Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not So Lazy For The Boys

Recently, while I was spending a lazy summer day on the blanket with Helena, and Bella was doing this for an hour...

...the boys found some sticks and made up a game. That is pretty common place in our household. In fact, they bring sticks home just about everywhere we go, and they get kind of attached to certain sticks. Right now, under the train table in the play room, there is a duct-taped stick. That stick traveled from our dinner stop after a summer weekend away to Columbus for a stop at my husband's family's house. The next morning a frantic call was made to GiGi (my mother-in-law): "GiGi, Max was wondering if you know where his weed-eater stick is." Thankfully, GiGi is such a wonderful grandmother that she knew right where Max had left his weed-eater stick, and it then made the trip from Columbus to us the following week. It has since been broken and duct-taped twice. That's one special stick. The sticks in this particular story have been four-wheeler handle bars since this lazy summer day. The boys set up jumps for their four-wheelers and went ripping around the yard on them, sound effects and all. Max has really been Mr. MeToo with Kane lately, copying EVERYTHING that he does. Don't take my word for it - see for yourself. Kane jumps off of the tree.

Max jumps off the tree.

Kane zooms around and jumps over the bucket.

Max jumps over the bucket.

Kane's next jump is the tee-ball tee.

And by now I hope you can guess what came next.

It is a fun relationship to watch develope. Especially when it is under this pristine, crystal blue sky that we have had day after day this late summer.

It is my idea of a perfectly glorious lazy late-summer day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Laze

Every now and then I have two days in a row that are plagued by a headache. If I take it easy and do, oh, pretty much nothing those days, I can usually keep from getting a full-blown, knock-me-out, light-and-cold-are-killer type of "migraine." So that's what I do. And I figure it's God's way of saying, "Hey you! Slow down! You're moving way too fast." I had that last week, and we spent one afternoon lazing about in the back yard on a blanket. Well, Laini and I did. What the rest did can come at a later time. That would way too many photos. It might give YOU a headache. I played around with my remote that I finally ordered for my camera and Laini and I watched what the others came up with to occupy their minds. It's not often, especially in this late summer season, that I take the time to just sit around and relax with my kids. I appreciate the headaches for that. I don't really appreciate feeling like crap while I'm relaxing, but that's just the way it is, I suppose. Helena is such a complete joy to be around. She is learning and doing so much now. And since she is sitting on her own, I'm loving the photos that I can get.

I can even get a kiss (which is a rare happening) with my remote...

The eyebrows are a must.

Ditto for the dimple.

Eeybrows with a blue sky behind. Priceless.

She is a very vocal baby, and she had something to say about that fish!

Ah, what fun. But now a sleepy husband tells me it is time to be done, time to cut his hair before he's out of town for business and I'm off to my parents' house. And Laini wakes and says, "Sorry 'bout your luck, Papa!" I'm off.

Friday, September 3, 2010

{this moment}

Love this concept I picked up over at SouleMama: a Friday ritual, simple photo, no words. Just a moment from the week that I want to remember. Perfect, as we're all about moments here...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Garden Day

I had great expectations this year for the garden. I planted a ton of heirloom plants, all started from seed in my dining room just before or after Laini's birth, or in the spring ground. Trust me, that was a feet in and of itself. I weeded and kept up with the bugs. I was using what I harvested and planning all the canning that I would do. That is until the last month or so. I'm not exactly sure when I turned down the wrong, neglectful path, but it happened. I think it was a combination of running all over creation this summer, of trying to come to terms with the house/cleaning/parenting/teaching, and of the flippin' mosquitoes. Nearly every weekend has been taken up with travel or play of some sort. Not complainin', just sayin'. It's been a wonderful summer, but it hasn't left much time for home projects, like a humongous garden. Then there are the mind games that I play with myself. I have a way of over thinking everything, of sabotaging what really makes me happy (being outdoors, parenting my lovely children, being a mother and wife in general) with silly, everyday stress and the bother of things that can wait. When it makes me feel so good to be outside, just to walk to the garden every day to toss the compost and breathe deeply, why don't I just do it? I'll tell you part of why I don't do it. Behind our yard is a steep, narrow hillside that used to be a train track. Behind that train track skeleton, well, let's just say that every time it rains, we could go wading. Add to that the fact that our yard is the lowest on this part of the street, and what you have is an overwhelming epidemic of mosquitoes. I'm not exaggerating, people. While you're spraying your arms down (we have a natural essential oil repellent that works quite well), you get four bites on your legs. We left the van windows open just a few days ago to air the car out, and when we put the kids in, we had to kill ten mosquitoes that were flying around waiting for the back of an arm or leg or baby forehead to go unwatched. We need Purple Martin and bat houses, badly. Needless to say, they are a bit of a deterrent from daily yard work.
   But the other day I decided to buck up, spray down and tackle some garden work and harvesting. As painful as it is to come face to face with my failings on weeding, tying, and bug-smooshing, it had to be done. It was a good day, with a nice early start. You can't have a day go bad when it starts out this good...
So after breakfast and sending Papa off to work, down to the garden we went. The kids helped me harvest, and there's always some fun to be had in that, especially in the pepper patch.  

Oh, how I love the deep greens of a pepper plant. They make for a prefect hide out when they get as huge as my plants did this year.

And there were plenty of peppers to pick while the kids were in there.

Helena woke from her nap, so I brought her down with the quilt that my Great Aunt Esther made for me when I was a baby and laid her out in the yard to watch the chaos. And there was plenty to watch, with brothers and sister dashing by continuously.

But Laini isn't a lie-on-the-blanket-and-play kind of baby anymore. She isn't exactly crawling, but she knows how to get herself off the edge of a blanket in the blink of an eye. Which means there will be grass and dirt in her diet along with Mama's milk for quite awhile. Don't panic, all you germaphobes out there. Too clean of an environment can actually lead to health problems, and exposure to germs is good for building up a strong immune system. In fact, without exposure to germs, a child's immune system won't mature. Don't believe me? Google "too clean disease" and see what you come up with. Dirt is good for kids. Okay, I'm off my soap box.

Plus, dirt and grass eating makes for some really cute baby pictures. That makes it even more important.

After a couple of trips back to the house for every spare container in the cupboards, we finally had the garden all picked, and each kid had their own harvest in their own container. You can't get much better than that.

I had my own mammoth bowl full of tomatoes, also, and they are all in my freezer right now. So I suppose we are at least ending the summer harvest time with a bang. I may have missed out on a month or so of goodness, but all in all, with our fourth child being born in the midst of pepper and tomato seed starting time, I would say this year's garden has been a success. Plus, it gives me an improvement to shoot for next year. If it had been perfect this year, what could my goals have been for next year? Looking on the bright side, I'm seeing lots of goodness. And that's all good.