Sunday Drive at Golden Hour

Hello, dears!

I’m SO excited to post this photoshoot, because I think it’s one of my favorites ever! The evening was certainly wonderful. ❤ Plus, the lighting was so perfect I didn’t have to edit most of these at all! Definitely a bonus. Continue reading

Moving On {Part 3}

Hello, dears!

It’s been AGES since I made the last “Moving On” post, but I wanted to wait until I could finish up this mini-series. And now I can! We are all moved in to the big house now, except for one room of unpacked boxes… yeah, that might take us a while. XD But now, enjoy this account of the most recent phase in our moving process! I can’t go over every single part in detail, so I’m just going to highlight some major chunks: packing and unpacking the house, packing up Dad’s shop, and taking down the old log cabin. Enjoy!

Packing the House

Packing up our old house was exhausting and kind of sad. I can’t remember the rooms ever being empty, since we moved there when I was one. However, it WAS exciting to finally be ready to move into the big house! One day while we were packing I saw this box which used to hold bittersweet vine found on our farm, and I had to get a picture. Moving really is…

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Often when I got up in the mornings, I would step between this curtain and the window…

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and look out at this view, to see what the weather was like, and wonder what would happen today.

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The last evening at our old house was gorgeous. It was sad to think I’ll never see these views from the upstairs windows anymore. I’ll miss them. *sigh*

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Some of our family as well as people from church helped us pack up, which was wonderful! Dad got a (not the most beautiful) trailer for our semi, to load up all our stuff. We fit practically our whole house into one trailer. It was strange to see all our familiar furniture stacked together in an unfamiliar place like that.

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And then we left. We can come back again, of course, but it will never be the same since the house and the farm are no longer ours. *sigh*

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Goodbye, old farm. ❤

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Unpacking House Stuff

The semi trailer got to our new farm a couple days later, and since my Dad and brothers weren’t available to unpack as soon as we hoped, the girls decided to start in ourselves! We got probably 2/3 of the semi trailer unpacked with just my mom, my grandmother, us three girls. 😀 It was great. I didn’t get too many pictures of this, but I got a ton of videos! I want to make a fast-motion video of us unloading the trailer. 🙂 Here’s a picture of Logan helping us, at least:

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It took us two days, I believe, to get to this: AN EMPTY TRAILER!

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After we unpacked our dining room table + chairs, we sat down to the first “official” meal in the big house, with delicious food that some of our friends from church kindly brought us. ❤

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HA HA, here’s one last bonus picture for this section. XD Gram was like, “Allison, where’s your camera? You need a picture of this!” And I hurried off to get it. 😛

In case you’re wondering, the package is a fridge. One of many, sadly. Dear me, the first fridge we got from Lowes wasn’t the right kind, the second one didn’t work, the third one leaked, the fourth was the wrong kind AGAIN, and we’re still waiting for Lowes to bring the fifth one and HOPEFULLY IT WILL BE RIGHT THIS TIME. Goodness gracious, WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH LOWES?

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Packing the Shop

Once we got the house stuff moved, we went back to our old farm and packed up Dad’s entire shop (which he uses for fixing farm machinery). Let me tell you, that was a job! Over 40 years, the shop had accumulated enough nuts, bolts, screws, paint, ratchets, wrenches, etc. to seriously open their own hardware shop. XD Only it would be an extremely dusty hardware shop.

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For some reason I think this looks really neat…

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As you can see, Dad has SO many tools in all different sizes, particularly wrenches. I really like this picture. 😀

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The best part of packing was having pizza for lunch. 😛

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Taking Down the Log Cabin

Remember this old, fallen-down log cabin in our backyard?

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Well just a few weeks ago, we took it down the rest of the way. I was hoping to find some more neat old letters or other interesting artifacts, but sadly we mostly found… a lot of junk. It was a bigger project to take it down than I expected, but it’s nice not to have to stare at it from half the windows now. 🙂

First, Dad and the boys pushed it over with the telehandler. Next we all clambered up on the roof with a couple of hammers and started extracting the nails so we could peel off the metal. The tar paper under the metal was covered with dead ladybugs and stinkbugs. O.o That was nice.

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After we dragged away the roof skeleton, we had to pick out all the leftover boards and junk. That took quite a while.

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Thankfully we had the skidloader to help!

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Like I said, we didn’t find many valuable old things, but we did find some interesting junk! Including…

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Apologies for the awful picture. I was trying to make the junk look at least a BIT prettier but I think I made it worse…?
  • a rather sad-looking work boot
  • 3-5 fire hoses
  • a crushed dog kennel
  • two rusty lawn chairs
  • a bent-up bike
  • two very nice terracotta flower pots
  • a rusty metal flamingo that Megan REALLY wants to restore XD
  • a blue plastic kiddie pool (which Carmen was EXTREMELY excited about XD)
  • a large, enormously thick slab of slate
  • an antique water pump

We are keeping the second half of the aforementioned items. Also some of the century-old heart pine wood.

It was finally cleared away about supper time. We were planning to make a patio around the chimney, but it’s not in the best shape so we might take the chimney down later after all. :/

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And there you have it! A VERY abbreviated account of some moving-related things that we did recently. We are all enjoying living in the big house immensely. It’s just so huge and beautiful! Maybe once we get it decorated I can give you guys a tour. 😉

What was your favorite section of this post? Do you think Megan should fix up the flamingo? Ever have troubles like we did with our fridge? And what is your favorite kind of pizza?

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

Best Friends Photoshoot {Ft. Aria Photo}

Hello, dears!

Just recently I got to meet one of my dearest blogging friends, Aria. She and her family stayed at our farm for a weekend and we all had SUCH a great time together! We had never actually seen each other in real life, but we’d become super close through emailing, letter writing, phone calls, etc. It was almost surreal to finally meet her, but SO, SO EXCITING AHHHH.

I won’t go tell you guys everything today or it would be as long as three posts, but one of the things we did together was a best friends photoshoot! We both love photography and Aria actually has a photography business over at Aria Photo! Some of these pictures Aria took herself, and some we asked my sister Megan to take (well, to press the button) for us. I basically did nothing with these pictures except be in them, heh heh.

Still, Aria gave me permission to post my favorites today along with some amusing behind-the-scenes tidbits, after which you can check out Aria’s post to see HER favorites, and read about how we became friends.

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The first night Aria came, we took the Mule (a brand of UTV, similar to an ATV, not a literal mule XD) and drove around our farm, looking for good photography sites. It was SO much fun and the land looked gorgeous in the golden light. The evening we started with this path leading into the woods.

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We wanted to get coordinating outfits for the shoot, and then Aria came up with the idea to get matching skirts but in different colors. (You might remember mine from the barn dance pictures.)

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It turned out so well! This skirt is SUPER twirly and fun to wear, although it’s a bit delicate and has to be handwashed.  It also has like a bajillion color options. You can see the Amazon listing right here.

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HA HA we had such troubles with this pose. XD Actually no, had troubles with this pose… and several others, actually. XD Poor Aria. But in my defense, some poses are a LITTLE difficult when you’re very tall and your best friend is only an average height. It was hard for me to bend back far enough without pulling her with me. XD

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I LOVE THIS PICTURE! I just think it’s so cute and sweet. ❤ Also Aria kept exclaiming over how much more tanned her arm was than mine in this picture, but I said IT WAS JUST THE LIGHT. XD Seriously though, in real life our skin tone looked the same. *nods emphatically*

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Ahh, I love this photo location because of the stunning light! We tried to twirl each other, but… ahem, I kind of kept messing it up. *facepalm* Thank you so much for being patient with me, dear Aria. ❤ I’m not USUALLY so hard to pose. XD

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Ahh, the backlighting is just… INCREDIBLE. I took some more golden hour photos of this location last night that I can’t wait to show you guys! In another post. 🙂

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Now the third location. Megan thought we looked like midgets here, and also Aria kind of fell backwards while sitting down, but it was worth it. XD I love this picture.

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Oh yes, Aria wanted to do my hair AND my makeup for me, and she did them both beautifully! I never use full makeup and don’t normally style my hair much, so that felt different. I wouldn’t want to go to all the trouble and time normally, but it WAS fun to just be stereotypical teenage girls for a little while. 🙂

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❤ ❤ ❤ (Also SEE. Now MY arm is tanner than hers. It’s probably still the lighting. *nods wisely*)

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This pose, the outfits, the lighting, the location… they all went together PERFECTLY on this one!

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Now we’re into the photos Aria took with her remote. This is by an old, rustic shed we have by our driveway. It’s a great backdrop! By this point my hair was getting kind of frizzy from the humidity, but Aria’s still looks gorgeous, don’t you agree? ❤

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The whole time she was there we were both like, “I keep wanting to email you about this trip but then I realize I can just TELL you!” XD It was so strange because we do tell each other anything and everything by email usually.

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AHHH I LOVE THIS. Aria said she wants to get a print of this one. ❤ I think Aria is possibly my long-lost sister? Or maybe a long-lost cousin. Whatever she is, I’m awfully glad she’s not lost anymore. ❤

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THIS WAS SURPRISINGLY HARD. For one thing, my fingers are a lot longer than Aria’s, so at first the heart was lopsided. XD And apparently even though Aria was more flexible than I was for, say, the bending-backwards photos, her fingers were not as flexible as mine. BUT WE GOT IT. SORT OF.

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Now both of our curls were kind of disintegrating at this point. BAD HUMIDITY.

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Next we tried some photos in the corn but it didn’t really work out. The corn leaves intruded into our faces too much. XD But it worked quite well to be in front of the field!

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Isn’t this one so cute?

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Lastly, we took (or re-took) this picture the day before she left. I like to tease Aria that her eyes are blue because she says they’re green. What do you think? I think we’re both right and they’re mint or aqua… or just beautiful. 🙂

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Since this is the kind of picture that I think looks good when you can tell it’s edited, I took the liberty of editing it. Tell me if you would rather not, Aria, and I’ll take it off. 😉 I don’t know why I love eyes so much, but I sure do. ❤ They’re just so gorgeous and unique!

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Lessons learned:

  • Some poses are not as easy as they look on Pinterest. Particularly if your height differs significantly with the other person in the photoshoot. Do the photoshoot anyway. It is WELL WORTH IT.
  • Having matching/similar outfits for this type of photoshoot is super fun!
  • Aria tried to carry me piggyback but it FAILED. Well it worked, but it looked extremely odd because my legs were so long. Then I tried with her, but it STILL looked weird because she was wearing a skirt. IT WAS HILARIOUS. So: make sure the taller person carries the shorter person, and preferably don’t wear skirts.
  • Note to self: Don’t keep talking while someone is trying to get pictures of you. It ruins pictures. (Heh heh, Aria was like, “WOW my expression in this one…” and I was like, “You think THAT’S bad? Look at mine!” I can say with assurance that Aria is DEFINITELY more photogenic than I am. XD XD)
  • If you ever have a chance to meet one of your close blogger friends, do yourself a favor and MEET THEM. PLEASE. It is an amazing experience, and you’ll make memories you will never forget. ❤

Thanks SO much to my sister Megan for helping us with the photoshoot. We couldn’t have done (at least part of it) without you! Also thank you, Aria, for too many things to count, but especially for listening to anything I tell you, for the looooong and honest emails and letters about everything from faith to health to politics, and for being my best friend forever. ❤ PLEASE COME BACK SOON.

I hope you enjoyed that post, guys! Be sure to check out Aria’s post to see a few different photos (and some photos of just me that I didn’t put on here), and follow her blog to see more posts about her visit in upcoming weeks. And tell me…

Isn’t Aria’s/Megan’s photography gorgeous? Have you ever had a friends photoshoot? Which pose or picture was your favorite? Have you ever met an internet friend?

Thank you so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

P. S. Also, a big thank you to guys for participating in the first week of The Summer Bored Games! We LOVED hearing your feedback and seeing your photos from those challenges – I can’t wait to show you guys the pictures too. 🙂 Ready for some new boredom busters? Check out Megan’s post here!

How to Use a Grain Bin for Acrobatic Training

Have you ever played in grain bins? If not, you are missing out.

Since I’m guessing most of you have in fact never played in grain bins, I have kindly compiled a tutorial to show you how it’s done. 😀 (Even though the pictures are *ahem* not my best – the grain bins don’t have what you’d call perfect lighting.)

First, you must find a grain bin. Fortunately that’s not too hard for us since we have several on our farm. You’ll need to find one that has corn in it, or the fun will be considerably diminished. (Although empty grain bins are good for letting your dog catch mice in.) Make sure the bin isn’t too full so you’ll have plenty of room for your acrobatics.

An example of a good grain bin choice: (Fun fact: did you know this grain bin can hold about 45,000 bushels of corn when it’s full?!)

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Next you must enter the grain bin. Depending on how full it is, you will either need to climb in through the door or else climb a ladder/staircase and enter through a trapdoor. We chose the latter. (But not the ladder. Heh heh.) Some advice while climbing: don’t look down and try not to dwell on the seeming frailty of the staircase.

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Now comes the hard part: getting in. This takes a good bit of courage the first time, because you’re pretty much looking down into a cavernous black hole. Also the trapdoor is usually rather small. But be brave – adventure awaits!

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Climb down the ladder. Once inside, the grain bin looks quite light, and you shouldn’t feel claustrophobic anymore. In fact, you wonder why you were worried. (You remember again when you climb out.)

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Time for the fun to begin! One of the best things to do in a grain bin is practice your acrobatic skills: in other words, jump off the ladder a lot. It’s kind of like jumping off of a hay loft into hay, only more… corny. Plus you get an added bonus of sinking up to your knees in corn kernels!

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If you’re wondering what all that annoying bokeh comes from, the answer is corn dust.

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If you tire of acrobatics, you can always bury your friend in the corn or throw handfuls at the metal wall to make a satisfactory ringing sound. It’s also fun to play “Whales.”

Whales Instructions: fill someone’s socks (preferably your sibling’s/friend’s) with corn, and tie off the top. You have made a “whale.” Now divide up into two teams with equal amounts of whales per team, select a battle cry (“FOR NARNIA!”) and throw your corn-filled aquatic mammals at the other team, making sure not to cross the invisible middle line. Each participant is out after being hit three times. If you catch a whale, the person who threw it loses a life. Whichever team has the last person standing wins!

HA HA HA that was so fun to write. XD I hope you enjoyed this helpful how-to, and I trust you will refer to it if the need arises. XD

***Allison***

P. S. You have only day to enter my giveaway! (Thank you soooo much, everyone who entered so far!) I will post the winner on October 29th. I can’t wait to see who wins!

Life on the Farm + BIBPC

I thought I’d do a little post about what’s been going on around the farm lately. Heh heh, it kind of turned out to be a big post, but anyway…

The main thing that Dad has been doing is harvesting corn. Some of the corn grew almost 15 feet tall this year! That’s really tall, even for corn.

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Ahh, so peaceful.
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Dad uses a GPS system to plant his corn in nice straight rows.

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The corn harvester (or chopper, as we call it) is on the left.

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For Nature Study this week we learned about corn. Even though I already knew a lot about how it looked, it was neat to learn the reasons behind corn’s appearance. Here are a few fun facts:

  • If you break a corncob in half, supposedly there will always be an even number of kernels around the circumference!
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    Corn stalks look kind of like bamboo, with little “joints” at intervals. These joints are called “nodes” and they help strengthen the stalk while still keeping it elastic enough to survive strong winds.

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    Corn has the parts of a flower, even though you can’t see any pretty blossoms. The tassels are the stamen, and the silk is actually the pistil. Pollen falls from the tassels through the silk (yes, each piece of silk is actually a tiny tube!) to pollinate the seeds (corn kernels).

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    There is one piece of silk for each kernel! If a corncob isn’t fully filled out, it’s because the kernel wasn’t pollinated correctly.

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    When it’s really dry, the leaves of the corn roll up to preserve moisture.

Here are the two corn pages in my nature notebook:

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Wow. How amazing is the attention to detail God has shown in this seemingly simple plant?!

So there’s your mini nature study for today. 😉

Now for BIBPC. This is the poster I made to get extra points. 😉

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And this is my entry! The category was “Shiny.”

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Story Behind the Photo: I took this picture of Violet, a barn cat, several months ago. She has super pretty green eyes! They’re also shiny (well, obviously), so you can see the reflection of me and my siblings on the other side of the wire.

These are some edits I made just for fun:

The original picture edited:

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The cropped picture edited:

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I LOVE THIS PICTURE!

 

 

I enjoyed BIBPC, Megan! Thanks for hosting it. 🙂

My my, this was quite a long post. XD Thanks for reading!

Did you learn anything new about corn or how we harvest it? Do you do Nature Study in your school/homeschool?

***Allison***

P. S. I’m sure you all know that today is the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11/01. Please take time to remember the heroes of that terrible day and to pray for those who lost loved ones . ♥♥♥