Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Montage

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Officially it's not winter, but it sure feels a lot like it here.
Owning a farm, albeit small, has its disadvantages when the temps dip below the freezing mark. Animals must have water and don't have the ability to break ice on their own. I'm sure it has to do with the whole opposable thumb thing. So as responsible pet and livestock owners the job of breaking ice falls to the capable humans...Us (better defined as husband and I). He breaks ice for the larger animals and my job is to break ice or provide water for the chickens. Which I may add...again....don't appreciate it. We've already gotten rid of one youngster that thought it his duty to peck me (showed him) and now I have another that is thoroughly misguided. Yesterday, while reaching into the coop to get their feed dish, young Mr. Cockerell gave me a sharp peck on the arm. I was cold, it was early, and I haven't got the Christmas tree up, which adds up to harried middle-age woman jerking young cockerell off of his feet before-he-knew-what-happened and giving him a good hard shaking.
Honestly, it made me feel lots better.
Chick-fil-A's motto is, "Eat more chicken."
Mine is, "Shake a chicken."

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But other than farm stuff, there is all the other hullabaloo regarding raising kids. As of late, I feel more like a taxi driver/schedule organizer. Yes, yes, I know that it's my duty as a mother. But we've fallen into the trap of too many activities.
Spreading oneself too thin is one thing but when a whole family spreads itself too thin it makes for a miserable ride! Yet the kids seem to keep excelling, much to my amazement. Shame on me for not having more confidence in their abilities to overcome. And really maybe it's just my tirades they're having to "overcome."

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Anyway, all that to say that middle child did wonderfully at the county 4-H speech contest. She won Reserve Grand Champion on her speech, "The Basic Anatomy of a Chicken and What to Feed it."

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Both girls did fantastically at our local spelling bee. The oldest placed second in her division and middle child won first in her age division. Both girls will be competing at regionals. This is the third year in a row for the oldest to compete at regionals and we're hoping this is the year she'll win it and progress to the state bee.

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Lately, we've made frequent trips out to Southwest Oklahoma to see my mom and arrange surgery for her knee. My sister and I took guardianship of her this past fall and have been busy with seeing that she is being provided with her medicine and the care that she needs. It is an answer to prayer that my husbands parents live just a short distance (35 miles) from my mom so that the children are able to stay with them while I tend to my mom personally.
Nick, the gimpy-leg dog, is still in the tack room mending from his multi-fractured leg. We will probably stay home this Christmas so that our wonderful friends/neighbors (6 miles away) don't have to come let him out three to four times-a-day to do his business. There are limits.

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This past weekend the whole family took a road trip to see Tim Hawkins the Christian comedian. The added bonus was getting to see some dear friends that we don't see often enough. I cry everytime I see them, I know...odd, but he baptized me and married Tim and I. She, his wife, is one of the most gentle spirited and wisest of women that I've ever met. And their daughter, joyful, ever-youthful and someone to whom I owe so much. But she would be surprised to even think that.
I'll wrap it up there...except to say I have a post rattlin' around in my head that will detail an afternoon a couple of weeks ago where I had to climb to the top of the house to save the day.
Stay warm and cozy!
Blessings, Julie

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11 comments:

Homeschool on the Croft said...

Oh I loved that post. And then the photo at the end.....oooooh!
Say a huge congratulations to your girls. How well they've done! Good for them, and all the best in the next rounds of the Spelling Bee.
Loved my peek into your life x

Sally said...

Thanks for the giggles, Julie. :) I miss you. Going to have to drive over and see you for an afternoon of coffee and chocolate one of these days. (I wish.)

Eat, Fart and Bark said...

Great Post. I can just see you grabbing that ole rooster and getting in his face. I bet his eyes were buggin' out.
Congratulations to the kiddos. I also glad to hear Nick is recovering.
You'll have to check out the water heater pads at the farm store. They can keep a five gallon container ice free in the coop. They also have dog bowls that plug in. And here, I'm always griping about the cost of electricity.
Hey, can you and Tim use a fifteen year old apprentice next summer? Just a hairbrain thought. Merry Christmas

Julie... said...

Sally, you just never know...it could happen :-). And yes, chocolate will definitely be on the menu!
Homeschool on the Croft, thanks for you kind words regarding the girls, I'll pass them on and keep everyone updated as to how they do at Regionals.

Julie... said...

Jane,
"Hey, can you and Tim use a fifteen year old apprentice next summer?"
In all honesty, that is exactly what Tim did when he was a kid. Email me if you want to discuss the subject further :-).

50 Chubby Toes said...

Hi Julie ~ Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! A huge smile swept across my face when I saw your picture :-) Congratulations to your girls!!! That's quite an amazing accomplishment! I would love to see Tim Hawkins in concert ~ he's pretty funny (clean funny! is the best!) Blessings, EMichelle

Arby said...

You delurked! So very cool. Christian, homeschooler, chicken owner, Tim Hawkins fan...we have a few things in common. I hate to burst your bubble, but my daughter's Slim Jim cravings have less to do with male influences in her life than they do with her stroke. While teaching her how to eat/wean her from a feeding pump (from age 12 to 18 months) we discovered that her stroke did a lot of damage to her taste buds. She needed spicy food if we wanted her to taste anything. So, the young girl learned to eat with Funyuns, chips with hot salsa; mushrooms, onions and green peppers sautéed in garlic olive oil (that was her breakfast for a long time), dill pickle spears, and Slim Jims. And it's kinda gross, but she loved to suck on dog food. One piece of kibble was an all day, beef flavored gobstopper. We had to pick up the food bowls for months. It's hard to clean brown drool stains from clothing. But I digress. The only spicy food she couldn’t handle was Thai. She still craves Funyuns, pickles, potato chips, and Slim Jims. We gave her what foods worked until she learned that satisfaction for hunger pangs came orally and not through a tube connected to her stomach. Before then, when she would get hungry, she would grab for her feeding port on her abdomen. Odd, but true. So, my daughter is this walking, living, breathing reminder that God reached into our lives and said, “Hey, I’m here, I’m listening, and I’m going to do something very cool for you,” which was to heal her broken heart and give us the chance to raise her. He’s good. He’s very, very good.

Jenn4him said...

LOL, at least your motto is not "Shake'n Bake!" Good to hear Nick is doing well enough. My kids are huge Tim Hawkins fans. I am sure that was a huge treat.
Jenn

Franbles said...

You had me laughing at the idea of you shaking the chicken!
Great photo of your 3 'little ones' - not so little now!
God bless you!
Sarah

CrossView said...

Irritating chickens that peck? Oh! And roosters that attack? I like the shaking idea. Followed by baking. Shake and bake for bad chickens!

I'd love to see Tim Hawkins live! I'm jealous!

And congrats on the academic awards! Woot woot!

Hope all goes well with mom's surgery!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Julie,

So much interesting information and lovely photos packed neatly in one post.

It is amazing to read that so much has to be done on a farm especially during winter.I hope you didn't get your hand badly hurt with the peck.

Your children are wonderful and clever.Surely they will excel themselves this time in the competition.

For a city dweller like me living in a moderate climate where one can't see any snow at all, reading your post was like walking in a new strange land.

Best wishes,
Joseph