Friday, September 2, 2016

Have A Relaxing Weekend.

What are you up to this Labor Day weekend? 

We have no plans. Hopefully on the radar is finishing up a few house projects, like painting the pole barn, sanding & staining some wood for a kitchen shelf and hopefully getting started on splitting and stacking wood for our new outdoor wood stove. 

Here are a few links for your coffee break this morning:

This is an interesting idea for your surplus zucchini.

Never made it up here this summer, hopefully next year!

A simple, no-sew door latch cover, perfect for nap time. 

& The Olympic games in picture, then and now.

Hope you have a restful, stress-free weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Widget Schmidget.

It was brought to my attention that the Instagram widget on the side bar over there  ------->
was not working correctly. Little mo. Anyways, it's fixed now (or should be!) 

Check it out because Adalynn's really been on a roll lately :) 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Adventures Outdoors with Baby: Handy Dandy Items to Make It Easy

As the summer is winding down and we're heading in the the lovely, crisp fall season, I thought it'd be nice to look back share with you a few things have made our lives easier while having our little one outdoors. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Richland Horse Trials

Saturday morning, 5:15AM, my alarm went off. Normally, Adalynn would be waking me up for a little snack, then I'd be hitting the hay again for a few more hours. Instead, I rolled out of bed and got in the shower, then headed down to Richland for a day spent with horses. The only reason I'll get out of bed at five in the morning. 

The Richland Park Horse Trials takes place once a year. It's from Thursday through Sunday and is a triathlon for horse & rider teams, who complete in dressage, show jumping and, my favorite, cross-country. 

When I arrived, I found my post and my 'people', where they explained what I'd be doing for the day. I was on the stadium jumping crew, which meant that I, along with some other lovely people, sat at the edge of the course and waited until a horse & rider team knocked a pole down - then I ran myself out and put the pole back up. 

We did this for ten hours. You would think it felt like forever, but it actually went pretty fast. Besides that it poured for about five hours...yea. 

And this jump made me giggle because I knew Kelly would love it when he saw it, which he did. 

The whole event takes place in the middle of a giant corn field. The owners set up this property for the sole purpose of the horse trials once a year. It's pretty amazing. All the proceeds this year benefited the Cheff Center, a therapeutic riding center that's just a short while down the road (and the first center I ever volunteered at!).

The friend who got me to volunteer, her name is Mary. We decided that next year, we'd each pick something we both wanted to do so that we'd be able to switch back & forth a couple times throughout the day, that way we'd get to see more of what was going on.  

When we arrived on Sunday, we decided to walk the cross country course first. They have two different divisions, the advanced division in which the Olympians were riding, then the novice/training divisions. 

This cross country course is amazing. I tell you, even if you aren't a horse person, if you get the chance to watch a cross-country even, take it. It's unreal. It goes over fields, through wooded areas and across water holes. 

These riders are seriously the bravest. They take their horses rip-roaring around the countryside, jumping bushes and trees, down hills and over jumps in water - and it's all a race to see who gets the fastest time. The trust between these horse & rider teams is amazing. This is definitely one thing that's on my bucket list!

We took a little lunch break in which us adults partook in some delicious hot dogs and miss Adalynn had some sweet potatoes. From there we went over to the show jumping area where, as soon as we arrived, an announcement came over the loudspeaker to say that the show jumping had been completed for the day. Boo. Boo-hoo. We were super bummed because it was the advanced division jumping that we missed.

Apparently, the show usually runs all day on that Sunday. The rumor is that the Olympics being hosted this year caused the participation to be down compared to other years. Reason being, the Olympian riders use the Richland course as practice in the years between the Olympics, hence the reason the Advanced Division was done so early. 

So instead, we watched as people spoiled their horses a little, letting them roll, graze and get lots of back scratches for all of the hard work this weekend. 

It was a great weekend. When you're surrounded by 400 + horses, how could it not be, right? Also, there was a horse named Sirius Black - obviously he was my favorite :)  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy Monday!

Hello, Lovelies.

How was your weekend? 

Have you heard of the Richland Park Horse Trials? That's where I spent my weekend! One of my friends (and a dedicated Renew volunteer!) told me that she has worked the trials for the past several years, that all of the workers are volunteers. Seeing all of the amazing horse & rider teams for free and up close and personal? Nothing better. Saturday I worked the stadium jumping crew, then Sunday we went up to watch the cross country. Tomorrow I'll be back with lots of pictures of these amazing teams...did I mention there were Olympic riders there? biggie, right? :)

In bigger news - Adalynn is crawling. Crawling

She's gone rogue people, and it's a scary thing. We have an 8-month old, crawling daughter. Pinch me, I love her. 

Enjoy your day! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sweet Corn Picking

Saturday was quite a day.

Why you ask? 

It was a day of corn. And I do mean a day of corn.

Up at the farm, Kelly's grandpa has always had a sweet corn patch. A giant sweet corn patch. They never sell the corn, it's just for friends and family to eat, eat, eat and eat some more. 

Saturday we decided it was time for our own little harvest to stock up for winter. We picked corn. We shucked corn. We cut corn. We froze corn. 

Then, you know what we did?

We grilled corn. And ate corn. 

Here are a few pictures from the day! 

Our handsome chauffer.

Baby carriers are the most awesome thing. She loves being in her carrier, walking around and looking at everything. Although you have to be careful because I definitely whacked her in the face with a corn stalk (!)

Kelly asked, "Why's her face all wet?" I hit her with a dewy cork stalk, alright?!

He loves nothing more than eating an ear of corn straight off the stalk. Weird, right?

A girl after her daddy's heart right there. 

Here was our haul.

And a close up, in case you didn't see clearly. Yes, we will be set on sweet corn for the winter - woohoo! 

Then we had to go up and show great-grandpa how she loved to mow down. Of course he got a kick out of it (that smile!). 

She went from no hands...

to both hands...

to all by herself! 

When we got home, I started shucking while Adalynn played on the floor. I've never liked corn (that is, until I started eating it fresh - what a difference!) so I wasn't the most adept at shucking. I'm kind of a gentle person by nature but about a quarter way through I was getting so frustrated. I finally learned you just have to rip those puppies down and off. Nothing gentle about it. Grab and rip.

All of a sudden, the weather alarm on Kelly's phone went off with a tornado warning. So we booked it to the basement. Then pops in my sister and I asked if she was aware there was a tornado or what in the world she was doing driving around. The sirens in town were going off, it was pretty erie. 

As soon as it was over, we went back outside and I forced her to help me cut, bag and freeze all of the corn from the day. All but 8, which we threw on the grill to go with our steak. It was a yummy dinner and well worth the work! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Zoo Adventures

Last Friday, Adalynn got to spend the day at the zoo with her sweet older cousin!

Kelly and I are zoo freaks. We love zoos. Any vacation we go on, we always try to make it to a zoo nearby. Our favorite so far has been the Omaha zoo.

We decided that Adalynn couldn't go her first year of life without visiting the zoo. I was a little bit bummed imagining hat she might not be able to actually see the animals or know what she was looking at, but was I pleasantly surprised!

We chose to go to John Ball Zoo, which is on the small side as far as zoos go, but it was the perfect zoo for her age. All of the animals were so close that there was no mistaking, she knew exactly what she was looking at. It was so neat to watch her watching them.

Close to the entrance is the aquarium, so the first exhibit we saw were the penguins. We rolled her stroller right up to the glass and the penguins were swimming just a couple feet in front of her face.

She did not like it. And it was hilarious. She looked at them...looked at me...looked back at them with a look of terror, then started crying.

No, I didn't just keep laughing (okay, maybe for a second), instead just grabbed her out of the stroller and she was much more content to watch them from my lap. Now her cousin on the other hand, he was loving them!

And tigers have the biggest heads I've ever seen. I would like to cuddle a tiger. You know, like a toothless one that's been declawed.

Here are a few pictures from the day...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fishing Tournament & A Lean-To

We had another pretty big weekend. Friday evening, Kelly & a few of his buddies started putting up the lean-to on the back of the pole barn. 

We have one too many vehicles and lawn mowers (three lawns mowers anyone?!) So this extra storage should cover at least a vehicle plus a bit. When it's finished, we'll finally be able to paint the back to match the rest of the pole barn, which should make our neighbors happy not to look at a mis-matched, puke green & white building anymore. 

Saturday and Sunday were spent in Saugatuck helping with a fishing tournament. It was a beautiful weekend spent with friends & family!

Here are a few pictures, if you're interested...

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Day at Mackinac

Last week, we decided on a whim to head up north. Kelly's brother lives about an hour away from Mackinac, so we stayed at his house in a cute little tourist town. 
Here are some pictures from our weekend, if you'd like to see...

Monday, July 11, 2016

At the Blueberry Patch

Sunday, we went blueberry picking. One of Kelly's old coworkers has a blueberry patch, so we took a little trip over there and picked some for ourselves. 

Here are a few pictures, if you'd like to see! 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

New Chicks Have Arrived

A little over a year ago, we picked up 16 teeny baby chicks from a hatchery a few towns away. We had intentions of keeping half for laying and half as meat birds. Well, that didn't happen and we kept them all as layers. We might have had an attachment issue. 

A year later, we've lost half of our flock. One was a rooster, a couple died of natural causes, a big nasty neighbor tomcat got one and a stinking fat raccoon took another couple. 

Our egg supply was dwindling.

So we decided to put in another order. This time, we ordered 24 chicks. Twelve for laying and twelve for meat birds. Except they sent us 25, which is fine with me - bonus bird ;)

We're gonna do it this time. When they're big and fat, we are going to butcher them.

Not we. Ick. I could never. Maybe if I was on a deserted island... Probably not even then.

But we will be getting them butchered. Promise.

I almost ordered a turkey for Thanksgiving. I was this close. I think I will next year. 
Here they are, our new peepers:

That's the box they were shipped in. We would've like to have picked them up, like we did last year, but because of the avian flu they no longer allow pick-ups. 

We got back from vacation on Monday and I thought, shoot, I still need to order the chicks. So Tuesday morning I got online and placed an order - an hour later I received an email that a shipping label was created, an hour after that I received notice that they'd shipped! I couldn't believe it. So miss Adalynn, her aunt Keeks and I had to take a quick trip to the store for some food supplies.

Wednesday morning at 7:30am I received a phone call from the post office that our chicks were there to pick up. I could not believe it. Less than twenty four hours. It was amazing. 

They were all super healthy when they got here, we put them in their tank and they started running all over the place. When we sprinkled some food on the ground, they immediately started eating and shortly thereafter found their water. 

Now we've got a whole crazy coop set up that I'll save for another post. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Silver Lake { #3 }

We had the best, and I mean the best, vacation over the Fourth of July weekend. 

Adalynn was such a sweet, sweet angel for our whole four day camping trip! We think we're going to plan another one before summer is over. 

Here are a few more pictures, if you'd like to see...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Crying Kids...

In all of my 27 years on earth, if I was around a child crying, 90% of the time I would be thinking 'please will someone shut that kid up - what is the deal?!'

Yea, real empathetic I was. 

But now it's a completely different story. Every time I see one cry now, whether it's a tiny baby, a stumbling toddler or even just a little kid, I cannot stand it! 

It makes me so sad like I just want to swoop in and pick them up, cuddle them, hug them and love them and make everything okay. 

Last night at the barn, we had a sweet little girl come to ride and it was her first lesson. 

Before getting on the horse, she was so excited. And I mean, so excited. Like you could tell it was taking all of her self-control to keep from running around, yelling and jumping up & down. She looked like she was going to explode out of her skin and was literally trembling with excitement. 

The lesson went great, she dismounted, gave treats and petted her horse. But then when it was time to say goodbye, she got very quiet. Then she started crying. Not like she was throwing a fit, but big fat crocodile tears of genuine sadness. 

To see her go from the happiest child on the planet to being truly heartbroken having to leave her horse was the saddest thing to watch! It made my heart ache and was all I could do to not pick her up, hug and console her... then let her go sleep in the stall with her horse. 

Did anything like that that happen to you? Maybe you weren't so fond of children, then you had your own kid and it completely changed your perspective? Or maybe you have your own children, but you're still not really a kid person - just your own (I definitely thought that was going to be me!).

Anyway, I thought that was pretty neat. Liking kids is a good thing - it will make play dates much easier :) 

Monday, June 27, 2016

We Went Swimming!

I grew up just down the road from two of my best friends; one of those best friends had a pool.

We spent every summer lounging by her pool, making log houses out of pretzel rods, playing nintendo in her fort, eating popsicles and swimming. We learned the Macarena on the deck, pretended we were Power-Rangers jumping off the diving board, and had wiffle ball contests to see who could hit it over the roof of the house. (Cody, Jack knows he still owes you that $100) 

I remember one particular day thirteen years ago, we were teenagers just out of our first year of high school. We spent another day at the pool and this time we were joined by Abby's sister and her niece, who was just a few months old. She spent the day both swimming and napping on a little ottoman in the den.

Flash forward to now. Guess where miss Adalynn had her first swimming experience? Yep. That same pool. And you know what? She even played on that very same ottoman. 

It was so surreal taking her there, remembering those summer days spent there as children. Especially that day thirteen years ago. Thinking back on it makes me smile, but there's a little twinge in my heart. I guess that's nostalgia for you. 

So here are a few pictures from that beautiful day. 

She wasn't quite sure about it at first. 

But she loved this big floating starfish. 

She really didn't like her hands touching the water. Like, at all. Eventually though, she was all in but her head. 

I had to watch Abby because she wanted to dunk her like we did with Ellen oh so many years ago, but no worries, she didn't get dunked. 

Then we spent Father's Day afternoon in our pond. The 'lagoon' as I like to call it. 

Then Addy & her daddy fell asleep so I got a little peace and quiet to read. We're all so excited for many more days spent by the water!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adalynn {at 6 months}

Yea, six months. As in half a year. Truly unbelievable.

In a short six months, she's gone from a little wrinkly lump who couldn't hold up her own head or stay awake for more than half an hour, to this;

That's her visiting with her Uncle Cooper the other day. She sure loves her family! 

Here are a few things that have been going on with her, if you're interested...

Friday, June 3, 2016

A Tractor Ride

Adalynn had her first tractor ride last week! We sat in the buddy seat next to daddy. She was very interested, looking at everything around her. The bright yellow against the green, the buttons and lights in the cab, hearing all of the beeps. 

It was so sweet to watch her take it all in. 

Oh yea, she drove too :) 

Then, boom, fast asleep. Tractor riding is exhausting, you know?!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Making Mess & Taking Names

Adalynn had her first taste of food yesterday, some delicious sweet potato puree. Which, of course, she ate like a well-mannered little lady.

...or something like that. You can see for yourself :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Hey! Long time no talk. 

This blog was started back in July of 2014 and so much has happened since then! I realized the 'about me' page really needed an update.

Check it out here or click on the 'Hello There' tab above. 

Talk soon :) 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Happy Weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?

We have no plans, besides that I have to return loads and loads of bottles and cans. I've been doing a bottle drive for our barn's big fundraiser this coming Thursday evening. Glad we have so many friends and family who like to drink ;) Although, Kelly's been a little bummed that I've been cutting into his beer fund by confiscating all of his bottles...  

I'm not sure how much I'll have when it's all said and done, but I'm currently at $154. My goal is $200 and it's looking like I should definitely be over that! The fundraiser last year raised just over $10,000 and this year's goal is $16,000. 

Other than that, we'll probably be inside somewhere because heaven forbid the weather actually act like it's MID-APRIL. It's been snowing all week. We're over it. 

Have a great one! 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring To-Do List

Image via Flickr
The spring season has a very fitting name. It always seems to spring up out of nowhere and then it's gone in a flash. Being that it's here now (even though it's April and it's been SNOWING, Michigan?!), I wanted to make a list of things I'd like to accomplish this season. 

Last spring, we had just brought home our chickens a couple of days after I found out that I was pregnant. All was great until morning sickness - really, all day sickness - kicked in and I couldn't be anywhere near them without gagging or vomiting. That lasted pretty much all spring, so as you can imagine, I accomplished just about nothing. Although I did help to plant the garden. That counts for something, right?

Now that Adalynn is here, I can only imagine how time is going to start flying by. So this list is to keep me motivated and on-track(ish!)

  • Rototill & plant garden.
  • Fence around garden.
  • Remove bushes in front of house.
  • Build flower boxes for deck to plant lettuce, kale, spinach & herbs. 
  • Deep clean chicken coop, add more sand. 
  • Install clothes line. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What Kind of Trip Planner Are You?

My sister called me at 10:15 the other night. When I saw it was her, I was pretty worried because she never calls late. I answer "Hello" and she responds with, "Allison, you are never going to believe this...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

This Past Weekend

Hello Lovelies :)

How have you been? What have you been up to? 

Sunday night, after finishing the weekend with some delicious chicken & dumplings and home made lemon meringue pie at my mother-in-law's house, we moved Adalynn from the cradle to her big girl crib! Although, that entailed taking the crib apart, bringing it downstairs and putting it back together in our bedroom :) 

I made the excuse that she still wakes up twice a night to eat - which is a valid excuse! - but we didn't want to put her upstairs all by herself yet. Thankfully, she made the transition like a champ.

Even better, I feel like we had a little breakthrough with her napping. I've tried all sorts of ways to get her to nap either in her cradle, in her crib or even laying in our bed. Nothing. Nada. The only way she would nap is on our someone's chest or in her bouncy seat.

So Monday, I, feeling positive from switcharoo the night before, was bound and determined to get her to nap in that crib. No matter what. And we did it! Mind you, it didn't happen until 4pm, but it happened. And I'm crossing my fingers that it happens today and tomorrow and the next day and the next and the next...

Also, I went to a conference on Saturday and the Cheff Center that taught about explosive behaviors and how to stop the meltdowns. It was a great conference and I learned a bunch that I can't wait to apply during lessons and everyday life. 

My favorite part that was something that I'd never heard before. 

'Kids do well if they can' not 'Kids do well if they wanna'

It made so much sense to me. As a child, I don't remember ever not wanting to do well. 

I took it to mean that if a child isn't doing well, we need to change up the plan. Figure out why. Maybe I'm explaining it in a way they can't understand. Maybe they're not ready for this step and we need to back it up. Maybe they won't be ready for it and we need to go in a different direction. 

I love that it focuses on figuring out what skill the child is lacking and not simply saying that 'she just won't do it'. Why won't she do it. What does she need in order to be able to do it? This belief turns the negative 'She just won't do it, she doesn't get what I'm saying, she's not cooperating' into something positive by asking yourself why won't she do it- is it the way I'm teaching or is there another roadblock we need to uncover? 

Conferences like that really get me motivated. Can you tell? Ramble ramble ramble...I'll end it here before going on and on :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cuteness Overload

Yesterday, we took Adalynn to visit her grandpa Biscuit's farm. He raises cattle and, since it's calving season, we had to go for a visit. 

One of the ladies had twins and they were so cute. Teeny tiny little things <3 

I'm pretty sure this is her "You look like my dog but I don't think you're my dog" face. 

She wasn't quite sure about touching it.

Shortly after this picture the little one decided to run back to it's momma. They're so sweet, we can't wait to get back out for some more visits!
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