Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday Five-A Day Late and a Dollar Short :P

1. Why aren't you blogging?

Because of a snafu with our internet provider, we're off line at home right now. Because we live in the middle of a corn field, we have very limited options for providers, so we're making calls to see who can hook us up again :)

2. How are the kiddos?

Sassy as ever. Gabe lost his two top teeth and had a visit from the tooth fairy (and was disappointed that she didn't leave him a note, he literally tossed the money aside looking for his note ha ha)

SarahAnne is...well she's SarahAnne, sassy and sweet all at the same time. Constantly cracking us up with things she says.

3. How are you and Geo?

Doing well; getting ready to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary on the 28th :) Geo's working a lot lately (though he's off this weekend) and getting ready for inventory at work. He's currently looking for a position at a closer store so he can be closer to home-wish him luck! I'm fine and dandy as usual :D Doing a lot of reading (Love that summer reading) and getting ready to start my part time position at the library :)

4. And the garden...

Fabulous. We've been eating a TON of fresh veggies for the last few weeks. We're planning on expanding the garden to epic proportions next year...I wonder if we'll have any yard left by the time we're done?

and finally...
5. Do you miss regular blogging?

Yup I sure do :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What We Did Today

Climbed a tree with Grandpa

Rolled around with Grandpa

Ran around Grandpa

Rode bikes with Grandma

Got tickled by Grandpa

Relaxed with Grandma AND Grandpa...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I know this might sound silly, but today I'm thankful for my thankful Thursday posts. A friend recently made a thankful Tuesday post and said she wishes she did it more often. I commented that I really actually enjoyed Thankful Thursday because it made me more thankful throughout the week because I was actively thinking of things to be thankful for. (that's a lot of alliteration isn't it?! ha ha)

I find that if I am actively thinking of things to post about on Thankful Thursday I am actually being more thankful for what I have. Sometimes it's so easy to get wrapped up in the bad and negative things going on in our lives and we end up wasting so much time focusing on them that we miss out on the good things in life. Even if it's only once a day I think about how blessed we are, that's one less negative thought I'm having.

In no particular order, here are some things I'm thankful for today:
+Bitsy's sunshiney happy mood this morning. She's had some rough days lately but she woke up this morning in a kissy giggly mood and that's ALWAYS something to be thankful for.

+Gabe's best friend came over yesterday for the afternoon. It was not only nice to see Dolan, but seeing Gabriel so happy to be with his friend was wonderful.

+Geo is off this weekend. We are excited to spend the weekend with him and he's thankful he will get a few days off to relax before getting back to the crazy schedule he's used to.

+I've recently been hired at the library for five hours (at least) a month. Even though it isn't a ton of money, it'll be good to get out of the house without the kiddos for a while.

Finally I'm thankful for our beautiful garden that not only feeds us, but has been feeding other people as well and will continue to do so over the course of the summer.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Garden Update

It's been a while since I posted about the garden, so here it goes:

We've finished all of our radishes. We had a few that were the size of small apples! They were super tasty sliced up in a salad made from lettuce we grew :) The peas are about done. They were excellent; sweet, juicy. Next year, however, we will be building them a trellis rather than using cotton string to help them. It did NOT work like we wanted it to. Lesson learned. Last night we had our first bean harvest. Because we're apparently insane about beans, we have six different varieties in the garden: Three Grandpa the Great sent us (the long green beans are amazing G da G!) green beans, yellow beans, and purple beans. I've had to stop Geo from eating the itty bitty beans straight out of the garden-you've got to watch that guy, he'll eat just about anything from the garden :P

Our cherry tomato plant, which we thought we lost after the last big storm blew it straight over has apparently decided to become an over achiever. There are close to fifty tomatoes on the vine (none of the red yet though...come on cherries-ripen up!) I have a feeling we're going to have tomatoes coming out of our ears. Thankfully there are a few people we can share them with :) The "big mama" tomato plant FINALLY has a tomato on it. The Big Mama is an organic hybrid (apparently) it's supposed to be a ginormous Roma tomato from what I understand. Guess we'll see. Our third tomato plant, which is either a Roma or a Big Boy (I am assuming it's a big boy based on the shape of the tomatoes) has about six tomatoes growing off of it. Considering we dug the plant up and threw it in a pot because a storm cracked its' main stem, I'm surprised it's doing ANYTHING.

Our pepper plants are completely and utterly out of control. If we get HALF the fruit that it's trying to produce we are going to be eating green peppers until November! We have four California Wonder plants and one sweet red chili (that was an accidental buy to be honest) All of them are doing amazing. There's a pepper that keeps calling my name. Geo eats the beans and peas, I just want the peppers...mmmm green peppers...whoops, sorry. The robins ate all the damn leaves off of our pepper plants early in the season and we weren't sure they'd grow at all. They proved the robins wrong (thankfully)

We finally have flowers on our summer squash and zucchini-yum.

The pumpkins...oh my the pumpkins. If we get HALF the pumpkins off the vine as there are starter pumpkins no one in Maple Park will have to buy a pumpkin this year. Our pumpkin plant LOVES the spot it's in and has been sprouting between two and six flowers a day(!!) Not too shabby for one little plant that had a broken main stem after one of the hellacious storms that ripped through our little part of the globe in the last month!!

And now...the pictures :)

The overachieving cherry tomato plant

G da G's beans

Mmmm come to momma little peppers

This was taken three days ago-it's is a significantly larger plant right now.

And now a few of the lilies we've been waiting to bloom for at least a month now!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Moving On...

I spent the first 18 years of my life in the same town surrounded by the same family, the same friends, and the same surroundings. I went to the same school my entire school "career" with the same teachers from year to year. Things rarely changed in my small town-sure maybe we'd get a few new families every year or so, but for the most part things were the same. In fact, of all the people I graduated with, I'd say that I went to school with 95% from kindergarten on up.

After graduating, I moved to "the big city" (In retrospect, saying Saginaw is the big city is really funny. Yes it's a large city compared to Harbor Beach, but it's NOTHING compared to the big cities I'm used to now :D) I spent four years in my new "hometown" and loved it. I met a great group of people whom are still good friends, I learned my way around town, knew where to shop, etc etc. Then I made a decision that would change my life forever...I decided to get married and run away to Chicago with George. (well sort of, it wasn't immediate, but in the scheme of things it was a quick process)

Now here I was, eight hours from my itty bitty home town in a town that had five elementary schools (WHAT?)grocery stores I'd never heard of (Jewel Osco? Dominicks? huh??) The traffic lights were different, we threw away our cans and bottles (um, hello, those are worth ten cents in Michigan!) you had to PAY to drive on toll ways-which incidentally, had at least one name and number to identify them. (And if I'm honest, after seven years down here I still haven't learned all the number/name correlations) Chicago land is so much more fast paced than the town I was used to. It was busy and loud and there were people all over the place-and forget about seeing a farm...yeah, not gonna happen.

The first six months were so hard for me. I was constantly homesick and just wanted Faygo and Koegels. (Michigan soda and hot dogs) I spent a lot of time on the phone calling people at home and we went to Michigan a lot those first six months...but gradually it got better. Gradually I realized that our quality of life down here was SO much better than we could ever have in Michigan. Unfortunately, Michigan, while beautiful and familiar, is an economic wreck. There aren't enough jobs to go around and once prosperous towns are now virtual wastelands of abandoned buildings and crime.

We've been here seven years and I can't imagine NOT calling Illinois our home. We love it here; there are job opportunities, there are cultural experiences to be had, there are plenty of things to do and see, and we are surrounded by family and friends down here too. Sure I miss being in Michigan sometimes. Holidays are the hardest because my family isn't always able to come here nor are we always able to come here--but that's okay. We see each other at least a few times a year and always enjoy ourselves. In fact, we're getting ready to go to Michigan for a week in August, which is sure to be a blast like it always is.

One thing that's made it easier to not miss Michigan is having Gabe and Bits. Seeing how they thrive in this environment, seeing how they LOVE being downtown taking in the sights, even hearing their little Chicago accents is wonderful. Chicago (land) is THEIR home and I'm so glad it is. They have opportunities I never had as a child for which I am very grateful for. They love it down here and I'm so glad. The first little bit after moving here was hard, but seeing them so happy and healthy here made that little bit of sadness worth it all.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

From my two favorite bakers!!

Every day we are thankful for our proud military men and women, but today we are ESPECIALLY thankful to those who've always fought to keep our country the land of the free and the home of the brave! God bless you and bring you home safe!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Five-Cookies

1. What is absolutely the best cookie you’ve ever had?
My mom's chocolate dipped peanut butter cookies OR her oatmeal butterscotch cookies *drools*

2. What is a cookie you really don’t care for?
Oatmeal raisin

3. What are some other cookies you are rather fond of?
Go to bed mints made by my mother in law, these crispy chocolate cookies Grandma Wit makes, chocolate chip cookies, and macadamia nut cookies

4. Grocery-store cookies are, of course, never as good as anything that comes out of someone’s kitchen, but what’s a packaged cookie that’s still pretty good?
Mmmm I love those Keebler cookies with Reese's pb cups in them

5. In general, do you think cookies should be chewy and gooey, or should they be crispy and crunchy?
Chewy and gooey for sure.

COOKIES Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful that it's absolutely gorgeous out AND Geo is home to enjoy the day with us :)


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