Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Les Poulets Sont Appeles ...


Henrietta (grey).

Bernadette (black).

I've only named three and they're banties. I'm fairly certain we'll keep all the banties, even if there is a rooster in there somewhere. However, we will not be keeping any Ameraucana roosters and since we don't know the difference between the hens or the roosters yet, we haven't named any of them. I'm sure we'll find out soon!

Good question!

Have a lovely day.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chickens and Questions.

My blogger friend Whitney recently opened up her blog for questions and with the long weekend and busy week ahead, I decided I would do the same. I've done this before, so perhaps I've already answered everything you can think to ask. Or, perhaps I am not interesting enough to warrant questions. Either way, if you have a question about my little corner of the world, feel free to ask it. If I have zero comments at the end of it all, that's fine, too. I won't take it personally--I realize I'm a bit of an open book on this blog, so there isn't much to guess!

Also, yesterday we opened up the coop for the first time to let the chickens run around. They are able to scoot down their ramp and free range in the grass, but we've never opened the door to let them outside the confines of their coop. Once we did, it was nothing short of amazing to see these little fluffs of feathers become big brave birds as they stepped to the edge of the coop, looked down, and took a leap of faith to the grass below.

Who knew chickens could be so inspiring. :)

Have a lovely weekend, friends. Happy Memorial Day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Eleven Months.

Dear Naomi,

You've been eleven months old for a few days now, and I can't quite wrap my mind around how quickly the time is moving by.

I want to tell you a story. The other day, you, your brother, and myself were sitting on the floor in your room. Your brother and I were about to play Candyland and as we opened the box, you started crawling towards us. The pile of playing cards caught your eye and you immediately grabbed a handful of them, looked up at me with a sparkle in your eye, and proceeded to dump them on your head. Your little mouth opened up into the most precious infectious laugh as the cards slid down your face and onto the floor. Your brother, a staunch rule follower, looked at me wide-eyed and then looked back at you with your sweet laughing face. The corners of his mouth turned upwards into a grin as he grabbed a pile of cards and dumped them on his own head, followed by some great belly giggles. Of course I wasn't going to miss out on this fun, so I grabbed a pile of cards, too, and dumped them on my head. The both of you erupted with laughter and within minutes our game of Candyland had morphed into 52 card pick-up, with purple squares, lollipops, and ice cream cone cards fluttering through the air as we dumped them on each other's heads. The laughter was uncontrollable and the moment was unforgettable, all because two little hands sought a few little cards and felt that their proper place was atop a little head.

I tell you this because this is who you are.

You create joy, Naomi.

It's what you do.

Simply, wonderfully, effortlessly.

We love you, Mouse.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Potty Training Update!

It's been a while since I first wrote about potty training the Cub. Now that it's been a few months, I figured it was time for an update!

(My apologies now to my son, who will someday see this post and shudder, mortified that I wrote to the Internet about his foray into the world of potty use. Sorry, son.)

(I am also sorry that I will be using the terms "Number One" and "Number Two". They just seem a little awkward, albeit appropriate. Anyway.)

(Okay one more apology: I know, a potty training post is probably totally annoying and bizarre to many of you. I just have to say, I felt that any info from anyone was helpful when we started training, hence, a potty training post. Okay. Here we go.)

The consistent method of taking Cub every twenty minutes had him Number One trained in no time. A few days into it and he was accident free for the most part. A small accident here or there, one time at a park when he hadn't been to the potty in a LONG time and I had forgotten to ask him if he needed to go, and another time when he was in an unfamiliar place. No biggie. So, yay for that! I can't say it would work for every kid, but it worked for him.

Then, Number Two.

Ahhh, Number Two.

For some reason, going Number Two was really frightening for Cub. He did it once in his small potty and hated it and then did it once in the big potty and hated it more, and thusly started holding it until bedtime. He'd go to bed and about thirty minutes later would come out, saying he had done the dirty deed. Thank goodness we were still putting him in pull-ups during sleepy times (we went straight to big boy underwear during training)! The times he had gone Number Two in the potty were horrible--he screamed and cried and was terrified. I made up my mind that he just wasn't ready for that part of it yet. Agree or disagree, I, as his Mom, just didn't feel right forcing it. So, this was our routine--we knew Cub would come out after we put him to bed, declaring that he had just gone Number Two. We would farkle for who would change the pull-up. Fun times!

Then, last week, I decided maybe we should try it again. I took his small padded Lightning McQueen potty seat and put it on the big potty. He usually just goes in the normal potty, but for this I knew the padded seat would be more comfortable. Since bedtime was typically The Hour Of The Deed, I tried it before bedtime. I put Cub on the potty and told him to stay there. I knew he had to go and I knew he didn't want to, but I was firm that he had to stay on the potty for at least two minutes. He squirmed and cried and was miserable, but I was resolute. Just stay on the potty.

Sure enough, about a minute later, the deed was done and Cub was a whole new kid. His face lit up as he declared, "I did it!" I jumped around with him and hugged him and kissed him and we ran around the house yelling and flailing our arms in the air. The next night he protested again, but we had another success. Within a few nights, sitting on the potty became part of our bedtime routine, and he started going with no protests at all.

This was a pretty big deal for us. He was Number One trained way back in January (28 months old), but Number Two just took a little longer for him (almost 32 months old). I'm glad I didn't rush it, but I'm also glad that when I felt he was ready, I was resolute. It turns out, both approaches were the right approach, with different timing.

We put Cub to bed a bit ago and just a few minutes ago he came back out and said he needed to go Number Two, even though he had already done it earlier. I put his padded little seat on the potty and sure enough, he went! It's so good to see him grow in this way and to be so proud of himself. No more changing pull-ups at bedtime and he usually wakes up dry. Yay for that! He still needs some help undressing, but other than that, this kid is good to go. I know an accident might occur here or there, but I'm so glad that we've jumped this hurdle.

Oh, the joys of being a Mom: A blog post about potty training. This is the stage we are in, friends!

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Hey friends,

As many of you know, our part of the country has endured several severe and terrifying storms lately. The devastating tornado in Joplin has claimed at least 117 lives, which I've heard, if you analyze it per capita, would be similar to New York City losing 11,000 lives in a single event.

The weather service is predicting storms again tonight and some are saying that these will be even worse than before. Again, these are predictions, only giving the possible "potential" for what "might" come, but the fear is already in those of us who live in the Southern Plains.

If you pray, please say a prayer tonight. Pray for those in Joplin who are homeless and without loved ones, and pray for those in the path of the storms again tonight.

These are some pictures I took the night of the Joplin tornado, from our home in Oklahoma.

Right now the weather is cloudy, muggy, and ominous. The wind is picking up. If you are in our area and are in the path of these storms, please charge your phones, pack your important documents and food, diapers, and water, and keep your family close tonight. Again, if you are not in the path of these storms, please pray for this area of the country.

Thanks, friends. Be safe.

Heavenly Things.

When I was a kid, my Mom used to keep classical piano music playing throughout our house. We had an intercom system, so she would time it to play softly up to our rooms to wake us up in the mornings and to accompany us as we played on Saturdays. Thusly, many of my childhood memories have that soft music as their soundtrack.

Our good friends came to visit us this past weekend and we found ourselves in a discussion about heaven. We talked about the Garden of Eden and of perfection and of the beautiful things that God has created. The discussion then moved towards heavenly things. We talked about how we hoped for heaven, and realize that perhaps there are things here that God has given us as small glimpses of the heavenly life. Like relationships and the beauty of creation. It was a concept I hadn't really thought about before, that perhaps God had given us things here as tiny whispers of things eternal. Things that barely scratch the surface of what we will someday see, but things that nonetheless can take our breath away, if we let them. After they left, my husband and I sat outside that evening, listening to the wind in the trees and the chirping of crickets and frogs, and my mind wandered to the idea that these were, possibly, heavenly things. The essence of them, at least--peacefulness, quietness. The joy of being together. Things so pure and whole that only a loving God could have created them.

And again I think about my childhood and that music. And I think that my Mom, unbeknownst to her, was introducing something of a heavenly thing for my brother and I, as much as it was in her power to do so, surrounding our little lives with beautiful music. Peacefulness, quietness, beauty--our feeble human attempt to capture grace. And it makes me wonder if I do the same for my home. We pray. We read the Bible. But am I fostering the kind of space that allows for heavenly things to be seen? Or do I forget small details and allow the rush of the day to dictate the moments in our home?

Whichever is true, my hope is for the former, not the latter.

Just some thoughts today.

Have a lovely day.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Movin' On Up!

Today the chickens left their home in the garage ...

... traveled across the lawn ...

... and were introduced to their new and permanent home:

The coop.

(Nevermind the box of oil in the garage with a fried chicken on it. Tacky, I know.)

(Also, note that there are only three chickens in the box in the garage. That is because most of the chickens had already decided the box was too small for them, and they ran around the garage instead. Crazy chickens! Now all of them are safely in the coop.)

We ordered the coop from a lady who has lots of chickens and has a self-proclaimed proven approach to chicken coop design. It has wheels so we can lift it and move it around the yard to keep it evenly fertilized, but it's very heavy, which should help to keep it from tipping in this crazy Oklahoma wind. While I understood the necessity of keeping the chickies in the garage as babies, I'm quite happy for them to have their own home!

Welcome to the coop, chickens.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Six Years.

And many more to come. Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I was going to write a long post about something deep and contemplative.

Then my invite to Pinterest went through.

And now, now I'm obsessed.

(With some fun new ideas for Naomi's first birthday. Yeeee!)

Blogging will resume as normal, once I can cease pinning long enough to do so.

Have a lovely day!

Wordless Wednesday: Mama Loves Nap Time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brick By Brick.

A lady I know had shared this idea and I knew I wanted to use it when we moved.

The day we unloaded the moving truck, we were crazy busy and it almost slipped my mind, until I saw the appliance delivery guys pull in the driveway. I dug through our "office" box until I found a permanent marker, and then I went to work.

Amidst the swirl of people and the mountain of boxes, I hurriedly dedicated these spaces, where I know my heart and attitude can and will greatly determine the direction of our home.

I knew they would be hidden from view, but they would not be something I would soon forget.

It is easy as a stay-at-home-mom to find our daily tasks to be somewhat mundane. But I realize that happiness is not determined by what we do, but by the attitude we choose in doing it. And I want my attitude to be one of service, to be cheerful in what I do, knowing that whether I am cooking dinner or doing laundry, I am glorifying God by caring for what He has given to me. I am blessed to have children to feed. Blessed to have clothes to wash.

No matter what changes this house will see, these words will remain as long as these walls stand. And in the longest days, when the children are crying and the laundry is piled high and the dishes in the sink form a small mountain, I will know and believe that God has given me this life, that it is truly a gift, and while these moments are fleeting ones, they are important ones as well.

Have a lovely day.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Happy Monday.

Let me go ahead and recommend this little doozie if you do not already own one.

With a two-year old and almost-one-year old, it's safe to say that meals can get a tad ... crumbly. Very quickly. Rather than heave my Dyson out of the closet for every chunk of cracker, crusty noodle, or wayward cheerio, I whip out this baby and it does the trick every time. Versatile maneuvering. Good suction. Easy to empty.

Quite simply, it has changed my life.

(It is also quite proficient at sucking up spiders. GAH.)

(Also, I feel that owning a glorified Dustbuster makes me my Mother.)

(Which I don't mind, really.)

SO! If you do not have one, get one. It will make mealtime clean-up much faster and easier! That's my Monday suggestion for y'all. :)

Have a lovely day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Love {Tough Guy}.

While taking random pictures last night, I shot this one by accident and it makes me smile. My husband is obviously pondering over something.

What's so funny is that he is only facing the front door. What is he pondering? The wreath? Hmmm ... it's slightly off-center ...

Either way, I love my pondering man. :)

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

To Get To The Other Side.

We are adjusting to life well here. Most of the boxes in the house are unpacked, although there remains a small mountain in our garage of unpacked boxes from storage that have yet to be pilfered through. The kids' rooms are organized--not painted or decorated or cutesy, but they're organized and arranged, with toys in their boxes and sheets on their beds and clothes in their dressers. The kitchen now houses our appliances and silverware and cookie sheets and such, with a place for everything and everything in its place. And just when I took a sigh of relief, a blessed feeling of SEMI-COMPLETION, my husband decides we need to shake things up a bit.

After all, we are country folk now, so chickens are the natural next step, right? Our front lawn just wouldn't be complete without a few hens pecking their way around our grass, consuming bugs, scratching dirt ... getting eaten by predators ... you know. Chicken stuff.

We had discussed the option of purchasing some birds of the poultry persuasion when we first put an offer on this house. Of course, the "plan" was to purchase them sometime later, as in, say, next year. However, my husband got it in his mind that this year was just as good as next year and why wait? This is why we moved here, right? To do country-ish things?

So, we loaded up the kids (and my Dad, bless his heart, who happened to be visiting that day) and my husband took us to a remote town down a remote road to a remote farm. And there we picked out our chickens: Seven Ameraucanas and six Cochins. Did you see that? Did you see how I typed those breeds as if I know what I'm talking about? Please also see this:

This is me typing this post with a website found via Google on how one spells "Ameraucana". I thought it was just "Americana", like folk and rock and roll. Apparently not. It's fancier. Anyway. The Ameracaunas are black, medium-sized, and will lay blueish eggs, which is all kinds of fun. The Cochins are broody little bantys that are more for show and fun because they are little and poofy with fluffy feet. They may lay some, but (from what I've read), their eggs and small and make an appearance rarely.

I took a poll on Facebook on whether or not we should purchase chickens and the most comical were the replies that encouraged the purchasing of chicks if only to read about it on my blog. Because they WANT TO SEE THE TRAIN WRECK. We know nothing of chickens, but we like to eat eggs, especially of the free-range variety. This is our best attempt at country living. Shoot fire.

So, yay for you, dear Readership, for reveling in the pure joy of watching my country living attempts result in an epic fail in some way, whether it be a raid on the coop by a secretive group of malicious possums or my right eyeball being scratched out by a particularly moody hen. Either way, it's surely to make some good blog fodder. And, the little dears have grown on me.

The chickies currently reside in a tupperware box in our laundry room and their coop will be here Saturday.


Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Tip for Tuesday.

These are the walls in our formal living room, the room you saw in the previous post that housed our kitchen table for our Mother's Day lunch.

Nice touch-ups, eh?

When we did our final walk-through the day before we closed, we saw that the homeowners had graciously gone through the house and "touched up" the paint. This was the result.

Now. I am in no way hating on the previous homeowners. Why?


Our poor buyer had to see my feeble attempts at patching the holes in our walls (and they still bought our house!). Sweet buyer. So, when our realtor gestured to this particular wall and asked, "Would you like to have them fix this before we close?", my response was a fervent, "No, no, bless their hearts, they've done so much work, I FEEL THEIR PAIN."

So, this is my tip for the day: If you have a nail hole to patch, only cover the hole. Like, the tiny dot of the hole. Dip a toothpick in your spackling and very carefully fill the hole. Then take another toothpick or a fine-pointed watercolor brush and color only enough to cover the spackling. This advice came to me after I had done a touch-up like the aforementioned picture. I even used the right color of paint and it still looked rough. After I took this advice, the touch-ups were much better, even if I only had spackling and didn't have the right color of paint. A few tiny dots aren't that noticeable and are easy to cover.

Textured walls are tricky, I get it. But fixing this kind of "touch-up" requires that the whole wall be repainted ... nay, the whole room!

(And I personally didn't mind the tan in the first place.)

So, there you have it. Your Tip Tuesday.

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Happy Mother's Day.

The munchkins that made me a Mama.

And the festivities that ensued...

: A yummy lunch in the only quasi-decorated room in the house :

: Naomi gets the pineapple core :

: Cub and G-Ma on the trampoline :

: The girls :

: Uncle Andrew makes the inaugural jump into the pool :

(from the trampoline)

: Cubbie follows suit :

: Naomi with her yummy thighs on display :

: Happy boy :

: Baby girl :

: A wonderful day with the best in-laws ever :

(My Mom was visiting her Mama in Vermont.)

(So we just texted a lot.)

Have a lovely day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Love. {On Display}

When I opened one of our many boxes and found these beloved framed photos, I knew I wanted to display them immediately to give the house a personal feel, even if their spot would be only temporary.

The house has these cute bright white built-ins which offered the perfect quick-fix display.

And now that I see them, I really like them in that place. I like the white-and-white and I like that they are the first thing I see when I walk out of our bedroom.

One step closer to making this house our home.

Have a lovely weekend, friends.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

About The House.

The boxes are unpacked (mostly) and the furniture is (somewhat) situated. I still can't believe we're here, that we're actually here, in this house, the house we've stealthily driven by for the past six weeks, trying to and not trying to imagine what our lives would look like in this place; in this yard, in this house.

The house is a 4 bedroom/3 bathroom ranch-style and sits on five acres. Its long gravel driveway leads to a rarely-used street and most of the acreage falls to the front and side of the house. A third of the land is fenced off as pasture, where the pond is situated. When we initially began our house-search, we thought that maybe a little land would be nice, thinking two acres at the most. We chose to look at this house just for kicks and I'm very glad we did. The five acres is beautiful and sprawling. Every house on this street sits on at least five acres (leaving room for one neighbor on each side), making the land feel vast and open.

We've officially "gone country" and already our short time here has confirmed that we made the best choice for us. Every morning we awaken to the sound of birds singing, which is new for us! There is typically a small flock of Canadian geese in the front yard enjoying the morning mist and a white crane has declared the pond as its home. A distant neighbor owns a donkey which we hear braying at intervals throughout the day (quiet enough to not be a bother) and when you drive to our street you pass cows and horses. We've seen a snake, which I'm certain will be the first of many, and a spider or two, which confirms that we are, in fact, rural folk now!

But not too rural. Target is about ten minutes away and the grocery store is about eight. We were blessed to find what we consider to be a good amount of land so close to town. Close enough for convenience, but far enough for peace and quiet.

And oh, the quiet.

It's palpable. I hadn't realized the impact of the street noise from our first home until we moved to a place that has none. At night, when the birds are quiet and the donkey is parked in his stall, it is silent. It's a silence that was almost unnerving the first night, but one that we've welcomed ever since. And it's dark. Our previous corner lot saw two street lights situated on each side of the house that caused the house to glow at night. Now there is simply darkness. I could tell the darkness scared Cub a little (he was used to one of the street lights being close to his window), so we put a little night light in his room. I wasn't sure of his fear of the dark until I asked him if he wanted the light on or off and he answered firmly, "ON." Besides the dark nights, the kids are having a blast here. Cub loves to play outside and throw rocks in the pond and Naomi has eaten her fair share of grass.

The house herself is a beauty. It was a custom build for the previous owners and they didn't paint very much. The house sits like a blank canvas, awaiting a little extra love that we can't wait to give. Every day we remark on the light of the rooms--the windows paired with the high ceilings of the entryway make the house bright and cheery. There is a formal dining room separated by columns into an open hallway and formal living room when you walk through the front door. Through a doorway in the formal living room you walk into the kitchen which is open to a breakfast nook and den. I am excited to claim these spaces as our own. If you know us, then "formal" isn't exactly a word you would probably choose, and I can't wait to turn the formal dining room into a cozy reading nook and the formal living room into a relaxed space to chat with friends.

(Dining Room)

(Living Room)



The kids' rooms are on their own end of the house with their own bathroom, while the guest room and bathroom and the master bedroom and bathroom are situated on the other end.

(Guest Bedroom)

When I sit in the dining room (it has my favorite old yellow chair in it now) in the morning and watch the mist hover over the pond, my heart moves from satisfied to overflowing. This place, this precious place, is now our home. We bless God's Name and praise Him in the hard times as well as in the good, and we dedicate this home to Him, thanking Him for His gracious kindness. I hope we can use it to bless others, the way it is already blessing us, and I pray that we won't miss those opportunities when they come.

(We very much look forward to housing guests.)

Have a lovely day.