Monday, April 26, 2010

The Family Behind the Farm - Tickled Pink

I have been waiting for this video to show up on YouTube and now that it has, I can share it with you! This is the commercial we filmed! It is part of a compaign put on by Manitoba Pork showcasing real pork-producing families who not only practice great animal husbandry but also have great families. You can check out more about the campaign and the families participating, including us, at:

The Family Behind the Farm


Red & Turquoise Asian Pillow Wraps

I have been wanting to build something lately - I have that building itch! (I am REALLY hoping I get some wood for Mother's Day so I can build a porch swing - the pattern is just waiting for me!) But since no building has yet happened, I decided to do a little sewing.

Remember those black pillows I bought after I made my beautiful upholstered headboard (which I am still loving!!)? Well, they were a little . . . plain. Boring. Uninspiring. They needed a little something.

That, in combination with my love of fabric, prompted me to walk the aisle of fabrics at WalMart. It is a really short aisle but this beauty caught my eye. I love - and I mean LOVE - Asian fabrics. They are so beautiful to me. In one fabric store I seldom get to, they have a whole section of these awe-inspiring fabrics. Something about the way they marry colors together or the whimsical prints of mythodical creatures or maybe the smooth, satin texture gets to me. I absolutely adore it! So, when I saw this red and turquoise combination, I knew it was coming home. And I knew those pillows were about to change!

I decided to make pillow wraps (think coffee cup wraps, only for a pillow!). I took a piece of fabric, sewed it into a rectangle, then joined the two ends with a frog, completing the Asian look. I love how it adds that pop of color!

Super easy. Super quick. Super beautiful!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Demolition Day (#1)

"Hey, mom! I found something really cool! Come take a look! It looks like a place bees might have lived." Who knew such an innocent statement would turn into this kind of work!

Pepe took me over to one of the old sheds standing on our new property (I have really got to get a name for that place!!) and pointed to small hole in the back of the shed. Sure enough, you could see a bit of honeycomb. Knowing that building was coming down, I ripped off one board. And then another. And then another. When I stopped ripping boards, this is what I found!

Totally cool in a not-so-cool kind of way. It is awe-inspiring to think that little bees made this honeycomb all by themselves. God is such a creative God! The not-so-cool part is thinking about all the bees that called this shed home. And the wasps. And the mice. The birds I don't mind. So, because bees and I have a hate-hate relationship (though I do appreciate them in the garden, I almost get panic attacks when I see them - freak right out at times!) I knew that shed had to go. So, with my own two hands, I started ripping it apart. I got about 2/3 of the back boards ripped off on Saturday. Then for family night (that is what we do every Sunday) we went back to see that building fall.

All the kids pitched in to pry off the boards (Ari was cheering us on from her car seat in the van parked a safe distance away!). Eventually all that was left was a lot of framing.

After lots of banging and pushing on our part (Jay and I), it went down! The kids were thrilled. So are we. The title says #1 because there is another shed that needs to go. Maybe next weekend? Some people go for walks for fun, we push over sheds! Now for that massage . . . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Fun!

As mentioned yesterday, with this beautiful summer weather in the middle of April, the days are spent outside, school is done on the deck, and the house is a mess (which I am trying to be okay with and failing!)! So, in the last couple of days, Ari has enjoyed her first swing ride:

We took our neighbours' son out to the country for our first of many-to-come weiner roasts (after they went frog hunting and came up empty handed):

We dug and cut and pulled and hauled and other things related to gardening:

RJ learned how to ride her bike without training wheels! She just turned 4 2 months ago and she has mastered it easily! The first time I took those training wheels off I only had to help her start and stop. She drove like a drunken sailor, weaving all over, but she never fell off. I waited about a week and she drove straight. This week I showed her how to start by herself and how to turn around and now she is driving without any help from me. We only took them off for the first time about 2 weeks ago. She is a determined little girl whose motto in life is: "If the boys can do it, I can do it . . . better!" She has been, by far, the easiest to teach to ride!

Finally, the kids pulled out the slippy slide (as they have dubbed it) and enjoyed an August activity on an April day. It looks kind of weird to see them in their bathing suits while the leaves have yet to appear on the trees. Hey, the temperature was 25C in the shade - just hot enough to enjoy a little water - what a blast they had!

Oh, and at care group the other day, I saw a ewe give birth to her lamb! That was A.MAZE.ING! Totally in awe! Super cool! If only I could give birth that quietly! Ha! Anyhow, I did not bring my camera with me as that was a little unexpected. It will, however, be etched in my mind! What a fabulous spring!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pucker Up!

Seeing as we have been experiencing some gorgeous June weather in the middle of April, we have been spending some quality time outdoors. This is a first for Ari! Last year, she was still a little baby who spent a lot of time sleeping or when she was outside, sitting on a blanket for a few minutes here and there. Now, she is quite enjoying wandering around outside. She has, however, developed this unusual and quite humourous little pucker! I don't know why it happens but it does, frequently, while enjoying the great outdoors! Don't you just love it?!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


When we bought the country property, we were well aware it had its ups and downs - literally! Parts of the yard are high and hilly, parts are low and water logged. Jason made mention he heard ducks in the back of the yard so I took a little trip there the other day and this is what I saw:

That's right, a pair of wood ducks! This beautiful couple was swimming in the ditch just at the entrance to our yard! I happen to think the male wood duck is the most beautiful duck I have ever seen! Isn't he a beaut?

Now, when Jay said there was some water standing in the back, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, I didn't expect all this!

That is a lot of standing stagnant water. Yet, that water has been hosting 5 pairs of ducks; 2 pairs of wood ducks and 3 pairs of mallards. I went wading through this lovely smelly water with hubs' rubber boots in hopes of finding a nest but alas, I found nothing. Yet those ducks have been there frequently, every time we come so maybe, just maybe, they will stay and nest and we can see some babies! They cannot fly away from me!

Although this water may look lovely, it really is a mess! It stinks, has lots of debris floating in it and it is just yucky! So, thoughts are that we will create a pond in this corner of the yard. This is the very back corner of the yard and from the front opposite corner of the yard runs a "creek". Creek is pushing it; it is more like a meandering trail of water. I could see us creating a dry creek bed in that area just to help the water drain in the spring. Ideally, we would drain the water from the back of the yard to the front but that seems to be against the nature of the property. Whatever. Right now the dreaming is fun and so is sitting on the hill just beside the water and listening to the quacks of the ducks and the croaks of the frogs!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Falk Family . . . Unveiled!

Remember that TV commercial we were filming? Well, it is finally on the air! We are truly famous! :) It has been a little hit-and-miss but for all you local people, check out CTV (channel 7 on farmer vision) or CKND (channel 9 on same farmer vision) during the evening news and you just may see us! It is 13 seconds long but what a great 13 seconds! We finally caught it on tape and now I have watched it over and over and over and over and over . . . okay, you get the point! (Is it vain to want to watch yourself, your hubby, and your dear little daughter that often?) Remember how I also told you we would be on large superboard advertisements in Winnipeg as well as on city buses? Well, we took a field trip to the Manitoba Museum today with a little side trip to Donald Street. If you are in the area, drive southbound on Donald Street and just over the bridge on the west side, right by the Winnipeg Winter Club, you will see this:

Isn't it great? We were actually able to pull into a parking lot right close by so I could take even more pictures!

Then on to the Musuem as that was the point of our trip to Winnipeg. And what do you know? Just as Jay was letting me and the clan off at the door, Pepe hollers at us to look at the bus that was at the stop sign right behind us. We looked and behold, what did our eyes see?

Come on! Of all the city buses that sport advertisements, there was one with us on it right behind us. Notice the "Out of Service" announcement on the little screen? Well, this exact bus pulled into the street just on the other side of the parking lot and sat there. Doing Nothing! At this point, I was inside of the Musuem and Jay was parking the van. I could see that bus across the street, across the parking lot and thought it would be so cool to have our picture taken with . . . well, with us! So, I convinced my skeptical husband ("What if the bus leaves by the time we get there?" "Take all the kids back outside, back across the street, across the parking lot, just for a picture?" ) to take the clan for a run across the street, across the parking lot and lo, and behold, the bus was still there when we got there.

Then the really nice driver, Al, who was in the bus right behind this one, offered to take our picture. While we were standing around, we saw at least 2 more buses with our ad on it! In case you were wondering, check out bus #785, 587, and 206. By the way, if you see any more billboards, please let us know where they are - we would love to check them out - kind of like Where's Waldo, only it's Find the Falks!

TOTAL SIDENOTE: We talked to the really nice city bus driver, Al, only to learn he, too, has 5 children, aged 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Their first two are 11 months apart, second 2 12 months to the day apart, and then 13 months between the next and 14 months between the last 2 (at least if I remember correctly)! Crazy busy! And, when these teenagers were little kids, their parents took them across Canada for 18 months, driving back and forth from east coast to west coast, homeschooling them and working on farms and orchards and bed and breakfasts whenever they could. Doesn't that just sound so amazing? So fun? So spontaneous? So not like Jay at all!!! I want to take the kids to the San Diego Zoo and he thinks we need to wait until they are older. This Al might think otherwise.

So, anyway, we did make it through the Museum, thoroughly enjoying ourselves yet again. What a memorable day! Now, when I get a copy of that commercial on DVD, I will be sure to post it here for all of you to see. At that point, I will explain the purpose just a tad better.

I hope you had as great a day as I did. Now I better go check out hubby's new toy - tell you about it tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Project 2012

It is official and I am so VERY excited! Remember that piece of property we bought last October? That wonderful 5 acres of possibility? At the time we knew we would be waiting 2, 3 or maybe even 4 years before building our dream house. I was okay with that. Sort of. I was hoping for the 2, Jay was pushing for the 4. We want to pay down as much debt as possible before starting all over again. Guess what? My hopes won! Actually, I had nothing to do with it. One day Jay just said in 2 years. That's right. Only 2 years! So, I have officially dubbed it PROJECT 2012! Now is the time to buckle down and figure out all the nitty gritty details. The more time we have to explore ideas and figure out what exactly we want, hopefully the happier we are with the end results. I have pulled out a binder and filled it with blank papers and dividers and it will be the PROJECT 2012 binder, full of all that we discuss. Hopefully it will help when building time actually arrives. In the meantime, I will share with you a house plan we really, really love! It is the one we keep coming back to time and time again. It needs a bit of modifying to be perfect but it is the best we have seen! It fits our families needs so wonderfully!

A beautiful country-style home for our country-style yard! To see the interior plan itself, click on the link above!

What do you think? What is your dream home style? Modern? Victorian? Cape Cod? Ranch?

Finally, I hope your week is going well. Currently, we are entertaining the flu bug and only myself and RJ have managed to elude it so far. Not an enjoyable past couple of nights! Hopefully the worst is past!

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