Autumn Splendor

Lovely Sunflowers

Lovely Sunflowers

 

 

 

 

I love growing my own bouquets.

I love growing my own bouquets.

 

We had lots of honey this year from our harvest.

We had lots of honey this year from our harvest.

 

Scored this vintage jar from an estate sale of a family friend.

Scored this vintage jar from an estate sale of a family friend.

 

Gourds are growing up the tellis on the entrance to the Big Garden.

Gourds are growing up the trellis on the entrance to the Big Garden.

 

Pumpkins from our daytrip to Jamesport.

Pumpkins from our daytrip to Jamesport.

 

My favorite fall candle that I make.  Otherwise known as County Fair.

My favorite fall candle that I make. Otherwise known as County Fair.

 

Our first year to have apples on the tree!

Our first year to have apples on the tree!

 

The hens love to make a mess in the barn.

The hens love to make a mess in the barn.

 

Our newest addition to the farm:  Francessca the Donkey.

Our newest addition to the farm: Francessca the Donkey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments are welcome!

I am always surprised that even when it’s been an embarrassing long time since I’ve blogged that I’ve continued to have readers.  Thank you so much!!!!

Life on the farm has continued to prove busy as usual.  We have been putting the garden to bed.  The flowers are still blooming and hopefully the sunflowers will open soon.  We’ve made salsa with almost every ingredient from our garden which was so exciting!  We hope to make ketchup and pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce in the next few weeks as well.  Our gourds and pumpkins are everywhere and certainly happy to see the rain fall yesterday.  We had so many blackberries this year!  I hated keeping the chickens in their outdoor run for 2 months but it was so lovely to have picking blackberries as part of our summer evening ritual.  Even my nieces and nephews would pick just the black ones and carry them around like treasures to take home to mom.  I had enough for yummy pies and a new recipe called Blackberry Clafouti.  I plan on making jam with the rest.

This tastes as good as it looks!  I scored some mini cast iron pans at the flea market to make them in!

This tastes as good as it looks! I scored some mini cast iron pans at the flea market to make them in!

The chickens are happy to be out and about the farm again.  They certainly are fun to watch.  It is so much more fulfilling to watch your animals enjoying life on the farm than just feeding them every day.  One of the reasons I love the farm is the idyllic part of watching the animals graze and taking in this pastoral setting.

This week we are saying good bye to our two cows we bottle fed last February.  We plan on filling our freezer with them.  Even the boys have always known their fate and I have thought it would be hard to do this.  Since we are taking them to a butcher that helps but I can honestly say I am not as sad as I thought I would be.  I appreciate them.  Even though they run in from the field when I come to feed them they are much too big to cuddle on now.  And it has been a worry all summer if they are being fed enough and constantly having to get more hay.  With hardly any rain the pasture has been hardly producing what they need.

I love this apron I got from my great grandma this week.  Family treasures are priceless.

I love this apron I got from my great grandma this week. Family treasures are priceless.

The boys are growing fast and in school now.  I can’t seem to shake the urgency with my job as their parent.  They are growing so fast!!!  There is so much I want to teach them and so precious little opportunity.  I am so thankful that my husband and I agree and enjoy spending time with the boys doing just that.  Although we are a family that loves technology we have really stepped back from it.  We try to be more and more present and finding ways for teachable moments.  The boys think it’s torture when I make them read for 30 minutes a day but when they want to stay up and read one more page I’m so glad I made them pick up a book.  I’ll be glad when the younger ones start reading chapter books.  Watching them wrestle in the pool and enjoy their siblings is probably my favorite thing to do.  I hope that I can teach them to always appreciate each other.  Nature has continued to be our biggest playground.  Despite the heat my boys love nothing more than to practice archery, climb trees, discover bugs, dig in the dirt…..I hope that never changes.

We love discovering new places like this newly dedicated Civil War site.

We love discovering new places like this newly dedicated Civil War site.

The boys are loving the french lessons we have been taking.  It is much easier for them!  I have to really study and they just go around the house speaking french!  I love it!!!  I love the history we are learning.  I had forgotten how young our own country really is.  Since we are very concerned about the food we take in our bodies (yes we love junk food which is why we are concerned haha!) I have started reading “French Kids Eat Everything.”  So far I love it!  I always knew I should have been born in France!!!  I am also reading “Raising a Modern Day Knight.

My conclusion as I’ve been reading all of these parenting books all summer and constantly on the hunt for more (suggestions?) is that TIME FLIES! Yes, I spend too much time on the phone, on Pinterest, working, you name it!  Yes, I have to do some of these things and need to have “me time” too; but in between…..in the car…..while I’m doing housework or cooking dinner….I need to be teaching my kids.  Even teaching them the physical things I’m doing about driving a car, cooking, laundry; whatever it is.  But also using that time to talk.  What’s going on at school?  What did you see on tv that you have questions about?  Kids CRAVE time with their parents and it’s MY job to teach them so very very much.  I don’t mean sitting them down for lessons after they get home from school. Nothing pressured like that.  Just making sure our busy lives include each other and spending time with them and talking as we go.  I remember praying for God to make me a mother and I had no idea what that would entail aside from snuggling newborns.  It’s a much harder job than I imagined.  But I am oh so thankful.

I hope friends you are enjoying this last long weekend of summer.  I pray that you are blessed in all that you do!!!

Comments are welcome!

Back to School

This mama is shopped out!!!  I had no idea that 3 boys would love to shop!  We had a garage sale last weekend so they had money to spend.  We spent hours walking around Target & ToysRUs.  And Gamestop and Kmart.  And Walmart.  They of course were looking for certain items and didn’t want me to order it off Amazon.  What’s the fun in that?!  Unfortunately 2 of them have money left over haha!

Then we had to get the school supplies, backpacks, matching lunchboxes, socks, underwear.  Then shoes.  Ugh.  Then new fall outfits.  This year I thought I would be sweet and let them pick out their own.  Yes this mama is shopped out!!!

However the boys are excited for school to start and I think the shopping trips helped amp up the anticipation.  They miss seeing their friends and they are even a little bored.  Not sure how that happened with our crazy schedule!

I am excited because l am participating in some classes starting this week too!  I have a new bible study, finishing up the lovely Nada Farm bee keeping class with hubby. And the new watercolor class Jeanne Oliver has offered for only $10. Also the boys and I are learning French!!!  Our online class starts today!  I’m so excited!  Lori Viets is teaching this class.   Read More…

Comments are welcome!

August Eve Ramblings

Tomorrow is a new month:  August! The dictionary defines it as: inspiring awe or admiration; majestic.  When I think of the month of August I try not to think about school starting in 3 weeks but of savoring the final days of summer.  Admiring the glorious months we’ve had together as a family on the farm.  And majestic can certainly describe the sunsets around here or the garden in all of it’s glory.

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Simple phlox next to my great grandmas chairs are a beauty to behold for my eyes

What a summer it has been!  What a year!  Looking back at my blog posts things have certainly changed and slowed down.  The past year has been a rough one for me.  Blogs are a good way to showcase all of the happy wonderful things.  And I am fortunate to have had much of that to share.  There are several posts I never published of what was really on my heart.  Of all the things weighing on my mind that aren’t so superficial as what I might be trying to sell or what activities we’ve been up to.  I’ve yet to find the guts to reveal those personal parts of my heart but I hope you know they’re there.

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A picnic on the prow of a boat was just what my spirit needed

As romantic and rewarding as I continue to find farm life, this year I’ve also been more aware of the tough aspects of it.  It’s demanding and messy.  But isn’t all of life?  Life on the farm is a bundle of emotions. It’s happy and serene when everyone is clean & fed (animals!) and frustrating when it’s not.  It’s sad when it’s time to sell an animal and joyful when you welcome one into the world. It’s annoying when the chickens eat the blackberries you’ve been waiting all year to ripen and it’s priceless when you see your kids doing chores alongside you.  It does not cease for baseball season or any such occassion.  I am saddened to think of how many vegetables rotted because I did not have the time to can them.  Farm life takes devotion and dedication.  So many times there are not enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done. But certainly lends goals to reach for ‘next year.’

I have enjoyed nothing more than the time we've spent outdoors this summer as a family

I have enjoyed nothing more than the time we’ve spent outdoors this summer as a family

Trying to focus on my kids this season has been the hardest and best thing ever.  I hadn’t realized how guilty I was of letting hours slip by while they played video games while I worked outside or for my biz.  But not so much this summer.  This summer there were limits.  The boys & I worked together and oh what they taught me.  I am amazed how kids greet each day with joy.  They may not even know what the plans for the day are, yet they go where Mom & Dad take them and usually with great joy.  They snuggle the animals and speak softly to them during chores.  They forgive so fast. They are pure in heart. They listen and soak in all that is around them.  Whether it is good or bad.  They make me want to be a better person.

Priceless memories

Priceless memories

Obviously the thought of August arriving in the morning has me quite nostalgic and emotional. I’m going to try to make this month full of awe.  How about you?

Comments are welcome!

Nature Calls

Hello Sweet Friends!  Summer is just flying by!  As I may have mentioned my heart has been intent on being more pReSeNt with my boys and making sure our days are full of the GrEaT oUtDoOrS rather than xbox and the like.  We have had so much fun!  We have been visiting conservation spots, fishing and fishing and fishing!  Hiking, going on archery shoots and centering mini trips around NaTuRe!!!  We visited the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City and had a fabulous time!

I have to say I am a little surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed these outings.  Growing up I was very prissy and girly.  God has slowly changed my heart through the years and now I am the one dragging the boys outside.  I am not squeamish watching the boys wrangle snakes or fish bait but I still have no desire to touch the creatures myself.  I simply enjoy watching my little men in the beautiful landscape.  I usually bring a book, encourage the boys to look for treasures and even sketch or write in my journal.  I can’t wait to take this fun watercolor class in August to add to my journal!

Yes life on the farm has S L O W E D down now that baseball season is over and I am loving it.  I have even slowed down a lot in my La Ferme business by making the decision to not do any shows for a while. I am focusing just on the candle aspect (selling at Studio 1404, Sweet Wishes Cakery & Kat & Co) and using my creative energy to play with my kiddos and actually do some work around my home.  I adore doing shows and spending time with my sweet creative friends and meeting all of you!  So I am sure in the future I will get back to that.  But for now I have to keep up with my growing boys who are getting closer to their teen years every day!

May you answer to the call of nature today!

 

Comments are welcome!

Perfection

Well,surprisingly I’ve come to realize it’s impossible to have perfection on the farm!  haha!  Yes I am a firstborn!  I want everything done immediately and it just doesn’t work that way.  As soon as I have one half of the garden weeded the other half needs it.  The grass always needs mowed….you get the picture.  The other night though I thought I had accomplished perfection.  My husband was actually not working that night and for a few blissful hours we were all together.  We played in the pool, grilled dinner, chased fireflies.  And I realized that perfection doesn’t come with everything in it’s place but with my family being together.

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I have family visiting from California and I wanted everything looking it’s best.  But oh no.  A Missouri wind blew threw toppling my shabby fufu cabana.  I had snapped a few photos earlier in the week but I’m so bummed.  I used lace panels from a garage sale and an upcycled pendant lamp.  Vintage sheets and fun pink accessories.  Super bummed.

 

And the weedeater decided to break so I CUT around the beds with SCISSORS!  Yes, I have a blister!  No I didn’t go around the fence line.  Super bummed.

the center of each of the 4 herb beds looks like this

the center of each of the 4 herb beds looks like this

Life will never be perfect but it can be happy.  Especially when I look for happiness in the faces of my children not the order of my home.

my little dessert garden with blooming prickly pear cactus

my little dessert garden with blooming prickly pear cactus

Skip the laundry today and PLAY!!!

Comments are welcome!

Lazy Summer Days

These are the days I long for all year.  Long days that still pass too quickly.  The boys have to drag me inside on days like these.  I’ve given the oldest the job of making us sandwhiches for lunch so I can stay out longer.  There are so many projects I have going each year.  I move about from place to place as my time and energy allows.  {April I can hear you telling me to FOCUS! : ) } Currently I am unloading a trailer or alfalfa, mulching the herb garden, pruning the fruit trees, trellising the blackberries and preparing a garden plot for a new rose garden.  And there are always weeds to be pulled and animals to tend to.  Thankfully the boys help out somewhat, although there attention span is short.  I love to watch them play Survivor Man and eat wild mulberries and build forts while I’m working outside.

We try to spend the days at home playing board games and quieting down for our daily “tea time.” While we don’t always have tea we do have a snack of course! and spend a half hour reading aloud together (Farmer Boy right now) or individually.  Evenings are full of baseball games….our main source of socialization over the summer.  As you know I am a social butterfly and love to be with family and friends.  But the days of summer and projects crave solitude and I find myself more and more drawn to the life of a quiet farmer alone in the fields.  But boy am I ready to get dressed up for a night out a few times a week.

This summer I am focusing on relishing the day.  Taking the time to look at my kiddos and bake cookies with them.  Snuggling up for a movie when there are a thousand other things that need to be done.

I feel blessed to recognize myself in this verse from one of my favorite bands, The Band Perry :  “I’ll buy a farm at the edge of the prairie/Live off the land and change my name to Cherry/

except the Cherry part : )  Happy Summer Friends!

planting pumpkin seedlings

planting pumpkin seedlings

 

my little dessert garden with blooming prickly pear cactus

my little dessert garden with blooming prickly pear cactus

 

 

 

 

Comments are welcome!

Herb Garden

Our first landscaping project was 11  years ago …. 4 raised beds with an arbor attaching.  This was our vegetable garden for several years.  Now that we have our BIG GARDEN of 28 raised beds these 4 have become the herb garden.

isn't chamomile sweet?

isn’t chamomile sweet?

 

Of course one of the first items we planted was chocolate mint.  I love that it’s a perennial.  So many herbs are.  Sage is another favorite.

sage and pineapple sage are also perennials.  we use them when cooking potatoes or chicken

sage and pineapple sage are also perennials. we use them when cooking potatoes or chicken

 

One of my favorite blogs:  Parisienne Farmgirl has an excellent Potager Series. I am ready to add more mulch, some flowers and beautify this simple space! So far this year I’ve added a dwarf alberta spruce for some height and winter color to the center of each bed.

mr bullfrog

mr bullfrog

 

We also added 3 baby goldfish to our ornamental pond next to the Herb Garden.  When I went to look for them this morning I spotted Mr. Bullfrog.  I sure hope he didn’t eat our new friends.

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What’s your favorite herb?  Do you have a special space for them or include them in your vegetable garden?  I thought this was a cute idea.  Thank you Pinterest!  Happy planting!

Comments are welcome!

Farm Work = Hard Work

I’ll admit it!!!  Farm life is hard!!!!  Demanding on so many levels!  And yet I love it!  So many people ask me how I do all I do and usually I’m like” it’s not that hard.”  “It’s not that busy.”  Well this week it was.  Hard.  Busy. My heart has been bombarded with hurting friends.  Sickness has been in our family.  Kids have had end of the school activities.  The weather has been cRaZy with rain almost EVERY day!!!!! Babies (goats) have been born.  Chickens have died.  I am spent physically and emotionally.  Yet last night as I was sitting next to my poor hubby (he doesn’t feel well) on our garden bench by the pond, I felt blessed.  The sound of the pond.  The smell of the flowers.  The sight of their blooms.  Watching and hearing my kids laugh and run and play with the baby goats.  I felt so happy.  I have a picture of me with Aaron’s grandma on that same bench (on my computer that crashed) and I was remembering how much she loved it.  We got a call last night that her hours on this earth are almost gone and we need to go and see her.  I felt mad at myself for not spending more time with her and my own grandma.  But thankful for the times we did.  Life is so short and so precious.  Where am I spending my time?  What am I chasing after?  This summer I am chasing my kids; family.  Yes physically.  But also spiritually.  I want to impart so much in them in this precious time I have with them.  I want to soak up all of their sweetness and silliness.  I want to play catch with them and chase fireflies.  I want to sit and do nothing with them.  My usual summer to do list is long.  But this summer there is only one thing on my list.  To be present.

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so thankful this year we will be able to harvest from the orchard

so thankful this year we will be able to harvest from the orchard

our semi finished patio.  the rain has not allowed us to complete it

our semi finished patio. the rain has not allowed us to complete it

 

my fountain.  one of the many things destroyed over the weekend from our construction project and storms.

my fountain. one of the many things destroyed over the weekend from our construction project and storms.

 

i love my roses!

i love my roses!

 

 

 

 

Comments are welcome!

Nada Farm Sale May 2013

I’m sad it’s over!!!  I had the BEST time this past weekend at the Nada Farm Sale!  I had so much fun preparing for the show and traveling with BLUE LUNA!  We cruised down the highway singing and laughing.  I told my SIL it was so nice traveling with girls when we could stop for a garage sale or for restroom breaks.  We saw some darling towns and searched high and low for my constant supply of sWeeT tEA!!!!!

photo nada farm

Blue Luna (SIL April, niece Lauren, & I at the sale)

 

There was a FORD tractor inside one of the grocery stores we stopped at!

There was a FORD tractor inside one of the grocery stores we stopped at!

these awesome tomatoes were the first items to sell

these awesome tomatoes were the first items to sell

 

April holding down the fort.  Literally.  Friday night was SO windy!!!

April holding down the fort. Literally. Friday night was SO windy!!!

 

candles!!!

candles!!!

 

 I first heard about Anne Marie’s blog, Nada Farm, from my sweet friend Sheila Rumney.  Sheila is my encourager and inspiration so much of the time.  She always brings me joy and her amazing designs inspire me so much!  I am so glad she introduced me to Anne’s blog.

some of Sheila's goodies we had for sale

some of Sheila’s goodies we had for sale

I just love Anne Marie and her blog, her farm and her family.  Talk about genuine.  And true.  And beautiful.  Everything about her and her family & farm is full of natural beauty.  It was almost magical.  Every detail was thought out.  From the fabulous balloons, to the wanna be unicorn.  From the amazing bakery and the treasures it held, to the art painted on the walls of the barn.  From the sweet laundry line, to the amazing face painting set up.  Even the bathroom area was displayed cutely!  It was everything I imagined it would be and more!

Jordan the wanna be unicorn

Jordan the wanna be unicorn

 

 

part of the face painting station.  all of the kiddos were precious!

part of the face painting station. all of the kiddos were precious!

 

what a lovely vignette

what a lovely vignette

 

Anne Marie herself inspires me to no end.  The photos on her blog are full of beauty and the words as well.  She inspires me to be a better mother and cook.  To keep a better home and spend more time learning to be a better photographer.  A better friend and a stronger believer.  I felt such a connection when I met her and I wished we could have spent the weekend talking, as we have much in common.  I just may have to make the 450 mile trip again someday!

Anne Marie was the food stylist for PieOGraphy. Isn't she lovely?!

Anne Marie was the food stylist for PieOGraphy.
Isn’t she lovely?!

 

what was left of the delicious chocolate cake we had!

what was left of the delicious chocolate cake we had!

 

Another fun part of the weekend was the wonderful people I met.  Each vendor was so sweet and had gorgeous booth displays.  It was AmAzInG to meet the lovely and talented Traci Thorson who is an accomplished photographer!  She signed my PieOgraphy book:  Love, Peace, Pie!  How cute is that?!

She's so pretty!!!

She’s so pretty!!!

If you ever get the chance to go the sale I strongly encourage you to do so …. you won’t be disappointed.  And the moral of this blog is:  Life is short.  Life is beautiful.  You are worth the time and energy to make your dreams come true.  As much work as doing a show can be for this one I was able to enjoy every minute of. I got to spend time surrounded by all of my favorite things (I love junk!) and eating delicious food (oh the raspberry croissant from Java Jive…) and hanging out with wonderful people in a lovely setting.  So very worth it.

Comments are welcome!
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