So I totally thought that I would blog away once summer break hit... except we don't really take a summer break just go to part time and nothing ever got any less hectic. Therefore I fail at blogging once again. Sigh.
I wish I was better at writing on a regular basis, I really do love looking back over the years and having these memories become vivid again through words and pictures. Some day I'm going to make a book out of all my blog posts. :) But unless I get my game on the book is going to get more and more boring and sporadic, super lame really. Ha ha!
We have stayed super busy this summer, so much so that I've totally slacked on pictures to prove it, but I promise, we've done a lot. ;)
Every Monday this summer we've met up with a few other homeschooling mom's and their kids for a Monday Fun Day! Last year we did this on a much smaller scale, so this year I extended an invite to a few other moms before Monday school was out for the summer. They came along and it was a blast. So nice to make more homeschooling mom friends. :) Between five moms we had 17 kids! We went to parks, including a sprinkler park, went on walks, blackberry picking, splashing in a creek, out to the bay, and had a summer party at our house. My kids had been planning one since last Christmas, so we did it on a Monday and invited everyone over. It was a blast! It's amazing and wonderful how well all 17 children get along. Now on another note, taking care of a wild and adventurous one year old makes outings very interesting... and exhausting. Also makes visiting and chatting next to impossible, ha ha! Still all said, lots of fun!
We have been very busy with our garden here as well as the community garden. The kids have been so great at helping once a week and are always so excited when we get to bring something home from there.
I've been able to harvest and freeze or can a lot of fruit this year, blueberries (picked at a U pick), peaches (gleaned from my sweet neighbor), raspberries (from my garden), blackberries (foraged) and a little bit of applesauce from gleaned apples. I hope to be able to glean some more apples from someone. My beautiful apple tree, which was only on it's second year, and had a crazy amount of huge juicy apples on it, broke in a recent horrible wind storm. I cried a little bit. It snapped at the base, so there is no salvaging it, and I can't find the tag so I have no idea what type it was. We got the apple off of it, and they are sooooo good! Sadness. My surviving apple tree is not doing very well, the apples are little and don't look good. Really a shame. Back to square one in the apple department.
I was also able to make some elderberry syrup from berries my mom gave me. She didn't have time to process them so she gave them to me and I did it for her and split the syrup between us. My elderberry isn't producing a whole lot yet. I need to harvest my garlic soon and beets from the garden. I just pulled up my peas and replanted that area of the garden with a bunch of kale, and cauliflower and broccoli. I had some success with collard greens this year, but my squash didn't do well at all. I planted beans late and not a lot of them, so that was a disappointment. Next year I need to plan better and make sure I have room for a lot of beans, we love fermented beans (sort of like pickled) with dill and garlic! I definitely miss that this year. :(
Because of all the crazy heat my flower garden up front looks a little sad. The flowers wilted quickly in the heat and no amount of watering seemed to matter. Although I probably should have watered more, but I don't like to use a lot of water when it's scarce. So I watered enough to keep them alive for another year but not enough for them to really thrive. It looks pretty sad out there.
So what else has been going on...
Well we've done some trailer camping, mostly at KOAs. No really big trips because we went to Texas in the spring and that was our big trip for the year. But enough to feel like it's summer. One of the trips, to Ocean Shores, ended up being sort of a disaster, our last trip actually. I'd like to get one more trip in to end on a good note, but I think we are pretty burnt out for now. It took over 7 hours to get there and at one point Ryder accidentally crunched up the side of the trailer while pulling up to a gas pump. It was a real bummer, and really put a damper on the trip. Well for the grown ups anyways, the kids had a blast running around at the beach chasing waves. :)
Ryder decided to do the new counter project this last Sunday. Not sure why he impulsively decided that but probably because he had a day off for once and really wants to get that project done. He's run into one snag after another and it's now day two of no running water, no sink at all in my kitchen and I'm feeling like a grumpy momma. Yesterday I washed two large laundry baskets full of dishes in my bath tub while fending of a grumpy teething one year old who wanted to throw his toilet seat into the tub with the dishes. That or sit on the toilet over and over again (not going potty). Or throw himself on the ground and scream. Rinse and repeat. So far today I've just been stuffing the dirty dishes in the oven and the dishwasher that's not connected and can't be used. I plan on putting off dish washing in the bathtub as all costs, until the little one leaves. :) Found out last night while Ryder was desperately trying to get a sink in for me, that the sink we had is now a little too big to install because of the size of the new backsplash. Sigh. So on top of the cost of new counter tops we have to buy an new sink even though there is nothing wrong with the old one, well except it being a wee bit too big. Ryder told me last night that in order for the sink to fit I will probably have to get a littler one tub sink, instead of the type that are split (like I had before). I'm so not happy about this. It will just make washing dishes by hand that much harder. Ugh. The idea of new counter tops was so much better than the reality... so far.
Banden is turning ten tomorrow. I'm on the verge of tearing up. Have been for the last few days. Which is probably why I'm not dealing with the kitchen chaos very well. Just the idea of my first little baby turning ten, and then my littlest soon turning 6 and starting first grade this year. I sort of can't handle it. Ugh, here I go again, tearing up just writing about it! They are all just growing up so fast. It just makes everything seem so much more final, this is our family unit and we won't be adding to it. No more babies, those days are gone forever. When they were littler there was always the excitement of the possibility, day dreaming about it now and again. But somehow five years flew by and it didn't happen, and things are settled the way they are. It's not that I want any more, I guess it's just weird to totally and completely let that part go and settle back and watch them grow. And have a ten year old. I don't think I'm making any sense. My emotional self rarely does. ;) I can't help but think of my baby Banden when I look at him, even though he is a tall and skinny boy who is slowly turning into a young man. A handsome young man with a big heart. He has been extra snuggly lately, so I wonder if he is also having a hard time with getting older in some way. I'm sure the hormonal changes must be hard. Oh the sighing and frustration from him lately! And the barely controlled almost eye rolls, and arguing. His teenage self is knocking at the door. He even has a slightly different smell, that he himself noticed. Not a bad smell so far, just different. So weird. I'm not ready for this.
Are we ever though, really?
So now the summer has rushed past us once again and we are headed into fall. It has been a very hot summer but a storm, a really bad windy storm that claimed the lives of two people, came rushing in over the weekend. It's cold and rainy now and already summer seems a distant memory. I do hope it warms back up again for a bit, I was really thinking we would have a warm late summer. But maybe not. Meteorologists are predicting a mild warmish winter here and the Farmers Almanac says a very cold and snow winter, so take your pick. ;)
Leiella started taking singing lessons over the summer. Her singing teacher asked is she would sing in a play, happening this coming fall. Hansel and Gretel. She will be singing with a group of children towards the end of the play. She really wanted to do it, and we are supporting her in this. I'm a little nervous about it because she is by far the youngest. Her teacher is really impressed with her ability to sing and her drive and really wanted her to be a part of it. So far all the other kids adore her and she is a favorite among them, they all seem to help her and support her. I just hope it's not too much for her. So she has weekly hour long rehearsals now on top of starting in a choir this week that also practices for an hour. They also happen to be back to back, so two hours of singing with a little break in between. Will have to see it in action an take it from there. On top of starting first grade this might be just a little too much. Although the girl really, really, really loves to sing.
The school year always starts with a bang, on top of Leiella's singing commitments, Banden and Ira start soccer (Atty didn't want to) which is two practices a week and games on Saturday. Plus Awana for all the kids on Wednesday nights, which is the same day that Leiella has all her singing commitments... That is going to be the day of the week that I am going to start to dread, I can tell already. Crock pot dinners for sure! Then there is Monday school, all day long, with a one year old that does not stay still... that leaves Friday being the only day without something planned, which means that anything that needs to get done will be scheduled on that day. The weeks will be packed and life will swirl my once again. Also this year I will be picking up the boy that I watch from school in the afternoon, as he starts full day kindergarten this year, so that will add a bit more chaos to our day to day. Seems silly but any mom with kids knows how hard it can be to get out the door with all the kids, especially littles, and get anywhere on time. Plus it will be his brothers nap time, the one year old, and he's not use to being woken up, which I will probably have to do as he usually sleeps through that time. That will inevitably make for a grumpy baby. And it will more likely than not interrupt our school work. Wish I could say my kids are always done in a timely manner, but sadly they are not. Anyways from this perspective I sort of want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head and tap out, but I know from experience that it will soon all fall into place and even if it's way too crazy I will survive. :) Of course I will have my cry my eyes out in the shower moment at some point in the next two weeks, but that's a given at the beginning of every school year, ha ha!
Was this post random or what! And not even a single picture, now that's just weird!
2 days ago