Monday, July 27, 2009

So Much To Tell You!

Ella waiting for surgery.
She brought home a surgical hat and stuffed zebra for souvenirs.

Junior hatching!

This is Daisy! She is very nosy and you can tell when she gets scent of something - her nose goes up in the air.

My first time on the trampoline. I did not enjoy as much as the girls! Thanks, Eric!

Emma showing Tina and Anna hanging around in the beef barn at the fair.

Ella dancing on the gates at the fair. She kept herself entertained
with her imagination.

Chris blowing out Darla on Thursday. I think he really enjoyed the fair and
showing experience.

Anna and Kirstin Osland at the Cloverbud stick horse show. Yes, I had to sit through the horse show for Anna to do this (painful!). Just kidding!
Emma with her cabbage and kohlrabi at the fair. She received an A rating!

It was an amazing week at the fair last week and since then we have had much going on in our lives! We survived the fair and Emma did a great job and we're very pleased that she wants to show again next year. Chris and Emma have already started strategizing what vegetables to enter next year and what heifers or steers they are going to work with. It really was a great family experience. Not only did Emma have a great week, but Anna and Ella thoroughly enjoyed the fair as well. If you've never been to the Mason County Fair, it is about as po-dunk of a fair as you can get, but we wouldn't want it any other way. There are no carnival rides or food carts, so you can let your kids wander through the barns and play with other kids without worrying. Everyone watches out for everyone else!

Saturday, after the fair, we headed to Washington for Kaylee Mae's (our niece) 10th birthday party. I had my first encounter with a trampoline and I'm still not sure how I feel about it! It was going well until Eric (my brother-in-law) decided to get on it and shake things up a bit for me. I think all he accomplished was a backache for himself and nightmares for me!

On Sunday, we decided to finally go and look at a dog that some friends of ours knew about. All we knew was that she was some sort of coon hound and she needed to be on a farm to run. We all fell in love with her instantly and brought her home. Her name is Daisy and Chris and Emma seem to be quite taken by her. She's been tied up because we're afraid she will run, but either tonight or tomorrow, we'll let her off the chain for a bit and have her check things out!

Today is Monday and we have had two major happenings this morning. Junior, our Monarch caterpillar, finally hatched out of his cocoon into a beautiful butterfly. We did not get to witness the actual hatching, but awoke to find him shaking out his wings of the liquid they contain. The girls let him go out on the deck. After he was released, we packed up Ella to head to the hospital to get a tube replaced in her left ear. She did great and hasn't stopped since we brought her home. I was hoping she would be tired and groggy this afternoon, but not Ella, she is playing, singing, and dancing. I went ahead and took a little nap without her!

That's quite enough for now. I have to start working in my classroom this week and get ready to head up the great white nort' later on! Take care and thanks for checking!

The James Gang

Sunday, July 19, 2009

James Girls Visit New Salem

It doesn't take much of a field trip to thrill my 3 girls. We went to New Salem today and all three of them were impressed. I have always been interested in Lincoln and his life. He is my favorite president and I visit the Lincoln Museum every year with my 5th graders and have visited New Salem, as well, for school trips in the past. We took the girls a couple of years ago to the Lincoln Museum for Father's Day with Grandpa Rankin and Aunt Kelly and Uncle Nick and they loved going there so I knew they would love New Salem as well! They are huge Little House on the Prarie fans and we have read the first two books in the series and have been stuck on Farmer Boy for the summer (it's the longest one). We have also started watching the series Christy on dvd and they really enjoy that as well. Anything to do with the pioneers, they are right there with questions and interest. Ella hasn't quite grown into the interest yet, I'm hoping Mrs. Wildenradt at Pooh's Corner will help out with that this year when Ella starts preschool. Ella's famous words today were, "I'm boring!" translation: I'm bored! She doesn't know to put the 'ed' at the end. Her favorite thing about the day was petting the dogs people were walking in the village.
Chris also found another Monarch caterpillar. It hasn't done anything yet, but we'll take pictures when it starts to. It is much bigger than Junior.

I'm warning everyone that I probably will not have time to post this week because of the fair. Please behave yourselves and NO BLOG HACKING this week (at least not on my blog)!!!!!

Thanks for checking in!

The James Gang

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lots Going On!

"Junior" at 12:30 today. We will keep you updated on this!
Chris has been so good about working with the heifers. We love you, Daddy!

Trying to drive a tractor and turn around and take a picture is not my specialty!
Sorry for my hand!

Me and the girls in Matt's barn. I look like a spook!

Emma and Darla - Darla is a BULLY!

Emma and Ella kept themselves busy at Matt's house with one of his kittens.

Tina getting her pedicure from a guy over by Lincoln. Thanks, Matt!
Tina refused to stand after we put her upright - such a drama queen!

Emma concentrating hard on beading her bracelet for 4-H.
Notice Emma's toes - we had her birthday pedicure on Tues.

Our Monarch caterpillar this morning at about 8:30.

Chris dangerously painting the barn.

We are on the countdown to the county fair, so we have been busy, busy, busy with fair preparations! We walk cows every night, tied to the hayrack, with me driving the tractor, Chris and Emma "leading" cows, and Anna and Ella riding on the hayrack. I'm sure we look ridiculous doing all of this up and down the lane, but you've gotta do what ya gotta do! Thank you Uncle Scootie for the great idea! We also had to take Darla and Tina to get a pedicure. It looks painful for them, but it really isn't that bad. Beauty is Pain, girls! Emma also had to make a bracelet for the fair for the Arts and Crafts. It turned out nice!
The girls caught a Monarch caterpillar and it is starting to cocoon ( I took that picture early this morning). We did this last year and hatched two Monarch butterflies and it was AWESOME! We're hoping this one will do the same! Before I posted I went upstairs to get something and noticed that the caterpillar was in its chrysallist (sp?). So I quickly took another pic of that and posted it as well. I hope we get to see it tranform into the butterfly because it really is an amazing sight.
Please notice the pictures of my daredevil husband painting the hayloft doors of the barn. I was sure that I was going to come back from town and find him laying in the driveway from falling!

Thanks for checking in!

The James Gang

Monday, July 13, 2009

Go Cubs, Go!

Heidi and Eric outside the stadium waiting to get in.

Fukodome, Chris' favorite player (I think it's just b/c of his name)

Cardinals warming up before the game.

I got my chance to finally attend my first Major League baseball game. Chris, in the past couple of years, has become a Cubs fan (thanks to all the AM radio he listens to) and Heidi and Eric had four free tickets for the 12:00 game on Sunday against the Cards. We had awsome seats, about 20 rows up behind home plate - we couldn't believe it! Heidi kept waiting for someone to come and tell us we were in their seats. The weather was perfect as well. It would get hot and then a breeze would come along and cool us off and by 2:00, we were in the shade. I took full advantage of this being my first game and ate nachos and bought a souvenir for the girls and myself. I might have to actually purchase a t-shirt (I'm too cheap to buy one at the stadium) now that I've been to a game. Here are few pics of us and some of the players at the game.

Officially a Cub fan,


PS: Sorry, Burk's family!

Happy Birthday, Emma Margaret!

Emma's display of her gifts.

Emma turned the ripe old age of nine on Friday, July 10th. She was named after Grandma Rankin and had to share her happy day with the funeral for Grandma. We all thought that it was fitting, though, because she shared Grandma's name. She even got "Happy Birthday" sung to her at the funeral dinner.

"The Cousins Are Here!"

Miss Sophia


Miss Colby is all smiles!

Princess Amelia getting out of the pool!

Jacob at the airport!

We love it when all of the cousins can get together and we had the opportunity this past week with everyone coming home for Grandma's funeral. Although it was sad letting go of Grandma, we did enjoy being together. Everyone is growing so fast and my girls love playing with, holding, feeding, changing diapers, or doing whatever with their younger cousins. I know that if Chris and I were to have another, I would have to fight my girls to hold it! Not that that will be happening! Here are a few pics of Jacob arriving at the airport and of Colby, Amelia, Henry, and Sophia playing at our house.

Thanks for checking in!

The James Gang