July 21, 2017

Friday Garden Update

I have missed out on some garden updates.  I am so excited to share our progress today.  The weather continues to be just what our garden needs and things are growing, growing, growing.  
 We stay home a lot these day and one advantage of that is I am able to visit the garden, even if for 5 minutes, daily.  May and early June are big planning and preparing soil days and late July and August are harvest time.  Right now we are nearing the end of the maintenance period.  The weeding and fertilizing time where the plants are strong enough to care for themselves, but not big enough to have vegetables to harvest yet.  
 But that grace period is just about over!!  This week we have started slowly into harvesting a few things. 
 One issue that came up this week is that the sprinkler we use to water the garden is being hindered by the big leaves.  The broccoli plants stop the water on one side and the bean poles on the other.  Not only that but the water pressure caused damage to the bean leaves as it try to spray through the plants. 
 Thus the sprinkler was moved 90 degrees and placed down in the pathway between the carrots and beets.  This will now cover the garden but not damage the plants.  Fun to have this new option as in the years past the garden never had this lower area.  I have to say, I LOVE our new garden extension. Makes the garden work so much better.  Thankful for Josh who was willing to put in all the extra work this spring to make this new area work.
But as things grow the time of harvest gets closer and closer.  See those tiny green beans?
And the kitchen is ready for sure!  The freezer got its first of 2017 with our first batch of pesto and a cup and a half of shell peas that were blanched.  These hot days of summer with the sun high in the sky make me bold and confident that these vegetables tucked away will help to keep the winter blues far away.

July 19, 2017

A Summer of Balance

The other day I was outside with the kids and I snapped this picture.  Just looking at it makes me smile.  I love summer.  Especially this summer.  It is honestly the best I think Fairbanks has ever had. So much sun, warmth, outdoor play.  Just what we all need.  But when I think of 2017 I will remember it as the summer of balance.  Especially this week.
Balancing the play and fun with the kids and getting projects done before school starts.
Balancing being both mama and dad with Josh deep into field season.
Balancing four kids and giving each what they need.
Balancing days at home and busy evenings in town with Ethan's baseball season.
Balancing keeping up during the days with active kids and up at night with a baby.
Balancing the desire to do what I want to do with what I need to do.
Days find my scale tipped in the wrong way but I am certainly trying to keep that balance.  

July 18, 2017

A Party Is Ready

Abigail loves to have a party.  I am not really in the position to make her dreams come true and put one together for her this summer, so she took it upon herself.  It took a long time to put together and everything was planned out.  It was a 1/2 birthday party for Anna.
 Even though Anna was having just a 1/2 birthday she was given presents.  Each of the kids found a special rock or flower and wrapped it up in leaves to present them to her.  She was very pleased.
We started our party with soup (made of water, rocks and weeds) and biscuits.  Abigail had thought to make cake pops but sticks kept breaking her balls of mud so biscuits they became.
 Anna was also presented a cake.  This was made of sand, mud and rocks with purple flowers on top to provide the "grape crunch".  We also had a plate of cookies (rocks) and a jar of fudge (mud).
 All of this was eaten with gusto.  I loved watching the kids pretend to take each bite and then throw it off the deck.  After the party Ethan and Naomi kept commenting that their stomachs were super full, ha ha.
 It was the type of party where one could mix their cake with their soup and it was completely appropriate! 
A party where one's hair didn't have to be fixed and baby dolls were encouraged to enjoy in all of the treats provided.

It was the type of party that these summer days of home play are perfect for.  Happy 1/2 birthday Anna.  

July 13, 2017

Jumped The Gun On That One

Due to the nature of this window when we bought it years ago - it didn't have a flang around the edge.  Thus when building this part of the house the window was mounted directly to the boards of the house.  As the years have gone by the house has settled and has taken the window with it.  Thus, the window cracked this past year.  What a bummer.  So recently Josh ripped all of the siding off around the window to get the correct measurement to go purchase a replacement.  Well, what we have here is a custom order sized window.  We are not willing to pay the custom window price for the replacement.  

This fall we have some minor construction projects scheduled for the house.  Josh's dad is going to come up and help Josh get them down when the kids and I are out of town.  So instead of paying for the custom window we are going to purchase a smaller window and Josh will frame in a smaller opening this fall when all the tools are out anyway.    
But because of this change in decision we get to look at a "slightly under construction" look to our house for the next two months.  Yup, we were a little too early and too ambitious without all the information we needed on this project.

July 12, 2017

One Month

Last Saturday this little guy turned one month.  My how this summer is going by.  It feels like we have always had him and he has always been apart of us.  And yet I can't believe it has already been almost 5 weeks since he arrived.  How thankful we are for this little baby.

July 11, 2017

Days Fly By

What a good visit.  She will be missed!

July 6, 2017

My Best Friend

Zachary and his birth toy from daddy - best friends already.

July 5, 2017

The 4th of July 2017

What a wonderful day to celebrate the birthday of our nation.
And to add to the celebration was the arrival of grandma from Texas.
The original thought that she would meet Zachary in September was just too hard, he would be too old.  She needed a visit sooner.
Time together, in the sunshine, was a celebration indeed.

July 3, 2017

Joining The fun

With three active sibling, there isn't a lot of complete quiet in the house.  Our new little guy might like to sleep a lot of the day and be up at night but it doesn't mean his siblings feel the same way.  7 am comes and everyone hits the ground running.  
But no worries, Zachary seems to fit in just fine.  Lots of hugs and kisses as he snoozes here and there throughout the activity. 

June 30, 2017

Friday - Garden Update

Once again, Fairbanks, Alaska has had a great growing week.  Making sure the garden is watered is a main issue as the sun has been so nice and warm.
 Following up from last week, I did get time to fertilize and weed this week.  Josh held the baby while I fertilized last weekend and Zachary is learning to lay on a blanket in the garden while I weed.  He doesn't love it but we are learning how to make it work.  Josh gave me a watering barrel in the main garden this year and it helps so much with the fertilizing.  Not having to go in and out of the greenhouse and using that water.  I add the fertilizer right to the barrel and it is a faster system.
 Our biggest issue became evident this year.  With the great new fence in front of the garden I planted pole beans this year as well as bush beans.  Figured I would see how the different varieties grow.  My problem, I planted the seeds when tired and pregnant.  The transplanting also took place when tired and pregnant.  Thus I have pole beans in the middle of my garden not anywhere near a fence.
 And a whole bunch of bush beans taking up space along the fence with no desire to climb at all.  Oh what a silly problem.  But Josh has fixed this issue by adding a strip of stand alone fence down the middle of the garden for the pole beans and I have learned to always label my starts and not to trust my memory.
What a good summer for growing.  

June 29, 2017

Three Weeks

This afternoon at 3:42 pm we will blow a horn and dance a dance to celebrate three weeks with this beauty.  How is it that three weeks has come and gone.  Abigail often remarks, "I can't believe he is a person."  For so long Mama just had a big round belly that bumped and moved and suddenly she has a brother.  What an amazing thing!
Yesterday our little man, but not so little, weighed in at 10 lbs 5 oz.  Up 9 oz in just one week.  
He has also taken to going to bed on the early side the last few days and, since I sleep whenever I can with him, I have been going to bed early too.  Thus no blog posts.  We will get back into the rhythm of all of life soon.  Something just sometimes slide as I sit and love on my little guy.  Three weeks, thoughts of him leaving for college make me tear up.