fall

We’re loving this fall weather.  We took some time on Saturday to have a little picnic and play in the creek.  We also dug up some pine trees to transplant near our house.  The weather was just perfect.

IMG_2510  IMG_2526  IMG_2570There was just enough water in the creek for a little splashing.  Mason helped daddy dig up the trees and Caleb and I brought buckets of water to them from the creek.  Emma was drawing in her notebook. Caleb was quite the little helper.  He insisted on carrying it himself even though it was too heavy.  It took us about 4 times as long, but we were smiling the whole time.

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We also picked a bunch of rose hips to dry for tea.  Emma would pick them and hand them to Caleb who would put them in the bag.  Quite the team.  Mason and daddy totally out-picked us though.

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They were loving exploring and playing with all the different leaves and twigs they could find.  We are having a little family competition on guessing the number of “nice” days we have left.  Hopefully there’s a few more in the near future!

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september

The end of September is just around the corner and we’re finally just getting into a good routine around here.  We’ve been super busy with the gardens, canning, regular day to day stuff and school.  With so many ways to spend my limited free time (knitting, stamping, baking) I came to the realization yesterday that I haven’t actually mopped my kitchen floor since before school began.  Sweeping…yes.  Mopping…no.  The worst part is that I actually moved all the chairs and shoes and backpacks and legos off the floor and swept it with the intention of mopping one night where I found an extra burst of energy. Then I got distracted.  And we moved the chairs back in for breakfast the next morning.  No mopping.  I’m totally okay with this.

We’re reading.  And coloring.  And having picnics. And watching the leaves change. And creating things with lots of cutting and gluing.  And making smoothies.

Some first day of school pictures:

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We also squeezed in a rodeo night at the fair with our cousins and a wedding for Uncle Tim.  We’re loving all our time with family and friends as we gear up for fall.

peas

IMG_20150821_100434We’ve been working on harvesting a lot of the garden.  We pickled the green beans (our new favorite thing to do with them) and froze all the peas.  We made some of the zucchini into bread and we’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes along with dinner.

This weekend we were all out in the garden.  Mason and I were picking all the peas.  Emma and Caleb were eating them.  Every time we would move the colander down the row, Emma would get mad at us.  At one point I smiled at her and said, “well, we’re the ones doing the work.”  She looked sweetly up at me and said, “Mom!  I’m working too!  I’m working on eating these peas!”

And another one from Emma’s world:

Emma: Mom, can you cover up my baby?

Me: Sure. (Pulling the blanket up over her baby doll, tucked under her chin)

Emma: No Mom,  all of baby.  Her face is cold too.

Me: (covering all of baby) How is she going to breathe then?

Emma: (Looking at me like I’m crazy)  Mom, she doesn’t breathe.  She’s a FAKE!

And because school is officially starting tomorrow and for the next 9 months I will be teacher and mom and the one sending Mason to 1st Grade and Emma to Preschool (already!): Dear Teachers: You’re Not Fooling Me.

the pirate ship

This summer has been all about building the pirate ship.  It’s been the go-to answer for Mason and Emma.

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Why do you need all those buckets of water?  It’s for the pirate ship.

What are all those rocks for?  It’s gold for our pirate ship.

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I need my hammer, tape measure and screwdrivers.  Why?  It’s for the pirate ship. IMG_20150717_080003_hdr

We must cover everything with a layer of mud.  Oh really?  It’s for the pirate ship. To protect it from the rain. IMG_20150717_075935_hdr

I need to dig holes all over the yard.  It’s for the pirate ship.  Seriously mom. IMG_20150620_145153I have yet to see any signs of a pirate ship, but the thought of it is sure keeping them outside and busy.

right now

Just a few words before July gets away from us.  We are filling our days with so much and enjoying all this time home together.  Here’s what we’ve been loving right now:

  • letting the ducks out first thing in the morning and enjoying their antics while we watch the sun come up
  • goat milk!  I learned how to milk our neighbor’s goats and we’ve been trying all sorts of new recipes (goat cheese, ice cream, cajeta)
  • all the wildflowers
  • Mason has discovered chapter books and will read for hours at a time.  Current favorites: Boxcar Children, Magic Treehouse, Geronimo Stilton

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  • garage sales, flea markets, craft fairs, and farmer’s markets (both selling and buying)
  • roasting marshmallows
  • new knitting patterns
  • Emma discovered that these overall will hold her hammer and we can’t get her out of them:
  • IMG_20150717_075917 IMG_20150717_075906sunsets
  • morning walks with a friend and evening walks with the family
  • grilling
  • visiting the library
  • and spaghetti + a one year old, which never gets old

it’s fowl around here

There’s lots going on with the birds around here.  The meat birds are feathering out nicely.  We’ve only lost two so far.  They are in a small coop that one of our neighbors gave to us.  We’re hoping one of the barred rock roosters turns out nice enough to keep around.  IMG_2463The layers have been out and about doing their foraging thing.  They’ve also started laying their eggs somewhere outside of the coop.  Which means instead of about 14 eggs a day we’re getting about 7.  Which means every day we send the kids out to solve the mystery of the hidden eggs.  We’ve only found one spot that seems to be frequented by an araucana.  The pile of blue/green eggs was the giveaway.  Besides that, they don’t give us too much trouble.  They seem to be leaving the potatoes alone, which is really the only thing besides trees that isn’t fenced.  They don’t bother the kittens either.   IMG_2467

And our new addition this year: ducks!  They are hilarious.  And filthy.  And amusing.  And stinky.  They keep us really entertained as they travel around the property in a flock.  They pretty much move as one.  As one quacking, waddling group.  So funny.  They seem to like to be left alone. IMG_2478 IMG_2481We got about half meat birds and half layers.  So, we’ll be learning about butchering duck and cooking it up.  It’s exciting to learn something new and increase our food options.  The best part is we know where it’s coming from.

camping

Our first camping trip of the summer.  We met Ryan’s brother’s family just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.  The cousins had a great time playing.  Besides a day trip to the Grand Canyon we filled the days with hiking, pinecone battles, floating homemade canoes, shooting bows and arrows, playing school, and enjoying being together.  We filled the nights with s’mores, listening to Mason and Emma in the tent, watching their shadows in the lantern light and talking around the campfire.  Just about perfect.