Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Bucket List #5

Hang the Towel Bar Hooks so the kids towels
aren't piled up and layered on top of eachother!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Bucket List #10

Victoria managed to convince her big brothers to sleep out on the trampoline with her.  Jared had his book and flashlight out there so he could read. Which means that he was reading at 10 or 11 at night since it stays light here until almost 9:15.  It kind of throws you off as to what time of day it is. The funny part about sleeping on the trampoline during the month of June is that they had extra blankets out there and Victoria wore long sleeves.  Plus they wanted something underneath them so the cold, damp air didn't seep up underneath them. It got down to 47 that night.  We live in a total different world here in Northern Utah.  We love it!

Summer Bucket List #23

The kids have been eager to get to the pool in town.
The Aquatic center is really nice and clean.
It was quite the busy place with the warmer temps this week.
I had to laugh though.....
The water was cold.
I couldn't get in past my middle....
I know, I'm a wimp and used to Arizona water.
We have been outside enough that the kids have
Farmer Tans.
If it were night, they would have looked like glow worms or fire flys.
I almost had to use my sunglasses to look at them.
Just kidding. In no time that will change.
We had a very relaxing day. We spent several
hours there with a cool breeze, sunny clear skies,
snow cones and a good book for me.
It felt like summer.
I feel like I finally sat in one place long enough to unwind a little
and forget about all that stuff you call life.
It was fun.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Bucket List #3

Summer Bucket List #3

Like always, every summer I clean through and glean our
school cabinet, shelves, baskets....
if it has school stuff in it, it gets cleaned out. 
When we moved I thought it would be a great idea
to just put one of the numerous book shelves in the school room for the kids books. 
Well, now I remember why I requested Kirk to build a bench long ago
with baskets for each of the kids. 
It hides more.
A shelf isn't too bad of an idea for a highschooler,
and maybe not too bad of an idea for a middle schooler,
But.....a first grader?
I need to do something different for next Fall.
The proof is in the picture.
The task is always daunting each year. 
Where do we put the saved art work and papers written
and how do I quietly get the rest out the door and
filed in the big barrel without being seen.
Long ago, there was anxiety in the air when I pulled out
The Black Trash Bag.......
I'm not that secretive any more.
I would list the tactics I have, but then I would be
hinting too much if perhaps someone small were to read this. 
So I had better not do that.
So, back to the sorting through curriculum, and
digging out the curriculum that I do have, and
making the list of the curriculum and supplies I still need.
And then seeing how much of our tax return
I can snatch for school books. 
I actually love this time of year.
Planning out what we are going to be learning is exciting to me.
Especially when I actually find curriculum that works.
I love hunting for bits and pieces to write up my own plan. 
I get to be creative and organize.  I love organizing.
I get eyes rolling here when I start organizing.
And I get the brakes slammed on by certain members
of my family that they refuse to organize something their boy scout binder. 
So for now, I will spend my time cleaning up
and sorting so I can spend the remainder of the
summer kicking back and relaxing
........yeah right!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our Garden!

 Our garden is really starting to look like the real thing.
Now that we have cleared the carpet of weeds in 5000 sq ft of space. 
 We have discovered from neighbors and friends at church that this plot of land
has a lot of weeds. And the previous gardeners did not
take the time to clear it before it went to seed.
Well, I think we have somewhat of a handle on the weeds.
We have put in over 10 hours of hoeing and pulling.  The kind that take you to your knees
to decipher which is a weed and which is a teeny seedling.
This morning I glance over and saw an older gentlemen riding his bike. 
He rode into the drive way and spent the next hour and a half helping
Kirk pull weeds in between our carrot seedlings.
This is just a smathering of what is coming up.
I took the pictures just before we watered so the top layer
of the dirt looks a little cracked.
We still have cucumbers, onion, broccoli, carrots and
something is all becoming a blur.

 Hopefully these sweet deer stay away. 
I pray that they don't find our seedlings.
The husband and wife that are staying in the house for the summer are from
Texas.  They are borrowing these three chickens from their owner
for the summer.  They sure are pretty. 
The three of them hang out together and stay close by.
Victoria and I would really like to have chickens.
Victoria was trying to convince me that we could just have one and
keep it in the backyard. It will happen sometime, just not now.
So for now we will enjoy these three.
 The horses next door are fascinated by the camera.
They want to smell it.  This one in particular loves attention and is very mouthy.
I will have to find out what her name is.
So I have to make sure that Victoria doesn't turn her back on this one.
He has been known to nip at her pony tail.
With the longer days, we have been eating dinner and then spending the remainder of daylight out doors. Not only is the weather awesome, but there is wildlife to watch.
The time spent together is priceless.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What is this?!

I walked into the kitchen this morning and saw this just sitting on the counter....
I was a little puzzled because the weather isn't hot enough to melt the butter like this.
Jared was quietly sitting at the table, eating his toast with a smile on his face.
I think he has something to do with this "butter phenomenon".
So the story is that he wanted to only soften the butter so it would spread easily on his toast.
He microwaved it for 30 sec on HIGH!
Okay, that explains it all.
You never know what you might find when you have kids in the house.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Bucket List, Item # 7

 We decided to take the afternoon off and enjoy the weather.
I can hardly believe that we just drove a few miles from our house
and plunged the canoe into the marsh.
We had beautiful weather in the low 80's.
I KNOW, can you believe it!?
In the 80's!
 Victoria was in seventh heaven because she got to go out
each time the paddlers switched.
 It was very peaceful and quiet.
 I found it funny that "Oil" and "Water"
set out together.
As they came around the bend, I could tell that
they were argueing. 
They waited until they were close enough that they knew
I was watching them.
Then the water started flying as they flicked the paddles
at eachother.
There were quite a few critters at the shoreline.
This frog was very noisy with his croaking.
Kaleb saw a water snake.
Lots of birds.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Every summer I make a Summer Bucket List for myself and with the kids. 
Usually, I am so tired by the time summer hits I don't know what hit me.
And I only seem to do a few things.
Well, I have better plans this year. 
This list is going to look much different AND
I am NOT tired, exhausted, depleted, depressed or wiped out!
So lets see just how much I get checked off my list. 
 I love lists. 
 I know.....I'm wierd.
It is the organized Mom/Nurse/Teacher in me.

1. Visit my bunny Benjamin and my tortoise Alexander in Arizona. (We had to leave them behind at my Camp Nana's.  They are throughly spoiled!)
2. Finish the denim quilt I started last summer.  Just needs top stitching and binding! Whew!
3. Clean out and organize all of our school stuff.
4. Tie Dye anything white I can find.  Hmmmm. What can I find.
5. Hang up our towel hooks for the kids bathroom that we brought with us from our Phx house.
6. Take Victoria to the splash pad in Providence.
7. Go canoeing, many, many times.
8. Hike the Tony Grove trail and everywhere else, like Green Canyon.
9. Go camping even if it is an over nighter.
10. Sleep on the trampoline....the kids can do that one.
11. Sleep with the windows open ALL SUMMER LONGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!
12. Wash all the windows. A little tricky for the upper floors.
13. Sew.
14. Sew.
15. Sew.
16. Learn to make cake pops.
17. Learn to bake bread.  Kathy, I will need your help.
18. Visit Kathy in Idaho and sleep over. 
19. Grow a weed free garden with lots of veges and melons!
20. Learn to can all the veges.
21. Have a 4th of July  BBQ.
22. Enjoy my nephew Kyle for a month when he comes to visit.
23. Go swimming.
24. Go tubing....I will have to research that one.
25. Plan out school for next year.
26. Spend time at the park with friends.
27. Have a water balloon fight.
28. See if the water slide still holds air for the 5th summer.
29. Visit with Nana and Poppa.
30. Drive Jared down to Phx so he can go on a Mission trip with our old church All Saints Lutheran Church.
31. Start an art journal.
32. Watch movies.
33. Stay up late and sleep in.
34. Get up early before anyone and exercise in peace and quiet.
35. Ride bikes.  After Kirk and the boys repair all the tires.
36. Play with friends.
37. Keep up with the dishes throughout the day.
38. Have my children speak to each other with loving, kind words. (that might take a miracle)
39. Read great books.
40. Visit our friends new snow cone shop.
41. Make snow cones, after I find the snow cone maker.
42. Kirk get a good job with medical insurance. (That will definately take a miracle!)
43. Spend time with God.
44. Sew a flower girl dress for Sundi's wedding.
45. Learn to curl Victoria's hair for the wedding.
46. Make my blog into a book.
47. Refinish our 50+ year old picnic table.
48. Repaint our metal patio chairs and table.
49. Paint the stool for Victoria's desk.
50. Build wash-out station for silk screening.
I am sure that I can easily add to it. 
So do you think this is too much for one little summer? 
I am an ambitious person at times. 
 I'm not afraid to jump in. 
I have to be willing to have the strength to live the journey that God has us on.

Picture from here

Sunday, June 10, 2012

National Youth Leadership Training

 While we were at VBS all week Jared was at NYLT all week in Idaho just 35 miles north of us.
He got a wonderful opportunity and a scholarship to attend a Leadership camp for scouts who are interested in being in positions of leadership.
This troop is made of an amazing group of boys. 
The men leading the troop are wonderful role models and mentors. 
 We wanted to attend the closing ceremonies and were beside ourselves with the beautiful scenery.
The boys set up their tents right in the tall grass.
It was absolutely beautiful.
We drove down this tiny dirt road looking for Jared's gear.
We weren't sure if we could actually do such a thing....find Jared's gear.
Kaleb did an excellent job of spotting it.
 We got there just in time for the closing ceremony.
 And just in time to see this group of scouts singing A-Tuu-Ti-Taa.
They were pretty hilarious.  Especially the boys like Jared,
who absolutely hate moving to music.
The boys that were in Jared's patrol looked like a pretty fun crowd and very serious too.
On friday night all the scouts hiked up the side of the mountain and built their own lean-to to sleep in.  We loved listening to the events of the week on the way home.  We all missed him so we were really happy to have him home again.  He promptly fell asleep on the couch fully clothed.
I would say that was a good indication that he had a great week.
The video below had to be shortened and exported to lower resolution.  I couldn't get it to upload with the better quality that our camera produces.  But I am sure you will be able to see just how silly they are being. Jared is on the far left with the maroon ball cap on who is completely embarassed because his parents are in the bleachers watching and videotaping him.  He said he had fun doing it all week until there were parents watching. I love being a Mom. It makes up for all the times he embarassed me in a store with him screaming in the shopping cart and drooling.  I love it!


Can you believe it?
I didn't take a single picture of VBS at our new church!
Well, lets see.
We had an awesome time.
There were 75 kids that participated and 50 volunteers. 
To me that is pretty amazing.
It was a small town atmosphere.
It was also the first time EVER that we ever did VBS in long pants.
It got cold two of the days.
By the third day the little preschoolers were dropping like flies
from having too much fun. Some of them were laying
all over the floor at every chance they got.
Kaleb was a crew chief for the first time and did really well with leading his group of kids that were only a few years younger than him.  Daphne and I led the preschool crafts and had fun.
I was really happy when Friday finally came. 
Summer break here we come!

Flea Market Find

 I found this little student desk at a garage sale for $5. 
Hmmm.  What can I do with it!
 It was the perfect size for Victoria to have in her room.  I loved my desk growing up and I knew that she would love to have a place to write or draw. I knew right away that black was not the color that we wanted.  Kirk had his doubts that I could spray paint the top.  His first reaction to anything I do is usually negative until I prove to him that I know what I am doing.
(In fact, I did manage to get him to paint the top.) 
It took the primer perfectly and looks great pretty blue and white.
It looks like a brand new desk.
I also found a stool at the thrift store for $3.  Kirk cut a couple inches off the legs. I am planning on painting that the blue to match as soon as the breeze lightens.
It fits perfect in her room. Nice and cozy.
She has already started writing little notes at it.
The little shelf on the wall I also found at the thrift store a few months ago for $2. 
It is amazing how paint can liven up anything.
I love to repurpose old stuff and make it new.

Our Garden

This is our garden. 
Kirk says it is more like farming, especially since it feels huge and is an enormous learning curve.
Either way, we have jumped in with both feet.  It feels like that is what our lives are all about.  Experiencing things that we have never experienced before.
We're having fun.
It seems like "everyone" knows that we are gardening this plot.  We get lots of questions as to how we are doing.  Quite a few people cringe because they know that this particular plot has A LOT of weeds, requiring lots of hard work.  Others let us know that we are not alone if we need help.
We have assured the 83 year old neighbor Wes, that we are providing summer entertainment.  If he wants a good laugh, he just needs to just watch us a while.
He is a really neat man, with years of farming experience. He has given us some pointers here and there and then smiles the rest of the time. 
We feel like city slickers.
So, here is how we water this garden and the pasture behind the house.
It has been somewhat of a challenge because the owner leaves every summer for Maine leaving random people to water her apple trees behind the house.
The way that the irrigation is set up is completely ridiculous.  Of course, as my Dad would say, we had to "Modify" it.  Kirk, being the genius that he is and having good input from our friends, we managed to actually get water to irrigate the garden. 
We jumped for joy when we saw the water actually come through the gates.
This is the path leading to the main gate where the irrigation pipes are that lead to the house.  We saw a mama duck and 7 little baby ducklings swimming the canal.  They were so sweet.
I made Jared promise three times that he wouldn't drop the keys or the lock into the canal.  I threatened that if he did he was going to have to jump in and retrieve them.  He assured me several times that he wasn't going to drop them!
That water is cold.  I will not be dropping them in there.
This is where we entertain Wes.  This is what you call a Poor Man's Water Gate.  But the most impressive part is that it works like a charm. We had to close the pipe to back up the water so that it would water the garden instead of bypassing it and flowing down hill.  Go Figure.  We have learned quite a bit about how water flow works. I guess all those years digging in the sand at the beach was actual learning for later on in life.
So, Kirk cut two holes in a Rubbermaid bin.  He took two of his dirities 5gal buckets and inserted them into the bin, using sealant and foam insulation to seal around the holes.  Wes was very surprised that the pipe ends would fit into a 5gal bucket.  We then used the plastic to seal the connection between the buckets and the pipes. 
To stop the water, we bought a screw top lid for the 5 gal bucket.
And there you have a Poor Man's Water Gate.
I knew Kirk could do it.
Our friends the Summits, were watching out for us. When they planted their tomatoe seeds in March they planted enough for us too. So we had beautiful tomatoe plants to transplant.
Of course, we would see deer tracks in the mud. We were told that the deer go back up into the mountains for the summer.  But I really think there might be a few waiting to see what we are planting.  I could just imagine checking on the garden and seeing all our tomatoe plants nipped off and gone.  We have too much experience with bunnies to be dumb enough to leave them unprotected. So we strung chicken wire over top of them to detour the deer from snacking.
Wes thought that was comical.  Us, trying to detour the deer.
So back to our irrigation challenge.
When the garden is watered, which doesn't really take much but requires someone down at the end to yell to the person at the pipe to shut the gate before it overflows at the other end.
It is actually kind of fun playing with the water. I call it playing. Victoria's favorite part is being the one to close the gate.
These are the individual gates. 
Once the garden is done, we open the Rubbermaid gate to
water the apple trees and the pasture.
 We almost flooded the barn.  Oops. 
The water is SUPPOSED to flow down the pasture. 
BUT, we found out it turns a corner, flows behind the barn and into the neighbors yard.
Once we mentioned that to a couple people who know the yard, they reassured us that that is no different than what has happened ever year.  So we aren't going to worry about it.  The trees are getting watered and that is mostly what matters.

I think we give plenty for Blondie to watch. She always seems very interested in what we are up to.
Well, we had no idea that after all those years of praying that
God would bless us beyond our deepest desires. 
Life has delt us lemons and we make lemonade all the way.
 And he has answered so many of our prayers.
Often I would think  that he didn't hear me but now
I know that he knows every little detail of our desires
and adds in even more blessings.
 He has brought our family to a place where we have never been happier.
The last piece of the pie will be for Kirk to land a steady income.
Now THAT would be paradise.