welcome to our farmhouse…life is good

Tuesday, April 25

time to slow down...


April has proven to be a tease...days hinting at summer, with temperatures at 80 degrees, days with snowflakes, and then days like yesterday which were sunny indeed, but greeted us with a strong cold wind from our friends up North...sweaters and sweatshirts were a must for venturing outdoors.

However; the past weekend here in our part of the Midwest was beautiful...even with a lingering chill, the April sun shown brilliantly and spring fever had us firmly in its grip! A peek inside last week's found bird's nest revealed 2 more eggs, along with a mama who was keeping a close eye on me!




Our family spent Saturday outside...mowing, raking, trimming, weeding, and starting the job of catching up on outdoor chores that needed done after a long winter's nap (both us and the farm!)  The burst of fresh air encouraged us to get moving and dig in! 

At the end of the day, flowerbeds were weeded, mowing was complete, and leaves raked. I still felt the urge to do more, but the day was over, and we were all worn out. 

Sunday came as a lovely morning...the air was sweet and filled with the buzzing of bees and a sapphire blue sky.  As a family we want to keep Sunday special...we try to make it truly a day of rest, worship, and reflection. In passing I said to my daughter, "Oh, I wish I could get some more things done today..it's so pretty outside!"

Her reply, "Just enjoy the creations around us."

Wise words indeed from a 16-year old...encouraging Mom to simply enjoy all that's around her. 

Tuesday we took a drive through the country to a nearby town, and were dazzled by glimpses of pink dogwood trees, brilliant yellow daffodils, deep purple lilacs, and the beginning of rosy azalea blooms. 

Yes...let's all take time to enjoy all the creations around us. There will be plenty of time for working later.


Friday, April 21

celebrating the unexpected...


While chasing a honeybee swarm (that got away), I discovered this....




a simple country pleasure, indeed.




Wednesday, April 12

spring...finally here?


Friday it snowed.

Today the forecast is 64 degrees, and Saturday 78!


I think, maybe, just maybe, spring is finally here. Today our farmhouse windows are open, and while there's a lingering chill in the April breeze, as it gently blows, it brings along with it the scents of spring...freshly-cut grass and the rich smell of newly turned earth. As the clouds drift by, the prospect of a beautiful sunny day stretches ahead.




By the big oak trees, the birds are chattering and in the coop beyond them the rooster can be heard crowing. In the distance, I heard the faint, steady sound of a tiller...one of our neighbors must be preparing a garden. And yet, in the middle of all of this happy farm tranquility, the jarring sound of a wet saw cutting tile breaks through. 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm tickled that the tile is being installed, it's just the contrast that makes me laugh this morning.  

April's lovely weather, paired with spring break, offers us lots of free time this week...a picnic is planned, along with kids' sleepovers, a trip to Grammy's, and the fun of Easter. Monday we were at the zoo, and we've completed a 5-mile hike our son needs for a Boy Scout Merit badge (might I mention I'll be tagging along on the required 10, 15 and 20 mile hikes as well...surely, this will burn some excess calories!)

And yes, while I'm an obsessive list-maker, I've also learned that it's often the things not on my list that end up making the best memories. Don't you agree, sometimes the unexpected just ends up being the most fun?

So I'm setting my list aside (just for now!) and throwing caution to the wind...join us!

What should we do today? What adventures are waiting?!





Friday, March 31

spring break is on its way...


For the last couple of weeks I've been spring cleaning...you know, Domestic Goddess chores as I like to call them. But spring break is just around the corner, and on the kids' wish list is a day at the zoo, a trip to Grandma's house, and a visit to the Humane Society in a neighboring town.  

Our son volunteered at the Humane Society as a Boy Scout merit badge activity and I tagged along...we had a great time!  Yes, there was work that needed to be done...cleaning litter boxes, washing feed bowls, and filling treat buckets, but the staff also encourages volunteers to socialize with the cats & dogs...yay! That meant lots of walks, tossing balls, and simply relaxing and spending time with the animals. 

And so, since April 11 is National Pet Day, why not celebrate by visiting your local shelter...I'm sure they'd love to have you lend a hand! (and take a critter...or 5 home!)

Come on...look at those eyes!












Tuesday, March 14

snow day. Snow Day. SNOW DAY!


Just 5 days ago, we had a day so warm the beehives were buzzing! The girls were out in full force...bringing in pollen from the budding maple trees and sipping water in the bird baths.
I was thrilled to see they survived the winter.


But oh, how Mother Nature can change her mind...today it's a winter wonderland! School started off with a 2-hour delay, then, it was cancelled completely...yay! My best mom friends and I are texting back and forth...we can't believe it!



cute kitty gazing at the warm fire...




And the timing couldn't be more perfect...the Orchestra & Band kids just got back from their trip to Disney last night, and they all could use a day of sleep (chaperones, too!)

So today around the old farmhouse you'll find a cracking fire blazing, the aroma of cinnamon rolls and cherry turnovers, homemade cocoa, movie marathons (Dr. Strange, anyone?), and snow ice cream to go along with our Toll House Pie...after all, it is Pi Day!

(And if you're looking for some Pi(e) inspiration, visit the Royers Pie Haven...
you can find their Texas Trash recipe here. Don't let the name fool you...chocolate, pretzels, coconut, pecans, yum!)

Time to bundle up and brave the outdoors...even the critters get a treat on blustery days like this. Warm mash for the chickens and apples for the goats...oh happy day!






Thursday, March 9

survival...


We  laughed, we cried, we ate chocolate...Orange Milanos, Hershey bars, Andes Mints, and chocolate chip cookies were in abundance between all the moms as the charter buses pulled out of the school parking lot.

The kids didn't see us shed a tear...we waved and smiled as we quietly dug our nails into our palms. Yep...we had this down perfectly.

So today, in about an hour, the buses will be pulling up to the beach...it should be 77 degrees in Orlando and the plan is to swim, visit the surf shops, and enjoy a beach barbecue...what fun they'll have!

So what will we moms do to keep busy?  Well my friend Kathy and I have already started, but we plan to hit our spring cleaning with a frenzy!  I'm following my tried & true schedule, but found this terrific one too and thought I'd share...you can find it by clicking here...




And so I'm off!  Tomorrow is a teacher work day so the boy-child (or does age 13 make him a man-child now?) will find something fun to do.

My, oh my...time DOES fly.






Tuesday, March 7

time flies...


I don't know how we went from this...




and this...


to this...


and this...



Wow..time does fly.

Our daughter is going to Disney tomorrow with the orchestra/band/choir for a 6- day trip. Yep...she'll be totin' that cello down to the Magic Kingdom on charter buses
with 200 of her closest friends.

For 18 hours.

I know they'll have a ball!

I've tucked surprises in her suitcase for her to open each day, and wrapped chocolate bars with "Disney or Bust!" candy wrappers to share with friends.

However...

my best girlfriends and I are meeting at the school to console ourselves with mass quantities of chocolate as we smile and wave goodbye.

I don't want to hear stories about cutting apron strings...
I want chocolate and girlfriends to cry with.



Friday, February 10

snow!


source: http://www.maryengelbreit.com/

Yes,  Yes, Yes...we have snow!

and since no one knows how long it will last, 
today's post is short and sweet!

A Friday thought...
time flies, whether we're having fun or not,
so let's have fun!

If you're like us, I'll bet this weekend's calendar is already filled,
but tonight do something FUN!

We have plans to whip up snow ice cream,
roast marshmallows for s'mores, and enjoy pizza galore.

Let's do this together...

Laugh, lend a hand, say a kind word,
cheer someone up, deliver a secret surprise
...because yes, time does fly.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, February 2

6 more weeks of winter?!


It's official...

Punxsutawney Phil says 6 more weeks of winter! (Who?  Take a peek here if you haven't heard the latest.)

And that's just fine with me!  It means more of...

this...




this...





this...





and this!





Sadly, we haven't had a lot of snow this year; however, I'm sure we are
definitely, positively, absolutely going to have a bunch this month!


Yes, oodles! And you'll find us sleeping in during snow days from school, then waking up to enjoy cinnamon rolls, movie marathons, board games, homemade cocoa, crackling fires, snow ice cream, and settling in under a cozy quilt with a good book at the day's end. 

It's true...


I LOVE WINTER!


Stepping outside to do chores can be, I admit, tricky, depending on the ice or how deep the snow has fallen.  But oh how I love to stand still and watch the lacy snowflakes fall, listen to the birds chattering around the feeder, and take in the smell of woodsmoke in the air. Even the crunch of snow underfoot is a wintertime delight.

I always watch to see if the geese are flying overhead, and if I time it right, and I've found the perfect silent snow day, the sound of their wings can be heard.

Yes, I'm hoping Phil is right...I'm not ready for winter to be over just yet.


Saturday, January 21

getting together with the girls...


For me, January is a quiet time to catch my breath after the holidays. I feel as if I can relax a bit before jumping into the unknown adventures of a whole new year. It's a time to reflect on the past year, hopefully learn a thing or two, and then move forward.

Ahhh - 2017 stares me down with a to-do list that's a mile long. My plan? Look my list squarely in the eye and chip away at it as best I can.

However one item on my list will be easy...and that's to spend more time with girlfriends. The time flies...how does it happen? We wave from passing cars in the parking lot at school, text when we find a spare minute, and talk about how we really need to get together.

This year, I've made it a goal to do just that...get together!  I know we're all busy, but sometimes, we just need a day together...a day to laugh, a shoulder to cry on, or simply solving the world's problems sipping a death-by-chocolate milkshake.* 

And because we all get stirred up over those three little words...

"Do you work?"

Here's my handy-dandy invitation...







And so this year, my girlfriends and I are going to get together as often as we can...we already have plans to meet at our favorite farm sale, go out for lunch, start a friendship garden, walk the local trail, and help each other as we roll up our sleeves and begin painting, removing wallpaper, and sprucing up our homes.


"Help one another is the religion of our sisterhood."
-Louisa May Alcott



If you already get together often with girlfriends, share your ideas to get us inspired! And if you're like me, wondering how I can squeeze in one more thing, let's do this together.

Let's make this year one where we offer a hand, lend a shoulder, and make each other laugh.
I have the feeling sharing just a little bit more of myself, will make all the difference in making me a better person. 


Here's to a happy, happy New Year!





And if you're wondering what a death-by-chocolate milkshake is...

In a blender, add scoops of chocolate ice cream, drizzle chocolate syrup, add chocolate milk...whirl until blended, heaven!

make.
one.
now!







Tuesday, January 10

I love, Love, LOVE snow days!



When I look out the window and see this...





and this...




and then get a text alert that school is cancelled...I do a happy dance and build this!




Because I absolutely love snow days (or in our case, today was an ice day)!

I love that we all get to sleep in a little more...it's so wonderful settling back under the warm flannel sheets and cozy quilts. And finally, when I do pull myself out, I want to sneak downstairs before the kids are up and make cinnamon rolls...there's just something about waking up to that aroma...mmm.

The house is quiet, except for the crackle of wood in the fireplace, and soon I am sitting right in front of the hearth. Az, the orange tabby who stole our hearts when he appeared on the doorstep, is quite content to be curled up on a favorite blanket.

A crackling fire, a purring cat, and the sweet aroma of cinnamon rolls...these "always" things warm my heart. I will never forget my son asking for real hot chocolate several years ago. Looking at me he said, "You know, the kind made with love?" 

At home by the fire on this frosty day, I am keenly aware of how good life is.

A new year is here...time to ponder, time to plan...what will we do with the days given us? 







 
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