Sunday, June 30, 2013

Boys and Beans

We recently had a friend drop off a bag full of green snap beans.... a mean a HUGE bag!


It's actually a GREAT deal she was sharing with me. A 13 gallon trash bag full of green beans a local company called "seconds". Some were small and others had marks that had to be trimmed off.


I have to admit that I was a little overwhelmed with the big task of preparing and storing all those beans. Thankfully I had help:)



They really were a big help! And I loved their helpful attitudes and all the skills they were using;)

And the reason it was just boys this morning was because Brian had the girls! They had rushed Lydia to the doctor to check out a wound that Saturday morning. She is fine:) Thankfully they just put on a tight "band-aid" to close up the wound. Never a dull moment at our house;)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Growing, Growing, Growing

Nate tells me daily that he is "soo big now" but he's not the only thing growing around here:)

The garden has exploded!! The plants have grown so tall and they are giving us plenty of squash, cucumbers, zucchini, mostly recently green beans and adventure as we search daily for "the goods".


Our little sunflowers are no longer little;)

And in case you're not sure how tall Lydia is we thought we'd add another perspective;)

To the right (in the picture) of Nate and I are the corn plants also getting tall. Underneath the corn are watermelon and cantaloupe plants but I think the watermelon are trying to take over the garden... they are spreading everywhere;)


And behind us are our crazy tomato plants... my rowdy teens;) They are just all over the place. I have most of the individually staked but they are still growing and leaning every which way. One can look at my tomatoes and see that I am very new to all of this;) And they are mostly green... this week we did find a few surprises;)




And while I do log the most hours in the garden, my kids do most of the harvesting;)
Yes, even Nate;)





Even some left for tomorrow's harvest:)


And don't you know those little veggie hunters brought in a quart Ziplock bag full of green snap beans from the garden this evening. They were a little disappointed we had already eaten dinner. But they decided that the beans could also be eaten for lunch tomorrow;)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tiny Talk and Catching Fireflies


Said by Nate has he zoomed past me on the bike, "Me getting so big, me tan ride dis bike all by me self."

And does he ride...

zooming around under our paved carport

on his hand-me-down bike with training wheels:)

He loves it!

And sources have informed me that his oldest sister has been working with him on riding a bike without training wheels...

I'm not sure any of us are ready for that... just yet!!

During our horrible week and a half I told you I was challenged to "have fun" with the kids. We were stuck at home, tons of laundry, baths, cleaning, most of the time with Brian at work or out-of-town, urgh! I wasn't sure when to "have fun" it seemed the tasks of the day demanded all my time.

Finally, I got it! The kids helped with the kid-jobs so I could  tackle the adult-jobs. When we got most of our list done (since housework never gets totally done) we got to "play". The kids made thankful journals to list things they are thankful for. Nate and I filled water balloons so we could have a water balloon battle:)

And one night after dinner and baths we went back outside to catch fireflies;) I loved hearing the kids voices out in the yard!!



Only one problem with being outside on a summer evening- mosquitoes! 
Although it was kind of cool to see the bats flying around... kind of cool, kind of creepy:)
Chris sporting a bite on his forehead

Don't you know when Daddy returned home from his trip one of the first things they talked about doing was catching fireflies one night!! Simple and a good reminder to this momma to "make time for simple fun"!

It's your turn:)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chicken Plants, Squash Picker and my High-tech Chef

Phew...a Tuesday! Boy, oh Boy have we had an adventure over here the last week. I'm not ready to blog it (maybe never will) but it has flipped my house upside down...

unfortunately I haven't had the best attitude... it's been hard:/

Anyway, I've been shown love over and over again! From family and friends spending time listening to me, trying to encourage me, people dropping off fun things for my kids (and I) to do, and a dedicated husband serving us during his special weekend:)

I have MUCH to be grateful for!! And I'm praying that I let go of the things we've missed and make some fun "at home" memories (thanks to those who are trying to encourage me)!

And now for my tiny talkings;)I have a post almost ready for it, but I saw this week some of what he gleaned from our "study"... LOL!! He started pulling up BIG weeks from the yard and was calling them "Chicken Plants". He made a video talking about planting his plants.


Brian found an adorable little turtle while working outside this weekend.


Nate wanted to show off his finds:) The tiny turtle and a grasshopper (Nate is getting very skilled at catching those, too)!

IMG_8532And my sweet squash picking Chris:)

He started the squash seeds, he planted the seedlings, and now he is getting to pick the squash. I loved that two or three times last week Chris intentionally when into the garden to pick for friends and a neighbor:) Sharing the goods:)

Love his heart:)

And the strangest allergy yet showed up this week. Chris has developed an allergy to the squash leaves:( When he picks shirt-less he comes in from picking covered in a hive rash and all red and itchy:( And then it just disappears until the next time he picks;)


Anna has become quite the kitchen helper (she might even take over the kitchen in the near future)!
This week she wanted to make a special dessert for Brian:) I once had the recipe printed out but we couldn't find it. So she found the recipe on our recipe page and used her Kindle to bake for us;) She's the high-tech cook;)

You're turn:) Just leave your link or your little ones' words in the comments:)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tiny Talkin'

Nate has been talking letters... I soo started working with my older kids earlier:/ Guess it's just what happens when you're the 4th kid:) So we've started reading letter books to start the journey. In a conversation about "L" the same letter that starts Lydia's name. Nate announced "Me not have "L" in me name."

I tried to explain to him that in his full name "Nathaniel" there is an "L".

Nate responded, "Me name not that word. Me name is Nate!" I guess we know which name he prefers:)

While in a conversation during summer devotion time about Samuel hearing God call him at night, I asked the kids, "Does God sleep at night?"

The kids answered "No!" in unison:)

Chris then added: "You mean God is noctural?"

I explained that noctural usually refers to animals that rest during the day and hunt at night but that God doesn't have to sleep and we can talk to Him anytime.

Chris, still trying to think it through, added more "That's because God rested on the 7th day when He was making the world."

Love them making connections and the conversations (and seeing those little wheels turning in their little brains)!

On one of our visits to my mom's house, Nate asked if Pey was resting upstairs in his room. I was a little surprised by his question but I took the opportunity to tell him that Pey wasn't with us anymore but was with Jesus in Heaven where he didn't have to rest in bed.

Nate asked,"Tan he come see us?"

I explained that he got to stay in Heaven with Jesus forever.

Nate stopped and said very matter of factly, "But him not bring his truck!"

And Nate is right. Pey's truck will stay with Grammie for the time being. It does remind me of Pey every time we pull up next to it;) I like the memories:) And was so thankful my kiddos have sweet Pey memories and share them with us!

It's your turn:)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Garden Update

When I posted about our garden last week I used older pictures. I thought we needed an update especially since this is the exciting time in gardening... getting the GOODs:)

From a far...
Our green garden jungle:)

All the rain from the storm last weekend has made all the plants grow exponentially (or at least it looks like it)!

Like the zucchini

It's a little hard to get a peel of how big it is with all the green around it. So I compared a big leaf to my hand:)

And then what is even more exciting is what we found underneath;)

I love the fun leaves of the watermelon vine.

And we noticed that the sunflower is taller than Nate:)


The first picks of the garden were squash!!! The kids and I did some reading about when the best time to pick squash was. A lot of resources suggested the earlier(smaller, but bigger than 5 inches) the better. One reason is so the seeds in the middle don't gett oo big or tough. Another reason was that by picking more often the squash plant would continue to produce:) Yippee!


We brought our first squash to Grammie's for her birthday dinner:) The kids washed and sliced it up:) We cooked it in the microwave with some "butter", salt and pepper and they were delicious!! I loved the kids' faces though as Grammie raved about their produce!!

So far.... so good;) We've also plucked some zucchini already and the tomato plants are FULL of little green tomatoes... we're all looking forward to those!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I am a Backyard Farmer (at heart)

Have you wondered where I've been??? LOL.. probably NOT:)

But I've become a backyard farmer:)

IMG_2249For years I would put in a few veggie plants in a small side garden at the parsonage:) I loved watching the tomatoes, squash and sometimes the cucumber grow. But I dreamed of something bigger...

our own land to plow up and really give "gardening" a chance!

So this year I couldn't wait until it was warm enough to start!! I was very excited and thankful that a another family offered to help us with plowing, preparing the rows and to answer any questions. It's been a blessing to have someone willing to help and not laughing too hard at this Northerner gone Southern trying to garden;)

Can I say how much I LOVE working in the garden;) It's been so cool to watch everything grow;) There is always plenty to do... mostly weeding and watering now that almost evryting is planted (for now). I am also dealing with a pesky garden invader... I'm thinking it's a squirrel:/

The kids love running out each morning to check the size of the squash growing, or the bean plants or find new tomatoes:) They are soo proud of the plants that they planted from seed and now seeing the plants bearing "fruit"... so very cool:) And cute!

fun to watch them grow... this was over a week ago... need to take a pic of them now;)


I realized though this weekend what a different mindset I have now as a backyard farmer. For example, I've always groaned and stayed inside during rainy days... boy, now... I can't wait for it to really rain to feed the garden. A good rain does a much better (and cheaper) job feeding the garden than I can!!

The big thing this weekend was being excited about wasps. Lydia was stung right above the eye on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon last week and had a swollen eye for a few days (my poor little girl)!! So it was really strange for Lydia, Chris and I to be cheering on the wasp to visit all the tomato plants and blossoms;)

My normal husband just shakes his head:) LOL!!

Yep, I'm a backyard farmer:)

And we hope to be picking our first fruits soon:) There will definitely be pictures...
if the squirrel doesn't get into the garden first:/

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Happy 9th!

IMG_2475May is such a fun month...

between the beautiful weather, finishing schoolwork for the year, strawberries in season to pick, all the new flowers and birthdays...

there's a whole lot of celebrating going on;)

We celebrated Anna's birthday over the Memorial Day weekend with a trip to Grammies, a joint cookout party with Hannah Grace and lots of swmimming;)

Every year I am amazed at how grown up my Anna looks. How each day she seems to carry herself more and more like a little lady. And how together she keeps us... she is the typical first born:)

This year Anna completed her 4th year of home schooling. I'll be honest that it was a tough year for us... not the material or concepts (she's a quick learner) but the new amount of work and responsibilities a 4th year student begins to experience. We worked together and did what was necessary to get through without too much emotion.


As I look back through this last year, I am thankful for the start of friendships Anna has started to make through our church. Anna easily blended into her Sunday school, Children's church and GA classes this year and it has been sweet to see her building relationships with a couple other girls in the group;)  Wednesdays and Sundays our kids are always rushing us out of the house to get to their classes on time.... what a blessing to have classes for them with friends and sweet Christ-loving teachers.

IMG_2450Another fun "growing up" part of Anna's year has been her "research" :) This girl can find the answer to anything armed with her Kindle! In the story about Mr Darcy, I shared how much time she took in reading about pet rabbits (actually she wanted a Guinea pig first) online, library books, visiting pet stores and asking people who owned some.

I chuckle about another of her birthday purchases. She wanted some sandals and she knew exactly what style she was looking for. She receieved a gift card from her Grandma and Grandaddy from Belks and she started her research there:) She actually found a pair she really liked and asked if we could go to out local Belks. Since it's a SMALL Belks I reminded her that our Belks may not have that exactly sandal in her size. Her response to me was "I checked our Belks and it said that they have my sandal in my size"! Too funny:)

Here are some more pictures celebrating Anna's birthday this year!!





And now her 9th birthday stats and favorites;)

IMG_2445Anna is 52 inches tall and weighs 68 lbs.

Her favorites:
  • Color : Purple, Green
  • Food : Pork BBQ
  • Treat: Energy Balls & Chocolate Break-up,
  • Subject : Science
  • Animal: Rabbits
  • Do inside: Play with Mr Darcy
  • Do Outside: Ride her scooter under the carport
  • Toys: Kindle
  • Song to Sing: Brown Eyed Girls
  • Restaurant: Sonic (for slushies)
  • Book: Cam Jansen books, Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Movie: Pride & Prejudice
  • TV Show:  The Voice
Goals for her 9th year:
Play the piano and horse riding lessons!! Piano should start this month

When you ask her what she wants to be when she "grows up" she'll respond "take care of old horses when they are done racing and retire"!

And what is the coolest thing about being 9?? She responded, "I can ask Dad for a pocketknife!" Not sure if Dad (or Mom) are excited about fulfilling that request yet!

Another real question is when is she going to be taller than her Momma:) 
Or big enough to raid her Momma's closet:)

Happy 9th Anna!!
We look forward to another fantastic year as we see you grow more and more
 into a godly and sweet young lady!