Friday, June 19, 2009

What we've been up to lately....

I haven't posted recently, so here's a real quick update of the past week-

Hailey kissed a frog. Then she and Lili promptly opened him up to take a better look at his innards....
Reagan sang "I'm in the money" after receiving birthday cards from his generous grandmas for his 5th birthday.
Torsten designed a great cake topper for his brother's cake. Thanks Torsten!
Heidi attempted to make a pet out of a hummingbird that Torsten caught.
Taylor kayaked with his buddies and jumped off cliffs at Dierkes lake for his late-in-coming friend birthday party.
I finished a bunch of sewing projects including the dress I started for Heidi before Easter.
Joel wanted to teach our duck how to be a duck, so he walked it over to the pond. Alas, it didn't work- Aflac still believes he is a chicken.
Oh, and this week we had a great family home evening working in the garden together. That wholesome and useful activity morphed into "let's burn all the cheatgrass 'round here". Before the night was through, the Jerome fire department paid us a little visit. Oops.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Reagan!

Can't believe my baby is 5 today! I'm so glad he still likes to snuggle with me or I'd be feeling a little distraught....
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weed and Read

During the school year I do a lot of reading to the kids while they fold the clean clothes. It seems our laundry piles are never ending and humongous. (My mother will tell you I am not exaggerating! It seems whenever she comes to visit she ends up helping me catch up with folding all the baskets of clean laundry) But this summer we are doing a new reading activity for a change of pace- I call it READ and WEED. I sit and read in a little chair while the kids weed the vegetable garden. I think it holds great promise because when I said we should go in because it was getting rather hot, they were begging- "No, no, read some more!" Which of course means, "we'll weed some more too!". Amazing! My friend Lani has been having success with this at her house too.
Kitty came out to enjoy read and weed too. Did I mention that she has disappeared? We miss her so much. This picture was taken the last day we saw her. I'm wondering if one of the many hawks or other predatory birds that circle above us during the day, found a little morsel.

Oh, and we dissected fish last week. Good thing we had warm weather so we could go outside. Those things were very aromatic! Even Lani got into the dissecting this time.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Upper Mesa Falls

Okay, I'm back with a few more pictures from our Mesa Falls trip. Here Hailey and Lili are on the railing overlooking the awesome falls. This area is soooo beautiful! It reminds me of Montana. I think it is the cool lushness and the beautiful river. All right, that was a strange coincidence. Right as I was typing this post an ad came on the radio talking about the beauty of Upper and Lower Mesa Falls being 2 reasons to love Idaho. Never heard that commercial before, but it is certainly true!

Heidi and her friend Hannah marching up in perfect step.
The historic old lodge has totally been redone and restored, including the original wood floors. I love it!
There is now a great visitors center inside with lots of stuff for the kids to look at and touch. Here's Reagan checking out the moose feet. I'd hate to have those huge feet running after me!

A few pics from our camping trip

I thought I'd quickly post some pictures from our Green Canyon Hot Springs camping trip. We camped for 4 days and 3 nights with maybe 30? homeschooling families and got 9 hours of swimming lessons under our belt in those 4 days. The kids came home much improved swimmers- or as in Heidi's case, she learned to swim- YAY!

Here's the kids after helping me pack up the tents to go home. It's the only photo I took at the Hot Springs. Oops.
But we took some fun day trips to Driggs and Mesa Falls and I did remember to use my camera there. Here's our little (ha ha) group on our way to see the falls. The Tetons were looking so gorgeous that day. I had forgotten how beautiful that whole area is- it's been years since I've been to eastern Idaho.
Here we are at Lower Mesa Falls. The view is much more spectacular at the Upper Falls, but we forgot to get pictures there. Actually, I was worried about the little kids falling off the railings or disappearing into the forest, so I was more distracted than anything.I'll post more later because I need to get kids off to piano lessons.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Summer feels like it is has finally arrived and we have been enjoying ourselves doing things we love.

Taylor loves to mow. Well, I should qualify that. He loves to mow with the riding lawn mower. He's quite adept at it too. He'd mow everyday if I'd let him.Since Taylor and Torsten also mow the uninhabited neighbor house's lawn too, they have plenty of lawn to keep busy with.
And here's Taylor's other love: climbing trees.
I don't know if Torsten loves this, but he is becoming very proficient in the shop. He built a useful "house thingy" for me that can be used for the duck, or as a nesting box for the chickens, or as a kitty shelter. It's all ready been put to use for all three purposes, but the chickens were the ones who took to it the best. I'm just so glad to have a boy who knows how to use power tools and a chop saw without my help or supervision! (Because I have too many projects to be done and not enough Joels. :-))
Hailey's been catching up one of her favorites: reading. Her books of choice at the moment are the Nancy Drew series.
Reagan and Heidi decided she made a great playground.
I have been working in the garden when I have a chance. Joel made a fence for one of my gardens and it has been wonderful not to have deer wandering through this year eating all my tomatoes and raspberries, etc. Here's one garden a few weeks ago. The only problem is we have the bunny hutch enclosed in this garden and the bunnies have ate holes through their hutch twice now- yes, ate the wood clear through, and escaped into the protected garden for a feast. They like to do this at night when we are all oblivious to their shenanigans. They've eaten my kohlrabi, cabbages, brussel sprouts, and flowers- which were, ironically, the things the deer didn't like! So when we're not fencing the destructive animals out- it seems we're now fencing them in.....having animals has been such a learning process.

And speaking of learning process....while I was gone camping with the kids for 4 days, Joel finished the new chicken coop/run for me! The night we got home we decided to try it out. Joel was worried because we were placing it in a part of the garden that has tons of bark and it would be easy to dig under. I wasn't worried because the makeshift coop we used all winter doesn't have wire under the run and we never had a problem. WELL, 45 minutes after putting the 7 "teenager" chicks and 2 hens in the coop, we were in bed and the boys come running in, "Mom, Dad, there's something in the coop!" It was a nasty skunk. He was all ready chowing down on one of my new Rhode Island Reds. Joel ran into get the gun and I was yelling at the skunk and clapping my hands but the skunk wasn't paying the slightest attention. Joel shot it with his pistol 5 or 6 times and it finally died. It was horrible!! It had all ready started trying to eat another teenager chicken- a Golden Laced Wynadotte bantam. All the other chickens were wandering around the garden in the dark cheeping unhappily. The boys were crying because these were the chicks they'd been taking care of the past 2 months. Very upsetting night. We were up until 1:30 getting chickens caught and situated into different pens and figuring out how we wanted to dispose of the dead skunk. "Offensive odor" does not even do justice to how bad it was smelling around here!