Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Walk in the Woods (with All Four Kids)

We are home from our yearly almost-fall trip to Vermont. As always, Joni took a gazillion pictures and over the next few days, I'll be sharing them with you as I already have been the last few days. The weather was cool and rainy so we weren't outside as much as in the past, but man did we have a wonderful time. JB took each of the kiddos birding separately, we ate great food, took lots of naps, had ping-pong tournaments and mud fights. Just all around awesome!

Friday, September 21, 2018

A Walk in the Woods (with Isaac)

A Walk in the Woods (with Hannah)

Friday Funnies

While on the plane, Abigail asked to take her shoes off. "My feet are bored of shoes."


Joni: "I'm not good at backing up. I hit things."
Sidge: "Yeah. Our Aunt Danielle has been known to hit a few mailboxes in her day."

Thursday, September 20, 2018

We Bought a Farm: That's Important to Me

I love finding songs that symbolize the life we are striving to live on the farm.

Not plannin' my day around the T.V. set 
Payin' our bills and stayin' out of debt 
That's important to me 
That's important to me 
Openin' the windows and lettin' in air 
Holdin' hands when we're sayin' a prayer 
That's important to me 
Yeah that's important to me 
Havin' somebody to share my life 
Loving my husband and bein' a wife 
And the very best mother I can be 
That's important to me 
Tellin' the truth and bein' real 
And feeding my family a home cooked meal 
That's important to me 
That's important to me 
Plantin' a garden and watchin' it grow 
Keepin' it country on the radio 
That's important to me 
Yeah that's important to me 
Always havin' you to hold 
Bein' beside you when we grow old 
And they'll plant us 'neath that big oak tree
That's important to me 

The place where my soul can rest

Outside of my farm, there is one place in the entire world that my soul feels at "home." It is my sweet spot. The spot where I can totally be at peace. Even with all my kiddos with me, I can rest here on Lake Seymour in Vermont. 

But before I can rest, we have to get there. 

Firstly, I was determined not to pack a ton of suitcases to take our family of six from Tennessee to Vermont. So, and I am incredibly proud of this so please tell me how proud you are of me, I managed to get six people's clothes into this suitcase pictured below. (We had one additional smaller case that we put boots in since it's supposed to be pretty rainy and cool.) 

And then, it was off to the airport. (Of course there was a lot more that went into going on this trip, specifically having the farm cared for and what-not but I'll leave that for another time.) 

Here are my four beauties waiting for our first flight from Knoxville to Philadelphia:

And here is me on the plane, attempting to fit my 37inch inseam into the seats:

And here is the book that is currently thoroughly entertaining me:

As the kids have gotten older, we've really tried to make it a goal to not need technology to travel. (Generally I have a "no technology in public rule".) I realize, this rule means carrying a lot more stuff with us, but I find that it really allows for more conversation and fun times:

JB and Abigail. John is making a list of the fruit trees he wants to buy and where he wants to plant them:

Abigail with a picture of our Scrubby. Oh man, make a mom tear up:

Isaac usually doesn't like to color much, but he loves hot wheels cars, and we found a Hot Wheels coloring book at the Dollar Store before we left. He loves it and even colored a "Mom-Mobile" for me. (I wonder why he chooses pink when pink is not my favorite color -- lol). 

Here we are waiting to board our flight from Philadelphia to Burlington. The kids were absolutely excellent on our travel day: 

And right here is my man-of-the-year. When our flight wasn't completely booked, he allowed me to switch to a seat behind him that had two seats together free. He sat here with one kid next to him, one across from him, and two in front of him, and let me sit behind and take a nap.

Here I am with some glorious extra leg room about to take my nap!

And then, we landed in Burlington and rented a van and made the two-hour drive to the lake. Here is the first picture I took -- a check-in to make sure that Sidge hadn't "quite" passed Joni up in height yet. This will probably be our last summer where Joni is the tallest of the "kids". 

We are here. I absolutely cannot put into words what this place does for me. So many people are needed to give us this time away. Thank you to the Kotysnki family and my in-laws for this sweet time. This is Isaac's SIXTH summer here in Vermont. It is my FIFTH. It is Sidge's FOURTH, and it is JB and the girls THIRD.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hannah's family

I love how Hannah draws us all so accurately -- even the bald dad. (I think the thing on the bottom is her new stuffed bear.)