Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God's Bounty

My kids are so excited because they have found an abundance of blackberries in the backyard.  They found the first few that turned ripe last week and there are thousands more still to come.  I would worry that the birds would get to them before the kids but knowing my kids the birds don't stand a chance.  My kids love eating the berries straight from the bush but they can't wait until they have enough for me to make my grandmother's recipe for blackberry jelly.

I love the fact that these are free and growing so conveniently in our backyard where you can get to them easily.  I consider them a gift from God :) 

How about you?  Do you have any berries that grow wild around your place?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Garden's Finished

I'm so excited to announce that we have finished planting our garden.  I spent Memorial Day getting tomato and pepper plants in the ground and other than maybe getting a few more seeds in the ground I'm done :)  I had help, of course, although I don't have pictures of everyone who helped they were there.

Here are a few of the pictures I did take between working.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Planting Seeds

Today we planted 2 1/2 garden beds.  The kids were anxious to jump right in and get their hands dirty.  It was fun and I'm so glad to finally have seeds in the ground.  We have two more beds to clear the grass from and then I'm hoping to get tomatoes and peppers in those beds.  Here are the pics from today's planting.

 Micah and Jonathan

 Joshua, Matthew and me

 Josiah and Kyle

 Everybody getting their hands dirty

 Josiah working on the fourth bed.

 Our three planted beds.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Dried Beans

One of the things I like to do, even though I don't do it all the time, is to use dried beans.  I know that canned beans are not expensive but you can still save a lot of money by using dried beans. 

If you haven't tried dried beans before let me explain how easy it is.  At night, empty the bag of beans into a strainer sifting the beans through your hands as you do so checking for clumps of dirt and small rocks (this is normal).  Rinse the beans, then place in a large bowl and cover with water at least 2 inches above beans.  Place on the counter and let them soak in the water overnight.  In the morning, drain the soaking water and rinse beans again, then place in pot and cover with water.  Add salt and seasonings, if desired, and then boil for one and a half to two hours (I like to cook mine in the crock pot) .  Let cool, then place in ziplock freezer bags in measurements of two cups, then freeze.  They will be ready for any recipe in which you need beans.

It's really not that time consuming and you really can save a lot of money.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Friday we headed to Melton Hill Dam for swimming, our first swim of the season. We packed up a picnic lunch and swim gear and the kids were SO excited.  I personally love Melton Hill because it's free and not too far from our house. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time there this summer.

Do you have a favorite swim spot?  If so, where?  Is it a pool, lake, river or ocean?

Here are a few pictures from our swim day.

 Kyle, lovin' the chips.

 Matthew and Joshua

 Jonathan and Micah




 Finished eating, now for the sunscreen.

 Josiah taking his turn watching Joshua.







Friday, May 18, 2012

Patience, Our Dog

Yesterday we had to take our dog, Patience, to the vet to have surgery to remove a mass on her stomach.  They believe it is cancer and we are just waiting to hear back from lab results and to find out more of her condition.  In the meantime, she's home, taking it easy.  Poor thing has to wear a cone on her head to keep her from licking her stitches and she has to wear a t-shirt to catch fluid that comes from a drainage tube at her surgery site.  We take her back in a couple of days to have the tube removed and then in about 10 or so days to have her stitches removed.  

We've had Patience 10 years this fall and she is like family to us.  Even though a black lab's life span is normally 10-12 years we want to take good care of her until her time comes to leave us.  Surgery is expensive but she deserves it.  We are hoping to get a good report from the vet but we are mentally preparing ourselves for whatever news we get.  

Pray for us, especially the kids.  Five of our boys have never known life without Patience. Whether it is soon or a couple of years before she leaves us it will be difficult.  Everyone's spirits are up and we are not sitting around depressed about what's to come (we take things as they come and try not to worry about things that aren't happening). I just wanted to fill you in on what's going on in our family.

Do you have a pet that's a part of your family?

Patience with her cone and t-shirt.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

For Real Thursdays - Socks!!!

I'm not really sure how this happens since it always seems, in my house, that we never have enough socks when we need them.  Yet, here's evidence that we have plenty of socks.  A year ago I posted about how to keep socks together because we had a basket full of mismatched socks.  Now we have two!!  How did that happen?

Well, at least since I've taken these pictures we've sorted the socks and are now back down to one basket.  I would still love suggestions on how to keep this from happening though. Do you find this as a common occurrence in your house as well?  Any clever inventors out there who could solve this problem?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Mother's Day Goodies

 Breakfast in bed.

(they remind me of my Grandma)

Hummingbird feeder

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

A few weeks ago I sent out a post about homemade liquid hand soap (here's the link in case you missed it Homemade Liquid Hand Soap ).

Well, today I'm making my second batch and I was wondering if any of you have tried it and what you think.  Let me know :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

VBS Sign-Ups

It's May, and at our church that means getting ready for VBS.  Part of getting ready means sign-ups, and we have gone a couple of times to help sign kids up.  My kids LOVE VBS sign-ups and always look forward to going to help.  Here are a few pictures of our trip out on Thursday.  Forgive me for not having many pictures. I get so busy signing up that I forget to get pictures until near the end and I never seem to get very many. I hope you enjoy what I did get.

 Matthew was a big help with knocking on doors.

 Micah was also a good helper.

 Jonathan helped in the ice cream jeep.

 Josiah helped hand out ice cream to the kids.
Matthew was caught running by :)

 Christiana and Kaitlyn loaded up to 
head out to the next stop.