Saturday, October 22, 2016

Little Miss Dresser Re-Do

I have a confession to make. We've lived on the farm for over a year, and neither of the girls had actual dressers until a couple weeks ago. Yes, I'm a procrastinator. Yes, I can be cheap. But, in my defense, a rescued dresser gives the kids a chance to flex their creativity. Yup, that's the story I'm gonna go with.

I scored this little gem at the garage sale of a fellow Girl Scout troop family:

As you can see, she was in need of some serious TLC. Not to mention, she's not really Medium Child's style. Medium and The Hubbs popped off the decorative pieces from the drawers and the front. Then lots and lots of sanding happened. Thanks to the joy of homeschool, we called it all shop class. 😉 The Hubbs taught the girls about things like:
*Sandpaper Grit
*Wood filler/wood putty
*How to sand properly
*Paint finishes & Polyurethane

I will admit mom and dad helped with some of the sanding (dad) and painting details (mom). But the girls did a vast majority of the work, and Medium picked out the paint colors herself.

Drawers after the girls painted them white.

Before the purple detail.

The color she chose is called "Sassy Lilac." Fitting.

Side detail.

Trimmed out drawer.

 All Done!

Things I loved about this project: 1.) Super inexpensive dresser. 2.) We had all the sandpaper on hand. 3.) We had all the paint on hand. 4.) Medium could've chosen any pulls she wanted, and chose the cheapest ones. These cost $.97 at Lowe's.

Until next time,
Much Love,

Happy House-iversary!

It's a been a year (plus about a week, because, face it, I'm always late) since we moved to our forever home. A year since we started our farm. I live on a farm, y'all. A FARM. With animals and a ginormous garden and everything!

Our property was a foreclosure when we bought it. That means the place had been vacant for a while. The grass was overgrown. There were volunteer trees gone wild. And the kudzu ... oh lord, the kudzu. So we did what we always do when we move somewhere, and we cleaned and cleared. Then we cleared some more. We put in fences. We took out fences. We cut down trees. We bought animals, and built shelters for said animals.

Phew. What a year! Just thinking about it makes me tired all over again.

Welcome to Rocky Pond!

The Husband couldn't wait to get rid of those prickly hollies.

We took out fences. (Never mind the construction materials!)

We cut down trees. (And got some new dogs!)

We put in fences.

And more fences.

And more fences.

Oh lord, the fencing!

Behind the pond.

New hog and goat areas.

Turkey and chicken yards.

We put some blood, a lot of sweat, and even a couple tears into the place this first year. I'm so proud of the work we've done so far--including the girls. My current major project is the garden. It's causing me a lot of stress right now. I've never gardened on this scale and never, ever in the South. (I miss that Iowa soil!) Stay tuned for more updates ...

Much Love, 

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Minute on My Parenting Soapbox

Lately, I've been posting on social media a lot about parenting and a return to good, old-fashioned values. While usually, I try not to make too big a splash on social media, this is something I felt I need to speak out on.

As y'all know, we moved to Tennessee almost 2 years ago. Being from Iowa, we get asked ALL THE TIME what led us to this tiny part of East TN. And while at first I would cringe when I answered, I realize now that a lot of people feel the way that I do. (Or close to it. 😉 ) Honestly, a lot of the kids that I was running across were jerks. I was at an event once, and a young girl (about 8 or 9) rolled her eyes at me when I told her it was respectful to call women Ms. X or Mrs. X.  If THAT doesn't just prove my point! Ooh, I wanted to just smack that smirk off her face. It was then that I realized I did not want my kids growing up with friends like these.

When did it become okay for kids to roll their eyes at us? When did we stop holding them accountable for their actions? When did we stop disciplining? When did we stop raising/teaching our kids?

It also happened that at this time it was the coldest winter EVER in my history. Among other things. So the timing was right to hitch up the wagons and head to the South. Where the weather is warmer, and a lot of parenting is still old school.

Now don't get me wrong. While I consider myself pretty old school, I am not what I'd call "hardcore." The kids have chores, they get disciplined (yes, I have spanked), they have a routine and boundaries. But that is not ALL they have.

They also have a mother that is able to stay at home, so sometimes we bake cookies and eat them for breakfast. They have parents that want them to have more than we did as kids, so we buy things for them. They have parents that were latchkey kids, whose parents (their grandparents) were too busy working to do things & go places, so we take field trips together and make sure we get quality time as a family.

So what is my point? BALANCE.

It's all about balance, y'all. It's okay to give our kids things, and let them do things, but have your boundaries. Don't let them walk all over you. Does your daughter want to have a tea party? Rock on, but use it as a time to teach her about etiquette. Is there a party your preteen wants to go to this weekend? Make sure they clean their room (to mom's standards) before they can go. So your teen has a date Saturday? Maybe they should babysit their siblings Friday night. ('Cause parents need a date night, too!)

And please, please, PLEASE, teach them basic manners. Make sure they see you holding doors for others and teach them to do the same (Small Child loves to do this!). Teach them to respect their elders. Please and thank you will still take you pretty far. And for the love of Fonzi teach them to chew with their mouths closed!

They might not always agree with us, but our girls want for nothing. (They actually have a pony!) All we ask for in return is respect and that they do what is asked of them. Which they do (usually). So, I suppose I'll step down from this soap box now ...

Much Love,

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year in Review 2015

It’s New Year’s Eve already? I swear it was just Christmas. I am one of those people that loses that last week of the year ... Every. Time. It doesn’t help that I am also one of those people that gets seriously stressed out when the daylight is almost nonexistent, and that I’m one of those people (read: mom) that does EVERYTHING for the holidays. But I digress ...

This year has been one heck of a chapter in the book that is the Schueder life. Let’s see, what happened??? (Cue the Wayne and Garth flashback fingers.)

1.) Moving to Tennessee is still the best move that we’ve consciously made (meaning there were no orders to move, we weren’t helping family with payments, nor did The Hubbs find a house to flip). That being said, knowing we’d found our permanent settling place, we got itchy to be homeowners again. What started out as casual browsing in January became pretty intense searching come February. But we did find a place. An awesome place. It’s just over 5 acres of awesome.

2.) Less than a week after closing on our forever home, we suffered a terrible loss. My father-in-law, the girls’ Papa, passed away. He was in a word--formidable. The man had a presence like none other. And, boy, was he stubborn! I know where the Hubbs got it from! But, he loved us, and we love him. He and I may not have always seen eye to eye, but he was one of my strongest supporters. I hope he knew how much I appreciated that. I think one of the things I’ll miss most about him will be The Hubbs and him working together and yelling. I always said, it was okay for them to holler at each other like that, because it meant less yelling from both of them at home afterwards.

3.) We started Rocky Pond Orchard. Well, technically, we’re not an orchard yet (you have to have at least 5 fruit trees, I think, to be considered an orchard), but we will be in the spring. The farm has been started and keeps growing by leaps and bounds (literally, you should see the goats!). We have animals I’ve always wanted (chickens), animals I never thought I wanted (meat rabbits), and animals that were NEVER near my radar (hogs--I mean, we’re from Iowa. I was all hogged-out after that!). We’ve hatched eggs in an incubator, which was something I hadn’t even dreamed of doing but was so cool to watch! And one of our rabbits just had kits a couple weeks ago. I will admit, eating those fuzzies is going to be a stretch for me. Also, I’m STILL getting used to saying I live on a farm.

4.) This is the first full year of homeschooling for the girls and me. It was a bit harrowing trying to find curriculum for the girls, but I think it’s working out. They’re excited to get started every morning (except for language arts, lol), and of course they’re EXTRA excited when we have field trips! Keeping them home, was also a great decision for our family. 😁

5.) Other little goings on:
  •  We had our first visitors to the farm! A girlfriend of mine and her little family visited over 4th of July, and my mom came for Christmas.
  •  I’m leading Small’s Daisy Girl Scout troop and helping with our multi-level troop overall. It’s a lot of work, but tons of fun and so rewarding to be able to share with my daughters.
  •  The girls participated in Upward Soccer again.
  •  The Hubbs finally got his Lifetime Hunting license and went hunting for the first time in, basically, eons. Unfortunately, he didn’t get anything. 😒
  •  I read over 100 books this year, and I’m pretty sure Medium isn’t too far behind me. I love that all my girls are readers, too!
  • Small has already finished her 1st grade math book. I’m so proud of her! I guess I should order her next book soon, huh?
  •  On top of the livestock, we added 3 dogs to our family this year. A pit mix, Trixie, and 2 heeler/Pyrenees/Labradors, Zeus and Tasha. 

So that’s our year in a nutshell. It was both exhausting and exhilarating. And, I can’t wait to see the kind of growth 2016 has in store for us. (Get it? Growth? We live on a farm. I know, it’s even funnier after I explain it.)

Much Love and Best Wishes for the New Year,

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

That Crazy Chicken Lady

So the first livestock we bought for the farm were chickens. We bought some Rhode Island Reds and Golden Laced Wyandottes to be exact. And then we discovered that we were practically the definition of Newbies when it came to chickens. (Uh duh, we're newbies to this WHOLE farming thing!)

We started out with them in a 10x10 dog kennel, and wrapped the lower third of the chain link with additional chicken wire. We had a small coop, a feeder & waterer and thought we were good. And then the chickens started disappearing one by one. It wasn't until my fourth chicken was gone that we realized we had both a cat and raccoon problem. AND we never closed off the top of the kennel--oops!

 After setting a live trap at night, and closing off the top of the chickens' enclosure we didn't lose anymore chickens overnight, but did lose a couple here and there during the day while they were free range--damn hawks!

And then something horrible happened. I left to run errands one afternoon and when I came back, only one of my Rhode Island Reds could be found. I freaked. Like crazy chicken lady with my head cut off freaked. And then during my practically hyperventilating race around the yard, I found a chicken, and then I found another, and another, and another. They all looked like they had just keeled over where they were. My poor babies.

Who doesn't love Peep Peep Pe-Cheep?

 I wracked my brain for hours trying to figure out what the heck had caused them all to just fall over.  Then when my head started to hurt, and I was starting to get tunnel vision, I remembered The Husband had sprayed around the house for carpenter bees. He used a chemical spray right where my chickens were foraging! And, of course, they gobbled the toxic bees right up. It was a sad day at the pond, for sure.

Buddy--My favorite rooster.

After a brief mourning period, I started the search for new chickens and discovered my super sweet English Orpingtons. But the best part was, in buying new chicks our family also made some super sweet, new friends.

I mean seriously, he SNUGGLES!

My chickens taught me some dos, some don'ts and brought us some great people.

And then there was Cluckingham Palace. I am so spoiled sometimes. :)

Can you love a coop like you love your house?

Much Love,

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