Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Here!

I hesitate to say this, living in the Midwest and all, but I am going to go out on a limb and say summer is here!  Hard to believe a little over three days ago it was in the 40's and today the weatherman says it's gonna be 90, but that's the way it goes.  I'll take sunshine over rain any day, thank you very much!  It's amazing how even though things are still pretty unsettled here, it somehow doesn't feel so bad when then sun is shining brightly. 

I may be slighty random in this post today, but hey, that's they way life on the farm is lately.   Why should my blog be any different, right?  I received and email this morning with a good quote ... and if you know me, you know I just L-O-V-E me a good quote;) 

"Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth”
Tom Barrett
Chaos is pretty much a fact of life in our household.  Seven people living -- ranging in age from two to eighty-seven --  under one roof kinda lends itself to a certain level of craziness.  I feel like I often waste a lot of energy trying to fight it, but I think I might try embracing it a little more.  I'm a creative gal at heart and Lord knows I could always use a little "growth".  Who knows what might become of it ... this could prove to be a very interesting summer!

My parents arrived safe and sound this past Saturday.  They have both seem to have aged alot since their last visit and I know it's only a matter of time until they are no longer able to make the trip.  We've had a few conversations about them eventually moving here fulltime, but that was always a "in the future" sorta thing, but I think the future may be just around the bend.  Daddy celebrate's his 87th biirthday in a couple of weeks and he is finally admitting this might be the last time he does the drive all himself (Mama gave up driving years ago).  I can't tell you how many times I have tried to convince him to let someone drive them here, and everytime my words have been met with stubborn resistance.  It's kinda unsettling to see our roles slowly reversing, but it's also an honor to be help them as they have always done without hesitation for me.
See that empty spot on the buffet in my living room?  It's where our TV used to sit.  Actually, it wasn't our TV, it was my parents and now that they've arrived, it's back in it's real "home" in their room.  Our TV pooped out last winter and we borrowed theirs, but now that it's gone the Geek and I are considering something "radical" for the summer ... not replacing it.  Shocking, eh?  Next thing you know we'll be eating granola and wearing Birkenstocks!  (Not that those things are bad, I'm just saying...)  The kids are uneasy about being sans DVDs all summer, but I think it's a good thing.  I mean just imagine being a kid out in the country with endless possibilites of adventure just waiting for you to discover.  No real responsibilites like making a living or paying bills ... just you and your imagination.  How cool would that be?  Pretty cool if you ask me! 

One of my favorite bloggers posted about a similar thing this morning. Courtney Walsh talked about having a tech free summer. She said it alot more eloquently than me, seeing as she's a real writer and all, but all I can say is count us in!

Well, I have plenty more to ramble on about, but my other duties call.  Hope it's sunny and warm in your neck of the woods and you have to opportunity to get outside and enjoy it:)

By the way, I apologize for any spelling errors today.  Blogger's spell check feature doesn't seem to be working for me:(

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This Weekend's To Do List

It's the first holiday weekend of the summer season and I thought I'd bore you with share my to-do list.

Sort clothes.
We have waaaaaaaay to many clothes.  With the exception of the Little Prince, we have clothes coming out the wazoo.  I mean really, how many fleece pull-overs does one person need?  At last check, Boy Wonder had 10.  All except maybe 2 were gifts, so of course we felt obligated to keep them.  Notice the emphasis on felt.  But times they are a-changing.  We are going through some major shifts here on the farm and one of the biggies is donating clothes we no longer need.  It's hard to get rid of perfectly good clothes, but donating them to the local thrift store makes it a bit easier on the ol' conscience.  Besides, if we are honest, we pretty much wear our favorites and the rest just gather dust... so what's the point in keeping them?

Wash clothes.
The amount of laundry this family creates never ceases to amaze me.  I guess I shouldn't be too surprised ... five people's worth of dirty clothes gathering for five days... or six or seven (keeping it real here folks) does add up.  Not to mention towels...I am thinking a "towel reduction program" may be what this brood needs! Incidentally, I am looking forward to using my clotheslines that the Geek so sweetly installed for me (if only the rain would let up for a bit).  I just love the smell of lined-dried clothes!

Clean house.
This actually shouldn't take too long since I have been doing a pretty decent job of keeping up on my home keeping duties as of late.  It got a bit carried away from me for a while and  I'll be the first to admit, this is my weakest point.   I mean,  I am so not a domestic goddess.  I want to be, but it has always seemed to be just not in the cards.  My lack of housekeeping skills combined with three chicks that left paths of destruction in their wake made for a really bad situation.  But recently a change occurred here on the farm.  I don't know what to credit it to besides answered prayers, but my brood suddenly began to do a much better job of cleaning up after themselves.  It has helped me keep everything a lot more tidy and I couldn't be happier about it.

Welcome house guests.
Every year for the past 20+ years, my parents have come and spent the summer with us (they live in Florida the rest of the year).  They used to spend three to four weeks with us, but as they have gotten older, their visits have gotten longer.  This year we expect them to stay for close to six months.  Some people have asked the Geek and I how we do it, and you know what, we just do.  They are pretty easy going people and they adore my chicklets and I just think about what a wonderful opportunity we have been blessed with for making memories that will last a lifetime.

Hit a garage sale or two.
We soooo don't need a single thing, but it's always fun to look and maybe find a treasure:)  We had to drive into town today and I managed to convince the Geek to let me hop out of the family truckster for just a quick peek at a sale on the front lawn of a big old Victorian house on Main Street.  I'm so glad I did 'cuz I  am now the proud owner of two beautiful hand-embroidered full-size coverlets. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a decent full picture of either of them, but here's a few of the details up close.  Mind you neither one has any holes or stains and theres just a couple of loose threads here and there to reknot.

I think this one's my favorite of the two...

But this one's pretty too!

I almost felt guilty buying them ... they were definitely underpriced.  Can you believe I only paid five dollars for 'em?  I can't wait to put one on the guest bed for my parents and on my own for the summer.  The Munchkin informed me she has her eye on one for her bed when we finally get around to completing her room ... hopefully later this summer (considering how things have been going, though, I'm thinking don't hold your breath baby girl!) These beauties are so much lighter than the comforters currently on the beds right now and they just call out "summer on the farm" to me :)

Take time to remember freedom isn't free.
We'll be rounding up the brood and heading to a local Memorial Day parade on Monday.  It's just a small town event, but the impact is a big one.  Hearing the veteran's speeches and Taps being played at the little country cemetery, drives home how blessed we are by the sacrifices made by others.

So what about you?  Any big plans for the holiday weekend?  I pray that whatever you do, it's a safe one for you and yours!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Nothin' says lovin' like something from the oven!
I consider myself a blessed woman.  I married a man who comes from a long line of men who cook. In fact, the Geek does most of the dinner cooking around here ... yes, I am spoiled.  It's not that I can't cook, in fact I've been told I'm not too shabby.  It's just that after a day spent chasing a toddler around and homeschooling the brood, it's easy to just let someone else take over and do the cooking.
What about you? Who does most of the cooking in your family?  As I said, dinner's are mostly the Geek's thing, but I handle all other meals.  If there's a party of some sort (like a birthday or holiday) that's pretty much me too, but the Geek will step in and help out if needed.  Boy Wonder contributes from time to time too ... his Eggplant Parmesan is yum-o!  I'm sure The Munchkin will pitch in once she's old enough, but for now she's kinda limited to a bowl of cereal and toast :)
Maybe it's a way to work off stress, maybe it's guilt ... I don't know, but today I got the bug to take over dinner duties and treat my brood to some of their Mama Hen's home cookin'.  So in case you're interested, here's what's for dinner tonite on the ol' farmstead:

Pioneer Woman's Big Fat Bacon Sliders
These look yummy and I know my brood will dig 'em.

Cucumber Salad
I don't really have a recipe, I just slice up one or two cukes really thin. Slice up about a quarter of a sweet onion nice and thin too.  Throw 'em all in a bowl and add about a tablespoon of vinegar and a 1/4 cup (or more if it looks like it needs it) of plain Greek yogurt. Mix it all together and pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Mmmmm!

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
I've never made these, but we've had them before when we have eaten out and the chicklets loved 'em. (Oh, and the recipe says they're gluten-free if that's a concern for ya')

So what's for dinner at your house?

FYI - made dinner and everything was a hit!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Around the Bend

A bend in the road is not the end of the road...
unless you fail to make the turn.
Author Unknown

Life here on the farm is a experiencing  major bend in the road.  I hesitate about how much to put out there in "blogland", but I will say this, I believe that God has a plan for us.  I will also say that it is very hard to "let go and let God."  You think you know the way your life is going to all work out and the boom ... a "bend in the road".  I never imagined experiencing all that we have had to go through lately, but somehow we've managed to "make the turns," and somehow with God's grace I know we'll make this one too.  It's just so hard sometimes, you know?  I want to know all the answers now.  I want to know what's waiting around the bend, but I can't.  I just need to trust Him and be patient.  That's why they call it faith, right?

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Glance Ahead

I often wonder what the future holds in store for Boy Wonder.  As most of you know, it hasn't always been easy for him, nor will it ever be, but as he grows older I am relieved to see alot of changes for the better.  His patience has improved, for one, especially with his baby brother.  The Munchkin has bore the brunt of his impatience and other issues and while I do not doubt their love for one another, there is always tension between the two of them.  Oddly (Thank You, God!) the same does not hold true for the Little Prince.  For the most part, Boy Wonder is unaffected by him.  The little guy's occasional over.the.top.loud crying fits in the family truckster put him on edge, but hey that holds true for all of us.  It's the way that he acts with his little brother during the course of the day that gives me a glimpse and a hope that Boy Wonder might just turn out A-OK after all.  And that my friends, is an answer to a mother's prayer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Mom, I'm bored!"

If I had a dime for every time my kids say that, well ... I'd have about two dimes ... tops.  Seriously, my chicklets give me their fair share of grief, but complaining about being bored is just not on the docket.  The flip side of that, unfortunately is between the three of them they come up with some pretty stressful (for me anyway) ideas to keep themselves busy.

Like the time last week when Boy Wonder took the sides off the wagon, sat the Little Prince in it, attached it to the back of his bike and peddled as fast as he could down the driveway. Yeah, that so had "bad outcome" written all over it.  By the grace of God, the Little Prince was wearing a helmet and managed to avoid any major damage to his person.

Or last night when The Munchkin decided that the large plastic dinosaurs she was playing with needed to learn to fly ... right over an antique lampshade I inherited from my grandparents.  Can you say heart attack?   Again fortunately for all concerned, the lampshade survived and I can say so did The Munchkin:)

Don't even get me started on the Little Prince.  That pint-sized barrel of mischief is going to be the death of me yet.  He has very little concept of fear and gets himself into situations where it is a true miracle he has not sustained serious bodily harm.  Short of one trip to the ER for a possible concussion when he threw himself off the kitchen chair last Christmas Eve (one of the true highlights of our Christmas Season) he has only suffered minor bumps and bruises from all of his escapades. Praise God!

Your children tell you casually years later
what it would have killed you with worry to know at the time.
 Mignon McLaughlin

So if you'll excuse me I am off to see if I can ascertain what mayhem has ensued while I've been penning this post.  The house is quiet and I can only pray that's a good thing.  At the very least I know the Little Prince is safe  and sound ... he's recharging taking a nap:)

Monday, May 16, 2011

When It Rains

I think we may just float away here folks!  Granted we don't have the flooding issues so many other people are going through right now (those people are in my prayers I tell ya!) but it has been raining here so much lately I think I am growing fins!

The chicklets are ready for ol' Mr. Sunshine to come back from his vacation.  I've let them don play clothes and slosh through the mud puddles to their hearts content, but even that is losing it's allure.  They are tired of being cold and wet and are not being shy about airing their displeasure.  The whining is really starting to get on this Mama Hen's last nerve.

I personally think it's great napping weather, but so far I have only been able to convince this guy...

and unfortunately it ended far too soon for my liking.

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. 
Terri Guillemets

Although I don't really want to go into all the details here, the "rain" in our personal lives is wearing us down a bit too.  Hopefully I will have some good (rather than bad) news to share soon, but until then ... keep us in your prayers, ok?  I know God will work everything out in the end, it's just so unsettling in the meantime. 

The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So until the sun returns I guess I'll just have to do my best to "let it rain" and let God be my "umbrella". 

Easier said than done sometimes dontcha know :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Big 1-0-0

Apparently Blogger is having a few problems.  I posted this already, but now it seems to be gone along with any comments posted on my blog in the past couple of days.  Oh well, I lose things all the time so no big deal.  If you left a comment, just know I wasn't ignoring you.  For once the mental "pause" is entirely not my fault:)

I can't believe it!  This is my 100th post on this little ol' blog.  Who'd a thunk?  I have seen other bloggers do special things to celebrate this milestone.  Some have contests, but since I have all of two readers...three tops...it seemed a little over the top.  I like how some people write a list of 100 interesting facts about themselves.  I thought it would be a neat thing to do.  Unfortunately I soon discovered that I'm not really all that interesting.  So I lowered the bar a bit ...

Here's 50 things you may not know about me.

  1. My favorite color is red. 
  2. I hate balloons.
  3. They freak me out.
  4. I have no explanation.
  5. I love to sing out loud.
  6. Sadly, carrying a tune is a real stretch for me.
  7. This puts a serious crimp in my desire to one day be a backup singer for Sir Elton John.
  8. My favorite flower is the iris.
  9. I am not especially fond of roses.
  10. I was valedictorian of my eighth-grade class.
  11. I may have peaked academically at age 13.
  12. I went to three colleges.
  13. One may have suggested I seek education elsewhere.
  14. I am the baby of my family.
  15. I hate being called that.
  16. I would like to write a novel someday.
  17. The main character has a big issue with procrastination.
  18. It may be slightly autobiographical.
  19. I love to watch "Castle" on TV.
  20. I may have a "celebrity crush" on Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) 
  21. Okay, I do.
  22. Can you blame me?
  23. It's okay, my husband knows.
  24. I like guacamole.
  25. But only the "chunky-style".
  26. Seriously, smashed up avocados make me want to ... well you know.
  27. I would love to try stand up comedy.
  28. I have an arid sense of humor.
  29. I gave up drinking Mountain Dew.
  30. I still drink it occasionally.
  31. I'll deny it if asked.
  32. I love the Wizard of Oz.
  33. Except for the "Oh-wee-ohs" (i.e. the witch's castle guards)
  34. They freaked me out as a kid.
  35. They still do.
  36. I love to travel.
  37. I love being at the airport getting ready to go on a trip.
  38. I hate flying.
  39. I quote lines from movies frequently.
  40. I don't even realize I'm doing it.
  41. I like Swedish Gummy Fish.
  42. I've been to Sweden.
  43. They have fish flavored gummy fish there.
  44. They're as gross as they sound.
  45. I play the piano.
  46. I'm not very good.
  47. I still remember my first recital piece.
  48. I was 10. 
  49. I am now closing in on 50.
  50. I'm not there yet.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Little Crowing 'bout My Chicks

It looks like things are finally calming down here a bit.  I tell ya, we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off.

Speaking of chickens...

Boy Wonder and The Munchkin took part in a poultry competition on Saturday.  Boy Wonder has been doing this for almost five years now, but this was The Munchkin's first contest and she did great.  It was a showmanship competition -- they had to show the birds and demonstrate their poultry knowledge.  In other words there was a lot of talking involved  No surprise, The Munchkin was in her element ... talking up a storm and not appearing to have a nervous bone in her little body.  I have to admit I am an old softie and shed a tear or two watching her do her thing.  My baby girl is growing up.

The younger participants didn't really "compete" and in fact all received trophies.  When the awards were presented, The Munchkin's name was the first one called and she is convinced she took first place.  We didn't have the heart to burst her bubble, can you blame us?  Boy Wonder, however, faced some stiff competition and still managed to earn top honors for both showmanship and a quiz bowl competition.  As you may have guessed, I was one proud Mama Hen.

Boy Wonder had a chorus concert Monday night.  He's been singing with the county's children's chorus for four years.  He would love to keep doing it, but unfortunately his voice has changed.  He is no longer a sweet little soprano, so sadly this was his last performance with the group.   And yes, I cried here too.  My little man is growing up.

I just realized this is my 99th post on this blog.  Hmmm, I'll have to think of something special to do on number 100.  Don't get too excited, I'm not feeling overly motivated at this point, but I'll think of something.  Any suggestions?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Royal Cutie Pie

Did you watch any of the Royal Wedding?  The Munchkin was enamored with the whole thing. She considers herself an authority on all things princess ... she has hours of DVD viewing research under her tiny belt she'll have you know, not to mention a bevy of crowns and other princess paraphernalia.  She assured me that this was an event that could not be missed.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to watch that much due to our crazy schedule, but we caught enough and I got to admit it was a bit like watching a fairy tale.  The royal couple seem to be genuinely in love and it was fun taking a peek into a world so far away from our own.

England may have a prince or two, but here on the farm we've got our own royalty.