Monday, October 31, 2016

Cabins and Garlic

Nathaniel took off a few days, and we went to my parents' cabin for fall break.  We had a great time.

Lydia won the bravery award.  She stuck her little hand into a crawdad hole and pulled out this one.  
You can see that it has eggs, too.  Lydia had never held a crawdad before.  She won the award for catching the most things: crawdad, several toads, and a small box turtle.  Nathaniel was the only one who actually caught a fish, a nice bass.  

Now we're back home, where I was relieved to see that the chickens were safe and sound.  And the first batch of garlic I planted is sprouting:

I planted 24 cloves a couple of weeks ago, then Malachi helped me plant an additional 16 cloves just last week.  The first planting is sprouting, so I am quite happy.  Forty garlic plants should be ready for harvest next July.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review - Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

When I received this book, I didn't expect the depth that the author provided.  I thought it might be a more "fluffy" romance novel, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually very layered.  Ben and Kacey have both tried - and failed - to get over their teenage relationship.  Now they are thrown back together again in an exciting environment on the Search and Rescue helicopter team.  They have both been pretty lost for a very long time, and both need to find a way to forgive the other and work on their relationships with God.  There were many secondary characters that added some detail and depth to the story.  I did feel that the Judge's role in Ben and Kacey's past and present was glossed over a bit too nicely.  The action in the book kept the reader interested.  I felt that the action was well-paced, and the main characters unfolded nicely throughout the book.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I recommend it.

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cousin Fun

We had a nice visit with my sister's family this weekend.  The kids had a blast together, as always.

Lydia was anxious to show her cousins the new lion statues at the zoo.  She calls this one "Aslan" and loves to ride on his back.

The zoo was decorated for Halloween, and so had lots of additional places for pictures.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Book Review - Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

This contemporary novel is the third in the author's Men of Valor series, but it is a stand-alone novel.  I loved Finn's character, and I felt that he was well-developed, and the chemistry between him and Dana was well-written.  I liked Dana's character, but I did feel that there was a bit more distance between the reader and her, whereas Finn seemed more tangible.   This story is indeed full of tangled webs, as Dana and Finn try to discover who is behind the vandalism on her property, and Police Chief Roger wrestles with his personal issues and a swerve from his entire life's values system.  This story is a bit different from the typical suspense novel in that the reader knows who the "bad guy" is long before the characters do, but I liked the added dimensions it gave to the story.  Overall, this is a very good romantic suspense story, and I do recommend it.  I've read and enjoyed several books by this author.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Crabapple Time

It's been a couple of years since I made crabapple butter, but we have the tree, so it's kinda silly not to.  It is more work than regular apples, and they are super tart, so sugar will be added, but the crabapple butter always tastes so good.  Gyunay and I picked some for half and hour this morning, and now I have them simmering on the stove to get ready to be put through the strainer.  Then I'll cook it down into butter and add spices and brown sugar.

We had our big camping trip family reunion this past weekend (with Nathaniel's side of the family).  

This tree is always a hit with all of the kids.  I hope it lives for 100 more years.

This picture was taken before both kids got plenty wet in the creek by the waterfall.  Luckily, it was a warm, beautiful day, so we let them get wet.  Then we had to get back to camp and change.  The weather was perfect for camping.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Book Review - Kit Kat and Lucy by Lonnie Hull DuPont

This is a cat lover's book.  The author details her move back to the country after being a "city girl" for a couple of decades.  She talks about her newfound cats in her rural Michigan home, as well as her past and life with cats and a husband in general.  The back cover reads like the author discovered the joys of cats late in life, but I think it is more accurate to say she rediscovered them, as her frequent remarks about her childhood attest to her long love of animals, particularly cats.  I think the strongest points of the book detailed how the cats helped her through anxiety and depression.  Also, she is very good at painting a picture of how animals move with her words.  I particularly enjoyed how she described the banty hen and later, the cardinals.  Overall, this is a good book, but not a compelling one.  I had no problem setting it down and going away from it for a week while reading other things.  However, although I like cats and most animals, I am not a cat person, and I think the appeal would be much greater to a real cat lover.  I also felt that although the end of the book did actually end with some closures and new beginnings, it didn't feel like the end of a book so much as the end of a chapter.

I received this book from the publisher for a review, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Trunk or Treat Fun

Elijah decided on being a scarecrow this year, and he put his costume together himself.  He did a really good job; this picture doesn't do a great job of showing it.   Malachi loves his Flash costume.

This little guy is crazy about candy.

Wonder Woman loves inflatable obstacle courses!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Chickens and Eggs

The 9 young hens have been laying fabulously.  We get 7 to 8 eggs every day.  Here is the take from today and yesterday:
The big boys put up the chickens last night while I was at RCIA, but they obviously didn't collect the eggs, so it is 2 days' worth in the favored nesting box.  We do have 2 more boxes, but they are almost never used.  Chickens prefer to lay all in the same box.  I've even seen 2 hens both in this box at the same time -while the box right next to it is empty.  Actually, this happens quite a bit.

Gyunay wanted to carry an egg in his shirt like Mama:

The chickens enjoyed the yard for an hour today.  They have to stay in their safer yard most of the time, but they do enjoy getting out.

 Gotta check and make sure the egg is all right!