Friday, March 25, 2011

Pond update and other trivial stuff...

This is the view from my front porch.

 See the back hoe in the picture?  That helps you see just how large this pile of mud/silt really is.   This is a small portion of it. 
 Pond is bone dry and more than 1/2 clean  the "walls" you see are where he hasn't cleaned.  They range in height from 3-4 ft.
 Add a dog to the picture to help try and see size of this stuff.   This is a big dog.  in the back ground you can see a little black square, that is a 4 gallon square bucket. 
 Here is where most of the stuff has gone.  This is our middle tank. It is nice and deep and huge, but it won't hold water.   It also has some major washes that erode away more all time.  So I came up with the idea of filling the washes with the gunk.  Maybe as it washes on into the pond it will settle in the areas that don't hold water and seal them off.   It also means one less stop for the gunk. 
 See how it washes?  This will pretty much be filled back to ground level with gunk before he is done.

 This is a closer look at what this gunk looks like.  The dog is having a closer look too.

On to more things going on.  This is my flower bed in the front yard.  Lack of water and a couple of very cold snaps pretty well took care of the lantana I had in there.  I did buy a couple to start back.  I also put some herbs there.   Rosemary, lavender and oregano for far.  I bought some Thai Basil  and Texas Tarragon but haven't gotten them planted.
Don't you love my doggy wire over the top?  It really is doggy, chicken, guinea, peafowl, kid wire.   Hey what ever works!   oh forgot kitty in that list.

Isn't this plant pretty?  I wish I knew what it was.  I might buy some more.  I bought it last year or the year before clearanced.  If it had a name tag it has long been gone.  It survives, so it is hardy and blooms early and I think all summer which is a plus.  

On to the next area we are working.   This is my neglected overgrown garden.  Kids have been working really hard at taking it back.  I supervise and help a little.  They do most of it.   Once we get it de-weeded we are going to put weed-X down then chat which is a type of white rock/dirt that when watered sits up almost like cement.   This should help keep the weeds off the walk ways.  I am going to weed-X all beds I can this year with just holes for the plants.  I did this last year with the peppers. It really helped with the weeding. 

 On to the barn yard, where lots of courtship is taking place.  This male peacock is trying to show how beautiful he is to all the hens who I'm sure are paying more attention than it looks like they are.  

I do not have any idea how many males I have.  They are everywhere and all in full strut most of the time.  It is funny as they don't get all their beautiful feathers until they are 3-4 years old.  The first year they zero color except on their neck.  The next year they have little bit of very short pretty tail.  It really gives you the idea of what "Strutting like a peacock" means. 

Besides all this we are planning some camping trips in the future.  Hope to have lots of fun pictures from them when we get back.   One will be neat as it is for adoptive families.  The Texas Council on Adoptable Children is sponsoring it.   The other is a church camping trip.  

Add to that my heavy milking milk cow is about to calve and I will be tied down with her for a few weeks until her baby can drink that much milk.  We really can use some extra milk as our friend has dried their cow up waiting on a calf.   So we are supplying more than two homes will milk.  

I am excited it is beginning to look green here.  We are SOOO dry, the green is just leaves, mesquite for the most part but it IS green.   Praying for soon as the pond is finished!  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First day of Spring...

Temps about 75, with windchill about 72, water temp about 72.  Cloudy

Kids decided to go swimming.  Who am I to stop them!  Just because sitting on the porch in the wind is closer to uncomfortable cool, not hot.  I am sure they know what they are doing.   MN wised up and decided she would write a poem instead of swimming. (It is posted on her blog.)

Boys it was!

Looking brave here!

D9 taking the plunge.  You can see D11 up to almost his knees and trying hard to stay that far in.

Can't you see him shivering even through a picture?   He did swim the longest. 

Discussing it.  MJ was reconsidering his choices to swim.  

MJ did finally swim across the pool, but didn't ever get his head wet.  D11 was the first to give up and come to the house.  D9 got out when MJ did not because he was "ready" but because he had too. 

I see lots of use out of the pool this summer!   I am sure D11 will learn to swim well and D9 will probably learn to also.  Last year D11 learned how enough to get himself out.  D9 spent the summer in trouble and now swimming.  I think this year will be very different for him.  


Last night we were talking as a family about choices and how they effect others.  I know that D11 doesn't believe God is real.  I challenged him to go to bed and just chant in his mind "God are You real" until he went to sleep.  He took me up on the challenge.

He said as he was thinking about it he felt something softly stroke his cheek.  He knew it wasn't D9, because he would have heard him get out of bed.  Besides he was chattering to him.  So he covered his head up.   Then he saw a bright light.  After that he saw a bunch of demons.  He even described what one in particular looked like.   He said then he started thinking about all his sins and started to cry.   He felt so bad about all he had done.  

He then told Jesus he was sorry for all he had done and ask Jesus to come into his life.   "I felt so much better then, lighter."   This morning he shared this and stated when he woke up this morning he felt different, happier and his attitude about things, especially women has changed. 

He shared this  with me before church.  Then he shared with MN, then Dad.  When he shared with me I suggested he share at Church.   When we started praise and worship he ask me when to share.  I told him after singing.  So when Singing was over I announced D11 had something he wanted to share.   We made him come more to the center of the room as he usually speaks so soft you can't hear him.  We told him to stand up straight and speak loudly.   He shared his experience with a very clear voice, standing straight and proud.  It was extremely awesome.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


It all started with a hunt for bugs for the two turtles.   Then it changed to trying to find more turtles.  That turned into flip the boat where they KNEW there were turtles.

Cheering section is dressed in red here. As they tried to unstick this boat she would cheer.   They are standing on boards to keep from sinking like the dog you see further out.  Dog doesn't have short legs and he isn't in water.

Since advice wasn't working she got her hands er feet into it.
Yes, this is a SOCK foot.  Where you ask is her shoe? 
About 18 inches in FRONT of where she is!  She didn't want to go dig it out!

Boat going over!  Well it will go the rest of the way when D9 gets that shovel with the bright yellow handle to T.  What don't see a bring yellow handle?  It is under the grey one in D9's hand.  T and D11 are holding the boat up waiting.  They can't step fwd, they are on a piece of tin to stay afloat.  So they are stuck until the shovel gets there.

They jumped from the tin to the boat.  Boat didn't weather this flipping to well.  Seems the side didn't flip.  Oh well. The .22 bullet holes, cracks and other issues made it not usable. 
Turtle catching!  They caught and tossed them to Grand daughter and D9.
Believe it or not this is D11's hand.  The child that was afraid of everything.   He is digging a BIG turtle out of the mud.  Yes, he has been told they bite. 

Grand daughter showing off her prize.   Can she take it home?  

Then she manged to get the BIG one!  Daddy can she keep it? 
I am sure it will fit in the swimming pool just fine. 

We brought 3 turtles to the house.  That gives us 5.  Anyone besides grand daughter want a turtle?   I can bring them to the park on Thursday. 


One very angry young man!
One joyous, happy, fun loving, responsible 9 yo!

Romans 12:2 states:  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  

All I can say is I see this passage in D9.  He is a different child.  His anger has gone.  He talks a lot about God and what it means to be a Christian.  He talks about how God loves him even when he makes bad choices.  He accepts correction with little or no argument.  He is working ahead in school.  Usually 1-3 days ahead.  He is still all boy.  He still gets into trouble, but it is boy led trouble not anger led.  He isn't out to make anyone mad.  He even talks about how he isn't mad at me any more.  How he doesn't want to make me mad.  

This has been going on since the day I took the "Mad" face picture.  Even that day the anger didn't last.  Since that day, 2 weeks and 1 day ago it has been totally gone.  First week he would start with his mad face and I would ask him, "Think you better check with God on your attitude."   He would and change.  One day I ask that and his reply was, "I, don't have to check with God!  I know He doesn't like it!"  I didn't look up I just ask, "What does God want you to do."  "CHANGE IT!"   end of discussion!  He changed it!
Yesterday he came the closest to having a melt down that he has come over some math I wouldn't let slide.  It lasted maybe 3 minutes.  Then he got over there and found the right answers.  He pops through all day does a lesson or two and goes on.  All of these are aheads.  He is done with that days lessons. 
Even the therapist last week could only stare.  She had never saw such a transformation in a child.  She gives glory to God also for it.  She said He is the only explanation.   I love it!  Sunday at Church D9 told several people "I believe in God now!"   One boy fell and busted his lip.  D9 came in where he was and when told why he was crying, said, "Can I pray for you?"  He came over and prayed the sweetest prayer.   God is amazing!  I just stand in Awe of what He is doing in my children's lives and hearts.  

More playing....

Daylight savings time is wonderful!
DS started playing in the bobcat before DH got home.   He didn't want to start unless DH was planning on playing.  If he got stuck he was NOT using the back hoe to unstick.
Once DH got home he fired up the back hoe.  This "toy" is almost as old as Dh, brakes?   who needs them!
It wobbles along, steering is more like herding.   I totally agree with Ds, not driving it.
Time to call it a day, or almost. 
Mean while on the other end of the pond..............
Ds had tried to get the boat out.  Under the boat were turtles.  We counted about 6-8 little ones and two big ones.  The big ones, as in dinner and salad plate size.   The turtles got evacuated out of their hiding. 
With some encouragement from mom T decided to build a bridge and see the turtles.
Yes, once she "looked" she had to catch! First one wiggled she squealed and tossed it.  Then she managed to catch one and toss it to me.  Once she saw I wasn't concerned about holding it she caught another one.

So we have two new pets.   How long will we have them?  I have no idea.  Kids are enjoying them right now.  I will try to get pictures.  They are red eared sliders.  Lots of people do keep them for pets.

Later I came in to see this.

D9 was telling grandson the words in his book.   That is how he described it.  I can see grandson learning to read just by big kids teaching him in fun.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Newest Homeschooling Device........

I have a child who just can't grasp he needs to tend to HIS business, not his siblings.  If I am not in sight, he is NOT at his desk.  This has gotten OLD.   When ask he uses the excuse, "I was just....." or "I didn't think".   Once he is free of his desk he seems to find it dificult to remember where he should be until reminded.   Enough is enough!   Today I came up with a gentle reminder for thinking before he gets up and wonders over to other people's business. 
What is this?   130 dB Personal and Door Butt Alarm with Flashing Light
It is designed to fit in the crack of a door, when the door is opened the alarm goes off.  I used two rulers as the door jam, rubber banded together loosely.   Insert alarm, have child sit on rulers.  Silence!  As long as his bottom is firmly setting in chair all will be quiet, but as soon as he starts to rise he will be loudly reminded of where he belongs.   I hope this will teach him to stay in his seat.   Did I mention he is NOT a happy camper?  He likes tending to others business and not doing his school.   I will let him up for breaks and meals.   Other wise he will need to ask or everyone will know he is up.   He doesn't want everyone, (mom) knowing he is up.   Makes it hard to meddle and play when she knows.  

Boys and toys...........Big that is...........

I have always heard that the only difference in boys and men is the price of the toys.  I think this might be true.  Here is what the big boys did this weekend.  Think tonka trucks.  Can't you just see a bunch of little boys with tonka trucks playing in the mud like this?

Yes, he is STUCK!  So off he want for bigger toys to unstick himself.

Discussion how to unstick the bobcat.   Notice the smallest man out there in the discussion?
Bigger toy arrives!

It is hard to see but there is a chain connecting the toys.   As the backhoe pulls the bobcat out of the mud.
Cheering section!
Once he was unstuck bet you can't guess what  he did?

He and son played some more!  Taking turns unsticking each other as they worked to get the muck out of the pond while it is dry.
or almost dry!   There is about 3 foot of washed in silt that needs to be dug out.  They started on the dry end and are working around the edge as they wait for more area to dry so they can get more done.

DH is hoping to work every afternoon a bit since daylight savings time allows him to be home before dark.  I did have to turn and walk away several times as they would get that heavy equipment in such situations that it wasn't comfortable.