Saturday, January 24, 2015

Homeschooling on Saturday?

YES, as some of you already know...Because we take off Wednesday & Thursday, which is my husband's day off. In sales, days off are often unpredictable. Now that we homeschool, he gets to spend time with them on his days off.

Homeschooling is great for crazy schedules! Depending on appointments, and ever changing schedules, you can adjust your schedule.

Writing a Short Story Together...To Be Continued!
Now they are getting serious!

How Do You Homeschool?

Happy Saturday!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Redo of The Re-Design~

Or Furniture!


So, if you remember, I have mentioned before, that I'm always redesigning or shifting things around. I think my habit is worse in a new space. We have been here almost 8 months, and I'm still experimenting . Everything happened so fast and I really didn't have a chance to plan the accessories placement.

So...I PLAY!

Here are a few of the recent BEFORE , as of...beginning of this month, and the AFTER pictures!

BEFORE: Dinette

I took out the chocolate pillows, added the new yellow & white pillows and switched out the blue gingham quilt topper, and placed a white tablecloth on top.

* Also, don't you just love the view, I know it's hard to see; but, it's our hay meadow, pond (far right, not in the picture), and middle of our property tree line. I just love drinking coffee watching the birds fly over the meadow and pond!


BEFORE: Formal Dining Room

Again...not my favorite mirror, and not the perfect placement, but trying not to buy more for this house! Patience...waiting for the new house!

I like that the room looks clean and uncluttered.

It is also nice for more school space!


BEFORE: Entrance


A Couple Different Angles of the Entrance


BEFORE: Living Room


AFTER: I moved the large painting to over the fireplace from the dining room. I moved the pheasant to over the bookcase, which I also rearranged. I bought yellow and white pillows to bring in some sunshine! I also found the embroidered pillow for the chair too.


BEFORE: Outdoor Front Yard. View of the Front Pasture.

This is pretty drab & boring right now, but come Spring, it will be more lively!
I moved the previous seating to the pond. This sofa and coffee table, is from our Liliputian back patio/ deck. I moved two chairs to the back, and it feels much less crowded. Now, there is a seating area in the 3 spots we really use, the pond, the front yard and back patio.

Happy Decorating & Have a Great Weekend!


Monday, January 19, 2015

Nature's Inspirations

Funny, how things we stumble upon in nature, are very easily ignored; yet, other times, they can't help but be acknowledged.
I found this barbed wire fence that a tree had grown around, on our ranch. For some reason, this sight just keeps screaming at me. I keep feeling that it is really a metaphor for my life. This thought kept coming to my mind.
"Life may hand you struggles and pain,
don't forget them,
but heal, grow, and learn from life's hardship and challenges.
And ultimately, give thanks for your many blessings!"
~ Jen

So as a final thought...

Even when your life is going better than you dream, & blessings abound, for those of us that have seen struggle, we have a way of feeling guilty, or waiting for the next proverbial shoe to drop.

In a world that seems temultuous, and unkind at times, we must try to find inspirations in nature of blessings and thanks.

God has a way of showing us tangible examples of survival, determination, and fortitude in the world around us.

And Love & Friendship

So take a walk, take a deep breath, pray, and give thanks.



Have a Great Week, & Happy Finding Your Inspiration of Thanks!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Learning How To Be a REAL Cowgirl!

We Artificially Inseminated our cows on Thursday morning. I kept saying it was going to be was Thursday, I'm a tad busy, and days run together.

It went really well, it was a 3 step process.

  • Step 1: Vet puts in a seeder and gives them a shot of hormones.
  • Step 2: We removed the seeder and gave them another shot of hormones to make them go in heat.
  • Step 3: The vet came out again, and artificially inseminated them, and another shot of hormones.

Now we wait for 30 days, and the vet returns to give all 5 ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy. If in the event, it doesn't take, then, we may consider re-artificially inseminating. We chose to AI them with an angus bull for their first calves. Angus cattle are much smaller, and therefore will allow the cows to not have to have the vet pull the calves. It's not a guarantee, but, the odds are better. Then, in the future we may decide to breed to a Charolais bull.

So much to learn, but loving every minute of it.

Hopefully we will have darling grey calves in October!


Here is the Sire we chose, Hoover Dam.


Here is a few pictures from the AI steps...

One of the nights we had to coax them in the corral for shots.
Me waiting to push them through the chute...and the girls checking out my rubber boots!
Dr. Shelton prepping...
Me trying to calm one of the girls down...they really are SO sweet!
The boys helping work the squeeze chute!
Daisy thinks she's their Mom. She was giving moral support!
Glen & I taking pictures for prosperity.


On Our Way to a Growing the Herd...

Have A Great Weekend!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Feeling Organized & Productive?

Do you ever have those weeks where everything seems to go as it should, & your almost afraid to acknowledge it...because you might jinx it?


Well, I had one of those weeks!

To Do List:

  • Clean Out Refridgerator { I clean out the fridge every week, each time I go grocery shopping; but, soap and water cleaning should be done once a month, and I've been lackadaisical. But this week...DONE!
  • Re-Organize Everyones Clothes Drawers and Closets, DONE!
  • Get Lesson Planning for the Next Month Done, & Add New Semester Electives, Done!
  • Get Ranch Documents Purged and Files Ready for the New Year, Done!
  • Get The Boy's Refocused on the Semester Goals, Done!
  • Organize Timing For Artificially Inseminating Cattle for Fall Calving, Done!
  • Dry Cleaning, Done!
  • Grocery Shopping for the week, Done!
  • Dogs Bathed & Clip their nails, Done!


I was so happy I got all of this accomplished, as well as all the housework, grocery shopping, and I even had full cooperation from my boys!

So were the stars all aligned, am I dreaming? Or was I just REALLY lucky?

I think it was A LOT of determination, a dash of consternation, and whole heck of a lot of caffeine!

I am a major planner. I have to have things organized, or I feel nuts! When the boys were in public school, I was running errands, cleaning, organizing, then picking them up from school, helping with homework, cooking dinner, and repeat.


Now, it's even busier! This is my daily schedule:

  • I wake-up about 7 AM...not too bad
  • Wake the boys up, {2 or 3 times}
  • Shower & get ready
  • Start a load of laundry
  • Make coffee & breakfast
  • While the boys do their AM House Chores & Animal Feeding/Barn Chores, I check my email, watch the news and remake ready the opening lessons for homeschool.
  • Then we start school for about an hour, then break to quickly let out the horses for their daily grazing.
  • Continue class usually until between 2-4PM depending on daily distractions, errands, or appointments.
  • Finish Laundry, straighten up the house. Get in a workout.
  • Go over the next days lessons, grade papers, research future lessons, Blog, etc.
  • 5:30PM the boys do their evening barn chores and animal feeding.
  • 7PM I start dinner { yes! we eat late! We wait for Glen to get home, so we can eat as a family.}

Every 6 weeks we drive 1 1/2 hours to the orthodontist and dog grooming. It seems too much, but it gives us a chance to get Central Market shopping done, and see family and friends if we have a chance.

Sometimes, I have to pick up cow and horse feed, or shavings for the stalls during our school week, but usually Glen takes care of that on Wednesday or Thursday's his days off and also our weekend.

Yes, in case you've missed that on previous posts, we take Wednesday & Thursday off when Glen is off. It works out so much better for our family and family time together.

So what's the secret to staying focused, organized, and refreshed? I realized I was going to bed earlier, drinking more tea, and exercising more regularly. So maybe the key is just being kinder to yourself!

Here are a few pictures from the week. Some of these you may have already seen on Instagram, so...sorry for any repeats!

Miss Daisy eating horse apples!
Our pregnant momma Sandy and Miss Classy grazing!
Ha! Only a Catholic Homeschooling mom would store her homeschooling supplies in the same bookcase as the alcohol!
Really, it's because we lost our homeschool room, when we moved into this smaller farmhouse. So until the new house is built...It is what it is!
We even had time to make it to the library this week for our research on farm animals, specifically cattle and horses. We want to learn EVERYTHING!!!!
The boys didn't want me taking their picture during breakfast, but I was allowed a picture OF their breakfast, French Toast, their favorite!
Mr. Darby taking a long winter's nap!


Only 1 More Day Until the WEEKEND for most of you, and tomorrow is our Monday, so back to work!

Here's to having another productive week...

Happy Organizing & Be Productive!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Thistle Hill Ranch, "Last Week", in Pictures ~

Mr. Darby & Miss Bonnie Taking an Afternoon Nap

The View Out My Living Room Window
The Side of Our Hay Meadow Frozen
What I Lovingly Call Our Hobbit Tree...In the Summer, it's Just Dreamy!
The Horses and Daisy the Donkey, Actually Chomp on the Horse Apples
Very Pregnant Momma Sandy & Miss Classy Grazing in the Front Meadow.
Evening Feeding Time!
Waiting for Her Feed While Still Chewing on Hay!
A Couple of the Gals Getting Impatient & Bored
I LOVE My Vintage Scale!
Have A GREAT Week!
A Clipboard, I Covered & Blinged-Up!