Sunday, July 28, 2013

Journey finds a bug, and adorableness ensues

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

6th Anniversary


Somewhere on the computer I think there is a 2008 but it's just the 2 of us, not as cute as the next bunch of pictures ;)




We celebrated 6 years of wedded bliss last week. We always go back to the place where our reception was held and take pictures by the fountains. Luckily for us we live in the same city now so it's right around the corner! We stopped by after church for pictures, then, since we had been given a gift card, went to Red Robin for a family celebration lunch. After that, like a true married-for-a-long-time couple, we went to Home Depot-because we had a coupon and a new home's work is never finished, and then spent the evening babysitting my niece. It was a great day!

The past 6 years have been so exciting, we always wonder how the next year will top it. So far we haven't been disappointed! Year 7's biggest excitement will be the addition of child #4, as well as a new baby cousin on Eric's side of the family-8 grandchildren on that side and Jeb is the only boy...maybe they'll start to balance it out? We also have a few fun trips planned, and of course there's the regular every day excitement that is our lives <3 We are so blessed!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day trip to Mackinac

While at family camp in northern Michigan, we started talking about doing a day trip when Eric mentioned that we were less than an hour from the Mackinac bridge. That close, we couldn't NOT go! The kids were nervous going over the bridge, "how deep is it?" "Can cars fall?" "What would happen if that fence wasn't there, would we drive off?" "Are there whales in there?" but once we got to the other side they relaxed. We did the obligatory fudge shop visit and the drove into Straits State Park because the kids wanted to dip their toes into Lake Huron. We kept finding great trails to hike to view the bridge, but the water was either impossible to get to or looked iffy.

Finally we found lake access near the campground where the shore was clean and we could dip our toes.

Then off to a U.P. diner for some pasties and we taught the kids to end their sentences with 'eh?'

Then a walk by the marina

Then we went into a couple of cheesy tourist shops, where Jeb saw a picture of the Mackinac bridge all lit up at night and asked if we could drive on the bridge with the lights on. Why not? We checked out a cool Ojibwe Museum, wandered through a few more cheesy gift shops to kill some time, stopped by Saint Anthony's rock:

Then walked around Father Marquette Memorial, which had some very cool things to see, as well as a nice view of the bridge. We did a ton of walking in the UP, and the kids did great! Jeb loved following the trail signs and acted as our guide.

This was the floor of a cool pavillion with stories about Father Marquette.

Journey is always excited to see her name!

And finally, it started to get dark, the lights to the bridge turned on, and we drove back over with happy, sleepy, adventurous kids.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Family Camp

Friends of ours have been inviting us to their church camp for family camp week for a few years now, and it keeps not working out. This year we finally made it work and we had a blast!

Eric ran in the Tough Mudder the day we left, so we got a pretty late start and didn't get to camp until after bedtime.

We had a great week with friends, playing on the beach, hiking, and the best part-free meals that were for the most part real food with fresh fruits and veggies, etc. I had brought a grocery bag full of Journey friendly foods in case it was all canned and pre-made foods, but the cook there was great and doesn't think anyone should eat foods like that. It was a nice surprise!

Jeb spent a lot of time in this water treadmill!

Going on a hike-they thought they might need their little flashlights

Hugs for the best brother after he ran back up the path (lit flashlight in hand) to find the flashlight she dropped.

Exhausted, dirty, and happy on our last day

Vivi practicing some of her afforementioned bravery, jumping off high things. She was also very proud of herself for jumping off the dock and 'swimming' up to shore, just like Jebby was doing.

Our cabin. They were doing some rennovations to the camp and the noise of the tractors and chainsaws bothered Vivi, so she used her headphones a lot.

We also made a mid-week trip even further north, but that's another post full of pictures!
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Overdue farm update

I had posted a picture a couple of months ago of some cute little chicks and mentioned that it was our new science/business venture. Well that little venture grew into a big venture with a coop and a fenced yard for 15. We began with the idea of raising hens for eggs for health reasons, science, and if we end up with more than we can eat, to sell. When we went to a local farm to put a deposit on a coop, he gave the kids free week old chicks. We told the kids up front that if they grew up to be boys, we were going to eat them, and sure enough, 2 of them for sure are/were roosters.

It has become such a part of daily life that I haven't mentioned it much, but if you were wondering how that turned out, I'll s hare a story from this one of this week's homeschool lessons. Jeb was reading a short story about bad foxes who planned to nab some pigs for a snack. I asked what nab means and he couldn't remember, so I gave him a clue. "What do the foxes have to do before they eat a pig?"

He answered "Well first you have to kill it and let all the blood drain out. Then you put it in hot water so you can pluck it, then you cut it up and cook it, and then you eat it.". He went on to argue that the foxes aren't bad, they just want to eat some pigs, and eating animals is not bad. Just another day on the farm :)

A couple of weeks before we heard our first crow, a friend who also has chickens needed to get rid of 2 roosters who had started crowing. She was ok with them becoming dinner, she just didn't want them on her table, so she gave them to us. They were silkie chickens which are black chickens. Their bones, skin, and even parts of the meat have a gray/blue/blackish tint. Kind of strange, but they were delicious!

Those of you who know Eric will be very surprised that at the last minute, he made the decision to do the processing himself, rather than pay a butcher to do it. To be honest, right up until he came in and said the deed was done, I was kind of expecting him to come back in and, appropriately, chicken out. But he did it and he did great! We found a step by step website with pictures, and it really wasn't all that hard. This weekend he processed the first chicken we raised ourselves, he's resting in the fridge waiting to be carved up, and this morning the other one we're sure is a rooster started attempting to crow. We knew his time was coming because both guys started picking on the hens a few days before they started crowing. There are 2 more that we're not sure of yet, so until they lay an egg or crow, they get to stay and keep getting fatter :)

No eggs yet, we should start getting them by the end of the month.

Here are a couple of pictures, all grown up.

 This girl should lay greenish eggs

The guy with the black head and brown wings below is in our freezer