Saturday, July 16, 2011


Hello there Folks, it's Baby Henry, reporting from the Stephenson County Fair.

This is me....looking at you.

This week was my first Fair, and good gracious was it a great one.

My favorite part was the sheep barns, where I realized that I could call people over to me with my voice.  Then, when I had them where I wanted them, I showed my mad dancing skills by whipping my head back and forth like a maniac.  The crowd went wild.  Those sheep got no attention that night, let me tell you.

On the other hand, Mama wouldn't me ride any rides or eat any cotton candy, even though Daddy said I could.  Lame.

Farm Zone...see Charlotte's face?  That's how you know she's about to do something naughty.  And sure enough.....

Charlotte's favorite part of the Fair was poultry barn (again).  She just loves those chickens.  Mama says that if that is how chickens are supposed to look, obviously it is time for ours to


Amelia's favorite part of the Fair was riding the carousel and the Ferris Wheel (and the cotton candy).


Olivia loved jumping in the Zero Gravity harnesses, and the funnel cake.  (Surely Mama could make those at home...anybody ever tried that?  The cake, not the harnesses).

Mama's favorite part of the fair is people watching.  She says that she can see our future when she sees all the teenagers at the Fair.  This seems to be both soothing and terrifying for her.  Adults are so strange.

Daddy's favorite part of the Fair is the Junior Livestock Sale, and supporting all the kids who have worked so hard.  Man, I can't wait to show my own cow someday.

Alright, well, there are naps to be not-taken and sisters' toys to snatch.  A baby like me has a very busy schedule this week.

Enjoy your time at the Fair!  Don't forget to go get some of those Hog House french fries.  Daddy says they are the best.


Love, Baby Hen

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fourth of July, Part 2

On Monday we went down to Turkey Creek for our final Fourth of July celebration.  Don't you just love when a holiday is at the tail end of a long weekend?  So many opportunities for parties!

Turkey Creek is the picnic spot Seth's parents have created way back behind some fields.  Like the name implies, there is indeed a creek, and turkeys can occasionally be spotted.  The creek borders the land on three sides, and a steep hill with timber lines the other.  There are huge old trees and lots of open space to play soccer, and a firepit for s'mores and hot dogs.

Before I joined Seth's family, I never really thought about the actual work that goes into providing opportunities for wholesome family fun.  I kind of thought it just happened.  I knew all about the emotional work of family, and nothing at all about the planning, cooking, mowing, pruning, digging work that goes into creating a space like this.  Because guess what?  If you don't sit down and think about building it, there won't be one to go to!  If you don't do the constant work of reclaiming the space from nature, improving the creek bed, building the sand pit, coming home with the water slide for the grandkids......then it won't be there.  This isn't exactly the job of mowing a 1/4 acre suburban yard.  And then all the meal planning, the cooking, the packing and unpacking the truck, remembering the can-opener and the candles, washing the quilts and the tablecloths, always having all the little special snacks each kid loves.... It has been, and continues to be, a huge amount of work for Seth's parents, and we are deeply grateful for grandparents who are always thinking about providing great opportunities for our kids to be kids.  The kids don't understand yet, but we do. 

All the kids run around, playing with the games and balls Grandma brings down, bug hunting and taking nature walks and raspberry picking, until an adult relents and is FINALLY ready to bring them in the creek.  Then they all race for the slide and spend the afternoon chasing bullfrogs and trying to catch minnows and waiting for their turn on the slide.  The creek is lined on both sides by tall trees whose branches meet in the middle to form a shady canopy.  It is fairly shallow most of the time, so even the two year olds can have lots of fun splashing around.

Next time I will take better pictures of Turkey Creek itself, but in the meantime, here are some final Fourth of July pictures from our day down there.

Click to enlarge!

Thank you Grandpa and Grandma, for all the years of memories.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Old Fashioned Kind of Life

We picked the sour cherries on the farm today.  It was a perfect morning, all sunshine and light breezes.  I am still city-girl enough to be amazed that real food grows straight from the ground and on trees.  All we have to do is harvest it, and it is ours, for the price of a morning of work.

There are so many lessons to be learned on a farm about work, and good stewardship, and a slower, more simple life.  Olivia exclaimed, "This is so much better than watching TV!  If we work hard and pick these cherries now, we can have pies all year long!"

Yes.  YES.  Thank you Jesus, for the great blessing of a country childhood.

It's a pretty good adulthood too.

(We pit and freeze the cherries, and then we do indeed have pies all year long, if we are all careful about when we make them.  Cherry pie is a special occasion pie around here, and I think it may be everyone's very favorite).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July, Part 1

Fourth of July is my all time favorite holiday.  There's just something about fireworks and lightening bugs and patriotic toddler dresses.

My family was out to spend the weekend, and we all went to celebrate with Seth's whole family at the Costello's.  It was such a great party.....the weather was perfect, the food was beautiful, and all the kids disappeared together happily to play in the yard all night, checking in periodically for drinks and bug spray.

Of course I took pictures.  Brace yourself.

Click to enlarge

And that was only Saturday.  More pictures coming from the rest of the weekend.  Hope you are having the best Fourth ever.  God bless America!