Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Green Bean Harvest and Canning

Today was one of those days where I just wanted to pinch myself.  Some people may think that this simple, organic life that we live is crazy, but I rather love it.  Sure, we have our moments just like any family, where I'd like to ship my children off for a few weeks.  Then I take a breather and look out my window.  Usually one of my children is doing something cute or funny, and I have to remind myself how truly blessed I am.  I really am!  

After piano lessons for Alegra and Josiah, we went home to get a quick bite for lunch, then start on the job of the day.  Today the produce stand was closed, so all the beans that were left over, we canned.  Friday's customers get fresh picked beans, so we needed to take care of these, so they weren't wasted.  All of my children helped in some way.  Some more than others of course.  We did have some fighting with a couple of them ready to quit the job, but they quickly adjusted themselves and got back to work.  Diella stayed home and hauled jars upstairs and started washing beans.  She is such a great helper!  

Time for everyone to work.  They were real troopers.  I didn't end up with as much as I was hoping, but I'm sure we'll have more throughout the summer to get the rest of our winter stock up done.

Then just as two are fighting, I go over to start some coffee because I just needed a calming moment.  I looked out the window to see Benaiah standing with a homemade fishing pole at a hole that he filled up with water.  Wondering what he was doing, I asked, "What are you doing?"  To which he replied, "I'm fishing for alligators".  Now if you know Benaiah, you know that he doesn't talk right (we're working on that).  I had to ask him what he said to make sure I heard him correctly.  Sure enough, he was fishing for alligators.  I'm so glad he didn't catch one!!!!

The rest of my evening I didn't capture on camera, though I wish I would have.  After supper, while the children did their supper chores, Jonathon and I sat on the porch swing and discussed more of our dreams for our farm.  Slowly but surely things are coming together.  It's so exciting to dream together!!!  As we were sitting there our neighbors from around the corner and across the field came riding down the road on their horses.  Saphira sure enjoyed watching them go by.  She was so cute watching.  After awhile, here they came back, only they came right into the driveway and up to the house.  Best treat ever!!  It was nice to visit with them and enjoy watching their horses.  Such a great night for a ride and for a visit from the riders.  

As they left, Jonathon's sister came to take the children to Stroh for ice cream.  So, off they went (except Saphira) and there we sat again on a quiet porch.  He walked over to visit with his brother who was mowing and Saphira and I played with the kitten who had jumped up on the swing.  She sure loves that little kitty.  After a bit the children came home and we all walked over to his brother's house to look at some rocks and just enjoy the evening outside.  A walk around the farm to check on the elderberry bush and other herbs, is so delightful to me.  It truly refreshes me to see how many natural things God put around me to help my family.  

Back into the house to check on my beans.  Fourteen quarts done, all sealed, and ready to save for a cold winter day.  Love when I use lids over again and they all seal.  I know, probably shouldn't do that, but it does work, and I don't have to spend extra money.  :)

Everyone ran off to bed, I sat down to check a few things online, and I looked out the patio door to a beautiful moon.  As I stood there and watched, a bat was flying in the back yard.  Now, usually I'm not a fan of bats, but that one was doing a fine job and catching bugs, I just know it.

I really enjoy where we live.  The sights and sounds are so lovely.  The neighbors are great, which helps.  The dreams can come to life, and the children can be a part of that, hopefully something that will be truly a blessing to us and our community.  Time to close things up and head to bed.  A work day tomorrow, blueberry picking, and maybe some fun in the evening.  Our days get full, but I wouldn't want them any other way.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

While Waiting for Customers

The children have been running the produce stand again this summer.  They are open on Mon, Tues, and Fridays.  They've upgraded to a shed to keep them out of bad weather, but so far we've had perfect days when they are open.  The garden isn't in full swing just yet.  I'm thinking in a a couple more weeks, we'll have the shed full of yummy, nutritious produce.  They are also selling homemade items such as jewelry and jams.  The baked goods are by special order only.  That reduces the extra baked items left over that we have to eat.  :)

They are enjoying the gorgeous days we've been having.  Playing outside on the farm stuff and with the animals keeps them entertained while waiting for customers.

Alegra has been really reading and practicing her photography hobby.  She's been taking portraits of her siblings and of garden items.  I thought I should share her best shots here, so she can look back through them when she becomes a professional.  :)

And last but not least, I got tractor lessons.  It was a snap!  :)  Wood hauling has been filling our spare time.  It feels good to get the barn full of wood for winter.

Our blueberries are doing great!  We are so excited for when we can officially open for a U-Pick.  We'll need another summer of root growth to strengthen the plant, then I think we'll be ready to invite you all to come enjoy our berries.  So excited!!!  We did go through and pick blossoms off, but we found that we missed quite a few, so those were a special treat.

We've had such a lovely summer so far of bike rides, kayaking, swimming, fun with friends, bale jumping, and the warmth from the sun.  We are blessed and I have to remind myself often of that, so I don't take this life for granted.  He gives and He takes.  Right now, He is giving to us, and we love all of His good gifts that He's giving.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Troyer Wedding- 4th of July

We had a full weekend over the 4th of July of partying, fellowshiping, and just hanging out with those we love the most.  Wedding set up, massages for friends, family gathering with the Bovees, wedding, fellowship on Sabbath, then hanging out with my family for supper, fun, and fireworks to end it all.  Phew, we were whipped after that weekend, but filled up with lots of good memories and fun!  This post is only of the wedding.  I've included a few decorative pics, but mostly people pictures from the wedding.  If you want to see the full post on the decorations for this wedding, check out my CLB CeLeBrations Blog here.