KatieOlthoff.com participates in affiliate marketing and other forms of advertising. We only recommend products and services we believe in and think they will be of use to you. As such, posts on this website may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure policy. Thank you for your support of this website and our family.

My Boys on the Farm

One of the reasons we decided to farm was because of our kids.  We wanted to raise them in the country where they could roam and explore.  We wanted them to experience the hard work and dedication that raising livestock requires.  And we wanted them to spend lots of time side-by-side with their daddy.

IMG_20130429_194835(rev 0)

However, they’re still a little young for all of those things.  At 4 1/2 and 2, they can’t roam too far without an adult.  And they’re no match for 40+ pound turkeys.  And it turns out, running a farm like this doesn’t leave Bart a lot of free time (although he has found a bit of time to work on this tractor with the boys…it’s John Deere 110, the first lawn tractor that John Deere made, from the mid 1960s.  It’s currently engine-less, but  has new tires that make it just adorable!)

IMG_4602-1453(rev 0)

IMG_4607So for now, we take field trips out to the barns, find errands they can run with daddy, and squeeze in a tractor ride whenever possible.  We know that someday, they’ll be hard at work on the farm, but for now, they get to enjoy the privilege of being {little} farm boys!IMG_4623IMG_20130430_150821_019

The HomeShed’s Spring Sale

Sorry, dear readers, for my absence.

I’ve been spending all my time working on my occasional barn sale – The HomeShed.


Our spring sale is this weekend and I’ve been painting, repurposing, cleaning, organizing, pricing, and all that jazz…


Here are just a few (cell phone picture) sneak peeks for you…






Be sure to follow along on facebook at The HomeShed to see more pictures and updates! 

And if you’re local, I hope to see you at the sale!  Here are the details:

Located at Red Granite Farm (Not my farm)

2013 130th St

Boone, IA

north of Ames on Hwy E-18 between Hwy 17 & Hwy 69

Friday & Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 10-4

How a Messy Mom Cleans: The Fifteen Minute Method


How a Messy Mom CleansWow – I had such great feedback on the first “Messy Mom” post!  Turns out, my readers are messy, just like me! 

Now, I’ve kept you waiting long enough.  It’s time for the first of my messy-proof methods to jump start your cleaning.


The Fifteen Minute Method

Method: The Fifteen Minute Method

How it works: Spend 15 minutes cleaning in each room.

Purpose: To make large areas of the house functional and presentable in a short period of time.

Doesn’t it seem like we can clean more in the 15 minutes before someone comes over than we do all week? We have a sense of urgency and a sense of purpose that pushes us to get a lot of cleaning done really quickly.

When I need to clean large amounts of house in a short period of time, I try to mimic that situation. I set my kitchen timer for 15 minutes, and get to work. I spend 15 minutes in each room, starting with the kitchen, and I challenge myself. Can I get the dishes done, counters cleared and floor swept in 15 minutes? Amazingly, I usually can!

Then, I reset the timer and move to the dining room. As fast as I can, I clear the table, sweep and vacuum.

Next, 15 minutes in the living room and finally, 15 minutes in the bathroom and entryway.

In 1 hour, I can get the first floor of my house functionally clean.

Before: 15 minutes later:
IMG_4453 IMG_4111

Sticking to 15 minutes will force you to prioritize and clean the most important things.    This is NOT the time to reorganize a cupboard or sort your craft supplies.  Those things also need to be done, but not in this 15 minute time frame.


I used this method a lot when I was pregnant with Isaac and exhausted.  I would do 1 or 2 15 minute sessions and then rest.  I also liked this when I was working full-time.  I could spend one hour on Saturday morning spiffing up, and then enjoy my weekend.  I still use this method a lot when I get overwhelmed with the day-to-day messes that two little boys (and their mom and dad) can create.

Have you tried the 15 Minute Method?   Leave some feedback here or on my facebook page. 



I have a confession.  I haven’t written the 2nd Messy Mom post because I’m scared to let you all down.  I had such great feedback from the first post – seems like you all are messy like me, and you were crying out for help.  What if my help doesn’t help?  What if you’re all like, “I thought she was going to write something REALLY helpful – a magical cure.  And all we got was this mumbo jumbo.”  So I haven’t written any mumbo jumbo.  And I haven’t cleaned my house either.  But I will someday, I promise.


In the meantime, I’m working on some Mother’s Day cards to have for sale at The HomeShed sale at the end of the month.  What do you think of this one?


insanity is hereditary