Tuesday, May 28, 2013












A few weeks ago, we received some Painted Lady larvae, six to be exact, to hopefully raise through complete metamorphosis.  We were all surprised as the size of them and how quickly they grew.  Unfortunately, only one made it through to the chrysalis stage.  After about a week or so, we would watch daily for any changes or signs that the butterfly would emerge soon.  On Saturday morning, Parker pointed out how you could see the wings through the chrysalis and later that day, the butterfly emerged!  Unfortunately we missed it as we were at a birthday party, but everyone was excited none the less.  Right before bed, we released it into our yard.  I have to say I was a bit surprised at the boys' reactions.  They all were a bit sad, not quite ready to say goodbye and Parker even wondered why we couldn't keep it.  There were all sorts of questions following the release- where would it go?  What does it eat if we don't have the right plants (mallow or hollyhock)?  Would it come back?  It was a really great learning experience for us all.  

We were blessed with the most perfect weather over the long holiday weekend.  Jacob had received a drill, as well as other hand tools and a "building" book for his birthday.  Since then, he and his brothers had been plotting to make a treehouse in the backyard.  Of course, their plans were really elaborate involving rope bridges to platforms and zip lines.  Unfortunately because we do not plan on living in this house for much longer, they had to settle on a simple platform.  They all helped a bit in the process which I think makes it feel that much more special.  And now they have their own special hangout spot.  There is already plans for tarps and campouts and perhaps a pulley system.  

And that handsome pup?  Well, he is our newest family member.  He just so happens to be a 5 month old puppy of a friend who no longer could care for him the way he needed due to a growing homestead.  At first we planned on having him for a trial basis- he was strictly an outdoor dog there and well, we are an indoor/outdoor dog family.  The transition has been pretty smooth considering he is in a completely new environment.  I have to say, the timing wasn't the greatest as it turned out Kenna and Parker came down with the stomach flu, but it has worked out for the best just the same.  We simply adore him and are so happy to have a dog in the house again!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jacob turns 9




Today, my second born son turned 9.  From the moment he came earthside, he has kept us on our toes.  So full of life, my high spirited child.  His laughter is contagious and unlike the rest of us, he adores being the center of attention.  He is my child that has pushed my parenting skills leading me to grow and learn- more than I ever imagined I would!  I cannot imagine life without my Jakey Bug and we are so grateful to have you in our lives!  

Monday, May 20, 2013














This morning we chanced the forecast and headed to a local u-pick farm to stock up on strawberries.  This is one of my favorite things about spring!  We love, love, love strawberries and try to get in our fill with fresh strawberries as well as preserve some for later.  This particular farm was one we had not visited before and I will say it was well worth the 40 minute drive.  We were able to quickly pick 5 gallons and eat our picnic lunch before the rain began to fall (and continue to fall).  The mamas chatted under the pavillion and the kids ran around the playground getting soaked and muddied while having a blast.  We had the best time!

Last week I was able to take a gallon of strawberries I bought at another farm and turn it into honey sweetened freezer jam (13 jars in fact!).  Between the jam and the 2-3 gallons of berries I hope to get in the freezer, we should be covered until next spring! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day














A hearty breakfast, a full day spent in Mother Nature, dinner cooked by Daddy, homemade cards, flowers, and lots of love- my Mother's Day couldn't have been more perfect!  Everyday I am so thankful to have the privilege of mothering these four beautiful, individually unique little people.  They have taught me so much, stretched me to grow as a person and as a mother.  They have opened my eyes to all the beauty that is around me as well as in me.  How blessed I am to be on this path and there are so many moments when I look at them and still think to myself "I can't believe they are MINE"!

Wishing a lovely Mother's Day to all!

Saturday, May 11, 2013












Yesterday was one of those days where we spent more time outdoors than in.  After dropping Blake off at an all day birthday party, we ran a few quick errands and then came home to do some "real" gardening.  I say we, but really the kids did all the work.  My two boys hauled the dirt from the car and dumped it into the bed by the mailbox.  They knew to break up the roots a bit on the flowers before placing them into the dirt.  They decided where to place them and then when they were done, they watered them.  I stood in the background snapping pictures as that was all they needed from me.  And now we have a really pretty shade garden by the mailbox!

We also took some time to fill feeders and notice all the spring happenings going on around us.  The wild strawberries are ripe and ready and the patches have grown since last year.  We all were amazed at two "giant" berries (about the size of grapes, ha ha).  The kids will always eat one or two, but only b/c I think they forget that they aren't as sweet as "real" strawberries.

After planting a few more seeds in our side garden, the day ended in water play.  What started as a bike wash soon turned into a hose game which then led to getting out the slip-n-slide!  At the end of the day, the kids were dirty, smelly, and tired, but left feeling satisfied.  All signs of a great day!

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013








Last week, a friend came over to help Peter with an oil change on his car.  The kids and I were in the middle of lessons, but after they found out what they were doing they asked "can we go help?".  "Sure" I said.  Real life experience is so much more important than anything found in a book so off they ran.  Jacob is especially interested in all things handy- our Mr. Fix-it in training.  He even ASKED to mow the lawn!  And so he did and he was really proud of himself (he also offers to do his big brother's laundry).

Parker and Makenna were inspired to make a fairy house.  At first Parker wanted to make one in the house (so it would be safe and dry-that is how much rain we have been getting), but I convinced him the planter on the front porch would work as well.  So off he ran gathering materials, including a whole slew of chicken feathers.  Looks rather cosy, no?

And this week, Granny and Gramps came to visit all the way from NY.  Granny has been enjoying her retirement and crocheted many beautiful toys for the kids.  She made a really sweet doll that Kenna named Rose.  Rose has been on lots of adventures already!  

Tonight I am sore from digging in a front bed.  I was lucky to have two helpers.  Parker is my most avid gardener always willing to lend a hand.  I don't even have to ask.  The minute he sees me get out my tools he is right behind.  And as we were digging and pulling up roots, lots and lots of roots, he chatted away.  At one point he says to me "I thought you said you were gardening.  This isn't gardening, this is pulling roots."  Oh, I do love that boy!  And soon, we will do some real gardening.