I am sitting at the computer sending pictures to Blasen's parents in Peru, so I thought I should start the task of documenting our summer.
Can I tell you how much I enjoy blogging?! I really do, but it seems that there are so many other tasks that are always more pressing. And there are other things waiting for me to do right now, but I'm taking advantage of the few moments I have...and the cold weather. Apparently winter is coming early this year, so this week is mostly playing inside. I don't feel obligated to be outside when it is in the 30s and 40s even if the sun is shining. I still am hoping that it may warm up about 10 degrees for a few days so I can tackle the last of the yard work I have yet to do.
Our past summer was quite full of fun. We did travel back home to Alabama at the very beginning of the summer for several weeks and those pictures are on my phone and I'll do those another time.
But the majority of our summer was spent in our back yard.
Before leaving for Alabama at the beginning of June we hurried and planted our seedlings we had started in our basement under grow lights. Yes, we were too cold to put anything in the ground beside carrots and lettuce, and peas before the end of May. Actually, the boys last day of school was the first day they wore shorts.
It's never a great idea to plant a garden then not to tend it for 3 weeks. It was a bit of a nightmare when we got home. Grass had taken over the peas and green bean bed. Cilantro had taken over the lettuce, carrots and strawberries. After a day of weeding I had everything cleaned up and we learned some lessons. One lesson being don't allow your husband to throw grass clippings on you garden. He thought it would be great compost and when the snow finally melted off this spring, I still had green grass clippings under all that snow. There had been no decomposition of anything that had been thrown on there. It was not fun shoveling all that up and hauling it to the dump.
We had lettuce, carrots, and strawberries in one bed.
Zade either took the pictures or modeled the fruits and veggies.
We have deer that like to come and munch on our greens, so we put up wire and the couple we bought our house from had suggested using Irish Spring shavings to deter the deer. Apparently, deer don't like Irish Spring...so no deer and a clean smelling garden.
When we got home, lots of our plants had died or had been eaten. However, our yellow squash and zucchini were doing well. They started to take over their little bed. No tomatoes I planted survived, but I did have 13 come back on their own from last year.
We also planted a green and a red bell pepper plant. Which the deer ate the green one down to a nub the first night. Then the poor guy grows back, just to be eaten again. Deer must like green bell pepper leaves. I had also planted cucumber seedlings, but they were completely gone when we got home.
This is our rhubarb that is a perennial. I had so much this year. I made several rhubarb desserts, shared with others and still have lots in the freezer. I also learned that you can make a spray using the leaves of rhubarb to use to detract pest on broccoli and brussel sprouts. You can see the perennial flower bed in the background and how it was over grown with weeds. I joked with Blasen that I was just growing native grasses.
I also learned that you should pay closer attention when purchasing your seeds. I thought I bought bush green beans and instead I bought vine green beans and when I got home all my peas and green beans were all tangled up together. You can see our two apple trees just behind this bed. Those two had a great crop this year. I picked apples last Saturday and got four 5 gallon buckets and our wagon full of apples. We have two varieties, MacIntosh and Red Delicious. The MacIntosh have been our favorite. There is much apple sauce, apple butter, and dried apples to be making.
I was fairly pleased with the way our garden turned out this year. The children loved it! They were able to help in all stages from planting to weeding to harvesting. I love being out there and seeing the actual fruits of you labor. I learned some great lessons this year and how to work better in this climate. I look forward to next summer and what we can accomplish.
Apparently, I also have a budding photographer. I thought this shot was very clever.
If you've been seeing my random posts lately, you likely noticed that it was Bliss's birthday this month...actually yesterday. I don't think I'll reminisce this year. I will, however, comment on how quickly these last 8 years have gone. I believe during the duration of those 8 years, I oft time felt like time couldn't move any slower. My life, for the past 8 years, as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has commented, has been "in the trenches". Blasen and I have been richly blessed throughout our 9 years of marriage. One of those blessings is Bliss Dean Archibald.
Ht: 4ft 1/2 in
Wt: 63 lbs
School: 2nd grade, Mrs. Kerscher's class
Bliss follows in his father's footsteps and is a quite the athlete. Unfortunately, he did get some DNA from me and therefore may have to try harder than his father did, but he is naturally talented when it comes to all sports. He just catches on pretty quickly. Right now he plays flag football and he is really good. And I'm not just saying that because he is my son. Game one, he played mostly defense as corner or defensive end and I don't think anyone crossed the line of scrimmage with the ball. He's pretty quick. Game two, he played mostly offense which was a bit more difficult. Why? Defense is simple enough, get the flag of the kid that has the ball. Offense, you have to execute plays. He did score the extra points after one touchdown and then went on to score a touchdown later in the game. He was pretty excited.
Bliss is a great student. He's interested in science and math. With writing and reading, he does what he is asked and nothing more. When he does read, he enjoys nonfiction. He says he actually feels like he's learning something when he reads nonfiction. Again, so like his father. He does enjoy me reading Encyclopedia Brown or Magic Tree House books to him even though he can read them himself. And I am always amazed that he has spectacular handwriting. I thought it was normal, the way he wrote, and thought it was strange that his kindergarten teacher always commented on it. Then Zade started school and the teacher assured us that Zade had age appropriate handwriting, even though I would consider it chicken scratch at best.
We celebrated Bliss's birthday yesterday as a family.
He got a guitar, of which he's been asking for FOREVER. He was pretty stoked.
I also conceded and went along with the skateboard idea.
He took it to the workshop side of the basement and tried it out.
Dad helped him with his stance and balance.
Then everyone got a ride.
Birthdays can't be simple in our house, we have to drag them out. We still have the birthday party for Bliss to invite friends to this coming weekend and then he'll be baptized the following weekend. My folks are flying in for that and we are all really excited for both.