Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have been enjoying my little vegetable garden. I am glad I decided to start small, it is easy to keep up on weeding and makes me so happy to see things growing. Also, the smell of tomato plants is amazing.

Tonight we will get to enjoy the first bounty from the garden, in the form of butter and romaine lettuce. Each of my 3 tomato plants has at least 10 green tomatoes growing, and I am already looking forward to BLTs.

I have a black thumb of death, with only 1-2 house plants doing ok-ish and the others suffering and slowly dieng over the span of about 5 years. Not outright plant murder, more like extended torture.  So to see plants growing and healthy green is so thrilling. I am already making notes for next years garden plot. I plan to add a small patch each year. Next year I will be incorporating fruit. Blueberry bushes and a starwberry patch. Possibly an apple tree or two, gearing up for a tiny little orchard.  The kiddos each have something they want to grow so I might let them each pick something to plant in front of their playhouse instead of flowers.

I would love to draw up a 5-6 year plan fpr the backyard. Slowly adding sections along the fence, walking paths, garden areas, firepit and sitting area, patio, ect. One side of our fenced backyard is the neighbors bright white vinyl fence, which reflects the sun and kills the lawn allowing only hardy assorted weeds to grow. I have thought of trying to plan a dry river bed with some shrubs and maybe landacaping boulders to break up some of the reflection, help with drainage (our sump pump and a gutter drains near), and just create something pretty to look at.

We bought our house 8 years ago, this month. With the plan of moving to the farm as soon as possible. I have held off doing anything. Both to save money and waiting for "my forever home projects". This year I am not going to wait. I am going to make little changes our family can enjoy, with the end goal of making things easier. (Less lawn to mow, eliminate need of the weed whacker).

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Not a Sports Mom in the Making

Can I confess something? I hate TBall and possibly baseball in general. Positively unAmerican, I know.

Bear claims she likes TBall. We are hanging in because it is only twice a week for three weeks. Two more days and we are doneskis. In my mind it would be adorable to watch like when my niece played soccer in Kindergarden. Rockette kicks and a herd of adorable little people grouped together running down the field. Lots of big smiles and clapping. Everyone can kick a ball.

In TBall everyone can hit the ball...no one can catch the ball. It is painful to watch, especially my daughter who cries in front of an audience and clings to the coaches, can seem to figure out how a que works, and brings makes me question is okay to quit or do we tough it out and finish what we start? It might be that 4 is too young and next year she would have done better. She isn't quite independant enough for me to sit on the bleachers and watch, which isn't good for a mother who struggles with micromanagement and is trying to back off.

To be honest on the first day she some how thought baseball would be like ballet. She desperately wants to learn ballet. I wish they still had classes, but it isn't in the budget to drive 80+ miles for a dance class. She wanted to try something, she picked TBall. I now remember why I didnt signup her brothers for things this young. Why didnt I remember the hell that Preschool Music & Dance was when Bug was a tot? They all are their mother's children at this age and seem to panic when the number of people grow too large. How do I help them overcome something I haven't mastered in my 30s?

Baseball I am sure as a sport you can be exciting, probably when played with skill. Unfortunately you move too slowly for me, and I would likely also be the player in the outfield digging in the dirt daydreaming.

On a postive note, when she does stand and move forward in line she gets a huge smile on her face practicing the move/play/thing they are supposed to do. And she swings a bat pretty cute.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Summer 2018 plans

Signed the kiddos up for a few Rec Dept things this summer. Part of my, we don't need no stinking TV summer plan.

Bug and Big D start Youth Basketball Camp tomorrow morning at 8am. Luckily they aren't completely out of the school routine yet. They will be walking themselves to the gym. It actually started this morning, but well Mom didnt get them signed up until 9am today, so that is just how it works. They will get 2 of the 3 days. I would like to get a basketball hoop setup and an area outside they can practice and play all year.

Bear will have 3 weeks of TBall on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in June. I hope she likes it. I know very little about baseball or TBall, but it was the only thing she was old enough for and she wanted to try. The boys have been wanting their mits dug out and we do have a TBall thing somewhere. Should be a fun evening family activity.  I am keeping the Twinks bedtime at 8pm, Bear gets to 8:30 and it has been nice watching the older kids play outside while the little ones sleep.

The 3 bigs, Bug, Big D & Bear will also have swimming lessons in July. Here is hoping the boys stay in the same level and I only need to entertain the Twinks during 3 sessions. Seasoned swimming lesson pros- what do you bring? Last year other parents felt sorry for me and helped with the girls. This year the littles have stranger anxiety even with people who arent actually strangers .

In July the boy-os will have soccer on Tuesday and Thursdays.

And I need to double check the Art Camp month. It is a 2 day deal, also a Tuesday and Thursday.  They will make things to enter into the Fair and have been asking the last 2-3 years if they could please do it.

Most of the activities are within a block of our house and all are in walking distance. The boys this year really noticed that they dont know how to play most sports. I am not up for a commitment on a team, but the Rec Dept has sports offered all year which basically teach the basics. Bug wanted to do a traveling team, solely because he had friends on it. Coming from the boy who came home upset because he argued in school that reading is a sport and no one backed him up. I felt locally playing and learning is a better fit for our family.

Not sure what the Hubby will say, he isnt a sports fan. I am a fan of kids burning off some energy and learning new things. Also they will have more to do when they are bored and kicked outside to play.

Also we are walking to the Library on Tuesday and Thursdays for the Summer Reading Program, which the bigs may end up going to and fro on their own, because naptime.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Reading Challenge 2018 - Week 15

I am not really following the list of the 52 books to read.  I could check a bunch off, but I am just reading books.  The categories seemed like a fun way to challenge myself to read new things.  However, it turns out I read a variety already.  Also I love making lists, but I am never good at following lists.

Today marks the start of Week 15 and I have finished 31 books.  I am currently in the process of reading another 3, though I should probably pick one at a time.

Have you ever noticed that your mood effects what you can read?  I had a book I struggled to get through, so I had to set it aside only to pick it up a few days later and read late into the night.  My mood changes my taste, sometimes dramatically so.

Things I have discovered.

  • Neil Gaimon is one of my new favorite authors
  • Continued from last year, I really enjoy historical fiction
  • And books with insights into other cultures
  • Books that have a storyline AND end with a recipe are also fun
  • My want to read list keeps growing
  • I am going to have to find a system to jote down author names and want to read lists to keep tucked in my purse and start pursing the library.
  • I like children's books.  I am tempted to start my way through Newberry award winners.
  • Reading chapter books to the kids is something we all look forward to, but they feel betrayed if I read ahead.  (Loving the Green Ember series)
  •  I have mixed feeling on Prime books on Amazon.  I have read a few good ones, but quite few that weren't my cup of tea.  Apparently a reason they are free.
  • I also am completely done even trying any sort of romance book, not my genre.

Winter Whining - Erm Summary

Sinus Infection
Ear Infection
Stomach Flu
Strep Throat
Influenza (round 2)
Tennis Elbow
Pink Eye

And that is my Winter 2017/2018 summary.  Throw in a bunch of dead calves from weather and bovine plague too.

This household has had a long winter. Supposedly Spring started last month, Mother Nature disagreed. Until there is 5 straight days above freezing and I spy green grass I consider it still winter.

Last Tuesday was in the 50s I opened all the windows in the house to air out residual plague and winter mucky blues, dug out the double stroller and took the kiddos for a walk.  I felt a little bit like the piped piper without a pipe, as I walked past houses I accumulated children.  By the time we were ready to cross the highway on the way to the park I had 9 children in procession.

Sunshine and being outdoors was worth it.  The next day was windy and rainy/haily/sleety, the following day heralded 4 inches of snow, the next day some more snow.  Still winter.

Montana Spring Traditions - blowing bubbles, catching snow flakes & building snowmen

Stealing and Trading Food.

We cancled Bear's birthday due to sickness, and finally were abel to celebrate on Easter.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Twin Toddler Potty Training

Last week I decided to start potty training the twins.  After polling my sister, mother, and mother-in-law.  Readiness signs seemed to be there, plus ending 8.5 years of daily diaper changes would be pretty awesome.

They are proud of their big girl underoos. I don't feel comfortable enough to leave the house. I am giving it 10 days and then re-evaulating if we will continue.  They are in diapers overnight, underwear during the day and naptime. Meekers  has been dry in the morning 95% of the time, Gracers is about 60-70% of the time.

Gracers had been asking for her diaper changed while she was still dry, so I started taking her to the bathroom when she did and she started asking to use the bathroom. Meekers followed and wanted to try whatever her sister was doing. I can't decide who is actually getting trained, but would appreciate a prayer that it all clicks soon.

Birthday Baking

I am scheming and planning Bear's birthday cake.  I am hoping to get back to making the kid's birthday cakes and moving to type of cake over only decor/theme.  Bear decided right away she wanted a chocolate cake. Easy enough.  She had been asking for a princess cake, briefly a unicorn cake and has settled on mermaid.  I have found I actually enjoy a little baking and am hoping to discover I enjoy decorating.  I need a creative outlet.

I am planning one layer to look like a sandy beach.  Sand made of toasted coconut, sugar, and crushed graham crackers mixed together.  I bought small silicone molds to make some seashells and a mermaid tail.  I am also planning on making and clam shell cookies (Nilla wafers, frosting, sixlet pearl). Thank you Pinterest.

The other layer will be water.  I decided to attempt frosting ruffles in several shades of blue. Mainly because I was googling the frosting tips I own and #104 makes ruffles and reminds me of waves.  If I cant pull it off, then that layer will be a frosting smear layer and I can throw on some small candy pearls to look like bubbles and top it off with a chocolate mermaid tail.  Attempting Swiss Meringue Butter cream once my eggs whites and butter get to room temperature. Though that may be tomorrow's project. I have been doing one step at a time during nap time.

In the freezer I have a homemade chocolate cake with more steps than I have ever taken in making a cake.  In the oven is a from the box strawberry cake, just baking away and a boxed Devils Food Cake on the counter waiting to go in.  I don't trust how my attempt at layering will go, so I figured it is a good idea to have backup/extras.

Sand layer on top or wave layer?