Tuesday, December 31, 2013

They still love me...

When we come home from the fair in August, we literally back the trailer up to the pasture gate, open the back of the trailer, take the halters off the cows and their calves, and step out of the way!  The ladies and their babies are so happy to be done with us, they practically shout for joy and kick their hooves in the air!  (Actually, there IS usually some mooing and hoof-kicking!)

Then I go back to work and don't get to see my bovine friends much until the calves get weaned and brought home, and even then it's only when I drive by their pen that I pay much attention to them.

This past weekend I took some time to check up on two of my 2013 favorites.  They walked right up to me like I was their long lost friend.  (They must have forgotten all the cold showers, the yanking on their ropes, the pushing on their backsides...)
Chuckie (left) and Belle (right)
Cute photo-bomber in the middle!

Danny and Drew get in the pen with them every now and then, but right now the pen is over-full with the late summer calves that were recently weaned.  The boys and I will start working with them again when the weather straightens around and basketball season is over. (We also have another steer calf and heifer that will be 4-H fair bound, too.)  The little ones are so cute, but so dirty!  Chuckie and Belle have had this pen to themselves for awhile, I guess that's why they stayed so clean.  I love their furry hair this time of the year!

Chuckie was SO happy to see me, he wanted to give me kisses!
I had just finished making Scotcheroos, suppose he can taste it?

I think that they miss me.  I miss them too.  Summer vacation can't get here soon enough!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The new girly-girl fad!!!

All the toys my kids have are really just variations of toys that we had as kids:  Legos, Barbies, dolls, a play kitchen with play food, you get the idea. 
Finally there is something out there that I never had as a kid: "Tapeffiti"--fancy tape and myriad ways to use it!

Holly got a Tapeffiti fashion designer kit from Santa.  It came with 15 dress patterns and 24 little rolls of tape, along with a cutter that holds the tape and cuts it neatly.  The kit also came with a dress form and 3 or 4 more dress hangers for holding the dresses after you've finished them.

Holly loves it! She and Emma have made quite a few outfits, and they also got another set of 30 Tapeffiti rolls from their great-grandma!

Holly has figured out how to "construct" her garments after she's "designed" them with the tape.  The construction process involves cutting out the garment (you put the tape on one side, then cut the pattern that's shown exactly the same on the other side), then on the reverse side you match up the numbers and tape (with the Tapefetti-side out) with clear tape. 

I'm afraid they are going to run out of patterns before they run out of tape or interest, so I plan on making photo-copies of the patterns they haven't yet used up!

Emma got a Tapeffiti wallet kit with tape and has made the wallets and a pencil holder out of a Crystal Lite container. 

What are your kids playing with this winter?  Any new favorites?  Any old favorites? 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Off to a great start!

Christmas vacation at the Daly house is off to a fantastic start!  I am glad for the ice!  I'm glad for the snow! I'm glad for the cold!  These dreaded weather conditions mean that we are stuck at home (or at least not too far from it)!  I made sure I stocked up on library books, I've got a fresh bottle of Bailey's, and the cupboards are full--let's hunker down and enjoy the time off!

By night, this house is toasty warm and full of sparkling lights!

By day, the tree out my kitchen window is draped in diamonds!

Merry Christmas!  I hope you are able to enjoy some rest and relaxation, too!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Next week at this time...

What we accomplished today:

  • the finalization of 1 African Penguin poster (approximately 25 minutes)
  • a 5th grade "weekly reading log" report:  (approximately 15 minutes)

  • the practicing of 1 piano lesson (approximately 30 minutes)

  • the beginning and completion of 1 end-of-the-semester book report/project: a poster, a RAFT question (a three-pronged thesis, 5 paragraph essay), a 3-5 minute presentation, (all adding up to at least 5 hours of work straight through the afternoon by oldest son, aka "Mr. Procrastinator")

  • the grading of 18 Algebra 2 tests (approximately 1 hour 45 minutes)

  • and 5 bills paid (thank goodness for online bill pay:  4 minutes...I'll balance the checkbook next week!)
At approximately the 2-hour mark of aforementioned book project (while I was helping him glue stuff to his poster board) I looked at Danny and said, "You know what we'll be doing NEXT Sunday at this time (1:45pm)?" and he smiled at me and said, "NOT THIS!" 

Only 5 more days 'til Christmas Vacation!!!!!  We've earned it!!!!

Just please don't drop by in the next two or three days, this house is... um... scary.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

An evening at the theater!

Holly had a special invitation to see the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and the Rockford Dance Company's production of "The Nutcracker".  Her piano teacher plays the oboe with the RSO and invited her to come see this beautiful ballet production.   Last night we bundled up, ventured downtown, and I know that it was a night I won't soon forget!  We were both so excited!  Right as the lights began to dim, Holly looked over at me and said, "It's finally time!!!!" 

The Coronado Theater is so gorgeous.  I haven't been there probably 15 years.  Holly was captivated by the glitz and glam! 

When I ordered our tickets, I requested balcony seats so that we could see into the pit where the orchestra sits underneath the stage.  Before the ballet started, we walked down and peaked over the railing and saw our piano teacher warming up her oboe!  From our seats up high we had a good view of the harpist, as well! 

The music was breathtaking, the dancers all did an amazing job, it was such a wonderful night! 

And--We went to Culver's for supper (before hand), which was another big treat! 

The night was perfect in every way; I think I know who I can call if I ever want a date for the theater!