Thursday, September 26, 2013

VBS, Canning, and a Birthday...

...that's a pretty good summary of our July!
Our usual 4th of July celebrations were somewhat dampened by the weather-- very cool temps and horizontal rain!

So the first big happening of July was Vacation Bible School.  The kids really enjoyed the theme of "Investigation Destination".

I led the songs and assisted with a class.  Dwayne drove one of the church vans.  And the kids just had fun.

Of course, in spite of all the fun, VBS is exhausting!  Nevertheless, the canning must go on!  (and on... and on...)  So the green beans came in; not as many as we'd hoped due to this cool, damp summer, but we get what we can and can what we get!
 This picture shows the fruits of my labor one day:  4 batches of bread and 14 quarts of green beans.  Now that was a full day, right?  Not busy enough I guess, because that evening Dwayne picked all the corn that was ready in our garden.  The next morning, the kids set to work shucking over 300 ears of corn!!!!!
In the thick of things! 

Many hands make light work!

Dwayne took on the awesome chore this year of cutting the kernels off the cobs.  Last year when I did this part, my hands ached for several days afterward, so yea Dwayne!!!

He also loaded the jars and started the pressure canners.
This freed me up to take pictures!!  (ha ha!)  Actually, I helped the kids outside and helped with the canners inside.

Seven quarts in each canner, an hour and a half for every batch!
I lost track of how many quarts were canned that day, but just know it was a lot!  We also put several quarts in the freezer.

So now we move on to the birthday...
Ellie turned lucky number 7!  It couldn't happen to a better girl!  Ellie is cheerful, helpful, and tries her best to be obedient.  She is a sunny presence in our home!  We love you, Ellie Faith!
What a funny bunch!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Where, oh where has the summer gone?

So, I had big plans to blog all about life this summer:  the garden, the kids, cookouts, fun at the park, work on the farm, friends, trips, firsts,...  Now summer is over.  I've lived all those things, but blogged none!
Incredible sunset on the farm
 All in all, we've had a very eventful season, so allow me to recap.

We finished up school in May with our annual Family Night event.  This year's program was as wonderful as ever, of course.  Ellie's class presented the fruits of the Spirit as we had studied.  Marian and Ellie sang a duet.  Marian and Andrew participated in some recitations with their class.  We handed out report cards, and ended the evening with good food and good fellowship.

Also as part of our end-of-school-year activities, our family went to a play at the Cumberland County Playhouse, "The Miracle Worker", which was the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.  As always, the playhouse put on a remarkable show.
 I guess the next big event was birthdays.  June comes with a bundle of them!  First mine.  40!  Wha-at?

 Then Marian's and Cecil's are a day apart, so we celebrated them together.  Marian requested a giant cookie instead of birthday cake.  She turned 12, Cecil 76.

This has been a big summer for Reagan.  First came the potty.  Mamma (and Mamma's wallet) says, "Yea!!  No more diapers!"
 Then came the big-boy bed!
Scooby-Doo sheets!  Awesome!
An eggshell discovered in the yard

And as always the everyday amazements of being three.
 Marian, Andrew, and Ellie all had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a soccer camp hosted here in Bledsoe County by nearby Bryan College.  They had a great time!  Shortly after this, Marian and Andrew had another first:  overnight camp!  They attended 4H camp in Cumberland County.
 It was an exciting week all around...
 Marian and Andrew experienced all sorts of new things at camp, while little brother and sister had some firsts of their own...
 One night Reagan slept with Ellie in her room, another night she joined him in his room.
 We finished up June with a bang-- a campout with our dear friends David and Tami, along with one of their daughters, Carly, and grandson, Kylin.  We had a fabulous weekend.  I must say, I do not remember the ground being anywhere near that hard!!  I was very glad that we were quite close to home because the second night, Reagan and I had to bail out!  But we were sure to return for the daytime fun, the campfire, cookout, fishing, the occasional card game, et al.
Breakfast for hungry campers!
Card game & lounging in the tent
 That was our May and June... at least the highlights!  The beginning of a great summer!