Friday, January 31, 2014

A rough January

January was pretty tough.  My dad, who lives in Granbury, about an hour southwest of us, was in a near-fatal car accident on the day after Christmas.  He had to be taken by helicopter to JPS Hospital in Fort Worth and has undergone six major surgeries and remains in the hospital on a ventilator.  If you're interested in monitoring his progress, I've been posting updates on Caring Bridge (www.caringbridge.com/blakebarker) since the accident.  It's been hard on my dad, obviously, but its also been a huge adjustment for our family as well.  We certainly did not expect to spend a portion of every day for the past 36 days in the hospital, nevermind juggling child care for the kids, jobs and taking over dad's bills and other responsibilities.  Many times in the past month I've wished there were 3 of me, rather than just one!  But, we're managing.  We're doing what we have to do, prioritizing and re-prioritizing, and trying to enjoy the moments that Aaron and I are together in the same room with all three of our kids.  It's been a rough ride, and we're hoping that February proves much kinder. :)

January wasn't all bad, though.  Amanda has been such a wonderful support, watching the kids at a moment's notice when I've had to drop everything and be at the hospital.  And my mom is amazing.  She's made us meals on several occasions and even came up last weekend for an impromptu visit, which was wonderful.  We are blessed.





Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Life on the farm

I recognize that it's been over six weeks since I posted last, and it's stressing me out to try and do a catch-up blog, so we're just going to skip over the past month and a half and start fresh.  Okay?  Whew...

Here's a video of Kai feeding the sheep--I love how his ingenuity comes through as he problem-solves a way to reach the feeding trough despite his short stature. :) My little helper.



As far as an update on the farm goes, we're a bit depleted at the moment.  Our beloved donkey, Leroy, disappeared a couple of months ago and despite all of our efforts, we never found him.  Our suspicion is that he escaped our pasture one too many times and was taken by some irritated neighbors that were fed up with his shenanigans.  But, of course, we have no proof, so who knows?

We still have four turkeys.  We're hoping the hens will lay some eggs this spring that we'll hatch and then raise the poults.  So the turkeys survived Thanksgiving this year.  :)

The same can not be said for the chickens, who, after not having laid a single egg during the past 2 months, are now in our freezer and ready for the stew pot.  They were old and when they did lay an egg, ended up eating it anyway.  So we'll plan on getting a flock of new chicks in February as soon as the weather is more consistently warm for longer stretches of time, and eggs will follow a few months later.  For now, though, it sucks, as we're having to buy eggs at the grocery story (cage free, of course!) for the first time in the past 7 years!

Life on the farm was pretty rough last week when the ice storm hit.  While we had purchased a half cord of firewood the week before the storm, we failed to check our propane tank, and realized a day into the 4 day ice-in that we had less than 10 gallons in the tank (virtually nothing).  We spent 4 days camped out in our living room with our wood-burning stove, and felt like real homesteaders when we heated up pots of water on the stove for baths.  That is, until the water pipe in the well-house froze, and we were without water for 36 hours.  One of my favorite shows to watch on tv is Alaska:  The Last Frontier, which is about a family of amazing homesteaders living in the extreme climate of Alaska, so I just kept reminding myself that if they could do this year round, we could probably manage for a few days.  The kids actually had a great time and saw it all as an adventure.  By the end of four days cooped up together in one room of our house, I was thrilled when the ice finally melted and the adventure came to a happy end.

And that's life on One World Farm!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Kai has vacillated between wanting to be a cowboy and wanting to be an astronaut for Halloween this year.  By this, I mean he changes his mind daily.  These are the tough decisions that occupy the mind of a 4 year old.  Ruby just goes with the flow.  And Pla Shee, though much too cool for Halloween, can't seem to make a complete break from the sheer joy that comes from hoarding and consuming ridiculously large amounts of candy.  Happy Fall, y'all!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Girls' trip to Washington, DC

Ruby and I had a great trip to Washington, DC for the American Evaluation Association Conference last week. She was a trooper at the conference, and we got to spend some time exploring the city and visiting friends and family as well. It was so different having the opportunity to spend time with Ruby by herself, and we had a blast. We definitely missed all of our boys A LOT though!


Eating a cake pop for breakfast. 

At the butterfly garden at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The giant elephant and other larger than life exhibits were a bit intimidating... butterflies were much more Ruby's speed. 

Ruby was not interested in posing on the Mall, despite the fact that I had to ask three different strangers to attempt a decent shot. We failed. 


Riding the carousel on the Mall. 


CHEESE!


Hanging out with cousins Grayson and Barrett.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fun at the State Fair of Texas


We visited the State Fair on Monday, a family tradition many years in the making.  I have such great memories of visiting the Fair every year when I was growing up, and it seems like it really hasn't changed at all.  Aaron, on the other hand,despises just about every thing about the fair, but puts on a happy face and comes along because he loves me.  What a guy.  Pla Shee opted to hang out with Pu Lue and Paw Moo this weekend, so he missed out on the Fair this year.  He was pretty disappointed that we refused to bring him a turkey leg.

What visit to the Fair would be complete without some crazy fried food?  In addition to a corny dog (a required item  for all faithful fair-goers), we tried the Fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (pretty tasty) and the Fried S'mores (sickeningly sweet).


Amanda joined us for our fair day, much to Ruby's delight.  She adores her "Aunt Jean."


Posing in the monkey cutout thing.  The Fair is very fond of these cut out things, and we took full advantage.



Here are Kai and Ruby posing in the midst of their favorite fair activity, the simulated farm.  This is always the favorite, despite the fact that we have a REAL LIVE farm at home.  For some reason, feeding the plastic goats and sheep and planting seeds in the fake garden at the fair is tons more fun than feeding real sheep and goats and planting a real garden at our house.  Whatever works.  It is one of the only free activities at the fair, and it holds their attention for a good 20 minutes, so all in all it's a winner in our book.


Ruby in her pumpkin shirt posing with the pumpkins in the livestock barn.  Unfortunately we chose a day that there weren't many animals around, so we did a lot of walking around looking at empty stalls.  But they did have a cute kids area with some longhorn cattle and baby chicks that made it worth the walk, especially since there were hardly any crowds in that area.


And we always have to go to the petting zoo, despite the insane crowds. It's worth it to see the adorable baby animals and some of the more exotic animals like zebras and a giraffe up close and personal.



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

First haircut and a sick puppy


Ruby got her first haircut last week, and loved the whole process.  The boys needed haircuts, and since Ruby was along for the ride, I decided to see if we could try and turn what little hair she has into something less scraggly.  I'm not sure how successful we were, but she was definitely thrilled with the pampering.


And speaking of pampering, our miniature schnauzer George has been treated like a prince since his run-in with a coyote last week.  He was attacked after sneaking out of the backyard, and was in pretty rough shape.  But after a $500 vet visit and quite a bit of TLC, he's on the mend. Ruby's been feeding him his dog food one kernel at a time, and bringing him her baby dolls to keep him company as he recovers.  ;)





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ruby Nell!


Our sweet Ruby Nell turned 2 on Saturday!  I can't believe we no longer have a baby in our house...it is truly amazing how fast the time has flown by.  Ruby is a joy.  Her giggles are infectious, and her personality is so much fun.  She is talking up a storm, and in complete sentences to boot.  A few weeks ago she learned how to climb out of her crib, so she's now officially in her "big girl bed," and loves it.  She's easy to love, and we couldn't have asked for a more precious two year old.