Barn Yard Tour with the Animals

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 9.10.38 AM.png

Welcome to the Barn Yard! Check out this VIDEO and see what all is happening on our little farm on these cold winter days!

We will have a look at the Horses, Chickens, Cows, Pigs and of course the Kittens all come along for the tour!

Enjoy

-A

Don’t forget if you like what you see to subscribe to my You Tube Channel 

Why I stay up “ALL” night

How Much Sleep Do You Get_.jpg

From the time we get out of bed in the morning until the time we all lay our heads down at night, I am “on” and even then its only a temporary pause before either morning arrives, the little ones have a bad dream or someone needs something in the middle of the night.

ALL DAY I am needed, I am touched, climbed on, loved and loathed, I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many “mom” calls I get. I wipe bums, and change diapers. I make snacks; I make meals that by the time I get to sit and enjoy are cold. I plan games, read books, find new and educational activities to do, make plans for outings, and play dates, I am needed for so many different things each and every day. I rarely have a minute to myself, and even when I do find a minute to enjoy a couple sips of hot coffee I am still listening for the next emergency, disaster, or fight to break out! I am not complaining here, these are simply the truths of my adventures in motherhood and why by the end of the day I sometimes make a choice to stay up just a little too late!

I love my kids dearly, they are well cared for, we have a lot of fun, even the part about being needed albeit tiring is also rewarding. We are a very busy and active family so if I want to spend a night binge watching my new favorite Netflix show or playing cards and having a few too many beverages with my friends then I’m going to! And I am not going to feel bad about it! It’s my treat! It’s my time to laugh with other adults, talk about something other than who’s turn it is with that toy, or watch yet another episode of Paw Patrol, it’s my time to put my feet up and relax, even if I am folding the one hundredth load of laundry while I do it!

I think there is a balance in creating this life of family, children, work, or whatever commitments we make as parents! Sometimes staying up to have some “me” time helps in finding that balance! My children don’t suffer! They might get an extra cuddly momma for a day here and there if I’ve chosen to stay up really late, but they don’t do without!

How many times have I been asked… why don’t you just go to bed? Aren’t you tired in the morning?

YES!

My answer is yes

 

Of course if I went to bed at an early hour every night and got the rest I “need” I would feel much more energized every morning! I mean let’s be honest I’m not new to this!

But…

That is what Coffee is for!Todays Good Mood is Sponsored by Coffee

And…

Sometimes I have to choose not to! Sometimes I have to look at the big picture and know that if I go to bed when my kids do every night, although I would be well rested I would also go a little nutty!

Not to brag but my kids are awesome sleepers, we did a lot of work to get to here and if you are interested you can read more HERE. But seriously I pat my husband and I on the back for this! It really is sanity saving to have good sleepers! They are long on their journey to dream land by the time I’m ready to sit down and put my feet up, for guests to come to play cards, or to get a babysitter so Steve and I can go out for a bit.

As parents we are constantly reminded to put ourselves first. Taking care of ourselves is so important so we can take care of our families! So some nights I might be in bed by 7:30, and sometimes I might be up until the wee hours of the night watching just one more episode, reading just one more chapter or playing just one more hand of cards, but it all balance out in the end and my family is better off for it!

-A

 

January Winter Garden/Yard Tour

Hey Everyone

For anyone who is interested in checking out the Garden/Yard in January around here check it out on video HERE

I am so looking forward to spring and planting soon!!

 

Flowers.jpg

“Turkey Brine” -or- “The Tale of the Humungous Turkey”


35 lbs of turkey to cook and we used this amazing brine to prep the bird before cooking him… for most of the following day!!

The Recipe 

Mix:

  1. 4c. Water
  2. 1c. Salt
  3. 1c. Brown sugar

Repeat this process until there is enough brine to cover the whole bird in a bucket/container/cooler (whatever receptacle you are using) or in the case of the bird in the photo it was a large rubbermaid container!!

Add:

  1. Two oranges quartered
  2. Two lemons quartered
  3. Six sprigs of thyme
  4. Four sprigs of rosemary
  5. Ice

Keep bird submerged for 12-24 hrs and then roast as you usually would!

Additional Notes:

The rough guide for turkey roasting is 20min per pound at 350°F. This is for a thawed or fresh bird, if you are starting from a frozen state you’ll need a little longer… But it’s always good to thaw your bird in the fridge before cooking anyway!

The final internal temperature of the bird should be 165°F and although it is not reccomended to cook stuffing inside the cavity anymore but if you are a rebel like me and still do, the stuffing should also reach a temperature of 165°F also!

The Story

Steve decided that we needed a “bigger” than your average grocery store bird for this particular gathering, when he arrived home this became a mild understatement! So he conferred with a co-worker and friend who grows turkeys and lined up to buy one from his family!

I was ecstatic!

Fresh turkey!

Yes please!

If you are a regular reader you know we have raised a little bit of everything here but turkeys have not been one of those things we have tried yet!  Although one day I would like to.

Steve returned home with the bird and at 35lbs my jaw dropped, where on earth were we going to cook this thing?

We made the brine… We submerged the bird into a huge Rubbermaid container and let it sit in our cold porch filling ice as we needed for the next 24 hrs.

Friends of ours were having a holiday party and so we headed down the road and proceeded to have a few too many beverages and to stay up just a little too late (or early in the morning as it were) and by that time we needed to get this humungous bird stuffed and in the oven, so while I mixed up enough stuffing to fill the cavity Steve fought, wrestled, and struggled to make the bird fit in a roasting pan, and that was the little battle, the big battle was to follow and it would be when the two of us attempted to load the big fowl into the oven… I felt much like the mean old witch from Hansel and Grettal – and how fitting, there was even a house made of candy on the counter! We shoved and adjusted and maneuvered and finally got the door shut and the oven turned on! Then we laid down for 20 whole minutes before the children began to wake up!

DSC01327.JPG

For the remainder of the day we were exhausted but our house smelled delicious and that night, and for MANY after we ate delicious bite after bite of that ginormous bird!!

-A

My Baby is 2!

Having a Two Year Old is like Having a Blender that you Don't have the Top For.jpg

Where does the time go?

We hear this and say this all the time but my baby just turned two and this past weekend while we celebrated, he ran around the house with is sisters and his cousins, played hard, ate so much cake his poop turned blue, and sang along “Happy Birthday” to himself!

I loved all my children the day I met them and even before as they tumbled around rearranging my internal organs.

Looking back I miss the snuggles, I miss breastfeeding, and I miss ONE basket of toys to pick up at the end of my day! I miss their smiles and cooing chatter, I miss sitting and staring at these perfect little beings we created with so much love my heart felt like it would burst. Wow those were the days I think when I trip over yet another Paw Patrol figurine or step on a Lego and realize it might be time to amputate!

BUT

SERIOUSLY

I. LOVE. THIS!!!

I have discovered that there are different parenting personalities and we all feel different about our children growing up! I fit under the category of moms who enjoyed the baby stage but am way more excited when their children can wipe their own butts! So when I hear people tell them to stop growing so fast or that they miss when they were babies, most of the time I think…

REALLY?

Back to the poop? The sleepless nights, and sleep training? The crying and I JUST DON’T KNOW WHY!!! The carrying THREE car seats at once, even if my arms looked amazing! I used to feel guilty like I was going to miss the moment in front of me, as I would look forward to the days my children could do more for themselves.

Now I know what I was looking forward to. And it didn’t make me loose out on enjoying all the milestones, and moments when they were little; it doesn’t make me less appreciative of the good days! I just know now that it’s okay to want to be here now! And to look forward to some other things that are to come!

Henry has always been one to work hard to keep up with his sisters, he rolled over for the first time at 17 days old, he walked at 9 months, he started eating solid foods at 6 months and never looked back! While the girls learned how to climb the Rock wall last summer he was learning right along beside them, and although he often is a little more clumsy he’s right up there wanting to do everything they do!

There are struggles at every stage of growing your children; my dad always reminds me that the first 40 years of parenting are the toughest! But I am going to enjoy this stage, look forward to the next and reminisce about the fun stuff from the last!

I love that my baby is two and can’t wait to see all the accomplishments he makes in the year to come!

-A

Final Thoughts on Being a Minimalist!

.My House Looks Like I Lost at a Game Of Jumanji.jpg

Well that was hard!

So I have sat down now to reflect on the process of the minimalist challenge and came up with a few thoughts along the way.

For anyone who has checked out my latest VLOG over on my You Tube Channel you know that I have some new things coming out this week to help me accomplish the goals I originally but unknowingly set out to complete with the minimalist challenge.

I think that when I started the minimalist challenge I thought I was going to have a much less cluttered house. This did not happen! I think I would need to finish it over and over for a full year in order to remove all the junk from my house and I am just not up for a yearlong challenge like that!

If my math is correct (and for those who know me well know I don’t math) I rid my house of 600 things over the course of the 30 days. That’s a lot but it really didn’t seem to make a dent in the cluttered areas of my home. And it didn’t feel like any area specifically was cleaner than when I started.

The minimalist life style (although I admire those who can live it) is not exactly for us. We need stuff. I have three kids, we have activities, we have commitments, and we live a long way from “the store” like any store. I shop at Costco and buy in bulk whenever I can. We have two fridges and two big deep freezers because if I can, I attempt a once (maybe twice) a month grocery trip, outside of the food we grow and raise ourselves. I bring more things into my home than I could possibly remove at the same rate, and I just don’t see myself going to the extremes of living with less!

I think that was my flaw going into all this. I didn’t have respect for the lifestyle because it wasn’t the life style I was looking for as much as a purge. So purge I will do.

A Spring Clean of sorts. I feel if I set up the cleaning process within the purge I will accomplish more of what I thought I would get out of the original challenge.

So the goal will be to choose an area once a week (there are many to pick from) and clean it. Remove the crap, box up stuff to take to donation, throw out garbage, re organize, and clean an area all at once. I feel this process although it might take longer in the moment, will allow an entire area of my home to be cleaned up and feel less cluttered. Immediate gratification always feels better!

I will be filming, and talking about the process over on my VLOG so please click SUBSCRIBE over on my channel if you are interested in the updates. I wont be doing a continuous update here on this blog as I did with the minimalist challenge, I will be reserving this space for my writing rather than blogs with only click content!

So here is to a cleaner home and less clutter!

-A

 

 

 

Ready to be Healthy

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 9.27.29 AM.png

Christmas break is always so relaxing, I’ve spent a month cleaning, and baking, and cooking, and prepping, to relax for the days thru the holiday it self. Then the New Year rolls around and I have a heck of a time getting up and running again. Its tough to get moving and motivated to start cleaning and cooking and baking again after a nice break.

Well this year has been especially difficult.

We’ve all been sick!

I mean lay down don’t move flu bug sick and it just seems to linger. Already 1/3 of the way in to the month and we have been quarantined to our home for days. My poor little ones are asking if we have any friends who can come play and they just don’t understand why we can’t hang out with other kids right now.

Although I have managed to keep the house relatively clean, my Christmas tree is still standing, I just don’t have the energy in me to take it down. We have watched all the ice age movies X3 worked our way thru the Toy Story Series, and Paw Patrol has been my best friend when I need them to just sit down, conserve their energy, and rest their bodies. We have read every book we own and I started to pull out the “special” ones (the ones that are so sweet they make mommy cry!), we have put all the puzzles together at least 3 times. I have enough art to hang on the fridge for the whole year, or maybe I just need another fridge! We have snuggled and cuddled and fought and cried for days. And now I am just ready for this sick family to get healthy and get back to our busy lives that we love.

Of course I say this and always in the back of my mind I think about those families who are on many more days of laying low for much more serious reasons and I try to use perspective to remind myself that we will be thru this flu soon and life will return to normal.

In the midst of it though it’s still tough, and I am one who will say this sucks.

After I had the girls, I had a friend who always would correct her baby woe complaints by saying “but oh I only have one it must be so much harder for you with two, I shouldn’t complain.” This always frustrated me. Babies are tough, no matter how many you have, and by that logic the only person who can complain is the lady out there who had the most babies at a time!

Like 8 was it, or more?

We are all people, we all have struggles, whether it’s the number of children, the age of the children or how close the children are in age, everyone is entitled to their own limits, we are all different and our strengths and struggles look different to each of us. And although perspective is good we are allowed to have a bad day, we are allowed to feel that a part of our lives is not easy just because its not easy for us we to not need to compare the struggle we have with someone else to the point of feeling guilty that we are having a tough time.

All that being said it’s also not healthy to sit in self-pity over the struggles. It’s important to move thru these tough times and make sure to find the light in the day, its good to smile, laugh or at least sit with contentment at some point thru a rough day. If we spend the whole day, or many days wallowing, the problem not only sticks around but new problems arise from all the perpetual gloom.

So, go ahead and say this day, week, month, or year so far SUCKS… but then build that puzzle again, snuggle your babies, and giggle when they do at those silly characters on their favorite show, read the story that makes you cry and try to find at least one thing to laugh at today!

– A