Frost.

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It’s close to one year ago we started getting permits for our house, which means spring is approaching. Temperatures are forecasted to 60 this weekend. We are planning on getting our chicken coop ready for new chickens. That doesn’t seem very far off now.

We did not get as much snow as we hoped for. I wanted to spend a day sledding with the boys. When it snowed, it melted off so quickly we never made it. Time marches on.

Now it feels like a 70 degree day when it’s 40 out. I laugh about that phenomenon every spring. Even Mack feels it. He wandered out into the middle of the farm field the other afternoon before we realized he was gone too long.

So, I’m slowly pulling myself out of the winter-cabin nesting into the spring garden feel. Today I’ll enjoy the frost and get ready for our first spring here.

Mack: Our Shelter Dog.

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Our old man can’t make it up on the bed anymore. Fortunately he has some other sweet spots to rest. Everyday, as I walk circles around my home (not aimlessly I swear), I see this fella perched and napping. Sometimes I ask him if he’d like to swap, do a little chores while I lay, but most of the time I think he is so darn cute and leave him be.

This man came to us from an animal shelter in Rockford, IL thirteen years ago. He was 5 1/2 months old, had long legs, big paws, and a good smile. I convinced Dear Husband he needed us, even though we had two dogs already. I’d never do that again, but I’m so glad we did.

We named him Mack, after the everlasting trucks. He fit right in, ready to play, ready to rest when the other dogs made him, and always good for some petting. Fences have been accidentally left open and he’s never left. Call his name and he can’t get to your side fast enough. He never ate through our trash, broke anything, or swallowed a baby chick. He has been known to wander to the neighbor dog’s house if left alone, but he’s always happy to return when you call his name. I’ve literally watched him chase rabbits to our property line and then stop. No fence, no underground fence, maybe a few name calls. He’s just an all around jolly fellow and a true good dog, the stuff of legends. Perhaps, that is why I don’t deny him his day long naps. He’s just a good dude looking for a little rest time. He’s totally earned it.

Soon.

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Things have been downright crazy since Halloween. Well, the night before Halloween.

My son tripped the Friday night (before Halloween) in the yard and incurred a small eye injury. He’s recovering so well and is his chipper self again, something we all are super happy about. During this whole diagnosis and healing process, Dear Husband relocated jobs (closer, yay) and we decided to go on with a small construction project in the house. To squeeze more in, I ended up sick myself, which has now worked its way through the household (save for my son who had the injury, phew poor kid could use a break). A whole lotta toast getting eaten around here.

Truthfully, the past two weeks have both dragged on and flew by at the exact same time.

And participating in anything Martinmas was laughable. There was no way we’d be able to finish and light our lanterns… even if we remembered. I guess I should have finished them in October when I started them, instead of shelf them with “so much time left to work on them.” Soon though. Soon. I’ve been working on them little by little and we hope to use them soon.

Wander.

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We made a long drive from Tennessee to Colorado this weekend. It was over thirty-four hours of driving. I knitted. We played car games, listened to new music, watched movies, chatted, and wandered. We were even stranded due to a bad alternator in the truck. But I don’t care where we end up. Put me in the car with my boys and my soul is soothed.

Custom Pokemon.

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While I would probably have cried at the idea of my boys wanting Pokémon cards a year ago, today I am very enthusiastic about the cards. I am equally enthusiastic to see they are making their own versions and hold them in the same regard. In fact, I’m downright proud of their attention to the detail and interesting homemade versions.

When I became a mother, my self-appointed mission was deflect all terrible things from my children. Terrible things being defined by me and Dear Husband, and a year ago Pokémon was definitely in that category. But today, I’m learning some terrible things aren’t so terrible, and in fact, they can be great. When my seven-year old said, “Mom, did you know two of seventy is ten less than three of fifty?,” I smiled. Instead of deeming what they shan’t have in the future, I’m learning to redefine “terrible things” in the moment. I’m also learning to redefine “terrible things” a bit more loosely. Meryl’s My Bit of Earth post put it so well.

So, we open our arms to Pokémon and who knows what else to come. For these weeks, I’ll be pencil coloring Pokémon cards with the boys and answering them honestly, when they ask which name sounds the fiercest. Heck ya to Heckrum!

Adapt. Overcome.

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Dear Husband and I have differing views on preparedness. He likes to have all the tools necessary and I like to make do. After years of marriage, we accept each other’s differing opinions and dare I say we’ve learned from them? His contention is a task is easier if you have the right tools to attack it. I agree with that. But, is that ever truly possible? 100% of the time? I like to bolster my argument, by pointing out that the unofficial mantra of the Marines is indeed my way, the adapt, overcome method. (And MacGyver, I mean come on, that guy was inspiring…even if not real…Okay, what about Bear Grylls?) He bolsters his with some Boy Scout’s mantra about always being prepared, always in a state of readiness, or something along those lines.

Onto the smores.

I packed only one package of chocolates for our ever important smores last weekend. I like to buy one bar to limit how many we eat. Night one, chocolate gone. Day two came around and smores looked pretty good again to the three fellas, and… yes to me too.

Dear Husband went into adapt, overcome mode. He made microwaved chocolate chips smores. This may seem a trifle thing to you. It may be something you already knew about, tried, or did. But, this is a marriage bolstering moment right here. It’s the one where Dear Husband used my mantra over his!

And, yes, I’ve learned as well. Last September I remember to pack an insect bite kit and was prepared!

So, we make a good match. Prepare and if you can’t then, adapt, overcome, eh?

Growing.

Maybe it’s spring’s promised arrival that is putting me in a good mood. Maybe it’s the warmer air, hanging laundry outdoors or getting the gardens ready. Whatever it is, I’ve decided it’s spring (a little premature, but honestly, a week will go by quickly.)

I’ve noticed a lot of growing around here. The seedlings (stealing our bathroom tub space.)

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Artwork stacks and skills.

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The list of books I’m currently reading. (Somehow available bookmarks are shrinking…)

DSC_5375The number of items available in my Etsy Store: Pail and Pie.

DSC_5351My sweet boys.

DSC_5221And that ever-growing pile of crafts begun and chores to do. Ah well, as I’ve read, you can do anything, but you cannot do everything.

Seven Years.

Seven years ago my whole life changed. At 3:00 AM on Sept. 14 I had a new baby in my arms. A baby boy! I couldn’t put him down, I woke him while sleeping in his hospital crib to hold him instead of let him be. I was in love.

My boy is seven years old today. Seven years that included long nights, frustration, joy, pain (those teeth hurt while nursing!), reality checks, sheer delight, happiness, laughter, worry, doubt. I once heard John Williams on WGN radio say that a life without children would be easier but a life with children is so much deeper, meaningful and richer. Spot on for us.

These next years will be challenging, educating, and exciting. To see my child develop as an individual, need me less, but need me more in new ways I can only guess, but never predict. Happy Birthday dear boy. I am so connected to you in ways you’ll perhaps never know, but someday might. You are the spirit in my day.

Enjoy your little treasures today. Your special plate and cup, your birthday trip around a candle seven times, your knit bulldog you selected and I made for you with love. I’ll enjoy it all just as much.

Reflecting on Bus Life.

Days seem a bit longer now. We have our house picked out, but paperwork is being drawn up so slowly. Friday seems a month away just because I know it’s coming soon but I can do nothing to speed it up. Perhaps it is exacerbated by the rain, which I am not complaining about because we need it, but it keeps us locked up.

So, perhaps now is the time to reflect on life in a bus as it will be over all too soon. Our family of four and two dogs will have lived 11 months in a 1998 Prevost bus starting in September of 2011.

These are the ten best things about living in a bus in no certain order.

1. It’s easy to clean! Less space means less time cleaning.

2. The boys have some awesome fort areas in bunks and only two toy totes.

3. I can tell people I live in a bus which always generates lively conversation.

4. Gifts have not been “things” but rather time spent together doing fun “things.”

5. I know we can live with less, because we have.

6. We got to try living in Nashville, before purchasing property and being unsure about it.

7. We have become better conservationists of water. A tank in the bus will empty rather quickly for four people.

8. When we want to travel, we literally have everything we need with us without packing.

9. Weekends have been spent together, out and about. We have had no mowing, no honey do lists.

10. We are in a small space so we are always easily together.