a beautiful farm

I shared some of these on instagram, but just found a few more while going through our pictures.
Summer is so glorious. And busy. Remember how we had a baby 3 months ago? I think that's sort of about to catch up with us. We are ready to lay low. October is still packed full of farm-to-do's, but Rory just mentioned tonight that he can feel things slowing down a bit. And by slowing down he means after the farmer's market this weekend, after we double the size of our garden and build a fence around it, after we wall in the animals in the barn, after we sell the ram and billy, after we put in our order for piglets in the spring, buy a tractor and after we split the winter's fire wood. Ha!

overheard (mostly elsie quotes...)

Yesterday I decided that I really had to write down some of the funny things said around here. My plan was to have a post of funny things at the end of the month. Turns out, by the end of the day I had incredible material.

Me: Do you want some ham? Elsie: "No that will make way me too chilly! I need cheese!"

Ivar: "Elsie! You are way too noisy! I am trying to cut with scissors right now!"

Elsie: "Mom, for my birthday, my DREAM would be two cans of chicken noodle soup."

Elsie: Mom. In the new earth, the one with no sin or sickness or stuff like that...I'm never going to wash my own dishes, okay?

mara's cross country meet

I took the kids to watch my niece Mara's cross country meet. Mara is in 7th grade and in some awesome twist, had a meet at the golf course that is 20 minutes from my house, the very golf course I golfed at when I was on the Girls Golf team in high school.
It was so fun. I loved getting to see this part of Mara's life. Her friends were so awesome. They were so welcoming of me and my kids and made me feel like a mother and four young children with a double stroller fit right in. They were really, really nice girls. Which made me so glad for Mara. Kindness is such a needed quality in the world, and these girls felt kind to me.
 And they posed for all my pictures. Which was also very kind. :)
The location was gorgeous and the day was glorious. Here comes my little runner, who though her gold high heels would be appropriate footwear for the meet. I laughed when she got out of the car. And then I realized I didn't remember to grab Hattie's shoes. And laughed again. Doh.
Probably the best part was seeing how much Mara seemed to enjoy the whole thing. As a non-runner, I am in awe of anyone who runs for fun. Even my kids wondered many times on the way there why she and her team would just run and run. At one point during the non-stop questioning I told them that they actually let a bear out of a cage to chase the runners and that is why they run. Which they found horrifying. And then hilarious. But Mara doesn't need a bear to chase her. She looked like she was having a blast which is so fun to watch.
Here's the other thing that I continue to see as a grown-up that I wish I could have seen as a kid. No one cares who comes in last. No one. Everyone is there cheering for everyone. I suppose there are competitive coaches and pushy parents, but man, we were standing by grandparents and moms and dads and I just was glad for each kid out there, who was trying. And I wish I hadn't spent so much of my life tied up in what other people thought of me. No one is thinking anything about the last runner, or any runner actually, except the one they came to watch. All this to say, I loved watching every runner. The first to the last.
Mara got to hold Alden as her prize. I think he's thinking deeply here about how he still needs to learn how to sit up, roll over, crawl and walk before he can even imagine running. There is a lot ahead of that little boy. 

And below is Mara, holding her 7th place cowbell! She did amazing. Seriously, her strides were huge the whole way. Her legs are incredible and we all were very, very proud. We love you Mara!
Also. You are growing up so beautifully. I love you to pieces and cannot believe how fast time is flying by. Let's have another sleep over. Love, Aunt Bec

I don't want to forget...

I put this picture on instagram with the caption: Tummy Time Support Staff. Alden has a good crew.

I still have a few books I want to share, but first I have a few things to write down that I just don't want to forget!

1. Ivar came yelling down the stairs on Friday night before bedtime, "I just made a MEMORY!!!" And then he explained how he was brushing his top teeth and this front tooth fell out, bounced on the counter and fell down between the counter and wall. We will likely find it if we ever renovate that bathroom. He truly did loose his tooth!

Also, the fact that he said he made a memory made me SO PROUD that he is my son.

His other front tooth is also very loose and has moved over to center stage and his smile is awesome right now. Just one tooth in the front, swaying back and forth.

2. Hattie's had a bad dream the other night and Rory could not console her. So he called me in and I held her in the rolling office chair next to her crib while Rory sat on the floor and kept his hands on her. I sang, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there's just something about that name..." and Rory prayed for Hattie as she cried and whimpered and heaved her sad breaths out until she finally fell back asleep. She is a sweet one, and I love that Rory and I are a united front when it comes to that little girl.

3. When we drive from town back to our farm we can see our barn and field and I'll say, "boy that sure is a pretty farm. Look at those sheep in that orchard. That's a lucky family who gets to live there..." and Elsie shouts excitedly from the backseat every time, "Mom! That's actually our farm! We are the family who gets to live there!!"

4. And while I'm thinking about our car, I once told the kids I was sorry I didn't have a snack for them while we were driving to another destination. They said, "oh, it's okay! We have our bagels from church back here!" I said they must be pretty hard by now, but they said not if they dunk them in their water. Then a few days later I said I wish I had brought their sweatshirts and they said, "oh we keep them in the car now!" Another time I didn't have cash for a garage sale and they both said, "we have our money holders!" So recently I scoped out the way back seat and sure enough. They basically have it set up as a little locker room. They will never be unprepared.

5. I continue to tell others that I liken Alden to a goldfish. I feed him every three hours and once in a while change his...water. The kid is so, so chill. His whole disposition is, "happy to be here, mom. thanks for having me. let me know when you have a minute. it's okay if you don't." He is positively adored by the five members of his family and has no lack of attention and love. I would be interested in what percentage of my day is spent getting pillows and siblings set up so they can hold Alden. It's a good chunk of the day.

the farmer's market

For our 12 year anniversary this year, Rory and I celebrated by setting up a booth at the Farmer's Market! I was thinking late on Friday night as we were putting our booth together in our garage (sort of a trial run) that 12 years earlier Rory had sang a song to me at our groom's dinner. He sang in front of everyone the song from Mr. Rogers. We sang it to each other while we were dating and the lyrics are: "It's such a good feeling, to know you're alive. It's such a happy feeling, you're growing inside. And when you wake up ready to say, "I think I'll make a snappy new day." It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling, the feeling you know that I'll be back when the day is new and I'll have more ideas for you and you'll have things you'll want to talk about. I will too."

It was that last line that I thought was so fitting 12 years later. Rory has more ideas that anyone I know. And I have things for us to talk about until our dying day. So we worked together making signs, pricing items, deciding how we'd hang everything for display. It was a blast.
It actually felt quite a bit like a high school group project, except Rory and I were in a group with a newborn and one-year-old. I told him that my entire group project history is filled with the teacher taking me aside before announcing the groups and saying, "Becca, I am putting so-and-so in your group because I know you are kind and will be able to help him succeed." I could name every project and every kid if you'd like. But apparently all of those experiences led me to this ultimate challenge: four children and a booth of chickens and crafts. :)
I loved the entire morning. We had friends stop by all morning long and A TON of interest in our grass-fed, pastured meats. People even bought frozen chickens on the spot! We are heading back on October 7th for more fun and I can't wait. It seriously was one of those days that after the fact it made me smile for days, thinking about how much fun I had.

I don't think we'll do this every Saturday. But we definitely can see signing up for special events and creating crafts to suit the event. Our town has a Winter Walk in December and our brains are spinning for what we could bring and sell to that event. Life is fun. Rory is fun. It was a great anniversary.