Thursday, May 28, 2015

All things outdoor

I wrote this post two full weeks ago but had a photo uploading issue.  So we are all going to pretend that you are reading this on, say, May 18th.  Then, I'll post the "update" post in a few days and you'll be amazed, okay?

I plan on updating here what is happening in our lawn/garden/flower beds.  Every year I have taken some pictures to help me remember what is what and which plants are flowers vs. weeds but then I loose the picture so I'm putting some thoughts here so that I don't lose them.  Nothing disappears from the internet, folks.  Remember that.

So a quick tour of the yard is in order.  Starting in our backyard, you might start by eating dinner on the patio and then look to the left and see this:

Lots of different kinds of hostas.  I think they need to be divided again, because this area seems very crowded.  There are also lots of forget-me-nots but I don't really like them and I should pull them out next year.

Next up is the garden.  It's looking great!!  We have  pumpkins, spinach, carrots, beans, peas, onions, and kohlrabi (I think that's what is growing there, it may be weeds) growing from seed.  Then I bought eight tomato plants (six are beefsteak & roma for canning) and four pepper plants because I can never get those to work well from seeds.  We were gone last weekend and everything jumped out of the ground and it looks like I'm a gardener!!!  The jury is still out as to whether or not I will have to put a fence around this to prevent veggie loss.

In the back of the house we have something interesting going on: A large row of hostas.  They aren't placed along the fence, but about 8 feet in so there is a bare spot behind them full of crazy weeds.  We're just leaving it.  Someday maybe we'll get some more bushes or trees for back here and I can make it look more intentional, and disguise our view into our neighbor's house a little better.

What to do with this strange space back here?  Bushes?  Trees?  Chicken coop?

Next up on our stroll around the house is our side yard.  It's really bad looking.  I've given up hope that it will look good this year. We stuck down those square pavers under the garbage cans and called it a big improvement.  TaDa!

Weeds, hostas (again!), rose bush climbing a strange trellis

By the way, our lawn has really gotten away from us at the moment.  It's pretty comical to me, actually, because there is a distinct line between our neighbors yards and our yard in regards to the millions of dandelions we have popping up.  I'm unwilling to spray them this year though because we have a little boy who literally puts grass in his mouth yet.  So all our neighbors probably think we are the shame of the neighborhood, and I don't care.  Not a priority to us!

On the front of that corner is this cool climbing flowering plant.  I love it because there are always hummingbirds here.  I might try and install some sort of trellis in front of the garbage cans to help hide them and this will grow beautifully on it.

Slowly training this to climb across the top of the garage.  I cut some off when I thought it was dead but it turns out I shouldn't have cut it.  Whoops!

Around the front of the house is this crazy, curly, ugly bush.  We're trying to embrace it.  We have a whole stack of mulch and weed barrier that I AM GOING TO GET IN THIS YEAR so that all the weeds will be gone and pretty black mulch will be here instead.  Along the right side is a new hydrangea plant that will be my favorite thing, I think.

Pride of the neighborhood

Farther to the left, my in-laws recently bought us that crab-apple tree to replace the dead olive tree that we cut down last year.  It's my son's birthday gift, and I'm excited to take his picture in front of it every year to document both of their growth.

Needs to be weeded

Along the other side of the yard is another mess.  I started weeding and mulching this sucker and got about 1/2 of the way along the house before my wrists started acting up so then the weeds crept back in along the other half before we finished it.  The right side looks lovely, but I'm hoping to finish off the other half (to the left of the A/C) this year and then along the fence another year.  It's just too much for me.
Where we sttarted

I will finish the stone border along here at some point.

Wild! Full of lots of bulb type plants, purple round flowers, tall grass, and weeds.  And Creeping Jenny.  Lots of creeping jenny.

Thus concludes our tour of the yard.  I hope you are still with me and I didn't bore you to death, and that my weeds didn't burn your eyes!  I'll post another update farther along into the summer to see how much improvement has been made.  Will she get the mulch in??  Are those kohlrabi plants or just weeds??  Will the neighbors start collecting their torches and pitchforks??? Stay tuned to find out!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A First Birthday Party

I've been feeling down in the dumps for the past few days.  I've been feeling like every day is the same, cooking, cleaning, feed the baby; over and over and over I do the same monotonous tasks.  I think I let myself slip into not pushing myself to do new things or create.  So I sewed this morning, and am diving into a book next time I am thinking about checking facebook or watching TV. 

I need to remember that what I do is important, at least to a few very important people; serving them (by the monotonous tasks like cooking, laundry, & dishes as well as teaching my son about....everything) is a privilege and this season in life doesn't last long.  "Cherish every moment" says everyone.  Well fooey on you, I don't need to cherish it. But I can try my darndest to be thankful and cheerful in the season God has given me. 

Which brings us around to the topic of this blog post: Levi's Birthday.  (See what I did there?  You didn't even notice how this is a totally different topic).

We celebrated this birthday boy a few times.  On his actual birthday, we went to the zoo.  It was hot. None of the animals were moving.  So there was a lot of people watching and dancing to the carousel music.  It was a good time.

Can you spot the dancing?

The goats were the most interesting.

The next day, we had Dillon's family over for lunch and it was so nice to see all the great-grandmas and grandparents.  Levi had an epic piece of "cake".  His cake comes with quotation marks because it was pretty much bananas, coconut, applesauce, and raspberries.  I followed this recipe.  Since we haven't really given him any other super sweet stuff, this was a cake I was comfortable with.  It tasted like bland banana bread.  I'm a first time mom so I get to do these silly things like not giving him any processed foods.

It was a hit

Two weeks later, we went to my sister and brother-in-law's house and had a party up there with my family.  Once again, it was nice to see the great-grandmas and grandparents.  We ate pancakes with all the toppings.  Levi performed on demand with all his walking, talking, and finger-waving.  No cake this time; instead we served him a stack of mini pancakes. 

The best picture I got of his stack of pancakes, the wall decorations, and his crown. 

I made a few decorations I thought I'd share.  We had a loose theme of "Where the Wild Things Are". Forgive my not-so-great photos of them, I wasn't focused on taking blog pictures during this time. 

First, I made this little sign on a piece of fabric.  It's just painted on but I guess I fooled a couple of guests who thought I had stitched it on. 

Then I made this "Wild One" banner.  Get it?  ONE???  I feel so clever.  Once again, it's just painted on.

Finally, my favorite.  I sewed together this crown for the birthday boy.  I just stitched two pieces of felt together, leaving the ends open.  I stuck one of those stretchy headbands in and tied it together, so the "crown" doesn't go all the way around, but the elastic headband is exposed in the back.  This turned out so cute!  He didn't wear it for very long at the party at our house, but kept it on for a nice long time at the second party. 

Oh yes there were bubbles!

Our kiddo is a lucky one, he was showered with gifts and attention and love.  Bring on the second year!

Monday, May 11, 2015

12 Months!

Twelve months--a full year you've been in our lives.  What a crazy thought. Some days it feels like you've been here for much longer, but then other days I feel like we are just getting used to you.  You are really truly walking now, and reaching all the things we thought we had put high enough out of reach!  There has been lots of redirecting away from things in the past few weeks.

You like to repeat what we say, and do a pretty impressive job pronouncing the first letters of everything.  "Pepper" and "poop" are your favorite words.  You can even find the page in one of your books that has different colored peppers- so sweet! 

You love the sandbox and being outside has become your favorite thing once again as you like to pick the pretty yellow "flowers" all over our yard!  You love to dance and have gotten some hand motions in the mix now too. 

This month you made me cry because you started folding your hands to pray all by yourself at meal times.  You continue to give out kisses and hugs and lots and lots of cuddles.  And then you made me cry because you are such a big boy all the sudden and I think I have to stop calling you my baby.  However, there were no tears shed for the loss of the dreaded "weekly photo shoot".

(I plan on compiling all the weekly photos into another post.  Don't worry, you'll get to see how much he has grown. )

Week 48

Week 49

Week 50

Week 51

One Year