Monthly Archives: January 2011

When all else fails hug your child

Well I am back. Still not done though, but I am realizing that things like websites will never be exactly the way you want them to be. In addition to working on our website and blog we have been writing our business plan and filling out all the paperwork to become an official, legal business. Yeah lots of fun.

As you can imagine I have been a little tense lately. While I love writing I am not a huge fan of computer work. When I really don’t like doing something I tend to get tunnel vision–totally focused on completing my task so I can move on to something more fun. I do try to tackle these tasks when the children are busy knowing that I have a tendency to get very short with them. But when the tasks seem almost endless sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do with children running around.

Yes there has been quite a few tense moments in our home. But I wanted to share with you one of the best solutions I know for when your children are getting on your nerves and you feel yourself spiralling downward. Grab your child and give them a big hug. You might not feel like it at first but I guarantee once your child is in your arms your heart will begin to soften and most likely the heart of your child.

This works wonders with Avril. She and I have the most similar personalities. So I understand her, but we still clash the most out of all the children. Once I felt like I couldn’t handle it anymore and I really really wanted to run away. Then I heard that still small voice telling me to hug my child. I didn’t feel like it but I embraced her anyway. I felt her little body crumple against mine and I realized that she had been feeling the rift between us but did not have the skill or knowledge to reconcile us. When I held her in my arms she knew she didn’t have to, that I loved her no matter, what I would take care of her.

And I was reminded of my sacred duty to my children–that nothing, nothing is as important as raising them.

The hug lasted quite awhile. Sometimes in those real battles of childhood a long hug is necessary to heal our wounds. But it does, just let yourself go and reconnect with your child.

To website we go!

We are transitioning from a blog account to an official website this week and weekend. We are using our same carrier and it should not effect the blog content. Until the transition is complete read our blog at Thanks for understanding.

Ode to Effie

Effie has been with us for 10 weeks now. She is such an amazing little girl and really starting to engage with the rest of the family. The last 3 months before she was born were pretty hard on me especially and the rest of the family, but she is so worth it. We are blessed to have her. Happy Birthday Effie!

Where have all the babies gone?

Some women are addicted to romance novels. I on the other hand am addicted to stories of growing up on a farm with a bunch of children running around. Call them what you will if it has a farm, a warm house and a bunch of children I love it.

Yesterday I went to the memorial service for a wonderful “pillar” of our church. She and her husband were just days away from their 70th wedding anniversary. She came from a large German family and grew up on a farm in South Dakota. Yes her family had 11 children. Her husband’s family 9 but they chose to only have 2 children. Their children each had 2 giving this wonderful couple 4 grand children and at the time of her passing 5 great-grandchildren.

About 70 people attended the service, her funeral had been a month earlier in another state. My mother pointed out other members of “pillar” families I didn’t know. I enjoyed the stories of this wonderful lady growing up, there really weren’t enough for me. As a wife she was well educated, helped run her husband’s businesses and loved showing hospitality.

I had left my older children at home with Proeun, bringing only Effie with me. She was one of 2 babies and 3 children at the service. I couldn’t help but imagine, what it this lady had had 9 children and her children 9 children, how many children would be present then? It certainly wouldn’t have been as reverent a service, but at least in my mind it would still have been joyful.

As a side note I am almost done preparing my house for hospitality. I have already invited a wonderful older lady over for “baby time.” Maybe not everyone loves having babies like I do, but they do bring a certain joy to any gathering. So I ask again, where have all the babies gone? Sorry for my ramblings, i was just contemplating a lot last night.

Home Organization continues

I visited a friend of mine this week. She has a home just a little bigger then ours and manages to make it work with 6 children (soon to be 7). I was interested in seeing how she organizes her home. Between this visit and continued reading in Large Family Logistics I am getting all sorts of ideas for our home and things are going so well.

The key is areas and places designated for everything. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” So now as I type in my little corner of the living/dining room this is what my area looks like.

No more piles of papers on the printer or around the desk. So much nicer. Here are a couple tips from this week’s work.

* Shelves are wonderful. They are a great and easy way to utilize wall space. It has done wonders for our computer area, entryway and children’s bedroom.

* Sorting toys by type of play. Example, I gathered all those fun and silly clothes and put them in a bin under the children’s bunk beds. Now it’s a dress up box.

* If an area isn’t working the way it was intended change it. Our playroom is in the basement, but in actuality it had become a dumping ground for toys. Today the task is to box those up and use the mats as kind of big kids playground. Proeun studies martial arts in his “free time” and this weekend lessons will begin for the older children and cousins.

* Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get rid of things. That leather jacket I never wear, those high heels that just don’t work for chasing children, that shirt that forever wrinkles, and those clothes I am waiting to fit into again. This weekend I am taking 2 big garage bags full of clothes to the Alley shop, a local church runs a thrift store out of their alley that provides professional clothes for low income women and more.

More next week.

2011 CSA information and application

Since we are starting to get inquiries about our CSA we felt it was time to put up the information. Once again we are certified organic and offering many varieties of “heirloom” (seeds passed down for generations) veggies in addition to more standard offerings.

This year our drop days will be Monday. We will continue with the Eastside of St. Paul dropsite and adding a farm pick-up at  14220-B Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047. Other dropsites will be available as requested with a minimum of 5 shares participating at each site.

Finally as requested we are offering a peak season share which will run through the heart of the summer with all the warm weather veggies such as tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, eggplant and more.

CSA application

Thank-you so much for choosing to join us! We are looking forward to an exciting year. We are going to offer some new varieties (new to us) of heirloom and slow food USA vegetables plus melons.

We have set June 27th as our first delivery date.

To join fill out the below form





____Full-time Share $495 (16 weeks beginning June 27th)

____Part-time Share $295 (full boxes delivered every other week).

____Peakseason $350 (every week from mid-July to mid-September)

Select a drop site

___East St. Paul (35E and Maryland)

___Farm Pick-up (Marine on St. Croix)

Whenever possible please register by April 1st, 2011. This allows us to plan and grow with a minimum of waste.  Registration is on a first come first serve basis.

Please cut and paste and email to or print off, fill out and enclose payment with registration Make checks payable to Amy Doeun

Amy Doeun
1303 Edgerton St.
St. Paul, MN 55130

Dreaming of Farming

It seems like ages since I have walked outside barefoot. But all of a sudden this week it seems like things are finally coming together for us and we are settling down. I no longer walk into my living room and fringe at the disarray and toys everywhere. We are getting a system for order and a comfortable rhythm. Effie is fitting in perfectily as I knew she would.

Now of course that things are settling what would I dream about but the hustle and bustle of the warm weather farming season. Seed catalogs have been coming and I am getting so hungry. We are in the midst of finalizing our plans for this years CSA. I hope at least some of you will join us.

Household Organization–entryway

This January my focus is on decluttering and beautifying though often I find decluttering itself does much to beautify. After a very busy season of farming, followed by bedrest, a new baby and sickness my house is really needing some revamping. Plus the children are older, have different needs and we added one. My first area of focus was the entryway. I was reading in Large Family Logistics how the entryway is the first impression of the house and thus your life so special attention should be paid to this area.

So we added a coat rack for coats and one for sweaters. A shoe rack and a shelf with boxes for hats and gloves. The racks hold 5 hooks so it can hold the accoutrements of one more child.

So now you can walk in the house without tripping over coats and shoes and the best part is the children know how to hang up their own cotas and sweaters and where to put their shoes.

Next on the list of goals is the computer area and filing system for all our paperwork.

New Year Bug–Remedy Chicken Sour Soup

The new year has brought all sorts of bugs into our house. Luckily not the biting kind but the knock you on your bum so you can rest kind.

Just an example. Proeun’s short hours at home have been on the futon converted to a bed so he can be around where the action is. Actually our futon has been a bed since I began bedrest last September. Quite useful this convertable furniture.

It all be began New Year’s Eve day. We woke with runny noses and a cough and here we are still. Today mama is getting strict with the no sharing glasses and frequent handwashing. And while my loved ones were all sprawled out recuperating I was making this

Chicken sour soup–a family favorite eaten once a week in our house. You make a broth of plenty of water a good chuck of lemongrass (bruised and knotted), about 3 good sized slices of ginger, 3 cloves garlic and 6 lime leaves. Boil for about 15 minutes until fragrant. Add chicken (I am using 2 leg quarters) a tsp salt, 1/4 tsp tumeric and a broth cube. Boil until chicken is tender. Add one TBSP sweetener and adjust salt to taste. Chop liberal amounts of green onion and cilantro to add at the last minute. Large chunks of green tomato are wonderful in it. I am using frozen grape tomatoes left over from last year’s harvest. Next year I will freeze some green. Serve with a wedge of lemon and plate of jasmine rice. I like to get a scoop of rice in a deep spoon and dip it in the broth.

Hope you are holding up well.