Sunday, May 24, 2009

Adventures in Gardening

Philip's big dream for this year was to have a large, productive garden. So, starting last fall, he was out in our side yard hacking away with the pickax. He killed off all the grass that had been there and worked at flattening out the area. We had a colder than usual Spring, but caused some problems early on (read: a bunch of his plants died because we kept having frost...and he did plant a little early because he was so excited.) We then had a snafu called "hungry rabbit syndrome", which involves the local animals coming and eating our baby lettuce, strawberry plants and blueberry leaves. Out of the 18 or so lettuces that were planted, we have one full sized and two partial left. Yikes. 3 out 4 strawberry plants survived...and the blueberries, well we'll see what happens to those! Anyway, things are finally beginning to look like a real garden. Philip spends time out there everyday and the boys enjoy being out there with him, even Andrew.

Daddy's littlest helper

The other helpers. Love the boots...we've gotten our money's worth out of those this year!

The main part of the garden which has: broccoli (in front), romaine lettuce (with vertical wire around), the dark brown spots are pumpkin, watermelon and cantaloupe (L to R), back left corner is butternut squash, cucumbers, yellow squash and zucchini. Far Left, not in the picture, is the strawberries. On the far right is the start of the peppers (cayenne, habenero, jalapeno), and the beginning of the tomato section (12 total). We also have two each of cilantro and basil, and a few onions interspersed.

In the middle of the pic, you can see our first's doubling every day! Looks like this will probably be the next thing we can eat. We've already had broccoli twice...yum!

On the left is the right half of the tomotoes, the two balckberry bushes and the two blueberry bushes.

Philip also decided to build a compost bin to make some more nutritious soil to add to the garden. The boys have had a blast with this and love being the ones to dump the scraps into the bin. He just added a lid yesterday, so now they have made it a two person job; one person opens and the other dumps.

Melon rinds heading south

Doesn't that sight just make you hungry?

We're excited to start reaping a harvest as summer passes...although I think we may be inundated with squash and tomatoes! We're hoping all of our different plants will produce...we'll see!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Birthday Time!!

As you may remember, Joshua and Andrew have birthdays only two days apart, so this week was Birthday Week! It was fun to celebrate the boys! On Andrew's birthday, we didn't do much special, but we did take a walk to a different park we found a little ways from our house. The boys all had a blast and the weather was perfect for walking and playing that evening.

Look....proof I was there!
And the Birthday Boy with his Daddy:

On Joshua's birthday, he got to choose anything he wanted for lunch and dinner. His favorite meal is tacos, so we ate that for dinner. Seems familiar...we had that for Caleb's birthday too. It's also one of my very favorite meals. Maybe we should just declare Tacos the official "Birthday Dinner"? :) Anyway, after dinner on Joshua's birthday, Philip took all the boys back down to the park, while I decorated birthday cakes!

Saturday morning, I was out yard saleing and found a great little Power Wheels type bike for a steal of a deal. Joshua has been reticent to ride the tricycle, so I thought maybe this would be more his speed. He loved it and he and Caleb both have been zooming all over the cul-de-sac! Philip's parents came down and took Joshua out to lunch by himself and then we had a little party with cake and ice cream when they came back. Low key...but fun.

Andrew and his cake:

He looks like he's really enjoying it, but I don't think he actually really liked it. He did have fun smearing it around though. :)

Joshua wanted a Percy cake this year, so that's what he got:
And he was SOO excited to receive the new VeggieTales Worship CD, as well as the Rescue Building for the boys' Thomas set!

It's been a great year with many fun milestones. It is a blessing to watch them all learn and grow!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dreadfully Behind Again does it keep happening? I always tell myself I won't let a month go without blogging and then it happens! I guess we're busy. Well, it's been a good month for the most part. Anyone who keeps up with us on Facebook knows that I am currently on round 5 of strep throst since January. This time Philip and the older boys are being medicated too, so we're really hoping that whichever of them is the carrier is being taken care of! *fingers crossed!* No one should have strep this often. So not good.

Easter was a very enjoyable time. We went to Pennsylvania on Good Friday, in time to attend the GF service at the Hineses church. It was a great service and really helped put the weekend in perspective. Saturday the boys had a blast dyeing eggs, decorating cookies and having an Easter egg hunt. Caleb's favorite way to dye the eggs was the dip each of them in all five of the colors. Then they discovered the stickers. Joshua randomly applied them. Caleb made sure every egg had 2. They had to all be the same.

Next was the cookie making with Grandma and Grandpa. The boys are still learning about cutter placement to ensure maximum cookies from each piece of dough. LOL.
They had a great time decorating. Grandpa made some wild colors and some of the cookies had all the colors on them. Very fun and festive.Off on the hunt! Both boys had the same amount of eggs. We were all stumped when one of Caleb's remained hidden despite all of us looking for it. Grandpa spotted it on the window sill the next day when we were eating lunch!
The boys with their loot...which even several weeks later they still haven't eaten much of! Too many days of losing their treat privilege!

And here is a cute picture of all three boys from last Sunday.
Andrew and Joshua will be celebrating their birthdays in about 2 weeks. Andrew is finally crawling...sort of. He keeps one leg tucked under him, instead of behind him. However, he moves pretty quickly and seems fine with his method. He can move from tummy to sitting as well finally. He is trying to pull up, but isn't quite there yet. However, the poor kid still doesn't realize he could roll over! He says "mama" and "dada" and it seems to makes some other sounds in attempts to comunicate, but nothing we can understand. He does sign "finished" when he is done eating though, and clearly understands many words including nap, go, eat, Caleb, Joshua, headrub. He really loves to play with peek-a-blocks. He loves to crawl after towers his brothers make for him with them and knock them down or take them apart. He is now trying to build towers with the as well, which we don't remember either of the other boys trying at this age. He is sometimes successful, too.