Saturday, June 30, 2012

greetings from asheville!

today is our 8th anniversary...
and i can say with all my heart that i am more in love with my husband, more firmly secure in him, more aware of the depth of our friendship that even 8 years ago when i was so giddy to marry him i could barely think of anything else.
josh and i dated for 6 weeks until he proposed and then another 6 weeks to plan a the wedding. i would often laugh when people would ask how long we'd known eachother and then how long we had been married and those numbers only differed by 3 months.  =)
i MARVEL at how in the world we could meet and know so fast that this person was our other half...that i would be content with noone else but him.

in 8 years we have moved 7 times, endured hospital stays, broken necks and crohn's attacks, started a business, built a cabin, traveled to england 3x, grown veggies and had animals for the first time, raised 2 beautiful children, talked into the wee hours, took a cross country trip to montana, mourned the loss of a baby in my tummy, about to welcome another in a month!, watched everything british we could find on netflix, hiked mountains, swam lakes and snuggled our babies and eachother....

it has been rich and full and amazing.  i would choose none other but josh as my mate again and again...he is my rock and my home.

and we are celebrating by visiting dear friends!! we left a couple days ago for robbinsville nc to visit josh's best friend bryce ....they have just had their 3rd handsome boy brendan...who is ADORABLE.  it was lovely to chat with beth and play with the kids and visit their mountain village.  this morning we drove from there to asheville to visit with pete and kassie...and their son stone! who was born a year ago last week who we met for the first time!!! also just adorable ....catching up with friends has been so so good and special.

josh booked us in at a marvelous little bed and breakfast AND had roses delivered when we arrived!  i utterly feel pampered...the first thing i did was to run a bath and just float there for a bit...we will meet up with the kids on monday and head home....as much fun as we are having it is impossible not to miss our kids...jack and esme are SUCH a part of who we are...i can't wait to hug their sweet necks and kiss their faces....our little joys.

to God be the glory for great things He has done!!!! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

sky lanterns

i think i have posted this link before...but here are a bunch of sky lanterns in china...it is so ethereal and amazing to me!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwrel&v=N9Ko-yvJzHU

making fireworks

http://www.skylighter.com/fireworks/how-to-make/Firefly-cut-stars.asp

i have read through this site before bc it is so fascinating to me....but as i was researching making your own fireworks...i came across it again...it is WONDERFUL!!! one day i'd like to order the sky lanterns...they are beautiful!!! i wish i'd known about them when we got married =)

homesteading...

i honestly don't know whether i'd consider us as 'homesteaders' or not...
certainly not in the real sense of the word...where we have landed and built out own place and make everything we eat and lie down upon =)...maybe in crawford we were closer to that place ....

anywho...but today i had a little taste of what it might be like to put up all your own food...i thought i'd make some meals for the freezer for when the little tot is here...and put up some food that needs saving ...and that it wouldn't take me too long.

let's just say i began shortly before lunch and finished as the sun was setting...the kids built forts around me, ran around the house, played legos and princesses, we did take breaks for violin and 'story of the world' but on the whole i was living in the kitchen....here's what i finished....and still i have a frig full of stuff that needs to be put up!!!

a gallon of spaghetti sauce (using onions, garlic, pepper and of course tomatoes from the garden)
a gallon of carrot soup base...didnt' add anything, just cooked and purreed
a gallon of kale greens
a gallon of tomato/okra/corn base (justin and julie brought over YUMMY okra and corn from their garden!)
2 large pans of chicken spaghetti pasta (using the sauce i just made)
2 large squash casseroles (justin and julie also brought squash!)
shelled a bucket of cowpeas...didn't get a chance to blanch them
still have okra that needs blanching and freezing
bagged up the stuff from the dehydrator....sun dried tomatoes and peach slices (crisps)
the freezer is brimming to the top and it is such a wonderful problem to have!!!

and our garden is small!

on the other hand...
i always have this sense at the end of days when i am so preoccupied with something other than the kids...that i missed out....this is probably a wave of the 'mom guilt' that i think pretty much all moms struggle with in one way or another...we feel we should be everything to our kids or that we should never let them watch tv or that she shouldn't ever get tired or need to be alone ...at least i have moments of this off and on....at the heart of it i think is a deep deep love for them and a deep knowledge that soon they will be 'gone'...off in their own worlds of friends and school and sports and then one day college and families of their own...and that we may be missing something in the here and now that we will one day regret not seizing when we could.  even if the choice to do something else was undodgeable...like housework or errands.  i think if i could reprogram my life just a bit i would try and make better use of  my evenings...less tv for me, more sleep...things that would put my mind and heart is a slower, softer place...the spirit needs time to rest i think in order to fully exert itself the following day.

and here i am again just rambling away =)

my dear marie and bill have procurred the most wonderful little sailboat for jack and esme...which we'll pick up late next week...more on this soon but i can't stop thinking about it! a boston whaler if you want to check it out....

well, my friends, sleep well, love fully and give so that it costs you something...and i'll try and do the same =)

more food for the freezer!!

 
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this and that foods from today!

 
 
 
 
 
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produce....what a gift!!

 
 
 
 
 
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

commentary

the peach paper =)
all this is ...are peaches...blended and dehydrated...and i seem to leave it in there too long so it is crispy like paper rather than rolly uppy like a fruit roll up. but the kids love it and of course it is super easy to make.  i have the dehydrator filled with tomatoes (for 'sun dried' tomatoes) and peach slices...both of which get used up quickly in our house. =)

tomorrow going to make meals for the freezer for when baby comes! i have so many tomatoes so i think i'll make sauce and then chicken parmesan and eggplant parmesan etc...and freeze them! we'll see if it actually happens =)

this morning we grouted jack's floor ...so all that is left is to linseed oil the inside (a little bit will still rub off if you brush up too hard against it...so this way it will be totally sealed), and to trim out the painted triangle bit with some rough cut wood to make it look 'finished'. and esme just needs a roof and a door and to trim out the windows. so yay! making headway there!  also packed a couple boxes in the house....so the movement to finish projects before the baby has well and truly begun!

the house!!!! it just looks so so beautiful...we are so pleased with it...i love the arches over the doors..a perfect place to duck from the rain and it just feels so good in there!

didn't photo the snake but kids were played by sand pile (right behind housesite) and jack was about 2 feet from a cotton mouth when he saw it and yelled 'snake'!!!!! esme took up the chorus and of course we all came running....by the time i arrived josh had killed it. daniel says that the longer we live here the fewer we'll see as we decrease the population...i know this is true and am eager for this time to occur!!!  2 in 2 weeks are pretty big odds of running into one without seeing it first.  we have seen plenty more than this of non poisonous varieties...and 2 other poisonous ones out on the road...but a rattle snake and a cotton mouth RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOUSE.

ok! it was a lovely day...we shopped a bit for 'new baby' gifts and then played legos and 'story of the world' and cleaned up a bit...made an eggplant parmesan (using our own eggplants, homemade sauce and eggs to fry the eggplant =)) and ate half a watermelon the kids and i =) summer is truly lovely here...josh and i sat out last night and listened to the frogs and cicadas and crickets and owls...what a chorus!!!

until tomorrow!

peach paper!!!!!

 
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the house!!!!

 
 
 
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out at the land!

 
 
 
 
 
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

a few more things...

so i tried to fix our water line to the ice maker...josh told me what to get and it seemed straight forward so i hooked the bits together...but i didn't have another adjustable wrench to tighten it down so it still leaked a bit...hmmm....josh will know how to fix it!

check out http://residentialrenaissance.blogspot.com for more pics of jack's house with paint on it!

ginger snaps! i love this recipe...
2.5 ts ginger
2 ts baking soda
1 ts cinn
1 ts cloves
3/4 ts salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1.5 sticks butter
1 egg
1.5 plus a little bit of flour
1.4 cup molasses

roll in balls and then in sugar...bake at 350 until cracked on top
the best ginger cookies! crispy on outside and chewy on inside =)

mac and cheese...i just cook some pasta while making a quick rue of milk, flour, cheese and salt...once pasta is cooked, drain and dump in oven safe bowl with rue and 1 or 2 eggs....top with cheese and usually tomato and salt and pepper...bake for a while and then broil the top....
this was the super fast version tonight...just broiled really...but it tastes so yummy!

and here is my tummy =)
i just snapped a pic while sitting on the couch so you could see the little tike in there!!! or rather my tummy with it in there =)
 i am about 7 weeks away and still measuring a week bigger they say....i have another appointment tomorrow with midwife...will ask where to go to deliver! have forgotten to ask this so far! ha!  feeling great! so thankful for that!

this and that...

 
 
 
 
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description of the pics below =)

today the kids and i decided to tackle one of the "urgencies" weighing ever so gently on my heart before the baby comes....to finish their city!!! =)

we began by cutting and screwing up the rafters for esme's house...i made her pitch a lot less steep so there would be less to fill in at the triangle which remains...and easier for me to waddle up a ladder to attach in my belly blossomed state =)  the kids enjoyed this very much as their jungle gym.

we came home and ate and then drove to lowes so jack could choose a paint color! he chose a wonderful rusty barny red for his house...i love it! and thankfully they were 'done' with building by this point and played and played and PLAYED in the water hose while i painted...i would have been happy to let them paint but i'd have had much cleaning up afterwards =)....

o! and i can't believe i forgot to take pics...but we decided to tile jack's floor with some old tile!

the kids built dams for the water running down the hill, the played with their puppy stella leaping through the spray....the made mud pies and turned themselves into mud pies...they ran around not very clad in the woods wet and happy as wild birds...i loved loved hearing their laughter and giggles...

we then came home to shower and eat again =) and read our history while we desserted on frozen blueberries...we colored our pictures from story of the world which happened to be about anansi the spider (african folklore tales) then we checked some out on youtube. 
the kids then snuggled down to a national geographic egyptian documentary while i baked ginger snaps and mac and cheese for dinner =)

now i sit with another pile of wool to pick through and a cup of cocoa butter, chocolate almond drink...some weird concoction that i like =) and will probably break down and watch something english...yay!

worked at the land today!@

 
 
 
 
 
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

a sweet day with my family...

josh has been working a lot this month...getting certifications, a double shift ...
and he never complains bc he loves it...truly...
he is somehow best at rest when he is most purposeful and directed in a good course...so i love it with him even though the kids and i can't help but miss him home on his 2 days ...

this week and the beginning of next have been more full than usual...he worked a 48 hr shift, home for 24 then back for 24 and more training the next day...
but this home for 24 has been a good one...
we ate blueberry pancakes, the kids helped josh mow the lawn (taking turns on his lap), we all went for a swim at the ymca, we played nerf football, washed harry and ate cereal for dinner =) 

the kids go to bed and josh and i just talk about them...how much we love them, how much we miss them even though they are just in the next room dreaming of something lovely...we both feel our blessedness and try so hard to not take it for granted.

i am only 7 weeks away from meeting this little baby...and for some reason this weekend, i have a new sense of nesting/readiness to 'get down to the business' of preparing...i want to pack up much of the house, finish the kids play houses and build a large sandbox, and get a little corner ready here for our new little one...and also begin to prepare for jack's lessons...at least the first month.  time with the 2 of them is so precious to me...i remember when esme was born how i grieved the loss of one on one with jack...for a bit until i saw it was completely possible to engage them both...but those first few weeks...whew!  so i want to relish these moments with them...

and now to bed...the crickets and frogs are as loud as ever...and i love hearing them...summer is such a noisy busy time for outdoors!

Friday, June 22, 2012