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Posts Tagged ‘ranch living’

Giving Thanks in 2013

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, most Americans begin verbalizing things for which they are thankful. We purposefully count our many blessings. We can be thankful for tangible things like a new member of the family or the intangible like freedom. We can also be thankful in unexpected ways like for an illness that set our feet on a different path. The point is to find an occasion to give thanks in all circumstances.

My husband and I have always tried to teach our children to have thankful hearts. Simply saying, “thank you,” is a great place to start. Wanting to instill a sense of gratefulness in my children I asked each of them this question. “As it pertains to living on this ranch, what are you most thankful for?”

Clayton (age 17) “I love the quiet and solitude.”
Kyla (age 14) “Freedom, liberty, and justice for all.” (She insists she is not being a smart.)
Jake (age 12) “I love getting to watch, pet, and be around baby calves.”
Isaac (age 7) “Riding my bike while Buddy (his puppy dog) follows me all down the road and pasture.” Later he added, “Oh, and the bunny rabbits that I see.”
Andrew (age 5) “Horses- riding, watching them run, petting them, and feeding them.”

Anytime that you ask a child a question, there is a big chance that you will be surprised by their answers. Notice it is the little, everyday things for which they are thankful. My husband and I also shared our answers, but you will probably find them more predictable.

Lane “This is a great place to raise a family.”
Lara “I am most thankful for the opportunity to raise a family here in this environment where they can be free to play and explore as well as learn valuable skills. In many ways it is sharing my childhood with them.”

As usual I am more wordy; however, the sentiment is the same. We love it here. We consider ourselves greatly blessed.

What are the members of your family most thankful for in regards to your home? Regardless of the answers, it is fun to see how your children respond.

Simple Pleasures in Fall

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Leaves from hanging from a Chinese Tallow tree in Autumn.  Painting by Lara DeHaven.

Leaves from hanging from a Chinese Tallow tree in Autumn. Painting by Lara DeHaven.

Spring and Fall are my favorite times of year. This weekend is the official beginning of autumn; however, we have enjoyed fall-like weather this past week. This morning it was 57 degrees!

We have all heard the saying, “Stop and smell the roses.” You don’t want to get so busy in life that you stop living in the present. When the seasons change, it always makes me so thankful for each one. I try to enjoy the simple pleasures in life in each season.

In the autumn, I enjoy the crisp coolness of the morning. My favorite thing to do is sit outside and drink my first cup of coffee. It was cool enough this morning that I could also snuggle up with a blanket. The ground was wet with the morning dew. The plants and trees look refreshed after the 4.2″ of rain we had this past week.

The deer are on the move crossing through the pastures. The squirrels are actively seeking fallen nuts and acorns. Migratory birds are beginning to pass through on their way further south. The coats on the horses and cows are beginning to thicken and grow longer. Everything is transitioning for colder weather.

Humans must transition too. We have firewood to split and pile. We have coats and jackets to dig out of the attic. We have favorite soup and chili recipes to prepare to make.

After the intense heat of the summer, fall means relief. It means falling back into a more structured life with school and activities starting again. Fall is a time for harvest, which includes grass fed beef. Autumnal colors will dot the landscape soon, and I look as forward to that as I do to spring flowers.

All of creation is showing the sweet signs of fall. Regardless of where you live, take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures of this season. It is only here for a short time.

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