Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Giddyup! Beach, here we come!"

 The kids took advantage of the warm weather yesterday to bike/horse back ride down to the lake.
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I took advantage of the nice day in garden, but I am taking advantage of the nice pictures they took for another big pictorial post (I know how much you love those :).

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Annie got her exercise in for the day, toting this little tub of lard along the whole ten miles!

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I spy...

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My gentlemanly brother sacrificed some of his enjoyment to allow our guest a few rides...

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..which she was quite grateful for, I'm sure!

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A random abandoned homestead. We have a lot of those around...

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As soon as our four legged friends step hoof in the sand, they always have a compulsion to roll.

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Lake Superior in all its glory, mixed with the beauty of the day, the smiles and laughter of the kids, and the awesomeness of natural horse back riding.

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All ingredients combined made for a lovely time, they said.

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The horses loved the water, and surprised the kids with how far they were willing, and actually wanting, to go out!

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Kryzdy had to try it, too...

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..but she didn't want to get wet.

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Stephen and Theresa filled their boots...

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I think Kryzdy managed to maintain dryness, though. :)

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Then, more rolling...

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Poor babies are tired after 5 miles. ;)

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Aren't they the cutest? :)

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Okay, now here's a video, just so you can see the smiles firsthand, hear the giggles and waves and experience the fun even more! Enjoy.
 
video


:)

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Circle of Life

Theresa was subject to a welcomed surprise this morning when she did her morning farm chore routine. As she opened the bunny hutch, she discovered three tiny babies nestled in a soft bunny hair nest. 

(They're tiny and buried in hair, don't feel bad if you can't spot em!)

Do you remember the post entitled In Loving Memory? Well, at the time Theresa was very disappointed that her favorite boys hadn't bred any of her girls before their sudden deaths. This surprise proves that, apparently, one had.

(My excited little sister stuck her adorable head in the way of the nest, but you can see the mother leaping away. Isn't she a pretty color?)

Theresa and the little kids are all very, very happy.

God is good, life is good and the circle of life is amazing!
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Story of the Little Tree House


Once upon a time, there were three boys who decided their farm was in need of an above ground hideaway, a lookout, and a place to escape the company of their sisters (of course, they only said this because they could think of no better excuse for the erection of their tower, not because a hideaway from sisters was really necessary). After the barnyard animals had endured several days of hammer pounding, and their ears were quite curled with the ricocheting echo of the blasts, the boys proudly announced that their structure was almost complete. "Good," said their father, who was growing tired of his tools being hoisted up into trees. "Good," said their older brother, who was growing annoyed at their constant engineering questions. "Good," said their mother, who was growing weary of worrying about her monkeys climbing around in precarious heights. "Good," said the animals, who were growing tired of their ears curling from the pounding. "Good," said their sisters, "When can we come up and have a look?" Now, here is where we reach the finest element of our story. "Oh no," said the boys. "We're sorry, but you can not come up into our fort, because you see, the only method of reaching its high platform is to climb a single rope, with no knots, hand holds, or any other accessory of ease. Obviously, this is a tower meant only for boys with bulging muscles... like us." The sisters rolled their eyes and watched as the boys secured their rope, climbed down and removed the standup ladder leaning near the fort. The moment of triumph was at hand. Dad, older brother, the curly-eared animals and even Mom came down to watch. The oldest of the three was elected to give it the first try. He stepped up to the rope and gave it a good tug before casting a wry grin over his shoulder at his gathered audience. With a mighty heave, he lifted himself from the ground. His muscles bulged beneath his shirt. A deep groan emanated from within his chest as sweat formed on his brow. The younger boys gritted their teeth and cheered. The girls crossed their arms. The Father grinned. The animals yawned. After several more moments of struggling, he looked over his shoulder to see the ground only a mere foot beneath him. Desperation overtook him and he released his grip. Next up, younger brother took hold of the rope and climbed fast and furiously for several moments, before pausing for too long, despairing and dropping back to the ground as his older brother had done. I will save you the verbiage of the youngest brother's attempts, because, while quite funny at times, his little gym shoes never did leave the earth, making for boring sentences. After a short rest, the boys had at it again. And again. And again. Always ending in the same fate. Never reaching the top. As the attempts wore on, the smiles and grins began to grow on the faces of their audience until even the animals were beginning to feel quite entertained; their big sloppy grins widening around drooling mouthfuls of cud. When their audience began to thin, the boys, laying panting on the ground finally turned to the only sister still remaining, her smirk growing off the sides of her face. "Fine." They said, dejectedly. "Give it a try if you'd like. At least then we'll get some good entertainment and laughs for a change." Sister took a deep breath as she gripped the rope. The unfortunate boys never got their laughs in. By the time word got back to the dispersing audience, she was already pulling herself onto the deck of the fort. The audience cheered and the boys sulked. The sulking continued even into the next day as the melancholy bunch sat beneath their fort and built a ladder.


The End.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Are you a Farmer?


Are you really a farmer at heart? Take my quiz and find out!


Are you a Farmer?
1) A heifer is a:
cow
baby cow
old cow
young cow




Oh, and googling is not allowed! :)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Am Happy


In the last few days I have found myself very happy. For awhile in the last few weeks, I had been feeling a restlessness that I couldn't control, which was in turn making me anxious and frustrated at sporadic moments. I now feel like Easter week has gifted me with newfound patience, which in turn has canceled out my frustration and has left me feeling quite carefree and happy.


In my many years living on a farmstead, I have found that depressed, gloomy and crabby moods are never able to stay around for long. Working hard, having purpose, caring for gentle spirited animals, and living in a slow environment with many opportunities for quiet relaxation, cause them to vanish quickly.



A few times this week, I've enjoyed sitting on the creek bank with Donna and lazily plunking pebbles into the current, much to her delight. The gentle gurgling sound of the creek, the rippled reflections of trees hanging overhead, the smile on Donna's face as she tried to imitate each sound her pebbles made breaking the surface of the water and the leisurely floating twigs and leaves drifting past on the surface all worked together to deeply relax me.

Yesterday, we started planting our potato patch. With our hoes, rakes and shovels flying, the sun grinning down on us as it warmed our shoulders, a gentle breeze carrying our laughter and silly conversations throughout the garden and the soft, freshly tilled (using mule power) soil cooling our bare feet, and our toes wiggling like the earthworms in the deliciousness of the newly worked soil on our first barefoot romp of the season, a person couldn't help but feel very happy!

Last night, the girls and I took a walk with Donna. One of those regular wonderful walks, full of laughter, smiles, hand-holding and piggyback rides. After Theresa soaked her shoes fetching Donna a blooming cattail head, she was dismayed to find her efforts quickly turned into a full blown cattail fight. When it was over, and the last of the cattail fluff had settled, we all felt quite proud of the 'mess' our fight had left on the road. It looked like a snowstorm, all white and fluffy, but better because it was far more spring-y.

Afterwards, we played volleyball with Dad and the boys and then Capture the Flag and Flashlight Tag until almost 11pm, when we all fell into bed with smiles and aching muscles and slept soundly.

'Twas a good day that left me sore and happy!
 :)

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Monday, April 25, 2011

An Awesome Homemade Easter

Yesterday, we enjoyed one of the best Easter Sundays of all time! The weather was perfect (after all!); bright, sunny, warm, fresh and just Easter-y. Donna was a doll in her frilly dress, tights and cute little shoes that clacked when she walked. The meal was delicious and had the whole house smelling wonderful for hours. The kids colored and decorated lots of paper eggs that we then used on an Easter egg scavenger-type hunt, writing clues on the eggs and hiding them around the barnyard. Afterward, we enjoyed a quick virtual visit from our grandparents via Skype. Then, the youngest three children searched for their baskets. They each got a homemade toy, which many different sets of bigger hands helped create just the day before. Finally, we ended the day with a romp on the beach, kicking in the water, searching for rocks and very much enjoying each other and the moment. It was an awesome day! Now here comes a huge flood of pictures to prove and share it. :)



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Easter egg hunt. The boys are trying to figure out one of our clues...

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Going down to the cabin to look for an egg (yes, it was there!).

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Me, Dad and Mom waiting at home.

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The boys and Lizzy off in search of another clue.
 

                                  We (girls) tied a clue on a horse, a sheep and the beehives, just for fun!



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Mike getting a clue out of the tree house.

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Checking down in the root cellar.

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The boys looking in the mobile, confused because it wasn't there.

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Andrew reading an egg.

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Donna, still excited after just finding her first-ever Easter basket.
 
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Lizzy after finding her basket, looking at the homemade toys.
 
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Donna, bubbling with excitement after someone blew up a balloon from her basket.
 
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Annie...
 
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Johnny finally finding his basket.
 
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The homemade toys. Each child got a wooden pirate boat (made by the boys) and knitted characters (made by us girls) with rope ladders (made by Kryzdy).


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Then it was off to the beach!

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Kryzdy, taking her first-ever step in Lake Superior!

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Having a foot-freezing competition. It's really just a stubbornness test (Theresa and Kryz tied for first).
 
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Theresa and Kryz fighting after trying to splash each other out of the water.
 
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Theresa and Kryz still 'fighting' (they love each other!).
 
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Walking toward the river.
 
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Trying to get Donna out of the water was a challenge.
 
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Babies were made for big bodies of water and bright Easter Sundays!
 
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 I really like this picture!! :) We weren't even posing, Stephen just caught us strolling...

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Andrew babysitting while we raced to jump in the river first.
  
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An overturned, waterlogged picnic table floating in the river.
 
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Walking off without the boys (cause they didn't want to discard their shoes).
 
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Kryzdy very much enjoying her first meeting with Lake Superior! :)
 
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Stephen being artistic... 

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Donna wearing Annie's sweater and looking just like a little Jawa from Star Wars!

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LOL! Adorable!!


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Playing on the playground...

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Me...

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Theresa... :)

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Mike...

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Kryzdy going down the slide! ;)

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Our adorable Jawa going down the slide!

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Mike flying off the swing (don't worry, Stephen's photo angle greatly exaggerated the height he was getting!).

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The end of a fantastic day!
 
How about you? How was your Easter?

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Oh, and once again, a special thanks to all my photographers! 
Stephen, Michael and Kryzdy (who photographed the egg hunt).
 
A Happy Easter to all!! :)

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