Saturday, May 30, 2009

Make hay while the sun shines

That would be nice, but today it's make hay before the rain hits. I just took this photo of my brothers. David is raking the hay, and Mark is baling it with Sam riding along. It started raining just a few minutes later (enough for them to quit), but now the sun is out! This particular field has already been rained on three times! Oh, the trials of farming. And how did Mark and Sam get the cab tractor?
Hay must be mowed, tedded (spread out to dry), raked into rows, baled, and moved either inside or into rows to cover. This all takes at least two days. It is best if it doesn't get wet during this process to prevent rotting until next winter.

Two weeks ago we had a dry spell, and David baled a large field behind our house. The kids had a great time playing on the bales before they were moved to the barn. That's their good friend Kyleigh along for our adventure. I don't know who enjoys hay bales more, the kids or the cows. I'm just glad we're looking at rounds bales, and not square ones yet:)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fruit Salad Recipe

This fruit salad makes a great side dish, dessert, or covered dish for pitch ins. I often get asked the recipe, so I thought I'd share on here.

Fruit Medley

1 can peach pie filling
1 can Mandarin oranges
1 can crushed pineapple
1 jar marchino cherries
1 firm banana
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix together first 4 ingredients; chill. Add banana and pecans before serving.

I've been thinking a bit about seasoning, my life that it. I want my words to be seasoned with Jesus. My actions to have a least a hint of Him. How can I do this? Spend time in prayer talking to Him, read my Bible more, think about Him before I speak or act. I am finding that the true test of my character is what my children think/say about me because they are with me all the time. Lord, help me to be a good example to my children of a life lived for You.

Josh taught Sam and Cora how to suck the honey out of a honeysuckle bloom, and now Sam thinks there is a snack waiting along every fence row. Here he is getting a lick in.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Holiday World

Nana and Papaw (Joy and Ralph) took Sam, Cora, and me to Holiday World over the weekend. It was so much fun. It rained on us a few times, but we were there to get wet anyway! We also had some sunshine.

Sam loves to ride anything he's big enough for. He favorite was the Watube water slide. Last year Cora didn't like it there, but this year she loves it. I think her favorite was the lazy river.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bologna Letters

Our kids like plain old bologna and cheese (not on bread of course:), but give them cookie cutters and they LOVE it! Sam decided to make the letters of his name, a four, and an X. I was pleased that he found them all in the box and even put the letters of his name in the right order. Cora made butterflies and flowers.

Who says you can't play with your food? That's what I call an educational lunch!

Monday, May 18, 2009

New tooth

Eli got a new tooth yesterday! Its on the top, and just barely through the skin, but its definitely there. This is the first tooth he's gotten since we've had him. He had two bottom teeth in Ethiopia. We regret not asking his special mother when he got his first tooth. Its just one of those things you wish you knew because a mother can always tell you how old her babies were when they got a tooth.

In other news, Sam found our first red strawberry yesterday too. For a few weeks, we've been checking now and then for a ripe one. He found it and graciously shared it with his sister. Strawberries are one of their favorite foods, hands down. They had it gone before I got the camera, but they proceeded to search the strawberry patch for about ten more luck.

Summer's coming!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Homeschool 101

We are going to begin home schooling Sam in the fall for kindergarten. Josh and I attended a HS conference in Indy last month, and we learned so much! One thing they suggested was creating a list of goals, so on hard days you can remind yourself why you are doing this (especially when the school bus drives by:). Here is our list so far...

Why we choose to home school:

  • Provide Biblical teaching and Christian environment
  • Teach according to individual learning styles and talents
  • Foster family relationships
  • Promote community involvement

Our long-term home school goals:

  • Create a love for learning
  • Raise responsible, passionate, and kind citizens
  • Develop Biblical character

Measure of success:

Lives of priority,
1. God
2. family
3. school/vocation

Yesterday the kids and I met at a park with the local home school group. I really enjoyed getting to know some of them. I have no doubt they will be a blessing and valuable resources for us. They meet just about every Friday of the year. During the school year they do various field trips and educational stuff and in the summer they play together. There are a few boys Sam's age and girl's Cora's age, so we should fit right in. There are also several babies in the bunch for Eli to grow with.

Last night we attended a home school graduation (Congrats Sharon!) for a different support group. We were so impressed with the seven graduates and their families. It was very obvious to me the amount of time and prayer the parents invested in the children. Its actually quite intimidating!

We are really excited to start this phase of our life, but I can't believe Sam is old enough! We thank God we are able to do this, and we pray for His wisdom in teaching, patience when its hard, and grace when we fail.

Friday, May 15, 2009


We recently had a photo session with the kids' cousin Callaway. The photographer got three shots in before Eli started crying. The first one ended up being the only good one. We tried to calm Eli down so we could take one of just our three kids, but he would have nothing to do with it. (Raleigh, do you think you could do it?:) Sam and Cora did well, and were rewarded with a trip to McD's with Nana and Aunt Lyndsey. Eli had to come home and go to bed!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Crop duster

This morning, as I was feeding Eli his nap time bottle, Sam and Cora were playing outside. I heard a plane fly over head rather close and then the kids came running in saying, "There's a plane in the front yard!"

Did you ever notice that if anything loud is going to happen, its going to happen during the critical period of time when the baby is falling asleep? For example: the phone rings (twice), the repair men come to work on the roof, a friend stops by with her three kids, the dog barks at birds....and the list goes on and now includes a crop duster starts flying over your house repeatedly.

Today it was the crop duster, dusting the neighbors two wheat fields. Eli slept right through it, and the rest of us went outside to enjoy the show. It was really fun to watch as he dipped really low to let out the dust and then made some steep turns. The pilot must be a father, because just before he finished he came real low right in front of us, and we have no wheat in our yard! The kids LOVED it, and Sam said, "That plane sure is dandy!" (Sounds like something Opie would say:)
Sam decided he would like to have that job when he grows up, but not if he has to fly to Indianapolis because that is too far. Nor does he want to sleep in the plane or the airport, which I assured him the pilot does go home each night. Its so fun to hear a kids perspective on things!
Crop dusters have become more common in our area in recent years. Partly because of high gas prices and also they don't damage the crop that is already thick and tall like a sprayer would. And who doesn't love the sound a little airplane circling over head. I wonder if those planes have passenger seats?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sam's camping trip

Josh and Sam are camping tonight at Glendale, a state fish and wildlife area close to home. They spent the whole day there, and we went this evening for hot dogs and smores, then left them to enjoy the tent.

Sam's thoughts on camping, written by mom (I CAN read his mind):

  • I can ride my bike so fast on Glendale's nice flat roads, but Dad seems to be having trouble...looks like his bike seat is too small?!
  • I have been playing in the mud all day, and dad doesn't care!
  • The fish hatchery is cool, especially seeing a snake in the water.
  • Hiking in the woods wore me out!
  • I like seeing people cut up their fish, but I like touching the fish even more.
  • I can't believe they let me eat as many smores as I wanted.
  • Playing in the fire has to be one of the funnest things in the whole world!
  • I have the BEST dad. Thanks Daddy for taking me camping. I want to be just like you when I grow up.

2 months ago

This is the first time we saw Eli in Ethiopia. He was sitting in a walker chewing on a piece of broken plastic. It was 2 months ago today. He sure has grown! I wish we could freeze time to keep him a baby longer.

Meeting Eli is a moment I will never forget. However, time is already fading the memory. I love to look at our photo albums from the trip, but they are not as alive as they once were. At that time though, Eli was essentially a stranger, even if he was in our hearts. At first, Eli liked us yet he held back a little. Recently, he has become a snuggler, laying his head on my shoulder and cuddling in our bed. Its so good to be close to him and know God created him for our family. Now we know his smells, cries, and favorite blankie.

Two months has gone by so quickly, yet I hardly remember life without Eli. He adds smiles, slobber, and tears to our home. He makes an ordinary bowl of ice cream something to screech about. He makes bath time a slashing good time. He makes a trip to the park more hectic and special. This Mothers Day, he makes me more proud and thankful to be a mom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Smells like money!

We ate outside on the front porch swing one day last week. A little picnic, where the mess is outside for the dog to clean up. As we were eating, here comes our friendly neighborhood farmer, formerly my favorite brother. Cora pointed and said, “Oh no! Pig nure!” Sure enough, he was coming to spread hog manure RIGHT beside our house.

On pretty spring days in the country, if the fields aren’t too soggy, farmers are busy spreading manure. Around our farm, we joke about the “smell of the day”. It may be hog, turkey, cattle, or chicken depending on the wind and which farmer is busy.

Farmers don’t see manure as waste. It is a valuable by-product of livestock. Its nature’s fertilizer and it works! We can already see the darker green places in the hay field where the manure was spread last week. As we like to say, “It smells like money!” But I’d rather not smell the money (or see it) while I’m eating my lunch!

Do you think this little “Farmer in Training” would ever do this to his family?