Her 8th Birthday Re-cap

 She requested BLTs on homemade bread, BBQ chips, fruit salad and juice that wasn't watered down (lol).

 So many delightful presents.


 And she made and wrapped presents for herself. Including the little doll pillow
 and the American Girl doll bag.
 Fellow party animals:

 Her cake of choice was coffee cake.

Super simple, but she said that it was the 'best birthday ever'.

His homemade gift for his sister

Adrian was anticipating his sister's birthday coming up.  He collected this pink shirt and the fabric and came to tell me what he wanted me to help him do with it.  He had the perfect gift all planned.  I started to give advice, but then stopped myself.  I said 'We can make this happen'.   And we did. Here is what he made. Isn't it fantastic?
 Adrian wrapped it all up for her.
And look at her opening it!  She LOVES it!


 This is one of those moments that I will look back fondly on.  <3

Summer haying

 Without doubt, summer haying highlight of their summer. They sit here pretty much for the day. I even deliver meals.







Homegrown

While I would love to putter in my gardens all the live long day, life, kids, food prep (which feels like a full time job), LAUNDRY, heat, and other commitments get in the way.  My nighttime routine is I read with my littles, tuck them into bed and skedaddle to my lush and glorious green haven to do as much as possible before the swarming mosquitoes overtake my blissful evening.  I can already notice how the days are getting shorter, but try not to dwell on the time I'm losing. 
Frozen raspberries
I've got:
Beach sand between my toes
Garden dirt under my fingernails
Skin that's sunkissed and salty from ocean waters and sweat
Chickens all tucked in and eggs a plenty
A garden with lots there and more coming, including the first zucchini to be picked tomorrow
Gorgeous blooms wherever I look
2 quarts of raspberries, an armload of rhubarb and a precious early tomato to bring in
Counters full with herbs to dry, salad greens to chop and a bowl full of the first green beans
Sink full of dirty dishes
A fridge with yesterday's bounty that I never got around to processing
Fresh bread on the counter
Laundry in need of folding
Vases filled with flowers everywhere
More seeds on order
Books awaiting
A bright sunset promising another day of heat
So many plans for this space
3 littles tucked in and a hard working husband
A heart that's full from living my dream.
White pizza-my dough, garlic, oregano, basil.
Strawberry Rhubarb pound cake-my homegrown strawberry rhubarb compote

Cherry bars-grew these cherries.



ICE CREAM!

 So thankful for our milkman.  Our milkman also delivers cream.  Ice cream, you scream, we've been making ice cream! Oreo!  Blueberry!  Vanilla!  What's next?


Definitely a perk of summer!




Nature

One of our habits is a daily nature walk.  Pair that with most of our day outside, we are regularly learning about nature. Just this last week, on our walks, we have seen deer, turkey vultures, hawks, great blue heron, ducks with ducklings, geese with goslings, turkeys with poults, a beaver plus a plethora of chipmunks, squirrels, birds and screaming crows (we have the rowdiest crows ever!). Kids have found about a dozen empty turkey eggs, empty robin eggs and some other miniature brown speckled eggs.  We have quite the collection of nests. Kids love to pick leaves and see if the others can identify the plant or tree. We forage for edibles. We collect and mount bugs. We collect and press wildflowers. We collect and fish with worms. We record in our nature journal almost daily over the summer. 
 The live animals keep coming in.  We raised a bunch of tadpoles this spring.  We now have black swallowtail caterpillars inside.  Watching the changes of a black swallowtail is something new for us (we mostly have done monarchs).
 This was really cool.  Audra found a spider laying eggs on a maple leaf.  We brought that in and put in a jar.  She laid the rest of her eggs, covered them and the spiders have hatched and are growing. We just released them in the field.
Summer in Maine, there are so many things to explore outside.  Love my miniature scientists.

Summer "Trick or Treat".

 Our church had a 'trick or treat' activity. Folks drove up, kids held their bags out the windows and each station slipped a summer fun thing in their bags.  We gave out seeds.   Only the folks who went up to the people were requested to wear masks.  Anna-Kate just wore hers because everyone else was.  It was nice to go somewhere with people. We've missed our friends.

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