"Look and see, for everyone is coming home!" Isaiah 60:4

Friday, September 23, 2011

4 Years ago yesterday

4 years ago yesterday, my husband was dressed like this

while I was dressed like this.

It's been a blissful whirlwind of 4 years and I can't wait to see what the next 70 bring :D

We celebrated pretty low key yesterday. We went to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays with the kids and then went home right away so I could ice my back. Sciatica can really put a damper on things! Hopefully we'll be able to do a little something without the kids in the next couple weeks.
Dylan bought me some chocolates from Christopher Elbow downtown. The ones we've tried so far were all really great! I'll need to get a picture of them before we eat anymore! When I opened the box it all looked like jewelry, they are so pretty! He is so thoughtful!
I've got his present in mind, but haven't had a chance to get it yet. My man is a tea connoisseur so I know he'll like it. :D

I love you Dylan, more than you'll ever know! You've been a blessing to me beyond measure. I'm sure the next 70 years will fly by, just like these first 4 have. I can't wait to enjoy every single second with you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Rabbit Trail

I've just got time for a quick post.

Tomorrow will be the first day of our LAST adoption fundraiser garage sales. And I am elated!

You see, we've been storing the majority of the garage sale stuff in our garage haven't been able to park in there for the past 3 months or so. I'm really itching to get the cars back in there, especially before the weather starts turning obnoxiously cold again.

We have no clue still when our adoption will be complete since we're the only ones who are in charge of how quickly we proceed a this point. And as of right now, we are going VERY S L O W.

But when I look at the big picture, it's still odd to think this will be the last sale before we bring our "bio-baby" home. (Please note I use the term bio-baby solely to distinguish which baby I'm referring to. We never use that term on a daily basis!)

However, on Monday I did contact one of the agencies in the area who conducts home studies. They have yet to call me back. I'll try them again tomorrow.

In addition, we will find out the gender of our "bio-baby" in early October! That appointment is one of my favorites, and with this being my LAST pregnancy, it's kinda special.

Sorry for the rabbit trail.

Kudos to you if you've followed my line of thinking THIS far...you deserve a candy bar.

Friday, September 9, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow? Highs (and lows) of 2011

 I've been lacking on the updates of the garden because, really there hasn't been much to update. The flowers did decently well, but mostly because they all bloomed before the heat stress set in. Here's a few pictures from this past summer.
 I think I've posted these before, but I really like them, so here they are again! These are some daylilies that I transplanted from the backyard to the front yard. I'm so glad I kept them!

 These next few flowers were killed by the heat before they could get much bigger than this. Pretty sad.

The cosmos did eventually bloom! They were beautiful!
 So did the Sweet Peas. Also beautiful, but they didn't get up to their fabled 12' tall. This was about all I could get out of them before they too were singed by the torch of summer. I'm not bitter....promise...
 These daylilies (Grapette) were a big surprise this year. I bought them last year from K-States gardens, but they didn't bloom. They just needed a little time to establish roots in their new area. They bloomed this year and I'm so glad I waited for them! I LOVE the ruffled edges and the dark purple to yellow throat! Beautiful!

So this year wasn't the best year for the veggie garden. In fact it was a MAJOR disappointment.

At the beginning of the season I had 34 tomato plants. I had expected to be processing gallons and gallons of tomato sauce, puree, diced tomatoes...the list was endless! The heat this summer made it impossible for them to set fruit. So far this year I've had a record breaking LOW of approximately 10 purple cherry tomatoes and a weird wild hybrid plant that produced 5-7 Roma/cherry cross tomatoes. They basically look like giant red cherry tomatoes. The rest of the 32 tomatoes have yet to produce ANYTHING. And I fear it's too late for them. I've honestly about given up. I'm keeping them out there mostly for the blooms on the plants. We've got some hummingbirds close by that like tomato blooms. BUT, my rule is if they are benefiting in SOME way, they stay. But I'm no longer watching for anything to ripen. It's just too heartbreaking and disappointing :(

The lettuce was all eaten by rabbits, the peppers were stunted by the heat and almost never got established. Our pumpkins were attacked by vine borers and more or less done for by the beginning of July.
The carrots hated the soil they were in. Too much clay. When they were pulled up...it was just sad. They were shorter than your pinky finger and about as round.
And the purple green beans, while they did produce the biggest harvest, well, I didn't get them staked when I should have. They were attacked by heat, bugs, poor soil, and weeds that tried to choke out the little life left in them.

HOWEVER....I did plant my first fall garden. So far I've gotten carrots and more purple green beans in the ground. I'm still planning on 3-4 varieties of lettuce and spinach. And I'm working on a post for that as well. I'm staying hopeful the fall harvest will make up for the summer harvest. Until then, I'll be praying over the soil. 'Cause I don't know what else could possibly work.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Double Birthday Party and Fall "Decorating"

We had a very full Labor Day weekend filled with family, friends and fun!
It kicked off with a trip to Irish Fest at Crown Center. Of course, I forgot the camera. But the highlights were picking up some Irish tea for Dylan, and the kids got to meet many of the Disney princesses! There was some of the best Irish music and food! I had the best fish and chips for dinner there! Raglan Road is calling my name, I can feel it! I also picked up a new (temporary!) wedding band. Mine is already getting a little too tight for me. It's a beautiful infinity trinity knot, but unfortunately has no bling on it.
Saturday we had family and friends over for the kids birthday party.

 We grilled out, relaxed and enjoyed spending time with everyone!

And of course there were presents!

These kids were so excited about everything they received. They wanted ALL their presents open and played with at once!

I also got a few pictures of the cakes I made for them.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

It took a while for me to figure out what Shawn wanted for a cake. All he would tell me for awhile is a green cake. Baffled, I had planned on making him one that resembled a birthday present. Finally about a week ago he said the words " big fat caterpillar" when we were talking about it and I realized what he meant. The Very Hungry Caterpillar! He was so thrilled he had at last gotten through to his sometimes dense mama! We showed him the picture in the book of the "big fat caterpillar" and he confirmed that was exactly what he wanted!

Isabel was MUCH more concise about her cake. She described a white heart with pink and purple and red flowers all over it. I drew up a sketch of it and she approved! Here's what hers ended up as!

Around cake time is when my camera started acting up and I didn't notice it until I looked at the pictures a while later. The lens cover has been sticking lately so when the camera turns on it doesn't always open. These were the pictures I got of the kids blowing out the candles :(

Oh well, I suppose. Better luck next year.  All in all it was a wonderful day and the kids had such a good time! They were so tired by the end of it!

Sunday we got to release the Painted Lady butterflies we had grown. They were part of Isabel's birthday present and so we decided it was time to let them go be free!

These were part of a homeschool project on changes (metamorphosis) as well as patience. It was so incredible to see the kids watch the caterpillars change to butterflies. Isabel just LOVED it, so we're going to be doing this project again next year, probably with some more in depth studies.

Back inside the kids set to playing with a play-dough set they received on Saturday. They came to show me their creations and were so proud of themselves!

I'm sure you've also noticed by now the blog has a new look! We've "fall-ifyed" the decor around here! Let me know what you think. I'm also hoping to be posting a couple DIY tutorials soon, so stay tuned! Happy Fall, y'all!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Busy Week!

I've been flying like crazy around here trying to get the house up to par for a gathering on Saturday. We're having a double birthday party for the kids, complete with homemade cakes and grilling out! We invited my side of the family who all live about an hour from us as well as friends who live here in town. We'll have no less than 7+ kids running around the house, as well as family for who this will be the first time seeing our "new" house we bought almost 2 years ago.

These pics are from my our recent baking expedition with the kids. Isabel helped with mixing the batter and pouring it into the cupcake tin. Shawn was pleased just to help decorate and eat!

We've also been potty training Shawn for a couple weeks. He's making progress, but still refuses to tell us when he needs to go, BEFORE he soils himself. We're finding out what times of the day he's most resistant to the idea of going, and are finding ways to help him through those times. But still, not a fun journey, especially with everything else going on.

I'm hoping to have a semi-tutorial up on Sunday or Monday over the process of the birthday cakes, but for now, I'm keeping mum about their theme. I'm really hoping they turn out as wonderful as the concept in my head looks. Stay tuned!