72 In Life

Weekends, Honey & Tees

Hi folks!

I hope this Monday finds you all well and recovered from your weekend! If you’re a mom, Happy Belated Mother’s Day to you. If you’re not a mom, and really want to be one, I hope this past Mother’s Day was your last without a baby! My children showered me with the most precious handmade cards and pictures. I tried to get them to wait until Sunday, and the girls were the only ones who could hold out. The Rover made me a flower card at Mother’s Morning Out and the flower was a kitchen scrubber… he was so excited and very eloquently said, “Happy Mo’dders Day, Mommy!” over and over again and it nearly melted my heart every time he said it. Our pastor sent out an email earlier today with a link to Kevin DeYoung’s recent blog post “A Modest Proposal on Moms“. If you have a minute and need a little affirmation that what you are doing as a mother is challenging, rewarding, and extraordinary, take some time and read it. He directly challenges Christian colleges and universities but I’d even go so far as to challenge all universities, and sororities too for that matter, to recognize their alumni who are successful mothers.

Now, backing up a little… to Easter, because we didn’t get pictures on Mother’s Day.

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Contrary to how it looks, they didn’t get gobs of gum in their Easter baskets! In fact, Justin always challenges me to think beyond candy, because well… candy isn’t good for them. So their baskets were completely candy and gum free. This means that the stuff that was in their baskets couldn’t be consumed by them {or me} and, therefore, it is still scattered around our house. If they could only eat those dang puzzle pieces! Next year I’m going to remind Justin that although it’s not healthy, at least the candy is all consumed within a couple days, if not by them, by me!

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I did manage to find the little Rover these cool “action” figures on the clearance rack at Tuesday Morning to put in his basket. He thinks they’re pretty cool and I do too. Here it is on Amazon. We also have the Tales of Glory nativity set and it’s great for kids too!

After Easter morning service we had a great lunch with Justin’s family. Both his sister and brother live in town with their families and its always great to get all the cousins together. It was about 2:00 {when we were leaving} that we decided to try to get pictures. For the record, 2:00 and 2-year-olds don’t mix… here’s proof.

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Someone may need to submit this to the awkward family photos blog!

This was our 2nd and final attempt.

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{The girls’ sweet dresses are by Kayce Hughes.}

And then we got in our car and left, put him down for a nap, only to wake him a couple hours later because there are only so many hours of daylight, and Justin was itching to get into our hive full of honey. So down to the farm we went… and our first stop was the garden. I planted all our vegetables from seed this year. February 21st was the day, and it seems to be so much more rewarding when you yield fruit from plants that come from seeds. The kids had a blast picking and we’ve already harvested squash, zucchini, and cucumbers and before we know it the tomatoes will be ready!

 

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Then we made our way to the hive. The weather was not cooperating for the kids to be nearby. It was overcast and drizzling, which can make for very ornery honey bees.

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Once the kids were situated at a distance, Justin suited up and went in for one super and I bravely {and suitlessly, mind you} took my position as family photographer.

A super is one of the {5} smaller boxes above the brood chamber {the deeper of the boxes on the bottom}. We were thrilled to see the combs capped, which means they’re full of honey.

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capped

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This super weighed almost 50 pounds which is really exciting, considering it’s one of 5 supers! We didn’t harvest in the fall because Justin feared robbing them of what was there wouldn’t leave enough for them to live on for the winter, which means our spring harvest will be all the more bountiful.

Before Justin removed the super from the hive, he sprayed it with a “bee gone” product that has a strong {kind of herbal} smell that the bees don’t like, this is supposed to send them down into the hive and away from the super you are harvesting. It works pretty well but you still have to brush off a few stray bees that linger on. This is a frame, and each super has about 10 frames where the bees will build their combs and fill it with honey.

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You’ll see here, only 5 of the frames were capped and ready. We bravely put the frames in the backseat with the kids and we were nearly halfway home when I smelled the most wonderful smell of honey because someone couldn’t help but scratch the capped comb and rich, sweet honey was dripping all over the car! Hmmm, who could have done that!?

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There are several ways to get honey from the comb but my husband, being resourceful, has rigged up the most interesting extractor contraption made of a 50 gallon stainless steel drum with a valve at the bottom. Inside, the frames are mounted and spun with power drill and the centrifugal force of the spinning spins the honey right out. A similar product can be purchased from bee keeping sources but for about 10x the price and this works so we roll with it! It wasn’t until the next weekend that Justin had it all spun out and strained twice, so that we could jar it. And by then we were back at the beach… have honey, will travel. πŸ™‚

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Still not quite enough to sell, but one day we hope!

As I mentioned we were back at the beach and it was so wonderful, makes us all really excited about being there together as a family this summer! We did a lot of exploring, fishing, crabbing and swimming!

There are great walking/biking/running trails near our house so we loaded up Saturday morning early and headed out. Morgan rode 5 miles on her bike {with training wheels that we hope to take off soon} and Paige and Rover leisurely strolled.

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We met a little alligator along our way.

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Scattered along the paths are shelters, this one was my favorite. I always think of Daddy Boy when I see well-built picnic shelters. We used to go to state parks, not to stay or camp, but to checkout the picnic shelters! So, this one’s for you DB.

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We prepared an amazing dinner with these lovely steamed crabs, and then couldn’t quite figure out the best way to eat them! WeΒ  had all the right instruments {thanks to our landlord} but still we laughed a lot and decided a few instructions on how to procure the lump meat in addition to the claws will be needed before we try again!

Thankfully, the other night we got to escape for a kid-free romantic dinner… by boat! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about more of these. We scooted across the bay and docked at Cobalt’s for a wonderful dinner for two. The picture quality drops off a little here because the phone camera is a little more transportable when you’re at sea in the 14′ 1964 Starcraft.

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While we were there my kids happily obliged to show y’all the new inventory at Honey Bee Tees.

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JM Mackerel

Set Sail, Spanish Mackerel {which we’ve been catching off the dock}, Tractor {short sleeves}, and Kinda Crabby are all listed in the shop! And everything else has been restocked! Order 5 or more tees and you’ll get a free Honey Bee Tees Koozie!

Whew! That’s all for now!

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  • april
    May 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    that honey looks delish girl….what wonderful family time!!!

    xoxo

  • JWM
    May 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    What a fun few weeks yall have had! I just have to ask you did you make Rover’s little outfit? I have a little boy and was wondering if you have been doing any sewing for boys. I have made jon-jons until I’m blue in the face and looking for something new to try.

  • Brittaney
    May 9, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Your Easter pictures are adorable (and realistic)! Those gum-filled cheeks are too cute!
    Isn’t Cobalt delish? They have wonderful pizza that is even better after a long day on the boat.
    Love the new shirts. Now it’s time to make some of those summery tees for adults! Fitted tees for women, maybe?

  • polly
    May 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    beautiful photos! we recently began keeping bigs so i was tickled to see hour pictures of the honeycomb. mighty brave to get so close without a bee suit
    blessings,

  • The Mom
    May 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Number one rule when eating blue crabs–all you need is a sharp knife and a fork; ABSOLUTELY DO NOT USE a mallet! You can use a nutpick (you know one of those skinny little tools our grandmothers always had lying about) if you really want to, but really the knife and fork will do. There are actually some decent videos on Utube about how to eat blue crabs, but the language was PG and some were even R rated so I didn’t want to post the link! I also think you should do a tee with your little boat if you have not already done so! This was a charming post!

  • JulieJ
    May 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Darby, I love your life! Thanks for sharing it with all of us. I just eat it up! My grandad use to keep beehives when I was very young, and I so wish I had clearer memories of those times. I do remember how delicious the honey was πŸ™‚ I wanted to tell you that I made my mom two of your rice bag heating pads for Mother’s Day and she LOVED them! I blogged about them yesterday. I’m glad you enjoyed your Mother’s Day, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the week!

  • Dona
    May 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Darby- I have just had the best time “catching up” on your blog!!! You crack me up! The Koozies are so fun and the Tees are great!!! I look forward to seeing all the fun y’all have this summer! D.

  • paige
    May 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    i’m so impressed. your precious family can do it all!
    you’re rocking that living-at-the-beach tan my friend!
    happy late mothers day to one of THE best mamas ever!
    xo

  • callie
    May 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    what a great post! thanks so much for sharing. and i have a little boy who would LOVE a tractor shirt – i’ll have to hop on over and buy one! p.s. he is nearly 2 and doesn’t “do” 2:00 either πŸ™‚

  • Ashley
    May 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Everyone looks so healthy and tan! πŸ™‚ Great pics!
    And thanks for sharing the details of your honey bees…. SO fascinating!!!

  • Shannon
    May 9, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Hey Darby – great pictures and it looks like yall are having a blast at the beach – so much to look forward to this summer. I’m jealous of your date night away! I am going to order a few tee’s and wanted to ask, what size is JM wearing in the pictures? Thanks a bunch and I can’t wait to order tee’s for my little one – who is just beginning his two year old tantrums! Keeps me on my feet! Trying to tame a little rover with an attitude:) I relate so much to what you are going through with JM.

  • emily/thesearethedays
    May 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Your Easter pictures are so wonderful! And I love the picture of the shelter at the state park because my family is the same way. I will have to get a Honey Bee Tees koozie, too! So fun.

  • Katie@ Noodle and Boof
    May 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    How cool is the honey set-up! What a wonderful lesson for your Rovers! I love the stroller picture with lady-like crossed legs! Too cute. Dinner looks delish! Happy late Mother’s Day!

  • Caroline
    May 10, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Darby,
    I grew up in Maryland and started picking crabs as soon as I could sit at the table!! Someone mentioned above already but a mallet is definitely not necessary… in my opinion neither is the fork… just a sharp crab knife and your fingers. A little bowl of vinegar and some old bay and you’ve got it made! If you would like to fly me down to your beach rental for a little vacay this summer I would be happy to give you an in person tutorial!! πŸ™‚
    Enjoy!! Caroline

  • Kathy
    May 10, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Hi there-
    I’m from MD and we are famous for our MD crabs!!! We sit for hours just picking crabs and talking. It’s so fun and relaxing. I have a 13 yr old & a 12 yr old and they love picking crabs too!!! I found some easy instructions for you! In MD, we use Old Bay seasoning on the crabs and it makes the biggest difference!!! try it…. you won’t be disappointed!!!

    http://skipjack.net/le_shore/crab/picking.htm

  • Mary Beth
    May 10, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Thanks for sharing that article, Darby! Kevin DeYoung recently visited our church (First Pres, Columbia SC) and meeting him and hearing him preach was a real treat. We love the Gospel Coalition blog- this article by Paul Tripp has been life-transforming for us as parents: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/01/11/parenting-the-joyful-impossibility/

  • D. anderson
    May 10, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Hello Darby…..just had to comment on your beautiful family. You guys are all precious. I have to ask, your beach pictures look like you vacation in the same place that my family does, Orange Beach, AL. We go at least twice a year to Ono Island in OB. Is that where you guys stay as well? It is gorgeous there and I am hoping that in a few short years we will be there full time. (A girl can dream right?) I live about 2 1/2 hrs from OB, and we LOVE the beach. Thanks for sharing your pictures and life with us.
    D. Anderson ;o)

  • Melanie
    May 10, 2011 at 7:39 am

    LOVE the new Tee’s!
    Great family pictures…I really need to get a few of those:)

  • Melissa
    May 10, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Ooooh that honey looks yummy! I have been trying to talk my parents into doing the bee thing as they have plenty of room. I want fresh honey.

  • Meg
    May 10, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I’m new to your blog, and I love those shirts! Can’t wait til my son makes it to the size 2’s so I can get him a few!!!

  • Manda
    May 10, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Yay for honey! We just started a hive this spring and are looking at extractors. Would love to see pics of your hubby’s contraption that he built!

  • Chris
    May 10, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Darby, i have long loved your blog, your sense of style and your adorable tees…and at last my little boy is big enough to wear them!! (I hope). Can’t wait for them to arrive.

  • Amanda Wells
    May 10, 2011 at 9:00 am

    The honey is so fascinating to me!
    http://www.amandadovewells.com/?page_id=45

  • Mackie
    May 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Love the crab tee! Looks like a lot of fun family time & good for you for stealing away for a date πŸ™‚

  • Whitney
    May 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

    This post is so delightful! 1. I love my kayce hughes dress that I got on sale from the ad on your blog. 2. I love reading about the bees. My husband wants land so badly. I hope he’s able to do the things you and your husband do one day. 3. I love the ring on your little girl’s finger. So precious and prissy. Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Whitney
    May 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    PS. I’ve read Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. I liked it, but am still struggling with some things he writes. Have you read it? Would love to know your opinion if so.

  • katie
    May 10, 2011 at 10:13 am

    what a beautiful picnic shelter, I think I could live there! πŸ™‚

  • Catherine
    May 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I just ordered my little one the Koi Honey Bee Tee! I can’t wait to get it. They are adorable Darby!

  • Nelle
    May 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    That is the most thoughtful Mother’s Day wish Darby. I’m still praying for just one little Rover! Thank you! Love the crab tee and koozie as a Baltimore resident. xoxo

  • Hailey
    May 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I am sure you get this a lot but, your kids are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

  • kayce hughes
    May 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    You made my day!

  • Joy
    May 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Great pictures!! Looks like it’s been a wonderful week!

  • ELK
    May 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I moved to Maryland about 5 years ago and the first time I went to crab feast, I’m orginally from land locked Missouri and was definitely out of my element! Thankfully, locals are always happy to show you the ropes. Have some natives over for a lesson!! Best of luck!

  • Sanna
    May 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Darby, so sad i missed out on the tees. I have been checking back frequently to get a few that I have been wanting for awhile, but i keep missing out. Please keep restocking! ~Sanna

  • Lindsey
    May 10, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Please put the Honey Bee designs on a more “girly” ribbed tank top or something similar! The new designs are adorable but my 2 year old won’t wear a t-shirt!

  • Julia
    May 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I love the girls’ dresses.

    Your tee designs would look really cute on girl tank tops.

  • brook
    May 11, 2011 at 7:51 am

    ordered my first honey bee tees yesterday (sail boat for each of my kiddos- so cute!). so excited and can’t wait to get them! thanks!

  • Emily
    May 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day!! Yay for your honey! That’s wonderful! I have been trying to make my own extractor but was having touble figuring out how to create the crank and make it spin fast enough without blowing my shoulder out!! The cordless drill is a FANTASTIC idea! Whoopie! Thanks so much for the info! I so didn’t want to spend hundreds on one! xoxo I’m jealous of your honey…up here we don’t start harvesting for a month or so…and it’s been cold. πŸ™ Slow bees!

  • Amy
    May 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    You have such a beautiful family Darby! Love all the family pics. That honey looks divine! Love the new tees too. Hope you are having a great week! :-)_

  • Jessica
    May 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Great Easter pictures! I absolutely love your girls’ dresses! I wonder if they come in littler sizes, for my little 2 year-old. I’ll have to check out the link.

    I’m so jealous of the fun things you guys do, like making your own honey! It looks like so much fun & what a wonderful activity to do with your family.

    Have fun at the beach! πŸ™‚

  • Today's Letters
    May 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    the pic of you and paiger on the dock is my new fave.
    bootyful.
    xoxo!

  • April Queen
    May 12, 2011 at 7:26 am

    The honey looks so good! Me and all three of my kids have allergies and I always get local honey as soon as I can. It is so good for you, especially if you have allergies! I don’t know how you do all that you do. My mom is that way. She has never ending energy and can get so many things done. Maybe I need a class in multitasking!

  • stephanie
    May 12, 2011 at 8:41 am

    oh my gosh, look at that picture of paige in the stroller..she is one girlie girl!!! love her! =)

  • Jess
    May 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    thanks darby! LOVE your blog! where did you get that necklace you have on for easter? i LOVE it!

  • kathleen
    May 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    In my humble Opinion, all a University has to do is let their alum in on some of the great blogs out there by mother alumni being just mothers. Some of the best blogs out there in blog land are written by “just mothers.” Hint hint– I can see it now a story in the Auburn Plainsman, about bloggers of Alabama that happen to be Tigers… who wills call the news desk with the great tip??

  • Alison
    May 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Happened upon your blog from another’s blog and this post – well, it brought back a lot of memories for me. Bee keeping was a hobby of both my father and grandfather and I remember many a sticky afternoon as my dad harvested that yummy goodness. What a delightful piece of the world you have over here on your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  • Katie
    May 16, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Oh, y’all’s honey looks so pretty! And I am certain it is delicious. It’s always fun to taste honey from different regions. Do you plan to ever harvest the propolis?

    Honey, Paige in that stroller is about to do me in! Crossing them sweet little legs .. and her ring! … she is preciousness. Happy week to y’all!

  • Michelle @ Lifewithacrazypup
    May 17, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I can’t wait till you guys have enough honey to sell — I’ll definitely buy some! You’re pictures are beautiful as always! As a Marylander — I’m loving the Blue Crab Tee… I just need to start having some babies so I can buy some shirts too without being creepy!

  • Mary Perrigo
    May 18, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Just checking on you…. it’s been awhile. Hope you and your family are well. You are missed!

  • Perfecting Pru
    May 19, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Just like Mary, I’m hoping that you are all okay and that you enjoying the sunshine and having fun and have decided to give the computer a break for a bit.

    Pru

  • Sara
    May 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Hey Darby, I’m not sure if this would really work for your after dark photos or not but I figure you can’t go wrong for $20 (it’s currently discounted on Amazon) and it might hold you over until you get a fancy tripod…

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/goldbox/ref=cs_top_nav_gb27

  • Sara
    May 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Ahhh…. I always proof read too late. I would like to retract the phrase “after dark photos” and replace it with “the adorable photos you take of your children after the sun has gone down”. Sorry about that.

  • Anna
    May 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Darby – I miss you….and your precious family too!

  • Angela
    May 20, 2011 at 1:01 am

    I mentioned your bee farm to my hubby as we drove through S. Alabama on the way home and hubby wanted to buy some from you guys. Funny how you posted about this.

  • Catherine
    May 20, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Looking forward to your posts! I hope all is well! And, I got my Honey Bee Tee the other day! Adorable.

  • Janice
    May 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    You do know we (I) worry when you don’t post for a long time. Hope all is OK in Darbyville.

  • Leslie
    May 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Trying desperately to find the loaves of white bread you posted with instant potatoes. Will you please reply with link?

  • gina stanfield
    May 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    where are you??????? no posts since May 9th! are you ok?

    faithful reader

  • Lori
    May 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Miss you Darby..hope you are well. My morning coffee isn’t the same without your blog.=)

  • Claire
    May 23, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Missing your wonderful posts and photos of your precious children and praying everything is okay.

  • Claire
    May 23, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Missing your wonderful posts and photos of your precious children and praying everything is okay.

  • kathleen
    May 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

    When I suppose May, for People with kids ( in school ) is a whirlwind, I just visit Urban Grace. As you may know PLU , Darby is featured on Apartment Therapy. The Sticklers are in our thoughts and prayers as this thing called life happens for us all.

  • Lexi
    May 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Darby & family, we sure hope that all is well with you. As a faithful reader I get scared when we don’t hear from you for so long πŸ™‚

  • Amanda
    May 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Are you with child again? I remember reading in one of your posts that it can cause you to fall off the blogwagon. Seriouly though, I hope you are doing great and all is well with you and yours.

  • Kara
    May 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Praying you are hainvg such a great time with your kiddos that you have simply forgotten about us. Hope to hear from you soon, keeping you in our prayers.

  • JenniB
    May 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    We miss you Darby…hoping all is well and you are just having a great time with the kiddos!

  • Mary-Stewart
    May 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I am missing reading your sweet, encouraging, funny, and inspiring blogs! I am the world’s worst blogger, so I am not complaining, just wanted you to know you are missed! πŸ™‚ Hope you and your family are well!

  • Meghan
    May 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I get scared when you’re gone too!!! You are SO loved. xxoo

  • Missy
    May 24, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Hoping all is well with you and your sweet family! Just want to let you know you are missed!

  • Caroline
    May 24, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I.NEED.DARBY!!!
    Good news though… I think I have read all the archives.
    Wow.

  • Shannon
    August 8, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I am curious as to how you got started with bees? Do you recommend any “How to” or starting books? I want to put a small hive on my father’s property for hobby reasons, not to sell honey. I have done a lot of online reading but see that you are (or your hubby) have a great hive! SMSullivan0110(at)gmail(dot)com

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