30 March 2017

Flowers by Claire

Claire is a girl of many talents, one of which is the ability to see beauty in places that others overlook. While I would have glanced at the daffodils and grape hyacinths, I usually overlook dandelions and wouldn't have even given a second thought to a discarded chicken feather. But Claire? She sees a beautiful bouquet.
And now I do, too.

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25 March 2017

Grooming in the Rain

Dancer enjoying a good scratch.
 After dinner, we went outside to enjoy the (finally) nice weather. Evelyn and Claire went to go pick flowers and find fallen chicken feathers but Kate, Henry, and I went out to groom the horses, who've started shedding like crazy. I let them sit in the hay ring so they can reach the horses while they eat. It wasn't long before the few droplets of rain turned into a near deluge.
Guess that means we were just grooming in the rain.

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24 March 2017

Oreo Truffles

Jack asked me to make these for a Pi Day (you know, 3.14) work party (because aerospace engineers are so literal, that they were celebrating the math equation, not the pun on the word pie--all he cared was that they were spherical). Of course, I can't send them to work without saving a few for us to try. Needless to say, they didn't disappoint.

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 package Oreo cookies, any flavor
16 oz semi-sweet or white chocolate

In a food processor, crush the Oreos until they're a fine, powdery mixture. In a medium sized bowl, mix together with cream cheese until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate for half an hour, then roll into 1-inch sized balls and place on wax paper on a baking sheet. Place in freezer for half an hour to an hour. Melt the semi-sweet or white chocolate, then take the truffles out of the freezer and dip in the chocolate, returning them to the wax paper. Decorate with sprinkles, crushed Oreos, or opposite flavored chocolate. Refridgerate to harden, then serve.
Enjoy!
Thanks to The Capitol Baker for the recipe inspiration!

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22 March 2017

The Mud Princess Strikes Again

Claire has always had a thing for mud, which has led to her being dubbed The Mud Princess. She has made an appearance before, lathering herself up with the plenteous mud we seem to have around here.
Except this time, she's recruited others.

Sigh.

At least it was bath night and they didn't get their clothes too muddy.
Henry was the only one who wasn't sure about it...but who am I kidding? He plays in sawdust. Of course, he enjoyed himself.

He just didn't like being caught. Busted!

And at least playing in the mud is good for kids, right? Guess I'll just turn a blind eye. Play on, children.

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20 March 2017

Three Years Since

It's been three years since Jack reaffirmed how awesome he is and brought home Raven, a huge, HUGE surprise to me. Though she's still timid, she integrated quickly into the family and enjoys spending every minute she can with us. Sometimes she sneaks out the door and jumps in the car when I'm not looking, if the kids are outside playing, she's always standing nearby, she loves camping, jogging, and hotel stays with us.
Since coming home, she has learned to fetch (and is working on drop it) and shake and sit. She used to sleep in the mud room but now, prefers to snooze in the girls' room and she is sometimes quite silly. Jack will exercise with her, the horses no longer scare her, and she's fit in perfectly on the farm, never once killing a chicken or chasing a cat up a tree.
She spent the week so far with her BFF, my sister's dog, Ruby, chasing balls, taking naps, chowing down on treats and quietly watching all of the commotion from the back, with a wagging tail.
We love having Raven around, for her kindness and her sweet disposition, which easily forgives the sometimes naughty behavior she occasionally innocently exhibits (let's just say she really hates loud noises...). She really is the perfect fit for our family and it's hard to imagine life without her. We're hoping for many more happy years with Raven.
Happy Third Adoptoversary, Raven!

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18 March 2017

Lucky Us!

Fruit rainbow, cream cheese fruit dip, and gold candies? Win!
What's better than rainbows, candy, the possibility of spotting a leprechaun, or being decked out in green?
Family visiting for spring break!

Lucky us!

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12 March 2017

Our Little Monster

Our little monster!
It seems like only yesterday that Henry was born, we had the hardest time naming him, and we and his sisters fell instantly in loved with the Goliath of a baby boy. But here we are, on the cusp of another new baby, and it's been incredible to see how much everyone has changed in the last eighteen months, especially Henry--gone are the days of him as an innocent, helpless, baby. Now, he's practically a grown man.
Pumping iron.
I doubt Henry understands that soon, he won't be the baby anymore but until then, we'll let him enjoy the roll. So, he's living it up and we're enjoying the results of all his toddler antics.
Bucket-o-Henry

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09 March 2017

Bonafide

All the boys are loving the new tractor.
We've been in the market for a tractor for a loooong time. Seriously, we've been thinking of investing in one for years but the right tractor for the right price has never come up. Until recently. A friend from work offered his old but reliable tractor with several useful attachments for a great price. So, we used some of our tax return and became bonafide farmers, tractor and all.
Jack (and Henry, for that matter) have already bush hogged a neighbor's pasture, moved some round bales, hauled dirt, cleaned up chopped wood, and moved a shed.
Now, the next order of business is to put up a temporary tent to park the tractor out of the weather until something more permanent can be built. With a tractor, it'll be a breeze, right?
Lots going on in the back at the moment.

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07 March 2017

The Ties That Bind

In our family, there are a lot of ties that bind. Like mud squishing around in the mud...
...large machinery, especially tractors...
...farm chores (even better if there's a ride in a wheelbarrow involved)...
...making meals...
...patting the horses on the nose...
...climbing hay bales...
...talking to grandma...
...drawing and quartering daddy...
...or dogpiling on him.
Power tools...
...and ridiculous cat jokes.
Collecting the maple sap...
...and dragging it to the house to boil.
Sorting clothes for a new little sister...
...and doing art projects together.
Playing with the cats...
...and being whooped while playing games.
I think Henry's wondering if he knocked the tree down with his brute strength.
Clearing out fallen trees...
...and improving the home.
I love that there are so many things that link us together.

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