Family Memories

The 5 Best Toys of All Time

Big Smile!

That’s my youngest niece, Gwenny in the picture. Tony took this picture while she was totally engrossed playing in the corn truck (yes corn!) when we went to Christian Way Farm this fall. She was so busy playing that he had to get her to ask her a few times before she’d look up at the camera to smile. She was just having SO much fun.

In case, you don’t do Facebook or you haven’t seen this article yet, don’t miss The 5 Best Toys of All Time | GeekDad | I’ll wait here, while you read it. :)

Kids don’t need a lot of “toys” to be happy. What they need is time to spend exploring and playing with normal stuff. Some kids have more “toys” than others. I’m not bashing on that. We have plenty of toys at our house, but this article reminded me of the joy kids have with simple things. And that made me happy so I thought I’d pass it along to you all.

It made me think of other non-toy stuff that my kids have had MAJOR fun with: bubble wrap, duct tape, piles of leaves, the creek, the perfect climbing tree, and the much harder-to-find, and requiring parental supervision, dry ice!

What about you? What are some of the best non-toy things that your kids enjoy?


Faith Wins

Our Jack Russell Terrier, Faith

No I haven’t gotten confused about the title of Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins. I haven’t even read it, but I sure know it’s caused an uproar. What’s that all about? Have you read it? What did you think?

I’m talking about our mighty Jack Russell Terrier, Faith. She is the shortest, friendliest,  pudgiest little Jack Russell you’ll ever meet. Her tail reminds us of a hummingbird when she gets really excited. She’s a powerhouse! And even though she would definitely prefer to be indoors when it’s too hot, too cold, or raining, she still has that fierce Jack Russell tenacity.

Mice, bunnies, groundhogs, and moles know to stay clear of our yard. She is ruthless going after them and proud to eliminate them. We’ve had to physically remove her from a hole where she’s been barking for almost an hour because she can almost reach her prey, but not quite. I really wonder if we didn’t go and retrieve her if she would bark until she lost her voice OR if her victim would surrender to make the yapping stop!

Anyway, Tony heard Faith barking the other day when he got home from work. He could tell it was coming from the creek, but figured she was just chasing something. He went inside and finished working, so it was about an hour later when he went back to his car for something and STILL heard her barking.

Our CreekThis time, he decided to take the boys and go see what she was doing.

She wasn’t ruthlessly barking at the home of some animal’s den. Nope, she was stuck on a little island in the middle of a deep spot in the creek. The water was rushing because of our recent rain and it was COLD. Apparently she got that far and decided that the deer wasn’t worth it. But it was too late.  She’d gotten too cold and worn herself out. When she tried to jump back onto the steep creek bank, she would just slide back down.

Jake had to wade out into the water and get her. He said you could see where she had jumped and tried to scratch her way up the creek bank until she’d exhausted herself.

She was SO happy when Jake lifted her off that little island. I can just imagine her little tail wagging 90 to nothing! The boys brought her back home, got her dry and warm, and gave her a comfy place to rest.

We were so glad that she’s tenacious and kept up that barking until we realized that she needed help. We’re glad she was smart enough to know when the current was too strong for her to swim.We’re proud of her for how she kept trying.

She didn’t lose faith in us. She knew we’d come.

Faith wins.

Happy Thanksgiving!


My Three Sons

I’m thankful for impromptu moments caught by the camera.

For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting;
and His truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:5

Dreaming of your own homestead?

An old horse stable barn in Kentucky

I was just reading over at my friend, Jenn’s blog about her dream life.  It reminded me of me of how our dream came true when we found this farm.  It’s been over 4 years since I first posted Our Homestead Story, so you can click through that link to read if you’d like.

As I was hunting for that link, I found some others you all might enjoy too.

Here’s one where I answer the question, “What should we consider before moving out to the country?”

And then this blog entry is about a wonderful book called Our Homestead Story: The First Years by Mr. & Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry.  My family really enjoyed it.  In fact I was thinking about it the other day and couldn’t find it on our shelves so I’ve been thinking of buying another copy. Ha!

In fact, I checked the Castberry Farms Press site and they have a second book about their homestead story now called Through the Years Together: Homestead Part II. It’s not on Amazon, but I noticed that if you order through their website, you can get both books in the Homestead Series for only $7.50 each. Sounds like a winner to me!

Anyway, even though our dream might be changing a bit now, I still love sharing with others about what we’ve learned along the way.

Do you have any homestead questions or things you’d like to share about what you’ve learned on your own homestead? Or maybe you’re actually in town, but you’ve been able to create your own homestead right there. I’d love to hear what you’re doing at your house. Just leave a note in my comment box or email me.

Have a dreamy week!



One day

Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience shared this link to jumping tandem: White Bread.

It’s not really about white bread. It’s about the choices we make every day. Thinking about how easy it is to brush aside ideas as being silly, but then wondering if one day you’ll look back and wish you would have done it.

Check it out:

He took my hand and tried to make me stand still, and then he started to laugh. I looked at him sideways, there in front of the bread. “Here’s what I’m thinking,” he said. “If I don’t dance with you, one day I’m going to say to myself, ‘If only I’d danced with her that night.'” Now I was laughing, too. “But if I do dance with you, one day I’ll be crying about how much fun I had dancing with you in the grocery store.”

No regrets, friends. Don’t miss those chances to do something silly that will keep you both laughing years from now.