Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Chicks in the House

Our new chickens: Tawny and Pepper (for obvious reasons!)

The limb that fell off the tree next door. Can you see the hollow inside?

Silas and Micah in front of our tent.

No, not actually in the house. But we were given some chicks - 6 week old ones. We don't know yet if they are hens or roosters. We have been talking about whether or not to get some chickens. Last Monday, a lady from church called us and said she didn't want her two chickens, and asked if we wanted them. So here we are. Our plan now is to get a few more when Jeremy builds a bigger coop. Two chickens won't provide enough eggs for our family - especially if one ends up being a rooster!

I had some more pictures I wanted to share with you. We camped one night on the way to our conference last month, and really enjoyed ourselves. By the time we got into the campground and set up the tent, we didn't have time to build the fire and let the boys roast marshmallows like we had promised, so we did it after breakfast the next morning. Nothing like a lot of sweet early in the morning!

Our church will be having VBS in July starting on the 13th. We are getting ready for that. We are doing Son Rock camp (I think that's what it's called). We might even set up our tent for decoration. So far, we have enough workers that I won't need to be involved. I don't mind helping, but trying to lead or teach is difficult when I have so many little ones that can't go. But I think we have all of the teachers we need.

We are planning a big 4th of July picnic here at the church this year. Jeremy has been making big plans, and from what I hear everyone is excited about it! It will start at 10 am with a ping pong tournament inside the fellowship hall. Around noon, there will be a BBQ/potluck. The church is providing the meat and buns with the church family bringing sides, etc. During the afternoon, Jeremy is planning on having lots of different games available for people to play - like croquet, kick ball, frisbee golf, etc. Then in the evening, they will be showing a movie outside (with the movie being projected up on the outside wall of the building). I think they will show WallE or something like that. We are hoping for a big turnout of church people, and hopefully they will personally invite their friends to come as well.
Jeremy's mom and sister came to visit us a couple of weeks ago. We really enjoyed our time together. On Jeremy's day off while they were here, we took a hike behind the park in Eureka (Robby ended up with a tick), and then we walked around old town Eureka. We had a good time. The day before they left, part of a tree right in front of the business next door cracked and crashed to the ground. It was quite an interesting sound. We are grateful that it didn't hit the church or our house and that no one was hurt. When we went over to investigate, we saw that the inside of the tree was completely hollow.
Annalee has gotten her first tooth. I can't believe how time flies. I don't know that it's ever easier to see how quickly time flies than when you have a newborn baby. It seems like she was born just yesterday! She is not crawling yet, but rocking back and forth on her hands and knees. And she loves her homemade baby cereal. We started making her cereal out of brown rice flour and white bean flour. We mix them together, then cook them in a dry pot until slightly brown. Then we keep it in the freezer. It cooks in just a minute in the microwave, then we add fruit. Not only does Anna really enjoy it, but also Micah and Zeke. They are constantly asking Dad if they can have some, too.
I posted a recipe for dishwasher soap a while ago and mentioned that I also had a recipe for laundry soap. Well, I had someone email me and ask me for the recipe, so I thought I would post it for anyone else that might want it. I have been using this laundry soap for 4 years now.
Laundry Soap
1 bar Fels Naptha
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
1 cup Borax
Grate the Fels Naptha soap into a pan; add 4 cups of water. Cook over medium (or low) heat until soap is dissolved. Pour into a 5 gallon bucket and add 3 gallons of hot tap water. Stir in washing soda and Borax. Stir until well mixed. Let set up over night. This only takes about 1/3 cup or so per load. I don't measure it - I just use an old laundry scoop. I find Fels Naptha, washing soda and Borax at WinCo (can also be ordered online).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Conference at Graeagle

We're home! We had such a wonderful time at conference this week! It all started Sunday when we tried to leave around 3:30 pm to find out that our battery was dead! I had plugged in our cooler (in the van) before church so that it would be cool for us to put food in by the time we were ready to go. Combined with the boys leaving the doors open the whole time we were trying to pack, we ended up with a dead battery when we were finally ready to leave. So we ended up having two board members come over to help us jump the van. So we didn't really get to leave until around 5 pm. We drove to Redding and camped just outside of Redding on Sunday night (the little town was actually called Whiskeytown). We got there too late to have a fire and roast marshmallows like we had promised the boys. By the time we set up the tent and got everyone ready for bed, it was around 9:30pm. So we let the boys roast marshmallows the next morning after breakfast. Monday morning, we left Redding around 10:30 am, and arrived in Graeagle around 3:00pm. Lots of driving - however, the drive was beautiful. I love the rugged beauty of the Sierras! We stayed in a hotel for the week (as did many other VM families), but instead of a hotel room, we had a little cabin. That was wonderful! We didn't have to worry about waking up those underneath us, etc. Tuesday after the morning session, Jeremy had the opportunity to shoot a round of golf. He loved it, and said the course was amazing! They normally charge $130 per round, but allowed those that wanted to golf, to do so for free! What a blessing! The kids and I spent the afternoon in the green grassy area behind our cabin with the wives and kids of 3 other VM pastors. We had a great time of fellowship while we sat around and watched the kids play. Wednesday after lunch, our family drove into Portola and looked around downtown (very cute and quaint) before driving back to the cabin and letting the older boys go swimming in the pool. We decided to leave Thursday afternoon and miss the barbeque so that we could get home and get things ready for Jeremy's mom and sister coming on Saturday. We're so glad we did. The grass really needed to be mowed, the house cleaned, the van emptied, and the boys' hair all needed cutting.
Back to conference, the messages were great! Instead of having a speaker come in, it was set up so a different VM pastor spoke at all of the sessions about different topics. One was about vision in ministry (which I also felt could be applied to vision in family as well), pain in ministry, longevity in ministry. Jeremy and I both really enjoyed the speaking, and it was really neat to hear the difference in preaching styles. We are already looking forward to next year's conference - if they are able to get one together. We appreciate all of your prayers for our safety and refreshing. God answered mightily!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wonderful Days of Summer

On our way down to the tide pools at Patrick Point State Park. It was quite a climb!

A pulley that Jeremy and the boys rigged up in our backyard. The boys all love it!

Micah after watching a family movie. We thought this looked like he had been shot down, and had to take a picture!

I wrote the title tongue in cheek. We have had a break from the heat for the last few days, yesterday and today actually being cloudy. This afternoon, the sky broke open with a hailstorm - pretty good-sized hail, too. And it was really loud on the roof. Silas told me today that he doesn't like storms. I told him that God is showing us how powerful He is! It must have stuck a little, because he told his older brothers about it later.

Next week, we are going to a conference in Graeagle, CA. We will leave Sunday afternoon, and spend the night in Redding, before heading down on Monday. We are all excited! It gets over on Friday, and then we will be heading home. Jeremy's mom and sister are coming down for a visit on Saturday. So the next couple of weeks will be a whirlwind of activity, but we are very excited - both about the conference, and about our company.
I got a recipe from my mother-in-law for dishwashing soap. It has been so much fun to find all of these homemade recipes, and to see how we end up buying less and less from the actual grocery store! We have started making homemade laundry soap, dishwashing soap, cereal, granola, baby food; I still have recipes for different kinds of crackers, but just haven't tried making them yet. I thought I would start posting some of these recipes just in case someone else is interested in saving money, and making things from home.
Dishwashing Soap:
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/4 cup citric acid
I found the borax and washing soda at WinCo. The citric acid we found at the health food store, but is a little pricey - $7.99 a pound. But with the little bit we use for the soap, it is still at least comparative if not cheaper than what you can buy at the store. My mother-in-law just told me to put vinegar in for the RinseAid.