Sad Sack

“Sad Sack”

Meet one of the saddest looking dogs that I know. Even after a fun day playing in the sun, he has not learned to smile!

This is Thor, our newest adopted family member!

We had been discussing getting a pet for awhile. Megan kept asking sweetly for a puppy. We enjoy fish, but they don’t seem to do well for us. Cats are okay, as long as they are the neighbor’s extremely friendly barn cats.  The kids have adopted the neighbor’s alpacas too. But that is not the same as a pet friend who lives with us.

About three weeks ago, we heard about a dog who’s owner was moving to a smaller house and could not bring his 5 year old English mastiff with him. Allan decided to go visit the dog. He seemed like a nice dog, obedient and got to know Allan quickly.  Then I went to visit and thought he was BIG and SLOBBERY.Thor3

We talked about it.  We decided to take the kids without letting them know why we were looking.  Then Megan saw a video with big dogs.  She started talking more about how she wanted a dog. A big dog, like a horse!

The kids really liked Thor. It did not take long for him to warm up to Mark though Megan complained he was not big enough. I still thought he was BIG and SLOBBERY.

Thor and MeganWe prayed more for wisdom. Thor came to live with us five days after Allan first met him. And our house has changed.

Thor seems to be a great dog.  He rarely barks, and when he does, we pay attention.  After some one throws the kong for him to chase, Thor will happily come inside and rest by someone. He obeys everyone, except Megan. I don’t think he understands her language.

Mark and ThorThor is learning that he belongs.  He claimed Mark and, though stairs are hard for him, he chose to sleep downstairs in Mark’s room.  He sits on the porch watching the kids do school work or play.  When we had a storm, he came into our room–he is not allowed– and, just like one of my sick kids, wanted me to comfort him. Then he slept on the floor until the storm passed. He makes the rounds every night to be sure everyone is tucked in before he curls up by Mark’s bed.

I still think he is BIG and SLOBBERY.  But I like him.


Upwards 2011
Megan helping coach 2011
Megan’s first game 2016

After years of being the team mascot and cheer leader, this morning was Megan’s first soccer game! I am her coach and Audrey the assistant coach.

I was not sure how well the team would do, they are easily distracted at practice and do not seem to know how to play. I was asked more than once today if they were allowed to steal the ball. However, they did an excellent job listening to me during the game on things they had not learned yet, love to run fast, and are not afraid of the ball. They played hard and won, 4:1.  Most importantly, every time I asked if they were having fun, they would yell, “yes!” Megan said, ” I like it! I am looking forward to next week!”

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IMG_7194Adrian played his first game of the season today also. They did a great job, winning 5:2. He has improved a lot over the last few years.  Adrian even made a goal today!

This afternoon, we went to Andrea’s game.  It was a rough game and they worked hard for the one point they made.  They ended up winning, 1:0.

P.S  Didn’t Allan do a great job with Megan’s photos?Andrea


I am not sure what this flower is, the girls picked it along with a white one at a neighbor’s house. I did some research, and I think it might be a Grecian Windflower (Anemone blanda).

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It has been fun looking for spring flowers and discovering new ones that we have not noticed before.

Alpaca Shearing School Day

Yesterday, the kids helped shear alpacas.  Each year they learn a new job and they work harder each time.

Megan is learning.  As little as she is, she has more “can’t do-es” than “can do-es”. But this year, she started learning jobs. She swept a little and helped Mark bring her favorite alpaca in.  Then she sat next to Sing and petted her to keep her calm.

IMG_6301_shareMark brought the alpacas in and helped secure them.  When they were finished, he returned them to their pens so they could go outside.

Andrea learned how to move the first cutting of fiber and then how to hold and help flip the alpacas.  She was not sure about the job at first, but she did an excellent job.

Audrey has been helping bag the fiber and cleaning up between cuttings. This year she and the neighbor did it alone.  As Adrian grows older, he is learning more jobs.  This year he swept between alpacas and stayed out of everyone’s way without having to be reminded.

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It was a fun morning of hard work.  The neighbors had other home school boys come  in to help, so the kids enjoyed the chance to talk to other kids.  The boys were highly recommended to me.  They “look you in the eye when they talk to you”. That is a high compliment coming from my kids!

Megan and Dino

Megan had a class on amphibians today.  All of the kids were hoping that “Dino” would be there.  They worked on their school work and  helped Mr. Courtney when they could.  At they end, they got to hold Dino.

Megan and DinoI had forgotten that Megan held the salamander with help last year, but this is the very first time she held him without any help at all. Megan said he felt like cold gooey stuff.  She said she did not want to hold him again, even though she enjoyed playing with him a few minutes before returning him.


AndreaI have been giving myself new challenges to learn to take better pictures.  Allan found a tutorial on using reflectors and I realized that I had made a silly mistake.  I did not realize you could use a reflector on dreary, dull days!  Yesterday, Andrea and I went out into the rain and experimented.

Now to figure out how to “bribe” the other kids so I can practice some more 🙂  I was informed that small jelly beans would work. The only problem is…. where do I find jelly beans after Easter?