Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Been Gone Fishin'

 We up and high tailed it to Idaho for a week.  We're back home now--but what a fun, fun time we had whilst away. 
 The nearly one and only day I even got the camera out of its case was the day we went fishin'.

 "Fishing takes tooooo loooooong!  I don't want to be patient!"

 That'll scare the fish right outta the crik!

 The littlest cousins did not get to operate poles--so they just posed for pictures.
 See how clean they both are?  Seriously--two peas in a pod.  I can't believe how well they get along.  They just don't seem to fight the way all the others did at this age.  I love it. 

 Nora didn't feel like smiling until her partner in crime joined them in the creek.
 Now she's happy! 

 A few creek creatures...
 Levi was on net duty and since there were never any fish to use the net on he decided to make a catch of his own.

 Best Buds.

 I never did get a picture of both kids smiling nicely with Grandma, but THIS....
 is better than THIS!  Seriously, whose kids are these????? 
 Obviously, the fishing was ditched after a very short time and the creek became the main form of entertainment.  It was lovely, I tell you.  We sat on a blanket listening to the calming sound of the rushing water and cascading falls while the kids entertained themselves.  Ahhhhh....now that's vacation!

 As usual, a thunderstorm drove us out of this particular spot before we were nearly tired of it.  What a fun time! 
 I really didn't take more than a half dozen other photos the rest of the week.  Here is one of Nora playing dress up to go to her own wedding. 
 And on our last evening Grandpa took each of the kids on a cycle ride.

We did have much fun doing things like biking on our favorite bike trails, eating, eating and more eating, visiting with friends, swimming and playing in the playhouse at Grandma's.  I think that Tadd has several shots on his phone of the kids riding dirt bikes and four wheelers at Uncle Alan's.  Perhaps I can dig those up for another day.  For now, we are back to reality.  And that reality means laundry....

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Outdoor Projects

 Owning a house is just one long continuous project, isn't it?  We generally feel as though we have about 25-50 projects all at the starting/midway point at a time.  And any time one gets finished, another is waiting to take it's place.  But, "idle hands" and all that, right?  Better busy than the other!
 Tadd and his girls got to work removing all the moss and dead grass one fine spring morning quite some time back.  Caroline put in a full day's work helping Daddy before she headed off to school in the afternoon.  It's so fun to see them work so hard and get enjoyment from the help they provide. 
 Nora thought that raking with a bat sounded like more fun.

 As the girls and Daddy worked, a couple of nice guys worked on a shed in our backyard. 

 They did a fantastic job.
 The kids poked around and explored the work site as much as they could.
 Nora loved watching from inside.  She actually was stuck in the window and bawling for help at this moment in time.  Like any good Mommy, I stopped to take a picture before rescuing her.

 After the worker dudes finished the building, it was Tadd's job to paint the shed.  He chose good colors, didn't he?  Now it's my job to fill it up!  I'm only half joking on that matter.  It is, of course, for yard care items, tools, etc.   But it's also a storage shed and I am busy cleaning out closets that are jammed full of boxes that don't need to be in there.  Kid clothing, toys, baby gear, etc. that we've had to save and recycle for each new member of the family take up a lot of room. 
 I've been working on filling in all the bare spots under our trees and shrubs in the backyard.  It's hard to figure out what plants work well here.  Technically the area is shaded by the large pine trees.  But in reality, quite a bit of sun gets down there in the middle of summer.  It's sort of trial and error to see what does well and will actually spread to keep the weeds down. 
 Potted plants up on the deck make me happy.  Flowers are so simple, but can bring so much joy to the senses. 
 And this project has been a big one.  There used to be huge shrubs that were up against the siding (a no-no) and a pain to mow around.  It happens to be the best spot in the yard for growing vegetables.  So, Tadd and his Dad used a chain saw to get rid of the shrubs and we put in these raised beds.  I took this picture less than a month ago, but with all the warm weather the plants are at least quadrupled by now.  I can't wait for fresh veggies!  So far we've been enjoying the lettuce several times a week.
 And finally--the front yard.  We shoveled and wheel barrowed, and shoveled some more to fill in and raise up the soil.  Then we took a deep breath, visited a local nursery and chose some plants.  We tried to keep in mind how fast plants grow and fill in and plant "light" compared to the last time we did a landscape overhaul out in Snoqualmie.  These plants have already taken off in the past month and I think we'll be pretty happy with the selection.  They are native, so they don't take much care other than keeping them trimmed up the way we want.  Much better than the big rhododendrons that were stuck up against the house before. 
It felt really good to actually finish up a few things before we started tackling new items.  And Tadd and I both will be happy to not shovel any more dirt for the time being!