Tag Archives: ducks

A Super Special Saturday


Saturday was Tyler’s last soccer game of the season.

And while that was a celebratory event in and of itself

it was then magnified by the presence of Mimi and Pop pop coming to watch Tyler play.

A few weeks ago my mom called and wanted to know the dates of Tyler’s upcoming soccer games so that she and my dad could plan a trip from Ohio to watch him play. This was their first time seeing one of Tyler’s games and Tyler was beside himself with excitement.

We decided to take full advantage of our get together and celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Toby’s birthday all at once.

Tyler spent the morning waiting on the driveway for them to pull in while the older 4 kids decorated the outdoor chalkboard with a welcome sign for Mimi and Pop pop.

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When they arrived  around 10:00am the kids took them on a tour of the house, eager to show off their rooms, and then we sat down to open gifts.

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After we were done opening gifts we headed to lunch. We made plans to celebrate Mom, Dad and Toby at an Applebee’s lunch before we had to be at the soccer game. It was delicious!

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Then it was on to the soccer game. Tyler was very excited to have extra cheerleaders on the sidelines. 🙂

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It was so much fun sitting together and visiting while we watched Tyler play.

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Tyler played a great game, scoring a few goals and helping his team win their final game of the season. It was an amazing season for their team, as they ended their season undefeated.

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But the biggest growth we saw in Tyler this season was character growth. He has been born with natural athletic ability…that was always there. The transformation we saw this season was a different sort of transformation. Thanks in large part to his coaches (and I believe the key being a female coach for a change) we saw Tyler become a better team player. We watched as he developed better communication skills, more awareness of the other players, self-control and maturity that we hadn’t seen up till this point.

A lot of this is a result of soccer and some of it is just the natural progression of a hurt child becoming more comfortable, feeling more safe, and learning to trust.

He came to us with a hard exterior, rarely smiling, physically strong and aggressive, and very self focused. He had learned in his early years that he couldn’t trust others so he became a tough little boy who would take care of himself. We have watched the wall he built slowly crumble over the last two years and a softer version of our little boy is emerging.

A metamorphosis has occurred.

And joy now shines forth.

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After the game we came back to the house for cupcakes and  some outdoor fun.

The kids brought out some of the newest members of our furry menagerie for Mimi and Pop pop to meet. 🙂

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It was a special Saturday at Patchwork Farm.

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I went to bed that night feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of blessings God had given me.

I fell asleep feeling so grateful…

Grateful for healthy, happy, loving, generous parents, who live close enough for special day visits like this one.

Grateful for God’s power to heal hurt hearts and broken spirits.

Grateful for the growth I get to watch in EACH of my children as I begin to catch glimpses of the people they will become.

Grateful for the best husband in the whole world. A man with a strong character and a soft heart who has opened his home to the orphan, and opened his heart to those who hurt.

Grateful to raise my little brood at Patchwork Farm…

A magical place indeed.

Tests, Chicks, and Roundhouse Kicks


This week has found us running in multiple directions and pulling some long hours as we work to finish up the school year. Many of our activities are coming to a close as we head into the summer months and the kids are all trying to complete the last of their school work by the end of next week.

Here’s a peek at our week:

On Tuesday we had a Relief Society activity at church. It was a finance class on “Saving for a Rainy (or not so Rainy) Day.”

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The girls went with me and helped me set up and decorate with the other ladies on the committee. Pat lent us her impressive collection of piggy banks to use for our centerpieces.

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One of the men from church taught the class and did an amazing job!

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It was informative and entertaining and we all left with many gems of “saving” wisdom.

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While we attended the class Molly and Grace babysat  the little people in the nursery. They love the chance to snuggle some babies. 🙂

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At the end of the class we enjoyed a large variety of “cheap treats,” snacks that can be made on a shoestring budget.

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It was a great night!

On Wednesday we had our final day of state testing.  We were back at Butler County Community College for Gracie’s Literature Keystone Test. She was a bit nervous, but not nearly as nervous as she was last year when she had to complete her Algebra and Biology Keystone Tests.

She had to check in at 8:00 am so we left the house at 7:00 with books and computers packed so that the other kids could work on school while Gracie tested. We dropped her off and then settled into the college lobby where we made ourselves at home for the day with our friends, the Hudaks.

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The kids worked all day, taking breaks every few hours to play video games with friends or enjoy one of the board games we packed. It was a good day. Grace left testing feeling confident that she did well and eager to tell us about the fun games and activities the teachers had planned for the down time in between the testing sessions.

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I’m relieved we are DONE and we don’t have to face state tests again for another year. 🙂

On Thursday we added two more to the Taekwondo family. Grace and Molly decided to join Rusty and Ozzie for Taekwondo lessons. At the school the boys attend they offer a family rate. Once you have 3 children attending it is the same price regardless of how many family members join, so the girls decided to try it out. Thursday was their first class…and they really enjoyed it. They are all trying to talk Tyler into joining them but they haven’t had any luck yet.





While at class, Rusty and Ozzie were informed that they were ready to test for the next belt level. In two weeks they will both be testing. Ozzie is especially thrilled at the prospect of becoming a yellow belt.

Now on to animal news…

In addition to this sweet addition to Patchwork Farm

Teddy doing school with Rusty.

Teddy doing school with Rusty.

we have also added a few more feathered friends this week. Friends from church hatched some poultry eggs in an incubator to give their grandkids the neat experience of watching them hatch. Now that they are all hatched and beginning to grow they asked if we would like to adopt them.

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This week they joined our farm family. There are 3 ducks and quite a few chicks. We look forward to more eggs in our future!

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We also added another batch of bunnies to the mix. We now have 4 litters of bunnies. It is cute to see the bunnies from one nest wander over and snuggle in with the bunnies from another nest. I don’t know how the mommas keep things straight! Here the bunnies from an older litter climbed into the nest of our youngest bunnies. You can see the mix of sizes all snuggled together in one soft, fluffy bunch. 🙂

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And to end a busy week on yet another high note…

Last night was Spring Formal for the girls.

Stay tuned for photos. Needless to say, they had a ball!

Country Moments


“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” -Marc Riboud

This weekend the girls and I went out to the Homestead to visit my parents for a “girls only weekend.” The original plan was to take Zoey, the little girl we have been doing respite care for, with us and leave Ozzie, her brother, home with the boys but when Friday came Zoey was running a high temperature and ended up staying home with her foster mom. Ozzie still came and was eager for his “boys’ weekend.” (More on that in a future blog) After picking up Ozzie and dropping him off at home the girls and I headed to Ohio for a fun weekend with Mimi and Pop pop. The plan was to relax, do some Christmas shopping, see a movie and go out to lunch. We arrived Friday night just in time for dinner. After a tasty meal we played board games. In the morning Gracie joined Mimi and Pop pop in the barn for morning chores with her camera in hand. Her photography assignment for this week was a lesson on photo journalism. This week she learned the art of telling a story using only photos. She decided to tell the story of life at the Homestead…of country moments.

Here is her story….

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“What I like about photography is that it takes moments that should have been forgotten, and just freezes them, and allows us to share it with everyone and share it with future generations. But there is also a sense of secrets of the picture, or the stuff you don’t know, or don’t see. You don’t really know what happened before or after a picture. It’s like time is frozen in that moment.”-Jesus Holguin