Saturday, October 19, 2019

Cold Front

It always, always feels like a holiday around here when the first cold front blows through... like, the first real cold front (I'm not talking about those false-hope fronts that bring the daytime highs down into the mid-80's, y'all). We got a good one this week, and I felt perfectly justified pulling out the hot chocolate, hoodies, and long pants, then later lighting a fire in the fire pit (never mind that it was also because we cut down a couple trees and needed to clean up the branches).

We even had to close down the windows a couple times- we got chilly!

I know it'll be warm again soon, but I am so glad we got to really feel fall for a few days!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Horses and Dinner

We had the privilege of joining some friends at a charity dinner this week to celebrate the work done by Riding Unlimited in our community. Using horses- and a tiny little donkey named Tony- as therapy animals, the good people at Riding Unlimited work with the handicapped and people struggling with physical limitations. They put on an impressive event, complete with a honky-tonk band, brisket, and an appearance made by some of the therapy animals. They made a particular impression on Kyle, who was extremely impressed by their whole operation and left vowing to be one of the contributors in the following year.

Audrey and Henry especially liked the donkey and the dancing.

I enjoyed the company and the amazing sunset out the barn doors. We rubbed elbows with some of the wonderful, spunky clients and other community supporters. It was so good to get out of our 'usual' and experience another angle of what's going on around us. It was a good night.

Thursday, October 17, 2019


It's never very much fun to have a birthday on a weekday, is it? But we did our best to help our oldest Little make the most of her day today- first thing in the morning she had her birthday bag and a lemon muffin, followed by a ride to school and drop-off with Grammy and Gramps, cupcakes to share with her classmates, special drinks when she got back home, steaks for dinner, three new book series to add to her collection..................................... and her very own laptop.

Oh, and she lost her first molar at dinner, too.

Little Brother is doing his very best to be happy for his sister, and we're having fresh new conversations about responsibility and trust now, too, thanks to this new device being located in her room. I think she's up for it, though. My girl is a pretty good rule-follower. The first thing she said after all the "THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUs" was, "Now I can do my homework on my own computer in my own room!"

Set that good example, Big Sister. I think I know what just made the top of Little Brother's wish list!

Happy birthday, Audrey Grace, we love you more than you will ever know.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Sister's turning 11 tomorrow (at 6:40am, to be precise). She asked me this morning if she was going to be a teenager after this birthday, then she said she couldn't think of anything she wanted for a birthday present, then she asked if she could have some coffee.

My sweet smart girl, my ninja, my violinist; a Minecraft extraordinaire, Guinea pig tamer, OJ maker, and ponytail aficionado; afraid of spiders, not afraid to help a stranger, thoughtful and funny and uninterested in frilly things..... the best girl a Mama could ask for.

We did a "Yes Day" this past weekend instead of a traditional birthday party this time around (her choice), have you heard of these? Basically for one full day you get to do whatever you want (within reason). Anything that would add to the enjoyment of the day, the answer is yes.

She had doughnuts for breakfast.
She played Minecraft all morning.
She had Ramen noodles and a trip to the ice cream shop for lunch.
She skipped our usual rest time and played Minecraft some more.
We had fondue for dinner, and for dessert she had frozen CoolWhip topped with the filling from Oreos (just the filling, not kidding).
She stayed up as late as she wanted and read in bed (she lasted until about 10pm).

She reports it was an excellent Yes Day.

Of course we have a few more surprises for her real birthday, and there will be cupcakes to bring to school tomorrow. It's hard over here, lemme tell ya.

Oh my girl, you are a hoot. Happy 11-Eve!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Hanging Out


I had the opportunity last night to get my two Littles to settle in the kitchen with me while I made dinner. We all shared "special drinks," talked about our bests and worsts for the day, and joked around. The windows were open, the house was quiet, and the dog was calm(ish). It was a great time... just hanging out.

Thursday, October 3, 2019


We made two huge lasagnas this past weekend- from scratch- for some friends that came over for dinner... and by 'from scratch,' I mean we made homemade bechamel, homemade marinara, and homemade pasta (then packed it all in a disposable casserole pan because, life).

What's funny is I thought it would be an afternoon of me in the kitchen doing sauces and browning meat and making pasta sheets all by my lonesome while respective screens held everyone else captive... but a funny thing happened when the pasta maker came out...

First there was one, then there were two, and in the end all three of my people were in there with me, helping (or taking photos)! I shouldn't have been surprised, they all historically have a healthy interest in helping to make (and eat) pasta (going all the way back to here).

It was a good time (and a good dinner)!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A Lesson Learned

We cleaned up the yard a bit this past weekend, and part of that process was finally moving the chicken tractor from it's fateful location where it failed our peeps (I haven't done a thing to it since that morning). When I rolled it away to be stored next to the garden, Audrey was left staring at the hole where the coyote breached the perimeter, and she decided she didn't want to see it anymore. It made her imagine her scared Blue Chick and all the feathers she found afterwards.

She decided she would fill it in and mark the spot so she could remember the peeps, but not feel sad about what happened anymore.

And so she did.

I watched her from the sidelines and stayed out of the way, and she worked at filling in that hole by herself until it was to her satisfaction. She didn't look up, she didn't ask for help or say a word about the rocky soil or the manual labor, she just kept her head down and did the work until the hole was filled and marked with some gray-blue stones... the same color as her Blue Chick's feathers.

When she was done she moved on with her day, and I think that small effort gave her a measure of peace that all my words- and the reading of this book- hadn't helped her find.

For a moment after I discovered our loss, I considered trying to hide it from my kiddos, and though I did end up telling them that morning what happened, I think the fact that we took more than a month to go out there and actually deal with the site testifies to the fact that on some level I was still trying to protect them from the reality of what happened out there. However, I have to consider that in keeping the details from them, I might have actually dragged out their pain and sense of loss (for the Chicken Friend at least), and facing it head-on and dealing with it hands-on is actually what helped the most.

I'll have to remember this lesson learned, for sure.