Pioneer days...

Pioneer days at our house have a wee bit more pomp and circumstance type quality than most, I'd imagine. 

 May their dress up days continue...I love them in costume so.


"Let the lessons be of the right sort and children will learn them with delight"-Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education.  Sebago Lake, Maine.


 BIG basket for blocks, smaller basket for nature finds, metal shelving and those spiky things you put over boots so you don't wipe out in winter in kid's size.  $4.00
And below, I started Christmas shopping.  Brand new paints for Anna-Kate, a Paul Galdone book and a Claire Beaton book (two of our favorites), plus the train set (the peg people go in and out).  For Audra a cat journal and the Caroline American Girl series (her grammy got her Caroline on her 1st Christmas).  For Adrian street signs and a wall hanging barn that I am sure he'll fill with tractors.  $15.


It's been mass production.  We all have one.  She's thinking of starting a store to sell to the neighbors.  Oh boy...this brings me right back to my childhood. I'm pretty sure my aunts, uncles and grandparents purchases more handmade potholders than they really 'needed'. Keep going little girl.


Today on September 11th, memories rush back. Walking to my first of the day college class, going by the TV in the MUB noticed folks glued to the screen.  Was in a hurry to be on time. I did notice there were planes on the TV and heard something about crashing, but didn't fully comprehend what had happened.  Walked into my 1st class and the very strict no nonsense nun who was teaching had tears in her eyes as she told us what she knew. Then we had another professor pop their head in the classroom. "There's been another hit."  The whole department piled into a center classroom where the TV on a moving cart was located and we stared in horror.  Classes were cancelled for the day.  I walked back to my dorm shaking. I changed out of my green 3/4 length sweater, tan pants, tan doc martin sandals into comfy clothes.  We turned on the tiny little TV and were paralyzed watching.  Know where my husband was? (I didn't know him at the time.)   He was ON a plane in BOSTON waiting to take off to visit his Aunt in Tampa, FL. He was wondering what was taking so darn long. They eventually deboarded and he was a lucky one. He got to go home.

It's 2019 and I certainly haven't forgotten the horrific feeling of that day. As I stood here on the beach in Ogunquit with just my 2 year old (big kids at their drama club), an impromptu dip, watching her do her favorite thing on the beach (collect seaweed...eww), I became incredibly thankful that day to day I don't feel petrified to go anywhere, as I did after that horrific day.  I'm thankful for the freedom I have because others have sacrificed everything.  Thankful to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Thankful to be an American.


He's NINE!


Adrian, my sweet and loving little guy, here we are at 9!  This year your look is completely different, glasses!  You have been very responsible with your glasses and we never see you without them now. 

What do you love? The same things you have loved your whole life. Tractors. Trucks. Repeat.  Your John Deere collection is immense. You don't care. You want more.You absolutely love having your own money and shopping-both in store and online.  What do you look for when you are shopping?  Tractors. Carhart. Construction. Camouflage. Repeat.

You have grown quite fond of biking this year.  And of course you love swimming. You rocked your overnight camping experience. You have a deep love for books and for your artwork.  The details you add to your pictures are exquisite. 

One of the biggest growths you have made this year is your ability to public speak.  You went from the kid who refused to say anything to a kid who needs no notes and talks well beyond the allotted time. You look at the audience, talk loudly and connect with them. You even crack jokes on stage! It's been so fun watching your confidence soar.

One of the things I love about you most is how you relate to other people. You are kind to everyone (except sometimes your sisters drive your nuts, of course). In a nursing home, you can go strike up a conversation with a resident. You relate well with adults. You can talk to kids older than you and the same age as you.  You adapt your play to play with younger kids. You are very helpful with babies.  You have been consistently respectful to your teachers this last year at church, 4-H and homeschool co-op. The person you are becoming makes me very proud. 

You are expensive to feed.  The other day your dad watched you eat 5 pancakes, a full glass of milk, a plum, an apple, a bowl of yogurt and you were still hungry so I gave you cereal.  That was just breakfast.  You are an adventurous eater (except you loathe scrambled eggs) and will try anything.  You are a big fan of soups, homemade bread, any fruit and your dessert of choice would be a fruity dessert or a fruity ice cream. 

My most favorite part about you is how much you love me. You are with me when the sun rises and with me when the sun sets and like to spend every minute in between at my hip.  You are STILL upset when I go to work.  We have a huge house, 30 acres and if you had your choice, you'd never leave my side.  In fact, you said that I'm going to homeschool you college so you can stay here with me.  At one point you were afraid to spread your wings. It's not like that are happy to do new things. But you remember your roots vividly and show me how important I am through your love and affection.

Adrian, I am so happy to be your mama. Happy 9th Birthday!

Love, Mama

Nicknames: Adrian. I don't have a nickname

How old are you? 9

What is your favorite color? Green because of John Deere

What is your favorite animal? Cow

What is your favorite book? I don't know, I love books. I love Henry Ford, tractor books. I just like all books.

What is your favorite song?  There is a fountain filled with blood

What is your favorite food?  I eat what is put in front of me.  Except if it's scrambled eggs. Gross.

What is your favorite drink?  Juice, any kind.

What is your favorite breakfast food?  Coffee cake

What is your favorite snack?  We don't eat snacks

What is your favorite outfit?  John Deere shirts, carhart, I like my Frederic Remington shirt

What is your favorite game? John Deere Monopoly 

What is your favorite toy?  John Deere and pickup trucks and my drawing pad. I love to draw.

Who is your best friend?  Desmond and Ian and Makaio.  And I do like to hang out with you, mama.

What is your favorite thing to do? To play John Deere tractors and draw them.

What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play tractors and ride my bike

What is your favorite holiday?  My birthday because I get awesome John Deere presents.

What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Lucky W. Lipsky (stuffed puppy) 

Where is your favorite place to go? Walmart has good deals on John Deere toys.Tractor supply has good John Deere toys but they are more expensive than Walmart.

What is your favorite restaurant? Hosmer's for a fish sandwich

Where do you want to go on vacation?  Camp Good News

What do you want to be when you grow up? Owner of a John Deere Dealership

What will you do on your birthday? Have good food, open awesome presents and enjoy time with my family. Menu: Fish sandwich, chips and salsa, fruit salad and berry crisp for dessert

Ups and Downs

Four and a half hours of sleep. Why are my kids not sleeping?
What smells? Did half the bowl of those tomatoes rot before I got to them?
No oven. No stove. Stuff I planned on canning.  The hungry hippos I live with want to eat. Constantly.
One of my littles so very sick, do I take him to urgent care?
Why does this always happen when I'm home alone?
How did those stupid goats get out this time?
Ugh. Dead chicken. Baby on the back, shovel in hand. No rest for the weary.

Did you know you can make chocolate zucchini cake in the crockpot?
A good neighbor and a good friend volunteered to help if needed.
Line dried sheets.
Successful day as teacher to my new Sunday School class of 14.
Audio books.
Fresh flowers on the table.
Home grown elderberry syrup.
All three kiddos randomly wearing different mama mades at the same time.
Grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup.
Gorgeous sunset.
Date with my sewing machine.
Husband just messaged he's on his way home from work.
Did I mention chocolate zucchini cake?

You see, things are already starting to turn around.

Live on this homestead with all these littles certainly has it's ups and downs...but the good prevails. Always.

Catching Guineas

There are many farming things I've become quite skilled at. But catching guinea hens is not one of them. This girl catches guineas. And she's quite good at it.


I keep saying "This might be our last dip for 2019". And then it's not. The ocean is FREEZING (and yes, FREEZING in all caps), but the kids don't mind too much. In fact, Audra doesn't seem to notice it's like swimming in ice water.  It's my favorite time of year to go to the beaches.  Notice anyone else?  Most of the tourists have left. Most of the kids are in school. We aren't complaining one bit. 


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