Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn News

Fall is here, full force.  The leaves have changed color and the trees are naked in spots now.  I love the crisp chilly mornings, but it won't be long before I'm whining about the cold.  Winter is so long and hard.
 Updates on us:

D: recently went to Charlotte, NC for training for a work. Claimed it was boring, but learned a lot about a new machine they are getting at work. Been very busy getting it  set up at work. Upon arriving back home, realized just exactly how loud his loving family really is, when you've been alone for week! hehe

Me: didn't really like my week of single parenting.  I realized D and I are a very nice team, and when your teammate is missing, things don't run as smoothly. I was exhausted. I missed him and appreciate him much more. I am thinking *I* should leave for week, so he appreciates *ME* more! ;-)

J: done with football, started basketball.  Not sure if he likes it anymore or not.  A's and B's on report card. Still smiling from his Best In Show win. Growing up fast. Too fast.  Super busy. Hardly ever home. Turing very "teenager-ish" suddenly...ack..

T: Also done with football. Played kicker on the pee-wee team this year.  Will play pee-wee basketball when it starts.  A's and B's on report card, and almost done with his 2nd 9 weeks AR goal.  Ahh...I love a lesson learned.  Recently, after a trip to PetSmart,  claimed it is his dream  to own a lizard and has been researching what he needs to make his dreams come true.  Ugh. His mother isn't thrilled, but IS impressed at the level of research and information he's been digging up.

That's life in a nutshell!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

KSRBA Photo Contest

See the very cool ribbons I brought home this past weekend?? Seriously, they are the COOLEST ribbons I have ever won. Not that I've won many.  This makes numbers 3 and 4.

I won 1st and 2nd place in the 18 and over group.  18 and over.  It makes me feel young. Until I stop to think just how over 18 I really am. Oh well.

The pictures that won with were ones I almost left at home, but put in anyway just because.  

This is the one that got first.   This is Big Mama with one of her babies from this spring. 

This picture makes me smile.  Big Mama is one of the best mama bunnies we have.. Her babies are always huge, fat, and clean, and she loves being a mom. She gets excited and acts proud when she's got kits, and seems depressed at times when others close to her have babies and she doesn't. That being said, you can totally see the look of annoyance on her face as that clingy baby napped on her back.  Even in the animal world, sometimes moms just need a break and even furry children can be annoying.

And this one was second.  

I was surprised as there were lots of pictures there, and they were all better than mine. I even felt a little silly laying mine up on the table when we got there and even thought about not participating.
The rule of the contest was that the main focus of the pics had to be a bunny, and I think I took that away with my others that I took.
It was a lot of fun!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 KSRBA Convention

What a weekend. My back hurts, feet hurt, and we are all exhausted.
Friday afternoon we loaded up and headed out. This was our first convention and didn't know what to expect.
Saturday morning we got there early as J had royalty business to do.  He applied for Duke. This process included a 6 page written application, 200 question test, oral interview, showmanship, breed ID, and judging contest. (Royalty is a hard challenge. It requires the kids to learn and study, and develop skills that will help them in the rabbit project..and in life for that matter.)
J during his oral interview.  They are REQUIRED to wear the coats. He had fun during his interview and he said it was his favorite part because "they asked some really neat questions."

 Later that evening, they announced the winners, and J was Runner Up DUKE!!  
J, 1st runner up Duke!! The Duke and Duchess are holding the awards and have purple ribbons, the 1st runner ups have the blues and the 2nd runner ups have the yellow ribbons.
 We enjoyed the banquet, and being with our friends.  Friends who we don't ever have to explain to "why we raise rabbits." =)  They had a dance after the dinner, but we were exhausted.  And none of our breeds ended up being judged Saturday and were one the board for Sunday morning, so we hit the sack.

We had no expectations for the buns J took. He took some really young Jr's, just to get some comments and to help him figure out what he needs to hang on to, and what he can get rid of.  They are BABIES, and I assumed would be underdeveloped.
 J took his Havanas to the table. He competed with 19 other Havanas. J's were the smallest and youngest up there. BUT--he was awarded the BEST OF BREED award with AVA, and a BEST OPPOSITE SEX with a chocolate Havana buck, named JOSE.  The judge had nice comments to say about both buns. J was BEYOND THRILLED!

This meant we had to stick around until 11, when they took all of the Best Of Breed bunnies and put them all up to award the Best In Show bunny.  J and I had this really long conversation, both agreeing about how it was dumb to stick around, because she was so young, she would never ever in a million years even place.  

They called them up, and we stood patiently while the 27 other rabbits were lines up in the coops.  The judge goes through each rabbit, and if she goes back more than once to look at your rabbit, it means you have a chance at winning.  Well, she came back to look at Ava.  J whispers "MOM" out the corner of his mouth. "Act cool, J..."  She goes back and looks at a few more, and then comes BACK AGAIN for Ava.  "MOM...DO YOU SEE THIS?"  "Yes....act cool."    All of this was happening out the corner of our mouths, trying to act like we weren't excited while our hearts were beating out of our chests.  She came back AGAIN for Ava, this time picking her up, flipping her over, checking her toes and her belly.  By this time I am convinced she's found a DQ or something and is going to use her for a example to show everyone. She keeps looking around at the other bunnies, then her eyes would come back to Ava.
"2rd Runner up goes to the Florida White." she says.
J turns to me and says "WELP, I'm done. I think she must have been choosing between Ava and that one"
"1st Runner up goes to the Mini Lop"
 And today...our Best In Show winner will be.....THE HAVANA!!!!!" 
Everyone started screaming and yelling J's name. Kids J has looked up to for the past year lined up to come by to shake his hand and tell him Congrats.   He got a BIG hug from Yvonne, the lady that has helped him with with his Havanas. We made our way over for the honorary picture with the judge you always take with a big win. My hands were shaking and my eyes were "leaking" just a little bit. 

"Congratulations....this is a beautiful animal."  she told him as she shook his hand.

J, Ava,and Judge Melissa Magee from California. (Ava was acting like the child she is,and no longer wanted to pose pretty. She was more interested in checking out that trophy.)

This Best In Show winner was born in our barn this summer. It's always wonderful to win, but there is something so bittersweet when you win with your OWN animal. One that you worried about and took care of before they even were born, watched come into the world and grow up.

The only way this day could have gotten any better, is if D could have been there. He had to leave a half an hour before the Best In Show, to catch a plane to head to North Carolina for a week for training. He can't believe he missed it. =(  

The trip home was.....

....very quiet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Photo Contest

My crew and I are headed to the Kansas State Rabbit Breeders Association Convention this weekend.  It will be a weekend full of showing,contests, dancing, and a banquet (royalty interviews and tests, if you are Jake),  as well as a motel with a swimming pool..the very best part, if you ask T.
J and I were super excited to find out they have a photo contest there, with the main focus of the photos needing to be a bunny.  I had several I was going to take already, but yesterday, while waiting on her mama to get off work, Little C and I headed outside and she was MORE than happy to hold a bunny for me, while I snapped some pictures.  (Sometimes being the only kid left at daycare has it's advantages, or disadvantages...I guess it's all in how you look at it! hehe) Anyway, these were some of my favorites.

 This is one is too bright, but I love her eyes, so I am just going to see if I like it in print and decide when we get there.

 This one is my favorite.

Its really too bad you can't here what she was saying in the photos..  I think the "Ohh, wittle you want your mama?? Are you scared??...I won't hurt you, wittle bunny," that she says in a sweet soft little voice could probably melt Antarctica. Or Iceland...wait..I don't think Iceland is really cold, is it?? Well, you get the picture.

(Sometimes it weirds me out to post pictures of other peoples kids. However, I DID have her mom's permission to do this! =-) )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just a quick bite to eat

This has been our entertainment the past few weeks! Isn't this guy funny??  The daycare kids are always excited when they spot the "qurel".  Today they sat...still and quiet, I should add, for 20 minutes or so, just watching what this crazy squirrel would do next.
Winter must be getting really close because he's been frantically collecting anything he can find to stash away. 

 It gets pretty comical when he's really determined!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall's Visitors

We have a couple of house guests living in the bunny barn. They moved in about a month ago.

I've been calling this one Charlotte.  She made her web in the top part of a partial wall we have up in there.  She keeps her web clean and it's always pretty.  I love looking at it first thing in the morning when it's wet.

This GUY has his web right in side, right over a bunny cage.  I know its a boy, because his web is a mess, and he has left bits and pieces of food all over his web. Messy or not, his web is pretty spectacular, with a different "layout" in his plans.  It's not just a plain web. It's almost as if there are 3 or 4 of them connected.

I've not minded them as they have stayed on their webs and not bothering us or the bunnies. (I'm not afraid of spiders, but am the first to squash one if I see one. These are just...peaceful, I guess, to look at.)  I'm not really sure what kind they are, but they are big and hairy and are both the same kind of spider.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Madness

Wow. The weather changed and so did the pace of life! I swear I am going to paint my car yellow and  get a meter. I could probably make enough to support my Scentsy addiction. hehe

I'd say fall is HERE.  The past few days have been deliciously crisp, and the nights are ALMOST cold. It was 65 degrees in our house Sunday morning.  I've got all my fall decorations up. I've found I love decorating for fall just as much as I do for Christmas.  My houseplants are all back inside, pouting.  They will all start screaming for spring around late January. Oh wait...maybe that's me.  Anyway, several of them were attacked by grasshoppers this year. Something I have never had a problem with, except for maybe a nibble here or there.

The boys are staying busy with football.  We just had our very first football injury. Well, I guess we are not totally sure it was related to football or if it was a virus, but everyone seems to be leaning more towards injury now.  J had been complaining of a headache Tuesday and Wednesday of last week and I thought he had this weird virus that seems to be getting passed around so I'd just been passing him Advil as needed. He went to school and on to his game on Thursday.  We skipped out on this game because it was a good distance away.  He went in for the kick return, and then was pulled for the rest of the game.  He said his head hurt so bad he couldn't even think and he couldn't stand to have his helmet on.  He had pain that started on the top of his head, down his neck, down his spine, and on into his lower back.  He sat on the side lines and cried...just a little, he said. (This is where I got concerned. J doesn't cry. Ever.)  His coach checked on him off and on all the way back home, and told J to tell us that he thought he should go be checked out.    So off we went early Friday morning to the Dr.  He had to rest over the weekend..aka no running or using your head for a weapon....and stay out of practice for the week.  He picked a good week to miss, as they have a bye week, so no game.  Whatever it is, I hope it doesn't return.
Saturday at T's pee-wee game, I watched a boy on our team get his arm broke. Yikes.  I don't really think these boys know what we go through, sitting there on the sidelines.  Being a football mom is tough.

Lots of 4-H activities this month and the big state bunny convention is in a couple of weeks.  J and I are excited as they have a photography contest, with the main focus needing to be a bunny. I've already got some I'm taking, but J's got some neat ideas he's hoping to get done in time.  We will see. 

We have fish!!  7 years ago or so I declared NEVER AGAIN will we have fish after we brought *1* new fish home and our entire tank ended up with Ick a few days later, killing hundreds of dollars in fish. Beautiful fish, that we had had FOREVER. It was heartbreaking.   That tank has been used to house hermit crabs, frogs and turtles, and for the past few years had just been sitting outside.  The boys had started asking for fish off and on and D and I finally said WHY NOT?  I guess we are finally over our Ick trauma.  We are enjoying them, even D who insists he doesn't care, has been checking the temps and making sure everyone is still swimming.   We went and got our fish Saturday, and I told the boys they could each pick out 2. Somehow, we ended up coming home with 12 after the lady that was dishing them out would just put whatever she got in her net into the baggie, and only charged us for what we asked for. So I guess her laziness was our gain. ;-)  The fish, however, would probably like to be back at the store, where there isn't 12 different eyes balls staring and yelling HEY FISHY at you. (The daycare kids LOVE them!!)

Enjoy the weather!! All too soon it will be...blah...winter.