Summery Summary

I just don’t know how it happened, friends.  Here we are six months later, and I haven’t said a peep since Anja arrived.  I’ll try to give you the summaries of all the things…

Well, Anja has changed a bit…

mountain-sunset

She is hilarious and precious and loves the babies around here more than we could have dreamed.

Speaking of pets, we lost another sweet one just a few weeks ago.  Our 13 year old cat, Dubya passed away after having heart failure.  Sniff, sniff.

dubyaTwo cats remain: old, scary Rhetta Blue and precious little Lulu (who misses her white buddy something fierce. 😦

The chickens are still going strong!  We have ten layers who did their job well during the warm months offering us about 8 eggs a day average.  And of course, Patrick (as we say for the grand babies’ sake).  He’s still going strong.  So stinking loud and obnoxious, but he’s our rooster…

patrick

Here’s our timeline, of sorts, since last I wrote:

April — snow and then some sun and walks and mud and gallons of maple syrup (harvested and made and canned and shared by Justin!)

walk-with-papa

May — 25th anniversary trip to Kauai while it snowed back home for the kids.  Whoops. Tick seasons starts in earnest.

kauai-beach

My baby graduates.

movie-stah

Guests begin to arrive.  As do the lilacs. 🙂

grandmas

yard

June  — Ticks pass the blood-sucking torch to the hordes of mosquitos that keep us inside looking out and only able to be outside for any length of time with mosquito suits on.

More guests. And then more and some more.

Oh, and I was THIS close to opening a restaurant. But, nah…ain’t nobody got time for that.

July arrives!  We begin beaching and bike rides.  We ate our first grouse (fresh kill from a friend’s grill — well, to be honest, it was the grill on her mini-van, but we ate that bird and it was stinking GOOD!)

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bike-ride

my-beach-kiki

More delightful guests arrived and played and filled our love cups.  We ate lots of berries and swam at waterfalls and sunsets and celebrated 3 decades of friendship…

oconnells

friends-at-sunset

gorge-picnicTook a trip to Chicago and then OshKosh for a huge Coldplay concert (Kiki’s graduation present and then the air show).coldplay

Beach, beach, beach and a super fun new anniversary present for my sweet man who never lets himself have new things…

heart-cloudme-and-my-boatck-wildcat

August — made 55 pints of pickles for all families represented.

Had some Summer Fruit Pie by the lake (we hate cake by the ocean),

pie-by-the-lake

and also maybe a taco salad, romantic, surprise picnic at the lake as well (does it get any better?),

taco-salad

and picked us some blueberries.

picking-blueberries

A few more favorite groups of guest visits with lots of coffee, stories, and laughs…

falkowskis

and then wrapped the whole beautiful summer up with a getaway as far north as possible (continental states for those of you being picky) for some rugged and muddy riding with the dearest of folks.

utvs

There just is no recipe for relaxing quite like surrounding yourself with the amazing stuff God made plus good, old-fashioned fun and mud, plus wild water, mountains and sunsets, and several doses of hilarity.

island-lake-superiorkiki-rock

Squeezed in a few moments to ride to town the back way for a pizza and frozen custard picnic on our machines…

pizza-picnic

As we wrap up guest season, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of an epic fruit harvest.  In one day we made and canned applesauce, plum jelly (from the most gorgeous plums you’ve ever tasted in your life), froze bags of apples, and made plans for the gazillion other days of  canning needed to preserve this harvest.

plum-tree

canned-plumsapple-wagon

Our cider press arrived today. 🙂 MMMMMMMMMMM…we’re not sure we’ve ever tasted anything so delicious than fresh pressed cider!

cider-press

Grapes and pears coming soon!

It’s a good, good life, and a summer we will always remember.

God is so neat.

 

 

 

 

Crazy and getting crazier…

Crazy good, that is.  Life is crazy good.

How loved I am by the Creator

How loved I am by the Creator

Even when the drain field is saturated, and no water goes down a single drain in the house, and we wash dishes in buckets and carry them to the ravine to dump them, and sponge bathe in galvanized tubs, and go potty not in potties.  :I This, too, shall pass. You take the crap with the good stuff, right?  And find way to be thankful in ALL things.  We have heat!  Got the old system replaced and that was ridiculously extensive, but we can literally turn the heat up with an app on our iPhones.  Yup.  That sure beats every 5 hour wood boiler patrol!

A new baby is coming…

preggos

and everyone is healthy and happy — and it’s birthday season!!!  Happy days. 🙂

No candles in the house, but we wanted to show Josie how birthdays are done.

No candles in the house, but we wanted to show Josie how birthdays are done.

The weather has shifted to deep fall.  We passed through the gorgeousness soaking up every bit that we could of this area and it’s beauty.

lakeporkies

babyaspen

shed

lakeporkies2

road

walk

beautiful days for walks…

Even brought the best of friends to hike through the mountain trails with us.  Twelve and a half miles was no joke, but they were troopers on a Kirksey adventure.

hike

LOC

I took Kyrsten out to begin her senior pictures. Not done yet, but you get a sneak peek.  The locations were epic and my subject, stunning.  But that goes without saying.

seniors

seniors2

Oh, and apparently, the wolves are ready to be seen.

wolf

This guy was directly in front of our car. By the time I got my camera out this is all I could get.  Amazing.  Justin was surrounded by a pack of six with a black Alpha male while in his deer stand.  Creepy and beautiful.

Get ready for birthday pics!  All birthdays are within the next few weeks (other than yours truly and her sweet man), and bday season will culminate with Grandbaby number two’s arrival onto the scene!!