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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Looking back on 3

My baby turned 4 last weekend.  When he woke up on his birthday, he looked down at his body and said, “But I don’t wook bigger! Maybe in a few years…”

Three and four year olds are full of funny quotes, have you noticed?  And they’re still young enough that they don’t mind when you laugh at them.

I think it’s only fair that I spread some of Isaac’s funnies around, so that you, too, can laugh at the boy whose name actually means “laughter.”


When I grow up, I want to be…..’Piderman!2014-07-24 11_12_39

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Mom, you’re the best mom in the world. The best mom in the whole wide world.  The best mom in the whole wide world….that lives with me.


Isaac: How will you snuggle me when I’m a grown up?

Me: When you’re a grown up, you’ll live in your own house.

Isaac: But I’ll miss you!

image2014-09-06 11_52_19

Brinley is my best friend.

But my real best friend is Adam.2014-07-05 17_45_30

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Isaac: I'm going to call you Mommy Poopy.
Me: I don't like that name.
Isaac: How about Farty Poopy?

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Me: Isaac, don't do that!
Isaac: Why?
Me: Because you might fall.
Isaac: But I might not fall!
(In a cute little sing-songy, eternally optimistic voice.)



Before a reporter came to the farm, I tried to prep Isaac...
"Isaac, she's going to ask if you help on the farm, and what are you going to say?"
"I'm gonna say, 'Who ARE you?'"


Adam: (In the bathtub) Isaac, quit spitting!
Isaac: But I have to spit out the pee water!
Adam: It's not pee water.
Isaac: Yes, it is! I peed in it!


Happy birthday, Isaac! May you continue to live up to your name and bring us lots of laughter forever!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Backcountry Winery


You guys, I’m so excited!  There is a new winery in my neighborhood!

About a week ago, I read about Backcountry Winery on Jill’s blog and after some sleuthing, found out that the new winery is only 8 miles from my house – smack in between the home I grew up in and the home I live in now!

I didn’t know the exact location, but I read on the Backcountry Winery blog that they were working on the barn’s roof.  And as I drove from my parents’ house to mine one evening, I spotted a brick barn with a brand new roof.  So of course, I drove by slowly, gawking.  (I may or may not have stalker like tendencies.)

gableAnyway, after a little more stalking, I convinced the owners to let me come out and take a look around.  Preston and Amber are young Iowa State grads with a vision and the work ethic to make that vision a reality.

They both work full time “in town” and then spend evenings and weekends working on the winery. 

The plan is to renovate the old brick dairy barn on the property. 


The first floor will have a wine tasting room, bathrooms, and the actual winery. 


The loft will become a large event center and reception hall.


Preston and Amber have the dream, and a plan to make it a reality.  But, as we all know, these kinds of plans take money.  A lot of it.

IMG_2152They are anticipating that the whole project will cost nearly $150,000.  And they want to be open for events in the spring of 2016.  To help make this happen, they have a Kickstarter campaign for $10,000 – enough to reroof the barn (already done) and pour the concrete on the main floor.


Unfortunately, the Kickstarter campaign ends SOON (March 31!) and they are about a 1/4 of the way to their goal.  I didn’t realize this, but Kickstarter is all or nothing.  If they don’t make it to their goal, they don’t get any of the funds donated.

So I’m asking for your help – if you believe in these kids, and believe that it’s important to follow our dreams, even when the odds are stacked against us, consider backing their project.  Every little bit helps! IMG_2149-8018(rev 0)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Three Beautiful Bedrooms (And one for the boys)

Remember Sarah’s house? (The one that’s FOR SALE!)

I’m back today to show you the amazing bedrooms in her house – all four of them!




First up, the little boy’s room.  The lofted bed leaves plenty of space to play.


The closet is also spacious – oh, what I wouldn’t do for closets like that in our house!


Next up is little M’s room.  Such a beautiful nursery.


The mural was hand painted by Sarah’s aunt…


Sarah made the slipcover for the rocking chair…


And she also made the curtains. I LOVE the tulle on top of the draperies – so pretty.


Another big closet.  Seriously jealous.


The master bedroom, across the hall, echoes the living room color scheme.


The headboard was a DIY project, of course.


And the bedroom opens up to a walk in closet and private master bath. (Did I already say I’m green with envy?)


Finally, the guest room in the basement.


I want to move in.


If you haven’t already, check out the first half of this home tour.  And if you know anyone looking for a home in Central Iowa, send them Sarah’s way!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Like having a baby…for my boys.


IMG_2120-7990(rev 0)I had some other blog posts planned for the week, but as usual, real life got in the way.

Or, I should say, “farm life” got in the way.

Last year, Adam raised a bottle lamb for the fair, and we have been planning to do it again this year.

But the thing is, we didn’t know exactly when we’d get a lamb.  So we were sort of prepared, but not really.2015-03-22 15_06_43

Sunday morning, our neighbor called and said that he had a set of triplets, and one wasn’t nursing.  He had to bottle feed it every few hours around the clock, and he was getting tired of that, fast.  And so, we picked it up Sunday afternoon, and now we’re bottle feeding it around the clock.

Bottle feeding an older lamb is easy – they grab right on and suck it down as fast as possible.

But new lambs are sort of like new babies.  They don’t always have the hang of it right away.  Our new lamb, Cuddles, seemed to be chewing on the nipple, more than sucking on it.  And even after a few minutes, the level of milk in the bottle didn’t budge.

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I couldn’t help but think back to the first few days of nursing my boys.  Is he swallowing?  Did he get enough?  Does he have a good latch? What time should I feed him again?

All of the uncertainty came rushing back.  I know it’s silly, comparing our lamb to a newborn baby, and I know that my feelings for this lamb are never, ever going to measure up to what I feel for my kids.  But caring for that new lamb still brings out maternal feelings.

I’m hoping, in some way, that it makes my boys feel the same way.  That maybe by taking care of a young, vulnerable animal, they’ll learn a little bit of the compassion and dedication it takes to be great parents some day.  Maybe they’ll learn to put someone else’s needs first and the joy a parent feels as their child (or lamb) grows.


Cuddles is drinking her milk better now.  Tonight she actually drained what we had mixed up for her. And we were so relieved.  It’s nuts to think how anxious we are about a lamb.

But this is good training for my boys.  Because some day, they won’t be little farm kids anymore.  They’ll be grown up.  Maybe they’ll be farmers.  Probably they’ll be fathers.

And these experiences, worrying over the welfare of a lamb, will help prepare them for the situations in life where compassion, commitment, and problem solving really matter.


2015_03_22_19_27_18(rev 0)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring on the Porch

I love decorating.  Really love putting furniture and accessories together to create a beautiful space.
But so often, I don’t take the time to do it because there are so many other things I SHOULD be doing…like cleaning the house.  Or getting the flower beds ready for spring.  Or picking up sticks because we have about 5 acres to mow on our farm. Or, I don’t know, paying bills or something like that.
But one gorgeous day last week, I spent an hour taking down the Christmas garland and decorating the front porch for spring.
And the joy that hour in the sunshine brought me? Priceless.
front porch

The plants on the porch are fake.  Although we’ve had some beautiful weather for March, it’s still too early for real plants here in Iowa.  The countryside is still brown, and I wanted some color.  I stopped at one of my favorite “junk” shops (The Sister Act in Ellsworth, IA) and picked up the forsythia branches for $1.25.  spring forsythia decorThe topiary is one that I’ve had for awhile. I think I paid $5.99 for it at the Goodwill.  I tore it out of it’s ugly basket and put it in an old enamel-ware pot, instead.front porch rocker
I’d like another pop of yellow – maybe a pillow – but that requires that I work with my arch nemesis, the sewing machine, so I’m holding off on that.  Sometimes beauty isn’t worth the pain.
And I need to hang the “Porch Rules” sign (from Bells Mill Creations) but I’m afraid to hang anything on our relatively new HardieBoard siding.  (Has anyone tried the outdoor Command hooks?)grainsack wicker loveseat
The side table is actually a piano bench.  I bought it at a junk shop for $5 and painted the grainsack stripe on it.  It’s not really weather resistant, but for $5, who cares?
forsythia blooms
Did anyone else notice the chipping paint on the door? It needs repainted – red?  Yellow?
queen anne front porch
Just a few days after I took these pictures, the porch is now covered in toy tractors.  And the boys and I have enjoyed a couple of picnic lunches out there. It is truly one of our favorite places on the farm, even with it’s imperfections.
farmhouse porchporch decorspring porch decor

Shared at Funky Junk Interiors