Monday, July 19, 2010

Good Pickins

We have been fortunate enough to inherit a fantastic strawberry and raspberry patch left by the previous neighbors. Our raspberries have several weeks to go until they'll be ready to pick, but the strawberries are comin' on strong! I was out weeding last week and the kids had a great time picking through the plants to find little red nuggets of sweetness.

The only problem was that Mack was eating them as fast as we could pick them!

Lily had great fun smearing strawberries across her lips like lipstick.

I've sure enjoyed the little camera on my Blackberry. It takes pretty decent pictures and I always have it with me to catch spontaneous moments like these.

Monday, July 12, 2010

We love Daddy, Yessiree!

Dan is in Pinedale, Wyoming this week on a natural gas rig (Brian's rig actually, what are the odds?) getting familiar with things before he heads off to Houston on Sunday. Lily is really starting to miss her Dad and I fear it's going to be a LOOONG 10 weeks! I'm going to Pinedale on Thursday and Friday to stay at Dan's hotel and spend some private time together before he leaves. Or as my cousin Josh puts it, "Gotta fill the canteen before he goes off to war"!

Just feeling sentimental today and so grateful for the sacrifices Dan is making for our family. I'll post more about his job and how it all came about later. But for now, here is a pic of Dan and the kids on Father's Day:

That is NOT a bald spot on the top of Dan's head, it's a sun dapple. That patch in the front is, though! :) Love you, Bin!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And...We're Back!

I'm pretty sure this is the longest blogging hiatus I have taken since starting my blog over three years ago. Life has been very busy and full of changes for our family of 5. Briefly, here's what's been going on:

  • Dan has started a new job with Halliburton (oil/natural gas) and will be leaving for Houston on July 18 to attend a 10 week school for drilling fluids engineers. Yep, he'll be gone 'til October. After completing mud school he will work 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off as a mud engineer in Pinedale, Wyoming (about 3 hours away). He will continue to write patents as cases become available, but in the meantime we're SUPER excited about having a steady paycheck and great health insurance.
  • The kids and I have planted a large garden this year: peas, carrots, green beans, soy beans, tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, garlic, spinach, swiss chard, potatoes, and pumpkins. My mom and sister donated lots of supplies, including soaker hoses which have made irrigation so convenient. The kids, especially Mack, love digging in the dirt and watching all of our plants grow.
  • I have gone from a size 12 to a size 8 since March when I began participating at Healthy Wife Happy Life. I took the month of June off but tried to still eat sensibly and exercise. I've maintained my weight, but gone a little soft, so I'm starting back on the blog this week. I've found that I love running and I plan to run a 5K on the 24th of July.
  • I've started writing some articles for our local newspaper. They want me to take over as the editor at the end of the summer, but I just can't take on that big of a task, especially considering that it's all done on a volunteer basis and I'll be a single parent for the next few months. You can read some of my articles here in the June and July issues.
  • I coached Amelia's T-ball team during the month of June. At first I just volunteered out of a sense of obligation to get involved in the community. No one was more surprised than me to find that I really enjoyed it! I'm no baseball expert, but I sure had fun with all the little kids!
  • I went to Girls Camp for the first time in 20 years. It was SO MUCH FUN! I can't figure out why I only went once as a teenager. It was so fun being out in nature, enjoying all of God's wonders, all the while not having to worry about my children falling in the fire or whining all night in the tent. I had a blast telling stories and being goofy with all the girls. I'm totally planning to go again next year.
  • Mack is 18 months old now (hooray for nursery at church!) and wants to spend every waking moment outside. He doesn't talk much, no "Mama" or "Dada", just ball "bawww", dog "dah" and horse "ho". He loves to play with balls, climb on Amelia's bike, eat breakfast first thing in the morning (he loves food!) and snuggle with his woobie.
  • Amelia learned to ride a bike with training wheels last month. She picked up on it right away, a real natural, and spends a large part of each summer day out riding her bike. Her speech has really improved in the last few months, she can say her "L's" and she enunciates her words quite well. Just last week we said goodbye to Pull-ups at night and she sleeps in her big girl panties now. She's really excited to start preschool in the fall.
  • Lily is in hog heaven with summer vacation and long days spent outside. She has a large circle of friends and loves to explore and collect treasures (and hoard them in her bunk bed) she finds outside. She's still an avid Hardy Boys fan and the only thing she doesn't like about summer is that there's no clogging classes until September. She hasn't been able to ride her horse much this season because Dan has been gone, but we might still be able to get her into the rodeo for the 24th of July.
  • We finally started having the girls do regular chores everyday and it has really helped me with my workload and it's teaching the girls to be more responsible.
I hope to write more detailed posts about all of these happenings, but for now this will have to suffice. Here are our three little firecrackers on the 4th of July: