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We are glad you stopped by, we hope you are blessed, and enjoy your stay. We discuss a little bit of everthing here, from homeschool, parenting, adoption, farming, our faith, and our plain lifestyle. May God Bless Your Day!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Some GOOD things from 2013

I couldn't just let the whole year be washed away in all the confusion, chaos and crisis that we walked through-
There were some really GOOD things that happened, and that is the stuff that makes a blog a happy place to be, so here goes, in no particular order:

Tyler, our energizer bunny, snuggle bunny, class clown, love bug, love note writer and middle child turned NINE!!!!
He is our go-to guy when we need 2 little boys entertained for awhile, and if you ever want to see a legos creation completed, in record time, without any pictures except whats in his head, Tyler's  your man-he has created some of the most elaborate drawings of machines, and he has a complete understanding of how and why he is making it the way he is-I'm not sure what his future will hold, but creativity is definitely his strong suit-which leads me to believe I have a right-brained learner on my hands, in a household of logical thinkers--uhoh!!!
On Aug 31, we celebrated Chuck's parents' 50th anniversary.
It was a surprise party, and were they ever surprised!!!
We were so thrilled to have pulled off the surprise part, and the party itself was a huge success, lots of family and good friends and lots of great food and fellowship-on top of a terribly HOT afternoon, but it was SOOOO worth it:)

The first week of October was beautiful weather, and we made our annual trek to Madison to take in World Dairy Expo. It was a quiet day on the grounds, lots of cows everywhere, and tons of farm exhibits to walk through-it was a great day, and it is one of the highlights of our fall each year.

the whole family got into the act when it was apple sauce season this year.
It was our only real canning effort this year, and we were able to use our new kitchen in the basement, which was SOOOOO nice!!!
We needed the whole crew helping out as we, for the first time, did a whole bin of apples, which is 20 bushels, which is over 350 quarts of applesauce-and yes, I was ready to be done with it by the time we finished.
We split the sauce-making days into 3 days, and the Cortland apples make a delightful pink sauce, and itis so worth it, but that was a HUGE project for us this year, but a good way to break in that kitchen. Next year, our garden will be in full force, and we will be canning everything again-I sure do love a 2nd kitchen though, and it was some cooler since it was in the basement, but what I love the most, is the MESS stays downstairs:)

In Novermber we had a homeschool field trip to a cranberry marsh.
It was COLD, in fact, they were fearful the hard frost would hit before the harvest was in, and it was so late this year due to the funky weather we had all spring and summer, but it was a fascinating afternoon on the bogs.
We learned about cranberry history, the nutritional side of the berry, how they are grown and harvested, and got to watch them loading the berries to take to the loading station.
Afterwards, we enjoyed cranberry snacks and juice, and we able to purchase some "fresh from the marsh" cranberries, and for this happy mama, it was the first time in about 15 years I had fresh cranberries on hand over the holidays.
Besides baking, I finally broke down and make cranberry sauce-ridiculously simple, and sooooo tasty-a new go-to side when I need something in a pinch, seriously, it takes no time at all to whip up a batch of sauce.

The end of September, we finally took time to have a picnic at our nearby state park-and I mean "nearby" !! Its only 8 minutes away, and it was the first time all year we had a picnic there-but it was a great night, the view was fantastic, and we made it for the sunset-
A must for this year is another year-long pass, and MANY more picnics and hikes-it is something we all enjoy, and it is not that hard to have a picnic meal ready to go by the time they are done with chores and head on up the road!! Here's to many more picnics this year:)
 Isaiah turned 7 in September-he is our birthday boy-he LOVES birthdays, every time we celebrate one, he is sure its his!!!!
He has grown so much this past year, filled out, and has gained so many new skills-some day I need to do a post on him and all the wonderful gains he has made!!!

 Rose turned 15 in Feb and Isaac 4 a few days later. SOOOO, we celebrated together, because we were in the midst of milking cows on a new farm, still trying to get the house ready to move in, still packing and cleaning and still working chores for hubby's boss-it was CRAZY, and it was February for goodness sakes-who ever moves in February???
Talk about nuts-it was so cold-but it was SOOO fun to be moving into our new farm:)

Kendell turned 14 in April, and is growing into such a lovely young lady-she is sure a farm gal, and daddy's right hand girl-but for all her cow-lovin, she was thrilled to get a sewing machine for her birthday, and has put it to use, and has gained lots of knowledge over the past year, and isn't afraid to try anything-
she is another creative one-HATES patterns, would rather come up with something on her own!!!

 Lili turned 8 this past summer, and is growing sooo much.
She has turned into a pretty good helper in the house, and on a good day, does her fair share outside, although she would rather play on the swing set than feed calves-
She will keep Kendell busy sewing though, as she is growing like a weed, and LOVES birthday parties too:)

I don't have any pictures on the computer of Nick's birthday last Jan, so we will jump into his 15th birthday---can you believe it??? Our first son, our long-awaited little baby from a Russian orphanage, that we waited over 2 years to bring home at 2 1/2, is now FIFTEEN!!!
And such a fine young man he is growing into-
He has a kind, compassionate spirit, is gentle, logical, our Fix-It Guy, and lover of all things with 4 legs:)

He is a very hard-working young man who has shouldered a big load this past year with Dad's working off the farm all year-and he has grown physically as well-he is 5'6" and 110 pounds, and ALL muscle.
He is not afraid to work, is always looking for ways to be a help to someone, and is the kindest soul, with a real love for learning-I mean, HE LOVES school.
I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord does with his heart in the coming year, I KNOW it will be wonderful things!!!!

 Kendell's calf is approaching a year old, and is SOOO big for her age, and this daughter of mine, the one who LOVES cows, is in love with this precious red and white heifer.
Nick and Kendell each got the animal they are leading in the picture below, and Kendell's cow is the mama to her calf above-Nick's heifer will freshen this year, and even tho she is having a bull calf, we look forward to many more calves out of her, and yes, hopefully, they will be heifers!!!

The hottest days of summer brought yet another house project, one I was not eager to begin, and I hate to think what the spring thaws will make it look like, but...
 we tiled all the way around our house to eliminate any water problems-and there had been PLENTY of problems before, so, NOW, we should be dry, all the time...
Isaac loved watching the excavater digging right outside his window..
 OH, If I could JUST TOUCH IT!!!!
 It was a very good project to get done, and after the dirt was all put back, and after we backfill a bit more this spring after it all settles, we will be ready to start some serious landscaping...

 and I am ready for some green, and floral, and maybe a pretty porch on the front, and a patio on the back:)
and yes, that was my son and husband down in the trench digging, and it was about 100 degrees in the shade, and they were right out in the hottest sun, all day long, as we only have 1 shade tree--so far!!!!

And, to end this LENGTHY post, Just a glimpse from my front window of those awesome sunsets:

and out the back door, the beauty of the sunrise in the early morning

"From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised"
Psalm 113:3
May you be blessed, and thanks for stopping by!
It was fun to look thru the year, and see the good that was in our lives, even if it gets hidden by the yucky stuff sometimes!!!
Chris for all 9 of us

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy 50th birthday, Mom & Dad!!!

Can it be true?
We are 50 years old!
There are days when I KNOW I am 50, and then there are a few days when I think maybe I am, um, 45??
Our children always plan a wonderful birthday party for me, but this year, since Mom and Dad both were turning 50, they decided to do a joint party.
For various reasons, we ended up celebrating last Saturday afternoon, and it was WONDERFUL!!!
Kendell and Nick are such gracious hosts, and LOVED treating us to a special dinner, in our own little alcove, all beautifully decorated, and yes, that is FIFTY candles burning on that silly cake:)

Kendell has attended enough parties at our church to be gettting a good idea of how to use what you have on hand, and for this party, that meant baby pictures of both of us, some Christmas decorations that had been put away, ( at least, I thought I put them away:) ) and LOTS of ribbons tied, twisted, and strung everywhere

 and they snuck one of the computers downstairs, (which was Nick's idea)  to be used for a slideshow and mood music while we waited to be served our delicious homemade Sub sandwiches
 We got to include the little boys at our table, as they kind of needed a spot out of the way of all the hustle and bustle, and it was a good way to keep entertained while we waited for our food!! and the phones were to be used for intercoms, since they were working on our lunch upstairs, and we were seated downstairs-they think of everything!!! :)

The planning started back in early December, got stalled out with Christmas, a major arctic blast, and a few other things, then, come Jan. 10, when Dad celebrated his special day, we decided, no matter what, the NEXT day, would be the party!
 The 2 planners, greeters, decorators and sub makers extraordinaire

 3 of their willing accomplices

 our annual treat of the "5 ft thing", better known as a ball run fro KNEX-Nick has this down to a science now, he can put it together in about 1 evening-we all LOVE watching it, but especially Isaac

 The serving team gathers to take our order:)

 A break in the action for a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace-Rose LOVES this song, and can sing it perfectly!!!

 One of our sandwiches, with all sorts of fixins on it-and we kept the sides simple-chips and apple sauce

 Happy 50th birthday honey-and MANY more!!!

 I'm pretty sure I don't look a day over 49, (but I often FEEL about 70) but I sure did enjoy my day!!!

 The 7 candles across the top are for our 7 treasures
Nick lit the candles, and he said, it GOT HOT-
I was sure glad to see them blown out-talk about wax running:)

Here's to another 50 years, OK???
Chris, for all 9 of us