Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summer Days

This is going to be a picture filled post! A catch-up of a tiny bit of what has been filling our lives the past little while. Life has been so busy with wedding preparations, business work, canning, construction at Ivan's, and much, much more. Hence the lack of posting!

Little Friends Come Visiting

So fun to enjoy our yearly tradition again and have our sweet little friends come out and see the baby goats! We had such an enjoyable time together . . . .

Top Photo: feeding our older does branches which both the goats and the children loved! They kept running over asking for us to break off more branches for them to feed. The wonder and excitement on their faces was priceless!

Left photo: petting one of Sienna's bucklings (speaking of which, she eventually accepted them which was a definite blessing!)

Right photo: the children wanted to feed the rabbits carrots so they each pulled one from the garden to give to them. The rabbits weren't too keen on them, but the kids still had fun!

(Photos courtesy of Molly - thanks so much, Molly!) 

Petting one of the baby rabbits . . . it was at this point that they said they wanted to feed it a carrot 

House Church

How we love our times with our church! Each Sunday together is such an encouragement in the Lord and a blessing to hear solid teaching from the word of God which never fails to encourage and convict, to sing together, share in communion and a meal. Plus the fellowship together is always wonderful!

The other Sunday when it was at our house and after the meal while we sat around visiting, I snapped this picture of some of us . . . .

A Swarm!

During swarm season, Mom joined Dad in capturing a swarm that had gathered in one of our apple trees. They had fun together (and it was fun watching and listening to them!)

The swarm

Figuring out how best to remove it

Sister Time

Way back in May, Dad and Mom took a week and a half long trip together visiting beautiful places in Nebraska, historic sites, and family. During their adventure, Leah and I kept busy at home (and was when we did all those invitations) and also had a fun sister outing to a state park. I left my camera behind this time simply to fully enjoy everything without taking pictures. It was fun for a change! We did take this one of us both right before leaving . . . .

Sisters and best of friends

Celebrating Abel's Birthday

It was special to celebrate Abel's birthday with him! What a fun day we had all together! From opening gifts, playing with some of them, having cake and ice cream with our church family (the night before), going to "Going Bonkers" (one of Abel's favorite places), laughing, and simply having a wonderful time together celebrating this special guy's 6th birthday.

Opening gifts

Reading the message Mom wrote in the front of the book

Therapeutic Riding Center

Leah and I have been loving our times out at the Therapeutic Riding Center. The summer session is over halfway done, and it has been filled with many much enjoyed and special moments. (Due to privacy reasons and not sharing identifiable photos of the riders, I don't have many photos to share, but here are a few) . . .

Leah helping one of 'our' sweet riders with this game. They were working on color matching, too, which she did so well at!

Fun times with Will's sisters (Will is a very special boy that I have worked with the last three or so years at the center. He and his sisters are the ones that came out to see the goats, too.)

 And last but not least, work days at Ivan's!

The below photos are from quite some time ago and a lot more progress has been made since then. I really need to get some updated photos!

Mom removing nails from the studs after all the lathe and plaster had been removed 

Dad working on the kitchen ceiling 

Abel was everybody's helper! Here, he was helping me remove nails 

Great job, Abel! 

Leah measuring and cutting boards for Ivan 

They are really enjoying working on their home together! 

Me removing hundreds of nails from the ceiling rafters

Abel picked up all the nails that were removed . . . he thought it was an adventure to try to find them all!

Helping Dad run wiring through a hole up to Leah on the other side 

Ivan cutting out some of the old studs to replace with a newly framed doorway 

Mom cleaning up with Abel keeping her company 

Both the guys busy at work 

Last week, Ivan's  parents and younger sister came down to help, and everyone got so much done! I was watching the kids during the day I was able to go up, so unfortunately didn't get any pictures of the busy work crew and all they accomplished. But here are some of our adventures . . . .

Brooke, Me and Abel . . . someone (ahem, Abel :) was having too much fun trying to avoid the camera!

In the afternoon, I brought the kids to the hotel pool for them to swim. They had a blast!

Helping Abel swim laps across the pool . . . he was taking a breath here before putting his face back under water. He is doing great with his swimming!

And there you have a quick summary of a glimpse into our lives. I need to get some photos to share from around our place and the garden again as things have grown and changed a lot since the last one!

The last few months have certainly been full . . . and wonderful. God has been richly blessing my family and I and we are so thankful for all He has done and is doing! I have been thinking much on His faithfulness to us and how intimately He works in our lives. How He teaches us, molds us, helps us grow in Him, fills us with His joy and peace as we fix our minds on Him, and blesses us far beyond what we even hope for.

One way has been Ivan and Leah's relationship . . . their wedding is fast approaching and before long their lives will be joined as one before God and family and friends. We are thrilled and thankful for what the Lord has done and will do in their lives!

My heart is so full and thankful . . . and excited to see what all the Lord has ahead of us in these coming months!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me, bless His holy name." Psalm 103:1

Friday, June 9, 2017

Invitation Making

Making the wedding invitations was an involved and fun process!

Leah addressing envelopes

Meanwhile we listened to the Piano Guys 

Leah did all the labor for making the invitations save for assembling the pieces and parts . . . she designed them, printed the papers and cut them all out, and then Leah and I had an 'invitation taping morning' with our friend Meagan to tape all the pieces together with double sided tape . . . .

We're finished! Meagan and I with one of the invitations (and with the wedding date, time, location cloned out. :) 

On another day, Leah hot glued the burlap/lace ribbon on every invitation. Here they are drying before being put in the envelopes. 

It was a fun step to put the invitations in the envelopes, and then they were ready to seal and send on their way!

It was definitely exciting to have them finished and sent out. As Leah said, it makes their upcoming wedding seem even more real. :) Perhaps not quite as much, though, as when her special order wedding dress came in the mail! Only about three more months to go!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Time with Abel

Another catch up post :) . . . .

Awhile back, Mom, Ivan and Leah spent a day in town to look at items for the house (carpets, etc.), set up their wedding registry, and do some wedding shopping. They had such a fun time together! Meanwhile, I had the fun of spending the day with Abel . . . I had quite a bit of work to do that day, but we squeezed in lots of together time, plus lots of interaction while he was in the living room and I in the kitchen working.

He is such a special boy, and I love the times spent with him! So glad he is going to be my nephew! And of course, so glad to be gaining such a great brother-in-law, too. :) We are very blessed!

A couple of photos were taken during the day so here is a glimpse into our time . . . .

He loves to exercise! He brought out our mat and started doing push-ups, showing me how many he could do in a row

He has been doing really well with learning to read and loves books. He pulled this one on lions off the shelf and began sounding out the words. It isn't an easy reading level, and he did a great job!

The words that he didn't know, I would help him sound out, sometimes covering part of the word so he could read it syllable by syllable.

Covering part of the word while he sounded it out 

Thanks to the mention of "14,000 years ago . . . ." in the book, there was a good opportunity to talk with him about biblical creation and what evolution is and why the latter isn't true. It was one of a number of great conversations we were able to have.

Partway through the day, we took some time to finish up a homeschool homework page he had left to do which was on the letter 'v'. One of the pictures that he colored was a Violin . . . and so I pulled out my violin so he could play on it a bit, too. He loved that!

A budding musician!

Next up is a post about wedding preparations . . . to be more precise: making the invitations! (which have all been sent out now.) Plus there's a post to come about another workday out at Ivan's house. It is exciting to see all the progress being made!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

An Evening Walk

The sun was slowly sinking in the west, spreading its golden rays across our place . . . one of my favorite times of day to be outdoors. Birds were singing their cheerful songs in the trees, and there was a calm, peacefulness settling in. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed a walk the other evening with my camera in hand  . . . would you all care to join me?

 Looking out across the front yard

It is such a lovely time of year and flowers are beginning to bloom, the vegetable garden is finally starting to have noticeable growth after our deluge of rain and chilly weather awhile back, the goat kids are growing and are quite entertaining, . . . and I could go on, but I'll let the pictures describe it instead. :) . . . .

The little front garden that I completely redid last summer (replacing all the bad soil with good, new soil) is doing much better this year. Slowly it is filling out! 

Long rows of tomato plants . . . hopefully we'll have a big crop this year and we'll be able to restock all of our tomato canned goods! We're starting to get low on a bunch of things. 

The slightly crooked carrot bed

Onions, lettuce, spinach, beets, watermelon, tomatoes, and kale (that is going to seed)

 Tiny celery plants that grew very slowly before being transplanted out, plus some cucumbers.

Already looking forward to fresh green beans sauted in butter and garlic!

 Two of Dad's beehives . . . he's up to around 20 hives and nucleus colonies now! The blueberry bushes are right to the left of these ones, and they are loaded with berries which will be ready to pick next month.

Beehives and fruit trees . . . two of the apple trees have a lot of apples on them

Aurora with her triplets (she was becoming slightly impatient for her dinner which came right after my walk. :) 

Petunias and Vincas that I planted in front of the barn. I got a blue saliva plant this past Saturday at the farmers market so need to do some rearranging to add it in here, too.

My hydrangea bush . . . hoping it flowers this year! 

One of mom's beautiful irises 

"Is it our dinner time yet?" These two boys sure know how to let us know when they are ready to eat! While Sienna never did accept them (so we have to keep them in a separate pen), she knows the feeding routine and all we need to do now is open up both gates, let the kids run in, and she'll patiently feed them while we go do other things. We need to be back around the time she is done, though, as she is not fond of having them in the stall with her once feeding time is over.  

The chickens seemed quite curious as to what I was doing :) "No scraps for us?"

Love all the springtime flowers! I have been enjoying bringing some of them indoors occasionally, too. They brighten up the house so much! 

The daisies are just starting to bloom in my mom's wildflower garden

We haven't really done anything with this garden for years (other then weed and mulch), and the hostas keep on growing and spreading. 

Prairie, Primrose and Meadow . . . there is something so peaceful about watching them out grazing.

Looking down the driveway 

In the rabbitry . . . currently, we have three litters of rabbits. One of them is just starting to open their eyes and are cute! 

This patch of wild elderberries has more than doubled in size since last year! Maybe this summer the birds and deer will leave some of the berries for us. :) 

Here they come! Aurora's kids are not easy to photograph . . . . . 

Can you see why? They love being up close to us! 

River loving the attention

By this time, goats were getting rather impatient to be fed and the sun was sinking lower, which meant it was time to get started on the evening chores!

". . . . Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well."
Psalm 139:14b