February 27, 2016


Keeping our traditions simple this Lent.  

We are doing the Good Deed Jar again.  I'm always surprised at how such a simple activity can invigorate the kids to think of kind things to do for one another.  My current favorite is that Nicholas sneaks up to make my bed, so sweet!

There isn't much decorating to be done for Lent, usually it is more about the un-decorating.  I can't bear to have one mantle bare (haha!) so... something simple and hopefully reflectful for one side.

I remade our Stations of the Cross for the other side.  I found the prayer candles at the Dollar Tree and just decoupaged on the stations.  I can't say that they are particularly well done but hopefully, they'll last for our family devotions for a few more years.  You can see the old version here.

February 26, 2016

Puppy Love.

As if our lives aren't crazy enough in the animal department....we went and got a puppy.

After the 4H fair last year, I began looking for a dog for Patrick to have for this year's dog obedience.  I've talked to so many people about their dogs, I've scoured the internet rescue pages.  Either the dog had some major fault (never been around children, won't stay on electric fence even though they've upped the collar, digestive issues) or the rescue wouldn't give us a dog because we had children under 5 in the house.  Those rescue places really make it hard for people who actually want a dog to get a dog.

My ideal would have been a dog in the 2-4 year old range to just skip the puppy-potty-training-chewing madness.  I guess it just wasn't meant to be so.  Partly, the realization that we could spend somewhere around $300 on a mixed breed rescue dog that came with previous issues or we could fork out just a little more and get a full breed puppy that we could develop our own issues with.  In my mind, at least with a full breed, you know the traits you are getting for the most part.

At any rate, if we get house training down and convince Mae to play with the puppy, not eat her, then all will be well.  It is just getting through these first few weeks that make me think of having a newborn in the house.  Well, a newborn that doesn't wear diapers.  It is all pretty tiring.    The highlights are seeing how much she loves being with people and is eager to please.

 Little girls in boots and dresses are the best.
How many feet in a puddle?

February 13, 2016

New brood.

 We just got a new brood.  Well, we got them the last week in January so they are now two and a half weeks old.  We gave our huge flock of 25 away in the fall because they were no longer laying and we really just wanted a break.  Had I known how mild this winter was going to be, I might have reconsidered.  Truly, 25 was too many for our small coop and run so we ordered 12 this go 'round.  Enough for the kids to be able to have their pick for fair and for eggs.  The hatchery gave us 16.  Lol.  Hopefully, those extra four aren't roosters (which is usually the case when you get an extra).

As always, babies bring excitement.  Even though we've done this how many times before?  New chicks are still a thrill.  Except for Carrie.  She's still not a chicken fan.  Trust me, this one was in her hands for 5 seconds, tops.
 Elizabeth is being a pirate, "Arghhh, matey!"  That chick is her "parrot."  So we said, #chicksdigpirates.
 This chick had a fascination with the pencil.  So this one was #chicksdigschool

And, since I was just hanging out in the coop with my camera (that doesn't happen much), here's a random pic of Elizabeth with her bunny, Chocolate, from last summer.

We've had some very cold temps this week and our small shed is heated by just one little heat lamp.  We've lost one but the others seem to be thriving in spite of frozen water and cold nights!

February 9, 2016

Third birthday!

Aka...my baby is not a baby anymore!  (Insert all the crying eye emojis here.)

I snapped this pic on her party day and I had an instant "flash forward" to Senior pictures 15 years from now.  I saw her in blue jeans, cowgirl boots, flowing tresses and that same smile.  It will be here before I know it!  (Hopefully minus the boo-boo on the chin.)

 There is something about Carrie's birthday that everyone just gets into it.  I think it is combination "we love her so much" and "its February and we should celebrate!"  Caroline's favorite character of all time is Elsa.  We decided to have a "Frozen" birthday party for her.  The kids spent a week making snowflakes in secret in the basement.  We spent the Friday night before her birthday making more and hanging them (and enlisting the kids' friends for help).
 The photos just don't do it justice.
We hung snowflakes through the dining area and family room.  I never took a photo from the kitchen (though they are still up so I'll have to try and do that) but it is pretty awesome to walk through.
 Not the best photo, but awe and wonder were her response!  (I was hoping that she loved them and that she didn't panic!  You just never know with three year olds!)

Then it was on to the actual party...
 I love how the boys crowd around that little table just to sit with her.  She loves it too!  We had homemade skyline which is her favorite.
 We also played pin-the-crown-on-the princess, hilarious considering that other than Carrie and Elizabeth ....all the kids were boys!
This was the best photo I got.  Seriously.  She really didn't want to take a picture with her cake and all the ones with candles are blurry.
But, I think she liked it even though she didn't eat any.  She does not like sweets.  She prefers pretzels and goldfish over cake and ice cream!
I made the big snowflakes with candy melts (including the one Elsa is holding) and the little snowflakes are sprinkles.  The napkins I found on clearance at Kroger.  It was sort of a funny contrast to have a "Frozen" birthday party in February when the temperatures were in the 50s and everyone was outside playing!

Happy birthday, Caroline!  We all love you and are thankful for the joy you bring to our lives!