Sunday, November 30, 2014

Golden Dues

Guess what we did today?!
I'll give you a clue...
  It was finally time to collect the harvest of our thousands of hard working ladies. 
This is collection day at the hive when we took the honey supers off the hive
It was such a joy to watch that golden delicousness flow
...almost made all of this summers stings worth it!
I'm not sure if it was the pregnancy hormones, lack of care, or switch from Italian to Russian bees, but they were vicious this year;
Honey taxes due date, sorry bees, we're coming to collect
I was only able to make it through one inspection sting-free. Honestly, I shouldn't complain, these ladies were really the ones working their tails off...
the average life of a honey bee during the working season is only 6 weeks
 and she gathers only 1/10th tsp. honey in her lifetime
so, it takes 10,000 bees flying a total distance of more than twice around the world
flowers from the Thomas home
and tapping two million flowers to create one pound of honey. 
We collected over 5 gallons of this labor intensive honey...
Here is a frame with the empty comb just after the honey was spun from it. 
This is last year's neatly capped honey; where it looks white, that's the beeswax capped honey.
  The first step to actually collecting the honey is to remove the capping. 
water-filled crockpot heating knives
We used a few methods this year: cutting it off with a hot knife, and puncturing it with a fork.
Once the capping was removed we swiftly placed the frames into the honey extractor.
 Then you use the help of your strapping young lad (or two) to spin the handle like mad;
the force of the spinning pulls the freshly uncapped honey out of the comb and onto the sides of the extractor where it slides down.
  Eventually you open the valve and let that beautiful golden goodness flow into a series of filters before it's ready for bottling.
Thank you ladies for letting us rob you of your winter stock,
we truly hope we left you enough fruits of your labor to make it through the winter.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Craft Monster

It's a blessing and a curse to love can give you an addiction to creating a "product" or create a sewing monster who is consumed with completion and MUST get it done-dishes and dinner and house cleaning be darned!  Well that little monster has been put to bed lately. 
With my latest and greatest product being that beautiful baby Leo,
and can you imagine a greater product?! 
But, last night a couple of my closest crafting buddies came over 
(they even brought dinner-yeah for mama!) and I got the bug again. 
Now my mind is full of all kinds of ideas I'd put on the back burner for the last month, and I can't wait to find the time to make some of these things happen. 
this is the pattern, Leo's will be ivory
So I've started knitting Leo's Christmas stocking (to quite that craft monster)
while Leo sleeps on my chest (really the best of both worlds!) and keep soaking in this time that is so precious, so sacred this time with my rapidly growing newborn. 
Because I know my little boy will not be little for long and the crafting...well, the list will always be there.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Leo's Baptism

Leo joined the church! 
It was officially Sunday when he turned one month. 
He didn't let out a peep as the water was poured on his little head
Fire from the Easter Candle, Holy Water, and Christening Oil
and Father signed his forehead with the spicy smelling christening oil.
Aunt Ruth and Uncle Mike were chosen as godparents; they are so wonderful with the four children they have, truly raising them up as children of God; hopefully they will have the same positive influence on our Leo.
His white garment was created from Aunt Rach's wedding gown, a beautiful tribute to new beginnings.

We celebrated his new life in Christ with a Mexican themed dinner
and Great Grandma's famous pies.
Aunt Ruthie helped with decorations...look at how talented she is with chalk!
And Aunt Rose was the self-proclaimed "behind the scenes lady" who held the whole show together.
Aunt Rose working so hard she didn't have time to turn around for the photo!
I could not have done it without them.
How grateful we are for the wonderful Church family
and biological families with which we've been blessed.
What a wonderful day of praise and thanksgiving and recommitment to the things that truly matter most.

One month already!

I love my nieces and nephews so SO much.
I remember wondering if I would love my own children as much when I had them. 
Our Leo is just over a month old and I can officially say YES.
I didn't think it possible, but I love him even more, just as a mother should. Sometimes it all seems so surreal; it's hard to imagine...
seems like I was just this size and dreaming about whether I'd be having a baby boy or girl, and now that little man has already been with us 4 1/2 weeks! 
such a happy boy
We have been so blessed.  He is such a sweet baby; he smiled while he was still in the hospital, but now he does it often.  Sarah said he must be smiling at angels, what a wonderful thought.
profile cooing
Leo has already gained close to 4lbs and weighs in just under 12lbs-he's getting to be such a little chunk!   Leo is now 22 inches long and his head has grow to 15.25 inches around and really he's a strong little guy. 
big yawn
He'll sleep at least in 2hrs stretches night and occasionally I'll get him to do 3 or 4hrs (especially if Eric is home to hold him...sometimes I think he'd sleep all day if he were held). Today he took his first bottle, like a champ.
I was a little worried, but he just fits right in with the rest of the family and likes his food any way he can get it!
fresh out of a bath
He's a pretty relaxed baby and after a diaper change he'll just sit and stare at the birch tree forest in his room.  On the rare occasion when he's really worked up,
shushing in his ear or running the bath water always seem to sooth him. He really is a mini-Eric and I think it's especially true when he is just waking up or when he's fussy or cute!
such a good little pouty lip
Some of his hair is falling out already and some just keeps on a growing, so you can see what his Great Grandpa Sorg would "chicken feathers and rooster tails" on the top of his head, and it's so long in the back that it hangs over his collar a little.
look mom I can go cross-eyed
He's started to recognize our faces and voices and will look around to find us which is a small but wonderful reward for us as parents.  Leo is also making some beautiful cooing noises these days...a delight for the ears.
His little faces crack me up...especially his Rob Ford impersonation
(spot on, right?!)
Oh Leo what joy you've brought into our lives!  We cannot wait to see what more is to come!