Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our Farm Story Part 1

Ok, I am back, Quinlan, my 13 year old is, as we speak sitting in the orthodontists' chair having braces put on.  So I have a big block of time to blog!!  Yeah!!
First, how we found our farm;
The first picture we saw of our Amish Farmhouse.
For a couple of years now, since we decided on Missouri as the state we want to settle in, we would look on United Country Realty website and peruse the properties and dream and oooh and ahhh over the green greeness of it all.  So in October Dane pulled up the realty site and as a family we began to look at properties, everyone always talks about what they want on the land; a pond, a forest, pasture.  Ileigh and I wanted a house!  You can put keywords in your land search and then the site will show you properties that contain the keyword.  Well, we had been looking for about an hour and the "littles" were losing patience, it was after all family movie night, and looking at pictures of some far away, maybe going to yours, farmland is not their idea of fun.  I suggested to Dane that he put "Amish" in the keyword search.  Then we would start the movie..............
Let's put it this way, we never got to the movie that night, sorry little guys!  The first farm that came up was ours, we all just knew it. Our computer is hooked to a big monitor on the wall, so everyone could see.  Ileigh jumped up and started reading the description of the property.  The more she read the louder she got, soon all of us were standing up straining around the screen.  Sometimes you just know, this place seem to be ours.  Ileigh and I were typical females, I'll admit, there was squealing and hopping.  The price was amazing, we felt God had dropped this places in our laps!  Dane and Kegan were more subdued.  "Well, we'll see, maybe call the realtor on Monday."  Call the realtor on Monday? Heck, I wanted to fly out now!!  Of course I can be a bit impetuous.  So to make a long story short..........we made arrangements to fly out and look at the farm, November the 1st.  It was a very very long three weeks!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Winter Look!

As much as I love fall, it seemed time to give our little home on the web a new look.  So now it's all wintery and icy!  Actually, I pulled up my blog the other day and was shocked at the look of it. It didn't look like our blog, then I remembered I gave it a "face lift"!  Anyway, our family has been really sick with a cold this last week, we barley made thanksgiving then fell into the depths of coughing, aching, boogery nastiness.  Some, including myself, are feeling better, others, are still lazing about on the couch wondering if this cold will ever end!  So that's the reason for the delay on the next house post. 
We love our new farm so much, the biggest bummer, and it is a big one, is that we can't move til April.  The Amish family we bought it from had just put up their animal and people food for winter.  The barns were bursting with hay and grain and the cellar and pantries were stuffed full.  So they asked if we could delay possession until spring.  This honestly worked out better for us as well, it gives us time to get our house ready for the market and also tie up some loose ends here.  It was hard, though, to leave.  I am out of time to write more, Ileighs piano lesson is almost over and I need to pick her up.  Next post I will tell you all about our visit with the Amish and about my buggy ride!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesdays Words of Wisdom


"I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world"

- George Washington

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I know, I know I have been very, very bad.  If I had an excuse it would be that life has been excessively busy.  There was so much going on and then we were out of town, then our Internet went down.  But now all is well, we are still really busy, but we always are so..........

                                               Ok so now on the the really exciting news!  

Isn't she pretty?  She's OURS!! 
Yep, it's a long story, which I will relate in the next post, but she's ours!  40 acres of lovely Missouri farmland.  She's actually an Amish Farm!!  So no electricity, no central heat, no modern anything!!  It's just perfect, really it's exactly what we were looking for! 
Here are more pictures for you to enjoy.
Here is the back/side of the house.  Six bedrooms!! 

A shot from the road, the smaller white building is a Doddy house, (in-laws house), yes...two houses!!!

This is the horse barn, they fill the loft with hay then pitch it through an opening in the ceiling to feed the horses.

This is the garden and orchard, 10 apple trees and the biggest blackberry bushes I have ever seen!

Here is the cold room, it's huge, it's built so it will stay between 48 and 52 degrees, yearound.

The back of the house, four stories!

It also has a 1 1/2 acre stocked pond!

There are about 30 acres of woods on the property, deer, turkey, berry bushes, ect, ect!!

Sorry for all the exclamation points, can you tell we're excited? 
More to come soon,  honest, I won't leave you waiting so long, sorry again!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Which I Rant About Plastic

I abhor plastic and try very hard to keep it out of my house and my life. Of course this is 2010 and well, plastic is EVERYWHERE!!! I bet if we looked around plastic is touching us 24 hrs a day. In some form or another plastic is always with us. Now, I am sure there are some instances where plastic is fabulous and necessary, like in a medical setting. Really! do we need all this plastic around all the time? Everything we buy is packed in it, practically everything we eat comes wrapped in it, our clothes contain it, our personals come in plastic, shampoo bottles, toothpaste containers, ect. Our bedding too, if your blankets are fleece, acrylic, or polyester, they too are basically plastic. It's all just so fake and junky. BUT, it's also cheap, which is why we keep buying more and more and more of it. Recently, I needed pillows for the little boys room. Target had decent polyfil pillows for $3.50 a piece, basically plastic pillows. They also had down and feather pillows for $29.00 a piece. Well, I don't know about you but I don't have $90 to spend on pillows! Now some would say, "Isn't it nice we have inexpensive alternatives?" Yes it is nice, but if we didn't have the plastic ones, the "real" ones wouldn't cost as much. Now the cheap pillows are just that, CHEAP they will not last long and when they are gross and smushed flat and after the we've given them to the dogs to lay on til there really nasty, then we will throw them away and they will sit in a landfill......FOREVER!! Yup all this plastic, poly-whatever doesn't bio-degrade, erode or otherwise leave our earth. Now I wouldn't call myself an environmentalist in the least. But plastic just sitting there forever and ever disturbs me!

As recent as the turn of the last century (1900), there wasn't any plastic. Folks' bread probably dried out a bit faster, but they were surrounded with all natural items, from their bedding, to their clothes, to their food, it was natural, no chemicals, no polys! No cling wrap melted into their food. And you know what? Things lasted a long time. They were made to last and people took care of what they owned. A married couple could be given a wool blanket for their wedding and it lasted them many decades! Kitchen items were made of metal and wood and also lasted decades or longer. This is why you can go to an antique shop and buy these things, some you can still use. Try that with a plastic cheese greater from 1978!!

So, plastic clogs up the landfills, doesn't last very long and is cheaply made. What to do? If you, like us desire a plastic-less life then you need to know it's going to cost you. Sometimes twice as much or more for a, shall we call them "natural", item.

Over the next several posts I will show you what we have done to make our house more natural and plastic-less. We'll start in the kitchen and move on from there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesdays Words of Wisdom

                                             Two children being themselves,
Joesph and Juniper,
He runs, swats at flies and catches toads,
She swings through branches of live oak,
Looks like a day to whistle a tune, spin a yarn
and jump and chase a loon,
If I was an angel or butterfly this would be the light I would run to!

The Wiyo's
"Under the Sun"

Take sometime today to live like a child and love every moment!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've neglected me wee bloggy!

Busy....that's all there is to it, I could list numerous excuses but suffice it to say, I've been crazy busy, no sleep, and enjoying the fallish weather we're having!!!  So now I am determined to get back at it!! 
First, because of our close proximity to Colorado, we are able to enjoy the changing of the leaves.  They are so beautiful.  What better time to take family pictures?  You'll notice, there is no Octavian.......he is sleeping in the van, we didn't want to wake him and we were sure we would be stopping again to take more shots.  Needless to say, we didn't stop again, until we got home!  Opps! 
Everyone, except Octavian of course!!
Ferran, Donagan, Rohan

                                                                       Goofy shot!!
The "Big" Boys:
 Kegan and Quinlan

The Girlies:
 Ileigh and Elsah

 We didn't look this happy after 4 more hours in the car!!  Good thing we took pictures in the middle of the drive!

Have a GREAT DAY and enjoy each moment of Autumn!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesdays Words of Wisdom

When tillage begins, other arts follow.  The Farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.
Daniel Webster

What We Will Work Towards

The following article is just what we want for our farm.  We love the self-sufficiency of the farm.  The ability to raise almost all your own food as well as how perfectly the "ecosystem" of the farm works together.  This article is long but a great snap-shot of how farming used to and, hopefully for us, will work!  Let us know what you think of it, is this something you would do?  Or does the thought of being responsible for your food production not appeal to you in the least?  We would love to know what you think!  Happy Reading!
         An Old-Fashioned Farm

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Open House Tour Childrens Bedrooms

Well, it's Thursday and that means the 4 Moms and 35 Kids Open House Tour.  This week we venture into frightening territory!  My children's bedrooms can be....well let's just natural disaster areas, unsafe for man or beast.  But lately we have been working on their rooms and we have seen some improvement.  Especially in the Little's room.  Wait let's back up and start in the beginning.  Don't forget to tours other bedrooms at Life in a Shoe.

While the kids worked on making their rooms presentable I made bread..yum.  It had been awhile since I had made bread. I think the kids missed it, they ate three loaves in about 2 hours!! 

Is there anything better than hot bread slathered with peanut butter and syrup?  Well maybe chocolate!

Ok, let's start with Ileighs room. She has a tiny little room and she is the only one who bunks alone.  We would put Elsah in with her but there simply isn't room.

Ileighs' bookshelves are what you see when you first enter her room.  They are full of all her beloved books and trinkets.  You can see her keyboard and her fiddle.  She is very good at piano and getting there with the fiddle! 

This is her spoon collection I'm not sure how many she has but this is only some of them.  They are from all over America as well as many countries of the world.

Here is her "old pictures" shelf. 

Who is visiting ILeighs' room?  Why it's Elsah Doe.  She loves to come and chat with her sister.  You can see Ileighs' hope chest and what we call "the Granny Chair".
If your brave enough we'll venture into the "Littles" room, oops Donagan just informed me that at 10 years old he is not a little and the only reason he does not room with the older boys is because the "littles" need him to help out with all their stuff.

The boys all sleep on these bunk beds.  Donagan on top and Rohan and Ferran on the bottom.  You can't see them very well but the quilts on the beds are all made by my Mom.  She does great work, I am so proud of her talent!

Donagan and Rohans' dresser.  The drawers are labeled so the boys know where things go.  So in theory they could put away their own clothes.  Well we all know how often that happens, mostly Ileigh or I put up the stuff!

Here is the shelf unit that holds all the boys important items that they don't want to get broken or chewed by babies or puppies, not that that ever happens in our home!  Below is Ferrans dresser. is the bright spot in the room, Elsahs little corner.  Mom made the quilt on the bed as well as the one on the wall.  Her triple bunk dolly bed was mine, made by my Daddy when I was her age!! 

The older boys consented to just two pictures of their room!

Kegan just recently refurbished his computer desk, I think he did a great job!  He stained the wood and spray painted the metal!!

Quinlan and Kegan have bunk beds too and they are forever switching who sleeps where!
This is part of a mural Dane is working on in their room, a Piratey theme!
So that's the children's rooms here.  They did a pretty good job, I think they were passable for this tour! 

Oh, I couldn't resist this pic of Elsah Doe, she loves her dollies SO much.!

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Potluck Saturday, YUM!

The Common Room is hosting a Potluck recipe link-up.  Ahh...... potlucks, I have been to many and brought food to that we home church we don't get to potluck much anymore!  Except on Sundays when we get together with my mom and dad then we sorta potluck I guess, one of us brings dessert and the other does the main dish.  Anyway we still take dinners to folks with a new baby or family who've lost a loved one.  And this is the recipe I usually make:

This is one of those "throw it all together, no measuring, taste it and see if it's right" kinda recipes, I will try and give some amounts though!
Pueblo Chicken
1 chicken boiled, de-boned and chopped.
or 2 large cans of chicken
While the chicken is cooking, prepare 4 cups rice, you can use Minute rice if you  like.
When the rice and chicken are done put them in a large bowl and add 1 16 oz container of sour cream, 1 or 2 small cans diced green chili, 1 can Rotel, or some of your favorite salsa, 2 handfuls grated cheese, 1 can diced olives, 1 onion diced (my mom would add 2-3;), Add garlic salt and regular salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add Cumin, yum, I LOVE Cumin.  Stir all and taste test, to see if you need more salt, ect.  This makes a TON of casserole, It will feed my family 1 1/2 times.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  This freezes nicely, and can be made a meal with torillas and salad!

Well Folks, We Have a Winner!!!

Barbara was correct!! It is an old Phonograph Player!!  It is an Edison Diamond Disc Player to be exact! 
It was made sometime between 1916 and 1924.  It sounds fabulous!!  We are having a great time listening to the 35 records that came with it.  The records can only be played on an Edison machine and they must be played using a diamond stylus.  They are a 1/4 inch thick and can be found rather readily on ebay.  We know our player is not period accurate for the 1880's but we think it will make our little farmhouse feel like home!!
Barbara, email me and let me know where to send your Mini Lantern!  Since there were only two other entries, except for an anonymous we decided to send both Kate and Mountain Home Quilts a Mini Lantern.  So if both of you ladies would email me with your addresses I will get your lanterns in the mail!!
Thank you to all who entered our first giveaway, we had great fun and hope to do many more contests in the future!
mamadear27 at gmail dot com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Open House Tour Master Bedrooms

Welcome from Kelly Korner!  Enjoy our Master Bedroom Tour!

Check our our First Ever Giveaway HERE

It's Thursday and time for the 4 Moms 35 Kids Open House Tours.  Today is Master Bedrooms.  Let's just say I am so late getting this post up because our master bedroom is the place where everything gets left or put so that the living room and dining room look nice, so our bedroom required a bit of work!  Be sure to stop over and see the other Master Bedrooms at Life in a Shoe.

Here is what you see as you come in the door.  The quilt on the bed was made for me by my Mother, because she loves me!!  And I bugged her for it!  It's called Trail.....Ah!  Stitches on the Oregon Trail!  It's been a long day and I've gotten about 6 hours sleep the last 2 nights due to little children and their deplorable sleep habits!  Anyway enough about me.  The tree on the right side of the bed was in this house when we moved in, I have tried to make it thrive, but it insists on dying a slow death.
The picture above our bed is "The Accolade".  I can't remember by whom, and the baby is asleep in there.  Dane and I got it for each other for Valentines day several years ago.

We just love it!

  This is the view from my side of the bed.  You see our dresser and Octavians bed.  This crib has served all of our children and me.  Yes, that's right this crib is 30-- something years old.  A couple kids ago my Dad refinished it and it looks great, ready for a few more.....maybe!

Ok, over by Octavian's bed you look this way and see our supplementary bookshelves.  They hold our ever decreasing dvd collection and some old magazines and some of Dane's technical books.  The door on the right is to our bathroom, which you may not see..sorry. 

This is my side of the bed.  The dresser is old, I'm not sure how old though, Mom, do you know?  It was my Grandma Frankie's, this dresser holds Octavian's clothes and blankies and some of my things.  See that black case over on the left, that's my Autoharp, don't know what an autoharp is?  Well let me show you.

Here we are, an autoharp is a folk instrument, they have been around for about 100 years.  You push the cord buttons and strum the strings.  I'm not good at it, I've never had a lesson, I just play around at it when I have some spare time, which isn't very often!  I can play with Dane on a few songs, though. 

Hey....a Quinlan on our bed, how'd he get there? 

  This is our doorknob to our bedroom, it came from, well you can probably guess, Grandma Frankie's, front door.  I was so happy Dane could make it work for our bedroom door.

Thank you so much for joining us on our little bedroom tour.  Have a great weekend and don't forget to enter our Mini Lantern Giveaway!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"What am I?" Contest Giveaway!!

Wow, we have had some really great guesses.  Although one guess is closer than the others.  Ok, here's some new pics hopefully they will help out!  This antique carries someones name, it is mechanical and it can soothe the soul!

Recently our family came into possession of a fabulous antique. Instead of just telling you about it we thought it would be fun to make a contest out of it!!

Do you remember the 'What am I' photos on the back of children's magazines? They were super close-up shots of everyday items. It was fun to try and figure out what you were looking at. We have taken some very close up shots of our new find and you get to guess what it might be. The first person to leave a comment with the right answer will win a Mini Dietz type Lantern!! Then on Monday we will randomly draw one name from all the comments and that person will also get a Mini Dietz type Lantern!!! Isn't that exciting?  You can enter as many times as you like, but it must be with a guess as to what the pictures might be!

                                                                      THE PRIZES

Aren't they cute?  And they really work too!  Your just dying to get one aren't ya?  Ok, here's our extreme close-up photos...................

Any guesses?  If you all can't guess after a few days I do have more pics and I could be persuaded to give some hints.  OK, have fun!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Preeesenting.........Dane the Banjo Man!!!!

It's good to know we won't be without music while we're back in time!!  Here, Dane is playing Wildwood Flower.  We recored this version to post on Daily Frail dot com. Dane learned to play by watching Patricks Daily Frail lessons and by reading his books!  Thanks Patrick!

By the way, something exciting is coming up soon, stay tuned!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Living Room Tour

Welcome from Kelly's Korner, I hope you enjoy our Living Room Tour

It's time for the 4 Moms 35 Kids Home Tour!!  Today is Living Rooms.  Be sure to see all the other fine homes at Life in a Shoe.
The first week was the Outdoor tour, last week was Kitchens!

Here is a the view when you enter the front door, the first thing you see is the Music Wall.  Danes banjo, Kegans mandolin, Donagans guitar, there's also a scrub board and small guitar there too for when the littles want to join in.  Dane LOVES his banjo and is very good, in this humble wife's opinion.  He longs for us all to play together some day.
You also see our screen and dvd player, Wii and assorted other electrical stuff!  Oh, and the fish and my dog India, in her crate!

This is the view from the master bedroom, here we have Dane's big chair, our leather couch, and some child back there down the hall.  We LOVE our leather couch and chair, they are perfect for a family our size.  I don't know why we didn't get them sooner.  These were bought last year at a black Thursday sale.  We got a great deal on them!!  And they still look brand new, which is saying something for this house!
Here's a better look at the furniture. The sheepskin on the couch is a favorite of the kids they call it "huggy-ruggy" and fight over it on movie night!  You can see my sewing machine, I would love to have  a sewing room, but since there isn't an extra unused room sitting around I prefer the living room for sewing, I can still be a part of what is going on with the family, and get some work done in the process.
This is a shot behind the couch, we left the castle and blocks the littles got for Christmas here quite by accident, but they love to play with them back there.  They are allowed to play quietly while we have read alouds for school, or when we are watching a educational video.  By the way our TV is just a screen we use it for movies and Wii only no real TV.

These are the bookshelves that flank our wood stove, they hold about half of our families books!!  You can see our Easton Press book collection on the top shelves.  Having good quality books to pass on to the next generations is very important to Dane and I.  As soon as you finish reading one of these books you may very carefully write your name and date in the front, we hope to have a great family history recorded in these books!
Our wood stove works great, too great, most of the time it runs us out of the room because it's so hot!  But we're glad we got it, it's nice to not have to depend on the propane man for heat!

This is really the entry way, but it's all just one room.  The shoes go on the shelf, the coats hats and whatever else needs hung go up on the hooks.  Dane and I made the hook board a couple of winters ago, after we put it up we realized it needed to be much longer!!  It looks fine now but when every ones coat is up there it's a crowded mess!  We really love our giant clock, but sadly it will not be joining us back in time, as it's run by battery!
Well, that's about it for our living room, not very big or fancy, but we sure like to spend time together in it!!  Oh, you'll notice our walls are all pretty dark, I love these colors, my house can look like fall anytime of the year!!  plus you can't see all the finger smudges and assorted things that get smeared on walls by small children!!  Although if they get bumped you do get a nice white mark!
Have a wonderful day,
Sweet baby Octavian and my sweet doggie India sharing some quality time!