Thursday, October 18, 2012

Unplugged and On the Farm

My soul is refreshed!  I told Hubby that he should look into researching the effects of simple farm life on anxiety for a school project!  The kids and I have all come home with a new confidence, a refreshed feeling, and relaxed.  I had no idea how much I needed to unplug, relax, and enjoy God's beautiful, amazing landscape.

Our days on the farm were fantastic!  We hooked up the wagon to the big FORD tractor and went on hours of hay rides... A hayride like few can experience.  Not commercial. Just us. Just our friends. Just nature.  We would stop every now and then to get a lesson on a tree, to climb a deer stand, or to jump the hay bales.  We call them "bay hales" because my mom could never say it right!  It was hysterical... one of things where you have to be there I suppose. Oh...and I got to DRIVE the tractor! How cool is that?!

This was a 17 foot deer stand that everyone (except me) climbed up....even Grandma did it! 
Those "bay hales" were huge, and the kids jumped from one to the next ....this  photo was taken after they went down the row and back a few times!
Me driving big blue... This is right by the pond, and I drove it from the fence at the top of the hill down... that was quite enough for me, but exciting!
Farmer Mitch (our guide and friend) gave us a great nature study on trees and their nuts.  He was so knowledgeable about the different kind of trees, we could hand him a nut or leaf and ask him which tree it came from, and he would know!  We took some neat pictures you can see with what we had on hand....

This one tastes like a pecan, but is quite a bit more work to get out than a pecan.

The perfect fall acorn!

Very bitter tasting.

The "stains" is on there because the "meat" between the shell of the nut and the "fruit" is used as furniture stain...

We had all hoped to milk a cow, but they aren't milking them anymore. However, we did get to pet one, while she was nursing. We also watched them wade in the pond while we were fishing.  Fishing was quite the experience.  They have a pond for the cows to drink from.  About 20 years ago they stocked it, and have not had to stock it since.  We each caught about 10-15 fish (maybe stop counting at a certain point).  Sometimes you would put a new worm on your hook, throw it out, and pull it right back with another fish!  What a great first experience for the kids!  We only caught small blue gill that had to be thrown back even though he swore there were catfish in there somewhere!

We had a biology lesson like no other.  The girls wanted to know what the inside of a fish looks like... so Mitch obliged and cut one open to show them the insides!  They were enthralled...don't let Little Bit's face fool you! She was pretending, but the whole time kept saying how "cool" it was to see the inside.... Bean Boy however, kept his distance. It was interesting that at the end of the day Mitch finally told him, I'm not taking this fish off for have to touch it... and, he did it!  Now, you have to understand that he has OCD tendencies, especially when it comes to being clean and having clean hands. So, it was a big deal that he actually touched the fish and took it off the hook!!!  I was so proud of him!

Bragging rights:  Be forewarned, now I will start bragging about my kids....  I'd just like to say that they were WONDERFUL!  Poor Bean Boy was sick during the ride up, but still tried to work on his school work. He was sick the first day there, but mostly kept a good attitude, until his fever got the best of him, at which point, I gave him Tylenol. The girls were amazing.  There were NO ARGUMENTS the entire trip between the 3 of them!!!  They didn't ask 500 times how much longer....Baby T asked a few times, but not excessively.  They obeyed well. They were kind to others. They had happy hearts. They were helpful. I would have loved them if they weren't any of these things of course, but it just made the trip spectacular! (Ok, I'm done now!)

One last thing that made this vacation super fantastic.... NO CHORES!  For any of us!  Our sweet friend Debbie was so quick with the laundry that I never beat her to putting our laundry in the washer or dryer!  I did fold clothes as often as I could, and the girls helped with the towels.  Debbie loves to cook and we ate like kings and queens!  And, she did all the cleaning!  What more can a tired momma ask for?

I truly wanted to have this post out and ready for the Weekly-Wrap Up, but we drove all day Wednesday. We arrived around 8:30 pm, ate a late dinner, which Hubby had ready for us, took showers and went to bed.  Thursday morning I had a meeting, and Thursday night began 3 in a row at work!  Yes, we got right back into the swing of things!  But, I don't mind... (adding this in much later.. I left my camera at work and have just been able to pick it up to add in pictures! Will post this mid-week and probably use as my wrap-up...)

I'm thankful that we had so many fantastic experiences, that I could only highlight them for you. I'm thankful that the lack of phone service and internet service provided me with time to "unplug" without feeling guilty for doing it! I'm thankful for friends who interrupted their life to host us and show us a fantastic time.  I'm thankful that my mom and I were able to work out our schedules to go together. I'm thankful for seeing and enjoying so many amazing things. I'm thankful my kids were so wonderful.   I'm thankful that God is faithful and keeps His promises.... 
Matthew 11:28 Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. 
Jeremiah 31:25  I will refresh the weary, and satisfy the faint.

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