With planting season under way, we had a week of really wet weather and James was able to be home to work on the house again. I was so pleased when he decided not to take a business trip this weekend. I hate when he goes and leaves little sad hole in our home without him. I was completely elated when he came downstairs yesterday and said, "Well, I guess the trip can wait, I think I'm needed more around here."
Here is some of the progress we have made...
The girl room is completely finished...however, we made a last minute decision to put our third son in there with her instead of the baby girl.
At night, I like to tuck everyone in and then read to each of the kids in their rooms. Well, the babies go to bed an hour before the bigs and I can't read to my son if he's in with the babies. So, every night, we have been snuggling down in Audra's room and reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. After a few nights, we realized that the logical answer would be to let him inhabit the blue room for the next few years until the baby is old enough to have a big girl room.
The big room in the back is now considered the nursery and we are going to rework one side of the room so it's less girly.
We had a large double sleepover last weekend and it was a blast. I don't usually like sleepovers and we don't do them very often. I like my kids in their own beds and I never had the greatest experiences with sleep at sleepovers. I ended up exhausted and grouchy the next day. But, the kids did really well and we had a lot of fun those two days.
My daughter had a dance performance last week and BOY am I glad I don't have to worry about dance again until fall. It was such a chore getting everyone everywhere this season with sports and events. I loved watching her dance though, and of course, we signed her up for next year. This is her with her cute friend who is our neighbor. They live many many miles away as the bird flies and about a fifteen minute drive, but that is what neighbors are around here. Our closest neighbor is a mile away.
Planting season has been crazy! I am the official cook, along with my mother-in-law, but she was out of town for a long weekend, so I was responsible for dinner and lunch for 4 farmers. The tricky part is, you have to think of food that will be easy and filling while driving a tractor. You have to package it in all disposables and it has to be delivered to each tractor, all of which are on different ridges on different mountain tops. Yes...mountain tops! There are many ridges and mountains and canyons around here and they are all so beautiful, but I'm still learning where each one is. So, when they say, I'll be on ridge 3 and the rest of the crew is by the lodge...those two locations are miles away and up winding roads on opposite ends of the canyon. It's a fun adventure delivering food...and beautiful.
You might ask, why don't they just pack food? Well, they live in those machines for almost a month from sun up until often midnight, and the food would not stay good all day. They don't take breaks and they don't want to eat cheese sticks and crackers all month either. So, it really helps them to get things done, when they can rely on two good meals.
This is not a good picture, but it's progress. The kitchen is coming along slowly but surely. I can't wait for my villa tile, but that may not be a project James wants to tackle this summer.
I love my larder! I turned the second office, off the dining room, into a larder. It's basically my baking pantry. Everything I need for making breads is in this pantry. It has become a little haven for me. I'll take better pictures when it's all complete. BTW...I came home from a LONG sports evening to my third son and the two younger siblings having made dough in the pantry...and the baby cracked eggs all over the new rug. It took a lot of self control to not freak out on the kids. I gritted my teeth, asked them to help me clean up and then get ready for bed. Lots of self control that almost wasn't enough...
On James' birthday, we decided to make crepes. It might seem like a chore to make crepes for nine people. But I don't use a crepe pan. I use a large griddle and I use two medium sized cast iron pans. I can make 6 crepes at a time. It is just as fast as making pancakes or maybe faster.
It has been such an adventure living here. We are still getting used to the drive. But I won't complain. The view out back is like a giant painting that changes every day. Sometimes it looks like Scotland with rolling hills and a dusting of rain and wispy clouds. Sometimes it looks like a unicorn will come bouncing along at any moment with sunshine and rainbows.
Those beautiful views are interrupted by the chaos of having seven kids, but we love it...even when there are 20 cracked eggs on my brand new rug, or someone has smeared coconut oil all over the linen sofa...or there's a pound of flour all over the pantry...or your important dishes are in the basement being used for a tea party...or you walk in at midnight and find the two year old ripping pages out of a book with the baby in her crib...or the two year old decided he didn't like his diaper in the middle of the night and you and the other kids spend the next morning cleaning baking soda off of sub floor...or your son walks with a busted open chin from getting in the way of a bat during practice and has to have his chin glued...or someone lets the muddy dog in and he runs happily through the living room spraying mud all over everything and while you're cleaning up the mud, you realize he must have stepped on some broken glass because there is a little bloody paw print every two feet.
Well, that's a taste of life for us. But we are ok with it and it is crazy almost every day. No one would ever be bored here for even a second, which can be tiring, but we wouldn't trade it. We may run a small restaurant with how many place settings and meals we go through every day, but we wouldn't trade it...and our grocery bill is a little more than our mortgage, but we wouldn't trade that either.