Saturday, May 29, 2010

Strawberry Jam 2010

This year I canned 118 jars of strawberry jam and 81 jars of grape! The boys and Sweetie  helped!

In Home fun!

Look what I found our 10 year old doing while Chad and I chatted with our USAA rep about hail damage!I caught him mid - slide.. then he had to stop!

Pink Converse!

Look! Pink Converse Tennis shoes.

There is a story here.. My sweet Brian borrowed my orange and grey New Balance tennis shoes without asking, and ruined them. Needless to say, I was upset. I got our yard mowed and lots of weeding done before I could even say anything to him. He was informed that he would be buying me new tennis shoes.
Yesterday he suprised me by buying me some pink converse shoes! He even got the size right! No, they are not the same brand, and I may still end up buying some more New Balance shoes as I love their support, but his thoughtfulness was top notch!
He informed me that all the kids now are wearing these. I told him that I loved them and will wear them. When I was a kid I remember boys wearing them, AND THEY WERE BLACK!  I don't remember if girls did or not. Anyway, I wore my new pink converse tennies to drop Cory off and got a "sweet Mrs. Brenda!" from a couple of the girls. An "awesome" from Michael Bayne (middle school youth director) to which Brian received a high five for getting me awesome shoes. Oh and I'd better not forget the eye rolling and "yeah those are okay, for a girl" comments from a couple of Cory's friends!
Hey, I like my pink tennies! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

School's Out!

As I type this there is one excited upcoming 5th grader and likewise 8th grader bouncing around the house. They are so glad that there is no homework in sight for weeks! Daydreaming, sleeping in, a little game/tv/computer time, and events with friends are foremost on their minds!
Today I've been asked twice if I'm ready for my schedule to slow down. What? Slow down? Not in this family! It isn't even Memorial Day yet and our calendar is filling up quickly! We have church and rec league camp dates, various cookouts, and swim parties filling in the blank calendar days of summer.
Does your social calendar gear up or down during the summer months?
As you can see in the above picture we picked strawberries again. This time however, I brought home more than I ever have before. Each box represents a "gallon" of strawberries based on weight. There were 8 in the trunk and two in the back seat. No, they aren't all for us.. just 6 of 'em! Teri got some (4) for me to make jelly for her sweet dad!
It was a great morning for Brian and I to pick. It was cloudy and we went early morning so we would hopefully miss the heat! We met our friends/adopted family (Deane and Teri) out there and so we were able to get in a quick visit while we all picked to our hearts content. Anyway, the strawberries were big and beautiful!  The biggest part of the job was to come when I came home.
Sweetie was so good as he patiently brought in box after box of strawberries. He even helped me with the process of turning it into strawberry jam! We worked until almost 6pm that night. Whew! Over a hundred jars were filled and are cooling in the freezer. I treasure this time of year as I have fond memories of helping my grandmother make her strawberry jam.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mother's day out on our Front Porch!

Here are the baby robins in their nest! Around Mother's day, mom Robin came and started building her nest. Since then she got it just so and left 4 pretty blue eggs in the bottom.
She must really like my geraniums as she sits up there on them all the time. Today..we found a broken piece of a blue egg! It is time!
Aren't they cute?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Graduation Weekend

Wow! This year we have sent out 6 Graduation cards/presents! Seems we know lots of kids graduating high school! This past weekend was super busy! My cousin was graduating! We are so proud of her and her accomplishments! Seems like just yesterday she was asking Chad to pick her up and fly her around the room.
Her parents, my aunt and uncle made a video of her life thus far, and man.. has time flown by! I've been close to this precious girl since the day she was born! I just beamed all weekend!
One of the biggest blessings I received this besides spending time with her was.. getting to see another cousin of mine.  This cousin is a bull rider. On March 14th of this year he was injured by the bucking bronco he was riding. He broke some ribs and a blow to his jaw broke it in several places, his trachea was damaged and he had a concussion. Upon arrival to the hospital it was discovered the injury to his neck involved his main artery. There was 1% blood flow - he wasn't expected to make it. That phone call was a tough one to receive, as well as it was to place, I'm sure. Over the last few months there have been many prayers through the rodeo circuit and family and friends worldwide. Late April I got word that he was going home to recover and would finish out his senior year being home schooled. I wondered how he was progressing with therapy and healing. The answers I got were that he was doing remarkably well and that he was up and walking around again!  Friday,  I got to see the results first hand when he surprised me and several others. It was so great to see that 18 year old  tall, lanky cowboy stride over to the group with dark eyes bright with laughter and smile on his face. I'm thrilled to say that I got to hang out with him as he shared with me all the cards and well wishes he received from so many different countries! He had a map of the world where he colored in all the states and countries that he heard from. It was amazing! He too, will graduate next week and is ever anxious to ride again in June! (he too, sure has grown up from the little boy that toddled over to the ponies at the Clarksville Kiwana Rodeo.) He was to give his testimony at his home church Sunday evening to the youth group there. I got to hear snippets of it, and wow.. Let's just say we prayed that there would be some hearts touched. With that easy going personality and quick wit, I'm sure he had them eating out of the palm of his hand.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Missing: One easy chair lever

Seriously.  I uploaded a picture of where there once was a handly lever that Sweetie would use to recline in his easy chair.  Today when he came home and after he had a good supper, he sat down in his chair to prepare for his "cyber chat" for an college internet class. Low and behold, when he reached for his trusty lever, it wasn't there. Yes, I smirked. My close friends and Sweetie tell me that I am not capable of hiding my feelings well on my face.
Sweetie proceeded to look around his chair in the hopes that maybe it was just knocked off. As you can see from the photo he has stacks of papers laid around HIS chair. Sigh. Looking around, under and through the papers there was no obvious tell tale lump.  He then gets up and stomps around the den area looking around other furniture.  "WHERE IS MY LEVER?"
Now my smirk is a giggle. For the dog and I are the only ones within earshot to perhaps rescue him from this situation. With a slight growl, Sweetie makes his way outside. Seconds later, I hear a sharp whistle. Brian is the first on scene. Starting with "It's not me." 
Sweetie:  "Where is the lever to my recliner?"
Brian:  "I touched it today."
Sweetie: " Did you take it off?"
Brian:  "No! Cory did!"
(brother is now thrown under the bus) Brian hastily makes an exit back outside. Taking this opportunity to run around with his buddies before I call him inside for homework.
Cory shows up on scene.
Sweetie: "Cory!"
Cory: "Dad!"
Sweetie: "Where is my lever?"
Cory: "Um."
Sweetie: "What did you do with my lever to my chair?"
Cory: loud SIGH..he stomps off into another room in the house, returning with said lever.
Sweetie: "Why did you do with the lever? I know why you did it, I want to know your answer.."
Cory: "um.. I was uh..messing around with it. I just took it off and just fiddled with it in my hands. Tossed it around I guess."
Sweetie: now smirking " Please leave my stuff alone."
Me?  I'm smiling from ear to ear.. just enjoying being the observer.
(Oh, Sweetie thought that Cory might have taken the lever just to keep Brian from being able to recline in the chair. This could still be the true reason it was missing.. or maybe not!)

Until next time.. please tune into the next episode of : Where's my?  Living life with two boys.

Busy, busy, busy

Since I last posted we have been so busy! It is springtime and that means yard work! We have done lots of clean up and are now starting to see some results of our labor in the fall. The butttercups have come and gone, the tulips are slowly fading and the daylilies are budding! The bushes are blooming, the hostas are coming along well,and several iris have peaked out and then seemed to almost explode in beauty! We truly enjoy watching God's beauty grow in the yard and in surrounding areas this time of year. I'm trying to catalog where each item is and the colors so I can keep a good display going all year round!
This weekend amongst storms, we attended an auction of plants and flowers in Pembroke KY. Wow. It was more fun than last year! First off my closest friend and her husband were able to join us and the oohs and ahhs were just a buzzing! The Amish community puts this up annually and boy do they bring the "wow" factor in floral and gardening plants. The prices are great and the experience of the auction is exciting all in and of itself. Sometimes the prices go way above in town prices so we let them go unless of course it is a must have! Mostly you can get quite a deal if you pay attention and set a goal for yourself. My friend and I came armed with lists, so we were prepared to pay just a certain amount and no more for certain items.
Overall, we use this time to watch and see what is new, what worked last year and what would be fun to try this year. As a rule, I try not to put too much money in annuals. While it is hard to wait for the auction, I do wait until I have attended to fill my hanging baskets and few that I put about to add a splash of color where there is none. It's timing is so close to mother's day that for the last two years, I make it a point to pick up something for that day as well.
This year we picked up a peach tree and a patio peach tree. We look forward to the fruit off of those! The boys planted some seed potatoes, so it will be fun for the boys to watch that grow. They love digging potatoes at Grandma's, and they know how to pick and snap beans too! Ahh, summer days!
Next month it will be strawberry picking time and lots of graduations to attend! This year I get to share what used to be a treasured annual tradition of my grandmother and I, making strawberry jam with a couple of friends who will come work the whole process through with me and then take home their reward!

Monday, May 3, 2010

May Showers

The rains fell and the flooding began here in Tennessee this weekend. In Nashville Interstates 24 and 40 were closed both ways. We watched as a portable from a local school floated past stranded vehicles and some semi trucks on interstate 24 near Bell road. Surreal, devestating, overwhelming, just a few words expressed and personally felt by many Tennesseans this weekend and in the coming weeks as the Cumberland and Red Rivers have overflowed thier banks.
Southwest has cancelled flights into Nashville, the Opryland Hotel has been evacuated due to 12 inches of water on the bottom floor, many businesses have lost inventory and the interstates are parking lots. The rain fell and the waters climbed quickly before many were able to prepare for it. Emergency shelters have been set up everywhere and the hotels are full.
Locally in Clarksville, (we are about 45 minutes north of Nashville) we have several of our streets closed also. Down along Riverside Drive yesterday many businesses were loading up moving trucks with their equipment as they raced to beat the flood waters ever edging closer to their livelihood. The water is just under the bridge going up toward Boot Hill and the parking lot behind the old Two Rivers Mall has flooding. While we were amused watching the big trucks drive through it yesterday, we were consistantly reminded of the loss and devestation this overflowing of the river was causing homes and businesses. This morning we were told that this road was closed completely as the water has now crossed the road and is affecting the businesses on the opposite side of the street.
Along Madison Street there are several places where the water flows steadily across the roads. Down from the Kroger on Madison Street there were water rescue boats pulling people off of roof tops.  Over by the Dunbar Cave area, the water is across the road as the ducks swim happily across the streets. We were told of damage out toward Montgomery Central High school.  In the Northwest/New Providence area, there is flooding from ponds and creeks.  In the next county over, there were two lives lost as folks tried to merely get to their home.
Personally, we have flooding of our own. The only damage so far is loss of mulch.  We have a ditch between our home and our neighbors which has crested and overflowed its banks into both yards and through our flower beds. The huge ditch behind our whole subdivision is over its banks and has eeked into our backyard past our fence and under the kids club house. Some of this has slightly receeded, although we still have water moving slowly toward the ditch. We are so blessed and thankful that it is not affecting our home. We saw some water entering some neighbors garages and they were able to get everything up off the floor and so far its not into their living space yet.