Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Flowers with my new 90mm Macro

As I mentioned before, I'd been giving macro photography a try on instagram in May.  Well, amazingly I won the contest that was being hosted and got a brand new Macro lens for my Nikon camera!  So now I've been learning how to use it and its been fun!


And I know its not for everyone, but I love how black and white show off the amazing details that God puts into each flower...

Friday, July 7, 2017

Camping with Friends (photo overload)

Before all our 4th of July fun, we spent the weekend camping with a group of friends that has been camping together for quite a few years.  Its great to camp with other families as the kids really enjoy having friends to hang out with.  There were campfires with s'mores, bike rides, lots of games, and an afternoon at the beach.  Plus the park had some great events at the nature center.  Great memories!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day 2017

Happy Father's day to all the dads, grandpas, uncles, and those who fill the role of dad for so many kiddos. 

Special Happy Father's Day to our Daddy who can always get the kids to laugh and smile, always has room on his lap and does so much for our family everyday. 

As our middle kiddo wrote in the card he made all by himself, 
"He is the best dad in the whole universe because he is MY dad."

Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Gymnast

Peaches decided to try a week long gymnastics camp put on by community ed this summer as her activity instead of tball.  She loved it and learned so much.  I was impressed by how it was run and the great high school helpers that were plentiful enough for the little kids to try lots of new things.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Last Day of School 2017

Our kiddos are officially on summer break!  Yesterday was their last day so of course we took their last day of school pics with their first day of school pics and celebrated with ice cream at the park :)  

Of the three, our preschooler had the hardest time with her end of school year... she loved her preschool teachers and class so much that she did not want it to be done. She has grown so much and is already looking forward to kindergarten to start.

Our kindergartner worked so hard this year and we are so proud of him.  He is a bit nervous for first grade next year but already found out once of his friends will be in his class so that helps a bit.  He is very ready for summer fun!

Our second grader had a great year of school, really enjoyed his teacher and made some new friends.  He's excited about his teacher for next year and two of his buddies are in his class.  He is very ready for more lego time and more free time this summer.

As is tradition with our picture sessions, there were absolutely some crazy shots to share as well.  Their silly mood was contagious and filled our morning with smiles.

We are so thankful that they each had wonderful teachers who poured into them all year.  Each kid grew and learned and rose to new challenges.  We are so proud. I can barely believe we'll have a third grader, first grader and kindergartner in the fall.

Let the summer fun begin on the gravelly road!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Counting the Days

We have been a whirlwind of end of school year activities and our kiddos are counting the days until the end of the school year.  They are down to the fingers on one hand, so exciting for the older two, and so very sad for our youngest.

In the last month or so, we've had...

a kindergarten song fest,

2nd grade track and field day (orange shirt),

first camping trip and afternoon of fishing,

preschool end of year program,

Spring dance show, 

and a trip to the zoo.

Of course there were also a few field trips, outside science days, an all school bingo day for the boys and their year-end carnival is this week too.  Plus of course Mother's Day, and then a MOPS Leadership training, and a college department alumni picnic I added to the schedule.

Whew!  So many memories and special moments fitting into our end of school year crazy here at our Life on the Gravelly Road.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Playing with Macro

Last fall my hubby got me clip-on lenses for my iphone.  I'd used the wide lens a handful of times, but over the holidays they got packed in a bag and I didn't get them out again for a while.

Fast forward to last month, I finally joined instagram and started following a number of photographers.  I stumbled on a month long photography challenge (with a giveaway at the end) to post macro photos.  Since I don't have a macro lens for my "big girl" camera, I found my clip-on lenses back to use the macro for my phone.

I've been having a lot of fun.  Macro really makes you slow down, to see the small and beautiful, to pay attention to the intricate details and textures.

Here's some of my favorites from the first part of the month.

Noticing beauty here on our gravelly road.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Through the laughter, tears, crazy, silly, whining, smiles, eye-rolls, and wondering "what are they thinking" moments, I'm so blessed to be their mom.

Just some ordinary (or maybe not so ordinary) mothering moments that fill 
our Life on the Gravelly Road.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Stuck on an Island

Several nights in a row, Dad has kept our after dinner conversations interesting by asking the kids questions starting with "If you were stuck on an island...".  Their first responses so varied and sometimes funny so I quickly scribbled some down to save.

If you were stuck on an island and can only bring one thing to ride on what would it be?
Ike: Limo
Zman: Dirt bike
Peaches: Ferris Wheel

... can only bring one type of food to eat what would you pick? (there was much discussion if you would need to be able to store/cook it or if it would just arrive ready to eat daily)
Ike: shrimp
Zman: steak
Peaches: watermelon

... can only have one type of vegetable to eat?
Ike: broccoli
Zman: cucumbers
Peaches: carrots

... an animal to keep you company or help you?
Ike: cows
Zman: gorilla
Peaches: elephant

.... and there is a telephone booth to make one phone call, who would it be to?
Ike: President of the United States
Zman: mommy and daddy
Peaches: Aunt B and Uncle N

... and you could bring either a cook or carpenter along (or instantly know how to do all the things a cook or carpenter could do)?
Ike and Zman: carpenter
Peaches: cook

... and you could bring only one type of hunting equipment?
Ike: hunting gun
Zman and Peaches: Bow & Arrows

Just some interesting after dinner conversations in our Life on the Gravelly Road.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Five Minute Friday: SHOULD

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.  I'm trying to get back into the swing of writing and decided not to let this prompt get past me, even if I was late.  So I scribbled out my thoughts on the back of a school worksheet I found in my car while I waited for my youngest to be done with preschool so I could transcribe them here when I got home :)

This week's prompt: SHOULD


If I tell the truth, often the SHOULDs stampede my thoughts and take over my mind, often in contradictory chaos.

I should have more quiet time, exercise more often, meal plan so we can eat healthier, take more time to learn or read or take care of myself....

I should parent more peacefully, give more consistent consequences, give more grace, be more involved in their schools, hug more, teach them more chores, play more....

Our summer should be more structured, full of memories, have lots of free time for kids to explore, plan more day-trips, enjoy family time at home...

I should decide what to do next year, find a bigger purpose, use my education, keep staying home, go back to school, find a way to serve my community and church...

I should reach out more often to my friends, write that note, make teacher gifts, bless the neighbor...

These thoughts are certainly not all bad.  But where are all these shoulds coming from?  Experience? Friends? Books? Guilt? Social Media?  The Spirit?  Do I slow down enough to distinguish?

But no matter the voices shouting or whispering... With Christ I am Enough.

I will
Be who I am
Do what I can
Share what I am given and
Love those in front of me.

Deep breath and quiet the Shoulds.


Monday, April 24, 2017

New feathery residents

Another spring routine: adding chickens to our backyard flock.

After sending 5 roosters to the freezer last year, we knew we wanted to add a few more birds this spring... hopefully hens this time.  Despite how tasty those birds were this winter in chicken noodle soup, ending up with 5 roosters out of the 12 birds we bought last year was a bit disappointing.  Since W have 6 grown hens now so we bought 6 baby chickens.  One died right away though so now we are down to 5.  Eleven it about right for a backyard flock.

Many sunny afternoons, we've had the baby chicks out in the yard.

Just another spring glimpse of our Life on the Gravelly Road.
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