Sunday, August 31, 2014

Family Foto Shoot

Do any of your family ever get a hankering to have a family photo shoot?  To make memories and to make a permanent record of what your family is like at this moment in time?  Well, we do.  Michelle loves to take pictures and to create and record moments.  She loves Pinterest and gets many of her ideas there.  She worked very hard and selected outfits and props and did a gradual work up to try and get everybody on board.  First, she had to find a time when everybody was home and it was still daylight outside. Then she had to convince/bribe her siblings to get their cooperation. Finally all the stars came into alignment and the big moment arrived this afternoon.

Paul, went along with the dress code and had a pretty good attitude.  Michelle told him that a willingness to be photographed was on her list of qualifications for a husband.

The photo props were carried out and gotten ready.

Then we had to wait for our guest photographer to arrive.

Elizabeth waited in comfort.

The larger props, also known as chairs, came out on the ATV.

 Everybody had a coordinating outfit.

We were in danger of constant photo bombing from the dog and the chickens.

We did end up with some nice pictures.

Even the turkeys came along to photobomb us.  It was an animal conspiracy!

Michelle directed and instructed us on how to use our props and where to stand so as to make a visually attractive picture.

We tried the often attempted 'jumping' pictures, with humorous results.  We obviously have a leprachaun in our family.

It appears that Super Man might reside with us also.

There was much laughter and good natured rebellion as we went from one pose to the next.

We even tried the serious 'dust-bowl' era pose.  It was very difficult to maintain our serious expression as our photographer was laughing himself silly.

We tried lining up forwards...

...and looking backwards.

 Here is our nephew Daniel, who stopped by to visit.  He lives in North Dakota.  He was drafted to be our photographer and he did an excellent job.

Here are the girls.  The guys split the scene as soon as the group shots were done.

Here is our photo shoot director with her dog, Dallas.  Had to get his picture taken.  Of course he bathed in the pond, before posing.

These are the pouty twins. LOL.  The 'pot stirrers' who keep life interesting.

Michelle is encouraging her brothers to get growing!  She wants them to pass her up.  Thomas is getting very close.  By Christmas, I am sure he will have done it!

One last rest in the living room chair as it sits in the field.  Not sure how Michelle convinced the guys to haul it out there, but she did!

T-Bob and my DH figured out a comfortable way to get the leather chair back to the house.  Not a bad way to travel!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Farm Update... Finally!!!

I have been so busy with working on the farm that I haven't had time to write many blogposts.  This post is about how I totally disregarded my brother's advice re pigs.  LOL! We shall see if it works out.

The turkeys are the most fun and curious of creatures.  They like to roost out and about.  They go and visit all the other creatures on the farm. They follow us around and are easy to herd.  So much easier than chickens!

The turkeys spend time running around the fields and eating bugs and plants.  The field is getting so high that now we can't really see them if they move away from the edge of the field.

The turkeys don't go back to their coop at night.  They usually roost on the swing set until someone comes out and herds them to bed.  They really know where to go and hop off and run to the coop.  There they fly to the roosting poles and spend the night.  The turkeys are given free range over the farm.  They only occasionally find their way to the neighbors or into my garden.

We have built a mobile pig pen.  We used hog panels and wood.  We repurposed the awning from our old house and used it as the shade and shelter for the pig pen. We wrapped a tarp across the back to make it protected.

There is barb wire around the top to discourage any wandering coyotes to move along. We move the pen every day and will have to make it twice a day when the pigs get larger.

The turkeys cam out to inspect the setting up of the pig pen.  It is real handy now, as the turkeys come out every morning after we move the pen and clean up any feed the pigs have spilt.  Team work that results in hardly any wasted feed!

The pigs eat the salad before they hit the feed.  They really seem to enjoy the fresh greens every day.  We are thinking that moving the sty daily will prevent the pigs from trying to escape.

The pigs do eat their feed though.

Our pigs do stay pretty clean as they are on clean dirt every day.  Doesn't this guy look like Babe?  So cute.

We have five pigs.  A couple are for us, the rest will be sold.  The sty moves through the fields so that they are not close to the house so that smell is not an issue.  The pigs have become T-Bob's project.  He is responsible to move the sty and make sure they have food and water.

Ir's not just the critters that are happy on the farm.  Elizabeth and a friend were leaping and dancing.

They also wandered across the fields.  

 The sunsets are beautiful and almost every day we stop and watch the sun go down.  Life is good!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kickball Mango Style

The family reunion was a wonderful time.  Since we were gathering to honor my father-in-law, we chose to play a lot of kickball.  This was one of Dad's most favorite activities.  He insisted that it be played at almost every family gathering.  We all enjoyed it.

Picking teams was the first order of business.

Several of the youngsters opted to go swimming with Uncle Bob rather than play kickball.  It was refreshing.

T-Bob did a lot of the pitching for his team.

It was nice that there was actually enough players to have a good game.

My DH kicks a foul ball.

The Uncles and many of the Aunts all played.

Karen had good follow through.

Uncle Jon wore his work shoes to get a good kicking surface.

Thomas gave the ball a good ride ...

... and then took a good rest after scoring.

Lisa started off playing, but then had to stop as her hip was hurting.

We even had fans and observers.  It was a great day and I think Dad would have been very pleased to see the fun we had and the sportsmanship that was exhibited.  He would have enjoyed joining us.  He played well into his 70's.  He was a real game player.  We sure miss him.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mango Memorial

The week of the fourth of July the Mango family gathered together to have wonderful time and to remember our Dad/grandfather/husband/brother/friend who graduated to glory in March.  Steve had organized all this and brought along a big tent and a grill and many other things.  He organized the schedule and was the Master of Ceremonies.  He handles his role of 'firstborn' well.  He borrowed a truck and trailer to bring all these things. 

T-Bob and JoAn carrying a table

Everybody pitched in and helped set up.  The weather was gorgeous for the whole time.  

Steve leads the meeting as we plan the schedule and events.  The JoAns listen.

There was a family meeting after lunch.  There was to be two a day, but there was only two over the whole time.  No one seemed to mind.  We all managed to follow along and find the right activities even without a lot of meetings.

T-Bob spent the first bit of the gathering finishing up the lawn mowing.  He does a nice job and even seems to enjoy it.  That young man loves to drive!!!

Everybody enjoyed visiting and spending time together as a family.

The cabinet that was used for Michelle's graduation was the perfect thing for the party.  We stored all the glasses and plates, flatware, etc in there in the tent.  It was so convenient.

Mary caught the smallest fish

The fishing was done frequently, and enjoyed by all.  The little ones were introduced to fishing and the older ones were reminded why they liked to fish.  It was a fun activity enjoyed by all ages all together.

Many of the young folk stayed in tents all along the pond.  It was a nice dry spot.  

The weather was cool and jackets were used  the first couple evenings.  Little Josef enjoyed snuggling with his mama.  He is getting so big. He is four now.  He is the youngest grandchild.

The big tent was the center of activities.  We ate all our meals there. 

My Mom in law really enjoyed getting to visit with eight of nine of her children and many of her grandchildren.  It was nice to see her relaxed and enjoying all the visits.  She really seemed to get stronger while she visited with us.  She enjoyed her time on the farm.

Charlotte loved all the farm critters and liked to hunt frogs.

The children enjoyed playing with the chicks.

The sunsets were beautiful.

All the cousins joined together and played capture the flag.  They used glow sticks to denote teams and as the lines.  It was so neat to see all the cousins (other than Josef, he was too little and in bed.) playing together.  Even some of the uncles joined in.  They played for a couple hours.  The rest of us sat and enjoyed a campfire.  It was a pleasant ending to a long day.