About Me

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Married twenty-five years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids and 1 hand-picked by God from Africa. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A wonderful Christmas...

We had a great Christmas day celebrating with my mom and her friend Christmas morning.  We take our time opening presents and oooo and ahhh over everyone's gifts.  The house gets trashed.  Laughter abounds.  Pictures are taken.  It's a lot of fun without any kind of stress.  Even our Christmas dinner is very simple.

The day after Christmas we headed down to my husband's family for another round of celebrating.  There's food.  Games.  Laughter.  It's loud.  It's just so much fun.  Enjoy a few of our pictures taken along the way...

We hope that your holiday season was as joyful as ours.  May God bless you and your family this holiday season and the upcoming year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The land of giants….

When my husband and I first got married (22 years ago) we were young and money was tight.   Living on love.  But that, can only take you so far.  Especially at Christmas time.  We had little to no decorations at that time.  Even for the tree.  Our first angel on top of the tree was made of paper and to this day I cannot throw that thing away.  Pathetic old thing.

I remember we would go out "window shopping", because that's basically all we could afford to do, and I would see such elaborate winter Christmas villages.  Filled with twinkling lights and oh so cute, accessories.  I wanted one.  So with just a little bit of money in our pockets and a whole lot of creativity, I decided to paint my own village.

At a local craft store, I found unpainted houses on clearance and so, our snow village began.  Then every year after that I would continue to buy more and more on clearance.  It took a while, but our village began to take shape.  There was one problem though…..I had no people to go with it.  Zero. Zilch.  Nada.   It was like the Christmas ghost town I put out every year.   Kind of creepy.

Not willing to give up, I shopped garage sales for years and rifled through thousands of Christmas clearance bins.  Slowly but surely….the people came to our village.  But here's the thing.  Not a single one of them are proportionately correct to the houses. Any of the houses.  Kind of funny if you really think about it.

My husband calls it the land of giants.

And I wouldn't trade this homemade, out of proportion village for the world.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

One of the best Christmas songs ever….

With Christmas just days away, what better way to get in the holiday spirit than to talk about Christmas carols.  Love them.

The end.

Okay, I guess it's not that simple.  There are like a billion of them on the face of this earth.  But….I do have a favorite one I heard this year.  It's this one….

It's worth the 4 minutes to slow down this holiday season, and get mesmerized by the experience.  I love the part where all the angels show up at the end.  I believe this was just a fraction of the angels that were probably there that night.  They all came for the par-tay.  I know I would.


Friday, December 19, 2014

My brain's feeling just a little bit fuzzy….

This morning, before going to the swim meet, we squeezed in our appointment to pick out our windows for the new house.  Apparently, it's one of those things you have to do before they get very far on the house.  Basement gets poured, house gets framed, windows are put in.  Makes sense, right?

So we beep-bopped ourselves over there for our first meeting.  Pretty fun, huh?  Well, I guess it is and it isn't.  When questions are fired at you at the speed of light, your brain begins to feel a bit fuzzy.

 Do you want crank out or double hung?  Wood or vinyl?  3 grill or 6?  Plain windows or craftsman style?  What color is going to be on the outside?  What's the inside color?  On and on the questions went.  By the end, I felt like holding up the white flag of surrender and retreating.

Yes, it's true.  We've never built a house before.  We've relocated some for my husband's job but the houses we've always chosen have already been built.  Easy-peezy.  And yes, we are excited about this.  But, it is a bit overwhelming at the amount of things you must pick out.

And we just started.

So one step at a time, right?  Windows are now checked off our list.  One down…..a bazillion more things to go.

Finally found a picture that looked like the windows we chose.  No.  This is not our kitchen, but I do love this style of windows for our new farmhouse.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's not hard….it's just about planning

This weekend our girls are in a weekend long swim meet.  Translation….we need a lot of food to take with us.  Yes, we could actually buy fast food everyday and it would be easier, but really?  From a family that never eats out, and I mean never, that just sounds so gross.

So today I'm in the kitchen cooking up a storm.  I've got pita breads fresh out of the oven to stuff with our favorite lunch options.  Fruit snacks are chilling in the fridge and granola bars are packaged up and ready to go.  Tomorrow I'll whip up some homemade chips real quick to take with us.  Man, are those yummy and surprisingly enough they only take about 15 minutes for me to whip up.  Finally for breakfast, I'm thinking about surprising the kids with some homemade toaster strudels - they'll love that.  I can make those in advance and they can heat them at the hotel later.  Throw a bunch of fruit in the cooler and we are good to go.

You see, good food is not hard to make.  You just need to plan.  I don't pick crazy elaborate meals that my family eats on the road.  Nope.  Not going there.  Just simple ones.  Things that can be reheated (if that's an option) or healthy munchies to grab and go.  It keeps us clear of the fast food places for a long as we possibly can and at the same time, I feel better about what's going into their bellies.  

So for now, I'm off to whip up some toaster strudels.  And then get this crew ready to go swim up a storm.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oh man….that sounded like a challenge

"You can't make those."  It was said at the dinner table last night.

We were talking about vanilla wafers.  My husband requested banana pudding for desert, sooner rather than later.  He drops hints like that.  However, being out of vanilla wafers, which everybody knows is a key ingredient to banana pudding, that poses a bit of a problem.  What's a girl to do?  Go to the grocery….ugh!  Or make it.

I'll take the challenge.

I have learned that you can make anything really.  If it was boxed and put on a shelf in the grocery, then by golly, somebody created it first in a test kitchen.  They had to come up with the recipe before it went to the assembly line.  And if I make it, then I can pronounce everything in it.  Oh that's right, folks.  I am a food snob.  There I said it.

So, let's do this.  Let's whoop-up on this challenge and make us some vanilla wafers.  Who's with me?


Alright, fine.  I'll do it first.  I'll be the guinea pig.

I'm going to use Alton Brown's recipe.  However he used ounces instead of cups in his version.  That's just plain weird, if you ask me.  So I made the adjustments in mine to show cups.  Easier for me that way.  So let's do this…..

Homemade Vanilla Wafers

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup of sugar (he used vanilla sugar - no clue where to find that one right now so I just used regular sugar)
1 large egg
8 teaspoons vanilla extract (his recipe only called for 4 but since I have no vanilla sugar I'm going to double the vanilla)
1 Tablespoon whole milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides.  Add the egg.  Then add the vanilla extract and milk and blend for a moment but don't blend the fire out of it.  Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before scooping.

Scoop the batter in teaspoon-sized balls and arrange them on a cookie sheet.  He says to use parchment paper.  I didn't have any so I just sprayed my cookie sheet.  It came out just fine.  Slightly flatten each ball and bake for 15 to 20 minutes rotating the pans halfway through the baking.  Remove the pans to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

And the results are in….

The vanilla wafers tasted fantastic.  I got the smaller ones a little bit darker than what I wanted but they didn't taste bad or burnt.  Just a bit more crunchy like the ones at the store.

So here's my thoughts for next time.  I'm going to double or triple the batch, for sure.  With this large of a crew I'll be lucky if this small batch makes it through tonight, much less tomorrow.  Also, I think I'm going to try and flatten them a bit more….not too much, but just a tiny bit.  Finally, I think I'll use a teaspoon to actually scoop them all out next time. This time I just rolled them in my hand, not really paying too much attention to that detail, but I think it will help in cooking if they are all closer in size.

Overall, it's a winner winner chicken dinner.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Hey Momma….

….what number am I?"  my little boy yelled at the top of his lungs in the middle of his basketball game.  He was reaching his jersey around trying to see the number on his back.

"45."  I yelled.  Motioning for him to focus back on the game.

He took off running again and then stopped in the middle of the court, turned and yelled…

"That's your age, right Momma?"  and that's when the gym went quiet.

Well of course it did….

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My husband.

He is a wonderful father.  So devoted.  So loving.  And most of all so patient.  His most favorite thing to do is to be at the children's activities.  Loves it.  He takes such great care of his family, working hard providing for all our needs.  Never complains.  We absolutely adore him.

Today is his birthday.  He turns 44.  Personally, I am glad.  Because for 10 days all I hear is how much older I am than him and how much younger he is than me.  Blah, blah, blah.  (Usually we are just one year apart….except for those very long 10 days.)  That's fine.  I just tell him that we older women know what we want.  Nuff, said.

So to my wonderful husband…whose now just one year younger than me, happy birthday.  You make me laugh.  A lot.  I couldn't ask for a better one….but maybe you could work on hitting the laundry basket sometimes.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Presenting…..in this corner


And in this corner.  My orchard.  The battle has begun.  It doesn't bode well that we are not living on the property yet so I know those beasts think they have the upper hand.


What they don't know is….I am a fighter.  Rocky is my middle name.  Well, not exactly.  But...I can sing all the verses to the song "Eye of the Tiger".  What can I say?  Child of the 80's here.

Ahem.  Deer.  Back to the issue at hand.

After all the work on the orchard and getting most of the trees all nicely pruned and cut back, those wildebeests are working their magic on the trunks with their antlers.  Ugh!  I have got to figure this one out and fast.  They keep this up and we will lose a few more trees, for sure.  I have wrapped the base of some of the trees with a plastic lawn fencing, but I believe it's going to be a matter of time before they figure that one out.

I read somewhere that if you hang some bars of soap from the tree then they are slightly deterred.  I'm not sure though if that works.  That would be a massive soap bar order wouldn't it?

"Customer service, how can I help you?"

"Well, I'd like to order a 100 bars of your Irish Spring."

"A 100 bars?"

"Yes.  We are a really smelly family here, so if you could just rush that order please I sure would appreciate it."

Okay, maybe that would be a little fun.  Alright I admit it, a whole lot of fun.  I don't get out much….

Deer.  You will not win.  Growing up, I have watched Rocky with my father like a bazillion amount of times.  (He was a fan.)  I know who wins.  And soon you will learn that as well.

So move over bacon.  Here comes sizzlean.  (Sorry…80's again.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Oh my goodness….this is so exciting

This past week we met with our builder for our new house.  We have finalized our plans and are now down to the last little bit of things and then it's a go.  Apparently there are quite a few things our builder has to do before he even breaks ground.  There is something called a perk test (for the septic system which we have to have out there in the boonies), heating and cooling has to get involved even before the house has even started, and a mountain of other things.

Who knew?

Goes to show you that we clearly have no idea about house building.  I just figured that as soon as you were ready you could just go out there and start digging.  Good thing I'm gonna stick to farming.  Since we have six acres we can essentially put the house anywhere we want.  So on Sunday afternoon, we are headed out there with some stakes and a string to "plan" out where the front of the house will be.

Oh my goodness….this is so exciting.  A stake and a string.

Right now, our weather is holding it's own.  But we'll see what the next few weeks bring while we are waiting for permits and tests to be done.  We need a few days in the 20's in order to pour the basement. Please oh please, just hold off before the bottom falls out on winter.

I asked real nicely…..

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

5 years ago today….

We were desperately trying to get to Africa and bring home our son.  5 years.  Has it really been that long?  Seriously?  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Every detail.  Every emotion.  Every bit of ache that we felt along the way.

It wasn't the easiest trip by any stretch of the imagination.  Everything that could go wrong, seemed to go wrong.  The biggest snowstorm hit. our luggage never made it.  And on and on, it seemed to go.  If you want to read about the entire trip, click here.  But my husband and I were undeterred.

5 years ago they handed us this tiny little cutie pie.  All dressed in pink.  (That was terribly funny, because we thought they gave us the wrong child.  But in Africa, at the orphanage, a shirt is a shirt.  It doesn't matter who wears it)

5 years ago we had the hardest meeting of our lives.  We thanked our child's birth mother for the most precious gift.  She loved her son more than anything.  She just couldn't afford to take care of him. She wanted to give him a better life.

My favorite thing to tell people is that when we asked her what she would like for us to do for him….anything…….she said, "she wanted him to know the word of God."

The word of God, people.  Think about that for a moment….

In a highly muslim region, our child's birth mother was a Christian.  Only God himself could orchestrate this.  And one day.  One day.  I will walk through those pearly gates in heaven and hug his birth mother once again.  We will sit and laugh at all the stories I will tell about our son.  I feel so blessed.  He will get to meet and be with her again.

5 years ago today.  Africa called our name and we were forever changed.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Turning 45 today….here's what I've learned so far

For what it's worth.

-  Move.  Move. Move.  The older you get the easier it is to begin to live a sedentary life.  Don't.  Move.  Walk, run, do something.  Because the older you get, the harder it is to shed those pounds.  Tis' true….unfortunately.

-  It's never to late to start something new.  Take up a hobby - like farming.  So what, if people think you're crazy and are doomed to fail.  What do they know?  They are young and naive. You're old and wise.  Like Yoda.  Except without the wrinkles.  Okay, maybe some wrinkles.  Well, lots of wrinkles…ugh, now I'm depressed.  Next one….

-  Skinny jeans.  Don't go there.  Ever.  Just leave those bad boys on the shelves.  Trust me.  Weren't made for a 45 year old.  If you do, you'll look like your going through a mid-life crisis, all squished into those things.  Just back away.

-  It is completely normal and quite expected for you, the parent, to freak out regarding your teenager.  Totally normal.  It means that you are a loving and caring parent.  You are not the only one whose raised teenagers.

-  Pray.  Spend a lot of time on your knees.  This goes with the previous one.  Because you are going to need all the help you can get.

-  Embarrass your children.  Sing Christmas carols LOUD while you shop with them.  Do a mo-town dance while waiting to check out.  It's a perk, really.  Count it as paybacks for all those late night feedings and changing of diapers.

-  Never wear hoodies into a bathroom stall.  (see yesterday's post).  I don't want to talk about it.

-  In the eyes of your teenager, you know nothing.  They think you're more like spongebob than like Yoda.  I hear that turns around sometime later, but I'm still waiting for that one.

-  Start your marriage with someone you are crazy about and every so often, remember why you are crazy about him.  Laugh. A lot. And yes, sometimes relinquish control of the remote….I said sometimes. It makes for a great marriage.

-  Be happy.  With who you are, right now.  With your kids.  With life.  There are no do-overs.  You get only one shot at this.  Make the most of it.

-  Last one.  45 is not old.  Not even close.  I may be over half way done, but watch out….because I'm just getting started.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

More disinfectant, please….

Yesterday, I disinfected my hands about a million times….in a row.  Couldn't scrub them hard enough or long enough.

Yep, I did.

A million times.  At least.

Why, you ask?

Well….because I'm a bonehead.  Oh, and I don't wear hoodies into a bathroom stall anymore.  Ever.

Yesterday, I went to go and work out at the Y.  Went to the bathroom and dropped my keys in the toilet.

Oh, yes I did.

Thank goodness I hadn't gone in it yet, but still.  Ain't nothing grand about plunging your hand in that.  And I am positive that I heard laughter coming from the stall next to me.

But it wasn't my fault.

A nest, people.  I was building my nest.  I know you ladies know what I'm talking about.  When the keys slipped out of the pocket on my hoodie and into the depths of the abyss.

Ugh.  I'm might need some therapy for this one.

and some more disinfectant…..

It's a wonder my husband stays with me.  For I am a bonehead.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A time of being blessed….

This past Thanksgiving was just a wonderful time this year.  Our house was full of food and people….just the way I like it.  I did lose my voice one day…to which my husband said was an incredibly quiet holiday.  Humph, I don't know what that man is talking about.

Anyway for the big day, I rustled up a fresh turkey from a local farm.  He was a big one - 26 pounds.  I brined it and ooo-whee was it incredibly juicy and tasty.  Loved it!  And yes, we are still eating turkey leftovers.  I'll probably end up putting the rest in the freezer to bring out for turkey pot pies and such.  It will be a great thing throughout the winter.

For now, I'm thankful.  Thankful that I have leftovers to last a very long time.  Bones of the turkey to make wonderful turkey broth and family that I was surrounded with throughout the holiday weekend.  My husband and I are hopeful that next year it's our turkey on the table and that it's our vegetables that we eat throughout the winter.   Until then….

We hope that your Thanksgiving was filled with many blessings, family and food.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A real cow?

Once a year we buy a cow from a local farmer.

It's cheaper that way for us to buy our meat and for me it makes everything just that much easier.  Kind of a one and done.  This past Friday our cow was ready to be picked up at the small town butcher that works with the farmers in our area.  So I packed up my little boy and off we went.

On the way back from picking up the cow we stopped very quickly at a jewelry store in order to drop something off that needed repairing.  This jewelry store is fancy-shmancy.  We were SO out of place there, it was not even funny.  But what was even more funny was the conversation that my son had with one of the sales ladies.  It was all I could do to stifle the laughter….

"So what are you and your mom up to today?"

"We just went and picked up our cow."

"Your cow?"


"A real cow?"


"Where did you put it?"

"Oh, Mom put it in the back of our van."

"Your van?  That's right outside in the parking lot?"  By this time the sales clerk was craning her neck to look out at all the vans in the parking lot.

"Yes.  She put it in a really big box."


She was about to say something else when I couldn't keep the laughter in any more.  Turned to my son and said it's time to go.  We got outside and I high-fived my son.

"What was that for?"

"Oh nothing….except you just made my day."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Okay, I give…..I'm done.

Did you know that the everyday Mom is asked around 300 questions per day (on average) by a child?  


I just read an article that the UK did on how mothers are the most quizzed people.  The study stated that, "from breakfast at 7.19am to tea time at 7.59pm, the average mum faces a testing 12.5 hour day of questioning - working out at one question every two minutes 36 seconds." 

Welcome to my world.  You didn't need a study to come up with that.   

So let's take those statistics and run with them, shall we?  Now, I have 4 kids.  And to be fair, I have two teenagers who don't ask as many questions as my two little ones, so let's say that on average I answer 200 questions a day.  

Oh, wait….maybe I should have put my husband into the kid category.  He can't seem to find where anything is lately.  That's another 100 questions right there…..okay, maybe not.  

200 questions.  Everyday.  In one week, that's 1,400 questions.  In one month, it's 5,600 questions.  And in one year, it's a whopping 67,200 questions.  That I answer.  Now, I might be off a little on my calculations (math was never my strong suit), but still.  That is a crazy amount of questions to answer.

So remember this...if you come across a Mom at the checkout counter with a glazed look when you ask her…"paper or plastic".  Take pity.  She might have just reached her limit on questions and said….

…okay, I give.  I'm done.

Ahem, just sayin'.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ahhhhhh….they're spraying the roads here

The first significant snow is on its way.  I'm not ready for winter to come.

 Somebody help me….I can't find my happy place.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Debunking the myth….

Let's talk about poison ivy for a moment, shall we?

Say, what??  Now, why would we do that.  It's basically winter here….ain't nothing growing anywhere.

Well…..let's just take a moment and learn what not to do when you become a new farmer.  Ahem.  Translation:  Don't do the stupid things I do. 

Here's our barn.  This is what it looked liked the first day we saw it.

When I look back at this, it's a wonder we ever bought this farm to begin with.

Okay, look closely.  Can you see all the vines growing up the entire side of the barn?  Well that, my friends, is poison ivy.  Now, fast forward to this past Monday.  It was our last warm day of the week so the little kids and I took the day off from school and went out to the farm to do some yard work.  Since all the leaves had been dead from the bushes and trees I was not at all worried.  No leaves = no rash.  I was sitting pretty on not ever getting anything.  Stupid act number one.

I cut, pulled and chopped all day long.  It was only at the end of the day for just a little while that I had the kids involved in the worst part.  Pulling the actual vines down off the barn itself.  Stupid act number two.

My oldest came later that afternoon when the high school was done
Thankfully the children never got any type of rash.  By this time it was getting quite cold and they had several layers of clothing as well as hats and work gloves on.  So they never did touch the actual vines themselves.  But as for me, well…..I didn't get quite so lucky.  I got a small patch of poison ivy on my right wrist (from where my sweatshirt and work gloves came together).

So….here's what I've learned and you can too.  You normally get poison ivy from touching the leaves, but yanking the vine out by the roots and hanging on them with all your might (I didn't mention but that's stupid act number three) will cause you - even in the winter - to get a wicked rash.  

There is an oil, called urushiol, that causes an allergic reaction after the first sensitizing exposure.  The oil is in the leaves, vines and the roots.  That's why tearing out the vine is so dangerous - it releases lots of urushiol.  

Also, did you know….that the oil from poison ivy is extremely stable and will stay potent - essentially forever.  You can get a rash from clothing or tools that have the oil from last summer, or even from many years back.  

So remember…stupid is as stupid does.  Right?

But man…..doesn't that barn look good.  Relatively speaking.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Well, it's official….

….winter has finally arrived.  I'm just gonna call it early.

So in case you needed any ideas….

If you'll excuse me, I'm on my way to make it some kickin' chicken tortilla soup for this evening.  Cause that's just the way we roll here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mom, Dad broke his heart….

….my little son yelled above the tractor motor.  I was mowing down in the orchard yesterday while my husband was cutting a very large tree down.  I cut the engine and when it died down he yelled again.

"Mom, Dad broke his heart."

"What do you mean he broke his heart?"

"Dad needs you.  He fell off the ladder and broke his heart.  I told him I would go and get you."

"Dad fell off the ladder?"  The reality of the situation was sinking in very quickly.  I jumped off the tractor and took off running toward the tree.  From a distance I could see him standing next to the friend of ours that was helping him cut down the tree.  I slowed my pace thinking that my five year old was mistaken.  "Did he really fall off?"  I asked again.

"Yes, Mom."

Then I noticed his behavior.  He gripped his chest and started pacing.  After 22 years of watching this man, I knew what was happening.  He carries the weight of this family on his shoulders and is the ultimate tough guy.  He does not bend or complain about anything really.  But when he is in pain….a lot of pain, he paces with his hands in fists.

That's the man I ran up to.

He had been cutting down the tree when a branch fell the wrong way, clipped the ladder out from under him and he fell squarely on the ladder across his sternum.  He couldn't breathe, only in short breaths, but was up and pacing, hands in fists.

After much convincing on our part, we finally told him that the hospital was where he needed to go.  Many x-rays and some strong pain medicine later, we took a very loopy man home with an extremely bruised/possibly fractured sternum.  We are thankful that is all he had.  I know he was in a lot of pain, but it could have ended a whole lot worse.  We know that from first hand experience.  Several years ago his father fell from a ladder and hit his head something fierce.  To this day, we are very lucky that man is alive and kickin'.

As far as my man is concerned, I am crazy about him.  This family is crazy about him.  And we just don't work well without him.  That's a good thing.  Because the very next day he was up and helping out the family….it's what he does best.  Stubborn ol' thang.

Friday, October 31, 2014

I have found my husband's kryptonite….


Girl's hair.  Our girl's long hair.  To be exact.

Okay, let me explain.

My husband is a phenomenal corporate business person.  He is very good at his job.  He can talk numbers, stats, stock market matters and all that other lingo, I know nothing about, with the best of them.  But….get this man, this tough business man, in front of his daughter's hair and he's like a deer in the headlights.

Case in point.

With four children, inevitably you will have scheduling problems that will cause you as parents, to which we affectionally call, "divide and conquer".  This weekend is a perfect example of that.  Our youngest daughter has a soccer tournament in Kansas City while all the rest of the crew at home has other engagements that need to be attended.  I gave my husband the choice.  Go to Kansas City with one, or stay home with three.

 Hmmm, he thought for a moment.  "Go".

"Okay, but you have to do her hair for a few days".


You would have thought I just told him that his favorite basketball team just got suspended.  His blank panicked look said it all.

Kryptonite.  Simple as that.

And just because I saw this man of steel finally bending under the weight of which I just placed on him, I said…."don't forget, you start at the top of the head with the brush and go all the way to the bottom".


You would have thought I said it in a foreign language.  This was bordering on way too much fun.  Smiling I said, "or you could stay here and do the other girl's hair".  You choose….

Kryptonite.  Simple as that.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin patch fun

Friday was a great fall day.  It was overcast and slightly cool and so we headed out to go to a local pumpkin patch/orchard.  I found this train of thought funny considering we just bought a farm/orchard, but my kids do not think our farm is any fun without all the animals around.  Plus, they think it's just no fun to go and do farm work when you are suppose to be having fun picking a pumpkin.


But this pumpkin patch, well, it was a bonanza of fun.  They had, of course, a corn maze, pumpkin patch, all the farm animals you could think of, as well as a giant slide, go-carts, and everything else in-between.  The kids had a splendid time and I have to admit, so did I.

In the back of my mind though, I was thinking.  (My husband always says that's trouble…)  Wouldn't a pumpkin patch be a fun thing to create and run?  There were shouts of "Yes" and an emphatic "No" from our oldest girl in the car ride home when I asked the kids.  (I don't think the oldest wants to share her animals)

Later that evening, I ran it past my husband to which he said "you haven't even grown a pumpkin….ever."

Okay….again, noted.

Hmmmm….might be an issue.

Well anyway, enjoy our pumpkin patch fun in pictures.


Oh yes we did….put my mother on the giant slide.  Heh, heh, heh.

Is it wrong that I find the girl in the front face planting funny?

My teenage son missed out on all the fun this day.  He played the "Mom, don't be ridiculous I'm too old to go" card.  Teenagers…..Nuff, said.

Friday, October 24, 2014

What is that called??

When your Mom tells you that she's dating again…oh, and at the same time your teenage son tells you that he's found someone he would like to date as well.

Oh, that's right….


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Let me tell you about this one….

This one.

Is her Daddy….

Everything about her screams him.  She is determined, strong willed, self-motivated, and put her in the water and she will hunt…you….down.  Yet in her own rite, she is herself.  She loves animals.  To the point that we "need" to have every animal on the planet to make this farm complete.  She loves the Lord with all her heart.  And her kindness….oh, my goodness.  That child is the kindest person to anyone in need.

Lately, she has been busy.  Okay, technically that's the understatement of the year.  She has been swamped.

She takes her high school classes online through Stanford….yes, like the college.  She is just that smart.  Totally her Daddy on that one.  She has had a full load of courses this semester.  She is a great student and works LONG hours on her school.

If that's not enough, she has just finished up her Sophomore year in high school swimming.  Swimming everyday twice a day.  She had a great year!  She is a breaststroker.  Loves, loves, loves it.  She finally broke through the plateau she'd been at as far as her time was concerned on her last swim meet.  She swam a 1:13 on the 100 Breast.  She was ecstatic.  (If you're not a swimmer, this all might sound like greek to you…but trust me, it's a good thing)

You know, it's easy to forget the child that is so well-behaved, so smart, so responsible and so good and just focus on the ones that are "needing" your attention the most (i.e., a five year old who for the life of me, doesn't stop talking….ever).  But that's just not fair.

This one.

She is something special.  And she stole my heart 15 years ago.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go and hug her.  She'll look at me like I've lost my mind.  I'll tell her "I wuv her" and that she's my "itty-bitty-cutie wootie" and how I'm so very proud of her.

Because that's just what this Momma does.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Costumes, done….check

Today, I just finished my youngest daughter's costume for this year.  Elsa of course.  I probably would have bought it if it weren't for the fact that one….she's like, mammoth tall for a 10 year old and two….all the adult ones were crazy expensive.  Enter, door number three.  Sewing.

Altogether for the pattern and the fabric, I was able to sew this for only 21 dollars.  Not bad, huh?

We made it a little bit long in case she wants to play around the house or be it again next year.  My kids do that quite often with costumes.  That part I love.

Our little man….well, he wanted to be a super hero.  With the puffy muscles.  Ugh.  Enter Target.  I could probably make a super hero costume but he REALLY wanted to be this one.  Plus, if I made it, it would probably look like a flabby hero in need of a diet instead of a muscular one.  

I don't know much about super heroes but come to find out that besides this hero's anger issues, I was told he's a good guy from a worker at the store.  Whew, I'm glad about that one.  The claws kind of threw me off on this one. 

So costumes are done.  Until next year….

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A sneak peek….

Here's a sneak peek at what our new house is going to look like.  Full deep front porch for rocking chairs.  A farmhouse, southern living kind of look.  Love it!

I wish I could say that we are breaking ground tomorrow, but the reality of it all is that it takes a lot longer than you think.  For now, we are almost done with the inside plans….still tweaking a few things and then the builder has to price everything out.  That's where our budget will come into play.  Wish I could have everything, but I live in the land of reality and our kids gotta eat, go to college, wear clothes….those rascals.

Still….it's gonna be a great house.  Real soon.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Did I tell you about the old well we found?

The other day when we were knee-deep in mowing and trimming we found one area that the previous owner had mowed around and had never trimmed back the weeds.  Upon further inspection, and the fact that I about fell into it, we found an abandoned well.

Ugh!  Just what every farm needs with a rambunctious 5 year old boy around.  You can tell a boy not to go near it, but then what do they want to do….go near it.  Crazy fearless things.

So while the company was here tearing down the house, we also had them take out the old septic tank and haul it away, as well as tear down a very old falling down garage.  We are going to use the concrete pad from that garage as our basketball court.  SWEET!

The old garage is located just behind these two.

Gone.  The pad is nestled in some really tall oak trees (which of course need to be trimmed) but it will be a great place for the kids to play basketball.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand…. the old septic tank just happened to be located nearby the old well and I asked the demolition company if they could put a couple of scoops of dirt (from the big ol' scooper thingy they had) into the well.  No problem.

It's just funny though.  Here I was so worried that my five year old would fall into the old well when I turn around and find my oldest in the hole where the house was.

What is it with boys and holes in the ground????

Friday, October 3, 2014

Today is a great day….

….to tear down a house.

Say what?

Yep, the old farmhouse bit the dust today.  I know.  I know.  It's a weird thing to do considering we just bought it and all.  I also know that some people are just crying out at the fact that we destroyed a 1920 piece of history.  But the truth be told, it was not worth saving at all.  Trust me.

For starters, it had no heat and no air and was extremely tiny.  We live in the Midwest, people, where we get snow for five, six, seven months of the year.  Ain't no fun without heat.  Secondly, the inside of the house had been remodeled, I think, somewhere in the late seventies, early eighties and they had stripped the house of any and all architectural details.  There was nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  Not even a doorknob that was original.  Nope.  Lastly, it smelled funny.  And not funny ha, ha, but funny weird.  Not cool, man.

So it had to go.

The house was in the perfect spot for our new house.  So now, we are working with our builder to design the best home for us.  Forever.  The more we work on the plans, the more excited I get.  My husband and I have never done this before so it's all very new to us.  The hardest part I'm sure is if I can stay within the budget.  Oooh, so many cool kitchen things.

So goodbye house, ya funny smellin' old thing.