Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.
Last night, I was getting the girls ready for bed. I called to Meghan to come to me and she said "I not Meghan! I daddy!!" Then I noticed she was wearing daddy's hat (backwards) and his flip flops. I thought it was so cute and hilarious. I also thought it interesting that not only was she having fun trying on daddy's attire, but she was pretending- in her little head, she was pretending to be daddy! Just too cute not to share.
For years, I have wanted to plant a small garden, knowing it would be a good thing to learn and to have free veggies for our family. However, I have always managed to put it off for one reason or the other: lack of start up funds, new baby (ies) in the house, procrastination, etc. This year, I was determined to give it a try. I was very interested in the idea of a square foot garden, since it would be small, contained and manageable. Seemed perfect for a novice. So, I went to the website to get the basics of how to set it up (find it here) and did it!!
I was excited about planting it and maintaining it, but had no desire to build the box or set it up, so I requested Aaron do it as my mother's day present. He set it up Memorial day weekend and he did a great job! Here is how it looked in early June:
Pretty much a blank box, though at this point, if you look close, you can see a couple little cucumber sprouts in the front.
This is how it looks today: Cool huh? I am so excited that it is growing so well! I find though, that I am learning as I go. I really had no idea what I was doing starting out and the website didn't really give any tips on individual plants. So, I just planted them all in the quadrants, based on the spacing the back of the seed packet said. I planted cucumbers, green and red peppers, lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and green beans. I didn't realize until I planted them all-from seed at the end of May- that tomatoes and peppers are usually started indoors earlier in the season, or people usually just purchase the plants. So, it may be October before I get tomatoes or peppers, but they are growing well even though I just planted the seed in the soil! I also didn't know how much cucumbers branched out, so I have been working on staking them and/or directing their growth away from the other plants.
But, I am excited to be learning!! I am having some success. First of all, every single thing I planted has at least sprouted and most of it is growing quickly. My cucumber plants have little yellow flowers all over them which I assume will be cucumbers eventually. Also, I have already been able to harvest some lettuce! Check out this bowl full of lettuce grown in our own garden! And, my green bean plants are producing beans!! (Imagine that.... ha!) So, this is my newest venture. I already look forward to doing it again next year, applying what I have learned this year to make it even better!
I will likely post updates in the future to continue to record its progress.
My boys have a bit of a fascination with garbage trucks right now. In fact, right now, Kenny wants to be a garbage man when he grows up (as well as a fire fighter and a storm chaser...). The boys especially love front and side loading garbage trucks- the kind where arms on the truck come out, pick up the dumpster, and then dump the garbage and set the can back down- like in our city.
Aaron is way into Legos and has also always been intrigued by moving mechanisms. So, this is what he made. I think this is incredible!!! This is a front loading garbage truck with 4 dumpsters. It really works by spinning the wheel on the top. I realize a side view may have been more helpful, but here you can see inside . (And pay no attention to the random Lego head in the black dumpster......didn't notice it until I loaded the pictures...)
And, here it is in action: I frequently joke that I have "5" children. This is one of those times that I am grateful for that.
Yesterday was a big day in our house. Kenny was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where we are members. As I wrote about before, he just turned 8 a few weeks ago. In our church, this is our normal age of baptism. The reason for this age as opposed to infancy or adulthood, is we believe that the Lord has revealed it is at this age that a child can truly begin to understand the difference between right and wrong and to follow a Christ centered life.
Kenny was very excited for his special day and his smile and energy proved it. Aaron was excited to be able to perform the ordinance for his first born son. They are both dressed in white to symbolize purity and cleanliness, as baptism is, in part, a symbolic washing away of sins. It was a really good day and we had a great turn out of family and friends. We were so happy to have everyone there. While my immediately family are members of our faith, Aaron's family is not and they are the biggest example of being supportive. Though they believe differently, they made it a point to be there to celebrate this event with us because it was important to us. They are truly good people who we love dearly and are thankful to call our family. To me, that is exactly what being supportive is about. Being there for family and friends because it is important to them. Here are some pictures of his family. I didn't get many of my family or friends because by the time we finally got into "picture mode" at the end, most of them had to leave. But, there have been pictures of them here before.
This is Aaron's sister, Rachael and her 1 year old son, Dominic.
This is Aaron's sister Sarah and her husband Jeff, and their kids Kurtis and Joey.
And, this is us with them. One of the rare times we are all together for a picture. Aaron and his siblings, with all kids. The only one missing is Jeff's daughter, Lindsey.
Here is Kenny with his Sunday School teacher. She gave him a really neat book to record the memories of the day.
And, the one picture of my family I captured, my Grandmother, Mom and Dad.
After the baptism, we invited family to come over to house for lunch afterwards. My hope was to have a picnic outside, since my house is a shoebox and we were expecting quite a few, but unfortunately, it rained and rained. So, we were a bit squished, but it was still a good day. We had a wonderful afternoon visiting and eating and just hanging out together. Aaron's mom even came up from Florida for the event! Here she is with her two kids! And, of course, a couple cute pictures of the girls during lunch with the family:
Ellie turning a bracelet into an earring.
And, Meghan discovering ways to reach things she wants.....
Wow! What a busy few days it has been! I absolutely love this holiday. Love the summer, love the cook outs, love the fireworks, the family, and of course- the reason behind the holiday- America's Independence. I love this country and could not imagine a better place to live.
This years holiday did not disappoint. On Friday, we went to my Aunt Nancy's house on Buckeye Lake for a cookout and boat ride. I got to see several relatives that I just don't see very often. My Great Uncle Dick even brought an older style ice cream maker. (I am not really sure how old, but he did mention my one aunt who is in her 40's helping make ice cream with it when she was young....) He really enjoyed explaining how it worked to my kids and letting them help. What a fun experience for all! The ice cream was delicious! Plus, someone had made a homemade blueberry cobbler. We put some of the homemade ice cream on the homemade cobbler. Oh my...... I was in heaven!!!!!!
We then went on a spin around Buckeye Lake. Of course, the kids LOVED it!!! In addition to the girls wearing life jackets, I had the leash from their toddler harnesses attached to the back of the jacket, with the leashes wrapped around my hands- so they weren't going anywhere! I was glad I did this, because they did keep wanting to lean over and look out. (We didn't get a good picture of Jacob, poor kid, but you can see him hanging out in the back of the boat...)
Kenny was positioned in a spot where he got wet every time we hit the wake of another boat. He was not disappointed by this!!
Then, for the 4th, we drove out to visit Aaron's dad. We had a great time with yet another delicious cookout. It was also warm enough for a short dip in Grandpa's pool. (A little cool for my taste really- but we had promised the kids. They had a blast. I know, I know- "Mother of the Year" :)ha ha ha) The plan was to then drive home and catch the local fireworks. However, it started to rain and the girls were sooooo exhausted because they had now missed their nap 3 days in a row. Since fireworks in the rain with 2 grumpy over tired toddlers did not sound like fun, we nixed the idea. The girls fell asleep on the way home from Grandpa's house and so we brought them in the house to immediately get them ready for bed. Ellie layed down on the floor and fell asleep right there on the floor before we could get her PJ's on!!!! Once they were settled, just about 9pm, I looked outside and noticed it was not raining and even looked pretty dry. So, on a last minutes whim, I took just the boys and went to the local fireworks! Despite parking headaches (my own fault for leaving very last minute....), we had a great time!
We ended up in a Kroger parking lot (with TONS of other people- turned out to be a great place to watch!!) and this is how the boys enjoyed the fireworks: Oh, wait, let's take a step or two back here:
They thought this was awesome. The weather worked out great- as you can see from droplets on the car, it drizzled a bit on the way there, but from the time we got parked to the end of the fireworks- not a drop of rain! They kept complaining about being cold though. It wasn't cold, but it was cooler then usual- low 70's I would bet at that point.
It has been a very strange week weather wise!! The strangest first week of July ever! We have had much cooler temperatures- to the point that we have not had our AC on for an entire week! So, I am grateful for the lower electricity bill- a huge blessing! But, it does seem odd in the middle of the summer- I am kind of missing the pool and sprayground!
I love being a mom to my two boys and twin girls. No matter how crazy it gets, I wouldn't change a thing! I believe that chocolate and peanut butter are two of the worlds most perfect foods! (especially when combined!) I truly believe we could end the war in Iraq simply by having the world leaders sit around the table together with some Reese's cups. You just can't help but feel peace with this kind of perfection there!