Sunday, May 31

May 29th

Today was the first official "half day Friday". Until Labor day David comes home at noon. I love the feeling of three day weekends. It gives us extra time to do fun things, or in today's case I ran errands ALONE! It is amazing how much one can get done when you are the only one getting in and out of the car. The children enjoyed special time with Poppa and then we all had noodles for dinner.

Saturday, May 30

May 28th

Today was a great day! I met up with a friend so she could take me to this plant stand at an Amish farm. Great prices on tons of varieties of plants. I purchased almost everything for 1.00 a pot. Siberian Iris, bleeding heart, seedum, three different daisy's, standard Iris, Day lilies, bee balm, lamb's ears, calamint, and black raspberries, to start, there are more I just can't remember. I hope to go back now that I know where it is.

We had some time before she had to leave to get her children to school so she took us to a fabulous park near-by. It sits next to an Historic home, creek and covered bridge. Is was so nice and I can't wait to go back as a family and have a picnic so the children can play in the creek.

After the park we went over to Shady Maple, an Amish grocery store. I purchase my flour, oatmeal, cornmeal, maple syrup, honey, and spices here for cheap prices and most of that is local also! It's always so much fun to shop with a whole variety of people from, tourists, Amish, and Mennonite. They also have a great smorgasbord if your ever in the area! Miles told me it was his favorite place to shop it smells so good! It's not just shopping, it's an experience!

Thursday, May 28

May 27th

Bug Collecting

May 26th

"Thanks for the new shirts, Omi. They fit perfectly!"

Wednesday, May 27

Memorial Day Weekend

What a busy weekend we had! Lots of work and play in warm sun. We had a long list of all the things we need to get done around the house. The list is LONG so we knew we would not get to everything but we wanted to make sure no time was wasted. The biggest accomplishment is that the garden is planted! YAY! Corn, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, pumpkins, and beans, I can't wait for them to start producing and filling my freezer and pantry with canned goods. This is the view of the garden from the back door.
David also put up the clothes line. It would be completely finished but he ran out of concrete because he had to make one hole bigger to get a rock out. I am so ready to hang my clothes on the line! It sits to the left of the house in the gully near the church side. I'll just have to make sure all the unmentionalbles are not out on Sunday mornings!
I was able to plant the herbs and strawberries and edge the beds. I still need to finish the edging around the tree and move some bushes that the neighbor is giving us. We mulched the flower beds, cleaned out the garage, and cleaned up the side of the house where we had piled a bunch of broken things. Now all that's left is two bags of mulch and the boat. Someday I will plant hastas and rhododendrons there if we get to stay that long.

We went for our first family bike ride on Sunday after church down to Valley Forge. Even with very tired children we rode 6 miles. Fiona was on the tagalong, Gwen was in the burley and the boys rode. As soon as I get a bike (I borrowed one for the day) we will be doing this a lot! Our goal is to ride Bike Virgina with my parents one year. 5 days of cycling and camping and seeing the sights. It always sounds like so much fun!

I even managed to get to the outlets late Monday for some of the sales. On the way home I stopped at WAWA to get a Diet Coke, and in walks a man in full Revolutionary War dress. He had been at a reenactment all day and came in to get something to eat. He obviously was still in another era when he asks to order 20 sandwiches for his regiment! I am used to seeing these guys around with all the history in the area., but never in a gas station store. I so wish I had my camera!
And here are my very tired and dirty children after three days with no maps and outside constantly! We had a great weekend!

Sunday, May 24

May 22nd

How does three years go by so fast? Three years ago I was 3 days past my due date, 4cm dilated and wondering if my baby was ever going to join us. She made her appearance after 4 hours and 24 minutes of labor screaming at the top of her lungs and hasn't stopped!

Gwen, you are a bundle of energy, stubborn as all get out, smart as can be, always getting into some kind of mischief and my happy girl. You hardly sit still and MUST keep up with brothers and sister. If they can do it then you can do it too. You love to take care of your baby and constantly tell me you can't wait to be a real mommy. You speak so clearly and use such big words many people think you are much older. You love monkeys, sunglasses, purses and jewelry, but right now my favorite thing is to listen to you sing, you know all the words to so many songs, but your favorite is Jesus Loves me. You are in such a hurry to get big, but Momma just wants to hold you small for a little longer. I love you Sweet Pea. Happy Birthday baby!

Thursday, May 21

May 21st

My allergies are driving me crazy!!!! I haven't been this bad since I left the east coast 6 years ago. I guess 4 years back is enough to re-acclimate to them. I think I'm going to need a prescription, I can't keep feeling so drowsy all day and still have all the yucky stuff too. Needless to say I tried to get things accomplished today, but all I wanted to do was lay on the sofa and cover my eyes with a cool cloth. That is just not possible so we made the best of the day and hung out with the neighbors in their sand box. It was so nice and we hadn't done it in a while.

Owen officially finished kindergarten today and Miles is plugging away at his last math lessons.

Hurray for school breaks! I am working on getting projects done; like my schedule and binders system. The Managers of Their Homes(MOTH) schedule that I am using has you fill out activity sheets for all the things you want to accomplish for each person in your family(except hubby, he can do his own if he wants) before you start scheduling things. I am currently working on Owen. I have mine and Miles done. It's amazing how many things they need to accomplish each day. Don't worry they still have plenty of free time! I however need to figure out a way to incorporate 27 hours of tasks into a 24 hour day. I am assured I can in the book but it is going to take some planning! I'll share my sample schedule when I am done with it. I am purposely taking my time and praying about it to make it the best it can be to benefit everyone.

This is how I spent the rest of the evening organizing the recipe binder! What a mess! It used to be in order but I started piling new recipes instead of filing them and couldn't find anything. Now everything is back in categories and easy to find.

May 20th

Putting myself in the lens. It's been a while.

Wednesday, May 20

Lasagna Soup

My new favorite freezer meal! I can't wait to share it with you, I got it from the Family Fun magazine. This is not the best picture because we had all ready started to eat it the children love this!

Lasagna Soup
1 1/2 pounds chicken apple sausage
1/2 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
8 ounces fusilli pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
8 ounces ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
pinch of pepper
2 cups shredded cheese

In large pot, saute sausage until browned. Add onions and saute until until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and saute until the paste turns a rusty brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broth, and the bay leaves and bay leaves and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the pasta, then increase the heat to medium high and boil the soup until the pasta is tender to the bite. Discard the bay leaves, then stir in the basil, season with pepper.

In a small bowl, combine, the ricotta, the Parmesan, pinch of pepper. To serve, place about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the ricotta mixture in each bowl, ladle the soup on top and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

To Freeze. Do all the steps but don't put the noodles in. Bag and freeze.
When you reheat add noodles until cooked. Serve.

Monday, May 18

May 18th

When things don't go according to plan


Our dishwasher won't latch correctly any more, causing the water pressure on the inside to push the door just enough to leak a little. This chair does the trick and I don't have to replace the latch just yet. We just paid to have the brakes redone on the car two weeks ago and today shelled out another $600 for the new fuel pump. Why does it always seem like everything breaks down at once? At least my dishes are still getting cleaned for me and I am so thankful for that.

Sunday, May 17

May 17th

We had a nice relaxing day today with church in the morning and then hanging out at home in the afternoon. I started to make some lists of things I want to get done around the home and plan the next school year. We will be starting up in July and I want to have a new schedule in place and running smoothly before then. I have been reading the book Managers of Their Homes and have been so encouraged by it. I can't wait to get started but I wanted to read the book all the way through first and take my time to get it right. I am also working on the paperwork that seems to multiply overnight. I have a decent system in place using notebooks and open hanging files, but it is not easy for everyone and not convenient to keep up with.
I do not have to report Miles to the state this year as I had previously thought. He will not be 8 until after September 1st but I want to have a portfolio done anyway so that I have an idea of what needs to be done.This requires me to have a good system to make it easy to put it together and keep up with it throughout the year. I will also be schooling three children this time around, something about that seems rather daunting, even though I know many people who teach that many and more!
I have been praying over this for a week as it will involve lots of change in how we do things. I don't know about y'all but my family does not like change! I plan on putting my plan all together and then sitting down with David to discuss and make any changes, then we can implement it together and make more changes as necessary. I have really been enjoying having my Sunday evenings to plan the week out.

Here is this month's looking down shot. I almost forgot to take it!

May 16th

It was a busy day today. The girls and I got up early to go to some yard sales with a friend and we had a GREAT time! We found great deals; I got so many things on my list for the house. Now I have lots of projects to work on, but it will all be worth it in the end.
We got home around noon, unloaded everything made some lunch and then the boys and I were off for a bowling birthday party while the girls napped.
We then came home and rested for an hour and then off we went to a friends for a kindergarten graduation party. Half-way there the car breaks down. I called my friend to let her know we were going to be late and her husband drove over, picked us up and drove us over to our house to get the truck and then back for the party. Thankfully it all worked out perfect and I was not out alone with all the children stuck on the side of the road somewhere. We ended up having a wonderfully relaxing evening with our friends and the children had so much fun playing flashlight tag before the rains came.

Here are photos of the things I purchased today. I am so excited to cross some things off my list for cheap!

The first sale I went to by myself at 6:00. I picked up the weather vane and pot that I plan to use for gravy and also for display. $6 for both.

Then I came home and got the girls and met my friend at the first sale across the main road from our houses. I had gotten some great things there a couple of years ago, so we knew we wanted to go there first. We could have gone home after the first sale I got so many things!

Little log cabin $2.

Decorative Jars $1 (I am going to change out the fabrics to go in the kitchen)

Bookshelf $10 ( I am going to put feet on it and paint it to go in the front room, not sure what color yet or if I'll leave the back stained)

Sofa Table $10 (I plan on painting it black to match the end table I am currently painting, but it works for now)

Stars-Free(when I went back to pick up the bookcase she had set these aside for me)

Shaker Box $1 ( goes anywhere and I have always wanted one but they are so expensive!)
Shelf $5 (I'm going to use this one in the laundry room someday, I'll take out the wallpaper and paint it white)

Shelf $3 (this one is going to hang in the master bathroom above the toilet. I'm going to paint it white I think, maybe leave the bead board a dark wood, still thinking about this one, I haven't put much thought into that room yet)

So that was all from ONE house!!!! We then went to a town home community sale. These are great because on one has any room to accumulate and they always have things to sell.

BRAND NEW bath cabinet solid wood $20 (this is for over the toilet in the powder room, it just need two knobs which I might have in my stash and a hubby willing to hang it)
Across the street from the town homes was another community sale. I got some games for the children for 50 cents, a large Revere Ware skillet for $1 and this black shelf for $5.(I'm hanging this one in the kitchen, its made very nicely and all ready black, it is just splattered with specks of white paint, I'll either have to repaint or figure out a way to get rid of the spots, for now it's usable the way it is)

Still with me? :) I can't wait to get started on all of the new projects. First will be the sofa table and end table, I all ready have the paint! I hope to get to some of them this week or weekend as it's a holiday and there won't be very many yard sales. This is good thing considering how much work I now have created for myself. I'll post pictures as I finish the projects.

Saturday, May 16

May 15th

We had a wonderful day here as if stopped raining long enough to go to the park! If I had remembered fresh batteries I might have more photos! Of course I didn't even remember to pack a lunch or the sunscreen. I really need to get a bag together so I don't keep forgetting everything! I find myself in a strange spot, I don't need a diaper bag but there is still stuff that needs to come to the park with us. I am thinking I need a backpack for these items. I am sure I will find the perfect system just in time for winter when I don't need it anymore. LOL!
Align Center

We stopped and got Pretzels on the way home for a last minute Porch picnic. Gwen received her first birthday package in the mail and just HAD to try it on. She loves bathing suits. She danced around the yard to show it off.

Miles went bug hunting. This is one of his favorite things to do.

When David got home from work we went and bought the post for my clothesline! I am so excited and can't wait to hang my laundry. I don't think it will get done this weekend though, still to much to do with the garden. I love Friday afternoons, there is always such anticipation for the weekend.

Two finished pages

Here are two finished scrapbook pages. I have so many in various stages, but have been busy in the yard and decorating. I need to get back to it.
This one is pictures from our trip to Blacksburg last year. Our favorite donuts!

I love how this page turned out. I had book marked a page my dear friend Mosey did a while ago on It fit this photo perfectly. Thanks for the inspiration!

Friday, May 15

May 11th-14th

My allergies got the best of me this week. I barely managed to get school done and dishes washed. I just have no energy. We have just been hanging out, reading books around the "fire". (love the pencils as marsmallow roasting sticks)

doing our lessons, (wherever ones feels like sitting)

decorating, (I always wanted words on the walls since I saw the idea in a magazine years ago, and then again at The Lettered Cottage blog)

hemmed my drapes to the perfect length, (note to self; recenter the flag picture)

put puzzles together,
and generally had had a week of lazy days!


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