Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The 'Boys vr. Girls' Secrets Revealed!

Well, Christmas 2010 has come and gone and as it past, it snagged on and dragged with it the veil covering all our delicious December secrets.

With everything out of the closets, I am free to share with you all the lovely creations brought into existence by our hands in this past month. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year for us... We all just love how our handmade Christmases tickle the imagination and groom the creativity of the mind each year. I honestly immensely prefer the way we do our homemade Christmas gift exchange to the store-bought-gift-Christmases we used to do. It is so much more fun!

As the snow dropped gently toward the earth, one could hear the hum of the sewing machine and the hushed whispers and giggles of the girls behind their bedroom door while outside their loft window, the curl of smoke rising from the rusty shop chimney and the occasional buzz of a saw were the only clues to the creations being born within. We all had/have each year, so much fun making gifts, from the random and often hilarious ideas suggested during the planning stages, down to Michael hitting everyone in the shop with a tube of wrapping paper on Christmas Eve, explaining, "it is, after all, whapping paper!"

I got the honor of unwrapping the first gift on Christmas eve and I am bold and perhaps biased enough to insist that my sisters and I received the sweetest gift from our brothers of any girl anywhere. Though, I must admit, I was at a loss for guesses when handed this object.



The main gift was a small round case turned on the lathe that held four little wooden purity rings, one for each sister. In tiny letters they say "Love is worth waiting for." Seriously, how sweet and precious of a gift is that to receive from your brothers?! Being the sappy girls we are, we were all donning silly grins and stroking our rings for the rest of the evening. The branch was a ring holder for all the rings the boys had made in the course of making the purity rings for us. Andrew had several with inlaid horizontal strips that were seamless and positively stunning. I could go on chatting about this gift all night, I was sooo impressed! But I've got to move on...

Andrew got a movie director's set, complete with an L.F.P. tote bag to replace the brown paper bag he normally carries around on set, an L.F.P. clip board for the script, binder for the story boards and note book for, well, notes. The girls painted on the logos freehand! I thought they turned out pretty sharp.



Donna got an adorable little farm board game. You have to be the first one to get your animal piece into the hay loft, but watch out for those hay bale chutes! Totally operated by color, it's simple enough for her to catch on to... if the older kids would stop playing it and hand it over... At this moment she is pushing her farm game into my
lap...


Donna also got a pull along horsey that bobs his head when it rolls. Yea, she's spoiled, but she did really well in the virtue of sharing considering that she's a 2yr old who just had a birthday. She was genuinely excited for everyone who got to open a present and never attempted to claim anything she wasn't told was, "for Donna!"

Stephen got pair of hand knit gloves out of our own homespun and lined with cozy soft alpaca which Theresa patiently knitted up in her room. Normally we make the kids mittens because they're faster, so gloves are a special treat. He also got an nylon cover for his camera to protect it while photographing out in the elements.

Annie got a new beautifully hand crafted version of the old battling tops game. Of course, all turned on the lathe. I can hear them playing it as I'm writing this. In fact, they've hardly stopped playing it since they opened it! I think this one is going to be going on our Etsy store. The tops are all different and come with their own pros/cons and personalities. The boys had most of them named already, from having played with them in the shop. "Oh this one's 'Frisky' watch out for him, you never know what he might do. Here's average Joe, he's nice and dependable. Oh, check out Sawtooth, he's a doozey!"



Michael got a new quilt because he needed one. He had asked for one, so it wasn't a huge surprise, but the Rangers Apprentice logo that Annie tediously hand stitched in the center was a surprise! (Rangers Apprentice is a cool book series the boys are into.)


Lizzy got a little pony barrel racing game. With four adorable little horses on wheels, a launcher, several barrels (which Michael turned on the lathe as his first lathe project) a start marker and flag, there are several games to be played: tag, capture the flag, croquet, knock over the barrels, etc. The boys admitted to playing extensively with this one in the shop. It's positively perfect! (Sorry, no picture.)

Johnny's gift required the most thought... he got a 40 page illustrated book about a hero complete with the hero's costume. He was thrilled and I was relieved when all the parts of his costume fit our young hero. Not to worry, our farm should be perfectly safe from all bad guys, thugs, pirates, and evil doers of every kind now that we have the masked avenger! I am listening to Mom read the story aloud as I type...









Theresa got a set of four brain teasers. One was easy enough for the little kids to figure out while the hardest one took Theresa a full day of fiddling with to solve. I still haven't figured that one out. I agreed with Dad when he said, "my brain is very sensitive--doesn't like to be teased!"


Finally, Mom opened a rustic chess set. The boys actually made two, the first one was rustic and a tad rougher, the second one was more perfect and conventional so they reserved that one for friends and kept the rustic set. By rustic I mean the pieces have a bit of bark around their bases and the box is made of rustic slab wood. They burned the pieces with a blow torch but discovered when they made the second set that putting them in the oven at 350 for 3-4 hours works better and darkens the wood a lot more uniformly. Stephen turned most of the pieces on the lathe. I couldn't believe how perfect they all were! The boys are really gettin' good on that lathe!


On Christmas morning the girls and I surprised the kids with a new set of homemade stockings stuffed with one small gift each, as well as a couple pieces of fruit and a foam rocket launcher that Theresa and I managed to invent out of craft foam, a rubber band and hot glue and which the boys and Dad are, at this moment, shooting around the house...


Oh, and I still need to introduce our new little friend. He was born just before Christmas, and thanks to him, or thanks to the new mother, we had a wonderful abundance of milk, cream and butter to make lots of yummy treats with over the holidays. Such a blessing! Keeping in the flower theme, his name is Baby's Breath, or Baby (to be changed to Babe when he's older.)



And before I sign off, here's some more pictures of cute animals and kids enjoying each other and the fresh snow!



So anyway, Merry Christmas everybody! Hope you all had great ones! :)


Oh, and if anybody didn't yet see our homemade Christmas ecard, it's in the post below me here on the blog. Please check it out and feel free to pass it on to anyone you know who might glean a little Christmas cheer out of it! :)

Enjoy your 2011!!

Ta Ta for now,
Your little reporter
(Mary:)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Helllllloo Winter!


 With it's chilling breath, icy cold fingers and absolutely beautiful displays outside, winter has yet again made its annual appearance around here. Even after so many long months of winter in a year, I'm always reminded of its beauty all over again through the eyes and excitement of the little kids. This year was Donna's first to be able to go out and actually play in that pretty falling white stuff... and now we can't get her back in!

Whoops! Do you wanna go in now Donna??
...What do you think?
Maybe with enough help it can be fun to play outside for hours! 

Oh, and gotta report some loose screws in the 7yr old's head... no surprise there, but he was wearing appropriate fall clothing up until the white stuff appeared, now he's traded out his jacket, thermals, even pants (!!) for shorts and a Tshirt every day! Yup, when I say loose screws I mean really rattling around in there. He runs outside to check for eggs in his shorts. Freezin' reason, logic and even begging won't change his mind. I finally told him he's being stupid to which he responded, "Mary, I'm being a yooper, what's stupid about a yooper?" ...I think my long blank stare was probably nuff said.

As Andrew reported we got the roof on the barn just in time, but the shed over the root cellar was walled up as the snow blew 'round. Regardless, it was completed by the third snow day and we were able to house our bikes and tools in the nick of time.

Despite our late fall scrambling to finish the barn, all of the pre-winter chores were completed to my amazement and, I do have to credit some of it to my bossiness. :) With only a handful of days, we managed to harvest and process the end of the garden, weed and cover with wheel barrels of mulch 32 garden beds, clean up both barn and root cellar building project sites, as well as a whole homestead full of tools, buckets, tarps, scrap wood, toys, well you get the idea. :) We finished the morning of THE day it started snowing and I haven't seen the ground since. Wheew!

So now we're sitting inside panting and mopping our brows as we watch the snow flying past our windows outside. The smell of roasting turkey, the crackling of the fire, the sip of hot tea, the sounds of little voices playing happily with each other and the promise of a long cozy nap invite a body to settle down and relax. One of those moments where ya sigh deep and and let go of the breath you didn't realize you had been holding. :)

Okay winter, bring it!! :)

A very happy thanksgiving ya all!
Mary

p.s. Some people bemoan never seeing the sun in the winter and while that's true, I just wanted to letcha know that my plans for a nap may be bashed today due to the fact that it's blinding bright in the house right now! I'm oh so thankful that snow is white!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our little cobwood barn project is almost done!

And just in time for the snow, too! This post is being written by me, and "me" being Andrew, just so you stand forewarned...

This was our summer project.. A 16x25 cobwood barn. We plan on putting a small rocket-stove greenhouse in front. The warm attached greenhouse, plus the critters' body heat will hopefully keep the barn at a comfortable temperature for chickens, goats and an occasional calf or sick animal. The goal was to build the structure with the leftover cordwood from our house for as dirt cheap as possible. So far we haven't spent more than $500-$600 on it. We also experimented with a few new ideas along the way, using the barn as kind of a test project for load-bearing cobwood walls and a shallow sandbag foundation.

We excavated the site by hand and dug a trench, about a foot or two deep and a couple feet wide for gravel and drain tile. You can see the first course of gravel-packed tires under the sandbags. The bags could have gone right on the ground, but the tires offer a wider footing and I basically wanted to try packing a few of them earthship-style. It's a lot of work, and I wouldn't do it again unless I was building a foundation with nothing and had no bags available.

We wrapped the sandbag foundation with plastic erosion control netting and plastered with a cement/lime/sand mix. We were too cheap to use chicken wire or stucco lath, but the netting was a bad idea for this application.. Too flimsy and too dense to let the plaster key in; perhaps a heavier plastic fence/netting would make a better cheap alternative.

The cob mix was clay, sand, dried and shredded horse manure, chopped straw and some dairy products to improve stickiness and workability.


For anyone who's unfamiliar with cordwood building; you build with firewood sized pieces of logs (16" usually), you leave a cavity in the center that is filled with sawdust/lime or some other kind of insulation to prevent the cold or heat to wick right through the wall. Cordwood is typically done with cement, but we've chosen to build both our house and this barn using cob as our mortar for the sake of keeping this more natural and breathable (not to mention cheap!) We've not been disappointed! Cob is amazing!! :)
The rafters are Aspen logs cut off our land.

The logs were bolted to 2x4 scabs, which were in turn screwed to a couple rounds of cordwood. This helps to both spread the weight of the roof out on the wall, as well as tie down the rafters.

Stackwall corners were something new and kind of fun.

The mix tuck-pointed well, in spite of the chopped straw..

Slabwood headers over openings..


Laying down pallet sheathing over the log rafters.

Pros: Free.

Cons: A big pain to get the roof somewhat level and safe to walk on. Hardwood pallets are heavy and defiantly bend each and every nail you try to stick through them.

Pros: Free....

Also, you will notice that the front of the building is sandbags with an earthen plaster all the way up. This is to provide more thermal mass in the south-facing greenhouse back wall, as well as give us more experience with earth/sandbag building.



Finally got the pallets up and the slab fascia installed.

Over the pallets, we put down a layer of old carpeting, then a pvc billboard tarp for a waterproof membrane. Another layer of carpet over the plastic for extra protection, and finally a layer of hay bales for an insti-green roof. I imagine we'll seed it in spring..

Here's how it looked this afternoon:

Still need to put some windows and doors on..

I found this project exciting because of how cheap it was, and it wouldn't take too much more work to turn it into a warm and cozy cottage! The roof was practically free, minus the billboard and some nails.

Anyway, just thought I'd share. Cheers!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful Kids...

Hey You All!

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary typing away here, on behalf of the younger dudes.... Maybe it was butchering the bird yesterday (a very satisfying feeling btw!) that had me thinking on the upcoming holiday. I hope this isn't too premature, but I thought it would be sweet to share what the younger kids are thankful for this year.

Johnny is thankful for:

1. God

2. Donna

3. My brothers and sisters

4. To be able to play with Lizzy and Donna

5. To have a farm

6. For Puff and Purr

7. For Mom

8. For our Family

9. To be able to play in snow!

10. To be able to eat. :)



Lizzy is thankful for:

1. Charity and love in our family.

2. My sisters and brothers who play with me all the time.

3. The farm and how much joy it grows in our family.

4. The beauty in our family and gardens.

5. God

6. All the animals and our healthy food.

7. For Perla.

8. Not having to go to school!

9. A big lake that we can go swimming in when it gets hot.

10. For being able to go sledding and skating.


Michael is thankful for:

1. My parents

2. My siblings

3. My animals.

4. For being homeschooled

5. For living such a great way

6. For creation and our souls.

7. For life.

8. Good looks. (laughing :) (and I might add, that I'm thankful for brother's sense of humor!)

9. My bed.

10. Cute sisters! (No I didn't tell him to say that! He's laughing and patting my shoulder... I'm groaning. :-P Little brothers! Oh whaddya gonna do? :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun in the Back Field

Hey guys!
I'm Mary's eleven year old sister, Lizzy :). It's nice to talk to you again.
You know me, my fort, sure ya do.
Anyway, I want to tell you guys about how pretty life is in the field—mostly gorgeous for me, so let's see if it's the same for you.
I like it because when I go out there I feel free, not like I'm not already :). But it's just so... when the wind blows, and just... all the horses come to greet you, I just feel so alive, with all the birds singing in the trees.. it's just so like safe and at home.. okay, to tell you the truth, it's like a dream in the fall. I feel so happy when I go out there, I feel like I have to do some spins on the way out.
Then when I'm out there enjoying the horses' company, I like to thank God for everything, especially Donna, my one year old sister, Perla, a half Icelandic pony that is now one year old, and my dream one day is to gallop through the fields with her.

So that's my story for you. I'm going to go and run in the field.
Have a great day.
Lizzy :)

Cute Baby... good for a chuckle or two :)

Hey out there!

 I've been getting questions regarding our latest hobby of commercial making. Thought it was about time I explained...

As ya all can imagine, this homesteadin' lifestyle ain't always the most profitable business, so we're always scroungin' for odd jobs and small ways to make money on the side. Most of these opportunities are a lot of hard work and since our farm and its abundant work is where we really want to be putting our efforts into growing bright futures... that's tough. So, when Andrew stumbled across this site that watches and manages commercial contests going on on the web, offering decent to good cash prizes, we joined on. It's a good opportunity for us because movie making is something we love doing. It's fun verses being labor intensive, so to be doing it for a potential money making purpose is great! Whenever there's a commercial need posted that's up our alley, we chat about it a lot as a group while digging potatoes or working on the barn and get our creative juices flowing and then collaborate on something that we can do quick and easy in the evenings.

So far, we have yet to win something, but we're hopeful. The Sthil commercial will be picking finalists after Nov. 1st. ...We're kinda thinkin' we lost that one to somebody with much better equipment. Our viral cow vid lost out in the finalist choices. Then that nature commercial I posted in my last entry we were forced to submit late... so not sure if that one will even make it into the draw. Then we filmed these four Etrade baby commercials for, you guessed it, Etrade! These are just ideas and concepts for Etrade. If they bought any of them, they would be redoing them with their babies.

So, I just thought I'd explain and just for the chuckle of seeing a really cute baby in action, thought I'd share these:

Puppet Skills:



A Little Counseling:



The Cute Factor:



Delusions of Stardom:



So, that's what we've been up to lately. If you could spare a prayer that we can win a commercial once in a while, we'd be grateful. :) I'll keep you all updated on our wins and losses. Oh, and one last favor, if you could, please share which one of these you found to be the funniest??

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lil' Prairie Princess


My little sister is a princess. 
The kind that can twirl her faded jean skirt round and round until it turns into a dazzling full ball gown. Hers is a magical world, where the long open field becomes a royal hall filled with dancing lords and ladies. The yellow and red trees edging the field are the mighty golden and ruby pillars holding up a ceiling so high and majestic, that birds fill its endless eves. The color of the ceiling fades from a deep magnificent blue on one end of the hall, to a perfect pale blue on the other end. Fluffy white clouds drift and swirl across the ceiling with such color and depth that no artist could paint. Leaves fill the sky and float down around her like droplets of pure gold creating the perfect mat on which little royal slippered feet may dance. A brilliant brightly colored rainbow bending down from the sun into the pasture looks like the light from the worlds most amazing chandelier, lighting the dance floor for the princess to preform. 


A gentle wind shuffling the trees and bending the grass becomes music, expertly preformed and so mesmerizing to the ears that one can not help but dance to its tantalizing rhythm. A shaggy pony threatening to draw the princess from her magical world with a nudging on her arm, is suddenly a mighty white steed with long flowing mane and tail who is just waiting at the princess's beck and call, to lope over mountain and hillside with the little lady perched femininely on her back.

  
Another peal of music coaxed forth from beautiful old instruments by the calloused fingers of expert musician's, leaves no choice for the listener but to once again fall into step, silk gowns twirling about ankles as the princess spins and spins in her majestic world.

Maybe it's the season, where winters cool breath turns ordinary trees to gold and works it magic creating magnificent displays of color from sky to ground everywhere you look. One can not help but feel like a princess while standing in the midst of such glory and knowing that she owns such riches. 



Perhaps this is why, when I saw Lizzy dancing and twirling in the field the other day, I could so accurately read her thoughts... That and the fact that we often share stories while working in the garden together and I know the way her mind works.... and why shouldn't it? :-)

Sometimes adults tend to think that kids live in a delusional world, but personally I think theirs is the more accurate view on the world.

(Btw, I got Lizzy's approval before posting this... when I asked her what she thought, she scrunched her nose and turned bright red... I said, "what? are you embarrassed?" and she said, "no, it's just creepy how you can read my thoughts like that!" LOL!)

:)
Mary


P.S. I thought this commercial the boys made for GE and starring Lizzy, fit with the theme of this post really well! Check it out: (Original piano score by Annie!)


Saturday, September 25, 2010

All About Donna!

This is Johnny... HI!

Um, let's talk about a blog post about Donna... She likes apples. She likes flowers. Donna likes her sister, Theresa. Donna likes to play. Donna is cute. Donna smelled her feet and we all laughed. Theresa, her sister, told her to smell her feet and she said, "no". She also danced. When Michael brings in the milk she says: "gilk, gilk, gilk!" Donna is so funny. Oh, Donna was running once and tripped on a balloon and it popped. One time when we were bike ridding, Michael sat back and Donna acted like she was getting squished, lol! ...cause... she was. Donna was swimming in the beach... and almost fell in! Donna likes pretty, pretty's, like, flowers. Oh, I got a good one, Mary plants flowers and Donna helps her. Oh, and I got another good one, Donna called Dad a bear. :)

Well, I gotta go, bye!
Johnny


p.s. We were picking out the pictures for this post and Donna came over and said, "aww, cute!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Howdy!

Howdy!

Mary here--As kinda the chief editor of the new blog, I get gifted with writing the first post. Yehaw! In case you were wondering why I say first post when there are over a hundred in the archives... it's because everything dating from Aug. back was transferred over from the Homestead Daughter blog that I used to manage. From now on, this blog is multi-authored. Whereas the previous blog was almost all written by me, I am getting a lot of help on this one!

Alrighty, so what's new...

Several mornings ago, as I was walking down the dirt trodden path to the cow pen to let them out to the pasture, a strange crunching noise beneath my bare feet momentarily surprised me: Leaves!
Well, that was a couple of weeks ago and now there's no denying it; fall is in the air in the form of gently drifting leaves. Ah yes, fall again. Some people call it 'the most wonderful time of the year' while others insist it's depressing. I just think of it as beautiful. It means nippy mornings, and covering gardens at night, processing everything in the garden as well as the wild edibles; it means scrambling to finish the summer's projects, as well as spending more time outside soaking up the last joys summer has to offer. I guess in summary, it means more work and I'll be honest; the spring work is attacked with far greater enthusiasm than the fall. Christmas and the relaxing slower pace of life that winter brings are our only consolation bribes to complete the end of the season chores. I am drinking in the beauty of my summer flowers with oh so much gratitude lately in hopes that I don't miss them as badly this winter. If it weren't for Christmas, I think I would feel far more unpleasant about the coming of winter's cold breath. Maybe it's for that very fact that Jesus chose to be born in the wintertime so that we can celebrate the gifts of life, growth and joy amidst a cold dead season. Ahh, Christmas. I love it! At any rate, I need to cease my rambles before they get away from me like so many of my previous posts (you poor dear readers). ;)

Okee, some quick updates...

Despite occasionally overwhelming amounts of work, I feel like we've been putting decent dents in the imaginary list of chores. The barn is is nearly done up to the ceiling all the way around. A couple more batches of cob maybe, then it's on to the roof.

The giant potato patch just finished being harvested by many little hands digging through its hills. The harvest was good but we need to stop piggin' out on tasty fries and fluffy mashed potatoes if we want to fill our root cellar. I tend to point fingers at the growing young men in the family, but the fact is; this family can really put away potatoes!


Despite some struggles, our tomatoes yielded pretty well this year. With some trepidation, Mom tried out a really old time recipe for ketchup. She boiled them down on our sap boiler outside which left the whole farm smelling deliciously like a brat fry. A rare and definitely better than normal smell for the barnyard, I must say. :) Anyway, the ketchup turned out to be the best in the whole word and our cellar is proudly supporting it in jars on its shelves. Though we've made 8 gallons, we are eating it really quickly, as the kids are discovering all kinds of new things that seem like ketchup would be good on. :) Oh well.

I got our herd of sheep all sheared with the help of the boys last month. They all survived with only a couple of nicks, so I was pleased. Their fleeces were not good due to matting, but I have hopes for the new growth. I also got the hooves of our horse herd just about all trimmed. Stephen's mare is the only one left.


The animals are all getting cute and furry around the barnyard. Yet another sure sign of winter. The ponies and horses have been getting a good amount of exercise this summer. They transport the kids to the best berry patches and apple tree groves as well as rustling the cows up from the back pasture at milking time. Stephen and Theresa are our cowpokes: They work with both the young and untrained horses in the afternoons, but are always grabbing 'their' trained horses to go out on trail or bike rides in the evenings with the other kids. Occasionally, I get to ride, but only when Theresa braves a younger mount so that I can ride the nice small, well trained one. Yes, I'm a lousy excuse for a cowgirl. ;-P

Andrew made a solar food dehydrator that was working great this summer, but now that it's cooler outside, it's not performing as well. Still, it granted us a couple huge batches of dried apples with its size!



Donna continues to be an absolute peanut, joy, bugger, and just a wonderful baby sister. She's such a little girly girl, too, she loves to change her clothes multiple times a day, play with baby dolls and she is talking almost nonstop now, putting words together in choppy sentences with such an air of maturity. :) While helping us out in the field with the potato digging, she would carefully dust her hands off after each potato she put in the bag! She actually filled nearly a half bag. When Michael teased her, holding out a worm to her, she, very grown-uply, told him; "Mikegle deet!" (Michael don't) before taking the worm between pinched fingers and holding it out away from herself, throwing it into the mound behind us, saying "yucky" as she did so. Such a female. :) When out running and playing rosy cheeked with her siblings, I've noticed her be very caring and motherly to her older brothers, despite many years age difference. One time while I was watching from the porch, Michael fall laughing in the yard, but Donna paused her laughing, running up to him, putting a little hand on his shoulder and asking "K? K?" right into his face (are you okay?) and it wasn't until he assured her that he was that she laughed, asking him to do it again. :) She loves her dolls and books. The other night she climbed onto Mom's lap with her doll. She was making the baby cry, "whaa, whaa," and then comforted it, "shh, shh, baby nurse?" and then attempted to shove the baby in Mom's shirt, like she gets to do, for a comfort nurse. lol! At least she shares. :) Probably most remarkably is the really strong relationship she has with Dad. They are quite close friends and, for a twenty two month old baby girl, I think that's rather unusual. I attribute it to the fact that Dad has been home with her literally every day of her life. I love watching her climb into his lap with her goat milk bottle and a book in the evening. It gives me a silly grin every time I witness it. And also I think because of their relationship, her brothers are really good with her, too, playing, teasing, torturing, you know... I am continually amazed at the life she has. I mean, what other baby thoroughly enjoys every member of her family all day every day? Gets to ride the pony, carry the kitty, pet the bunny, every day? Walk through the garden clinging to Mom's finger and munching away at one fresh veggie or fruit after another? Who, every night, goes on a multiple mile long bike ride with all her siblings laughing around her? Indeed, I think she is the happiest baby I've ever known. She has the biggest, cutest, most perfect smile on her face just all of the time. I continually wish her life, her happiness, the amount of love she receives, on every baby growing in the world. Surely all the love she has bursting in her little heart is going to be somehow used in God's plan for her future. And maybe it's just me, but every time I get her up in the morning, she's cuter than she was when I kissed her good night the night before... :) (And yes, that is probably the biased big sister/godmother speaking for me.)



Well that's all I have time for right now. Thanks for visiting! And please do enjoy your fall, for everything that it is. :)