Monday, November 13, 2017

When Al and Marilyn Visit

I love this picture of everyone getting direction from Al

Last week, my in-laws left after spending 5 or six weeks with us.  They usually come and spend time in the fall and spring.  During the time that they are here we get more done than any other time combined!  Al works like crazy while here and we are so appreciative of all that they've helped us get done here at Frog's Hollow.  Here's a quick overview of some of the things that were started, finished or are on going that they worked on.

Al built me a chicken coop, or chicken palace as he likes to call it!  We can't wait to get chickens in the spring.

The little barn is a work in progress (more on that later) but Marilyn painted windows for it and Al worked on digging out the floor of the barn to make it easy to store equipment in the back half.

Marilyn worked on cleaning up a stone wall that was falling apart.  She and I have high expectations that the wall will be put back together as it's charming even if it's not needed.

Plus, a million little things such as fixing Grace's bed where the leg broke off, putting the trim on Harris' new bathroom cabinet, working on chipping up many of the fallen limbs on the property, forging a new trail in the woods, the list goes on....

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Harris' Birthday (Cake)

Last night we celebrated Harris' 13th birthday with his Grandparents, Aunt Delita and Uncle Bill and his cousin, Brendan.  When I asked him what he would like for dinner he responded, without missing a beat, ribs!  Ribs have always been his favorite and so we ordered a slew of ribs and made all the sides which worked out perfectly!

Our house is rather torn up right now with plastic zip walls and random crap pretty much everywhere and I couldn't figure out where 10 people were going to find a place to sit and eat messy ribs!  Therefore, we set a table up in the barn and were all able to eat together.  Plus, the kids could go play in the loft afterwards.

Since Pumpkin Pie has always been a favorite of Harris', I made a Pumpkin Pie Cake for his cake this year.  To make it a little dressier, I added homemade flags and wrote his name and age on two of them.  I love how festive it turned out (and it was tasty too!).

P.S.  Harris finally got that trampoline...

Monday, November 6, 2017

Harris is 13!

It's official, I have two teenagers in the house.  The good news is that I like them both!  The bad news is that I'm feeling as if I really, really want to slow time down.  Today, Harris is 13 and we couldn't love him more or be more thankful for the laughter and craziness that he brings to our family.  Here's my annual top ten of where Harris is now...

1.  Harris is the toughest kid I know.  He's never liked attention when he's hurt, but I'm still in awe of how he handled himself when he cut his forehead open.

2.  He absolutely loves to do trampoline.  He takes a once a week trampoline class and can't wait to go back (he's been off for 8 weeks due to his forehead!).  He still asks for a trampoline every birthday and Christmas.

3.  Even though he has changed schools, his best friend is still his friend from when he was 2.  Matthew and Harris still love to hang out, go to youth group together and jump on the trampoline whenever they are over at Matthews.

4.  He is on the verge of being obsessed with Harry Potter.  He's read the books multiple times and has now started listening to all the books over and over again.  While I love it, of course, I would love for him to read something else once in a while!

5.  Harris loved watching Anne with An E on Netflix so much that he read the book, Anne of Green Gables.  I love that he had no qualms about carrying around a flowery book as he made his way through it.

6.  He's still super affectionate.  If he and I start watching something at opposite ends of the sofa he's usually laying on me by the end of the movie/show.  He also tries to sneak hugs in on Grace every chance he gets.  The only problem being that he doesn't always know when enough is enough!

7.  He still likes to have multiple blankets on his bed and makes a cocoon for himself every night.  In fact, we wonder if that is part of the reason he fell and hit his head.  Did he get tangled up in the blankets, trip and fall?

8.  He's full of joy.  The other day, I looked out the window to see Harris running from the cottage to the house and he was jumping and skipping the whole way- all by himself.  His teacher also tells us he brings a lot of joy to the classroom!

9.  Harris isn't super complicated; he likes to have fun and be with the people he loves.

10.  He finally got that dog of his and he's pretty sure that Rosie is the best dog one could ever have.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017

Halloween was a bit different for us this year in several ways.  First, I had one that didn't trick or treat at all.  I suppose Grace is really a bit old for it anyway, but she didn't have a choice as she had play practice for the school play until 10pm anyway.  Secondly, this was the first year that neither child had a costume made by their Grandma. 

Months ago, Harris decided that he wanted to be the Joker from Batman.  No amount of cajoling/pleading/guilt tripping/begging could convince him otherwise (I can't stand the Joker- he's totally skeevy).  Trying to piece together, or put the time into making, the costume seemed a bit silly since it was so easy to buy online and so that's what we did.  In the end, Bryce ended up doing Harris' makeup and I have to admit that I thought he looked good (as good as the Joker can look!).  It is, after all, a time for kids to dress up as they want! 


Grace did have the opportunity at school to dress up and so she went as a pig in a blanket.

Also, I did manage to make a Halloween treat from this months Martha Stewart Living.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pumpkin Carving

This past Saturday we had our annual pumpkin carving.  This year, we held it outside by the barn and it worked out perfectly as we had a lovely weather day for it! 

Al and Marilyn are here for a visit and my Mom joined us also. 

Bryce carved a another frog, next year I'm going to start the hunt early for a big green pumpkin!

The children have been carving by themselves for several years (with a little help here or there) but this year they outdid themselves with Harris being particularly proud of his Snoopy and small accompaniment, Woodstock. 

Grace went with a Ghostbusters theme (probably because we had just watched the first episode of Stranger Things 2). 

Marilyn carved a pumpkin and my Mom separated all the seeds from the mush so that we could roast them.  We used some on the salad that we served with pumpkin and gruyere soup.

And cider doughnuts for snacking rounded out the day!

(this wasn't even posed, as I was taking the picture Bryce grabbed one and ate it!)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Frog Cutting Board

While Kathleen was here we went to our favorite antique store to wander the aisles.  Kathleen spotted this frog cutting board and I really had no choice but to get him.  Right?  I came home, cleaned him and set out a snack board for the children.  He's a charming addition to our kitchen!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tables, Chairs, Prints and Flowers (Plus, Rosie)

We just hung a new print over the fireplace in the library and I love it.  It's bright and cheery and now I get peonies all year long! 

Last spring we also added two club chairs that sit across from the sofa.  What I really love about them is that they swivel.  Therefore, you can swivel both chairs to look at each other while chatting, swivel it backwards to look out the window towards the barn or adjust it to put your feet up on the ottoman!  On the weekends, Bryce and I will often have our coffee in here and chat about (what else) the farm and all that needs to be done.

This little side table is so unique!  Gretchen and I found it at a garage sale and I love how delicate it looks.  I love the scallop and the detail of the feet.  Throughout the growing season, I've made sure to always have an arrangement of flowers on the table.

On the other side of the library, we added a new glass coffee table.  I wanted something that read lighter and airier since I have a fair amount of "dark" furniture in here.  I love traditional decorating but I've tried to add some elements in that keep it a little lighter and younger and I think the glass coffee table and the Kate Schelter print help with that. And, of course, flowers.  Always!

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