Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Birthday Collin Jakob!

(First I need to mention, my computer screen isn't working, so I can only see this in sunlight, and there is none right now, so I can barely see!)

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Collin! Happy Birthday to you!

My dear Collin! You are a very special boy to me. Little do you know, but after you were born, I went through a really hard time. You are the happiest little boy I know, and sometimes I joke with Daddy, that God took some of my happiness to overfill you with! God used you in a very special way to bring healing.

You have such a tender heart at such a young age. You melted my heart the other night when you came and asked Mommy (out of the blue) - "what do you want for Christmas Mommy?" You also touch Mommy and Daddy when you daily say to us "I love you berry much," or "I miss you berry much."

With a birthday around Christmas, it can sometimes get overshadowed by all the busy-ness, but I promise you, that we will always make your birthday a special one, because you are a very special boy! You are a precious gift to me, and I love you with all my heart Colli-wog!

Love, Mommy

Friday, November 30, 2007

An Article for Every Parent to Read.

This was really convicting. Any parents want to jump off the soapbox with me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What Happened to my Kids!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

God Knows My Future

Wow. I just need to share how God has recently watched over Owen and I.

Almost one year ago to the day, we had our home inspection for the house we are now living in. One of the issues that came up was that the roof needed repair (it was obvious even to my untrained eye). After going back and forth with the former homeowners (who were going through a divorce), we decided to settle on an amount, rather than have him replace the roof. The amount we settled on was far less than it would cost to replace the roof, but on the side of the house was a pallet of shingles. Owen and I thought that was part of the deal, that we would receive the shingles as well as the money to pay for the labor. When we moved into the house, the former homeowner took the shingles. We were annoyed, but because of the difficulty we had with this man, we had a sense to just let it go (we DID get the money for the labor at closing, by the way).

Throughout the year at different times, I've wondered if we should have pursued it. Our roof remains in need of repair, not in an emergent way, but it needs to be done soon. At times, I doubted we made the right decision to let it go, and thought we were fools. Then yesterday it was confirmed that we made the right decision. Here is what happened.

When I got home from a visit with my friend, there was a business card of a detective from a nearby city. Gulp. My mind immediately thought the worst - was a relative dead over there and they were notifying me? Was my husband involved in something shady (sorry honey, my mind went there!)? Did I do something wrong? I called, and only got the detective's voice mail. I called my husband, who immediately thought the detective had the wrong house, and really wanted our neighbor. You see our neighbor is a principal at a school for troubled teens in that city. Yup, that must be it. I walked over there (he was home because it was Veteran's Day). The detective had talked to him, but it was us in fact he wanted. Gulp again. Thankfully because the detective talked to our neighbor, we were able to get a heads up. This morning I received my return call from the detective, and it is actually the former owner he is looking for. Phew (for us, not for him)!

Remember those shingles we thought we were going to get? Turns out they were stolen. And these shingles weren't the only ones stolen. Thousands, upon thousands of dollars worth of shingles were stolen. The cousin of the former owner was the yardman for a roofing supply company, and would steal shingles and do jobs on the side, charging the full price of a roof repair/replacement. Because he was stealing the materials, he made quite a bit of money off these side jobs. Can you imagine?

Here is where the Lord was looking out for us, His children. The detective told me that had we kept those shingles, or had those shingles been put on our house, there would have been a lien on our house! Yes, we would have had legal recourse to sue the former owner, but that would have cost us money, time and aggravation. That sense we had last winter, to not pursue getting those shingles back, we now feel was clearly from the Lord.

First, I am so thankful that God takes care of details like that for me. When answers aren't coming the way I think is best, I need to sit back, and rest in God's care, knowing that he is orchestrating my life for me. I only know what the past was, and what is in front of my face, but I don't know what my future holds. God does, thankfully! Second, this makes me realize, that that small voice I hear inside could very well be from the Lord, and I need to give attention to it more often.

Thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It was 8 years ago today.....

that I married the love of my life! He has given me a most wonderful life, and I am so eternally grateful. I am honored to be his helper, his lover and the mama of his most beautiful children!

Here's the lyrics to the song sung at our wedding: I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman:

Tomorrow mornin' if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I...I will be here
If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and have no fear
'Cause I...I will be here
I will be here...When you feel like bein' quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winnin' and losin' and tryin'
We'll be together
'Cause I will be here
Tomorrow mornin' if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I...I'll be here
Just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
I...I will be here
I will be here....You can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here
I will be true
To the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me
I...I will be here
And just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
'Cause I...I will be here....
We'll be together
'Cause I will be here

Throughout the years, we've had dark times, we've had joyful times, we've had times when we're quiet, and times we can't say enough. But one thing is certain, God has blessed us greatly over these last 8 years, and I'm so thankful!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I Think I Have a New Identity!

The first part of this post is really to my family and friends: Would you believe it if I said I think I have curly hair? Yup, I believe I do.

So I've come familiar with this book called Curly Girl. I haven't read the book, but have come familiar with its principles on this website, put out by some Christian girls.

I've always had difficult hair. The last woman who cut my hair this summer, finally admitted this to me! I've never had a hairdresser agree with me! I just thought something was majorly wrong with me for NEVER being able to do my hair like they do in the salons! They convinced me that if I used the right shampoo and conditioner and put the right product in, it would do wonders. Well I never was able to re-create what they did and because of that, my hair almost always is up in a ponytail or back in a clip.

Yesterday I shampooed and blow-dryed as usual. I actually had what I would typically call a "good" hair day, but like most days, it just ended up big and poofy. Had it been humid, it would have ended up frizzy too.

So today, I rinsed my hair well, and put a huge glop of conditioner in my palm, and just worked it well through every inch of my hair. I then finger combed it and rinsed well again. I didn't twist my hair up in its usual turban, but just blotted it dry, and then put some gel in it. That was it, I just left it to air dry. Here's a picture of my hair today!

Those are definitely waves, maybe even the starts of curls, right?!? From what I'm reading, I potentially could have CURLY hair! Huh? I feel like I have a new identity! You see as a child, I definitely had straight hair. So, I still consider myself to have straight hair (just like I still consider myself "blonde", but my husband, who is truly a blonde, reminds me that I do not have blonde hair! You see the pictures of my kids - he's right!) Anyway, when I was a teen (when I actually started caring about how my hair looked!), I started washing it more, drying it more, getting perms, and just making a mess of my hair! Although I had beautiful straight hair as a kid, I'm pretty certain my hair changed when I hit puberty now that I think about it! So I've been fighting this for many, MANY years! Not anymore, I'm going to do my best to follow this Curly Girl routine, and see what my hair does!

Oh, and the reason this post is directed to my family and friends is that I don't want you to think I got a perm when you see me next! (Does anyone get perms anymore?)

And on another note, I know I've kind of not finished some of the things I said I would (like a review of the Deceptively Delicious cookbook for one), but I will. Life is calling me away from the blog! Also, when I started this blog, I wrote about more spiritual things, and have also drifted away from that. I guess you can say I'm in a spiritual phase of just sitting back, being quiet and trying to listen what God has for me. I think that is a good place to be sometimes.



P.S. Confession time - I was tired this morning, so I said, "just one cup of coffee won't hurt." Do you know, I could not even finish it? I barely drank half a cup. Can I say it tasted the way I imagine eating an ashtray would taste? Yuck! It SOOO wasn't worth it. I'm enjoying my cup of french vanilla tea (black)! Much better taste! And getting off that much caffeine has been amazing for me overall. I just feel "even". Getting up in the morning has been easier (I must be sleeping better), and I don't get the crash in the afternoon. I never thought I'd do this, but I'm SO glad I did!

Halloween 2007

We had a wonderful day. The weather was perfect! Little Owen had a parade at school. A 40 second parade. Some of the parents that work were quite disappointed that they took time off for "this." How much time can you take from a 2.5 hour kindergarten for festivities? I was fine with it honestly.

In the late afternoon, Grampie came over to let the kids trick or treat out of his and Grammie's stash. After we walked in a little parade. Very cute, and not one scary costume. A local church was given out refreshments and provided a bouncy house. Of course the kids loved that. Madison wanted to go on desperately, but the bigger kids were a little rough. She would have hated it forever had I let her get on it! Then our local fire department came, and Owen and Collin got to get inside a REAL firetruck. Every boys dream!

We came home, scarfed down dinner quickly, and Grammie came trick or treating with us. Collin and Maddie didn't make it too far, and Grammie brought them home, while I stayed with Owen and our neighbors and hit some more houses. It was a fun day. Here's some pictures of our kids.

Owen is age 5.

Collin is almost 3.

Madison is 17 months.

What blessings they are to me!

Now, its time to get ready to decorate for Christmas!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Say Bye Bye to Coffee!!

Well, I did it. I broke myself from the coffee addiction. Yes, there, I said it. I was addicted to coffee. I also was a coffee snob. If I didn't have half and half, I was offended. I hated how I would dream about having my coffee in the morning. Yes, coffee had a hold on me. I didn't go cold turkey. I couldn't bear the headaches while being home raising and training my kids. So my husband (yes he did it with me!) and I switched to a cup of tea in the morning. Thankfully that was enough to keep the headaches at bay.

Will I never have another cup of coffee? No, I'm sure I will, but I needed to get over this hump of ***NEEDING*** it.

Now, to tackle sugar......sigh!

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Deceptively Delicious

Oh, I'm very excited about this book! Jessica Seinfeld wrote this book Deceptively Delicious, and the gist I get from it, is that she gives creative ways to get veggies into your kids. Sometimes I feel like the only mom on this earth whose children will not eat vegetables. Thankfully, my daughter will, otherwise, after having two children in a row who balk at vegetables, I would have been EXTREMELY frustrated!

So, here's my plan. After I buy and read this book (yup, I read cookbooks!), I am going to put it to the test, and report here to you. If my sons will eat some of these recipes, than I can almost guarantee any picky-eater will!

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Look What I Made!

When I was a young girl, my grandmother showed me the basic knitting stitch (don't know if I'm using the correct terminology). Over the years, I've tried here and there to knit something, but never finished. The thing is, I wasn't really even sure how to start, never mind how to complete anything. But I dabbled enough to remember that basic stitch.

Well, a few weeks ago, someone recommended this site - What an awesome site, and it helped me learn how to start the right way, and how to finish!

For some time, I wanted to make a dishcloth, and so I did. I started yesterday afternoon, and finished this afternoon. I made sure to get the 100% cotton yarn, and it works so much better than a sponge or a regular terry washcloth! Now, I just need to make about 9 more! Here's a picture of it:

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Still No Accidents!

Collin is still going potty and hasn't had an accident in over a week! Good boy Collin! I think I can safely feel comfortable bringing him to church tomorrow without a pullup! Yeah!

We bought this folding potty seat because Collin has a strange fear of public toilets. It folds up and fits nicely in our diaper bag (which of course we still need to carry because of Maddie!) Now I just need to put a tub of disinfectant wipes in our car since the potty seat sits right on the toilet. Ewwww.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Collin's a Big Boy!

Okay, its been a week, so I feel comfortable making this announcement (and not ruining it for myself):

Collin goes pee and poop on the potty! Yeah!

Yes! For one week now, he's been wearing underwear, and he loves that he is able to always use the potty! I love seeing his sense of accomplishment!

Want to know how we did it? Well, first of all, a few months ago I tried the method that worked for Owen (set the timer and bring him to the potty every hour or so). That DID NOT work for Collin! When I tried that this summer, it created nothing more than a frustrated mommy and son. Following the advice of my husband's aunt (who had 9 kids), and a neighbor, last Friday morning, we took the diaper off and didn't go back. We put a big t-shirt on to cover his stuff. He wore nothing but the t-shirt as we went about our day at home. He peed and pooped on the grass (better than my floor!), and didn't like that feeling at all. I pointed to the potty and gently and happily said, "Collin, that's where you are supposed to put pee and poop." I then went about cleaning up after him, not making it a big deal. He wasn't punished or anything. He did ask to put a diaper on at one point, and casually I said, "nope. You're a big boy and can go on the potty." (Side note: one time that day I said "babies wear diapers; big boys wear underwear, what do you want to be?" To which he said "I want to be a big baby!" Too cute!) He paced around every time he had to go, but then finally succumbed to going on the potty! Yeah! Saturday after he pooped on the potty we had ice cream for lunch! Hey, whatever it takes right?

Well its Thursday now, and he only wears underwear and he hasn't had any accidents! What a big boy! I still am putting a diaper on him at naps and night time until I'm confident he will stay dry. So far he has, but for that I will give it a few weeks. I don't want any unnecessary messes!

I definitely plan on using this method for Maddie as well. It was so painless!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Blowing Some Hot Air

Can you believe we weren't home to see this? Yup, this hot air balloon landed in our yard last night (That white house to the left of the balloon is our house for those who haven't seen it)! Thankfully our nice neighbor across the street took some pictures and came over today to tell us!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where Were You on 9/11?

I remember it clearly. It was a beautiful fall day - "perfect."

I was working at the time, and a woman I worked with came in a few minutes late and said - "there's been a plane crash into the Twin Towers." We both assumed it was a small plane. Before she turned around to sit at her desk, all of the phone lines rang at the same time, we couldn't answer them fast enough. It was relatives calling us to tell us what was going on. My mom and I tried to call each other over and over again, but the phone lines were all jammed and there was no getting through. Even though she knew I wasn't there, she just needed to hear my voice, and I hers.

No one worked that day, we just hooked up radios and gathered around them to find out what was going on. My husband came and got me for lunch, and we both didn't hurry back. We wanted to be with each other. He never said he was scared, but I think he was, and I definitely was. We ate lunch at a bar, since that was the only place we could find a TV. No one was talking, just sitting quietly, watching TV, and just picking at their food.

I remember how odd it was not hearing airplanes fly over head, a sound I guess I took for granted. At the time I lived in NJ, and was able to see the very tops of the Twin Towers when I used to commute to another job. My husband and I drove to a mountain, and although we're not positive it was from the site of the Twin Towers, we saw a haze in the direction of NYC on an otherwise perfectly clear day.

I will never forget.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kindergarten, Here He Comes!

Well, the day has arrived. My first son just got on the bus a while ago, and is headed to kindergarten. He was ready 40 minutes before we had to wait for the bus (which we need to be at the road 10 minutes early - following me? So, he was ready for the bus 50 minutes before it would come!)

The last year was filled with nervousness and tears (for me - not for him!) and I just had to lay it before the Lord. Amazingly (not really), God has filled me with such peace and joy! I had to stop looking at all I was "losing" and all that he was "gaining"! When I look at school from his eyes, and look at his excitement, it changed the perspective for me. Praise God!

Last week I met his teacher who is a WONDERFUL, KIND, AND LOVING young woman. She is genuinely excited to have our children, and what a blessing that is for me as a first time school mom! She is excited to teach my son how to read, early math, and so forth. The room was so inspiring. I want to go back to school and learn there!

I have a tendency to want to orchestrate and control everything in my children's (and mine, and my husband's, and, and, and...) lives. But even when I feel in "control", I am not one bit. And that is a reality that is hard to accept. This is really the first time that my son will be truly out of my hands. And I can sit here and dwell on the scariness of that, or I can use it as a time to really lean on the Lord, and trust that He loves my children more than I, and that they are safe when I let them go into His hands! That is actually very freeing once you start to really accept that truth.

So the verse I will be working on with my kids to memorize is Hebrews 13:5b - "Never will I (God) leave you; Never will I forsake you." God is with my son (and me, and you), wherever we are. Amen!

Blessings (and I will post pictures of Owen's first day/school bus, etc. this week sometime!)


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom/Grammie!


Oh Mom! What can I say! I'm so thankful for you! Your love for your children and grandchildren is undeniable! Thank you for all you have given to us, spiritually, emotionally, materially. I'm so thankful God has given you good health, and I pray He will continue to grant you MANY more years! You are very special to me, Owen and the kids. I can't say enough how thankful we are to live near you!

I hope you have a VERY special day and we'll see you sometime today!

I love you!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm Still Here

I'm just truly trying to enjoy every last bit of summer. I can't believe August is almost over! Crazy! I hope you too get to enjoy it with everyone who matters most to you.



Thursday, August 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Owen!

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Owen! Happy Birthday To You!

Wow, I never imagined he'd be 5! Yes, today my son Owen, my first born is 5 years old. He was born at 10:50 a.m. on an extremely hot day. He weighed 8 lbs. 4 oz. and was 21 inches long. I still remember how he felt when the doctor first put him in my arms. So warm. He didn't cry all that much, he was very happy in my arms. I remember crying more than he did! I was so happy that every dream I had as a little girl had come true, that being a wife and mommy. I am eternally grateful to God for this little boy.
Owen is my super-hero son. He loves Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. God has given him super-hero abilities, for he loves to help others. He helps me so much at home, and often doesn't complain. This week he explained how he needed a John Deere Gator for "his business." He told us that he was going to put his tool box in his Gator and drive around the neighborhood helping people "fix things that they need fixed." When I asked them how much people would have to pay, he said "they can pay me if they want, or they don't have to." What a generous young man! You know what, Owen is the type of boy, who will absolutely do this. While we didn't get him a Gator for his birthday (did you see that price?) we will be keeping our eyes out for something so he can exercise this special gift of help that God gave him.
Owen, I am so proud of you! You are kind and sensitive, yet strong. I'm so proud of how you help teach things to your brother and sister, and how you love to help Mommy and Daddy around the house. I can hardly believe that you are 5 years old already! The time went by too fast! I'm confident that God is going to do and is doing a wonderful work in and through you. My prayer is that you will always be tuned in to God's voice as you grow up.
Did you know that Mommy and Daddy come in and stare at and admire you while you are sleeping every night. Yup, we do. We do for your brother and sister too. We just look and marvel at what a wonderful creation God made when he made you. Very often, Mommy cries tears of pure joy as I watch you and offer up a prayer for you. You are so special to us, and we are thankful for everything about you! I hope you have a wonderful birthday, my son!
We love you SO much!

Happy Birthday Dad/Grampie!

Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday Dear Dad/Grampie! Happy Birthday To You!

It can be easy to have your birthday overlooked a little when your grandson is born that day, but let us not forget whose birthday was first!

Thanks Dad for all you've done for me. I've never doubted your love for me, and I'm so thankful for how you've been there no matter what, or no matter when. I'm so glad that we live close now! Thank you for graciously sharing your birthday with my first born. That is something that is so special to me! I love you!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I Wanna Win!

I'm trying to win a movie that Katie is giving away on her blog - You can enter the drawing too!

I like to read Katie's blog. She has 11 children, with another on the way, and she has a very simple, yet attainable, way to parent. Hey, if she can do it with 11, can't I do it with my 3?



Tuesday, August 7, 2007

He Lost His First Tooth!

Two days before his 5th birthday, and our oldest son lost his first tooth! It became a little loose a few weeks ago, but had, well kind of got un-loose, for lack of a better word. Today at the pool, he was chewing on a towel, and when I looked over, there he was being very stoic and trying to hold back tears. I walked over and he opened his mouth and there was blood with the gnarly tooth hanging from a tiny root (yuck!).

After Daddy came home from work, I loaded his tooth up with orajel and he allowed Daddy to touch it. Daddy barely touched it and it fell out. Grammie came right over and gave him some money and we further celebrated by getting ice cream with our neighbors.

On our way to bed, our oldest asked how does the tooth fairy know he lost a tooth. As I was stammering over my words, trying not to elude that the tooth fairy is all-knowing (only God is), my wonderful husband stepped in and said "God knows everything, and He is letting the tooth fairy know that you lost a tooth." Good job Daddy! I like it!
Here he is putting his tooth that is in a baggie under his pillow.

And here he is ready for bed. Can you tell someone is excited?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


We can be so critical. Sometimes I wonder why I waste energy criticizing certain things. For instance, the other night, I watched the show 16 Children and Moving In, a look at the life of the Duggar Family. I kept thinking, "oh come on, she can't be that sweet all the time. I bet she blows up at her kids sometimes." Then it hit me. I was being critical of this woman, rather than seeing the blatant lesson I could be learning. We're led to believe that "normal" women talk to their close friends about their frustrations with their kids and husband. Well this may be "normal" in our culture, but "normal" isn't always right (actually, I'm learning more and more that for a Christian "normal" is rarely right).

Proverbs 29:11 says that "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." I am now fully convicted that it is very foolish for one to vent their frustrations. Now come on, the reality of life is that we do have frustrating moments at home, but what help does it do to talk about it with others? Instead of being critical of Michelle Duggar, I decided to take a lesson from her, and that is she appears to be a very godly woman who is quiet and gentle, and who obviously loves her family very much. There was no need for her to air her dirty laundry on TV, nor is there a need for you or I to air our dirty laundry to each other. You do not need to know about my latest struggles with my children, or the things I disagree on with my husband. A wise woman just knows that life has its struggles, for every family, but that it is completely unnecessary to talk about such things even with the closest of friends.

Of course there's no such thing as a perfect family, and when you see a family that seems to never have problems (as I was assuming of the Duggars), it could be that they are choosing to keep their matters private, as they should be. I think if we all started going to our heavenly Father about such things rather than everyone else, we would all be getting farther along in life.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Quote to Remember

"It is certainly less serious [for parents] to deny their children certain comforts or material advantages than to deprive them of the presence of brothers and sisters, who could help them to grow in humanity and to realize the beauty of life at all its ages and in all its variety."


I just read this quote, and it touched me. In this world, people think you are crazy to have more than your 2.2 children (and the number is probably getting even smaller), and this is a reminder that this is the best thing I can do for my kids. I may not be able to (or want to for that matter) give them the latest fashion, or the latest toy, but I can give them each other, and that is priceless.

I hope you don't mind if I go down memory lane a bit. None of these pictures are recent, but I randomly went through my pictures picking out some of my favorite sibling pictures (of my kids).

Oh, and to my mom and dad - thank you so much for giving me my sister and brother! I love you all!
My sister with her son
My brother with our niece

Friday, July 27, 2007

Something to Listen To

Do you struggle with people pleasing? Oh boy I certainly do. I also can struggle with low self esteem. This message by James MacDonald really hit me (thank you honey for having me listen to it!) With regard to people pleasing, Dr. MacDonald led us to Galatians 1:10 which says - Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Also Proverbs 29:25 says - Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

With regard to low self esteem, Dr. MacDonald said whether you have a low self esteem or a high self esteem, its a different side of the same coin. A lie told to us by Satan is that if you have a low self esteem, you need to work on having a higher self-esteem. WRONG! Any self-esteem, is selfish! To get away from having a low self-esteem, one needs to work on their Christ-esteem.

Please listen to this when you get a chance (not long). You will see how the two tie in together.

Edited: Look at the blog "Home Sweet Simple Home" listed to the right. Isn't God amazing - I wrote mine before I checked her blog, and to my knowledge, she doesn't read mine. God is a great orchestrator!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Gardens

Here's some pictures of how my veggie gardens are doing. This is an experiment year for me. I tried to use the principals of square foot gardening (do a Google search and you'll find loads of information). The peas and beans are doing great, as I expect the cucumbers will as well. But this is my first veggie garden at the new house, and honestly, I think I was lucky to have wonderful soil at the old place! I put little effort and yielded crops I couldn't keep up with there. But this year, I'm not pregnant, nor do I have a newborn, and so I've been putting in more time, and just not getting the same results. So, I guess next year I'll have to put some work into the soil.

The main garden is approximately 4 foot X 8 foot. I don't think there's room enough for the corn that is growing, but not shown in this picture is the "grassy" head on the corn that came up last weekend. So, who knows what will come of it? I also have a pumpkin patch in another section of the yard. I'll take pictures of those soon. I'm getting surprises there!

My tomatoes are in pots on the deck. This is a horrible picture showing some pretty sickly leaves! I pruned these off, and the tomatoes are actually doing really great! I have cherry tomatoes for salads and plum tomatoes which I'll make into a sauce.
Here's some cucumber blossoms. I have loads of blossoms but no cucumbers yet. This is my first year growing cucumbers, so I'm not sure what to expect. If I get as many cucumbers as I have blooms, I'll be giving some away because we'll never eat them all!

The green beans are coming faster than we can eat. Yummy! Madison loves to just gnaw on the beans and peas.

The peas are also growing fast too. Good thing as we eat a ton of them while playing in the yard. We still have plenty to bring inside though. The other night I made vegetable fried rice and used green beans and peas from the garden. Yummy!

Otherwise, my flower beds are just tired and need some help. I've recruited my mom (who has beautiful gardens - maybe I can take some pictures of her to show off on my blog!) to help me. At this point I'll probably wait until late summer or fall. You know you can still plant perennials then, right? Usually we're so inspired in the spring after a long winter, but the fall is also a great time to plant. Its also a great time as many garden centers are trying to get rid of their stock at a very low price.
Well today is unbelievably hot! No cooking going on here today. Tonight we'll be swimming and having pizza delivered right to the pool. Who can beat that!?!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back from a Weekend of Camping

What a wonderful weekend we had camping together! I'm amazed at how many people don't like camping, and equally how many people think I am crazy for camping with such little children. It was absolutely fine, and our kids slept so late both mornings, that we joke that we may camp every Friday night just so we all can sleep in on Saturday mornings (all 3 kids slept until about 8 am - that's late for us)!

When we arrived at the campground on Friday night, it literally started pouring the moment we drove into our site. Yikes - my husband got everything set up quickly as I stayed under the trees with the kids, and we only got a little damp. Saturday morning we woke to beautiful sunshine, and we figured if the kids could sleep so great in the rain, than surely they would sleep even better after a busy day in the sunshine! And we were right. After a full day of watching mountain bike races and walking, we headed back to camp and ate spaghetti and garlic bread, and then enjoyed smores with our neighbor-campers, who had 2 young kids. It was a fun time. Here's some pictures of our adventures!

Car all packed, and kids ready to go!

Right outside our tent
My husband fixing our oldest son's flat tire

Our oldest son enjoying breakfast by the campfire

Our middle son preferred eating his donut at the picnic table

Our daughter cruising along the picnic table benches
Here's our daughter enjoying sucking on some clover. She would not keep it out of her mouth. It was "nummy" as she says! Well since it is edible, I kind of let her go to town (within reason!) Good thing she's my third child! I would have freaked out if our oldest did this as a baby!
Our oldest son discovered he's an expert at catching newts. Our middle son liked to watch, but when he touched them he would let out a yell while quickly bringing his hand back! Our oldest son and the "neighbor" kids would catch 20-30 at a time and then we would make them let them go and start over again! Here's our oldest trying to convince our middle son to touch one of the newts.
Here's a close-up of one of our oldest's finds.
And one of Daddy's finds - this is a crayfish
I was thankful I brought our middle son's favorite toy - a toy lawnmower. He is such a busy boy! He works even while on vacation!

Daddy and our middle son enjoying some one on one time. All five of us took a little cruise around the pond in this boat that the campground provided.
I'm so thankful for the rainy day God provided today, just perfect to be at home catching up on the laundry and unpacking from the weekend. The boys are enjoying a movie, while our daughter sleeps, and it is a blessing to be home today.

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow