26 November 2017

Counting Your Blessings

Thanksgiving is usually one of those quiet holidays we enjoy at home because we aren't always able to make it back to Nebraska to celebrate with family. The time off work is a welcome reprieve (although honestly, we end up doing work around our property, like putting up pasture fencing) and we still make a traditional Thanksgiving meal. However, this year, our house was bustling with visiting family and friends.
Zoey enjoyed having a cousin her age visit.
The canoe and paddle boats got lots of good use.
We can't help ourselves and ended up doing a bit of work. Tractors make everything so much easier. This time, we set up a garden plot for next summer, right next to our fruit trees.
Stoney gave plenty of pony rides.
Raven has a new friend named Geo. They ran themselves silly chasing each other and running through the forest.
Jack tried to explain just exactly what he does in layman's terms.

Not as easy as it sounds when you're a rocket scientist.
We may or may not have snuck out of the house sans children to get shakes and onion rings.
We had our first bonfire, burning the last of our moving boxes and scrap wood from the chicken coop.
The weather was particularly beautiful and we enjoyed a lot of time outdoors.
 The girls made tie blankets with Grandma.
We escaped a volcano...
I tried to work on my nanowrimo goals but let's just say, there were a lot of distractions.
The day of Thanksgiving, I figured it would be a good idea to go out and burn off a few calories before stuffing myself silly.
So, I was able to cross another goal off my list and run a 5k this year. Not my best final time ever but I did complete it in half an hour.

(I was in a hurry to get home to eat some pie)
 Henry showed his friends around the farm while we were finishing up Thanksgiving dinner.
The meal was satisfying and the company was enjoyable.
Then came the crash.
Cramming everyone at our giant table.
The entire week of Thanksgiving was one to remember!
Pacifier twins.
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, counting your blessings and being grateful for this beautiful life.
All the Eliker grandkids with Grandma and Grandpa.

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25 November 2017

Over a Month

Picking out our pumpkins!
Time is one of those things that really intrigues me and when I really start thinking deeply about it, blows my mind. I mean, all those little seconds add up and before I know it, an entire month has gone by. October is always one of those months because it's my favorite and is always jam-packed with beautiful weather, Halloween, visitors, school breaks, and fun family time.
Over a month, the girls had their fall break...
Grandma can't eat anything without Henry also wanting to share.
...we had our first visitors at our new house...
I remember doing the same thing to my grandma!
...the girls gave Grandma a makeover...
...we started a few renovations, including new ceiling texture, lights, paint, and carpet.
We finished fencing in the cow pen, so now Dolly and Parton get to go outside when they want.
We also finished part of the chicken run, so they can go outside when they want.
Grandma learned how to milk Dolly.
We took a few breaks from cooking and enjoyed a few restaurants, including our annual pilgrimage to Steak 'n' Shake.
We visited an outdoor art museum where we enjoyed the kind of hands-on art we love.
I want one of these in our yard!
Perhaps one of most exciting experiences of the month was visiting the Indy Children's Museum and an arm on the parking lot guard rail malfunctioning and smashing in my parents' car windows. Since the kids were riding with them and they were a bit shaken up though only slightly scratched, the kids quickly forgot when they were gifted a few toys from the museum's gift shop from a nice security guard. All is right in the world!
To get in the spirit of Halloween, we visited a haunted trail which was fun and may have been scarier at night than it was in the daytime.
Look behind you, Evelyn!
We took the kids to a small town parade, which was about two blocks long and consisted mostly of Sherriff's campaigning. It would have been dull for the kids...
Yes, Claire is wearing a cat tail...it'd be weird if she wasn't wearing something cat related.
...had it not been for all the candy that was tossed in their direction. It took them a minute to realize all the Double Bubble Gum and suckers strewn on the pavement were for them. Let's just say they really enjoy parades now.
Get it!
Jack took us to a fishery, where we stocked up on red-eared sunfish (to help with snail control in the pond), grass carp (to help with algae control in the pond, and Jack let everyone pick out their own koi because, c'mon, koi are awesome.
We brought everyone home, adjusted them to the pond temperature, let them go and the smart ones hid while a few not-so-intelligent sunfish drifted about and were quickly snatched up by the bigger fish in the pond. Shucks. There goes $0.49!
One of the highlights of last month was attending a friend's wedding. We hadn't seen him in about ten years and the kids loved dancing and eating at the reception, which in true Rehomesteaders' taste, was in a barn.
We visited Jungle Jim's in Ohio and brought home a load of ethnic foods that are otherwise a challenge to find.
Jack's dream come true--more mushrooms than he could possibly eat.
We treated ourselves a few times to things like cheese fries and custard...
...and made sure our Halloween costumes all got good use out of them.
We went to the Children's Museum again and lifted weights...
...and participated in the circus, where we were, in true Rehomesteaders' style, farm animals.
Henry even braved jumping through a flaming hoop in the name of entertainment.

Okay, it wasn't really on fire but he would've if it was. His middle name is Daring.
We finished off the trip with a walk through the Wicked Woods.
There were plenty of parks...
...and playing at home...
...and endless drawing and coloring.
Claire literally drawing every animal in the zoo that she could think of.
Kate worked on her hairstyling skills...
...Henry played dress up with his sisters...
...and even Raven had a friend come for a visit.
We got the back pasture fence repaired and restrung...
...and got the horses (and kids) turned out on it. Nothing like having a wide open space to play in!
And that all happened in a month! It has already come and gone and I'm looking forward to it next year but for now, am content to have so many happy memories and goals accomplished.
Zoey being helpful by being happy in the stroller.
Hope you are having a fantastic autumn, too!

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