Saturday, September 05, 2015

The Birds and the bees and the butterflies...i

Despite the heat and dry weather, the flowers in my yard seem to be doing well.
This is one of my newer hydrangeas which bloomed, the blooms died off and then we planted it outside, so I really didn't expect it to bloom again. 
But Ta da!
I love the coral-pink, we're definitely not adding anything to the soil around this one to mess with this color!

It's still really small compared to my two most established bushes that sit with it looks a little odd right now, but hopefully it will catch up in a year or two.
If it can survive the winter, that is. Surviving the winter is always the question.

This purple flower came out of a wildflower mix that I sprinkled in the raised garden bed.
I don't know what it is exactly but it looks like a butterfly bush to me.
It attracts tons of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

We have hummingbirds buzzing everywhere this year. I've never seen so many.
They were hovering in our garage, they're sitting on trees in the yard. 
So cute!

The raspberry bush is expanding like crazy, We had to start chopping away at some shoots that are just going everywhere.
Such tiny fruit and sooooo many thorns and prickly hairs!

I'm not sure it's worth it?
I tell DH, it's a guard plant...keeping everything away from that corner of the house.

Though there was a skunk near our garage the other night. It was late and DH just saw a dark thing that he thought was a toy the girls had left out.
He was going to go nudge it with his foot and then decided to stomp his foot (from farther away) instead.
The skunk just looked at him and walked away.
Lucky man!

At least all this hot and humid weather means the girls get lots of pool time. :)

Pillow makeover & Craftiness

When we bought our couch, it came with two pillows. The material on the pillows was rough to begin with but over time it became pilled as well. Then the buttons started popping off.
First one pillow, then the other, then the first one again.
And nobody wanted to use them because they were so scratchy.

So finally I decided to make covers. Material would have been faster but I like to lie on the couch under crocheted afghans so I though a knitted pillow cover would go better.
I had to knit 28 squares! Ack!
This was not as well thought out as I...thought.
One down, one more to go. But at least seeing the finished product gives me motivation.
And it feels much softer so the girls are already thrilled with it.

The girls did pinprick artwork for their Art lessons the other day.
Vivian's "Diamond"

And butterfly, she had to put them in the window next to the turtle,
"So Katie will have something to look at each day." ;-)

Shiloh drew a house scene, and hearts.

She said that writing "Love" backwards is really easy and she didn't even have to think about it.
Shiloh only poked herself once with the pushpin so it was artistic success! ;-)

We've been visiting "Michael's" lately. They have a lot of difference craft stuff and ideas that we haven't tried before. It's been a pretty neat store to explore. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Playground pirates

Playgrounds have been a big visiting spot of ours this Summer.
We have been to quite a few different ones, some HUGE and some rather small but all fun. :)
It's been surreal to take the girls to playgrounds where I played when I was their age, they are just the same as I remember!
The perfect road trip for the girls would be driving from playground to playground. ;-D

We also got to be spectators at a Pirate parade.
Very cool floats, and tons of beads and candy for the girls were tossed to us.
Waiting in her pirate garb for the parade to arrive.

Very nice to see a parade in daylight!
I think it's ridiculous that our city *only* has parades at night....and the biggest parade is held in the winter (okay, technically late Fall) so it's freezing and dark.

The girls got some new Legos the other day.
Vivian was very concerned that it was going to take us days to complete!
 It turns out that she though the 8-12 written on the box meant the number of people it would take to put the Legos together! lol
So just the two of us was going to take forever!

Grousing about the garden

It hasn't been a great Summer for the garden.
I have a lot of tomatoes but they are still just as green as can be.
Well, a couple have finally turned...yellow. :-S
Two zucchini rotted on the vine and so I've only been able to harvest one this whole summer, which is ridiculous!
I have a bunch of zucchini plants that did nothing but take up a ton of space in the garden after flowering. :(

My blueberries are my most important crop, I think, and at least they did not disappoint. :)
The added effort of adding rabbit fencing did pay off, not necessarily in production but in having healthier and larger blueberry bushes.
 Especially with the hard winter we had, when the rabbits were eating everything!
The snow did eventually cover the entire fence line, but by that time the blueberry bushes were safely under several feet of snow.

I recently crashed through the fence, amazingly with minimal damage to the fence...or myself. I was trying to help DH lift the netting to put it on top of the T-posts, when the top of the post broke causing me to lose my balance and crash unceremoniously into the fence.
No bushes were harmed and the fence was able to be bent back into an acceptable shape...thankfully with no permanent impressions of my body left in it as a reminder of my gracefulness. ;-P

I finally got some peas from the garden, but they tasted like perfume.
I don't mean perfumy...but they tasted like actual perfume. Yuck!
DH said they were just too early, but I don't know if I could get my tongue brave enough to try them again. ;-S

DH recently brought me some purple green beans.
They were so pretty, but once you cook them up they lose the pretty purple striping.
They taste a bit milder than a green bean, and softer texture.
The girls wouldn't try them though.
Vivi insisted that "Green beans have to be green, otherwise they are not green beans...and I only like green beans." ;-P 
She's usually my daring food adventurer too!
I had them with scalloped potatoes and ham and somehow the beans went with it perfectly. :)

The girls have been having a blast in their kiddie pool. Most of their gardening seems to consist of watering the garden with squirt guns and water blasters while they play in the pool. :)
They are fascinated with finding tiny slugs and snails in the garden too...despite my sprinkling egg shells around the plants to deter the slimy pests!

This is the first year that Vivian has really enjoyed the pool.
Usually she's not one for water and didn't like to get too wet, but this year she's been much braver. :)
They also love to ride their bikes around the truck when DH is washing it.
They get so soaked and think it's the greatest thing. :)

Summer Ballerinas

August really swamped me!
I kept meaning to write here and just didn't find the time so I'm finally getting some August posts up now.
The girls had a fun time at Summer Dance Camp.
Fortunately (for me!) my girls are tiny and could wear their same leotards/tights as they did last Summer.
They had a couple of six-year old's in their class this year that were bigger than both of the girls!

This was Shi's last Summer in the Dance Camp because she'll be out of the age range next I took a lot of pictures. :)
I don't know what Vivi's face is...other than hysterical! ;-)
Ready to go to class.
In the Studio after their final class/performance.

They enjoyed it a lot and really put effort into their final performance.
Vivi has the finesse of the graceful arm movements and Shi has the bounce and energy for the springs and spins. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summertime Cocoa

A warm spell is in the forecast so we finally set up the kiddie pool for the girls.
They had a fun time and Vivian actually dove right into the playing and splashing...and getting wet!
It always takes her forever to warm up to playing in the water.
Unfortunately the water wasn't too warm. The day was warm but we didn't have much sun so the pool didn't warm up much.

You know it's cold when your kids come in from playing in the pool and ask for Hot Cocoa with marshmallows! ;-)

The girls had another busy week of crafting. :)
They made wands at Dance Class, and Pipe cleaner aliens and Shrinky Dinks at the Library.

All the girls at Dance class were choosing powers that their "magic" wands held.
Shiloh chose fire, Vivian chose water, and another little girl next to Vivian, decided on Roses.
Then she told Vivian excitedly "Your powers help my powers to grow!" Lol

My baby still falls asleep on the couch in the middle of the day. :)

She's been reading so much lately. Outgrowing her more simple chapter books so she's often borrowing ones from Shiloh now.
Shiloh found a book of Christmas stories in the "Free" bin at the Library.
Well, Vivian was upset that she didn't get a book too.
So the next time we visited, she grabbed the first book that she could find that had a few drawings inside, I think.
So now she's reading Yates. Lol.

This is my first year growing peas, but I think they're coming along pretty well. 
Probably some of the pods are ready to pick? I'm not sure yet.
The garden is slow this year. 
I have a few tomatoes coming along but they are still small and green. 
A lot of flowers though so tomatoes should be coming...sometime.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chipmunk chatter

DH had his tooth taken care of this week.
He still looks like a bit of a chipmunk, but at least he's not in any pain.
I even called his Dentist today since the swelling was making me nervous but they told me it's fine and what to watch for so I feel better!
He was really hard to understand the first day with his mouth all numbed.
I had to keep translating for the girls, they couldn't understand him at all.
I didn't have as difficult a time at it, apparently my second language is numb mouth.
Hmm, do think I could put that on my resume? ;-D

I took the girls to McDonald's playland while we waited for him.
We hadn't been there in a year and finally Vivian was big enough to climb everywhere, though she was still nervous about certain things.
It was nice to sit and sip a Hot Cocoa (it wasn't so super muggy as it is now) and watch them play.
They pretty quickly made friends with a little blonde girl who was right between the girls in size.
It's rather neat how kids make friends so quickly. All the girls gravitate to each other and run away from the boys. While the boys meet each each other and try their hardest to kill each other soon after...

The little blonde girl kept shouting for "Olivian" the whole time they played together.
Turns out, that was her name for Vivian. She kept getting confused. ;-)
Later on, when the rest of the boys had to go, there was one boy left and he joined the girls in playing.
He was much calmer once the other boys left and the four of them had a great time until we had to leave.

It's nice to have an indoor play area like that, but the girls socks were sooo filthy!
DH told me to just throw them away, they were so bad but I dumped them in bleach and salvaged them...for now.
I dumped the kids in the soapy tub and salvaged them too. ;-)

The blueberries are slowly ripening. The Japanese beetles are so bad each year that it really requires daily maintenance (knocking the beetles off the plants into a jar of soapy water) and picking the ripe fruit as soon as it matures.
Then they have to quickly washed and tucked into the back of the freezer before Vivian eats them all....otherwise no blueberry pancakes for anyone!
She's the fruit Queen. No fruit lasts long around her.

It was so muggy and hot today that the girls and I made a quick trip to the grocery store for Italian Ices.
Vivian found a penny on the floor. She adores this, and gloats endlessly about "her good luck, that she'll have all day".
Meanwhile Shiloh was pushing one of those little kid shopping carts...and managed to run into her own heel. (Don't ask how, it's one of those things...)
It was a deep scrape and I'm really surprised it didn't bleed.
She also crashed into a few things after she got home. It's hard to tell if Vivian psyched her out or it was just a regular day. lol
Eventually it was like "Vivian! Just give her the penny! Quickly! She NEEDS it!" ;-D

We're waiting to watch Fireworks tonight.
We can see them from our house. It's a delayed 4th of July celebration that was rescheduled due to bad weather.
But Vivian is fast asleep....ahem, make that waiting with her eyes closed.
She knew she wouldn't be able to stay awake so I'm supposed to wake her when the fireworks start.
Kinda hate to do it's for fireworks!
Hopefully she'll fall back asleep afterwards...eek.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

July Jumble

July has become such a busy month for us!
The girls both had their first Dance Class of the season.
On the way to class, Vivian said "Mom, what does anxious mean?"
Me: "Nervous, or a bit worried. You could say "I'm worried" and it would mean the same as "I'm anxious."
Vivian: "You are Mom? Me too! I'm anxious!"
She actually did great. They had cute snowflake ornaments to show off at the end too.

We went to a library program on the life cycle of birds (namely chickens).
Shi is very interested in animals and science so she had her hand up constantly answering and asking questions.
The kids got to pet a chicken and see and hear a (very nervous anxious!)rooster.
Yesterday they were able to turn eggs that are going to be hatching in a few weeks.
We just happened to arrive at the time that the eggs needed to be turned, and the girls were the only kids there so they got the privilege of turning all of the eggs by themselves!
Apparently chicken eggs have to be turned frequently.
I was surprised since I'm more used to hearing about turtle egg rescues and how they have to carefully mark the top of each egg before they move them so the top always stays facing up.
I think even alligator eggs are similar so it must be a difference between reptile and bird eggs.

Speaking of birds, I have a crazy amount of hummingbirds coming to my feeder.
I only have one feeder going this year, since I finally got fed up with my second feeder constantly leaking.
I am making my own hummingbird food (1 part sugar, 4 parts water, boil and cool) and not buying it this year, and the hummingbirds really seem to prefer it.
The food doesn't get all thick in the bottom of the feeder the way that the store-bought kind tends to do after awhile.
Plus if you drip any, that red liquid was terrible for staining!
I'm not sure if I want to add a second feeder or not though because my hummingbirds are very territorial. They constantly chase each other away from the feeder so I never have two eating at the same time.

I just finished making new curtains for the front porch windows.
The old set I made was about six years old and while the material was still really good, the color had faded badly from all the bright sun that the porch receives.
They were originally green and had turned a strange purple?!
Anyways these new curtains are white, so fading should not be a problem and other than battling dirt, I'm hoping they'll last quite awhile.

We had homemade broccoli pizza for dinner last night.
That's what happens when you decide you want pizza and you have cheese and sauce, but no pepperoni so you go looking through your fridge for topping ideas.
Marshmallows....uh no.
Pickled ginger...urp.
Okay, what's in the veggie drawer.
Lemons,..A carrot,..celery..
Aha! Broccoli, that will work, right?
Vivian, who adores broccoli, loved it. Shiloh was less enthused.
Eh, she's not crazy about pepperoni either so....

DH's tooth is much better. He's finished his antibiotics.
We still have to wait until his appointment to have it taken care of, but at least the misery of it is gone.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Uncouth Tooth

DH has a bad tooth.
Well actually it's bad under the tooth. An abscess. Eek!
Apparently it's under a tooth that already had a previous root canal.
DH said three Dentists came in to look at his X-rays because they couldn't figure out how the infection got there.

He ended up having to take off work due to the pain. :(
Three prescriptions and about 36 hours later and the pain is finally subsiding.
We're not done with Dentist appointments though, they have to wait until the infection is gone before they can do anything with the tooth so this will drag out into next month.
Vivian kept telling him "Don't worry Dada, once it comes out, the Tooth Fairy will bring you money!" 

I've been so busy the past couple days running everywhere it seems.
Yesterday especially.
After I drove DH to his early Dentist appt., the girls and I went to Walmart to pick him up some high-calorie shakes because he couldn't eat anything with his mouth hurting.
Then when we left there, we came close to a white SUV that was going the WRONG way in the Roundabout.
The guy was pretty freaked when he realized his mistake. I'm not sure how he got back out.
All that was before 9:30!
Then we got home and found most of a bottle of apple juice had spilled into one of the girls bags and was dripping everywhere...
Sticky everywhere...

DH hadn't even been able to talk much so it helps that we've been married so long that I knew all his information to give and can basically figure out what he was trying to tell me.
Vivi was watching me trying to figure out his gestures yesterday and finally she ran up to him.
"Dada! This means Yes! She vigorously nodded her head.
"Dada! This means No!" She shook her head.
"Okay? That's how you do it!"
Lol, love this kid!

In the afternoon, a storm came through, and a tree fell down blocking our street.
That was despite Vivian's song that the..."Rain, Rain, go away. All the way to Canada or some other far away country."  She was making up this little song while we were driving.:)
Thankfully we didn't lose power!
Crazy day!

Shiloh has been accumulating her own injuries. On Monday, she bumped her head on the dining room table which I wasn't too concerned about because the table is on sliders and moves pretty easily.
Though it did hurt, it didn't bruise or swell....though she was convinced it was swelling until I had her feel her other temple.
Ta da! They match!

On Tuesday, she banged her knee on the dining room chair while jumping/bouncing/hopping into the seat.
(whatever way she was trying to sit down, it wasn't just calmly sitting down for sure)
She makes certain our "Disney Princess" ice pack gets a lot of use.
No swelling or bruising again, but she was again sure that her knobby knee was just not right.
Until....Ta da! 
I pulled up her other knee so she could see it was equally bumpy.
Her face was priceless. lol

Today is Wednesday. Today I have her bandaged in bubble wrap. ;-) 
Well, it's an idea, but probably wouldn't help anyways. Lol

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Birthdays and Baby books

How quickly seven years can pass!
My baby just turned seven!

The night before Vivi's birthday, Shiloh lost another tooth.
So I pulled out their baby books because I keep a chart to record their lost teeth in their baby books.
Well, the girls loved reading through their baby books and laughing hysterically at what their first words and sounds were etc.
Such a fun way to celebrate a birthday. :)

Vivian asked for chocolate cupcakes, but her ideas for decorating the cupcakes changed by the second. So I looked at the Wilton website....which is just awesome.
And it gave me a ton of ideas.
I thought I could attempt rainbow frosting, but maybe just start with just three colors since it would be my first time.
Vivian loved the suggestion of rainbow frosting, but she insisted on four colors.
Okay, but lets try to make them light colors, like pastels so my errors are not so glaring.
Ta da!
The rainbow frosting was soo pretty.
It gave me the confidence to try the swirl technique that I also saw on the page.
I'm overly-impressed with my new-found talents. lol

The birthday girl reading her new book.
A new series I discovered written by her favorite author. :)
She wore her favorite dress and "Princess" pin too.

The girls putting together a new Lego set this morning.
(and yes, Shiloh sits like that quite often!)
They both had a lot of fun.