05 November 2017

As Planned

When butter goes terribly wrong.
I think sometimes our family gives off the wrong impression. That our life is easy and neat and going exactly as planned. That would be terribly unfair to let anyone believe. Oh, no, no. Life here is very, very normal and to prove it, here are a few photos to sum up the messy, back-breaking, terribly frustrating life we lead...
Getting the kids to start early on farm chores.
Stacking hay is quickly becoming our favorite Friday night pastime.

That's if you enjoy a sweaty, scratchy, dusty, heavy chore.
Though we're thrilled to have fencing at our new place, we're discovering just how much of it needs to be repaired. Good thing we've put up plenty of other fences before!
If replacing rotted posts or restringing high tensile wire isn't fun enough, the weeds have practically swallowed parts of our property whole and some of them are pokey, itchy, sharp, and downright bizarre.
Jimson weed, also known as devil's weed, devil's cucumber, devil's trumpet, thornapple, and stinkweed, among others...
I think we lived in our house a total of twenty minutes before we started repairing things. Little drips here and there...
...and some bigger drips outside.
It could literally be said that our house flows with milk and honey. Yes, someone spills milk every DAY. And having milked the cow myself, yes, I do cry over spilled milk.
Ah, Henry's the culprit. Again.
Jack cries over spilled honey...
...and I cry over spilled feed.

Something is always being spilled around here.
Though our house is nice and big and we love, love, LOVE the land, we've been working on covering the weird ceiling texture, getting new carpet, and giving everything a fresh coat of paint. Of course, that means our house looks like a tornado tore through it while we're getting everything done.

I hate messes. But, that's the name of the game with home improvements.
Usually, our bedroom is the one oasis in the sea of clutter. Not at the moment. It's under repair, too, which means I have to close my eyes and pretend it's already neat and tidy.
I spy, with my little eye, an adorable baby.
 One word: manure.

(As far as I know, it never ceases).
Thanks for dumping the manure, Claire!
If the cats are good at one thing, it's taking care of themselves. That usually means we find the evidence lying around somewhere that we're sure to find it.

They're so proud of themselves.
If it's not manure or animal remains, it's bites and kicks and scratches. Just ask Henry when our old rooster, Twinkle, got him a few months back. He and I are now nose scar twins!
And the crying. Someone is always crying.
 ALWAYS.
But despite a lot of our life not going as planned, effortlessly, and without sweat, pain, and bone-deep weariness, we love it. I think this picture sums it up perfectly:
What's so special about it? In the midst of the chaos and clutter as I was scrambling to paint before getting new carpet in, the three youngest laid out blankets to have a "picnic" and look at books together.

The kids are always a good reminder that happiness is independent of circumstance.
 Jack's good at finding the fun in things, too.

Who knew our house could double as a jungle gym?

And if a house isn't enough, we have a whole barn to monkey around in! 
We're learning to embrace the mess.

And by we, I mean, well, me.
And if you have manure on your hands, it probably belongs to something that's at least cute. 
Smile for the camera, Parton!
 And if you're lucky, manure means you have a horse, that will provide hours upon hours of riding and adventure. It's my childhood dream come true!
And if we don't have time for a ride, a good grooming session is a wonderful substitute.
Dancer lives for a thorough brushing.
A few cups of spilled milk and crying is all forgotten with smiles like these.
I'd be a liar if I pretended everyone was all smiles all the time but when the kids are all getting along, it makes the entire spirit of our home incredibly happy. I can never discount the joy that my children bring.
Henry's always good for a laugh.
Though messes and dirty clothes and clutter bother me, I really am trying to let it go. If their clothes get dirty climbing trees, oh well, they're just clothes. If they track in sand from playing in the pond, oh well, we've got a broom. Childhood only comes once!
Such a small trade-off for adorable children.
Most of the time, I'd say we're all pretty much best friends.
I don't think anyone's life goes as planned and as much as anyone would like to believe, nobody's perfect. But, that doesn't mean that life can't be exciting, fulfilling, challenging, blissful, and incredible.
We will gladly take the struggles with the triumphs, the sadness with the joy since together, everything will always work out.

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