If I haven’t shared how much I am in love with living in the country, let me be clear that I LOVE living in the country.  This move was simply the right fit for our family and we’ve enjoyed everything that comes along with the change.  We’ve discovered a whole world that we knew existed, but was out of our reach before.  The newest wonder we are captivated by right now is the nighttime light show.  We get front row seats on our front porch as the lightning bugs fill the landscape.  Oh my word, it’s a sight to behold.  It’s like standing inside a big mason jar filled with hundreds of little fireflies moving about.  Hubby and I sat in awe as we gazed upon the wondrous glory last night, it was a treasure.  Neither one of us have ever seen so many lightning bugs fill the sky before!  It’s difficult for the camera to truly capture this spectacular scene, but I tried last night with a longer shutter speed.  It’s much better to be experienced in person though.

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It’s been a very busy few weeks!  We had a wonderful visit with our Texas cousins 2 weeks ago and then headed off to the beach to spend some QT with one of our favorite families.  While the cousins were here, I was able to snap a few pictures of all of the children together.  They are such a fun group!  It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, they always pick up right where they left off.  My kiddos were especially excited to see them after having just spent Christmas together.  It was such a delightful treat to have the whole group of them together!

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In honor of Duān Wǔ Jié, or Dragon Boat Festival, I thought I’d share the recipe for a traditional Chinese side dish.  It is not a dish that is cooked to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival, but it is one that I ate often in China.  I finally just made it in my kitchen last night to celebrate Sunshine’s Family Day!  Though only one out of four kids liked it, the dish is so super simply to make.  Hubby and I loved it, and it requires only a few ingredients!

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Ingredients:

4 eggs
1 large, fresh tomatoes, washed
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil (EVOO or sesame)

Directions:

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl with 1 tsp salt, set aside.  Chop the tomato into bite-size pieces, set aside.  Over medium heat, fry the minced garlic in 1 tbsp of oil in a pan or wok until the aroma is released.  Add the tomatoes (with all of its juices), into the pan.  Add 1-2 tsp sugar, depending on your desire for sweetness.  Mix well and allow to cook until soupy.  If it fries too long, it will get dry.  If that happens, add a small amount of water and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, fry and scramble the eggs over medium heat in another pan with 1 tbsp oil.  Once finished, add the eggs to the tomato mixture.  Add 1 tsp salt, and mix well.  Stir for another few minutes over medium heat until well combined.  Serve immediately!

Easy peasy!

*The pictures are of  a doubled recipe, which I would suggest for a family.

Happy Dragon Boat Festival!

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I am so excited about this first iris, I can hardly stand it!  I planted some along the driveway with day lilies, during our big planting day about a month and a half ago.  I wasn’t quite sure that any of them would actually bloom this season, though the leaves have all sprouted up.  When I spotted this bloom yesterday, I nearly scared the children half to death when I slammed on the car breaks coming up the drive.  But I had to take a moment to admire my first lovely purple iris!  Isn’t she beautiful, especially with the rain still resting on the petals?  I love how unique these flowers are.  And I didn’t realize how much enjoyment and fulfillment I would get out of gardening!  I haven’t ever really been inspired to garden before, but there’s so much “scope for the imagination” here, as the dear Anne Shirley would say.  There’s so much of God’s glorious creation simply waiting to be discovered and admired!

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We found these two cuties out by the pool this morning.  They were completely gray, giving them the appearance of being dead!  We’ve had toads and other outdoor friends succumb to the saltwater of the pool, so it’s somewhat expected to discover creatures floating in the water.  Turns out, they were actually just resting.  The kids correctly identified them as tree frogs based on their sticky feet and the vibrant yellow legs.  They are Gray Tree Frogs actually, with the super fascinating ability to change colors based on their surroundings.  Today they were gray because they were in an unnatural setting.  We found out that they typically rest on trees during the day, so I’m not sure how they ended up by the pool.  This is the first time we’ve seen any tree frogs out during the day, but they are all over the place in the evening.  We can usually hear them well into the night!  After we played and took pictures with them, the kids put them back into their natural habitat by the woods.

This is such a cool place to raise kids.  We have so many opportunities to learn about the natural world around us!  There are so many science lessons simply waiting to be discovered!  I think Charlotte Mason would have approved.

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