Pretty Happy Funny Real

How long has it been since my last post? Well, no matter. I’m here now. Anyway, I did warn you. :-)

Evie Makes Faces
Pretty, happy, and funny: Evie celebrated her six week birthday yesterday, and I tried to get a picture of her smile for you, but all I got was wiggles, grunts, and an aborted attempt at protest. Still, she’s a cutie.
Real: She weighs in at nearly twelve and a half pounds! She won’t even consider going more than 90 minutes without a meal, except at night. At night, I have to wake her up.

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Pretty: Our broccoli and Brussels sprouts starts, all beaded with rain.
Real: They’re still not in the ground. It’s been a combination of unpredictable weather swings, a new baby, and chickens escaping into the garden area, but I’m committed to planting them today, before our next round of rain comes in tonight!

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Happy and funny: For some reason, Tommy got it into his head that muddy rain puddles and fire trucks are obvious mates! He enjoyed himself for a good long time, though.
Real: We got about five inches of rain in the past week. Our farm is muck, muck, muck. Nobody cares to venture out back of the barn, not even the cows. I apologize for making them walk through it every morning. Our Ohio River is running pretty high, too.

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Happy and real: We are no longer in the rabbit business! And you can be grateful I didn’t show you the photos of Dave and Laney making them into meat. Some of them were quite good!

Linking up at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

How Come I Can’t Have Everything I Want?

Well, hello, there! I’ve been away for a while.  I’ve had some things to take care of, you see.  Things that just couldn’t wait any longer.  Things that needed my personal attention.  Because I am the keeper of the Grand Plan, and I also have the ability to backward plan.  This is, apparently, not an inherited trait.  Anyway, the incubator is running, the calving schedule is known, and information has been acquired for upcoming decisions.  I also ordered a load of gravel, scheduled a consultation for two with an orthodontist, and had my calves polled.  It’s about time.

My children have suddenly discovered how to combine the unit blocks with the train sets to make elevated tracks.

My children have suddenly discovered how to combine the unit blocks with the train sets to make elevated tracks.

I realized on Sunday that I have to get back into the swing of things.  I haven’t been doing much lately, and I guess it was starting to wear on me, because I was getting pretty darned irritated over things that don’t usually irritate me. I figured that meant I needed to get back to being me again. People always say you should take care of yourself first (and then offer the airplane/oxygen mask analogy). I don’t think that’s necessarily reasonable, as the needs of those around you are often more pressing, but you should definitely make a little room for your own self.

I knew these two were made for each other, but they've been together for years without anyone else noticing!

I knew these two were made for each other, but they’ve been together for years without anyone else noticing!

That’s why I decided that Evie would just have to get along without me for a while each morning and told the girls I’d be doing the morning milkings from now on.  Evie is usually pretty calm and quiet in the mornings, and I figured the backup Barn Buddy could transition to backup Baby Bouncer, and I could spend a half hour doing something I really enjoy. So far, so good. Evenings are another story right now, but I can take the mornings, at least.  And I really like my cows.

Now that they know, however, they've had various track configurations meandering around the living room for days.

Now that they know, however, they’ve had various track configurations meandering around the living room for days.

I have a few other ideas in my head that I’m kind of excited about, and I’m looking forward to some small pockets of time here and there so I can move forward with them. Little things I’ve been thinking about forever, but haven’t been brave enough to actually try. What does that say to my children, I ask you? How can I tell them to put themselves out there, when I myself am worried that no one will like what I have to offer?

I sure do appreciate the new upwards building schemes; much more compact than the older editions.

I sure do appreciate the new upwards building schemes; much more compact than the older editions.

So… onward. If mine were traveling plans, it would all be a piece of cake, as Evie is a most excellent traveler. At home, though, she wants to be held. All the time. She’s not quite ready to be her own person just yet. And that’s okay, because I’m not ready for her to be her own person yet, either. I guess I’m in a bit of a pickle. :-)

Gratuitous baby picture, with her mama this time.  I look old.  Not a word.  :-)

Gratuitous baby picture, with her mama this time. I look old. Not a word. :-)

Anyway, little Evelyn will be one month old tomorrow. She smiles much more readily, like it isn’t quite so much of an effort anymore. I just look at her and she grins, which makes middle-of-the-night nursings that much more enjoyable. She’s already outgrown those newborn diapers I got her, too, but I don’t mind. It was worth it to have them, even for just those three weeks, because she really was leaking a lot. It’s a little hard to find her decent clothes right now, because everyone has switched to spring and summer clothes, but it snowed today. (I know. I don’t even want to talk about it.) Still too cold for bare arms and legs!

And that is, I think, all I have to say for now. It will probably be another week or two before I write again, because when I have things to do – and, consequently, things to write about – I have no time to write! Another conundrum. :-)

Evie Yawns

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You know, I have the  hardest time remembering her name.  I always want to call her Penelope.

I’m not doing much these days.  I take pictures.  I nurse the baby.  I cook food (and dessert).  I hold the baby.  I tidy minor messes.  I kiss the baby.  And if the baby should happen to be asleep, I milk a cow.  Nope, not doing much at all.

Children in Their Natural Habitats: Megan

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The other day, I went upstairs to make some photographs of my birthday girl.  Alas, she was not there, but I did find some other children, and the light streaming through their windows was so lovely, I started shooting anyway.  When I walked in on this little scene, Megan had her head under that pillow and Rosie, our resident neat-freak, was cleaning her room.  I next went to Tommy’s room, where he was playing with Legos, and was so delighted by his photos, I was inspired to make photos of all the children in their “habitats”.  Two of them realized what I was about and were able to pull off about two minutes of tidying before I caught them, but this is pretty much the natural state of my children’s spaces.  The rest of the series will follow!

Something New

I said at the beginning of the year that I wasn’t going to take on anything new, but I lied. Around mid-January, I stumbled upon something called Project Life, decided it was perfect for me, and jumped in whole-hog. (I have no idea what that means, and I have hogs.)

Evie discovers her toys!  They amused her for quite some time.

Evie discovers her toys! They amused her for quite some time.

Although the frailties of digital media has always bothered me, it really came to the forefront when I lost my whole blog last year. All those memories are gone for me. And computers die on a regular basis, too. So far, Davey has been able to save most of my photos, but it’s an unstable situation, and I don’t like instability.

Penny and Meg are very close.  I love the interactions between the older and younger children, something we would have missed out on if we hadn't had so many!

Penny and Meg are very close. I love the interactions between the older and younger children, something we would have missed out on if we hadn’t had so many!

So Project Life! It’s sort of a hybrid of a photo album, a scrapbook, and a diary, consisting of a big binder, photo sleeves in various configurations, a stack of journaling and filler cards, and photos! They recommend weekly layouts, but I do mine by month. I find it very easy to keep up with, since I only have to slip photos or journal cards into pockets. No cutting or gluing or styling or over thinking of the whole thing. I just print my photos, write my little stories, and go. I said in January that if I make it to June, I’ll start working on another year (and I’ve been printing out my old photos each month, too) but I enjoy this so much, I think I’ll start much sooner.

Five sisters, so blessed to have each other.

Five sisters, so blessed to have each other.

Another issue with digital media: My three younger children have been wondering for years why there are no photos of them in the albums! They are loving this project, too. I keep my binder on my desk so i can work on it, and all seven of them spend a lot of time looking through the two months of pages I’ve put together so far. Lots of pictures of all family members, and my stories, at least, to go with them. (They also collect and trade any unused photos I place at the corner of my desk, but that’s another story. :-) )

Do you have a system of preserving and archiving your digital photos and stories? How do you do it?

Party Like It’s Lent

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So most people consider Lent a time of abstinence and sacrifice. We give things up – most notably dessert – in order to grow closer to Christ. We tried that for a few years, but it just made us sad. For one thing, we tend to show love with still-warm chocolate chip cookies and homemade not-quite-blue-ribbon brownies. For another, we now have as many as four birthdays likely to fall during the Lenten season. No, we try to do Lent a little differently here. Instead of focusing on giving something up, we focus on acts of service. I figure that’s more likely to result in positive post-Lenten behaviors anyway.

Today is one of our Lenten birthdays, and I thought you might like to hear our Lenten Birthday Guidelines.

1. Lenten babies are worth celebrating, too! No birthday shall be skipped or postponed unnecessarily.
2. All birthdays are considered both feast days and national holidays. Therefore, there will be no school and, if the birthday should fall on a Lenten Friday, no abstaining from meat, unless your favorite meal happens to be meatless.
3. The aforementioned guidelines are null and void if the birthday falls on either Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, which days are so solemn that Holy Mother Church requests fasting on these two days alone. In this case, the birthday shall be celebrated with all due pomp on the day immediately following.
4. If you did give up sweets for Lent, it would be uncharitable to decline a piece of birthday cake. Say thank you, eat politely, and offer up your sacrifice for the holy souls in Purgatory.

Amen.

Do you have Lenten birthdays? How does your family handle them?

And now for a gratuitous baby photo. :-)
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