Sunday, May 2, 2021

Old MacDonald had a farm: a month in review

"I like our neighborhood," my four-year-old declared. "I like the way it sounds." 

He and my baby sat in my lap as we cuddled under a blanket on our porch. Hearing the chirps of birds, the occasional roar of airplanes, and the buzz of car motors, I asked him what in particular he liked. He shushed me, asking if we could simply sit and listen. Feeling chastened, I held my kids close as we sat and looked at our surroundings and listened to this beautiful world. 

I don't think I will ever stop getting excited over daffodils, especially
when we head downtown and are surrounded by big buildings and businesses. They always
find a way to grow and spread joy and brightness ;) 

I cannot believe it is already May, but the ingredients of Rootleaf stew are sitting in my fridge (in preparation for Star Wars Day on May 4) the Easter chocolate is dwindling, and a recent 80-degree-day reminded us that summer is quickly approaching. These past weeks of Easter have been packed with goodness, joy, and fun, but I am also hoping to grasp a slowness this month, now that much of the joyous holiday frenzy has subsided. 

It's so funny to me, that in Bible Belt Oklahoma-where Catholics are a religious minority-there
are tons of St. Francis of Assisi birdbaths at the nursery! I know the St. Francis birdbath is a thing,
but it still strikes me as really funny :P 

"Don't plant before Good Friday," my neighbors say. So, dutifully, I waited. The past couple years, we've planted green bean seeds on Holy Saturday, which feels rather liturgically appropriate as we ponder Christ, buried in the tomb. In the days after, we visited a plant nursery (for the first time ever!) and picked up a couple small plants. My kids loved the nursery (the preschooler really wanted to buy ALL the plants), and so far, our plants have survived, other than a couple tomato plants that couldn't handle a recent dramatic dip in temperatures. My heart goes out to all the local farmers who had JUST planted hundreds of seedlings, only to scramble to protect them before that near frost in April. 

A big highlight of our Easter season was attending a Sheep to Shawl event (in which the wool from the first shearing of the festival would be a finished shawl at the end of the three-day event). We had never been before, and it was small, but a ton of fun! The kids and I left our house bright and early on a weekday morning and drove nearly 2 1/2 hours to a small farm here in Oklahoma where over 300 sheep live. A farmer gave a small presentation about the process of taking raw wool and creating a finished shawl--sprinkling in reflections on where fiber arts pop up in the Bible-and then we got to watch a shearing. 

The sheep who were awaiting their fate. 

I had never seen a shearing before, and it was really neat. I learned that sheep are the only animal that you "tip" to sheer, and it was fascinating to watch a sheep (who had never been sheared before) melt into the shepherd's arms while he clipped the wool away. 

This game box caught my eye-it's a Monopoly variation
that I never would have thought of! 

After that, we wandered the small museum, I talked with fiber artists who were hard at work, and my kids played with toys. We only stayed at the farm for a few hours (since we had an activity at church that afternoon), but my kids probably could have stayed there for hours, playing with the small plastic barns. They sat next to each other, each with his own barn, and had the best time. 

I am very much a city person, but whenever I spend time in the country, I love it. Everything was so peaceful, and it was really fun to watch sheep wander nearby while eating our picnic lunch outside. 

I had never seen a peacock fan its tail in person, and I was so excited about this! 
It fanned the tail for a really long time, vibrating it occasionally so that it made
loud rustling noises. It was very, very cool. 

Also, since I love working with fibers, I was TOTALLY in the zone. Watching the artists spin at their wheels was super fun, and especially since I had just finished my first weaving course, it was nice to be able to chat weaving with them and ask them questions. 

The past month has been really full--of friends, fun outings, and the car drives in between--but it's been very nice. Not to mention an unexpected long weekend without two of our three children (!!!!!!), which was incredible. While this month has certainly had some low points, overall, it was a very good start to spring.  I've been finding myself spending quite a bit of time planning and dreaming for the summer and for homeschooling next year, and I'm pretty excited to see what the coming months hold. 

I'm finding it very easy to get swung into the busyness of going places (I love living in the OKC metro, but when a visit to a friend's house or a doctor appointment is always a 20-30 minute drive, it's not long before we find ourselves in the car a bunch), so I'm resolving to stop and slow down a little bit. To, like my oldest son reminded me, sit and listen to the neighborhood. To make those flower crowns and chase the neighborhood rabbits through the clover. To watch tiny green bean plants shoot up into the air.

I hope you all have a blessed and peaceful start to the beautiful month of May! 


  1. I had a 3 week schedule of meals (like around 21 different things we liked as a family) that we rotated through the winter. It was SO great because it simplified meal planning and I knew everyone liked those meals! I did get tired of it this spring, though, so I'm trying to decide if I should come up with a spring/summer one that includes more quick meals or crockpot ones that would be good for playing outside or going on adventures in the afternoons. My ultimate goal would be one that is so well thought out that it utilizes the same ingredients (like potatoes for French fries one night and cut up in a roast the next night, etc). But that takes more brain power than I currently have, haha!

    1. I love your idea of doing a three-week rotation! I've tried 2-week rotations before, but it seems like as soon as we finish off the leftovers from one dish, it's almost time to make it again, so it gets a little old. I bet spacing things out over 3 weeks works much better! I think I'll give that a try as I meal plan for the coming months. As I realize my different priorities (and just how overloaded I-like many other moms out there-am), I'm trying hard to simplify cooking and meal prep, so we can still have healthy homemade meals but so that I'm not stuck in the kitchen for large chunks of time most days. I've just begun learning how to grill, so I'm hoping that will help me out! And I too would love to have a meal plan that utilizes the same ingredients, but I'm also not quite there yet :P Maybe someday!

  2. What a sweet observation of the sounds of your neighborhood! A good reminder to slow down. It is so easy to get caught up in life, especially when there is always something going on. I love hearing about your adventures and hope you have some wonderfully slow and sweet days this summer . .. and that the plants survive! My indoor fiddle leaf fig tree is nearing two years in my care and I can hardly believe it's lived, haha. I'm so proud of keeping that thing alive somehow.