Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Over the weekend, and then again today Dad and Bill worked on getting the roof up! They had to quit for the night just shy of getting the job done, but it's almost there!

I know Bill said that from here on out progress would be slow... but these 2 guys are cruisin' on the roofin'!

And, to boot, Bill got all the logs twitched out and ready for the logging truck to come and get them for milling!

Beach Day

Olivia's birthday weekend was also Memorial Day weekend and the weather was beautiful! She had planned a day at the beach with her friends after a sleepover (with their tent in the new barn!) Savanna, Wes and I went along for some fun in the sun as the boys were all at the cabin in Conway.

I took the crew to Fort Foster in Kittery Point for the day and it was lovely. The park was very busy since it was a holiday, but we layed out on the grass and moved down onto the sand as soon as we could!
Wes had such a great time in the sand and water. It was about 80 out- warm but not too hot, a real perfect beach day. The water was cool, but of course Olivia ended up diving in head first! I think the girls enjoyed the activity, and I had a fun time watching them all- the one eating sand, and the ones catching crabs with boys. Wait- that didn't come out right.... well, you know what I meant!

I can't wait for more summer days- Westley is going to have so much fun this year. I think he might be the perfect age for all these adventures. Wait, maybe 14 is the perfect age...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

14- yikes!

On Wednesday Olivia turned 14! It blows my mind that she is really that old! She is such a great kid, hardly the "terrible teenager" people dread.

We had her family party today- after a few days of heat it was a bit overcast and terribly buggy. We bar-b-qued, and ate inside! The mosquitoes hatched this week, and they are terrible! Between the black flies and the 'squitoes, it's "at your own risk" outside!

Mom and Dad are taking all the big boys to Conway for the rest of the weekend; they are very excited to get up there and get to Story Land! Jayson wrote a very sweet card for Olivia- he obviously worked very hard on his letters, and was very proud to give it to her. It said something about him loving her, her loving him and them being best friends and playing together... very sweet~
These glasses were in one of the bags from Grandma Houston- Wes had to try them out!

Happy Birthday Liv!

Chorus Concert

A little late, but Olivia joined the 8th Grade chorus this Winter. She made it in time to prepare with them for the Annual Spring Concert, which was held this past week. She was very pretty in her grey dress (which Bill felt was too low cut for his "little" girl!) and the kids sounded great. Wes was being too happy- squealing and making a lot of noise, so I listen to the bulk of it from the hallway; none the less I was very proud of her voice! I think we have her convinced to join the chorus at the High School!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Augusta with Billy

Yesterday I went with Billy's 3rd Grade to the State House and Museum. It was a fun field trip- we saw a lot of very neat things, and learned a lot about the state capitol.
A trip the kids won't likely forget either~ on the ride home a boy threw up on our bus, then down the road a ways the other bus blew a tire and we finished the trip with all teachers, chaperons and the entire 3rd grade crammed 3 and 4 into a seat on one bus!

Creative Eating

Recently Kelley had a blog post where Sam showed us how you can get more hummus into your mouth if you forgo a fork or spoon and use some creative eating! He found a hair comb much better for shoveling. Today Wes discovered that it is easier to eat cheerios by skewering them on horse hooves!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Barn Work

Trees came down today. I've been waiting for this day; although Bill was sad to see these pines go, in my opinion they were only standing in the way of my arena space!

After Dad and Bill worked this weekend, we had the basic structural supports for the roof up. All of the floor joists for my small loft space and the rafters were in place plus all the strapping for the roof to sit upon. It was a major visual difference- here you can see the rear elevation.
How dare Bill drive thru my arena! This space to the left of the barn will be my most favorite place on the property I think! I should easily have 60 X 120 for riding and I am thrilled. Getting them cut was the first step. The trees will now need to be limbed and hauled off for the guys from the mill, but it was good to see the job started. The stumps may prove to be a little more of a challenge- Bill had all these pines down in just a few hours! He did manage to drop one on the back gate trying to avoid felling it onto the stone wall. The gate is smooched but the tree is blocking the opening, so the horses cant get thru... so I'm fine with it this way! I'll just have to add a new gate to the materials list. I think it is fun that we will be using the lumber milled from these trees for the interior walls in the barn. I hope it gives Bill some comfort that they didn't fall for nothing!

I was warned that after today progress will seem slow. The major projects with the most visible differences are done. From here on out, its smaller, slower more tedious jobs. I told Bill I really don't care- I'm thrilled with where we are at already!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spring Concert

This past week Savanna and Billy had their spring concert. Savy played her drum in the band, and sang in the chorus while Billy played the recorder and sang with the 3rd grade. The school used the High School auditorium, and it was so much nicer than cramming into the gymnasium! We were proud of their musical performances~ they both did so well!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Barn Update

This past weekend Bill and my Dad and I were able to dedicate a whole day to barn work. Bill has been plucking away at it, and my Dad has put in some long hours and hard labor and the progress really shows! I am happy with how quickly things are moving along- well up until this week of rain!
The gurters and floor trusses are all in and they were starting the strapping that will support the metal roofing on the back side. The stalls are all laid out and Ive got at least a load of stone dust into and level in each one. A few of them have settled and had another scoop put in. I think the next step is finishing up the strapping than the roof goes up! The rear portion will have a small loft, so the rafters need to be done there... but it's coming along!

I think you can really "see" now what things will look like- on this side it will be an aisle to the left, and stalls on the right. I think the first stall will be my grain "room" and then on the back end it is aisle on the right of the picture and stalls on the left. These stall are "tiered" and we still have to play with the grade; there will be a slope to the aisle. I'm hopeful I can coax Bill into cutting some trees soon so the arena work can begin!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Our front yard (well, backyard really, but that's beside the point) is blooming with dandelions...
Savanna has been helping Wes learn to pick lower down on the stem, not just ripping the heads off

Now, tell me this: what is better than a fist full of flowers from your baby?!

A Real Ride

On Mother's day Wes had his first real ride. I finally got a helmet for him, so he was able to walk around more than he has in the past. Usually we just sit him on horseback and hold him there, but on this afternoon he was able to get in the saddle with me and walk down the driveway! Bill held his leg and Savanna (paparazzi) and Billy walked along beside us; it was fun. He was trying to hold the reins and was very cute! Beau was a good boy, even though the black flies are ferocious! I'm sure there will be many more (he was on Squeeke later in the week too) but this was a ride to remember!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 2~ Baby Nic

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from today... did I mention I took 224 of them?!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baby Nic

Sadly i do not have any pictures... an unfortunate oversight meant my camera battery stayed at home... But, I am thrilled to report I have a new nephew!

Baby Nicholas Dean arrived this morning (1:48am to be exact) and made Auntie Anna and Uncle Eddie into Mom and Dad! He is an adorable little guy, all 8 pounds 12 ounces of him- a dark fuzz and deep grey blue eyes. He came into this world after a series of "anomalies." Anna did not react to the meds given in her epidural and she had to labor thru some pretty rough spots after they started the pitocin. He is broad in the chest, and although his head was moving down after 24 hours of pretty uncomfortable effort, the call was made and he came quickly via a c-section. He has done well~ we "mobbed" the room and he slept and was passed around from lap to lap all afternoon. He never made a peep and was as adorable as could be! I got *just* my fair share of kisses and snuggles... I need to go back with a smaller crowd (and no Wes~ he was pretty jealous!) Anna is doing well, sore of course and very tired but managing just fine! I am so happy for them, and very excited for this new nephew and playmate for Westley!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Building Changes

Last week was my birthday... and for my birthday (and Christmas!) I got a new barn! Well, the building permit for OUR new barn that is! Bill and I have been talking about doing this off and on for years- and the time is finally right! We got started a few weekends ago, and it will be a project for sure... but I hope, by the time snow flies to have just about tripled our "barn" space! The barn addition will sit along the back side and back gable end of the existing shop/barn. We are adding 7 new stalls (I'll have 9 total) with a T shaped aisle. The shop will become hay storage, as we are not going up 2 stories. I can't wait to have a cozy spot to tuck everyone into when the weather is gross, and Bill is thrilled to pieces at the idea of a flat, level spot to shoe!

After the trees were down, stumps and rocks removed; we began on drainage! One of the things I hate the most in barns in mud! I can't stand a muddy door yard, and stalls need to be high and dry! The building lot is on a slope, and I do battle mud and much back here, so Bill was careful to address the drainage. I hope all the time, effort and $$ pay off~ I want a mud free zone around the barn!

Setting the posts became the first big job after clearing and drainage.... This will be a post construction, so these first poles are very important! Both Big Bill and my Dad came over this weekend to help- while I was away playing with Mom at CKC, they got a lot done! There are just 2 more posts to set, and then the leveling and filling will begin!

I have to admit, that having this space is thrilling me to pieces, but the prospect of starting on my arena space is what I'm most looking forward to! I can't wait!! We have been looking at portable saw mills to have someone come on site to mill up the trees we will drop for my riding arena- then we will use the boards for the interior of the stalls! It's looking like a wet week, so I don;t know how much we will accomplish (and my back is acting up again) but such is life when its a "do it yourself" kind of job~ I'll keep you posted...