Some of us are braver than others....

Invite: 5th Annual Country Kids Party (2017)

You are invited:

To our annual Country Kids party!

What? A simple, country kids festival to celebrate the country in our kids. There might be simple games, perhaps a craft, you can pick some wildflowers, take a walk in the field, feed the goats, snuggle a chicken, catch the train going by, help us clear out the secret garden, etc. Plan on having an afternoon snack of ice cream with us.  Sept 23rd from 2-5.

Cost? This is our annual party for charity. This year the donations we collect will go towards hurricane victims. 

What to wear? Overalls, plaid shirts, blue jean dresses, cowboy boots, barn boots, straw hats. Or whatever suits your fancy. 

 Food? We'll have our ice cream stand open.  One ice cream per guest.

Come anytime to our Maine homestead after 2:00 (not before please). Stop by for a quick visit or stay for a bit. We'll wrap up around 5 so folks can head home for dinner. Come young, come old, and plan to have some fun! It's a family event. Let me know if you need directions.

To see some fun from last year and year before, look here:

(If you could let me know you might stop by, that would help us plan. Facebook event linked here soon.  Thanks! And if you do come, please don't park on the road. Let's keep everyone safe!)

Maine Beaches

It's that time of year when the Lipskys return to different beaches. Less traffic to battle, many tourists are gone and we are left with near empty beaches.  Truly, is there is no better place for nature study.  
Love being a local.

September's "Chicken Soup with Rice"

Another month, another verse and another bowl of soup!  We're making a "Maine" version of "Chicken Soup with Rice", inspired by the "Chicken Soup with Rice" by by Maurice Sendak (1962).  Kids are really enjoying memorizing the poem of the month and I'm taking their picture with their soup in the same spot. 

In September for a while
I will ride a crocodile
Down the chicken soupy Nile
Paddle once, paddle twice
Paddle chicken soup with rice

It's neat to see how the seasons change month to month on this old Maine farm. 

December here.
January here.
February here.
March here.
April here. 
May here.
June here.

I cannot commit to making the same soup 12 times this year, so I vary it. This month's soup was Veg. Beef.

Farm Girl

The newest farm girl and her daddy.  Can you spy the goats in the first pic?

Also, save the date for Sept 23rd. We're hoping to do our Country Kids party then! More to come on that later.

Working together

This week it absolutely crazy.  Not only is it peak harvest preserving time, but it's also the time when a whole bunch of big things I've been working hard on are gearing up.  Never before have I had SO many opportunities to lead groups. I'm wearing a lot of hats these days and my mind is definitely spinning.

Just this evening, at 4-H, I had my 4-H co-leader take a pic of the salsa the kids made (thanks for the pic, Maya!). This salsa is so gorgeous, isn't it?  It was made by a group of really awesome 4-Hers. That's impressive in and of itself, isn't it?  Know what's more impressive?  We GREW all these ingredients. The 4-Hers did. There are 9 different kinds of homegrown tomatoes in this. There are homegrown peppers, homegrown basil, homegrown chives and homegrown garlic.  We all walked in with ingredients and this is what the kids made.  I know I'm mighty partial, but these 4-Hers are a pretty amazing team.

All the things I've been working on as of late, it's not just me doing the brunt of the work.  Every single activity/teaching opportunity I have lately, I have been so fortunate to be one member of a truly amazing team. Historically, I haven't loved working in groups. In school back in the day, I used to say I hated group work and would request just doing the project on my own.  Was it the group work I hated or the fact that some members were not pulling their weight? Decidedly, it was the latter.

So not the case now! Every team I am on, the others not only pull their own, but also go above and beyond.  Lots of new ideas, thinking outside the box and working together to make things better.  It's fun teaming up with folks who are likeminded and growing alongside of one another.

Sure, homegrown tomatoes taste mighty good on their own.  But, when everyone brings their best looking tomatoes and extra fixings to the table, the salsa becomes the most amazing experience.

Thankful for these incredible women I've been working with and looking forward to a big and bright future with them!

County Fair 2017

Somehow I missed getting a picture of Adrian doing his public demonstration and with all the ribbons he earned. Oops.  But, as usual, it was a great time. I asked Adrian if he could choose going to Disney or going to the county fair, what would he pick?  He didn't miss a beat and said "The fair."  I'm with you, Adrian. I'm with you.

 I stitched a 4-H patch on a hat and bib for Anna-Kate and dressed her in the dress my 4-H sister from my childhood gave to Anna-Kate. (Thanks KP!)  Hard to believe my kids are 3rd generation 4-Hers entering items into the fair!

At least here's pics of their projects:


All I can think about is Florida.  I'm thankful my brother, his wife and my nephew are safe, but their home and vehicle are in the direct path and Hurricane Irma is hitting their town as I write this.  I'm thankful my in-laws are in Maine, but they have a winter home in that area too. I worry about my husband's aunt and cousins who are in Florida waiting out the storm. There are so many who are scared right now. It's so hard to have no control. I'm praying a whole bunch and if you're the praying type, I hope you'll join me.

It's hard to believe these sandy Florida beaches are so far from this picture of calmness below. Thinking of you Floridians.


Here's 6 1/2
5 and a HALF
Age five.
Here's 4 1/2
Here's 4.
Here's 3 1/2.
Here's 2 1/2,  
Here he was at 2.
Here he was at 18 months.
(And before that, I wasn't a blogger).
 Adrian, sweet Adrian!  Now you are 7.  Seven, I have decided, is just a great age. While you are big enough to ask big questions, do things by yourself and be responsible, you are also small enough to want to play and spend your time with your parents.

Your most favorite person in the world is me, your mama.  Your dad says you live, eat and breathe for me. You would be so happy to spend all day/everyday by my side.  You are my helper, keep me company, are always watching out for me and expressing your appreciation. You also love your dad and Anna-Kate. Your love for Audra goes moment by moment.  You and Audra mostly play nicely, but sometimes can be oil and water.

Adrian, what I admire about you most is how you at such a young age have known what you like and who you are...and you stick to it.  I asked you the questions below and I don't think they have changed in years.  You love tractors, farming and cows. You never go anywhere without wearing something farming related.  Your play would be considered work to passerbys.  While you can join in and play doing other things,  your favorite is all things farming related.

In the last year, I have been so impressed with your advancements in your drawings.  You spend a long time drawing trucks and tractors, including lots of detail.  Your favorite activity is "crafts with scissors", so you say. You have volumes of composition notebooks with all the tiny tractors you have cut out throughout the years.

You are observant. You notice anything. If we mention the name of someone you know, you can rattle off the make and color of their vehicle.  You also notice what people are wearing and the things they like. More than I ever notice.

You love books. You have organized three shelves in your room to be your 'library'. You put all your favorite books there, far out of your sister's reach. You appreciate literature that is advanced for your age and can't stand things like Junie B Jones.

You are a great eater, with the exception of scrambled eggs. You loathe scrambled eggs.  So, for breakfast on your birthday, I have boiled eggs for you as well as some freshly baked muffins. If I was a betting woman, I'd guess you will be scarfing down three banana muffins first thing tomorrow morning.

Adrian, you are a joy and I love you even more than you love me, which is a whole bunch.

Love, Mama

And his questions:
Nicknames: Adri

How old are you? 7

What is your favorite color? Green and Yellow  because green and yellow make John Deere

What is your favorite animal? Cows and Holly (our dog)

What is your favorite book? John Deere books

What is your favorite song?  Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer

What is your favorite food?  Peanut Butter and Jelly on homemade bread

What is your favorite drink?  Strawberry Oakie milk

What is your favorite breakfast food?  Pancakes with maple syrup

What is your favorite snack?  Trail mix

What is your favorite outfit?  John Deere outfits

What is your favorite game? Rat a tat cat

What is your favorite toy?  John Deere Tractor toys and Paw patrol

Who is your best friend?  Turner

What is your favorite thing to do? Go to NY

What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play with my dump truck

What is your favorite holiday?  My birthday

What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Lucky the pup and Randy the Racoon

Where is your favorite place to go? The county fair and the Little Red Thrift Store

What is your favorite restaurant?  Friendly's Toast

Where do you want to go on vacation?  NY

What do you want to be when you grow up? John Deere dealership guy and a construction man and a farmer, like farmer Rick

What did you do on your birthday? I ate sausage with onions and peppers, mac and cheese from the box, corn and peas, fruit salad and an American Flag cake, had my family here and opened presents. 


 Apparently some woman moved into assisted living and she had oodles of books, which they were selling for fifty cents a piece.  So, I got this really cool nature book, this animal book (with the price of $54.95 in it) plus these adorable gnome books.  PLus a couple more random books, a vintage linen tablecloth, 2.5 yards of fabric, an award winning cookie game and 2 pairs of wool socks. $6.50.


There is SO much going on right now. I don't know if I'm coming or going!  My husband is wrapping up one job, going to the next. We're launching a new community service group for homeschoolers tomorrow (so excited about the possibilities!). I'm finalizing lessons plans for the class I am teaching at homeschool co-op this year.  I finished the parent letter for the 1st and 2nd graders I'm teaching at church and still need to plan what I'm doing this weekend for the class.  There's a 4-H meeting this week I need to think about. I'm chatting with our farming friends about horse riding lessons for my two big ones.  I have a garden to harvest and preserve. I have apples to pick.  In all the chaos, I invited friend for a dinner party tonight. And of course I have an infant. And homeschooling. And the farm animals. And work. Plus we're planning our Country Kids party mid September (stay tuned, you're invited!).

I don't remember being *this* busy in a long time.

But, it's a busy I feel so incredibly filled up by!  Teaching, helping, growing, learning. It's all my vision! When I am doing the work that I always hoped I would be doing, I feel so energized. Sleep has been sparse, but my heart feels so full.

And the cherries on top of the sundae?
-This job change means my husband and I will have more than two days a month together as a family.
-Dinner was my own meat, Maine grown cauliflower, homemade mac n cheese topped with my own tomatoes and herbs, applesauce from apples I grew and a homemade zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting.  This is a magical time of year for meals, as the summer harvest is still going, but the fall harvest is ready to add to the menu.
-Plus I have fresh line dried sheets and a new LL Bean wool blanket on my bed.  Which I shall be visiting now.  Way later than I had hoped. I'll be dreaming of the good to come and praying for those in the path of the hurricane.


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