Thursday, May 31, 2012

Making Hay....

 This Spring we decided to let our pasture, which is currently not being used, grow up and now it's time to bale it! This was our first time to bale hay as a family....and boy did we have fun!
Julia got to ride with daddy on the tractor...she rather enjoyed it!
 I think even Jasper enjoy the whole baling hay experience....Do you see the smile on his face?
 My husband has made a lot of hay in his days, but never with 4 children on the wagon helping him.
 Our first wagon! You can almost smell that wonderful "hay making" smell can't you?
I can't really think of any better way of making such great memories with our kids than working together as a family.
 Not sure what they are talking about all the way up there, but they are having a lot of fun doing it.
 Now it's time to put it away!
 When all is said and done, we made 170 bales of grassy goodness.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday Lance!

This past weekend we celebrated Lance's 11th BIRTHDAY! As we are quickly approaching the teen years, I couldn't imagine a better example to the rest of the kids.
 You LOVE to read! So much so, that your birthday wish list includde 75-80% of books you wanted.
  Your responsible, your logical, you cautious when you need to be, very mature, compassionate, extremely hard-working, helpful without even being asked.
You are all boy: you love trapping coon, shooting guns, air-softing whenever you get the chance, you love getting in a full day of "man's work".

We love you to pieces and are so very  thankful for the gift you have been to us. LOVE, Mom & Dad

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Who Walking Who?

We have been working with our 4-H animals lately, and I thought you might like a little peek into how that works and what it looks like.
Step ONE: We play "Who Walking Who"! Ohhh you've never heard of  that game?
 Let me explain it to ya', that's where all the kids and the animals they are "walking" get tangled up in each other and giggle a whole bunch.

Also part of that game is animal interferance....Jasper thinks it is a great idea to kiss the animals while they are "walking".
Sometimes "walking" is more like "pushing"......
Sometimes that "walking" is more like cuddling....
Ohhh and occasionally "walking" looks like real walking!
No matter how we do it these two seem to have a lot of fun "helping"!
These photos are from several weeks ago, and I am happy to report that animals and children alike seem to have come to more of an understanding of what walking really looks like. I can't believe fair time is only about 6 weeks away!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Field Trip...

We made our own little field trip day last week and headed north. (Even though were done with school around excuse for a field trip is still okay, right?) Our first stop was a wholesale produce auction. We had never been to this type of auction before and it was interesting to all of us how it worked. When you see the word "wholesale" in this case think "bulk sale"!! Everything was sold in large quantities. Like if you wanted to buy some beautiful hanging bought 6, 12, or 20 of them at a time! I went armed with a list for myself, my mother-in-law and my mom. I'm not sure where all the growers were from but I think most of them are local...which in my book in another plus and makes me feel good about supporting the local economy.

 This is a snap shot of some of the goodies we came home with...Here are the prices in case your interested:
16 lbs of fresh rhubarb $1per pound, Hanging baskets (6) $6 each, 4 flats of petunias $8 each
2 flats of tomatoes (Celebrity, Better Boy) $9 each, 5 flats of Yellow Marigolds $6.50 each!
 I also brought home 10 rhubarb plants, 3 for my dad and then I sold the others because I already have a nice collection of 12 plants.
We had a really good time and I figured up what I spent on the things I kept then added what I would have spent elsewhere and I saved almost half..when you subtract my gas I still saved 40-45%. I saved some money, combined it with some other stops on the way home and it was great fun!
While we were out and about we also made a stop at a quilt shop to pick up some fabric so I can get sewing some new curtains for the dinning room....Not sure when I'll make time for that, but I need to very soon! Then after that we stopped at the home of Gene Stratton-Porter to tour the gardens. We had visited the grounds last fall but everything was done blooming. I think it will be just gorgeous in another couple weeks when even more things are in bloom, but we got to enjoy a nice walk on the trails and some blooms as well. If your local, you really should make a trip to visit the beautiful grounds, it's free to roam the grounds, it only cost money to tour the house. Here are some pictures of our visit.
 I love the simple rock path that leads to the this amazing arbor which is full of wisteria, but it wasn't blooming yet.
 Ahhhhhh, I love these little "snowball" trees!
 The poppies were showing their bright colors, I even spied a honey bee hard at work!
 Iris...Can you ever really have to many of these pretty girls around?
 It was a gorgeous day on the lake...we spied a pair of swans swimming off in the distance as well.
 Enjoying a stroll along the many paths!
A shot of part of the gardens, I think there are over 30 separate beds throughout the garden area.
Shade garden area.
 Then just past the shade area, is this sweet little pond with fish.
What a fun day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Make Your Own Homestead Sign!

Thanks to Pinterest, I have a list a mile long of ideas and DIY projects I'd love to try. A few weeks ago I saw this sign making technique and I knew I had to try it. If you want detail by detail instructions fro the gal on Pinterest who inspired me GO HERE.
I have to admit that my first attempt turned out well, but I thought I would make it a little darker with some black paint like she showed....then I hated it after messing up the first letter. You might want to try a practice board like I did because sometimes it does take a little trial and error. Here is my shorter version tutorial: Grab a piece of scrap wood. I still have some barn siding left over so I used that. A word to the wise: A faded (light color) of wood will be best. If you want to paint and distress the wood before adding the letters that would be great also...but remember it needs to be a light/white background, otherwise you won't see the letters well at all.

 The next step is figuring out what font you like, the size, and what you want your sign to say. You will need to print your text in "mirror" image. The link I gave above has lots of helpful tips in the comment section to help you know how to print your text in mirror image. After you print it, line it up straight on your board and then tape it in place along the edges. (Be sure not to cover any text with you tape, otherwise you won't be able to transfer it properly.)
 A little tap water in a cup, a brush, and a permanent marker(or other burnishing tool)  is all you need to complete the rest of the project.
 I found that putting very little water over the text, let it sit for a just a second, then brush over it again without dipping your brush again. Take the end of your marker (with the cap still on) and rub directly over the ink text. Dont' rub to hard or to fast or you just rip the paper. I wet just a letter or two at a time.
 Then give it about 5-10 minutes to dry....and Ta Dah You have a new "old looking sign"! The letters look faded when your done, which is fine with me, it's the look I love. The possibilities are endless when you can make your own custom signs.
 I'm linking up to Homestead Revival's Barn Hop...go check out the other links, you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mothers & Daughters

I had a great Mother's Day, and Hubby and the kids finished putting up my picket fence around the fruit garden for me...exciting! (The fact that now it has to be painted...not so exciting!) I also was blessed to go to a Mother/Daughter banquet with my mom, sister, and my little Julia.

 Julia enjoyed her little cup of chocolate treats. What girl wouldn't love chocolate?
 We laughed so hard at this little skit....It was "Old McDonald Had a Farm". All the unknowing participates where asked to come up front and turned around then as we sang the song they turned around, and said their animal noise. We were all laughing so mom is so sweet to be a good sport!
I'm so very thankful for a loving, supportive mother. I'm also blessed enough to have a fabulous mother-in-law as well! What a very special gift they each are to me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beautiful Blooms!

It's such a pleasant surprise to walk outside and discover a new blooming flower!
 My lilacs along the driveway have been done blooming for a couple weeks, but these scrubs are just beginning to bloom!
 They smell so great...
  I planted two flats of HOT PINK impatients, I can't wait until the fill in!
 This beautiful lady didn't bloom last year, and I was thrilled to discover her the other day!
 Lovely deep purple color!
 My creeping phlox are at the end of their blooming time, but I love their little dainty blooms.
 Deep Purple Columbine....I love them! I have pink & purple..I may have to add a few more colors to my collection. If you have starts or seeds I would love to take some off your hands!
I did some more planting this past weekend with some annuals and finished potting up some things!
I hope to take some pictures in the next couple days.

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