Monday, April 30, 2012

My New Front Flower Bed

It has taken weeks and weeks of slow moving progress, but I can finally show you what I've been working on!  We had a small raised bed in the front under the kitchen window.  (I, of course, did not take a before picture.  That would take way too much planning on my part!)  But here is what it looked like after I had started working on it.  You can see the pile of dirt up by the house.  That is the original flower bed minus the pavers.

Our neighbors gave us some mulch a while back and we used it for other places around the yard.  What mulch was left we piled in this bed and that ended up tilled in with the rest of the dirt.  (My friend Dawn pointed out that the mound was right under the cross.)

I had a LOT of pavers to move and grass to remove.  I thought it would ease up after I got that part done, but no such luck.  The original pile of dirt was full of rocks and I didn't think it was going to be good soil for the new plants.  Unfortunately, that dirt was so compacted it was a bear to break apart.  As I chipped away at it, we took several loads and dumped in the back yard for a future project.  

My sweet hubby helped me on Saturday getting the last of the old stuff out and then tilling up the bed.  I had bought a couple of bags of gardening soil and he tilled all that together.  Hopefully, that will help the plants have a good chance of surviving.  They need all the help they can get with me taking care of them!

Throughout the whole process we dug up all kinds of things.  Kentucky is known for rocky soil, but big chunks of concrete was not what we expected.

This is what we had to dig up to plant the very first plant.  We were really wondering if it was a sign of things to come!

The rock path is made out of rocks we dug up when removing the grass.  Believe it or not, there are even more!

We ended up with a couple extra bushes and decided to plant them in key places to hide the crawl space entrance

and the a/c unit (if you look real close you can see the little bushling).  I need to make another run to Lowe's to get one more bag of mulch to finish off these areas.

We purchased smaller versions of the plants to keep the cost down, so it looks a little barren at the moment. 

I can't wait to see it once they grow a bit!

Living thru faith,

Friday, April 27, 2012

Our New Porch Light

Remember when I told you about our upside down porch light?  Here's a picture of it when a bird was trying to build a nest on it.  Silly bird!

Last week I ran across an awesome deal hanging in 
the lighting section at Lowes! 

5 buckaroos!!!

It was regularly $33 and marked down to $9.97 on clearance.  Turns out it was the last one and the display model.  While the guy went to get what he needed to take it down, my friend Dawn encouraged me to ask him to mark it down more.  No way, I thought!  But sure enough, 
he gave me another 50% off!

I had planned on spray painting it black, but when we held it up by the door it looked good with the brass on the door.  Since I can't change the brass (it's encased in the window), I have to learn to live with it. It has black brush like strokes in it and blends everything together.

I just love it...and it's right side up!

Living thru faith,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sarah's Mermaid Tail

Sarah has started growing a mermaid tail at every baseball game.

It started happening at one of the first games of the season.

Unfortunately, when the game is over it disappears.

(Even though she doesn't want people to know she's a human.)


Living thru faith,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Break Pics

I am finally getting around to showing you some of the pictures from our trip to Florida over Spring Break.  We left after school on that Thursday and arrived in Vero Beach late Friday night.  Matt didn't have to be at the sports village until around noon, so we were able to take the kids to the beach for a little bit before lunch.  

After we dropped Matt off, we headed up to St. Augustine to stay a couple nights with my friend Cindy and her family.  Cindy and I have been friends since 8th grade, but haven't gotten to spend a long amount of time together in probably 15 years!!  Through the years we've been able to get caught up and stay in touch through facebook.  It was such a blessing getting to know her family, too.  

We enjoyed going to church with them Sunday morning and then touring a little bit of St. Augustine after lunch.

Brian loves lighthouses and finally got to go up in one while we were there!

We even got to spend a little time on their beach before we left.  (Of the three beaches we visited on this trip, their's was my favorite!  It is amazing how different beaches can be!)

After visiting with Cindy and her family we headed back to Vero Beach to watch the boys play baseball, spend some more time on the beach, and eat more seafood!  (We just don't get good seafood in Kentucky!)  

Matt's team was undefeated for the week!

One of the things we did on Matt's day off was head down to Ft. Pierce.
(to eat seafood, of course!) 

The last couple of days the waves were huge (in our standards at least).

The beach in Vero was very "shelly".  
Every time the waves came up they brought shells.  There was a line of solid shells you had to walk over to get to the water.

 The week was a nice break from everything else going on and it was wonderful getting to spend time together as a family!

Living thru faith,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

My head is full of some many things.  

So many decisions, so little time!

We finally made one BIG decision.  We officially decided to homeschool Daniel next year.  We both feel like this is going to be the best thing for him, but it's a little scary on my part.

Of course, that decision has lead to more decisions that need to made.  Matt will finish up at the high school.  He was definitely not interested in homeschooling and he has done fine so far.  We decided to send Sarah to kindergarten so that I can concentrate on Daniel for this first year.  She is a lot like Matthew (although she is much more of a talker!) and I know she'll love it.  Now I just have to decide what curriculum to use for Daniel...


It is also time to start planning college visits.  That means I need Matt to decide where he wants to look.  This is turning out to be a tougher challenge than I anticipated.  Unfortunately, this decision has to be made quickly because it plays a roll on our summer schedule.  This decision leads into what baseball camps to attend, when to visit colleges, when to visit family in Louisiana, when to schedule Sarah's swim lessons and dance camp, and the list goes on and on....And in the midst of all of these big decisions, there are still the every day decisions in the midst of our crazy busy schedule.   

Along with each decision also comes an extensive to do list.  Some days I'm just overwhelmed and paralyzed.  Some days I'm motivated and productive.  Hopefully, I will be less overwhelmed and more productive as the days go by!

Living thru faith,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kindergarten Registration {Sigh}

Yesterday I registered my baby girl for kindergarten!  
It's so hard to believe she is ready for school!

Just yesterday she could fit in a storage box (her favorite place to play).

Today she has to scrunch up to hide in a basket!

Living thru faith,

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yummy Breakfast

I actually made breakfast Saturday morning!  
For those that know me well, they know I don't do breakfast.  
Matt would love a big breakfast every morning, but he was born into the wrong family for that!

Not only did I make breakfast, but I actually prepared the pancake batter on Friday!  I know!  It's a miracle!  

I mixed up the batter Friday afternoon and left it in the fridge.  It made cleanup so much easier on Saturday morning. The recipe I use is simple and really doesn't take much more time than a store bought mix, but much cheaper!  I also make my mom's homemade syrup when we have pancakes.  It costs less than the store bought and we like it better.

Along with the pancakes, we had bacon.  Yummy bacon!  I don't buy bacon much anymore because it has gotten so expensive.  It seems to have come down a little bit, so I decided to splurge this month.  

I didn't want to deal with a mess, so I decided to cook the bacon in the oven.  I've done this once before and we loved it!  The only draw back is that it does take longer.  But it is so worth it!  It comes out crispy and with more flavor than pan frying.   A broiler pan works great.  I didn't have one so I used a roasting pan.  Just line with aluminum foil, insert the rake and add the bacon.  If you do not have some kind of rack to put in the pan, you can lay the bacon straight on the aluminum foil.  The only thing with that is the bacon will end up laying in the grease, so you probably wouldn't want 
to make several batches.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  For my oven, it worked best to cook it for 10 minutes, turn the pieces over, 
and then cook another 10-12 minutes.


Here is the pancake and syrup recipes for anyone who might want them.  I've had the pancake recipe for so long, I really have no idea where I go it from.  The recipe was titled "The Best Pancakes" and definitely lives up to the title!

The Best Pancakes
4 tbsp. oil
2 eggs
2 c. + 2 tbsp. milk, divided
2 c. all purpose flour
4 tbsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

In large bowl, beat together oil, egg, and 2 c. milk.  Next sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients, blending well with wire whisk.  Stir in 2 tbsp. milk.  Cook on lightly oiled hot griddle.

Maple Syrup

1/2 c. water
1 c. sugar
approx. 1/4 tsp maple flavoring

Bring water to boil, add sugar.  Stir until clear.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat & let it boil for a couple of minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add flavoring and stir.  Let sit about 5 minutes. (I usually double this so that we have enough for the leftover pancakes.) 

I hope you enjoy a great breakfast!

Living thru faith,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My, Oh My!

Is it really Wednesday?!  I am so out of synch since our trip.  March was nuts and April hasn't slowed down yet.  Who knows if it ever will.  Brian got back from his trip on the 24th (just in time to help fight the lice attack in Sarah's hair!) and then we left on the 29th for Matt's baseball spring training week in Vero Beach, FL.  We rolled back in late Saturday night, just in time for Easter.  

Easter was pretty low key this year.  Brian grilled pork chops and I made lima beans, mashed potatoes, and bread.  It was pretty much whatever I could find to fix. The rest of the day was spent putting trip stuff away, doing laundry, kills me to have to admit this...going to Walmart.  Really?!  Walmart on Easter?!  I think it was a first and hopefully a last, but the kids had to have something to fix for their lunches.

Since Sunday I've been working on getting the house back together, laundry, creating a menu (with "writers block"), grocery shopping, laundry, removing pavers from the front flower bed, babysitting two beautiful and funny girls one day and then two adorable and energetic boys another day, some preliminary college searching online for Matt, and laundry.  Have I mentioned I've also been doing laundry?

I haven't had a chance to upload all the pictures from our trip, but hopefully I will get a chance to work on that tonight!  I can't wait to show you some of the great things we did! I also need to show you the work I did in the garage while Brian was gone. Why I tackle these projects while he's gone, I just don't know.  Somehow it just seems easier that way...until I'm half way through, exhausted, and second guessing myself.  I'm really beginning to think I'm certifiable!  

Living thru faith,