Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Birthdays, School Starts, and Baby Coming (A Week In Review #3)

Tuesday morning I was blessed by my hubby preparing blueberry pancakes for my birthday breakfast!

The family asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, and I requested a quiet relaxing day where I didn't have to plan or fix meals and could just be lazy. For a couple of weeks my tummy has been unsettled  and I have been terribly unmotivated because we are expecting a baby!

That's why we haven't invited company over lately.
That's why we've been looking at 8 or 9 passenger vehicles on craigslist.
That's why we've been eating frozen pizzas and hotdogs regularly. Bleck!
That's why I've finished reading several books and caught up on magazine mail AND it was quite inconvenient to run out of data and have no computer for a week!
That's why the garden has been getting minimal maintenance. The squash bugs appeared, ooh.
That's why the children are very excited!
That's why it's so fun to browse the baby section looking for new baby gifts to replenish the gift tote.
That's why I can see just how big Miss Meg really is!

Tuesday supper was a combination celebration for both of us. We ate crockpot strawhats and the birthday cake was a giant cookie Annie baked.

Meg is 2!

so surprised the candles blew out!

birthday gals

Meg's gift from Caroline

my thoughtful notes, cards, and gifts
Wednesday we started school. Usually we wait until the end of August or even beginning of September, but I suddenly realized we should get as much done as we can before our March baby arrives! Annie outgrew her desk and is sitting at a table, so now Cora has her own desk and is diligently doing her workbook with zest!

Caroline made some furry lambs one afternoon while I was napping with the little girls.

Riley engaged in this classic. Thursday he had basketball open gym and the rest of us visited the library.

Saturday I took Annie to farmer's market again. There were at least 10 other vendors there this time. She slowly sold 3/4 of her baked goods and even a couple snap purses. She was delighted to pocket over $50 and is planning on taking cinnamon rolls (that were requested) next time.

one side of the market sellers
 That is how the Bowmans spent the last week in July!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

July Garden Still Grows

Here are some snapshots of the garden goodness from the first half of July.

Green tomatoes setting on the Early Girl and Celebrity plants.

A cucumber vine climbing up the tomato cage. I planted a couple seeds between each of the tomato plants hoping for lots of cukes. Some came up, some didn't. Our family, (not counting Dad), will eat a whole raw pickling cucumber twice a day if they are available. That makes 12 daily, 84 a week. I think I am not planting enough in my garden!

Green beans! Crispy, crunchy, fresh Jade and Contender beans! We have eaten several meals worth of beans and blanched a few for the freezer. 17 1/2 pounds total and they are still blooming. There again, I need to plant larger QUANTITY.

The Candy onions did not grow well this year. Perhaps they were planted too early, perhaps the soil isn't right for them. Their tops were knocked over numerous times from wind and storms, so we finally pulled them even though they are itty bitty.

We left a few in the ground to maybe grow a little larger.

And the sets stayed upright the best, but globes are still small.

one morning's harvest
Now pictures nearer the end of July...
lemon queen sunflowers

chives (and oregano on the right, carrots behind)

buttercrunch lettuce

non GMO corn for grinding to cornmeal
I planted an heirloom pumpkin, Jarra Blue, from seed given to me, and the plant is huge! So far there are no pumpkins though.

snack pumpkin that has edible seeds without even roasting

kitties in the compost pile

This year we have harvested radishes, turnips, lettuce, peas, chard, kale, green beans, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, beets, onions, okra, potatoes, basil, cilantro, dill, and chives. I read a blog where the writer weighs her produce that comes from gardening, so I thought that would make an interesting experiment. At the end of July our little patch has put out nearly 71 pounds of yumminess!

And the garden still grows...praise the Lord!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A July Week In Review

Our computer charger quit working just as I was ready to post this. Then time moved on as we waited for the mail to bring a new one. So this is not last week, but the week previous. (Because when you put so much time into something you don't want to needlessly throw it out!)

Our family experienced a few firsts this week. We sent our sweet Annie off for 6 days to Kansas Bible Camp, about an hour from us. She was invited to go along with a friend and was very excited!

We had lots of hot days last week, so the girls spent time outside in the pool until it mysteriously ripped in the center and is, alas, finished. They tremendously enjoyed warming up on the new trampoline then cooling off in the water. I usually stay in the quiet comfortable house while they're having their fun, but did manage to snap a couple shots of them splashing before the water leaked out!

We ate our first tomato basil tart of the summer. My dad gifted me with a vegetarian cookbook years ago-before I was married- and this is one recipe from it that is simply delish!

before being baked...the mozzarella is beneath garden tomatoes
Tuesday night the local county fair accepted open class exhibits, so we all went and entered the veggies from our garden, Annie's sewing projects from the past year, Caroline's wildflower bouquet and needlepunch, and Cora's zinnia. Then we watched the timed horse events until we couldn't bear the heat any longer and cooled off with a Sonic half price shake.

Wednesday Meg turned 2! We are waiting to celebrate when Annie is home (and can make the birthday treat). I was busy preparing for a few days away...packing clothes and snacks, catching up laundry, and stocking the family fridge.

Thursday I carpooled with 2 ladies to Kansas City for a three day conference. We met my mom and her long-time friend from high school and all piled into one motel room. What a fun experience!

Upon arrival, our room for two nights.
(I should have taken a picture upon departure!)

lunch at Sweet Tomatoes salad buffet

my sweet "organization" at international conference 2014
 I arrived home at bedtime Saturday night and our family was reunited once again!

What did I miss this week? Ladies Bible study Wednesday afternoon. Supper and a tour Friday night of the camp Annie attended. Purchase of a new -to us- vehicle for our growing family. Another visit to the fair to pick up our exhibit entries and ribbons.

We all had a grand week!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Week in Review

This past week was pleasant and relaxed. No more shuttling children to practice and games, just a week of wide open nothingness.

It started with an update and sermon from missionaries in Istanbul. They've been there 17 years and still loving it! A city of 17 million, 10 times the size of New York City. 

Monday we picked mulberries and sand plums. While we were occupied in the prickly plum thickets, Meg ate half of our picked berry cup making a mess all over herself.

Tuesday morning I awoke to a beautiful sunrise glowing into our bedroom windows.


Caroline built a tent playhouse over the clothesline with rag blankets, towels, and sheets. It didn't stay up long though because the weather turned into a drizzly-overcast-back-east-kind-of-rainy week and because we didn't want to kill the newly sprouted grass. The girlies enjoyed having a kitty in a bucket and a sand plum snack in their private dwelling.

Riley sold his four remaining African geese on craigslist.

Friday evening we attended a lovely wedding in eastern Kansas. It was a perfect night to be outside strolling the lawn, munching on sandwiches, chips, salad, homemade ice cream, and cake. The little people frolicked in the wide open grass and slept soundly in all manner of positions!

On our way home Saturday, we stopped in the big city to shop a little, and brought back a trampoline, basketball goal, and volleyball set. 

And that is a simple week in the life of the Bowmans!