Sunday, November 23, 2014

I didn't yell at my kids for a whole year!

I finally hit ONE YEAR without yelling.  I started The Orange Rhino Challenge back in July 2013, so it obviously took quite a few months for me to break the habit, but I did it!
And if I can, you can. I'm not kidding. This was absolutely impossible for me to do, but somehow I sure did. These lovely orange cupcakes are proof!  :)  Lizzy made them for our celebration. 
Don't think you can? You're wrong. :)  I was too.  Check out for lots of help and ideas.  Still don't think you can? Sorry, my success invalidates your argument. :) What if you only make one week or even one day? Well, then you've gone a whole week or a whole day without yelling. I'd call that a win! 
Was it easy? Nooooo.  It's still not easy one year later.  I have to constantly concentrate on my responses and really focus on not yelling.  It stinks, but it's a deeply ingrained habit.  But once you realize that, it gets easier.  Easier, not easy, but it's certainly worth it! 
I don't wear my orange bracelet anymore, but that helped a lot in the beginning. Seeing a constant reminder all day. And of course announcing it to the world helped.  There's nothing like public humiliation to motivate the soul.  But finally, my counter shows that it worked.
Will I ever yell at my (lovely) kids again? Who knows? But it won't be out of habit anymore if I do!  Along the way I learned they don't listen anyway, so it's not effective.  Also, whispering can be very scary. This year I'm going to focus on BEING NICE.  Even though I didn't yell, I could be pretty hurtful sometimes. Okay, many times.  So I'm working on that. 
I'm grateful to The Orange Rhino, supportive friends checking in on me, and my family for challenging me by making me want to yell being patient with me. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trees, bunnies, cats, turkeys

The snow melted and it warmed back up (a little). But we're still thinking of heading south to Florida, because we can. :)  But if we do, the kids will miss being able to climb trees!  Walker Kitty was watching Matt and Lizzy climb. 
The bunnies are growing quickly and turning different shades. The one in the middle with a fat face Lizzy has named Annie May because it looks like an anime character.
All of our mama rabbits like to give the babies a boost up to eat or drink. It's so cute. 
Getting peed on, not so cute. 
Annie, cute but a dork.
We had another wild animal altercation and found Walker Kitty with a few cuts. Sadly, little Luna didn't survive whatever it was. :( 
Since gun season started, the deer are only moving at night, but they see plenty of turkeys.  The trail cameras have been very helpful to Allen in his strategizing. Although he's still hunting almost every day, because... hunting. :)  This turkey cracked me up, so I photoshopped him.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


So cold, but so pretty.  We got our first snow and I thought I'd share pics for the Grands, who probably don't remember what it looks like down there in Florida! (And right now, Florida sounds awfully nice!)
Snow + trampoline = happy
This is going to make the winter awesome! 
A little gray. :)
Yes, we're quite toasty and happy inside! 
The animals don't seem to notice. I need a thick fur goat coat! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Birds, cats, windows

Allen has to watch these turkeys when he's hunting. Unfortunately, even though it's almost Thanksgiving, Arkansas turkey season isn't until Spring!
Since it's getting cold, we moved the outside rabbit cages inside. This thing weighs one million pounds, fyi. It takes all 5 of us to move it, and Jack attacks us the whole time. We've not figured that out yet, but he goes crazy when we move it, jumping all over it and us! 
It's about impossible to get a picture of this, but Mrs. Bunny is such a good mama that she lets her babies sit on her head to eat. They can mostly reach, but seem to prefer sitting on top of her. You can just see the black and white babies on top if you squint.
Walker Kitty's face is orange. No, we don't know why.
Many people use reflective foil-type insulation on windows, or bubble wrap if you want to be able to see a little out the windows and let some light in, but in my searching, I found this awesome window shrink film! It's like a strong saran wrap for your windows.  It creates a great cushion of insulation and is perfectly clear, letting all the sunlight in, and allowing me to take pictures from inside when it's cold. Because I'm not going out there! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Josh's first deer of the season

Josh brought home his first deer of the season today. He literally brought it home on his ATV all by himself and was so proud. This was the second day of gun season.  This is the third deer from Allen's new tree stand that he got last week!  We have over 180 pounds of meat in the freezer so far. Another deer or two and we'll have our meat for the whole year, free!  Acorn-fed, free-range, hormone and antibiotic-free, organic goodness.
Jack and Luna are ready to start helping with the cleaning process. Ew.  Don't click if you're squeamish.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Random farmness

The first frost killed all the tomato plants (because I didn't quite plan properly), so I picked them all and thought we'd learn if we liked fried green tomatoes or not. We love them!  I'm going to freeze the rest for later too, so not *too* much of a loss. 
Random goat hugs.
We wanted to make the RVstead a little more inviting for potential visitors. Think this will be effective?
Walker Kitty decided sunbathing on a tree root would be comfortable. Not sure how she manages, but she was out for a long time.

More baby bunnies, the Toast 7

The day after we didn't get to sleep in because Allen got a deer (not that I'm bitter, much), Toast had EIGHT LIVE baby bunnies!  This is her first kindling and we were really surprised.  It's harder to name eight at once, so Allen decided on Eight Toast. (Get it? Ate toast. Yeah, lame!)  Sadly, we lost the little runt two days later, but now the Toast Seven are doing great!
She's a good mom and keeps them covered in lots of fur.
Just before she had them, we think Annie had jumped on their cage to get some hay and smashed it! Fortunately all three bunnies were fine.  In the picture, it looks like the chickens are accusing Lucy, but we saw Annie eying the hay earlier! 
In case you haven't seen baby bunnies squirming, they're so fun. :)
Video of the Toast 7:

4 baby bunnies!

Mrs. Bunny and Demon Bunny had their babies a day apart, and two each, Oct 17-18. They start out so ugly! (It's okay to say it.) :)  Since these are FINALLY Mrs. Bunny's first live babies, meet Fin & Ally.
And we weren't sure on Demon's babies yet.
They grow so fast! Two days old. 
Four days
2.5 weeks. Love those white toes!
Almost 3 weeks. 
We named the gray one Fezzik because it's HUGE compared to the others! We can't keep it still for a picture though.  The other is Blackie for now, for lack of creativity.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A deer from the new stand

The day after he tried out his new tree stand, Allen got another deer.  He makes it look easy. I'd like to point out that he called at 7:30am, on the best sleep-in day of the year - daylight savings time ended. But I'm not bitter. Yes I am, but just a little! 
I went to pick him up and Jack led the way. Not much of a hunting dog, but he can certainly help with the finding afterward.
Jack also felt it was his job to keep the cats away from the deer while they were processing it.  
I guess this is why. Ew.  (Don't click if you're squeamish.)
So, Walker Kitty needed a bath. I'm pretty sure she wants to kill us in our sleep. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Our big day!

It's here again. Halloween, Allen's birthday, and Josh, Lizzy, and Matt's Adoption Days! 
Even though it was freezing, Allen requested this awesome ice cream cake.
Allen was very happy to find a tree stand he's had his eye on!
The goats helped assemble it.
You walk the top and bottom parts right up the tree. [Flash forward: In the first week after this, Allen got 2 deer and Josh got 1!]
And Lizzy made us spooky cookies while we watched It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Can you believe that was from 1966?!