Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Baby Girl!


It's amazing how fast life moves.

Really, it feels like just a blink sometimes.  

One day not so long ago, we were going through the roller-coaster of emotions of trying to get pregnant.  

At 34 weeks, in the middle of the night, I started bleeding and having contractions with a terrible fever.  

After a terrifying week in the hospital fighting the fever and undergoing test after test on the baby and I,  

I was getting ready to go home exhausted when I went into true labor.  

I had known throughout my pregnancy that this baby had a mind of its own and labor ended up being no different.  

She came out not screaming mad, but looking around her with eyes wide open, 

studying the world and she's been studying it carefully since.

She's got a big, compassionate heart, 

loves animals, 

her little brother,


art, music 

and pretty things, 

is eager to go hunting with her daddy for the first time this year, 

is taller than her momma already. 

She's always been brave about the big things,

sometimes silly about the little things,

and excited to try new things.

She is smart, creative, and has an awesome sense of humor.

Happy #11 Baby Girl!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Farmers Market Friday

Happy Friday!  It has been a really long couple of weeks around here so I am so eager for the long weekend at home.  Of course, the project list is a mile long but I have been distracted with the mission of putting up all the seasonal goodies that are abundant (and free or close to it!) this time of year.  

Tomorrow the kids have requested to hit the local blueberry patch one last time so we can freeze a batch of those.  Our generous neighbor (of whose gardening skills I am horribly jealous) has been sharing sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, and the most beautiful cabbage.  

This past week my grandma brought me sweet corn after putting up 16 quarts herself.  She brought me enough to fill an entire rubbermaid tub...  I groaned because I didn't really have time to go through all the steps to can it but I couldn't bring myself to turn it down.  Thankfully, as the kids and I were shucking, I remember the FoodSaver my mom bought me for Christmas (Mom to the rescue again!).  That thing allowed me to get it all processed in just a couple of hours.  No pictures though - no time for that!
The variety of farm market goods is also starting to expand and prices tend to go down a bit as the produce is more available and more people at the same market are offering it.  We were able to get this great haul for a grand total of $11!  Here's how it works out:

1 quart green beans .50
4 candy onions $1
3 red onions $1
1 sandwich bag snap peas $1
1 sandwich bag orange cherry tomatoes $1
1 orange tomato .50
2 green peppers $1
1 handful Kale $2
1 large quart tomatoes - red & 1 heirloom $2
2 rubberband bracelets $1 (These were being made by a young man about 7 years old and he displayed them very cutely on toilet paper and paper towel rolls.  I had to support a young entrepreneur and I had my 5 year old purchase them himself - both boys were quite proud of themselves.) 

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Baby is Moving On

 Today, this little guy graduates preschool.
With a lot more hair,
a pair of dimples that only come out when he gives his most charming grin,
and an awesome sense of humor.

Friday, August 22, 2014

All Dogs Go to Heaven

RIP Apollo
October 2002 - August 18, 2014

On Monday we laid to rest our friend.  
Our guardian.  
A king.  
A giver of kisses and receiver of hugs and tears.  
A lion who defended his family.  
One of our first babies before our human babies.
A silly goof and cuddle buddy.  
The best babysitter.  
Our tears are not yet dried.  
We still look for him everywhere and listen for his ever-present panting.  
My children have never known life without him.  
His sister mourns him with us and has been sticking very close. 
 Her sweetness and snuggles help.
We know that he is at peace and healed.
Our daughter has said he is helping Peter guard the Golden Gates.
I have no doubt.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Farmers Market Friday

Here in Michigan, this is the best time to start hitting the farmers markets.  
Nearly every community has one and there is the widest array of ripe produce available at this time.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trying to Re-Balance

Part II…click here for Part I

We spent this summer catching up on the fun things and re-balancing life.  
Sitting around the bonfire with good friends, new and old, 
and talking about our country lives and telling stories of our youths.  
A weekend at the cabin getting to know new friends better – 
with a dozen happy, dirty kids sifting through the sand for artifacts from the past, chasing fireflies, riding quads, nature hikes, 
chicken on the outdoor brick grill.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What Blog?

I have certainly been neglectful this summer.  
Life has come at a dizzying pace 
and I have been doing my best to just stay upright.  
And to work in a little fun when we have that moment to breathe.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Please Respect Veterans When Using Fireworks

While you celebrate this
photo credit: sunsurfr via photopin cc

Don't forget about this
photo credit: Truthout.org via photopin cc

Growing up, the pyrotechnics at our family gatherings were something we all looked forward to and there are many funny stories - well, funny because no one got really hurt.  Like the time we were sitting on the bed of the old farm truck watching from afar when the container launching bottle rockets fell over and shot them straight under the truck - never saw all us kids empty out of the truck so fast.  And the time one of those little spinner bee firecrackers took off and zipped right up great-grandma's leg and up her skirt...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Party Recipe Roundup

Are you still looking for goodies to impress your 4th of July crowd?  I've rounded up a few tasty recipes sure to be a hit whether you are feeding your own family, hosting a party or need a fabulous potluck dish.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hockey Memory Jar for Boys

My son loves a project and loves to be a helper - he's 5 so I don't expect that to last more than a couple more years but I am taking advantage while I can.  He was all excited about doing a memory jar and came up with the idea of doing a hockey jar (big surprise right...not...).