Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Garden

I have had many requests for pictures of the garden.  Since I just found my camera, here goes.
We start on the ground cover tonight.  Some young men from our church are going to come and help us with their nice young backs.  :-)

The beds as seen from the deck.  The one on the right in the corner will be my perennial bed.

As seen from the yard.  Poor broken down gate.  :-(

A variety of yummy squashes.  Pumpkins, zucchini and I think some gourds.  Yes, I was a bad gardener and didn't label my seedlings.  Makes for a fun surprise later, right?

E is very happy that his parents finally wised up and provided some proper play things.  DIRT!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Camping at Humbug Mt State Park

I'll have to apologize for the lack of pictures.  They are currently on the desktop in Lightroom, but have not made it past that yet.  I promise to get some over here.  C got some great shots, as usual.

We started our camping trip Monday and came home Friday.  Originally, C suggested a full week.  I looked at him with an odd enough look he adjusted the time frame to 5 days.  It may have been one day too long, but over all we had a great time.

The campground was a 5 hour trip from home and the kids did remarkably well.  It gives me hope for the upcoming 7+ hour trip to Idaho on Saturday. (Yikes!)  Loading the car was a bit of an adventure.  Just packing enough gear and food for 6 people, 2 of whom are in diapers, takes some finesse.  In hindsight, packing extra underwear for 2 of the children may have been overkill.
Unpacking of course is easier.  It involves Dad standing at the van and throwing stuff at laughing kids bobbing around.  The older boys pitched their own tent with a salting of fighting and insulting.  But they got it done and were pretty proud of themselves.  They also helped me pitch the big tent while C took E to the beach.  Note:  Pitching a tent near a 2 year old is ill-advised.
Then, we set up the kitchen.  That would be super important to our family.  I spent about a week prepping menues and pre-preparing food.  The whole food thing went a lot better than I thought it would.  We had enough, it all turned out pretty well and the kids ate it.  For the most part.  Predicting what G will eat requires more prophesying skills than I have.

The first day was beach day.  C had purchased a cabana-like thing for us to use which turned out to be perfect.  It provided some shade and wind protection and a spot to stash our gear.  It also gave the baby a safe  place to play.  Or rather, eat sand from.  Funny girl.  She screamed if I took her next to the ocean.  She screamed if I sat her in the sand.  But she happily shoved fistfuls of the stuff in her  mouth.  The boys of course had a blast playing in the surf, digging in the sand and running all over.  There was a stream to play in too.  That provided the most entertainment really.  It gave E a chance to stay in the water without worrying where the next big wave was coming from.  They floated driftwood, threw rocks and built dams.  Physics courses at their finest!

Day 2 was fishing day. Arizona beach has a kid's fishing pond that is quite nice.  The pond is fairly large and well stocked.  There is a huge amount of grass to run around in and several picnic tables to lay out snacks and fishing gear.  The boys became pretty adept casters.  G caught 2 fish and M caught 1.  That is causing some education in humility.

Day 3 was high adventure.  That was the day we set out to climb Humbug Mt.  It is 1756' high.  The trail is only 3 miles long.  I'll pause a second while you do the math there....

Okay.  So C and I decided that he would take the older 2 up and I would hang with the littles at their pace.  There was a stream about 3/4 mile up the trail and I figured we could play and snack there long enough to wait for the guys to come back and help me down the Mt.  Yeah, right.
E, climber that he is, settled on climbing a mountain as the ultimate task for his 2 year old self.  He told me everyday, "I want climb Humbug Mountain."  All the way up to the stream he refused to be left behind.  Finally, C was able to take G and M and head up to the summit.  But E would not stop.  But he was slowing waaaaayyyy doooowwwnnnn.  3 steps and a pause.  2 steps and apause.  Evertime he paused, I would ask him if he wanted to stop, to turn back, to go back to the campground.  I finally bribed him to play in the stream with our freeze dried ice cream.  But in getting back to the stream, I lost the radio I was using to assure C we were okay.
When E started screaming over eating a cookie, I looked in his mouth.  Turns out the injury to his tongue he sustained last week at he playground was much greater than I thought.  It was swollen, and multi-colored.  And gross.  And miserable looking.  No wonder he was having such a hard time!
So there I am.  2 kids, no radio and no help.  Fortunately I felt compelled to take M in the wrap rather than the mei tai.  So I situated everthing in E's backpack, tied him on my back, criss-crossed M on my front, carried the back pack and headed down the mountain.  I was apparently quite a sight!  But I made it back to camp.  E slep almost the whole way.
The next day, we broke camp and made it safely and uneventfully home.  With an ibuprofened kid.
Dr says he has an infection (duh) and is now on antibiotics which I hope work completely.
But I do want to point out, much to everyone surprise, that E did not sustain injury on the camping trip!  Hooray!!
Now I just need to get everything put away in such a way that it is not too hard to get it out next time.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Images from today

As promised, here is not just another post, but a picture post! Look at me go!
First, the garden in progress.  I took the picture through a screen.  Sorry, but going upstairs was the only way to get a good view.  At the edge between lots of weeds and icky gravel and not so many weeds is where the fence used to be.  It was covered in honeysuckle that had not been pruned in forever.  Maybe since it was planted?  Anyway, it all came out along with the rotting fence.  You can see what the garden beds will look like.  The beds have posts that sink into the ground to stabilize them.  That means someone has to dig a bunch of post holes though.  Hopefully the teen boy who helped last week can come back!

I managed to get E to go to sleep in the stroller last week sometime so I thought I'd try it again today.  WhooHoo!!  Double bonus. Aren't they so stinkin cute?  It was really nice to have some sun in which to do  this.  I may make this a regular daily event. Good for me, good for the kiddos.

While I walked in the glorious sunshine, kid 2 did this:

And I found kid 1 doing this:

Yeah, he pretty much eats non-stop.  Not always the best food choices.  He prefers things of a sweet nature like the above pictured ice cream, but he's 11.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sorry about that

I stopped by to clean up the comments.  What an incredible selection of options.  I could travel, get any illegal drug I want and see pictures of  things I never thought possible.  Or thought of at all, really.  For any of you who (used to be) are subscribed to comments.  My deepest apologies.

But since I'm here.....
My kids are still amazing. And exhausting.  It's raining and my plants are drowning.  Life goes on.
C is getting more practice with photography.  He is amazing!  I'll try to get some pictures moved around such that I can post some here.  C had a maternity photo shoot a few weeks ago, he has another portrait shoot this week and a senior portrait shoot in July.  He is also working hard on the yard. I posted one collage picture of the house back when we first bought it, but I don't think I ever posted a good picture of just the yard.  It was crazy overrun with weeds.  Nothing had been cared for in a looong time.  So we have a bit of work to do.  Soon, (I hope) the landscapers will be able to tear up my front yard and make it look like less of an eyesore.  They will also re-seed the backyard and make a new flowerbed.
For now, C and a boy from the ward have been working on the garden.  The house had an amazing garden area.  But the soil is not great, it doesn't really drain, and the amount of weeding we would have to do after 3 years of weeds taking over a going to seed was scary.  So raised beds it is.  Seven 8x4 beds and one perennial bed of a different size.  The ground is prepped, the sprinkler pipes are in, the lumber is cut and 2 beds are in.  3 total are built.  Next up is digging holes for the posts and building the rest of the beds.  Unfortunately, C hurt his back, so nothing more is gonna happen there until the nice young man (with the teenage back) can  come help again.  What with the rain and the construction delays, I am looking forward to a nice fall garden.

Baby M is now 13 months old.  She is trying out some steps and is so cute with those wobbly little legs.  She is also getting to be a pretty good climber.  She loves to sing--with hand motions!  And she is getting curly hair.  Oh, and she loves the potty.  Me thinks I'll be helping 2 kids potty learn in July.  I would do it sooner, but I am NOT taking 2 potty learning kids camping for a week and on a drive to Idaho.  NOTNOTNOT!

The boys are getting restless with all the rain.  I send them out to play as much as I can.  But I do need to keep an eye on E or he gets into all kinds of trouble.  I don't really want to stand out in the rain. Plus there are always a million things to do inside.  I miss the sun.

G is done with his year at preschool.  I put him in preschool because he would ask every day who we could play with.  He loved preschool. Adored it.  Then when he found out preschool would end, demanded to go to kindergarten.  None of this be taught at home with mom junk.  He wanted to ride the bus, be with kids every day.  So I've signed him up for kindergarten.  He is just mad he has to wait until September to start.  So I've ordered some stuff from Rainbow Resources and am going through the old homeschool supplies so we can "school" this summer.  He is sooo different from his older brother!

Speaking of older brother.  This has been a rough year with M.  I suspect a lot of it is me, but we were conflicting so much during the day, that I screamed "Uncle".  Our relationship sucked big time and C and I were arguing over M learning.  So, M has been attending public school in the mornings since March.  On  the one hand it has been really rough on him.  He is not too good at the strictly age-peer environment.  Of course I could go on for some length on my views about a strictly age-peer environment.  But he has made tremendous advances in his writing, spelling and math.  What is really awesome is that I feel like he and I are getting along much better now.
It has been really weird to deal with the school though.  Just not something I'm used to.  I am laughing though that we are legally homeschooling for the first time ever though.  Since he is enrolled only half time, I had to fill out the paperwork to declare M as homeschooled.  LOL  At the same time, I am now trying to figure out my role as essentially a non-homeschooling mom.  We will homeschool this summer.  I'm hoping that M having experienced public school, learning to write, and me having had a break, we will do pretty well.  I have always said I would never send a child to middle school.  I am hoping to be able to keep that promise.

For pictures of the kids for now, I'll just send everyone to my dad's post about their visit to see us this last week.  Hopefully I'll be back to write more before another 5 months go by.  I'm off to help with bedtime.  That's a process around here to be sure!