Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Treat for You (Giveaway)

Life is full these days - full of summer happenings! We are thankful for our fresh eggs coming in and the produce from our small garden. Since we just moved in this year we decided against having a full on garden for canning. We have more of a garden for snacking and enjoying: tomatoes, squash, fresh flowers, and some snips of the young herbs.

2 blueberry pies were baked yesterday as the result of a 2nd blueberry picking venture. It is exciting to be able to pick a gallon of berries without a baby strapped to my back; maybe next year we will pick enough to put some in the freezer. Next year my girl probably will not have a repeat broken leg, so she will be added to the picking ranks (currently myself and Jacob).

Homeschool ideas are swirling. This is our first year to be "official" for the state, so we have forms to fill. Textbook order is in the works.

With so much going on, I am thankful for small moments to enjoy my handmade items. I love to start a fresh bar of soap in the shower - my favorites usually include at least a bit of lavender. I love to light one of my beeswax candles while having a few quiet knitting moments. My kids have been having fun picking the colors for their new washcloths.

I want to share something with you! Please check out my shop to let me know something you would love to try!

Giveaway winner will be picked, randomly and on Friday, from the comments on this post.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Follow up on a Few Things

1. Yesterday afternoon was spent holding new baby nephew and visiting with my brother and sister-in-law. Baby spent a few extra days at Children's Hospital due to a bit of a fever which caused concern since his mommy and daddy are so recently from Uganda. Praise God that the cultures and tests have been coming back normal and little man only had the elevated temp the one time.

2. Blueberry picking did happen last week for a bit! Jacob was a major picker! We came home with just under a gallon and have been enjoying cobbler and homemade ice cream as well as blueberry muffins for Sunday breakfast. We had the joy of providing "first time" experience to a friend who had never had homemade ice cream (gasp....shocking I know!). All in good fun.

3. Honeybees provided a bit of a challenge to us. The wooden bench on which 2 active hives now resides is starting to come apart. Hives should not really be moved much during the active season. If you have to move hives (like we did when we moved) it's best to move them a few miles. We also did that in the dead of winter when the hive was much lighter, and the bees were not out and about. But our current situation involves heavy hives and active bees! So, I suited up in my bee jacket/veil because I was a bit nervous and we went traipsing out after dark last night with concrete blocks and pieces of wood to provide a temporary fix until winter! The bees sounded angry, and there were some bees clustered around the entrance even after dark (it has been pretty hot). We discovered that they would fly towards us if we had the flashlight on, so we worked in the dark. We seemed to have provided enough support to catch the bench if it falls...whew!

3a. My husband laughed a bit in the discovery that the honeybee would fly towards the flashlight while lighted, but as soon as the light was switched off the bee would dive into the grass confused by the darkness. He may have done that a time or two :)

4. This afternoon, with my parents providing childcare, we are off to collect more firewood. It will be some good exercise!

5. I have been thankful for soap and body butter orders recently! You know, soap makes an excellent hostess gift for your summer travels paired maybe with a handknit washcloth?

6. I'm working on projects for my blog swap partner. Oh, it is so fun to think of someone enjoying the things I send off. Not gonna lie, it is super fun to receive a package in the mail, too! I'll post a picture when that happens :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Five

1. The kids and I visited our newest family member yesterday. Their cousin (my nephew) is the first child for my brother and sister-in-law. While here in the States for a few months to have the baby they will travel back to Uganda in September to continue their work in medical missions. Baby is so sweet and has such an amazing amount of hair. I am so thankful for a smooth and fairly quick delivery and that everyone is doing wonderfully!

2. My girl Abigail now has a cast on her leg, a palate separator in her mouth, and new braces (as of yesterday). Girlfriend has a lot going on this summer :) A lot of this week was taken up with appointments and discovering that a local dentist way overcharges for laughing gas! Folks, it's worth it to ask a few questions and do a bit of research in medical/dental related matters.

3. Today we are hoping to start to attempt (!) a blueberry picking expedition. It may be short-lived.

4. Realities of life: one of my baby chickens flew into the pen with my big chickens and was killed. Sad. I've taken some stop-gap measures, but something more secure will have to be constructed to prevent further loss. My 2 beehives are resting on a wooden bench that seems to be deteriorating. How in the world to fix this with 2 active hives? We've thought maybe to go in the night and try to shore up the bench with some concrete block....makes me nervous!

5. Tomorrow (Saturday) we have absolutely nothing planned. Bliss! Maybe we'll go out for breakfast!

Happy weekend to you! TTFN!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pictures That Make Me Smile

Some fun/good things that have happened recently:

Abigail had a dance recital in June (I'll have to update with a picture of her leg currently in a cast!).

Mama and eldest baby shot :)

Garden work in the spring....notice Jacob's choice of footwear and the two monkeyshines in the back. Those two little girls can be the best buddies ever or really be pushing each other buttons, amIright?

This person (my brother's beautiful wife) is about to have a baby.....practically any minute!! We are on baby watch. Today they are supposed to watch my kids, but any plans being made end with, "unless you are having the baby".

We hired a tree guy to take this sucker out. It was a leaning (right over my chicken coop), creaking mess. My husband cut up the firewood (3 smaller trees as well) and said we had enough wood for a week or two this winter. Sigh. Firewood is a big job!

Well, Wednesday calls, folks! TTFN!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Mashup

Little man Jacob came in today from his garden patch with an armload of zucchini. He had to go back out to pick a couple of cherry tomatoes and a little yellow squash. His garden patch is working for him!

I don't know about you, but I am ready for some tomato sandwiches! We've just had the tiny tomatoes coming in so far. What is up with my basil this year? It is sad and does not seem to like the garden patch :(

My eight year old Abigail is having a big summer. She fractured her leg on the 4th of July, and she is just beginning some orthodontic treatment along with the extraction of two baby teeth. Woo! Five appointments in one week are making this mama tired, and it is just Monday!

Little Miss Lydia has been running a fever for several days. We are thankful she is now taking food and drink, but we are ready to have our sassy girl back! Susanna is having to run around and be extra cute to fill in the gaps.

We are on baby watch; my brother and his wife are ready for their little boy! Due date is July 20, so we are trying to fit in some last minute activities before he shows up. Hoping to squeeze in a restaurant outing tomorrow and some blueberry picking on Wednesday. We'll see!

Funny noises are coming from the chicken pen these days.....seems like one of our baby chickens is a rooster, and he is learning to crow! So far he seems rather docile; we'll have to decide his fate sometime soon!

Beddy bye time, friends! TTFN!