Friday, September 19, 2014

Flashback 2009

I was sorting through pictures on our external hard drive and I ran across these videos from June of 2009.  The girls had only been home 3 months.    They are so precious, I can barely stand it.  They were taken on the girls first trip to Indiana to see my family. 




Where did my sweet angels go?

Oh...there they are.  Just growing up way too fast!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

And Then There Were Three

The twins decided to play soccer this year and so now the madness of having 3 children in soccer has begun.  Luckily, the twins are on the same team. 

The girls first game was Saturday and they tied 4-4 but Essie scored!

The girls played their 2nd game tonight and won 7-0.
Essie had 1 goal and Chloe had 2!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spreading Their Wings

With my parents here for a long weekend to celebrate the girls' birthday, you know I'm going to find some homesteading projects for my Dad to help with.  The list was quite short this time as he seems to be getting into this retirement thing.  =).  One project was to fence in the part of the garden still producing in order to let the chickens & ducks have the run of the rest of the garden.  By the end of the gardening season, the soil is quite compact so I like to let my animals do the cultivating & fertilizing of it for me over the fall/winter.  Its always fun to watch them realize the harvest awaits them. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Girls 9th Birthday

We finally had the girls' birthday party tonight. Meemaw & Grandpa Neild came down from IN yesterday but Dad had to work late.  So after AJ's first soccer game of the season and the girls' soccer practice, we enjoyed dinner with the whole Kinnell clan and another awesome cake made by Dad.

The girls are really into Garfield.  They love to read Garfield comic books from the library.

All those candles make quite a stink!

So excited to open presents!

Legos & Easy Bake Oven from Aunt Buffy

Outfits from Grandpa & Meemaw

New UK shirts!

New soccer balls & bags from Grandma & Grandpa Kinnell

New CD player with adapter to play their MP3 from Mom & Dad.  The girls really love listening to music and stories on CD.  It is one of their favorite things.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Sunflower Forest

I believe this is the 5th year of my garden, though it expands every year.  Three years ago I planted some sunflowers and the last two years, I haven't planted any, but they keep multiplying and multiplying 
(thank you, birds).  
This year, they popped up everywhere and I'm too sentimental to pull them out or transplant them into nice neat rows.   I ended up calling my garden "the forest".  Matt called it ugly.

The sunflowers ended up 10-12' tall.  Their roots spread quickly through the top few layers of mulch but that meant they weren't anchored very well in the soil.  A few strong storms and some started to lean pretty badly.

Look closely to see all those lovely pollinators!

They grew in single stalks and with multiple branches containing multiple heads.

 This is all from one stalk!

One main stalk with multiple branches

Some were not so pretty, but this was an enormous head, which meant lots of seeds for the chickens (free food!) as long as I could harvest it before the finches got to it.

The chickens love it when a hang a few stalks on their fence.

The sunflowers really provided too much shade for the vegetable garden so as soon as each stalk died off, we pulled them out.  The root balls were so massive that we ended up just chopping them off.  I threw them into the chickens so they can scratch off the dirt and bugs.  I'll burn them once they dry out.  

She did it!

Some were as big as my head!

And of course they offered wonderful embellishments for our girls' swords!
Essie even tried to glue it on.

AJ mulched up the stalks and the chickens had a ball scratching threw their new bedding.
p.s. The wonder of using power tools has worn off on this boy (dang it!) & now he just complains about working (typical American tween!)

There are multiple reasons I love sunflowers.
                                                 1) They attract pollinators
                                                 2) Free food for the chickens
                                                 3) They are beautiful!
                                                 4) I didn't plant a single one

Thursday, August 14, 2014

AJ's 4 Year Anniversary

We celebrated this kid tonight as he has now been home 4 years.  Of course every Ethiopian American family celebrates with Chinese food, right?  =)  Can't help it, the kid loves the stuff.

When I was putting AJ to bed tonight, I was reminiscing about when he first came home and how little he was.  He said, "I wasn't little. I was 8. Little is like 3 or 5."  I just said, "ok, buddy." and then thought back to how little he really was when he first came home.