Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our Cute Pups

Daisy -- waiting with DadToCherubs
while the rest of the family shopped
at the DeKalb Farmers Market in Atlanta.
(15 yo Golden Retriever)

Bella -- enjoying the air conditioning.

(3 yo Great Pyrenees)

Jams, Jellies, and Preserves

Plum Preserves (reddish purple)
Peach Jam (orange)
GreenPepper Jelly (dark green along the wall)
Spearmint Jelly (lighter green in the middle)
Peppermint Jelly (red in front)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lake Oconee Vacation

Bunny sand castle.
Artist: Cherub 3
(above) Cherub 1 learning to drive the JetSki with DadToCherubs.

(below) Dumma playing ball with Daisy at the Island.
Cherub 1 found this HUGE clam while swimming.
This island is one of several that are scattered
throughout Lake Oconee (27 mile long lake).
It has a beautiful wooded area, and a nice sandy beach.
When the boat is pulled up and anchored,
the children run, swim, and play in the sand.
They love going to the Island.

Here is Dumma & GranMickey's boat
"at anchor" by the Island. See the fancy new seatcovers
that Dumma made for it ??
They are made of black fabric
with bright pink flamingos.
Very "lake-ish", arent't they ?!?!
Good job Dumma !

This little flock of Mallards live in the cove where Dumma's & GranMickey's lake house is located.
We all had great fun feeding them.

Cherubs swimming.
Daisy playing ball with Cherub 5 at the Island.

Cherub 5 caught a little Bluegill --
and Cherub 2 is looking on in disbelief.
She had been fishing for an hour without so much as a nibble,
but Cherub 5 tossed her hook into the water
and almost immediately caught this fish. HA !

Whenever the Cherubs go fishing, there are always
necessary fishing pole repairs to be done. HA !
Here is GranMickey working on a pole that got tangled.

Cherub 1, Cherub 4, and Cherub 2 looking on when

Cherub 5 caught ANOTHER little Bluegill.

Cherub 6 getting ready to jump back into the cove from the dock.
Everyone had a grand time taking turns on the Pirate Ship --

a little pedal-boat that belongs to my parents.

The children took it all over the cove to see ducks,

white blue and gray Herons, fish, turtles,

interesting plants, and also just for fun !!

We had a grand time on our mini-vacation to Lake Oconee.






Chocolate Mint







Monday, July 28, 2008

TA DA !!

The kitchen table is finished, thanks to Mr. Potts (THANK YOU MR. POTTS !!).

And it is not sticky ... and the bright color added some much needed "cheer" to our kitchen ...

It turned out great, didn't it ?!?!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gone Fishin' .... and Swimmin' .... and Playin' ....
( ... back in a few days ... )

Sales Tax Holiday

For All Of Tennessee

Date: Aug. 1-3

Tax Savings: 7%

Eligible Products:
(1.) Clothing and school supplies worth $100 or less.
(2.) A single purchase of a computer, software and/or computer accessories with a combined value of $1,500 or less. Cost is per item unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Local News: Library Book Sale

This weekend .....

** Friday, July 25 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Hardbacks are $2.00 and paperbacks are $1.00.

** Saturday, July 26 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Half-Price Day.

** Sunday, July 27 (12noon to 4 p.m.)
Bag Day with books costing $3.00 per bag
or two bags for $5.00.

Handicrafts ... or LifeSkills ...

Lessons Of The Day:
What To Do With A Boat-Load Of Vegetables Picked In One Morning ??

Tomatoes ripening on the counter (to be put in the freezer once they are ripe) ---
and lots of green peppers to be frozen for later ---

And MORE yellow squash, and a big ole' zucchini ---

Oh - and the rest of the greenbeans waiting to be cut and cleaned, then canned ---
And finally, a whole lot of Burpless Cucumbers (being picked up this afternoon by a friend, to make lots of pickles.)

Tis The Season ...

... well, not quite THAT season ... and not quite Heating season ... but it IS the season to gather firewood for winter.
DadToCherubs has been a busy guy. He has been going around the farm every few days to gather already-downed hardwood tree logs (with permission, of course). The farm is happy to have these downed trees cleared, and we are happy to have lots of free firewood.

He loads the logs (with Cherub Power -- 6 children who know how to work hard !!) on our little trailer, and then when he comes home, he puts them in a pile in the yard.
A dear friend loaned his log splitter to us for a little while, and so on the days inbetween "gathering", Cherub Power plus DadToCherubs cut to length, split, and stack the wood.
The pile is growing bit by bit -- and we hear there are lots of trees down along the fields here. So when the farm's field corn is chopped, DadToCherubs will head out along the field edges to gather ... and gather .... and gather. More Cherub Power will definately be needed on those adventures.

About Cherub Power -- having 6 children who are willing to work hard (and who love to be "paid" in icecream !) ...well, they are quite an Army when everyone is moving in the same direction, with a project and a goal. Now I understand even better why families of yesterday were often big families -- many hands DO manke light work.

We installed a woodstove insert last year to help heat this big old house. But we installed it in November, so it was too late to do much about finding and preparing firewood. So we bought wood periodically last year, which worked out fine except for our wallets. This year we hope to gather all of our own wood, and get it cut, split, and stacked ... all before the cold weather starts.

The Farm Manager drove by the other day, and stopped to joke with DadToCherubs (who is a professional computer nerd, and not an outdoors-man by habit) that he was going to get calluses on his baby-soft hands from REAL work (of course, he was kidding !). And the Dairyman stopped when DadToCherubs was chain sawing -- to joke "do you really know how to use that thing ?? It doesn't have a keyboard or a mouse, you know !"

Way to go, DadToCherubs !! We are looking forward to lots of warm toasty days this winter ... well, many not the winter part ... but the warm toasty part sounds good.

Recent Photos

Finally, a photo of the White Heron on the pond -- taken by Cherub 1.
Some friends came to visit that we had not seen in a longgggg time. We all had a lovely visit.
A Black Widow found on a log -- photo taken by Cherub 1.
The girls --- Cherub 2 and Cherub 5 headed out early this morning to fish a bit --- with "plans" for a nice dinner if they get a few bites.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A New Discovery On The Pond

(This is not my photo. I found it online when searching to identify our "Mystery Bird".)

We saw something WHITE flying over the pond a few days ago. It had a fairly-large wingspan, dark colored legs, and a bright orange beak. And it's body was solid white. But as it flew over, it was difficult to get a "good" look.

And then, last evening as I was driving in the driveway after a quick grocery trip, there was the white bird --- it was standing in the spring area of the pond. So I stopped for a good long time to observe this lovely creature. (That will teach me to take my camera everywhere -- even to the grocery store. Because you never know ..... )

And this morning, after searching in our Nature Guides, and then looking for more information online, we identified this gorgeous creature to be a White Heron.

There are two Great Blue Herons that feed almost nightly in the spring area of the pond, but we have never seen a White Heron before. So this was quite a treat !!

Sunday Dinner

Almost everything in these photos came from our garden, or was homemade:

Fried Zucchini
Fried Yellow Squash
Cucumbers & Sour Cream
Steamed Green Beans
Sliced Tomatoes
Sliced Cucumbers
Cole Slaw (made from Ms. K's homegrown purple cabbage)
Homemade Butter
Homemade Wheat Bread
Silver Queen Corn-On-The-Cob

This wonderful "spread" was served for our Sunday Family Dinner. Dinner a la summertime !!
The children were busy telling how-to-grow and how-to-harvest tips all through dinner.
They are turning into quite able gardeners !

Yummy Yogurt

We started a new project ....
making our own yogurt "from scratch".
And mixed with some of the strawberries
we froze a few months ago, it is DELICIOUS !!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Case Of The Sticky Table

The kitchen table set we bought following our housefire in March 2007 HAD to be square (to fit in the kitchen) and HAD to have 8 chairs (because there are 8 people in our family) ....

And finding such a set was difficult. We called or visited every furniture store within a 2 hour drive, and spent hours searching the internet. And finally we found this table set in a furniture store in the next town.

So, we found one, and we liked it. Until we used it those first few nights. It was then that we noticed that the finish on the tabletop and the actual seats of the chairs was eternally sticky.

Because we were dealing with all of the chaos after the fire, such a "minor" detail seemed unimportant, and quite honestly was forgotten unless we were sitting AT the table for a meal.

And so we tried everything .... but no matter how much we scrubbed and scoured, and regardless of what we used to clean (water, cleaners, etc) .... it was STICKY.

So, last weekend, after nearly 1 1/2 years of dealing with the Sticky Table .... we stripped the finish off all eight chairs and the table.

And then we sanded every single surface to ensure to had removed every last smidge of the defective sealer.
After the sanding, we primed the whole set with a good quality primer (the wood was not very pretty, so we opted for painting rather than staining) ....

Next came the Family Vote --- the table must be painted --- what color shall we paint it ??

And on Friday, DadToCherubs took the whole set to be professionally painted by a dear friend ...

So ... stay tuned ...

Summertime Visitors

Mr. I
Baby J swimming with Cherub 1
Little Miss S swimming with Cherub 1
Mr. J waiting patiently to go swimming.
The "Dragon" of the party -- Miss L swimming
(pretending to be a dragon who breathes fire)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Board Game Anyone ?

Take 1 plain wooden coffee table.
Give 11yo son a mouse sander and a quick lesson.
In a short while, you have one wooden
table stripped of it's finish,
and you have an 11yo son with
some woodworking experience.

Begin drawing game boards on the top of the

table in pencil. Be sure to use a ruler and a level.

Our children's favorites are checkers, chess,

and Othello, along with TicTacToe.

Use acrylic paint to fill in the game boards.

Recommendation: Make them colorful.

Finish painting gameboards and allow to dry.

Paint the base of the table with latex paint and allow to dry.

Final step: coat the whole table top with 2 coats

of heavy-duty sealer.

TA DA !!

A game table for 6 Cherubs ....

(just as soon as the sealer dries)