May 31, 2012


round button chicken

Elizabeth's 5th birthday party.
Pretty in pink!

Nathan finally saved enough money for a dirt bike.
Boy, is he happy.
It is amazing to me because I look at this bike on its own and I think, "It's huge! There is no way he can ride that!"  Then, I see him on it and it fits him perfectly.
Which then makes me think, "Oh my goodness, he's so big! I can't believe it!"
It is amazing how your children just sprout before your very eyes.

We celebrated Peter's 1st birthday this weekend as well.
He isn't one quiet yet.
Not for a few more days.
The funny is that he had more interest in his sister's presents than even looking at  his own.
He didn't open one, didn't even try! 
He also didn't want anything to do with his cake.
He just wanted the candle off the top.
And he just threw the piece of cake we gave him.
In all honestly, we didn't get around to cake until 8 or so.
Much too late for a nearly-one-year-old to be agreeable about it all.

When Ken came home from California last week and pulled in the driveway at 1 AM, this is what he found.
I wondered why the dogs were going crazy.
Little did I know that Mae had her very own 'coon treed on the porch.
The unfortunate part is that he got away again.
All in all, he (or his siblings) have managed to get 5 of our 6 new chicks.
This homesteading stuff is tough.
We finally caught the guy (mainly because we finally set a trap) and he looks young to me.
Which makes me think there is probably a litter lurking in the woods still.
At least we haven't lost any more chickens since we caught this one!

May 26, 2012


A bunny is a quiet pet,
A bunny is the best thing yet,
A bunny never makes a sound,
A bunny's nice to have around.
A bunny, though, is never heard,
He simply never says a word.
A bunny's a delightful habit,
No home's complete without a rabbit.

*Which, if you haven't read "Marshmallow" it really is an adorable book.
And, hence, the name for our new bunny!

May 25, 2012

Flashback Friday.

Flashback to an earlier time in our family life, same month.
May 25, 2007
Five years ago today, we brought this pink bundle home from the hospital.
And with her, she brought pink and purple and headbands and dresses.
Our lives are all the better for it!

Want to play along? Leave a comment with a link and I'll come see your flashback!

May 24, 2012


round button chicken


I love the colors!

It seems so simple.
I love living in the country.
I love those red barns in the top photo and how the sun glints off of the metal roofs.
I admire them every time I drive by.
I love that you can see for miles and miles and the rays of sun through the clouds.
I love how being in the country inspires me to appreciate God's beauty and that He made all of this.

These two aren't authorized for anything, let me tell ya!
A boy-made contraption that made their father proud.
The entire purpose is to be able to suspend oneself over a pit of muddy water in order to drain the pit with a five gallon bucket.
And then jump in the muddy pit with your boots on, of course.
So that it can rain and you can do it all over again.

Waiting for the solar eclipse that happened last Sunday.
Ken and the boys made pinhole viewers and everything.
We didn't see anything.
Right before the sun dipped behind the trees, it clouded over.
Maybe next time!

May 23, 2012

Fun at the zoo.

We had a great day at the zoo yesterday.  It was much more crowded than I expected it would be considering it was a chilly morning with a threat of rain.  I guess everyone else was thinking the same thing.  We were blessed to get to spend the day with our close friends and I managed to get a few pictures before I dropped my camera and broke it!
A quick pic while we were waiting for our friends to arrive.
We also saw a very cute barn owl and the elephants while waiting.
Did you know that elephants are matriarchal and the bulls get kicked out of the herd?
I didn't know that.
And, one of the elephants that is at our zoo came from Denmark.  When she came, she had to have a translator come with her so that she could learn English commands.
Goofy giraffe.
I like giraffes.  :) 
Nick's favorite parts of the day were the train and the carousel.
Other than that, all he cared about was ice cream.
Which he didn't get and was very, very unhappy about.
The birthday girl in front of a polar bear. 

There were a few mishaps.
A few almost-mommy-meltdowns when we were all hungry and there were no tables to order food and eat at.
The broken camera.
A lost sippy cup.
Almost losing one of the twelve kids in front of the Macaques.
All minor things that didn't hinder us from having a lot of fun with our friends!

Spring Schedule in Review.

Spring is a busy time of year!  Some of the things that have been keeping our evenings busy are sports and 4-H.  At least three nights during the week, as well as soccer games on Sundays, and some of those nights we've had to split up and go opposite directions.  Soccer is over now, Ultimate almost is, and 4-H will continue through July.  But one thing won't be so bad!


Nathan and Patrick are both signed up for 4-H.  Patrick is just doing Poultry which has only meant a workshop and a club meeting so far.  Nathan is doing dog training with Mae which meets every Monday evening.  Not only is dog training a lot of work (and I was scrambling to get all of her shots done in time to turn in paperwork for the fair), but poor Nathan has a hard time of it with a puppy that is as big as he is.  Mae is smart but rambunctious and if she doesn't want to do something--no one can make her do it.
That's Nathan trying to get Mae to heel.
She obviously has other ideas. 
Meanwhile, the three littlest kids and I get to hang out in the car or in the grass.
Making salad and crowns of clover, of course.
Babies need crowns, too.
Peter is trying to decide if clover salad will pair well with his water.
Or, maybe, he needs some dressing on top.

Nathan and Patrick play Ultimate once a week along with some of their cousins.  Patrick doesn't love it but Nathan does.
Patrick waiting for a pass.
Nathan making a good play.
The rest of us enjoying snacks on a blanket.
Patrick and Jacob both played soccer this spring. Nathan would have played if there had been enough kids in his age bracket for a team. The blessing is that Jacob was able to play up and be on Patrick's team (which Ken co-coached). That really cut down on the run time. If Jacob hadn't, we would have had sports every night of the week.  The sad part is they never won a game.  The good news is that Patrick scored one of only two goals of the season and Jacob assisted him!  Brother teamwork!
The whole team.
With a bonus little girl.
Wonder who's girl that is? Hmmm.  
Patrick getting ready for action. 
Jacob on the slow down.
It was hot that day.
The other team probably just scored a goal. 
More blankets, balls, and chairs.
And a wee one who has decided that Momma has been away too long and he's coming to get her himself.
With the keys.
He looks far too big in this picture!
Yet, adorable in that hat!

May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

Five years ago today, our first pink bundle of joy was born.  And so far, the only one!  You are truly special to us and we praise God that He gave us such a wonderful gift as you.  You have a sweetness and a joy that is just perfectly you.  And you were so happy to be 5 today!  5 is a very big number.

We tried to make today special for you since Daddy was out of town.  We had a very full day at the zoo with some of your (and all of our) dearest friends.  You picked pizza for dinner (surprising since you really don't always care for pizza but I think you were trying to make your brothers happy).  You got a very little present today and ice cream for dessert.  You said today was great and it really was.

Happy 5th Birthday, sweet girl!  We love you!
Photo by Patrick

May 18, 2012

Flashback Friday.

Flashback to an earlier time in our family life, same month.

Nathan, 6 months old.
May 2001
This is one of my very favorite pictures of him as a baby.
It is sweet to remember those moments with your first-born when they were the only ones!
We used to sit in the sunshine on our front porch in Columbus, Ohio and wait for daddy to come home.

Want to play along? Leave a comment with a link and I'll come see your flashback!

May 17, 2012


round button chicken

I just like all the colors in this photo.
And I like that man, he's my favorite.

A day at the park.
The first in a long, long time.
I walked the whole loop and was pretty happy.
The kids got ice cream, that made them very happy!

Peter sticks his tongue out all the time and he looks so silly!
Those little overalls were my husbands and all of my boys have worn them.

Peter is ridiculously afraid of the sound of the mower (even if he's inside). 
But that doesn't stop him from wanting to sit on it if it is off.
Nathan is more than happy to oblige.  
St. Francis, who was very real a couple of weeks ago, has been repainted and moved to another (hopefully, safer) location.

May 16, 2012

Baptismal Birthday.

Last night was Jacob's baptismal birthday.  He picked cookie cake for dessert (well, he actually wanted cookie cake, ice cream and apple pie but one can't have it all).  So after a long, hot day outside we celebrated his baptism and renewed our vows.  Jacob was baptized on Pentecost and I was telling him all about how I used to joke, "This child is full of fire! I sure hope it is the fire of the Holy Spirit!" and how appropriate it was that he was baptized on that day.   It will be a joy to watch what the Lord has planned for Jacob because it surely will be good!

May 11, 2012

Flashback Friday.

Flashback to an earlier time in our family life, same month.

May 1945
My father-in-law with his Grandpa.
Sweet and happy!
Want to play along? Leave a comment with a link and I'll come see your flashback!

May 8, 2012

It is official.

Peter is a toddler now.  He has been taking steps for a couple of weeks but this past weekend he decided he was just going to do it.  Walking is now the preferred method of locomotion! 

11 months.  He is 11 months.  My baby looks so big now! More boy than baby.  Sigh.  Time flies!

May 7, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie.

I have a simple chicken pot pie recipe that Ken really loves.  We like it because it only has one crust.  No one in my family likes that soggy bottom crust!  It freezes easily as well.  I double this every time, quadruple if I'm making enough to freeze.  My family will eat two of these for a meal.

Chicken Pot Pie
2 skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 can low-sodium cream of chicken soup
1 jar low-sodium chicken gravy (or make your own!)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (I usually do more)
1 cup frozen chopped onions (I usually do 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
9 inch refrigerated pie crust (or homemade)

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except pie crust.  Pour into pie pan and cover with pie crust, tucking and crimping edges.  Don't forget the steam vent!  Cover with foil and freeze until ready to use or bake, covered, at 400 degrees for 45 minutes then uncovered for 15.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

If baking from frozen, bake at 400 degrees for an hour, covered, then uncover and continue baking until crust is brown and sauce is bubbly, about another 20 minutes.

This recipe originally came from a parenting magazine of some sort.  The nutritional info is listed as: 6 servings, 348 calories, 16 g fat.

May 6, 2012

Gaining the Grace of Martha.

A friend of mine sent this out and I was inspired by it and thought I would share it here.

Gaining the Grace of Martha
by St. Francis de Sales

To have to see to a great variety of things is really a continual martyrdom; for in the same way as those who make a journey in the summer find the flies more troublesome and irritating than the journey itself, so the fact that one has to attend to a great many different sorts of things is in itself more troublesome than the actual load of business.

You need patience, and God will give it to you, I hope, if you make a special point of asking Him, and if you make yourself practice it faithfully, preparing yourself for this every morning by particularly applying some point of your meditation to it and making up your mind firmly to keep patient all day every time you feel yourself slipping.

Do not lose any opportunity, however small, of showing sweetness of temper toward everyone. Do not trust in your industry to carry you successfully through all your affairs but only in God’s help; and then rest securely in His care of you, believing that He will do what is best for you, providing that you, for your part, work diligently and yet without straining. Without straining and gently, I say, for violent effort spoils both your heart and the business in hand, and is not really diligence but rather over-eagerness and agitation.

How soon we shall be in the realm of eternity! And then we shall see how little all the affairs of this world amount to, and how little it mattered whether they did or did not succeed; but all the same, now we pursue them as though they were great things. One day we shall in Heaven see that what we clung to in this world was nothing more than a child’s fancy…

Be patient with everyone, but especially with yourself; I mean that you should not be troubled about your imperfections and that you should always have courage to pick yourself up afterwards. There is no better way of getting there in the end in the spiritual life than always starting all over again and never thinking that you have done enough.

May 5, 2012

Hearty Chicken Casserole.

I've been doing a little freezer cooking here and there.  Basically, trying to make my life a little easier in the future.  I've been running ragged with sports, 4-H, and trying to just get caught up in life.  So, this past week, in an effort to make next week easier, I've just doubled recipes to put in the freezer for later.  Largely, they've been chicken recipes (we ordered a quarter cow but it wasn't ready until today).  One of my kids' favorites is Hearty Chicken Casserole.  Easy, and they like it.  I like that!

Hearty Chicken Casserole
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (I usually do 3 and I mix it up: cream of mushroom/celery/or chicken)
1 cup milk
pepper to taste
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I use more)
3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
16 oz angel hair pasta, cooked to directions
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup parmesan
1 cup bread crumbs

Stir all ingredients together except topping in a 9x13 casserole.  Top with topping.  Bake at 350 degrees for  30 minutes or until hot.

If baking from freezing, I would bake for an hour, covered, removing the foil to brown it for the last 15 minutes or until bubbly.

May 4, 2012

Flashback Friday.

Flashback to an earlier time in our family life.
Nathan, Patrick, and I hanging out on the couch.

On the boardwalk to the Ocracoke Lighthouse.
I have one of Patrick toddling here but it must be only in print.

Today, there are three for the price of one.  This flashback takes us back to 2003 when we only had two kids, we were young and free, and moving from one city to another.  We were crazy and took two vacations that year.  One in May and one in September, both to the Outer Banks.  These pics are from the September trip (I don't have digital images from the May one.  Back then we were almost all film!).  Both of those trips hold fond memories for me.  Moments of just hanging out and being a family.  I think they are the fondest because they were sweet--not really doing anything in particular just enjoying each other.  We took our time.  We took naps.  We went to the beach or we didn't.   The weather was just chilly enough that we didn't always want to go.  We meandered and went to places that we wouldn't normally get a chance to go.  And, notice, I actually have three pictures with me in them.  I must have forced my husband into taking pictures a lot on this trip!

Want to play along? Leave a comment with a link and I'll come see your flashback!