Friday, August 28, 2015

In Loving Memory of our dog Ratchet

Our much loved and energetic dog Ratchet died unexpectedly yesterday, leaving our family far too soon.  I can't even type without tears so I won't say much but keep all five of us in your thoughts and prayers as he will be VERY missed.

Our little buddy, constant companion, joyful playmate and fierce protector.

Ratchet, you will be forever missed here on our gravelly road.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fun at the Fair 2015

Its one of our signals that summer is nearing its end... we just enjoyed the our county fair this weekend.  Again this year, the everyone entered projects this year but a few less per person than previous years since there are 5 of us now.  We tried a few new categories that went well... the boys created vegetable animals/people and our little girl "dressed a potato" (like a baby).  Our kiddos enjoyed finding their projects in the open class crafts and garden buildings.  Our course coming home with lots of ribbons was fun too -- they played "fair" for several days after, passing ribbons out to their stuffed animals.

Of course the barns were a hit, plus we watched several groups doing cow sorting which the kids enjoyed.  Each also built a Home Depot project, filled out the animal survey to get a free ice cream, and rode the dragon "roller coaster".  One unexpected highlight this year though was the free climbing wall, yes free.  Each kiddo tried it twice.  (Dad did too). Younger brother made it all the way to the top each time to ring the buzzer.  He was so determined and so brave.

Another day of fun at the county fair, then back home to the gravelly road.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Here

This week I'm again participating in Five Minute Fridays at Kate Motaung's blog, (after another long hiatus) encouraging bloggers to write on a prompt unedited for five minutes.  This week's prompt: Here


I think I said it about over a hundred times yesterday.

"Come here"
"Over here please"
"Please stay here"
"Just wait here a minute"
"We are playing here now, we can go over there together later"

and about every other variation.

Managing three young kids at an indoor hotel waterpark is no small task for me.  Life jackets, towels, walk don't run, slides, kids jumping in wanting to be caught, carrying tubes, and making sure they stayed together.  Yet we had fun playing while Dad worked.

All afternoon and evening, I was "here" with the kids, present and away from distractions that can fill our days at home: chores, cooking, dishes, emails, etc.  Instead we laughed, splashed, swam, and wore each other out until all three kids were camped out on a hotel bed watching cartoons before bedtime.

I want them to know I'm here for each of them, ready to help when they fall, cheer when they try hard, the person to come to when they hurt or sad, or just need to talk.  Building that trust and connection is work for any parent, yet feels like a more intentional task when kids join your family not at their start.

I want to be here, in the moment, with them.  I want to witness their days  I want to a part of their everyday moments and hear their silly stories.  And as I am with them in the here and now, the day-to-day, I pray to find ways to connect them to the One who witnessed their past and holds their future.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Good bye chickens... for now

We came home Sunday afternoon after a weekend of camping (close to home) to find that a creature had slaughtered our chickens Saturday night.  It was so incredibly heart breaking! 

Our hens were locked up safe in their coop when we stopped at the house Saturday evening and all 7 were dead the next day.  The culprit (likely a raccoon) broke through two layers of fence to get into the main coop, making a hole the size of a dinner plate.

I'm so thankful I spotted the problem and hubby was home to clean up the mess before the kids saw anything from the backyard.  A weekday morning we might not have been so fortunate.  The kids are having a hard enough time with the fact the chickens are gone without having the mental image of the coop.

I know they are just farm animals, but I miss the rhythm and routine they added to our days... getting eggs in the morning, letting them out after lunch, locking them up at dusk, talking about them with the kids during the day.  I'm sure we'll have chickens again, likely not until spring through unless we find someone local with more chickens than they need.  Of course hubby has already been discussing improvements to our coop set-up in hopes of doing better at keeping predators out -- though we have been pretty lucky before now, only loosing a few hens over the last 2.5 years.

But for now, good-bye to our chicken adventure on the gravelly road :(

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July Garden Update

growing garden in july

So we've cruised from the "just starting to grow" and fully of potential state of the garden straight to the growing jungle of weeds and vegetables.  Part of that is due to my lack of update for over a month.  It also helps that our garden has been growing like crazy!

We decided to try to group all our vine/large plants into two sections of the garden this year with our peas, tomatoes, peppers, and pole beans in the middle plus potatoes at the far end. Well the first vine section is growing so crazy there is barely any place to walk.  The squash is growing everywhere, the zucchini plants are huge and in among it all the cucumbers are thriving in the shade of the big zucchini and squash leaves.  Some sections still have more than plenty of weeds, but its nice when the plants you want to grow start to take over.  I tell the kids I'm going on a vegetable treasure hunt every time I go the garden, mostly because it is so hard to find some if it!

We've been eating lots of cucumbers, some peppers, snap peas and plenty of lettuce.  We also have a ton of zucchini (zucchini muffins, zucchini bread, grilled zucchini, baked zucchini chips, etc).  In fact our oldest decided one of the zucchini might just be the biggest ever and wants to enter it in the fair next week.  So we've let it grow longer than we normally do just to see how big it gets.  The boys have decided that zucchini carrying is a job that takes muscles so they always volunteer to carry it to the house for me.

The beans should be ready soon and hopefully all the tomatoes will begin to ripen.  We have several pumpkins, including the large one above and a bunch of small/med squash.  The potatoes didn't really do much, grew flowered and then were done, with only a few potatoes.  The carrots also didn't come up very well this year.  Thankfully it sounds like the neighbor has quite a few and offered to share.

Thankful to have a growing that garden that helps feed my family and kiddos that enjoy helping out here on the gravelly road.
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