Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Potatoes

I just dug up 3 plants that were browning.  I knew I should probably leave them in the ground and wait alittle longer but curiosity got the best of me and I dug them up!  Look!!!  This is what I got from 3 plants!  I'm sooooo excited!  Happy Dance going on here right now! Hee-hee!!  :)

There are probably 15 plants in each row and about 10 rows!  I may have reached our goal to not have to buy any potatoes this winter!  We'll see but I'm still so happy!!!


This morning as I was tending to the new peeps,  I was thinking how crammed they looked.  There are 31 of them in a large plastic tub.  They are only a week old but they're growing much quicker than the layers did.  The peeps now are meat birds.  

So this got me thinking.  I fenced off one corner of my garden to put them in.  My garden is not doing so hot this year.  I never got  to the load of mulch for the vegetable garden and it's showing.  With it being so dry, the mulch REALLY helps!  The garden I did mulch is doing much better!  Plus the weeds are just horrible without mulch!  Lesson for next year,, be sure to mulch my vege garden!!!  Please remind me :)

When I put the peeps out, they began running around, flapping their little wings.  I find them totally distracting.  I love to stand and watch them happy now. 

I commented to Mark that we have over 80 chickens on our land now.  No wonder we spend so much on grain!  But I love it!(not the spending money part!)  Fresh eggs, responsibity for the boys, meat in the freezer soon,happy rooster crows,  land being used: I wouldn't have it any other way!  :)

This guinnea and hen have become "friends".  The hen got banned from her coop for eating eggs.  The guinnea got tired of being chased all around the yard and pecked on by the male so she became pals with the hen.  You see them walking all over the yard together.  At night they perch together.  Such funny creatures!  They were curious about the peeps.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Timothy Haddon

Eight years ago, I had the "delight" of bringing our Timothy into this world.  Some of our births really stand out to me and some almost seem to be a distant memory I don't seem to remember the details about.  Timothy's birth still stands out to me.

It was our second home birth.  Luke was the first and he was rather "easy" for my first at home.  The births before him were in the hospital with an epideral.  So I was a bit nervous about Luke.  The others were also induced as I went past the "magic" two week over due mark.  Luke went 3 weeks over due but his labor went fairly fast and easy.  The midwives came at midnight and he was born early in the morning.  I remember the boys coming down the stairs and I was snuggled in bed on the couch  with my new baby. 

So I had expectations (they get me every time!!) of Tim's birth being like this!  Tim was NOT like this.  His was HARD labor for hours and hours.  I remembered the verse the whole time about our sufferings being as Jesus' on the cross.  It seemed awful at the time!  Thankfully our midwife was very experienced and she did a great job with the labor.  Tim finally came and what joy it was!  He had his hand in his mouth when he came out and he was so chubby! 

He weighted 10 pounds 12 oz. 

Tim is very affectionate.  I often see him snuggled up to Mark, rubbing Mark's back or hand.  He's very quiet but observant in crowds.  What joy he has been to our family!

Happy 8th Birthday Tim-bob!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Lately it's been a real eye-opener to see how our young people view sports! 

It started when my husband held up a piece of blue fabric with white symbols sewn on it (a girl's purse) and jokinly teased the owner that he was going to burn it.  Another girl yelled, "Don't do that!  It's holy!"  Holy???? Holy?  We are now calling sports paraphernalia holy?  I couldn't believe it!  Holy from a regular Websters dictionary is 1. sacred 2. sinless 3. deserving reverence.  Wow!  Does a sports team even come close to being sacred or sinless?  Most of the players don't even know the God who is Holy!  They would leave the team to play on the next one that paid better. 

Then my husband posted a picture of a sports hat burning and someone commented it's as burning the American flag!  Man, such shockingness in one week!  The flag that represents our freedom.  So many have given their lives for it!  The founders came here to have freedom to worship their God without persecution and we hold a sports hat/team as dear?!?!    This has been very shocking to me!

I once heard a speaker I respect say he won't get involved with sports at all  and I'm starting to really wonder if it's the best way to go.  Sports seem to be such a god of this world and we let our children take part in the idolatry!  I admit, our boys are just as into their teams,, I hope not to the point of calling them holy or like our flag, but they follow them quite closely.  They can tell you the players names, stats, scores and other stuff I don't understand (can you tell I'm NOT into sports!!).  I sure hope they can keep the idol of sports out of their hearts and remember it's supposed to be for fun!?!?!    So much to deal with in today's world!  Lord, give us wisdom!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PA Grand Canyon Trip

Last year we started a yearly tradition for our family and youth group at church.  The teens are given a passage of Scripture to memorize and if they do that and their devotions regularly, they're rewarded with a over night camping trip.  Our younger boys get to stay with a family from church.  Our boys don't do sleep overs so this is a huge thing for them.  The family they stay with has 5 girls and one boy Silas' age.  The younger boys look  forward to this and the older boys love the time together camping.

This year the teens worked on John 15.  Our 3 boys and 3 girls learned it and one of the girl's father came too.  So this year we had 9 of us. 

Monday, we met at church in the early afternoon.  We loaded our camping gear and our bikes. In the gorge of the canyon is a nice biking path.  It was a railroad track years ago.    First thing we did was set up our tents and get set up.  Then we rode our bikes over to the top of the gorge.  Our camp ground is right at the top of the mountain.  We love it!  We can hop on our bikes, ride to the top, park our bikes and hike down in.  It was a rather cool day for summer.  The week before would of been terrible--high heat with much humidity!  Yuck!  So it was perfect.  

When we got to the bottom, I couldn't resist getting into the little river at the bottom.  I just love the water!

Then we hiked back up (what a work out!!!)  Mark and I started chatting with a couple along the path.  They hike it together every day!  WOW!  They told us of another hiking path with great water falls.  It was our goal to find it the next day at the end of our bike hike in the gorge.

Once we all got back to our site, we loaded up into the van and went to Wellsboro.  It's a cute little town.  We made eating at a diner there another tradition.  The guys all had breakfast for supper.  I had a burger,, it was super yummy! :)    Then we went to a mini-golf course.  Brendan won that! 

Back at the site, we played games by lantern light.  Mark took the challenge of getting the fire going with wet wood.  He did a good job!  He and Mr Dense (the father who came along) sat by the fire and talked while we played Uno Spin. 

The girls giggled and giggled all night.  When they finally quieted down, I had to go to the bathroom.  So I snuck out.  I was going past a big camper and heard a growling sound.  I assumed, the camper must of had a dog in it!  It scared me though.   I rushed back to our tent and tried to get some sleep.  It was SO cold so I was struggling to stay warm.  Hard to believe in July!

Them men made us yummy French toast and sausage for breakfast and then we headed down to the gorge with our bikes.  We started our 7.5 mile ride.  At the end, we found the path the couple had told us about.  We parked our bikes hiked along a little stream that ran into the river.  We found two water falls.  Mark and Brendan swam in the pool in the bottom.  The comment was how COLD it was! 

We hiked back to the biking trail and our bikes and pedaled the 7.5 miles back.  We stopped half way and waded into the river.  (The same spot I had the night before which is also the bottom of the path we had hiked the night before.)  Jordan, Brendan, and two of the girls got in with me.  The girls ended up being washed down a bit and Jordan and Brendan laid in the river with the water pulling them down.  It was SUPER fun!  I just sat in the water on a rock!  What FUN memories!!

We finished our ride and loaded back up and went to our site.  We quickly ate lunch and took down our tents.  On our ride back, Mark stopped for ice cream.  That was the last hurrah for our trip!  What fun it was!

We met back at church, dropped off the teens and went to get our younger boys.  Titus cried and cried about leaving them!  And to think I was "nervous" about leaving him! 

Added note: In the morning,  I asked the man in the camper if he had a dog.  He said he didn't and it must of been a bear or coyote making that noise!  Yikes,, glad I didn't see it!!! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blueberries for Sal

What a fun day!  The morning started out with an early call from the post office saying our peeps were in.  Thirty-one Freedom Rangers were waiting for us.  These birds will grow up and then fill our freezer with yummy, healthy meat for our winter meals.  I hope to make lots of broth from their bones too (I was never to keen on the idea of making broth from chemical, hormone injected birds).

This evening after supper, 7 of the boys and I went and picked berries.  Mark and Tim stayed back and played Can't Stop.  (Tim got stung by a bee and his foot is swollen today.  This has happened to a different boy each day lately and they still don't learn NOT to go barefoot outside!)  It's always so fun doing these kinds of things together.  Titus picked  and sang while he worked.  Addan kept trying to find nickel sized berries,, yelling,, "Mom,, a nickel one!" 

Hearing the kerplunk in the bucket always reminds me of reading,  Blueberries for Sal.  What a GREAT kids book!  I remember many times reading it together after we went picking (I think our copy is long gone to the far away book land after so much abuse!).    So I quoted the book to Addan and Luke as we picked.  Such GREAT memories together! 

When we got home,  Addan helped bag the 41 pounds of berries up and Brendan carried them all into the freezer.  Such great team work I have!  Thankyou boys for all your work,, we'll all enjoy it.  Can't you taste the blueberry muffins with our chicken vegetable soup!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Days

The chickens are happy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jam and Dishwasher

This evening, Silas and I went and picked some black raspberries from down by the chicken coop.  It was nice chatting and picking together.  Mark was pitching horseshoes with the other boys.  When he came in for the night, I was washing some dishes.  The dishwasher gets clogged every few months because our water is so full of minerals.  Because it wasn't cleaning good, I was washing the dishes by hand.  Mark commented that he would wash the dishes up for me.  I commented that he should just fix the washer.  So, he started the yucky job. 

While Mark started taking it all apart, I began boiling the berries.

Jordan got the "fun" job of scrubbing the gunk off the pieces. 

Once the dishwasher was all taken apart,  Mark decided to clean the inside out.  He squirt some Dawn into it and let it run a bit.  What a funny mess when he opened it up!!!  I couldn't stop laughing at his dilemma!!

He tried rinsing it down but that didn't help so he had to remove the bubbles.  I, of course,  was no help because I was laughing SO hard.  He's SOOO funny and ditzy at times!!! 

The jam turned out great (we'll have some tomorrow with our toast) and the dishwasher is now running smoothly.  Thankyou, my sweet Mark!!


I'm so excited!  A couple years ago at a craft sale, I made pillowcases.  I'd get a yard of "fun" fabric and make them.  They're super easy!  On the outside of the box they were in, I wrote, "Great stocking stuffers!" 

I decided to make some this year to try and sell them again.  I saw at a fabric store a pillowcase that was hand made and couldn't figure out how they did it! It had 3 different prints of fabric.  They also have French seems,, yeeks!   I looked and looked but couldn't figure it out.  So when I got home, I hopped on line (I love it!!!).  Sure enough,, there was a tutorial with step by step instructions and pictures.

Today I attempted my first set.  I love doing crafts but hate starting something new.  I'm SO pleased how they turned out!!!  Now I can get going on the yards and yards of "fun" fabric I've been picking up here and there! :)