Family Progress.. Big News!

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage… right? In our case that is exactly what happened, two fold! Yup! Baby #2 will be arriving around October 2nd, 2017!!

In January, Tim and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We felt complete. We have Jack, our new land, and each other, what else could our little family need? Everything was coming together so beautifully. On our anniversary date night, I expressed to Tim how much I wanted to wait to have another baby. My last pregnancy was more than rough, it was brutal. With multiple visits to the ER and feeling traumatized by giving birth, I didn’t feel ready to welcome a new little one into our family. Three (3) years was the perfect waiting period for another baby.

On the morning of our anniversary (January 24th), I realized I was a day late. With natural family planning you begin to know your body better than you ever thought you could. I had noticed I felt different in the days before. Thinking I had control over everything in my life, I thought it was impossible. But, I took a pregnancy test just to make sure I could safely drink the glass of wine at our homemade anniversary dinner that night. Tim was planing with Jack in the family room, I took the test, and while I was doing my makeup I looked down at the test expecting a negative only to see “PREGNANT” in all caps.

Shock.

It has taken me a few weeks to realize how much of a blessing this new baby is. My “plan” didn’t include a baby. God’s plan did. Fast forward 9 weeks (13 weeks pregnant currently), the completion we felt as a family in January has magnified. We are so in love with this new baby and all that he/she signifies! Sure, things happened a little fast, but that’s the point of NFP. We want to be open to God’s will. He knows better than us.

I feel lucky to have a beautiful little boy, a caring husband, and a rapidly growing family. I dream of working on our little farm together and teaching our littles the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Our lives continue to be busy with work, surgeries for me (wisdom teeth removal), and getting the greenhouse ready. Here’s to hard work and a life filled with love! [Cheers with my imaginary and greatly missed glass of blush wine]


 

Blooming Holland in Philadelphia


On Saturday we took the day to return to the city where we first met, Philadelphia. For the first time ever we attended Philadelphia’s Flower Show 2017. There was so much to explore we couldn’t possibly see it all! The crowds alone made walking around feel like you were in permanent human traffic. The smells, colors, and beauty of blooming flowers was just the event we needed on a cold winter day!

The theme this year was Holland. Being the WWII history buff that I am and part Dutch I loved the theme. There were so many bikes, cows, shoes, and native flowers to Holland. Besides the amazing colors and smells there was a great space for local businesses to buy a space and sell their goods. My favorite shop was the dried flower shop (dried flowers are so under rated). I’ll be making a wreath and center piece soon.

I don’t know if we’ll return next year. The massive amount of people and indoor setting made it all seem superficial. If you decide to go, keep the stroller (and maybe the kids) at home. My advice, If you want to see real flower beauty in the Philadelphia area, try visiting `Longwood Gardens this spring and summer. Their winter indoor green house will make you swoon with envy.

These were made from wood!

 

The Perfect Coffee Bar

I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but my husband is. When we recently moved I knew I wanted to surprise Tim with his own space in the kitchen.This space would be somewhere he could go every morning to the feel joy and relaxation of the day before beginning a long commute to work; thus was born ‘The Coffee Bar’.

What is a coffee bar? A coffee bar is a place where you can have every thing you need to make a great cup of Joe in the morning. “Just add water” mentality went into the design. Coffee bars are great functional filler for dead space. We had a little nook by our backdoor that needed some life. With some mugs, a coffee maker (must have), canisters for essentials (sugar, tea bags, etc.), and some cute pieces of art my nook was a coffee bar!

Coffee bar’s don’t need to be just about coffee. I store my teas in some of the canisters and often use our Verismo for hot water. For the kids, you can try adding some clear containers with marshmallows and hot cocoa mix.

 

 

Materials Used:


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On the “Road” to Success (Greenhouse Update)

 

We’ve had yet another monumental week! Jack cut his first tooth, which surprisingly has made him sleep through the night for the last 4 nights. That makes me a very happy Mama. He’s growing  up so fast and we have a feeling he’ll be walking before his first birthday. Time will tell.

Jack watching the big machines making the new road.

 *Red rain boots in photo can be found here

The greenhouse is coming along. Tim has been reading up on how to best utilize the space which makes me a proud wife. 2 years ago I thought I was marrying a really handsome and funny chemist, little did I know I was marrying Mr.Fix-it! He is working on a list of fruits and veggies to grow that are low cost and high in profit. So far, tomatoes and basil have made the list. I’m trying to convince him to write a post on his methodology.
We’ve had a lot of discussions about the steps forward. We need a barn, road, tractor, and many other key tools to making this all work. One of the major (and slightly costly) steps is a road back to the greenhouse. Since we’ve moved in, we have been walking back to the greenhouse through the field. Delaware is one of those lovely places where every time it rains your yard becomes a swamp. A road was a necessity. We invested the money in a recycled material road, I love the end result. We are already feeling the positive effects!


I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of the changes happening in our lives, but I know that we are on the right “road”. I’m encouraged by my husbands enthusiasm and we’re growing so much closer as a couple. I’m really looking forward to the day we get to start weeding and harvesting the fruits and veggies! I have so many delicious dinners planned. Pesto has made the list!

Oh – We are also hoping to get a kitten in the next few weeks! Stay tuned!

Game Night Fun!

Finding it hard to entertain yourself during the winter? Yeah, I think we’ve all been there. If you’re an outdoor family like we are, the winter months can be boring and sometimes lead to expensive outings. One of our favorite things to do is GAME NIGHT!

Invite some friends over, make some fun finger food and enjoy these games.

Disclaimer: Games were chosen with adults in mind. 

Click the name of the game for a direct link to purchase the game.

8+ People

Taboo

(4+ Players)

It may sounds like a taboo game to play with lots of people, but this game gets your competitive nature flourishing and a some good laughs in. The object of the game is to get your teammate(s) to say the word without using 5 commonly used words to describe it. The team that has the most points at the end of the game wins!

Example:

Word: House

Cannot Say: Live, Residence, Address, Home, Family



Apples to Apples

(4-8 Players)

In our group you can follow the rules or make up your own. The object of the game is getting the judge to choose your card (we base it on what answer made us laugh the hardest). Whoever gets the most green cards wins! 



6 Players

Risk

(2-6 Players)

Yup. This game made the cut. I used to think it was a game for nerds but in reality it’s quite fun. You should have at least one experienced player at the table to explain the rules. I like to describe it as a mix between Monopoly, Catan, and Freeze Tag. Not a game for those looking for something quick but definitely something that will make you feel accomplished in the end.

The object of the game is to take have the strongest army and concur the most continents.

Deer in the Headlights

(2+ Players)

This game is a great game to play where you can chat with your comrades. Make sure you read the rules carefully and don’t roll more than 1 deer in the headlights! The object of the game is to get rid of your cards first. Those remaining with cards will have them count against you in points. The one with the lowest points wins.

Phase 10

(2-6 Players)

Bring out that card game from your childhood and give it life again. Race your competitors to completion of all 10 phases first. You’d be surprised just how much fun you can have playing this game with a good beer in hand.

4 Players

Catan

(2-4 Players [6 with the expansion pack])

Talk about obsession! Takes one game to get the hang of it, but once you do you’ll want to play it every time you and your friends are together. The object of the game is to get to 10 points first. Gaining resources and building the longest road is key – but watch out when the number 7 is rolled, you could lose more than you bargained for.

(Click here for the expansion pack)

 

I’d love to know what games you play for game night!

 

 

Stay-At-Home Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s day can be overrated and sometimes leave us wishing we had gotten the huge teddy bear like the picture we saw on social media. Valentine’s day isn’t meant to be public. Valentine’s day should be seen as a day to reignite your genuine love for each other and a reminder to care for the ones you love.

For Valentine’s day I like to slow down. Cook a meal with love, write a letter, and spend a night holding hands and talking. Flowers and chocolates are nice, but your time is more valuable.

Try these cheap and meaningful things for valentine’s day. 

  1. Make a homemade dinner. I love a good steak and potatoes! This is extra special if you aren’t the main cook in the family
  2. Write a letter to each person in your family, telling them how much they mean to you.
  3. Play a game with your spouse. Phase 10 or hand-and-foot are games we really get into.
  4. Run a bath with some delightful bath bombs and light some candles.
  5. Make a sheet fort in your family room and watch a movie

 

This weekend was a big weekend for our little family. Friday afternoon, to my great pleasure, I landed safely in DC after a 12 hour flight from Switzerland (someone really needs to work on making economy seats more comfortable). 5 days away from Tim and Jack was entirely too long. I’m so grateful for a husband who can transition seamlessly into the “Mr. Mom” role. I am such a lucky lady.

Saturday, we were blessed with good weather and the real work began. Tim took off all of the old ripped plastic, making headway for the new plastic. He was able to do a lot of prep work like take out the old tracks and saving/cleaning the old hardware to be reused. To our surprise Tim found a ton of dead bees. Maybe some honey harvesting is in our future?

 


Sunday we were awakened by rain and wind. We spend part of the morning watching Hacksaw Ridge (great movie!). By noon the rain and wind stopped and Tim was able to work again. Now, this wasn’t a one man job. My dad and two brothers dedicated their afternoon to helping us.

They took the first layer of plastic and attached strong clamps. On each clamp rope was attached and thrown over the top of the greenhouse. Starting at  one end most of the man power was used to hoist the plastic off the ground. Careful not to rip through the plastic my dad pulled the rope, guiding the plastic over the top. Each layer of plastic took about and hour to complete.


Tow layers of plastic later, a few fans, and lots of adhesion we have the gorgeous beginnings of a new greenhouse! Despite a night with over 60 mile per hour winds the new plastic is still in place! Success! The sides and heaters are next. We’ll keep you posted.

Greenhouse Progress!