Thursday, May 30, 2013

Red dress

I've been meaning to make Lydia a new peasant-style dress.  She really wanted me to use this red polka dot fabric on a dress for her, so I paired it with the cherry fabric I love, and it turned out pretty well:

I had originally put a casing and elastic in the sleeves, too, but I made the sleeves too short and the elastic too tight, so I changed that.  Lydia prefers it this way, anyway.  I used a large zig-zag stitch on the neckline and hem, and I like the way that looks.  Lydia's been really into wearing dresses lately, so I'm sure this one will get plenty of wear.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tree planting and etc

Well, after all the company was gone Monday, I really needed to get some work done around the yard.  I did a little weeding and planting, but not nearly enough of either.  Then Monday night, Nathaniel dug holes for me to plant the trees.  We planted: 1 dwarf golden apple, 1 dwarf red delicious apple, 1 dwarf cherry, 1 dwarf Keiffer pear, 1 dwarf peach, and 1 dwarf plum plus a mulberry tree.  I'm still trying to figure out just where to put the 2 (full-sized) persimmon trees.  Nathaniel also cut down a couple of diseased small trees and one of the crabapple trees - the one near the garden.  The plum is planted over there now, but closer to the driveway so it won't shade the garden or block the gate.  It never really produced crabapples except for a handful.  It was a pretty tree, but we have another in the front that is the kids' favorite, and I needed a place for the plum that was away from oak trees (according to my library tree book).  We have lots of oaks, and I don't intend on cutting any of those down, so the options for the plum were quite limited.  But now we've planted 7 fruit trees and have 2 more to go.

Yesterday was the last day of school.  The boys are excited for summer break.  They brought home loads of stuff that I need to go through.  Lydia and I rented a couple of movies from the library, so they watched the first half of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief last night (they'll watch the rest tonight with Nathaniel).  This morning, they watched the original 101 Dalmatians with Lydia, so the movies were a nice treat.

Now for summer break!  On the schedule, we have boy scout day camp, VBS, tennis lessons, trips to grandparents' houses, a family trip (with lots of family) to Cincinnati, and summer reading programs.  Plus, I still have to figure out when we can do swim lessons. Wow, that looks like a lot when I write it all down.  And our around the house goals include teaching the boys to type and to write in cursive.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Great Weekend

Just look at the cuteness I had at my house this weekend:

Including our family, 9 kids and 9 adults stayed at my house, and another 4 adults dropped in for Sunday lunch.  All in all, a very great weekend with friends and family.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the garden

I haven't been able to get in the garden for a week or more, because of the rain.  Finally, I was able to do some planting and weeding Tuesday and Wednesday.  Here is a brussel sprout, getting much bigger:

Here are two zucchini plants that I planted from seed in the garden.  They popped right up.  (I have 5 total of these.)

As for our strawberries, we have a few green ones.  Elijah picked the only red one two days ago.  He said it was delicious, super sweet.

This tiny green pepper is on a plant that has been growing in the playroom all winter.  I just transplanted it to the garden yesterday.

And lastly, Lydia with Fatty, the "best chicken in the whole entire world, ever!"  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Still no pictures of the bedroom, but I do have pictures of the boys' bridging ceremony from last night.  Elijah is now a Weebelo II, and Malachi is a bear.  They are very excited.  The ceremony also involved the kids decorating and eating sugar cookies, so even Lydia enjoyed that.  (Plus she played on the playground during the boring ceremony parts, so she had a great night!)

If you remember, I made this dress for Lydia at the end of last summer.  It fits her much better now, and she loves to wear it.

And lastly, a picture of Malachi at his school Monday night.  He showed me his work and got to take home a cd of pictures of the year (although we've not been able to load it yet, not sure why).  I love this picture of him.  He looks at me like this every day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The closet

Here is our bedroom closet before:

This is after I emptied it but before I removed the shelves.  I then painted it, and Nathaniel removed the carpet.  We put in wood floors, and now:

Ok, I started putting stuff back before I took the picture, but you get the idea.  I've not seen a prettier closet.    I still have to finish painting (I ran out of paint and still have to paint the wall you can't see in the picture), but otherwise, it's done.  And we finished the floors in our room, too, but no pictures yet.  We haven't got the tools put up or the furniture moved into place.  Maybe tomorrow, but more likely in a couple of days, since there's a school thing tomorrow night.  

Here is one of the pictures I snapped of the kids to put with our adoption dossier:

Yes, there are some cheesy grins, but that's about as good as it gets most days.  And more good news: yesterday we got our fingerprinting papers!  We go get the biometrics done for the US government on June 3.  That puts us one step closer to U.S. approval.  And I did get my correct birth certificates, so that's good news.  We are still waiting on a few things, and we have to get some papers notarized, but mostly we're just in waiting mode right now.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I've been working on our dossier for the adoption.  I have hit a few snags, but luckily both are now corrected (I hope).  For the first, I accidentally dated a check to the US for 2012 (whoops!) and had to redo that.  They have since cashed the correct check, and so I take that to mean that we are moving forward on our US government approval, although I know it can still take some time.  Then, I got my birth certificates that I requested from the IN vital records.  I was so excited to get them, since it is one less paper to worry about, until I saw that my name is misspelled on both copies.  Thankfully, they are sending me replacements tomorrow.

Now I'm working on taking pictures of us and the house.

Everything is really looking green and beautiful around here.  And see those orange tulips?  Those did survive the deer/squirrel assault on eating all the bulbs in the front yard.  They are the only tulips we had this year, but they are gorgeous.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Out and About

We've been busy the past couple of days.  Yesterday morning, Lydia had her preschool program.  Now her school year is over.  Then last night, we headed to the ball park for a minor league game.  It had been pouring, but the sky cleared up and it was really lovely.  It was boy scout night, so we got to walk around the field before the game:

See my little orange duck? He was in heaven in his rain jacket and the new sunglasses he won at the ball park.  He wore them all night, and again today.

Lydia was excited to ride the merry-go-round and play on the playground.  In fact, at one point, I sent Malachi to drag her out for me:

And did you notice that she's wearing her rain boots, tights, and a summer sundress?  Oh, yes, we were stylin', but it was so cute.

After we tired of the game, and it started sprinkling again, we walked through this sculpture park.  We also walked down to the river.  All in all, we had a great night.   Then today we were out and about again (two days in a row - not normal for us!).  We went to the library's "how to" fest.  The kids enjoyed the mini golf putting, making and launching paper rockets, weaving, and juggling.  The boys also got some tips on swinging a golf club from a golf instructor:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Around the yard

The first Iris is blooming.  You can see it framed by the gorgeous azalea bush here:

 And, of course, there are chickens:

Here is Lydia with "Fat".  Yes, she named a chick Fat.  It is a darker, plumper pullet, or at least one of three darker, plumper pullets.  It really does seem to like her.  It doesn't run from her, although it could, and she picks it up all the time.  She tells everyone that her favorite chick is Fat, and I've given up trying to get her to change the name.

Here is another chick contemplating the dinner options in the yard.   In case you're curious, chickens eat grass and several plants, but they LOVE dandelion leaves and clover.  They are also fond of seeds, worms, bugs, and dinner scraps.  They love shredded cheese, although I don't think it's something you're necessarily supposed to feed them.  Individual hens have certain tastes, too.  Leaf and Crest won't touch strawberries, even if it's the only scraps I have, but the chicks eat them.  They love grapes, especially Leaf, who will pass up anything to eat grapes.  Leaf will eat the crusts of Lydia's leftover peanut butter sandwiches, but Crest usually won't.  And although Crest gets into the rest of the yard quite often, I don't worry about her eating the tomato plants; since we've had chickens, I've never had one eat the actual tomato plant, even at the end of the season when I've let them range over the remains of the garden.  Broccoli seedlings, on the other hand, they will eat, so I try to make sure she doesn't make it up to the small garden.

One last happy note: Leaf laid an egg this morning!  So she must be done with the molting.  I'm looking forward to having more eggs.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I've been very busy with the garden the last few days.  Today it was rainy, so I didn't plant, but as of yesterday, I had finished planting the smaller garden and had two rows nearly complete on the large garden.  What is in them?  Well, the small garden has:

18 brussel sprouts
12 broccoli plants
8 cherry tomato plants
6 Kellogg's Breakfast tomato plants
4 mystery hybrid tomato plants
plus one volunteer parsley plant

The big garden has 16 Better Boy tomato plants and 13 Kellogg's Breakfast tomato plants (so far).  I still have some more Kellogg's to add, and some Brandywine tomatoes and Ildi yellow grape tomatoes.  Plus, I have seeds to plant, and I plan on buying a few pepper plants at the farmer's market when it opens in a couple of weeks.  So the big garden has a long way to go yet, and the plants that are in it are very small:

This is one of the tiny Better Boy plants.  Lydia snapped this picture yesterday.  The other tomato plants in the garden are about twice this size.

Some of my herbs that overwinter outside are perking up nicely, too.  I've got tons of lemon balm and oregano.  The sage plant looks great, the chives are healthy, and the mint is starting to really grow.  I have some basil planted in the play room, but it's still too cool to put any of that outside.  Basil likes heat!  I did accidentally kill the thyme (I moved the container and forgot to water it), but I bought a pack of seeds to regrow some.  And frankly, the thyme dried right on the plant, so I'm going to save and use it.

I'm hoping to have a very productive yard this year.  I think we're off to a great start!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lydia behind the camera!

Lydia got a new friend yesterday.  She paid for her with her own money, and she's so excited to have her here that she asked for my camera to take her picture:

Then she turned the lens onto the real birds:

She took pictures all over the yard.  This is actually my favorite:

I just think it looks cool.  I did get the camera back from her to document a couple of chickens myself.  Here she's caught a chick again:

And here is Leaf, growing new feathers and looking much healthier:

And afterwards, a basketball game with Daddy.  The boys are starting to really enjoy shooting baskets, which thrills Nathaniel to no end.  They play horse/pig.

Malachi usually sticks to granny shots (and can win at horse that way) but I've been encouraging him to try it the "right" way.  He can do that, too.  I figure he could use a little arm strength, so this is good.