Monday, August 29, 2016

Moments to cherish

What a full weekend of delight we had!  A wedding took up a lot of time with rehearsal and the actual wedding at the end of the week, and then we went right into the rest of the weekend with fun with our family.  Two dear friends of ours got married on Friday evening.  It was a beautiful evening for it and such a lovely place to be married and to celebrate this special time.  Jonathon and I sang during the ceremony and during the reception, so we were glad to be a part in this way.  Alegra was able to be one of the photographers to get some practice with wedding photography.  She learned a lot and got more ideas of what to do and not do.   Most of these pictures are her's.       

On Saturday we decided to take a family day and stay closer to home.  After a lazy day of playing with the dog and just enjoying the rainy day, the wet weather cleared, and we headed to David Roger's Park for the country fair.  We always enjoy the old fashioned games and crafts and hanging out with our friends who do blacksmithing there.  It's a slow paced time where we can just sit around and watch good entertainment done the old way.  This year was especially fun as another family joined up with us and added to the festivities with their participation.
 The girls love making baskets.

 There are always fun contests for children and adults.  Our children aren't into the contests (maybe one day they will be), but Jonathon and I participated in the quick draw, gun shooting contest.  Cattle Girl (aka me) won in the adult division and then had to prove my quickness by going against the Lone Ranger.  I beat him too.  :)  I won an amazing Gold Cap Gun that Benaiah is quite fond of.

Then onto the pie eating contest.  Our friends two boys were selected to participate and boy did they make it a lot more fun to watch.  Ian and Micah did a great job chowing down on that pie!  I probably took way too many pictures, but I just couldn't resist all their facial expressions and mouths full of pie!
 The contestants and their pie.

 Ready, GO!

 They had 7 minutes to eat as much as they could.

 No hands allowed.

  Only their faces.

 The crowd cheered and laughed with enjoyment.

 A proud dad getting the amazing eater on camera.

 It was epic.

 No, he didn't eat the pie pan.

 Holding up the pies to see how everyone did.

 Noticing Ian's pie is gone, except a few crumbs on the table!

 Pronouncing the winner!  

 And the first to eat the whole pie!

 After the pie eating we watched Punch and Judy, a puppet show, then headed back up to tghe stage to listen to the music and do some square dancing.
 We all participated and got a chance to learn some new things and just enjoy being outside with friends.  Those simple moments just can't be beat at times.

Sometimes we have to sit back and remember what life used to be like for people.  When we visit David Rogers Park, we often wonder what it was like to live in community and have neighbors that you were in fellowship with on a daily basis.  Our family would love to live back in those times of working hard on farms, living closely with neighbors, and helping each other out when there's a need.  It seems like it would be a harder life, but seems like it would be so much more fulfilling than the fast paced day we live in now.

We sure try to keep our children focused on the little things, the things that really affect people's hearts and encourage others for good.  We try to not get caught up in fast paced activities that keep our family constantly on the go.  We try to do more things that revolve around nature, music, and hands on activities.

Slow down.  Smell the fresh air.  
Take in the views that are around you.  
Drink some lemonade and have a sweet treat with a neigbor. 
 Lend a hand and offer some words of encouragement.
Enjoy the simple things.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Inseperable these two

Titus is a big boy, but he's also a very soft boy, especially his ears.  Hadassah and Diella are very much alike in that regard.  Hadassah has taken on her sister's love of all things soft.  The ears are the softest part of Titus and we will often find Hadassah pulling on his or trying to snuggle with them.  He usually tolerates it, but sometimes he rolls aways and leaves her with a scratch.  

Today she was left with a good scratch, but I'm thinking from the way she looks in the picture, it was worth it.  :)  She loooooves his ears!!!

A hike at Pokagon State Park

We had a few hours one afternoon to get the dog out and do some hiking at Pokagon State Park.  The temperature was 90 degrees, but with a cool breeze in the shaded woods and a light misting of rain, it really felt fairly cool.  BUT the mosquitoes did start biting after we got so far in, so we turned around and headed back to the van.  Thankfully we did as we needed to leave to head home right when we got back to the van.  We weren't keeping good track of time apparently.  

As always Saphira carried the map to lead the way.  The dog did great although we didn't meet anyone on the trail for him to respond to.  He did respond at my cousin's house where we stopped on our way home.  They have 2 dogs that he thought he should carry on a loud, barkey conversation with.  He still needs to get around more dogs and be exposed to them.  Today I walked him down the road and bicycler came towards us.  After I caught his first perk up sign, I corrected him and he went back to a leisure walk without even caring when the biker passed us and talked to us.  He's making improvements, but still more things to overcome.  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Titus and agility work & Cicada Amazement

We've had Titus for about a month now and learning more of his behaviours and why he does certain things.  He sure came with a lof of quirks, but hopefully by the time we're done working with him, he'll be happier, less anxious dog.  We can see why somebody would have just abandoned him or left him behind.  He's strong and strong willed, but mostly just afraid.  Sadly, his fear causes him to do behaviour weirdly and sometimes not very good.

I started watching The Good Dog youtube videos and have started having purposeful training sessions with him.  We've only had 2 days of it, but he's improving with certain fears and settling down on the leash.  Since we'll be home all week, this is a great time for us to really focus on his training.

The children have been wanting to work some agility stuff with him, so they figured out how to make some jumps for him and have been working with him on that.  He can do a double jump and a very long jump.  They usually have to have him on leash to direct him or he just runs around it.  :)  The other day they were so excited when he did the jump without being on leash.  He's making great strides but still has so much to learn and settle down within himself.

Wore out and tired after all the jumps.

This is how Saphira plays with the old dog, Rufus.

And then there's the new, young pup who runs laps around Rufus and plays quite well with Benaiah.  Those two are two peas in a pod.  :)

We've had some really lovely evenings the past few nights.  I was getting ready to call everybody to get ready for bed when I realized they were all outside.  I walked out and saw what the party was about.  They found this cicada coming out of the shell on a tree and put it on the sidewalk, so they could all see better.  Alegra watched, took pictures, and recorded this insect ever so slowly come out of its shell.  Amazing!  I'm not sure how long I sat and watched too then.  I said of all the years I've found those empty shells, I've never watched one come out.  I felt so blessed to be able to witness such a marvelous act by the Creator.  It was truly amazing, every movement that bug made to get out and then to dry off, and to be ready to live.    

This is how I watched some of the agility tricks.  Love my snuggly baby, Hadassah!
Hadassah is truly becoming full of personality.  She is a happy girl, with an amazing smile and big hugs that make you feel like the most loved person on the planet.  She's 10 months now and still has the rash she's had since she was born.  Though her head has cleared up, she still deals with it on her arms.  I'm giving her Milk Thistle tincture to help her liver work better to eliminate toxins and giving her a strong probiotic to help her belly process what she eats, so everything is functioning as it should.  I said I'd keep giving it to her until her birthday, so hopefully that's as much time as she needs to get all the bad bacteria out of her system and the good filling her up.  Please keep praying that her body is strengthening and getting better.  Her rash on her arms still irritates her, so that makes it challenging. 

Our summer has been so great so far.  We've done minimal work outside, though today looks like it's going to be a big work day in garden and cutting wood, and mowing.  We've enjoyed lots of friends staying with us, small trips to swim, playing with friends, and taking walks with our dogs.

It's already August.  I finally went through all the school books to get ready for that, though none of us are ready to start.  I think we need to take August off as well.  There's just too much work and fun to be had to start school.  I'm pretty sure the children are thankful that their teacher isn't in any hurry to get started.  ;)