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.

Picture Perfect

 When the whole northeast flocks to the coast for 4th of July weekend, we headed inland.
 We had this entire beach to ourselves for two hours. 
 Kids were swimming. Fish were biting. I read 2 chapters.  We even had an extended visit from a loon.
 A family day to treasure, for sure.

Happy 8th Birthday, Audra!

 Remembering,
Seven and a HALFSeven ,Six and a halfSix ,Five, 4 1/2,  Here's 4 , 3 1/23 years, 2 1/2 years2 years 18 months,  12 months,  9 months?  6 months?  3 months?  Just being born 

Audra, you are EIGHT!  And you are thrilled to be 8.  You have your big day all planned, complete with a grocery list, agenda and wrapped presents that you made for yourself and wrapped for yourself. You have more spunk than anyone I know. Everything with you is an adventure. 

You are hilarious. The stuff you say, your vocabulary, your ideas. You keep us in stitches.  You spend most of your life moving, cartwheeling, biking fast, swimming underwater, being upside down or toting an animal around with you. You have much more energy than your parents. You are always up for an adventure. 

Things you hate:  Waiting. Things that are boring. Tidying. Anything you feel the effort isn't worth it. Being alone. Certainly keeps life interesting!

You love books. You will always stop everything to listen to me read to you, to read yourself or to listen to an audio book. You also love crafts. Dressing up old fashioned. But most of all, you really love your animals. 

One really great quality about you is you don't worry about a thing.  You don't really care about anything tangible.  You could lose all your money and that would be fine.  You could have nothing but the same outfit to wear on repeat. That would be fine. You could permanently lose one shoe, but have the other. That would be fine.  You typically live in the moment and are happy with whatever is present. 

You love people, family, siblings. You're a talker. Love to be around people. Love your friends. Love to write, especially in cursive.  Spelling things correctly is a waste of time in your book, but your creative spelling gets a smile out of us.  You are incredibly generous. We know the sure way to get your face to light up with delight.  Compliments. You radiate when you hear someone pour on the love.  

Audra, I think you are a mighty special girl and I am so thankful for the spunk you bring to our life. 
 I forgot to ask you the typical questions I ask every year about your future (favorites, what you want to be when you grow up, etc). Check back later, I will be sure to post them.


Mama Made x3

They decided this farming fabric was just perfect for matching play clothes for the three of them. It has chickens, bees, cows, sheep.  I delivered, a wee big so there is room to grow. There's still enough fabric left for matching shorts for daddy.  They are pleading I make them. I just might.


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