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Thursday, August 14, 2014

farm frenzy - a special night of simple play

We were invited to a wonderful event around the corner from my house a few nights ago at Jackie's farm. She called it Country Lovin' Kids Fun, "a simple country kids festival, to celebrate the country in our kids." It was so much fun!

All donations at the event are going toward buying farm animals for families in need so they can feed their families. Love this idea! 

We had to dress for the occasion in farmer clothing - Addisyn's John Deere handmade dress was a yard sale find for $1 from a gracious friend, Melissa, totally perfect for my daughter she said - she's right! She also had to wear her farmer boots, bright green, they worked with the John Deere-ness of the evening. Owen was the plaid farmer, even had to have his brand new John Deere work gloves his dad got him. He was set!

Our good friends Chelsea and Lilah came along for the fun! 

 I randomly found Jackie and her AMAZING blog a few weeks ago. Since then, I've become a sorta farm blog groupie! I love everything she posts. I'm learning tons of awesome recipes and ideas for doing things simpler, more natural and fun. It's so great seeing someone else's perspective of our beautiful state, too. Love that.

You can see her farm here in the feature I wrote about her last month:

The squeal of laughter from my truck-drivin' son was contagious, I couldn't help but smile seeing him zoom around the big green yard, chasing new-found friends and their trucks. He was SO happy, totally in his element finding these new trucks, a big open space to use them, and friends who equally loved John Deere like he does. What a treat!

At one point I looked over and saw my son playing with two boys. They were so happy together, big smiles on all three of them, pushing around trucks, then a wagon. One boy asked my son if he could borrow his John Deere hat since my son already had John Deere gloves, could he use the hat so that everyone knew he also worked for John Deere, like my son, he wanted to be like him and working together. My son said, "Yeah, that's OK, you can use them. We can both work on tractors if you want." The other boy said, "Thanks, because I want to work for John Deere, too, so we can work together." 

And they did... for at least an hour, it was adorable! They were SO into their play, it was real. What I loved most about this was it was curiosity, creativity and teamwork at its best. Nobody was telling them what to do, how to play, or parameters around what they should or should not be doing. They were free to figure it out, which is when they learn best, I find. 

My daughter was psyched to find the swings and that she could get on them herself. She barely left this area. She had a blast!  

My son took a break from truck driving to play with these beautiful Hennies. It was sweet to see him lay there for a while making the hens eat and lay eggs, play together, and sleep. Jackie hand-makes these sweet hens and sells them at her Etsy shop. More on her blog! 

After some serious play, it was time for snacks. Jackie put out a beautiful spread of deliciously homemade treats! We were so spoiled!

This carrot cake was the most amazing treat I've had, so yummy. 

Isn't watermelon the best thing to eat on a summer day?! 

We explored the animals. Owen was so exited at touching a real live chicken, something he's done before but thought was WAY cooler on this night with so many animals around.

Oh, what fun we could find in a big open field!

My daughter stayed near these goats feeding them every last little morsel of grain. She was so content just sitting there, at least 15 minutes, which is a long time when you're 2 years old! The sun came out right as she was sitting there, making a perfect picture of my sweet farm girl. 

We skipped our way through the wide open field in the back of the farm. I wished I could have stayed there for an hour just taking pictures of my kids. It's a perfect photographer's haven! And again, the simplicity of running through a field and it being the coolest thing you'd done all day - that is heaven.

Wide open, soft grass fields are perfect for learning to walk! 

Boy, did we ever explore and experience at this country lovin' kids evening. We spend a lot of time outside, but not enough time just being. I'm sure you can relate. We're here and there, playing on this outdoor toy or that, but need more time just sitting around, with minimal things at our disposal and a great big imagination. That is where memories are made. That is how kids learn best.

We can't wait to make this an annual event!

Thanks, Jackie, for a fantastic summer evening! Our kids are true farmers now, thanks to you.

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