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Thursday, August 12 - Mowing Crew Finished! - Today the guys finished up the I-40 mowing and came home. They were all very tired and glad to be done. What a blessing everyone stayed safe.

Cim, Joe, Laredo and the Boss.

Carolina was part of the home crew after all.

More Canning - We dug out a pile of frozen venison roasts from this year's harvest and thawed them enough to cut them up and pack them in jars. The canning book said not to add any water at all. I ended up with 12 quarts of tender cooked meat pieces ready to pop into stews, casseroles and BBQ sandwiches. I had never tried canning meat before, but it did really well and the jars were even full of beefy-looking broth, too. I've mentioned before that we're trying to empty out our freezers, so I also canned 6 quarts of turkey broth that I had previously frozen.

From the garden today came ripe cherry tomatoes.

Atlanta's teaching Carolina to sew. She worked on an apron for herself from some material she bought with her own money when we were at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago. Pictures of the finished project will be coming soon.

Atlanta made tonight's supper, her favorite cornbread casserole.


Tuesday, August 10 - Canning All Day - Today we pulled bags of juice out of the freezer and did several rounds of jelly. Grape, peach and wild plum were on the menu for today. We still have lots of juice in the freezer that needs to be made up, but we ran out of pectin so we'll have to wait before doing any more.

Yummy jelly in jars of various sizes. We put up over 50 jars today.

Yesterday, these green beans from our garden turned into 4 quarts of preserved food.


Monday, August 9 - Grenade Video added - This morning I put a new video on the website. It's the 10 second grenade stunt video that the boys filmed and put together Saturday night. It's very realistic and I think you'll be surprised. Check it out here.

Pictures - They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I do think a few pictures will sum up today's activities.

A long racer snake sneaks past the back porch traveling almost too fast to capture on camera.

Aspen's chicken hutch looks nice after it's recent paint job.

Storm clouds gather straight overhead and cool us off with a little evening shower.

Aspen returns from feeding at the barn after the storm clouds pass to the east behind her.

The opposite sky rewards us with a breathtaking sunset full of colors.



Sunday, August 8 - Tidwells for Breakfast - Jim, Sunny and Granny drove up this morning to pick up Hannah and visit a while. Nathan fixed pancakes, eggs and bacon for breakfast. They stayed for church and we had a packed house. We had fun trying out a few new songs and few old songs as well. We also enjoyed sandwiches, watermelon, chips and dip for lunch before they had to head back.

We had a fun visit with Hannah. Here she is helping Atlanta and Carolina fix lunch yesterday.

Hannah trying her hand at milking Bessie, the milk cow.

Fried Pies - Sunday afternoon after the Tidwells left, the Shannon ladies got busy making breakfast burritos and packing snacks for the mowing crew and planning supper. We decided that there were enough left over enchiladas that we could have a light supper and then have something special for dessert. Atlanta decided to make apricot fried pies. They were so delicious. I wish you could have been here (but Nathan's glad you weren't because that left more for him!).

Evening Ride - Nathan, the little kids and the boys all went riding Sunday evening after it cooled off. Carolina and Stockton were both wearing their new chaps and were having the time of their lives. (See Chaps for Carolina and Stockton, July 10)

Proud Dad looks on.


Saturday, August 7 - New Air Conditioner - Anyone who's visited us recently can attest to the fact that it can get quite hot during the day in our house. Nathan went to Childress this morning for feed and parts and brought home a new air conditioner as well. Yeah! It's a lot cooler now.

We replaced the older unit in the kitchen with the new one.

Nathan cleaned out the old unit with his air compressor and put it in a window in the schoolroom. Now we have more areas we can use during the day if necessary.


Fourteen Kids and Five Pans of Enchiladas - When you have the former, you must have the latter, that is if you want to get them full! The Phipps family came over this afternoon and everyone had a great time. Atlanta had fixed the enchiladas and brownies for supper. We even had popcorn before it was all said and done.

Would you like to feed this bunch every night?? The Phipps have six kids like we do and we also have cousin Hannah and friend Joe Wells with us, too. Of course, Regina and Quint and Nathan and Windy ate, also!

Northfield Commandos - Don't tell Homeland Security, but there seems to be a militia group that has sprung up in the area. They have secret maneuvers about once a week in the surrounding pastures.

Laredo, Caleb, Joe, Grant, Stockton and Cimarron are ready for an air soft battle. (Air soft guns shoot a plastic BB that can still put a whelp on its victim--just ask Stockton)

To see the 10 second grenade stunt they filmed tonight, click here.

Majestic thunderhead seen in the east from our house last evening.


Thursday, August 5 - Cousins! - Today we had a visit from some more cousins. Kristin Dendy and Vicky Tate (my cousin and aunt) and Kristin's daughters, Clara Vee and Mara, as well as Granny, came from Lubbock. They arrived about 11:00 a.m. and stayed until 3:00 or so. We enjoyed lunch together and watched the kids swim, ride horses and generally run wild!

Cooling Off! Hannah, Clara Vee, Stockton, Mara, Carolina in the pool.

Does this look dangerous? I thought so, too.

Hannah and Mara take a turn on Dixie. Atlanta is the horse wrangler.

Carolina and Clara Vee are enjoying the day together. They have also become pen pals recently.


Baby Shower for Isaiah Lipps - Tonight we attended a baby shower/salad supper for Hannah (Boedeker) Lipps new son. I dropped off Aspen, Stockton, Carolina and Hannah at the Phipps house which was just down the road from the shower to play for a couple of hours. Atlanta made Isaiah a confederate Kepi of his very own. He reminds us so much of Hannah's brother, Will, who is very much into the Civil War and who got the kids interested in the time period so many years ago, that it seemed like a gift he needed.

He doesn't exactly seemed thrilled with his new cap, but he did look cute!


Wednesday, August 4 - Trip to Lubbock - We went to Lubbock today to attend the viewing at Resthaven Funeral Home of my uncle Floyd Davis who died this week. It was good to see so many family members that I hadn't seen in so long. "Unkie" as I knew him, will be missed by many. We brought Sunny's daughter, Hannah, home with us to stay a few days.

Five-year-old Hannah is a little ball of activity and will spice up our lives for the next few days!

Tuesday, August 3 -Trip to Turkey - Today for lunch (and supper) we went to the Phipps house in Turkey. They're our new home school friends that moved here this year. We had so much fun and the kids especially had a good time. It was nice having the afternoon off.

How many kids can you fit in one pool? Elaine, Carolina and Stockton are cooling off, Josiah is in the chair watching.

When Carolina found out we were going to be visiting the Phipps, she said she couldn't wait to show Elaine her new mermaid costume. Atlanta decided to make one for Elaine as well. Here are the girls together in their new suits:


Monday, August 2 - Painting the Chicken Hutch - Aspen, Stockton and Carolina painted the hutch Aspen got for Christmas. We never had gotten around to painting it, so it seemed like a good hot day for it. They painted it with a base coat of white and Aspen may choose to get another color to go over it later.

Carolina's Mermaid Costume - Atlanta decided to make some mermaid costumes to put on her Etsy website. She made one for Hannah last year for Halloween and it turned out so cute. Carolina was really sad that she didn't have a mermaid outfit, so Atlanta had pity on her and made her one, too.

Bow and Arrow - Later that day Carolina showed me her new skill. Cimarron had worked with her on Sunday afternoon and taught her how to shoot a bow. She hit the target every time.

Sunday, August 1 - Making A Week's Worth of Food - After we finished church, the girl's and I started in making breakfasts and lunches for the boys this week. They'll be working out of town all week again. Aspen fried 40 eggs and two packages of turkey bacon to make 20 breakfast sandwiches.

Atlanta assembled the sandwiches on English muffin bread.

Incidentally, before she did that, she whipped up two pans of Manicotti for lunch. Whew!

Carolina helped me pack snacks for the boys to use to put their lunches together this week.

granola bars, fried pies, pretzels, cheese-its, dried apples, popcorn cakes, crackers, ginger snaps, etc.


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