Saturday, June 30, 2012

Traveling Kids

Amber and Eddie were off this past week to visit some friends of Eddies in the Vancouver, Washington area.  I've been able to follow their adventure, and snag some shots from their facebook postings.  Seems they're having a great time.  It's pretty up there in that part of the country.

Cameron left this morning to stay a couple of weeks at my parents.  He'll be helping my dad with some projects and then at their churches Vacation Bible School.  Cameron's good with the sound board so they've enlisted his help.

He loves to spend time with his grandparents and has been packed for over a week.  Plus this morning when I got up at 5:30 am, I found this kid I have to nag out of bed each morning already up, dressed and ready to go!!

Saying farewell

Not the best shot of Roger and Karla - oops : (

My brother and sister-in-law were able to provide a ride as they headed up to pick up their son who has spent the last month visiting.  We were grateful for that.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dried Herbs

I mentioned in my garden update the other day all the herbs that were going strong in our garden, yard and greenhouse.  Two days ago I cut some of the sage back in the hydroponics system we have in the green house.

Then laid the leaves out in my dehydrator and set it on the 95 degree herb setting. And just let it run until all the moisture was out of the leaves.  It's amazing the shrinkage in the before and after shots.

I then used a grinder I have specifically for spices to grind it up and there we have it, all ready for use in cooking!

Will repeat the process with more sage and other spices to restocked my cupboards as I use a lot of spices in my cooking and love to add as much variety as I can for testing various recipes or adding extra flavor to traditional meals.  Keeps life spicey.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Have you ever been busy with an activity when someone asks how you do that?  You are then aware that what you've been mindlessly doing is for someone else a skill or talent that is a challenge or an ability they completely lack.

A short while ago I was busy typing away on my computer and looking at some notes I had next to me as I entered the data.  I was unaware my kids had been watching me until they said "how do you do that?"  I responded  "do what?".  They couldn't figure out how I could just type without looking at my fingers or what was coming up on the screen.  I  then found myself explaining how I had learned to type by not being able to watch my fingers but only looking at my notes or the script on a page.

I then launched into an explanation that was probably far more info than they wanted to know about what sort of machines I had first learned to type on and the history of the varying changes in technology from the dinosaurs that I had first acquired my "skills" with to where we are today. 

Can't believe I learned on this!

The first typewriter I learned on was an old manual machine they had in the summer school course I took the summer before I started Jr High.  I played piano at the time so I had more strength and dexterity in my fingers and took to the activity pretty quickly.  Even on that old tank I was able to type close to 70 words per minute.

I  then moved to my mom's electric Smith-Corona typewriter and actually had to lighten up and slow down because the keys were so sensitive I'd wind up unintentionally repeating letters as I typed.

I then took a course in wordprocessing and later the big move to a home computer. Kevin and I bought an Apple IIGS, which was a huge leap for us at the time yet by todays standards it was junk.

For it's time was such an advancement

It's funny while my kids think this is amazing, I watch them with their total lack of concern or fear of technology in trying new skills on their computers or IPads as they scroll through pages, have such agility in expanding and reducing images to add details to drawings or schematics they are working on. And activities that are a part of their everyday world that were unthinkable in my early years of education as the technology did not exist.  Each generation has their own aptitude for activities and the tools available to them.

It is fun sometimes to take a minute and remember what you do know how to do and the learning process it took to arrive at the skill that is now such second nature.  It also made me appreciate the HUGE changes I enjoy today in technology.  Can only imagine what my kids will experience in their lifetimes.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Liquid Gold

Time to talk about a stinky subject.  It's gardeners liquid gold, but oh the smell!!! I'm referring of course to fish emulsion.  I spent some time adding this delightful substance to my garden yesterday so this is still fresh in my mind and nose : )

It is literally emusified fish and the smell reflects that.  For anyone who has used the stuff you know it's the kind of odor that if you get a good whiff instantly triggers your gag reflex.  Yet my plants LOVE this and they happily repay me by growing bigger, healthier and producing more. 

So I mixed up several batches and hand watered the garden with my watering can. Once each plant got it's gift I watered it in to get it down to root level and for me to dilute the smell of living by some stagnant sea inlet.  Fortunatly you only need to do this once a month to see results and as stated before the results are worth the effort.

We've begun to enjoy some of our gardens produce.  Swiss rainbow chard, bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos, yellow squash and loads of zuchini.  The okra is about ready to pick and in a short while the sweet corn.  Our sunflower heads will be ready for cutting and drying soon. The butternut squash and melons have begun to form and in a few weeks should be ready.  Have had loads of thyme, parsley, sage, basil, chocolate mint and lemon basil to add as spices and dry for later use.

I've started a lot more seed in the shade structure attached to the green house for salads as it's too hot in the garden right now and would bolt before we got anything from the plants.  This has been a great learning experience for the girls and when we eat any vegetables they immediately ask if it's "ours".

Monday, June 18, 2012


These last few days have flown by in a flurry of activity.  Hope it was a wonderful time celebrating the dads in your life yesterday.  Amber and Eddie came over for Kevin's celebration enjoying burgers and some pool time.  It wasn't as relaxed a day as originally planned, as our pool pump went out Friday evening and on Saturday Kevin and Cameron drove out to get a new pump and began the process of installation.  He had some final tweaking of the equipment that needed to be done before their arrival and with the heat this was not the relax and enjoy day originally planned.  Getting him to just let it go wasn't going to happen as he was on a mission to finish the task. It's part of the quality that makes Kevin the great dad he is!!

Cam had to have this T shirt for dad

Perfect day for time in the pool

Our little birds are now grown and have flown off.  These last few shots show their growth and the fact that the nest was getting pretty crowded.  Didn't actually witness any leave, but all seem to have made it out safely - no evidence to the contrary.

Oh it's you again!

It's getting crowded in here

Down to 2

The empty nest

A few pictures of our now tall sunflowers.  Note the bird netting. I have it covering my whole garden as the birds kept uprooting my seedlings.  So this garden is well fenced and covered in an effort to have us enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Yesterday was another first for Lauren, she had her first dentist visit.  Leanne the hygenist was incredible.  She explained all the instruments she'd be using before starting and showed Lauren how "Mr. Thirsty" as she called him, worked so that Lauren could remove the excess moisture herself as needed. 

Fortunately nothing more than cleaning was necessary.

Lauren did great and was not bothered by the visit at all.  In fact with all the extra attention and then the "treasure box" at the end, she has decided the dentist is a great place to go. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Swimming and Changes

With all the ups and downs in temperatures this year, our swim season began a bit later. Now that the pool water has warmed, the days are hotter, and we've dealt with getting rid of ducks and the mess they left we are able to enjoy the pool.

I took some photos as the girls and dad got out to swim. As I did I was struck with the changes from last year as both the girls have grown so.  I retrieved pictures from last May and noted the contrasts.  The swimsuit that was a bit baggy on Hannah last year fits beautifully this year.  And she's so bold in her swimming now.

May 2011

The changes in Lauren are amazing.  Last year we were still really trying to put some weight on her and build up her stamina.   Looking at her this year the healthy food and vitamins have paid off.  There's meat on those bones!!!  I was aware of this as she's now gone from a size 2T to 3T, and when she walks she now has enough of a tummy and backside that her pants don't fall down, but to see her in her swimsuit truly showed the changes.

May 2011 - note thin arms
2012 -Healthier size and weight

Last year though she was excited about the "big water", she was terrified when it actually came to getting in.  This year she was excited and after a bit of initial hesitation, quickly adjusted and boldly moved off the step and swam about in the shallow end on her own.  I'm sure it won't be long before she loses the floattie and becomes a fish the way Hannah has.

2011 - Terrified

2012 - Enjoying herself

Content to swim without assistance

Cameron enjoying his time relaxing