Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quilts for Gareth's teachers

I have been busy getting these quilts done for Gareth's 2 pre-school teachers. I made 2 exactly alike. I wanted to make something to show my appreciation that he had such a positive first public school experience. He has grown so much the last couple of years. He is quite the little man! We are very proud of him.

I am excited and anxious for him to start Kindergarten. I wonder how our children will fare in the public school system - time will tell. In some ways I am glad they will be attending a small, rural, school district. I know they will miss out on some extracurricular activities that more urban areas have to offer, but I think they will have plenty to keep them busy.

I hope to get them involved with 4-H activities. School sports start here in 4th grade (maybe just basketball), but they can join them if interested. I may be interested in Iris joining Brownies and Girl Scouts. It seems that the Boy Scouts will not be an option for the boys since they discriminate against atheists and gay people. I would not want to support an organization of this nature. It might be an good organization if not for their stupidity surrounding these issues.

Anyway, we have an exciting summer ahead of us. We plan to have the boys take swim lessons at the local, little pool. We will most likely get a family swim pass for the summer. I think it is wise to get these kids outside as much as possible, wear them out, so there is less fighting and good sleeping.

Enough rambling.....

Here is the front of the quilt:


back


big blocks of apples


coordinating fabric with orange blocks in a 9 patch block pattern


I finished them up this morning before Gareth got out from school. We all went into town to pick Gareth up, so we could give the teachers the quilts. I think they liked them. They gave Gareth a great big hug for them. I am glad to have another project completed! I think I am going to take a break tonight and watch a movie with Brian! :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring flowers and fun

Last week hit slightly above 90 degrees. This weekend was cold and rainy. C'mon weather - give us consistency! I captured these photos last week.

This pretty iris flower bloomed near the mailbox. There are several more coming.


These yellow iris flowers are on top of cherry hill/root cellar mound.


another one bloomed by the mailbox and it is so pretty!


chives - lil' Zaners loves chomping on these things! You always can tell when he has been eating on them.



Baby girl




playing on the playset

Chicks and ducklings are here!

Earlier in the week, our barred rock chicks and ducklings arrived. We got 5 each of the ducklings: fawn runner and khaki campbells. They are so adorable! Both the chicks and ducklings are straight run so not sure what the male/female ratio is yet. We have only 8 laying hens right now. We have room and would like 13 for the coop, so only plan to keep 5. We might try to keep 1 rooster, not sure yet. As for the ducks, we might keep 1 male and up to 7 females. We will just see what we have as they get older.



For the time being, the ducklings and chicks are together, but we need to soon separate them as the ducks will grow quickly and may bully the little chicks.


The kids love checking on the babies and handling them. The ducklings are much more active and wriggly!




I look forward to watching these ducklings grow- their personality is so curious and charming.





ducklings first swim

video
It is so freaking cool when they dart under the water- one does it towards the end of the video!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend review

What a glorious Mother's Day weekend. My mom came out to spend the weekend with us. The girls (Ziza, Iris, and I) went to the community wide yard sales on Saturday. I found some great clothes/shoes for the boys and play dress up costumes, books, and a few other things.

Sunday, we worked in the yard. Brian mowed and worked on diverting water away from the pole barn and irrigation ditches, among other things.

I worked in the annual garden - hoeing, adding more straw mulch, and adding seeds. So far, this year, I have planted sugar snap peas, mesclun lettuce, spinach, several types of cucumbers, 2 kinds of beans, yellow summer squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash, and some gourds. I have tomato and pepper plants that will need transplanted once the seedlings grow a bit stronger. I hope to move the seedlings out to the cold frames sometimes this week so they get accustomed to outside conditions a bit more before moving them permanently to the garden. I need to acquire more support cages as we have been placing ours around other new plants in the yard. Later in the growing season, I will put some pumpkins, more gourds, and several types of winter squash out. I failed to get the raised beds made in time to plant radishes, beets, and carrots. I could try to put them in the larger garden, but just worry that the soil is not loose enough, and I would get mangled roots. Maybe I will try to get these in the ground when the weather gets cooler again at the end of the growing season.... We also want to use some raised beds for asparagus and garlic. We also want to get an area prepared for blueberry bushes. Still so much we want to do. Always something going on.....NEVER boring!

We are considering purchasing supplies to build a 10x20 foot hoop greenhouse with reinforced plywood support end walls. We would like to try year round growing and be able to start hundreds of seedlings in the spring for ourselves and possibly to sell. We took a look at some areas on the land we might place it. This would be super exciting as I loved volunteering at the university's greenhouse while doing my Master Gardener hours, several years ago. I loved handling the seeds and the seedlings and being all cozy warm in the greenhouse while the early, cold, spring rain was dropping outside. There is something about waiting for little seeds to grow - such potential for new life that eventually provides beauty and/or nourishment for other living creatures!

I was able to work some on Gareth's teacher's lap quilts. Gareth has had a great experience the last couple of years. I wanted to do something to show my appreciation. I will post pictures after they are completed. I am so glad he felt good about his first school experience. I hope that continues and we can simply supplement at home, but we are fully prepared, emotionally at least, to home school later, if needed or desired.

That is about it for the weekend. Gareth only has 2 weeks left of school and will be out for summer!!!!! Have a good week!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My thoughts

Osama Bin Laden has been killed. In my opinion, it is a time to be reflective of what had to happen to kill this person.......there may be satisfaction in his death, but the whole joyous, spit on your grave, we are blessed kind of thing is bordering on barbaric. Do we want to be above this kind of thing? I personally do.....

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction...The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." -MLK Jr
"No, I am not celebrating tonight. I am waiting for the day when men no longer feel the need to kill or be killed for the sake of righteousness or hatred. On that day, I will party with the best of them." - via John DiGilio

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekend review

We had a lovely, enjoyable, productive, fun weekend!

Friday evening, Lala, Amy, Anna and all their kids joined us for dinner and playtime! We had a total of 5 adults and 8 children under 5 in the house. Crazy fun! Anna is in town visiting from Portland area. I got to hold her littlest one who is 3 months old! The other night, I got to hold a 5 week old at craft night - so adorable. It feels so good holding these lil' guys and NOT wanting another one. I have no desire for a newborn, but oh, I love to hold and love them and hand them over to their parents!!!! lol We sure are going to miss Lala and crew when she moves to Oregon later this summer. Amy has been accepted to grad school at OSU. All our favorite people move away!


playing on their swingset



.
I love the above picture! Iris is developing into a feisty, strong willed, expressive little girl! She likes to climb, dance, play with her big brothers, and do things by herself. She surprises us with complete sentences sometimes, but seldom gives repeat performances. She can be incredibly cute and fun or have complete meltdowns for what seems to be minor things.

Saturday, we took the kids out for lunch and to the theater to see Rio. They did so well all day!



me and my girl sitting on the tree stump. The boys like to use this as their castle and jump off from it.


this piece has been sitting in front of the stump for months. We finally relocated it by the mailbox and plan on expanding that planting area. Brian intends on digging some holes in the top of the 2 trunk tops to make planters out of it. I want to get some flowers and hanging vines for it. The kids had a great time playing on this as it had been on it's side before.


country kids


I love mid air shots! Look at the joy on his face!


I love baby I's reddish hair! It has lightened up more from being outside more often!



another good one of all 3!



Zaners!


Gareth-O!


this would be a great shot if not for the mailbox sticking out from his head!


the grape vine in front of the root cellar mound/cherry hill.

The yard is really starting to come together. We are super excited to make even more progress. We got a lot done this weekend. We got a few more things planted, pulled weeds and mulched areas with straw, mowed, dug trenches for irrigation, worked on a plan to move water away from entering the pole barn, cleaned up several piles of brush/twigs/ logs.

Very good, productive weekend! Have a great week!