How many of you have ever had your child arrive home with homework from their physical education class? It was a first at The MagicFarmHouse. I also didn’t know they gave out homework to Pre-K students but last year Willis did have homework on a regular basis. At first I was stunned but I believe the intentions were well served. It provided a solid foundation for continuing education in the home, away from school.
So when I picked Pickle up from school following Art Club, I was confused because he was carrying a new bag. My first reaction was that he traded his beloved and expensive Cardinals Baseball bag with another child. I was relieved to find that the new bag was related to his homework.
Here’s how it works. Each week the PE teacher selects a student who will take home a bag of PE equipment and a camera. I know, Right? A camera! For a rural school I was impressed but not too surprised knowing how much our PTO supports the school and how each of the teachers are wonderful! The assignment: Use the camera and a writing log to journal about using the equipment at home with your family. Sort of like, PE but at home.
We didn’t do a lot with the jump ropes but the scoop thingies that you use to toss a ball from person to person were super fun! My favorite though was the soccer ball. Using the two trucks as one goal…I know, I know an insurance accident waiting to happen but I’m not responsible for choosing the goal posts…I just went with it. And then the trees were used as our other goal. It was Pickle & I (and sometimes Pudder) against daddy. I played soccer for a couple of years as a child so I knew a few moves that through the opposing team for a loop. In the end, the score was 6 to 4, with the Giant Oger bragging as the champion. :0( That’s alright, we’ll get him next time!! Wait ’till it’s three boys against him…
It initiated some great family time and memories!! Now all of the pictures we took are being printed out and put on a poster in the gym for all to see.
Impressive concept!! So that’s my cool idea for the day…share with your PE teacher and I guarantee it’ll get the kids off the couch and the Wii turned off.
Stay tuned by subscribing to my email list…the rest of the week will be a bit of a food theme…Dutch oven cooking recipes for chili and breakfast casserole. Finally, a review of The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls, with a little twist using a bread maker. Hey, I’ve been busy alright? It’s ok to take a short cut here and there. And, close your mouth…saliva tends to be a little tricky to clean up off the keyboard. Not that I would know or anything.
Last week I wrote a post involving several subjects. One of which included the recent demolition of one of the downstairs rooms. It had previously been used as a storage room & will now serve as Willis & Pickle’s new bedroom.
When I wrote the post we had gutted all of the exterior walls but not the two interior ones. I had been pretty disappointed because one of my favorite things about opening the walls of the Magic FarmHouse is finding items of interest. For example, when we gutted the boys’ current room located in the upstairs, we found newspapers from the 1950’s which lined the floor for insulation. The most remarkable was an article about the first round baler. At the time, the invention of this new implement was all the rage. A huge step away from the typical, small family farm.
Another item we found in the wall was a piece of an old plat or description of where the property is located in our county. Then we also found an original Play-school horse. My personal favorite are the logs which hold up our kitchen roof, which is what we believe was the original one room cabin. Someday I plan to do some serious research on ‘This Ol’ Place.”
So after days of disappointment in finding only old gross insulation & open holes from the wall to the outside siding we finally hit the jackpot. My hubby pulled off the paneling on the main interior wall & there is was…..an old doorway which used to led into our current family room. It makes me wonder if that room had at one time been a dining room. There is a dining room on the back half of the house. However, it’s my understanding that it was put on as an addition to the rest of the house.
We considered opening it back up and closing the current door but we really don’t have the time for that additional work so it will be again covered up. Love, love, love the history in this Magic FarmHouse!!!
If anyone has visited recently, you might notice I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. Please accept my apologies. The past three weeks have been rough & although there have been some very positive & happy moments, I’ve been rather down lately. I want this blog to be a happy place full of positive energy. At the urging of two dear friends I considered writing the following post. Then a post from FarmerLady-Adventures in Hinterland, came across my email. She too has had a challenging few weeks but this statement resonated with me…
“Then I decided that part of the reason I keep this blog is so that Geoff and I can look back on this whole experiment and see how far we have come–so we would have a record of the ups, the downs, and everything in between.” ~FarmerLady
Therefore I’m from here on out giving you my hills and valleys…The beginning of August started as any other August – our county fair and preparation for State Fair. The following week my sister-in-law’s mom was taken to the ER due to severe pain. They found she had a tumor on her pancreas. After two biopsies she’s been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and has been given 6 months to 2 years to live. While dealing of this news and attempting to manage the pain, her mom passed away (my sister-in-laws grandma). The following week they did a procedure on my sister-in-law’s mom which numbed the nerve related to the pancreas. It helped lower the pain & cut the pain meds in half. They are attempting to lengthen her life by choosing radiation and chemotherapy. Both are becoming very difficult for her. She’s extremely tired. The nausea due to the chemo is taking it’s toll. Today, I believe has been worst day yet. She’s vomited numerous times this morning. They are trying a fourth anti-nausea med. this afternoon.
The pain my sister-in-law is enduring is testing every ounce of strength she has in her petite body. I wish I could give her a hug and make all of this go away. Following my ‘step-dad’s’ fatal accident, so many emotions are back. I’m so fearful of death right now. We are young, my sister-in-law isn’t even 30, I’m only 33. My other sister-in-law lost her mom to breast cancer almost three years ago. We shouldn’t have to deal with this part of life yet!!
Two years ago on show day at our State Fair, my husband’s grandma passed away (my father-in-laws mom). I always admired her perkiness and laughter. When Pickle was a toddler, she would play and play and play with him. Just as though she was a child. It was hard to watch someone with such zest for life pass. Being away at the fair we helped load all of the equipment while my in-laws took the cows home. We were unable to contribute to the visitation/funeral photos. 😦
Then on Halloween night, as we were driving to my hometown to trick or treat we received a call that his grandpa had passed (my father-in-laws dad). Three days prior he was riding in the combine helping finish up for the year. His work here was finished. Pickle and grandpa had been very close so there were pictures of the two of them mowing or sitting together at the fair. A couple of Willis but not nearly enough. This was a week before Pudder was born.
Then May of ’09, my husband’s other grandpa became very ill. His prostate cancer had returned for the last time. I always admired his sense of humor & his silliness which was passed down to my hubby. Again, we searched for photos. Fortunately, the task of displaying them was given to his cousins. We wished there were more pics of grandpa with all three of the boys. We buried grandpa, a veteran of ww2, just before Memorial Day.
Summer passed, fall flew by and the second Sat. of December we lost a friend in a car accident about a mile 1/2 from our house. She had hit black ice and went into the oncoming traffic. She was one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known. Her smile would light up a room. The night before the visitation her sister & friends were going through pictures. Each looking for a certain photo, one with so & so or one from when she did this or that. I couldn’t bare to look. Little did I know.
Then Christmas Day. A day that will forever be chiseled in my memory & heart. One moment we were all looking out of the back of my mom’s house at all of the squirrels running around in the woods. We each ‘jokingly’ picked out which one we were going to shoot & eat. The next moment the man who was more of a dad to me than my own, was on the phone being briefed about a wall that was caving in on a building at the university in town. This gracious and giving man agreed to attend to the dangerous situation, but not until we opened our gifts. (Two days later I read a similar sentence in the local newspaper.)
The boys were tickled pink, ok, camo, with the new farm set he & mom had given them. Pudder was given a darling, soft teddy bear that he still sleeps with at night. Then he acted surprised as he opened mom’s gift. A new western vest for when they go riding. (He had tried it on in the store a few nights before) Time rolled around and he had to leave. I gave him a huge hug & said our final goodbyes. In the meantime, it began to snow. We quickly ate our Christmas brunch, packed up all of our goodies and headed west.
Once we arrived home & unpacked the truck, I laid down for a ‘eye-rest,’ pretending to be Santa can be an exhausting task after all. Then my phone rang. My hubby answered and as I listened my heart began to race. Something bad had happened. I just knew it. He hung up from talking to my brother. My mom’s boyfriend, a man who if they had been married (they were together 12 yrs. and our neighbor for my entire life, had been killed by fallen concrete. These moments and events still play through my mind at least once a day. I needed something to do so I could get through the time before the visitation. So his daughter & I took on the task of sorting pictures. This was one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever had to do. Again, I found myself looking for this one or that one. What about when he….are there more with him and Willis, or his other grandkids?
This passed Saturday night we celebrated my niece & nephew’s birthday’s (born two days and two years apart). Her mom helped open presents as she doze in and out of consciousness. As I have since Christmas, I found myself preparing for a visitation and funeral. Taking as many happy photos as possible. I encourage you all to do so as well so that your loved ones are properly honored.
I apologize for the dark & unmagical nature of this post but I needed to get this out so that I can move on in my blogging life. I want to thank my two dear friends who encouraged me to share this and especially to FarmerLady for inspiring courage within me.
Until next time my neighbors…
I’m so proud right now!! For years and years and years I’ve tried growing green beans and peas. Every year they would undoubtedly fail but try, try again I did! This year my green beans took off & I have a crop! At first I thought I’d only get a few and that was enough of a victory for me. Then they kept on budding and growing. We picked the first time about two weeks ago and I had enough for one meal. After eating canned, store bought green beans these were honey to our taste buds. Even two out of three kids agreed, mom’s beans were much better than those ugly, gross green things she shoves down our throats! Willis has been a picky eater since he was two…the doctor said it’d be a phase he’d grow out of…I guess I forgot to ask when!
On Friday, little Pudder and I headed out to the 93 degree/113 heat index weather and picked again – before you judge, at the time I had no idea it was really that hot. I’m starting to wonder if my iron counts are depleting again or maybe the Magic FarmHouse has given me a delightful power to endure heat. Pudder didn’t seem to mind and wasn’t hurt in anyway and the little trip to the garden resulted in some cherished memories.
It was a rewarding experience as we began to pick. The moments quickly turned entertaining as Pudder, asserted himself and decided he would be mama’s helper. I was picking beans from one side of the row and he started picking leaves. To change position and reach beans on each side, I straddled the row. All of a sudden I was stopped in my path as he ran in front of me, lifted his leg and attempted to walk with the row between his legs. The plants are about half his height so this was amusing to say the least.
Noticing the process wasn’t very effective I began picking the beans and making him a pile next to the row – my subtle way of giving him something to do. To my surprise he left his position which looked similar to a cowboy riding an over-sized bull and began picking up the beans, taking them to the bucket and dumping them in. Score!!
These are fun times! We finished the row and took our loot inside. I’m estimating a total of 3 quarts give or take a few. I LOVE to eat raw green beans…I know I’m a weirdo! It’s times like this that I should be called a Backwards Mama! LOL!
It’s sad to see how fast the summer is coming to an end. Even so, I love this time of year. It’s a time when you can harvest the seeds you’ve sowed and worked so hard to nurture throughout the spring and summer. Or, fall, I just planted my pumpkins, zucchini and cucumbers about two weeks ago but that’s another story for another day.
Now, where did my salsa recipe go?? The tomatoes are going to be next….
Here’s how it works….I give you a photo, you give leave me a caption in comments. Have fun!!
I’m going to try and start a few theme days…starting today, Wednesdays are Wordless Wednesdays. I’ll post a picture. Be creative and think of a title, then leave as a comment.