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October 2012

September 2012

Ben's First Day of Kindergarten! (Sept 5, 2012)

Wednesday September 5, 2012 was Ben's first day of Kindergarten, and we were all SO excited! He did SO well last year with preschool, and this year will be much more intellictually challenging for him that we're really hopeful he'll make some fantastic progress, as well as some new friends.

Because of his autistic tendencies, we've had a very difficult summer (he thrives with structure and routine - and this summer has been NOTHING of that, unfortunately). He's absolutely freaky smart, and while last year was fantastic for him socially, I think he might not have been as intellectually challenged as he needed (although the teachers last year were amazing, and went out of their way for him on a daily basis - we were so blessed!). This year sounds so much more advanced for him, it'll surely be fun and exciting!

I was hoping to have his new bed built (more in another post, later - but it's based on these plans from - but I'm a little behind; I altered the plans some, and decided to do all the heavy sanding before I put it together (seeing as how it uses 2x4s, which are usually stamped, and rarely pretty to start with...). So, it'll not be by the first day of school, but soon...

ANYWAY, we of COURSE took some pictures... so here ya go. :) And his FAVORITE thing about today? He didn't really know... :)

He started with his favorite oatmeal (it has pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and brown sugar... who WOULDN'T love that?) out on the back deck. He has eaten almost every meal at this house on that deck - he's going to be seriously bummed when it starts raining...

Eating breakfast out on the deck

Janene and I purchased a couple of little "back to school" gifts for him from Toys That Teach in Country Village. They are Melissa and Doug placemats that you can write on with special crayons - and they're awesome....

Ben and Janene writing on his new placemats from Toys That Teach

Savannah coming over to see what all the fuss is about

Ben writing letters

And of COURSE we had to have the "posing" photos...sort of.

Ben and Chris on first day of kindergarten

Ben and Janene on first day of kindergarten

While we were waiting for the bus, I did a little interview...

Here comes the bus! He had NO trouble getting on and getting going...

Here comes the bus!

Ben getting on the bus

And finally, here he is getting home from his first day! He was SO excited - he had a totally awesome day, made some new friends already, did "some work", and in general loves kindergarten thus far.

Ben getting off the bus

One week until Ladies Night Out September 2012

If you've missed it, here at Country Village Shops - (on Facebook, too) - there is a fantastic new event going on - and it has been SO successful and fun we simply can't believe it! The second Thursday of each month is Ladies Night Out - and coming up on Thursday September 13, 2012 is the next one! The theme for September is "Pamper Yourself" - and it's set to be absolutely stellar. Whether you bring a date or all the gals, you'll have a blast! Here's a partial list of the evening's participants... PLUS, pick up a passport at any LNO shop and collect stamps from at least 6 shops that evening from 6pm - 9pm and be entered to win a gift basket, courtesy of all the participating merchants!

Pirate Day!

It's time to unleash your inner pirate! Our annual Pirate Day here at Country Village is sneaking up fast! Dig out your garb, grab the deckhands (, and come on down for an afternoon of fun!  There's a Village-wide scavenger hunt, tons of giveaways for the kids, LIVE pirates to hang out with, bunches of photo-ops, and so much more!  

Here at The Weed Patch, we've got some Pirate Booty for the kids, and any kids-at-heart that come in to the shop wearing pirate garb will get their own little treat!

Pirate Day at Country Village Shops!

For all the juicy details, check out the official event page at

Falloween is out for 2012!

Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Last week we received two full pallets of TAG Fall and Halloween - this was THE shipment we were waiting for to start the store conversion, so it was super great to have it show up! And BOY - Shauna and Janene worked their fingers to the bone pricing it all and working to convert the store over to the new season. And while all the displays aren't yet totally back together, it's looking GOOD (and we've ALREADY sold out of some things!!!).

Blossom Bucket Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Owls for Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Squirrel Salt and Pepper for Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

TAG Fox and Raccoon for Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Owl Salt and Pepper for Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Blossom Bucket Owl for Fall at The Weed Patch Country Store

Halloween at The Weed Patch Country Store

Halloween at The Weed Patch Country Store

Halloween at The Weed Patch Country Store

If you're a local customer, come on in and say hello, and check out all the new pretties! If you're an online customer, check out the website - we're still working to get product live, but there's a ton on there already!

Blossom Bucket Coffin Break for Halloween at The Weed Patch Country Store

A Crazy, Psycho Year....

We all feel like this, this year...

At the end of December 2011, we looked at each other and breathed a sigh of relief - the year was over, and SURELY 2012 would be "better", right?

As it turns out - yeah, not so much. It has been CRAZY. Crazy busy, crazy emotional, crazy hard, crazy crazy... Owning your own business is an interesting (and often stressful) adventure - it's definitely not for the weak of heart, or for those who don't enjoy what they do. In fact, you had better LOVE what you do, because the hours are brutal, the paycheck fluctuates all over the board, and the stress is just nuts.... Fortunately, we DO love what we do. We LOVE our customers, we love our staff & friends & family, we love our product, we love Country Village (where our shop is located). We truly LOVE our business, and our life - which is why we're still around, fighting to make it all happen despite the insanity of life.

Ben and Savannah playing train together

Janene, on her birthday this year.

This year, we lost three of Janene's family - one of which was a completely unexpected and devastating shock. We have struggled through the economic mess with everyone else, dealing with all the pitfalls that having your income dependant upon retail sales entails. We have made some difficult life choices, a move of household, working for details on how to best help Ben (who finds himself somewhere on the Autism Spectrum), dealt with an almost unmanageable summer...

Ben helping pump gas, for the first time ever

Ben grew his own radishes!

Ben at LOTS of blueberries off our plants

And here's the bottom line - we are SO EXCITED for Fall! Ben has his first day of Kindergarten on September 5. The store is already partly decorated for Fall, and we have several full displays of Fall and Halloween already out for your purchasing pleasure. The baking season is almost upon us, which means treats during the weekends at the store, along with hot cider and tons of festivities. The air is starting to turn crisp (in our minds, anyway - it's still supposed to be like 75 or 80 this week... *sigh*), pumpkins and scarecrows are starting to show their faces, and life is just feeling GOOD. We're getting settled into our new home; Janene's art studio is already built out and filled with her supplies, and she's already doing some fantastic projects - many of which will make it into the store for purchase. Our friends and family are close, both physically and emotionally. We're ready to start wearing layers, drinking cozy drinks, and snuggling up under a blanket to read a good book ( write blogs, edit youtube videos, prep eNews content... at least we'll be cozy!).

Janene found Ben an antique desk to use as his art desk; he LOVES it!

Savannah.  With pants on her head.  Thanks, mom.

Ben spent his first night in a tent, in the backyard with Chris.  It has been a LONG time since Chris slept on the ground...

This year has cemented, more than ever (for me at least) the difference between letting life run you, and running your life. EVERYBODY has things going on in their life that is a bummer - we hear stories all the time at the store, it's just crazy. But you know what? We are what we think - and we are what we feed ourselves. If all we listen to is despair, drama, and craziness - we won't even be able to function we'll be so stuck in the muck. But if we spend time with God, with friends and family, and with our fantastic customers - if we spend time thinking and feeding ourselves hope and dreams, it becomes a whole lot easier to look forward and not back. It becomes easier to let the past go, and to anticipate curling up in front of a computer screen with a warm glass of cider (or something like that...!). I'm not "there" yet - in fact, Janene would say I have an excruciatingly long way to go - but I'm learning. Life can be at its greatest when the situation feels its most dire; and things that seem like defeat can become some of your greatest blessings!

Ben helps papa with some plumbing

Savannah has her first taste of ice cream...yum!

PLEASE come see us for Fall, Halloween, and the Christmas Season - we're here (both online and off), and we truly appreciate all of our customers (even the cranky ones!). Let us share some of the seasonal magic with you - and maybe some pumpkin bread, too. Or cookies. Brownies? Hot cider? At least a smile and a laugh....

Savannah asleep, reminding us of our need to stop and rest. :)