Month: December 2013

Farm happenings

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What were we thinking?

Just kidding. We still love living on the farm. Despite the extra work, the big driveway that needs plowed, the old house that needs tons of work and all the mice friends we’ve acquired.

Our older house has been interesting as it’s gotten colder. The windows are extremely drafty so Pat put up some plastic on the outside of the big picture window and that has helped alot. And then over Thanksgiving weekend our furnace started acting up. Acting up as in blowing cold air. We have a backup that runs on fuel oil – I don’t really understand all that – but it would work when we switched it to backup. We just can’t run it on backup all the time because of course it’ll burn all the fuel oil.  So we continue to have to go back and forth as I guess the heat pump on the furnace keeps freezing up.  I’m afraid we are going to have to replace the furnace some day soon. Which is funny, but not really, considering how much a furnace costs. Oh well, one day at a time, and God always provides.

For awhile now our egg numbers have been down. We attributed it to the cold weather, but it turns out our dogs have been getting in there stealing eggs. So last weekend Pat raised up the nesting box so the dogs can’t reach it. We’ve also been having to clean out the coop more often than in the summer since they are spending so much time in there with it being cold.  That’s always fun. Or not.

Pat has some projects he wants to work on this winter, one being our master bedroom closet. I’m so excited for what he has planned. I also am really missing a bathtub. We only have a shower, but have the space to build out the current bathroom to add a bath. Of course that takes time and money, so I don’t know that it’ll happen anytime soon, but it’s at the top of our list.

Also at the top of our list is destroying the mouse family that has overtaken our house. We knew there were a couple and we had caught a couple, but hadn’t seen any for a while. Well a few weeks back I noticed droppings where we keep the dogfood. And then the other day one of our drawers in the kitchen was full of droppings. DISGUSTING!!

This past weekend I emptied out all of the bottom cupboards and drawers and gave everything a good cleaning. We had all the cereal and snacks in the bottom cupboard and so I put the cereal in plastic containers and threw away anything that was open just to be safe. I moved all the canned goods to the bottom cupboards and we’ll put any snacks in the top cupboard.  We put some more traps out and also added to our family.

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We are now the happy owners of two kittens. Two kittens who better have an appetite for mice! They are going to be outside cats since Caleb is allergic, so I’m not sure they’ll help with the mice indoors. But we have seen them in the chicken coop and the garage and the barn too. So they have their work cut out for them.

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They don’t seem to think they are outside cats though. We let them in the house this weekend and now of course they are traumatized to have to be out in the sun-room.

Caleb was so upset about not being able to play with them, so we let him “hold” one.

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His Christmas list this year: a gun and his own pet.

Nice.

He has 2 dogs, 2 cats and 10 chickens. But according to him none of them are just his special pets.

This girl is the happiest I think I’ve ever seen her.

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She LOVES cats. Loves, loves, loves them. She is in kitty heaven. She asks us about 10 times a day if she can go out and pet the kitties.

We let them name the kitties of course, and we ended up with:

Flower and Cheetah.

Can you guess who named who?

So anyway, back to Mickey and his friends. The next night, I guess Monday night, after I cleaned out the cupboards and moved food out of the bottom cupboard, Pat found a mouse on the COUNTER!!! Gross, gross, gross!!!  I wasn’t home from work yet, and I guess he and the kids chased it around for a while but it got away. So more cleaning and he set more traps.  I know that’s just part of life when living in an old farm-house, but still.  If anyone has any creative mouse hunting ideas, please share!

Well that’s about all that has been happening on the farm lately.  In a few months we’ll have more exciting news as we’ll be adding to our feathery flock! Yes. Yes we are. And we can’t wait! : )

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Decking the new halls

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Last weekend we put up some Christmas decorations. It was a little extra special for us in that this is our first Christmas on the farm. And last year we didn’t decorate because we were too sad to do much of anything going to be in Florida for a week and 1/2 over Christmas.

We have the same tall skinny tree we’ve had for the past few years. We are going to have to do something different in a year or two because we are running out of room for all our ornaments. We’ve always given the kids one each year and last year we started buying one for Grama and Papa too. Plus we have our family ornament. So that’s a minimum of four new ones every year.

This year our family ornament is …

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That was a no-brainer, huh!? We love our chickens!

The kids are always good helpers putting the tree together.

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And putting ornaments up. We gave Holly most of hers from when she was growing up, but we still have a few. It’s so fun to show them to the kids.

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All decorated! Except for the kids’ ornaments. They won’t get them til the week before Christmas. This year Angel will get a book (if I can find one) because she learned to read, and a kitty because she loves kittens and she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Caleb will get a super-hero, probably his favorite Hulk if I can find it, and since he wants to be a worker and a builder when he grows up, I found one with a bunch of tools. : )

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We did another special tree this year.

I spoke briefly of the tumbleweed tradition here. Basically one year when us kids were little, our parents couldn’t afford to get a Christmas tree. And so Dad went out and found a huge tumbleweed. We spray painted it white and put tinsel all over it.  The past few years, Mom and Dad would get a tumbleweed for their Christmas free. It kinda turned into a family joke.

I told Pat last weekend that I really wanted to try to find a small tumbleweed that we would decorate in honor of Mom and Dad. We were on our way home from Sioux Falls and I said a prayer to myself that we’d be able to find one. Within about a minute I saw one in a culvert. Pat pulled over and I ran over to get it. It was the perfect size. The kids and I spray painted it and decorated it with tinsel.

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I got that frame last year. It says, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” and talks about being in heaven for Christmas. It’s hard to look at, but I also need it there, if that makes sense.

Last but certainly not least, we did a little decorating outside.

This was also very special, as we decorated with the star and nativity set that Mom and Dad had at their house. Dad had built the star a few years back and they put it on the outside of their house way up. Their house was on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River and you could see it from the Interstate a few miles away. It was the neatest thing. Pat agreed that we needed to put the start up on our house.

We thankfully had a pretty nice day to get the star put up. And the kids were eager to help. They actually were mad because they couldn’t get on the roof.

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So they played with the “sheep” instead.

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Hey baby.

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And then Pat made me get up on the roof. That was not fun. Except it was kinda cool because the sky was beautiful that day and you could see for miles. I told Pat it’d be cool to climb up there and look at stars some night. He said ok ya sure. Which I think means that’ll never happen.

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All finished!

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The view at night.

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“For unto us a Child is born!”

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Sometimes you have to live life and not write about it

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I am a blogger. A blogger who doesn’t really blog.

I miss writing on this blog. As you know if you are a reader, I don’t post much anymore. Usually only once a week, if that. It’s not for lack of things to write about. I have about 32 posts in my head right now. It’s partially lack of time. Partially broken heart. Partially just trying to live life.

As I talked about awhile back, Pat and I decided last Spring that it was time for me to find a job that wasn’t nights and weekends. With Angel in Kindergarten every day and Caleb in preschool 3 days a week, I would never get to see my kiddos if I continued working evenings/nights and weekend. And I think Pat was ready for us to eat supper together again, have the evenings together, etc. So I found a part-time job as an HR/Marketing Assistant for an HR consulting firm.  The hours are perfect, the schedule is flexible and I have amazing co-workers. It was an ideal situation.

Except that it was only part-time. And in October we decided that I needed to work full-time. I went on a crazy job hunt, had lots of interviews, alot of great job offers, but just didn’t have peace about anything. I really felt that I needed to stay with the HR firm and so then I started looking for another part-time job that would work for my schedule.

Never in a million years did I think it would turn out how it has.

We were very close to pulling the kids out of our school and putting them in public school. But even though we felt like we couldn’t really afford it, we felt peace that the kids were supposed to stay there. I said as much to the school director and she said “That’s what faith is, believing something is true, even when you can’t see it.”

So about three days later, I saw a posting for a part-time school aide for our church’s after school program. I read the posting and it all of a sudden clicked that this was what I was supposed to do. I interviewed for the position and had complete peace about it, and the schedule was absolutely perfect to work with my HR job. In fact my boss at the HR job and my boss at the after school are cousins!

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I learned that the kids could come to after school with me for no charge. That was a huge blessing I hadn’t even counted on. To top it off I learned that because I was on staff at the church, we would receive a discount for the kids’ school tuition. Um, what!?  Three days earlier we were ready to pull them out of school but felt peace to stick with it. And now God was providing in such a huge way.

So anyway, about that no time to blog thing.

We rise and shine at 6:00 am, get ready, let the chickens out, get the kids up and ready and we are on the road by 8:00 am. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I take both kids to school. On Tuesdays and Thursdays just Angel has school and Caleb goes to Grama Barbs. I go to my HR job after dropping the kids off and then I go back at 11:30 to pick and bring to Grama’s. I go back to HR job until 1:45 and then I go back to the church for after school.

It’s alot of back and forth, but it allows me to bring the kids to school and pick up from school. And not working weekends or holidays is also a huge blessing. It was nearly impossible to find a full-time position with that much flexibility. Not to mention I love my HR job, and I love working with the kids at after school. I believe with all my heart that God has called me to both places for this season of my life.

I work at after school until 6:00 pm and then I head for home where Pat has usually made or finished up supper. We eat supper, hang out, watch tv, play with dogs or read books and then start getting the kids ready for bed at 8:00 pm. Of course it’s usually 8:30 or 9:00 pm by the time they actually go to sleep. And then some nights I do the dishes or clean. Some nights I watch tv. Some nights I go straight to bed as soon as the kids are sleeping.

Exciting stuff, huh.

What’s the point of this post, you ask?

Well basically to say that I miss blogging. Life is crazy and busy. And I’m thankful for the ways that God has provided.

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