Thursday, September 30, 2010


I like to sew. It's something to which I look forward....until I've embarked on the adventure and my sewing machine thread keeps tangling or my tension isn't adjusted correctly or the most common I can't figure out the pattern. I haven't sewed hardly at all since Kaitlyn came home. I really miss it when it isn't happening. I need something somewhat creative that isn't going to have to be done again tomorrow and the next day and the.....well, I'm sure you get it. One day God okayed it for me to buy this pattern and fabric for dresses for my girls (otherwise known as: both were on sale). I figured I could probably get two dresses for two little girls completed in four months for Christmas, right?
Since I am currently bogged down in pattern reading confusion I'm beginning to doubt it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Boy's Life

Big brother and his trusty sidekick downed their first pigeon this past weekend. I wasn't too sure that Jamison was ready for a BB gun but I think he's proved trustworthy. There's now one less pigeon roosting(and other things) in our barn.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Growing So Big

My toddler is getting so big. Now if we could just get her potty trained it would be worth it. :P


Davis: Living in this family isn't working out so well for me.

Megan: I can't figure out if I'm part Chinese or not.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bike Riding

We've been enjoying the fact that we all have bikes now. There are some wonderful trails around here. Having grown up in Minnesota with wide, fairly straight roads, I'm pretty hesitant to let our kids ride on the narrow, curvy, hilly local roads. We went with two other families. It was a perfect evening.
The view was beautiful.
Our non-bike rider enjoys her own vehicle at home.
Happy days!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fallingwater-Frank Lloyd Wright

I always feel honored to have family and friends stop by...even though sometimes it's also totally embarrassing since chaos reigns supreme. All of my family are far away and many friends as well. We're even kind of out of the main traffic pattern for our locality so drop-ins are infrequent.
My Uncle Jack and Aunt Helen and her sister Philippa and husband Brian(from Australia) were passing through and stopped for the day. We went to Fallingwater the famous Frank Lloyd Wright house built over a waterfall. It's about 40 minutes from here.
This is the view from downstream. The water is very low right now. One of Wright's details - an outside handwashing station. Doesn't every mother need one of these? Of course, right after you get your kids all dressed to leave SOMEONE would decide to help by washing up again or wrestling brothers would try to push each other in or....I'm sure you can imagine. :)
This is an outside view of the living room windows. My mom would have MAJOR objections. When you are inside, those concrete railings prevent you from seeing anything but treetops and sky. If I remember the story correctly, when our house was being built, mom came in to find that the living room picture window had been framed in 8 or so inches too high. She was NOT happy. She is grateful to the man who started ripping it out over my dad's objections. It was a good call. When seated in the living room you would not have been able see out to the lakeshore. Falling water was a very interesting place to visit but completely unfriendly to children.
Another downstream shot.
I failed to get a picture of my uncle and aunt and our Aussie visitors but we really enjoyed their visit. Who's next? Kenton can always use an excuse to relax. :D

Milk dud report: Currently combining soybeans. Yesterday while our visitors were here the combine got damaged, a difficult calving meant a vet visit, a crabby landowner got all huffy with me, one load of soybeans was combined pretty wet and needs to be dried out. Most of the soybeans we did yesterday were testing about 11% moisture. They're calling for rain and so we're also trying to get as much cover crop planted as possible before October 1.
Kenton plans to attend the World Holstein Expo in Madison, Wisconsin next week. He's been talking about going since before we were married and this is finally his year. Hmm....don't you think that means I should get a trip to ....well, maybe Paducah, KY? After all, it's a lot closer than Madison. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pressing on the Upward Way

This is the latest trick of my oldest two children.
I've caught the younger two trying, but there's only so much you can do when you're not long enough to reach across that span. :D

Sunday, September 19, 2010

S. Curriculum Testimonial

The Goody Twoshoes family of NW Maryland loves the S. curriculum so much that they're hard at it before mom is even out of bed in the morning. "S. makes homeschooling so easy that I don't even need to get out of bed to get everything accomplished." The Goody Twoshoes family has used the S. curriculum for three years. They are currently considering playing hooky for the remainder of the 2010-2011 school year since even their two-year-old is now reading at an advanced level.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cider Making

We had cider made two years ago. We really appreciated having it and decided to try again. Day one of picking apples was a total bomb. Kids were whining, Kaitlyn was crying(later I discovered she was covered in bites from something), briers were pricking, snagging, and pulling, and apples were dropping, rolling, and the nicest ones were generally out of reach.
Day two we picked in a neighbor's orchard. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon with a nice cool breeze and NO briers or cow patties. Don't you wish you could have been there?

Naturally the youngest members of the team spent a lot of time messing around. Surely the most efficient way to transport apples is to pick them up, put them into the neck of your shirt(after making sure your shirt is tucked in), load them in your Tonka truck, drive them to the loading station, and unload your truck.I really hate seeing my kids up trees, but one thing I've learned as a parent is to close my eyes and hope for the best. Naturally this rule only applies in some situations.

Kaitlyn waiting for Newton's apple.
Day three: Cider mill here we come. All those apples that were painstakingly picked, tossed, shook, rolled, dropped, thrown, and in general moved from their leafy heights to this box were...
rolled into this shoot where they were...
baptized (traditional Mennonite, sprinkled, not dunked Baptist style) with water and chopped.
Then they were loaded and pressed into cider.
Then jugs were filled, capped, rinsed, and loaded into the van. All 104 gallons.
We got there at noon and were ready to go by 1:30.
The van looked like I was a milk truck driver wannabe. I had to send the kids home with Kenton in the truck because the floor was crammed, jammed, filled with cider. It smelled heavenly.

So there you have it. Cider making from A-T, or thereabouts since I didn't include any pictures of unloading cider on unsuspecting friends or finding room in the freezer for some and canning the rest. Sound like fun?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Odds and Ends

Davis put a live wiggling worm in my hair....not that I would have preferred a dried up dead one.

I know that boys will be boys, but mine have started wrestling. Constantly. Upstairs, downstairs, outside, inside, morning, noon, and night. I'm ready to wring some necks.

Kaitlyn loves shoes. She'll wear anyone's. Don't leave your shoes unprotected around our house or she'll walk off in them. Having hidden your shoes, she'll go off to find another unguarded pair. Shoe hunt is a regular game (If you like the stress of hunting for them when it's time to leave.) around our house.

Megan is our Tigger. She is on the move constantly. Inside she's upside down or running or bouncing. Outside she's on the trampoline, skipping, running, or playing with Kaitlyn. She loves to dance, too. At the state fair the family across from us had music blasting 24/7. Megan wanted to bebop constantly. It was difficult to know how to handle. No one was really paying attention to her, but the music wasn't exactly nice, and although I think she was just enjoying the movement, I felt very self-conscious that my daughter was dancing all over the place. I really need to find some way for her to express herself in movement. Any suggestions?

We've been on the go constantly lately. Last night Kutlass performed at our church. It has been Kenton's dream to attend a concert with his kids. Last night we took Jamison and Megan. Jamison loved it, Megan liked it, and Kenton really enjoyed it and I'm turning into an old curmudgeon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Maryland State Fair

Kenton took two cows to the state fair this past weekend. Doesn't it look like fun to be a farm kid and hold a tail while dad clips?
Our kids also spent a lot of time hanging out in the barn. When we weren't taking yet another trip to the bathrooms, here's one of the things they did.
The University of Maryland had an area set up for kids. Ours liked the hatching chicks, piglets, and playing in the soybean box.
They also liked riding the pedal tractors set up outside the tractor display.
"Aargh, me hearties! It's also fun to play on the display pirate ship."
To reward them for sitting through two cow shows and sleeping three to a bed in the hotel, their dad spoiled them with some very expensive rides. I don't have any pictures of Megan riding anything because the girl is fearless. There wasn't TIME to capture her on kodak. The higher, scarier the ride, the better.
Kaitlyn is pretty self-confidant. I asked her if she wanted to ride the flying bananas. NO! She wanted to ride the teacups....and did, all by herself. She's looking down trying to figure out how to steer.
Teacups done, she demanded the flying bananas.
I wish I had the boys riding this dragon on tape. Davis whooped and hollered and grinned the whole time.
It was a sweltering 100 degrees when we got to the fair. You know it's hot when it feels cooler in the barns with all the fans running than it does outside.
Kaitlyn carried this baby around all weekend. After a quick trip to the home laundromat, it's already for more adventures.

The reason for it all....Selena and Claim. Selena stood fourth out of four. Not exactly a stellar standing, but it was a good class.
Claim stood ninth out of 12 or thirteen. We didn't expect to stand very high, but valued this for the educational experience. Kenton learned a lot and looks forward to doing it again. :D
Here's a pre-class picture. Notice the poop catcher and butt wiper standing at the ready? Kenton's clothes and other things suffered from a breakdown in his makeshift watering system. His makeshift clothesline didn't quite cut it either. His show clothes were still pretty soggy at this point.
Ahh, doesn't it just make you eager to run out and invest in a farm? Call me, maybe we could swing a deal. ;P