Friday, November 27, 2015

Full House, Full Bellies, Full Hearts

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family this year. Our day included a bit of sledding, baby rabbit-petting, and a thankful tree. And lots of scrumptious food, of course.

So thankful for this little life that provides enough challenge to keep me dependent on God, and enough friends and family to keep my spirit buoyant. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Farm Life

As Thanksgiving nears, my heart continually swells with gratitude for this country spot we now get to call home. 

When we first looked at the hobby farm last spring, everything felt right: built on a hill, perfect number of acres for us (12), peaceful view, no close neighbors, and a parcel of woods in the back for hiking, hunting, camping, and fort-building.

After looking at several other properties and realizing nothing else "clicked" like this one, we made our offer. October 1st we had the keys in hand!

We moved during harvest time, and the kids stood by the windows for hours, watching combines and grain trucks zig-zag back and forth across the vast fields. The first day's tractor-to-car ratio on the little road in front of our house was 13:1, much to our delight.

The sky seems bigger here. The stars crisper. Many nights we stand on the back deck and gaze up at them. No car horns or neighbors' radios punctuate the stillness. Nothing but a soft breeze rustling the trees.

The neighborhood feels old-fashioned in its friendliness.

"Use the trails in our woods anytime. There's a trampoline back there...jump on it if you want."

"Here's a jar of syrup for you. Mind if we tap your three trees that border the fence line?"

"On behalf of the church, feel free to use our playground anytime."

"Do you have a helmet, little guy? Next time I come around on my four-wheeler I'll take you for a ride."

This is how things used to be--how neighborhoods are supposed to be. We feel so privileged to call it home.

A few Saturdays ago Mike and I sat down with our coffee and a notebook. Pages soon filled with diagrams and dreams...chicken coop, swingset, garden, clothesline, pole shed, sheep fence. With a lifetime of farm ideas ahead of us, the hardest part is knowing where to start.

We're so excited to raise our children in a place where they will know the hopefulness of a sunrise, the roughness of a calf's tongue, the satisfying soreness of a full-day's woodpile. Where they can fill a knapsack with books and peanut butter sandwiches, say good-bye to Mom, and go on daring adventures in the woods. Where they can learn to appreciate the beauty of tender corn shoots poking through soft spring dirt, deer grazing on the fence line in that blurry time between day and dusk, and blustery snow blowing unhindered across an open field. 

And most importantly--we're excited to have plenty of room to host family and friends. Let us know when you're coming, and we'll throw and extra burger on the grill!

Here's to a lifetime of happiness in Beldenville--we hope to live on this little plot of land until we're old and gray!