Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bits and Pieces

It's taken me all summer to finally make a plate of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella -- my favorite. But, now I've done it and maybe I'll do it again. The basil has done very well in my garden this year.

Life is pretty hectic around here. School just adds a lot more to each day and so far we haven't removed from our schedule any social activities, housework or cooking, not to mention fun things like crafts. I'm hoping I figure out a good pace before too long and that the house won't be torn to bits forever.
Baby John is doing very well and everyone is home from the hospital. Christina sounded terrific on the phone tonight. A few pints of blood, a lot of sleep, and being home must be doing wonders for her. And apparently Baby John is a very good baby!!!!
I've taken the kids to the pool the last two days. We haven't used it as much this summer with the strange weather we've had and then being busy with other things. One week left and I feel we should make some use of it.
I've been reading Gone With The Wind for weeks now (it's around 1200 pages). I'm nearing the end, and am anxious to move onto some more books. Not to say the book hasn't kept me spellbound and eager for any spare moment to read. It just goes on and on and on. Next up is watching the movie.......which I'm told also goes on and on. :)
Tomorrow we'll have 2 weeks of school under our belts! We're off to Grand Rapids for the weekend and then have a 7th birthday to celebrate on Monday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Christina's Baby Shower

Saturday was our turn to host a baby shower for Christina. We finally settled on a cafe theme:

Emily and our friend, Suse, got to work on Friday evening to turn the house into a cafe. The zinnia garden came in handy:
We borrowed chairs and card tables and moved all the furniture around:

And, in the mean time, we worked on the food.

By Saturday morning it really did look like a cafe:

The teacups were set out:

And all the food. We had meringues:


Pain au chocolat:
and yogurt parfaits:

A sweet picture of Christina:

Then came all the guests:

There was also coffee:

Lots of chatter and laughter:

And everyone seemed to enjoy their food:

We filled all the tables and had to spill over into the living room.

After food, we had presents:

There were many beautiful things, including a carseat and stroller. We had no idea how soon Christina would need her carseat!

And then the shower was over and Christina went home to begin labor in a few hours. And now we're off to take the kids to meet their little cousin!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Baby John

What a delightful surprise to wake up Sunday morning and find out my new nephew had been born!!!! Christina gave birth via a c-section as Baby John was discovered to be breech.

Emily and I hightailed it up to the hospital in the afternoon to see the little guy:

He's very cute, even more so because he's so tiny: 5 pounds and 12 ounces.

John arrived two weeks early, but is doing just fine!

Emily and I were very happy aunts.

Christina delivered just 17 hours after we finished with her baby shower! I have plenty of pictures to show you tomorrow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The State Fair

Going to the State Fair is one of the biggest highlights for the children in our year. This year we actually got to go twice!!!

We discovered "Little Hands on the Farm" -- an interactive area where kids do farming chores and get "paid" at the end.

Everyone loved "planting", "feeding animals," "riding tractors," and "picking apples":

This sign at the end, where the children turn in their "money" for something tangible, just didn't seem to compute:

Tractor riding was fun!

Milking the cow was very realistic:

One afternoon we watched the Stars of Peking Acrobats -- amazing!!!

I think I love the fair so much because it emobodies so much of what I love as a homemaker: the country, cooking, livestock, food, handwork, tractors, history, etc.:

The kids love trying out all the tractors:

This little guy's grown a lot since his first visit to the State Fair at 3 weeks of age:

I think Rach could make it as a farmer's daughter:

It's the year of the Red Gold Tomatoes at the State Fair and tomato plants are EVERYWHERE -- including the hanging baskets:

Auntie C, nearly ready to deliver, decided the trolley was a nice option:

And we all enjoyed the sheep barn (especially since there was wool to purchase):

So cute:
Our fair trip had to end with a few rides for the kids:

And the mom got to tag along on some of them too:

On our next visit we stopped by to see Grandma's artwork in the Arts and Crafts building:

The kids tried their hands at leather work:

And we all learned some more about beekeeping:

The prize-winning pumpkins were incredible! The biggest weighed in at 1,146 pounds!!!

Check out these dahlias -- as big as James' sweet face!

We also got to enjoy some fair food since this year we went on "Taste of the Fair" day where everything was reduced in price! Corndogs, gyros, and ice-cream made for a nice lunch. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Today was the day to pick raspberries. And let me tell you, they were gorgeous! Bigger and better formed than I've ever seen them. And there were plenty of them!

It is always a treat for me to be out in the countryside. I just love it!

We couldn't get over how big some of the berries were. Together with a friend, we picked a total of 46 pounds of raspberries -- 26 of those are going in our freezer!
So beautiful, and not mushy!!!

And I couldn't resist some plums off the orchard's own trees.

Nor could I resist some of the season's first apples. I bought two varieties and am contemplating an apple pie. However, both varieties are delicious on their own.

And tonight I'm off to see Julie and Julia! I can't wait! I'm expecting lots of inspiration.