Saturday, July 12, 2014

back-yard living

 Our family loves the outdoors and this time of year we live outside. One of the best things about our in-town property...the back-yard. So blessed with space to stretch out a bit and grow a few things... including 4 kids, 5 hens, currently an extra turtle, and some garden things. Ahhhh, summer time in the Midwest. Just lovely!
Happy Weekend, blog friends! Head outside...!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 June

Why do the fun months go so fast? Iowa is so much more happy when we are not dressed in 3 layers and scooping snow every other day. Oh well, I love the Mid-west. And before this Mid-west summer gets away...quick, some of our June below.

Jaxon went to basketball camp. With friends and games and contests to be enjoyed. He was in all his glory.

 Austin learned how to de-stem berries. And he became a pro by mid-bowl. I think I'll keep him.

 We enjoyed summer dinner's with the neighbors out back and big balloons over our heads. For real, super fun. 

Our garden started to grow and grow... 

The boys were fighting 72.6% of the time. But when they didn't...this was sweet to watch.

 We (by we I mean my super tough brother-in-law, my tougher then nails father-in-law, & my arms of steal hubby) dug super deep holes to pour cement into for our new addition. The kids were digging the cool truck.

 We've had impromptu sleep-overs with cousins. By the way...cousins are awesome. If you don't have some, you should get some.

 Carson has marched all over the property in little to no clothes most days and Sissy is usually trailing behind him. Oh dear. Lord, help her.

 Savannah has figured out she can climb and climb she does. To the top of the slide, top of the stools, top of the bathtub...and you get the picture. She can climb.

 Carson has loved having big brother Jaxon around. When Carson gets in trouble, a.k.a everyday, he runs to this guy ^

And, she has officially declared she hates dresses. Too bad. I will keep stuffing her in them and taking ridiculously cute pictures because it feels so good and I can!!!

The kids have all been home for a good month now. I sense some sarcasm coming from me, which in due time means... I think it's girls night soon? 

In all honesty though... I love, love, love summer time with my kids all at home. It is some of my most favorite seasons in life. I also love oreo blizzards and girls nights. All true statements. 
Happy July, ya'll!

Monday, July 7, 2014

building for 6...and then some

We've been building an extra big family room here this summer, but this room idea was built years ago when we dreamed of one day having space to hold people here as we raise a family. We love opening our doors to others, sharing food together, hearing stories, growing relationships, doing life with others. Like so many other things we hold dear to us in the home-grown area...relationships may be at the top of our list for what we grow amongst our family. 

With that planted on our hearts, we also don't want to not invite people due to lack of space to put them. At least this is how I have felt many times when I wanted to have people over, but didn't know where to have them sit. People don't care about that though. Jen & Markuse reminded me that you simply just have to open your door, open your hearts, and open your lives up to be together. They didn't care that they were sleeping in our 2 year olds full size bed, sharing a shower with 6 other people, eating around a cramped cozy porch table, or bumping elbows in the kitchen. We had enough room to live together for a few days and enough heart space to enjoy the journey. 

I'm super excited to fill our new family room. And I have good growing pains on my heart that remind me it doesn't have to be perfect to be done well. 

 My kids love this guy! He entered our lives a hand full of years ago when Dave met him at YWAM in San Fransisco. Markus is a missionary from Germany. He has lived and worked in San Fran for many years. This isn't the first time he's stayed with us... But, this is the first time he had a lovely wife to bring back with him. Yay!! Congrats Markus & Jen!

 Austin waited outside their door for Markus to wake up. I'm sure they loved the fan club that time of the day :)

 Jen is a ball of happy energy. She lights up a room and Sissy loved taking her in!

 Of course we did as many Mid-west, country cooking, and camp-firing that we could! These city folks thought we were pretty farmish :)

 Summer nights out back...

I think this city guy has some urban-homesteading roots in him. The chickens loved him and he them.

If you want to read more on this sweet couple doing really awesome Kingdom work in the heart of San Fran, follow their blog here...Markus & Jen in the city!

Friday, June 20, 2014

building for 6 :: early days

Spring has long been on the calendar, but this spring project sprouted in what felt a little more like summer . This building for six project has been a long time coming... It started off as a dream, became a little goal, ventured into a desired outcome, and slowly started to take shape for this family of six that largely fills out this house and needs a little more space to call home. We're so very thankful for all the right things falling into place so we can make this happen and so grateful for the resources, people, and time to do it. God is good. New room or not, God is good. 

Here's the start of it a few weeks ago... After we tore down the old deck and dug out old bushes and trees!

 The supply truck delivered the goods For two little boys, thats free entertainment. 

Austin loved the pieces. It was like a gigantic puzzle ready to be put together!

Carson loves the activity... always something new to see or explore or talk about. Mostly talk about. A lot.

The start of the new...

We start 'em young.

Post building. A solid foundation. Nothing more important. A house or hearts, a solid foundation must come first.

Of course, building for 6 usually means you have about that many peeps around to keep the construction zone crowded.

We've got some of the most talented carpenters in the area... not to mention hard-working, hug giving, and grandkid holding help for this crew. 

Because who wouldn't want to work with this guy around all day? :)