Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's in the Details...

This was one of those weeks that at first glance looks like nothing was accomplished, but when I think about the details ... the little things ... I get a totally different picture.  Some might see the way we spent our days as a waste of time, but I would have to disagree.

Pretty important stuff if you ask me.

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
Robert Brault
BTW ... if you are in need of some crafty inspiration, be sure to check out Courtney's blog for a chance to win a copy of the new book "The Big Book of Scrapbook Pages".  The giveway ends Tuesday, June 28th so hurry before it's too late! And while your are there, take time to read her blog.  You'll be glad you did ... trust me!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Make 'em Laugh!

Can you see the family resemblance?

It's been raining here on the farm and the natives were getting a little restless so Grandma pulled out a bunch of old wigs.  It's great seeing my folks play and have fun with my chicklets.  When I was a kid, I don't recall my mama really playing with me too often.  In my mind, it just seemed like she took life a lot more seriously.  She wasn't a mean mama, she just didn't spend a lot of time being silly.  But now as she gets older, it is like she has finally given herself permission to let go and just have fun.  It is awesome!  My daddy's right on board with the goofiness too.  I am so glad we have been blessed with this time together.  This is the good stuff!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The Little Prince just loves his rocking horse. 

I wish they made one in my size. 

"Isn't it cool when the days that are supposed to feel good, actually do?"
Jim Carrey


Monday, June 20, 2011

Too Pooped to Post

"I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby."
Nancie J. Carmody

First of all, let me start by saying I LOVE having my parents living here with us.  As I have said in the past, the memories we are making will last a lifetime. I wouldn't trade 'em for anything ... but ... there are days that I feel like I have instantly gained two more children ... sometimes three, if the Geek is acting particularly childish :)  and let's just say tending to five (or six) young'uns is a bit more work than this ol' hen is used to.
My folks have always been extremely independent, but there seems to have been some major changes since their last visit.  At 85 and 87 years young, they both move a little lot slower, their minds aren't quite as sharp and their hearing is definitely not what it used to be.  I wouldn't say they are demanding, it's just that they require a lot more of my time than they use to.  I truly consider it a blessing to "be here" for them, but it often leaves me too pooped to post :) 

One very big change this summer is that they are eating dinner with us every night.  My mama used to insist on preparing all of their own meals.  We use to have to work around each other in the kitchen.  I tried getting them to eat with us, but she was insistent on doing it herself.  This year, however, she now has to use a walker most of the time and getting around has gotten more and more difficult.  The Geek and I were finally able to convince her and Daddy to just have dinner with us.  Seriously, it isn't hard to cook for two more.    It's been great fun to gathering around the big ol' harvest table every night with the whole gang.  We usually end up talking and laughing long after the dishes are done and the food is put away.  Priceless moments!  More memories I (and hopefully my chicklets) will treasure for always.

"We do not remember days; we remember moments." 
Cesare Pavese

I gotta tell ya, though, it's hard watching your Mama and Daddy grow older and frailer.  I know my time with them on this ol' ball of mud is growing short and that makes me sad.  I can't imagine life without them in it.  I truly am blessed to have the opportunity to share my days with them now and for that I know I will be ever grateful.  So bear with me, I may be a bit sporadic on my posting from time to time.  It's just that I got a little memory making to attend to :)

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Camper

Please welcome the latest addition to our family.

We have been a tent camping family for many many moons and unfortunately it ain't what it used to be.  The older the Geek and I get, the harder the ground feels on our bums!  Not to mention the bad weather (cold and wet) we've encountered our last few trips which have made sleeping in a tent even less and less appealing to this ol' hen.

"It always rains on tents.  Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent." 
Dave Barry

We have looked for a camper on and off for several years, but unfortunately none was ever in our price range -- free to super cheap.  That was until yesterday.  We were taking a quick run into town and saw this cutie for sale and we were smitten.  It's a 1978 Apache and is in excellent shape for it's age ... which is more than I can say for the Geek and I:)  It's water tank has never even been used and it spent most of it's life in inside storage.  It even has a brand new awning which I am sure will be a nice addition too on a bright sunshiny day. 

I know it's not much but we can hardly wait to make it our home away from home. The chicklets are already staking claim as to who gets which bed and I am envisioning new curtains.  I'm a lover of all things vintage, but even I have my limits.  While the current curtains are barely worn, they are way too dark and dated for my tastes. I'm thinking maybe something really cheerful like green gingham.  

“My heart is at home in the great outdoors.”

I am giddy anticipating all of the adventures we will have with it.  I have fond memories of camping with my family as a child and I look forward to making memories with my own brood.  It will be a perfect opportunity to continue to instill in them an appreciation for God's handiwork all around us.

 "God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. "
Martin Luther

Oh, and of course there's the s'mores too.  I mean, seriously, I would consider myself a failure as a mother if my children left home without the capability of creating the perfectly roasted marshmallow treat :) 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer School

One of the questions we've been asked alot lately is, "Are you done with school for the summer?"  The short answer is no.  See, the Geek and I kinda approach this whole homeschooling gig as a 24/7, 365 day a year adventure. Teachable moments happen all the time (which is true whether you home school or send your children to a "brick and mortar" school, if you really think about it) and we have learned to not just embrace them, but actively seek them. 

This past weekend was no exception.  We went for a ride to see the area where the Geek's extended family ("greats" and "great-greats", if you will) had lived.  Our final destination was to take a peek at the one room schoolhouse many of them had attended.

The school had been moved to a park along with several other historic buildings.  When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised to find the park grounds "inhabited" by an encampment of re-enactors  They were portraying the life of the Voyageurs --- fur traders of the 18th and early 19th centuries.  Viola!  A teachable moment!

We unloaded the the chicklets from the family truckster and spent a couple of hours learning hands on what it was like to be a Voyageur ... something we could never do from just reading a book ... and had a great time.  The Munchkin played traditional games from the time period.

They learned alot about the fur trade and got a chance use period tools to make wooden buttons.

Even the Little Prince enjoyed himself.

We can hardly wait for our next adventure!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reason to Smile

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein

Funerals are rough.  It's never easy saying goodbye to someone you love.  Even though we know our friend is no longer suffering and is in a far better place, it still hurts.  It hurts to know we will never see him again.  It hurts to know we will never share a laugh and it hurts to see his wife and son hurting. 
But, even in the midst of all of our grief, we have had reason to smile this week.  God has blessed me with three beautiful chicklets that never cease to remind me that life is indeed a miracle. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mama Hen Gets Crafty

When I started this blog, I envisioned sharing my adventures in crafting with blog land.  As usual, life had other plans for me.  The biggest curve ball was the arrival of the Little Prince.  He came into my life and my crafty endeavors kinda sorta got put on the back burner for a while.  I'm just not one of those gals who can wield a hot glue gun in one hand and cradle a babe with the other. God Bless 'em, but that's just not me.  Instead I took a step back and while the little man napped, I surfed the 'net and filled up my little brain with oodles and oodles of inspiration.
Last week, I was finally blessed with some time to "get my craft on" in preparation for the Little Prince's birthday celebration.  It was a treat to finally be able to tap into my creative spirit and just have some fun.  So without further ado I present to you my crafty creations inspired by so many of the talented women out there in the blogosphere.

The Bunting
I  cut the flags from 8" X 12" felt squares (two per square) and attached them to bias tape along the top.  I had hoped to sew them, but due to timing had to switch to using my trusty glue gun to get it done quickly.  The letters and numbers are self-adhesive foam cutouts I picked up from my local craft store. I don't think it should be too tough to change out the number for a different birthday. 

(Please excuse the lack of molding around my back door... the kitchen is still a "work in progress" ... and truthfully  will most likely remain that way for many more moons :)

I had some felt left over so I made this one too.  It's tough to decide which one I like better.

The Wreath

I totally borrowed this idea from here.  Around 300 individually pinned balloons ... if you are wondering.  It actually went pretty fast and didn't require too much cerebral effort ... just my kind of craft:)  I had originally planned on going with an "Up" theme for the festivities ... one of our favorite movies around here ... but due to my irrational fear of inflated balloons I kinda shifted it into more of just a generic "Party" theme for the soiree instead.  This wreath fit the bill perfectly.  I hope it lasts, because although it wasn't too hard to do, I  really don't want to repeat the job any time soon.

I also wrapped a small wreath with crepe paper and stuck about 100 Dum-dum suckers in it. I set it on the table and used it as a center piece  It  was a huge hit with all ages.  Unfortunately I forgot to snap a picture before the piglets guests helped themselves, but it was definitely an idea I would use again.

The Cake

I can't take credit for coming up with the bunting idea itself,  but the design is my own meant to mimic the felt bunting I made.  I used scrapbook paper for both the cake bunting and the toothpick flags. 

I had a set of four vintage cake pans and set out to make a four tiered round cake.  The bottom layer had ...ahem ... a bit of a mishap  much to my family's delight.... so I used a 13" X 9" cake for the bottom instead, and I think it turned out just fine.  Those circles are gummy Lifesavers meant to look like balloons, although couple of people said thought it gave the cake a nautical look. 

So there you have it. I am not sure when the next time the crafting bug will bite me, but I have two more chicklets with birthdays this summer so who knows.  The Munchkin has already put in her request for a custom banner and Boy Wonder turns 13 this summer (eeks!) and that seems to possibly warrant some extra celebratory effort. 

The party by the way was a success ... good food, lots of laughs and one very happy Birthday Boy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Look Who's Two

It's hard to believe this little guy is turning two. It seems like only yesterday I was packing to go to the hospital and now my baby is not so much a baby anymore.  Actually, no matter how big he gets (to paraphrase a quote from one of our favorite books, "I'll Love You Forever") as long as I'm living my baby he'll be :)

At two years old he:...

... loves to play hide and seek with his big sister

... loves to try and give his big brother sloppy kisses 'cuz he knows he hates 'em ... such a teaser

..  loves to eat ... in fact, there is very little he won't gobble down

... loves music and he likes it LOUD

... loves to play in the water ... pool, hose, kitchen sink .. he's not picky

... likes to play with his little farm people and his brother's old wild west set and wanna know the best part? he cleans up when he's done!

... hates (and that may not be a strong enough word) getting in his car seat

... must have his wubbie (blue blanket from Grandma Minnie)  and a song sung to him to fall asleep

... is a pretty decent sleeper ... he takes a late afternoon nap and even though he stays up a little late, he sleeps in until 10 or so in the morning and that's pretty sweet!

... loves to give hugs and kisses, but on his terms

I love you little man ... from here to the moon ... and back!

Friday, June 3, 2011

In God's Time

You'll often hear the radio blasting here on the farm.  Music is just a part of who were are.  It always seems like no matter what I'm going through, there's a song that seems to capture it.  Call me crazy, but I often feel God uses music to speak right to me and tell me what I need to hear.  Yesterday was no exception.  The chicklets and I were running errands yesterday in preparation for a certain someone's Birthday Number Two.

We of course had the radio on and were singing along to our favorite country songs when we heard a new (to us anyway) song on the radio.  It was Randy Houser's "In God's Time" (you can take a listen here.). It was definitely one of those songs that spoke right to my heart. 

We are in a state of uncertainty here on the farm.  We don't know exactly what our next steps are going to be and I gotta tell ya' folks, it's down right scary for me.  I try to do all I can to make things move along, to figure out "God's itinerary" for me and my brood.  I know in my heart things will work out according to God's will and I'll have all the answers in God's time.  It's just so hard to "let go and let God" sometimes, ya' know?

Oh, but no one knows
Not you or me
It might be tomorrow or it might never be
Oh, but don't lose faith
Put it in His hands
'Cause it might be that He might have a bigger plan
Than you had in mind
Miracles happen
In God's time
lyrics from "In God's Time" by Randy Houser

Since I origninally posted this I found out that my dear friend, Mark,  passed away from cancer late this morning.  His wife, Darlene is a close friend and the Munchkin's Godmother.  Please keep my friend and her son, Matthew,  in your prayers ... they need them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

C'mon In The Door's Open

We labor to make a house a home,
then every time we're expecting visitors,
we rush to turn it back into a house. 
Robert Brault

My house will never grace the pages of Home Beautiful but it's a beautiful home to me.  There is evidence of life being lived, really lived here every where you look.  Toys and books mingle with art supplies on every available surface.  There's always a dish or two (or three or four) that needs washing in the sink.  The laundry basket is never empty no matter how many loads I do.  But you know what, my brood and I are comfortable here and God-willing we will be here for many moons to come. 

In the past, I have hesitated t0 encourage "drop-in guests".  I much preferred a minimum of a day or two so I could get my home in order.  To make it more of a house, if you will.  But something has changed within me as of late.  It's not just the fact that we are doing a much better job of controlling the excessive clutter.  Believe me the clutter is far from completely gone.  I think a major part of it has to do with my sister's death.  She and I had several conversations through the years about what we would do "someday", but unfortunately her "someday" was cut drastically short.  It was a real wake-up call that my "someday" is now.  You've probably heard that song by Tim McGraw, "Live Like You Were Dying" right?  Well, I am not doing it in a morbid sense, but my sister's passing made me realize that we don't know when our time here is through and I don't want to cheat myself out of the opportunity for "unexpected guests" like this sweet visitor we had today here on the farm.

Isn't she a cutie patootie?  This is my great-great niece.  She and my sister (her great grandma) dropped by for an unexpected visit today and we gladly welcomed them into our home.  It was far from spotless, but it didn't make one bit of difference.  We talked, we laughed and we enjoyed each other's company. In other words, it was just perfect. 

So if you're ever in the neighborhood, c'mon by.  The door is always open and there's a pitcher of ice cold lemonade waiting in the fridge :)