Being raised on a farm

farm kid

I love this picture! It’s not often I take the time to reflect on the life we have chosen to give to our children.  Part of that is because I grew up in this lifestyle.

Being raised on a farm doesn’t come without its sacrifices for our kids.  Your parents can’t take “sick” days from taking care of the livestock.  During the spring months there is not much time for anything other than preparing the seedlings to start, getting the garden beds ready to plant, fertilizing the soil, repairing pasture fencing, and fixing/maintaining the farm equipment and animal housing.  In the summer there is no summer vacation as every day the animals need to be fed and barn chores need to be done.  The animals do not “sleep in” so that means neither do we.  Weeds are a weekly family project in the garden beds, the lawns need frequent cutting, the pastures need to be trimmed down to keep the weeds down. Fall is spent harvesting, preserving, freezing, and selling the extras of things we have grown.

But the sacrifices allow for life lessons preparing these kids for their futures.  They learn responsibility, compassion, empathy, determination and the circle of life very early on.

They learn to respect the earth and animals with a very deep connection.  These things provide them with the reward of food grown from a seed, fresh eggs daily and freedom to enjoy the simple things like riding a horse through the beautiful woods.

It also prepares them for their later teenage years.  Both of these kids have been driving and working farm tractors, 4 wheelers, snowmobiles and a golf cart since they were 3 years old.  They understand the power a machine has and the dangers involved with a careless decision.

They can prepare their own meals, make bread, can vegetables and fruits, and make pies.  In other words, they will be able to feed themselves for the rest of their lives without assistance if need be.

chase peaches

All of this makes the vacations and trips they do get to enjoy even better.

And the time we spend on our boat, camping out in our cabin on the farm, enjoying family time around our nightly bonfires and making lasting memories is where I find my happiness.

And that sums up why I love the above image explaining why being raised a farm kid is the best gift ever!

 

 

shuffling

And today I am shuffling off to the doctor with the Boy.  He’s been down and out with a cough since Christmas on and off and then had the flu last weekend.  Yesterday he seemed a bit better and this morning….flu again, cough and sore throat back.

It’s pouring rain here in Buffalo, NY in January.  We need snow and cold temperatures to kill all these germs!!  It’s been a strange weather pattern and I’m ready for my good ole fashioned cold snowy winter!!!

Homemade “Beef” Helper

On busy school days with hockey, cheer, barn chores and so on, you can still make a great homemade hamburger helper without a box in about 30 minutes if not a little less.

Last night was one of those nights and with this meal, everyone was happy!

You can see how I made our homemade hamburger helper on my facebook page here:  Homemade Hamburger Helper

Back to school blues

13716074_1736621309885150_2853048265837361529_n

Every year at this time I get the blues.  When summer ends and school starts the thoughts that go through my mind drag me down.  Another fun summer of carefree kid days gone, another family summer vacation done until next year, the kids will be another year older next summer, I WILL BE another year older next summer….and so on and so on.  How can anyone be happy at the return of the school season???? I LOVE my kids being home!!!

In carrying on the tradition of feeling sad and sorry for myself for a few days, I hid myself in garden chores, baking and barn work.  Slowly I am returning to the happy person I usually am, but it’s a battle that’s hard won!!

Here are a few recaps of the wonderful times we had this year so far:

Tons of time sleeping in our cabin and spending time as a family

A GREAT book for summer reading, bonfires every night for heat in the spring and to cook on…and a few date nights on the boat!

Fun in the barn with friends, farm work, canning, late night selfies and sandboxes were all enjoyed.

So goodbye Summer of 2016 and welcome Fall and Winter.  Only 13 1/2 weeks until Christmas Vacation…..but who’s counting….me…yes me me me!!

 

 

Book Suggestion

On our vacation I brought along the new book (An Honest House: A Memoir, Continued) of one of my favorite authors and bloggers, Cynthia Reyes.

Living on a small hobby farm, working part time, having two children who play multiple travel level sports, and trying to fit in a little me time is always a challenge.  I figured I would be able to get in at least a chapter or two while away for those 6 days.  After the third day, my family threatened to hide my book as I finished it and was starting it over again.  I did not want to put it down!!

I read Cynthia’s first book, “A Good Home” last year while on vacation.  I read it again during our Christmas break from work. I could not wait when Cynthia announced her new book would be coming out this year!

In her first book, Cynthia shares the history of her life coming from Jamaica to Canada.  She relates how her homes defined each part of her life in such a way you can envision each place and home.  Her life is rolling along exactly how life should be.  And then you learn of the terrible car accident which changes everything.  She touches briefly on how her life changed and how she moves forward.

In “An Honest House” Cynthia explains in more detail the toll the chronic pain and PTSD take on her, how it affects her family, and the new home they had just moved into.  She shares the daily challenges she faces and how she has found a way to cope and live with the love of her family and friends!

You can find both of Cynthia’s books on Amazon here:

A Good Home

An Honest House

You will not be disappointed!!!

 

 

 

Vacation!!!

Saturday we are leaving for a week to Wainfleet, Ontario.  It’s a beautiful place which I shared last year in this post: Summer Recap

This year my niece is working so it’s been a bit of a struggle trying to get things organized for the animals and farm work.  But hopefully it all works out well with the juggling of people and if not, we are only 35 minutes away and I can zip home if need be.

I have a special book I have been waiting, very impatiently I might add, to read while away. I shared about the book here: An Honest House .  I have to admit I have “sneak peaked” into the book a few times and have had to force myself to put it down!!  The reviews have been wonderful and are adding to my anticipation!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I look forward to sharing some pictures from our vacation and my own personal review of the book!!  Tina

 

Camping on the Farm

IMG_6437 IMG_6308

Last fall we purchased a small cabin to put on our property.  It was made by the Amish as a “shed”.  We finished the ceilings, floors and insulated it to make it into a cabin our family can use year round!

Living on the farm, it is difficult for us to be away very often.  There are animals to tend to, gardens to be worked, grounds to be maintained, canning of foods etc.  This little cabin is our way of having a vacation feeling while on our own land.

Here is a glimpse into our little Cabin in the Woods now that it is in full swing and being used every day!!

Let’s start with a look inside:

I wanted a total rustic feeling experience.  I love how the exposed wood looks!  The ceiling has been insulated and installed.  We have 2 comfortable chairs on the one side and a kitchenette area on the other.  This cabinet was made by the Man using our old pasture fencing and leftover slate from our woodburner area in the house.  The fabric was from a friend of my mothers who made them for us.  The table pulls into a 5 foot table when fully opened and the loveseat converts into our bed.  The loft has featherbeds on top of foam cushion for extra comfort for the kids and their friends to sleep on.  There is no electricity but a few battery operated fixtures work perfectly.  We have electricity across at the ice shanty, but I don’t want to add it to the cabin!

 

A fire area is set up so we can cook our meals.  We kick it up to get some nice coals to cook over.

IMG_6440

A bug free dining area is also set up to eat under.  While I love the outdoors, I am not a person who likes to eat outdoors with bugs around so this is a perfect solution!

A badminton set and cornhole game has been added for some great family fun.

IMG_6448

A golf cart was added for “faster” access to the main house when needed and for bringing back supplies.  This is the parking area.

13237703_1717630935117521_6303554837190445080_n

My early morning view with coffee.  I love the horse pasture right behind us.  I can hear the horses softly nuzzle at night.

And while we are on our staycation vacation, we are close enough for our animals to interact with us as normal, I can enjoy my fast paced walks along the river, we can grill at the house if wanted and we can attend local events with the kids and their close friends!

We can drive one street over to where our boat is docked, jump on and enjoy a full day including lunch on the river and head in with a sunset tube ride.

We will do the nightly feeding of the animals and head back under the moonlight to the cabin for some smores or popcorn.

And at the end of a full day we retire into the cabin, play a few card games before getting a great nights rest.

We are beyond blessed and thankful every day for our camping area!!