Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eight Years of Wonderful!

Sadly, there are only a couple of pictures of Avery in his first few days of life.  He was a beautiful baby!  All 9 pounds, 10 ounces of his 23 inch long frame.  This is one of those pictures, only moments after he was surgically removed from my person and entered the world butt first.  I guess I wasn't much for picture taking those first few days in the hospital.  Not sure if it was the drugs, or the fact that I had jumbo staples across my abdomen holding the top half of my body to the bottom half....

Here he is three weeks later trying to figure out why he has been put into the kitchen sink!

Fast forward a few years....  Unless you really want to see more of this sweet little face before it gets more grown up you can  click here ....

Be still my heart!

Why do they have to grow up so fast?

Look what he found...  Mommy is sooo proud!

Sorry, I know this picture is a repeat, but for the third time, this is sooooo Avery Michael!!

This is the day he decided he wanted to be a scientist.  I have a feeling that it had more to do with the blue latex gloves than it did with DNA extraction or viewing his own cheek cells through a microscope...

 Here he is with Uncle Doug and Juliet!

Flexing his giant muscles which he grew during apple season this year.  Don't you love his missing two front teeth?

Happy Eighth Birthday Avery Moco!  You are the bestest and we love you!

ps.  can you stop growing up for JUST a few minutes?  Please?  Pretty please????  Sugar on top?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Cow Means Happy Hamburgers

We made a certain discovery today.  Callan spent time trying to get our longhorn to come up to him.  She is still pretty shy, and since Albert took her buddy, Skip, home with him today, Callan wondered if she would be more interested in human contact in the absence of her side kick.  She was!  When she turned around to walk away was when the discovery was made.  Pat has a happy face on her butt.  We feel that this is the sign of a cow with a very good disposition and therefore, we should really enjoy hamburgers in the near future.  We are contemplating a name change which will be the item of business over dinner this evening.  Gladis is the name under consideration.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our Blustery Morning

Now that winter has shown his frosty face, brrrr, our daily chores have taken on a new dimension.  We need to break ice so our critters can get a drink. 
 This morning wasn't terribly bitter so we donned our winter duds and hopped on the golf cart and rode over to the north side of the farm to see what we could see.

After breaking ice on the water troughs it was time to work with Stanley on his manners and groundwork.  He's been pretty stubborn since arriving here so Stephanie and Dan were so kind to come out and help me learn some tricks of the trade. Stanley has made a lot of progress since Wednesday, and so have I!  I feel a lot more confident working with this big boy and he probably feels a lot better working with me now that I have a better idea.  Well, maybe he feels a lot better up to the point when I kicked him in the ankle to get him to back up when I asked him to.  Some things that we are practicing is flexing, which he does so beautifully.  Just the most gentle pressure on his withers and a gentle movement on the lead and around his head comes to meet me.  We do this on both sides!  Giving me his head is another. It took quite a while for Steph and Dan to get him to comply.  He's only done it for me once since arriving.  After our session Wednesday, he's been such a good boy and his given me his head each time I barely touch his head.  Hmmm, I wonder if it has anything to do with kicking him in the ankle?  Nah....

Picking up his feet is another task we are working on.  I watched Stephanie do it.  I tried it yesterday and got his foot up for just a quick second.  Today, I got it all the way up and held it for about 15 seconds.  I was a little more intimidated with this task.  You have to get down there and use your hips to knock him off balance.  Once the weight shifts, you pull up the foot.  I felt good about how we both did with foot lifting today, but I'm really wondering what Stanley is thinking while I'm down there grabbing at his foot.....

We are also working on desensitization.  Grocery bags are one of the common spookers for a horse.  Is spooker a word?  Here we have tied a plastic grocery bag on the end of a whip.  Prior to this we've rubbed the bag all over him and he really liked that.  Today he did well and rather than flinching like he did yesterday, he seemed more annoyed to have the bag flapping in his face.  We let it flap on other parts of the body so he can hear and feel what the bag is like as it touches different parts of his body.  Tomorrow I think I will try passing it under his belly and over the whithers.

Treat for the good horse!

I wonder what Juliet is thinking in this picture.....

On our way back home to warm up and get back to our school work, we snapped a few pictures of the interesting winter treasures that hang in the sleeping plants.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Beauty of Arkansas

We were still pretty numb with the news of Tim losing his job when we pulled into this little campground to stretch our legs.  We accompanied Tim on a very quick trip down to Arkansas for some work he needed to complete.  It was a little drizzly and not too cold.  Just right to allow us to enjoy ourselves and to leave feeling refreshed and spirits lifted.  The beauty was breath taking.  A nice change of terrain from the green rolling hills that we love!  Rocks were skipped.  Rocks were hunted.  Rocks, fossils, and seed pods were treasures that joined us in the car when it was time to get back on the road.

Monday, November 15, 2010

We Are Family

Hey, Tim!  Can you please sit on the bench while I figure out how to get this camera on the tripod?  (This is Tim's "Uncle Rico" impersonation from the movie Napoleon Dynamite)

OK everyone.  Don't move.  I'm gonna push the timer and I'm gonna run over with you.  Whatever you do, make sure you don't take your eyes off of the camera!  OK?  Now smile! 

Ooops.  Forgot to push the timer.  Lets try this again.

Oops, forgot to push the timer again!

I'm such a goof ball!

Smile or else!

OK!  Kids only!  Who wants green and who wants orange?

Last one to finish...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meet Stanley -

He's turned a year in June.  He's a sweetie and we love him!!

These are pictures from earlier last week when we tried to get Stanley to load.

There was a lot of this....

More of this....

And lots more of this!

When we saw that things were just not gonna happen that day, we went home.

Stanley arrived yesterday evening.  It was only after a whole lot of the same...  that he was finally convinced to load up and go for a ride!

He's such a sweet little boy!