All posts by dforgiven

Good Morning

Isn’t this a beautiful site? I am so blessed to live here.

I purchased a few cherries yesterday from our local supermarket. They are from an orchard not too far from our house.

So I came home and spent part of the day pitting them and canning them. I think they are so pretty in the jars.

It has been a beautiful week here in Floyd. Cool nighttime temperatures in the low 50’s. Daytime temperatures upper 70’s. Low humidity. I LOVE it.

God bless.

Picnic and Another Hike

We decided to do a picnic and a hike yesterday. I love spur of moment fun.

Grace, the kids and I went hiking while Jess, John Luke and Donna stayed back and started the charcoal. When Dave got there from work, he grilled the chicken. We also had macaroni salad, rolls, cookies and fresh lemonade. Great food.

Great memories. Jess took this picture of us before we started our hike. I realized in this picture just how tall all the kids are getting.

John Luke discovered how much fun a bubble gun is. He has trouble blowing bubbles but when all the kids were blowing theirs he got to participate by using his bubble gun. He loved it.

Our view on our hike. We saw deer, squirrels, chipmunks, bugs, flowers. All kinds of interesting things.

Grace took this picture of an indigo bunting. He was singing so pretty for us. I LOVE spending time with family.

God bless.


This is what our lower garden looked like yesterday. Amazing what a week of rain can do!

This is what it looks like now. Much improved. Vicki and her kids came over yesterday. She and I worked in the garden while her kids and Grace had some fun time together.

I must tell you something Katie said that helped us all get through yesterday. She told her mom “you can’t cry. You can’t mess up her first birthday in heaven”. Out of the mouth of babes.

God bless.


Grace and I did a little hike yesterday.I love going on these “adventures” with her. We always have a great time.We see so many pretty things. She is always on the lookout for wildlife and flowers. This trail has several little benches to stop, rest, pray or just listen to the beautiful sounds.As we came out of the woods yesterday and into the clearing, we saw thisWe hope to do another hike today. Yesterday we did yard work. Mowing and weed eating. It takes a long time to get it all done. It rained all last week so the grass was very high. Today we will be working both gardens. The weeds have almost taken over up there, especially in the lower garden.

Now for the hard part of this post.

This sweet beautiful girl would be 20 today.

I love this picture. You were always laughing.

My sweet baby girl! We miss you SO SO much. I have asked Jesus to give you a special hug today from us for your birthday. You always did give the best hugs. We love you!

Sam’s Birthday Trip

This sweet boy has a birthday coming up. For his birthday trip, he wanted to see animals. He chose the Greensboro science center. Those of you who have been with me for a while know we LOVE going there.

Sam still isn’t too confident about touching a stingray. I love this picture. Grace is holding his hand.

So it was almost like he was touching them. It was really hard to get good pictures.

It was a fun day though.

Grace enjoyed some time playing with this robot while Sam and Mommy watched a show.

Now just a few pictures of our beautiful sky last night.

God bless.

Gate For Deck

Dave and I worked on making this gate for their deck over the weekend. They have a beautiful big deck to enjoy. However, they needed a way to keep John Luke in and Nana out, so we made this gate. It is a huge gate. 12 ft. long and probably weighs 300 pound. We put it on wheels and it rolls into pockets so it is easy to open and close. We think George would be proud of us.

On Saturday, Grace and I went to another con. It was bigger than the other one we went to and lots more people were in costume.

We also did another hike with the Horns. We hiked a small trail at Smartview Park.

It was a really nice hike.

Grace and I worked in the upper garden.

It has rained every day since so it is already full of weeds again. Oh well, we need the rain.

Just a few pretty pictures.

The first rose bloom on the rose bush.

Julie always got so excited when the first bloom came on. There are no words to say how much we miss her. Hard stuff but I know God will see us through.

That’s all for now. God bless.

Strawberries and Much More

Hello everyone. Today was a fun day. Grace and I took the the kiddos strawberry picking.

Here we are getting ready to leave this morning.

Here they are about half way to the berry patch. Yes, they are all asleep.

My mother’s day gift from Grace. I think she did a great job. These are two of my favorite birds and I love pink dogwood trees.

We also took a hike with the Horns this week. Another one of those hard firsts.

It was a beautiful hike and just a few minutes from our house.

So pretty. We walked beside the river for quite a bit.

We all wore our tie dyed shirts.

Something new I did this week was dehydrate green onions. It was very easy to do. I have tried them in omelettes already and definitely want to dry more.

Grace and the kids gathered violet petals the other day and we made violet jelly from them. We have tasted it and it is very good. And SO pretty in the jar.

We had a double rainbow the other evening . I love rainbows.

I guess that’s about all for now. I am making some strawberry jam from the berries we picked today. God bless.

Garden Update and More

Just a little update on our garden so far. Not a lot going on yet but soon everything will be in full swing.

We have been enjoying kale, green onions and asparagus so far. They make a very tasty omelette especially with our farm fresh eggs.

Grace found these peppers the other day at one of our local greenhouses. They are the fooled you jalapeno. I like jalapeno peppers but not so much heat. I think these will be great for us.

Grace and I spent some time with the kiddos the other day while Jess was helping Dave’s mom with some errands. It was a fun day. Grace did an art lesson with them. They played Candyland. Then we spent some time outside.

I got this rare picture of John Luke. He is sitting still. That doesn’t happen very often.

Grace had an eye appointment. These are her new frames. I think they look really good on her.

We spend last Sunday with the Horns making these tie dyed shirts.

It was a lot of fun. We are planning on doing a hike soon and all of us wearing our shirts. Fun stuff.

Grace and I also went to a comic convention. My first one. It was something Grace and Julie always did together. It was a hard first for us but then all the firsts without her are hard. We did have a good time though.

Grace’s mama duck has hatched one baby. We think that will be all that hatches. It is SO cute. We are waiting a few days and if no others hatch we will move mama and baby to a new coop. The male duck is very mean.

The ladies are enjoying their first taste of freedom. We are in process of training them to go back in their lot at night. I let them out for a little while at a time until they are trained.

That’s about all for now. God bless.


Hello everyone. I hope you are all having a good week so far.

We have been having some beautiful sunrises. I love sunrises and sunsets.

Last Saturday, we had lots of riders here on the farm. Dave had worked up this ride as a fun day. Sam however didnt get to ride as he has had an abscessed tooth. He had a round of antibiotics and it was still hurting. Yesterday Jess took him to the dentist and they pulled it. It was very badly infected. After their ride on Saturday, the stomach bug hit the Bates house. It was a rough 4 days for them.

Grace and I plan on working today on her duck lot. One of her mama ducks is supposed to hatch out babies soon. We need to try to make the duck house and lot safe for them. I hope to take some pictures as we work to post.

Grace took this picture of the baby geese on the pond. They had just hatched out. They are so cute.

She also took this picture of wild mustard blooming.

Wild mustard was Julie’s favorite flower. She always said she wanted to get married in the spring and carry a bouquet of wild mustard. Sweet Julie, two months ago today, you went to live with Jesus. You are missed SO much!

God bless.

Getting a Few Things Done

Yesterday was a busy day here. Lots of things got done. First on the list was to get our rain barrels installed.

I have wanted to have rain barrels for quite a while and now two of them are in. We got some rain this morning and they already have some water in them.

Dave also got our tiller started and our lawn mower in operation. Thanks so much, Dave. We then had a cookout with burgers and hot dogs. Grace and the kiddos picked dandelions for us and then Jess and I got them ready to make jelly with. I so wish I had gotten a picture of them picking the dandelions but I missed it.

Isn’t it pretty?

Grace did get this picture of Daniel, Sam and Katie. I love it.

A friend of ours came and tilled the garden for us the other day. We are so thankful for family and good friends.

Grace and I rode around the farm the other day and I took this picture. We are blessed to live in a beautiful place.

God bless.