Wednesday, September 28, 2022

{Best Friends & Back Porch Redo}

A slow start to our Sabbath day...

I found a recipe of something other than delicious artisan sourdough bread to make with my gluten free sourdough starter (or "the baby" as the kids keep calling it) so we tried it out for our breakfast.  It's called a Dutch Baby or Sourdough Pancake and it was so good that we've already made it a few other times.  I sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top and it reminded me exactly of those elephant ears that I would eat as a kid.  

We watched church online...and watched Bear's best friends' dad play in the band for The Summit Church.  The sermon was on Psalm 1 which is what I've been mediating on so much lately.   

The service ended with The Lord's we improvised and took Communion together as a family.

We spent the rest of the day outside.  The girls gave Fluffy the chicken her own spa treatment dirt bath.  

We could not get over how much this bird seemed to enjoy this.  She sat there for at least 20 minutes soaking it up while the boys played football in the front field.

Taking a literature based approach to everything this year has opened our world up to so many beautiful picture books (where as I am typically more of a chapter book mom).  We enjoyed reading these and watching The Queen's funeral.  

Back to Chicken Shenanigans...

And Nature Study...

And surprise sweet treat run to the grocery store when it's a girls only night that we didn't plan!  They had the most fun picking out their own box of cookies to enjoy just before bedtime.  

Red Robin gave us another big egg!  She is getting older and not laying quite as frequently but boy do her eggs make up for it.  

Sometimes learning to read just needs a little encouragement.  We are enjoying our All About Reading curriculum this year and added a little chocolate to the lesson today.  Get a word correct, get an M&M.  Why not???  It's not often but today is was needed!  Mostly because seeing them happy, makes me happy...and we all need more joy right now.

Our last swim!  We have thought this a few times but we keep getting warm snaps where we can jump back in.  They loved it!  Clearly. 

And then they came in and Bear put war paint on everyone to be ready for a surprise attack on Dad when he got home from work...with water balloons.  Too fun! 

On Friday, we drove to Camden to drop Bear off to his besties to go to their farm for the weekend.  We met almost halfway and this little angel took a nap...watching her sleep is the sweetest. 

I was sent lots of photos while Bear was in NC...apparently all the dogs and animals adored him.  Of course! 

I decided to do a little back porch makeover and scored this beautiful teak table and chairs off Facebook Marketplace.  I sold our old set that really was in bad shape and an armoire that I honestly thought should have been burned to make up all but $25.  So, we got quite the back porch makeover with new furniture, a beautiful new farmhouse sign with something that I tell all my children painted on it and two benches and only spent $25 after selling the other two things in a matter of days!  AG has enjoyed doing her Bible time on the porch each day.  I have to is a perfect little spot now! 

These Hess trucks have been around for a long time!  I have a feeling they will remain a favorite for many years to come. 

My beloved always taking care of me.  Hanging a sign for me in the dark! He knew it would mean so much to have everything set up for my quiet time on the porch the next morning. 

How perfect!  All my kids know that they are my favorite!!!

We spent Saturday at the ballpark watching Bubba pitch in a fall scrimmage game.  The girls kept themselves entertained feeding their horses (that Mrs. Keely has passed down to them) popcorn.

We got to see our favorite college pitcher and he did very well allowing no runs in the inning he pitched. 

More photos from NC where they found a gluten free and dairy free restaurant!

Our Bear loved every minute and it was truly a blessing for him to get this time with his friends.  

They played manhunt and hide and seek in the dark and slept outside in a tent...which included a scary run in with coyotes. 

Meanwhile, we watched a football game, let the girls stay up past bedtime and enjoyed just having the littles for a bit. 

They joined me in bed for the sweetest snuggles...

and on the porch for time with Jesus...and petting the dogs. 

This is the final back porch set up now.  The lady that we purchased the table and chairs from gave us several huge containers of teak oil, sealer and brightener.  She had done it before and I think we are going to go with the brightener to try to get it closer to the bench in color.  

We have eaten almost every dinner outside since and are enjoying this space more than we ever have.  Proof that a bigger table is never a bad idea...whether you can build it or get it for a steal of a deal. 

And one more of Bear and his best friends.  These boys have known each other since they were 2-3 years old.  They introduced Bear to their life on the farm taking care of pigs, sheep, chickens, goats, you name it.  They had so much fun and I am forever grateful that I get to call their mama one of my best friends, too. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

{Catching Up}

Swim season is coming to a close faster than we would like so we are trying to make the most of it while we can.  Thankfully, it looks like this coming week will have some nice and hot days before we close it down for the year.  

We celebrated Labor Day by attending the local library's used book sale.  We all found a few goodies...including Daddy. 

One of AG's favorite finds was a free 500 piece puzzle.  She has the patience of Job when working on these things! 

Crazy pups!  They are quite a pair! 

Just a typical day...riding a bicycle and wearing a swimsuit.  

No week would be complete without Panda's chickens making a debut.  

More football means more fun.  The girls got to pick a snack to take to the games and they picked these little French fry chip containers from Publix.  They loved them.  

We traveled to Spartanburg for this game and Bear got lots of playing time.  He really is enjoying this season and has made some sweet friends.  It is such a neat little community. We are grateful to be a part of it this year. 

Big Win for the Panters! 

And then he falls asleep in my arms.  Soaking up this while I still can! 

We had a rough day with our Bo.  He was limping really badly and didn't want to move at all.  We were very concerned but then AG laid hands on him and prayed and immediately he started running around again and playing with Boss.  It was literally like we witnessed a miracle! 

We took a Sabbath nature walk on the Peak Trail and it was lovely.  The kids all really enjoyed exploring.  

Another day with the birds...the babies are getting so big.  They are free ranging some now and are about to start living in the big coop...because AG has plans for more babies soon, of course. Chicken math! 

We've added watercolor school to our weekly rhythm for an enrichment and we all love it.  It's so calming and peaceful.  

We try to match up our watercolor project to go along with something we are studying.  Since we are studying raptors and birds of prey in science, we chose an owl to paint. 

Isn't this sunset gorgeous?!?  I've been trying to focus on God's little gifts in creation more lately...keeping my eyes are things above and this evening sunset was a beautiful reminder that He is always in control. 

Give the kids some free time and they always come up with the most fun was a pretend campfire in the yard. 

I snuck over to the hammock to rest and reflect and had the cutest little rockers some make sure I never stayed still...and may have gotten a little too high at times! 

Then, they hopped on and joined me.  The best kind of crowded!

Another one of the babies getting some love.  They don't like us as much as the big girls just yet, but they are learning. 

Boss loves his ball!  He also loves sticks but has to keep those outside. 

We wrapped up our week with opening all the doors and schooling wherever they chose...we began at the island but pretty soon...

Bear was on the porch!  I ended up teaching the girls reading lessons outside too.  

And then back in for our map study and geography lesson.  

I jumped on the sourdough train a couple weeks ago also.  Trying to make a gluten free starter from scratch...and surprisingly I was successful.  We've made artisan bread, sandwich loaf bread and the yummiest Dutch Baby Pancake this morning.  So good! 

The girls were invited to a friend's birthday party that was held at the gym AJ takes classes.  She was very excited to show me some of her new skills...which included doing a cartwheel on the balance beam.  She amazes me. 

AG also got in on the fun and was very happy to try her hand at a few things that were safe for her.  

Last but not least, Bear's football photos were taken and I just grabbed screenshots of them for keepsake.  Does anyone print photos much anymore?  I definitely don't like I used to except occasionally but I know that including them here will preserve them for a lifetime.  So proud of our #68!