25 June 2017

Blue Moon Wisteria

Out in the horse's paddock is a vine that we've come to refer to as the monkey vine. It's thick and lush and slowly scaling up a choke cherry tree. For four years, we've lived on our beautiful homestead and never once did I notice the vine flowering...until this year.
Apparently, the monstrous vine is a blue moon wisteria and it produced thousands and thousands of interesting, fragrant flowers that stuck around for weeks. When Jack stumbled upon it as he was out walking the property, he called us all out for us to come and see.
Of course, the first thing Claire asked was if she could pick some and make a bouquet. Seeing as the plant wasn't in any want for flowers, we gave her permission and she picked a few, which she eventually turned into an interested albeit droopy flower arrangement.
The rest of us enjoyed the sights and wonderful smell that wafted through the air with every breeze.
Such a cool looking flower!
Not a day goes by that we don't discover something new at our place. Have to say, Mother Nature is pretty impressive and knows how to flaunt it.
Henry taking a whiff.
The flowers have gone now and all that's left are leaves, that provide a shady spot for the horses to retreat to when the sun gets too hot.
I've read that if we're lucky, the wisteria can bloom twice a year if the weather and soil conditions are good (and Jack thinks the horses aren't useful...they're  enriching the soil with every manure pile!). Here's hoping we get another round of blossoms and the beauty that comes with it!

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24 June 2017

Rumors

It's time to confess that the rumors are true: our house is up for sale.

There isn't one specific reason that the time has come but a lot of things have culminated, making the decision feel right. One of the biggest motivations is to find something with a bit more land. If I had my way, I'd have a couple hundred acres out in the middle of nowhere and live right in the center of it, surrounded by my family, a modest house, and lots of animals (maybe a couple thousand, if I really think about it). But, Jack's job requires he be at the office and Indy isn't exactly a small city (can't someone invent transporters already?!) so we're looking for something in the area.
We loooove the wood floor we put in the great room!
The work is mostly done (that was A LOT of goals we crossed off the list in about two weeks) and Jack and I joke that, if nothing else, the house is in really great shape and if we ended up staying, we'd get to enjoy our finished product. Either way, we're in for a win-win situation.
Our kitchen is so pretty now!
So, if you know of anyone looking for a solid, unique, totally redone house on five beautiful acres with awesome neighbors and a great commute to Indy, feel free to send them our way! 
We have new bunk beds AND carpet!
Our master bath is like a spa retreat. I'll miss it!
The Rehomesteaders' adventures will continue one way or another!

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23 June 2017

Only Sisters

Power tools? Check. Nose picking? Check. Princess dresses? Check.

Henry's a prime example of a boy with only sisters.


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11 June 2017

Girls Night, Boys Night

A few weekends ago, Jack took Henry to a campout with a bunch of men and boys from church, leaving the girls at home. It's hard to say who had a better time...
A friend had dropped off a delicious dinner to help out with our newest arrival which let me sit down with the girls, turn on a movie and put up my feet. The girls also did each other's makeup...
...drew a likeness of me (see the similarities?), danced to some Shakira, ate a couple of desserts (that's right, a couple), and stayed up past their bedtime.
Zoey has a pretty good view for bathtime.
Then, it was just Zoey and I for the remainder of the evening. I took advantage of the quiet and got some writing done while watching a movie of my choice--a real treat!
Snoozin' and writin'.
Meanwhile, somewhere deep in the forest, Jack and Henry were roughing it.
Jack took some treats with him and once he set up camp (which literally was a hammock in a tree with a tarp strapped over the top), they perused the forest for morel mushrooms (which they didn't find--bummer!), got plenty dirty, ate too much sugar, sat around a fire, talking, and also stayed up late.
Who's ready for bed?
Um, did I mention they ate a lot of sugar and stayed up late?
I think Henry was that sticky and dirty until he came home and I could give him a bath!
It's hard to say who had more fun: girls night or boys night.

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07 June 2017

Fluffy Ducklings

So cute!
I always try to make birthdays special around here but Evelyn's eighth birthday has got to take the cake. She had a party with friends, cupcakes at school, crab and steak for dinner...and some really cute ducklings happen to share her birthday and hatched while she was at school.
Some of them trying to peek out of their shells!
How did we get our hands on ducklings, do you ask? A friend who lives in town and has a beautiful pond behind their house had a nesting mallard nearby that, well, er, lost her head (probably a fox! Although I may be biased when it comes to predators eating fowl...). My friend asked if we had any broody hens and we were in luck! Four of the hens were trying to sit on eggs. Licorice was already occupied with a clutch, so we picked the next best hen and let her try.
A couple weeks later, I checked the nesting box in the morning and found some of the eggs had started to crack. What a miracle! I thought about leaving them under the mother hen but ultimately took them away. She and her broody sisters have a history of bickering over eggs, which ended in the death of some of our chicks. So, they were moved to the safety of a box and under the warmth of a heat lamp.
Aww!
It took several hours for the four ducklings who survived and were ready to hatch--it's a lot of work getting out of that shell! One ended up not making it which is always sad but, at the end of the day, we had three fluffy ducklings quacking away. While it would have been fun to keep them around, we found a better solution than our pondless property--my friend had a friend with a pond, a must for any duck. It wasn't even a day before they were crawling into their water bowl, splashing away as happy as can be.
Taking their early morning bath.
So cute! Maybe we'll get some to keep around here...

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04 June 2017

Only Yesterday

We have an eight-year-old!
It seems like only yesterday, Evelyn was born, we blinked, and now somehow she's recently turned eight. Children make the passage of time something incredible--one minute they're helpless, tiny newborns, the next, they're the ones taking care of the newest babies:
Evelyn has a knack for newborn whispering.
Even if once in a while, she still would rather be the baby.
Zoey's hospital hat is pretty darn stretchy.
As promised, we let Evelyn have her every-other-year birthday party with friends (I can only handle them that often as a natural introvert...on off years, we do just family, which is my preferred way of celebrating). Ten little kids came over for pizza, our bounce house (which we actually bought to use for her sixth birthday, the first party she had with friend and never ended up selling), decorating their own cupcakes ('cause I ran out of time and what kid doesn't think that's fun??), and games before sending them home all hopped up on sugar...
Thank goodness we built a big table.
...leaving me with only a slight mess, which Henry was more than happy to help clean up.

By clean up, I, of course, mean eat.
On Evelyn's actual birthday, she was quite excited to go to school, because when you're still young, school and birthdays still mesh well. We ate lunch with her and sent her with a hefty load of cupcakes to share with her class, with very clear instructions that she was not to bring any of them home. Being the kindhearted person Evelyn is, she managed to find enough people to share with.
Evelyn is the unfailing carnivore.
Over the years, Evelyn's tastes haven't changed much. For her birthday dinner, she requested steak and crab, among other summer staples, and for their birthdays, we oblige the kids. We sang, she blew out her wolf cupcake candles and she opened presents, still young enough to show her surprise and gratitude with each package.
The girls all got a new princess dress for a royal tea party my sister threw.
 Jack even put together her new big girl bike and took it for a test ride.
In our church, eight is also a special age because it's when children can choose to be baptized. I love the doctrine because as special as my faith is to me, Evelyn choosing to be baptized is her own personal decision to make a covenant with God, regardless of anyone else, including parents. She took the decision very seriously and begun reading her scriptures daily, highlighting words that were meaningful to her.
She set a goal to read the whole Book of Mormon before her baptism and accomplished it!
The day of her baptism was a special one (in part for my mom because it happened to be on her birthday--can I count that as one of her presents?). We traveled back to Nebraska over Memorial Day weekend and it was a pretty low-key service with only family in attendance. Evelyn had asked her grandmas to give talks, aunts and uncles to sing songs and say prayers, Jack to perform her baptism...it was a very special day for us.
We're so proud of our beautiful daughter and the person she's becoming. We catch glimpses of the mature, sophisticated, compassionate woman she will be but while we still get to enjoy her youthful innocence, goofiness, unique perspective on life, her creativeness, selflessness, and carefreeness. I hope those attributes will continue with her, regardless her age as she continues to grow. We love our firstborn and all that she is!
Happy birthday, darling Evelyn!
Always willing to help with a baby!

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01 June 2017

A Lucky Swarm

Sitting with his bees.
Mowing is one of those chores that I enjoy doing. It gives me the chance to have some time to sit and think about whatever I want. If the kids are crying or bickering, I sure can't hear them. It also gives me a chance to comb over our property, to drive by a good portion of it to see how the trees are growing or if the flower beds need weeding or if the fence is in need of repair. When I'm close, I also take a quick peek at the bees to see how they're doing.
Fixing part of the hive to keep the ants out.
For the past month, I noticed bees coming and going from an abandoned hive a friend had sold Jack last autumn. At first, we assumed the bees were just raiding what was left of any honey but the longer and more vigorously the bees came and went, I began to suspect that one of our hives had swarmed when we weren't looking and made a home in the empty hive boxes. Seriously, what could be more awesome than a new swarm of bees that literally flies into the hive you want it to?
Observing his lucky swarm.
If there is a downside to the situation, it's that the bees are right in the middle of a sea of poison ivy, which Jack is notoriously allergic to. Still, we can't complain about the blessing of more honey, even if it does cause a little itchiness.

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