Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For cozy evenings....

 We scored with a pile of free bricks off Craigslist - enough for both of the projects we needed them for!

 We crossed one off the list this week - a backyard firepit!

We kept it super simple, and we had it done in less than two hours

Always the boy of action, Ezra got right in and helped Daddy with the work.

We haven't had the chance to use it yet, but I'm looking forward to roasting a marshmallow or two before summer is over!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Personal School Lesson

As the new school year approaches, I've got a lesson I want to learn, too.

I feel like I've really been struggling in my mothering lately, well, for a while, really.  I feel like I am so often frustrated by my children and their actions.  For me it's the little things that grate at me, the things that happen over and over and over - the common potty accidents (when I know they can do better), the whining, the nagging, the not obeying, the child that pushes their brother down again and again.  I don't like how they're acting, so I react with anger and frustration, which then only makes me more angry and frustrated, because I don't like how I'm acting, either.  I've really been trying to think about how I can overcome these faults and hopefully, bring a little more peace to our home (because I know that starts with me!).

The other morning I thought of the Bible verse that talks about the law of kindness being on her tongue, so I was browsing through Proverbs looking for it.  I looked for it in my Bible's small concordance.  No luck.  Then I had the thought of looking it up online (I'm still getting used to having that be an option!), and then I discovered that those words are from the King James Version - I had seen and passed over the verse in my NIV Bible, because it wasn't what I was looking for: "She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

I believe I faithfully instruct my children.  But I don't always do it with kindness, and that's what I want to change.  That's why I especially like the KJV: "She openeth her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness" (Proverbs 31:26).  I think those last seven words really get to the heart of the verse: "her tongue is the law of kindness".  That is what I want.  I don't want to be one of those permissive parents who never wants their child to get in trouble - I believe discipline is crucial - but I do want to discipline out of love, grace, and kindness, and not out of anger and frustration.

So that's my personal lesson plan for the year - to learn to always speak with kindness.  They say practice makes perfect, and I have a feeling I'll get lots of practice!  =)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Today's Harvest

I am feeling so blessed by my productive garden!  I haven't had to buy very much produce this month, and it is so nice to just step outside and pick some food for dinner!

The blackberries didn't come from my garden, but rather were picked over the fence from the abandoned house next door.   We call it "the sad house", and so it is, although I will admit that I have appreciated these extra berries, especially since we haven't been able to stock up on blueberries this year like we usually do.

Six Years!

Seth and I celebrated six years of marriage Sunday.  My parents kept the kids and we enjoyed a fun "Ice Cream Cruise".  We had a yummy Chocolate Root Beer Float and relaxed as the small Captain-owned boat cruised around the lake.  It was a beautiful day - perfect - and we had a great time!  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

All on a Summer's Day

We had a fun, busy day yesterday.  We left early for a drive north where we joined my grandma for a trip to the fair.  The kids had fun riding the shuttle bus, then we took in all the fair sights!

A walk around all the animal barns was first on the list.  All the kids LOVE animals!

Then, after a little rest & snacks, it was off to the rides!  Joanna had been waiting for these all morning!
We had to ride the blue dragon.

Then, after deliberation between the balloons, the horses, and the cars, the cars it was.
After this ride, everyone was getting hot, tired, and cranky, so then it was off to Grandma's house for an afternoon at the beach.

The highlight was the crab-catching and cooking!

Looking at the live crabs

Everyone got to hold the crabs after they were cooked!

Ezra was happy just holding the little toy one!

What a fun summer day!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Garden Harvests

 I've been considering my garden this year as an experiment.  As our first garden here, I didn't know what the soil would be like and I'm quite the gardening novice, anyway.  Fortunately, we've been blessed with lots of sun this year, my garden is in a great sunny spot, and our experiment has turned out to be quite a success!

My garden a few days ago - I've since pulled out the finished broccoli and lettuce.  Not the neatest and
prettiest garden, but it's been providing lots of delicious veggies for us!

We've harvested some broccoli, and had an abundance of lettuce, peas, and zucchini.  A few crops didn't do as well, such as the radishes, spinach and beets, and others we're still waiting for, like beans, potatoes and cucumbers.

Most of my seeds were given to me by my mother-in-law, which was fun, because she gave me some things I wouldn't have thought of planting, like the zucchini, which has turned out to be one of my favorite (and most productive) crops!  We've been eating it, giving it away, and freezing more for later!  Being able to do all three of those things is, in my mind, true gardening success!  =)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Curtains in my Windows

Curtains didn't go up in our new home right away - we've slowly been adding them, one room at a time, as I've decided what I wanted and had a little extra money to spend on them.  I've really enjoyed doing it this way; it has been a savored, thoughtful process.  I have a huge distaste for blinds, so in all of the rooms where we want a little privacy, I made the curtains able to be closed.  My curtains are all really simple; mostly just panels of fabric, but so far I love how they have turned out!  I still have a couple of rooms to go - but here's what we've done so far:

Our bedroom - the first room to get curtains (they were an amazing improvement over the black plastic garbage bag we had taped up in a pinch when we moved in, as, unlike the rest of the house, there were no blinds):

The kids' room was next....their room needs to be kept dark for sleeping, and unfortunately, the curtains are too thin to be used on their own, so I kept the blinds up until their new window was installed recently, and now I have a room-darkening shade to put up when the window is finished.

I was going to purchase fabric for the dining room valances, but then pulled out the curtain I'd saved from our first apartment.  Although it wasn't exactly what I'd wanted, the color was right and it was the exact size I needed (I just cut the curtain in half and finished the edges to make two), so it seemed wasteful NOT to use it.  I do really like them after all, although I may still someday do something a little different.

I just recently got the living room curtains up, after months of living with these super-ugly blinds:

It gave me such a thrill to finally take those down!  I debated over two fabrics I liked, and finally chose the more colorful (and MUCH cheaper) option, and I am so glad I did!  These curtains add so much cheer to this otherwise plain wall.

I have just two more rooms to do - the office and laundry room, and I'll probably eventually replace the lace curtain that covers the front door.