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April 2009
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June 2009

May 2009

Simplify

Thank goodness for a little rain. 

I am finally making some progress in my *~simplify~* madness. 

My kids are joking "don't leave something lying around right now or mom will throw it in the Good Will bag!!"


We have packers come, but they tend to use a ridiculous amount of paper. So to lessen our environmental impact, we pack some stuff ourselves. And I packed up my fabric. 7 boxes of it. I think I *might* have a problem here...... 7 boxes?!?! Is there a fabric anonymous support group anywhere?? I may need to join..... 

I told my Aunt (a fellow fabric addict) "some women get their hair done, buy shoes & shop for clothing, I buy fabric." 


Of course when one has to box it all up and have their husband come in and see a monstrous pile of boxes lining the wall in the bedroom and my sheepish grin.... Oy! Lucky for me my guy is a VW addict.... so he's probably got 7 (or more) boxes of tools :) 


Packing up the fabric ensures I won't get distracted and sew anything in the next few days.....

....on another note..... a cheaters note..... any of you fabric addicts know that packing fabric is pure joy. You get to look at all your fabric stash!!


But we're down to counting days here. Trying to get things cleaned up and trying to go through every little nook of our belongings. Pare things down. It's such a monumental task and the unfortunate thing about moving often is that I don't save a lot for later. I used to...... but with 6 people worth of "later" in the closets, we could hardly breathe...... so I decided to give/sell most of it. The crib *sniffle*, the baby clothes *sigh*, the clothes I saved from one kid to the next *oh dear*. I'm a second hand shopper myself .... so I figure giving good stuff away is like giving myself good Karma for my next trip to the thrift store :) I passed some of  it on to people who were very appreciative. A teen parent center in Duluth was perfect for the baby toddler stuff..... Of course I save a few sentimental things, but I'm down to 3 totes. One for kids momentos .... you know art, little notes, stuff they made and such. One for clothing. One for toys. This was no easy task! But it just seemed crazy to hold onto 4 totes of clothes to "grow in to" with our lifestyle.

I suppose I should try this tactic on my fabric...... 


Homeowners

We closed on our house!!!

(I think this means we can finally stop holding our breath - phew!)

Okay, so maybe the word word homeowners is a wee bit of a stretch.... the bank actually owns more of the home then we do! But we own a nice little chunk of it. And it is ours. No landlord. No pets on approval. No permission needed to paint the walls.

Sweet Bliss :)


Gateway to our backyard... (I adore all the old oak trees!!)

Gateway

Yard


These two pics are of the backyard. The house has tons of plants and looks like a bit of a jungle in spots..... we plan to put two raised beds for gardening in the backyard and fence it all in so the kids & critters stay inside :) In a few months it will be our own little suburban oasis! 


And if you'd like to see more pictures, click here. We took pictures when we were house hunting back in April, when this house was still a *hope & dream*.  The house hasn't been updated since the 70's.... which also means it hasn't blown away in a hurricane since the 70's..... and just think of all the blogs you'll be reading of the renovation process!


:-)


Thank You

While I certainly don't agree with the political side of the war in Iraq, that in no way interferes with the deep gratitude I have for my soldiers. 

After all, as Mark Twain wisely said "Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it."

Leaving your life and family behind to serve your country is no easy task. I know you do it with  heavy hearts. Yet you are proud of your country. Willing to fight, and to die, for what you believe in. Much of what we have, is due to what you have given up.

To the Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncles, Brothers, Grandmothers, Mothers, Aunts and Sisters, to those who have served or are currently serving our country, to the families and spouses who support them and to all those who have given their life for this great country, thank you.


And to my Uncle Jeff, in Iraq right now, God's Speed. We miss you. We love you. Thank you.


Jeff

My Uncle Jeff (no worries on the fish, he released it!)


sun

I close my eyes....

and hear the birds sing.....

my sweet babe's laughter.....

the warm sun on my skin...

the sweet smell of spring...

oh how I do love that sunshine.


Worm

loves worms


Dirtqueen

dig it


Basket

little yellow basket


Dirty toes

toes


Nest

bird nest from last year


Tractor

tractor ride


Sunnycheeks

sun on those cheeks



I really should be cleaning...... but who can stay *in* when all this is going on *out*. Have a great weekend :)


2 weeks

You'll be seeing me less and less in the next few weeks...... 

There is just so much do to before we leave and my sweet babes are a wee bit more needing of my time with the anticipation of the move.....

I hope you stop by every now and then to see the progress and know that upon arrival in our new home I'll be back here a bit more regularly again :)

We moved our pack date up date a bit and I realized it is exactly 2 weeks from today.....

After our belongings are packed up we have a few days to clean our rental and say our goodbyes before heading out on the road again........

Every move is different for the kids.... as they grow the relationships with their friends and their surroundings is a deeper connection. Our oldest is excited to see Louisiana, but he is not looking forward to saying goodbye to all his homeschool buddies. Miss 10 is all about adventure and is counting the days until we head out. Miss 6 is a mix of excitement and anxiety. I think she asks at least a hundred questions a day about our new home. And the wee one..... while I am sure he can feel the shift of energy in the house, he doesn't understand the concept of moving yet.

As for me, I am always a mix. Moving is in my blood and ingrained in my mind...... my breath of fresh air..... I can feel it waning a bit this time. The thought comes to mind "I could stay here". A new thought for me. A thought that makes me know that in a few short years I will be ready to stay somewhere

The dream of a little farm and chickens and sheep and growing my own food and keeping bees..... it grows just a tiny bit each day. And one day the need for that will be greater than the need to move and then we'll settle. But right now I still yearn for the open road and the experience of a new place...... I need to see a bit more before I settle on the forever site......


But, back to the current moment. Here are two more things I will miss about Wisconsin.


Deer


The deer. My deer. This is a hard shot to see, but sunset pictures are tricky ones. Remember our chicken coop? Well it left last week, but a few days before it left I got this photo. Most days near sunset a few deer would come into the yard and eat the food and scraps left behind from the chickens. We move it once or twice a day and the deer quickly found a good place to get a snack.


Lake

And the lake. The big sandy beaches to walk on for miles and miles. There will be more sandy beaches down south, but I will miss this one. And I will miss seeing that big beautiful lake.


Staying present in this moment and soaking up memories. All good ones. That's priority for us right now. Today when the kids wake up I'll be asking them to make a list of what they want to do before we head out...... I'll keep you posted and I'm sure I'll snap a few photos of their request too......

    


Art with Chickens

Before the chickens left, we did chicken art. 

Yes, that's right, chicken art.

And what is chicken art? Well, let's just say it involves paint and lots of people holding chickens.

With the Daddo away, we were one person shy of getting a photo..... too bad because I'm sure it was funny! 


I'll try to help you imagine the scene::

Mister 12 - holding not so happy chicken

Miss 10 - chasing overtired barefoot wee one through the grass

Miss 6 - chasing big sister to "help" her with wee one

Mama - painting chicken foot with fabric paint

As this idea came alive we all grabbed t-shirts and I got the paint and then a few minutes later we were using our hen's feet as a stamp. The shirts came out really great..... it was certainly a fun experience..... maybe not for the chicken. But she certainly enjoyed getting her feet washed in warm water afterwards!

So here are the shirts::

Chicken Art

Art with Chickens....

And just for fun I whipped up a chicken skirt for Miss 6.... fabric given to me by my Auntie, a fellow fabric lover :) Miss 10 wants a tote bag made out of it next. The pattern used here is from Oliver + S. You can get it for free on their blog! It's a really quick skirt to make. Fun too!

Skirt

on the line

Toes

little toes


One sad little note, morning coffee just isn't the same without those sweet hens squawking at the sunrise. But our friends are in LOVE with them, so it warms my heart knowing they are at a new home getting organic produce scraps and giving their eggs to thankful folks and spending time under the arm of a kid carrying them around. That's a darn good life for a chicken :)

Have a lovely weekend ALL :)


** ps ~ no chickens were harmed in the making of this art :-) in fact, they may have enjoyed it**


Farewell to "the girls"

The dreaded day has finally come and gone.

The day our girls (the chicken ones, not the human ones) would go to their new home. A good friend of ours, who has other chickens, came and got our girls and their coop. The kids did remarkably well. This family is a homeschooling family and our kids are all friends. The kids ran around the yard as the parents loaded up coop, hens & their stuff. Hen's have stuff you know! Totes full of food and sawdust and watering bowl and feeder and such.

The girls were loaded into a dog kennel. At which point my friend & I fully expected them to freak out, but they didn't. They just made some noises that surely meant they were irritated and then proceeded to scratch at the kennel floor..... they are all about food!

Everything went smoothly and before we knew it, we were making sure the right kids were loaded in the car and in house..... and our friends and hens were off. No tears. Nothing. 

We had told the kids from the start that the chickens would have to find a new home when we relocated. But I didn't expect them to deal with it so gracefully. The evening was quiet and we talked about how much fun those crazy hens were. We talked about getting chickens again this fall. Maybe some bantams since we've got a small yard at the new place. Maybe we'll even hatch out some eggs. 

While loading the hens up, our friend that took them remarked on the hens' calm dispositions. Miss 10 had overheard this and said, in a matter of fact tone, "Well, they are the best chickens ever!" 

And they are. 

The Gang




Kenneled




Coop Trailer



For a new Babe

These were made for sweet little N born just a few days ago. His mama is my dear, dear friend and so this outfit was made and sent away with love to good friends. Welcoming their new sweet babe into the family. I figure since this sweet little guy is too far away for me to hold..... a little handmade goodness is in order.

Congrats on the new little bundle :) He's a lucky one!



For Little N



sea~horse



baby



**Pattern used for pants is Burda #9828 

(patterns can be purchased at www.sewingpatterns.com)


Eating Out

What is it about a picnic?

There is something...... something I am not quite sure of..... but the food tastes better..... the kids seem to get along better..... 

Our dinner usually goes something like this.....
"please sit down"
"please don't kick your sister"
"I know you like swinging your legs, but your sister doesn't like getting kicked"
"maybe you should switch places so you can sit near mama"
chairs and plates and cups get shuffled and the chance of spilled water/milk/wine is high.......
"please don't throw your food" (this is the wee one's new trick, I am blaming it on our dog's ability to catch flying food)

You've been here too perhaps?

And then, it was finally warm enough to eat outside again. 6 people squished at our itty bitty picnic table and I swear I did not utter a single "please don't " the entire time. It may have been the sun..... or perhaps it was the live music...... but it was magical.

(As far as flying food, the dog was not invited to dinner on the porch. Sorry Sid)

picnic table
Pre-dinner Art...          


Not invited
No dogs allowed tonight.      


Live music
Live at our place.....           

    

And the count down begins.....

4 weeks.

Until the movers/packers come.

My "to-do"list grows faster then I check things off of it....

Of course spending most of the weekend sewing wasn't exactly on the list....


So, with the countdown in mind, I thought it might be fun to post a picture or two on here every Monday of something I love about this area and that I will miss. A lot of these will be something I see every day... perhaps nothing special..... but still something I enjoy.


Today is a perfect example.


These screen doors are on the way to Joe's work. I adore them. I want them when I grow up and we buy our little house in the woods somewhere.... Silly, I know, to think a girl can love a set of screen doors...... but I have this thing for "woodsy-looks-like-a-gnome-lives-there-owls-and-toadstools-and-fairies" sort of stuff. My husband would like to call it an addiction...... something similar to my fabric habit..... oh dear! But I love this whimsical design. 



Screen Doors


Truly, the colors are better than this, but seeing as I don't actually know the owners of these doors, this was sort of a drive by and quickly take a picture of the cool doors and hope the inhabitants don't notice sort of picture...... so it doesn't do them justice. However, this photo is plenty good enough for my husband to figure out how to build some for me in a few years (a-hem, please bookmark this dear!)


I hope this inspires you to look around and notice something ordinary that you love.