Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pool Noodle Light Sabers

This is a project we did over a month ago but I didn't get a chance to write about it.

When summer gear at stores went on clearance, we were able to score a pool noodle at half off.  There were several projects I was considering for the pool noodle (since we don't have a pool or frequent a lake often enough to use it for swimming).  I pulled up a few on pinterest and my son thought a pair of light sabers would be fun. 

light sabers made from pool noodles

Loved that this one was so simple to do.  I cut the pool noodle in half.  Covered the bottom portion with duct tape to make a handle.  Then we decorated it with electrical tape and painter's tape. 

The kiddo and I had an epic backyard battle that afternoon.  He thought I was being crazy when I was trying to add the appropriate sound effects to our battle.  He and Dad later had a big battle as well.  He was pretty excited to use them whenever a friend comes over to play.

Simple and fun!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Minute Fridays: True

Five Minute Fridays is hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker, encouraging bloggers to write on a prompt unedited for five minutes.  This weeks prompt is True


Often times I'm scared to let my true self be seen in my writing.

I'm not a writer, I tell myself.  I'm a computer programmer, thriving on logic, rules, data, and debugging.  My blog is just an outlet, to record life and feel productive on days where the to-do list gets longer instead of shorter.

Sometimes I put on this "blog voice" that is close to true most days, but not purely real.  And if its just close to true, is it then a lie?

So what's my true story?  Where have I been less than real in my writing? 

Waiting is hard.  Very hard.  Harder now than a year ago.  Sometimes I'm crabby and whiney and just want it to be "our turn".  But I don't post that.  I post with a positive spin.  Almost letting my blog post be what I need to hear, what I need to remind myself, the words that I put on repeat when my I'm-so-tired-of-waiting-already-self has to flip another month on the calendar.  I try to surround myself with Truth, but its so hard for it to sink into my heart some days.  To have what my heart feels match the Truth my head knows.

Sometimes seeing babies, holding babies, hearing about babies is hard.  Do I avoid it?  No.  Do I want others to tip-toe around me?  No.  I love my friends and their little ones and sometimes baby snuggles do me good.  Other days though it makes me cry.  Not as often as it once did, but it happens. 

And those days I walk past our empty nursery and sigh...

Thankfully our son's room is right next door -- his big smile and bear hug have true power.


Take a minute to visit Lisa-Jo's site and read some of the amazing posts others have put together on the prompt.  Or take 5 minutes and join in!

Five Minute Friday

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fun Fall Camping

We spent a long weekend camping at a local state park.  We were close enough to home that we could stop home to pick up something we forgot, check on the chickens or get the boat for a quick outing on the lake :)

The weather was beautiful all weekend, though a bit chilly.  Cool enough to enjoy the campfire any time during the day, chilly enough at night to make us thankful for an electric spot and the heater in the camper.  I love jeans and sweatshirt weather!

My parents joined us for the weekend which added to the fun.  Hiking, geocaching, good food, enjoyable conversations and a 5th wheel with TV where our son could watch cartoons in the morning when he woke us up a bit earlier than we'd hoped :)

My husband and I also tried a new recipe for cooking fish this weekend.  I think its a new favorite.  Bacon Wrapped Walleye - because everything is better with bacon right? 
bacon wrapped walleye

Even better that it was super simple.  We cut the walleye fillets (which hubby caught in Canada this summer) to be a bit narrower than the bacon.  Roll with the bacon on the outside (start bacon on bottom when you start rolling) .  Secure with toothpicks and cook on the cast iron skillet over the fire.  My husband generally does not enjoy fish that much but he loved this.  Even the leftovers were delicious :)

It was a wonderful weekend of camping near our gravelly road!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

If you give a boy a puppet...

he's going to want to put on a puppet show
so he'll ask you for a puppet stage.
Because you don't have a puppet stage,
you'll have to create one.

homemade puppet stage

Or really just throw one together.  Old curtain, a rod, and two chairs.  Two chairs and a blanket would have been great too. 

Its been a while since he's played with very cool monster puppet from his aunt and uncle.  See all the stuff on the couch behind him?  Velcro pieces to change the face of the puppet to create just the right crazy monster puppet you need for the story you are telling.  For whatever reason, this monster was not allowed to have eyes. 

Simple fun on a rainy day!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Garden Update - Fall

corn squash pumpkin sunflowers garden

Its been cooler here the last week and fall is clearly making its presence known in our garden.  I think the sunflowers have been my favorite lately.  I've loved looking out my window to see the splashes of color in my garden.  I even picked a few small sunflowers to bring in kitchen

We picked the sweet corn a couple weeks ago -- very cute small ears, about 1.5 dozen.  I think we need to make sure to plant it earlier next year :)  Tomatoes were doing great until a deer decided to jump the fence and finish the rest of them off for us.  I guess we just need to learn to share... Our watermelon plants have made a late growth surge and now we have 2 small watermelons (softball size).  I doubt they will be big enough to ripen by the end of the season but it was a fun surprise after thinking they were a complete flop.  We continue to have more zucchini than we know what to do with.  Squash, pumpkins, and carrots are still doing great. 

We cooked up our last batch of green beans this weekend and I've been doing lots of baking with the zucchini.  Our apple trees will be ready soon but in the mean time I have 2 boxes of apples from my in-laws apple trees to cook with.  We made apple chips already this week and apple crisp is on the menu for tomorrow.  Also decided to make some squash bake the other night as I realized we still had some squash in the freezer from last year :)  Between the cooking and the sunflowers I picked, I guess fall has reached my kitchen as well.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wait in Hope

flowers and encouragement

Found these beauties along the gravel road. 
Brightens my day, makes me smile, and reminds me to hope.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bible Stories by the Four Year Old

Today was Sunday School kickoff at church.  Thankfully he had much more fun at kickoff this year than he did at last year's kickoff.  It got me thinking about his first year of Sunday School last year...

He really enjoyed Sunday School (and the Bible Story time at MOPS and preschool) and he loved VBS this summer, which is a big blessing.  I tended to be surprised though by what piece of the stories he latched onto.  We never knew what we'd hear when we ask him what they learned about...  Here's four of our favorites:

"the story about guys with dirty feet" -- Jesus washing the disciples' feet

"the one about the guy who ate bugs"  -- John the Baptist

"the story about Jesus's friends who kept taking naps" -- Praying at the Garden

"the story about the bush that just didn't want to burn up"  --  Moses and the burning bush

Another fun memory:  Around Christmas time we were singing "Away in the Manger" to practice for the Christmas program and he stops mid-verse -- "Mom, why was there no room? Why did they have to stay in a stable? I think they should have gone camping. That sounds better."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five Minute Fridays: Red

Five Minute Fridays is hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker, encouraging bloggers to write on a prompt unedited for five minutes.  This weeks prompt is Red.


It was red once.  Now the places of peeling red paint are greatly outnumbered by the places of weather wood showing through.  Even as a child, it was still only mostly red, weathered, worn and yet strong.

The big [red] barn on my grandparent's farm place has stood for so long, through many storms, once housing animals, still protecting bales of hay.  Once part of a busy family farmyard during my father's childhood.  Later an important part of the farm run by grandparents with grandchildren searching for kittens inside during my childhood. 

Now the barn still stands.  On the empty farm place, both my grandparents now gone.

The barn has watched over so much hard labor this summer as sons, daughters, uncles, cousins, friends, worked so many weekends.  Cleaning out outbuildings, finding long lost farm treasure, organizing, and sorting.  A few weeks ago, the farmyard was full of cars, pickups, people.  A farm auction -- red tractors, wagons, antique tractors, tools, the constant hum of auctioneers, heat, sweat, and trailers loaded up to leave.

Now the farmyard is nearly empty.  The memories remain.  The barn still stands.


Take a minute to visit Lisa-Jo's site and read some of the amazing posts others have put together on the prompt.  Or take 5 minutes and join in!

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, September 5, 2013

His Reading Fort

sofa pillow fort reading

I was making lunch.  I looked over and found him in a pillow fort on the couch, feet sticking out, looking through books.  He said he just needed some quiet book time.  Love it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for my preschooler.  Since he attended this preschool one day a week last year, there was no major transitions and not much "new" to worry about.  Different kids in his class though which we've talked about a bit (some from last year are in kindergarten, new kids, plus he's there an extra day) and a second teacher.

So here is the required first day picture :)

Dear Lord,

Thank you again and again for allowing me to the mom of this precious boy.  He is growing up so fast it takes my breath away! 

I ask for your blessing on the preschool year ahead of him.  You know his journey and what he needs to be ready for.  Be there for him when I'm not.  Guide his words, actions and interactions so that he may be kind, compassionate and a positive leader now that he's one of the older kids in the class.
Bless his teachers with patience, leadership and a faith that is seen by the students.  Bless the other students in his class, may there be among them returning friends, new friends, new challenges as they learn to get along,and make fun memories.

Grow him into the boy (and young man) you created him to be for your purposes and help me to be the parent I need to be for him for your glory. 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Evening on the boat

family fishing on lake

We have a "new to us" little fishing boat now.  While there have been some frustrating moments with it, we enjoyed an evening on the boat tonight.  Its such a blessing to have so many beautiful lakes nearby, minutes away.  Enjoyed a snack, toured the lake a bit, Mom caught a fish, and watched the sky change colors as the sun started to go down.  A beautiful evening on the lake.
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