My "Find" This Summer

My mother-in-law, who lives in North Central Nebraska (i.e. "a place where it rains"), has a wonderful garden every summer.  We might covet it... She also has a cute, antique gate leading into her gorgeous garden.  Here is a picture of it from 2 winters ago when we got snowed in for Christmas.

When we were visiting about a month ago, Morgan said, "I'd really like to a get a gate like my mom's for our chicken run."

So, a couple weekends ago, Hubby and I set out on our respective ways.  I headed out to garage sales, and he went to the local farm supply store ("the cowboy store" according to the kids) to get the remaining materials for the chicken run.

After I had exhausted the money in my "Garage Sales" envelope, I headed to a second-hand store that I love to drop into occasionally. In the front of the store, leaning up against a tree, was A GATE!  An old, antique garden gate.

I called Morgan right away, but it went to voicemail.  So, I took a picture with my phone and headed home.  We both arrived home around the same time, and he told me the story of the gate he ended up being forced to buy...the one that wasn't exactly what he wanted and cost more than he wanted to spend.

I told him my story, showed him the picture of the gate that was exactly what we wanted for less than 1/2 the price, and we were ecstatic!

We managed to get back to the second hand store before someone else snatched it up, and the new, expensive gate was promptly returned.

And the new "old" gate!

Now that I've retrieved that winter photo of the other gate, I see that they are almost identical!


I'm excited and thankful for our gate.  :)

A Summer at the Lake

I love summer...but I get easily fatigued in the sun.

It's easier to stay in the air conditioning, but air conditioning doesn't build childhood memories. :)

SO....this summer, I set out to create memories.  I wanted the kids to remember this as "the summer we spent at the beach".

Amos has been intrigued by "the beach" for a long time.  I long to take him to the ocean, but until that becomes a more practical option, we'll settle for the State Park about 5 miles from our house. 

We purchased an annual pass for only $33.  I figured I'd have to visit the park 8 times in order to pay for the pass.  We will easily reach that goal number of visits next week.

We sometimes go by ourselves.  Sometimes we meet friends.  A couple times, we've met other moms and kids from church.  We always have a blast!

The photo that is currently on my computer's desktop.
"My Beach Bum"

He looks unhappy...but he's not.  He's basking in contentment.  Trust me.

You may think that going to a lake with four children who are 6 and under is likely to be quite stressful.  It's not for us.  I'm so proud of my kids.  They all wear their life jackets, and they're all very cautious on top of that.  It's a relaxing and refreshing time for us all!

The Other Animals

An update on my other "animals":

I took this picture the Friday before Father's Day.  I uploaded it to, ordered it at the local 1-Hour Photo, framed it, and we delivered it to Morgan at work as part of his Father's Day present.  I think he likes it. :)

Sadie turned 3 on May 30th.  She got her ears pierced as part of her present.  I was nervous, but she did great!  And, she looks SO cute with her little pink flower earrings.

Amos continues to be oober-photogenic.  He just looks so cute in so many pictures!  He'll be 5 in a couple months...I can't believe it!

Jobey is 6.  He's become an expert bike-rider this summer.  We managed to fit his and Amos' bikes into the van for our summer trip to Nebraska.  I'm so glad we made room!  They had a blast riding around without a care in the world.

Judah is still our baby....for a little while longer.  He hasn't done much talking.  It might be because I let him keep his pacifier in all the time.  It's my way of keeping him young. :)  

This one is my sister's little animal. :)  He just turned 2.  I like this picture of him. :)

A Self Portrait

My First Pregnant Picture

24 weeks

Home Decorating

I love to look for home decorating ideas.
I get lots of inspiration from Kevin & Layla at The Lettered Cottage and Ree at The Pioneer Woman.  I also love Country Living magazine.
When it comes to ACTUALLY decorating my own home....I'm lazy or reluctant or afraid or cheap....or all of the above.  We've lived in our home for just over a year, and there is still NOTHING on the walls.  In fact, there are still nail holes and smoke marks from the previous owners' wall decorations (candle sconces?).
We've recently discussed the possibility of going with a sort of "local"/Wyoming theme.  I like it, but we don't have a lot of genuine interest in popular Wyoming decoration themes (Horses, Cows, Cowboys).   But, I've been going through my photo archives, and I've set aside some pictures that might be worth framing and hanging on the wall.  They're personal to us, and they're all related to a Wyoming-type theme.
I love this picture of the bluebird.  There was only one day this spring that I saw bluebirds.  A whole flock came through. What a treat!  I'm glad I got some pictures, because they must have just stopped for a rest on their way somewhere else (probably a location with 
 trees :) ).  I have edited this photo in a number of ways.  They are all on my Flickr, and if you click on my Flickr link in the sidebar, you can view them.  I'd really appreciate feedback on the edits.
This is a picture of Casper Mountain from our front deck.  Are the clouds too much?  I like them...but maybe they cover up too much of the mountain?
I have a few different shots of Pathfinder Dam...I'm not sure which one to choose. I like this one, because of the blue sky included on the top.  I have a couple closer shots.  Which ones work best, do you think?  Again, if you click on the Flickr link at the top of my sidebar, you should be able to find them easily.
I know there is a "Rule of 1/3's" in photography.   I'm not sure what the rule states...but it has to do with the composition of a photo.  I think I've come up with a new "Rule of 1/3's".  A good photograph has 3 elements:
  • 1/3 Creativity/Vision-Having an "eye" for a good picture.  I'm not so great at this.  My little sister is awesome!
  • 1/3 Quality-This involves having a decent camera and knowing how to properly use it.  I'm working on this. :) And, this probably is less than a third.  I've seen some really awesome pictures taken with phone cameras! :)
  • 1/3 Editing-  This involves knowledge of software and an element of personal creativity (like the first 1/3). a person who is not naturally creative, I'm at a disadvantage from the start. :)  But....I'm really enjoying learning what I can!
Any decorating or photography advice for me?
FYI:  For photography inspiration, I go to Donna at Quiet Life and Ree at The Pioneer Woman (in addition to some others. :) ) .

Très, Très Blessed

The title of my blog translates "Very Blessed", and it is my goal to share with my readers the many facets of my life that display the richness of God's grace and mercy.
Here is one of the greatest gifts God has given to me:
He is so much more than I ever imagined I'd have in a husband.
"You're everything I never knew I always wanted!" (Name that movie!)
One post cannot do justice to this topic, so for now, I'll focus on one thing about MY LOVE that I LOVE. :)
My dear husband does not leave messes around the house.  He leaves the bathroom in the condition it was when he arrived.  He rinses out his dishes.  He puts the box of cereal away.  He moves his dirty socks to the dirty clothes area of the house.  He puts his toothbrush away.  He puts the cap on the toothpaste.  He disposes of the diapers that he changes (without complaining about having to change a diaper).
So much of what you hear about husbands is how unhelpful they are around the house.  When these conversations come up, I have nothing to contribute.  My life partner is helpful and does not add any extra work to my housekeeping load.
...and I love that.
PS-He also likes to splash around in the river with while on vacation with his kids.  (I thought the photo might call for a bit of an explanation.)

From Above

I got a new camera last week.  I'm very excited about it.  I've been messing with some of the manual controls, which is especially fun for me with sky/cloud/storm pictures.
I have so much to learn in order to find out my camera's full potential.  I'm hoping that I learn a fraction of that this summer.
Living in Wyoming, I miss trees.  But, then when I stand outside our house, I can't help but appreciate the wide, open spaces.  Nothing hindering my view.  There's something priceless about that too.  We're very blessed.
I am waiting on only 1 of about 8 shipments of homeschool curriculum to arrive, and my set will be nearly complete for the 2011-2012 school year.  I am feeling confident and excited!  I hope to at some point have a nice little link on the sidebar, listing my curriculum choices.  I'm describing our philosophy as a sort of Math/Science-heavy Classical program.
Glad to be back to blogging....

Dangers of Farm Life

The photo above is not of our "farm".  It is a photo I took last week while on a lovely hike with my children at the Audubon Society.  I don't have a picture of what I'm going to write about today...but I like to include an image with every one of my posts.
Last night, the chickens got a chicken run built close to their coop.  So, today started out with much motivation on my part to get the back yard de-chicken-poop-ified.  We sprayed down the deck and the window well coverings.  And, I decided to mow some of the grass that has been hard to reach all season.
Long story short:  I didn't really do the necessary prep work before mowing...and I had a bit of an accident.
I'm pretty sure I broke my finger.
The details are embarassing not very important.
Just wanted to have  a farming followup post.  I may have painted farm life as ultra-romantic.  Know that there are real dangers least if you're me. :)
Update: The Farmer doesn't think the finger is broken....just traumatized. :)

Finally a Farmer's Wife

When I was 13, and my family moved from the big city out to Wyoming, my parents bought a place with a couple of acres.  Shortly after moving in, my dad purchased an old horse, saying, "I didn't move to Wyoming NOT to have a horse!"
Now, nearly 20 years later, I find myself in similar shoes.
My husband and I just celebrated 1 year in our new home, which happens to be on a bit of acreage in the country.  And, only about 9 months in, we decided to adopt 8 little chicks.
They aren't so little anymore, but they deserve a proper blog introduction.

Larry (the rooster)
Most of the chicks we bought were guaranteed to be hens.  A few of them, we were told, MAY be roosters.  We were advised to just "wait and see".  We weren't sure what we were waiting to see...but in the last few weeks, at about 6:30 each morning, we've HEARD a little something that gives us a clue. :)  It started as faint and almost unrecognizable, but in the last few days, a very clear "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" has greeted me in my half-awake state.  Meet Larry.  He's the fluffy white one in the back.  He's been one of my favorites from the start.  He's docile (so far), and he has feathery feet, which is...adorable.

A Dixie Chick (1 of 3)
We got 3 of these pretty white ones, because they were advertised as good "layers", and we're very excited for the laying to begin!  They don't have names individually, but collectively, they are "The Dixie Chicks".

"The Sebright" (Marge)
We got one of these, a Silver Sebright.  We named her Marge, but we usually call her "The Sebright".  She just looked cool, so we decided to get her for aesthetic purposes, I guess. :)
Larry has a "partner", not pictured, named Dixie.  She's a bantam also (feathery feet), but she has black feathers.  There are also 2 Barred Rocks.  One is pictured in the background of the Dixie Chick photo.  They are Dale and Mary Ann, are robust, and are also supposed to be good egg-producers.

The Chicken Abode
This is the chicken coop mansion.  You see, when we decided to embark on the chicken adventure, we knew we weren't exactly prepared.  So, it was in the plan to build a chicken coop/garden shed.  Those darn chickens grew very fast, and the chicken coop construction has had a hard time keeping up.

The Farmer
My husband, the Farmer/Engineer/Carpenter/Roofer/etc., is building a luxurious home for our beloved chickens!  I'm very proud of him and the awesome shed.  In fact, as I type, the chickens are being introduced to their new home, and will spend their first night there tonight!  What an occasion!
Maybe we'll have an open house! :)
RSVP to the Farmer's Wife. :)