Archive for the ‘all the things that make a farm’ Category

Tennessee!

Last Weekend, our family made the trip across the county to visit my brother and his Bride for their beautiful Wedding in Tennessee. We have been planning this trip for months, and it crept up all of a sudden and we were thrust into Airline Travel with two 17 month olds. (Fun!)
Here are some tips from my experience:

1) Make sure your portable DVD player is charged. (Your kids don’t like it much when 10 minutes into  Bear in the Big Blue House, it shuts off and cannot be charged until you make it to your layover.)

2) Pack snack foods for the adults, not just the children. (We had plently of kid foods, but we didn’t realize until 4 hours into our trip that we were STARVING, and there was no “real” food to be had!)

3) The day after you get back home is FAR worse than any part of the trip combined. (I am currently listening to both my children scream, without any clue how to “fix” whatever their issue is..)

4) Fly with a second (or in our case, third) set of hands. (My mom made the trip down and back with us, and I cant imagine how it would have been to try and pee, much less sit down, leaving Joel in an airport with two running toddlers..)

Overall our trip went very well, and the kids did much better than expected. We had fun, and it was great to see my brother and his wife Sara, as well and much of my family from Spokane:

I can  take credit for NONE of these pictures, I was attending to my duties as Bridemaid. (Thanks to my husband and younger brothers and sisters!)

The Beach!

We only live about a hour and a half from the Ocean, but every weekend around here is BUSY, and so don’t make it there as often as I would like. But, since I have about 3 minutes until the kids need something from me again, here is our beach trip (the Twins FIRST!) in pictures!

4 Years!

Today is August 2. And, fours years ago today, I married my very best friend.

Lots of people said that being married is the hardest thing you can do, but never has something felt so easy and so right. I am blessed with an amazing man that always looks to take care of my needs and the need of our family, and make sure that I know how much I am loved in the process. My Mom told me once that she was amazed to watch how Joel cherishes me, and I think that is the perfect way to describe it. Everyday I feel cherished.

  Joel, you are the most wonderful man I have ever met, and I love you so much. Happy Anniversary.

Summer Fun!

This summer seem to be flying by already, but luckily we have been able to spend a bunch of it playing outside with the Kiddos! They love to play outside, and we recently added a Big Climber to our outside play set-up, which makes for very tan babies and mama!

Check out some pictures of our FUN!

We are having TONS of fun here at the Roppo Farm!

(And, yes, we did finally did get the front door painted red, looks great!)

With all the home projects going on here, we haven’t done as good a job keeping up with the garden as we should. But, I am happy to report that we have a great crop so far nonetheless!  We are currently enjoying our lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, snap peas, strawberries and cauliflower! Yum. Hopefully I can get out there with the kids in the next few days to take some pictures for you all!

And, I will leave you all tonight with this: I don’t know about your kids, but M can be a PICKY eater (E will eat ANYTHING.) And, I recently came across a recipe for “Toddler Muffins” so we decided to try it out today, and it was a big hit! These muffins are basically just a trick to get more veggies in picky eaters, but are slightly sweet so enjoyed by all!  (Joel is working out to town for the next few days, so he hasn’t given them the thumbs up, but I think he will!) The recipe is as follows:

TODDLER MUFFINS

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar baby food squash
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar baby food carrots
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour.)
  • 1 cup oat bran (.. and I used wheat germ, because it was what I had!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
 Directions
  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 mini muffin cups or 12 standard muffin cups.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes (I baked the mini- muffins for 10 minutes.) Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Store at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze.

Enjoy!

No more purple!

Many of you have been to the Roppo Farm in the past two years, and some of you have not. So you may not have been able to experience the previous tenants paint job of a terrible shade of brown-purple. With tan trim. IT. WAS. AWFUL.

Ugh. Anyways, last weekend my Dad and Grammy made the trip down from Spokane to help us paint the house. It was great to see them, and the Twins were trilled to have more friends to play with, but I was most excited to get my ugly house painted. Woo hoo! It was a decent weekend to do it, although we did fight a few rain showers..

We had some great help, including: my Dad, Grammy, (Joel’s Dad) Phil, David, Andy and my sister, Meredith! Thanks everyone so much for coming out to help- it went FAST and looks awesome!

(During the CRAZY 10 minute downpour! Look at Andy and Grammy power through!)

E is a big helper (and only wanted to be outside playing in the dirt all weekend!)

I am pretty decent with a paint sprayer!

And, the final result…?!

Ta Da! Beautiful! (Red front door to come..)   🙂

Dirty toddlers!

This week I haven’t stood still or sat down long enough to think of anything particularly profound or witty to say (one kiddo with an ear infection, and one with a respiratory infection, AND prepping to paint out house) .. so, would you settle for adorable pictures of toddlers in the dirt?  🙂

E has discovered dirt and water equal mud! (And that rocks look a little like food.)

And this is his dirty I-don’t-want-to-go-inside-to-take-a-bath face! (This boy would play outside with the “chk-en”, and the “doggy” in the mud all day if we would let him.)

M doesn’t want to play in the dirt..

..she does however want to pick my radishes! Silly girl.

Stay tuned this weekend.. its HOUSE PAINTING TIME! Great Grammy and Papa are coming over from Spokane, and we have some great friends here who are going to help us (finally!) paint our ugly house! Yay!

How far we have come!

One year ago today was my first day home with newborn twins by myself. Oh, how far we have come! E and M turned one on May 5th, and have been the biggest blessing (and biggest challenge!) I have ever experienced. Those people who say that stay-at-home moms have the easiest job,  have obviously never been at home with their kids. This is BY FAR the hardest job I have ever done in my life.

The Twins are getting big! E is super curious and always on the move (and on a mission to get outside to play in the yard.) He loves to play in his pool, and get dirty in the front yard. He wants to chase the dogs and chickens, but isn’t quiet fast enough yet!

M isn’t quite as fast, but don’t mistake her as passive, she is a firecracker! She will be the first one to tell you that she needs help or wants something from you. She always wants to play with her tool set, and LOVES her Daddy the best.

This past spring I met a beautiful woman named Gretchen, who works very hard to provide a natural, nurturing environment for her children, and writes a great blog, http://www.thatmamagretchen.com/. She is going on maternity leave from her blog to have Baby #2 this fall, and asked me to write a guest blog post for her readers about our experience with pregnancy loss and foster care/adoption.   This morning, I finished our story, and I thought I would share it with you all as well:

“When my husband and I got pregnant in April 2010, we assumed, like most women do, that pregnancy would be easy and we would end up with a beautiful baby to take home from the hospital in 9 short months. That July, at 15 weeks pregnant, we found that our little miracle had stopped growing and there was no heartbeat. We were devastated. No one is prepared for the loss of a child. But, we pulled ourselves together bit by bit and thanked God that he had given us the blessing of being pregnant, however short it was. We knew that God would bless us with a family when the timing was right. We named our little blessing Matthew, which means “gift from God.”

In January 2011, after much convincing, my husband and I started the process of being licensed to be foster parents, which is something I have wanted to do  since high school, but we had originally decided we would do “after we had gotten started on our own family.” In early March 2011 we found out that we were pregnant again. We were very excited about having our own child, but decided that we would move forward with the licensing anyways. We knew that we might be getting in over our heads, but we knew that God was calling us to care for children that, for whatever reason, weren’t able to be cared for by their parents.

In May 2011, at 10 weeks pregnant, our little Elizabeth went to Heaven to be with her brother. Our foster parent license came in the mail the same day. We were
heartbroken, but reassured that maybe God’s plan for our family was not the same as the plans we had.

On May 18th we received our first long-term placement call. The Coordinator on the phone told me about the children, and then said, “Oh, I am so sorry, are you pregnant?” (She must have been looking at our file.) “Because this will be a long-term placement, and they would need to be the only children under 2 in your household.” At that moment, I knew something special was happening, and told the woman, no, we were no longer pregnant. I signed the placement paperwork that afternoon to take custody of premature boy-girl twins, born May 5th three months early. M and E were born at 2.5 and 3.5 lbs, and no one was quite sure what medical issues they were going to have moving forward. They spent 6 weeks in the NICU, learning to breath on their own, regulate their own heartbeats, and drink from a bottle, and then came home to live with us. Everyday with newborn, medically-fragile twins at home was a challenge, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the whole world. I was finally a Mommy!

It has been just over a year since M and E came home from the hospital and became a part of our family, and they are growing more fun and challenging by the day as they head into toddler-hood. I still look back at that day I received that call, and know that God was at work. We have been blessed beyond words to have them in our lives, and we are hoping to complete their adoption this coming fall and make them officially part of our family (although they have been my children, in my heart, since the first day I held them in the NICU.)

This April, early in our third pregnancy, we lost another angel, Owen. This loss felt different from the first two, because this time I came home from that appointment to hugs and smiles and kisses from my sweet babies. I knew then more than ever that these children were God’s Gift to us, and that despite going through terrible, depressing times, wondering if we would ever have a family, I now had the beautiful family I always dreamed.  Someday we might have children that our biologically ours, or maybe not, but I am continually blessed by God’s grace and mercy in our lives. I remember every day what a miracle my children are, and how it is only by God’s grace that they came to be ours.

I hope my story can give other women who have gone through devastating losses, but are coming out the other side of their grief, a reassurance that God loves you and although it seems hard now, He says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)”