Monday, May 30

*strawberry patch, strawberry patch

This past week while our nephews were here I read in the local paper about a strawberry farm that is only 5 miles from our house.  One morning we headed out to pick strawberries, some willfully and some against their will.  The strawberries were pretty abundant and the patch was quite large, but unfortunately since the owners do not use pesticides on their fruit (which I appreciate) the fruit was full of strawberry maggots, it was quite nasty.  We did manage to find 16lbs of tasty strawberries to take home with us. I dehydrated most of them and we saved some for dessert over the holiday weekend.

After we left the strawberry patch, Momma and I took the boys over to the park that was close by.  Their first question was, "Can we go swimming?!" I of course allowed them the desires of their hearts.  We were not really prepared for swimming - no towels, no change of clothes etc.  Sometimes we have to live by the seat of our pants and be a bit spontaneous.   I knew when we got back home that the boys would be tasked with some tree trimming and leaf gathering jobs so I wanted to treat indulge them a bit. 

These boys can be A LOT of work, they just can, but I love them and I love spending time with them.  I hope that one day they will cherish in their hearts the time they spent with their Aunt Lynnie, Uncle Eric and of course their cousin, Henry.

Thursday, May 26

*beeing brave

Getting suited up on a hot sultry day in Florida was less than fun.   But, it was recommended to me to enter  the hive area to do any work in mid day when the bees are busy.
To the left you see the supra that I am about to add to our hive. The brood has grown so much that we need to add the supra already.  I am getting my gloves on and making sure everything is tucked in before I begin working with the bees.

When I took the top board off it was covered with buzzing bees! I remained calm and carried on with my work.  To open the hive and hear the wings of the workers fanning hard and to see them buzzing around was a pretty awesome experience.

Carefully I am putting the top board back in place, doing my best not to kill any of our girls!

Success!  The job is done! In a few weeks we will open the hive again to check out the work that has taken place in the supra since we added it.

Since adding the hive to our farm, the tall sunflowers are covered with our "Honey's" early each morning. Our garden is now buzzing more ever too. Speaking of the garden, it is growing well and our freezer is starting to fill up with our harvest to carry us through some of the year.  Soon I will share with you a new way to preserve yellow squash for the freezer. Well, it was new for us anyway!

Wednesday, May 25

*summer break continued...

Cousins are those childhood playmates who grow up to be forever friends.

Having come from a close knit family I am happy to say that our boys have always been able to have the same privilege as my sister's and I did as children, the opportunity to KNOW their cousins.  I grew up in a small town in Georgia with most of my family members very close by and others only a few hours drive away.  This is not the same case for our boys, but getting together has never been a problem.  The boys have spent summer after summer together over the years as well as a few spring breaks! I feel very privileged to have them here during their time "off". 

Today we spent some at the  Air Museum in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl.  I mean, how could I go wrong with that? Planes, weapons, bombs, missiles.  The last time we came to this museum we couldn't go inside because Henry forgot (!) to wear shoes and of course shoes are required to go indoors. Imagine that!


Saturday, May 21

*sunflower, sunflower

"Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It's what sunflowers do."
by Helen Keller

*summer break - yahoozie!

You know that saying.. drifting into the sunset? Here it is in photography for your enjoyment...

These were taken a while after they arrived on Thursday.  Together again, scouting, exploring, and doing what boys (young men) do.  My heart is glad.

Susan is sitting nicely with Skyler.  He tried to get her to sit on his shoulder but she wasn't buying it.

After a bit of work trimming some trees and pulling up some fence post they boys hit the pool for a refreshing dip or two.  They made up a game involving one person sitting on the float chair and the other two trying their best to make that one fall off. They were allowed to do most anything but the only rule on this round was DO NOT TOUCH the person in the lounger or the lounger.  They did their best to dismantle Austin when it was his turn to be in the chair, but they never succeeded.

I LOVE having my nephews here! I love spending time with them, doing for them, I love having them help us on the farm this summer, I love that they love to come and stay with us. This is a memory making time I look forward to each year.   

Since these pictures the boys were taken, all three of them, have helped cut trees, drag trees down, move branches, move firewood, and dig holes for new fences that are going in.  Friday night our oldest came over for dinner with his girl friend and then the boys went with Robby to spend the night for the weekend. I am sure they were ready to get away from the work for a short while.    I feed them well, so they don't really mind the work that much.  That is what I keep telling myself anyway. More work awaits them on Monday morning. I am firm believer that work and partnership in the family unit helps create ownership in the family's business (meaning all that the family owns, does etc..)  I believe in having fun too, so don't worry, I wont work them too hard without encouraging them to play hard too!

Wednesday, May 18

*a morning at Erilyn in pictures

This is how the little girls act when they get to free roam the land. They come rushing out, then they act like they have no idea how to act!  These chickens (and other animals) are so entertaining.