Outdoor adventures

I don’t know if you can call it sewing

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When we moved back to town Pat got my sewing machine all set up in our extra bedroom. I’ve been excited to try my hand at using it again. Even though I’ve never really sewn to begin with. Unless you count sewing a hem  on some curtains.

I figured I’d better stick with what I know. We had bought really long curtains for our kitchen windows and they needed to be made into smaller curtains with a valance. So basically just cutting and hemming but it felt like a huge project to me.

I think they turned out pretty cute. Although probably not sewn “to code,” or whatever the right terminology is. But hey, as long as you don’t look too close, they look good!

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We recently got Caleb a bed set that came with a curtain but he also has another set of windows that are wide and short. He doesn’t use the flat sheet and so I decided to use that to make curtains for the other windows.

Thankfully my 5-year-old doesn’t care what his curtains look like, because I didn’t make them quite the right size.

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Ooops. Oh well. I was impressed with myself that I managed to sew a fairly straight hem. I have many grandiose plans to sew a dress for Angel, curtains for our weird shaped window in our room and maybe a few other things. We’ll see.

In other news we went on a bike ride tonight. Pat and Holly took the kids for their first ever bike ride yesterday morning. They went a long ways too. Tonight was their second bike ride, but my first time seeing them ride on the trails. I was a proud mama!

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Also yesterday after I got off work, Holly, Angel and I got ourselves manicures.

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I can’t believe how grown up Angel is becoming. She was so confident about everything, it was so cute.

And speaking of cute, I went to tuck in Caleb last night and I was greeted by this…

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Love my little dork!

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I took this picture at work today on my break…

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Seriously, so beautiful. I’m so grateful!

Also grateful for my hubby, who was on my mind today, especially when I got this out of the pop machine…

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Well that’s life lately. Enjoy your weekend!

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Good neighbors

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Our acreage/farm is a little bit unique for out here in the wide-open corn fields of Iowa. Unique in that we have a neighbor.

It was such an answer to prayer when we moved out here, as one of Pat’s concerns was that the kids wouldn’t have friends to play with. The first time saw the place, we drove up to see three kids (ages 5, 6 and 8) playing in their yard, right next to our house. They have turned out to be wonderful neighbors, the kids are best buds, they love the Lord like we do, and we are so thankful!

And it’s not just the people who we consider good neighbors.

There’s Trapper, our neighbor’s dog.

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Hey buddy. Trapper comes over to see us all the time. And our dogs, well mostly Molly, goes over to their house all the time to bother Trapper.

The neighbors have chickens too. They are the dark red ones right in the middle of the picture.

You can also see our neighbor’s house in this picture. They are pretty close for being out here in farmland!

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As you can see in the next picture, our rooster, Ferdinand, has started a relationship with these pretty ladies. He will go over to their house and then a little bit later they’ll all come over to our house. And then at night they all go back to their home coop. Honestly, it’s very strange.  We didn’t realize it, but we learned this weekend from our neighbors that our red chickens have been going over to their house. They found a nest with 22 eggs in it! We thought our girls weren’t laying as many eggs because of the cold, but I guess not!

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This past weekend we were hoping to get all our leaves raked. We have amazing, huge, beautiful trees in our front yard.

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But those trees have a lot of leaves!  Thankfully Caleb and one of the neighbor friends decided to help us out.

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Although I think they had ulterior motives!

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It was crazy windy so our leaf raking didn’t last long. I went back into the house to do some cleaning and baking, and about 30 minutes later I looked out the window to see Pat standing on top of the bucket of a skid steer, way up in the air with a chainsaw reaching up trying to cut off a branch.

Holy canoli.

I said a prayer for my crazy darling husband. And then I went and got the camera.

But I was too slow. By the time I got back to the window they had moved on to bigger and better projects. They being Pat and our neighbor John. Bigger and better projects being deciding to cut down some of the trees in our tree claim between our properties that had gotten damaged in the ice storm last spring.

I kinda stood in awe as they cut the first one down. There wasn’t a lot of space for that big tree to fall. It had to fall exactly right. If not there was our barn, the chicken coop barn, or our apple trees that were going to get damaged.  But sure enough it fell just right. It made a huge crash as it landed and the kids cheered. Haha, I wish I would have gotten it on video.

But I did video tape the 2nd and 3rd trees they decided to take down.

Here’s the 2nd one.

The last one was a little bit more tricky. This video was about 10 minutes into the operation. They got it sawed and it started to fall but then it stopped. It ended up getting stuck on the tree next to it. So John went and got the skid steer and as you can just barely see in this video, he had to push against the tree with the bucket.

Just a little bit nerve-racking. And who was the idiot standing there video taping anyway. Geez. : )

So after the trees were cut down, we had the fun job of hauling all the wood to our big burn pit. (Not.) But John and his wife Joy helped us and so we got the job done pretty quick.

Dogs. Chickens. Borrowing skid steers. But most of all, good friends and neighbors. We’ve been blessed.

Pumpkin harvest

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We’ve had a busy couple days on the farm, but the highlight of the weekend was harvesting our pumpkins.

Which I’ll talk about in a little bit.

In addition to harvesting our pumpkins, we harvested the rest of our tomatoes. It was very bittersweet getting everything cleaned up for winter.

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I pulled out all the cages and got them stored away.

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And then Pat went to town with the mower.

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You won’t defeat me next year weeds!!

As you can see in the above picture he didn’t mow down the kale or Brussels sprouts

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Seriously, our kale is like superhero kale. It just doesn’t stop growing. I probably have 20 bags in the freezer. I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with our gardening abilities, and everything to do with the very accomplished gardener who lived at our place before us!

The kids also helped. Well kinda. They helped eat tomatoes!

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While we worked in the garden, Daddy got the rest of the apples cleaned up. On Friday we had 400 mile an hour winds (practically) and so lost pretty much all our apples.

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Even though it felt like all we did the past month was pick apples, hopefully next year we can do even better so not so many go to waste.

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The chickens discovered Pat’s shop this weekend. They love rolling around in the dirt.

Did you know that about chickens? I didn’t. But yes, they love to roll in dirt and I guess it’s necessary to help keep them clean. Weird chickens.

Ok, now to the fun part!

Pumpkins!

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Daddy helped with the big one.

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My little pumpkins with all their pumpkins!

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(Holy cannoli, check out those weeds! This was obviously before Pat mowed it all down!)

In addition to all this fun we also cleaned out the chicken coop (ok that’s not really fun), Pat installed a bunch of cabinets in the garage he found for free online (yeah for free stuff), and we spent some fun time cutting weeds out of Molly’s hair (that wasn’t really fun either).

It was a good, busy weekend out on the farm.

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Holly and Apples

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 Another great part of this past weekend was that we got to see Holly!

She came out to the farm after lunch at my cousin’s.

You could say that we had a happy little brother and sister!

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Who became even happier when Holly broke out the loot.

Her and her mom were doing some cleaning at her mom’s and they picked out some American Girl doll stuff for Angel.

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Angel has no idea who American Girl even is, but she was still so excited!

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The little brother was excited too because Holly and her mom got him a tractor and wagon.

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I don’t really know what this is.

I guess just me taking another picture of my amazing kiddos.

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Holly painted Angel’s nails with her new polish set that she had gotten the night before from Aunt Beth and Uncle Jack.

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Random picture.

Weird husband.

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After hanging out inside we ventured outside to pick some apples!

It was a little chilly but not bad after we got to work!

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Don’t try this at home kids.

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I’d climb a tree with you any day babe.

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The chickens like apples.

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It was actually pretty nice out so we just enjoyed sitting outside, watching the dogs chase the chickens and the chickens peck at the dogs.

I guess Max needs to learn a lesson eventually.

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See the big star? Mom and Dad had put it on their house every Christmas – their house was on a hill, overlooking the town, and you could see it from the interstate.

We certainly aren’t overlooking anything but cows, but we thought it’d be cool to carry on the tradition and put it on our garage or barn or somewhere this Christmas.

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We have so many apples!

I’m totally serious when I say that if you’d like to come out and get some just let me know.

We’ll be around the next two nights and most of the weekend. We hate to see them go to waste.

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I tried a quick and easy applesauce recipe and it turned out so yummy. Our apples are pretty sweet so I didn’t need to add hardly any sugar, which is awesome!

But it wasn’t the canned version so it won’t last in the fridge long.

I think I have all of the supplies I need to can, so we might have to give that a try.

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Hanging out with Holly, picking apples and just spending time together made the rest of our weekend so great!

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