Tuesday, July 30, 2013

quick trip

Rod's schedule for Monday was free at the shop, so he took us to the beach Saturday - Monday.  what a treat.  I wasn't thinking we'd make it to the beach this year.  The water was nice!  we read in the paper how cold it's been this summer, but it must have warmed a lot because it was very swimmable.  Adam was in the water a lot.  A new season for us, making sure the boys are ok out in the water and staying between the flags. 
Tried a different motel, the closest we've ever gotten to the boardwalk!  Rod thinks we could have spit on the boardwalk from our balcony.  We didn't try it. 
View looking straight ahead.  The boys loved having an amusement park right outside the door. 
I came back to the beach w/ Adam the one day and couldn't find the boys.  Here they were right there by my feet, buried in the sand!  Good one daddy.
We're slightly amazed Clay held still that long.

Adam boggie boarding.

This sleeping arrangement did not last very long!  We had to part them out...
Rod's meal at Periwinkles, a good place to eat a block off of the boardwalk with outside seating.
Thanks Rod for making this happen!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mid Summer

I know, we're probably past 'mid' summer, but i'm in denial. 

I've tried keeping our days fairly flexible, so that we can do things on a whim.  Accept last minute invites, spontaneously ride bikes to the park, etc.  We've gone to a couple church softball games, the boys have gotten together with friends, Mel's pond with cousins, and pool time at the neighbors houses.  Even though summer is going fast, it also feels long (in a good way).  i'm not feeling hurried or busy with things that need done, like gardening and flower beds.  Or going from this activity to that.  I'm trying to be more purposeful about just soaking in the summer days.  The days still have structure (you have to with this crew), but there's an openness there that allows for enjoying the present. 

We wrapped up swim lessons last week.  For me, swim lessons are also known as "the place where miracles happen".  I knew they'd all eventually learn how to swim, but I was shocked at how quick.  Adam is officially swimming, and B and B are doing "tricks" in the water and under the water, where they can touch.  They like it now, which was the goal.  It certainly helps when the pool water is 95 degrees+ and they can relax and not be cold!

Adam and Meg treading water
Some deer we've been seeing lately, in the evenings:
Partners in crime:
Goofing off at Mel's pond:
New batch of chicks, because you can never have too many chickens....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Putting away food...

We had a BIG day today!  We made applesauce and did 7+ dozen ears of corn.  The apples and corn were free, we just had to do our own picking, which was the fun part!
Rod's aunt had excess apples...made a delicious sauce. 

Our Amish neighbors told us we can pick through their field for corn.  He is only allowed to sell the first ears, and the rest is left.  There was a ton of ears left for the picking.  The highlight was the way we blanched the corn....In the dishwasher!  Last year another neighbor told us about this method and Rod wanted to give it a try.  It worked great.  Just put it on the regular cycle, don't add soap of course, and take them out before the dry cycle begins.  This saved me a lot of time.  There are 88 ears in here, that I didn't have to mess with on the stove in batches.  

This week we also did up some red beets from the garden.  We picked them in the rain, cut the stems off, washed them, cooked them, peeled them, pickled them, and canned them! 


This week....carrots! 

Pics of the week...Ben hiding from the rain, in our pole bean teepee.  He went in there and found a couple beans to munch on.  They are just starting to produce. 

And Adam excited about getting his own library card.  He has a system in this backpack.  The card and receipts go in the front pouch and the books in the main part. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hello July

wow, I sit here as clouds roll in and the wind picks up.   the boys just got home from swimming lessons and the sun was out the whole time.  I hope this cools things off.   The pool water is 97 degrees at the lady's house the boys have lessons at, so they are quite comfortable and doing very well!  for the twins it's always about how cold the water is.  It's so refreshing to see them in there having a good time and learning knew things in the water.   Adam and Clay are ducks, no problems there.
Didn't take any pictures of swim lessons but here's a couple at meg's pool..

July 4th turned out to be beautiful even though the morning of our campout was rainy.  we had a blast with the Gingrich fam.  The boys loved camping in their tent with the other boys.  at midnight rod and I gave up, went in the house, and decided they will crash eventually. 

Rod outdid himself this year with fireworks.  Out of state family helped to get "the good stuff".  Adam turned into a pyro this year, using 'his lighter' and setting off fireworks. 
Sending up 4 Chinese lanterns close together..

A special fruit pizza.  Time flies, I clearly remember your 30th birthday tea party!
We aren't hosting any more big things until October!  We'll do Rod's 20th year reunion (whoa, 20?) and the church thing in October.  We're glad for a break, even though hosting gets easier and easier every year, since we have a routine down, the boys help a little, and they run off and play well with other kids that come.  We did learn from last year to make things Potluck as much as possible and not to host a lot of things on Sundays, particularly not back-to-back Sundays.  I got a little burnt out last year, from those things.  We're looking forward to another reception in our barn next May. 

Right now i'm getting green beans, cucumbers, brocc, carrots, red beets, swiss chard, and still some kale and lettuce from the garden.  I've been canning the green beans last week and will can some beets this week.  So far it's another good year in the garden. 

Adam's s.s. class needed a fill in today, so I taught.  the challenge for the kids was to praise God in the every day, doing what He created us to do and be who He created us to be.  It's a great challenge for me as well.  I love simple, yet important reminders from God.