Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts

Thursday, September 10

Fair Season: What exactly is that?! {part 2}

If you didn’t read the first part about what the lead-up to fair week is you can find that post HERE.Fair Season What Exactly Is that!

The craziness of the weeks before the fair intensify ten-fold the week OF the fair.

What actually happens during fair-week?

We start serving food on Sunday, the fair doesn’t officially open until Monday, but it gives you a chance to work out any kinks. In the mornings Matt usually leaves the house by 7 to run errands. He goes any gets any food, drinks, etc that he may need, if he didn’t the night before. He spends all day working right alongside our staff. We start serving around 10:30am and are open until 10:30pm, sometimes earlier or later depending on what events are scheduled at the fairgrounds at night. And, of course, there is always laundry to get done.

Every day they serve a full menu: Hamburgers/Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs, Sausage, Fried Sea Food, Local Corn on the Cob and Salt Potatoes, Fruit Salad, Fries, Onion Rings, Pizza Rolls, Fish Sandwiches, Nachos, and drinks. When I say it is a full restaurant…it is a FULL RESTAURANT. We have a complete menu.IMG_2491

Once they close up, all of the equipment gets cleaned, things get restocked, employees leave, then Matt runs a few errands {he doesn’t have time to do them all in the morning or after work}, comes home, showers, and then does the bookkeeping. Put on repeat, ad nauseum for all week long, for 7 days.  Matt usually doesn’t get in bed until 2 or 3am, then is back up and out the door by 7am. I think he makes up for the lack of sleep the rest of the year.

The last day of the fair is a Saturday. Sunday is spent scrubbing all the equipment, dealing with all the leftover food/drinks/etc, unassembling everything, and putting it all away until next year. Tear down goes a lot faster than setup. The following week I spend doing whatever laundry didn’t get done on a daily basis…all the tablecloths, tees, kitchen towels etc. Then there is payroll to be done, taxes, and all of the lovely bills and paperwork that need to be taken care of.

This year during fair-week my in laws asked me if I could do peaches for their stand. Their dessert item is fresh homemade peach shortcake…and it really is fresh and it really is homemade. Between everything else going on I spent time blanching and peeling peaches for shortcake. My sister and I prepared around 12 half-bushels of peaches; which meant we blanched them, peeled them, and sliced them up into a simple syrup and delivered the days peaches every morning….with 6 kids between us. I did share a bit about peaches on Instagram and Periscope {you can find the periscope videos here}.


In years past the kids and I would go over to the fairgrounds at least once a day to visit Daddy and eat. This year I just didn’t have it in me to push the quad stroller all around with a 13lb baby strapped to my chest. In the afternoon/evenings there are so many people there that it’s hard to walk around with a stroller, I much prefer the mornings. For most of the week we headed to the pool in the afternoon instead of the fairgrounds.

That’s pretty much what fair season and fair week are for us: A lot of work, a lot of stress, and it’s only by God’s goodness and grace we actually get through it. This was the first year I actually made it all the way through the whole thing without having a stressed out crying jag.


Until next year…..

Thursday, September 3

Fair Season: What exactly is that?

I’ve had a couple of people ask me just what is “Fair Season”; I often forget that most peoples lives aren’t lived for a huge event that becomes all consuming once a year. For us, that is “Fair Season”.

Matt and I both have very similar family backgrounds in this respect. I grew up doing farmers’ markets and festivals with my parents…sometimes it was selling the sausage and meats my dad made {he is a wurstmacher* by trade} so people could go home and cook it and sometimes it was selling them cooked to lots of hungry people. Matt’s family has had a concession stand at the county fair for almost 30 years…selling hamburgers, hot dogs, and such faire. Both of us wanted to get away from all of it and somehow we’re back in it on our own. Funny how life works.

Fair Season What Exactly Is that!

It’s a hard business. It’s a lot of work. And no one sees any of it, except getting their food. That’s how the food industry is…no one sees anything but the end product and never truly appreciates what they’re eating until they do {for those who were wondering…it doesn’t just magically appear on your plate}.

So what does fair season entail for us? In June we start with calling all of the people who worked for us the year before, anywhere from 10-15 people, to find out whether they’re wanting to work this fair or not. Sometimes everyone comes back and all things are in order quickly, sometimes we’re scrambling up until the week before to find people, and sometimes we have people who walk off the job on the first day {those are always the best!}.

My birthday {July 21st} is usually the last hurrah, the end of our summer. Matt and I try and make a point of going out for my birthday, because it is really the last time that we will have time together before the end of August.

Pretty quickly Matt’s weekends are spent driving to the nearest city {an hour one way} that has a wholesale club. There are numerous trips back and forth getting soda, paper products, and countless other things that are needed to actually setup and run the stand. There’s equipment that needs to be looked over and checked out {large 4’ commercial griddles, steam tables, several fryers, gas lines, power lines,  counters, tables, sinks and plumbing}. There are orders that need to be placed with vendors who supply us with materials {shirts for employees, food products to sell etc}. And all of this happens while Matt is still working his other job, which is also in its busy season.

The two weekends before fair week Matt is busy with getting things setup. All of the equipment has to be brought in, setup, leveled, made sure that it works and is ready to rock n’ roll. It all takes time. It all requires attention to detail. This is all the stuff that no one sees. Most people have no concept of what goes in to setting up a full fledged RESTAURANT in the middle of a field for a week.


Hopefully everything is setup in working order before the first day of the fair. Sometimes a piece of equipment has an issue and you have to scramble to fix it or replace it. Just this year we had a freezer go out {we have 3 of them and a walk in}, Matt had to clean everything out of our home chest freezer to use it at the fair. Other years it’s been a gas line or a burner for a grill or fryer. There’s always something, the problem is…you don’t know what, so you can’t prepare for it.

In the days before the fair Matt receives in all of our food orders to our big walk-in freezer/fridge, he also handles his father’s and a couple of other customers. Since Matt’s job with my parents is food provisions for restaurants and delis he has several customers for that business that have orders specifically for fair week, which creates that much more work.

The day before the fair Matt starts packing the freezers and fridges at the fair with the food he will need. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room to house everything we will need for the entire week, so every night, after working all day, he has to go and bring more food back down to the fairgrounds.


Next time I’ll share what exactly fair week is like…

*What’s a wurstmacher? It’s a German word for someone who is a true artisan when it comes to sausage making. We’re not talking Johnsonville Brats, but someone who has honed their craftsmanship of making sausage. These are not mass-produced sausages, but sausages that are made in small batches, created entirely by hand.

Monday, January 5

State of the Blog—2015

Have you read this post yet, by Tsh Oxenreider of The Art of Simple….go read it, it’s awesome, but stay here and read this first. Blogging is changing. Has been changing for quite some time. I noticed it myself, especially this past year. People don’t read blogs anymore and if they do, they’re reading from a phone or tablet, that doesn’t make commenting all that easy. Then there is the whole thing with Instagram and micro-blogging: Why spend hours looking at blogs when you can just take a gander at a convenient feed to find out what people are up to?! I get it. I’m guilty of this myself. State of the Blog

See, something happened in Blog-World: It became very commercial. There was a lot less of life and stories and a lot more of how-tos, do this, and don’t do that, from people who didn’t give you a glimpse into what their reality was, because it became a business. I got enough guilt in my life without seeing everything I should be doing or not doing, without knowing just what someone else is not doing to tell me what I need to do {Phew! Got all that?!}

All of this is because of the endless list of things that bloggers get “told” that they have to do…I’m not even sure by whom. Last year I kissed social media goodbye for several months, this year I’ve had enough of it again. Facebook is a losing battle, there is no way to win at it, because I don’t have the time to dedicate to keeping a page updated AND keep on top of the games that they play. I still love Pinterest and Instagram, and that’s what I want to do this year….WHAT I LOVE. You can see there’s already been some changes around the blog this past weekend: There’s no more links for the social media I don’t like to use.

All this to say that I need to simplify my own life. I love blogging. I love sharing pictures and ideas and words with you, but honestly I don’t even know who you are anymore; there’s certainly not much traffic coming here every day or comments. And I think I’m ok with that…I’m going to HAVE to be ok with that, because nothing I’ve tried over the past year to grow my blog has helped :-)

Going forward…

I may or may not be changing my domain url this year. At the end of 2014 I made it a point to get my URL out of google’s control {still using blogger though}, and at the same time I purchased {I purchased both through}. I’d love to move to wordpress and self host my blog, but I do not have the extra money to do that.

I may or may not be blogging on a regular schedule. For the past few years I’ve tried to do a rotating schedule of MWF/TTh, but that just hasn’t happened lately. I’m not going to be choking up your email inboxes with posts, but I am going to try and be a bit more regular {I’m shooting for 2 posts a week}.

Now I have some questions for you, and I really want you to take them to heart and share with me. I started a blog because of infertility, obviously I don’t come across as a legit infertile anymore {something about having 4 kids}, but I’ve refrained from blogging more about parenting for several reasons. One being that the few readers I do have were/are infertile and I don’t want to alienate them, two being that I feel nowhere near qualified to write anything about having kids. So I’ve avoided it, other than updates on the kids {which I do for myself}.

I have several book ideas rambling around in my head, from a parenting book {yea, I know what I just said} to a freebie Christmas cookie recipe book to some fiction to I don’t know what. I highly doubt I’ll get any of those written this year, but maybe I can start with some series posts.

Here are the questions:

*Do you like giveaways? What kind of giveaways?
{I have a ton of ebooks that I have in a stash to give away}.

*What things would you like me to blog about?
{Any topics in particular, questions you have, post topics you’ve enjoyed over the years, product reviews from our kitchen renovations, source posts etc…anything?}

*Would you be interested in a private Facebook group over a Facebook page?
{I’d love to build a community with you, but I know that blogs are limited…especially in regards to creating a conversation}.

*What is your preferred social media form?
{Do you prefer things to be in your inbox or through instagram, pinterest etc? Can I follow you?}

*What can I do to better serve and bless you?
{I don’t want this to be a place you stop in occasionally, I truly want us to be friends. I want to meet you where you are, with what you need.}

If you want, email me: 

I hope to hear from you soon!

Friday, January 2

Looking back, while moving forward

It was a crazy year to say the least, and 2015 isn’t looking any less crazy! I’ve written and re-written this post about a dozen times {I’m not joking} trying to put this past year to words. I keep thinking there was more, but really there were only a few things that just happened to be HUGE things!

January through March it was pretty normal, but by mid-March, the insanity that would mark the entire year began: We started boxing up our house and moved it into a trailer, while moving ourselves into the in-law’s  basement {which had more square footage than our entire house}. We moved out on April 1st {the joke was on me}, I had hoped it would be for only 6-8 weeks, we moved back home almost 4 months later.

The kitchen was gutted, demolished, and the work began.

There is still work to be done. All of those little projects are still looking at me…a final coat of paint on the moldings, touching up paint, and other nonsense work. We’re jumping back into it soon, too. We’re hoping to finish the basement this year {so the kids have a place to play in the house} and redo the front porch on the house. It’s not a ton of work, but it’s big work. Throw in getting all the kids rooms rearranged and some other building projects {kitchen table, bunk beds etc} and we’ll be non-stop again.

Oh yea, and a new baby! Now, we have a date by which many of these projects have to be done…June 2015. I guess 2014 was the year of the house renovations {you can find all the posts and pictures here}.

I loved the amount of time that the kids and I got to spend with each other this past year. Living in someone else’s home and being out of sorts, you kind of do what you have to with 4 kids under 5 to survive. We spent a lot of time just together, watching TV. I admit it, we watched a LOT of TV this past year, more than I would’ve liked, but I wouldn’t give up the time that I spent on the couch cuddling my crew for anything.

Matt and I are good, better than good. 2015 will be 15 years that we’ve been together and 10 years we’ve been married. In 15 years there’s been a lot, but we pull close together and we get through it. This past year we didn’t even do anything for our anniversary, most of our time together was spent working on the house {good thing we work well together!}. I have informed Matt that we need to do SOMETHING before the newest addition makes their debut, because no one is going to let us go away and leave 5 kids behind!

Thanks to our awesome family, I was able to go do a few things with friends that I was really looking forward to. In March I went to Raising Generations Today with some special ladies for an overnight {and I can’t wait to go again this year, in October, with Baby in tow!} In June a friend and I managed to sneak out to Philly for an evening for a book signing, and managed to have quite the adventure together.

August was fair season, which we survived pretty well. I managed to make it to Friday of the last week before having my crying-fit. I had told Matt next year {2015} I’d probably be able to make it the whole week {before knowing that we will have a 2 month old next year during fair season} without crying. We will of course be desperately in need of prayers again, but who isn’t in desperate need of prayer all the time.

We transitioned smoothly into Fall, rejoiced in our being done with busy and able to be home in our own house. We celebrated Ave’s 5th birthday, Thanksgiving then moved right into the December birthdays {we have 4 of them!} and Christmas, and here we are, the 2nd day of 2015 already. IMG_6375

One of my biggest hopes for 2015, is that I’m actually able to get a few quilts put together, it’s killing me! I haven’t sat at a sewing machine since February and I have about 7 quilts that I have to make, between gifts for babies already born, soon to be born, and my own girls’ quilts. I really miss sewing.

It’s proving that 2015 will be another banner year in the White House! We have no less than 7 major milestones to celebrate this year, between my parents, my brother, and my nephew having big birthdays, our’s and my parents’ anniversaries, a new baby of our own, and a couple of vacations. I’m hopeful for 2015.

But regardless of what may come, God’s got it. Just as this past year could have been absolute chaos and hell, He’s got it. Our house didn’t implode when we did demolition, there were no major nightmares with rebuilding {a few headaches yes, but no nightmares}, the kids were all healthy, there was good memories and fun. I think that THAT is the best thing we can ask for from a year, that despite the hard and the struggles that we’re still able to see God and the good that happened.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Monday, January 13

What’s Going on in The White House

I keep waiting for this ride to slow down so that I can get off for a bit and recuperate, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. So much has been going on around here in the past month or so! And none of it is little stuff, it all seems to be life changing, HUGE things.

On Thanksgiving my sister announced that she was pregnant and due the end of March {with a little boy}! We’re all excited for the new addition this year, which will be one of MANY in 2014. We have no less than 6 or 7 babies being born this year, and we’re only into August due dates!DSC_0303

Just after Matt’s birthday we lost his grandmother; which was a hard, HARD blow for all of us. His grandfather had passed away in January 2013 {1 year ago today} and 11 months later his grandma was gone. I am so glad that I get to spend some time with her {sans kids} before she passed away. 

Matt and I started dating almost 14 years ago, and within a few months of that both my Oma and my Opa passed away. It was really hard on all of my family when that happened {my Oma was only 69 and my Opa was 77}; I missed my Oma and Opa so very, very much.

But God gave me another set of grandparents during that time, Matt's, Grammy and Poppo. Not a replacement or a substitute, but someone to love me and give me the hugs and love that only grandmas {and grandpas} can. They both have been an incredible blessing in my life and we owe so much to them.

When my Oma died it was really rather sudden, and there were things that I wanted to say to her that I just didn’t. I was 17, I didn’t know the importance of saying those things, or that it wasn’t “cheesy” to do that. With Grammy I don’t have that regret; I was able to thank her for being my Grammy too, because she every way that mattered.

Onto happier things…

We celebrated Christmas and had it very low key. It’s not easy when your family all lives within 10 minutes of each other and you feel like you have to see everyone. We decided to spend Christmas Eve with my family and go to church with my parents; which was wondering, since we were able to do Santa Claus with the kids. Henry DID NOT LIKE IT AT ALL!

Christmas collage

Then we spent Christmas Day morning home and just enjoying some quiet time together. In the afternoon we headed up to Matt’s parents and did Christmas with them. It was actually one of the nicest Christmases we’ve had, because we weren’t running. I’m thinking this is going to become our tradition. PicMonkey Collage2

Not soon after Christmas Matt’s sister’s water broke. {I don’t even remember if I ever even mentioned that she was pregnant?!} On the 27th our niece, R, was born, 5.5 weeks early. My sister in law had the same due date as I did with the triplets {February 2nd}, so we now have LOTS of Christmas birthdays! She’s home from the NICU now and doing well. We were able to meet her last week.

New Years’ was incredibly eventful. Matt was in bed at 7:15pm, it was a regular work week and day for him. I went to bed before 11pm. I just did not see the point in staying up, alone, to ring in the new year. We don’t even have TV that I could have watched the ball drop.

Ave has been very busy with numerous science experiments {and awesome Christmas gift that she received. She’s been very interested lately in learning how things work. I can see the big girl lurking just under the surface sometimes of the little girl in front of me. Things that I think won’t have much affect on her, seem to devastate her {a broken toy} and things that I think area going to be a big deal, aren’t. It’s crazy. She and I went to her first movie a few weeks ago…she thought that was pretty neat, but decided that she’d rather stay home and watch movies.

Ave collage

The week after New Years that triplets had an Early Intervention Assessment. We’ve noticed that they’ve been, what I consider, very delayed in speech. Avelyn was talking up a understandable storm by 20 months old, and these guys have less than 20 words each.

The EIA was great. The people who did the assessment, we’re really helpful and told us that the kids are doing great, being either AT LEVEL or ABOVE for their actual ages. The big thing is the speech: Both boys qualified for help. James is having a hearing test in the next couple of weeks, and then we’ll setup an appointment to come up with a plan for them.

It feels good to know that we’re doing something. And we’re also working more with sign language, which we’ve always done, but stopped because we felt that was perhaps hindering their speaking. It was good that we did stop because we then noticed their speech. The EI people did tell us that there is no harm in continuing to sign, so we’re back at that and learning new words.thumann

I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but I’m working on the route with my dad twice a month {have been since October}, making deliveries and driving the truck. It’s great to get out of the house a bit, and bring in a little extra money, and my MIL watches the kids on those days. But sometimes it is hard losing that day at home. I’m usually up and gone before 6am, and depending on the weather and how many deliveries get home anywhere from 4pm to 9pm {most of the time it’s closer to 9pm}.

Progress is moving forward with our home renovations. Matt and I have been deep in discussions the past few weekends tweaking our construction plans and deciding where we can cut a few expenses and what things we’re not at all willing to give up. The more and more we work on these plans the more excited I’m getting about all of it. I keep having to remind myself that there is a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY long road ahead.

I think that’s the majority of what’s been going on. We’ve certainly managed to keep our plates full lately!

How are you doing? What’s new in your life?

Ps. sorry for all the crappy iPod pictures. Very often that’s what I have at hand to take a picture.

Friday, September 20

Harvest Festival 2013

This past weekend was the Fenimore Farmer's Museum's Harvest Festival in Cooperstown. We've been doing this Festival since I was 15, minus a few years in the middle that we didn't do it. This is one of those events though that everyone enjoys doing. Don't get me wrong, it's still work, but it's enjoyable work. The people are always friendly, which makes a big difference.My View
Saturday Matt and I go up, with a friend of our's to work. Then on Sunday my parents and sister work, and we come up in the afternoon with the kids.

I love walking around on Sunday, getting to go into all the buildings and look at all the different displays. My favorite things are always the crafting related. This year the cooper was right next to us, so I got to spend all of Saturday watching him work. Boy, would I love to learn how to do that!

The nice thing about the end of the day on Sunday, is that there are a lot less people and the Farmer's Museum people have the time to talk and let you try things that they may not have usually. Avie was able to sit down with a woman who was spinning wool. After a few minutes of watching she let Ave try her hand at spinning wool, which she LOVED. She even got a fistful of wool to take home. {Of course I don't have a picture of that!}
We always make it a point to take a wagon ride and go on the carousel. Both proved interesting this year, as Henry did NOT like either one. To the point that they stopped the carousel so that Matt could get off with him. The great thing about the Farmer's Museum is how kid centered they are.

assorted 2

I'm always amazed by the homes: How they manage to be so small from the outside, but still have SO MUCH space inside! There was one in particular {center picture below} that was crazy! It was not very big from outside, but go inside and there was so much space. I wish our house was laid out that well!

It was a great weekend. The weather cooperated and outside of Henry's freak out on the "rides" everyone had quite a bit of fun!

Monday, September 2


Now if only the temperatures would drop, and the humidity disappear...I would be feeling a bit more Fall-ish. The other day I bought some mums for the front flower beds, which I haven't touched all year. It's my incentive to actually get them weeded and wintered.

The leaves have been gently falling from the trees for the past few weeks, not a lot of them, but enough that you know it's coming soon. The apples have been falling like C-R-A-Z-Y from the trees! We've just been taking care of the apples that have dropped from the tree that are still good and have canned a dozen quarts of applesauce.

It's been a bit frustrating around here, as I'm feeling behind the 8-Ball. There is still so much to get caught up on from the summer and the fair, as well as all those things that need to be done in preparation for Fall and Winter.

*There's the homeschool curriculum and projects for Avelyn that need to get pulled together.
*The apples that still need to be picked from the trees, and canned.
*Our lawnmower isn't working and needs to get fixed so we can mow the hay-field we've got going on.
*The gardens are going crazy, meaning lots of tomatoes need to be canned for the winter as soon as they start red-ing up, as well as all the other produce
*Matt's been butchering a steer for us for the winter, and we still have a 100 chickens that need to be butchered in a couple of weeks.

Throw in all the normal stuff with a home and kids and I'm a bit overwhelmed, to say the least. I quite seriously am not sleeping anymore. If I fall asleep before 2am, I consider it a good night: If I'm not physically doing something, my mind is just not shutting down. Now if I only I could figure out how to operate without any sleep HA!

I am working on my FIRST newsletter for sometime this month, sharing some of my yummy apple recipes. We've had a huge crop this year, so we've been getting creative with what we can do with them. Be sure to sign up if you're interested in getting those recipes!

Happy September!

Friday, August 16


It’s Friday everyone! And not only is it a Friday, but it’s THE Friday of FAIR WEEK! Which means only a few more days before the end!!! I have felt so blessed this week by all of your prayers for me and the kids, for Matt, for our business.

Everything has gone relatively smoothly. Matt’s doing ok, he’s still healthy, even if he is bone-weary exhausted. Me and the kids have been healthy. The weather has been relatively agreeable, except for here and there. A bit chilly for August {40s at night and highs of 60/low 70s during the day…c-a-r-a-z-y!}

PicMonkey Collage1 
We’ve been over to the fair every day, sometimes twice a day. It really isn’t too bad for us, because we can walk, plus we don’t pay for food, unless we want something special. It’s a pretty nice perk to own a concession stand and have grandma and grandpa own another.

Of course I have been very naught this week: Shrimp dinner and fries, chili cheese dogs, pretzels, sausage gravy…yea, not good. Hopefully pushing the 200lbs of stroller and kids back and forth, sometimes twice a day is doing something.

PicMonkey Collage2 
If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter…you can search the hashtag #FairWeekintheWhiteHouse for pictures of some of the fun we’ve been having.

Of course, being that it’s fair week, means we’ve seen next to nothing of Matt. I miss him, the kids miss him. More than once I’ve had one or another of the little ones crying when we’ve said bye to him at the fair or at bedtime that they miss him. That’s hard. I had what seems to be becoming my Thursday morning of Fair Week cry {much better after that}. PicMonkey Collage 3

But….it’s Friday. We’re almost through this! Tomorrow….we cook for Montgomery Gentry, Aaron Kelly, and Lindsey Erin!

Facebook Trivia Question Answer: a Jersey is my favorite breed of cow.

Thursday, August 16

Prayers Please

This has been an incredibly hard week for us, for me. As many of you know it’s fair week, which means that I’m home alone. Matt’s been busy working at our stand, getting home around 1am and leaving again at 6:30am.

In addition to that, and all of those stresses, Ellie has been sick, like REALLY sick, like waiting-for them-to-put-her-in-the-hospital sick.

Sunday she was running a low-grade fever, chalked it up to teething. Monday afternoon, she woke up from a nap and was frying, 106.7* was her temp. She was in a warm room in pajamas. I stripped her down and stuck her in the tub with lukewarm water and got it down to 103, started with Tylenol. Tuesday she still had a temp and we went in to the doctor. The doctor wasn’t there and was saw the NP, who looked her over (no ear infection, no swollen glands, looks good), sent us home to continue Tylenol and Motrin.Ellie Sick

Wednesday we were still fighting it. We had one low temp (98.4) in the night, but then it started going up as soon as she woke up in the morning. Had another low temp (98.2) last night, woke up and it was 99.9. Figured we might be in the clear, but she was feeling warmer again. Called the doctor and headed in.

Get to the doctor’s and she’s totally fine…98.3 temp. They look her over, don’t see anything, but take a urine and blood sample for testing (one of the single-most traumatic experiences in my life, her having blood drawn and being cath’d). Sent home with a prescription.

It’s so frustrating! She is the picture of health and acting completely fine, but she has this incredible fever that we have no idea what the cause is.

She slept a bit in the car seat and now her temp is back up to 104.7. Waiting to hear the results on the lab work. She’s drinking just enough that she isn’t getting dehydrated, which is the only thing keeping her out of the hospital. If that happens she’s getting admitted.

Of course whenever anything happens in one’s life, that the cause of is not known, people have to give all their little bits of advice. This, right now, is harder than almost anything else. I’m tired of being brow-beaten by people {who, I know, have Ellie’s best interest at heart} that I’m not doing enough, that the doctor is wrong, that I need to go elsewhere for help; those things don’t help. That is what is pulling me down more than anything.

My mom has been here helping as much as she can, but now my dad (who is doing Matt’s work week for the first time in a long time, since he’s at the fair) is not doing well (sky-rocketing blood pressure) on the route. I just want the fair to be over and have my husband back and for Ellie to be better.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

Any spare prayers you could send our way would be greatly appreciated :-)

Monday, November 28

My Etsy Shop

Check me out! Just added some Beeswax Candles for gift giving :-) to my etsy shop,

Tuesday, November 22

"Be not dismayed" ...Update

Last night we finally got a hold of Matt's mom: She's coming home on Thanksgiving afternoon, then leaving Friday morning...and now it doesn't look like Matt's grandmother will be home before next week.

I called SIL about dinner and the only thing I need to do is make a pumpkin pie....I can handle that! She took off Wednesday night, so she'll be around. Her and her boyfriend (both chefs by trade) are going to cook dinner.

MIL is so "out of her mind" that she really doesn't know what's going on: She's been up in Syracuse, trying to keep her dad and her mom (who's in the hospital) going, and isn't even thinking about anything else or the reality here. I really do feel badly for her, because she is stressed, whether she'll admit it to anyone or not. She is worried. I wish her sisters (she has 3, all in Florida) would come and at least help to give her a break. I wish I could do more to help, but I can't.

I can tell FIL is starting to get torqued out too without having MIL at home. She takes care of EVERYTHING at home, meals, cleaning etc. With BIL and PP coming he's having to step into those things and is getting grumpy (I got "yelled" at last night because I didn't answer my phone...we were in the yard playing).

In all honesty, I think MIL needs to come home for at least a few days, just to give herself and FIL a break.

We've had another employee put in their two week notice. The reason: They feel that they're the only one who does anything (I really love hiring 20 year olds...{note sarcasm}). They come in for a few hours a day to do dishes and cleaning equipment, at the end of the day, but I guess how they feel can't be helped. Everyone else is breaking their behinds working 12-14 hour days.

Of course this leads into something else to think parents are seriously considering closing the store. Honestly, with everything going on in the next few months....I'm for it. My mom feels that we can't just up and close, I think if we aimed for mid-January we could. I don't know what's going to happen, but it's just getting ridiculous now and no one can work any harder than they already are.

My "surprise" shower is planned for this Saturday. Everyone is still pretending I don't know, even though my mom asked Matt if I knew and he told her. Heck, the only ones who haven't let something slip is my sister and our friend, R. I really wish they would just "out" the party, because with everything else going on it's just another stress factor. I know MIL is stressed about it (it's at her house) and Matt's grandmother is beyond upset about not being home for it, but we'll all keep pretending :-P

Thursday, November 17

The truth about Fine and being "icky"

The other day Lisa-Jo at posted about the false "Fine" that we all very often give as a blanket comment when asked how we're doing. Then today she posted about being covered in ick. Truth be known......I think she's been reading my mind.

I know I constantly give people the "I'm doing good" or "I'm fine" comment, because, honestly, most people really don't want to hear other people complain and only ask out of some sort of societal expectation of what is "proper". That, and I'm not a complainer...I hate complaining and being a "baby" about things.

Most days I am good. Things go along and we manage to have good days, days in which I feel good, Avelyn is good, we're productive and get things accomplished. Then I have days, when I'm not good, or even fine. Days when I feel like nothing is going right, that there is this constant "ick" around me, and it's just not a good day.

Days like yesterday. When my stomach and back just hurt, when I didn't feel or want to eat anything, when I got nothing done and any time I tried, I just walked on past it and went back to doing nothing, when Ave, quite seriously, watched "Cail.lou" for 4.5 hours because I had nothing in me to give (maybe the Cai.llou overload was what made me feel icky:-P)

I went to bed in prayer and woke in prayer this morning, that I would feel like me, that it wouldn't be another "icky" day, that Ave and I would have some good play time, that I would get some things accomplished {even if it's only folding laundry and starting the boys' quilts}.

Why the "ick" feeling?

I think Monday and Tuesdays doctor appointments and outings took it's toll on me. I think it was more the going to Albany and sitting in the car and walking around (and we only went to the doctor and then to grab something to eat).

I think it's worrying about these babies. Yes, I'm 28 weeks, but no way am I ready for them to be born. Fortunately, I feel great most days (seriously I have very few bad days), but the days I do I worry. I worry about not making it to the hospital if I'm in labor, I worry about them having issues, I worry about NICU time (we live TWO HOURS away from the NICU), I worry about what it's going to be like when they come home, I worry about how Avelyn is going to handle all of these crying, demanding babies.

I think it's the fact that our businesses are REALLY struggling. We're not even sure how much longer we're going to be able to keep the store open. Our staff is dwindling and there is not enough business coming in. Everyone is already spread really thin and with the babies coming, will be even thinner.

I know that none of these things are in my, or anyone else's, hands, but the days when I feel "icky" both physically and mentally, it's hard. It's hard to just let it go to God. It's hard to just sit back and know that whatever it is, it is, because there's not much I can do about it. Most days I do a really good job of not worrying, of knowing that God is in control.

It's hard to watch my dad, mom and Matt, struggling with how to grow a business, all of them knowing that we rely on the success of these two businesses for our livelihood (fortunately, none of us are financially dependent on the store, it's never made enough money for us to have any income from it).

Fortunately, today is not one of those "icky" days. Today I feel physically good (although, don't ask me to bend over and pick something up lol), I mentally feel good, I feel like myself. I got things accomplished. Ave is taking a good nap (which I knew she needed). My belly-brace came; I feel like I can walk around and be productive.

Yea, I very often just gloss over the difficulties of this pregnancy on here, yes, there are difficulties (you should see me try to roll over in bed), but most of the time they're not bad at all. I just remind myself that as hard as this is sometimes, it will be a lot harder once these kids are here...whether driving to the NICU in Albany or juggling 3 newborns and a 2 year old. God will provide though.

Whether the store ends up closing or whatever happens with the businesses God will provide.

I'm just beyond thankful that the "icky" and "I'm fine" days are few and far between.

Monday, September 5

County Fair 2011

I realize that it's the 2nd week of September and I'm only now posting fair pictures: My apologies, things haven't settled down too much. Most of this is going to be pictures anyways, so enjoy!

The first picture is Ave's first pony ride, which happened to be at the Otsego County Fair, not our fair. We weren't sure she was going to make it around because she was a bit apprehensive, but after a little bit she really liked it! She kept saying "Ride horsey Mommy! Ride Horsey!" Another one to pester Daddy in a few years for a horse or two ;-)

Ave absolutely loved the petting zoo and seeing the piglets and chickens, miniature horses and cows! I lost count of how many different times, and different people, she went to see all the animals.

Milking her first "cow": At the county fair they have a fiberglass cow setup that kids can "milk"'s actually a very cool thing, because even around here, most kids won't ever milk a cow, unless they work on a farm, and even then it wouldn't be by hand.

Sitting high on her last pony ride, looking absolutely adorable in her cowgirl hat and pink gingham dress! We didn't get to see too much of Daddy during the fair, so we had to sneak some cuddles when we could, even if it meant waking him up from a power nap.

If you go Here you can find all the rest of the pictures that we took during fair week: Don't worry there aren't a ton :-)

Sunday, August 21

345 days until the next fair :-P

We survived! Only by the grace of God, but we did. It's been a really hard week: Matt has been gone most days from 6am until 1am the next day (yea, that's only 5 hours at home, 1 of which was spent doing bookkeeping and showering). Ave must have started to really miss her Daddy, because by Tuesday she never slept past 6am: That means Mommy has been going on about 4 hours of sleep a night, all week...I'm dead.

This week I have felt so incredibly blessed though and I know why: Sunday morning started out with Matt praying aloud for the two of us....he is never vocal in his prayers....which just meant so absolutely much to me. All week I just kept in constant dialog with God, praying for him, for all our employees, for me and for Ave. It wasn't an easy week, and things weren't perfect, but we got through it without ever getting our panties in too big of a bunch. Thank you LORD!

Now I'm glad it's done: Matt is tearing down today and probably won't be home until after 7pm, but it's done. Tomorrow we'll do all the bookkeeping and bill paying and payroll and all those fun things. Oh, and tomorrow begins Matt's normal work week.

It's incredible to me...he goes from working 70-80 hours a week, plus setting up the fair in the evenings, another 40-50 hours, working the fair all week with 135-140 hours, to going right back to his 70-80 hour week. I'm seriously looking forward to fall and things slowing down....A LOT! He works so insanely hard for us.

Our next order of business is getting Ave back on track. She has not had any kind of routine at all for the past few weeks (err...month maybe). She's been watching way too much TV, not enough time outside, meals were on the fly, discipline was's been all about surviving or rather, Mommy surviving, because it's been tough. Let's just say that running around with an almost 2 year old, while 16 weeks with triplets is a new experience. I've just been too tired to do anything (cook, run around outside, discipline etc). This should definitely be interesting though.

Anyways, I'll have a big fun fair post coming as soon as I get my camera back: Ave road [is that the right word?] rode (Thank you Sadie, I'm a bit dopey) a pony, loved the animals, and we saw an awesome quilt! Keep tuned!

Monday, July 4

Happy Fourth of July!

Today is the day that our forefathers signed their lives away, to depose a government that wasn't listening to them and had too much power.....that sounds really familiar: Interesting.

We've had a busy weekend. Saturday was the car show, yesterday was tear down and clean up, and today is business as usual. I did manage to get some pictures though of a bit of the fun we managed to have in between working. Here we go!

The car show was busy, but unfortunately it wasn't the best year...we made a bit of money, but not nearly what we anticipated or hoped for. Pray-fully the fair is crazy-good this year (those car-seats aren't cheap! ;-)

Tuesday, August 24

Fair 2010....DONE!

We survived! And Matt and I are still married and only had one little squabble on Saturday...yea! I will say it has been hellacious the past few weeks and I'm glad it's over with. It was a hard week on Matt, I figure he worked about 140 hours.

We haven't sat down and finished the books, so we still have no idea if we made any money or not. Hopefully we made something because there are a few things we need: Like a trailer for the business, money to pay the RE, repay ourselves to the "fence-fund" (used it to paint the house), a new dishwasher, and it would be really nice if we could go away on vacation.

All in all it was a good week. The weather was perfect the whole time and the majority of our staff were good, honest, hardworking people (all though we do believe that we had 2 of our counter girls stealing from us).

The Lady Antebellum catering went well for the concert on Saturday night. The girls' who were running that met Danny Gokey (sp?) and Hillary from Lady A. Of course the line that was out front of our stand for the concert became an issue. The seating was assigned for the concert, but the people lined up 2 hours before hand to get in...well all of those people were standing in front of our tent and no one could get to our stand. We had 9 girls up front, and no customers for 3 hours. Matt was pissed. What should've been our best night, ended up being not that great.

Avelyn and I ran back and forth between the fair all week...good thing it's just down the street, but even that became tiresome after a while. We did get to walk around the fair a bit and take A to see the animals...she was quite fascinated with the pigs.

Now it's back to our usual craziness which is a bit tough, since A has a little souvenir from the fair...a she's been miserable the past two days and she needs sleep and I need sleep (I stayed up at night helping Matt when he got home, and then was up early because the contractor was here working on the bathroom).

Of course my house looks like a bomb has gone off...I have to get it clean before next Wednesday because we have friends coming over to dinner and it is not in at all acceptable shape right now.

Tuesday, August 10

We're going to the circus, we're going to the fair, to see a seniorita with flowers in her hair....

This past Sunday I worked for my in-laws at the other fair (the one we don't do). Matt was originally going to stay home with A, but he has too much to do to get ready for the fair we do we called Grandma and asked if A could come to, if not I couldn't work. They agreed :-) Surprise, surprise!

So we got up at 5am...yes, 5am (Matt had been on duty that night because of my migraine) and loaded everything in the car (pack n play, stroller, diaper bags, food, high chair etc etc etc ad nauseum) and picked up SIL and G-MIL at 6:15. We arrived to work at 7:25.

When we got there I was pleasantly surprised to be told that I was running grill instead of working the counter...I don't like working the fact I really rather despise it. I was in charge of pancakes, french toast, and sausage gravy and biscuits :-)

In my dazed state of packing for A, I didn't take into consideration the early morning chill and hadn't packed socks or a jacket....low and behold...Grandma had bought Ave a sweater (adorable!) that she had planned to give her when we were at Hershey, and then went and bought her some adorable knit socks...called 2 pair and a spare.

In the afternoon Matt came up with the car his parents' needed to tear down and we walked around the fair grounds a bit...this was Ave's first actual fair. It's a really small fair and there's not much to see....we basically took her to look at the animals and listen to some music...then we headed home.

But of course, there are pictures :-)

Oh and I was having some fun with the video feature on my nikon

Monday, July 19

Yesterday, All my troubles seemed so far away, Now it looks as though they're here to stay....

Yesterday was one of those days that you were sad to see it over. Yesterday was our last Sunday before the craziness that is "fair season" begins.

Saturday evening we headed to Binghamt.on with my parents to go to kohl.s (mom had a 30% off coupon and stuff was on sale) and out to dinner at Texa.s Roadh.ouse. We made out like BANDITS at kohl.s! We're planning on going away somewhere warm in January for a weeks vacation (this is creating it's own dilemmas) and A needed another bathing suit as well as summer clothes in 18 months for when we go and Matt needed shorts and sneakers. I ended up getting shorts and tops for A for around $3 each...crazy!

This coming weekend we're heading to NH to celebrate Niece's first birthday. We're leaving first thing on Saturday morning (as if A is awake at 4am, we're getting in the car)...and coming home on Sunday (my parents seem to think this is a weekend away). Next weekend, my mom, sister and I are driving to CT to visit my godmother and we're spending the night. The guys were supposed to be coming down that night after closing the store, but now it doesn't look like they are. I really, really don't like spending the night away from Matt.

Anyways, back to yesterday. Yesterday we had nothing planned. A didn't have the greatest night, so at 7am I kicked Matt and he got up with her until she was ready to go back down, at 9. At that point I woke up and went out and mowed the front yard while the two of them slept until 11.

We got up at 11, had breakfast (A had her first taste of buckwheat pancakes...loved it!), then Matt mowed the lawn, while I played with A. After her next nap we went for a walk across town to the store to get some things we needed. A fell asleep in the stroller on the way home, so Matt and I just sat on the front porch and talked about the next few weeks and years.

We talked about the fair business and how we both felt about the meeting we had last week to sign the contract. We talked about how stressful it's going to be. We talked about finances. We talked about my dad wanting us to buy the route and run that...not sure how that will work as we are partners in owning the store. We talked about the future and what we want.

When A woke up we went in the house and got the dogs then headed down to the field and the community garden behind our house and meandered down there looking at everyone's veggies and commenting on how great their tomatoes look and how pathetic our's are.

By then it was time for dinner (a throw together of sausage, salad, and pasta). A got her bath and went peaceably to bed, and we sat down to watch a couple episodes of Monarch of the Glen on netflix.

It really was one of those days that ended up being perfect, and it didn't even take any planning or prepping.

Tuesday, July 6

Hope you had a Happy 4th of July!

We've been busy! It always seems to me, when the rest of the world is on holiday we're working. What's up with that?!

Saturday, July 3rd

We had the car was a gorgeous day! We couldn't have asked for it to be better: The sun was out, it was in the 80s and not a smitch of humidity. Matt left for work around 7:30, and Ave and I went over to the fairgrounds around 11:30 after she had a good morning nap. We stayed over there until 10:30, after the fireworks.

MIL spent the day down there to help with A so I could work and if A needed me to lend an extra pair of hands. A was so good all day...grandma took her for a couple of walks, went and listened to the music, and just spent the day playing.

I wanted to stay and see the fireworks, but I didn't know how they would go over. A was completely cool with them. I held her and had her ears covered (the noise bothered her a bit), but she watched and loved the fireworks. We came home had a bath (the DIRTIEST bathwater I have ever seen...just imagine...crawling around all day and sitting near a greasy, smell concession stand)...then went to bed.

I had hoped that she would stay out until at least the early morning...nope (she's back to her terrible sleeping): We were up at 1:30, 3:00, 5:15, 5:30, 6:15 and up for the day at 7:30. Of course mommy was EXHAUSTED (I did work 10 hours the day before).
Sunday, July 4th

In the morning Grandma came and got A and took her to church and up to their house in the morning so that I could wash the truckload of nasty dishes. Just imagine the worst baked on, caked on, greasiest, nastiest mess...I had a truckload of them. It took me about 3 hours, then I headed over to the fairgrounds to finish tearing down over there.

In the afternoon I went up to my ILs' to see A, we were all heading to Matt's grandparents "Brook Party" in the afternoon. A was napping so MIL and I sat on the couch watching DIY network and eating chocolate cake.

We took A swimming in the pond....this was the first time that Daddy was witness or partaking in the swimming. I had bought a little swim thing for A to sit in, but I think the water was too cold where her feet were, because she hated it.

In the evening we came home, had a bath, and went to bed.

Monday, July 5th

Today was the painters last day. I don't have pictures yet, because there are some decorating things I want to do before I can say it's done.

In the afternoon we went to my mom's friend's house to swim in their pool. It seems that A would rather you just hold her while in the water, rather than sit in something.

Tuesday, July 6th

I ordered a camera....I had it with mine. I've been rather ticked. At one point the camera was down to $750 on and I figured that was the new price and held off on buying it until I had saved up more money. Well, I went back to look at it again and it was back up to $850: WHAT?!

Yesterday I played around with different companies and prices and had convinced myself I was OK with buying a refurbished camera from also had a 6 months free financing deal. So I put the order through. I went back to to order stuff for my sister and niece's birthdays, and there was a thing about 12 months free financing on the camera (it was still in the cart).

So I canceled the original order, and ordered the NEW camera through, plus I have 12 months to pay it off (which I'll have it paid off by the end of the summer).

Hopefully it will be here before the weekend.

I hope you all are staying cool, or as cool as you can.