Monday, June 29, 2015

Celebration Weekend

This weekend, we had a wonderful time meeting other families with children adopted from Bulgaria.  This particular group has been meeting for 5 years, so many of the families know each other although they come from all over the country.  We were lucky in that the reunion is only about an hour and a half from our house.   We also took the opportunity to stay with my sister-in-law's family, as they recently moved to the area.  Here the boys are enjoying popsicles:
And these pictures are from the reunion:

The bungy was a great success, and the operator was just fabulous with all of the kids.

Overall, there were about 120 people from 27 families present.  We look forward to meeting with this group again next year!  There were kids of all ages and abilities, and it was nice to speak to other parents as well.  We were thrilled to find such an affirming, welcoming community, and as Gyunay gets older, I'm sure he will appreciate knowing other kids with backgrounds similar to his own. 
As a side note, another mom asked if he had been home 6 to 8 months.  I replied that it had been 5 months, and she pointed out that she thought it was close to that because it takes about that long for the orphanage upbringing to sort of "wear off".  Gyunay was appropriately cautious with the new people, and he wanted to be held by me a lot during the weekend, so that showed how attached he is now.  He did really enjoy giving other kids hi-fives, and after a day and a half, he felt comfortable enough to run around with another little girl his age who was adopted just a few months ago as well (although she is from China, not Bulgaria).  Most of the kids were older than him, and they liked saying hi to the "little guy". 

Thursday, June 25, 2015


The garden enjoyed the rain and now the warm temps.  These two teepees are the Golden Crescent Beans:
I should start getting beans soon.  Also, here's one of the biggest tomatoes so far:

The sprinkling of white powder you see is diatomateous earth (food-grade, not pool chem!).  I sprinkled some all over the plants to keep slugs off, and we've got crushed egg shells sprinkled all over the ground around the plants.  Slugs have been a problem in the past, and I found some destroying one of the zucchini plants, so I'm trying to be pro-active.
We've eaten all of the carrots that are big enough, so we'll have to wait for more to grow up.  Lydia especially enjoys picking and eating the carrots.

Monday, June 22, 2015

In the Garden

It's been a doozy of a week.  Malachi had his appendix out while we were visiting my parents, but now we are home, and he is getting stronger and healing.  The garden was neglected for a week, but it's doing great.  There was a bit of deer damage, but not much, and the weeds have not taken over due to the straw mulching.  I have some medium-sized green tomatoes on some of the plants.  I don't think I'll have a ripe one by the fourth, as was always Papaw's (and my) goal, but today, we did have something very exciting: our first ripe cherry tomato!  Of course, there is no picture because Lydia promptly ate it.

Monday, June 8, 2015


I could actually use a few wasps in my backyard.  That's not something people usually say, especially with small children, but here is the reason:
Now, the chickens may enjoy these little caterpillars, but my broccoli plants do not.  I didn't use to think that there was any use for wasps, but I've found that having a few buzz around the garden is actually a very good thing.  They eat these little caterpillars, which are so hard to see on the plants, and thereby help the broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc.  As a bonus, the wasps have never bothered me or the kids during the gardening season, even when we are right by them in the garden.  They are really focused on their food instead.  Now, I don't want them in the house or making nests above my back door or anything, but I could use a couple visiting my garden on a daily basis.  As it is, the kids and I pick off the caterpillars by hand and throw them into the chicken yard.  The chickens love the treats, but if we don't check the plants for a few days (say, when we go out of town, or when the weather is abysmal), they can really wreak havoc on some broccoli. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chicken Hour

Lately, the hour or so after Lydia and Malachi get home from school has become the Chicken Hour.  They have been having so much fun playing with the chickens and Gyunay in the third yard.

Here Gyunay is holding the hen Brave, and Lydia has a chick she just started calling Sammy.

Run, chicks, run!

Here you get an idea of the size difference between the hen on the left and the chicks to the right.

Gyunay holding the cockerel.

Malachi with Fluff.

Malachi started calling the cockerel Roaster.  I'm not sure if he did that on purpose because we end up eating roosters eventually, or if he just liked the sound of it.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Strawberry Picking

We had a great time strawberry picking this weekend.  Lydia took over the camera as photographer for most of the time!
Gyunay looks angry here (or maybe disgusted), but he was just squinting into the sun! 

Then Nathaniel got behind the camera for a few pics:

Lydia and Gyunay loved petting the animals.  Nathaniel took them over to the petting zoo so the big boys and I could finish picking.  We ended up with 15 pounds of strawberries!  They are super-ripe and delicious, so I had to cut them up and get them in the fridge last night.  Today I made 14 half-pints and 2 pints of strawberry jam.  Tomorrow, I plan on making a strawberry pie (yum!), and of course we are eating lots fresh.