Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More Garden


Thought I'd get some more shots of the garden...this time with people :)  There's Trevor with his corn.  Did I already tell you it's ornamental indian corn?  One has purple flowers on its silk, and one has yellow.  It will be fun to see what we get out of it.

And here's Samuel with a Zinnia.  He's my little florist.  He loves to cut them and bring them in the house.  I've got them lining my kitchen window sill, and on the kitchen island.


William's fancy flowers opened up.  They are so pretty!


We've got a honeydew, it looks like.  Came up from the compost pile.  These pictures are less than a week apart...

Then we have these little pumpkins that started white and are now orange...

Here's a pretty cucumber.  I've tried out a new recipe for that lets them pickle on the counter by fermentation.  They are tasty!  I've made 4 pints...but I have enough cucs for maybe 8 more pints.


Here's some rosemary that William cultivated.  Before we lost our big plant this winter, he had cut a sprig and put it in a glass of water to grow roots.  Later he transplanted it to dirt, and now here is it ...getting big and healthy!  Yay William!

He also planted these four o'clocks from seed.

In family life:  We went to the midwife yesterday--our third visit.  We took the kids with us so they could see the place we've been talking about.  The midwife is very family friendly...she has tons of toys right in her exam room (and practically none in the waiting room :) so the kids just sat on the floor and played the whole time.  She was totally unfazed by all the noise.  She says I'm on track, except my iron is low.  I've already been taking a supplement, thank goodness, and will add another.  Baby is growing right on schedule...moving and kicking and hiccuping a lot. I've got 10 more or minus, of course.  I've learned that drinking hot milk before bed helps me get to sleep.  And now that I'm done reading the Hunger Games series, I should dream better, too.  I have to be very careful what I read because with my light sleeping I have weird dreams.  Birthing books aren't doing the trick.  I just pulled Utopia off the shelf to see how that does.  I remember I couldn't track with it last time I tried, so maybe it will be benign enough for me. :)

School's in full swing.  And I'm still working on my little project.  Here's another page of it.  I've got 6 done, and probably have 6 more to go for this first set.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


This week was our summer break! I worked on grading papers and reporting our grades and attendance. Getting one school year cleaned up and put away took a lot of time, but feels great! And now we'll be ready for "next year" starting tomorrow! Samuel will be in 4th grade, William in 6th, and Trevor in 7th!!! I can't believe it!!!!! We love taking our one-day-a-week off, so that means going through the summer. Summer in Lower Alamaba is the pits unless you are in the water, so we might as well save our free weeks for the milder months. Plus, we'll earn some time off for when the baby comes!

Last week I also spent a lot of time on my newest hobby: Timeline Figures. I'm working on getting all the little drawings I have made for our history program ready to share. Here's one page...

We use the Mystery of History for school, and it's always the highlight of our school day. I hope to have all the figures from the first book ready for others to use {for FREE!} by the end of summer!

In garden news: Tim's been bringing in tons of squash! It's so great! We eat it at least a couple of times a week. I also made a batch of pickles a couple days ago. Zack thinks it's hilarious that we have pickles growing in our yard! Here's some pictures of the garden now--it is so thick and lush. The pictures are pretty bad...but if you could have seen me sweating and swatting mosquitos and gnats, you wouldn't blame me for being in a hurry. :)

My one good picture:

We have tons of tomatoes out there. Is is just me, or do tomatoes take for-ev-er to ripen??? Once they turn the corner, we are going to have our hands full!! As long as we can dodge the bugs, we'll be making salsa! These are all tomato plants that Tim started from seed. 8 tomato plants on the left and our heirloom cucumbers on the right...

Here's our strawberry patch. Unfortunately, the berries are overgrown with a volunteer gourd from our compost pile...a little white pumpkin that is really cute. Also, Trevor planted corn in the back which has small ears on it now. And William planted lima beans *I think* in the front. They are covered with aphids or something, and I just have been too lazy to go attack the bugs.

Here's the squash on the right, with the yellow zucchini in the back. There's eggplants in the middle of the box, and kale on the far left. Also, do you see William mowing in the background?? Woo Hoo!! The kids are still at it. I think this is the 4th week they have mowed?! It's such a blessing to our family. They don't think it is...but I know it's so good for them.

Here's a closer view of the eggplants (in front) and peppers (in back), though there's not much to see right now.

This is our box of heirloom tomatoes, with basil worked in there. I made a big batch of pesto this last week. Got as much in the first week of June as I did all last summer. Hopefully I'll get a couple more big batches in before the end of summer. The tomatoes looks so shaggy and lame...not sure what to attribute that to? Being heirloom??

Here's another box with watermelon, squash from seed, a patch of tomatoes (that we don't know how they got there--maybe Zack dumped some seeds??) and foxglove (pictured at top). It's almost heartbreaking that I missed getting a good picture of the foxglove when it was at it's peak--it was stunning.

Lastly, the kids' box. William's bulbs are just starting to make some cool flowers (upper left by the red wagon). Trevor and Samuel have harvested several small white radishes and turnips (those are still in the fridge--what in the world am I going to do with them???) Someone planted some of my zinnia seeds on the left of the box, and I'm so glad they did. I love zinnias so much, and mine bit the dust while I was out of town. Zack's got something huge growing in the lower right--no idea if it's a weed?? Shoot.

And here's my one picture with live people:

Our next-door neighbors moved :( and gave us their swing set. So a week or so ago Tim and I went over and took it apart and brought it home. He's reconfiguring it to incorporate into our "treebridge". The kids have helped a fair amount. You should have seen Zack go down that slide the first time--he caught air at the end and landed hard on his back in the dirt. He got right back up though, and brushed it off. He held my hand the next time :).

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Kearney Trip 2014

What adventures we have been having! After our Anniversary trip, we celebrated Mother's Day, and then the kids and I packed up and followed Mom and Dad toward Nebraska! Here's some pictures of our activities over the last 3 or so weeks...

Cherry Pie--Home Made by William!!! A delicious Welcome-Home dessert!


Everyone helped make Mother's Day lunch: Steak, potatoes, broccoli salad, and fruit salad, with strawberry shortcake for dessert. Yum. It was fun to have Mom here to actually celebrate with her.



...Even Zackster helped...and no fingers were lost.


On our way to NE, we stopped in Montgomery for a field trip with Trevor's Homeschool Alabama History Class. It was great. We went to the Alabama Archives Museum, with was really cool, and then to the capitol building. Zack was a trooper and participated in some of the tour just like a big boy. Other times he just trailed along at his own pace.


Here's the pretty ceiling they are looking at:


Trevor ate it up. He really loves history. I loved our tour guide's approach to handling the confederacy. She pointed out that if we don't learn from our mistakes, we may repeat them. The room Trevor is in here is the room where the Confederacy was established, and it has been permanently set aside as a sort of memorial.


After our tours, Zack was out like a light before we even got back on the interstate. Perfect. ;)

We made our way to Branson and spent a day there. We went to a skate park that was right on the banks of a stream. Here's a bunch of pictures from that.









We also ate lunch at a cute little cafe, and went mini golfing. The mini golfing was INSANE. The kids were like pinballs. Grandpa did an amazing job keeping his cool.



We finally made it to Kearney, and had such a great time. I did a terrible job at taking pictures, unfortunately. Here's what I have to show for it...

Uncle Miles showing the forklift to the boys. A big hit.




We went out to see my old horse, Shadow, again. That is always a highlight for me. We had to go get him from pasture. I loved seeing Zack out running around in the Nebraska prairie. :)





After a fun time riding the horse, Mom and Dad took us out to eat. It was in a small town, and I got a kick out of the curb appeal. The kids were asking, "What restaurant?"


They loved it inside, though! All 4 walls were lined with taxidermy.

And then, here we are on our way home. Just me and my 4.5 kids. It was a great trip, and we had fun riding together. Zack was a trooper--took good naps and spent lots of time just sitting and looking out the window. We hardly used any of the toys I brought along for him. The big boys were fantastic, too. Trevor especially had a lot of work to do, passing things back and forth, and helping Zack out.


Here's one parting shot--one that mom took--just to give you a good glimpse of our little one to come in just 3 more months!

2014-05-22 12.19.56

PS: I am appalled at my lack of pictures. Not a single one in here with Kim or my grandparents. Just sick. We had such a good time with them, and THEY got good pictures...I just can't find a great way to get them all on my blog!