Sunday, June 30, 2013

Our Growing Garden

Our garden is growing!  I mean I haven't killed our plants yet! : )  I wanted to post lots of pictures so I can look back when we get our harvest and see what it looked like in the early stages.  I have been quite busy researching how to take care of it without chemicals.  My recent post on Sports Bras and Aprons talks about all the things I've been doing to rid the insects and keep my plants well fed.  Click HERE to read about it.

Here's the pics to show how it's coming along!

 Cucumber plants

 Birds eye view.  Those small ones on the bottom of the pic are the watermelon plants.

 15 Roma Tomato plants.  Can't wait to learn how to can!

 Broccoli
 Green Beans
 Carrots.  Wish we had more...

 Pumpkin and Zucchini.  It's basically a small hole I dug up in the midst of all the rocks!  Our neighbors were kind enough to give us these plants.  They had SOOO much excess.

 Our first veggies!!  Zucchini! 




 Strawberries and blueberries - may not get any fruit from them this year but they are growing well!

Mini peppers we planted from seeds we saved.  Who knows if we'll get peppers or just foliage but time will tell!

Having a garden is so exciting.  I can't believe that all these plants started from small packets of seeds.  How amazing to go from dirt to plants and hopefully eventually vegetables.  That we get to eat!  God is so good.  He really knew what he was doing when he created the earth and all that is in it.  I have such a greater appreciation for food now.  I can't WAIT to eat our harvest.  Yum!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Our Backyard Just Got More Fun

I'm pretty sure I've said it before but I'll say it again.  I LOVE our backyard!  From gardening to hanging our clothes on the line, to letting the kids play with all their fabulous toys, it just doesn't ever seem to get old.

Yesterday was a rare day for me - I had ZERO classes to teach.  Usually I can only get away with Sunday as a free day but this week I got Thursday too.  Aaron has been dying to get out some of his new toys so we literally spent the entire day in the back yard.  I'm not joking.  It was probably 7:45 am when we ventured out after breakfast and except for nap time, we spent until 8:30 pm outside!  It also had a lot to do with the fact that we do not have AC and it was nearly 100 degrees out!  I think 97 was the high.  Fortunately we do not have the accompanying humidity that lurks in Kansas City.  Never t he less, the house was sweltering and it felt better to be outside where there was at least a breeze and sprinklers.

The kids have a seemingly endless amount of things to do now.  They can dig in the dirt (their favorite), pretend to garden, take a swim in the kiddie pool, play soccer with their new ball and goal, play T-ball, attempt to play bad mitten which is really just a chance to whack at a birdie with the racket, shoot their air rockets, play on the shark slip n slide, drive their Tonka trucks around, hunt for bugs including their favorite - worms, shoot some hoops, color with sidewalk chalk, play horse shoes, play catch with a football, basketball, baseball, kickball, or velcro tennis ball set depending on their mood, make dirt soup or dirt pizzas, set up an obstacle course with mats and a little creativity, throw rocks (out of the yard and into the rock pit area), eat lunch, snacks, and dinner, pretend to grill while mommy does too, race from one fence to the other, make up silly games that Aaron can boss around Ethan with, and play in the dirt some more.  Whew!  Are they spoiled or what?  The great thing is the fence is locked and the kitchen is right off the deck so I can be inside for short periods of time cooking or piddling around and they keep each other busy.






Watching the kiddos while I sip some iced coffee.

The slip n slide has been a great addition to the backyard.  It will keep the kids laughing and occupied for a long time!  I am conscious of how much water I use especially since we are under restrictions.  So I usually have it on for 10 minutes or so and then turn it off.  Then they use buckets and the pool water to wet it and slide some more!  I pulled it up several times and moved it so as not to kill the grass and it stores nicely in the empty kiddie pool at the end of the day.  Of course they weren't sure what to do at first which is only natural because at four years old how would you know what to do if you've never seen one?  After setting it up the first time, I ran inside and threw my suit on secretly stoked to try it out and demonstrate for my eager son.  I did not get that on video - you wouldn't want to see it!  Even after showing him how, Aaron was a little timid to try it out on his belly.  So John helped them scoot on their booties.  It wasn't long though before Aaron finally got it down and with the help and innovation of the next door neighbors (and a little dish soap), they came up with all sorts of fun games to play with it.  Check out the progression of using the new slip n slide.



Friday, June 28, 2013

Our Big 4 Year Old!

Look at this handsome big 4 year old!!!

I can't believe he's four!  Well I guess I probably say that every year but really he is just getting so big.  Our party theme this year was Camp Aaron.  We set the back yard up like a day camp complete with lots of food, tents to play in, a fishing game, bug hunt, a cool camp cake and of course, roasting marshmallows!  


 Decorate a bug jar for our bug hunt later

 Magnetic Fishing Game

Party Favors



Ants on a log, Rabbit Food, and Crispy Spuds

Aaron's birthday request:  A camping cake!  John and I stayed up pretty late decorating.  We make a great cake boss team!  (He did most of the work!)



 Ready for our bug hunt.  I made them hide in the tent while the adults hid all the plastic critters. On your mark, get set, GO!





Look at all those bugs!!!

 Ready for cake!





 What camp would be complete without marshmallows?






What a night!  Look at all of those gifts he got.  He's one lucky four year old.  Lots of backyard toys, some video games, and fun little gadgets to play with.  The party was a great success.  But it was certainly not all me.  I couldn't have put it together without help from John and his parents.  I'm pretty sure Aaron had a great time.

Aaron,

You are such a handsome young man full of so much energy.  You are incredibly smart too.  You know how to spell and write your own name AND your brothers.  You can recognize all kinds of words by sight and tell me so when you see them.  You LOVE to play with your brother and even though sometimes you are rough, you love him dearly and would protect him/defend him if needed.  You are an amazing big brother and a great teacher.  You have taught Ethan how to talk, use the potty, and play with many games beyond his age capability.  You have shown him how to be a monkey like you!  I love mommy's monkeys.  You can count to 30 (you have to when you are in time out) and you can even count all the way to 100 by 10's.  You can dress yourself from head to toe and even pick out your own outfits.  You are starting to get into superheroes.  Spiderman is your favorite but you also like Superman and Batman.  You have started playing Wii games and have gotten pretty good at some of them though sometimes they make you angry enough to throw the controller, a habit we are trying to break.  Your daddy did it too.  You are now 40 inches tall!  Long and lean!  You don't like to do anything on demand like give hugs or snuggle!  But you don't have me fooled, you still snuggle me and want to be held.  You will always be my baby boy.  You love to play outside.  Backyard, parks, hikes, bike rides, you name it.  Naps are growing shorter and sometimes non-existent but some days we hit the sweet spot if we've played hard enough and you crash for a few hours in the afternoon.  You love to swim - actually you are kind of a fish!  You scare the lifeguards (and your mom) sometimes with how often you go under water on purpose but kind of awkwardly!  You still are a snacker - preferring to snack all day then actually eat your dinner.  You actually like broccoli!  Unlike your brother who loves fruit, you are my veggie eater!  Your daddy and I love you so very, very much.  There are so many other things I could tell you about to read later when you are older but it would take much, much longer to list them all.  Your dad and I are so blessed to be your parents.  Keep smiling and learning.

Love you,
Mom and Dad

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grandma and Granddad Visit

Last week we were fortunate enough to have John's parent visit us.  We had so much fun!  It was a whirlwind visit full of lots of fun activities including an aquarium visit, rides in a hot rod convertible Camero, Mt. Evans, and watching Uncle Matt and Aunt Jacquelyn play bike polo at their tournament.  And of course, perhaps the most important activity for one special 4 year old, Aaron's birthday party.  Since I have SOOO many great pics, I am going to break this up into 3 posts.  The visit, Mt. Evans (because those pics are on Matt's camera and I haven't gotten them yet), and Aaron's birthday.

 Playing the rocket game.  3,2,1 blastoff!!!  Super fun but now those silly rockets are stuck on the roof!  Daddy will have to get them down. : )

 Grandma and Granddad rented a Camero!

 Lookout Mountain

 Enjoying a pre-dinner snack

 REALLY enjoying it! Love this watermelon face.

 It was sunny the whole time!



 Watch out granddad!  It's going to eat you!

 The otters were everyone's favorite.  They love to perform.



 Look at how large that fish is!

 Never gets tired of finding Nemo.  And Dory.

 Look!  There's a monkey at the Aquarium!

 Making grass angels


 Matt and Jacquelyn's bike polo team, the Glitter Chunks.



 Picnicking at the tournament.


 Playing baseball while waiting for Uncle Matt and Aunt Jacquelyn to play again.



More to come!  Our Mt. Evans trip was AWESOME!  We saw tons of mountain goats.  And Aaron's party was a lot of fun.