Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I have a terrible habit of thinking I have everything I need to make a recipe. Reality tends to not match my line of thinking.  Most things I make are "inspires by the intended recipe"

The Hubby figured this out when he was still the Boyfriend and had automatically started asking "Are you sure you have everything you need? Did you look at the recipe? " by the time he was the Fiance. These days he has just come to accept if he is home before I have started cooking he might get an errand request.

More typically I am googling substitutes. Here is my question:

How many substitutes can you make before it's not the same recipe anymore?

Bonus Question: How many can you plan on making before drawing the line and saying "New Plan"?

Last night we had "inspired by Chicken Cordon Blue casserole" with no ham.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Photo Bomb - Winterish 2015

Merry Christmas

Captains Underpants?

Kiddos crafting.  Winter means lots of indoor time.

Helping Dad clear the driveway and play with the new skidsteer.

New Loot from Christmas.  
Puzzles and Boardgames.


Little Miss Mess Maker

Tissues taste delicious

Take a picture of my plane....ok, now take a picture of my silly face...
Tongues are always wagging around this joint.

The 3 Amigos

Crazy and Silly and Nice

The Hubby gave the awake children goodbye hugs before heading out this morning. Bear was in her high hair eating and the Bid D gave an impish smirk and said he wasn't giving a goodbye hug. So Daddy came to both of them and gave them bye-hugs.

I have a quirk about getting the last hug, so he had give me another one before heading out the door. The Hubby had to be ornery, because it's who he is.

Big D: Did Dad just give you a spank?!
Me: Yep, what are we going to do about him? 
Big D: Before we go-ed to the farm last day we asked dad to get us donuts and he said "wait here" 
Me: Did he bring back donuts? 
Big D: Nooo, he only gets us donuts when we go in the grocery store. 
(Duh Mom, drink your coffee and follow along) 
Me: Oh that Dad 
Big D: Yep. He is crazy and silly and nice.

I gotta say, it's actually a fairly accurate description.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Bear is one.

She wishes you all a Happy St Paddy's day and her Mommy hopes she doesn't celebrate it quite as enthusiastically as the years go by as mom did.

She'll always want cupcakes with mint frosting with me forever right?

Happy St Paddy's Day

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Just One Little Thing

I have been trying to do one little thing each day. Make a happy memory with my kids, each day. This isn't an entertain them and make sure they are nothing but happy a day long. This is a deliberate attempt to lighten up and do something with my kids.

I have so many memories of doing things with my Mom, Dad and Grandma. Mostly Mom and Grandma, we made Dad nervous sneaking up on him when he was sighting in rifles or welding in the shop. My memories include a lot of "it's time for a coffee break" and coming back to the house. He also tucked us in everynight. We crawled up in his lap and rode along when he fed cows. My favorite was catching him singing along with the radio, you couldn't let him know you heard him, or join in, because he would stop and I loved listening to dad sing. And how he would wink at me when he caught my eye.

With Mom, there was horseyback rides, baking cookies and cakes, homemade playdough, coloring, reading books, milking cows, crafts, putting together puzzles and about anything to keep us occupied. We lived next door to Grandma and she always had crafts, workbooks, construction paper, board games, gardening, and fun surprise activities like treasure hunts or a trip to town!

These small little activities which were cheap and usually quick are some of my favorite memories from my childhood. I want to make those kind of memories with my kids.  There is a lot of sending kids out to play, some pushing on the swings, watching them splash in the pool or run through the sprinkler in summer. Taking a quick walk around the block. Going to the playground and bringing lunch outside for a picnic. You get the idea.

Somedays, I want to do something extra special. Especially when we are housebound for an extended period.

Monday the Big D wanted a Wall-E costume. I made his brother one for a Halloween costume a few years ago. Plus D feels left out when his big brother is in preschool. So I measured him and grabbed a box from the garage. We cut out holes for arms and his head and grabbed paint and brushes.  Washable paint. He loved it, and really didn't get that dirty. I did the final touches and referred a toy Wall-E. It finished drying by the time we picked up J from preschool. Then I had to make improvements to the original because I didn't have as much detail as the new one.  My children played for hours with cardboard boxes that cost me $0 and about an hour and half of my time. As a bonus we were out of the subzero windchill temps. (Looking at the video I can tell baby sister entertained herself by emptying and scattering the contents of the laundry basket.)

Thursday we made kool-aid play dough. 5 minutes to make, with them taking turns dumping ingredients and stirring and several hours of playing at the table. How have I forgotten the joy of homemade playdough.  Limited colors is key. Too many options is a mess and a fight over who gets what. We made their favorite colors: red and green. Or cheery and lime as the boys love that the dough smelled good. (1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tsps cream of tartar, 1 packet kool-aide and 1 cup boiling water with a bit of oil. Mix, pour, stir, divide evenly and play)

Today I was looking online for ideas. I found a winner: (1) wrap wooden blocks with tin foil (2) have a treasure hunt. Cost $0 time to make under 5 min, entertainment value close to an hour. It was good practice for hiding Easter Eggs, even the baby liked finding treasure. They practiced counting skills to make sure they found them all and got clues for the few they missed each round. Next time I might dress them up like pirates....or do it outside.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Searching for Happiness

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace, taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that you will make all things right, if I surrender to your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with you forever in the next. Amen.
—The Serenity Prayer

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Calving Season has Begun

The inlaws were gone on a road trip, so I got to help on the farm this morning. Mainly my purpose was opening gates while the Hubby used the bale processor to spread some straw. Immediately the girls were happy to lay down. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to bed down in all the snow that came down this morning either.
I caught the Hubby off guard and got a picture....and he is smiling! This was while he was showing me what he had been working on in the shop. He won't be impressed when he sees it.

I was on gate duty. The cows didn't know who was more interesting to watch.

We keep the heifers in the corral until they calve. 
They are checked at least every two hours in case the need help. Heifers have a higher rate of the calf needing to pulled, but it is all around preferable to let nature take it's course. 
This is the first calf of 2015. She was born 3 days ago and rode with the Hubby in the feeding pickup to warm up while he got her momma in the barn. We were getting one a day after until this morning when 3 were born with another 3-4 looking to follow suite. Synchronizing worked.

The barn has several pens for the new moms and babies. They get hay and water and turned out to pasture after the littles are dry and determined likely not to chill down. Usually within 12-24 hrs. They get clean straw for bedding and hay and fresh water while in the pens. It also cuts down on the risk of babies getting trampled or "stolen" by heifers who haven't had their own calf but want to mother the baby without any means of feeding it.

This little one is a few hours old. Her mama did not appreciate me being a lookey-lou.

The old pig shed that will be torn down. I'm trying to talk the Hubby into building me a milking stall here. 3 sided, open to the south with a calf pen for separating the calf overnight. Then I can milk once a day and turn the pair out together. I don't think he is warming up to my milk cow dreams.

More pictures of the Heifers.

He didn't trust me to meet him where he wanted me. So I was on standby and told to "just follow"

I so enjoyed getting to come help. Even if it was just to open and close gates and put out a little mineral. I like to think of it as my gradual training to do the feeding when the Hubby is playing Army during Guard weekends.