Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flowers... for me!

When I planted my spring garden this year, I had an idea. I decided that if I was going to go big on my garden, I should plant a little something to just enjoy, also.
I have wanted to do it for several years, but I always seem to run out of steam or time before it comes time to plant me a little patch of sunshine, just to enjoy.
What I thought was going to be 'just for me', ended up being not only a beautiful addition to my garden, but a beneficial one as well! The bees have been busy visiting, which is VERY good for our garden.
This is my little patch. More and more flowers seem to bloom each day. Flowers of all kinds,  from zinnas to cosmos... sunflowers and more!
It is such a treat to visit this little space and I will make the time to do it again next year, simply because it makes me smile!
Bees were busy visiting this gorgeous sunflower!
Another bonus for me, is I love fresh flowers in the house. No more $6 bunches just to have some beauty on my table. These were practically free and boy do they make me sigh with gratification, enjoyment and contentment when I see them as they set on our farmhouse table.
Have a beautiful day, friends!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


At our homeschool, we tend to stick to a traditional schedule. Meaning we have some time off in the summer, but we never really 'stop' having school. I don't like to go on long breaks with the kids, because a brain fog sets in sometimes.... and that's NO fun.
Lately we have had some scorching days, and during those HOT times, I have been trying to find some fun things to do inside.
Today we made slime. Found directly from Pinterest... LOVE IT! If you don't follow me on Pinterest, consider my little linkage up there on the right side.
So one of our school projects was making slime today, and it was FUN!
Take 1 small of Elmer's Glue
1/2 cup water
Food coloring
Mix that together

In a separate bowl,
1 cup water
1 teaspoon borax
Mix and pour into glue mixture.
Mix, mix, mix...
Eventually you will come up with SLIME!
It's really fun and great for the kids to see how the ingredients combine to make something totally different!
They have been in there playing for the past half hour since we made the stuff!
**Edited to add... it was the first thing they went to this morning to play with!**

Have fun!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sunflowers... finally!

Every. single. year. I want to grow sunflowers in the garden. I say I'm going to do it, but then I run out of space and don't end up getting them planted... or I plant them and they don't grow.
This year though... when building our new raised beds, I decided that I was going to make a whole bed of sunflowers. I have been very concerned, not sure if we were going to get any blooms because we have had a HOT and DRY summer so far. Extremely so, with temps of 100*+ days in a row.
Thankfully as I am typing this, we are in the midst of a slow, steady, beautiful rain. Yay!
As you can see in the picture, the bottoms were looking very dry.

The sunflower is such a great companion to the garden. I have spied soooo many more bees buzzing happily around. Which makes me even more excited at the prospect of having a bee yard soon!
The Autumn Glory sunflowers are very beautiful with their strong red, yellow and orange streaks and their black centers.
Yes, sunflowers have been a joy to grow and to see. I can't wait to see the rest of them bloom as this rain continues. I should have a gorgeous bouquet for my table soon!
Have a great day friends!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bruce and Jenny

Yesterday the children and I picked up two new members to our little homestead family. These two are ones who we hope will be good and faithful guardians, watching over our animal friends while we are not in the barnyard.
Bruce and Jenny

They are part Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shephard. Both of which are great watch dogs, so we have high hopes for these two cuties.
They have been at home with their mother, father and sister.... all of which are working dogs on a farm with goats, turkeys, geese, ducks, chickens, etc. They should fit in just fine here.
We are all very happy they are here.
** Updated **
I completely forgot to tell you how the kids decided upon the names for the puppies.
My husband and his brother grew up loving Marvel Superhero's LONG before it was a cool thing. They have passed that love on to my children and *ahem*, me. :)
Abram my youngest and a die-hard HULK fan, just like his Uncle Mar was bound and determined that the boy dog should be properly named HULK! I mean why not? These are going to be BIG dogs. They are going to be protectors. HULK is a pretty good idea. The other three liked it, but were not crazy about calling him Hulk. So, we talked and realized Hulk has a real name too. Bruce.
Bruce also has a cousin, the lesser known She-HULK.
She-Hulk's real name is Jennifer, to which we shortened into Jenny.
So with the collective minds of all of us... Bruce and Jenny were named.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Our Family's First Mission Trip

Since becoming a family, a good many years ago... one thing Shannon and I looked forward to, was the day when we, as a family, would go on a mission trip together.
On the week of July 4th, that happened.
Our church participates in what is called, Constructors for Christ. Each week throughout the summer, groups from different churches come to one decided location and help build a new building. It's hard work, long hours, and usually hot... but like my husband said in his testimony last night, Working in one accord and one mind is just a glimpse of what heaven must be like.
We left Sunday the 1st and returned home and Friday evening the 6th. Thankfully my in-laws willingly took care of the farm while we were away, so we were free to go and worship and work without the worries of what was going on back here.
Little ones had things to do. Eager hands and hearts ready and willing to help. I know my family thoroughly enjoyed our time.

We had 43 from our church, which was the biggest number ever!

 Shannon got to work alongside his brother often and he loved that...
 Eli got to work alongside Shannon and he loved that!

 Even Abe was able to help some. Not allowed on the worksite just yet because he is still a bit young, he helped in the kitchen with many of the women. Running errands and playing with other young ones.
 Cameo did double duty. Working on the roof *GASP* and worksite several days, she also came in the kitchen to work with Moma *sigh* :) Yay!
The Dumplin had a special week too! She was a good helper and was surprised with a Constructor for Christ group birthday party. She turned 8 while we were there.
So one evening we pulled everyone together after hours and had cupcakes and swimming. It was great and she was tickled!

1 Corinthians 3:9-10 NKJV
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

Friday, July 6, 2012


June 1:
Today we spent the day at the zoo with my Mom, Sister and nephews... it was great fun, even if we did get rained on!
June 2:
Carlie Jean got a bite from something this week, thankfully today it is going down after worrying her Moma for a day or two!
June 3:
After working myself to pieces yesterday, I am reaping the effects today. My family is gone to church without me... boo. At least we now have a place to sit.

June 4:
Getting things arranged in our schoolroom... I'm so loving this new room!
June 5:
Another day spent with my Mom, Sister and Nephews... trying to make this a weekly thing. This time we played games and let the kids swim, even though it was COLD!
June 6:
The kids spent the night with Mom... I've been cleaning around the house, watching movies and laughing my rear off at these!

June 7:
The kids and I ran errands today.

June 8:
Shannon was off today (Friday) for the first time in months. It was so great having him home an extra day. We got lots of work done! Floor in the living room and the school is finished and the whole yard is freshly mowed. LOVE IT!
We messed up and thought that Father's Day was on the 10th so, we took Shannon out to eat to one of his favorite places. Jo Mama's!

June 9:
Another great day!

June 10:
Today is not Father's Day
Just in case you were wondering... LOL!

June 11:
Jessica came up today to visit, the kids got to have a signing lesson. Yay! Carlie Jean decided that she was ready to start reading big girl books and sat down with Little House in the Big Woods today. *sigh* My babies are not babies any more.

June 12:
Basil is coming in abundantly. I'll be dehydrating a bunch today.
June 13:
My new canning pantry is up and running... I can't wait to stock it with all of this years harvest!
June 14:
The kids and I made homemade noodles for lasagna... we may never go back to conventional store bought noodles again. FOR REALS! (My kids laugh at me every time I say, For reals. I don't know why I say it, I just do... for reals! :)
June 15:
For the first time, we were able to take Shannon with us to visit with a old farmer friend. After our visit, look what came home with us!
Gobble, gobble!
June 16:
We picked up our new goats today... and brought them home to a fence in great need of repair. Thankfully we had some friends who sooooo willingly jumped right in there, showing us the proper way and working til dark to make sure our new animal family had a safe place to stay.
Thank God for good friends!!!!
June 17:
Happy Father's Day!
Normally, Sunday is NOT a day that I get to make a yummy breakfast. It is a grab a bagel kind of day, but this morning for Father's Day I wanted to make something special. I rose early and made some blackberry syrup with some wholegrain waffles. It was perfectly delicious!
After a wonderful church service, we had a great meal, a nap, a swim and then some card playing. It was exactly what honey wanted for Father's day and it was perfect.... 

June 18:
My kids are funny!

June 19:
Pool day today. See picture above. haah

June 20:
I have worked and worked in our house and outside. Everything is looking great!

June 21:
Ceiling Fans went in today! WOOT!
The piano was dusted and decorated too. Yay!

June 22:
Up and out in the garden early. 
Baked oatmeal for the second time this week, yeah... it's that good!

June 23:
8 days til we leave for our family's first mission trip. 
Totally excited, but still so much to do.

June 24:
Our family is sooo exhausted from life, work and everything in between. We are taking a day of rest and staying home.

June 25: 
VBS starts tonight. Say y-y-y-yes to v-v-v-vbs. 

June 26:
I'm working in crafts at vbs. That way I get to see each of my kids as they come through. Love it!

June 27:
Found this little bird at my Mom's in the fern on her porch. 
So sweet!

June 28:
Family night at vbs. Ice cream sundaes! 
June 29:
Happy Birthday to my Mom. 
Last minute trip to town with the girls.
Suburban messed up. ugh.
June 30:
Tomorrow we leave for our first family mission trip.