Friday, July 20, 2018


You know how cute babies are when they're asleep?  Well, it turns out 6-year-olds are adorable asleep, too.
Yesterday, I snapped some pictures of the kids outside playing with the kittens.

These are Mexican sunflowers:

They make me happy.  I've been growing them for about 3 years now.  Hummingbirds and butterflies love them, too.

This is a windchime next to the new darker gray we are painting the house.  It's about half-painted right now.  (I should probably clarify that the house is brick, but there are areas of wood, plus the trim, window casing, etc.)

And lastly, some cockscomb.  It's a new one for me, and I'm thrilled with it!

Book Review - A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden's latest novel, A Daring Venture, is set in 1908 with the fight to bring clean water to New York City.  This book is the second in a series, and although it could be read alone, I recommend reading the first book, A Dangerous Legacy, prior to this one.  It will make the family feud and some other relationships easier to understand.  I have read and loved several of Elizabeth Camden's books.  While I don't think that this is her best, I still couldn't put it down, so that is a testament to her writing.  I found the story engaging, and the science aspects were well-woven into the story without seeming dull or superfluous.  I liked both Nick and Rosalind, and their romance was sweet.  I also always appreciate the historical details that are present in the book.  Those looking for a more overtly Christian novel may be disappointed, as the characters' faith is barely discussed, but it is certainly a story that involves Christian values like trust, honesty, and loyalty .  I highly recommend this story.

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tomatoes and Cantaloupes!

We've been very happily eating fresh tomatoes for a few days now.  This is a picture of Carbon tomatoes that are not ripe yet:
You can't see the 3 ripe ones we picked this morning, because we devoured them.  This type is a dark purple/black type, and it is so yummy.  We've also eaten a pink brandywine, some black vernissage, a Woodle orange, and a couple of Old Germans over the last few days.  Fresh tomatoes just make life better.

And these are cantaloupes.  To be specific, they are Ginger Cantaloupes, which are supposed to get between 8 and 12 pounds!

So far, they are looking great, and they appear to be living up to the size promises.  We did eat a couple of Jenny Lind cantaloupes, which are small, 1 to 2 pound cantaloupes, and they were so delicious.

The daylillies are next to the tomato plants.  It's pretty as well as good for pollination.

And Lydia took my camera to get some pictures of the cats playing in the (dry) fountain.

They are the friendliest kittens, and we have all become very fond of them both.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fabric Scrap Collages

During our church summer camp last week, the kids had the best time making collages out of old gardening magazines and seed catalogs.  It occurred to me that it has been a while since I got out the fabric scraps for the kids, so today Lydia and Gyunay enjoyed making fabric scrap collages.
Check out the biceps on that boy!  He loved squeezing the glue.

And Lydia is making "Crazy Land 1" here.  She's currently working on Crazy Land 2.  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Book Review - River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart

River to RedemptionRiver to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart starts in the 1833 Kentucky cholera epidemic and continues 12 years later.  Adria Starr was only 7 years old when she was orphaned, and a slave named Louis saved her life and comforted her.  Now 19, Adria is a closet abolitionist in a small Kentucky town.  This is a story of faith during trials, with diverse characters.  I like that the author didn't create easy scenarios, but rather real-life difficulties that the characters had to struggle with and often weren't sure of the best path.  I thought at first that it would be a bit more of a love story for Adria, but I am pleased that her love life was not the focus, and I did like the other love story in the book very much.  The author worked in historical details pretty seamlessly, and the characters were believable in that time frame.  It also makes it easier for the reader to understand the day-to-day realities of living in a time when owning other people was accepted practice.  There were some twists to the story near the end that I didn't see coming, and they were very well done.  Characters in this book struggle with faith, right and wrong, unjust law, abandonment, and redemption.  It was an excellent novel, and I highly recommend it.

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


It's been a busy month so far, with visits to both my parents' and my in-laws'.
This little guy turned 6.  I still can't believe he's that old!

The kids enjoyed lots of cousin time.

The new tree house was a hit.

My youngest nephew loves to ride his dog.  Luckily, the dog never seems to mind.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June Garden Harvest Totals

June was a fairly productive month.  Some things are a bit later than I'd hoped due to weather, but the garden looks great, and lots of produce should be forthcoming.  So, for June:
arugula - 7 cups
blueberries - 1/2c
cucumbers, pickling - 4
cucumbers, tender green - 36
eggs - 134
garlic bulbs, hardneck - 16
garlic bulbs, softneck - 33
garlic scapes - 9
kale - 2c
lettuce - 1c
onions, white - 9
onions, yellow - 2
pak choy - 3c
pea pods - 1/2 c
potatoes, Red Pontiac - 4.5 oz
potatoes, Yukon Gold - 2oz
radishes - 13
raspberries - 1c
strawberries - 3.5c
turnips - 4
zucchini, tatume - 6

plus herbs - basil, cilantro, dill, mint, sage, stevia