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America’s Next Top Model: Pre-school Edition

Yes, I take a lot of pictures of my kids, but I look at it as practice for my photography business. As a bonus, I have lots of pictures of my kids which they will appreciate someday…I hope. Rheya has become much more cooperative lately. She’s very good at smiling and looking at the camera, but she’s even better at just doing her own thing which translates well into cute “lifestyle” type pictures. These are a few shots of her from recent days.

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Chickens and a Playground

The girls are getting bigger! They are so much fun and we love to let them “graze” in the backyard…supervised, of course. We also bought the kids a really cool new playground complete with twisty slide, playhouse (2 levels), climbing wall, and swings! They love it and it should provide hours of entertainment on nice days. It took quite a while to put together, but it was no problem for Rick!

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Relaxing in Estes Park

As any parent can tell you, sometimes you just need a break from the kids. Rick and I needed to get away for a weekend to relax, so the kids stayed with Nana for one night and with Grandma for one night (they did great, by the way), while Rick and I headed to Estes Park, Colorado! We stayed at a great bed and breakfast called The Black Dog Inn, where we have stayed once before. It was beautiful weather and a perfect weekend. We did a little shopping and drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park. We also saw a deer right in the backyard of the bed and breakfast place. We went outside to sit on the patio to have a snack, and there she came, right onto the grass to have a snack of her own. She walked around for a while, munching away and even laid down until I spooked her when I went to get my camera. We had a great time and are already looking forward to our next trip!

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Banished to the Barn

I’ve been pretty sad for the last few weeks. We recently had to put our inside kitty, Jinx, outside…permanently. When we moved to this house in December, something in Jinx just snapped and he started peeing in the house. Whether it was smells from the former home owners’ pets or he just had some sort of issue all on his own, we’ll never know. Whatever the problem, we couldn’t allow him to stay in the house anymore, so we decided the best option was to make him an outdoor-only kitty. He is still not very happy about it…even after almost three weeks outside. Out in the barn, we set up some soft places for him to sleep, some food and water bowls, and even a litter box for him. We also put a cat door into the barn so he can come and go as he pleases. Unfortunately, the ONLY thing he wants is to be around us, so he just sits on the back porch and cries and cries and cries all day and night. It breaks my heart, but there’s nothing else we can do about it. :(

We go outside to visit him whenever possible and he loves that. Despite his banishment, he is still totally social and friendly. I’m not sure when he’ll figure out that this is permanent and perhaps start wandering around a bit more. He’s still a very young cat (not even two years old), and he knows nothing about outdoor life. I’m hoping some natural instincts will kick in eventually.

Here are some pictures of Jinx in his new outdoor environment.

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Bribing my models…

You may be thinking that Vaughan and Rheya are such great little models all the time, but it’s simply not true. These days it takes quite a bit of bribery to get them to cooperate for pictures. On this day, I promised them that we could go get some lunch at Arby’s if they posed for a few pictures. I guess that was enough motivation because I got a ton of cute shots!

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iPhone Pics

I sure do love having an iPhone! Here are some pics from my phone…December 2011 through March 2012. Enjoy!

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The girls!

We are officially embracing rural life! We are the proud owners of four fluffy, fuzzy, adorable baby chicks! We are not looking to raise chickens, but these four girls will start to produce some eggs for us to eat (and share) in about five months or so. When we brought them home, they were one week old and these are some pictures from their first week here with us. It’s amazing how much they have grown already. After watching them for a few days it was pretty easy to see their personalities, so I was able to come up with some names for them.

Big Mama – the biggest chick who seems to be the bossiest
Cuddles – the smallest chick who is the most relaxed
Spinderella – the chick who spends the most time scratching
Shy Anne – the chick who is a little bit skiddish (that name came from a friend via Facebook after I asked for some help naming her)

After a week of spending time with them as much as we can, Big Mama has already become the most outgoing and comfortable with us. If you put your hand down in front of her, she’ll hop right up on your fingers and you can lift her up (not too far) as she practices her balancing skills. It’s pretty fun! They will continue to live in the metal tub in our garage until they are fully feathered (about six or seven weeks) and then we will move them to a coop out in the backyard. We’ll have to predator-proof the coop by burying some chicken wire all around the perimeter and they will only be allowed out of the coop during the day if someone is out there to keep an eye on them. Eventually, we want to add a bigger chicken paddock area out by our barn. It will be a place where we can rotate them from section to section to “graze” so that each of the other sections has a chance to grow back in.

Enjoy the pictures!

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Fords and Flats

Not flat tires…flats, as in, ballet flats or SHOES to those who are not familiar with the term. :)

Rheya and I were just killing some time at home while Vaughan was at school today, so I took these pictures of her playing with one of Vaughan’s Hot Wheels trucks (a Ford F-150) and then trying on my ballet flats. Too cute! Also, note the static electricity on her hair. It’s that lovely, DRY Wyoming air!

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