Friday, June 27, 2014

mid-June in the garden

Everyone else is doing garden posts so I thought I would do one, too....

(photos are from mid-June; everything is much bigger now that it's almost July!)

view from the garden entrance (straight)
I love my "new" raised bed because I think it
really anchors the garden.  Seeds were planted
late this year--next year I can plant in early
spring without waiting to till.
Notice the volunteer red snapdragons, blue bachelor buttons, and giant sunflower in the photo above.  We love our volunteers!!

from the entrance, facing left
This is one of my perennial beds, supplemented with annuals.
from the entrance, facing right
I usually make fake raised beds every year
using scrap wood we have lying around.
The column and table/chair are new this year.
from the entrance, facing more right
My other perennial bed.  The red roses are
on a mini rose bush from Valentine's Day
last year. 
across the lawn
I love the flowering dogwood and all the honeysuckle.
The hydrangea up front are in bloom.
hanging baskets are nice
Things in the yard will continue to change this summer.  We're getting started on adding a patio this week, and later in the year we will install a fireplace.  The lower kids' lawn will be totally different by summer's end, and we will plant bushes/perennials in the fall to take advantage of the rain.  I'll keep taking pics throughout the summer as those projects progress.

No photos of the auxiliary garden yet.  It's still in progress.  We have tomatoes, dahlias, zinnias, other flowers, and pumpkins/gourds in that one.  I'll try to get out there and snap some photos for you, dad.  :o)  You would be proud, I finally took your advice and used some weed fabric....

For more garden bliss see the posts from my sister Mary, my sister Ericamy brother Joe, and my parents.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Marcus!

Well, I think the kids and I gave Marcus the PERFECT Father's Day this year....

Marcus got to watch a little sports on TV
(OK, it was just the World Cup, and it was in Spanish so
we couldn't understand it....)
He had a GREAT breakfast
(OK, I didn't cook it....)

(bacon dipped in butter)
(He needed a little caffeine for the day ahead)

Marcus got some golfing in
(OK, it was putt-putt with the kids, and it was
as chaotic as it looks in this photo....)
A little boating time on the lake
What dad doesn't like gaming?
Some time doing outdoor stuff
(OK, so it was cleaning the chicken "coop"....)
Lots of nice cards and presents

A yummy dessert of one of his favorites: carrot cake
with cream cheese frosting

(OK, he did have to grill his own steaks for dinner....)
You are the best!!!

Dance Recital: "A Little Night Music"

Last weekend was our dance recital!  I say "our" because most of my little family participated.  Sedric was too young, and I'm still working on Marcus.  ;o)

Mariposa and James were in the Ballet I class.  Here are some (really poor) photos from dress rehearsal:

Gemma was in Creative Movement which is a ballet-ish class for the littles.  And Bunny and I were in an AWESOME Lyrical class.  That was my first time dancing since I was a kid!  We had a lot of fun together and it was nice to be "just the two of us" for one class per week.  Luckily I was not too hugely-pregnant and I could still be a part of the recital.  Our teacher even made tops to help hide my belly.  :o)

All the performers after the recital.
Hannah came to watch the recital
(Her sister is Alyssa who dances with us
and teaches Gemma)
We take classes at the Laurel Valley School of Dance Arts.  I may've mentioned how LUCKY we are to have such a high-quality dance school just a few miles from our country home!  LVSDA is a non-profit run by a board of directors (which includes me) and a great teacher, Jill.  Jill is very talented both as a teacher and as a dancer, and she runs all the Ballet classes.  We also have a local girl (professional dancer) who teaches Modern, and a local mom who teaches Tap.  Alyssa helps with Creative Movement.  There is also a dedicated Adult Tap class which I would LOVE to try one day.  But for now, Lyrical was a blast and I really stepped out of my comfort zone.  SOOO worth it to spend time with my pre-teen!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Zoo field trip

I've been meaning to take the kids to the zoo this spring, but we were always either too busy or the weather was bad on the days we wanted to go.  So finally last week we squeaked a trip in, on the last day of group school for the Portland area (we were hoping to avoid summer-break crowds, and we did!).
This sign helped to teach my students to stay with me.  ;o)

Run, Seddy!  That lion looks hungry!

Lion family on the rocks.
Waiting patiently for snacks.
As expected, it was a nice little visit.  With so many different ages and stages, we made our mission just to walk through the zoo (and not stop very much).  I also brought the stroller, which I don't often use but was vital for staying together/keeping Sedric safe.  Later this summer I will take only Gemma like I did last year.  It's nice to go at her pace and not feel rushed.  I may also take the older kids, since they like taking photos.

   Another key to our success was having each kid take their own backpack. I was not left holding 5 extra water bottles or bags of snacks, or even jackets and sun hats.  I think teach personal responsibility is important especially with a large family.  Mom can't do everything! 
Pizza Schmizza after the zoo.  Yum!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

20 week ultrasound

I had my big 20-week ultrasound, and everything looks good!  (BTW if any of my readers didn't know...I'm pregnant!  Baby #6)  ;o)  New adjusted due date based on baby's size: November 1st, All Saints Day.  The old due date was October 24th.

We took Mariposa with us.  She thinks she saw the gender.
Mariposa was happy to be a part of this experience.
After the ultrasound we took a trip to the Johnny store to get some parts for Marcus' tractor.  He was getting a tune-up, done by a farmer friend's mechanic.  (The work is now done and the tractor runs awesome--Forrest is a miracle worker!  Saved us $30k because Marcus no longer thinks he needs a new tractor!)

test drive

Saturday, June 21, 2014

graduation party

It's hard to believe but our family friend Brendan M. has graduated from high school and is off to college in Colorado in the fall!  We've known the M. family since Marcus and I were first married about 15 years ago.  Brendan must've been about 3 years old then.  He'd grown up to be a nice young man and we are excited for his new adventures.
enjoying good food at the party
Gemma really likes Brendan's brother, Andrew
I've always loved their back porch!  Covered and right off
the house, so cozy and DRY which is important here in
the Pacific Northwest.
Marcus with Brendan (black shirt, shorts) and a friend.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

dinner and a movie (...and some bath bombs)

The St. Matthew Youth Group is going on an annual mission trip, this year to Alaska, in July.  As part of a fundraiser, Fr. Peter (who is the mission leader) made dinner and the youth group made a movie titled "Father Peter's Nightmares."  We were so busy that week, and didn't have child care lined up (for the younger ones), so I wasn't sure we would make it.  But...Hannah was able to help us, and the older kids kept pestering me, so...we went.  I'm so glad we did!!  The food was yummy and the movie was FANTASTIC!  Really, I can't believe that teens made such a great production, even if with adult help. 

The movie, which was in old-fashioned silent-movie format, started showing Father Peter at work, multi-tasking as usual on his phone/computer/etc.  A coworker comes in and reminds him that it's time for confession.  After taking the LONG way to the church, he finally makes it, to find one persnickety old lady waiting for him.  Well, she gets out a HUGE binder outlining "This Week's Sins," and Father Peter can't help but fall asleep.  :o) He dreams 4 dreams, and in each sequence the teens played all the characters (including the role of Fr. Peter).  The dreams showed Fr. Peter's real nightmares: chocolate (he hates it!  in the dream, people turned into zombies when they ate chocolate), a pie fight, being a busy movie star, and being lost in Alaska.  

OMG it was so funny!!!  We had a blast, and the best part (for me) was that the kids got to see a teen-made production that was appropriate and clean.  They knew Fr. Peter was funny but they really got to see him in a new light.  And the beginning pre-movie movie showed the teens talk about their faith and their friends, and what the mission trip means to them.

Non-sequitor...but the next night I got to spend some girl-time with my friends at Sterling's house, making bath bombs.  :o)  That was fun, but the best time was the chatting and gossiping, of course!!!

Lisa hard at work
we mixed in essential oils and food coloring to make
customized bath bombs
Now, we don't exactly have a bath tub in our master bathroom (by choice) but the kids will really enjoy the bombs in ~their~ tubbies!  Except when I brought them home, they all thought I had brought some sort of bite and they knew they were mistaken....  (just kidding!)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

little lambs eat ivy

As if things weren't crazy enough around here...

Last night we adopted (for 2 weeks) a newborn, bottle-fed lamb!!

"Rough Start" was abandoned by his mommy.  :o(
It was a wild evening: the neighbor brought the poor little thing over around 5pm, the R. cousins came over for a playdate evening while Meghan and Shane went out on a date, and grammae and papa stopped by to say hi.  All within about 1/2 hour.  And I was getting dinner ready, too.  Wow!  But it was a blast.

Little Red was very responsible this morning, and took over
some of the feedings.
Do you see her in the weeds?  bottom center
Here's a close-up.  They all like taking the
little guy for a walk (using a tiny harness!)
to go see his sheep buddies.