Sunday, August 22, 2010

Return to normalcy

I don't really have a picture for normal. Do you?

We are really excited around here for the return of our routine for 9 months of the year. A full 2/3 of the year is spent in much the same way. And boy am I glad.

I've heard it said that there are 3 good reasons to be a teacher- June July and August. (thanks Taylor)
I disagree.
To me and mine, June, July and August mean a departure from the routine, un-structured time, too many people in the house at one time. I cannot keep my house CLEAN with all 3 boys home. 2? yes. 3? no. Not a chance.
It's not that I'm ungrateful for the extra time spent with family. I have to say, it's been GREAT having Drue home for the summer in the morning- he makes a great "manny" for when I need to do Yoga AND it's Oliver's nap time. Soooooo nice. I go do yoga and D stays home while O sleeps. It's a win-win-win.
being a teacher means there is NO income for 2 months. Well, that's not really true. I teach piano, so there is some income. But the lion's share takes a vacation.
Here's what I love about the end of august/ september:
School starts
income returns
I have the house to myself and Oliver for 4 hours a day!!!!! (It might actually STAY clean, or at least picked up)
There are more, but I can't list them all....

And all the fun things happening this fall deserve a mention:
Picking apples at the Martin's Hillside Orchard
Drue's recital (I'm playing in the trio)
My triathlon
Amy's wedding and week-long trip to CA
The ward campout

And that is just September and October!

I love the school year.

More specifically I love school. I love everything about school- new subjects, new teachers, new friends, new supplies (this is my particular downfall. I purchased school supplies this year even though my pre-schooler needs none of it), new clothes; A new lease on life, a new beginning.

So, yes. I'm a bit envious of my 4 year old who gets to go to school.

But I will not trade my 4 hours of peace for anything.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Super-Hero Party!

It is James' birthday and he is 4 years old! I CANNOT BELIEVE how fast time has gone. I know that's an incredibly cliche thing to say but it is true with a capital T!
But a 4th birthday is no ordinary thing! It actually needed to have a theme. And since James is VERY into "Super-hero" stuff (and none of his super hero's have a name. They are all color super hero's: red super-hero not Ironman, blue super-hero not Power Ranger. The list goes through green and black and other colors too.) I decided to throw a super-hero party! This was so much fun!

Since it was a party for a 4 year old, I needed a treat edible with hands and nothing else.

Behold the cupcakes.
But then, I also needed an actual cake to set candles in and make wishes over.
I am particularly proud of the superman cake. The S sign is done in 2 layers of fondant that I made, and cut myself.
James thought it was beyond awesome. It was BE-awesome!
I finally got a picture of him sans the birthday revelers.
I said, "Show me your present James!" This is what I got.
This is "Superhero James" presiding over the festivities, with his watergun. Note the cape. I made that for him for his birthday! I'll try to get pictures of it on him posted tomorrow. But he just loves it! Actually, he asked tonight if he could sleep with it.
Thank you to our friends who came to make James' day SUPER SPECIAL. We SUPER APPRECIATE having great friends like you. Have a SUPER NIGHT.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mary the contrary.

This is a story about a little girl. A little girl who didn't like to garden. A little girl who didn't like to garden but had a mom who could garden a quarter into a money tree. A little girl who had a black thumb, and her mom raised worms.

The little girl (who DID have a little curl, incidentally) is me. Of course. And it's true. My mom is the most fantastic gardener ever. She could give Eve herself a run for her money.

I think my parents worked us so hard in the garden in the hope that one day, we too would come to love tending things in the earth and helping them grow up into wonderful DELICIOUS foods- and beautiful things too!

That plan has failed so far, until this year. Well, at least for me. I can't speak for my sister.

I live in Nebraska. Nebraska is a greenhouse. The soil is FANTASTIC. It would be plain STUPID of me to not try my hand at gardening. (well, that, and I am now a big supporter of the "slow-food" movement a la Alice Waters/ Michael Pollan- LOVE them!)
So, I got a few of my girlfriends together (and I have the BEST girlfriends!) and we created a gardening seed-share. Here's the premise: When you buy a pack of seeds, they come in HUGE quantities- 25 peas, 150 carrots, 40 tomatoes, a billion oregano- you know what I'm talking about. Who in their right mind will even attempt to start every single seed they purchase?! Answer: no one. BUT if you could get a few ladies together to SHARE the seeds, everyone could have a VERY diverse garden at very little expense to herself, simply by sharing the extra seeds!
So, we did.

And.... (drum roll) here's the result!
These are shallots. I'm in LOVE with Shallots.
My corn.
My beans and one pea plant (pre beetle invasion. a moment of silence for my dead plants please:(.)
My MAMMOTH tomatoes. That plant is over 4 ' tall and 4' wide. Just one plant. It's a gigantor.
Aaaaand the rescued tomato plant. A runt. But a nice runt. Surrounded by his friends, the carrots. Some carrots are red, or purple, or yellow, or plain ol' orange. But I'll tell you this- at least they GREW!
I saw a garden sign at the local farmer's market. It said: Grow Dammit. That pretty much sums up my gardening knowledge before. Now my garden sign will say: Grow Dammit.

At least I know that ANYTHING grows here. It's like in Field of Dreams: If you plant it, it will grow.

Nice to know I don't kill things here!