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4th Of July

Heck ya!! Love me some Summer holidays and the 4th…well it is a fun one indeed!
This year we headed out to our friends house for yet another fun 4th.
Figured I would share some pics…because this blog is the closest thing I have to a scrapbook these days (remember those days when I had time to actually….scrapbook?!  Boy do I miss it!)
First off…love Mandy’s table settings and of course lots of yummy food!  So cute:-)

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Did I happen to mention that we are on night #5 of “the 20 day sleepover.
“THE WHAT?!?!” you are asking about now…well you may remember Haley’s bff Gwyn left us last Summer and moved with her family to FL.
It was sad and horrid and well…these two have missed each other terribly.

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How in the world are we keeping sane, you ask?
Well you should know by now my house is ALWAYS loud, full of children and heavy on the chaos.
I babysit often, host playdates and I often say my “job” of SAHM is parallel to that of a cruise director.  I am used to keeping kids busy.
I actually enjoy the above.  Nuts…I know.
Here is the thing you must know about 12 year old girls.
They can be angry, bitter, chip on the shoulder roller coasters of emotions…but not these two.
I love Haley’s friends.  The girl has excellent taste in choosing her friends.
Gwyn is a kind, light hearted barrel of fun.  She has a fantastic attitude and wonderful family.
I am so happy she is part of Haley’s world and that they have been able to keep their special friendship going over the miles that part them.
The deal is Gwyn stays here in Richmond for 10 days with us and then the girls hop on a plane and head to Gwyn’s for 10 days.
They are having a blast and tonight we have even added Afton to the mix (another of my favorite young ladies).

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Lucas wanted to try out the fun games too…

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And then there was the ping pong ball on the spoon race….
It started off smoothly enough.

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But then the darn ball wouldn’t stay on the spoon and heaven help the poor boy he just couldn’t work out in his mind how to pick it up and try again.
In his defense it was well past his bedtime at this point…but it was hilarious.

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We moved on to some car play and sand box fun…
Oh Jack!  How did I forget this shot?!  Lucas finally got to meet another 2 year old that gabs as much as he does.
They had so much fun gabbing each other’s ear off!
This conversation was Jack telling Lucas all about the fishes on his shirt and Lucas declaring:
“Those are AWESOME fishies!! I love them!”

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Oh and look who actually let me take his picture!!!  Adam…a rare sighting indeed!
Guess what 14 year old boys who have grown up with a mom who is a photographer don’t like?
If you guessed “getting their picture taken” you would be correct…

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And then there are these three…aging very gracefully I might add.
I have been friends with all well over a few decades and can say they haven’t aged a bit but they sure have all turned into amazing men and fathers.

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and then…fireworks.
Thanks Parrish family for sharing your backyard!  :-)

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Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th Of July!:-)

I love these little guys… {Gardening Chronicles

I have to say when I see these little guys they make my heart happy…
Did you know that:

  • They are not a native insect?  They are typically exotic and were introduced to the U.S.
  • They lay hundreds of eggs in a Styrofoam type of pouch.

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  • Indeed…the female does eat the male sometimes after mating.  It happens more in captivity though then in the great outdoors.  So the fella has a bit of a fighting chance.  Perhaps.
  • They do eat other insects in your garden…be warned they will eat the “good bugs” just as often as the “bad bugs” though.  Don’t believe all the garden store hoopla that the are crazy beneficial…they are beneficial but they can be a bit too much in a small garden like my little kitchen garden.
  • They are simply fascinating and beautiful creatures.
  • They have one ear…on there belly.  Some don’t have any ears at all,  they typically are the non flying type.

This year I found, no fewer than, 20 egg nests in the front flower bed.  I promptly put them through out the yard instead of all in one spot.  Figured a little space would do them some good:-)
We kept one in the aquarium though.  We keep one on the front porch for just such creatures.  We love to watch!  This little fella has grown and stayed close to “home” though.  So fun to watch him…or her.

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The kids LOVE when mom picks them up and let’s them crawl all over…they think this is quite hysterical:-)

If you find yourself using the word “kerfuffle”…

Then you might just be reading Diana Gabaldon ’s newest book in the Outlander Series…. Written in My Own Hearts Blood

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You know you maybe a historical romance fiction junky if…you have managed to read all of these ginormous novels.
And love them all.
Ok well maybe not “all”.  I really didn’t like the second book Dragon Fly in Amber which I confess to skipping over large portions of.  The parts leading up to Battle of Culloden were just far too depressing and dragged on for me.  I just didn’t want to give up on the series so I simply skimmed.
I have never been so happy for my “skimming” of that book…because I have LOVED every book since.
In full disclosure I was a History major in college so..ya I love historical novels.
Novels.
This is not a “light reading” type of series.  This is like a “whole Summer to read” type of series.  Each book typically takes me a week to read.  In my world that is a long time.  Most books I am through in about 1-3 days.  Daryl and I were in book store the other day and I picked up the hardcover book and showed it to him (I read on my ipad) and he was like “holy crap! That is huge…”

My favorite part of this book?
Oh geeze.. I couldn’t begin to name a “favorite” but I did quite enjoy reading a scene out loud to Daryl, while on a long car trip,  that involved a hatchet going through a skull.  I have been warning him for months that I will, most definitely, be watching the Starz Outlander series coming up next month.  Telling him over and over that it isn’t all romance and girlie.  That it is more of a historical girls version of Game of Thrones or something…tons of gore, guts and testosterone mixed into make any husband “ok” with watching a historical love story…right?

The long and the short of it…I am sad I finished it and now have to wait another few years for the next one:-(
Until then I shall try to limit my use of the word “kerfuffle” in hopes not to give myself away as a complete Outlander series junky…that I am.
August 9th can’t get here soon enough;) Now if you are one of those folks thinking “Why read the book?!  I will just watch the series…well I am here to tell you that you will be missing out.  No matter how wonderful they do with the series the movie is NEVER as good as the book….ever.
Ever.

The big garden…June { Gardening Chronicles

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This year I have a brand new, ginormous garden out at Daryl’s parents.
God Bless them!  I have lots of folks to feed and this garden is going to feed many….hopefully.  Possibly…if all goes “according to plan” (BAHAHAHAHA!)
Since this was the first year this land has been worked in 20? 30? 40? years we had our doubts anything would grow.  Plus I got a lateish start.
BUT…it is doing great!

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Now it looks more like…

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But actually even bigger now I just haven’t had my camera out there this week!
Lots of  tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, melons (a few different types), basil, okra, and my favorite….HOPS!

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I am most excited about them.  We are trying several different varieties this year and trying to figure out which variety is happiest out there.
Cascade is winning so far.  I think I love them the most because Daryl grows them with me…tomatoes bore him.
But hops get him out there and in his happy spot.
The boy loves his home beer brewing;-)

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I of course still love the usual garden favorites!

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Peppers…I went a little over board on peppers this year.
I planted at least 8 different types between the two gardens.
It’s about to get hot up in here!

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Loving these little melons!

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It is soooo tempting to pick all the zucchini blooms and fry them;-)
But I have managed to not do that…just yet.

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So far..so good!  I shall take more pictures this week…of course;-)
Until then…I love the surrounding field and the bees it feeds.

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It’s so darn peaceful out there….love it!

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