Monday, June 21, 2010

June Updates

The week that school got out we planted a large crop of beans and corn and various melons at my parents' house, then we spent several days frantically trying to get the watering systems working so we could safely go on vacation.
We left around 10am in the morning for a long drive across Nevada and California, to reach our family cabin in the woods, a mile or so off the coast.  

Our first item of business once we arrived (after sleeping that is), was haircuts.  The boys had really gotten shaggy.  I love this picture of A.  He was constantly brushing hair out of his eyes.  We decided that summer buzz cuts would be great (although it was tempting to leave A's as shown in the picture).  :)

Once they were all buzzed and showered, they enjoyed some hot tub time with dad.   

One day of vacation we hiked to a waterfall.  Here we are by the "smiley face tree"

We ate lunch by the water fall.

We got up early one morning to go see the tide pools.  We also took our usual trip into the town for fresh seafood lunch, and shopping at the toy store and book store.  The boys spent a huge majority of the vacation working with grandpa building their tree house.  

We were very happy to see everything alive and growing well when we got home.  Here are the green beans.

The corn in the three sister's bed is three or four inches tall now, and we planted the vining beans as well as the squash, so hopefully those things come up soon.  This picture is a good one of our new watering system that my Mister worked so hard to get operational before our vacation.  He used a length of hose to connect the tap to the pvc pipe.  He drilled holes in the pipe to correspond with the locations of the plants.  Nothing is glued together, so we can take it apart for winter storage and use it again next summer.
This section of the garden was also going to have the pvc pipe system, but we ran out of pvc pipe.  Rather than go buy more, we made due with what we had, which was a length of old hose (the one we had been cutting up to attach the pvc pipe system to the faucets in the other raised beds).  He again, drilled holes in the hose to correspond with each plant.  It will be interesting to see how it holds up compared to the pvc pipe.
After planting the beans in the three sisters bed, we realized that our experiment wasn't going to yield us very many beans, so my Mister constructed this lovely trellis for more beans to grow up.  We had a small section of raised bed with nothing growing in it, so it worked out well.
One morning I decided to break down and do some pruning.  I have a hard time cutting healthy growth off of plants, but driving through all the vineyards in northern CA, I convinced myself that it needed to be done.  I thinned out the grape vines so that there is one or two vines going to the lower wire, and one or two that we will continue to let grow so it can reach the top wire.  It looks much better now.
The strawberries that I transplanted several weeks ago have perked up, and have started to send out new runners.  By next year there ought to be another nicely established strawberry patch here.  This picture also shows one of the other irrigation types we have.  This one uses funny pipe and sprayers that direct the water exactly where you want them.  A little more pricy than our other types, but really nice to use.
We've been researching flowers to plant to attract beneficial insects and deter harmful insects.  We'd also like to attract hummingbirds.  We planted alyssum, marigolds, salvia, nasturtiums, and a couple others I can't remember now.   Most are spaced around the yard, but the extras were all planted under the hummingbird feeder.  I haven't seen any yet, but I have seen a couple of big fat bumble bees.  Usually we just see wasps, so I was excited to see more useful things.
At the nursery, while we were looking for flowers, I saw the basil, and instantly though of one of my late summer meals where we're trying to use up the prolific zucchini.  It's zucchini, tomatoes and onions sauteed in olive oil with garlic and oregano.  Fresh basil will be a really nice addition.  

We've also been trying to maintain an organized schedule this summer.  The kids have a list of jobs and homework that they have to do every day before they can play.  J's homework mostly involves practicing his multiplication tables, and A's is anything from the 1st grade section of the ABCya website.  The fourth and fifth grade sections have some fun games that J has been playing around with.  Hopefully they help him with his typing skills a little too.

Finally, at church yesterday, one of the nursery leaders came and got me out of relief society and said that CP needed help going to the bathroom.  I was confused and said, "you mean he needs his diaper changed?"  She restated, that no, he needs help getting his pants off.  I said, "do you mean A needs help?"  She must have been getting frustrated with me, because she said, "no, CP, the one with the red hair."  I was really confused, because CP isn't potty trained.  

I got to the nursery and took CP into the mini bathroom (the nursery room has it's own bathroom with a tiny sized sink and toilet.  CP wanted to use the little toilet.  I took his diaper off, which was only a little wet, and sat him on the toilet.  He went!  Then we put his slightly wet diaper back on him (the diaper bag was with dad) and washed his hands.  I'm guessing he saw the little potty, and saw other kids going into the bathroom and decided he wanted to also.  So, figuring that this week is better than any other weeks this summer, we're potty training.  He's had two minor accidents, and lots of good trips to the toilet.  I just wish we had a mini potty at home.  He's loving his big boy underpants though!

Also, as long as I'm giving updates, today CP said to me, "mom, when you do your email, it makes me irritated".  hehehe...


Stevens Family said...

What a fun vacation, and your garden looks amazing.

Criscell said...

Wow! He's potty training himself?!? What a big boy--and lucky for you that you won't have two in diapers! I'm dreading that...

Thanks again for letting Caleb stay with you guys! I hope he's never in your way. =)

Alice said...

He's not totally doing it himself. We had one horrible day of accidents and sitting on the toilet all day long, but other than that, he's had a few accidents here and there, but he's doing great. He's maybe been my easiest to train. We're enjoying the one month without diapers. :) Hopefully he doesn't revert once the baby is born!

We've loved having Caleb here!