Life is Good…

…And always happening! Here’s a little look into some of our recent doings.

On the work side: Amy found a great deal on some peach trees which meant they had to be planted…and watered…and Brian decided dragging a hose is for the birds. Thus an ambitious project ensued – putting in a watering system.

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First we dug holes for the trees – making little foxholes for the kids to jump in. Then Brian trenched….

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And trenched…..

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And pick-axed his way through the rock and clay. Pipe was laid, tested and early one morning before the sun or the kids were up, Amy covered all the ditches.

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Next fun project was digging holes for the rose bushes that were also a “good deal.” Due to the clay it took us (Brian) two hours early one Sat. morning to dig the seven holes. Those bushes will be a constant reminder of how much this man loves his woman. If I never get roses for valentines – I’ll just know I have bushes instead!

On the fun side:

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Cousins enjoying a summer time treat at Grammy’s house.

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Peter taking one last stab at organizing Grammy’s cabinets before he and his parents make their move to Colorado. We’ll miss this smiling face!

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A weekend surprise – A free trampoline from an older lady down the road whose granddaughter had outgrown it.

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Potty training with cousin Greg – spent the morning playing in the garage to spare our floor the accidents.

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Eden was excited to have all the juice she wanted!

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Evening playtime in the sandbox – such joy to watch all four play so happily, each busy with their own fun.

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Birthday party for Amy’s dad; a big 42 tournament. Scoring methods got confused so no one could claim victory but the real fun was watching my Dad enjoy the evening playing his favorite game.

A weekend project

Brian had a three day weekend and his parents had the kids – so we thought to take on a house project – and this one turned out bigger than we thought!

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After putting up a tile backsplash in the bathrooms last Saturday afternoon, we figured the kitchen should go quickly enough.

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Amy’s Dad had some tile in the shed he bought on sale a long time ago. The color matched with the counter tops so we were set! Except for one thing, the most of the tile was “bull nosed” and we were just a bit short to do the whole kitchen. This was a discontinued color pattern so there were no more to be had.

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After many ideas and then a little more problem solving, Brian built a jig to hold a grinder at the right angle to cut the non-bull nosed tile to match the others.

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This worked fairly well and with a coat of glaze on the cut edge, the match was almost perfect! Amy had found a few sheets of smaller tiles at a discount store that matched the tile we had so we could get a little creative. The hardest part was cutting an angle on these little pieces but Brian once again thought through the problem and came up with another jig and we managed to cut the four that we needed.

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Here is a before picture of the kitchen. Brian is moving the plugs up about half an inch so the tile will fit right. Alas, already remodeling and we haven’t even finished the house! The plugs and tile cutting took all morning – much longer than we expected.   pics 353

Putting the tile up went fairly quickly. Amy’s Dad suggested using caulk to hang the tiles because it would stick better to painted sheetrock than mortar would. This made the process very easy.pics 354

We let the caulk cure over night because we had a little bit of trouble with tile moving when we tried to grout sooner in the bathrooms. Saturday morning we started in on the grouting process. There are no pictures because this was very labor intensive and once started we couldn’t stop until everything was done!

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We had a same day grout sealer so that evening prepared to spray it on. Here Brian tapes up paper to protect walls and cabinets from over spray.

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Amy wipes off the extra after it dried a bit. By the time we put on the second coat it was almost 10pm. We then pulled the paper off and left everything to dry overnight.

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And here is the finished kitchen!

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Another angle.

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Close up on the kitchen sink/window.

It sure was fun to work hard as a team, have no interruptions and eat meals as breaks in work allowed. We were sure tired on Sunday and glad for a day of rest before the kids came back on Monday!

Special days for a special girl

My second born, energetic, creative thinking, clone of myself turned a big 4 years old on July 6th.

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Grandparents were visiting on her special day and had a birthday present for her. I told her she could open it when the little girls woke up from their nap. Later I walked into the room and found Flora sleeping with some unusual items. Puzzled and amused, I took a picture then removed the items. Ivy admitted to putting them on her sister so she would wake up and presents could be opened. Flora must be a hard sleeper!

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The birthday surprise was a wiggle water hose.

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Planning a swim party for July seemed like a sure thing, but the morning of the party dawned cloudy and cool with a chance of rain. I knew little people would chill quickly so thought about postponing the party. But Ivy woke up asking “now can we do the party?” I explained the problem and her first response was “let’s pray mom.” We did and asked Jesus to make the rain go away. Within 10 minutes it started to rain. We went ahead however, with me scrambling to plan other activities that didn’t include water. By the time of the party, things had warmed up enough to play and by the end the sun was out. Sorry to those who hoped to have their yards watered.

Party highlights:

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Lance enjoyed the water slide….

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Jenny the popsicles…

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and Ivy the presents.

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A ‘shoot out the candle’ game proved quite popular. Lance leans in for a greater advantage.

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And then finishes off the competition as well.

Water balloon fight was fun right until the very end – when they got the hang of actually hitting each other. Popsicles helped change tears to smiles.

Brian helped me set up a nifty obstacle course with all the water toys collected between me, my mom and sisters.

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Through the “car wash.”

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Under the noodle.

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Weave the buckets while being sprayed by the wiggle hose.

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Twice around the ball.

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Through the tunnel.

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Over the catwalk.

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Jump into the pool.

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End with a water slide!!!

The party was fun and everyone was worn out – all four children took a nap that afternoon and so did mom!

Eat Mor Chikin

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My little helpers.

We recently made a few changes and set up a schedule of sorts which has the kids helping me with chores instead of me trying to do them all. It started a bit slow at first, but after a week I had four little buddies at my side; not only through breakfast clean up and barn chores, but anything else I did after that!

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We spent several mornings in the garden. I cleared back the grass that was trying to take over while Eden watered the plants.

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Ivy and Flora love weaving through the tomato bushes in search of ripe tomatoes. Only one green one has been picked so far. Lance still has a fascination for seeds and has harvested some zinnia seeds that we replanted in our garden. Ivy also took the initiative to harvest our carrot crop.

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After watching the big kids “cheese” for a picture, Eden wanted one too. As you can see, gardening is sweaty, dirt work.

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One morning we washed the car together and then rewarded ourselves with a swim.

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Since everyone was wet and hungry they enjoyed a picnic in the garage.

The picnic was finished off with popsicles and then the garage floor needed to be washed down. This was quite the fun job in their estimation!

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Eden wants to help with the firewood. Maybe wait until winter, little one.pics 177

Lance and Ivy are getting big enough to be good helpers on projects with Daddy too. It’s so much fun to have them work along side…even if they eventually opt out and make mud pies instead.

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