Saturday, August 10, 2013

So Much to Share!

I know, I know!  It has been too long since I've updated, but boy have we been having fun!  I have been finalizing plans for our new year of homeschooling, and though I still have quite a bit to do, I'm feeling pretty excited about it.  We won't start until after Labor Day, so I have plenty of time to finish! :)  Ah, the beauty of homeschooling!

We've been hanging at the library, and the kids are really enjoying the opportunity to read some new books.  I am so thankful that BOTH of my children love to read, so a trip to the library is fun!  Levi has finally caught the reading bug, and his new love is the Encyclopedia Brown series.  He devours them, and has almost read all of the ones that the library has in it's collection.  What in the world am I going to do next?  I certainly can't buy them all because he reads them too fast!

The garden is officially closed for the season.  Between the bugs and the heat, we found that most of what we still had planted was not able to produce.  We spent the afternoon today pulling everything up and sorting it out for the compost pile, and also feeding some straggling tomatoes and corn to the chickens.  They were pretty happy about that.  A gardener's work is never through, though, and we will spend the fall letting the chickens scratch around in the garden spot before covering it all over with cardboard boxes and mulch for the winter.  Throughout the winter and early spring, that should all settle in to compost (including all of the chicken poo they will leave behind) and then it will be time to start prepping the beds for planting.  Whew, I think I am tired just typing all of that!  Ha!  But we have thoroughly enjoyed the garden this year...okra, a few tomatoes, corn for the chickens to eat, jalapenos, bell pepper, squash, green beans, carrots, and onions!  Yummy chemical free, real food!

My dad recently bought a new boat so we took it out for the inaugural dip in the lake, and camped for a few days.  I am not sure what we were thinking when we scheduled a 4 day camping trip the last week of JULY, but despite the awful heat (really, we were melting!), we enjoyed ourselves tremendously.  Just look at the smiles on these faces...and I think I have rekindled my love for fishing.  My dad and I had the opportunity to go out in the boat alone for a couple of hours, and I will forever remember the father-daughter fun we had.  My dad really kicked the boat into overdrive and we loved riding the water together, and then we spent some time trolling and fishing.  I cannot wait to go again!  Dad, are you ready?  Just say the word and I am ready to go!  I want to catch some keepers and learn how to clean them myself so we can eat them up.  Fresh fish sounds pretty tasty if you ask me!

Our cabana with a beautiful view of the lake!

Sunrise from our cabana

Dad in his pride and joy...we need to name the boat!  Maybe Blue Bertha or something fun!

Two cuties on the boat.

GiddyUp was relaxing in the cabana...crazy dog!

Levi was bragging that this was his second s'more.

Natalie before we went for a swim.

Until the last day, Natalie was the ONLY one to catch anything.  Here she is with her prize fish!  

Happy with her burnt marshmallow.

Extinguishing the fire!  Ha!

Natalie reading in the tent before bed.

Levi enjoying a book in the tent!
(reminds me of the boy in The Neverending Story!)

Another beautiful sunrise!

We also took a day and headed North to the children's museum.  We saw a great film at the Omni theatre about dolphins, and then spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the rest of the museum.  The pictures speak for themselves:

Digging for dinosaur bones.

Levi on a bed of nails...and he is smiling! :)


When we returned from our camping trip, we found an abundance of eggs waiting for us.  Because of the heat, we are typically only getting 2-3 a day, but for some reason, over the three days we were gone, the hens left us all of these:

Wow!  We love eggs!

As for other happenings around the homestead, I have been working on some fun little projects as I have time.  I found this cute little vintage school desk at a yard sale for a whopping $5 bucks.  

I brought her home, cleaned her up, painted her red, and replaced the top.  The finished product makes me so happy. (The poly I put on as a top coat was still drying in this pic.)

I also finally got a light fixture up in the bathroom.  Hooray for not having a plain 'ol bulb up there anymore.  I had looked but never found a fixture that fit my style, so I got creative.  I bought an old-style fixture complete with sconces, and brought it home for an overhaul. 

After a coat of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, and some minor surgery, Nathaniel and I had this fixture ready to install.  Instead of the sconces, we made the fixture suitable for mason jars....definitely my style!

Cute, right?

I also worked on my Back to School mantle.  I simply shopped the school shelves and made a quick pennant banner and voila!  What do you think?

Natalie was out with the puppies this afternoon and they led her to this little frog...actually it's a pretty big toad.  They had two of these cornered in a mud hole they had dug.  Not to worry, after a photo shoot, Natalie re-homed them out of the yard so they would be able to hop to safety!

As I typed this post, we had a little more drama here at the homestead!  Our dogs have been barking non-stop at every single thing, and Nathaniel decided to get to the bottom of it.  We are tired of them waking us at all hours of the night with this crazy barking.  This was the cause of the barking tonight...

 Yes, a turtle.  I told you those dogs are crazy!  They were trying to bring down the fence in order to get to this little guy.  We had another little photo session and then Nathaniel released him down by the pond.  The turtle was mortified by the dogs, so hopefully it will stay safely down by the pond from now on.

Ah, life is great.  Always an adventure here on the homestead!!


  1. Love the banner and desk! I want chickens but don't know a thing about them :(

  2. We just finished our annual Papaw family camping trip and I was wondering if ya'll ever went camping anymore.....Guess that answers that! Looks like loads of fun! liz

  3. Hey ant Ann its Cerise I think your blog is really cool! I saw your blog about paying for other peoples meal E.C.T. It really influenced me, And it was really influencing other people that you helped . I cant wait to see you on Thanksmas - Sincerely yours,
    P.S. I would really like for you to show this to Natalie and Levi. And if you see this before Thanksmas then wright back.