Friday, September 28, 2012

Flower Friday

It's been many many weeks since I grabbed my camera to take some flowers pictures! I thought I would share with you what it blooms as fall begins to settle in my part of the country.

 These petunias are still looking gorgeous. They have spread like wild it.
 I was happy to see this little hydrangea bloom. Having the drought all summer I thought maybe I had lost the plant completely.
 I cut back these phlox after they bloomed this summer, and now they are blooming again!
 I don't what this plant is...I keep thinking I'll look it up, then I forget. Whatever it is its in full bloom and the hummingbirds really like it.
 This lovely lady was a recent purchase. The picture doesn't do the rich beautiful color justice.
 I got this little bee lady at a sale earlier this summer...isn't she cute?
 I love the soft yellow with the bright yellow center.
 This gal was also a recent buy, it's a type of coneflower! As the bloom ages it turn a lovely orange/rust color. Perfect for fall!
 These tickseed I got on clearance for a quarter. I cut them back when I got them and they are now starting to bloom with newly established roots.
 Also a quarter clearance buy, are you picking up on my "I have no self-control" in the landscape section of my local hardware store? I just can't pass up perennials when they are so dirt cheap.
 I love these precious Gerber Daisies I planted in the Spring. They are still thriving.
 I bought this new plant called a WAVE pansy. Same wonderful pansy you know, but it spreads like crazy like the WAVE petunias do.......I love these, they will thrive till almost Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DIY Dinning Room Table Makeover

You all know how I love a "makeover"! Taking a piece of furniture that has been well loved and breathing new life into it.........YEP sign me up! Here is the pre-makeover story. When I delivered my baby girl over we knew we would need to purchase a new table.  In less than a year we would no longer all fit around our small round garage sale table anymore. We bought a new but very inexpensive table. It has served us very well over these past five years, but after enduring many booster seats it needed some help. Here is what my table looked like BEFORE.

 You can't really tell from the picture but the top had many scratches and the second seat on the right has most of it's finish rubbed off from Julia's booster seat when she was little. I was very excited to try Anne Sloan Chalk Paint on this project! I had heard nothing but good things about it. I am was thrilled with the result I got as well! No sanding, no priming, just brushing on two coats of chalk paint, then three coats of wax to the top of my tabletop and I had my project completed! I have since decided that I will also add a double coat of polyurethane for a moisture barrier as well. I'm giddy happy with the results! This is the AFTER........
 I am so thrilled that my mother-in-law recommended this lovely red when I was going back and forth about what color to paint the chairs! I'm smitten over them. I spray painted the chairs with a Rustoleaum Universal primer and paint in ONE spray paint. I did sand them a bit to rough the finish and then sprayed till my heart was content. Each chair required one can of spray paint.
The chalk paint rubbed away so wonderfully easy to give my new table the lovely distressed look I LOVE! I feel like I have an entirely new dinning room table and chairs.....but only spent about $50 to breath new life into my existing one. Money well spent, in my book, to extend the life of my much used furniture. My sweet hubby said that this project is his favorite DIY project makeover I had done. Ahhhh shucks made me blush!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Making A Settlement

Since the beginning of school we have been reading Diary of an Early American Boy. This book inspired the kids to build their own "settlement".  Last week while I was canning apple stuff the kids spent ALL AFTERNOON in the woods. They completely knocked my socks off! No fighting, and no crying occurred for three afternoons in a row!! If that wasn't miraculous enough in and of itself they made a totally impressive settlement to boot! Want a little tour?
 This is the beginning of Lance and Caleb "home".
 Here it is completed with limbs for camo and extra insulation and a tarp door.
 The proud engineers.
 This is Zach and Julia's "home". Horrible shot but I think you can see it's clearly a masterpiece in the making.
 Adorable House Contractors
 No settlement would be complete without a community fire pit!
 Here is their amazingly cool teeter totter in action! Mama was totally impressed by this element of the settlement.
 Unfortunately the teeter totter was  broken shortly after it's riders dismounted, and then was made into a chair with Lance's superior saw skills.
 No settlement is complete without an adorable watch dog. He must have really worn himself out watching everyone work........
 Making a settlement can really make a crowd we used that great fire pit for lunch!
After lunch, Caleb showed us his tree climbing skills. He does this to make his mother nervous, yet proud of him all at the same time!
I would recommend reading this great book written from the perspective of a fifteen year old boy. Plus it's interlaced with history of how things were done, how bridges were build over creeks, fields planted for crops, and everything else you might want to know about making a settlement from scratch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our August....Part One

Over a month ago my favorite little people decided that they wanted to sleep under the stars. A regular tent just wasn't going to do it. They wanted to construct their own tent.

A little team work and few tarps equals a tent that makes four children very giddy with excitement.
Let the sleepover begin!
 All ready for her night with the boys.
 Zach thought a few minutes playing his DS before bed was a good idea.
 Caleb was super duper excited that he was going to get to sleep with his best buddy, Jasper!
Lance was ready to be "the boss" in the tent for the night.
Justin & I thought for sure they wouldn't all last the whole night outside all by themselves....but they proved us wrong. (Which is not the first time we've been proven wrong nor will it be the last.)
I'm so glad they enjoy camping out under the stars all by themselves. What great memories they are making together!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homesteading Update

I know I mentioned in earlier posts how busy I have been. What have I been busy doing? Harvesting....Harvesting.....and more Harvesting! I have honestly enjoyed putting up all of goods from our garden (although I'm not sure my poor sore body enjoyed it as much). It's now the last week in September and guess what, I'm still harvesting and canning like a CRAZY homestead Mama! Throw in school is now in session, a couple DIY makeovers, a little family get away, a women's conference, and there you have it that explains my absence on my blog! My heart has wanted to be blogging about all our adventures, but my physical exhaustion, and my family's daily needs have taken over priority. So I'm hoping this week to update many things this week!

Amongst all the yummy garden harvesting, we also harvested our honey on Labor Day! Since this was our first year as beekeepers we had no idea if we would even get any honey this year.
 Can you see a group of my girls hanging out on the honey box.
 After we collected all the honey frames, we brought them in and used a hot knife to uncap the sealed honey. The honeybees will cap the honey when it reaches 18% moisture. Amazing, huh?
 After uncapping, we spin out the honey with this lovely extractor we borrowed.
 This is the bottom of the extractor after the honey is spun out.
 When you open the bottom spout of the extractor the honey in then ran through a filter, which then goes into a five gallon bucket with a spout. The filtered honey in then put into jars. This is our first jar we filled! It weighed 15 lbs after we filled it with honey. As you can see, a slow trickle of honey out the spout. We plan to change out the spout before harvesting next year.
 We harvest 120 lbs of honey from our TWO HIVES!! We are beyond thrilled by such a blessed first year! I was able to sell/share our harvest with many families this year. We sold 56 jars and kept the rest of our harvest to enjoy and use throughout the next year. A big THANK YOU to all those who enthusiastically supported us at harvest time by overwhelming me with so many orders that I sold out!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Little Landscape TLC

Since we moved in April 2011, landscaping has been on my list. Not high on the list, but on the list. I do LOVE to landscape, but for this project I was going to need some assistance. These are the over grown and under cared for scrubs in the front of the house. We also had a set of three boxwoods I detested in front of our other set of front windows. This gives you an idea of what ugliness I'm dealing with!
 So with my helpers all ready to help....we set out to RIP THEM ALL OUT!!
 We I decided it was a great project after we had received some much needed rain. They did a GREAT job and made quick work of getting rid of them!!
One by one all those ugly guys got hauled to the burn pile! I don't have an after pic...sorry. I have since planted beautiful hydrangeas along the sidewalk path. (They look pretty bad since being transplanted, but I'm hoping they are just shocked and will rebound nicely next Spring. I also decided to plant more Hydrangeas on the other side. I just LOVE them! They are so beautiful, long blooming, and low maintenance, which in my opinion is a winning combination! I'm hoping next Spring I will have the beds planted and can show you the "after" then.

Fall is a great time to transplant so if you have plants you want to move, now is the time.

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