Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tick Tock

I am not sure how today can be the last day of June!!!  How did 1/3 of our sweet summertime suddenly slip away?  I still haven't done the things on my summertime fun list!  I need to sit on my dock!  I need to read a book!  I need to go on a really long bike ride!  I need to go swimming!  Ack!  Summer is flying by and I need to find a way to make the calendar pages from turning so quickly. I just made July's calender today and when I got to the very end of July.....I had to make a note that my younger daughter heads back to college. NO!  Not yet!  I will make July last a really really really looooooooooong time.  I am going to find a way to pack 2 whole days into every single day of July.  I have no time to waste! Projects must be done.  Fun cookouts must happen.  Tick tock!  So many things to do and so little time. How does that always happen? When we bring in July 1 tomorrow I am going to be sure to make the fun last. Happy last day of June.  Hope you make it a good one!!!  I know we will!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Outdoor playtime

As it always is here at Yesteryear Acres, even in the saddest days, there is always light and laughter and love.  Last night after I was feeling a little melancholy emptying my older daughter's room, Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son had the bikes all loaded up for a family bike outing.  We biked almost 12 miles and it was just beautiful.  We have this really great bike trail near our house and it meanders through the prettiest farm fields.  You can't help but smile the entire cycling trip.  When we got home we decided to play a little baseball and that turned into playing softball which then progressed to playing football.  I have NEVER in my life been able to throw or catch a football....until last night. WHAT! SCORE!  I got one perfect spiral out there AND caught several great passes.  Of course I did the touchdown dance with every catch.  Tonight - if it stops raining we are heading out for a frisbee tournament.  I am ready to impress them all with my mad frisbee skills.  My daughter got out the hula hoops which WAY WAY WAY back in the day - I could not be beat.  Unfortunately there are one too many WAY WAY WAYs and now I can keep one going for about 3 seconds before it plummets to the ground.  My daughter's goal tonight it to throw perfect spirals (which she is REALLY excellent at doing) whilst hula hooping.   I'm going to guess she will succeed.  We will top off our evening with a batch of homemade ice cream.  Tonight's flavor - maraschino cherry chocolate chunk with toffee crunch.  Is it dessert time yet?  YUM!

Friday, June 28, 2013

And then it was empty

Sigh. Today was the day.  The day I have been dreading.  The day to completely empty my older daughter's bedroom. My daughter is being stationed at the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.  She has to make the move next week.  All her belongings from Quantico and all her belongings from home are going with her.  She has a house and everything.  She really really really really really really doesn't live here anymore. EVEN though the day she walked through the gates at the Naval Academy she really didn't live here anymore and EVEN though when she went to TBS in Quantico she really didn't live here anymore - her room LOOKED like she lived here.  All her stickers and awards and most of her clothes and cherished items were still in her room.  Every week when I cleaned her room, I looked around at all her things and it still felt like she was here. Every week I dust her Marine Corps items. I dust her paintings and American Flags and her jewelry box and stuffed animals and knick knacks and a piece of her is right there.  Well today, it all got put in boxes.  Every painting. Every sticker. Every piece of clothing. All packed up.  Her room is now empty. I will be hauling all her things to North Carolina for her next week and I will help unpack all her precious belongings and set up her new home. When I leave to make the long drive back to Yesteryear Acres, I know I will be leaving a piece of my heart there with her. A little piece will be in every one of her knick knacks, paintings, and all her cherished belongings. Empty room...... I know .... she doesn't live here anymore.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yay for the AWESOME Guest Blogger!

I have to say that this past week has been quite enjoyable for me. It was so fun to READ about Yesteryear Acres. I have never had that luxury before! I looked forward to the blog every day and couldn't wait to read what my daughter had written.  We had a really busy week here with the garden and getting the first hay cutting done and taking care of all the adorable puppies. I think my daughter did an awesome job as the Guest Blogger for the week.  I hope she does it again! I had a smile on my face each and every day. I think it was nice to get a different perspective of life here at Yesteryear Acres and it warmed my heart to read how much my younger daughter loves home.  Once again I feel blessed to be surrounded by so much love and appreciation.  There could simply be no better life for me! Mr. Yesteryear Acres, my daughters, my son and my doodle doggies and puppies - every day I am thankful.
And in case anyone is wondering.....
My younger daughter's cooking is really that good!  Her Ranger cookies are to die for! She also has the Yesteryear Acres secret salad dressing recipe to the ultimate perfection. Any night she cooks is a real treat for us all!

My older daughter really did keep her Mulan Barbie scroll a secret from my younger daughter.  My younger daughter desperately wanted to know what the scroll said and there was no getting my older daughter to tell her.  When my younger daughter turned 18 and FINALLY got to read the scroll....her face was priceless.  "Friendship!???!!!? That's it?  That's the big secret?!" It still makes us all laugh!

We all really do work that hard.  We start as soon as we wake up and we don't stop until it is bedtime.  We rarely sit down and we are busy every moment of the day.   I am lucky to have such great help!

Summer time - despite all the hard work - is really our favorite time of the year.  Fireflies, picnics, campfires, going to the pond.  We love every day!

My son and younger daughter really did do all the hay work!  Not only is it an incredibly exhausting day but it is hot, dirty, hot, painful, hot, and takes FOREVER.  They did an excellent job and we are all impressed!!!!

and finally......
No.  My son will not give my daughter his West Point Academy hat. Not even with the promise of baking and laundry folding and lunch making.  He won't budge ... EVEN though my daughter does look adorable in it!

Thank you my sweet adorable guest blogger.  You did a GREAT job!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The One About The Hat...

As you know my brother and mom recently went on a road trip looking at different colleges my brother was interested in. And I am happy they went, I really am, but I am also extremely upset. You see I really like hats, and I mean ALL hats. Actually scratch that, I love hats! In fact when my brother came to visit me at college we looked at all the different hats for about an hour. So I know that he knows that I love hats! And do you know what he did? Well I will tell you what he did... he bought the most perfect hat ever and HE WILL NOT GIVE IT TO ME!!! He keeps saying its his hat and he bought it with his own money and I have never even seen this college, and I already go to school blah blah blah. Well he is wrong! This hat and I belong together and to prove my point I am creating this blog to convince my brother why this hat rightfully belongs with me. So oh dear brother this blog is dedicated to you.

The love for this hat started on this day... I tried it on to convince myself it was just another hat, but to  no avail it was THE PERFECT HAT!!

So today I might have umm borrowed (yes let's go with borrowed) my brother's hat to show him why we belong together. And I documented this journey with pictures of course! What says it better than pictures?!?

And before you get mad... give the hat some liberty to decide its own adventures!

Look Austin the hat goes with my souvenir teddy bear from Ireland! They want to go back to school with me. And you can't get mad at a teddy bear in a sweater!!

The hat wanted me to tell you all the things it would like to help me with...

It wants to help me keep my summer journal...

The hat wants to help me make your favorite cookies.... mmm who doesn't like cookies!?

It really wants to go running with me... It wants to help me go faster

The hat also wants to help me recover after I die from taking up running faster... See the hat knows I am actually a swimmer and is helping me cope with the terrain changes. Aww isn't it a thoughtful hat!!


Are you convinced yet!?! No?? Okay, I didn't want to do this to you, but here comes the best convincing one yet.... you ready?!?!


See it even helps me fold your laundry! Just look how crisply those shirts are folded! I know I know that is GREAT!! Now you are just dying to give me your hat right?!? 

I might even convince the hat to help me put away your laundry in your room... and maybe even clean your room!! What about that!?!? Well dearest brother... Can I keep it?!?!?! PLEEEEAAASEEE!!!! :):)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Just One Of Those Days

 Have you ever had one of those days where everything just feels a little off? Today I had one of those days. I swear everything I set down today went missing. Like really missing. I set the TV clicker down when I was folding laundry to let out the dogs and by the time I came back it was gone. I looked for at least ten minutes for the clicker! Okay yeah I probably could have folded half the laundry in that amount of time, but TV clickers don't just disappear!! I even checked all the laundry baskets thinking I must have accidentally put it in with all the clothes. Was it there.... NOPE. Where was it might you ask? It was hiding under a blanket that was on the couch! And I definitely checked there at least five times! And then later I realized that I lost my phone! I looked all over the house, upstairs and downstairs, and I still could not find my phone anywhere. Finally I gave in and had my brother call me so I could finally locate my phone, and guess where it was! ON THE SAME COUCH!! But this time it was under the pillow! And the weirdest part about all of this is that I never sat down on the couch once today! I have cleaned the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, did the laundry, did the dishes, made breakfast, made lunch, played with the puppies, vacuumed the house, and not once did I use the couch!! I mean either the couch has it out for me or I am just having one of those days! So I am taking the couch's advice and as soon as I finish cleaning up the dinner mess, empty and load the dishwasher, clean up the kitchen, work out, shower, and put away the laundry... I might just pass out on the couch that has been taunting me all day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Puppy Monday!!

It's time for my favorite blog of the week! For me the hardest part about going away to college is leaving all my animals. I have always had my furry friends and I just miss them so much when I am gone! Luckily I can always get a quick puppy fix with Puppy Picture Monday!!! Here are this week's pictures!

Cheeeeeeeese!!! This is how you want us to smile right?!?

Juneau's puppies are so gorgeous! 

 I think she had a puppy for every color under the caramel rainbow

Blossom's puppies are so darling! I just adore them all!

I always want to keep all the puppies!! But my mom ALWAYS says NO! 

oh you want to take my picture? Let me just pose for you...

Nap time!...It really is their favorite activity

They are just too cute!! My Mom won't notice if I snuggle them all into my bed right?!? 

Happy Puppy Monday!! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Blog of the Missing Photos!

Here are some of the missing photos from yesterday's hay festivities! Enjoy!!

 Bag Girl! My brother said it's a better superhero than bat girl. Look at me hold that hay bale steady! I think it was the beautiful magic cape I made... gave me super muscles

The always classic picture of someone taking a picture

A perfect 10 action shot... just look at how well he is lined up with that hay bale

My brother having a Ralphie moment from A Christmas Story "Wow that's great"

Will you just look at that! Amelia did you get that one?? 

Back to business... He's a hardworking man

and the sun was starting to disappear behind the trees

Don't worry Dad he wasn't going that fast.... 

Demonstrating his maneuverability skills. 

Trying to strike a quick pose! Got caught working on my farmers tan! 

My plant creations that survived the evening. A weed bouquet, a clover crown, a four leaf clover, and also some cool rocks I found.

The beautiful finished project! All 32.5 bales of hay lined up! See Dad we really did work! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oh Hay There

Today was hay day!! For those of you unfamiliar to hay baling, let me just fill you in on this long process. First the hay field is cut = day one. Then the hay is basically thrown around the field so the layers are thin enough to dry out = day two. Next the hay is raked into rows and if you are really lucky you can bale the hay and cover the round hay bales in one day = day three. If unlucky you can finish on day four. Here at yesteryear Acres I usually only participate on the last day. I always get the LOVELY job of sliding the plastic covers on the hay bales to protect them from the elements. This requires me to unroll the cover, rip the cover off the roll, open it up and prepare it for the hay bale, and then wait. I have to wait until the tractor goes ALLLLL the way down the field, spear the hay bale PERFECTLY in the center, bring the hay bale all the way to its final destination, and then lowered enough for us to pull the covering on. So as you can see I have a lot of downtime in between hay bales. Downtime where I am all alone with a roll of basically plastic bags. And when you have 32.5 bales of hay.. you MIGHT go a little crazy by the end. My brother and I got the privilege to do the last step of the hay process all by ourselves this year! My Dad decided we were finally old enough not to need his help. And don't tell him I said this, but we actually had fun! My brother and I were so goofy! I started judging his hay bale spearing with the tractor (He got a lot of perfect tens!). I did cartwheels and made outfits with the plastic bags. My brother and I took pictures of each other doing silly things. And I even made little plant sculptures out of the weeds and decorations for my hair out of flowers. I spun in circles and then tried to run a straight line and we played the I-can't-really-hear-you-because-the-tractor-is-so-loud-so-I'm-making-up-what-I-think-you-are-saying game. We laughed so hard that our hours of work outside didn't feel like work at all. One of my favorite moments was our impromptu rock, paper, scissors game where we tied five times in a row! It was so funny that we started at the same time and then picked the same one every time! And even through our goofiness all the work was done and our field looks beautiful! What a surprisingly fun day!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy First Day of Summer!!

It's officially summer time!! To kick off the longest day of the year my brother and I planned a lovely picnic by the pond. I made summer sandwiches with chicken, ham, lettuce, baby cucumbers and cheese. I also brought back root beer and little snacks for the hardworking guys. The weather was wonderful. It was a perfect mix of sunshine and warm breezes. My brother and I talked about the cattails he was pulling out of the pond, the hay field, the doodle doggies, and other small talk topics. To outsiders this wouldn't seem that special, but it always means everything to me. Since I've gone to college, time with my brother has been better. We get along better and just enjoy each other's company more. You know he is actually really funny! Like tears-rolling-down-my-face-I'm-laughing-so-hard funny. He can do something so annoying, and make me laugh so hard that I can't even be mad at him! And he is really smart and has just the best ideas.  Our summer lunch together was perfect. For dinner I made a light summer chicken salad made with shredded chicken (from the roasted chicken I made the other day), grapes, two kinds of apples, carrots, dried cherries, and the "glue" that holds it all together. This is especially delicious when eaten with cool ranch Doritos! To finish off our evening we had a new kind of cookie I made today called fudgy cappuccino crinkles, and they were quite tasty if I do say so myself. The recipe even calls for yogurt in the batter so it like its healthy!!! So here's to summer! The season of bonfires, s'mores, fireflies, outside swimming, family time, catching up with friends, road trips, and the occasional lazy summer day laying on the dock! It's also the glorious season of the farmers tan! I think I am lucky enough to already have nice sock lines forming! Happy first day of summer everyone!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Growing Up Yesteryear Acres Style

Growing up on Yesteryear Acres is not your average childhood experience. We had no neighborhood kids to play with, no block parties to go to, and no street hockey games to play. But I couldn't have asked for a better childhood or in fact a better life.  I never had to worry about cars in the street, mean/scary neighbors, or making too much noise outside. My best friends were my siblings and our backyard was our kingdom. We played little house on the prairie and made swamp soups in the creek, hide and seek was played in the hay field, our wooden fort was excellent for Barbie and G.I. Joe base jumping, and our house was always full of love. I know that sounds cliche, but my parents were always home and we were always surrounded by love. Now don't get me wrong my siblings and I definitely fought. I mean who doesn't fight with their siblings. Especially when you have a bossy older sister who ALWAYS takes the blue polka-dotted dress when playing dress up and NEVER lets you read the red scroll that came with her Mulan Barbie doll. (Which by the way I didn't see until I was 18 and it says 'Friendship' and that's it.) Or a younger brother who terrorized you and drove you insane with the classic "I'm not touching you" only two centimeters away from your arm (because that's what younger brothers do). But it was perfect to me. Because I grew up knowing what family meant. And it means love no matter what. Growing up on Yesteryear Acres also meant hard work. From a young age we all learned how to hold a flashlight. More importantly to my Dad as we grew up we learned how to hold the flashlight STILL. Helping our Dad was long and tiring, but always rewarding. We learned that hard work brought the best rewards. After a long day we got to relax together, and more often than not, with a big bowl of homemade ice cream. Dinner was always on the table and eaten as a family (even if Mom was trying out a new recipe or we were too busy working and dinner wasn't until 8 pm). We always ate together and talked about our day. One of my favorite things we do sometimes is go around the table and say what our favorite thing was that day (such as my favorite thing yesterday was   when my sister called me just to talk). And when school was in session we all learned how to balance school work, sports, and family. Our animals, our business, our farm, it IS my family. I have grown up that way and we all treat it as such. My parents ALWAYS made time to help me with my homework when I needed it. When I needed help with my math homework I always KNEW my Dad would help me. I might have to wait for the sun to go down first, but he always made time to help me. Even when he was dead tired and we have been stuck on problem one for an hour. We would work through it all until I understood it and it was done. And after a long day at school who doesn't love to snuggle up to a doodle doggy!? I always had a furry friend to love and love me back. Growing up with animals teaches you almost everything about life. Responsibility, work, love, discipline, fun, challenges, compromises, not getting your way, life itself and even death. It was hard, but I feel like I am a better person from it. I am able to get more out of life's joys and deal with its downfalls better. My friends often ask about our family business and they just don't quite understand it. They always think that we work too hard. They ask when do you know you start working for the day? To me it's simple. As soon as I wake up. They want to know how I know I am done working for the day. To me that is equally as simple.  When everything is done and I go to sleep. My life is wonderful. I get to play with our puppies and dogs and horses annnnnd spend time with my family AS MY JOB!! So yes my life is very different from others, but I would never change it for the world! So thank you Mom and Dad for letting me grow up Yesteryear Acres style!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Making Up For Lost Time

Hello everyone! This is Amelia your guest blogger for the week giving you a different view of life at Yesteryear Acres. As you may have read I have recently come back from my semester abroad in Europe. And when I got home I might of said something along the lines of "I really missed cooking when I was gone". This seemingly simply sentence has kept me quite busy in the kitchen these last few weeks here at Yesteryear Acres. Tomorrow will be exactly one month since I have been home and I have already made the following:

Poached eggs and asparagus with caramelized butter
Salad with homemade dressing, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, and almonds
Poached egg sandwiches on homemade toasted rolls with laughing cow cheese and lemon tomato sauce of course with a side of pepper bacon
Spicy Sesame flounder, mixed rice, and corn on the cob
Homemade venison chili with beans and corn
Banana blueberry pancakes
Lime tomato sauce with edamame over rice
Quinoa, beets, and roasted pork
Poached eggs, sweet potatoes, and peas,
A garbanzo bean dill dip with fresh colored peppers
10 lbs of sloppy Joe's for a birthday party
Chinese pork and green beans with mixed rice
Creme Brulee
Omelets with caramelized onions and mushrooms, sauteed peppers, sliced tomatoes and cheese, with sides of toast and bacon
Raisin walnut pie
Beef Wellington 
Roasted Chicken, corn on the cob, and mixed rice
Countless man-sandwiches barely held together by toothpicks
Ranger cookies.

I actually just finished baking more ranger cookies and they are already almost gone! My brother walked in from a long day of mowing the field and asked where his cookies were. I replied with "Sorry Dad just ate the last one" to which he said "okay, but where are MY cookies?" And how can I deny such a hardworking boy? I mean he does kill the occasional spider in my room and he did just fix my car tire... SO I started whipping up a batch of fresh cookies and while my brother sat in the kitchen to keep me company he asked "so what are you making for dinner tomorrow night? You know pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes doesn't sound too bad..." Well folks looks like I'm off to the grocery store. If you can believe it I am out of ingredients and I have hungry hardworking farm boys to feed! Thank goodness my family is helping me adjust to life back at home! I just think how lucky I am for being able to make up for lost time and I am even more grateful that I didn't say something like "I sure missed doing laundry at home"!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Special Guest Blogger

My younger daughter faithfully follows my blog every single day.  It makes her feel more connected to home and family while she is away at school.  She spent this past semester in Europe and Puppy Picture Mondays and news from home on the blog really made Europe seem just a little closer to Yesteryear Acres. This week it is her turn to give you her perspective on life here at Yesteryear Acres. She did such a great job last week with her surprise puppy picture Monday post.  That was the first time in over 3 years that I didn't write my daily blog and I have to say, it was so enjoyable seeing the puppy pictures and reading the blog she wrote.  I wanted to read another blog post! I thought.... hey - I think she should do that for an entire week!  I am so excited to read her thoughts on our doodle doggies and doodle puppies and horsies and garden and all things Yesteryear Acres. It will be fun to read what is happening here from her viewpoint.  So tomorrow - I bring you our very Special Guest Blogger, my younger daughter Amelia.  Take it away Amelia!  This week.....the blog is all yours!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Monday....Puppy Picture Day

It's Monday so you know what that means...... PUPPY PICTURE DAY!
Our little babies have just started to open their eyes and get their first glimpse of our big beautiful world.  They are all doing great and both Blossom and Juneau are just the best mommies.
Juneau's caramel girls.....We have cream caramels to red caramels
I love the caramel rainbow! 
Snuggle Buddies

You can't help but hug them all!

Blossom says - my babies are so snuggable too!!!

I totally agree!
Puppy snuggles all day long!  Makes for a great Monday!
Happy Puppy Picture Monday!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day - So Thankful

Here's a big thank you to all the loving, caring, and devoted fathers out there.  Fathers are so important to a child's sense of self esteem. Mothers traditionally get the lion's share of recognition when it comes to child rearing but a father's contribution should never be under estimated or under appreciated. When Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I had our first child, I wanted him to do things my way. "Don't be so rough... Don't play so hard....That's too scary."  I then read an article that said that the differences both parents bring to raising a child is crucial to having well balanced children. Moms and Dads do things differently and that is AWESOME. The article went on to describe all the benefits of rough housing and joking and "dad" things that really enrich a child's development. From that moment on, I never wanted Mr. Yesteryear Acres to do things my way.  Instead, I loved and appreciated how he did things his way - and more importantly - so did my children. They grew up strong and confident and they know without a shadow of a doubt that their daddy loves them unconditionally. Mr. Yesteryear Acres is an awesome dad and in return he has awesome children that love him that much back. I am so grateful that my children have the very best dad. They are grateful too! This morning, Mr. Yesteryear Acres woke up to this:
My daughter got up early to make sure she had this ready for her Daddy's Father's Day breakfast.  I think that says it all.
Happy Father's Day Mr. Yesteryear Acres.
Happy Father's Day to my dad, Mr. Yesteryear Acres Dad and all Awesome Fathers everywhere!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Picture Highlights Part 2

I know you have been waiting with bated breath for today's second round of pictures from our college road trip. Well breathe easily ...the wait is over!  Here are the rest of the highlights!
This is what awaited us when we arrived at West Point.  It was just about dinner time when we got there and we started walking around the campus right away.  The storm was predicted to hit by 9pm so we only had a few hours without the pouring rains. 

The buildings at West Point are just beautiful.

It made me think of medieval castles.  I was in love!

This is a big lake in the middle of the campus. I mean - how beautiful is that!!

My son and I both decided we could easily spend hours just sitting at this lake. 

Here is one of the churches. We got there just as the sun was starting to set.

Inside was just breathtaking.  My son and I both stood in silence and took a moment to appreciate everything.

I love the stone work.  How they did all this way back then - amazing!

The lighting was bad as there was little daylight left - but this sight was amazing!

The setting sun over the Hudson Bay.

We watched every last glimpse of the beautiful sunset

We didn't get to take many pictures the next day during our official visit. It pretty much poured nonstop!  We were so grateful that we took the time to see everything we could the night before!

My son's favorite building.  The Mechanical Engineering projects were incredible!

My son braved the pouring rains to take this last picture.  He got soaked - but it was definitely worth it!

BACK HOME!  Sunrise this morning at Yesteryear Acres.  Even with everything we saw on our awesome college road trip......there's no place like home!