Monday, March 28, 2011

Return to Routine

We have had a busy 3 weeks or so!  It has been so much fun to have family visit, see friends, see more friends, and now we are ready for some quiet slow days!

We seem to have our hands full these days with all the chickens we are caring for!  Last night a Guinea was out and took off for the wood line.  We left her alone so she would not fly across the road like her buddy a few weeks ago.  Robert was so good, he left water and food out for her.  I did not really think she would come home.  But, she did!  However they all seem to have realized that they can fly over the “fence” and so now, staying is going to become a choice.

Frustrating, but this day would come, I knew.

The rest seem to be doing well, still no eggs from my hens – but SOON I hope!  The “boys” are actually not BOYS!! 


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bonfire Fun

After a busy day – and some fun too – we ended the day on a high note!

AG and daddy on bench


AG and her marshmallows

Sweet Saturday

I love waking up with no where to go!  I really love being the first one up, to get ahead a bit before the gang descends on the kitchen.

This morning I was up first, after the best night of sleep in a while, and I was able to get the kitchen picked up, the dogs out (for my little boy), and then I helped the big boys with the chickens.  I do not always help with the animal chores, but today I did not mind.

Then I headed to the front porch to see if I could catch the Cedar Wax wing that my mother-in-law, Betsy, saw the last two mornings.  I was able to sit out there and make my gratitude morning entries.  (my favorite entry for this morning was that P went for a solo bike ride and was able to spot a few deer!  How sweet!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Craft Time (aka Therapy)

I planned to make all our gifts this year – along with the not eating out in ‘11 – to once again save some money.  And today I needed some craft time as a sort of therapy.  When life is going as fast as it has been going, I really need to slow down and create.  It is weird but it really works for me, once I create it seems I am a bit better. 

As for gifts, I keep trying to find the unique gift to give and not just another snap purse, or tea holder, or mug rug (that is the gift this year though).  So, I decided to make something for a gift my mother-in-law is hoping to get.  I am pretty sure my father in law will get her the ipad she has been wanting, so I decided to make an ipad cover.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Composting & Going Green”er”

I am certainly not a “Let’s all join hands and worship the Earth” kind of girl, but I do want to be a good steward of what we have so we can pass on something we are proud of to our kids. 

One way we try to do this is composting.  We started just about the day we arrived in our house.  We had a big plastic tub of pretzels (from Sam’s) with a screw lid that we use as our temporary container.  I keep this under my kitchen sink.  The kids can get to it, put their banana peels, apple cores, or whatever in it – and then they are also the dumpers.  So about once a day they take it back to the compost to dump it.

Some things we usually add : Coffee grounds, potato peels, fruit remains (cores, peels, seeds, etc), egg shells, some sparing citrus


Monday, March 21, 2011

late journal entry

You know you have a real friend, a true friend, a good friend when you have not seen each other in “too long” and yet, when you get back together you pick up where you left off.

Today I am about to climb in to bed, but I need to tap out my list, keep on track with my 1000 gifts – keep going.  Sometimes I fall off the path and I procrastinate about getting back on, and I am trying to get back on quicker with less procrastination.

Not sure my number, I have to count my paper list to keep up but tonight the number is insignificant, the thanks is what matters.



I am so very grateful for

~ these wonderfully perfect spring days of sun shining and cool/warm breezes blowing

~ trees and bushes budding out, flowers sharing their colors and smiling when I smell the flowers and the buds all over our yard

~ talking to my hens (who are not laying yet) in the afternoons and how they make me smile when they talk back

~ knowing that my stinky boy birds will not be here much longer but in my freezer instead (yes – reality for me these days)

~ watching my big boys and my younger kids delight with friends no matter the ages or genders! 

~ Seeing J grow up and struggle to control his temper/anger – but seeing him win little battles and gain more self-control.  Boy I am proud of this boy – he is quickly becoming a wonderful young man

~ a friend who shares her heart struggles – only to know I have the same struggles and how we can walk together and see the truth in the midst of all the yucky lies

~ smelling clean kids after their showers & baths

~ my in-laws for all they do emotionally and physically for us – they demonstrate their love in so many ways

~ my father-in-law teaching me some great “professional” painting techniques that really paid off

~ seeing my bathroom come together and so looking forward to showering in my bathroom once again

~ knowing that one bathroom is enough – and that two is really a blessing – I will never take it for granted again or pine away for what I do not have in a 3rd guest bathroom!!

~ for tight, long hugs from little arms that try to out-squeeze their mama

~ for bedtime kisses – even when it is another one  just to drag out bedtime

~ for beginning to feel like FBC Malakoff really is our new church home – and really feeling loved when we are there

~ for those who have paid so high a price so that I have the many, many freedoms I do every day – soldiers, martyrs, pilgrims (the list is varied but they have each allowed us all that we have today from the printed Bible, to freedom of religion, to the safety we take for granted)

~ for homeschool – and getting to re-read stories of those mentioned above and teach my children about all that so many before us have sacrificed for us today

Hope you are counting your blessings – it will change your perspective!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I love spring.  I think for the same reason I love Mondays.  A new start!

I love to walk around and see a tree that showed no signs of life yesterday full of new growth!   I think it is even more exciting this year since we are in a new home and it is going to be an adventure to see all that blooms, buds, and grows!

I have always loved Crepe Myrtles.  About 2 years before leaving Mansfield Robert brought one home and I loved it.  But I only had 2 years to see its blooms.  Here in our new home, however, we have at least 10 very mature crepe myrtles and I cannot WAIT to see all the blooms on our driveway! 

Plus we are adding lots of fun stuff as we go along.  Our garden is still doing well – we may have to give up on a few colder weather things we should have gotten into the ground sooner, but the Sugar Snap peas are thriving, lots of onions are doing well, and we finally got our tomatoes in the ground last week.  In the last 2 days I have planted all our pepper plants we started indoors, a few cucumber plants we also started, and then LOTS of seeds!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

homeschool journal


In my life this week...

It is spring break here in our neck of the woods, and while we normally do not take Spring Break, we did this week.   My in-laws blessed us with a great visit.  So while we did not do much formal schooling, we did plant some tomatoes (horticulture); cleaned out the garage (life skills); dumped chicken pooped on wood chips on the compost (Green living & horticulture); saw a movie (fun); and many more fun things that fall into life skills.  So who says you need to sit at a desk and open to a book to learn??

In our homeschool this week...

The boys did do their math most days to stay on track with that, and we finally finished this quarter’s literature book – Children of the New Forest.  It was a fantastic book – one of our favorites.  As I finished it and closed it AG said,  “The End – but we will get to read it again in a few years!”  I am already looking forward to that!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flowers, Friends & Fotos

We had a great day today!!  We trekked up to Dallas to see friends, stock up on some Aldi, and take advantage of my soon-to-expire Arboretum Membership!!


coles and byerlys good


It started out a bit cool, but it was the perfect day to play at the park once it warmed up!

We had so much fun looking at all the beautiful flowers and completing our Nature Mission (Texas Nature Challenge).  We joined this last week and I was not sure what it would entail.  Yesterday I received a welcome email to the program with a link to all the missions for this spring.  I was thrilled when I saw there was one for the Arboretum!  So, we were able to tie some school in along with nature study & fun!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

cheeseburger soup & friends

I have no pictures, but trust me when I say that fun was had!!

We had 5 families at the house with 7 adults and 14 kids yesterday!  The kids ran around and honestly I rarely even saw them!

One young boy thought the school building was the perfect “man-Cave” if only we had a tv out there!  Funny!  My boys were clueless what he was talking about, but Robert got a good chuckle out of it!

There was some foosball playing, air hockey playing, trampoline jumping, and woods exploring too!

We had little ones fascinated with all the animals (and I think I may be his new friend since I let him touch a few) and we had older ones leading the play around the place!

more like Moses

Radiate 2011 just ended at our church.  It seems that every year they hold a Revival/Conference in the spring.  They meet Sunday am, Sunday pm, Monday pm, Tuesday pm, and Wednesday pm.  Not sure about the past, but this year we had different speakers for each session, the theme was missions. 

Missions has been on my heart for several years now, and we have a couple young “planning-to-be” missionaries in our home. 

So as I am reading through Numbers these days, reading more about Moses and reflecting about what I have heard the last few days at Radiate, I think I feel my heart breaking.

I read about the Israelites – how they disobeyed, grumbled against, and stood up to God over and over.  God wanted to wipe them out more than once and do you know what stopped him? 


One man

Sometimes Aaron too.  But for the most part it was Moses. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Being filled up

Amazing how life can take over – YOUR LIFE!!! 

I love to make time to update my blog – kind of my running journal.  One I do not have to find to update.  But every so often, it seems life just takes over so much of my real time I have very little cyber-space time to do much of anything!  I have not been looking at blogs, not been updating mine, and who the heck knows what is going on in Facebook-World?  I sure do not these days!

I am happy if I can reply to those few urgent emails that come in, and otherwise, we are living.  Planting, building, tiling, cleaning, teaching, cooking (lots of this), reading, praying, and lots more living. 

But here I am  - a few moments.  I still need to run and sand my bathroom walls – I am DREADING this – but it needs to be done to move further on my bathroom.  Instead, here I am.

Yesterday was fun – I made another, much more successful, batch of tamales – really 2 batches.  I made almost 3 dozen pork and then almost 4 dozen Green Corn (our favorite).  I am looking forward to sharing them with some homeschool friends on Thursday night!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

“herding cats”

“herding cats” ~ a phrase that before kids I had never heard.  In fact, after the first, no one mentioned it to me.  Honestly, I think it may have been after my 3rd came along, that I heard this phrase and it made sense.  I may have beard it before, but never really understood.

Now, it defines my life many days.

Shoveling during a snow storm has the same meaning.

Sweeping the floor under the table you eat at – I wish that I could just wait until we were done eating there.  Not for just one meal, but in general.  I mean really, if I clean it, more food is going to fall there – do I really need to clean it? 

It feels like no matter what area I am trying to get control of, every other area spins out of control.

I am still trying to manage the clutter in my “clutter-free” kitchen – yes, there is still some clutter that appears (habits die hard) – but making this my priority helps to keep me focus in that area.  A clean kitchen really makes me smile these days.  Cannot say too much about the rest of my house.  The rest feels like I am in a blizzard, but still shoveling.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Busy mid-week Weekend

That is how it seems here.  We are ending our 3-day weekend.  Robert worked Monday and Tuesday then had the last 3 days off.  We love this crazy schedule (most of the time). 

But, whew!  I think he is ready to go to work and get a rest, and I think I am ready for him to go to work to get a break too!

He cut down the top of our pear tree one day:

preparing to cut down the tree

Then, he hung the rest of the drywall in preparation of putting up tile:

bathroom before tile

Then, we spent some time putting down mulch in our flower beds, did not get to all of them, but wow!  What a difference!!

more mulched bed


mulched flower bed

We made sure to take some breaks.  We sat out by the chickens, let them run around, brought some popsicles and our current favorite read-aloud!

Children of the New Forest

March 2011 011popsickle time


While we sat and read, we had a visitor come over several times – and finally she wanted to get friendly!  We love sweet Freedom – our only buff who has a name!

J with Freedom

We all spent some time in the garden.  We planted a row of potatoes.  We also planted seeds for Kale, Mustard, Radishes, and Carrots.  The kids are helping so much to clean out the rows and take trips to the compost pile with roots and stuff, but I am not sure how much more work they want to put into the garden!  I cannot blame them, I am glad we are almost done getting stuff in – I am ready for a break too!

Today, Robert put in Berry Lane – 5 blue berry bushes,  3 blackberry bushes. 

Berry Lane

Today we put up tile, finally!!  I love it – cannot wait for this bathroom to get done!!  I loved tiling it too!!  SO much easier than I thought!

stage 1stage 2 tilestage 3 tile


Not sure when I will get to finish it – the next parts require some cutting and Robert will not be here to do that, so maybe Monday.

Finally, this afternoon I dug up about 200 Day Lilies – in order to rid a flower bed being taken over by brambles.  So tomorrow, I need to find them new homes – and then we need to clean out this bed!  It is a mess!!

briars need to be torn up

{brambles to be cleared soon}

day lilies

{a few of our lilies – need a new home too!}

transplanted day lilies

{here are a few transplanted – I hope they do well!}

Lots of stuff done!  Lots still to do – but we are definitely almost done with our spring garden!  Cannot wait to see what the harvest looks like!!


Oh yeah, we did add 2 more turkeys to the mix too!  No pics yet, but they are cuties and seem to be integrating well with the 2 we already had.  I think we are about to stop add animals too!  But, it sure is fun!!

Now, it is off to the real weekend – and I think we are going to relax!! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

Or so it seems here in my little corner of Texas.  The sun has been shining for more than a week.  The flowers are blooming, others coming up promising blooms soon.feb 2011 with gladdens 035


feb 2011 with gladdens 036

But, there is always a but!  But, the calendar tells me it is not spring yet, in fact only March 1st.  We all know in Texas it can nearly snow on Easter – many a year we have foregone our cute Easter clothes in place of warm winter ones for that Sunday service. 

So, what to do?  Do we press on?  Or do we hold back?

(the conundrum of life if you will, wouldn’t you say?)


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