Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kolin Turns 5!






Last Saturday we had a birthday party in H'ville for Kolin. I can't believe he's already 5. In 9 days he'll celebrate his 6th Christmas! He had a great time at his party. He said what he liked the best was opening presents and eating cake. I was proud that he shared his new toys with his brother a friend, Ian. Of course there were many to choose from. Today we met Konrad for lunch and had Kolin's official birthday lunch at one of his favorites, Captain D's. And I even let him get the normally-off-limits-loaded-with-sugar-and-fructose-syrup red strawberry drink. I figure if you can't pick out your own drink on your birthday what kind of birthday is it? Tonight we Skyped with Grammie T. and Bonka all the way up there in Washington. Kolin opened his gift from them while we were on the video call. I think he has enjoyed his birthday celebrations.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Barn

In case you haven't been out to see our new barn, here are a couple of pictures, front view, back view and a picture of Kash's new house, made to match the barn of course.





Saturday, December 12, 2009

Putting up the Christmas Tree

We finally got our tree up. We delayed
putting it up a little bit so it wouldn't be brown by Christmas when all the Kaul's arrive.



Me wearing the tree *skirt*.


Konrad putting on the tree topper.








Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow!




We got our first snow of the season. Not much compared to some, but it made a beautiful morning here at the Rocking K Ranch.






Wednesday, November 25, 2009

new bed


My Dad was busy this week. On Tuesday he finished laying the shoe mold around the hardwood floors and then on Tuesday he built a platform for our mattress and hung the headboard! Now I just have to find some taller bedside tables, but for now we'll use what you see here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Boys Room Mini-Makeover




Ok, so it more like a window treatement installment that required me to move the furniture around. I spent the afternoon putting up blinds and moving things around the boys room while I watched the Titans get their first victory of the season! Go Titans! It must have been the Titans sweatshirt I wore today.

Halloween 2009




We had a SWAT team member and a Fireman this year. Kaden had a party at school and was supposed to go in costume but as soon as I got it on him, he wanted it off. I convinced him to let me take his picture before taking it off.

Moments before heading out for trick-or-treating.


I took the boys around the block. They were both cold and ready to go inside by the time we got to the house.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dairy Tour/Kidfest





















Kolin, Kaden and I went on a tour of a local dairy and found a very friendly cat. I couldn't believe how it would just lay on the porch and let all the kids "pet" it. I wanted to take him home, but we left him there for other visitors to enjoy. At the end of the tour we sampled the milk and butter made from the herd.












While Ken adn Tina were here we went to KidFest which included bounce houses, cotton candy, Krispy Kreme donuts and an MTSU football game. It was a bit chilly, but Konrad got us great seats up in his section that were at least a little shielded from the cold wind. We lasted until halftime, which was way later than naps. We had a long walk back to the car, I think they moved the car while we were watching the game, but once we got in the car it felt good to warm up on the way home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The boys provided some free entertainment for the guests at Uncle Stuart's wedding, thought we would share it with you.
video

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Awesome Message Today!

At church this morning we got an awesome message about the spiritual war that is going on daily around us. We were reminded of how Satan attacks us and the lies he uses and our own weaknesses that he exploits (most of which we don't even know ourselves). If you have 35 minutes it should be available online soon at http://www.newvisiononline.net/templates/System/details.asp?id=28514&PID=296875. It would be the one dated 9/13/09, Message 2: Defcon 1.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Gardening Update

Last week my friend Dana and I went on a road trip to Tullahoma to do some canning with another friend of mine, Amy. Between the three of us we had six children running around so usually there were two of us canning and one tending to the children. Amy had bought some apples from the Farmer's Market so we washed them up and decided to make applesauce. Dana and I were so impressed with Amy's food strainer. You just drop those quartered apples into that wonderful contraption, turn the crank and out comes beautiful applesauce! It was awesome, I have added it to my wish list.

Amy also had some Concord grapes so we cleaned those up and ran them through the strainer for juice. Amy gave me a recipe and a few days later Dana and I made Concord grape jelly. We enjoyed the process of making jelly, but we must have let it cook to long because it's pretty hard. Konrad laughed at it, I think that's a bad sign. I tasted really good as we licked the spoon during the boiling process. I think I had the heat turned up too high. I think I was supposed to turn the heat down after it started boiling, down to a soft rolling boil maybe? Or I may have added too much sugar for the amount of juice we had after straining it again.

But after tasting the Concord grapes and learning how to make the jelly I bought two Concord grape vines. I think they are already two years old. I'm working on holes for them out back. The soil is not very good so I'm digging out a very large hole and backfilling it with better soil. Dana brought some wonderful cow manure compost back from her parents place. I spread it around the 2 grape vines I already had. They aren't Concord, will it be bad to plant different kinds of grapes close to each other?

I opened a half pint of dill pickles today that I canned back at the apartment. They tasted pretty good, still a little crunch. They were almost sweet though. It was one of the Ball recipe jars. They are edible though, so I am pleased. The sad thing is that I opened them because I'm hungry and haven't been to the grocery in so long that I can't find anything to eat! I even poured a bowl of cereal only to realize we had no more milk.

I am currently harvesting lettuce that the boys and I planted. I can't remember if it's romaine or green leaf. I've been putting a few leaves at a time on sandwiches. And the cukes that we planted in the upside down planter are bearing fruit. I told Kolin we could pick the big one next time we have a salad. Maybe that's what I should have had to eat!

Yesterday I canned 3 more cans of tomatoes from the neighbors plants (yes I have permission to pick them!). Today I am making spaghetti so I will put some of my canned tomatoes in the sauce.

Konrad worked several days on fencing the garden area. This was during his stay-cation. I think most of the posts are set, now he wants to add braces and then string the wire. I moved one of my raised beds so it will be over a rock outcrop. So now I'm trying to kill the grass in it and get it ready to planting next spring, hopefully.

I planted some spinach, chives, 3 apple seeds and cilantro last week. We'll see what comes up. The spinach is the only thin in the ground, the others are in pots so I can bring them in when it gets cold. I'm going to try to over-winter the spinach. I read an article in Hobby Farms (my new favorite magazine) so I'm going to try it in the bed on the side of the house. So far nothing is sprouting.

Well, that's all for now. Time to Skype with Ken & Tina!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bulldozer

The boys got a big surprise when a flatbed pulled up in front of our house with a bulldozer on the back of it. I'm sure Kolin thought it must be a dream. We watched the whole process of unloading and followed it down to the field where we took advantage of the beautiful day with a few photos.




Konrad and Mr. Richard have been working hard on the back of the property with the bulldozer, tractors and chainsaw. They are making a lot of progress and we are so thankful for the continued blessings of this donated bulldozer.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kaden's First Day of School







Kaden started Mother's Day Out September 1st. He had no qualms about going, we talked it up big time, I think he was actually excited to go. He completed his first week and had stellar reports from his teachers about his manners and willingness to help. Well done son.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Canning

Yesterday was a busy day. We got up early and picked tomatoes from the neighbors plants. We weighed those to see how much more we needed to get at the Farmer's Market. Then the boys and I and a friend's little girl, Brooke, loaded up and went to the Farmer's Market. It has really grown since last year, many more vendors and a great selection of fruit, veggies, even some milk and meat. The kids each had a small basket to carry and we bought onions, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes and fresh cut cilantro. One vendor gave each of the kids an apple fresh from his trees. They had a good time and except for Kaden lagging behind a few times, had good behavior.
So then we went home and started preparing our veggies to make salsa. I had my apron on so Kaden insisted on wearing one, this was the smallest one I had. I'm not sure he was very productive in helping, but he tried hard and enjoyed filling up the pots and playing with the water. I didn't want them to help me too much because of the jalapenos. A friend and even the recipe warned me about wearing gloves when cutting them up. After cutting up a pound of them there were seeds and juice everywhere. I wiped it up but wasn't sure how long the sting would hang around on the countertop surface.

I finished up last night just before the Titans preseason game started. Konrad says the salsa could use some more paste or something. He thinks the texture is too watery, not enough pasty-ness. The last batch I made (different recipe) he said was too liquidy. I'll keep trying.
Still haven't tried any of the dill pickles I canned. Have to wait the first of October I guess. I canned three different recipes, I hope at least some are edible.

Konrad is busy burning trees in the back today. Richard is helping. The boys love to help and even put on their safety glasses.






Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boys







Here are a couple pics of the boys. Kolin is trying hard not to smile, Kaden is actually cooperating.






Friday, August 7, 2009

Big Move

We have been busy this week moving out of the apartment and back into our house. Many trips have been made and now all that remains in the apartment is the TV and the mattresses. The boys spent the night in Hendersonville with Nana last night and are staying over again tonight. I have been very productive without them here, but miss them and am ready for them to come home.

This is a preliminary picture of our bedroom. New king size mattress and coverlet, new Smoky Blue paint on the walls. I hope to build a platform for the bed with my Dad this winter, for now the bed will sit on the floor.



And this is a picture of the living room and the awesome new wood floors. We still have to complete that one corner, then baseboards and quarter round.



More work to do and a little rest in between. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Floor Going In







I love our new hardwood flooring and it's not even done yet. The installer is doing such a good job and I'm not just saying that because he's my Dad. We decided to lay it diagonally. I got to tear up the wood floor landing. It's always fun to be a bit destructive. This morning I got started early with power tools. I used the belt sander to sand down all the baseboards. I got two coats of paint on by day's end. Some of the baseboards have to be replaced, a foul odor of cat pee was detected in some areas. Just when I thought we'd found the last of it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kaden

Here is Kaden with a little hello for Grammie T. and Bonka.

video

Kolin and His Truck

videoHere is Kolin loading and unloading his truck. Just thought you might like to see what he does during play time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Girls Night Out


Several of Kandy's high school friends all happened to come to town at the same time. We had a few play dates throughout the week and all the girls went out to dinner and then sat in the courtyard until after 11PM. We all have small children, so that was really late, but we really enjoyed visiting and catching up. In the picture is Amy (2 boys, ages 4 & 2), Melinda (2 boys, 2 girls ages 9 to 1), Geinene (1 son, 18 months), Kari (twin girls age 3), and me. Amy lives less than an hour away and our boys are the same age so we get together often. Melinda's husband is a Navy Chaplain so they move around a lot. G is in Hot-lanta and she and her husband are missionaries, and Kari is in Oklahoma City. It was such a treat for all of us to be together.

Fun in the Box



Kandy bought this interesting planter that is supposed to grow plants upside down. We put cucumbers in it, so far so good. The boys do help with the watering, but I think they had more fun in the box.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rare Moment



a rare moment of peaceful brotherly interaction

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

While Daddy is Away...

the family will play in his truck! We have been riding all over town in Big Blue since Konrad took the Explorer to Florida. We even take Kash with us most of the time.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fat Lip


Kolin busted his lip on a table at McD's. He was running (which he is not supposed to do) and playing tag with a friend who tagged a little too hard. It looked pretty bad but is healing quickly.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Progress

Well the house is starting to move along. We were given a new contractor and he seems to be getting things in order. The siding is done, the holes in the roof have been fixed and Friday we got new gutters, except for the one that goes on the front porch banister that is still missing.