Tag Archives: cow appreciation day

And Life marches on!


The summer continues to race by at a breakneck speed. I can hardly believe it is mid-July. It has been an action-packed summer with one big event following the next. I’ve been so busy living life that I often forget to sit down and record the happenings of life,

So here it is…

A quick update on the latest and greatest at Patchwork Farm.

Rusty returned from Scout Camp, having had an awesome week despite record high temperatures and an aggressive swarm of mosquitoes. He returned home looking like a victim of a smallpox epidemic, but was smiling nonetheless.

July 9th was Chick-fil-A’s “Cow Appreciation Day.”

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This is a favorite tradition in the McCleery household, offering up all our favorite things:

A solid theme, group costumes, and free food!


We have been enjoying this annual event for years…

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And this year was no exception.

But our numbers were down a bit due to kids’ work schedules and a resistant family member that looked at me, incredulous, and stubbornly insisted, “It would take more than a free chicken sandwich to convince me to dress up like a cow!”



But those who did choose to participate joined hundreds of other “cows” at Cranberry’s Chick-fil-A for a fun, festive, and FREE chicken dinner.

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Thanks, Chick-fil-A!

And while he had no interest in transforming into a cow for a free chicken sandwich, Braden has been busy with other transformative projects, particularly the loft outside his bedroom.

Last Saturday he approached Toby with plans to transform the sitting area outside his bedroom into a teen “lounge” for hanging out and playing games. He had a vision already in mind and money set aside from his paychecks to bring his vision to life. His plan: tear up the carpeting, lay down a wood floor and paint the current yellow walls a smoky grey. Impressed by his initiative to take on a home DIY project independently, and his willingness to fund the project, we gave him the go ahead. After a quick trip to Home depot, he and Toby began laying the floor.

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Two days later paint went up on the walls.

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The space is quickly transforming into what will be a fun, teen, hang-out area. I’ll post pictures at the completion of the room make-over.

One of the biggest events from the last week was the wedding of Gracie’s best friend and future sister-in-law, Stephanie. Steph and Grace became friends when they found themselves sitting side by side in a Sunday school class at age 10. Who knew 11 years later they would both be “brides-to-be” and soon-to-be sisters.


Stephanie and Gracie…4 years ago today! And look, Gracie’s future husband in the background!


The Tame and McCleery girls.

A year ago, before Grace and Zach were even an item, Stephanie asked Grace to be her maid of honor. What a sweet turn of events it is that she finds herself now engaged to Steph’s big brother.


The responsibilities of her role in Stephanie’s wedding has kept her schedule busy for the last few weeks, but Gracie has loved being an active participant in her friend’s big day and an extra set of helping hands to her soon-to-be second family.

The festivities began the week prior to the wedding with the bachelorette party. Molly and I were invited to join Grace, the Tame gals, and some of Stephanie’s friends for a night of creativity. It was a fun, festive celebration of the bride-to-be at a local craft studio called “Artsy Doodle.”

While there we each had the opportunity to make a burlap door hanging. There were so many cute choices but in the end the McCleery girls (and Melanie) each chose the pick-up truck door hanging.


It was such a fun evening and the finished results of everyone’s efforts were nothing short of charming!


One week later it was Stephanie’s big day!

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Grace giving her maid-of-honor speech.

I don’t think I have ever seen a more beautiful bride.


Stephanie performing a song for her groom.

It was a beautiful day filled with love, laughter, friends and family.


Next up: Gracie and Zach…Only 3 months until their big day!


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Eat Mor Chikin!



Yesterday was “Cow Appreciation Day” at Chick-fil-A


It was also Free Slurpie Day at 7-Eleven…

which meant it was, “No Making Lunches Day” for this Momma!!

Yesterday was one of our busy, busy, busy days, with tutoring 30 minutes north at 9:00 am, followed by therapy 60 minutes south at 11:00 am, followed by another tutoring session 45 minutes further south at 1:30 pm.

Add to that already full schedule the fact that Rusty needed dropped off at a friend’s house, where he was working to earn money for his winter 2018 Boy Scout trip to Florida by helping with some home improvement jobs,

And the fact that Grace needed dropped off at work by 3:00 pm,

As well as the dropping off of Miss Molly (and later Gracie) at their friend’s  house for a 16th birthday sleepover by 6:30 pm…

we just weren’t sure we would be able to fit in a trip to Chick-fil-A and 7-Eleven among our other running.

But our love for Chick-fil-A sandwiches, Slurpies, and FREE FOOD motivated us to make it work. So we did. In the midst of a busy day we managed to fit in some free fun.

Knowing we would be gone all day, everyone dressed in their cow apparel in the morning and stayed dressed as cows throughout the day.

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We dropped Rusty off at work first thing (he had to miss Chick-fil-A) and then headed to tutoring and therapy. On our way to Wexford, for tutoring session #2, we stopped at the Chick-fil-A in Cranberry for lunch.

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It was packed, as is always the case on Cow Appreciation Day, but the store was incredible efficient and we had our free sandwiches in minutes.

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It was fun people watching…

Err, I mean “cow watching.”

Which is not to be confused with “cow tipping.”

Chick-fil-A frowns on that. 😉

We even got a picture with the real deal.

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After a yummy lunch we headed onto Tyler’s second reading tutoring session of the day.

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Then it was a race back to Chippewa to get Grace to work by 3:00 pm.

From there we drove over to pick up Rusty by 4:00 pm and head to 7-Eleven, so he could join us for some free food fun. At 7-Eleven (on July 11th) they give out free small Slurpies to the public. The kids were excited to see they had cotton candy flavor this year.

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It was a perfect conclusion to a crazy day.

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Thank you Chick-fil-A and  7-Eleven for an awesome lunch…

It was nice to not cook!

“Eat Mor Chikin”


July 12th was “Cow Appreciation Day.”

We celebrated with a trip to Chick-fil-A.

Every year on “Cow Appreciation Day” Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country open their doors and hand out free meals to customers who are willing to dress the part for a free meal.

Being fans of all things free,

and being HUGE fans of Chick-fil-A

we pulled together our cow get-ups and drove over to our favorite chicken restaurant.


We weren’t alone in our willingness to look the part of a fool for free food. The parking lot and restaurant were teeming with bovine.


The event was not without incident, though.

Tyler had a meltdown in the parking lot, leaving me to help him settle down in the car while the other four kids headed inside to get their chicken sandwiches.

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In his frustration he ripped his cow shirt off with Hulk-like finesse, leaving a scattering of cow hide on the floor of the van.

Poor Tyler is struggling with hard, huge demons from his past and this was one of his tougher days.

So, while we worked through the muck of emotions that were consuming him

 the other kids sat on the curb, enjoying their chicken, dressed as cows.

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Just another day in this bizarre experience we call life.