Forever is composed of nows. ~Emily Dickinson
We have had the great pleasure of watching approximately 16 monarchs develop from tiny caterpillars to butterfly. We gathered the catterpillars ourselves off milkweed plants and kept them in two big jars. After the very hungry caterpillars ate their fill, each one formed itself into a chrysalis and then hatched into a beautiful butterfly. We would often see them come out of their chrysalis in the mornings. They are all gone now, the jars are empty. I miss watching them, but we have many monarch butterfly sightings every day around the house, and I’m sure they are the ones we raised. I feel sort of motherly toward them.
We had so much rain this weekend that the ponds finally filled up! The water was clean and cool.
I sat outside and watched David and Caleb enjoy an afternoon of swimming……..
They were inspired by all the diving and racing they saw on the Olympics.
Our chicks are growing nicely. Each morning, I take Seth and Sarah down to the coop to see how they’re doing. We give them water and food, and watch them.
I wondered why the one on the far right had a piece of blue yarn around it’s ankle. I found out today that Ethan did it, so that he could quickly tell HIS chick from the others.
We have been eating a lot of tossed salad lately. Davy and I decided to try making our own dressing. It was so fun, and delicious!
I made a big pan of blueberry buckle. Also very delicious. It’s, as a matter of fact, already gone.
Seth got stuck. Sarah made me laugh when I was busy in the kitchen I heard her say very softly, “It’s okay, Seth. I’ll help you.” She was bent over, patting him, all serious.
I regret getting markers.
This morning, I took all the children out to the library. How can I explain what it’s like to get into the vehicle with a 15, 14, 12, 9, 7, 3, and 2 year old? It’s a riot! At one point, I made them each say something they loved and appreciated in one of their siblings. We also listened to music and just talked and talked.
They had a little bit of time to play on the new playground, too.
Everyone was hungry so I decided to take them to a pizza place. It ended up being such a nice time…we were able to sit in a corner and spread out with enough room for all of us. My heart….it just ached with joy to see them like this! My wonderful children, each one so special to me.
I keep my own set of “rock” crayons in my purse and the littles colored while we waited for our food. We also had a TV to ourselves, with a romote.
The pizza was so good. We got a medium cheese, and a large bacon and pepperoni. I brought home 2 leftover pieces and a couple crusts for the dog.
Back at home, it was reading time and naptime for Seth and Sarah. This is just some of our stack!
Jacob–likes unsolved mysteries, he also found Fastfood Nation and is reading that one now. I wonder if it will curb his appetite for McDonald’s? I hope so!
Ethan–the Warrior books
Grace–S.E.Hinton books (She’s read The Outsiders five times), animal books
David–Garfield comics, Series of Unfortunate Events
Caleb–snakes, snakes and more snakes and a book about an animal named “Binky”
I found Grace reading in her room.
I went downstairs to the boy’s room and Caleb showed me a page out of his book. so cute.
I took a picture of the wall above Caleb’s bed, which he has decorated himself with pictures of snakes and “snake shed” from the pipe that runs under the road.
He checks the pipe about once a week and there is always a snake skin in it!! He looks forward to seeing how big the next one will be.
My reading for the next few days (weeks?)……I’m currently enjoying The Dream, by Harry Bernstein, which is the sequal to The Invisible Wall, and is VERY GOOD. I cried when he met the love of his life, Ruby. He wrote this book after she died and it is dedicated to her, “the one whose love made The Dream come true”.
Also shown: Cruel Harvest, by Fran Elizabeth Grubb. I found this book at Barnes and Noble the other week. It’s a memoir written by a Christian lady and very good. She had a terrible childhood, and overcame it.
I plan on reading the charming book Susanna the Pioneer Cow, to the David and Caleb. The cover and title amuse me to no end.
Want to see my favorite reading spot?
Not only is there shade under a tree, birds singing, frogs croaking in the spring nearby, and the gentle sway of the hammock, but we recently put the hammock next to the chicken coop so I can look over at my hens now and then…….
Oh it was so relaxing. I changed into my pj’s and read here for about an hour today, and then Jacob ran down and yelled MOM the SCHWAN’S LADY IS HERE.
So I put my book away to go order ice cream and popcycles. In my pj’s.
And then our friends stopped by and we visited and swam in the pond. As soon as I could, I changed back into my jean skirt.
Before I knew it, it was dinnertime. My friend invited Jacob, Ethan, Grace, and Davy for dinner, so Rich and I just have three children with us.
I leave you with Ethan playing his guitar.
And the recipes!
CLASSIC FRENCH DRESSING
(source: Taste of Home magazine)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup sugar (I used a little less)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon paprika (what a beautiful color spice, isn’t it?)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
In a blender or food processor, combine the first seven ingredients; cover and process until blended. While processing, gradually add the oil in a stead stream. Process until thickened. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 1 2/3 cups (we doubled the recipe)
Blueberry Buckle (I doubled this and baked it in a 9 by 13)
(source: Betty Crocker cookbook)
2 Cups flour
3/4 Cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup shortening
3/4 Cup milk
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease round layer pan, 9 inch, or 8X8,or9X9 square.
Blend all ingredients; beat vigorously 1/2 minute, Carefully stir in 2 cups well drained blueberries. Pour into pan.
Mix together: 1/2 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup soft butter
Sprinkle over batter in pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Some motherhood quotes:
“The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant — and let the air out of the tires.” D. Parker
“A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” — Diana, Princess of Wales
“I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best I could bring to it.” — Rose Kennedy