Friday, August 28, 2009

an afternoon at the park

after a morning of running errands with 4 kids...we were all ready for a break! i packed some sandwiches so we could enjoy the beautiful afternoon picnicking at the park. it was so much cooler than the normal temperatures of august and the sun was shining! so i sat in the shade munching on doritos and sipping snapple peach tea while the kids ran off the energy which had accumulated while they were "being quiet and not running" in the carpet store!
we rule the merry-go-round!

oops! bad picture, moving too fast!

the zip line
(although after his summer camp excitement, S was not impressed by this. lol.)

everyday gift: an afternoon at the park

Monday, August 17, 2009

summer sweet corn and the keepers

there is nothing like illinois sweet corn straight from the garden. oh, my! it is heaven. it is one of those things that you simply must have when the hot days of august roll around.

the keepers met on saturday to work on their food preservation badge. i really must take just a moment to tell you how truly thankful i am for this group. i have been so blessed by these moms and daughters (both past members and present). these women have been such an encouragement to me by their commitment to spending time with their girls, teaching and mentoring them in all areas of skill and service. at this meeting nancy taught the group how to preserve fresh corn by freezing it. she did a wonderful job of leading the girls through each step. and we enjoyed her stories of growing up on a farm where the whole family and a whole day was devoted to the process, freezing many times more than we attempted on this day. thank you, nancy, for sharing your expertise with us!

beforet the meeting, B and i stopped by the farmer's market to pick up some really fresh corn...

beacon woods market stand

this is my friend, chris at the farmer's market. her corn is incredible!

( you can check out her blog here. she writes about her adventures on the farm and her observations of God's grace and love. )

B choosing her corn for the keepers at home meeting this morning

first the corn is shucked and cleaned of silk.

then into the boiling pots go the cobs of corn

after 3 minutes at a rolling boil,
the piping hot, blanched corn is taken out the pot...

and plunged into ice water to stop the cooking process.

mrs. D is demonstrating the safe way to cut the kernels from the cob,

the girls give it a try.

filling the freezer bags with the corn kernels

nice team work!

the girls holding a bag of the finished product, ready for the freezer
they did a fantastic job!!!

everyday gift: sweet girls and sweet corn

Thursday, August 13, 2009


sunset view from the new house

our days have been so busy with so many things to accomplish.

the sunset is welcome and we are thankful for the rest it brings.

My people will live in peaceful
dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
Isaiah 32:18

everyday gift: the incredible colors of a sunset after a busy day

Monday, August 10, 2009

ahhh, those summer days

we are in the midst of a very memorable summer: the house, 9 camps between the kids, living in town, bethany's, such excitement and fun. here are a few snapshots of july.

S with his garter snake

lolly enjoying the pasture

our cozy little summer cottage

this little house is such a reminder to me of God's provision.
while i was busy worrying about how all the details of our move would work out, He quietly provided...

a picnic at the farm

i have been packing a lot of our meals lately and taking them out to the new house where mark is busy working. the boys have been a great help: cleaning up the construction area, working on the deck, framing some basement walls. sometimes we eat in the barn on my kitchen table stored there. this day the weather was perfect for the picnic table.

bethany having a ride

everyday gift: enjoying summer days

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

the lemonade stand

B has really enjoyed having her friend live just a few doors down for the summer. they are constantly scootering back and forth between the houses, having popsicles, than checking at the other's house to hopefully have another one. (yes, B. i'm on to you!) last week they launched their lemonade business. that kept them busy for days, cleaning out the play house, making signs, gathering supplies, advertising in the neighborhood, and minding the stand.

the lemonade was as sweet as the memories being made.

i thought 10 c was a bargain, so i gave a little in the tip jar, too. ;o)

everyday gift: a summertime lemonade stand

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the gourd project continues

when it all began, i had no idea where it would lead. B and i reading a story about slaves seeking freedom by following the stars north: the big dipper or the drinking gourd. a friend had some old gourds she had dried for bird houses and she graciously shared one with us so we could cut it open and see how a water dipper might be made. B planted the seeds in dixie cups and watered them faithfully. she planted the sprouts in the ground and they have rewarded her in a big way! she now has visions of selling gourds at the farmer's market, making bird houses, and wonders if you can roast and eat the seeds like pumpkin seeds...the learning goes on, from history to botany to economics to bird house construction to cooking!

if anyone ever wonders, THIS is why i love homeschooling: the curiosity and wonder that lead to learning. we have gazed at the stars and imagined what it might have been like to travel at night using the stars as a map, hiding in fear of being returned to slavery. we have tasted a drink of cool water from a gourd that we hollowed ourselves. we have watched the miracle of sprouting seeds that turn into a gigantic vine laden with dozens of baby gourds. and we ponder the possibilities of the future.

flowering vine with baby gourd

tendrils reaching and climbing

vines on the wren house

B with her baby

everyday gift: growing and learning

progress on our new house

i am finally getting these pictures off the camera and into the computer (thanks, S!). i did my best to put them in order, but blogger doesn't always cooperate. it is so amazing to see the house that mark and i dreamed up on some scratch paper at the kitchen table actually take shape with concrete, lumber and nails. we can walk through the rooms at this point and really have a feel for the flow of the house and we love it. it has a very spacious and open feel. the view from the back of the house is beautiful countryside...someday a lake? but wait, i am getting ahead of things!
lumber delivered and ready to go...please don't rain!

basement walls are done

view of the back walk-out basement

framing is underway

the trusses are up

nice view of blue skies with cotton clouds!

view of the back of the house

looking into the dining room and through to the kitchen from the great room.
door from dining room to deck.

skylight in the kitchen

front view of the house
everyday gift: dreams taking shape

Saturday, August 1, 2009

B at Bible horse camp

i am sooo behind on posting, but here are the promised pictures of horse camp. sorry my comments are so brief, but i will let the pictures speak for themselves. B had a fabulous week!


horse love!


everyday gift: Bible horse camp