Sunday, March 31, 2013

Double Digits

It's hard to believe, but Natalie has officially entered the world of double digits.  Yes, today she turned TEN!  1 - 0.  Unbelievable.  It seems like just yesterday that I was packing a bag, huge belly in tow, eating one last meal (at Arby's, ha!), and heading to the hospital to have my sweet firstborn.  Today, she's independent, quick witted, loves the outdoors, and laughs all the time.

To celebrate her birthday, Natalie had two wishes.  She wanted our whole family to be together to share dinner, cake, and a movie...and she wanted a horse.  Unfortunately the horse was not an option this year, but her other wish was one I could make happen!  Nathaniel reads to the kids every single night before bed.  They have recently finished reading The Hobbit, so of course, Natalie wanted her evening to have a Hobbit theme.  No problem, baby girl!

Here are some pictures of the decorations and the food.  I gathered some earthy decor and spread it around the tables, as well as some gold coins (to represent the dragon's treasure), and of course, the ring (or a whole bunch of rings...peach rings, that is! ha!).

One tray holds the peach "rings" and the other the dragon's treasure "golden coins".  I also printed out a map of Middle Earth, and typed up some quotes from the book!

This was the food table.  I printed out a banner that a fellow blogger created for me.  Loved it!  We ate like Hobbits...beef stew, lots of bread, cheeses, some fruit, and a veggie tray.  It was truly a treat since we are typically really low carb around here...all of that bread!  MMMM!  I also used the books as decor...why not?

Another couple of shots of the food table.  Nathaniel enjoyed trying out the panoramic photo feature on his phone!

 This was the table for the cake and gifts.  I included a bow and arrow, knife/dagger, and a shield, as well as more applicable quotes!  We made her cake to look like Bilbo's cake in the movie, the cake he enjoyed for his eleventy-first birthday!  Special thanks to my mom for making the cake.  It was perfect! 

Here is the birthday girl in her Hobbit attire.  She was adorable! :)

Opening gifts was such fun.  The gifts from us were wrapped in brown paper with go with the theme of course.  Here she is showing off an adorable outfit my parents gave to her.  She got a matching one for her American Girl doll.

Here it looks like my brother-in-law Jonathan is telling her a secret before she opens the next gift.  Wonder what he said?

Here is Natalie sporting her new scarf in school colors for Baylor...what fun to support the university where daddy works.  We are hoping soon we can make it to a game so we can wear 
our colors...Go Bears!  Sic 'Em!

Unfortunately I don't have other pictures of the rest of the party, or the rest of the family, but we were all there.  My parents, my sister, my brother-in-law...the whole crazy crew!  We were too busy enjoying each others company!  It is such a huge blessing for us to live so close to family.  We are able to share our lives and show how much we love and appreciate each other every day.  We spend lots of time together, just as it should be!  We really LOVE each other, and I'm so thankful that we are such a close-knit group!   It is a HUGE blessing that my children can experience multi-generational family living...they learn so much from being around family as we do life together.   It was awesome that we could all be together to celebrate Natalie!  What a blessing she is!

We love you Natalie...we pray God's blessings on your life, today and forever!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pictures from Around the Homestead

Just popping in to share a few photos from around the homestead this week.  The weather has been gorgeous so we are spending all of our time outdoors...planting, cleaning up, and beautifying our little corner of the world.  Unfortunately, when we are concentrating our attention outside, the inside of my house falls apart!  Ugh!  Today, I'm conquering the mess that lies within the walls of the house...wish me luck!

Laundry hanging on the line - I LOVE hanging laundry out to dry!

Natalie planting sunflower seeds for the kids sunflower house!

Flowers hanging on the gate.

Daffodils in the front flower bed.

This scene sits just outside my side door.

The garden all planted - well, mostly!  We still have our watermelon and cantaloupe to get in, but it will go in another part of the garden...this large section is just veggies!

Sunflowers sprouting already!

Old red wagon full of flowers in a vintage sink! 

Planting flowers and garden seeds one day...what a beautiful mess!

Dinner on the back patio...grilled meat and raw veggies!  MMMM!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Catching Up

Has it really been weeks since my last post here at HHH blog?  I guess it has, and I am sorry for the delay! I'll skip the long explanation and get right to the updates.

Things continue to thrive here at the homestead.  The puppies are growing like crazy, and last week when I took them for shots, they had gained over 10 pounds EACH since their last round of shots one month earlier.  They are eating so much and still love to run and play.  Unfortunately, they are still acting like puppies in that they chew on absolutely everything!  Ugh!  We are working hard to train them not to jump up on us, and not to make everything their personal chew toy, but still have a ways to go.

My seed starts are growing too!  Here are a couple of pictures of the little plants growing in my window.  It is only a matter of time before these tiny things will go outside in the garden, and we can't wait for the bounty to be ready for harvest.  Patience, patience, right?

In other news, Natalie has inherited an extreme sensitivity to poison ivy from her dad.  Nathaniel just has to think about walking by the stuff and he gets it...apparently Natalie is also just as sensitive.  They went out hiking in the woods out back and she came back with poison ivy on her face.  Not comfortable at all.  We knew she was suffering so we went and purchased this expensive wash that binds with the toxins in your skin and pulls them out.  It is supposed to help tremendously, and it should for the hefty price tag.  Unfortunately, Natalie was allergic to the wash, and after two days woke up looking like this.

Yikes!  Poor girl.  And yes, she gave me permission to post this picture.  When she woke up looking this way, I immediately took her to the minor emergency clinic where they confirmed my suspicions.  She was incredibly allergic to the wash, so we are to never use it again.  They gave her a LARGE steroid shot - OUCH! - and sent us home with a 12-day cycle of steroids as well.  Thankfully she is back to normal pretty much, with only a few lingering side effects.  So thankful to have this girl's smile back!

Levi likes to go with my dad to the country barber for a hair cut.  It is their special time together, just a boy and his pawpaw!  Levi even dresses like pawpaw when it is haircut day...and if you know my dad, you know this is exactly how he looks every single day.  Overalls, t-shirt, and boots.  Isn't Levi a handsome little mini-pawpaw?

We have started letting the chicks out of the chicken tractor to do some scratching around and they are loving it.  Here is a picture of them stepping out for the first time to explore the world outside of the tractor.  They LOVE it!

My dad is building a playpen of sorts so they can safely do lots more free-ranging.  I'll be sure to post pictures when we have it up and running!

Last week we made a whirlwind trip to New Mexico to honor Nathaniel's grandmother who passed away.  She was a sweet lady whom I had only gotten to meet a few times.  It was a sweet service honoring her life, and we know she is celebrating with Jesus now. 

During the long car ride to and from, we made frequent stops for stretching and snacks.  At one stop, Nathaniel snapped this picture of Levi being his typical cowboy self.

What a cutie pie!

One day at home we snapped a couple of cheesy pictures of me with the kids.  Since I am not in many of the pictures, I decided to go ahead and post them.  

Levi and I

Natalie and I

One day I was feeling crafty, so I used what I had on hand, along with some wreath forms that I had picked up at Goodwill, and created new wreaths for our front doors.  Here is one of them...

And a close-up of the flowers.  They are all made from burlap and felt.

While I was working, I decide to make Panther Power Flowers for a few of my friends.  These are done in school colors, and are brooches.  I figure they can pin them on jackets, hats, bags, or anything else they can come up with.  Just a little something fun to show some school spirit.

Just last night, Nathaniel took this hilarious photo of Levi.  He is SOUND ASLEEP!  The flash on the camera didn't even cause him to stir.  Yes, those are sunglasses he has on...Dwayne-Wayne style flip up sunglasses!!  And the look becomes complete with the headlamp on his head.  Hilarious!!  That boy is even funny in his sleep!

I have a few more photos to update with, but blogger is giving me fits, so I will post them later.  In the mean time, we have much to accomplish.  Spring weather has arrived and soon we will be planting the rest of the garden.  We will add lots of fruits and veggies to the onions and carrots I already have planted.  We will also do some spring cleaning and yard work, as well as probably start a new batch of chicks soon.  There is always work to do around the farm!

We are still so very happy to be here, working towards living off the land!  God is blessing us, and we are thankful!