Do you see the theme? FRAGGLES!!! My 10 year old self would have been OVER THE MOON with this discovery!  I grew up without any cable TV. Fraggles were all the talk at school. I had no idea what Fraggles were until I caught them at my grandparents' during a sleepover. I LOVED the show and prayed and prayed it would come on again. (Remember those days, hoping to catch something again?)  I think I even read in their TV manual, trying to find a time to see it again.  Fast forward to 2021, didn't I see THE ENTIRE FRAGGLE ROCK SEASON COLLECTION, with the added specials for for a whopping $7 total?!  AND, to top it off, $.50 Fraggle Rock books. Okay, so the literary value leaves a lot to be desired, but here I am, 40 years old and finding what would have made my dreams come true 30 years ago. At first my big kids thought, "This is weird, it's like Elmo.  We're too big for Elmo."  (Totally not Elmo).  And poor Anna-Kate was terrified and had nightmares. The bigs would say 'I HEAR A FRAGGLE' and she'd hide behind my leg. But they thought, "Mom doesn't do TV, but we get TV time if we give Fraggles a chance." Well, friends...we've made progress. They are now fans, sing the theme song and ask for "Just one more episode", even though they know I'll say no. They would like to whip through this entire lot of DVDs, but that's not how mom rolls. We will pace ourselves and it shall be the winter of the Fraggles. I can almost hear my 10 year old self squealing with excitement! 

2021 Fair!

 We return from vacation in time for the fair, because my 4-Hers do not want to miss the fair. I barely took pictures, we were so busy! 

First up was the parade.  Our club made a float and the kids brought something they love doing in 4-H on the float. I have a flower gardener, bug collector and artist.  Our club member designed the shirts, aren't they fabulous?! 

We also manned the exhibit hall. The bigs were thrilled to see their ribbons.

And we worked in the food booth...which is always the most intense four hours of my year.
Our club made this awesome display. 

We did get to spend a wee bit of time roaming the fair too. Not nearly enough pictures, but it was certainly memorable! 

Old House Transformation: Mud Room

In our 1880s home, at some point a tiny little mudroom was added off the kitchen. It had windows on all sides, so it was really only a narrow bench when we first moved in (which basically became a dumping ground.  A few years ago we found out one of the windows was rotted through and needed to be replaced. I suggested we instead just sheetrock it and put in cubbies. My father in law made that happen on the inside (thank you!) and my dad put wooden siding on the outside (thank you!).  For no good reason, I never finished what was started on the inside. So, what did I finally do? A shelf was moved up to make room for hooks, I mudded, spackled and turned the eggshell color to a crisp white. I painted the door red. Hooks we found in our attic went up.  I pulled up the carpet and found wood floors (YES!) that I sanded and finished.  Then I bought some baskets and a rug and found other random things around the house. It is totally different from before, much more functional. It cost us next to nothing, because we already had almost all the supplies.  I am so happy with it (although all the bins are empty because I still have a box of random stuff I need to determine where it goes). It is also pretty much impossible to get a good photo the space with so many obstacles. If you can't visualize it in pictures, you'll just have to stop by! 


Carrying on

 Some days my plans are picture perfect, enjoyable and peaceful. 

And then everything comes at me, pecking incessantly.

I try to get rid of the junk so I can focus on the good, but the pummeling continues, pounding headache sets in and I am just so defeated.

That was today. Thankful for a new beginning tomorrow. And thankful for the joy this pretty princess with her chickens provides.

Little Hands Sewing: Hand Lens Pouches

 The kids all sewed pouches for the quality hand lenses I bought them.  This was Anna-Kate's first sewing project. She was tickled to try out the sewing machine!

He's 11! Happy Birthday Adrian!



9 1/2

11 years old, Adrian!  What is 11 year old Adrian like? Pretty much the same as 10 year old Adrian, 9,8,7,6,5,4,3 or 2 year old Adrian. You have liked what you like your whole entire life. Tractors. Cows. Trucks. Related machinery. You still collect all these things with wheels and love setting up farms and quarries outside. You sometimes let your sisters join. Sometimes. You always have a truck in your pocket.

You also love to eat.  You've barely started eating a meal before you ask if there are seconds or what's for dessert or what's the next meal.  You pretty much eat anything, except you cannot stand eggs. 

You ask 10,000 questions every minute.  Okay, that's an exaggeration, but that's what it feels like sometimes! 

You enjoy routine and are very responsible. You keep your room just so. You know what your jobs are and you usually do them without being asked. Often you will step up and do a job you know needs to be done, just to help.  I think your favorite job is hanging clothes on the line in the summer and shoveling in the winter. 

You are an amazing artist. I have given you prompts each week over the last year challenging you to take your drawings to the next level and they keep on getting more intricate.  Your trucks in particular are so detailed, 3D and now have all these shadows. 

You enjoy swimming, horseback riding, biking, x country skiing and nature walks. You are excited to take up archery lessons this fall. You plan on being a game warden. 

Your newest hobby this past year has driven me crazy. You love to get trucks to beep at you. You wave to everyone.  People are constantly beeping driving by...which you love.

School would be much better, in your opinion, if you were just read to and you could draw simultaneously all the live long day.  But, writing and math, and you are doing better coping with those things you want to go away. You love being homeschooled and frequently say that you want to be homeschooled your whole life.

I think my favorite thing about you is your heart. You get along with people of all ages and try to say and do kind things for everyone.  You try to stay on the right path, but when you fall off, you are good about apologizing and working to do better. 

Your quote today is noteworthy: "I don't really want to be a teenager, I don't want to grow up. I just want to be 11 forever."  11 is that fabulous.  I am looking forward to a full year with you as an 11 year old, Adrian!  



Adrian requested a photo of all of them.

Nicknames: Adri

How old are you? 11

What is your favorite color? Green 

What is your favorite animal? Cow

What is your favorite book? Henry Huggins and Farmer Boy. I can't think of more, I have so many favorite books.

What is your favorite song?  I don't have one, I don't think.

What is your favorite food?  I have a lot of favorite foods. Oreos, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Cream and onion chips, Santa snacks (snacks from the stocking). 

What is your favorite drink?  Cranberry Juice

What is your favorite breakfast food?  Waffles, even though we haven't had them in a while.

What is your favorite snack?  We don't have snacks. 

What is your favorite outfit?  Tractor and truck shirts. And the new one from Uncle Randy and Aunt Di.

What is your favorite game? John Deere Monopoly 

What is your favorite toy?  John Deere tractors, the new Nissan Titan from Grampy. 

Who is your best friend?  Daddy and Pap

What is your favorite thing to do? Play trucks and tractors. 

What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play trucks and tractors in the dirt.

What is your favorite holiday?  Eliot Tractor and Engine Show and the fair. Those are holidays for me!

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

Where is your favorite place to go? John Deere Dealership Stores

What is your favorite restaurant? We don't really go to restaurants.

Where do you want to go on vacation? NY and visit Cousin Dave's farm

What do you want to be when you grow up? Maine State Game Warden. I feel like all my answers are the same every year. (They pretty much are.)

What will you do on your birthday? Ate hotdogs, corn on the cob, sour cream and onion chips, fruit salad, cranberry juice and coconut cake. I hiked a mountain too. 

Vacation Highlights #10 Family

I never take a enough pics of family (and many of these are my Aunt Di's, who is better at remembering to take photos than I am, thanks Aunt Di!), but the very best part of camp is family.

That's (finally) a wrap from our nearly a month away vacationing. Last up is a selfie of me to prove that I was actually there, at the place that holds so many memories that are dear to my heart. Thanks to my dad for keeping up the place so we can enjoy it! 


Vacation Highlight #9: Swimming

 Swimming, it's what we do most when on vacation. Everyday without fail.  Most days are double, triple or even quadruple swim days. Anna-Kate's first year of jumping off the dock! 

The one who stays mostly home and works while we play (thank you, Justin)
(Look, a picture of me!)
Adrian is not so cooperative with pictures lately.

Audra always wants her picture taken.

Anna-Kate is a good sport.

The bald guy isn't usually cooperative, but we got a good pic!
Never a year has gone by in my life that I haven't swam in the St. Lawrence.  Same with the kids. We are lucky ducks!


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