Sunday, May 29, 2016

Liebster Award

Mrs. Pepper has a delightful blog that I enjoy reading.  She has been nominated for the Liebster Award and in turn has nominated this blog for the award. I am not able to completely follow all the rules for the nomination (the part about nominating 5-11 other blogs for the award) so I figured it may be fun to change this up a bit and kinda, sorta do my own thing with it!  Sounds a bit fun, right?

The award has me answering several questions that Mrs. Pepper asked. 

1. If you could have chosen your own name, would it be the same one you have?  Probably not but I don't really want to change it. Many people misspell it and of course you can't go to a local store and find my name on anything! Ever!  ;-) 

 2. What is your favorite song? This is an interesting question.  Madilynne and I were just talking about this yesterday.  I do not have a "favorite" song but I have songs that I enjoy listening to.  It depends on my mood that day.  I don't think many music genres are out except for heavy metal- not a fan of that type of music (if you can call that music!)

 3. Can you play any musical instruments? What? Yes, I can play the clarinet. I played in high school.  I gave my clarinet to my cousin and haven't played since.  No, I don't miss playing it.....

 4. Do you have a favorite go to recipe for busy days?  On busy days I use my crockpot.  I stick some meat in there with some veggies and seasonings and head out the door. 

 5. Would you hang windchimes on your porch? Would I? Yes. Do I? No.  At one time I had a small set hanging.  The set that I currently have was given to me when my aunt passed away several years ago. I do not want them to be ruined so they hang in the corner of our playroom by a siding glass door.  When the wind is strong it will ring them.  Each chime has a verse of "Amazing Grace" on it. 

 6. What is your favorite flower?  Lilacs!!

 7. What is your idea of a perfect weekend?  Relaxing at home with the family!

 8. Have you ever watched The Hobbit? No and I never want too!

 9. Do you go to see movies or wait until they're on TV? It is rare that we go to the movies.  If it is something that we really want to see, we buy the movie or get it from the library. 

 10. Do you enjoy sports? Ok, this is a hard question.  I don't like to play sports and only like to watch some sports live.  We have been going to Madilynne's best friends track meets and they aren't bad. But, if I wasn't watching her...I wouldn't like it at all!  Not a fan of basketball (even though I played it in high school) because I can't handle the shoes squeaking on the court!

 11. What's your favorite outdoor activity? This may sound cheesy but my favorite outdoor activity is drinking tea with Jeremiah in the early mornings during the summer months.  I love to catch up with him, without interruptions, and listen to the birds sing! 

Now I need to tell you 11 random facts about me.....

1.  My favorite fruits to eat are strawberries and apples.
2.  My favorite veggies are carrots and cauliflower.
3.  I like cucumber sandwiches with butter, a slight sprinkle of salt and will add some onion to it if available.  I don't eat them often.
4. I like BLT sandwiches without the "T"!  Hold the tomato for me please! 
5. I enjoy listening to the birds outside our windows!
6. I don't like listening to people eat when I am not eating.  If I am eating, it doesn't bother me. 
7. I can easily pass up ice cream. I will take the kids for ice cream and not be tempted to get any for myself. 
8. Ice water is my favorite drink and my second is tea.  Iced or hot!
9. I don't care much for breakfast foods.  I would rather eat leftovers for breakfast.  The fact that people choose to eat breakfast for dinner amazes me. I only choose something like that if I am sick or there is no other option to eat.
10. I enjoy reading our local newspaper daily- and not online- only the print format.
11. My favorite color is green but I own very few clothes that are green and nothing in our house is green except for the plants.

Now here are 11 questions that you (everyone) can answer either in the comments section or answer on your blog and put a link in the comments section!  Have fun!

1.  Do you prefer to ride in a vehicle with the windows open or the air conditioning on?
2.  Do you prefer to swim in a lake or a pool?
3.  Favorite food to eat when you are hot?
4.  Your favorite candy bar?
5.  Cats or dogs?
6.  Do you prefer board games (like Monopoly/Scrabble) or card games(like Phase 10/Uno)?
7.  At home are you barefoot or wearing shoes?
8.  You're going to make supper. Do you chose chicken or beef?
9.  Relaxing outside, do you prefer to sit in the sun or the shade?
10. If you were to go camping do you want a tent or a camper?
11. Country or city living?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Homeschool Convention

   We recently attended a homeschool convention and I always enjoy going.  Our goal was to leave around 7 am but it was closer to 7:30 until we left.  It is several hours drive away from home but- oh so worth it! It is a two day event and you can really soak up curriculum choices and listen to some great speakers. 

   Our goal was to look for a new Science curriculum for Madilynne and a new History and Geography curriculum for both kids.  I was amazed at how many choices there were!  Madilynne found an Astronomy course that she thinks is going to be great.  She also found a history course that really looks interesting. Ryder decided that he wants to continue with his current History and Geography curriculum.  I will write more about them later.

   One of the nice things about attending a convention is that they have special pricing for attendees.  I saved a considerable amount of money and received free shipping on items purchased there so I didn't have to carry much around.  I snagged some catalogs from companies to consider for the following year!

   We came home excited to wrap up this school year and prepare for next year. I am happy to finally have all the classes lined up. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Tell us about a time you found yourself 'in the middle of nowhere'. Was this deliberate?  Where we live is kinda in the middle of nowhere, really.  I wish we lived further away from our neighbors.  Our home was built around the 1850's.  When it was first built the only people who lived here were in the family.  There are 4 homes that I can see from our property and only two are still family owned.  The one home was built within the last 50 years and it was sold to folks who aren't family but are real decent people.  The neighbors beside us bought a home that was owned by a cousin to my descendants.  She recently passed away.  Ryder really liked to visit with her. Moving here was deliberate.

2. What's something you're 'in the middle of' today or this week? Laundry!  We went away over the weekend and I need to catch up on that laundry plus some here have a stomach virus that is making for extra laundry.  We are almost through that too.

3. At what age do you think 'middle age' begins? What does it mean to be 'middle aged'? I don't know the answer to this question.  I would guess somewhere around 35-40, maybe?  I think middle-aged is more of a mind set. Hopefully you enter this stage of life with some wisdom.

4. Ravioli, stuffed peppers, samosas, deviled eggs, steamed dumplings, pierogis, or a jelly donut...your favorite food (from this list!) with something yummy in the middle. Your favorite not on the list? Honestly, I don't care much for any of these foods.  Ravioli is ok, I used to love deviled eggs but I have a hard time digesting them now and pierogis are edible.  I like donuts but not the jelly filled kind.  I much prefer the donuts with pudding or custard in them.  Cheese sticks are good along with jalapeƱo wontons!

5. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying ''In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.' Would you agree? Have you found this to be true in your own life? Feel free to elaborate. I agree with this statement.  I think when you are in the middle of difficulty you sink or swim.  Most of us would swim and grow in opportunity.  I believe this to be a true statement in my life.

6. What's a song you remember loving from your middle school years? Do you love it still? Here is something, I can't remember much musically about my middle school years. I am sure there was a song in there somewhere but what it would have been...couldn't tell ya!

7. May 18th is National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate? Which relative would you visit if time, distance, and expense were not considered.  I will not be going anywhere to celebrate but since we live so close to family someone is bound to stop in.  If I could go visit any distant relative it would be to see my brother.  After all this rain and dreary weather a visit to the beach would be lovely!

8. Insert your own random thought here.   Rainy days have really been making me appreciate the sunny times that pop out.  Rain makes for good sleeping though and with this stomach bug, sleep is a good thing!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Talking Laundry...

   Laundry. Laundry. Laundry.
Those are Christmas lights hanging in the picture....  :-)
Some love it, some hate it. I fall somewhere in between. I don't hate to do laundry but I am not placing it on the list of favorite household chores either. I just do it...everyday (except Sunday). Yep, I do a load (sometimes two) of laundry daily.  If I don't do a load a day my laundry turns into Mt. Laundry. The kids don't bother me while I do laundry either.  I make them help if they are there so it gives me some peace and quiet!  ~smile~
I have tried several different systems to tackle our laundry but I found that a load daily is what works best for us.  I have several close friends that have all found systems that work for them.
   Friend 1: She does laundry on her days off and on her shorter work days. She doesn't have a dryer.  She only line dries. 
   Friend 2: Does all her laundry on one day.
   Friend 3: Has a day assigned to each member of the family.  They do their own laundry on their day. 
   Friend 4: Touches laundry only when necessary! ;-)
   Friend 5: Never touches laundry as her teens do all the laundry. They enjoy doing it. Imagine that! 
We have a spring so water consumption is something that I have to consider when washing our laundry.  I hang dry all our laundry so I need to take that into consideration also.  I only have so much line space.
I was talking to my cousin yesterday.  She is 25 years old and has a 4 1/2 year old.  She was amazed that hang dry all the laundry.  She asked if I ever use my dryer! Yes, I use my dryer to fluff the clothes on the cool air setting after they are dry.  It is so much easier on the clothes and the electric bill.  On average, I may actually use the dryer for one or two loads per year.

My one issue I had for years was the clothespin mark that remained on my shirts.  Several years ago my mom told me about hanging my shirts by the material at the armpit. This has revolutionized my laundry!! Yes, I did just say that about laundry!  I love that I don't have to fight those crumpled marks or misshaped clothes anymore. 
I have three clotheslines.  One in the basement that I use all winter long. A retractable one in the playroom that I use regularly in the spring and summer and one outside line.  I only use the outside one for white and light colored clothes, sheets and towels because the sun bleaches out the dark clothes pretty fast.  I love the sun though- it really helps to bleach out those hard to get rid of stains.  It also makes the whites whiter!  There is also something so nice about the smell of fresh line dried laundry. The pictured laundry is from my lines in the playroom. 
Do you enjoy doing laundry?  What is your favorite household chore?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Catching a Breath!

   After a whirlwind week, I am happy to catch my breath today.  I was able to stay home all day and not have any running to do.  I enjoy days when I can just be home and not have places to be at a certain time.  Do you enjoy those kind of days too?

   Our homeschool group has finished for the year. We had a Variety Show to celebrate.  This showcases our kids talents.  I am an advisor for a group of kids who enjoy doing black light. We put many hours into an 18 minute program! If you aren't familiar with black light there are many videos on YouTube, just type in black light and you will see some examples of what we do.  This is probably our 5th or 6th year of doing it but I honestly can't remember when we started.

   Saturday we celebrated Madilynne's birthday.  It was a lovely party and I had a hard time holding back tears as I held my 2 1/2 month old nephew while watching her open gifts.  It doesn't seem that long ago I was holding her at that age. I wonder where all the time went?

   I remember my grandma telling me that the days flew by.  She would chuckle and say how when your a child the days are so long, as teens they go by quicker but then when you become an adult the day just seems to fly.  I used to joke with her and ask if it felt like she just got out of bed to go right back to bed since she was in her 70's!

   The lilac bush is blooming beautifully.  I picked a small bouquet to bring into the house.  I put them in the living room and the whole room smells wonderful.  Lilacs are one of my most favorite flowers.  I wish they bloomed longer!  I made a bouquet to give to my mom for Mother's Day.  Her bush has been crowed out by trees and doesn't give many blossoms anymore.

   The cows have returned.  I don't have a picture to share yet.  It hasn't been very nice weather and I really didn't want to go out in rainy, cool weather to get one.  I think there are 18 cows here at the moment.  My dad said he believes more are coming at a later date.

   Well that is what's been happening around here lately.  Hope all has been well in your area. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lavender Roses

Roses anyone?

Madilynne found these beautiful lavender roses at Aldi's for $3.99 yesterday. I didn't think that was a bad price for 6 roses.

I couldn't pass them by(buy)! I placed them on the kitchen table and the room has filled with the scent of roses. I am waiting for our lilacs to bloom so I can put some of them on the table and in our living room!  I enjoy having fresh flowers.
Do you enjoy fresh flowers?  Do you keep flowers on display in your home?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rainy Skies~Sunny Skies and the Farm

   Today is one of those days were the skies are busy.  I love to watch the clouds move across the wide expanse of sky. It has transitioned several times from rainy to sunny- very unsettled weather today.  The sky is a brilliant blue when the clouds go away.  I love to look at the sky when those gray clouds move out.  Spring brings these kinds of days frequently.  I took these pictures from my driveway this morning.  I just turned and snapped a picture. 

   On Sunday evening, Jeremiah and I were going to pick the kids up from a church activity and the sky was phenomenal!  We live on a mountain and as we were heading down the hill we could see a huge amount of the sky.  The colors were vibrant.  Yellows, blues, purples and pinks filled the sky.  We were able to see a storm front coming in and the sunset where the storm had yet to arrive.

   All this rain has been great for our yard and the fields.  We are anticipating the return of the cows from a local farmer.  He keeps them here on pasture for summer while they are growing up and getting old enough to milk. It is peaceful to watch them grazing across the fields.  We use an intensive grazing system.  They are moved through the fields instead of just turning them loose to roam the entire paddock.  This year we also plan on having some chickens follow to help with bug and fly control. Here are two photos of the cows we had last year.  I may have posted them before...

   Speaking of chickens...our little ones are growing healthy and strong.  They are getting bigger and feathering out.  They are adorable!  They are also messy!  Madilynne just cleaned their temporary home yesterday morning!  I will be so happy when they are old enough to be able to be outside in the movable kennel.

   This fellow has still been coming around the house.  His colorings are beautiful.  He has been staying off the porch though and that is a good thing.