Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Making Memories

We were fortunate enough to have our first visitors this past weekend.  Do you think I took one picture?  All I can say is, we were busy!

The only evidence I have are these photos taken by Jacob before and during their trip.  They somehow ended up on my computer.  Along with about 56 lego shots, oops!  I think there was some movie making going on around here. :)

My Mom and Dad brought two of our nephews down for the weekend.  We were so glad to see them!

The kids did a whole lot of playing outside, the weather was beautiful.  The guys organized the garage.  My mom and I squeezed in a little shopping.  But, mostly we just enjoyed each others company.

We'd like to have them back today (or the day after last night, as Owen might say) but we will just have to wait until Thanksgiving when the whole gang arrives!

Thanks again for making the trip!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

All Things Peanut

Part of the fun of moving to a new location, especially a different region of the country,  is trying to identify just what is in all those fields.  My Dad trained me well, on corn and soybeans, but moving here has stumped me a little bit.  The cotton was easy, tobacco too.  But the difference between peanuts and sweet potatoes?  A little more challenging.  It wasn't until to peanut fields were turned over, were our guesses confirmed.

Do other people spend this much time discussing fields?  I've even been known to chase down a tractor or two, just to see where they are headed!

Some fun peanut farming videos.  Lots of tractor action!

So interesting.  Now we understand the symbiotic relationship between peanuts and cotton, never would have guessed that!

George Washington Carver activities

Peanut Butter Bird Feeder

Yummy and cute Peanut Butter Buttons

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zoo Trip

Madeline put this video together after we got home.   She took most of the pictures herself.

Ben's new "say cheese" pose.

We had a great afternoon at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.  It's a beautiful place, a very natural setting.  It is about a 2 hour drive for us, but we hope to go back soon.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

This Is Our Adventure

Adventure.  Defined as an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.  We, as humans crave adventure.  As Christians we are called to a life of adventure.  God doesn't want us to play it safe, to be content.  He wants us strike out and spread his word, to risk it all to do His work here on earth.

The need for adventure runs deep for every American.  Our country was founded on the backs of adventurers.  Imagine if the pilgrims had been content to stay in Europe?

See Jen?  You had fun!

I believe every childhood should include adventure.

My childhood adventure took the form of a horse farm.  The summer before my freshman year of high school, my parents decided to by a horse boarding facility.  They have always been business minded people.  My Dad owned a tire business and my Mom turned her hobby of cross stitching into a small business.  Adventures in their own right, no doubt!  So when the opportunity came up to buy the farm, they jumped on it.  It was the busiest summer of our lives, I have never worked so hard.

My horse Razzberry.

My parents sold the farm about 10 years later, but the lessons we learned will last a lifetime.  I learned what it felt like to put in a hard days work.  I learned to put up hay, drive tractors and mow lawn.  I learned responsibility and teamwork.  I spent a great deal of time with my Dad.  We had many good conversations over the manure spreader.   It wasn't always easy, many days I hated having to do chores.  I wanted to be a normal teenager with less responsibility and more time to spend with my friends.  Now, as an adult I realize how lucky I was.  We made family memories that will last a lifetime.  We share a bond that we may not otherwise have.  I am grateful.

I've always been a little sad that my kids have never had the opportunities I had.  I grew up visiting my Grandfathers farms.  Running and playing in wide open places.  Riding on Grandpas lap in the combine.  Walking in the woods and working in the garden with Grandma.  My kids are growing up in the city.  Will they experience the satisfying feeling of falling into bed after an exhausting days work?

My maternal Grandfather was an adventurer.  At 15, he left his home in Nebraska and hitched a ride to Michigan, following the opportunities.  He had a few family members in Michigan, but for the most part he was on his own.  He managed a farm for years until he saved enough to buy his own.  He was a successful farmer, raised 4 children, and lived a long happy life.

My sister, Jen, and her family have found family adventure through their adoption experiences.  They have traveled to three countries, incorporate their children's cultures into their daily lives, and plan to return to their children's countries of origin in the future.  Adoption in its own right is an adventure.  Adding in the international aspect ups the ante.  Oh, and, raising 6 kids is a daily adventure. :)

My brother met his wife (In Nebraska!)  while driving over the road truck.  An adventure for sure!

I've decided that moving is our family's adventure destiny.  We've tried to get away from it, but it just keeps finding us.  We've often joked that we should just buy a really cool motor home to live in, save the packing so often!  Learning to embrace our adventure, instead of fighting it will be our challenge.  Slowly we are seeing the positive side.

Our kids are learning how to deal with life changing situations.  We are coming together, creating our own family memories.  Through stress and tears, we are making each other laugh.


Jim and Marney.

The girls are learning to mow lawn!  Learning that yes, Marney, it is possible for your butt to sweat!

We by no means live on a farm, but our little acre and a half is proving to be a challenge and adventure for our city kids.  Already they have scouted out locations for a tree fort, dug out the bow and arrow set from Christmas, found some teeny tiny, yet unidentified frogs, and just felt the sense of freedom that comes with a little room to roam.

They are learning skills that will prepare them for their own life adventures, what ever they may be.  Chances of them all finding jobs and establishing lives near us are slim to none in this changing world.  We can either embrace this fact, or fight it.   Changing my frame of reference from what I am losing, to what they are gaining, has made all the difference.  After all, this is not just our family adventure, it's their childhood adventure!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Corners of Our New Home

Other than having to spend many hours cleaning (bathrooms and kitchen, yuck!) a house that sat empty for almost a year, it was move in ready.

Fresh paint, wood blinds, and new carpet included.

In fact the paint color that the bank chose is almost exactly the same yellow as our previous home.  Making decorating a snap, and helping make it feel like home immediately.  The only thing we have invested in, are a few new rugs.  All the rest easily found a home

Dry bar turned therapy/craft closet.  Not crazy about all the glass, I could organize better with something different, but it's fine for now.  I'll have fun cruising pinterest for ideas. 

Front entrance.

Of course every homeschool family proudly displays their bazillion books!  Don't they?

Little nook leading the Master.  Our wedding sampler made by my Mom found a pretty little home here.  I smile every time I walk by. 

Great Room

More books!

The kitchen...I'd show you more, but it's a mess!  Same goes for the upstairs.  I'll have to save that for another day, when it's clean.   In 2020, perhaps.

We are dealing with water that has a very high iron content.  I don't really want a water softener, thinking more along the lines of a whole house water filtration system/iron removal thingamajigy.  Any thoughts?  Need to do something soon before all our rust stains have rust stains!  

Monday, October 3, 2011