Tuesday, December 29, 2015


A family we know is hosting an 11-year-old boy from China for 4 weeks, and the mom (Sarah) is doing a blog about it.  I thought I'd post it here, in case anyone is interested.  It gives you a peek at what it's like to host an orphan, and of course, if anyone is interested in adopting Long, I'd be happy to connect them with Sarah.  http://www.findingmy4ever.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Break

It's really nice to have big sister around when you wake up from nap.  Lydia's watching PBS kids, and Gyunay is just happy to cuddle when he first wakes up.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Garden Planning

Now, I know it's nearly Christmas, and I have a thousand things to do and all, but I can't help gardening planning and dreaming in my spare minutes.  Maybe it's this incredibly warm and spring-like weather, but I've been really garden-focused lately.  I do have some plants still going, such as carrots and herbs in pots in the sunroom and even some carrots growing outside.  I also have sprouted some plants that I'm going to try to harvest this winter from pots in the sunroom:
These are my Tom Thumb peas.  They look great!

And below is the start of kholrabi:  

I've never grown kholrabi before, but I really like to eat it, so here's hoping.  I also have a pot of lettuce going.  I'm thinking of starting some other things, too, since the weather has been so outrageously warm.  First, I'll have to harvest one of the pots of carrots, which we'll probably do this weekend.  Lydia loves pulling, scrubbing, and eating carrots, and the boys also eat them, so that is always a good thing.  Right now, I think the carrots that are ripe are pale yellow ones, although there could be a surprise orange or purple one in that pot, too.

Outside, I've spread some bunny manure on the garden.  I also laid an old swimming pool that doesn't hold air anymore on a section of grass that will be garden in the spring.  I'm hoping it kills the grass for me.  Grass is really my number one weed in the gardens.  Other "weeds" like dandelion, clover, and plantain, I usually let grow until they are crowding the veggies, then I pull them and feel them to the bunny and chickens.  It works out really well, actually.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gingerbread Dress

I made Lydia a gingerbread dress this year.  I got the fabrics on sale so cheap at JoAnn's, and I'm a sucker for a cute gingerbread print.  I think it turned out really nice, and it especially looks cute since she wears it with her brown cowgirl boots.

I made it really long, so she can hopefully wear it again next year.  She doesn't tend to grow too much, so there's a good chance.

One more picture, this time Nathaniel and me on our date to his company's awards dinner.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Book Review - Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden

I've read and reviewed two other books by Elizabeth Camden, and I was eager to read this one as well.  It did not disappoint.  Set at the turn of the last century in the north east, this novel delivers historical fiction and an intriguing family mystery.  I loved many of the characters, including heroine Sophie.  She was well-drawn, with a deep faith despite many hardships in her life.  Quentin, the heir to the mysterious Dierenpark mansion, is an injured and driven man who puts all of his faith in modern science.  I liked both characters, and their backstories were interesting.  The historical details in this book were superb.  Camden weaves in details about the early weather reporting and the work of biologists, archaeologists, and architects just over 100 years ago.  The romance building between the two main characters was slow at first and then changed a bit abruptly, but it was believable.  The mystery of Dierenpark was really interesting, but I won't divulge anything here to spoil it.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

More Family Pictures & etc

I don't think I ever mentioned that our latest post adoption report went really smoothly.  They are not a big deal, actually.  And I did manage to round up 10 family photos for Bulgaria.  Here are some we took with the automatic timer on the camera:

In other news, Midnight the cat is still here.  We went out of town for 3 days for Nathaniel's grandmother's funeral, and she was not here when we got back, but she showed back up yesterday morning.  She doesn't actually eat the food we left out for her, so she doesn't stick around for that.  Mostly, she just really wants attention.  Whenever we go outside, she rubs against our legs and purrs.  I've gotten rather fond of her.  Katie's still not sure about the cat (the cat did hiss at her a few times, and Katie got scared), but they seem to be coexisting fine now.  So it looks like we sort of have an outdoor cat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Sunday night, a visitor showed up at our back door.  It was after the younger 3 were in bed, so I hoped it would come back in the morning.  It did, and Lydia and Gyunay were ecstatic.  
The cat is constantly trying to get into our house, but we've been able to keep her out so far.  Lydia has named her Midnight.

Midnight is friendly, but still a cat, so she nipped at Lydia when Lydia got too friendly.  Lydia is now unsure about the cat, although she still wants her around.  Gyunay sits inside and stares at the cat outside the window chanting "cat! cat!".  Malachi is worried about his sister and the chickens, not necessarily in that order, so he's not crazy about the cat right now.  Midnight especially likes Elijah.  She rubs all over his legs when he goes outside, and she purrs like a motorboat.