Sunday, September 22, 2013

Rainy day at the White Fence Farm

The White Fence Farm
Lakewood, CO
View of restaurant
The White Fence Farm is a classic around here.
I remember my grandmother taking us there a few times during my youth. Though I haven't been in years, we all went with Justin's family last week since Aunt Katie was in town.

It was a rainy evening, which was different. In the past, I've always been here on a weekend morning--though this vast "farm" is an absolute ZOO on weekend mornings. This rainy evening visit was a nice change.
Entrance
The White Fence Farm is so Americana. It looks like something straight out of a Charles Wysocki painting.
Restaurant halls
Don't let the fancy look fool you at first! This place is family restaurant all the way. It's probably the nicest family-friendly place you'll ever find.
Carriage House Hen Show at White Fence Farm
There are things to entertain kids in every direction you look. Like this animatronic chicken comedy show.
Hens on show
For dinner, you enter the dining rooms on one side of the building, we'll talk about the other side of the building later.
They sat us in our own private room, "The Library".
Eating in the Library
This was Paxton's first time meeting his Auntie Katie.
She is Dr. Katie, college professor, in Tuscon these days.
At first, he wasn't so sure...
Hmm...not sure
He quickly warmed up!
Smiley!
This place isn't the cheapest to eat. Their chicken is legendary, I've seen them on the Food Network for their classic fried chicken. Westword named them "Best Fried Chicken in Denver"
We went for the 40th anniversary special, 4 chicken dinners for $40.

They start you off with bottomless sides of coleslaw {delicious, and I hate coleslaw}, beet salad, baked potatoes, and CORN FRITTERS! SO bad. SO good.
Corn fritters
Their fried chicken is  very well made. I can't remember the last time I'd had fried chicken, it's not something we eat often around here. But it was good.
Fried chicken
Aunt Katie spoiled the kids with belated birthday gifts and "just because" gifts.
Opening gifts
As you'll soon see, eating dinner is just ONE part of the White Fence Farm.
You cannot go there and just eat. It doesn't work that way.
The Library dinner family
Well behaved children get a wooden nickel from the waitress after eating, and they get to pick a gift from the treasure chest. {I now remember doing this as a kid!}
Treasure chest
You know how most American restaurants cover their walls and shelves with antiques and bits of Americana? The White Fence Farm does that, but on a whole other level.
Humpty Dumpty
Much fancier decor.
Doll cabinet
But still sort of campy.
Dolls
You didn't think that was it, did you?
Hallways
I told you this place is vast.

There is a live band and bar/cafe/candy sitting and eating area.
Singers
Upstairs is a kiddie play area.
Kids play area
There is a tube slide from upstairs to the downstairs, open 15 minutes each hour.
Tube slide
Downstairs is "Granny's" bar, where they serve candy, fudge, fountain drinks and cocktails.
Granny's
You can shop for...historical documents? Well, shoot.
{Declaration of Independence, only $2.95?! I'll take it!}
Historical documents
Basically: 
White Fence Farm is just like Cracker Barrel...
except on crack...during a mid-life crisis...with a total "I must prove myself to the world" overachiever
 complex...yep, all that times ten.
Gift shop at WFF
See what I mean?
Row of hens
What, you thought we were done here?
HAHA! Nope. Next, you can head out back...
Sidewalk
Or front, depending on where you parked.
View of porch
Sadly, due to the rain {remember, Colorado flooded last week?}, this little gift cottage was closed. {A reason to go back?} I hear this business also sells at A Paris Street Market, another favorite place of mine!
Giggle Blossom
The antique store too--closed due to the rain!
Oh I'll definitely have to make another visit just for this.
I spotted vintage glassware in the window.
Antiques
Not to worry, we still enjoyed the petting zoo!
Petting Zoo
Yes, this place would not be complete without a petting zoo, now would it?
Violet and goat
You can buy food out of a vending machine and feed it to their cows, goats, and whatnot. Pigs.
Feeding a cow
Must say, I hate goats. I had a traumatic childhood experience once in a petting zoo, in which I was pinned to a wall by a goat who tried to eat my clothes.
True story.

But this little guy...okay, he's pretty cute.
Goat boy
We got the cousins together with Aunt Katie for one last photo.
Blondies unite!
Cou & the Cousins
Paxton.
Paxton in his hat
So that's some of the White Fence Farm. I didn't even show you the pond, the playground, the gazebos, the ducks. Like I said, this place is vast. It's definitely worth a visit from time to time, especially if you're an out of town visitor--this makes a great family stop.

Okay, so maybe I'm not done. A few more shots, pretty please?

I'll make it quick, look!

Chicken on a Smart Car:
Smart car
Lighted gazebo:
Gazebo
"Sadly" for the kids we couldn't play on the playground.
Cute photo op, you know, where you stick your face in and everyone takes photos and says, "Haha, look! She's a horse now! So&so is a sheep!"
It doesn't get more American than that, folks.
Farm play
It's probably the most quaint, classic Americana place in Denver.
The White Fence Farm.
A bridge, over a duck-filled creek, leading to the parking lot. Appreciate the details. Did I tell you this place is family owned & operated?
Rainy bridge
This post would not be complete without a photo of a giant chicken:
White Fence Farm Chicken
PS - Thanks for taking us out, Grandpa & Grandma Sander!

Cheers,
Heather
______________________________________

I'm adding this post to my new
Things to do in Denver 
Denver
Check it out for more fun ideas of what to do in Denver.
I'll keep adding to the directory as we go!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bad Day, Good Day

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Wednesday this week was a particularly bad day. 
I can't even say why exactly. 
Do you ever have days that just feel...off?

So for Thursday, I resolved to make the most of the day.
We kept it simple. But it was a better day than day before,
to be sure. 

Just another day for us.
Just another good day.

The girls and I walked to the park
right after Justin left for work.
{Pax too, of course.}
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We all parked our strollers side-by-side. 

I only had to scold Violet once, for putting her foot on a little boy to prevent him from coming up the ladder on the jungle gym. I ran over to intervene and  apologized to the boy's mother, and she was totally cool about it. Then, when his mom turned her back, the little boy pushed Violet down the slide and made her cry, so I stopped feeling bad about her bad behavior. Eh, what comes around goes around...such is life. 
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They were so filthy when we got home! 

Paxton was still sleeping in his carseat, 
so I threw the dirt-crusted girls into the bath. 
{You should have seen the scum when I went to clean it that night!}
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And haircuts followed. 
Oh stars, did they ever need their hair cut! 
They sure did.
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So many days go by, and I feel guilty about not spending enough time playing with my girls. I'll be honest here, I'm not the type of mom who likes playing with her kids. I always have a long list in my head of things that need to get done, and child's play is not on that list. 

I've been reading some new parenting & discipline material lately, and it's encouraged me to be stricter, more consistent, but to also enjoy my children more. I'll be {sadly} honest here, I have not been really enjoying my children. Some days I've resented their presence, as they've prevented me from doing the things I "needed to get done". Yes, I've taken my greatest blessings for granted at times, it's true. I've realized their needs, however, are supposed to be my priority. Not the dishes, not the blogs, not the things I do. 
They are my number one priority. 
They are the reason I'm not working.
They need me right now. 
They will not always need my attention.

When I think about it that way, it makes it easier to stop whatever I'm doing and pay attention to them, and their needs, rather than resenting being interrupted. 

Keeping them close to me at all times and enjoying them is a new concept. 
It takes effort. I'm human. I'm not perfect. I have to work at this.

So we sat down yesterday, for a tea party picnic in the living room, and I ate an imaginary {fat-free} strawberry cupcake and drank chocolate tea. 
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This is important.
Spending time with my kids. 
While they are so little, and don't hate me 
like they might when they're teenagers. 
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I put them down for naps after lunch.
Violet sleeps a couple hours. 
Eisley sleeps 1/4 of the time, 
but she plays quietly on days she doesn't sleep.

I like to make a cup of coffee during this time
and enjoy being mom to just Paxton, 
if even for just a little while.

He likes to hang out in the swing Grandma & Grandpa Sander 
got for him. 
Though I'm not sure who likes it more, him or me?
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He likes to look out the window and I like to people watch, so we watched the kids at recess across the street. This photo below that I took was of us watching and the kids playing--at the same time.
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After nap time the girls like to play in Eisley's room, 
and that is what they did on Thursday. 

I watched them on the video monitor, jumping on Eisley's bed. 
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These girls. 
Best friends. 
Worst enemies. 
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More Paxton time. 
He is the biggest sweetheart.
I'm sort of in love with this guy.
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Justin surprised us with dinner from Sushi Den when he came home from work.

We rarely eat take out and go out to eat these days {ever since that Dave Ramsey put the hold on our eating out budget}, but just the day before I had read about Sushi Den--apparently it is a very popular joint in Denver?--and whined to Justin that I never get to go out, I don't know what the hip restaurants in Denver are anymore. I was having a brief pity party, I admit it, made worse when Justin said, "Oh I've been there, it's good." I got jealous. Of course he'd been there. Because product reps often take him and his co-workers out to eat at the nicest restaurants in Denver. I sang that Lady Antebellum song to him, "I don't know why you don't take me downtown..."

Sometimes, as a stay at home mom, you feel isolated. 
And jealous of your husband.
Who gets to socialize with adults all day
and go to Sushi Den for lunch.
On somebody else's dime, no less.
Meanwhile you create peanut butter sandwiches for the kids 
and eat a Starkist tuna salad kit for lunch.
{It comes with a mint.}
You eat your lunch with the kids {enjoying them!}
You chat about kitty cats and play dough.
I know, I know...first world problem.
I wasn't really upset, just craving sushi and a night out.

Justin said, "I'll take you to Sushi Den to celebrate after we buy a house."
"Are you saying you will take me on a date some time in the next year, maybe?"
Well shoot!
DSC_1655
But we had Sushi Den on Thursday, albeit not in the restaurant, but still an unexpected treat.
{Here, I had planned to make omelets for dinner. Omelets!}
Yes, I agree with all the reviews online--best sushi in Denver!
Best I've ever had.
{Sushi Den is even rated #5 sushi place in the U.S.??? Or so I read online.}
DSC_1658
The Rock 'n' Roll was the best {smoked salmon & cream cheese}.

Post sushi, we played Just Dance.
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Well, the girls & Justin played. 
I fed the baby.
Either way, we all burned calories.
Then I joined in for a few songs before bed time. 
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Bedtime. 
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This guy likes to do it in his mommy's arms.

So that was our plain & simple & good Thursday.

Hope y'all have a great weekend.
As for us, I think we're coming down with colds. 
Eisley started it.

Cheers,
Heather
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