November 25, 2013

Stuff I Like

1. I really like this cute guy.  He works so hard for our family and is intentional about parenting.  I love how he has a unique relationship with each of our kids.  He still makes my heart flutter.

2. Our church collected shoe boxes and giant Ziploc bags for Kenya.  So much love packed into those boxes and bags!   Oh to see their faces!  I've had a desire for a long time to go on a mission trip, but so far the Lord hasn't opened the door.  I'm still hoping...

3. Caribou Coffee brought back the Spicy Mocha.  I may have done a happy dance with the barista.  She totally got my exuberance.

3. Finishing up our study on Ancient Egypt with a trip to the Art Museum.  I finally learned my lesson and fed everyone on the way.  No more I-can't-focus-because-I'm-starving.

4. November's gift:
I eat a ton of these during the months of November/December.  Aldi has them for .50 so my mom stocked up for me.  Thanks, mom!  I've enjoyed every delicious bite!

5. Killing time at Target.  I rarely have time to just meander.  I had an hour to myself and took full advantage.
 New carts made me very happy.  It's the little things.
 This mug.  I didn't buy it, but it sure made me smile!

 I love this cute JOY series!  Such fun colors!

6. This pup.
We *almost* decided to keep this foster pup.  Some sweet friends of ours are adopting her so we get to watch her grow up.  She is precious!

Happy Monday!

November 18, 2013

Keeping Our Hens Happy

 With the addition of 75 more hens last spring, we needed to make more room in the inn.  Rather than adding on to the existing henhouse, we decided to build an second one.    My criteria, as usual, was that it had to be cute.  Cute with a budget of $0.00.  Thank goodness my man is creative!  Most of the materials were left over from building our our house and barn.  The screen door was in someone's trash.  It has a rip, but that adds to the charm, right?

The ladies are low maintenance.  They only require two things in their house: nesting boxes and roosting poles.
Yes, those are left over closet poles from our house.  They are the perfect size and freeee!

Even though this picture is taken at an angle like I'm standing on the side of a mountain, it shows the back of the hen house.  Notice how much we've grown since our original coop!

 I know all the magazines and blogs make chicken farming look very charming, which it is.  But the reality is that it is also messy and poopy.  The picture below is what real life is like, taken on coop poop clean-up day.

My handsome farmer takes care of the dirty work.  He knows my limits.

The ladies are having a little snack

It takes the whole family to run the farm.  We all collect, wash, and package the eggs.

This is our little work station.
When we planned our house, this sink was supposed to be in the garage, but due to some very thick foundational walls, the plumbing was impossible.  With a little huff I agreed to move the sink into the mud room.  Best mistake ever!!!
Now we can rinse the eggs and package them in the house rather than in the garage.
 November is a tough month for chicken farmers.  The girls molt and walk around half-nekked.  I'm embarrassed for them, really.  Their egg productions drops considerably.  So, if you are a regular customer of ours, hang tight.  They'll put their clothes back on, get their dignity back, and return to work soon.

November 17, 2013

Autumn's Gifts

It has been one year.
We've tasted every season at the farm and we are back around to my favorite.

I still pinch myself.

Autumn is glorious.  

Nature seems to echo praises to her Creator at every turn...

 We try to savor amidst the busyness of life with three kids.

Even when they photo bomb...

November's winds are tugging at our beautiful leaves so I'm trying to soak up every glimpse of autumn.

November 12, 2013

Holiday Table Ideas

Each year our church hosts a holiday brunch for the ladies.  Every table is decorated differently to inspire the festive mood and give ideas for Thanksgiving or Christmas tablescapes.
I was asked to do two, which was great because I was having a hard time deciding between the two holidays!  I wanted to encourage women that a pretty table doesn't have to cost a lot of money.  The green "placemats" are actually Ikea napkins opened up.  The square plates came from the dollar store and the houndstooth napkins were from party city.
The lantern was from my front porch (Ikea) and the sparkly fabric is just a half yard from Walmart.
I wanted the ladies to have a take-home-treat, on the cheap, so I bought the silver trays at the Dollar Tree and spray painted them with chalkboard paint.  
I did the same for my Thanksgiving table.  The oval trays were too difficult to tape with painter's tape, so I just sprayed the whole plate.
Again, an inexpensive table, using objects I already owned: pumpkin from my front porch, mason jars from the kitchen filled with Dollar Tree gourds and paper plates from Tuesday Morning.
A funny thing happened with my "Give Thanks" table.  After the meal, we were listening to a godly woman share her heart.  It was super quiet in the room, and all of the sudden the box that I had placed under the pumpkin and jars collapsed.  The ladies at the table had to catch all of the jars before they rolled off the table.  Centerpiece fail!  ;)

Each year it is a treat to see the variety of table ideas.
Loved the polka dot plates!!!

The layers and the fruit= natural warmth

Simple elegance, using her fine china.  Loved the navy, silver, turquoise and green.  Now I want some miniature disco balls!

This table was a great example of a kid-friendly party.  Loved the red polka dots (Oriental Trading) mixed with the green dot napkins (Walmart).
She used wrapping paper as a table runner... brilliant!

Red, white and silver.  So classic!  Those brown ornaments?  Filled with homemade hot cocoa mix!

Can you see that pumpkin made from a book?!  Love at first sight.

Christmas trees from book pages?  I am complete.

To see more ideas from previous years, click herehere, here, and here.

November 6, 2013

DIY Scripture Pumpkin

This is a super easy craft that is perfect for the month of November

 Cast of characters: ModPodge, faux pumpkin, Dollar Store Bible,

I used an exacto knife to cut the pages out of the bible.  Then my daughter cut random pieces from the pages.

Working in sections, we painted the pumpkin with ModPodge using a foam brush.  Then we threw all caution to the wind and used our fingers to smooth the paper down.
The last step is to cover all of the paper pieces with a coat of ModPodge.

 I love how the scripture references show up so clearly.