Saturday, July 30, 2011

How We Roll

Wes and I decided to make Daddy proud and do some work in the barn while he and Billy are at Cub Scout camp. I had all the pieces for the shelves in the aisle measured and cut, then put them and Wes into the wheelbarrow to walk down and set them into place. His is how we roll... Work boots and a diaper!

Then this is how we look after we roll the wheelbarrow. General consensus (from multiple calls to Grandma Beth, a physical check from Grandma and Grandpa Houston and Auntie Anna and Nic, and a frantic call to Dr. Brennan) is that it is not broken. I, however, might be slightly bruised for a while. I swear I only stepped away for a second. After some Tylenol, a nap and a few hours time Wes is still pretty puffy, and dripping some disheartening bloody snot. But, he is breathing thru both nostrils and his teeth/jaw/cheek bones all seem fine. No signs of head trauma, although he did face plant into a 2X4 stud wall... I guess I can be thankful it's not worse and hope that shout takes care of blood stains!

Oh, and I'm NOT working in the barn alone again!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Conway Mini-Vacation

The kids and I went up to the Conway Cabin with Grandma and Poppie for a mini vacation! I was glad to take a few days off from barn chores, and just hang out! We had had a long stretch of very hot weather, and even though the heat wave had broken, we had some nice beach weather (and finally some ok sleeping!)

After spending the first day at Conway Lake, we had a nice dinner and campfire. Em was up for the day, and the boys stayed after she left. I know Mom and Dad enjoy the quiet and peace up at the cabin- but I'm sure they enjoy having the Grand kids too!

The next day we went down to Weston Beach on the Saco river. Wes was thrilled with this pool filled with tadpoles and minnows! He was so cute looking down into the water at them all. He was trying to say "fishes" and screeching at them.

The older kids spent quite a long while just sitting there letting the "fishes" eat off their legs. Jayson was taking pictures for me, and got these cute shots for me:

We had a nice picnic lunch and the Big kids and I floated a ways down the river. I haven't been on the Saco for a while, so it was fun to enjoy the river a bit. I'm hopeful we will get a canoe trip fit in some time this summer.

After two days of fun in the sun (and a tad bit of outlet shopping!) we spent our final day at Story land! I love the season passes- we can head over any time. This trip was great since the new ride was open and all the kids were anxious to try it out! This is a wet/water ride for sure- and the kids had a blast... literally!

The kids were great making sure Wes had his turn on some of the little rides. He was pretty cute~

It was fun getting away for a while, and I hope we can get back up there soon!

Still Working

Summer is in full swing- we had a major heat wave last week (4 days of 100 degree heat is killer in New England!) and are busy as ever, but progress still continues out at the barn! Many rocks, roots and stumps are going from the arena site. I am depressed as the New England soil just breeds the stones... I swear we pick them, and the tractor runs over and then we have a million more to do. I'm not sure we will ever get them all! One of the other major projects was getting the back three stalls their framing and windows in. And... then.... Drum Roll Please.... our other big change....The tack room floor is in!

Wes is in a major clingy stage- he seems to need me a lot, and doesn't like to share me or my attention... so, we have had some tantrums out on the job site as I try to work. However, he does make a great supervisor!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Today Anna and I took the kids to Berry Best farm. Olivia had arranged to work and ride at Greystone this afternoon so she missed out, but the rest of us got down to picking!
Wellll... some of us did more picking than others!

I'm pretty sure Nic was letting us know that he prefers his berries picked and washed and packaged nicely with gingham ribbon at the farm stand. Despite wearing his cute plaid shirt and jean coveralls- he wasn't much into "farm work!" He mostly enjoyed staying in the shade!

Billy did a great job picking- he really is growing up! It wasn't too long ago that he was popping more into his mouth than the baskets. He has really been looking forward to raspberry picking, and filled a few pints all on his own!

He found the good berries under the bushes and tipped Wes off to the prime picking!

This neat farm had blueberries ready too, so we did double duty and picked some of those too! By that time the kids were pretty tired of picking, and Savanna and Billy wandered off a while- they were easy to locate by Billy's "berry flares" He was having fun picking up squashed berries and flinging them into the air. I took the opportunity to pick a bunch- I love big sweet berries warm on the bush.

I'm sad to have missed Strawberry season- we were just so busy with the barn. Wes is a super fruit eater, and I knew he would love picking his own! We have a few pots on the deck, and Savy is growing strawberries in two of them. Wes eats all the little fruits- green, pink, over ripe and rotten... he doesn't care! I hope he is still as into them next year; but for today I hoped raspberry/blueberries would do! As I suspected, he loved every moment of it! He ate way more than I should have allowed, but had such a good time.

We had yummy pancakes with blueberry compote for dinner tonight, and will have fresh berries all week! I think I may even end up going back for more blues- I want to do a pie or two, and the kids are itching to try our hands at jam.... and I know Liv would love the opportunity to pick some too!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I can't believe the Forth of July has come and gone already! Summer really is here~

Krista and Brad were able to drive up from Mass for the weekend, but were going to have to head home on Monday- which was the actual forth... So, we did the 3rd of July at the Houston's lake house! We haven't been to Horn Pond much now that Grandma and Grandpa are at the Farm House full time. It was nice to be back there- especially since Grandma made her ribs!! They were so yummy; but Wes' favorite right now is corn on the cob... He can easily clean off a full ear!
Billy's pal Morgan came along for the day and was a pleasure to have around- he kindly snapped this picture- it's nice to have an updated family shot with Nic in it!

The weather wasn't the best, but of course the kids went in the water! Bill and Brad and I suited up to put the dock in... but the kids full on swam!

Bill took the kids around in the canoe and kayak, the boys did a great job paddling all around. Wes did much better this year with his life jacket- I was glad to see he may be better about having to wear it.

Since it wasn't overly hot or sunny Billy took advantage of Grandpa's lifetime fishing license and threw in a line. No bites, but Billy always love a chance to get out his pole.

On Monday, the Forth of July we went over to Mom-Mom's for a picnic. It was quite warm and sunny so of course the kids went right into the pool! The Big kids (Jesse, Craig, Mick, Josh and Dylan) as well as the Grown-Ups (Uncle Kirk and Mark) took on the littler kids (Olivia, Billy, Jay and Kaleb) and had a great big water fight with the squirters and hose.

Mom had a little pool and a lot of little rubber duckies for Wes. He played in that, as well as the big pool. It was just an all around fun afternoon. We lucked out and didn't have to rush back for hay as a storm passed thru. The food was good, the water cool and the company grand. Everyone was having fun, and it was so nice to just relax with the family!

With his busy summer shoeing schedule and all the work left to do on the barn I'm not sure how much time Bill will have for lounging around~ I sure am glad he was able soak up the sun and relax with the kids for a while on the 4th!

Going Up

Bill and Dad have put in a few more work days recently. The kids and I "work" too, but the men do so much- we help as best we can- but the major progress is made by these 2 guys! This little card was part of Billy's Father's Day gift to Bill and we nailed it up inside one of the stall walls... it will always be there as a reminder of the hard work these Dad's have done building our barn!
The main focus in the last few weeks has been the interior walls for the slope stalls. The kick walls (made from the 2" rough cut we had milled) are in, and now the 1" upper portions of the walls have started. It wont be long before these 4 will be ready to house horses!

While the guys cut and nail the big heavy boards, I worked a lot on getting stain on the outside walls. Thus far I have the whole barn ringed with about the bottom half done, so water wont splash up. We had some warping going on with the T111 we used. Bill is upset about the choice we made to go with the thinner stock, it has waved a little. I got the paint up though- so hopefully we wont get too much more. I need to go back and finish the upper parts now. Liv and Savy both did a bit, and we are getting there! The color match is pretty good- I'm happy with the look, but my arms are tired!

So, walls and paint are going up- and if we don't have to put up more hay this week we may get even more done!