Thursday, December 27, 2012

Of all the Things

We aren't big TV watchers, but in these winter months when it is dark by six, the screen does come on quite frequently. We aren't big fans of most network shows. We don't have cable or satellite, but we do have Netflix. I love being able to pick our shows and movies, and to watch without commercials.

Tim and I love that some of the shows we loved growing up can be watched again. The kids however, are not thrilled with most of our nostalgic picks. They thought MacGyver was the cheesiest thing they ever saw. Lydia was angry that the Little House series did not follow the books. Wonder Years they just didn't get. They showed a brief interest in the Cosby Show, but that was fleeting. What they do like is unbelievable to me.

A few months back Kellen came across this video somewhere on the internet:

Do you recognize that super hero in spandex and pink? Yes, He Man. The kids did not know, but Tim had to show them. And guess what He Man is on Netflix. Personally, I did not watch this as a kid, but Tim did. He told the kids all about how he used to watch as he waited for the bus. He was always frustrated because the bus came before the show ended. He never got to see how the story was resolved. He wasn't missing much.

Our kids think this is a great show, and they have even found He Man's sister, She Ra. Really? Really?! We are watching He Man and She Ra instead of Laura Ingalls? Of all the things.....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas 2012

This weekend we celebrated Christmas with my brother Jake and his family. We had a great time playing games, opening gifts, and eating (my favorite part of the holidays!)

We  started with candy making. We made turtles and chocolate covered pretzels Saturday afternoon, and the kids spent a lot of time playing the Wii U, and running outside.

Lydia and Vivian. Viv was covered in chocolate by the end. 
Elise cheesin' it up. 

Dylan enjoying the end product.

Sunday morning the first item on the agenda was opening gifts.

Jude and his candy mustache. 

Kellen is a little possessive of his new edition of "Lord of the Rings."  

My mom had an extra special gift for Jake and I. She took quilt blocks that my grandmother had pieced, and appliqued and framed them. The pieces of the design were made from clothing my mom and her siblings wore as children. My frame had one of these flower designs with another Sunbonnet Sue square. My grandmother made me a quilt of that pattern when I was a little girl. This square was an extra that she made. Sadly, my childhood quilt has been lost, but I love that mom captured a bit of it for me in this framed piece! 

Jake's quilt frame. 
 Our Christmas food traditions are a little unusual, but we certainly enjoy them. We had seafood stew, cheesecake, and homemade bread. Oh my, how I love Christmas dinner. After lunch, there was more Wii U, more playing in the woods, and we decorated salt dough ornaments.

It really was a great weekend, and a great way to kick off our Christmas celebrations.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Then and Now

Going through some old pictures, I came across these. Less than four years ago, the kids pooled their money together to purchase the Wii. Then they created a chart to track their savings. They were so proud and excited to be able to meet their goal!

April, 2009

And this year. No chart, but look at those proud (and grown up) faces. 

Dec 2012

Life in the Fast Lane

We live in the woods. We tend to animals, homeschool, cook from scratch, and do a lot of things many would consider old fashioned. This is the quiet simple life. Or is it?

I began this blog after we moved here, almost seven years ago. For me blogging was a way to keep in touch with far away family and friends. It was also my version of scrap booking and photo albums. It was a way for me to preserve the memories. I remember the early days when the kids would say something cute or something interesting would happen on the farm, I'd be running to the computer to tell the story.

A lot has changed since then. We have more farm responsibilities, and more off farm activities. We are doers. It doesn't matter if we live in the city or the country we tend to say, "yes" to things. After seven years of living here, we have said "yes" to a lot of things, and now find ourselves just as, and likely more, busy than we've ever been.

Now, the kids' funny little stories are more likely to end up on Facebook because it is quick and easy. Larger stories get piled up in my head waiting their turn to be shared on the blog. And when I finally get around to putting those stories down it comes out as a synopsis of many stories instead of individual memories and stories. Kind of like today's post.

So, about a month ago, Nolan and Kellen were playing on the roof of our storage shed. Nolan decided he wanted to jump off of it onto a pile of 2x4's about 15 feet down. Kellen tells Nolan, "Sure you can make it. Go for it." Did I mention he was wearing Crocs? Worn out Crocs.  This was the result of that little story:

He broke his heal. And just when I thought he was past the stage of yearly ER visits.

Our next adventure following the broken heal was a field trip to see replicas of the Nina and Pinta. This is when Nolan found out how difficult it really is to get around on crutches.

Then there is this complete randomness I found on my camera. Kellen sweeping the floor in a bow tie. I have no explanation.

We've butchered chickens a few times in the past few weeks, and the boar was a regular visit to our front yard for several days until we found the problem in the electric fence. The problem has been fixed. He has once again learned earned to respect the fence.

Tim's Grandma Apple passed away, and we traveled to Mt. Vernon, Ohio last weekend to say goodbye and spend time with the Appleton family.

We spent the remainder of the weekend in Central Ohio. We stayed with my brother Jake. We went to Christmas lights at the zoo. Do you like Nolan's ride? They were out of wheelchairs. I don't think he was overly thrilled with it either.

It was the first Saturday of December. The weather was gorgeous, and I think all of Central Ohio came to the zoo with us. Despite the crowd, we enjoyed the zoo, the lights, and the exhibits that were open. The aquarium was fantastic, and we saw the manatees, the reptiles, and penguins.

The next day we went to COSI. The kids had so much fun here!

The kids have been pooling their money together for months in the Wii U fund. Last week, they finally had enough saved, and over the weekend they were able to purchase it. I'd say Kellen is pretty happy about that! 

Then yesterday, on the way home from getting feed, Tim took the truck and the feed trailer over the hill.

from the road

from below
He walked away with barely a scratch, and thankfully none of the kids went with him.. Thank God! He reports this morning feeling beat up. The trailer was in shreds by the time the pulled it up the hill. The front of the truck is smashed. The roll bar on the bed kept Tim from being smashed in the cab. Believe it or not, almost all of the feed bags in the trailer survived the journey, and none of the straw bales in the truck bed broke open. Some very nice guys who lived near by brought 4-wheelers and a truck and helped Tim load the feed and straw out via the hollow. They even drove it home for us. The truck and trailer took the tow company the entire afternoon to hoist up the hill. It could have been worse, much, much worse.

So today I sit here and am so very grateful for my family and for their health. I am thankful for the good times we have together, and for the experiences we've faced in this adventure of life. Life is busy, too busy. Events like yesterday's make me stop, take a deep breath, and remember the what is really important.