Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Basement Bathroom

IMG 4940“Remodelation” on a new bathroom in our basement has begun! We currently have 4 children living in our basement and 7 children sharing one bathroom in our home. Late at night it can feel like quite the trek to get to a bathroom in the middle of the night, so we thought it would be nice to add a bathroom to our basement, for the children’s sake, you know.
IMG 4942We had several church members happily volunteer to help with demolition of all kinds of things in our basement. We needed the ground jack-hammered and walls taken down.
IMG 4947We ladies made sure to stay hydrated, so we could take care of the children and have a little supper ready for the men when they finished all of their hard work.
IMG 4959They dug into the concrete leaving a huge mess of dirt and concrete chunks which needed to be disposed of somewhere.
IMG 4966That somewhere ended up being in buckets which were then carried up the stairs and out to our dumpster. Thankfully everyone pitched in, so it made for less trips up the stairs, but man was it all super heavy.IMG 4974It’s beginning to look a lot like a sump pump hole!
IMG 4978We could not be any happier with what was accomplished in one day. Demo went really well and we are on our way to a new bathroom.
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Monday, November 14, 2016

4th of July

IMG 3923We spent the the 4th of July with friends who live quite close to a big fireworks show.
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 We had a small little show of our own and then headed out for the big show.
IMG 3937It was like we were sitting directly underneath the fireworks. They were beautiful. Every year Jared always tells me to sit back and enjoy the fireworks, but I can’t help but take photos of them. They’re just so beautiful not to share and remember for later.
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 I also get to practice my photography skills a little. I use a tripod, so I don't get any camera shake when I press the shutter button. I actually do get to enjoy the show because I'm not actually holding a camera.
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IMG 3961I usually focus my camera and then I use a remote to press the shutter down, so I don't even touch the camera. I think it helps the photos come out cleat and with very little blur.
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Friday, November 11, 2016


IMG 3919Moving into a home built in the 70’s we knew that we’d need to do a little updating. For instance, did you know that the tiny little basement windows are no longer up to code?
IMG 3223With all of the plans we have for this house we knew that the first thing an inspector would look at would be these windows, so while I had big plans for a new bathroom in the basement egress windows were the priority.IMG 4671A big reason for having to change out the windows was because four of our children actually live in the basement. Can you imagine trying to crawl out that tiny little window? My children are small and thin, but still. Yikes!
IMG 3515I can’t believe how much more light comes in when you cut out part of the wall.
IMG 6107Windows are in and finished. We are just needing to do a little touching up around the windows, you know, like painting and cleaning up. I’m sure that will happen in due time. We’ve since moved on to bigger and better things.
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Garden in July

IMG 3985As the summer started heating up I’d go out to the garden looking and hoping to find some vegetables that were ready to eat. Things seemed to move a little slow for me, but when I spotted some zucchini I was about to just rip it off the vine just to say, “We have food!” I restrained myself, though, and once this little zucchini was finally ready there was much more to follow.
IMG 3995I was leery about our corn being knee high by the 4th of July, but it started growing like weeds. Soon we couldn’t even find our children in the corn!
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IMG 4003Our little chicks weren't so little anymore. They started roaming around and exploring much more as the weather warmed up.

IMG 4004That little white chicken soon became known as Elvis and he now has several girls in his flock.IMG 4611Our green peppers were growing abundantly which has been quite nice since in years past they didn’t grow too well.
IMG 4612 We even picked up a few purple peppers. Did you know there was such a thing? I had no idea. They taste just like green peppers, not too sweet.
IMG 4614Again, it took longer than I thought, but the tomatoes were finally starting to grow. For the longest time, we just had a ton of little flowers.
IMG 4615We were getting so many jalapeƱos that they began weighing down the plants.IMG 4623This year we decided to try something new by growing green beans at the base of the corn so that they would climb the corn stalks.
IMG 4626I’ve read that San Marzano tomatoes have the least amount of liquid in them making them a good choice for making tomato past and sauces. We decided to try quite a few of those plants, so I could can or freeze them.
IMG 4629When I thought our kale wasn’t going to make it my sweet husband went and bought a few more starts. Somehow the kale that I didn’t think was going to make it pulled through and now we’ll be eating kale all winter. Oops!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


IMG 4438Earlier this summer we had a chicken that went broody. She wouldn’t leave the nesting box and every time we went to collect eggs from underneath her, she pecked us.
IMG 4590My children convinced me to let the chicken set on the eggs and hatch them. I agreed to it thinking nothing would happen. 21 days later, Rachel went out to collect eggs and heard a little squeaking. Lo and behold we have a baby chick!
IMG 4665The kids were so excited. We moved mom and baby to their own little area in the coop and momma was quite protective of that little chick. She shielded the chick whenever any of us came around or if another chicken tried to come close.
IMG 4591All we’ve done to care for this little chick and momma is make sure they have enough food and water, and momma chicken does all the work.

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We don’t have to worry that the chick is warm enough or getting enough food. It’s been much easier hatching a chick than I originally thought. We may have to do this again sometime.
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These days this little chick is about 3 months old and growing like a weed. She still sticks by her momma even though there are many times that Momma tries to ditch her. It’s pretty fun to watch this pair around the yard. So, what do you think? Hen or too?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hot Air

IMG 3463Every year the town of Erie hosts a hot air balloon festival. We’ve never attended it, but now I’m pretty sure that we don’t have to. We get our own little show right from our house.
IMG 3480When the weather is nice we often have all the doors and windows in our house open.
IMG 3483This particular morning I heard a strange noise outside, so I went to check  it out only to find a balloon right over our house. I could hear the hot air blowing into the balloon. 
IMG 3491I have never seen hot air balloons up close. I could see the people inside and the baskets are much bigger than I thought they were. I’m pretty scared of heights, so you probably won’t find me in a balloon too soon, but they were so fun to watch. 
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Friday, October 7, 2016


IMG 4899With the long winter we were eager to get going on our garden, so we got cold vegetables in as early as we could, but then 2 feet of snow hit. Ahh!! IMG 3538The weather did end up warming up after awhile and we got the entire garden planted.

IMG 3738Then the weeds started growing,
IMG 3735and the hundreds of rabbit,s on our property, began enjoying our crops, so we built a fence one afternoon.
IMG 3854The weather decided to skip spring and go straight to summer. Our poor cold weather crops didn’t know how to handle it, so they went to seed pretty quickly.
IMG 3874A hail storm hit in late spring and I thought I lost my onions, but instead they grew a little longer, and then it got too hot for them and they went to seed.IMG 3860When I thought our beets were a lost cause I went out one day and they had bounced back and were super bushy.
IMG 3877The corn was knee high before the 4th of July!
IMG 3895We built a little trellis for the cucumbers, but they felt like spreading their leaves rather than climbing, so we had to go along and train them to go up the fence manually.
IMG 3881We planted 120 tomato plants hoping for a large crop so I could can vine-ripened tomatoes for the winter. There’s just something about the flavor of vine-ripened tomatoes from your own garden that a grocery store tomato can’t beat.
IMG 3897I forgot about how zucchini plants grow to an enormous size, so when my husband only planted four plants I was a little skeptical. I wasn’t sure there would be enough zucchini to feed our family.