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The first bass of the season!

Though we don’t usually get to escape to any exotic, warm, beachy destinations over spring break (no…we do stuff like rebuild stairs and totally renovate our kitchen), this year was a tad more low key and by that, I mean we didn’t do any major home improvements. But, that doesn’t mean for a second we didn’t work our tails off in other ways. Between spring cleaning and nesting, I was ruthless with the clutter and dirt that needed to be tackled. As a start to the girls’ break from school, it was kicked off by kicking out teeth.

Surprise! You don’t have a tooth there anymore, Claire!

Claire had a wiggly tooth that she’d been letting dangle in her mouth for weeks. A post-church wrestling session with Henry where he accidentally kicked it out took care of that. Funny enough, it was about half an hour after Evelyn swallowed her own wiggly tooth at lunch. Double duty for the Tooth Fairy that night!


Come Monday morning, I presented the kids with a list of tasks I wanted their help with while they were home (partly because I can barely bend over anymore, haha) and told them if they could help without complaint, then there would be a reward of their choice when it was completed. The first room they decided to work on was the kitchen. We scrubbed the cabinets, hand washed the floor, wiped every crumb off every counter, washed windows, wiped down appliances, and scrubbed the table clean.


Then, I took them to lunch and we picked up some modeling clay at the store, which basically undid all the sweeping and mopping we’d done in the kitchen earlier but hey, they were happy.

Tuesday was full-on bedroom day. We washed more windows, moved beds and cleared out the clutter, dusted fans, vacuumed, and tidied dressers.


Their reward of choice? Making their own clay that air dried so they could paint it. Can you tell they’re very craft-reward-oriented?

They helped start getting garden plots ready outside.
The raspberries have a brand new bed!
They asked for pizza, hot dogs, and pop. Done!
They helped do the two-week grocery shopping excursion with great excitement (the fun has long since been lost on me, but maybe that’s because I don’t get a free cookie at the bakery anymore)…
…their reward? The Penny Pony.

More than once, we had to chase silly Pip off the deck. Something about spring makes him want to sit (and subsequently poop) right by the back door.

After which, we took a break, had a snack, and I gratefully accepted a foot rub.

By mid-week, I was slowed down by a combination of a mild-yet-annoying cold and a fast-acting stomach bug that basically made me want to sit around and do nothing. Which we did after we cleaned up the living room. The room is enormous, which means there is more than enough space for clutter. Again, we dusted the fans, washed windows, swept, cleaned up toys, moved and washed the couch, vacuumed, washed tabletops, and swatted down cobwebs…


…then went to the local co-op to pick up some grass seed for the back pasture. Everyone got a sucker, pet the resident mangy gray cat, and when we got home, they watched a movie while I laid around, nursing myself back to health.

Thank goodness the illness was brief, because there is always work to do on a farm. The animals need to be fed…

…and when it’s nice outside, children have to get dirty. It’s one of nature’s laws.

Come Friday, we cleaned the bathrooms until they sparkled and since Jack took the day off in lieu of an upcoming trip, he took the center seats out of the car so we could really deep clean. By the time we were done hauling out stuff and washing all the surfaces, there were nearly two bags full of stuff. I have no idea how it all fit in the car, but it feels like we’ve got twenty-five percent more leg room now without the junk.

Then, Henry and Jack installed a new-to-us second-row bench seat in anticipation of the new baby.
Kate was in awe.

The very highlight of spring break was taking all the kids to see a movie in an actual movie theater. It happens maybe once a year and we let them choose. The anticipation of going about killed them but they made it, and hearing them giggle and ooo and aww was so much fun.

The recliner seats were a nice perk, especially when Zoey zonked out in them and gave up screaming about her insistence over holding the popcorn.

By Saturday, I’d run out of spring cleaning/nesting steam, so other than doing the dishes and a few loads of laundry, we spent our energy preparing for summer. In the morning, I took the girls to shop for a few new items of clothing so they have enough to wear when it gets warm. Of course, all they could see were the gobs and gobs of adorable, overpriced stuffed animals at every turn.


The most exciting part of all is the escalator in the mall. I remember feeling the same way about it when I was a youngster.

And, with a rainy Saturday spent mostly indoors, the kids already started undoing the tidiness I’d enforced earlier in the week. Meh. At least under the couch is clean, the fan blades are dusted, and the windows are still (mostly) clean.


Mother Nature’s spectacular end to spring break turned the cold rain into sleet then snow in quick succession. Only a few hours earlier, we’d fed the animals and they were fine. When I went to check on them before dark, I ended up blanketing the horses and bringing them into the barn to warm up and dry off. April Fool’s came a touch early and it was a rather cruel joke to play.


By Sunday afternoon, the sun was back out, the temperatures rose above freezing…and we had to drop off Jack for another work trip. I always hate to see him leave because that means everything falls to me–wiping all the noses, preparing every meal, breaking up every fight, feeding every greedy, gluttonous animal, fixing every problem–but it’s especially not fun when I’m about due with another baby. He’d better stay put for another week at least or he’s going to have some serious making up to do if he came while Jack was away.


To ward off those kinds of nagging thoughts, the kids and I came home from the airport, made a batch of cookies, and hung out in our pajamas until bedtime. A quiet, sugary end to spring break.

We lived vicariously through others’ spring break photos and stories, got a lot accomplished around the house, had tons of fun, and enjoyed spending a few extra days together to last us until summer break. What a week it was–now, back to the usual routine!

My silly little lambs.


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Welcome to the farm!

True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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