Friday, April 21, 2017

Garden 2017.. an abundance of onions

It feels like I'm a little late getting my garden in. I usually run out in February and poke a few peas into the frozen dirt just to make sure I get full advantage of any early sunshine. 

Not this year. I waited till a few weeks ago to get the peas/lettuce/kale/basil/parsley in the ground. And I've been a nervous wreck ever since. I just know those nasty bunnies are going to sniff them out one night and eat all those tender shoots down to the ground. 

I went out today...ready for the worst...and to my surprise, they haven't eaten a thing! Except every single strawberry plant. I decided we better take advantage of our bunny reprieve and spend the day putting in the rest of our plants and seeds and then putting up the fencing around the gardens. 

Not my favorite task in the world. But a couple of cute helpers and John Mayer on shuffle made it doable.

I only have enough fencing for 5 of the beds and since I ripped all the raspberries out this year, that leaves one vulnerable to those repellent rabbits. Curse you, bunnies! You horrible hares!

Luckily we have an entire bed of volunteer green onions that don't seen to tempt them.  

I let Everly dig around and smash all the onion stalks because I knew I'd need to remove all the old crusty ones anyway. 

Not before we got a picture of our Dr. Seuss onion.


My new experiment....hopefully  the peas will be ready to rip out about the time the bell pepper is in need of the old-bean-tower-turned-tomato-cage-turned-pepper-support.


The peas will completely shut out the light and and kill the the pepper plant, then succumb to the mysterious powdery mildew that strangles the life out of them every single year.

On the bright side, I discovered a good use for the large shells that the kids drag home from every camping trip we take. One of these guys makes an awesome shovel and hoe all rolled up into one handy tool.

It's caveman agriculture. And it's the next big thing.

Common ground

Ethan has caught the bug. Guitar is his new thing and he takes it everywhere he goes. He even managed to convince his early morning seminary teacher to let him practice his chords throughout the entire class. 

That strikes me as a very "Mark" move. You wouldn't believe the stuff he gets away with, just because he has the guts to ask. 

And I love it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A smokey eye

She is the only girl I know that can get hit in the eye with a baseball and her injuries result in better eye makeup that I have ever achieved. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter 2017

Happy Easter! 

Everly looking through her carefully chosen non-food Easter items. Is there any freaking chocolate in here?

It looks like Anna made short work of her basket. She shows very little remorse.

Laney discovers the confetti eggs!

Confetti eggs are best when thrown at the ceiling!

Megan learns that even the Easter Bunny cares that she lost her earbuds for school.

Mathew realizes that unless he speaks up, he is destined to receive pop tarts and butterscotch candies for the rest of his natural life. Do it quick, Mat! Just ask Grandma Jean and her expensive collection of pigs.

Even big boys need somewhere safe to keep their monies.

Oh man. Confetti eggs.

I've never been one to invest in new Sunday clothes for Easter. $$!

But Megan made sure Everly had that extra fancy touch this morning before church.

We made plans to go to the Flynns for Easter dinner, and we were responsible for the mashed potatoes (Mark makes the best mashed potatoes ever), rolls (just as long as that bread maker keeps kickin) and a dessert.  Anna offered to chop up the strawberries.

I thought she could handle a knife.

And I was right! She chopped up almost two pounds of berries and made my job so much easier.

While we spent time visiting, the older kids hid and rehid eggs for the little ones to find. We love the Flynns!

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ambiguous parenting and purchasing power

Today I took the little girls to Target.  I had a 20 dollar gift card and I was hoping to find a cute top. Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed with the current styles and didn't even find anything worth trying on. This leads me to believe that my fervent love of thrift store shopping has as much to do with me being 5-10 years behind the fashion curve as it does my love of a good bargain.  It's a match made in heaven.


We were perusing the "dollar bins" (ha! a lot of those things should be labeled "lottsa dollars bins"!) for some non-candy items for the Easter baskets. I found a couple cute things and discreetly held them in my arms so as not to spoil any Easter surprises for Everly and Anna. A few minutes later, Anna comes over with an item that I was already holding in my arms...for her. She begged me for it and I told her "Not today, please go put it back." She hung her head and reshelved it. Then she noticed that I was holding one already and started to pepper me with questions, " Why do you have that?" "Are you buying that?" "Is that for ME?"

I told her to stop asking questions and not talk to me about it again. She wouldn't stop! She couldn't leave it I finally turned to her and (not so kindly) looked her right in the eye and said, "It was for you Easter basket. You've ruined the surprise. Happy?!"

Not my finest moment. I can think of 14 other ways I could have handled the situation that would have been infinitely more compassionate, patient and light-hearted. 

But I didn't. I popped her little bubble and she felt awful about it. And because she is Anna, and because she inherited half her DNA from me, she also got TICKED. So she gave me the silent treatment. She wouldn't respond or make eye contact. 

I apologized for taking the whole thing too seriously....she wrenched away from me and gave an annoyed grunt (it's one of her signature moves).  A few minutes later I gave her a hug and asked if we could talk it out and be friends again. 


So then I got TICKED. 

I marched back to the dollar bins and put back the desired item. She immediately decided that she was ready to work it out. Tears were flowing. And I decided that this is one of those moments I need to see it through. It's time to learn. When someone is apologizing and has asked forgiveness and has humbled themselves enough to come to you to work out a problem....a grunt and a sour look just aren't going to cut it. 

So we left the store without her prize. She cried. I pointed out that her tears weren't over us and the problem we were having. The tears were for the toy. She agreed. She cried all the way home and all the way up to her room. After about an hour, she came down and she was ready to talk. I explained why she lost the toy and tried to help her to see that when someone is asking for forgiveness, we need to forgive. 

She said she understood. I told her that I would be watching for the next couple weeks to see if she could do better when she is resolving fights with her brothers and sisters. She looked thoughtful and for a moment I thought she just might go pick a fight for the sole purpose of working it out and forgiving all with great flair. 

Instead she said, "How much did that toy cost?"

I said "3 dollars".

She said, "I have that much in my allowance. I'll just buy it myself."

Yeah, alright. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Ethan's 16th...John Mayer Concert

Ethan turns 16 this year.

Just let that sink in for a minute. I can't tell him he's too young to date anymore. Of course, there's the little detail of having no driver's it's yer bike or yer mom. Fun!

We decided for his birthday we would get him tickets to a John Mayer concert and because we finally live somewhere that John Mayer feels so inclined to come play, we were successful!

I'm not positive that going to a concert with your mom is every 16 year old's idea of a perfect evening, but he took it in stride and we had a great time. We stopped off for some burgers at Freddy's first. Ethan ordered both fries AND onion rings. But he got all judgy with me for getting a root beer instead of water. For reals!

He has his dad's talent for avoiding normal expressions in photographs.

But I like his new smile, and I managed to get one out of him when I threatened to hack into his Facebook account and update his profile picture with one of my new collection.

And then he saw a corvette out the window...

We drove up to the Sprint Center and found a place to park. I'm old, so I took a photo of the street we parked on because I new I'd never remember.

Did I mention that we left SUPER early? I was nervous that we wouldn't be able to find parking, or maybe take a wrong turn, or perhaps there would be construction, or what if.....?

Even so we were in a big ole line to get in. I tried to take our picture in front of the Sprint Center, but mainly succeeded in featuring this blond woman and embarrassing Ethan. I'm super cool!

Before you know it were were sitting in our seats at the tippy tippy top of a very large arena. It was one of those places that make you feel like if you were to lose your balance, you would roll all the way down like a giant tumbleweed and plummet to your death on the next level down. Don't tell me it doesn't happen. I've seen videos!

Did I mention how early we were? We sat down and we still had 30 minutes before the truly terrible opening band came out on stage.

So we had fun with the camera. I was thinking it would be nice to have a cute picture of the two of us...sans blond woman.

Ethan smiled nicely until just a millisecond before I took the photo.

My personal favorite:

A closer look: I really think this is a facebook profile contender....

If you can't beat em...

Eventually I wore him down....

And because the heavens were feeling generous, the entire place was packed....except for the two seats right in front of us. FOOT RESTS!!

After we suffered through the markedly awkward opening act. It was time for John Mayer.

He's our favorite!!!

He didn't disappoint.  It was so fun to be there together and have this thing in common. Ethan is a really funny person and he is figuring himself out in his own way. I'm getting used to having my kids grow up and start having their own thoughts and ideas about the world around them and where they fit into all of it. It's scary. And it's fantastic.

What a great night! I even let him talk me into taking him to get a hot fudge sundae on the way home.  Why not!?