May 29, 2015

Wishing and Working

I think it's ironic that we make a wish as we blow weed seeds through the universe.  
I love dandelions.
Yesterday we bought our garden plants.
I'm determined to get better at this garden/weeding thing.
We planted some annuals and some hanging baskets.
And I bribed my younger kids--
5 cents for a small dandelion 
10 cents for a large
5 cent bonus for a really long root!

They got into the $3 range and we took a trip to the local Dollar General.
Yesterday was a difficult day for me.  My kids were cranky and so was I.
But somehow the morning comes and all is well.
I'm ready to start again.
I guess that's what I love about dandelions and gardens and family-- you always have another thing to learn, another chance to try.
Rocco ran again on our morning walk.  He was chasing some BIG FLAPPING THING (owl?, wild turkey?, dove?, ha!  I have no idea) in my sacred grove.
This time I was prepared.  He was on a leash.  After getting tangled in a tree, he pulled his head out of the collar with the leash attached!!  Have no fear-- I had his shock collar on also AND the remote control shocker in my hand!!!  Double wammy. Pow!  One warning beep and one well-deserved ZAP later, he was out of the woods and by my side again.

It's going to be a good day.  I can figure out teenagers, kids, tots, AND active puppies.  Watch out world...
Insert evil laugh... The wild flapping thing got away and Rocco stayed by my side as we walked home.  Victory!!

We are not keeping score. If we were, it might look something like 
Rocco:187  Jen:1 (maybe 3)
I am not the best gardener, homemaker, dog owner, wife, mother, or Christian around.
But gosh darn it, I AM someone who dreams big and works hard.

I LOVE wishing on dandelions-- even though I know as I'm blowing and wishing, I am creating for myself a bit more work.
Dream on friends!!
Life is good!!

I listened to the BEST talk this morning...  take a few minutes and click here.
Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying!!
President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final."

May 28, 2015

The View From My Window

From Germany, Todd sent me this picture with the text: Here's the view out my window.
In response, I documented my morning walk.
I think he's a hunting dog.
I really don't want to discuss that silly dog.  Let's just say a herd of deer may or may not be slightly more compelling then a pain in his neck.  There may be a reason why there is no dog pictured in the second half of my walk this morning.
(You might not be able to tell, but there is a large herd of deer grazing at the end of our field pictured above.  I really don't care if you suspected that because his ears are perked and his tail is up.  Some of us prefer picture taking to dog zapping... And by the time we find the dumb zapper the dog might well have chased the deer out of dog zapping range.  Hypothetically speaking.)

Although I can't vouch for the baby fawns, I will tell you that there is one happy, tired, and slightly shocked pooch in our doghouse this morning.
Can you see the deer?
They love Upstate NY.
So do I.
Country road, take me home, to the place!!, I belong!!!!
Good morning sun!
You know, someday I will have more stamps in my passport.  But for now, I am content with the view from my front porch as I type this silly blog and my kids ask, "Mom, what's for breakfast?"
Home Sweet Home.
Honestly, I can't wait for Todd to be here with me again.  I believe I've reached my tipping point.  :)
Life is beautiful.

May 25, 2015

Dandelion Abbey

Eve grabbed a dandelion out of my bucket of weeds.  "Mom!  Wook!" She said with concern.  "Someone thwowed away your favowit fwower."

We've had a house full of company this weekend.  Lots of fun, lots of work. Our yard is beautiful even as it is still transforming.

I've dubbed our home Dandelion Abbey.  Similar to Downton Abbey but without the staff.  :)

See the before-after transformation of these trees.
Happy Memorial Day friends.

May 22, 2015

Growing Like Weeds.

If I'm not careful, Spring can bring with it a heaviness.  Weeds, concerts, travel, parties... The list of things to do grows as quickly as the dandelions in my grass.

I tell myself daily that God designed weeds.  He blessed us with life so that we can learn to work.  Our goal should not be to get to the point where we're finished.  Our goal should just to be pressing our "way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron." (1 Nephi 8:30)

When I take away the guilt that comes because I haven't already done something, and the pressure I have to get something done for some nebulous deadline that I'm missing, I am happy in my state of pressing forward.  

The secret of life is that life is a journey.  You never "finish" you just progress from thing to thing.  So, enjoy your thing.  
My kids are growing as quickly as my chickens!
This is my baby Wyandotte.
 This is my freedom ranger.  Those two chicks were born on the same day.  Broilers grow so fast!  They're beasts.
Here is one of our cute turkeys.
(Ignore my double chin-- it's just the camera angle.  Ha.)

We have the chicks in a stall in our barn.  The kids have been so creative setting things up for them.
They made their own baby gates out of plywood.  Freedom Rangers on left, turkeys on right.  The turkeys fly more so they're covered with netting.
We cut notches in 4x4s to hold up the plywood.  I love Drew's hammered on safety additions.
I've been playing with spray paint, refinishing a little table to put our bunny on.
A giraffe family.
A giraffe eating.
My life is busy but dreamy.
I love that my kids are learning to work hard and play hard.
I sure love this messy-faced kid.
These girls swell my soul.
When my big kids get home, we all head out to the garden beds to weed and mulch.
I'm so impressed at what a good job they do.
It's coming!!  We literally have done 1/20th of our yard.  If you really knew what a busy time of the year this is for us, you would be equally impressed.

Honestly, they key to maintaining mental health when you have a lot going on is not letting yourself worry about your list.  Just prioritize and walk forward.  I'm amazed at how much I can accomplish when I'm not freaked out at how much I need to accomplish.

Of course, it helps that I have a large family.  My older kids are SO helpful.  
It has been a blessing that sweet Lily is home sick.  Her touch in my life is orderly and sweet.
She rainbow-tizes my ponytail holders and picnics with my little ones.
You might gasp to know how excited I was to surprise them with Fluff and peanut butter sandwiches.  Their delighted squeals compensated for the fact that they were eating mystery substances.  
Ha!  11 is fun.  Ellie is fun.

Sometimes life is hard, sometimes life is picturesque.  Sometimes you are laying on your back unable to do, and sometimes your list is long and your nails are full of dirt.

The ebbs and flow of life are beautiful.
There is a time to rest and a time to work.

These are my days to pull weeds.
And I can't tell you how grateful I am for every silly weed I pull.

Life is beautiful.
Even if your days are numbered.
Just ask Thanksgiving Tom!
He's enjoying today and doesn't care a wink if I have a double chin... :)
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