Wednesday, September 20, 2006

a walk on the wild side

as i was walking through the backyard, i saw a little snake trying to slither up the ramp into the storage building. it was such a tiny thing, and i thought little raven would get such a kick out of it, i just scooped it up for "show and tell".

i called summer and told her that i had just caught a little snake for raven and asked how soon they could be out to "play" with it. she loaded up the girls and came right on out -- with raven still in her dance duds and hair-do. i was keeping the little snake in a coffee can while waiting on them because i didn't want to hurt it by handling it too much.

when they got there, summer dumped the little snake out on the concrete patio for raven to watch. she thought it was just pretty neat and she has always had a liking for snakes, even the plastic play snakes. i've always feared that she would pick up a real snake thinking it was one of her plastic play snakes.

she really liked watching it, but she wasn't really too sure of touching it. i guess she figured that if memaw could touch it then it must be ok. i held the snake's head while the body wrapped around/through my fingers. it was an amazingly strong little snake, as it was pulling so hard to get its head out of my fingers and i was afraid to squeeze too tightly to keep a good hold on him. i followed the old philosophy of "if it hurts too bad, it'll quit doing that" and that seemed to work.

raven was a little tentative on first touching the snake, but a few gentle touches convinced her that it wasn't "gross" or "gusting" (translation = disgusting!). after a little encouragement, she let the snake wrap around her fingers as i held it, but she thought it tickled.

the more she held it, the more comfortable she was looking at it and studying it. i never let go of it so that she ever held it on her own. i'm sure this little snake was not dangerous in the least, but still did not want to allow the opportunity for it to scare her. i wanted this to be a fun learning time to remember.

after we had spent a few minutes looking at the snake and talking about the different features, we put it back in the coffee can and carried it out to the edge of the field so we could "let him go back to his mommy". raven really didn't want to let it go, but she did understand how a little snake might want his mommy -- so that made it all ok.

after letting him out on the ground, raven and summer waited until he quickly disappeared into the beanfield, just sure that he knew right where his mommy was and was quickly on his way to her.

now that this adventure on the wild side was over, she had new things to talk about and more adventures of animals and life on the farm to look forward to. raven truly does enjoy looking at nature and learning all about the things that she can. it's so amazing how little ones are just like sponges, soaking up everything around them and all the information they can get.

from feeding the cattle to checking on the horses to playing with the new kittens to helping care for baby sister to dance/ballet class to coming out to play w/ the baby snake -- all falls into a typical day for raven it seems.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

a night out w/ rockapella!

well, we had another fantastic sunday, filled with family, friends, and good times. jerry's sister, judy, had her 60th birthday party at chicken mary's from 2 - 4, so after church and a change of clothes we headed that way. jerry and i went, my kids went, and jacob's family went -- so we got to spend some time w/ the grandkids.

after the party, amanda went on home w/ johnny and joey while jacob and jimmy stayed around here to hang out w/ us for the evening. we had tickets to go see Rockapella at memorial auditorium in pittsburg, so we took jacob and jimmy w/ us for that show. it was absolutely amazing!!!

rockapella can sing and charm a mixed audience of age, race, and gender to provide a fantastic and unbelievable concert experience.

this group of 5 very talented musicians provides a wide variety of music, all without any musical accompaniment. one group member functions as the rhythm section and amazingly sounds like the whole drum section. another member provides the bass for the songs as well as some vocals.

if you haven't ever had the chance to hear/see rockapella, you can check out their website and hear some samples. while you might think you've never heard them, i'm betting that you've actually heard them on several commercials and shows, but just didn't know it was them.

the show was totally fascinating for the whole family!!! jimmy and raven were dancing and rocking to the beat, right down to clapping and "whoo-ooo-ooo". they were amazingly cute! here's a picture that jerry took of us -- i'm holding riahna, lucas is behind us, then summer, raven, and jacob holding jimmy. you'll just have to take my word for it that jerry was there b/c someone had to take the picture!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Response to Anonymous

although i don't normally respond to comments from "anonymous," i decided to answer to this one because i wanted to make sure this situation was crystal clear to anyone else who might be reading my blog. usually someone who leaves a message as "anonymous" w/o a name in the comment box means it's someone that i wouldn't provide an answer to or care what his/her opinion was anyway -- but here it is.
At Fri Sep 15, 05:02:54 PM CDT, Anonymous said...
Why can you not show thier faces? Did jacob ask you? I guess I just don't understand.

to answer your question in jacob's words "yes, jill has been requested not to show the faces of my children on her blog because amanda and i feel that the children are in possible danger from their grandmother, due to the attempted kidnapping back in april, 2006. also, there is a pending court case w/ possible civil charges to be brought against melenda friel for this incident. we feel that anyone who is desperate enough to control others by using children as a weapon is not a safe person for the children to spend time with. if she is not a safe person for the children to be with, she doesn't need to have access to their pictures, either -- and neither do those people in the family who have chosen to believe her lies on this issue."

as far as MY trusted family and friends, they have another address where they can go and see my pictures of our family. that way, i can still share pictures w/o breaking jacob and amanda's request to not post their children's pictures to this blog.

if someone doesn't understand the incident -- the details can be found HERE.

my children were kidnapped by their father when they were 11 and 13, and i certainly realize the fear and terror that a parent feels when someone else has the children and will not return them as requested. my situation with my children went on for longer and had to involve court orders to return them and the police to take them away from their father and hand them over to me -- but the fact remains, it is terrifying to not know where your children are and/or if they are safe. NO parent should have to go through this experience.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

grandparents' day - september 10, 2006

what a day! while i was too young to remember anything of importance that jimmy carter might have done while he was in office, he did one thing that stands out for many people -- he implemented a day to honor and celebrate grandparents.

we (jerry and i) are wonderfully blessed w/ 5 grandchildren, 3 grandsons from jerry's son (jacob) and 2 granddaughters from my daughter (summer) -- ranging in age from 5 years down to 4 months. when they are all in the house -- it makes for a lively evening.

since this last sunday was grandparents' day, jacob brought the boys over to go to church w/ us and then out to dinner at chicken mary's. after a nice little nap, then jacob and the 3 boys headed up to grandma evelyn's house in nevada.

they had a wonderful time there and grandma evelyn was so thrilled to have the surprise company. amazingly, jacob was the only grandchild that she heard from on grandparents' day -- so that made his visit w/ the boys that much more special for her. plus the special time of having her visit w/ her 3 grandsons!!! she was in heaven!

summer and lucas had been to branson for the weekend, initially to spend time w/ "the dark side" but that fell through and they spent their time there together as a family. they were back by mid-afternoon on sunday, but waited to come out to our house until nap time was over.

here is a picture of jerry and me with 4 out of 5 grandchildren; unfortunately, i have been asked to not show the faces of jacob's children on my blog b/c of the attempted kidnapping incident from this last spring where jacob's mother took the kids and held them against the parents' wishes. due to that incident, i am unable to proudly display their pictures here with the rest of the family.

if you are interested in reading about that day, you will find it HERE.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

3 amigos have hunting fever

it's officially dove season here, starting on 9/01, so you know what has been going on at our house in the mornings and/or in the evenings for the last several days. this is the first chance jerry has had to go hunting in years, so he is really enjoying himself. jacob has also started spending more time with his dad and hunting a lot -- so this has been a a new experience for the both of them. on opening day, scott had to work that evening and didn't get to go hunting, but he hasn't let that stop him from going many other days.

this picture was taken on friday, 9/08/06, as the 3 of them were headed down to try and eliminate some of the dove population. they have been keeping a tally on the front of the refrigerator to document who has shot the most doves. my job is to keep track of the tally sheet and make sure that no stray marks get put on there! jerry's mother suggested another tally sheet of how many shells they went through, but they didn't go for that contest. part of their complaint is that sometimes they actually hit a dove and knock it down, but then can't find it if it lands in the beanfield. h-m-m-m-m, sounds kind of suspicious to me. but i've heard them hunt and i KNOW that there are a lot more shells shot than birds brought home. thank goodness we're not needing the meat to live on!

can you tell which one here is acting like a smarty-pants? h-m-m-m, i wonder? well, obviously, "my boys" are having a wonderful time just spending time together, competing for bragging rights, and just overall the fun they're having at hunting. i know, since i'm not a hunter, that this doesn't appeal to everyone -- but it sure fits these 3 for an evening of fun.

i can hardly wait until the next season opens. if i'm not careful, i'm going to have a houseful of hunters most of the time. oh well, that won't break my heart and that activity can certainly provide them with many hours of fun and build many special memories for them and makes for great relationships.