in sight. In the past I've seen lots of recipes that call for using frozen bread dough but I've never found any at my local store. That is, until I noticed that Sam's Club sells their frozen pizza dough by the case. I really like their pizza crust and thought having some on-hand might cut down on the take-out and frozen pizza purchases. Plus, it is pretty cheap, $19.95/case of about 20-25 dough balls. Anyway, here's the life-changing part...

I've discovered that I can use this dough for all kinds of stuff - cinnamon rolls, hot sandwiches, calzones, really anything bread-related - just thaw, roll-out, and bake. AWESOME!! I'm so excited I just had to share!

Once again, something so simple and ordinary has made me happy. I doesn't take much!

PS - K just told me tonight that he actually got the case for only $16.00 at our Sam's even though it was marked as $19.95. Another use? Hawgs in Sleeping Bags (ie big pigs in a blanket). I rolled the dough out, cut it into long strips, laid pieces of cheese on the strips, and wrapped them around hot dogs. Bake at 400 for 20minutes - YUMMY!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ghoulies and Ghosties

Actually, we had neither ghoulies or ghosties for Halloween. We did have twin witches and a Clone Trooper, though. Halloween is a little different for us since we live out in the country. Our kids have never been trick-or-treating from house to house but we do usually go to the trunk-or-treat at our church. Also, the weekend before Halloween is always the school's Fall Fest. These two activities provide us with PLENTY of fun and candy so I never feel like the kids are missing out on anything. Besides, even if we did live in a neighborhood I'm not sure that I would be real keen on my kids going from house to house taking candy from strangers. I know it was fun when we were little but the idea really freaks me out as an adult.

Too weird?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just call us the Doolittles

That's right, we have yet ANOTHER new member of the family! This is Suzy Puff. She came to us yesterday from a friend who rescued her a week ago. The poor little girl was laying out in the road with her mother who had been hit and killed by a car. So sad! But she is a sweetie and we're glad that we could adopt her. So let's see...that makes our menagerie: 6 goats, 11 chickens, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 rabbit (and don't forget the 5 people, of course).

We also brought home 4 goldfish from the Fall Fest last weekend but "sadly" by Tuesday they were all swimming in the big fishbowl in the sky. Ah, the circle of life as reflected in the circling water of the toilet bowl...what are you gonna do?

Paging Dr. Doolittle.....

Monday, October 5, 2009

Beach Trip

We headed down to Gulf Shores, AL this past weekend and spent a few days just relaxing together and having a great time. As the kids get older it is so much more fun to go places and watch them have new experiences! Trust me, if you haven't done it, vacationing with three babies/toddlers/diaper-wearers is NOT a vacation.

(In the past I have been known to have a nervous breakdown a day or so into a trip with babies and spend the rest of the time crying and begging K to take me home.)

On this trip we spent most of the time on the beach or by the pool. We ate breakfast and lunch in and dinner out. Here are some random photos from the trip:


A nice lady on the beach offered to take a family shot! Wasn't that sweet?!

There were lots of jellyfish out and about on Friday afternoon. Everyone ended up getting stung/itchy.

Dinner at Lambert's Cafe - "Home of throwed rolls". This is a must each time we head to the beach! If you haven't been - go, now, stop reading this and go (j/k!) This place serves "country food" think: Grandma or really, really good Cracker Barrel. And LOTS of it, plus when you want a roll you raise your hand a the "roll guy" throws one to you from across the restaurant! Good manners, no, but the kids love it!!!

Speaking of a "throwed" roll, they are tasty (and huge)!

Kallie agrees!

Butter, anyone?

All in all, we had a great time. Oh yeah, one more thing we did that was really fun. This was new for the kids - we went to a Japanese Steakhouse. You know, where the chef comes out and cooks on the hibachi right infront of you?! It was super-fun to see the kids interact and react with him and his mad knife skills! Yes, it was expensive but a true treat!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My way

This week has been a dilly! Multiple ups and downs all around. Anyway, we've been struggling particularly with Holdy-boy this week. He's super sweet and so smart its actually scary but, he loses focus so easily I find myself having very un-Mommy-like meltdowns.
I think we both had a break-through this week after a lot of tears and strife. The climax came Tuesday after several school days of leaving/forgetting books, papers, and assignments at school I had had enough and snapped (it was not pretty). My snapping caused him to immediately tune me out (of course, wouldn't you?).
However, one comment brought all my self-righteousness crashing down and humbled me. We were reviewing his vocabulary words and got to "independent". The definition that he is to learn is something like "doing things by yourself, without help from others means you are independent." I, thinking that I was really going to teach this little punk a lesson, said "What does independent mean?"
Holdyn: "um, well, it means, uuuuhhh..."
Me mad: "Oh come on, listen, Daddy and I are trying to teach you to be independent; that means we are trying to teach you to do things, what?"
Holdyn: "Your way."
Me: no response, I felt like someone just got in a good gut punch.

Ephiphany - I should be letting him find his own way to do homework, study, and learn. My way isn't the only way. I can share my ideas with him and give him permission to find out for himself. If I want him to be independent, truly independent then he needs to fail, have hard times, and learn to think through his problems not just immediately employ my solution.

Needless to say, we had a good, long, rational talk. No yelling, screaming, and dictating. I listened to him. I'm embarassed to say that may have been the first time I actually listened to what my son had to say - what he thought and felt. While I'm not anticipating perfection from either of us in the future. But, at least on Tuesday we made progress and both matured a little.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We're here

Hi all! I just wanted to let you all know that we are here and kickin'. We're just doing so underneath a giant pile of sawdust, dry wall mud, plastic sheeting, school papers, donut boxes, and clean clothes.

Our livingroom is under massive renovation and the stuff usually in said livingroom has been parceled out among the other rooms in the house. This means, we can't find most things, we're too tired to look, or I've thrown them out in an effort to gain some semblance of order.

The kids have been in school for close to four weeks. I'm on my second week of classes and working. Krager is on his third set of lungs as the other two were ruined by plumbing glue, sheetrock dust, and foundation dirt.

We're a mess right now so just bare with us! I'm reading all of your blogs and posts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Dinner Bell - Cooking with Evie and Kallie

Evie dreams of her own Food Network show. She loves to watch Food Network and her favorite cooks are Ina Garten, Racheal Ray, and Paula Deen. She practices talking to the "camera guys" while she helps me cook dinner at night. She even has named her show, "The Dinner Bell". Actually, she's really good at talking to the "camera" and explaining how to cut, dice, chop, fold ingredients, etc. For her birthday I bought her her own recipe box that I found at Home a la Mode.

She loves the box and tried out one of the recipies - Deviled Eggs. Evie and Kallie worked together (I helped a little) and the eggs turned out great!

Who knows, maybe my little chef will get her own cooking show one day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hometown Tour

Val and Rachel over at Alabama Bloggers asked me to write a piece about Ragland for the weekly Hometown Tour segment. It's posted today and you can read it here
Thanks to the folks at Alabama Bloggers for the opportunity!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This is 'Surprise'. He was born yesterday. I went out to water the animals and found him in the pasture. We didn't even know his momma was pregnant. Evie and Kallie feel very pleased that they can share their birthday with him.

We had a family meeting last night and voted that his name should be 'Surprise'. That name barely won out over 'Boba Fett'. Ah, such is life...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seeing Double

Six years ago I was relieved, happy, and terrified all at once. I'd just given birth to two of the tiniest things I'd ever seen before! Granted, they weren't that small, 4'4oz and 4'13oz. But they seemed so small and fragile and they were too early, by 8 weeks! Evie came first, before poor Krager even made it inside from the parking deck at UAB. Kallie came second, just as he screeched through the delivery room door.
We weren't together, you see, because I'd made the trip to the hospital via ambulance. I'd gone into labor early on Monday morning and Krager had taken me to the small hospital where my doctor practiced. He tried to stop the labor but couldn't and there was no neo-natal ICU there. I had to be transported to UAB hospital by ambulance and Krager couldn't ride with me. I was so scared but my sweet friend Andrea, a delivery nurse who worked at the little hospital was just getting off her shift and agreed to ride with me. I'm eternally grateful to her for that.
The girls came just about 15 miutes after I arrived at UAB. Evie at 7:40a and Kallie at 7:45a.
Although early, those girls were healthy and as a nurse said, "They just weren't finished cooking." So cook they did for 2 more weeks in the ICU. I visited them everyday and cried for myself, them, and all the actually sick babies and their families. There were so many who'd been there for months and wouldn't go home. It humbled me. I came to see how blessed I truly was/am that my babies are strong, healthy and with me.
I love you girls! These past 6 years have been hard, fun, and magical - I wouldn't change a thing! HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Monday, August 10, 2009

School days, school days...

Today is the first day of school! Holdyn is going into 3rd grade while the girls will be in 1st grade this year. We are all so excited and look forward to the year. Kallie had her bag all ready to go this morning. Evie, of course, has had her outfit planned for about a week. Holdyn is a little nervous but is excited that he gets his own locker this year.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The 'Mean Bone' - Every Girl Has One

This is our hateful cat, Marble. She is terribly cute and slightly cross-eyed. We brought her to Vaughn Farm a few months ago with the intention of her eventually becoming an "outside" pet (as I believe ALL pets should be). K had visions of teaching her to be a mouser and her living in the barn, on the porch, all around and keeping mice, snakes, etc. away.

Of course, when we got her she was new and fuzzy and small and baby kitten-ish. She was just away from her mother and we loved on her, petted her and generally let her do as she wished IN THE HOUSE. The plan was to let her get a little bigger, get used to our place and then get her fixed and then...out you go.

However, she has YET to be fixed. She terrorizes us (me in particular) and is generally a whiny, meowy pain in the tookus! The other day while I was laying on my exercise mat panting and sweating to near dehydration, trying to make it through my 5am workout Marble decided to stretch and sharpen her claws IN MY HAIR. I'd already almost tripped over her 50,000 times that morning. Exasperated, I picked her up, threw her in my bedroom and closed the door. K was out of town on business so I knew she couldn't bother anyone. 50 minutes later as I drug my exhausted body shakily toward the shower, I opened my door and was hit in the face by a foul, poopish odor. Immediately I screamed out, "CAT!!! Where did you do it?" and began searching for the mess. I found it, hot and steamy right on top of the (thankfully) dirty laundry. I don't know about you, but scrubbing poop is not a few of my favorite things. Scrubbing poop at 6am isn't either and scrubbing cat poop at 6am is enough to send me into a flaming fit!

So, my day started well. Later as I was driving the kids to Mom and Dad's for the day (oh yes, I still had to go to work after that great start) I was ranting about the cat and how she needed to be an outdoor cat except "Your Daddy still hasn't gotten her fixed like he promised he would." I know, great example to my little angels.

Anyway, Kallie says, "What's fixed?" I hesitated because I wasn't really sure how to say that "fixed" means neutered so she can't have any cute, sweet kittens. I mean, how do you say that to a bunch of big-eyed, golden-haired, sweeties staring expectantly at you so that you can almost see their halos gleaming? Thankfully, I didn't have to reply because Holdyn, wise big brother that he is, says to Kallie, "You know, fixed, she has to get her Mean Bone taken out." Kallie says, "Oh yeah, her Mean Bone."

I reply, "Yes, exactly, she has to get her Mean Bone taken out."

Get ready Marble...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ya Follow?

photo from

I've been thinking about this for a long time. Is it just me or is anyone else bothered by this whole "Followers" thing? Probably just me, but let me 'splain. Back several months ago when Blogger started promoting this whole following thing everybody started putting up their "Followers" widget and people started following their favorite blogs. I know its a nice way to always know when your faves are updated and all (I even have 5 followers of my own). But the whole thing really creeps me out. I think its the term "followers" itself. It conjures up images in my twisted brain of some crazed cult leader, wearing a bedsheet, black Nikes, and a feathered headress exhorting everyone to, "Drink the Kool-aid" of my blog. Weird, I know. What can I say?
As a result I have never become a "Follower" of any blog. Although, as you can tell by my own blog there are several blogs that I do, um, follow with a frequency that some might call religious. Oh Jeez, now I'm creeping myself out!
Another thing about following -- it's become quite the status symbol. People display their followers' cute little pictures on their sidebars and give extra giveaway entries for following their blogs (don't even get me started on Tweeting, RS subscriptions and all that nonsense). Please know I'm not judging anyone who follows or has followers!!! It all just seems creepy and wrong to me.
That said, I hope none of my followers decided to "un-follow"(?) me. I'm honored that you'd want to follow me anywhere or even care about my mostly incoherent ramblings on this here blog. Thanks!

Question: Who, what, when, where and why do you follow? Am I really the only person to think the term "Followers" is creepy? (I wouldn't be surprised if I am. I'm totally weird and over analytical) I want to know what you think, follow me?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

One Year of Bloggin'

I just realized this blog is one year old. I can't believe it - I never thought I'd start a blog much less (semi)keep it going for a year! That's quite an accomplishment for me.

The absolute best part about blogging is all the bloggy-friends I've made. I've never met any in person but I love them just the same. To logically think about that is odd, how can you love people you've never met face-to-face? But thinking with my heart I know it is possible; we've connected on an important level and become friends because we share our thoughts and feelings with each other. It's awesome!

Here's to another year of ups, downs, and craziness at Vaughn Farm!

Things I've Heard

If nothing else, kids are good for a laugh. Actually, they're good for a whole lot more than that but recently I've heard some doozies.

First...Evie and Kallie are playing and come together into the livingroom. Evie tells Kallie to lay down on the couch. Kallie lays down and Evie gets a notepad and says (completely seriously), "Now Kallie, tell me about your childhood."

It was all I could do to keep from falling out of my chair laughing! Where did they ever hear such a thing?

Then...over the weekend we were driving along a country backroad past lots of yard sales and pastures. All of the sudden Evie says, "Oooo, those people must be selling their cows because they all have price tags on their ears!"

So funny! Krager and I just looked at each other and grinned. Could she be any cuter? Could they all 3 be any cuter?

How lucky am I?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What a day!

Yesterday was quite a day! It began with Holdyn's baptism and continuted with swimming, eating, canoeing, eating, fishing, eating, and fireworks...whew, I'm tired (and full) just thinking about it all. We had a great time with our family and friends. Take a look...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

8 years of Holdyn

Eight years ago today I was introduced to my very own Yankee Doodle Dandy at 8:19am. It was the longest and best July 4th of my life!

Not long after he was born my Mom's boss commented, "If he was born on July 4th he must be destined for something special."

I couldn't agree more! I don't know what or how but mark my words, this boy's going somewhere!
His sister Evie remarked not too long ago, "He's not like other boys."

She's right - he's not like other boys, he's mine!

Happy Birthday, baby! I love you so much!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Heat Must be Getting to Me

The heat must be getting to me. I think I'm hallucinating. I'm seeing "Bat Bunny", "Cheer Princess", and "Super Baby" in my livingroom!

Yikes, I know it's hot outside but, boy oh boy. We've taken regular dress up to a whole new level this summer.

Super Baby here wears her shield as a diaper. Bat Bunny, up above, has teeth that are able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And Cheer Princess keep all of her subjects peppy and in good spirits.

Please notice that Spiderman is a recent graduate. The heat must be getting to me...or maybe its getting to them!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot!

It was "7th Circle of Hell" hot out today! We headed over to Hoover for a Rugby tournament today. My Bro-in-Law Blasen was playing but it was so hot we didn't stay long enough to see his game. We visited with my sister Sara, him, and the kiddos for about 45 mins. before the heat did us in. We poured our melted bodies back into the van and headed home. I love summer in Alabama but, there are days when going outside is just not doable - ugh. Today was one of those days!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

10 Days Without Corndogs

10 days ago Kallie got her tonsils and adenoids taken out. She was a real trooper and has had no real problems. A tough girl!

BUT, she's had to eat only soft foods for 10 whole days. She's been in desperate need of a corndog. Desperate need.

She's asked at least twice a day since the day of the surgery for one. Today is day 10 - Enjoy your corndog sweetie!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The other Jennie Lee Vaughn...spooky

So, I'm the only one working in the office today. Needless to say, it's 3:09 on a Friday and I'm bored senseless. I've been on the internet passing the time after working on school work, listening to music and watching a movie on my ipod. Anyway, here's what I found when I "Googled" my name...

There is another Jennie Lee Vaughn out there an apparently she is an actress. She's been in a bunch of stuff (I've mostly never heard of). I, of course, never assumed I was the only Jennie Lee Vaughn out there but it is really weird seeing someone else with your exact name.

I'm sure she's nice and all but it gives me a little shiver to think about it. Plus, I wonder how many more Jennie Lee Vaughns are out there in the world? Yikes, now I'm freaking myself out just a little...

Question - Is there someone out there with your exact name? Who?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

That's better

OK, the text is now legible. I'm still not 100% pleased but it is better. I'll probably keep fiddling with it but for now, I'm done.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sorry for the background!

Sorry, I janked up the background. I hate blog backgrounds in which you cannot see all of the text! So, of course, I created a blog with just that, pooh! I'm working on fixing it but have run out of time today...maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Seattle - Harbor Tour

While we were in Seattle we took a harbor tour. Both K and I love the water so it was a fun, relaxing way to see the city. (We walked our butts off that week!) Here are some of the photos (of the harbor tour, not our butts)...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidty-Jig

We are HOME! I'm so happy to be home, I love home!

Don't get me wrong Seattle was awesome, fantabulous, exceptional.

But, I'm glad to be home. I missed those monkeys something awful and I realized why K and I have never left them before! For the entire week as we saw new things, ate new food, and generally absorbed life in a Pacific Northwest downtown neighborhood - we continually said, "The kids would love this!" And they would have loved it. Seattle is a great place and really family friendly. We're definitely going back and taking the kids with us! Enjoy some of the week's 2-million pictures...Today - Pike's Place Public Market. My most favorite place in Seattle! We went everyday. If we lived here I'd buy all my produce (and flowers) here!