Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day is done...

..... gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is near.

Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky,
As we go, this we know:
God is near.

It was a good day. We accomplished some paperwork that needed doing; Dad and Andrew went to Bismarck as they had a long list of things to do; I worked in town; Mother had 2 new clients come to the farm; I talked to Grandma and got her cake order for Sunday; and it was lovely outside. It is now feeling very much like rain again though....

I realized tonight that I hadn't drawn names yet for the winners of my "1,000th post" giveaway. I will put the names in a hat tomorrow and have one of my brothers draw for me. :)

Remember, God is near. What a wonderful thought!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The crickets are chirping tonight!

Little Cricket
by Barry Lanier

The cricket's ballad sets the sun,
Bidding farewell, the day is done.
While twilight ushers in the dew,
Welcoming chirps, that bid adieu....

...Hark! O'er the valley, and the dell,
His ballad echoes, all is well.
The cricket's ballad sets the sun,
Bids farewell, the day is done.

PS. I know that it's God who sets the sun, but that's how the poem went...

Monday, August 29, 2011

...and the work goes on...

We miss our young friend, Hristiyan, but the work goes on... Mother, Jacob and I took him up to meet his grandparents in Steele early this morning and I just heard from him that he made it back to WI safely. :) (Hope you sleep really well tonight, cousin!)

Our dad cleaned grain all day again and finished up that job. Andrew worked on one of the combines most of the day and then drove it home this evening. Jacob cut down more wheat. Mother and I worked on laundry; dishes; cooking; chores; she did a session for a client who came to the farm; and I sewed a bit. It was a good day. I'm feeling better too, (praises to the Lord!) so felt a little more like doing things around the place.

I'll leave you with something to ponder, something a friend just shared with me:

"You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future!"

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
~ Matthew 6:34

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fun with Hristiyan~

We just finished eating our smores around the campfire and are heading for bed, as we all need to get up early to get Hristiyan back on his way to WI.

I did want to post some pictures though of the past few days, so they are below.

We had an early lunch today, then the boys took one of the 9030s and the white truck (with a loader bucket on it) over to the land up North. Mom and I followed a little later, bringing the old pickup and another vehicle so we could leave the pickup there for them and then return home ourselves. While waiting for Jacob to come with the tractor, the rest of us took some pictures. (Dad was gone all day cleaning grain and will be gone all day tomorrow too, doing the same.)

I climbed up on the baler to get some pictures of the hay and also took this one of Mom, Andrew and Hristiyan visiting...

The Lord has blessed us abundantly with hay this year (and last, as some of these bales are still from last year.) Another great blessing is the interest of the hay buyer (from Texas) in our hay!

I asked Mom if she'd take a picture of Hristiyan and I together, as I didn't have a single one yet with both of us on it! Andrew had a great idea for a place to pose, but had to give us a lift to get us there!


Mother then said she'd like a picture with our cousin too, so they found another place to sit. :)

We still were waiting for Jacob to come, so Andrew had the idea to do a picture like one we did a long time ago, except this time with strong man Hristiyan holding Mom and I on his hands. :)

Andrew had to show off his muscles too of course, and "Lifted" Hristiyan and a hay bale at the same time. :)

Jacob arrived then and it was time to get back to work!

Hristiyan drove this truck by himself today, hauling the bales from one of my brothers who was loading them in the field to the other brother who was stacking them up. This is sometimes my job, so I was glad he was willing to do it so I could stay home and rest a bit; milk Sally; and make supper.

Friends and second cousins...

This picture was taken last night. While we were enjoying hot dogs roasted over an open fire, Lady was enjoying the scent of them (and was hoping for a taste of them too, I imagine.) My Lady is a very shy dog, but today she actually ran up to Hristiyan and wanted him to play with her! I think he liked that...

Our campfire: Tonights campfire was much prettier, as it was quite dark out!

Here Hristiyan is "Farming" with Jacob, my brother being on a computer just to the right of Hristiyan. I guess they didn't get enough real life farming in....

Andrew, taking his fixed car out for a spin...

The clouds were so pretty yesterday! Here's a picture of our farm from a distance with the pretty clouds up above:

That's all for now. I'd best get some sleep! I wonder if the boys will go right to sleep tonight???

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First campfire of the year!

Last year we had many campfires, but for some reason this year, we had not had a single one yet. The boys started one this evening though and we roasted hot dogs for our supper. :)

The rest of the day was spent in playing games (indoor and out); listening to a Dr. Davis message; singing; some of us went for a drive in Andrew's car that he bought reasonably and fixed up; and we watched a movie tonight. No, we did not go to the zoo. Everyone was just too tired, I guess.

I have some pictures to post of our campfire, but they're still on my camera and I don't feel like loading them right now. Maybe tomorrow.....

Oh, Kristi, just so you know, Hristiyan still is not very fond of pickles. :) He was a good sport and did try one, when Andrew put it on his plate. We're enjoying his visit a lot!

Until tomorrow then,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Busy day again...

This has been another very full day. My dad hauled 2 loads of grain to Enderlin (he left real early), so was gone all day. Andrew swathed down a wheat field. Jacob and Hristiyan (riding with Jacob) baled hay. Mother and I cleaned the house and cooked, and I gave my aquarium a thorough cleaning again too....

Jacob and Hristiyan got home around chores time and got Sally in so I could milk her and they then did the goat chores. They had a little time to play farming on the computers while waiting for Dad and Andrew to arrive home. I guess they didn't get enough real farming time in or something?

I had a sudden cold come on today and so rested a while as I was feeling pretty miserable. Some of us still really want to go to the zoo tomorrow though, so we'll see what happens.

I'd best get some sleep. Good night~

Thursday, August 25, 2011

An eventful day!

Before I start telling you about all that happened today, I'll share a picture that Mom took of me a few days ago, right before I headed for work in town. I was wearing one of the new skirts I'd ordered from my favorite modest clothing store, "New Creation Apparel".

And now, let me show you some pictures that tell part of the story of this day.

Mother snapped this one of the monkeys, ooops, I mean boys, "Enjoying" their breakfast this morning. :) The picture where they were all smiling unfortunately turned out too dark to post...

Mother headed for Bismarck this morning to do several sessions for her clients and was gone until late this evening.

After chores were done this morning, the guys headed down to Kintyre to load up the grain cleaner they'd bought. (The elevator is going to be torn down now that it's had so much damage done on it from the wild winds of this Summer.)

The guys pulled the cleaner forward a ways,

then pulled it onto the bed of the white truck... (Thank you, Hristiyan for getting the great pictures!!!!)

Home at last.~ Now they just have to figure out how and where to unload it!

Dad left then to load up a semi-load of sunflowers to take to Enderlin. He loaded again once he had made his delivery, so he wasn't back until after dark.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, the 3 boys headed out to the South hayfield, Hrisitiyan riding along with my brothers in one or other of the tractors.

I went out to our green jungle to pick some cucumbers to make relish with. Our garden is being taken over by squash and melon plants currently!

This picture is for my friend, Rachel P. who loves sunflowers. :)

After lunch, the boys went over to the hayfields that are farther away from home and spent the afternoon cutting down alfalfa... I got my relish going and mixed up a batch of bread and had that raising when I got a phone call from my dad. He said that the Fish and Wildlife guy had been up checking on things in our pasture today and had found a little calf away from the rest of the herd. He walked it to the cows, but said it seemed weak and he just wanted us to know about it. Dad asked me to take a bottle of milk/colostrum up to the pasture and to try and feed the calf. So, while the bread was baking, I washed a bottle out and warmed some milk ( I'd added some powdered colostrum to it too), then once the bread and pizza crust was done, I jumped in the Ram and headed North.

My first problem arose when I realized the cows were not in the cell they were supposed to be in and I wasn't sure how to get to where they were with all the abundance of water there is this year. I followed a fence for a while and found a gate which, thankfully, was into the cell the cows were in. After dodging a few lakes, I got to the herd and drove in amongst them, round and round, looking for a small calf that was weak and in need of milk. I found none. There were 3 small calves, but they all looked very healthy.

I thought this mama and baby looked so cute together!

One of my larger calves (and yes, he does have 4 legs : )

I saw a black speck off in the distance and knew it was a cow, but thought maybe it was the mother of the sought after calf, so I skirted some more water puddles and finally got to her, only to find a new brand new baby in front of her. :)

I never did find the calf. I drove all around the herd and a ways out from it, but all to no avail. I'm hoping and praying that it was one of the little calves that was with the herd and that it had gotten its nourishment and was feeling stronger already?

While driving around, I saw all these huge white birds on a bit of dry land in the middle of a lake. I think a most appropriate name for that spot would be "Pelican Island", don't you?

I drove up to the windmill too to see if the cows had broken the gates down there to get into where they are now, but they hadn't. The tank was running over a bit, so I got out and pulled the moss away from the top of the drain pipe so that it could function properly....

Around 6:00, the boys came home as they knew we were expecting company/customers. :) Mrs. Geiger and most of her boys were coming to buy some grain for their chickens. We invited them in for supper and shared the pizza I'd made; Andrew cut up a watermelon; and I mixed up a couple milkshakes. The guys then filled up all the tubs with grain while I showed Mrs. Geiger (and their youngest, Micah) the greenhouse and got some advice from her about planting a garden using black plastic, as that is what they successfully do. It was getting later in the evening already and the boys were not done filling the tubs/barrels yet, so Jacob went and got Sally in and I milked her. Little Isaiah (who is 5, I believe) wanted so badly to milk a cow, so after I was nearly finished, I had him come sit on my lap and try to squirt some milk out, which he did successfully, squirting it onto my shoe. :)

There was a little time for fun too.... (Jacob; Josiah giving Moses an underdog; and Hristiyan)

Jacob and Josiah...

Mrs. Geiger even tried out the swings. :)

Hristiyan, giving Isaiah a nice, slow ride. :)

After they left, (and J & H did the goat chores,) we cleaned up the kitchen quick; had a few more pieces of watermelon out on the deck; and headed downstairs for a couple games of Foosball.

After Dad and Mom arrived home, Dad had his supper and then we had family prayer time and now it's family bed time!

It was a good, busy day. I wonder what tomorrow will bring???

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

He made it...

Our cousin (or second cousin, rather) arrived this evening with his grandparents. They are now going on to visit other relatives while Hristiyan stays with us for a few days on the farm. I just arrived home from work, so haven't seen him yet, but I did see his shoes by my brothers' boots and heard his voice when I told the boys goodnight. :)

I realized today that I didn't set a date that I would do my drawing on! I guess I'll do it this coming Tuesday so everyone has a weeks time that they can enter in if they so desire. :)

All went well at work tonight, but I'm still pretty tired, so I'm heading for bed right away.

Good night everyone.~

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Post #1,000!

It seems like forever ago that I started my blog on April 2nd, 2009! The Lord has blessed me ever and ever so much since then with the blessings of friendship and inspiration, encouragement and joy! I hope I've been able to share helpful things along the way for others as well, even if it was just something to put a smile on someones face. :) After all:

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
Proverbs 17:22

One of my blogging friends suggested that I tell you all 10 random facts about myself that you may, or may not already know. I thought this sounded like a fun idea, so the facts are typed out below:

  1. My favorite color of cows is red. I own mostly black cows (their calves sell better around these parts) but do own most of the red/tan cows in our herd.

  2. I do not like eating tomatoes plain! I will eat them in a sandwich, but do not enjoy it. It has something to do with the texture, as I'm not a picky eater, but tomatoes that way just are not appealing to me!

  3. I love poetry! I like to try my hand at writing poetry every once in a while, but especially love reading it. Isn't it fun to read a story in rhyme?

  4. I'm shy.... Too shy, sometimes, especially when it comes to talking to young men. God has helped me to work through some of this though since I began working at the nursing home, as I HAVE to talk to the residents (which I enjoy!) and to their family members/company (which is a little harder, as they're complete strangers sometimes), and to my coworkers.... :) There's even a young man CNA working there now which means that I HAVE to talk to him when I work with him, which is a good thing--a growing experience.

  5. I/we don't observe Christmas and Easter (and definitely not Halloween), as we've researched the roots of these holidays and don't believe in keeping them the way most people do. We do thank the Lord for His coming to earth and dying for us and rising again, and sing songs about that, but don't believe that he was even born in December....

  6. I love playing music on my piano! Classical; Marty Goetz or Lorie Lines music; and pretty hymns are my favorite, although hymns seem harder to play (mechanically speaking) than others, even though most people say hymns are easy to play. Hmmm.... I also own a violin and an accordion, both of which I know how to play a little.

  7. I love growing things! You probably know that already though. I have a Rubber plant (that I started from a snip from our big plant) and a Hops vine slip that I'm trying to grow in my room currently...

  8. My favorite color is green, a rich, dark green.

  9. I'm still working on my one and only quilt. It will be King sized when it's finished. It will be very colorful and has many pansies strewn amongst the hearts... :)

  10. I've learned a few German words since working at the nursing home and hope to learn more. It seems hard for the residents to translate the words over into English, so I haven't gotten too far with that. One really good word to know though is "Shlofa"--meaning "Sleep"!

So, now you know. :)

I was thinking of having a giveaway in honor of my 1,000th post, and my family was giving me suggestions tonight for what I could do. I've decided to take part of one of their suggestions, so my giveaway is as follows:

I will be choosing 2 winners.

If you leave me a comment on this post, your name will be entered in the hat for the chance to win your choice of 1 of the following things:

#1. A gift of 1,000 pennies--(perhaps all put together into one $10 bill for shipping convenience!) :)


#2. I will attempt to write a poem about you--if I know you well, it will be all the easier, but if I don't, it will be a fun challenge! This poem will be published here and/or sent to you as soon as it's finished, depending on how it turns out! ;)

I would love to hear from you!

~Thank you again to all of you who have come to be good friends through blogging or who have stayed in touch better because of it. You are a blessing from above! May the Lord bless you abundantly in return!

And now, "Shlofa gut!" I'd say, "Sleep REAL good", if I only knew how to say "Real" in German........ :) Does anyone know?

Monday, August 22, 2011

They're home!

Praise the Lord! We're all back together once more. :) I haven't seen the weary travelers yet, as they were sleeping when I got home and I didn't want to wake them. From what my mom wrote on her blog though, she had a wonderful time in class. I only wish my dad had not been so miserable on this outing! Yes, please keep praying for him. I'm guessing that tooth is going to have to come out too once the swelling is down far enough.

I worked in town again today. The boys cut down some hay and now it's thundering and looking like rain again. Hmmmm....

Be looking for a special post tomorrow (although I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do yet!) It will be my 1,000th post. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So tired... this will be short!

I spent the afternoon/evening working in town, which went well, but is especially exhausting while not eating....

The boys mowed the lawn today, as it was too wet to work on hay. They talked to our parents who decided to drive part of the way home and then spend the night in a hotel somewhere along the way. I guess they'll be getting home tomorrow afternoon sometime. :)

Have a good night everyone!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Trust His Heart"

I'm pretty sure I've shared a different version of this song on my blog some time ago, but it is a continual blessing to me and I wanted to share it again. It is one of my absolute favorites!

My brothers and I spent the day at home. We watched a wonderful Dr. Davis sermon on the topic of "Integrity"... I love how Dr. Davis teaches! I'm always inspired to do better, to serve the Lord more thoroughly after listening to the truths that the Lord has shown this man of God.

This afternoon, we played a couple games of Monopoly (each of my brothers won one), then we watched a couple movies. In between there somewhere, we did chores and the boys ate. I mixed up another batch of my special drink (aka: Lemonade).

We talked to Dad a while ago and learned that he had a pretty rough day with the ache in his mouth. He actually went to see a dentist there in Missoula and they gave him some antibiotics again to fight the infection. He couldn't talk very well, so our visit was short. Please join us in keeping him in prayer. Thank you!

Here's wishing you all a blessed new week. ~

Friday, August 19, 2011

Yum yum brownies, amongst other things...

This afternoon, I tried a new recipe, one called, "Yum Yum Brownies". The boys did say they were yummy too. :)

My day was mainly spent in cleaning the house; cooking; getting a package wrapped up and taken out to the mailbox; and cleaning the terribly smelly mess in the pantry (rotten potatoes that have been hidden from view sure don't smell all that great!)

The boys worked on hay; fence fixing; working on a tractor; Jacob worked on his computer when a part came for it; and other things too to be sure.

We've talked to our parents several times today, once after they'd almost run out of gas due to there being something wrong with the fuel guage; another time when they got a little lost in Missoula; and finally tonight, when they were checked into their hotel room and very much ready for some good sleep. Mom said that Dad has another tooth ache now! It's a tooth on the opposite side of the one he had pulled out just last week. We're praying that the pain just goes away...

That's about all the excitement there was today.

Oh yes, there was one more thing, but I can't write it here yet, as it is a surprise for when Dad and Mom return and we don't want them reading about it here. :)

Sleep well~

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My folks went to "Big sky country"...

Yep... They did.

Dad spent the morning cleaning grain for a farmer South of us a ways. Andrew worked out of doors as well, but Mom, Jacob and I were busy packing clothing, food, water and various other supplies for our parents' trip to Missoula, Montana. Mother is attending a class about improving animals' health and Dad is going to do some sightseeing and mainly went along so Mom didn't have to drive all that way (we figure it will be a 12-13 hour journey.) They will be able to spend some time together too, when the class is not going on, so may do

They went West into Montana just a little bit and then went North to visit my moms' brother, Russell and his wife and to spend the night there. We've never seen their home, so I'm glad they were able to go, and I'm sure Aunt LV cooked up a delicious meal---perhaps Filipino even, as she grew up in the Philippines. The hard part for Mother though is that she's still on the master cleanse, which means NO FOOD! (Praying for you, Mom!) They will make the rest of their long journey to Missoula tomorrow. The class ends on Sunday at 6:00, and Dad wants to head home yet that night, so hopefully he'll sleep in that morning! They should have some time together in between class times, so hopefully they'll be able to get out in the country a bit to explore a piece of God's very beautiful country! (Just look out for the bears and rattle snakes!)

Meanwhile, back at the farm, we 3 are left in charge of things.

I had to work in town again, but the boys baled and stacked hay for most of the day. Andrew had received a phone call about a big grain cleaning job that needed doing, so he thought he might work on that now, but then after talking to the farmer some more, it was decided to wait until Monday to start that project. I'm glad, because now we'll (my brothers and I) all be home together----working, yes, I'm sure, but together.

Off to dreamland,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quite the busy day!

Much happened at our place today.

Dad got up really early and headed over to Grand Forks with a load of grain he was hauling for a farmer.

After the rest of us got up early (but not as early as Dad), Mom and I cleaned the kitchen up a bit and tidied up the house. After Mom and the boys did chores, a man from our local meat locker came out to butcher one of our steers. The boys helped him get set up, and then he was able to do the rest on his own. Once the hide was off and it was gutted, he took the carcass to town, where they will let it hang for some time, then cut it/grind it up for us and put it in red and white checkered packages. :)

At 9:30, Mrs. H., my FSA loan officer came out to our place for my annual record and animal inspection. I was very grateful that Andrew drove us up to the pasture in his 4-wheel drive pickup, as I'm almost positive I would have gotten stuck if I'd been driving, as I'm not familiar with the wet areas up there. All went well with the inspection, thankfully! PTL!

Then it was time to make lunch for the boys. I changed into another skirt and a scrub top and put my hair up so I would be ready to head for town when the time came. I worked there the rest of the day.

From the looks of Andrew's blog tonight, he spent some time working on his car and got it running! "Congratulations Andrew on another job well done. :)"

I'm sure much more was accomplished too, things I'm not aware of just yet. Mother probably started packing for her trip to Montana... She may be leaving tomorrow even, either then or else very early Friday morning. We're not sure yet if Dad or Andrew will be going along, as it all depends on the weather and what all needs to be done on the farm yet.

I look forward to sleeping in a little bit longer tomorrow morning. Working in town always makes me tired, but especially so while on this cleanse. I've actually decided to do what Mom does on days she needs more energy---to drink some protein powder now and then, and that does seem to help me keep my strength up, but I'm still pretty tired.

What is the best thing to do when you're tired? Sleep, you say? Good idea!

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's raining, it's pouring...

There is another rain/thunder/lightning storm here tonight. This is such a strange year, weather wise! It's been really cool outside recently and August is usually the hottest time of the year.

I just got home from work in town a little while ago and am pretty tired, so I'll wish you all a good nights rest and sweet dreams.

Until tomorrow night,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Record keeping...

...It's actually kind of fun, once you sit down and just start on it. :) I spent most of the afternoon getting my cattle business records up to date. I had not kept up with them as I ought to have, obviously.

My dad received a phone call from a trucker yesterday afternoon, a man whose boss in Texas was looking for hay--especially large square bales, which is what we have. I hear there's a terrible drought going on down there and not much is growing... This trucker had driven by our field and saw the square bales and knew what his boss was looking for, so he pulled in at the nearest farmstead and that man gave him our number. My dad told the man he would not be able to sell the hay or load the bales right then (we don't do business on Sabbath), but if he could wait until morning, then Dad would be glad to sell his boss some hay. The trucker asked if he could park his truck in our hayfield for the night and sleep there, which Dad said was fine.

Early this morning, my dad drove a loader tractor over the 20+ miles to the haystacks there. As it was Sunday, my dad and the trucker were faced with a problem: How were they going to know how much the hay weighed, as it was being sold by the ton? Dad then thought of some former neighbors of ours, who now own the Temvik elevator (which we used to own half of when we lived there.) He called this former neighbor and God had everything work out well so that Mr. W. (who lives in Bismarck) was in the area and went over right away and opened the elevator so they could drive in on the scale and weigh the truck and trailer, and later, the whole unit loaded down with hay. The trucker is pretty sure they'll be back for more hay in the near future... This all came at the perfect time too! PTL! We have a big payment coming up soon and needed some money. The Lord always provides one way or another, doesn't He? :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The corn is as high as an elephants' eye...

....and it looks like it's climbing clear up to the sky!

While the boys drove their noisy toys this evening (a 4-wheeler and a dirt-bike), my parents and I went for a walk. We went into the corn field a ways and were amazed at how tall it is, especially the part that didn't get hailed on. My dad can not reach the top of the corn stalks, and he's tall!

It was a quite, peaceful day here, and what a lovely rest we had. Mother played the piano for our weekly hymn singing time. Each week, all 5 of us pick a hymn to sing, although occasionally we sing more than that...

Now the crickets are singing. It must be harvest time!

Aren't you glad you're you?

We watched "Bells of St. Mary's" last night and I thought this song was so cute! After all, aren't you glad you're you?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friends and gardens...

This first picture is of the Teeter-Totter, after I painted the metal part a bright silvery color....

The strawberry plants I transplanted into the "Pyramid" earlier this year are doing quite well! We even got a couple beautiful berries from them this Summer.

This is my jungle:

It is on the inside of my round garden. The path is disappearing from view more each day!

There is a bit of Love-in-a-mist in my round garden:

...and some volunteer Indian corn from last year...

My zucchinis are finally coming along... Pretty soon we can EAT them!

These sunny little flowers popped up in my new flower bed and, as they were part of a mix, I do not know what variety they are? The flower is mainly a pail yellow color and then is fringed in white. Could it be a Daisy?

This is how our Buttercup squash is doing...

Our squash/melon jungle:

As the cord (to pull start it) on our tiller is broken, we haven't used it lately, obviously! I'm not sure where those flowers came from as we didn't plant any there?

Inside our greenhouse area (which I think I mentioned before is no longer a greenhouse, as the big wind storms we've had have ripped the plastic to pieces...)

The Tomatillos (husk tomatoes) are growing and growing and growing, and are generally taking over everything else! Now I need to figure out what to do with them... I've never used Tomatillos before, so am wondering if any of you have, and if so, what is your favorite thing to use them in?

Some of them are very large!

Do you know what that little funny shaped thing is?

It is a fig. :) The leaves of a fig plant remind me of giant maple leaves. See?

We've picked one ripe tomato so far. The rest look like this:

....And, my dear friends, do you know what this giant leaf is from?

Yes, from one of my banana trees!

My Hops vine has done quite well and enjoys the fact that there's no plastic on the roof restricting its growth any more!

Amongst all this greenery,

...I found this muskmelon:

And, amongst this finery, I found,

...this "Moon and Stars" watermelon.

Our garden has been a bit disappointing this year, but we are grateful for the things that are growing and praise the Lord for His very abundant rain showers this year! We've hardly had to do any watering...

In front of our house, I'd planted some Petunias and Pansies in these pots. However, they fizzled out in the top 2 pots for some reason, so I transplanted some Morning Glories in there and they seem to like their new home just fine and are now starting to bloom!

This picture was taken yesterday when the boys took the semi over to Ferns' land to bring a load of hay and the tractor home. My brothers are such a big help on the farm now, it's hard to remember what it was like when they were small and couldn't help out very much. I know Mother spent a lot more time in the fields then... Today, we had company! :) Sarah K. and her children came for a visit (and for some farm products) and it was so lovely out when they arrived that we all headed for the swings...

Ila, looking lovely in the dress her mama sewed for her...

Mother, swinging with sweet little Arianwyn...

When we first met the K. family, Ila was Arianwyns' size. We've been friends ever since and will miss them all so much when they move to SC in October!

Jacob was kind enough to take this picture of all us girls together. :)

I whipped up a batch of pancakes and cream quick, with peach/blueberry sauce to go on top...

Then, as Mom and I are drinking our meals these days, I held the baby while Sarah and Mom helped the other children with their food. When my dad called (he was hauling grain for a farmer), I tried my hand at multi-tasking. :) It turned out that, while we were showing hospitality in our home, someone else was doing the same for my dad and served him a delicious meal at their table. :)

Sarah had her hands (and lap) full after the boys were done eating. I guess a big meal like that makes little boys sleepy! Someone else was sleepy too. Do you see her?

For part of the time while Sarah was here, our boys were fixing up a pen to move our billy goats into. They drug the calf shelter in the pen too, so the goats will have shelter.

After Sarah and all left, we cleaned the house and cooked up some meatloaf; mashed potatoes; and banana cake for the guys' supper. Dad, Andrew and I also hopped on our rider mowers and got all the lawn mowed in about an hour and a half.

It was a good day!