Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

New Year's Day presented a variety of opportunities for the family.

1 - Head to the National Zoo in DC and hang with our friends/chosen family, the Dusolds. (2 hour drive & train ride)
2 - Head to Palmyra Virginia and visit friends cooking chili.(3 hour drive)
3 - Head to the farm to try to load timbers and clean the yard. (6 minute drive)

We slept in and chose the farm. I missed seeing everyone, but if 2014 is to be the year we move into the farm, work must get done.

Ghon and Jonathan headed out in Ghon's truck while Genevieve and I rounded up a few more things then headed out.

When Genevieve and I got there, Ghon and Jonathan were cleaning out the fire pit. We have burned so much this summer, the put was full of ash. Seriously, we burned brush, paper, rotting wood, a chair, a sofa, doors; you name it, it was burned. Genevieve ran off to help Jonathan and Daddy, then I got to work with my own tasks. Like taking pictures of them working.

Working hard cleaning out the fire pit.

Once I snapped a few pics, I got to work. I fed the chickens, then started rounding up trash and putting away summer yard stuff: chairs, toys, random bungee cords and the kid's rakes. Ghon used the 4-wheeler to haul off the ash, so when he came back, the kids of course wanted a ride. After their turn, Ghon broke out his inner kid and tore up some mud in the garden area.

Genevieve had a blast riding. Jonathan was excited. Even Ghon had some fun with a quick spin.

Playtime over, I decided to clean up the pallet pile. I couldn't stand how they were stacked in the yard haphazardly. Drove me nuts. The kids were running all around the piles, hiding in them and playing 'house.' I started moving the pallets with the kids pleading me to let them keep playing with them. I promised them a way to play with them.

I started moving the pallets next to the chicken coop when Ghon and Tim decided to head up the hill to cut wood. But before they left, they decided to find out what the mysterious pink liquid was in the plastic container. Sure it said kerosene, but you never know what may have been put in the container.

Don't try this at home. Cigarettes, a shotgun, kerosene and an open flame. 

Once we established that the liquid was indeed kerosene, Ghon and Tim headed off and took Jonathan with them. Genevieve and I ordered lunch and kept stacking pallets and working around the yard.

Priceless. I kept telling her to "roll" the container. So she sang "Row, Row, Row Your Boat!" She was such a good helper today.

My little tom-girl stomped all through the mud, ran around, and climbed the new pallet tower. She tested my structural integrity, jumped off the top, and reminded me where it needed stairs. I think she was also pretty happy to be there for some one-on-one time with mom, and to test it all out without her brother.

Before leaving with the guys, Genevieve and Jonathan "did teamwork" to move some pallets.

Once the pizza came, Genevieve and I had to head up the hill to try and find the boys. I was quite nervous driving up the hill. I made it, but somehow still went down the wrong road and couldn't find them. By the time I turned the Ranger around and went back down the hill, Tim and Jonathan were there. Jonathan road down with Tim on the 4-wheeler and "looked everywhere" for us. The kids and I headed to the house for lunch while Tim went back up the hill to tell Ghon lunch was ready.

While getting the high class dining ready (paper plates, cheap pizza and standing room only for adults), the kids cleaned up in the living room. Apparently, Ghon and Eric really did clean up the living room last time they were there.

There is always more dirt to sweep.

After being refueled by lunch, I reminded the men that we were supposed to be trying to get the timber in the house. So Ghon and Tim tried pick up the timber. I reminded them to lift with their knees, 1, 2, 3, and nothing. It wasn't getting more than a half inch off the ground. We could really, really, use some help.

With that failed attempt, Ghon and Tim got antsy. It is almost the end of hunting season! Anxious to get in the woods for an evening hunt, I had Ghon start a fire for me before heading back up into the woods. We'd had heavy rain for a few days and a short supply of lighter fluid, so the fire was slow starting. Then, he remembered we had kerosene.

When a little doesn't work, drench the board and start again! Fire!

Fire lit, the guys left and the kids and I resumed work and running around the yard. Well, I worked and they ran.

After about 90 minutes, I headed inside the house and Jonathan followed. He started playing on the hearth, measuring the width with a large tape measure. He walked backwards, watching the end of the tape and walked himself right off the edge. Kid is pretty lucky he wasn't hurt worse. There are so many broken rocks and even some old broken glass in the hole. He was shook up, so we headed to the fire ring to sit. I put a cold bottle of water on his back and held him for a bit. Genevieve tried to open the truck door to get her jacket, and the door closed on her fingers.

That was it - I was done. It was getting colder and I had two hurt kids. I snuggled with both kids by the fire, then got them in the car, texted Ghon that we were leaving, put out the fire and left.

The next morning. You can see a small lump and his scratch.

Our weather is reliably unpredictable. We worked outside in layers, no jackets, on a sunny day in the upper 40s. As I am writing this the very next evening, it is about 20 degrees and snowing. The roads are a mess, cars are sliding off the road everywhere. Jonathan's bus arrived home over an hour late after being stuck behind several accidents. It's insane.

Although I missed visiting with friends on Wednesday, at least I was able to get the grill put away before the next snowfall!


  1. I love how invested the whole family is in this. You are building awesome memories for your kids.

    1. I hope so! It can be hard at times to find things for them to help with, but they like helping when they can. Summer is a little easier, they can run and play independently a lot more.