a little shopping

"Employees Only"

I love how imaginative my kids are. Last week I took them to the park two times and they didn't go near the play structures. They spent the entire time playing clubhouse in the bushes.

Yesterday morning they spent over 3 hours playing in the bushes that their Papa trimmed for us in the backyard. They made little shops and signs for their shops by writing on leaves.

They made an ice cream shop, a blacksmith shop and a joke shop. Lily sold jokes that were written out on leaves.

"$5.00 per Item or 1 Pretzel"

I love this! They used pretzels for currency. :)



...is how I felt all day long today.

Thank you so much for all the sweet phone calls, cards, emails, gifts in the mail...

I even had a sneaky friend drop off an amazing chocolate cake this morning.

Wow! Do I feel blessed. Loved. Happy.

Thank you.


as it should be

Two cups are better than one. 

Phil was gone all of last week for a work conference and things just weren't the same around here. It's so nice to have everyone together again. We enjoyed coffee on the patio tonight after dinner while watching the kids run around and play. Things are as they should be. Ahhhhhhh.

One of my sisters called this week and asked if she could come for an impromptu visit. This was her first visit up here in our new home so we had fun showing her around. I love sister visits. We do what we call our 'sister laugh.' If you heard us, you'd understand.We crack each other up and laugh hysterically about the strangest things.

After dinner I headed out to the garden to check on things and to take a couple of pictures. Earlier this week I realized that I haven't posted any recent pictures of our garden.

I love slipping my worn-out rubber boots on after dinner and heading out to the field with the family to check on the garden and visit the animals. It's so peaceful here in the evening.

And look what we have now! Lots and LOTS of blackberries...big, juicy ones. A few weeks ago a vendor at the farmer's market gave me several sturdy berry baskets. They're perfect for sending out with the kids when we need a few berries for breakfast. I think they're adorable, and they make berry picking that much more fun with the added cuteness factor. :)

The berries don't last long. My kiddos caught up with me as I walked into the front yard. I probably brought less than 10 berries back into the house with me.

A quick game of sprinkler tag before bedtime


the knappa lamp

Six months ago we went to IKEA and I purchased this great lamp that has been sitting in its box in a closet.

I decided to put it together tonight and hang it over the computer desk in the den.

How difficult could it be, right? So I open up the box and find 56 pieces to put together -- 40 of which are these thin sheets of plastic. 

Seriously IKEA??? Are you kidding me? I gave up on these directions and found a few tutorials online written by people like me who lack spacial reasoning skills.

All in all, I love the finished project!


I love color

I had the urge to re-do this old end table in our living room. The finish was old and crackly and its top shelf was dry and faded by the sun.

I love how it turned out!

This color (called Lagoon) is so bright and cheery.

Dinner tonight was bright and cheery, too. My girls wanted to make fruit kabobs after seeing a recipe for them in a cookbook we checked out today at the library.

I'm so glad God made color

...and cute little girls.


tuesday night

*A quiet evening at home spent working on a little sewing project

*A yummy tiramisu gelato break

*Loving the map that Phil put up while I was away last week -- I found this treasure 2 years ago at the Farm Chicks Show


home again

home again to our little corner of the world

What a busy summer we've had so far...3 trips down to California and one week in Iowa and Minnesota. My kids and I spent last week  in California for "Cousin Camp." Phil had to work, so he stayed behind. We arrived home last night and it felt so good to pull into our driveway. Little did I know, he was very busy while we were away. I was shocked when I saw this:

Phil put black shutters up around the downstairs windows, painted the front door black and painted the trim around the upstairs windows. Wow! I had no idea he had done this!

Here's a "before" picture. The door (which is open in this picture) used to be white.



 We had twins tonight! Sorry for the blurry picture...they were born right at dusk and I didn't realize that my flash was off. Aren't they cute?

We had such a sweet evening tonight. After dinner, we all headed out to the field to check on the animals and to do a little gardening. This mama ewe was showing definite signs of being in labor. Phil and I knew it would be a matter of time. We went inside and put the kids to bed, and sure enough, while we were inside she gave birth to twins.

Phil called up the stairs for our little shepherd boy who was already tucked into bed. We whispered into his ear, and then out the door he ran! Can I just say that this has been one of the greatest parenting moments ever? Wow! Tonight as I was out in the garden looking around at my sweet family, our animals and the beautiful view, I kept thinking to myself, "I'm so blessed to live this life."
 Just about a half an hour old

 Caleb watched as the mommy cleaned off her babies and said, "God is telling her to do that."

And they found their milk right away!


meet our new baby lamb!

Our little shepherd meeting his newest lamb

We arrived home from a trip this evening and had a little surprise waiting for us! This little one was born some time today. From a distance, it looked like a little black cat was running around the pasture.

I told the kids, "I'm a Lamb-ma!"

 All four of our ewes are expecting right now. I've been so nervous about this possibly happening while I'm home alone with the kids. I really don't know what to do. In my mind, I saw myself boiling water and searching for old rags like they do in the movies. Then I scared myself by doing a bit of research online. Of course the only articles I could find were the ones describing the most gruesome births.

We're so excited about our new little lamb!