Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blackberry Season!

I enjoy blackberries, but I really don't care to pick them. The times I've gone picking I've come home stained, scratched, itchy, hot and dirty, so the offer has always stood that if someone else does the picking, I'll do the cooking (or baking or preserving).

Well this past week Naomi took the time to pick half a bucket of berries after her horseback riding lesson. We brought them home and together made a delicious berry crisp. We enjoyed it warm with homemade vanilla ice cream! Yum!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meeting AnnaBelle's Calf...

Angela and Crandon's cow, AnnaBelle, had her calf last week (on our anniversary I might add), so it has been high on Naomi's priority list to go and meet the new calf. Naomi is the only genuine "animal lover" in our family, so if not for her persistence it may have been some time before we would have made it over for a visit! So yesterday after our Sunday fellowship we headed over to meet the 5 day old little heifer. I must say she is a pretty cute little thing, with her well licked fur going all directions and her very long eyelashes framing her big eyes.

Here she comes, following her mama!
Naomi came prepared with her rubber boots and wasted no time climbing the gate to see the little one.

This Little Guy seemed to be saying, "I'm not sure why all the fuss over a calf!"
This Little Man was only moderately interested in the cow and calf...
...but he sure had fun with the trapeze rings...
... and playing hide and seek among the curtains of weeping willow!
And this Little Guy... he checked out. Ho hum, cows and calves... boring stuff!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

36 Years...

36 years. Can that be possible?

Time is such a fickle measure. Mere minutes can drag into an eternity and yet years can disappear with hardly a lingering memory. Our 36 years of marriage have had their share of both! Moments that are vivid and just as real as if yesterday and at the same time whole years that I seem unable to even account for.

We were 19 and 22, so young and with a whole life ahead of us (did I say very young?) Projects we would do and places we would go, and of course we had forever to do it all! Somewhere along the way I realized we would never do all the things we thought we would; fortunately somewhere about that same time I realized that it didn't matter. The things that mattered were day to day life with our God, with each other and with our family.

On that day 36 years ago when we made those vows, “til death do us part”, I have no doubt as to our full sincerity and commitment, but certainly we were at least na├»ve as to what that journey would be. Six kids (really?), homeschool them all (you're kidding!), run our own business too? How good that our God only unfolds one day at a time!

Today I am thankful first to our God, because His ways always work, one man and one woman for life, and secondly I am thankful to Bob, my beloved husband, who has faithfully loved, led and provided for all of us everyone of those 36 years!

Here is a memory from our wedding day:

So today, Bob, I'll once again take your hand and follow you...

Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sweet Pea & Sapphire

Meet the girls, Sweet Pea and Sapphire, the newest additions to our household.

Naomi has been begging for a guinea pig for a number of years. (Her big sisters had guinea pigs when they were about her age.) She has read all the books that the library has on guinea pigs, but alas the answer has always been... "no, one dog is enough!" But, a couple weeks ago, Naomi's dad said, "yes." I think he must be getting soft in his old age, either that or he misses all the marrieds so much that he's resorting to guinea pigs to fill the void! Naomi was ecstatic and long story short, we ended up with two guinea pigs as they are social creatures and not very happy by themselves. Sweet Pea is black, white and brown. Sapphire is all black with just the smallest white smudge on her forehead.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Jam, Jam, Jam...

What do most people do when the thermometer reads over 100 degrees? Maybe go to the beach or sit in the shade sipping lemonade? We have had several days of extreme heat and I have spent some of that time making close to 4 gallons of jam - apricot, plum and a blend which I'm trying to decide whether to call  "apricum" or "plumicot". The apricots I purchased from a local source and the plums are from our backyard tree. When fruit is ripe it doesn't wait for cool weather!

I figure we go through about 1 jar per week of jam so I like to make enough to last the year. Usually I'm making strawberry also, but I think I missed out on local strawberries this year with our wedding and company in June. I guess I may have to break down and buy a jar or two if I want some strawberry for variety. Bob's favorite is blackberry and Melody usually gifts him with several jars for his July birthday. This makes me very happy as I really hate to pick blackberries!

 Here is some of the finished product!

 Here is a pot of apricot and plum before I stirred it up!
The finished jam is such a pretty color!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Zoo...

Years ago we made many visits to the SF Zoo. When our older children were toddlers we had an annual membership and would frequently meet up with cousins and grandparents at the zoo. Eventually as the oldest ones grew and cousins moved farther away our trips to the zoo came to a halt, meaning our youngest two had never had that experience. Well now we have grown kids and grand kids and one of them has a zoo membership and invited Lucas, Naomi and me to join them for a day at the zoo.

It was fun to see how many things have not changed at all, but also how many things have under gone major renovation. We had a perfect day except for the fact that we lingered longer than planned and paid the price by coming home in rush hour traffic!

Here are some photos from our day:

Peacocks abounded all over the zoo; this one proudly showed us his colorful plumage.
 We didn't get to see a single kangaroo hop; they all were lazily lounging in the sun!
  The lemurs were very active and vocal and fun to watch.
 I think this little guy wanted to go a different direction!
 Grizzly bears and Polar bears

Beautiful flamingos!
Miss Naomi posing on a "safe" hippo!
This unusual green footed creature kept tagging along with us... we put him to work!
This little guy was "reading" all about the lemurs!
I have no idea what these trees are, but they look like something from a Dr. Seuss book!
Lucas, checking our his "wing span" compared to the bald eagle's.
Naomi photoed this guy who was waiting diligently to see if we would drop any of our lunch!
We have many photos of our older kids riding this same carousel!
This was definitely my favorite "exhibit" to watch at the Zoo!

A parting shot... 
we will be looking forward to another visit to see all the things we missed this time around!