{Life Lately} November

This blog got sad, didn't it? It's purely a result of my busy life. 

July came around (after my last post in June) and it was family time, vacations (here in Missouri, we didn't go anywhere big), and then the biggest change of the year - I got the call saying that they wanted me to come in for an interview into a different (better) district. Within two weeks, I interviewed, was offered the job, accepted the job, had to break my contract, and then waited until they could tell me if they would let me out. Long story short, all is fine minus a hole in my bank account (yes, I had to buy out my contract). 

August became a blur of teaching stress. New district, new school, new level of students. Lily started a new school too, same district though for her.

I turned 35 in September. 

Nate turned 4 in October. 

Doug and I "celebrated" being together for 15 years in October. Our celebration was a Facebook post... that's seriously how busy we are.

Oh, did I forgot to mention that we are now both full time graduate students? I'm doing it for the second time (yes, I'm crazy!). 

Nate and Lily played soccer which was fun for a few weeks. Doug played rugby again. 

I went on a field trip with Lily's school group to the St. Louis City Museum. It's fantastic. The photo below is from one of their architecture exhibits. Don't go there thinking it's a regular museum though. It's truly a one of a kind place! 

And now it's almost the middle of November with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. 

I'm really not sure where time has gone but that's life now. 

Our living room, above, received all my outside plants as the weather turned cold. It's a jungle and I love it. 

And this girl, with her four buddies, have turned six months old and I have yet to receive any eggs! 

I'll be back later. Maybe. 

{Garden} Late June Update

How it is almost the end of June?? This month has flown by and I feel like I haven't accomplished as much as I wanted. But.. my chicken coop and run are done, the girls have been in there for days, and the back porch is cleaned up from the chicken brooder. I hope to get it painted soon. But for now, let's focus on the gorgeous flowers that are open!! 

OK, so some of the plants above are technically weeds but I haven't pulled them yet. But at least the flowers look pretty! 

Guys... this oak leaf hydrangea is huge! The top of the trellis is roughly 9' feet tall (or taller!) and this oak leaf makes that look like nothing. I found a picture of it as a baby, so I should do an post about it soon. 

The "flower" above is what is left after the clematis petals fall off. I find it more unique and fun than the blooms, plus the last forever. They start off smooth and turn fuzzy.

I'll be back with more garden updates. I didn't take too many photos of our backyard garden this year, but the south side garden (with veggies and flowers) is growing strong. One pepper plant looks pitiful but it's been watered and receives full sun. I'm not sure what's going on. There are peppers on it but the leaves are droopy. 

Have a great Monday! 

{Farm} Father's Day

On Father's Day, we went out to my parents' house for a swim and a celebration. My dad is the type that seriously doesn't want us to spend money on him for gifts. But he does love pie (who doesn't!?) and so I always try to make him one (or more...I once made 6 desserts for when he turned 60). This year we went all over the place looking for blackberries, which I thought would be in season and ready to go, but apparently not. So store bought worked, mixed in with a few frozen blueberries and blackberries from the farm last year. I ended up making a crisp and it was delicious!

My parents have had blueberry bushes for years and some of their bushes are close to 5' tall! Isn't this shot, of all the colors and variety of ripeness, just great? You can't go wrong with produce pictures. 

When Lily was born, my parents planted a miniature peach tree. They did the same when Nate was born and now both are producing! Lily's tree is a little taller than her and Nate's tree is slowly growing too. Let's hope for some good peaches! 

And I'll end with the below photo... 

Above shows "Naked Nate" (there may be a series coming, but I probably won't publish it publicly). We went swimming at their pool and then straight to the garden before dinner. Here they are, digging potatoes (which is super easy in my dad's custom soil mix!). I'd like to say there's some funny thing about why he's naked but he's 3, we're in the middle of the country, and his swim diaper was swollen. 


He really does like to be naked though. 

{Family} Hello!

I started this blog (well, the previous one) to stay in contact with family. I'm not sure who even reads this but I figured that if you come over from Instagram (follow me at thebrickbungalow), you may want to know who we are. 

We took the photo just a few weeks ago at the beginning of June at one of our favorite places for photos. 

Doug and I have been together for almost 15 years (wow!) and got married 11 years ago. We are both teachers. He's also a coach and plays rugby. He teaches summer school while I stay home and work on various home projects. He will be going back to grad school this fall to get his master's. 

Lily is our little artist and athlete. She just finished up her third year in softball, which is by far her favorite sport, and is almost done with her first year of track. She's done cross country and soccer too. I think we'll get back into soccer and try basketball this winter. She loves art and anything STEM/STEAM. She starts third grade and is very excited about her art camp and STEM camp this summer! She's also in Girl Scouts. She likes to be busy.  

Nate is our active little boy. See the dark spot on his head? That's medical glue from when he busted his head open on a tailgate at one of Lily's games. I rushed him to the ER and we finally got the glue off - it took almost 4 weeks! The day after the ER trip he ran into something at daycare and had the biggest goose egg on the other side of his head. He then got a scratch on his face during all this and that's when school pictures were. That's Nate in a nutshell. Nate can sing his alphabet but don't ask him to spell his name. He knows his whole name, but he won't spell it for you. He's too busy running around. 

Speaking of running around... 

Lily had a track meet at a local, very large high school. It looks like a small college campus. Doug and Nate were busy playing when Doug came back, by himself, and said he couldn't find where Nate ran off to (or was possibly hiding). So my parents fan out, I stay put in case he comes back, and then our friends and other parents were looking too. Doug thinks to check the track, where Lily had just walked by with a ton of other kids, and go talk to them. He asked Lily if she had seen him, and of course she had because she's an awesome sister, and said "yeah, he put himself in the track meet" and he had. He was on the line, ready to run in the race. We had asked him prior to this, at two different meets, if he was interested but he said no. So apparently, when all the kids walked by, he saw his time and joined them. And you want to know something? The kid got 5th place. He's THREE and was racing other 3 and 4 years olds, maybe even 5 year olds. So now he's signed up for the next meet. 

And that's our life. 

Busy, hectic, full of laughter and fun. I wouldn't have it any other way! 

{Gardening} South Side, Update

It's amazing how well a garden can grow, isn't it? This one may be growing a bit too much (especially the weeds!). This was taken yesterday. 

The above photo was taken on June 6, so exactly two weeks before the top photo. I pulled the two plants near the trellis (more "gourds" - see below), and staked the pepper plants. 

What do you think of painting the basement window frames gray? The sides and top are wood and the bottom is the concrete, but has been painted white. I'm thinking gray will help it hide in. And then I want to frost the windows with spray paint so it'll let in light but keep it more private. We currently have them covered. 

The above two photos of gourds were a trial run of planting seeds with my coworker before the season was ready. We did a few others too but the gourds really took off. The problem is that I'm pretty sure the package just said "gourds" and nothing else. So I'm thinking they'll be more like bird house gourds rather than something else. Any help? Suggestions? The plant may be taken out and it'll definitely be cut back soon as it's taking over everything. 

This baby praying mantis was fun to see. We had seen a few others in our back yard but not in the garden area. Let's hope they stay away from the chickens! I mentioned on Instagram (follow @thebrickbungalow) that I haven't seen an adult in awhile but I always see the babies. So obviously the adults are better at hiding! 

And another generic package, our "garden beans" that I picked last night. I didn't cook them well or I'd be describing their delicious (hopefully) flavor. Better luck next time!

Do you garden? What do you plant? This is this garden's first year so we'll keep it around for now. I may add to it if I can get more buckets. And by may, it'll definitely happen. I did this all, minus a few trees that needed chopped by Doug, so he can't get too mad at me!

{Lily's Garden} Early June Update

Hi Friends! Have you been reading about our back yard chicken adventure? We got them in early May and we've been spending a lot of time (and money) on them. Luckily for me, the garden has come in strong this year with only two plants that haven't returned. I replaced one but it died too, so I may switch directions. Other than that, I think it's looking good, don't you? 

The lilies are blooming like crazy right now! This is one I picked up a few years ago to add some height and variety. It angles down which is so pretty but very hard to photograph. 

Below is a shot from before some of the lilies bloomed. Above is the most recent full garden shot. I'm trying to show more updates this summer and I'm already slacking so come back for more garden shots! Or check me out on Instagram @ thebrickbungalow - I take the pictures but they don't always get on the blog. 

And now my coneflowers are blooming and I love them. They're so pretty in all stages of their bloom - even the bright green buds.  Don't you agree? 

The daylilies will be blooming soon and then who knows what! I don't have a lot of late bloomers so maybe that's the next plan? I've run out of room though so here's to hoping all the lilies and coneflowers keep going! 

{Backyard Chickens} Growing Up, part 2

 Hello Friends! Check out our girls. They have gotten so big!!! 

Top to bottom - Monica, the Black Silver Laced Wyandotte; Goldie, the Buff Orphington (I think); Phoebe (the Easter Egger aka Ameruacana (sp?)); Rachel, the Rhode Island Red; and Cookie, the feather footed Bantam. If you know chickens and can help me - let me know! 

It was really hot one day so they got treats in ice water. They did not like the grapes. 

And here they are checking out their new digs! They aren't there permanently so I'll post when that happens. But they are so happy! 

Krypto loves them. And he'd love to eat them. 

I can't wait until they are out here permanately. It is almost time! We finished the door to the run over the weekend and the other three doors are at my dad's house as he made them. A few more tweaks and some painting and I think they'll be here full time. And that means I'll be able to clean my back porch off and hopefully get to painting it soon! 

{Backyard Chickens} Growing Up

I introduced the girls in the last chicken post so here are a few updates. 

The got a bath and a larger brooder box a few weeks ago. The bath was to help with the lice that I think they have. So far I think we've won the fight with the nasty little bug but time will tell. They will get another bath soon. I've added DE and a dirt bath to their brooder so they've been having fun. 

Below is Monica, the Black Laced Wyandotte. She may be one of the friendliest, so right now she's one of my favorites. 

Here's Rachel. She's a very pretty Rhode Island Red with a little eyeliner like line by her eyes. 

They weren't too thrilled about the bath but they all got loving afterwards and put under the heat lamp when they grew sick of me. 

And then they've had some outdoor time! This shows how bad our garden needs weeded, but it provided a lot of variety of plants to snack on and bugs to find for the girls. 

They've gotten so big and have definitely reached the awkward "teenager" stage. It's funny. 


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