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Summer Fun Catch Up

We have just had a ridiculous amount of fun this summer.  It felt like the most busy summer I can honestly imagine in, well ever.  I am completely exhausted just thinking about it, but so thankful for all of the wonderful memories. I’m sure I’ll leave a ton of things out but here’s my best shot at a quick summer recap from our little homestead, complete with way too many pictures and in complete random order!

I feel like when we were home I was here, in my kitchen, either cooking and having dinner guests, or canning and preserving food for the rest of the year.  Mark thought he was so funny snapping this picture and insisted that I put it up here so there you go–me in a picture!

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This is what my kitchen has looked like for several days now(although 20-some quarts of tomatoes are out there now too!) as we do some rearranging and cleaning downstairs to make more storage room.  Note the crazy amount of essential oils that have been seriously put to work this summer with aches and pains and Lilly’s nasty 2 week gastro bug.  Oh and don’t forget to notice my BOSCH in the corner there which has become a much better display area for our anniversary cards than for baking bread.  I have had to buy bread most of the summer, when I could find a chance to make it to the store that is!  IMG_4836 (1024x482)

We took a family field trip to a produce auction and got a steal of a deal on produce to can…..and 40 melons that we couldn’t resist for 50 cents each!  We gave them all away within a day though so it was well worth it.  We also came home curious to learn more about the Amish as the kids saw several of them up close and personal as we were buying their produce.

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We made a lot of sacrifices in our garden this year, including letting swallowtail caterpillars take over our carrots before we left for vacation because we wouldn’t be home to raise them inside.  It was all for the sake of science though and many carrots have survived.

As usual, my tomatoes were taken over by the dreaded, but really awesome, tomato horn worm.  Toby dug up a larva of one of them early in the year while digging up potatoes so I knew they would appear soon.  What I didn’t expect though was a tomato horn worm covered in wasp eggs!  Very cool, and creepy at the same time

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We had around 40 people at our home for our first homeschool drama production of Peggy the Pint-Sized Pirate, Toby was “Captain Sludge” and it was so.stinking.cute.

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My dad turned 75 this year so we celebrated him as we did my mom a couple of years ago.  Here are the 8 of us and my parents-we are such dorks-I had literally 20 pictures to choose from and there is not a single one where one of us doesn’t look goofy!

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The kids took a horseback riding lesson and LOVED it.  They learned how to prep a horse to ride, walk safely around the back of it, saddle it up, and of course ride it.  I was really shocked at how they both were naturals!  No fear, just jumped right on and acted like they’d been riding for years.  Good chance we’ll be doing that again.

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We spent an “unplugged” week in Minnesota at a cabin on a lake.  Ah.  Just thinking back to those relaxing days makes me happy. We had time with our best friends, cousins, and my parents during the week and it was so nice to just relax and hang out with all of them.  My dad being an avid fisherman is thrilled that Toby loves to fish too.

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I am so glad to have these types of scenes etched into my heart.

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My best friend, Gina, took me to see Casting Crowns and Jeremy Camp at the fair!!  Love them!

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We paid $5 to park in some random person’s garage.  Because it’s the Iowa State Fair and that’s just how we roll!  You’re welcome, Gina!

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We took the kids out to the fair for an evening of spending-an-insane-amount-of-money-and-still-coming-home-hungry.  Then we decided we’re never doing that again, because it’s just plain dumb.

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A few other nuggets:

*Mark finished piping the air conditioning back to our bedroom!!  Thank God for that man.  Especially since it has been between 95-104* for the last week!

*We witnessed a fox nabbing another one of our hens.  Apparently Homeboy must have tried to fight for his girl because he had what seemed to be a bad case of PTSD for about 2 weeks. He’s good now, but they are no longer able to free range much until we figure out a safer set-up.

*Lilly’s nasty above-mentioned gastro bug?  Yeah, it was the “crypto” bug that has been taking over our state.  It is horrible.  It was what I get for trying to be “fun mom” and taking my kids to the water park ONE stinking time this summer!  However, dealing with that has made me realize the amazing powers of essential oils once again.

*Mark and I are very involved in our church and helped put on a retreat back in July.  Amazing things are happening I tell you.  Amazing, God-making-himself-obvious type of things.

*I started taking care of a little almost 2-year-old sweetheart recently.  She’s the daughter of a friend we’ve known since we were kids and she is adorable.  She fits right into our family and it is such a joy to have a toddler around again.  And as a bonus, her mom is expecting in January so we’ll have a baby join us next year too!!

*My dear husband is spending the evening catching up with high school friends at his 20-year reunion.  It sort of snuck up on us and I was not able to get a sitter so I could join him.  The crazy thing is, I still feel like we’re the same silly kids we were back in the day.  Only a little more grey, tired, wise(I hope!), and achy.  And even more blessed, that’s for sure.

*Our school year begins on Tuesday!  I am wrapping up canning this week and so looking forward to settling into a new school year with my favorite kiddos in the world.

I think that’s about it for tonight.  Even though this is a just a sampling, you get the idea.

My cup runneth over.

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4 Comments


  1. //

    Maria, I’m so thrilled that you all had such a rockin’ summer! Wishing you amazing school year! Hugs.


    1. //

      Thanks, Kim! Same to you friend! Looking forward to an update from you when things slow down….as if that ever happens!


  2. //

    What a fun summer! You might want to try one of the breads from Healthy Breads in 5 Minutes a Day – you mix up the dough and keep it refrigerated then just pull out and bake when you need it. I haven’t bought bread in a couple of years!


    1. //

      Thanks, Karen, I have thought about trying the 5 minute breads but have yet to do it. I usually make 6-8 loaves of bread in my BOSCH and freeze enough to last us a few weeks. I am planning on getting back into that tomorrow as a matter of fact if all goes well.

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