In earlier American rural life, communities raised barns because many hands were required. These events occured in a social framework with a good deal of interdependence. Members of rural communities often shared family bonds going back generations. They traded with each other, worshipped with each other and celebrated with each other. Barn raisings were an integral part of life and socializing.

In our modern American life, communities don't mean nearly as much as they did back then. It is our family's goal to bring a sense of community back to our lives and those lives that touch ours.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oh Deer

One of our family's favorite things to do up here in the middle of nowhere is to watch the wildlife. Namely, deer. We have a steady herd of about 6 that wander through the yard. Then there is our lone four-point buck that I have so cleverly dubbed "Bucky". This evening however, we had fourteen all at once. Mostly does and the fawns from last year, who are now fuzzy with their winter coats and totally adorable. There were also two young bucks in tonight's herd. We fed them all some leftover goat grain and some apples that were a little squishy. Spencer took the opportunity to get as close as he could. He did this by sitting motionless on the edge of the deck while one particular doe ate grain just feet away. It was a great experience for him and one I hope he will never forget. I believe this doe is the same one that visited us all summer and fall with her twin fawns that were then in spots. We thought Thane's energetic movements would scare them away, but in the end it was the cats bickering with each other that made the deer leave.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Local Shout Out

I don't think it is any secret that I love food. Local, organic food is even better. No question about it. The gratification of eating food that has been raised in the area that you love is second only to eating food that you raised on your own property. Colorado is wonderful for being able to find many things that fit the bill, and the area that we live in now is the hub. Tonight I was watching a television program called The Four Coursemen Adventure, And what a pleasant surprise to find them highlighting the local fare of the North Fork! They visited High Wire Bison and Elk Ranch,  that I blogged about back in May, you can find that here: Barn Raisin': Ranching of a Different Sort. They also visited Zephyros Farm, the farm where we purchased our goats last March. You can visit their website here:   and read March's post here: Barn Raisin': The Weekend. They visited one of our many local wineries, and made a stop at the local brewery, Revolution Brewing,  I love seeing our area highlighted and a chance to shine for these hardworking farmers, brewers, vintners and ranchers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Off My Chest

Tonight as I was thinking about the recent c-section birth of Iris, I realized I was feeling a bit robbed. I do not feel robbed by the fact that my births were all via c-section. I got over that a long time ago. I feel robbed by other women and their snap decision that I am a lesser woman. Certainly not by the women in my life. If you are a part of my life than you are because I love you and you must love me. You must, otherwise I don't know how you can tolerate me! At any rate, I can't tell you how many times I have had other women look down their noses at me because of the way my children enter this world. I even had a woman tell me she was "sorry" when she heard Iris was going to be born via c-section. Sorry?! Sorry that I have four beautiful, intelligent, HEALTHY children who all just happened to need to come a way that is different than most? I'm not sorry. In this world there are so many labels that we put upon ourselves. I view life as a smorgasbord of choices where each individual gets to pick and choose the ways of life that make her/him comfortable and happy. Sometimes these choices seem to conflict with each other. Sometimes they flow seamlessly together. But what boggles my mind is when individuals try so hard, so desperately, to remove themselves from the boxes of mainstream America only to force themselves into boxes that are just as small. The woman who was so sorry for the way Iris was arriving into this world sends her son to public school. Should I say "I'm so sorry" to her? I wouldn't because I don't know her situation any more than she knows mine. So ladies, let's just try to support each other in our decisions, whether we have control over them or not. Do not try to rob me of my experience in having babies. I am no less a woman because of how my children were born any more than my children are less because of it. Have you met my children? Because they are pretty darn awesome.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


   Today I am bringing back my Wednesday Wonder. I have seen on a few other blogs that people have a Wordless Wednesday. A picture is posted from that day with no explanation attached. I thought about doing that, but then I realized that I can't have a wordless anything. I have to explain. It's like a disease. I think I got it from my Mom. At any rate, my Wonder for today is my friends. 2011 was a really rough year for me. From moving away from Fort Collins rather suddenly and unexpectedly all the way across the state to a town I had never really heard about, to being on bedrest with Iris for weeks on end, another move into a better home in yet another unknown town, to buying a new car literally the day Iris and I came home from the hospital, all of it contributed to more grey hairs on my head and more tears than I have ever shed in one year. We have certainly had our joys and for those, I am deeply grateful. But I am just as grateful for my dear sweet friends who had to listen to me ramble about home losses and pregnancy frustrations and being lonely. Anyone who is reading this blog is most likely a friend. And for all of you, I thank you for being in my life. There are a few friends, however, ones that I am not married to or related to by blood or marriage, that mean the world to me. E.U., D.M., J.M.M., J.C., and S.A., thank you so very much for being a Wonder in my life. I love you all.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lego House

     Lego house can be interpreted in a couple of different ways. For me it means having Lego's all over the house. Even when Lego's are picked up and put away (which does happen, albeit very rarely), they are still to be found in the most random of places. Lego's have a way of sneaking off on their own and placing themselves right where they know you will be walking, in the dark, most likely frantically because someone has thrown up or there is a spooky noise outside. I believe they get joy from making you stumble. My feet have actually built up Lego-proof calluses. As long as Lego's continue to pass their joy along to my children, I suppose they can stay. That is my interpretation. Here is Spencer's:

      My Lego house is an older version of a house that I did not get from a lego set, I got it from my mind last year. I have had it together for about 2 months now. Legos are very fun to build.
   If you want, you can go to the website: Now here are the pictures.

The entire house from the outside

One of my favorite Lego food pieces: the turkey                      

Bedroom. I love the drawer and sock pieces.
Wood fired pizza. Yum!
Walking to the second bedroom.
A recent Jeep.
A work in progress.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tiny Catch Up

Iris, not quite one day old.
There is no way I will be able to play catch up on all of the things that have happened in the last few months. Let's just say children played and learned, we all laughed and cried and fought and loved. We took some day trips into the mountains and nearby city, a stray cat (Figaro) was adopted and goats were taken to be bred. We have had sunny, blue sky days and days filled with snowstorms, lots of reading and art, and many visits from the tooth fairy for Maycee. But most importantly, above all else, the highlight of our entire year, a new life was brought into our family. On November 19, 2011, ten days earlier than her due date and three days earlier than her expected c-section, our daughter made her way into this crazy world. At 8:43 PM, Iris Marin was born weighing 7 lbs, 6.8 oz and 19in long. She came after 30 some hours of inconsistent, yet somehow regular, contractions. She has the bluest eyes that any of my babies have ever had. She has red blonde hair that is so fine it appears she is bald. She is calm and sweet and happy. She smiled from day one, just like all of my children have done. Her siblings dote on her and argue about who gets to hold her next. She is the cherry on our sundae. We are completely over the moon about her and cannot wait to see who she becomes.

Three days before Iris made her appearance
Brand new

Siblings together for the very first time
Meeting my daughter

So much love

Thane had to keep her hat pulled down. Maybe just a little too far.

Think he loves her?

Taking our baby girl home.

These sisters are going to be best friends.

It's a little blurry, but look at that grin!

All bundled on her first trip to Ouray.

Christmas Eve
Christmas day with her new bunny made by Nana.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

My only resolution for this year is to try and keep up with this blog. That's it. Otherwise, I'm perfect! Hahaha.
Really, though, I have somewhat missed bloggerland. I have composed multiple posts in my head throughout the last few months. But then I fall asleep early or I am kept awake by one child or another. I think I will catch up and then the idea of all the things I would have to include overwhelms me and I give up.
All I ask of you is to have no expectations of me. Because I have learned that I am terrible with other peoples' expectations. Terrible.
Happy New Year. I hope that it is a good one for all of us.
With love and appreciation for anyone who might still be reading this, Amanda