Thursday, May 23, 2019

A trip to the lake

Earlier this week, we were presented with the opportunity to go swim and kayak! I was hesitant because we had some things that probably should have been taken care of first, but sometimes you just gotta go when you can. 
So we did some rearranging, packed us a lunch and our swimsuits and some sunscreen and off we went! 
We had such a fun time! Ace is just as much a water duck as we are! 

The kids jumped off the dock, they swam, kayaked, and even did a little fishing. 
They learned that some kayaks are made for one.. not two. haha

My Dad showed up later on to work, it is his property, and his dog Woody decided to go for a swim with the kids! 

There is this massive Pin Oak that provides WONDERFUL shade and a nice cool spot to retreat from the heat!

It was a great day of fun... and a day of sun and swimming makes for one tired bunch of kiddos! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A 40th birthday trip for Sister

Last month my little sister turned 40! We talked about some fun things to do for her birthday, but none of them worked out. She also went out of town for her anniversary around that time, so we had to postpone her celebration til later. 
She decided that whenever the 30th anniversary showing of "Steel Magnolias" came to Chattanooga, that she wanted us to go see it together for her birthday. 

It ended up being that there was only about 3 showings and the only one we could even attempt to make it to was a Sunday afternoon. Along with the showing of Steel Magnolias, we found out that the Rhododendron Festival was in Mentone on the same day! 
So we got our families settled and off to church and we spent the day gallivanting all over the place adventuring for the day.

As we neared Mentone, we began talking about the "Wildflower Cafe". None of us had ever been, so we thought it might be fun to try out since it was lunch time. 
Oh my goodness... the place was like a place in my dreams! It was SO pretty! Flowers and art and music and FANTASTIC food! 
We were SO glad we decided to go!
All of us immediately fell in LOVE!
Homemade items inside the restaurant from local artists.
My sweet friend, Starla's awesome soaps!
Handmade shrugs and vests and cardigans in SUCH vibrant colors! So pretty!
Every. Single. Thing. on the menu looked awesome. I'm not going to lie and say that some of it was a little pricey for me. We don't go out to eat a lot and so.... I tried my best to be conservative about what I picked to eat. 
I ended up getting the "mashed potato bowl with bacon". 
Seasoned, creamy, mashed potatoes with cheese, chives, tomatoes, sour cream, salt and pepper, and bacon. 
SO good!
After our bellies were full from such great food and our bellies were sore from laughing, at each other and with the entertainer at the Wildflower, we pulled out and went across the street to the festival!
What a great find! Such a great atmosphere and neat handicrafts, even in the people's yards who live there all the time! 
We all three love pottery, so we are always drawn to these booths! Mom caught us being the goofballs we are when we get together. We LOVE to laugh and constantly laugh at each other. 

This booth had bouquets of pinecones that were painted like flowers are they were incredible! 

After we left the festival, we needed a little pick-me-up, so we got some coffee before we headed to the movie!
Steel Magnolias! 
Where's my tissues???? 

And of course you have to have a movie selfie! 

It was an amazing day with some of the people I love the MOST in the whole world. I am so blessed to have a Mom and Sister in my life... I treasure them and our time together. 

Until our next adventure! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ole Blue

Meet Ole Blue... Abram's "new" tractor! I can not begin to tell you how long this boy has been wanting a tractor of his own. He has GREAT plans, some of which he laid out to me last night at the dinner table. And I pray that his plans come to fruition! He's got a sharp mind and he's always thinking about how to do something. 
Before we began on the garden, he used Ole Blue to disc up the area. It doesn't have a PTO powered tiller to make it fine, but Ole Blue was used for the basic till. 
Every morning he goes out even if he doesn't have any work to do with the tractor for the day and fires it up and at least drives it around the circle part of the drive way and back into the spot he leveled off, specifically for Ole Blue.

He's so stinkin excited. He has plans now to use his yard mowing money and build a shelter... but he really wants a barn. Join the club, my son... I've wanted a barn for YEARS! 
Maybe one day.  

Monday, May 20, 2019

Scenes from home...

I have a deep, deep love of home. I want to make it such a place that everyone who enters the doors of our home feels welcome, safe, comfortable, and happy.
It's the place I long to go to when I am away. It's the place I love to be at when I am here. 
I love it that my family loves our home just as much and has a desire to make it a lovely place to be. One morning quite early, I was in the kitchen and I heard the door open and close. I didn't realize who it was.... Abe had been outside trimming our hedges and raking up the flower beds. Talk about blessing my socks off! 

In the evening Shannon comes home from work and does his best to help with things that are needing finished or sometimes started.

That sky... 
Absolutely breathtaking!

These tulips were some of the prettiest I've ever seen! 
We repainted the old rocker and found a beautiful pillow to set with it. I love the color! It's so bright and happy!

My little helper. He's always worked alongside me at home. Such a blessing!
I love home!

Friday, May 17, 2019

How does your garden grow?

If I were to browse through this blog for our history in the garden, you might see some success... but more often than not, we were big fat gardening failures. But that's ok, because when you fail, you learn. 
Nevertheless, we had desire to improve and to make this garden a success. So I asked for garden beds for mother's day. Everyone pitched in and our own resident "Bob Villa" the man with all kinds of skills... seriously, he can make ANYTHING! I'm SO grateful!  Pawpaw Alan helped teach my boys to make the beds! They are absolutely perfect and the vision that I had in my head came to life before my eyes! Eli feels very capable that he could replicate the beds when it comes time that we can afford to make some more. That thrills me! I want my kids to have a wealth of knowledge! That's part of the goal as Mom... to allow them opportunities to learn and grow and do! Homeschool!

My dad, (who has been operating machines since he was knee-high and still loves it) allowed Abe to use some of his equipment to clear the debris and then he used his tractor with a powerful tiller to help make the soil we will plant directly into, super fine.
Dad has let Abe learn to use equipment since he was little bitty. If Dad ever passed through coming or going from a job, Abe wanted to go out and catch up with him and help unload or load up or whatever! Anything to get to operate the machines. But with that, Dad has taught him very well. Abe cleared out this area that had been overgrown and even rogue trees had come up alongside the garage. He cleared it up! We call Abe and his best friend (and first cousin) Greyson, our "workin men" because that's what they ALWAYS want to do. Work. Clearing, cleaning, operating. They are two peas in a pod! And they love getting to work with Popa Ronnie.
Speaking of, Abe is out on his tractor right now tilling the area for my wildflower patch around the beehives.

In the edges of the front boxes, I have clematis to grow up and over the trellis.
The trellis and clematis came from the bee yard. I had them there last year, but moved them to here when we began this work, and I think they are perfect! 
I plan to smooth the ground between the beds there and lay more pavers. We just laid those we had there to see how many we would need and how they would fit. 

Aren't these gailardia gorgeous? That yellow is so striking! 
The makeshift fire pit in the picture below is what it is... it works perfectly, but it is not beautiful. Hopefully I'll get some big rocks and rebuild that sometime soon! The one I built in years past fell and we pulled it the rest of the way down. Hooray for nights around the fire pit and evenings in the garden! 
I have verbena in the big galvanized bucket and yarrow planted in the ground. Herbs that came back up in the front yard bed that I moved to their new home, here. 
Green beans, watermelon, zinnias, sunflowers, will all be planted in the ground. We are a little late to the game, but I think we still have plenty of time to get a little crop. 
We will move the strawberry bed to one of these boxes when they start putting out runners. 
So much to do! So much to enjoy and look forward to.

Happy Gardening!