Sunday, October 15, 2017

Holy Land of Kentucky

I went with Elijah on his confirmation field trip yesterday.  We visited the "Holy Land of Kentucky."  Did you know that Bardstown, Kentucky is one of the very oldest dioceses in the U.S.?  It was a great field trip, and we visited 3 places.  First up was the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.
They have a beautiful church.  

The grounds have many small statues, as well as gardens and a rock labyrinth.  I wished we had more time to walk around.

This is one of the two side altars in the church.  They were elaborately carved from Carrera marble.

We also visited the Abbey of Gethsemene, where we joined the monks for 12:15 prayers.  Joined is a rather loose term.  They are cloistered, but we were in the general public area during their prayers.  Then we toured the gift shop and watched a video on their daily life.  Suffice to say, Elijah does not feel called to this vocation, but he was more than happy to buy some of their fudge.
Lastly, we went to St. Thomas church.  That was a fascinating place. 
This is the first Catholic church built in Kentucky.  I think it was finished in 1812.  

Here is Elijah posing with the baptismal fount.  It was handcarved out of walnut by a seminarian in the early 1800s.

The altar.  The baptismal font is to the left (out of photo).  This church has been in continual use since it was built over 200 years ago.

Next, we went to the log house next door.  It is set up as a little museum.  This little room shows how the seminarians had an adoration chapel:

Elijah on the stairs.

The lady explained that until 1803, the U.S. only had one diocese, Baltimore (CA, FL, etc weren't part of the U.S. yet).  The diocese of New Orleans was added with the Louisiana Purchase.  Then, in 1808, the Pope carved out some new dioceses for the U.S.: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown.  The Bardstown area had a large number of Catholics who had moved from Maryland in the 1790s.  

The log cabin (which is next to the church)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pumpkin Patch

Gyunay's school held their annual pumpkin patch field trip yesterday, and it was a hit.

We went to a farm that we had never visited before, and it had a great playground.

It also boasts a free corn maze and soybean maze, so we plan on returning with all of the kids to pick pumpkins soon.  Gyunay will love showing them around "his" farm.  It isn't often that he gets to be the expert on a place for his siblings, and he is looking forward to showing them everything.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Pink Elephants

It's a rainy day here, so I decided to make Lydia a new skirt.  She happily chose this pink elephant fabric that I got on clearance a while back, and we paired it with the green stripe for a really cute look:
I made it from the tutorial here:

Lydia generally likes her shirts untucked, but this skirt looks good when it's tucked in, too.

Can you tell that she enjoyed our little photo shoot?

Gyunay wanted in the pictures, too.

Here she's trying to hold him out of the photo, so I took one just of him also:

Monday, October 2, 2017

September Harvest Totals

September is always a big month for gardeners, and for good reason.  It's also the end of summer gardening here, and I'm moving into planting for fall/winter now.  I've still got some crops producing, and I haven't dug up most of the orange sweet potatoes yet. 

Arugula - 1 c
Beans, calypso - 2/3c dried beans
Beans, golden crescent - 1 1/2 c fresh beans
Cabbage, green - 1
Eggs- 168
Herbs - basil, mint, oregano, dill, parsley, thyme, cilantro
Onions, candy - 8
Onions, green - 4
Peppers, Bulgarian - 2
Potatoes - 1/2 lb
Swiss Chard - 1 bunch
Squash, butternut - 4
Sweet Potatoes, orange- 1 lb
Sweet Potatoes, purple - 14.5 lbs
Tomatillos- 1 1/2 lbs
Tomatoes, Black Vernissage - 13
Tomatoes, Golden Jubilee - 14
Tomatoes, St. Pierre - 40
Tomatoes, Woodle Orange - 4
Watermelon, sugar baby - 2 small

also, cherry tomatoes, which I never count/weigh, a bit of kale, and several cups of sunberries

The Cinderella Pumpkins were beautiful, but the vines died before they were fully ripe, so I didn't get to enjoy harvesting those.  They were relegated to the chicken yard. 

Regular potatoes were mostly a failure this year.  Back to the drawing board on growing those.  Also a failure for the second year in a row: eggplant.  Next year, I'm not going to bother with trying to grow them.  I can buy organic ones pretty cheaply at our farmer's market.  And I finally got the sunberries to produce well, but now the kids really aren't eating them, so I don't know if I'll bother with those, either. 

I did just buy some onion sets for fall, and my seedlings that I planted a couple of weeks ago indoors look great.  Nathaniel is going to get my fall/winter bed ready soon, and then I'll plant them out.  Also on the agenda for October is planting next year's garlic crop.  And I took some of my birthday money and ordered a Russet Apple Tree for planting next spring!  I'm pretty excited about that one, even though it will take a couple of years to get apples.

Book Review - Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Deadly Proof
I recently finished Deadly Proof, by Rachel Dylan.  It's been a while since I've read a legal thriller, and this was a good one.  I enjoyed the main characters, although I did want to know more and get deeper into Landon's character.  The author explains legal jargon without weighing down the story, and the case itself appears to be quite realistic.  There are several twists in the story, which made the plot more interesting.  I also enjoyed the subtle but growing chemistry between main characters Kate and Landon.  Overall, this is a very enjoyable read, and I recommend it.

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

Monday, September 25, 2017

New Furniture

When we were in Michigan, we stayed in a house that had 2 couches that converted into queen-sized beds that impressed us.  We decided to buy one for the basement, but in a bright orange color.  My father-in-law and Elijah put it together Friday night:

We also bought a bed frame.  For the past 15 years, we've just used our mattress on a box spring on the floor, but I was looking to get some more storage space in our room, so we bought a bed with drawers underneath.

Elijah and Nathaniel put together the bed while Malachi and I put together the headboard.  I finished making the drawers under the bed today, so now it's done!

Behind the headboard are little shelves, too: 

Lydia put in the middle shelf.  She wanted to help.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Meat Chick Update

Today we moved the meat birds to a bigger space.  They are growing well, and they have feathers on their wings.

Lydia enjoyed taking these chicken photos, actually.  She moved the chickens for me as I got them clean water and food.

The meat chicks will be 2 weeks old tomorrow.  We could harvest them in as little as one month, or wait a couple more weeks.  We'll see how they grow.

So far, they have consumed about half of a 50-lb bag of chick feed.  I was happy to find non-GMO, Kentucky milled chick feed at a local store, and it's actually a good price.  They are eating more all the time, so I'll have to buy more feed this week, but I expected that.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Weekend Project

Our latest project arrived in boxes that Gyunay has dubbed the "Batcave".
We'll be putting together a new sleeper couch for the basement, and a new bed frame with storage for us.  The chicks were a bit noisy during the delivery - that is their orange and white pen to the right.

Friday, September 15, 2017

As Promised...

Chick pictures!

We now have 15 meat birds in the garage.  They are healthy and happy little chicks, and the kids love playing with them.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Frogs and Popsicles

The weather has gotten cooler, but this guy's love of popsicles is unabated.

Lydia is so happy to have another frog.  This one was in the garage, and she relocated it to the fountain, where another frog has also been living.  She is over the moon happy with these "pets."

Coming soon: chick pictures.  I brought home our meat chicks today, and Gyunay is so excited about them.  He can't wait to introduce them to Lydia later.  (By the way - he understands what they are for!  As he says, "Get bigger. Cut them. Ack!  And eat them.  Yum.")

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Zoo Lovers

We've visited two zoos in two different states in the last two weekends.  My kids are all zoo lovers, so both zoo trips were a hit.  First up, Mesker Zoo:
Hanging with cousins on the hippo statues.

I love my nephew's expression in this one!

And then onto the Cincinnati Zoo:

See the otter at the boys' feet?  I love otters.

Getting good group photos is a continual challenge, but these cousins had a ball.

My kids went to the Cincinnati Zoo four years ago, when it was nearly 100 degrees and miserable.  They've wanted to go back ever since, and we finally made it there.  The weather this time was perfect.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Book Review - These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart

These Healing Hills
These Healing Hills, by Ann H. Gabhart, is an intriguing look at the Frontier Nursing Service in  Appalachian Kentucky just after World War II.  I really enjoyed this book.  The details of living in the mountains at that time, including the different expressions of speech, are evident throughout the book.  The main character, Francine Howard, is not only likable, but also open-minded towards the people she is being trained to help.  I had never heard of the Frontier Nursing Service, and this book was a delightful introduction to it.  The author did a great job of researching the time frame and area, and the story feels very authentic.  Francine's faith is also woven into the story without feeling forced but rather as an important part of her character.  I highly recommend this book.

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

Friday, September 1, 2017

August Harvest Totals

It's been a great month for tomatoes, and we've had plenty of other produce, too.  I'm so happy with the gardens overall.  The potatoes are a disappointment, but they aren't all harvested yet, so hopefully I'll get some more.  And the sweet potatoes won't be harvested for at least another month.  As always, I have more big plans for next year, and I'm currently working on starting a winter garden, but I'll share more on that later.  So here are the August totals:

Arugula - 1 cup
Beans, calypso - 1 c dried beans
Beans, golden crescent - 9 c
Carrots, dragon - 1
Carrots, little finger - 7
Cucumbers, Edmondson - 16
Cucumbers, Russian pickling - 1
Eggs - 175
Kale - 1 bunch
Lima beans- scant 1/4c
Onions, candy - 14
Onions, green - 3
Potatoes, Kenebec - 1/2 lb
Potatoes - purple Viking - 1 lb
Tomatillos - 2 lb
Tomatoes, black Krim - 17
Tomatoes, black Vernissage - 112
Tomatoes, golden jubilee - 82
Tomatoes, St. Pierre - 227
Tomatoes, woodle orange - 77
Watermelon, sugar baby - 1

Plus, lots of sunberries, cherry tomatoes, mint, parsley, dill, cilantro, oregano, and basil, and the tiniest cantaloupe ever:

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Last Weekend

Last weekend, we had an impromptu visit from my sister-in-law and her 3 kids.  

Gyunay really loves playing with and helping his little cousin, Norah.  She's pretty fond of him, too.

And I love this picture of Nathaniel kissing the baby.  He's a very happy baby, and it was a nice visit for everyone.