Summer smiles.

Clear skies and warm temps meant we spent some time in the pool after work
last Thursday.  Poor Joe, those genuine smiles from Sam
sometimes come at Joe's expense...Sam was trying to block him out of our pictures.

They make me laugh.  
Belly kinda of smile followed by a laugh.

And when did this boy shoot taller than the 
pool switch pole?
When did he start opening and closing the pool
without me freaking out over safety.
When did he start calling me mom over mama or mommy?
He calls me mom for sure, right now.
Best name I have ever been given.

Meet Speedy GG

We have a new kitty around our place.
Allison and the twins shared one of their orange kitties.
Big Joe has been asking about a new kitten for a LONG while.
Junior (our current stray cat that we feed but we cannot get near)
is not the most friendly cat.
He wants a cat to snuggle.
As long as big Junior doesn't bully the new kitty we will be just fine!

And to name the little fella.
So back to an orange kitty, Joe was sure he would name him Ginger.
But, shortly after he found how fast hew was, Ginger might not do.
So, I suggested Ginger Flash.
But, nope.  He wanted Speedy. Speedy Gonzalez 
So, he has become Speedy GG.
Unless, you are Sam who calls him Junior 2 (you know because Isa named the first cat Junior)

Big bad cat was marking his territory and has started some cat fights since
But, Speedy GG keeps going back for more!

Canning Stoll Peaches

Tuesday after work, Dan and I decided to can peaches.
Darrin and Shannon let us pick from their trees at Graber Hill Farms, Dan and the boys
came home with 2 bushel baskets and a 5 gallon bucket.
That is A LOT of peaches, but we plowed our way thru...most of them.

It was smoking hot last week, like work early
and quit early (if you can) on the farm.
So, Dan was home after I got off at 2, the
boys even stayed inside.
Too hot to swim?  Nah, just taking it easy.

We borrowed Grandma Jean's pressure cooker
and she shared Grandma Stoll peach canning recipe...
you know the one that is 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water to make a simple
syrup to pour over the peaches in the can, then seal.
WOW, that is a lot of sugar.
We did try freezing peaches last year but we did not care for them.

We did it!  The finished product is so pretty.
Hope they taste as good!

Our first (solo) canning experience was a success!!

I found those boys, the ones who were hanging out inside.
Also, the first peek on the blog at Joe's new bedroom.  
I had left this table in his room (the old extra room) and thought i would take it out sometime.
But, oh no.  He has set it up and taken it down many times in his one week in his new room.
He sets it up to play games when he invites people in his room.  Love him.

A normal Sunday and Monday.

Joe chose some new shoes for back to school.
I saw them on the sale rack and knew he would LOVE them...Dad not so much.
They are a little less "sportsy" and have high tops.
I love them and Dad went along once he saw Joe's desire for them, ha.
And he found some $5 headphones at Target,
love him all ready for church on Sunday morning.
After church, my Aunts came over and cousin Ryder entertained
us all day.
He was brave a decided to go off the board,
IF Christine was in just the right place.
(He even jumped in to me later in the day)

Ok, the best part of this day was hearing my Aunt's cheers for Ryder
as he jumped in to the pool.
 My aunts are awesome like that.
It reminded me that my dad's sisters have always been there,
during all of life's events, changes, good and bad... they have been there
to support and cheer us grandkids on. 
 It does not get better than that.
Pretty Blessed.

And Monday, it was back to work.
I was REALLY missing my little boys..but these bad boys
pictured below...heaven...mixed with dried fruit.

Texted DH that I was missing the boys
and got these pictures.  They were helping
Grandpa set forms for new concrete for a grain bin.

love that little farmer boy.
He has started to ask for jeans and tshirts with a front pocket.
Boots are a must.

The day was made much better when the bell rang at my drive thru window
and these faces appeared.
Make my heart swell.
That smile on Sam is my gentle sweet boy.
I love it when I see that.  
And Joe's face {insert crying eyes emoji}...who knows
was probably mad because Sam rang the bell.


4H 2016

Both boys learned a lot this year on their 4H projects.
We decided to keep them simple becasue drop off and much of the week was during our friends visit!
Joe chose lego/building projects
and he had many to choose from, but was very proud
of his latest Knex creation, so he chose that one.
He still shows in mini 4H, he cannot wait until the real deal next year.

And this project, he is super proud.
I love it, too. Mainly, we love it because he made it with dad and grandpa.
His category was space; he was to make a rocket with items around the house
(or farm), and he got to use a welder.
Big points for dad this time, mom's crafts are not comparing any more.

And Sam chose to do collections and farm scene this year.
He chose to take his favorite basketball cards.

Look at that smile, he can't wait to hang it on his bedroom wall.

He won champion, was proud of that Purple Ribbon!
Looked extra special in the display case! 

And his farm scene won Champion as well,
he had fun creating with dad!

A Rod without a Reel

We left our friends at the airport and decided to lift our spirits
a bit with some retail therapy.
I need a couple of things from Trader Joes...almond butter, hello, yum.
And coconut chips, get in my belly!
And I spotted this store...
I don't know anything about it but
Blake sure does.  I knew she would swoon over
Nordstrom Rack.
I went in a looked around and she texted me a dozen times
would you believe I did not buy a thing?
Overwhelmed? I am not a big department store gal.
  One shirt jumped out at me, but typing this
I do not remember what it was, ha.  

And these two boys scored some new school stuff at the Nike outlet
and our shopping bug and zapped.  At least I thought...
so we grabbed some lunch,
we decided it was super quiet without our friends.
And my picture limit for the week was at a max, so no cooperation from these boys.

But then, DH remembered Bass Pro
and we made a stop
DH spent a gift card on a new rod.
Not a rod and reel, just a stick.
It is a stick with a grip on the end. SMH.
We had to send a picture of this the Mark
a Frog?

This was only a dollar, totally worth it
although it was tricky and I'm not sure the boys were very successful.

Big smiles from all 3 boys, the 4th slot was broken, boo.
We wrapped up shopping and headed home...because
there were Minecraft legos calling our name..
told you obsessed with building them as  soon as they are opened.
Joe asked for Sam's help, great sharing!
We relaxed a bit and then went to spot the boys projects at our 4H fair.