Back in the saddle again

A little Aerosmith reference for you rockers out there.

I know, I know, it’s been a really long time since I wrote.  I won’t even attempt to catch up on all that has happened since my last post.

This morning I found myself with some time to clean off the memory card from the camera and laughed out loud when I saw that my little 7-year-old photographer has been at it again.  I must say though, her eye for detail is improving and her choice of subjects has drastically widened.

So here’s a quick photo update of what’s been happening on the homestead:

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Our Nature Shelf gets its picture taken every other week when one of the kids’ chore is to dust it.  They take a picture of it to use when they are restoring the items after dusting.  Lots of changes have happened around here-new furniture, old furniture made new, rooms rearranged, cleaning, organizing, purging, simplifying….feels so great!

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We have a little family game that includes getting in the last “I love you” or being the one to say “I love you most” first. Cheesy as all get out but it’s a carry over from back when Mark and I were in the early stages of falling in love.  Yes, we were cheesy then too and now the kids play along.  Don’t judge.  I found this little note on the inside of a garbage bag when I removed it from the can last week.  A little blond hair, blue-eyed cutie was peeking around the corner with a pink crayon in hand, snickering in anticipation.

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Another night I found this little journal under my pillow.  It’s one that Toby and I have kept for a few years and write back and forth in.  Gotta love a boy who’s not afraid to love on his mama.

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Temps here have been really comfortable for the past couple of weeks so we have been spending a lot of time out of doors.  Unfortunately, the mosquitoes like this weather too, hence the bug spray that we may just need to start bathing in.  The kids have acquired some new-to-them kitchen utensils that include a nut cracker.  Who knew that cracking acorns could be SO amazing?  Lilly’s little mud creations are getting pretty impressive.

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The fruit in my garden has done really awesome this year.  The vegetables?  Meh.  Let’s just focus on the positive! We had a great haul of strawberries, several picking of rhubarb, lots of raspberries, and the grapes are really going crazy!  So what to do with all of those raspberries that don’t last very long fresh? Raspberry coffee cake, that’s what! Here’s the recipe: Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

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I seem to always find lots of food pictures on the camera after it has sat around for a while.  We have quite the little food artist in our midst.

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We have had some early evening campfires this summer but when the sun goes down we run for cover because the mosquitoes are worse than I remember in a long time.

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Sometimes a girl just needs to drive a John Deere.

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This kid.  He turned 10 but sometimes I have to remind myself of that because there are times that I feel like I’m talking to a much older young man.  He’s an old soul that one.

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We were so blessed recently to have an impromptu grill out and campfire with my parents and one of my sisters and her kids.  It was a beautiful night and the skeeters actually didn’t chase us in until just after dark that night!  We are trying to revive a tradition of Sunday family dinners around here and so far so good.

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With 2 extra little ones in my care 4 days of the week, I am slowly learning to appreciate getting up early.  Cool July mornings have helped as they have beckoned me outside for my morning prayer time.

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This little one joined me on a recent morning out on the patio.

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This little piece of yumminess was still in my frig after Sunday night dinner….because sisters rock.

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The enlarged chicken run is officially done.  The girls can truly “free range” now, without the constant threat of death.  We never knew how many predators were around here until we got chickens.  On the far side of the run(in the back of the picture) we are looking forward to a HUGE garden going in next year but without any work on our part.  We stumbled upon a Farmer’s Market vendor looking for more ground and it’s a win-win!  My gardening needs are about to drastically change.

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We added 2 new colonies of bees this year and the resident beekeeper, aka The Man of the Homestead, has been busy helping them to feel welcome.

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There is some craziness going on in one of the hives but we’re hoping for a good harvest from the other one.

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The busy bees.  I’m actually really impressed with these pictures because I was gone the night they were taken so one of the kids took them and did an amazing job.

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No memory card clean off would be complete without a good “selfie” of  the photographer.  Such a clown!

Things are going really well on our little homestead.  We have so much to be thankful for.  With luck, I’ll write about some of those things soon!

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