Monday, September 29, 2008

Think Pink

Dedicated to my friend, Sarah. I love you girl!!

Because Sarah is one of the FUNNEST people I know, I found this great site.

Check out the web site: save the tatas for great breast cancer support.
Also, head on over to Whitney's, she has a GREAT October give-away!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bubble Baths

Bubble Baths are a favorite here at our house...

Love the "doo"!

"Lots of bubbles Mommy"

She wanted me to take a pic of her feet...

She had a heck of a time getting both of them on the edge at the same time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I love Friday

Over at The Glamorous Life of a Housewife a while back she was talking about how Friday nights have changed throughout her life. Boy have they changed! I remember how devastated I was if I had no plans for Friday night, and heaven forbid the weekend. But let me tell ya. I LOVE not having plans on the weekends. ESPECIALLY Friday nights. This is why:

1. I do not have to help with homework.
2. I do not have to make my kids go to bed.
3. I do not have to go to bed.
4. I always flake out on Friday night dinners.
5. Ryan stays home on Friday night.
6. No housekeeping on Friday night.
7. No packing the diaper bag.
8. No Baths!
9. I do not have to help with homework.
10. I do not have to make my kids go to bed.
Now, I do enjoy spending time with friends on the weekends, or any time, but man, do I love not having anything on Friday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Television Addiction

Tonight is the season premiere of "Grey's Anatomy". I'm addicted. It could be worse. It's not cigarettes, drugs or alcohol.... If you love Grey's too, check out abc you can take a quick quiz to see what Grey's doctor you are most like.

I'm Bailey.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time to Grow Up and Put on Your Big Boy Panties?

I don't care if they are too big. I don't care that they are on backwards. I don't care that they are boy undies. I am excited because she found them. She put them on. She didn't want to take them off...
On a different note, why is it that girls can wear "undies", but boys cannot wear "panties"?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pears Anyone?

I did something really stupid. I bought a bushel of pears. I somehow thought that my family would pick them up and eat them like they did the peaches...yeah. Not a chance. Saturday I did make a very yummy pear/apple crisp, but it only used 4. So, yesterday I decided that they had reached their peak sweetness (yes, over-ripe) and I canned 7 quarts, and made pear butter.

And that is all I did. Oh, well, the 9 loads of laundry too... but really. It took all day to peel those pears. Anyone have some suggestions for the bowl full in my fridge??

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lock and Load

After having 3 babies, we've pretty much wore out all of our stuff. I am glad we spaced the kids out, but I'm fairly sure that you shouldn't use a car seat that is 10 years old. I've researched more things with Consumer Reports this pregnancy than all 3 others combined. This week I'm thinking nursing bras. Have you just ever obsessed over something? That's how I feel about bras for the last 8 weeks. I remember the bras I've used before, some I loved, some I hated. Of course I cannot remember now what is what. So, after MUCH research, I decided on this bra:

This is a Medela Bra, and the first thing you need to notice is that the model does not look like she has had a baby in say,like, the last 5 years. At gap it is $40. But I found brand spankin' new ones on ebay for $27. I bought 2. I was so excited when they arrived. Now, I'd been sized by a professional recently, yes, after my breast had enlarged..and was confident in the size I purchased. Of course I wore the underwire version the very next day. And let me tell ya. When I put it on, talk about LOCK and LOAD. I was amazed. The girls had never been so far apart in their entire lives. Mind you, I have started wearing these bras on a regular basis. Basically, because I am bigger now, than when I'm not pregnant or breastfeeding, so I think it is really silly to have regular bras that I will not be able to wear later.
I'm not really one of those girls that likes pretty underwear. I pay for comfort and support. But, after Ryan off-handedly mentioned that they were not really all that attractive, and Elle asked why I was wearing 2 bras, and the fact that it has SO much coverage that I need to purchase all new shirts, I decided to look for some "prettier", less grandmother-ish bras. (I know, "grandmother-ish??" in a nursing bra?) This is what I found:

A "lot" of 5 nursing bras, in my size for $30. ebay of course, yes, new. I thought, what the heck. It's $30. I got them yesterday. I am so excited! two actually have lace! I've washed them, and I'm wearing one tomorrow.... Finally. I can think about something else. Hmm. I wonder, If I was an astronaut out of the ship, working on the equipment and drifted away, how would I die? lack of oxygen? freeze? carbon monoxide poison....

Sunday, September 21, 2008


My friend Tracy gave Bea the most wonderful gift last week. A Bug Box. Bea hates bugs. She loves the bug box. Whenever she sees a bug, fly, spider she does the whole diva thing: "ahh. a bug". Totally fake, unless she thinks the bug is trying to get her, and then it is a very real : "AAHHHH. A BUG!!!". Of course the moment she got the box, she wanted to look for bugs, and the boy in our house was taking his shower.

So out we went.

Not a bug to be found. We found the next best thing.

A kitty. A lot less scary than a AHH BUG!

No animals were harmed during this adventure.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not Enough Woman for the Machine

I'm an independent kind of girl. I told Ryan several years ago that I did not NEED him. I WANTED him. There is a difference. It was kind of a blow to his ego, so I don't mention it anymore. Although, just last weekend he did say that I was way more independent of a woman than he thought he would marry, but that it was ok because he is busy with his job, and farming and if I NEEDED him, it would be really draining. But, like any man, he needed to come to that conclusion himself. Anyway... mowing the lawn has not really ever been defined in our house as "His job" or "Her job". Some summers, I've done the majority, but we try to be really careful with the kids around the mower, we've seen and heard horrible stories (Thanks Drs. Pallante). So usually I need to stay inside with the baby/toddler etc and do jobs that have been clearly defined as "Her Jobs". This spring, Ryan decided that "Sarah needed a new mower". The John Deere store was more than happy to drop by a demo so that I could try it out. I broke the clothes line and could not get around the trees in our yard. I told Ryan, "It's too big. Take it back". Fine. This is what he bought instead.
He did fold down the roll bar so that our clothes line stays out of danger. But I'll tell ya, for the life of me, I CANNOT drive this thing. Ryan took the kids with him tonight, and I volunteered to mow while he was gone. I did not even make one pass, had gone backwards once, almost clipped a tree, and could not keep it straight enough to even use the full width of the deck, and had almost bounced myself off. He told me: " get off, don't get on again while I'm gone, you are to dangerous on it". "I'll mow myself". OK. We've now clearly defined, mowing is "His job". I just I need him after all....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We're New Here...

See these cows? they're new here. They're from Virginia.

They were rather upset about the mooove. (I had to. sorry.) We had to close up all the windows and doors because of their carrying-on.

Ever since Ryan sold the majority of our Dairy herd last spring, it has been a revolving door of animals around here. We've had mostly beef cattle, black ones usually. But we had these goats for a while. 286 of them. Really. Ask Maryhelen. She'll tell you it was a real "Goat Explosion".

We had Boer goats. Spanish goats, meat goats, milk goats, red goats, black goats, old goats, new goats, this one has a little star, this one has a little car. MY! what a lot of goats there are! (sorry. couldn't help then either.) They've since moved to Arkansas. They prefer a warmer climate...

I was excited when these arrived though. My comment to the kids was: "Oh look, they are brown cows". Both Elle and Will replied: (in unison) "They're COLORED cattle". (excuse ME. brown is a COLOR).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fleas and the Flu

Yesterday my friend T. and I spent the day at the Shipshewana Flea Market. We had planned the day in July, and were looking forward to spending time together, guilt-free. We had a FABULOUS day. The weather was perfect, the market was not to busy, and we had fun looking at all of the wares. I purchased several Christmas gifts, so excited because I am a last minute shopper. Now, if I can just remember what I've purchased until then... Just as we decided to walk down the fruit/vegetable/bake good aisle, and then get lunch, my phone rang. On the other end, the school secretary pleasantly tells me that Will is vomiting in the trash can. "Can you please come get him?" with a smile in her voice. How she does that I'll never know. Mind you, Shipshewana is two hours from the school. After several futile attempts to reach the Dad, he calls me back and saves the day. But poor Will. He slept all day, and when he was awake he was uncomfortable. Today he woke early, and felt better, but we decided that he should stay home and recover a wee bit more. Especially after he "tooted" and it wasn't a "toot". Even more miserable? The homework we had tonight before he goes back to school in the morning...I think I hated it more than he.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rainy, Relaxing Weekend

We had the most relaxing weekend since, well.. I honestly cannot remember when. Friday afternoon after my parents picked up the kids, Ryan and I headed to New Buffalo Michigan to stay at our FAVORITE getaway, the Duneland Beach Inn. After a un-interrupted shower, and a drink at the bar, (yes, mine was VERY SMALL while Ryan had a great big peach margarita...) we headed to the new casino, Four Winds. Ryan had a great time playing black-jack, and I was greatly entertained by the live band/dancers. All the while trying to read peoples faces when they see a pregnant woman at a bar. in a casino. I wasn't the only one. Probably the oldest one, but not the ONLY one. Saturday after sleeping in, and having the yummiest blueberry pancakes for breakfast, we headed out to The Round Barn Winery
to grab some Cranberry Wine for our Thanksgiving Feast. Saturday afternoon we had massages at the Womens Wellness Spa.
They do boys too... Actually, Ryan had a WHOLE HOUR, while I waited and read my book, then I had just a half hour while he waited. They do not have a bed that accommodates pregnant women. It was FABULOUS all the same. They have a B&B as well, Ryan and I have stayed there when the Duneland was full. Saturday evening we dined at the Dunelands absolutely FABULOUS restaurant. We've never stayed a B&B that has their own restaurant before the Duneland, and they know how to serve GREAT food. You know how when you go out for a great dinner, you have a couple of drinks, share an appetizer, have a salad, delicious entree, dessert with coffee, you get sleepy. And NO ONE wants to drive home? Well, here, you just walk upstairs! I had the fillet Mignon, and blueberry pie....mmhh. And the breakfast on Sunday? Just a good as the blueberry pancakes Saturday. Eggs Benedict...with hash browns. And fresh fruit with coffee of course. Boy, I sure could get used to that!
Thanks to Hurricane IKE, It rained THE ENTIRE TIME we were in New Buffalo. But we enjoyed watching movies. un-interrupted. And hot showers. un-interrupted. And conversation. un-interrupted. I think we enjoyed it more knowing that it is going to be awhile before we can go back. No guest under 9 at the Inn... so, until this little baby is done breastfeeding...we'll have the memories!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Say "Cheese"

Bea got found my camera the other night while I was blogging and decided to take some self - portraits.

I hear her shuffling the camera around, navigating the couch, bath towel placement...

And every time before she pushes for the shutter, I hear her say "Cheese"

These are the best 3 out of 58. Don't you just love digital??

This is one she wanted me to take of her. What a "Cheese" head.

This is the one she wanted to take of me. She would NOT take it until I did the total cheesy grin. We've NEVER told her to say cheese when taking her photo. SMILE, yes, but not cheese. Where do they get this stuff?

This is how she and her daddy fell asleep the other night. She was rubbing her foot on his goatee, and he was kissing it, and 'poof' both of them. Out like a light.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

14 years...and still no itch

So young. So THIN. I love that dress. I love my a suit. What was I thinking with my hair?? I look at this photo and remember all the feelings I had on that day. We were so excited to be married...we had only known each other for 16 months, and dated for 12 months and 20 days, and yet knew we were meant for each other. It was a beautiful day, HOT as my brothers lovingly told me in their all -black tuxedos...they looked so handsome.

This is what was waiting for me when I got home from work today... I have to say, my husband does a FABULOUS job of making sure there is flowers, cards, dinner on special occasions. And today was no exception. You can't tell, but they smell good too!

As I sit here with Bea on my lap, and the baby jumping in my tummy, 14 years ago I would have never guessed this is what it would be like, what a pleasant surprise! I wonder what it will be like in another 14?

On a funny note, today I saw cocktail napkins that read: Love is blind. Marriage is an eye opener!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Our CRAZY Busy Weekend

Whew! I am sure glad it is over! It has taken me two days to recover. Friday night after working late, Elle and I rushed into to town to take in the local elementary schools rendition of "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL". She had a Fabulous time watching her friends, and I think I am glad I've never watched the whole movie. Elle enjoys spending "big girl" time with her mom so it was worth it.

Saturday we were up and at the soccer field at 9am for practice and photos before for Elle & Will's first fall game.

Elle as goalie.

Will as goalie.

Picking his nose and contemplating his shoe choice.

Elle, in the green hat. Wishing she was in the action.

While the big kids practiced, Bea and I went to the bank, got water for the kids, coffees for the parents, and stopped at the farmers market. mmmm. Sweet corn, green beans, cantaloupe, beets, and yellow tomatoes....

Bea playing on the equipment during the game. She is "cheesing". This is right after she told me: "Mommy you no come up here." "It's dangerous". Ryan agreed. " your condition it probably is."

After the game we went and met Bea's new babysitter. She is very nice, she has a son that is just a few months older than Bea. And a baby due anytime. I think Bea is going to have lots of fun there.

Saturday afternoon we had house work...outside work... and then to the neighbors for a bon-fire.

Sunday morning we were at church at 8 am to make the coffee and doughnuts... We stayed at church for lunch, and then attended a seminar given by Tim Shoemaker.

It was a great seminar on easy, fun ways to have family devotions with your kids.

By the time we got home, it was time for dinner, baths, and bed....

This coming weekend we are leaving the kids at home and having a REAL relaxing weekend at our favorite get-away...hopefully next week at this time I'll be void of this haggard look I'm wearing....

Monday, September 8, 2008

One More Thing.

This baby has been awake and on the move since Friday morning. Do you think it could have ADHD in-utero? I sure hope it's the butt.... not the head in my ribs.

Check her out!

We had a CRAZY weekend I'll post tomorrow and tell you all about it. Until then, check out Whitney's blog. I enjoy reading it...she really wants to be a stay at home mom with all those crazy decisions! Oh, and she has a FABULOUS giveaway through Tuesday!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Paper or Plastic?

I don't remember making so many decisions growing up. "Give your child Choices" was not exactly how my parents parented. And really, by the time I started making my own choices, it was more, the navy blue shirt or the sea green one? This movie or That one? Collar up, or down? Then, fill the car with gas, What can I buy with the $ that's left? (oh, that's now too..) Adulthood comes with some BIG decisions. Like, Buy or Rent?, cool car or economical one? This job or That one? And Parenting? REALLY BIG decisions. Are they hungry or tired? spank or time out? public school or private? soccer or ballet or baseball or violin or tennis or jazz or football or piano? It is never ending.
So, these are the choice I am making now: Feel free to weigh in.
Cloth diapers or disposables?
What should we name this baby?
To Wii or not?
One or two new mattress for the bunk beds?
Do-it-yourself pedicure or treat myself?
Slippers or socks for the hospital stay?
New summer sheets now, or in the spring?
The mower AND loader or which one for Will?
What toddler car seat? What infant seat? What changing table? What vacuum? What Ipod?
And one decision I need no help with, Yes, Yes, I would like some more of that fresh peach cobbler....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Enjoying the fruits...of someone else's labor

See these pretty little banana peppers? Bea's babysitter gave them to me. I sliced them up, and poured vinegar over the top with a little salt. I'm sure that they are going to be fabulous this winter on sandwiches...or tossed into a salad.. We are blessed with great friends that are willing to share their bounty!

I told you about the sweet corn and cantaloupe that my neighbor gave me. But I don't think I mentioned that she has also given me green beans. 41 quarts of green beans. AND two heads of Napa cabbage that made the best salads. My neighbors mom, who also is my neighbor, has given me just about more zucchini than we can eat. Now, I am not a total mooch. We had LOTS of sweet corn. And we shared with 3 other families. We are currently enjoying new potatoes and tomatoes from our own garden. And the peaches I canned, well I purchased those myself. And if any of you would like to make home-made ice cream, give us a call. We would be more than happy to share our bounty of milk. As long as you let us taste the fruits...of your labors!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm not a cat person.

Or dog person for that matter. But let me tell you about our cats. About 3 summers ago Ryan brought home a kitten he found on the edge of the road. The kids were DELIGHTED. I know my eyes were as big as saucers when I said: "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" (He had the same expression when I brought Dixie home...different story, different time, but now, we are EVEN). Instead of turning into a barn cat (God does not answer ALL prayers), "CeCe" stayed right by the house. After giving us all ring-worm, and blessing us with several litters of kittens, she has since disappeared, leaving us with two of her FEMALE off-spring, Chloe and Callie. Chloe and Callie, like their mother, do not wander far from the house. Sad to say. And they, themselves have both blessed us with 4 litters of kittens. EACH. One of them actually snuck in the back room and had her babies under my craft table. They each in turn have moved their babies in and out of the back room. Several times. The spring litters they had got all mixed up in a move, and both Callie and Chloe fed all of them. We lovingly called them our Fundamentalist Latter Day Cats. The kids are always so very excited when we find a new litter. So far, 2 litters every 6 months. Unfortunately, the reproduction rate far exceeds the mortality rate. We have 3 of the 8 kittens left from the spring batch, 4 of them were taken out on one trip to town. One has a cast. Trying to hitch a ride in the car. And then I had the awful dilemma of when you drive back by do you avoid or run over it again to put it out of it's misery?? I was (in)humane, and avoided, and wouldn't you know, it showed up 3 days later with a broken leg. So, 2 Popsicle sticks and some tape later...that cat is bouncing around like nothing happened.. ANYWAY, here are photos of the latest litter. I always take pictures to put in Ryan's farming scrapbook. The cat photos are his favorite...hee hee.

Callie moved these under one of our cars. Elle put them in the box to save them from me...

Bea thinks they are Fabulous. I just think she's cute holding them...

Somehow everything on this farm reproduces like rabbits, except for well, the rabbits...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

Labor Day here on the Farm is just that, LABOR. For as long as I can remember, the corn is ready to chop on Labor Day weekend. And as busy as it is, and for as much stress it causes, it really is Ryan's favorite weekend of the year.

This is Ryan's weekend in photos...

Chopping the corn and blowing it into the truck.

Dumping the corn silage into the bunker...Will catching a ride.

Pushing up the silage and packing it down.

Bea and her Daddy. Everybody likes to help!

This is my weekend in photos:

A messy house...

And trips to the John Deere Store...

Hope everyone had a happy, relaxing, long weekend!