Garden Harvest 2015

2015 garden harvest survey… for you, Mom!

We had Nightshade growing in our garden!

We had Nightshade growing in our garden!

The pumpkin plant turned out to be a lemon cucumber plant. Err.. the egg came from a chicken.

The pumpkin plant turned out to be a lemon cucumber plant. Err.. the egg came from a chicken.

I love these. They start yellow and turn pink as they bloom.

I love these. They start yellow and turn pink as they bloom.

So lovely. They have been blooming all summer and scenting my front door.

So lovely. They have been blooming all summer and scenting my front door.

The little chick is a cross between this Black Copper Maran and the California White Leghorns.

The little chick is a cross between this Black Copper Maran and the California White Leghorns.

The little cochin and her little pretty chick

The little cochin and her little pretty chick

Flock of chickens

Flock of chickens

Deer damage.

Deer damage.

The only blackberries I could find. The rest were finished.

The only blackberries I could find. The rest were finished.

Sweet potato vine!

Sweet potato vine!

Potatoes ready to harvest

Potatoes ready to harvest

Purple cabbage

Purple cabbage

Harvested cabbage

Harvested cabbage

The bees love the flowering oregano. I like mowing it (it grows like a weed) because it smells yummy.

The bees love the flowering oregano. I like mowing it (it grows like a weed) because it smells yummy.

Beeeeeeans

Beeeeeeans

So pretty!

So pretty!

Tomatoes!

Tomatoes!

Garden!

Garden!

All that green.... was the compost pile. Now it's growing melons, tomatoes and ground cherries. (pineapple tomatillos)

All that green…. was the compost pile. Now it’s growing melons, tomatoes and ground cherries. (pineapple tomatillos)

The zucchini patch that ended up being a second melon patch

The zucchini patch that ended up being a second melon patch

Picking the little corn that grew

Picking the little corn that grew

Cabbage and melons

Cabbage and melons

Potatoes!

Potatoes!

On my counter... a bounty!

On my counter… a bounty!

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Beach trip 2015

We got to go to the beach! We went to the same hotel that we stayed at on our honeymoon 10 years ago. We got a larger room, of course. Brian’s mom was able to come for part of the time too and it made the trip extra special! At night, all six of us slept in the same room successfully. I was impressed. During the day we ate simple food, ate restaurant food, played on the beach and swam in the hotel pool. The hotel pool was a highlight – Anna can really swim now! It’s not specific strokes or anything, but she can jump confidently into the deep end and swim back to the side or over to the shallow end. Carolyn wants to jump in the pool and be caught… over and over for hours. We mostly obliged. She flings herself off the side of the pool with abandon. Maggie could stand on the very shallow end but spent a lot of time crawling around the edge of the pool or swimming with a grown-up. Jordan was amazing! We forgot his life vest, but he let us hold him… he sometimes glued himself to us with arms and legs wrapped around us… and he played freely, splashing, kicking, turning, climbing into our arms or further out. On the second pool trip, I was able to convince him that the hot tub was NOT goign to boil him alive and he spent the second half of our water play splashing his feet in the water (just his feet) and warming up.

It’s time for me to get off the computer and help the kids along with breakfast and get Jordan up. This week is a transition from summer to school week. I’ll start waking the kids up a little earlier and make some decisions about what morning chores are going away so that school comes first. We’ve been having a really wonderful summer. As soon as it’s uploaded, I am excited to show you videos of Jordan plying in the sand. He played!

Hanging out in our hotel room.

Hanging out in our hotel room.

Watching a cartoon.

Watching a cartoon.

Husband and wife.

Husband and wife.

Mother and son.

Mother and son.

These two can get pretty silly together.

These two can get pretty silly together.

Maggie found this bug and wasn't afraid to hold it.

Maggie found this bug and wasn’t afraid to hold it.

I love pink!

I love pink!

My silly and studly, earnest and genuine, hard-working and funloving husband.

My silly and studly, earnest and genuine, hard-working and funloving husband.

My spunky and sparkly, creative, thoughtful, sweet and passionate Maggie.

My spunky and sparkly, creative, thoughtful, sweet and passionate Maggie.

My beautiful, smart, helpful, creative, industrious and kind 8-year-old daughter Anna.

My beautiful, smart, helpful, creative, industrious and kind 8-year-old daughter Anna.

Brother and sister.

Brother and sister.

Jordan chewed a little on the sand (as usual - yuck!) but actually spent most of the time playing PLAYING in the sand!!!!!!!

Jordan chewed a little on the sand (as usual – yuck!) but actually spent most of the time playing PLAYING in the sand!!!!!!!

haha - she was having so much fun putting sand on my foot.

haha – she was having so much fun putting sand on my foot.

The sand at the beach here is very coarse.

The sand at the beach here is very coarse.

Mom D getting a picture of Jordan for my Mommy.

Mom D getting a picture of Jordan for my Mommy.

It was an industrious crew!

It was an industrious crew!

Helping

Helping

We prayed for peace for Jordan on the beach... and God gave him peace!

We prayed for peace for Jordan on the beach… and God gave him peace!

Sitting in the sun and enjoying each others company.

Sitting in the sun and enjoying each others company.

Building a dam on the creek.

Building a dam on the creek.

The ocean view was out of the corner window... but it was lovely!

The ocean view was out of the corner window… but it was lovely!

Some of our snacks. Ground cherries and cherry tomatoes.

Some of our snacks. Ground cherries and cherry tomatoes.


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Clark County Fair 2015

Thanks to a kind friend being available to watch Jordan for us, we got to go to the county fair twice this year! The first visit was a shorter visit and we spent the time visiting different animals mostly. We toured the sheep barn some and then visited the “hair sheep” barn. We talked a long time with a few of the local sheep experts about raising meat sheep and talked with some 4-Hers and families who also raise and sell lambs at auction. We bumped into a ballet friend whose son does sheep 4-H. We wandered the cow aisles and talked with a man about raising beef cows for awhile. We had lots of questions about what a cow needs shelter wise, how long it takes a cow to reach maturity, how many cows would our pasture support, etc. We asked him where the sheep barn was (we went to cows first) and it turns out he used to do sheep with his daughter also, so he gave us some good information and contact info also. As we were getting ready to move on, he gave us his number and said he had some sheep supplies that we could have if we got into sheep!

We hung around the honeybee display for awhile, looking at the observation hive and watching a short demonstration where a gal wearing her everyday clothes went in and opened up a hive for us and pulled out a frame for us to see. She didn’t stay in the big room-cage where the hive was very long, because the bees were “not happy” as she put it and answered our questions from outside the cage. I am still very excited about keeping bees starting next spring, but I am worried our bees will die! We will see. We also watched a cute show of a silly clown lady. She was in the “children” area of the fair and she was just so silly.

The second visit was a long visit. I think seven hours we were at the fair! We looked at displays, we looked at a few animals, we went on rides, we watched shows, we ate lunch and…. I don’t know what all! Maybe some of the chit-chat with animal owners was on this day instead. Does it matter?

It was so adorable, as usual, to watch the kids on rides. They only get to go on a couple rides once a year at the county fair. Anna continues her cautious progression and was willing to try a few new rides this year, with great success and many smiles! Every year she wants to start on the merry-go-round with smiles and magical pleasure each time. Maggie was tall enough for the ferris wheel this time, so I took her on it with me. I have fond memories of my mom loving ferris wheels and taking me on one with her for a special time. Well, taking Maggie on a ferris wheel for the first time was nothing like taking Anna on a ferris wheel for the first time. Maggie wasn’t scared or hardly impressed as far as I could tell, while the height was definitely a stretch for Anna. And me. It was pretty funny and I loved my ride with her. Carolyn was out of ride tickets by this time and was being rather exhausting with demands for more rides. But until her rides ran out, she was thrilled and confident and breathless with wonder. It sure is a pleasure to watch our children experience special times.

We watched the end of a show on this trip too. It was also in the children’s area and was a couple’s act with balancing and tricks. The lady “clown” used a very high pitch voice and was always giggling. She had me giggling just with that. At the very end, they got into a fight with each other and pulled out toilet paper guns. Hahaha – they were snow blowers with toilet paper roll holders on the front. They pretended to blow each other away and then they blew it all over the crowd of delighted children. The show was over and they asked the kids to put the toilet paper on the stage to help clean up. Then they blew it back at the kids to more delighted squealing. It was a huge mess and so funny.

Ok – now to do the beach trip post!

Tractors, of course!

Tractors, of course!

Maggie chose the horse dragon to ride. :-):-)

Maggie chose the horse dragon to ride. :-):-)

Anna chose a horse with an eagle on the side.

Anna chose a horse with an eagle on the side.

Carolyn's childish glee on a ride is a real pleasure to watch.

Carolyn’s childish glee on a ride is a real pleasure to watch.

These two were a perfect match this year. Maggie especially got into the motorcycles "jumps".

These two were a perfect match this year. Maggie especially got into the motorcycles “jumps”.

See Maggie holding on tight!

See Maggie holding on tight!

Here are Anna and Maggie getting onto a swing ride that swings them in a slow circle.

Here are Anna and Maggie getting onto a swing ride that swings them in a slow circle.

Cheese!

Cheese!

Anna's knuckles got a little white when she realized the swing lifts off the ground too!

Anna’s knuckles got a little white when she realized the swing lifts off the ground too!

Carolyn got on this ride all by herself!

Carolyn got on this ride all by herself!

Maggie and I on the ferris wheel!

Maggie and I on the ferris wheel!

Brian and Anna's turn!

Brian and Anna’s turn!

The clown lady

The clown lady

So funny!

So funny!

Watching motox

Watching motox

I wish I took a picture of the riders flying high in the air.

I wish I took a picture of the riders flying high in the air.

This is us taking notes.

This is us taking notes.

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“Camping”

Last year we started a tradition of “camping” at our house with my sister’s family for a couple nights. I hope it’s a tradition we can continue for many years to come. This year was really special as the kids were all so much older, their personalities were more developed and they were just ABLE to do so much more. Much laughter and adventures were had, though we adults know very little of them. We set up tents in the back yard and most of the kids and a few adults slept outdoors. I slept under the stars beside the tents the first night and watched shooting stars as I fell asleep. Hot dogs, smores, and many juice boxes were consumed (thanks, Melissa!) and the pool was a great way to cool off. Camping with your house? Yes, please!

The blue thing is because we have no shade.

The blue thing is because we have no shade.

"Can I wear dressup outside?"

“Can I wear dressup outside?”

Sitting around the fire.

Sitting around the fire.

Imagination central

Imagination central

Silly girly girl doling out little bits of nice-smelling lotion to everybody. I don't know why.

Silly girly girl doling out little bits of nice-smelling lotion to everybody. I don’t know why.

SAM_8838 (Large)

The dogs did really awesome and were not stressed by the kids at all. Here is Rose right after I woke her up.

The dogs did really awesome and were not stressed by the kids at all. Here is Rose right after I woke her up.

We needed to smell like smoke so that it would be real camping.

We needed to smell like smoke so that it would be real camping.

We also had to brush teeth outside so that it would be real camping.

We also had to brush teeth outside so that it would be real camping.

Breakfast inside at a real table. Perfect!

Breakfast inside at a real table. Perfect!

So pretty!

So pretty!

Last year we watched "Cars." This year, we watched "Despicable Me 2" and I couldn't find the camera fast enough. (really) They were all laughing sooooo hard and I wanted to catch it on video. :-)

Last year we watched “Cars.” This year, we watched “Despicable Me 2″ and I couldn’t find the camera fast enough. (really) They were all laughing sooooo hard and I wanted to catch it on video. :-)

One night as we were waiting for the sun to go down (just because) before we roasted marshmallows, the kids started playing by the tent. It made me so happy that I started videotaping it to share with Mom and Dad just in case they need a little dose of grandchildren!

Jordan did well during the visit – not stressing out, playing mostly appropriately and chilling in his play room when he needed down time. Here’s a cute video of him showing off his swinging skills. And wow… he is not the same kid I adopted. Is he? I have had just the best week with him and feel more like his Mama than I ever have. It’s special.:

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Jordan Love

Jordan ate some barely smooshed blackberries in his applesauce! He does not allow ANY fruit into his mouth that is pureed and his eye is very sharp at noticing when we try to sneak them in. He WILLINGLY ate some of the smooshed blackberries during therapy time with Joanna. HOORAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry for the smudge on the lens, but I had no brain cells to wipe it that day. I was pooped and stressed out but I knew how funny this would be later (ok, it was a little funny then too), but Jordan was yelling and screeching for a good 20 minutes during the end of our Costco trip. It was piercing and everybody looked (really). He was coping with being ready to melt down and I was proud of him and I was coping and not melting down and I was proud of me. All in all, I don’t think we’ll keep our Costco membership, but it was a productive trip.

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