Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas 2014

This year we celebrated Christmas in Indiana with Amy's family.  Christmas morning, we opened presents with our immediate family.
Essie is obsessed with cutting things so a multi-design scissor set seemed like an appropriate gift for her. 

AJ says "I dominated..." all the time so a UK shirt that says "Dominate" fit the bill.

More arrows!

The week before Christmas there were some packages that appeared at our house from "Dave, Bob, & Larry".  The kids have been totally confused who would give them a gift as they don't know any group of people by that name.  The video explains it all.

Soccer ball iPod case

Dad's gift from the kids

Mom trying out her new selfie stick

Yep, it works!

Chloe trying out her new Spirograph

Friday, December 5, 2014

Girls Christmas Program

This is definitely a post for the grandparents and aunt and uncles.  The girls had their Christmas program last night at school.  Their grade has been studying Christmas celebrations in Mexico and several of the songs are in Spanish.  The girls are in the back row and are kinda hard to see but Chloe is in black & white strips and Essie has on pink stripes. 

There's our beautiful girls!
When did they get so grown-up?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Perfect Fall Evening

Just realized this post never got published in October.  Not sure why, but here ya go!

After one of AJ's soccer games that was a few counties away, we decided to head to one of our favorite local restaurants-Wallace Station!
The kids enjoyed playing horseshoes while we waited for our food. 



Dad loves these enormous sandwiches

And so does AJ!

ok, so do I

Compost Update

Just a quick update on the giant compost pile.
When the kids & I finished dumping all the leaves & garden debris in the pile, it measured 8 feet!

But then garden plans changed a bit again and we had to expand the compost pile.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Compost Crew

Fall is a composter's favorite season.  The leaves start falling and the neighbors start bagging them up.  This is my first fall with the truck and I've been putting it to good use, trust me. 
 This was part of the haul a few  weeks ago

 Some bags end up under the deck to use as bedding in the chicken coops throughout the winter.

Replace lattice and no one is the wiser regarding the 30 bags of leaves

 Some bags get spread out in the driveway and run through the mulcher

Beautiful shredded leaves

On Tuesday, the kids had the day off of school so I recruited these little helpers.

I decided to put some fencing around my giant compost pile this year since when I don't, the chickens just tear the pile apart in about 1 day.  I still plan to let the chickens in the pile on a weekly basis to stir things up and help break down the contents.  The pile contains not only leaves, but also all the tomato/pepper/sweet potato plants from the garden, litter from the duck & chicken houses, & several spent annuals from neighbor hanging baskets/potted plants.

Our neighbor Layni has learned a lot of composting and today, I dubbed the trio "The Compost Crew".

Today, the girls decided they wanted to help collect the leaves around town, not just unload them.

Four pick up truck loads later, we collect just about 100 bags  
(Can you see how high the compost pile is in the background on the left of the picture?)

The best part of the day, Essie pulled this stick out of the fire and in her best Alicia Keys impression, belted out, "This Stick is on FIRE-R".
She kills me sometimes.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Family Photo Shoot 2014

It's that time of year again - family photo time.  This year we had our pictures taken along the street in our town that divides Asbury University's campus from Asbury Seminary.  Our pictures were taken on both campuses.  Here are the results:

Essie, age 9

Chloe, age 9

A.J. - age 12

Matt & A.J. pose with Charles Wesley

This picture is taken outside the chapel where Mom & Dad got married!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall Is Upon Us

Fall is here.  It's not my favorite season because it means winter is coming soon, but it does bring the opportunity for lots of leaves to use in the garden.  I fenced in the small portion of garden that is still producing and let the chickens and ducks run the rest of it.  They are loving all the new dirt to scratch around in as well as cleaning up the remnants of the garden.

I've already collected half a dozen bags of leaves/yard waste that people have thrown out.  Definitely great entertainment for the chickens and by next spring, it will be great compost for our garden!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Few Pictures from a Nice Sunday

Last Sunday was Dad's birthday, and Mom was out of town for an adoption conference, so it was just Dad and the kids.

Everyone out the door and dressed for church!

AJ had a late afternoon soccer game in a nearby town where one of Dad's favorite restaurants is.  So Dad got birthday dinner at Wallace Station.

While waiting for our food, the kids tried their hand a horseshoes.