Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer is Coming To An End.....

Counting the blessings from summertime today. The Lord has provided a wonderful harvest and some beautiful flowers to soak in. He also gave us some wonderful kitchen treasures for baking and preserving our bounty! I did not go garage saling at all this summer, but I was actually able to go to the annual Great American Yard Sale that I look forward to all year!!! I thought I would share a few pictures of the event! We have learned to get there before it opens and hang out in line. There are an amazing amount of people at this event and it's easiest to find what you are looking for if you arrive early. The older kids come and help me right away in the fabric and linens tent, I need the extra arms! I pay them a little bit for their wonderful services, and they are happy for the extra spending money. Then we hit the book tent and end up back there about 2 or 3 times-I love books! Matt heads straight for the tools and appliances and usually scores us some great goodies. This year beat out all years for sure-I will share in a bit what he found.

Here we are anxiously waiting for the doors to open. Cole does actually smile when the camera is not pointed his way! We are at war over this!:)
This is the line in front of us! The line behind us is actually longer than the line in front of us!!! But when those doors open, you have to just about run to keep up with how fast they let everyone in. Hey, at least we are not the only crazy people happy to be waiting for a yard sale.
This is how far we are from the tents in the line. Gives a bit of perspective about how large this event is!
Here are some of the fun "new" reclaimed linens for the shop. Very fun! These have added some awesome color to the fat quarter bundles.

Oh my , it has been a lot of cutting! I have actually worn holes through my cutting mat! And this is the 3rd one this year!! I did not even know that was possible until I began with these fat quarter bundles!

So after Cole was able to stock pile his collection of Garfield comic strip books, Madison added to her American girl library as well as finding a very old copy of Little Women and Little Men in one book, I found some great school books for Joslyn, and the wee ones got some talking books to keep them occupied, there is one find that Matt acquired right away that left both of us just giddy! It was an awesome heavy duty Kitchen Aid free standing mixer!! We have waited 13 years to have one of these and it was well worth the wait! This was always a luxury that was just never in the budget! What a blessing! It came with it's instruction book and all the many utilities. I got the chance to use it yesterday for the first time to make some cookies and I could have cried when I was done because my hands did not hurt terribly ! I have arthritis in my hands and stirring anything is painful, but with this, my hands are spared.

Oatmeal cookies-my favortie!
-can't wait for all my Christmas baking now!

Our other kitchen goodie came a couple weeks ago while Matt was on vacation. We went to the river walk for the afternoon one day, but I of course had to stop at the little Pennywise Thrift shop on the way. All of us shuffled in on a mission to find a treasure. Matt was the king of this one as well! He managed to find an old pressure cooker that was still in perfect condition. Just in time for saving our grapes! And it was only $4.00!!!!!
So that night before Matt went back to work, he just had to try it out! It became a late night grape fest in our kitchen. We put on the soundtrack from Chocolat and danced around while mashing grapes for jam.

The kids took turn with Matt in mashing out the juice from the grapes for jam.

The sweet ladies at the thrift store gave us two huge boxes of canning jars for free. What a huge blessing! We ended up with more than we needed this year for canning, but have put the rest to use as drinking glasses. Glass glasses seem to never last in our house but these jars last forever!
We were able to get a great first batch of six jars of grape jam. The rest of our grapes will be ready very soon.

Today was a wonderful afternoon to just enjoy the time outdoors. Matt and Cole just got home from Merge camp, so we all hung out in the backyard. I wanted to capture some of the newest blooms since summer is disappearing. This is one of the first summers in a long time that I am actually sad it is ending. It has been full but also refreshing. Last year by this time, all my hard work in the garden had been cut short. During a freak storm, the transformer in our back yard got struck by lightning! I was standing in the kitchen looking out at the backyard when I should have been in our basement. The sound and sight was crazy! That ended up leaving us without power for 3 days and nights. Life had changed drastically for those 3 days having no power! One of the biggest obsticles was our deep freeze and frig. We had to go out and buy mega coolers and keep them stocked with ice. A lot of our deep freeze food fortunately was able to be stored at my Grandpa's and Grandma's. But we lost so much food, and had to start over with so many basics. By the time Com Ed came out to put up a new transformer, they ended up bringing 8 trucks and 15 men! Now wonder it took so long to get back our power! All the men decided to stand and watch the two men working up on the pole, from my garden! I stood in awe as they trampled every plant that had taken all summer to grow. Looking back now, I should have opened my mouth and asked for them to be careful or something! So the end of the summer last year was a bit of a sting and I was anxious to start over this year! And these are some of the blessings I have been able to enjoy this year.
Beautiful large sunflowers that always make me feel like a kid with how big the get!
I can't believe we actually got some big pumpkins this year! I cannot wait to bake some yummy pumpkin seeds!
Melons that are almost ready to eat!
Lots of yummy squash for Thanksgiving!

I put in a white border in the large garden and plan on doing it again next year. I really enjoyed mixing flowers and veggies together. Was fun to watch them grow in the same place.
My potting bench out by the gardens.
And Cole enjoying a nap under the tree. Ah peace! Does summer really have to end!


  1. what a wonderful post! i so enjoyed reading this and looking at your great photos. i wish i could have been with you at that gigantic yard sale! oh my, i'm so jealous! and congrats on that kitchenaid mixer. that's totally the favor of God shining down on you, friend!

  2. Thank you sweet friend! I would have loved to take you with me to the yard sale!!! What fun! Yes! The Lord is so good! Now to use it to pass on His blessings!