Zucchini

Grilled.

In Muffins.

No matter how we serve it, the kids love it!  We had our usual crop of zucchini this year…. a few big ones, and now a diseased plant.  Ugh.  Zucchini does NOT like me!  But, we love it so we will try again next year…. and I am thankful for what we had!

In other news, I am very busy doing nothing over here, which has been wonderful.  It’s hard to blog after I lost my camera on the way to Thailand… (or it was stolen!)  But, I’m going to try to get some more posts out, soon.  I miss this little space!

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Home, Again!

Two weeks away, and the changes that took place here are almost hard to believe.  For example, check out the explosion in our garden:

Tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, beans, peas, zinnias, and sunflowers about 10 feet tall!  Sadly, the beans and peas were overgrown and diseased, but the chickens LOVED them.  We ate the first of the tomatoes, as well as grilled zucchini.  Four bell peppers made it to the refrigerator, while three more got eaten by a rat last night.  (Ugh!)  I’ve been home just a couple days now, but spent lots of time in the garden and the pool.  Welcome, summer!

It will be hard to know where to begin with our mission trip to Thailand.  Unfortunately, I lost my camera in the airport on the way out so I have zero pictures.  However, several friends took pictures so I am hoping to get a fair amount from them somehow.  For now, all I can say is that it was a wonderful trip with lots of stories to share and lots of memories to treasure in my heart.  I loved every minute, but now I am so happy to be home!

Side note:  All the spending money I took to Thailand for food, offerings, and souvenirs came from our garden prize money.  Isn’t that cool?

Allison Turns 12

Though she turns 12 today, her party was about 10 days ago so we could celebrate together.  Sadly, I am in Thailand while my baby turns 12, but I’m happy we were able to celebrate before I left.  I have no doubt her daddy and siblings are spoiling her today!

Allison chose a “dog” themed party, which was a lot of fun.  It is getting a little trickier to come up with activities for these older girls, but a fun challenge, as well.  For our craft, we made dog tag necklaces…

The kids also each got colored dog paw bracelets and we played my version of steal the bacon — “steal the dog.”  (No pictures — oops!)  Then, we came back and played “Guess that dog.”  The kids worked in pairs to ask questions, eliminate characteristics, and guess which dog breed was correct.

Dinner:  hot dogs, (of course!)

After presents and cake, the kids headed outside where they made up their own games and pretend commercials.  Honestly, I think they had the most fun doing their own thing.  And, that’s ok.  After all, they are 12 now!  I am so happy my girl has such wonderful friends.

Happy birthday, Allison!  Miss you like crazy!  See you in 13 days!

On their own…

I still don’t remember how the topic came up… somehow, one of my kids asked me about the Amish and who they were.  When I explained the little bit that I know, their response actually shocked me.  “That’s cool… I wish we didn’t have all the technology and stuff.”  From there, they decided, (completely on their own), to give up screen time every Thursday.  This was our first week, and I LOVED it!  Not once was I asked for screen time.  There were times when the younger ones were bored, and we got to talk about the importance of being bored sometimes.  I sure do hope this lasts… we’ll see.

On another note, I spent some time out in the garden with my son, and we got to enjoy several peas, strawberries, and apricots.  I’m so thankful the apricots indeed ripened before I left for my trip!

Our New “Toy”

I am so grateful for a husband who sees a box with instructions as a fun challenge, rather than an overwhelming project like I see it!  We used our school funding to purchase this incredible telescope, and had the best time looking at the moon.  I was absolutely amazed by what we could see… craters and sand hills and a clear view of the moon.  The kids were quite fascinated, as well.   Looking forward to many more summer nights of star gazing!  (Malachi decided to draw the moon with chalk for us!)