five favorites (09/18)

I always intend to get these posts done on Friday, but with how jam-packed life has been ever since we had Eve, it seems like it takes me a few extra days to actually finish them. Oops! I guess it doesn’t really matter what day I get them done, because regardless, I know that I’ll love looking back on these in a few years.

ONE. We’ve been trying to get outside when the weather has been nice enough, and we definitely snuck in some playground time before the tail end of Hurricane Florence’s rain came here. Nella has been insisting on only riding the big kid swing, and she also went down the slide all on her own for the very first time!We love it when Daddy meets us there on the way home from work!
TWO. I had a doctor appointment this week, and fortunately, Daddy was able to take the girls so that I could go alone. They went on a little walk and had the best time seeing some farm animals! Kaya and Kaelyn named this horse “Beautiful”! THREE. A few weeks ago, Michael really hurt his ankle playing volleyball. We thought it was just sprained, but after about ten days of him walking around in an ACE bandage and not seeing any improvement, he ended up getting an x-ray at the local urgent care clinic. The radiologist told him it was an avulsion fracture, and he was put in a boot!He wore the boot for about a week before he was able to get an appointment with an orthopedist, who told him that he and his colleague had meticulously looked over his x-ray and had no idea what the radiologist had seen. It wasn’t broken after all! Crazy. Michael took a little while to adjust back to the biomechanics of non-boot life, but he’s on the mend now.

Even with a messed up ankle, he’s still been doing house projects. He got the stairwell painted, which is something I’ve been eager to get done for forever!FOUR. On Wednesday, my Dad-in-law sent me a picture of him and Mom having breakfast at Cracker Barrel… so I asked them where they were, and they told me they were in the next town over! They were driving home from their trip out west and completely surprised us by spending the morning here. These little girls were so happy (and of course requested to watch Shaun the Sheep with Grandpa… it’s kind of their thing now)!Grandma got some Evie snuggles!FIVE. We got to go to a Hokie volleyball game last week! I had never been to one, and it was a first for the girls, too. It was really fun to be back on campus and feel the sense of school pride and community that any of my fellow Hokies know! I just had to get a picture of the girls with the largest Hokie Bird statue I know of!Happy Tuesday!

pumpkin pickin’ 2013

Saturday was our day to go pumpkin picking! I was sooo super excited, because when I was a kid, this was a yearly tradition. I couldn’t wait to take Kaya and have fun as a family. (We did go last year, but Kaya was tiny and slept through the whole event!)

We tried a new farm this year and loved it! It was perfectly located in the beautiful, rolling Virginia hills, and it wasn’t overpriced like most places we’ve been.

Kevin and Tori were passing through town on their cross-country drive, so we were happy to have them join us. It’s not every day that all the Irwin siblings are together!
IMG_0119 We took a hayride to the pumpkin patch!_MG_0091Love these two with my whole heart (plus some…)
_MG_0094 _MG_0089 Of course, we got a little crazy (it wasn’t even a long ride… but apparently this is the only way we have fun!)_MG_0098 They had a corn maze. We all split up in different directions and still made it out alive! The pumpkin patch was right up the trail, so a-pickin’ we went!kayapumpkins20134Kaya’s excitement definitely didn’t disappoint. She LOVED the pumpkins and just couldn’t stop pointing at them, holding them, or trying to lift them.kayapumpkins20132

There was a tractor made out of hay bales, so naturally, we had to “drive” it. Kaya was really unsure of it._MG_0106We visited with some ewe lambs (chunky ones, at that).
_MG_0127 Kevin and Tori chucked some pumpkins!_MG_0122 And then I took waaaaay too many pictures of Kaya. But just look at that face! No mama could resist._MG_0137 kayapumpkins20131 Like I said, she loves pumpkins (I also wish I had a picture of what was going on behind me to get her to laugh… we have a crazy family!)kayapumpkins20133We paid for our pumpkins and browsed their tiny shop of homemade goodies… including some amazing fudge! We might just have to go back sometime soon 🙂

Happy Fall!

featuring… Finn!

Last Saturday was Finn's big day- the livestock exhibition! Unfortunately, he didn't do so well- which didn't matter to him, but it was a bit disappointing for me.

As soon as we got in the show ring, that lamb started jumping and trying to get away. It was a completely new experience, so I don't blame him for being afraid.

I eventually got him set up square and and bracing against my leg. The judge seemed to like us and pulled us out of line first. I was pretty excited, but in the end she chose the two girls next in line to move on to the next round.

We had a good run, and even though we didn't win, it was worth all the hard work.

Finn… ish

After two tests in the past two days and a full day of rain today, I've been feeling pretty tired. But nothing could deter me from going out to the barn to meet the sheep I'll be showing in late April!

I actually have a ram lamb this year! At first I thought I would be disappointed if I didn't get a ewe, but I have already fallen for this hunk.

He's strong and spirited, just like any unbroken lamb, but he's also kind and somewhat polite. So, I decided to call him "Finn"- that's right, after Huck Finn. I think it suits him well.

Here's to hoping for a fun time and maybe even getting better than last place this year!


So many people voted for Maggie in the photo contest I entered her in! The theme was "Back to School", and we won for "Best Overall Photo" ! Thank you so much to everyone who voted!

Here's the winning photo:

I've still been at the barn a lot this semester. On Monday night, I did "Ewe Watch", which was basically just watching for and helping with delivering lambs. We had a couple ewes in Stage 1 of labor, but we didn't see any progression into Stage 2, so it was a very calm night. It was fun watching all the other little lambs though. I didn't have my camera, so these are from my cell phone… but isn't that lamb so cute, standing on her mama?

We were watching them, and they were watching us too!

Corny Sheep Garden

This weekend was so much fun! We are only a few weeks into the new school year, but I have already been stressed out quite a bit. So, it was great to take a break, spend some time with my sweetie and an awesome friend, too!

On Friday night, Michael and I went on a date to Olive Garden (we had a gift card from our way cool friends, Erik and Erica!) We had a wonderful time just talking about now, and talking about the future. After this year, school will be over for both of us! It is a little scary not knowing exactly what you'll be doing one year from now.

Saturday morning, we went to the local sheep sale! You might think I'm just obsessed with sheep, but I went for the extra credit, really! Anyway, it was lots of fun, and here is a photo of the top-selling animal, a suffolk ram (he's standing right in front)!

After church today, we took a 4-hour nap. Wow. And then I made corn muffins, but the recipe was new and it didn't really make what I was looking for.

la petite grenouille

Well I guess you could call me a "bad" blogger, since it's been over a week! Ah! This past week was so busy, but the best part was the livestock show on Saturday!

On Friday morning I went out to the arena to wash and shear Frog. You can probably guess that she hated every minute of it! (and I was there for about 2.5 hours… that's a lot of minutes…) 

I didn't have my camera out there so sorry, but here are some phone-quality (aka not very good) photos of her after her bath and blow-dry:

Then yesterday was the show, so I went out at 9am to re-wash her and make her beautiful! I had a few really good friends come out to watch, which really meant a lot to me =) It's good to have some encouragement!

I've only ever shown a sheep one other time, but for this show, if you've EVER done it, you are considered "experienced". So, I was in a class with some kids who have been doing this a very long time… I prayed Frog would behave, and she really did do her very best. It wasn't good enough to win; we got last place out of the 5 in our class. But I don't care. Frog and I had a really fun time and she really did excellent. The judge even said what an excellent class we all were.

I'm going to miss my sweet Frog <3 .

Here we are, second from the left:

Later that day I went on my first "double date" ever! It was so much fun. We went out roller skating and then to get ice cream =)

Photo courtesy of Lelia:

La vita è bella!


Tonight for Family Home Evening, I had a brilliant (and secret) idea. Michael figured it out as soon as i drew just a few squares on the ground…

Ok so I'm not the best hopscotch artist. I haven't played this game in years! But it was so much fun. Believe it or not, Michael won! Not by much though.

Then we came in and I was going to make a salad for dinner… but then, I found tons of BUGS in my head of lettuce. All dead ones. Yuck.

Yesterday, Michael met Froggy (my sheep). When he walked toward her and she ducked behind me, it really made me realize how much she's come to trust me. She was scared and just wanted me to protect her. The Savior referred to all of us as His "sheep", and I know that as we trust Him, He will protect us.

"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:14-15, 27)

Sometimes, following the commandments may seem tough, and we might not want to, just like Frog doesn't always want to do what I ask her to. But it's through these things that we begin to understand our relationship with Christ and our Father, and we know They will be there for us when we need Them. Because my sheep and I work together, she knows what I ask of her, and understands that I will help her and keep her safe. In this life, we can do nothing alone, and we only become better with the help of God.

bah ram ewe

Yesterday was AWESOME!! I finally got out to the sheep barn! Needless to say, it was pouring down rain (yes, I was riding my bike) by the time I got there. Ah well. It was worth it. My sheep is a Suffolk ewe and she's pretty small (which is good, because realistically, I'm kind of a small person. aka not a tough strong man or anything!). Honestly, I never realized how badly behaved Bubbles (my sheep from 2 years ago) really was until I met this girl! She already walks with me without too much resistance, and we even went outside! It took Bubbles weeks to do that. The one funny thing about her though, is that sometimes, when she doesn't want to walk, she tucks up her front legs and jumps! So that's why I'm calling her Frog. You've heard of a pig that thinks it's a dog, well, here's a sheep that thinks it's a frog!

Michael picked me up from the barn and we went to Subway for dinner! A nice end to a rainy day! =)

Today, I took the divider out of the guinea pig cage. Yep, after about a month, Maggie and Juni are back together! They are thrilled to have their big cage again and have been running and popcorning like crazy! Maggie is pretty glad to be in charge again… which means Juni has retaliated by spraying pee in her face. Oh, sisterly love!