Farmhouse Friday: The Lil’ White Barn Farm People

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Happy Farmhouse Friday! We recently ventured out to snap a few family pictures of these special people. It was one of those days where I was not ready to get everyone all ‘dolled up’ for pictures. So with a quick rummage through closets and the shoe bin (AKA our apple crates stacked in the garage–works fantastic, try it!) this is as good as it got. Truth be told, I’m thankful my dear husband encouraged us to just go for it and get it done! He was right. We were long overdue for updated pictures. We simply met up with some friends and took their family pictures and then they took ours. This was a fantastic way to save some moolah and capture some precious faces. Phew, got er’ done. Living up the Farmhouse Friday today with the cowgirl boots my eight year old rocked with her capri’s. Why I let her leave the house with capri’s and cowgirl boots you may say? Mmmm, welllll, it is what it is! After all, remember, we’re homeschooled so we know how to wear things like this in confidence. Lol, kidding. Kinda. ūüėČ

So here they are. Growing all too fast. Isn’t time is a peculiar thing? One thing Mr. C-Mac and I have been reminding each other (okay let’s be honest, he has been reminding me!) is that it just takes small moments, with intentionality, over a long period of time to build relationship. These small increments of time will multiply to be a beautifully painted canvas of trust, love, and honesty shared as adults someday. It’s mind boggling to me as I look into the sweet, innocent eyes of an eight, six, four, and two year old that we will spend the majority of our lives knowing and relating to one another as adults. O how these are precious years, my friends. Let’s be intentional with the time we have now as we anticipate a future of joy in our relationships. By grace alone.

 

Farmhouse Friday

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It’s summa…and this room is getting some good use. It’s our multi-purpose room indeed. I use a variety of items new and used to give a lived-in-childlike-playful-farmhouse look. Lots of books, toys, school supplies, and crafts full every square inch. Using an assortment of bins (stores balls), boxes(stores books), vintage suitcases(stores DVD’s), and shelving (stores craft supplies) all help to keep this space ‘somewhat’ organized. And for me and my “clean-freak” self I like to have at least someplace these array of items can be hidden away. Hold on there; let me clarify…not everything actually STAYS hidden away, but at least it has a place to go. If it doesn’t have a place then there have been times toys disappear never to be seen again. GASP. I wonder who took them? wink.

Gather those assortment of bins, barrels, suitcases, boxes, and ladder shelving to make creative storage systems in your home. Also take some time to READ a book or do some ART. It will serve you well. I’m sure of it. Have a great weekend y’all!

Farmhouse Friday- and a Happy Birthday!

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Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here because today is not only our family Farmhouse Friday, but also a very Happy Birthday to our boy! He turns SIX today! There’s not a better way to start a six year olds day than with a birthday plate (with his name and birthday on it of course), his favorite granola (with added birthday¬†sprinkles in it of course), fresh raspberries and blueberries (with added chocolate chips of course), and a blue candle (because blue is his favorite color of course). And let me tell ya, that’s just the beginning. After this little morning appetizer we are headed into his favorite bakery for a donut. It’s tradition. And the kids absolutely LOVE it. Then it’s burgers for lunch with grandpa and grandma, target shooting for the afternoon, a deli-sandwich from Fred Meyer for dinner (lol- he saw it while we grocery shopped this week and that’s what he wants!) then¬†lastly it’s a Davey Crocket movie night and root beer floats with his cousins to close out¬†the big day. Wow, what¬†a day. Oh the joys of a six year old birthday. We’re all looking forward to celebrating with some good ol’ fashion fun and adventure. He has such a tender heart and sweet spirit about him.¬†We are so proud of the man he’s becoming. God gave¬†us¬†a blessing with the life of Silas. We love him so.

Thanks for coming by and celebrating with us here at The White Barn Farm. Enjoy the weekend ahead, friends!

PS. Aren’t birthdays the best?! Especially at SIX. ūüôā

#BeMine

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Happy Valentines Day! Last week I shared about¬†some ways we celebrate this holiday. Today I’m letting you see our baking adventure¬†we had in preparation for today. I hope you enjoy some of these moments as much as I. Making memories with the little people in our lives is such a treat. Even more so than the ‘treats’ themselves! I realize that now… but by the look of these kiddos faces, I think they still find that the actual treats themselves are pretty awesome! The appreciation for memories¬†will settle in their hearts later on…

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We spent an afternoon baking and decorating heart shaped sugar cookies. Okay stop right there. I need to rephrase that; Actually, my good friend Fred Meyer spent the day baking and Betty Crocker prepared our frosting for us this time. Yes, it was one of those weeks. Not everything can be homemade overtime in my life. So we go with the help of others as often as needed. And I have learned to be okay with that. Remember my post last week?! Keep it sweet and simple. So for us, this was our sweet and simple. And you know what, the kids loved every moment of it (even the purchases at the store were a thrill because they anticipated the creations and consumption all the way home)!

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I had to keep at least one on a covered pedestal for myself or else the kids would want to eat them all, but look what happened…

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Look at Seth Luke’s (my two year old) eyes. Don’t they innocently¬†scream “I want that!” I was upstairs and then came down to this…I happen to have my camera on me to capture his sneaky mission… ha!

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He took the lid off, dipped his finger in the frosting and was on repeat for about 5x before I said, “Seth Luke, what are you doing.” And this was the face I got. Lol. Now many of you are probably like, “Well why in the world did you leave that on a table he can reach?!” Well let me answer that, I had left it there for some IG pics I was doing a few minutes prior to me having to run upstairs for something. Within seconds, he was a smart cookie to figure out how to take a little bit at a time so mom wouldn’t notice. He hasn’t learned moms have eyes behind our heads yet, nor cameras that allow us to share it with the world. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Keeping it Sweet and Simple #valentines

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so I wanted to share with you a simple, budget friendly means to celebrate the day with your littles. I like to keep things simplified¬†whenever possible. So part of the way I decorate and celebrate is with simple designs and ideas. It makes it more doable for me, replicable for others, and inspirational for all¬†of us.

This year I found these darling gift sacks to put a couple special items in for each child. The ones that appear ‘plain’ actually have small pink hearts on them. Obviously I am still learning how to take quality photographs. lol.

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I literally put just a few¬†heart shaped chocolates and a pack of pink bubble gum. I had to stick (no pun intended) with the pink theme for the occasion. That’s it! Sweet and simple. We don’t have an over abundance of treats at our home on a regular basis so for us this works. My kids will love it. I figure if I keep it sweet and simple through the little years the expectations won’t drown¬†me as they get older and we can practice being easily blessed as a family. Simple blessings in the everyday ordinary. That is what makes this life extra-ordinary, right?

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I plan to set the table with each Valentine sack at the kids’ place setting. We¬†will have a fun breakfast Valentine’s Day morning as well. Maybe I’ll attempt heart shaped pancakes, aaaand that’s a big maybe. It¬†could be entertaining to say the least. Ha! Or I’ll make pancakes and put¬†red berries on top instead. That will probably be more of a reality.

Just remember; It’s in the thought and effort mamas. Not in the perfection. Our kids won’t remember what we get them each year or what extravagant meal we made them, but rather they will remember the heart of the the one whom gave it to them. Was it a heart that was cold, run-down, angry, anxious, easy irritated?…or a heart that was warm, welcoming, loving, energized, joyful, and at peace. It’s my prayer I will be the latter. Honestly not every moment I am, but that is the deepest desire of my heart.

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I hope this blog post will encourage you to be okay with ‘keeping it sweet and simple’ this Valentines Day and focus more on the heart of the giver. That’s you. And that’s me. Love your littles, dear friends. They need it, in the simplest of ways. Happy (soon) Valentine’s Day.

The School Room and so much more…

Wait, you homeschool with four children seven and under?! ¬†Yes, yes I¬†do. Stop, don’t leave! I’m not going to start making every post about what curriculum is best, or what books to read, or what denim skirt looks best to wear with your¬†bun and scrunchy (eek, do they still make those things)? I promise. Hmm, come to think of it my daughter is on a side bun kick lately. Yikes, that’s for consideration¬†another time. Lol, wink.

I totally get that¬†homeschooling is not for everyone. And that is a very good thing. We are all made beautifully unique.¬†Wherever¬†you are at…to the ends of the earth. ¬†With that said, I simply hope this post will encourage all¬†of you mamas out there to love your little ones well by¬†creating a space for them to imagine, dream, and learn. They are a gift to us. Teach them well through giving them the gift of learning. In whatever capacity that may be. We all spend a lifetime of learning. Yes, all of us. Let’s embrace learning together again. I know I have much to learn!

So for us this is a year of homeschooling. And we love it. That’s my motto- One year at a time.¬†I can handle that. One single year, month, day, and if I’m honest with myself, moment at a time. ¬†Breathe in, breathe out. By God’s grace we are taking it a year at a time. And truth be told…it is a joy and honor for me right now.

Here is a look at where we spend a good portion of our day…It is a room that works hard for our family as it puts on several hats including: office, playroom, daddy wrestling room, crafting, story times, guest room, and school room.

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A reading corner in a TeePee? Why not! Wouldn’t you want story time in a TeePee?

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Each¬†kiddo¬†has their own desk space. This¬†is super helpful for storing each of their own supplies and books. We painted the kids’ desk tops with some chalkboard paint. ¬†They have fun writing their name or doodling on it. That’s doodling, not drooling. Although that can happen sometimes too. I do have a 2 year old.

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This is our ART area. I¬†like to keep a variety of markers, pens, pencils, crayons, tape¬†etc. accessible to the kids here. They know they can be creative anytime as long as the items are put back where it was taken from. ¬†This keeps us from ‘loosing’ items and helps maintain some sort of order in the school/play room.

Thanks for coming by to see our School Room today. Or at least parts of it. And for those of you wondering if everything is always in it’s perfect place like these photos show…think again. We are real people. And my kids are kids. Everyday (sometimes multiple times a day) we have an entire house cleanup time!

Take heart mamas. You’re doing a great job.Give your littles a hug and kiss.That will go a long way and could very well be all the lesson they need to know today… that they are loved, always.

Biscuit Sundays

There’s nothing quite like¬†having warm homemade biscuits welcoming a chilly¬†winter¬†morning. ¬†As soon as the cold weather hit, Sunday mornings have become known as our family’s ‘Biscuit Sunday’ tradition. ¬†This particular recipe is easy and tasty. ¬†It can be made with the help of little hands joining in too. ¬†My husband cannot have any dairy so we substitute the milk with almond milk and the butter¬†with coconut oil. ¬†They turn out great. ¬†Each week I toss in a little of this and a little of that so they are changed up a bit. ¬†Keeps it interesting. This morning we enjoyed them sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, and pumpkin spice. Delicious. ¬†Homemade raspberry jam is a must for us too. ¬†Although Honey is¬†delectable too if we are low on¬†our jam supply.

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The original recipe is as follows:

2 C flour (I have also used wheat, cornmeal, or coconut flour)

1 Tablespoon Baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 C butter (I use non-dairy butter or coconut oil)

3 Tablespoons shortening (I use coconut oil)

About 3/4 Cup milk  (I use almond or coconut milk)

**I’ve added flax seed, pumpkin puree, 1T sugar mixed in at times.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease baking sheet.

Sift flour and powders into a bowl, use pastry blender to cut in the butter/oil until crumbly.  Then stir in milk to make soft dough.  Roll out and cut biscuits with 2 in cutter.  ( Or I simply plop them onto the baking sheet and press down in center!)

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned.  Enjoy, from our farm table to yours.

Gingerbread and Star Eyes

My mom, fondly called Nani, visited us recently and brought an edible Christmas surprise ‘craft’ to do with the kids. ¬† img_8346

This is one of our traditions to do together as a family each year. ¬†Nani jumped in on the fun with us this year too. And let me just say, those costco kits are incredible if you don’t have an architectural¬†itch for the day. ¬†The gingerbread¬†is pre-made and the walls are already frosted in place. No, rather glued into place. Lots of hands on it, and that house was solid! ¬†There was enough candy for the four kids to each have a small dish full¬†and they could all design and taste test to their hearts content (wellll, to mommy’s hearts content rather)

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It’s always fun to make memories together during this time of year. Especially stary-eyed ones you can eat!

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Kids Advent Garland and Tree

The Christmas traditions are being prepared around here at The White Barn Farm. ¬†I’ve spent the last couple nights getting this sweet little flocked tree’s garland filled with our 2016 December treats and adventures. ¬†I found this burlap pocket garland at Craft Warehouse a couple years ago and every year since this is a¬†favorite¬†Christmas tradition. ¬†Each pocket has a number corresponding to the date they can ‘open’ or take out the note that greets¬†them inside. ¬†With shrieks of excitement they find out what special event/treat awaits¬†them for that day. ¬†Honestly, they are still young enough¬†that simple pleasures go a long way. ¬†Oh to be young again!

Here are some of what our December adventures entail. ¬†I hope this gives you some ideas of what to do with your family and/or friends in preparation for the greatest day to celebrate of the month… December 25th!

*Hot chocolate date with daddy

*Ice-Skating

*White Christmas Play at community High School

*Girls Date Night with Daddy -(they usually go to The Nutcracker)

*Cookie Baking Day

*Christmas Craft Day

*Look at Christmas lights in Leavenworth, Wa

*Special surprise once in your P.J’s (of which we will take kids out of bed and go see Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas treat late at night!)

*Check your stocking for a hidden treasure

*Go sledding

*Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach, WA

*Christmas Party- Dress up tonight!

*Read The Christmas Story

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Once I have the garland finished the kids get to decorate the tree. The ornaments, ribbon, nor picks are¬†perfectly and precisely placed during these young years, but I don’t mind. There is so much joy in their gleaming eyes for them to have a¬†chance to help and be apart of making memories. ¬†It’s definitely worth all the ‘imperfections’ in decorating¬†as we build traditions together, right?! ¬†What are some of your traditions around this time of year? Do you have any similar advent traditions at your home too? ¬†I’d love to hear and thanks for coming by!