Saturday, April 30, 2011

Is there anything better?

Is there anything sweeter than flowers picked for mama from sweet little boys?

Friday, April 29, 2011

My small garden

This is the beginnings of our garden here at Hickory Nut Homestead.  We have two of these  beds so far.  We found the cinder blocks in our woods and they have been great for free raised beds!  I've already filled two of these and am hoping my dear husband can build me another this weekend because I haven't even planted my squashes, eggplant or cucumbers yet.
I'm not sure how much cinder blocks cost in the store, but if you can get you hands on some it's a great way to build a raised bed.  I've read that you can do lots of things with the holes such as pour compost in them and water it, plant herbs or flowers in them  as well. (I may plant marigolds and pennyroyal)   They are also easy to expand if you wish.  Plus, they don't rot like wood.
In this bed I've planted, sugar snap peas, boston lettuce, red lettuce, beets, cilantro, red cabbage and onions.
In the next bed, I've got 4 different types of tomatoes, red peppers, okra and spinach.
I love having our fresh veggies right outside our door (-:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter morning

The boys and I before Easter service.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter baskets

Here are the boys Easter baskets this year.  I..eerrr..the Easter bunny really tried to limit the candy this year so they got some new flip flops, some bubbles and a large bubble wand(I love that they still love bubbles), some silly string, a new game each and of course a chocolate bunny and some peeps.
They then got to search the house for another Easter egg hunt and found a bunch of eggs.  I thought it was really sweet that they decided together they would consolidate their candy and give some to the neighbor kids.  It made me happy they were so generous(and of course I was grateful because I didn't want them to eat that much candy!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter egg hunt

We went to our town's local Easter egg hunt on Saturday and the boys had a ball!  I think because it was pretty cool out and rainy, they didn't get a huge turnout so the boys got tons of eggs!

"Here, try these!"

"Ehh..their o.k:"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My small town...

Just had to share one more reason why I love my small town...

This afternoon, I was busy preparing our Easter feast for us and our guests tomorrow.  Darryl has been busy outside finishing up our chicken coop.  He was stapling chicken wire to an opening in the roof.  Well, he ran out of staples.  He asked me to call our local hardware store(not a chain-we live at least 25 minutes away from a chain  but a local establishment that has everything you could imagine-from garden supplies to canning supplies..a real old-timey type place).  Anyway, I called them to ask if they had the staples and they said yes.  I asked what time they were closing at they said 4pm(It was 3:50 when I called).  I told them I would be right there.  I hopped in the car and Darryl called them back and asked if they would wait I was on my way(he's done this before and they have always been gracious enough to wait).  We live about 5-10 minutes away out farther in the country and this hardware store is in *town*.   So, I got there and a bit after 4pm  and they were as pleasant as could be and had the staples waiting for me.  They had already closed the register and the owner told me to just stop by when I got a chance to pay him!  This is the second time they have done that!  Of course, we always come back but I'm amazed because we are newcomers they don't know us that well, yet they are trusting enough to allow us to leave with products(last time was a bunch of bales of hay) and not pay...take that Lowes!

Just another reason I love living in my small town...

Easter Menu

Image(s) courtesy

Homemade Boursin Cheese with crackers
Cut up veggies with homemade ranch dip
Deviled eggs
Main Course
Apricot Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Twice baked mashed potatoes
Steamed asparagus with butter
Mixed green salad(from our own garden) with bacon and homemade honey mustard vinagrette
Homemade honey glazed rolls
Sour Cream Pound Cake topped with fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Today has been a wonderfully quiet day.  When I woke this morning, I saw it was raining and as I reflected and prayed in my bed, it kind of felt right for it to be raining....It felt almost poetic like God's tears were washing the earth in mourning of our Saviour's crucifixion. 
I had already decided that we were going to take the day off of school and spend more time in the word today reading through John together and discussing all the events leading up to this day.  So, we all got ready for the day and I spent some time alone in my Bible and then praying.  Coincidentally, my Bible opened up to Proverbs 31 and I meditated on that for sometime as it fits so aptly to my own life and who I strive to become(although fail miserably constantly-I'm so thankful for God's grace and mercy).
Afterwards, the boys and I ate a modest breakfast and we cuddled on the sofa and I read them the events in the Bible as well as Jesus teaching to his disciples.  Then, I gently informed them that we would not be having our normal pizza and desserts tonight but instead we would have a meatless soup.  I just didn't feel right about eating those treats when our Saviour sacrificed his life for us....
The boys were hesitant and a bit sad, but I could tell after reading through John that they both realized it was right to do.  We talked about Jesus's love for us and how his message was love one another..period...
So, we had a quiet day.  The boys played wonderfully together.  We played games, we snuggled on the sofa to read together and then we dyed eggs-always a fun Easter tradition.

The boys had lots of fun writing secret messages on their eggs and then dying them to see the messages pop up. 

Here is Matthew excited to see his egg..

Here is Nicholas writing out his secret messages..

It says I love Daddy...

Here is Matthew checking out his message:  It read I love Jesus!

Nicholas did one for each member of the family.
The middle one is a picture of me and on the back it says:  I love Mommy!

Always a fun Easter tradition!  

Another baseball post(featuring Nicholas)

Here is Nicholas pitching.  He also plays first base.  This game was a great one.  We were down by 4 and ended up winning the game!
Nicholas hit the first grand slam of the season!

Baseball is in full swing! (double post)

The boys have started baseball season again and they are having a ball!  They love baseball and this year they are on a new team that has a great coach.  Matthew was starting pitcher at this game and he did great!
He loves to pitch but also plays 3rd base. 
These pictures of of my sweet baby angel, Matthew.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Some sewing...

I've been trying to carve out time for more lately.  I feel so refreshed and happy when I have time to be creative and Darryl was sweet enough to give me a wonderful space in the house just for that purpose. 
Lately, my sewing has been geared toward our upcoming blessing.  Here are some of the projects I've done.

Here is a diaper bag.  It's really great-large, has loads of pockets and I think pretty cute(-:
If you'd like to make one for yourself or as a gift, here is the pattern I used:

It's called the Hip Mama Diaper Bag and it's a free tutorial!

I've also made several blankets.  I love making blankets because they are easy and fun!
This one has little sheep on one side and green and white polka dots on the other with coordinating rick rack.
I think it turned out cute and I made some matching burp rags as well as some bibs(not pictured) with the leftover fabric.  If you are interested in making these, I have another free tutorial to share!
Don't ya' love free (-:

This is another quickie blanket I whipped up the other night.  I LOVE  when I saw this fabric(at Walmart) I had to buy it and make a cute blankie.

I just finished making a bobby cover for an ugly(but cheap) Boppy I purchased at a consignment sale with(surprise)another free tutorial.  I'll share that later in the week.  I'm also converting plain Jane clearance curtains to something extraordinary..with a bit of creativity, some fabric and sewing (-: I'll share what I did with pictures when I'm done.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Working together

I caught the boys snuggled on the sofa the other day working through  a hidden picture book together.  I love that they love to be together.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

International Fair

Last night we participated in our local homeschool groups International Fair.  This was a chance for the kids to pick a country, learn about it, write a speech, make a poster board, and do a presentation in front of a group.  We had alot of fun participating in this!  The boys chose Uganda because we sponsor a child from Uganda and we wanted to learn more about his culture, home life, etc.  We enjoyed a potluck meal first with everyone and then got to sample different foods from all the cultures that were presented.
Here is Matthew preparing Bunyoro Stew.  It is a traditional Ugandan stew with beef, tomatoes, curry, and onions. 

Here is Nicholas checked the stewed meat...

They did so well on their presentations and speeches.  I know, especially Nicholas, gets bad stage fright but he did great!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What your chickens don't do this?

 Chickens here on Hickory Nut Homestead ride skateboards.
We seem to have a chicken with Tony Hawk aspirations...

Yes, that's chicken poo-poo...
She must have been so busy practicing her tricks she forgot to go the grass to do her business.

This one is named Peanut.  I have no idea why.  She's not particularly small.  But, the boys named her that and she can always be spotted because she loves to hang out on your shoulders.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Learning new skills

We strongly believe in teaching the boys the value of hard work.  We are all a team in our family and we believe that everyone should contribute to the household.  So, as the boys get older their reponsibilities grow.  On Saturday, Darryl dusted off the lawnmower from a long, winter's nap and Matthew learned how to operate it as well as mow the lawn.  He loves the extra responsibility and thrives on doing *big boys* jobs. 

Here he is learning to start it up-it was a challenge!

Checking the gas and oil...

And were off!!!