Saturday, October 30, 2010

Laurel is Finishing Crafts?

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an important announcement: I have finished not one, not two, but three crafts! For those of you who know me well, you know that I never finish crafts. I just don't have the patience for it. By the time I figure out how I want to do something, I'm already tired of the craft and I never finish it. And I'm not really exaggerating here; just ask my mother how many unfinished crafts she's seen from me.

Perhaps there is a change for me. That change comes in the form of my mother in law, Lisa. Lisa is the exact opposite when it comes to crafts. She is so creative and is always making some cute decoration or card. When she was in town a few weeks ago, she brought some craft items for me and Alyssa. I'll be honest and say I was quite worried Lisa would discover that her son married the most uncreative and uncrafty girl in the world. (Which is true, I just didn't want her to know!) Well, I'm proud to say that I finished ALL the craft projects she brought. I sewed a table runner, decorated a Halloween jar, and made a cute picture frame. Granted, it did take me two days to finish what would take a normal person less than 2 hours to finish. Here are some pictures to prove I finished. (I figured most of you wouldn't believe it without some picture documentation)

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Shepherds go to the Mule Festival

We finally had company last weekend! The prize for being our first visitors goes to Nate's parents, Stan and Lisa. We were so excited to have them come, and we definitely enjoyed the entire weekend. We decided we needed to entertain them true Arkansas style, so we took them to the local mule jumping competition! Yes, you read that correctly, mule jumping competition. (Like I said, true Arkansas style entertainment.)

So the cool thing about mules is they have incredible back leg strength. This competition shows off that strength. They can jump really high from a standing position, unlike horses who have to get a running start. The jumping competition is like limbo only in reverse. The bar is raised not lowered each round. The mule who can clear the highest height wins. I believe the winning mule jumped over a bar that was 51 inches high! Pretty impressive considering the mule itself was probably only 51 inches tall. The best part of the competition was watching the trainers try to convince the mule that it should jump over this bar. Some of the mules just danced around it, some dug in their back heels and refused to move, one ran away, and some just plain walked though the bar and knocked it over.

Other events at the mule jumping competition included barrel racing (not very exciting because most of the mules didn't want to go fast, yet entertaining because it was funny to see the rider try to force the stubborn mule to go around a barrel), safe tree climbing (yes, there is a proper way to climb a tree), hog calling (unfortunately, we missed this part of the day, but I'm sure we would have enjoyed it)and an old car show. All in all it was a great event to take Stan and Lisa to. Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as Nate and I did. We loved having guests and hope to have more soon. We promise we'll show you a good Arkansas time too!

I couldn't get our video to work but this is one from the same festival I found on youtube from a different year.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What Is It With Men and Fire?

Why do all men love fire? From the time they are little boys, they are taught not to play with fire, so what do they do? Play with fire, of course. The cavemen discovered fire thousands of years ago, but there is something inherent inside every man that demands that he too discover fire. And so it is with my husband.

Nate’s latest project around our house has been building a fire pit in our backyard. (Our backyard is shaded by a small forest so it's basically dead.) Nate claims the only reason he wanted to build the fire pit was so I didn’t have to roast my marshmallows over the stove anymore. Very sweet of him, but not the whole truth. I know that his true motives lie somewhere closer to his innate fascination with fire.

In order to build the fire pit, we first had to collect some big rocks. We rode our bikes to a wooded area in search of such rocks. We filled our backpacks with the rocks (and by our backpacks, I really mean Nate’s backpack. I already struggle with the whole uphill biking business. I didn’t need a bag of rocks weighting me down.) and took them home to begin construction of our fire pit. Nate built a boy scout worthy pit and we had our first fire tonight. We didn’t check with our landlord or the city before we had our bonfire…hope it’s ok!