Monday, April 13, 2015

And Then He Was Nine

Nine years ago today, I gave birth to a healthy, handsome baby boy.  Levi has spent these years well, always making us laugh with his funny jokes, above average vocabulary, and quick wit.  He loves to have a good time, creates unbelievable things with Legos, and has a VIVID imagination.  Levi loves like crazy, and hates to see anyone hurting.  He is a precious gift from God and I am so thankful he is mine. 

Happy Birthday Levi!  It is a joy to see all that God is doing in your life.  I can't wait to see the next chapter unfold!

He is a strong little clown...always has been.

Golfer Levi

The King

What a handsome cowboy!
Vintage Levi...way back when he was 8.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hen Hollow Homestead Garden 2015

This last weekend we were finally able to sink our hands into the soil and begin planting our 2015 garden.  Again, I have high hopes for a bountiful harvest, and we are praying for good weather and no pesky bugs.  We have had late freezes around here, as well as surprise rain, so getting the garden tilled and the beds prepped has taken longer than usual.  But the time had arrived, and we were excited.

We spent the day Saturday working together, the four of us as a team.  Family.  It was mostly glorious, with the occasional whining because the work was 'hard'.   We filled in some raised beds that we are experimenting with this year.  I am hoping that by using the raised beds, I will not have to combat the weeds quite so much.  The crazy Johnson Grass nearly took over last year! I will keep you posted.

So far we have planted 9 tomato plants, cucumber, jalapeno, bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini squash, watermelon, yellow squash, several long rows of onions, and lots of beets.   We will also be adding okra, as well as a big bed of Sunflowers, jelly melons, green beans, and a few other delicious treats.  This year we are also including lots of flowers, such as marigolds (to help with pest patrol), daisies, lavender, and others.  I am hoping to have fresh cut flowers in my home this summer!

Jalapenos and Bell Pepper Plants

Tomato Plants - Several Varieties

It is always so rewarding to work hard together, and then be able to reap the blessings of our work.  The food we grow will benefit our family in several ways, not only nutritionally and financially, but also our work ethic and our unity as a family.  We try to make it as fun as possible, but it is definitely still WORK! 

On this Monday morning after a Saturday of hard work, our bodies are reminding us of just how little we have done throughout the cold winter.  The aches and pains of our labor are begging us for rest, but we forge ahead, completing homeschool tasks and household chores, and hoping for some sunshine so we can tend to our garden some more.  There is still much to be done, and we have more things to plant, more hay to toss, more soil to work, more weeds to pull.  And it is good.

Throughout the weekend I was able to spend time thinking about all of the lessons to be learned in this garden of mine.  The ways God uses our everyday tasks to teach us, grow us, build us, strengthen us.  The way He prunes us, and helps us to pluck the 'weeds' out of our lives.  The reminder that I need to be sure I am always tending my heart, because left untended, the weeds of sin, anger, bitterness, and discontentment will take over in the blink of an eye, just like the weeds in my garden will do if I don't stay on top of them.  Yes, so many life lessons to be had in the garden...good for the body and good for the soul.

How is your garden?  Are you tending it well or are the weeds creeping in?  I'm praying for lots of healthy growth this season!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Time Flies

Today my girl, my firstborn, my constant friend turns twelve.  I'm not exactly sure how we came to this place, since it was only yesterday that I was pregnant with her.  It was just last week that she was learning to walk and talk and read and write.  She's growing before my very eyes, and it is a joy to witness all that she is becoming.  She loves others and she loves The Lord.  Her smile shines bright and her laugh is infectious.  She is beautiful, and I am proud of her, both who she is and who she is becoming.

Happy Birthday Natalie!

My cowgirl!

She is lovely...I love her!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Updates with Pictures!

So much work, so little time to blog!  Ha!  This is going to be a pictorial review of some of what has been going on around here on the homestead.  We continue to inch our way towards making the farm more sustaining, and also more beautiful!  Enjoy the pictures of our family fun....

Levi has been enjoying lots of good books!

I gave Natalie's hair a little trim...she's looking so grown up these days!

We wrote out lots of reasons why we love each other, and hung them across the mantel for Valentines Day.

My dad and Nathaniel built an awesome egg mobile for our hen flock!

Levi made a great supervisor!
The kids and I helped my dad split TONS of wood to fill the firewood rack!  My mom was thrilled.
The wood rack was filled just in time for a snow!

Burning junk mail in the fire pit.  Fun!
During family Bible time each night, we are working on memory verses.

We memorized this section and are working on serving one another in love!

I've been working on cleaning out...if it isn't nailed down it is fair game for the Goodwill or garage sale box!
I made Levi rake leaves one day...he was pooped afterwards!

Natalie killed her first snake...she was so proud!
My men built a patio for me.
It is awesome...12 ft x 18 ft of outdoor space!
Last but not least, we spend time praying together each day.  We pray for friends near and far, for family, and for lots of other things.  The family who prays together, stays together!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

14 Years

January 27, 2001,  Nathaniel and I stood before a crowd of family and friends, and recited vows to each other and to God.  Over the last 14 years we have certainly put those vows to the test...better or worse, sickness and health, rich or poor.  We've pretty much covered it all as we have maneuvered through jobs, cancer, infertility, children, miscarriage, stillbirth, moving to a new place, and all the day-to-day stuff that life holds.  We've filled the days with laughter and tears, worry and joy, fun and not-so-fun, strife and peace, love and more love.  Through it all, we've stood together.  The great, the good, the bad, the ugly...we've done it together.  I am so blessed to journey this life with Nathaniel next to me.  God has been so good to us, and we are grateful. 

I cannot wait to see how God writes the next chapter to this, my very favorite love story!  I love you babe!

Friday, January 23, 2015

13 Years

Today is a big day for, January 23, 2015, marks 13 years cancer free!  I could write pages and pages about the good and the bad, the trials and the victories, the questions and few answers (so it seemed), the ups and downs.  But for today, I simply want to be grateful.  I am grateful for the blessings that came through that trial in my life, the ways God turned the hard into a blessing.  I am grateful for diagnosis and healing from a cancer few survive. I am thankful for my husband and the rock he was for me (and still is!).  I am thankful for my children, for there was a time we weren't sure we could have any.  I am thankful for the lessons learned through the experience, and the ways it made me better.  I am thankful for perspective.  I am thankful, truly thankful.

So today, let's celebrate!  Lift your chin to the heavens and smile!  Breathe deep and find something to be thankful for. 

An older picture, but a favorite of my sweet hubs and I!

Thank you Lord for these last 13 years of life!  I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds!