Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Patch Weekend

Fall has arrived in Iowa....okay it arrived a long time ago, who am I kidding.  While I have my eye set on the holiday season, my kids are firmly planted in the idea that Halloween is the biggest deal since sliced bread.  I remember....the candy, the costumes, the parties at's a big deal in kid land.  

Our traditional trip to the pumpkin patch was wonderful.  We are lucky to have several REALLY great pumpkin patches nearby, but our newest favorite is at Bass Farms across the road from Palisades Kepler State Park.  Bass Farms is a CSA during the summer months, and roadside vegetable vendor...they rock.  They don't use any chemical spray, grow organically and well, they basically just rock.  We're always happy to hand over our pumpkin dinero.  

The kids searched high, the kids searched low, Daddy filmed the whole thing.  You HAVE to check out the video...the VanOort rendition of "What the Fox Says" at the end = Classic.  

And as if the day could get any better, the delightful owner of Bass Farms offered my kids each a sack to cram as many tiny gourds into as they could, on the house.  Two little kids, with two sacks, and a GIANT box of tiny gourds....they were thrilled.

Keeping the tiny gourds in the sack long enough to get to the car...that was a challenge all on its own.

Pumpkin carving tonight!

love and light, 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So Whatcha Been Up To?

Ten months, shmem months.  What's a year between friends, right? I will admit, I have fallen into the netherregions of bloggerdom. 
BUT!  While I've been non-blogging, we've been having a marvelous time!  Onion Grove Mercantile, the business end of this fun parade has gone wild...thanks to so many of you!!!

Making a living doing something you love is AH-MAY-ZING.  It's truly a blessing.  This business has taken me in so many unexpected directions!  Onion Grove Mercantile now has an Etsy shop and website, which is now in transition to a new hang with me there while it's updating! You can take a peak if you would like to!  The first time someone called me a "signpainter" I thought, wow, that's cool!  A business that sprang from a side project for a dear friend and into something that I can be so proud of!  

ANYWAY, I'll try to be more bloggy....I've sworn off Facebook (sorry Facebook friends), so this shall once again be my outlet for family/home/lifey type tidbits....mostly because my Dad asked me to.  Love you Dad! ;-)

Love and light friends!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snow Day

Happy Snow Day friends!  We woke up to a snowy wonderland this morning, and how better to celebrate a day off school than blueberry muffins and The Devil Makes Three on Sonos.  Don't even get me started on Sonos.  I love that thing.  Life changing, for reals.

The second best thing about days off school?  KIDDOS!!!!  When I was a young mama, many moons ago, I thought, oh won't life be easier when the kids are in school.  Well, it's different, but I miss those little turkeys!  We played and played and played outside.
The birds need to shovel their front stoop!  Oh, and yes, my kids sled down the porch steps!  
You gotta do what you gotta do folks.

Such characters.

The most delicious way to top off a snowy, fun filled day....homemade bread and vegetable soup.  
Precious day with precious kiddos.

love and light,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

All Time Faves

Do you guys ever check that "stats" thingy on your blog page?  I just discovered that thingy with my Onion Grove Mercantile blog.  It's kinda cool to see which posts folks think are better than sliced bread.  I'm not going to go crazy and say any of my posts are equivalent to segmented bakery goods, but there are a few that have more than three visits.  Three is my high water mark.  I decided to check out the stat thingy over here at Notes From the Heartland too...just for kicks.  I mean it's cold, it's dark at 2pm and I have some time on my hands in between NetFlix episodes of Sons of Anarchy.  Okay, don't even pretend you can't get behind a long haired tattooed biker with a big heart.  Okay, okay, I'm NOT a fan of the gratuitous violence (I cover my eyes) but the bikers, yeah I kinda like the bikers.  There should really be a girly version of that show.  Long haired cute bikers minus the yucky blood and guts. Like, maybe they run a pet shelter and fight for the rights of pets everywhere.

I actually married a tattooed biker....wanna see?


 So I digress, back to the stat thingy.  

I thought it would be fun to review my top 5 stat thingy posts. they are.  On to to the statistical fun.

 The garden markers made from.....can you guess?  Of course you can.  Can...can....get it?  Can?  Orange juice can lids!  These are a fave.  

The dry erase project made for one of my besties.  She has five kids...and runs a cafe....and basically volunteers for everything she's ever been asked to do.  Please don't ask her to join your group, I like to go dancing with her once in a while. ;-)

This one surprised me a tad...I like these the message they deliver, but still a little surprised.  I think these puppies rode the subway sign wave that went crazy a year or two ago.

The Wallpaper potion. This will change your life. Swear.  Well, I guess it can only change your life if you have wallpaper.  Okay, I guess maybe not everyone has wallpaper anymore.  If you live in a 100 year old house like us, you'll want to send me chocolates.  For reals.

AND......I know you've been holding your breath through all that other junk.....I PRESENT NUMBER ONE!!!!  Crockpot Mongolian Beef. There.  Done.  Now I have to say, while this stuff is pretty good, I don't know that it warranted 107,679 visits.  Really, people?   Thus is the magic known as Magic Mike...heheheh...that really just made me laugh out loud.  My internet bestie (someday real life....I'm going to photobomb his upcoming trip to the just watch Michael...I'm gonna be there;-) Michael of Inspired by Charm is magical.  Michael has the Midas touch when it comes to Pinterest.
 If he pins you, you'd better be prepared.  FYI.

This Mongolian Beef post is probably ready for a Caribbean vacation.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour through my stat thingy!  

love and light,

Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm Back...Maybe...Well I'll Try we are....four months later.  I have to say that I wax and wane with my interest level toward my personal blog.  Uh, we just have to look at the ole blog header up there to determine!!  It's perpetual summer here in Iowa, hadn't you heard?  I did change my profile pic...that's pretty good, right? I should really post a "real life" photo of myself next to that one.  I have look liked that one day in my life.  The  other jillion days of my life I have a pony tail, no makeup and paint splattered from stem to stern.  So, in defense of all women who are intimidated by foofoo photos of other women....this is what I REALLY look like (pre-pro makeup & hair).  Normal, normal, normalty normal.  Yay for normal. ;-)

 I had an art teacher in high school who refused to take videos of family events, or even use a camera for the most part, because he said you were missing out on LIVING life, while you were trying to CAPTURE life.  I think about that a lot.

 I enjoy reading other folks' blogs about recipes, but really don't want to take the time to take photos of every step myself.  I love seeing "before & after" shots of home projects...keep up the great work friends!  However, I tend to dive in and not take photos til my projects are finished, if even then.  SO, I'll try to do better, friends...try to plop out a blog entry once in a while, but my husband does a great job blogging about our family, mostly for the benefit of my folks and I have stayed super busy with my third baby (not really a real baby, don't go crazy).  

Onion Grove Mercantile has taken on a life of its own.  I went legit this year and even filed TAXES.  
CA-RA-ZY, right?  I feel so blessed to pursue my art and make a contribution to our family finances!  Life stays busy, our kids keep growing and we are loving every minute of it!  
I included a couple shots of some of my faves from the last few months!

Our oldest celebrated his NINTH birthday last week. Whoa.  I understand every bit of what my art teacher meant now....while you're not looking your kids will grow into little "oh look at this little baby" to BOOM! young man in a blink.

That shaggy hair makes me grin everyday. 
 This kid knows who he is, is proud of it and is a beautiful ray of light in the world.

love and light,
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