Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Today . . .

Out in the garden this morning . . .

I don't know what this flowering vine is, but it is beautiful! We have two of them in the garden.  The flowers are white, about the size of my outstretched hand. Any Ideas?

Hope your having a beautiful start to your day. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Believe it or not, I am still here.  Although I haven't been present in blog form, we have been pretty busy with life.  Not overwhelmingly busy, mind you, but just enough that blogging was the one thing that took a back seat.  I could say that I would like to set a goal of getting back to blogging regularly, but I have decided that this is one area that is an extra that has to be set aside as needed to concentrate on being Mom, teacher, wife, etc.

So, for today, I am dusting off the old blog and sharing a bit of what we have been up to the last few months.

Home Improvements.  We bought this house knowing that it would take a lot of work to update and make it our own.  It has been fun and quite the learning experience for all of us.  This will be going on for quite some time, a bit at a time.  So glad I married someone handy, he is so smart and and capable of doing everything that we have come upon.

Along with the house, we have a lot of work to do on our little farm to get it ready to be used.  We aren't going to really get into the farm part of things until next year, for now focusing on the house, but there was general clean up that needed to be done and all the kiddos were great at helping.  

Darling Helper and Dreamer decided to try out the life of a thespian this Spring.  They participated in the local theater's performance of Fiddler on the Roof.  They did a great job and had a wonderful first experience.

We focused on learning more about landforms of the Earth, for a Geography Unit this spring.  It was fun  to do some extra fun Science projects along with it and we were able to go on some very interesting field trips in conjunction with the unit study.  I am hoping to do a post just about this unit study soon.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Inspiring Words . . Thoughtful Points of View . .

I just watched the amazing speech given by Dr. Benjamin Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast.  It was  thought provoking and inspirational.  I know that it has been mentioned all week long, I am just getting time to sit and watch (without too many interruptions), and I have to share it.

If you are interested in watching, which I highly suggest, click on the link below.

~ ~ ~

Here a just a couple of his comments that resonated with me:

" . . . if you don't accept excuses, pretty soon, people stop giving them and they start looking for solutions."

" The person that has the most to do with you and what happens to you in life, is you.  You make decisions. You decide how much energy you put behind that decision."

~ ~ ~

I am also going to get a copy of one of his books, America the Beautiful, soon. Ok, I will probably try to get a copy of all of his books to read.   Enjoy!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

80 Little Toes . . .

We have cousins visiting us for a few days.  The weather has turned a tad bit warmer ( mid 30's ) and the snow has decided it wants to melt a bit.  So instead of snow play going on, the prospect of mud play has not enticed me enough to send them all outside.  

It is the first day.  The first day always seems to be a little easier, so we will see how the next few days go.  Mud play might be necessary.

No major plans for the kiddos, while they are here, other than cousin time.  However, something might have to be introduced if the need arises.  Any suggestions?  8 kiddos between the ages of 12 and 1 1/2.  I know your all jealous and dying to be in my place. The excitement begins!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Yes . . . still existing . . .

Well, here we are at the beginning of the new year and hopefully that will give me somewhat of a push to post more often.  The last few months have been quite busy for us and now that our days have gotten back to a more scheduled routine, I think I could add in a bit of time for posting.

As shared in a previous post, we were able to realize our dream of purchasing a home out in the country.  Not just the home, but with a bit of land to go with it.  When we found the property, it seemed that things fell into place for us to live there.  The home is about 35 years old and probably hadn't been updated that whole time on the interior, so a lot of work was needed, but it is clean and well cared for.  The exterior of the home had been update in the last 15 or so years and the yard is beautiful!  I am grateful for that.  The home sits on 24 acres of wild, somewhat rolling land.  

The land had not been farmed for probably 50 years and for the most part, because of the random, protruding lava rock, is not a good candidate for such.  That makes it perfect for us.  We have big ideas and dreams for it.  Some of those include, but are not limited to: planting lots and lots of trees, maybe a pond, chickens, steers, large gardens, maybe some fruit trees, corrals, barns, sheds, etc.  The dream is big, but I think we are off to a good start.  

The last few months of free time has been spent doing some remodeling.  One of the first things we did when we moved in was to completely rip out the kitchen.  The old one was small and outdated.  For our family, it needed to be bigger and more open.  

The dark cabinets, and the position they were in, made the room feel dark and small.  There was a dropped ceiling to accommodate the lighting and as much as I love the color orange, the counter tops had been utilized greatly and were in need of replacing.  I had hoped that I could recycle the cabinets, but they were made of a plastic/vinyl material that would have proved difficult to paint.  ( I did save them to use either in the laundry room or in the work shed )  

So, we took everything out, including the dropped ceiling.  We put in a new ceiling with can lights, enough to brighten the space nicely.  I was able to find used oak cabinets for sale, with enough to work perfectly for the look and use that I wanted.  I was able to paint them and finish them with an antiqued look.  For our counter tops, we did a marble tile.  This was a task, as we had not tiled before, but after the island was completed, things went quickly and smoothly and they turned out beautiful.  We replaced the carpeted flooring (yes, carpet in the kitchen), with wood laminate which we extended into the dining area, entry, and down the hall.  There is still much to be done and little things to finish, but already it feels like home; like us.

Well, this post has gotten a bit longer than I would like, so I will end it there.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I say "poe tay toe", You say "poe tah toe" . . .

For the past few weeks, we have been watching the trucks full of potatoes zooming past our home on their way to the sorting cellars and beyond.  Soon enough, the field right outside our front door was busy with the bustling, booming sounds of potato harvest.  Once we saw past the clouds of dust, and thankful for the wisdom of the previous owners to plant trees all around the house to keep the dust off, it was fun and intriguing to watch the process take place.

We were lucky enough to glean after the harvest, with permission of the owner, of course. ( We want to maintain a good, healthy relationship with all our new "neighbors".)  Between all 6 of us and about 3 hours of work, we were able to glean about 60 gallons of the russets to share with friends and family and give us a good supply for winter.

The kids had a great time and they worked really hard.  It is always a sign of hard work when you start taking off your jackets and hats in 55 degree weather.  It was rewarding for them to get to deliver it to Dad's work for some very happy and appreciative co-workers. 

This is one of the many stamps
from around the world showcasing potatoes.
This one is specifically for Uncle Devin!
I decided it was a good time to get to know a bit more about our state's famous crop.  So, we visited the Potato Museum in a neighboring town.  It was very interesting and informative.  We all learned so much about the potato, it's history, growth, and uses.  The kids all laughed when we read that originally it was popular in Europe and England for it's blossoms and not the potato itself.  Marie Antoinetter even reportedly wore the potato blossom is her hair. Darling Helper really like that she now knows that french fries are truly french, made originally made by french chefs and possibly first introduced to America via Thomas Jefferson.  Peaches liked the models of the horse pulled carts carrying potatoes.  Bubba liked the tractors and implements.  Dreamer liked all the different varieties of potato mashers.

Hundreds of different potato mashers!

It was also interesting to find out that even though our state, today, produces one-third of the potatoes in the USA, potatoes were originally from South America, more specifically Peru in the Andes mountains.  The museum was self lead, simple, but very informative and worth the short drive there.  I think we all came away from it more appreciative of the spuds. Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Home, Home on the Range . . .

. . .where the bunnies and coyotes play.

Yes, we have bunnies which I think in turn means that with them comes coyotes.  We have listened to their sullen tunes almost every night since we have been in our new home.  Since it has gotten a bit colder, it has been less and less, but instead of being fearful or negative about them, I actually find myself grateful because their presence has a lot of meaning; rural, nature, life, adventure.

So we are finally in our new home.  The kids refer to it as our farm, and even though it is lacking in many of the things that would define it as such, that is what we dream for it and so that is what it will be referred to as.   We have been doing some remodeling and updating immediately and so things have been a bit messy and chaotic.  Each I find myself consumed by the mess, I step outside into our beautiful yard and listen to the leaves rustle on the trees.  This afternoon, I sat by a window a bit longer just to listen to the birds outside.  It was wonderful!!  We are all so excited for our future here and for the potential and work that is ahead.  The kids have all made their own plans and it is fun to listen to their thoughts and ideas.

I will share a lot of before and after pictures of our remodeling when it is done and we are back to a slight routine.  Needless to say summer break had to be extended and fall break started early, but hopefully we will soon be back to "normal".  Enjoy!