Wednesday, June 25, 2014

An Afternoon From the Reward Bank

Some days just feel full of goodness.  Other days feel like nothing was accomplished.  Yesterday was a rough day for my children with behavior and then not getting a fun reward they were looking forward to because of the lack of obedience.  :(  It's always a bummer when that happens.  So, today was much different, and boy oh boy was I glad!  

We started out the day with butterfly research and moving the butterfly tent to where it would be in front of the patio door that gets lots of sunlight and warmth.  We arranged some of our potted plants in their and figured out how to feed butterflies that were now residing in the tent.  Alegra has been so interested in butterflies lately, so this has been a pure delight for her.  

After lunch, it was time to do weeding in the garden.  Nobody wanted to, but it had to be done.  We also placed a shed that some friends gave to us in the garden to be used this year as our produce shed.  We would like to have produce out all the time instead of just a couple days a week.  The children will still sit out there when we're home, but if we're not, we'll just leave a money can there.  Hoping we can have a few more customers this year to enjoy our delicious produce!

 Look at that garden!  The whole thing is weeded except my flower area which got mutilated when my man drove the tractor through it.  Hoping to have flowers to sell too at the stand, but not sure after his driving today.  :)  Oh well.  We did plant sunflowers this year to sell, so they at least look great and will be fun to have in the garden.

We also harvested our first ingredients for salad today.  What a delicious supper we had.  Fresh spinach and lettuce from the garden, deviled eggs from our coop, and herbed (dried from the garden last year) tortilla strips.  It was so yummy!!!

 Since the children did fantastic weeding and working in the hot, hot sun today, we let them draw a reward from the reward jar.  They picked "take a bike ride to Stroh for ice cream and to play at the park".  What a gorgeous ride we had.  It had just finished raining really hard and their was a lovely rainbow that lit our path all the way there.  I didn't even realize that I got the rainbow in this picture.  Off we go to have some summer fun!
 Benaiah sure did try out his energy on this trip.  I had to take quite a few breaks with him, but he did a great job.  He also learned to keep his feet on the pedals at all times.  He went down our big hill and took his feet off the pedals and then couldn't slow down, so all the way down the hill he screamed in terror.  I had to console him and explain to him to keep his feet on the brakes, and then he picked his feet up and pedaled to catch up to the others.  Hopefully lesson learned on that one.  It could have been a big crash.  :)

This is why we love where we live.  Nothing beats this kind of scenery on a bike ride.  I mean look at that sky.  Look at that old barn.  Look at the stretch of fields growing with green life.

We finally made it to the ice cream shop.  They switched owners, so they actually had reasonably priced cones, just smaller portions, which was just fine with us.  See that big puddle.  Yep, that little guy pointing at it rode his bike right through the middle of it.  Ugh, he did so good avoiding the puddles all the way there, then I guess he just couldn't resist this one.  Who could when you're a 5 year old little boy? :)

We then went to the park after our ice cream was gone and enjoyed some fun there.  A simple park in Stroh, but it sure brings delight to our children, which brings me delight too.  
 Time to head home.  Benaiah was pretty tuckered out, but he kept on pedaling.  I was reminded of the movie Nemo, and kept singing to him, "just keep pedaling, pedaling pedaling".  We can't forget about the scenery on the ride home.  Not everybody has cows that stand on the sidelines to cheer you on.  What's not to love about this picture!
 And then there was that gorgeous sky once again, lighting up in a different manner with less color but more brilliance.  That picture is not edited.  The sun beams were so distinct and bright.  Alegra had thrown her camera into the trailer, so she wanted Jonathon to stop, so she could take a picture.  Guess she gets that from her mom.  :)  Nothing like capturing all these priceless moments in picture for them to reminisce about when they are older.
 And I realized, thankfully not too late, that I hadn't taken Saphira's picture in the trailer enjoying the ride.  She sure loves the ride!
I didn't get a picture of a few other things that made our evening a delight.  While at the park a neighbor came to play ball with his son.  It's just good to see father and son spending time together in that way.  Then on our way home, a friend and neighbor stopped to visit and tell us all about his recent honeymoon.  I just smiled while we sat there visiting on the road and enjoying the wonderful evening.

This community isn't fancy.  It is full of simple pleasures and people who stay engaged with each other.   This makes where we live a grand place to raise our children.  Where people just stop by, sometimes on tractor even just to say hello or see if you need anything.  It's a place where the whole neighborhood gathers to keep traffic safe when a tree falls in the road.  A place where my children can run to the road to wave to whoever drives by and generally, they know who the person is.  I miss our little house in Sturgis, but the community that we have all around us here, is irreplaceable.  So thankful for these peaceful evenings of getting another glimpse of the people we are surrounded by and getting to enjoy my children moving and enjoying the country.

I hope you are all having as great of a summer as we are at the Bovee's!

Oh, and if you are wondering how Benaiah did taking that long of a trip.  Uncle Jeff almost had to push him up the big hill at our house.  Once he got in our driveway, before even getting up to the barn, he stopped and put his head on his hands, like he was out of breath and couldn't go any farther.  That boy!  He pedaled up to the barn then and felt pretty good about himself biking such a long distance.  I was watching him pedal at one point.  It took him about 4 times pedaling to our 1.  That boy moved those little legs fast! Time for a bigger bike after this summer of practice on the little one.  Good job, Benaiah!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Family and Critter Friends

Over the weekend, we enjoyed wonderful time with friends and family.  

Sunday we had Jonathon's niece, Alyssa and her children over for dinner and fun on the farm.  His mom was able to come as well which is always a nice treat for everyone.  We had chicken n noodles, mashed potatoes, layered salad, and strawberry pretzel dessert. Oh, and Mallorie had eggs.  That girl loved the eggs off the salad.  I had cooked one too many eggs to fit on the salad, so after seeing her eat so many off the salad, we decided we cooked the extra one just for her.  I peeled it and she ate the whole thing.  After supper we headed to the back yard to play and to show them the chickens.

 Mallorie was going to help gather eggs, but the rooster flapped his wings as she was walking over there, and she decided that was enough for her and ran to her mom.  So, Grandma Linda and I gathered the eggs and then she was good with helping me wash them and package them up for her to take home.  I hope she enjoys those eggs!
 They had so much fun in the water.  First she discovered the hose and giggled and giggled as the other children ran through it.  Then we hooked the sprinkler up (less likely for the adults to get sprayed that way) and they all had a ball running through it.  Kyle was most funny as he was discovering the sprinkler with nobody else around and trying to take drinks without getting his face wet.  So cute!
 Not sure how I managed it, but we got a fantastic picture of all of them within about 20 seconds of them gathering around the rock.  Less picture torture the better.  :)

This morning after breakfast and cleaning up a bit around here from having company, we headed out to the garden to work.  Jonathon had taken care of a large area with the tiller, but the rest is mulched, so it needs some hand weeding in between plants.  The children and I weeded what was mulched last year.  We found 2 volunteer potato plants, and I don't know how many volunteer tomato plants.  If you follow our family's happenings, you'll know that we lost all of our tomatoes and peppers to frost.  We were very saddened as we started them from seed and worked hard to get what we had.  The Father is so faithful though.  As I was weeding, I found tomato plants from what we had last year that already have blossoms on them.  The ones we went and bought and  planted, they don't look so hot, so it was refreshing to find these healthy, happy blooming tomato plants.   I also found a volunteer cherry tomato from last year's planting.  We couldn't find any of that kind around here at greenhouses, so I was so glad to find this.  They were delicious and sold really well on the produce cart.  Thankful we'll have more of those again this year.

God's faithfulness at still providing what we needed in our garden despite how horrible it looks and how sad my plants have been looking compared to other's gardens.  I finally devoted to stop looking at other gardens because they only got me down.  :)  I feel HIS love today though and know that he cares about how I feel, even in these little things of how my garden grows.

We finished the 4th row of weeding and mounded up 2 rows of potatoes before the rains came pouring down.
 While we were working, Jonathon came home from work.  He walked out to the garden holding a little box.  Hmmmm, what does he have in that box?  The children all cheered with delight as they gazed in to see a little tiny  painted turtle.  Our came the tank, a rock gathered up and water put in before I could even say, "do we really need to have a turtle?"  The older children have fond memories of having a baby turtle when we lived in Sturgis.  It was a sad day when it died, but they loved the memories of it.  We'll try it again.  Before adding all the plants and such, we are leaving the tank sit to make sure it won't leak.  Then we'll figure out where to put our new pet and finish decorating the tank.  Everyone loves it!

Now the rains are over, the sun is coming out again, and the children are just giddy with their new pet.  Summer memories of 2014. :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Aldrin's Wedding

We attended a beautiful wedding of our friends Casey and Maxine.  They had a ceremony over in the Philippines with her family, then headed to the states for another wedding day of love.  It was so quaint, and the setting was perfect.  Glad we could join in on their special day.  My family looked pretty good for the occasion too.  :)

My gem, Saphira.

My girls looking on as the bride and groom say their vows to one another.  Some day we'll be doing this with them.  Oh how time goes so quickly.  Cherishing and teaching them daily, so that their special day will be filled with joy, love, and Yahweh.

Happy couple!!!

Happy Family!!!!  :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

An Evening of Reward

We had a busy day yesterday around here.  Some yard needed to be finished getting mowed, Jonathon asked us to get his trench he dug filled back in with dirt, I had asked the boys to move some wood from the backyard, and then the regular household chores of laundry and getting the house clean for Sabbath were all needing done.  After I got the yard mowed, I decided to see who else was working hard.  
 She does pretty good, but did miss a few articles I had to keep reminding her to get.

 Good thing it's at her heigth.

 Of course we have to try on some of mom's clothes while we're doing it.

 Such a happy helper.  

 I gave this job to Benaiah, but Alegra was wanting a break from shoveling dirt, so I regave this job to a girl who would actually get the cement swept off.  Benaiah did do a couple other sidewalks for me though.

 Our hard working dirt shoveler.

 Then I found Josiah in the house reading a book while all other work was going on.  Now, I am very thankful that my children love to read, and summer reading programs offer prizes for reading, but when there's work to do, you better be doing it!  So, I told him to get the wood taken care of.  Now I thought he was crying because the wood was heavy and he couldn't do it, but I knew if he'd just do it, he could.  
 So, he sat and cried and fussed, all while I said that he had to do it no matter what.  AND that he was going to be working the rest of the day too if he wanted the reward in the evening.
 Then little brother comes along with his big wagon and gets the job done lickity split.  Hmmm, I'm thinking that piece of wood wasn't as heavy as someone was making it look.  So, now you see a little difference between our boys.  I have one who loves to be inside reading and playing games and is a whipper snapper at learning things.  I have another who is a hard worker outside and loves to carry wood and do "boy" things.  The question I'm trying to figure out is, "how do I mix both of their strong points into both of them".  

The rest of the day they all worked well, helping clean the house and fix supper.  So, when Jonathon got home, we ate quickly then headed to some friends' van and by boat.  On a nearby lake, we have friends that live on opposite sides.  We decided that it would be fun to borrow the one friend's boats and sail across the lake to our other friend's dock to visit.  So, we did just that.  The girls took the kayaks, and we took the canoe.  It was pretty windy, and I was a little nervous about them taking off by themselves, but they did great!

 We sailed right in to our friend's dock to some happy children awaiting our arrival.  We tied up our boats and walked the plank up to their house to visit a little.  We then decided to leave our 2 littlest there and take their 2 oldest girls with us.  So, we loaded back up and paddled back across the lake.

Their girls thought it was so neat to be on the "other" side of the lake.  What a fun time!  We put our boats away, went back to our house to pick up some strawberry shortcake, and took it back to drop off girls, pick up our children, and eat dessert with friends.  It turned into a late night, but boy did we all have fun!  They have a reward jar for when they work hard and help in the garden.  I'm looking forward to more fun adventures with these children this summer!  AND the other family had worked hard in their garden too, so it was a double family reward.  Yay, for hard working children....and children learning how to work hard.  : )