September 29, 2012

girls and dress-up.

is there childhood without dress-up?
i love the drama.
character development.  
raiding your mother's make up.
guinea pigs (or cats dressed like babies) being pushed around in strollers.
most of the time playing is spent practicing and getting dressed amidst constant bursts of "and then i'll say..."
the actual performance is always rushed due to the arrivals of dinner times and arriving mothers.
how i LOVE dress up play.
and, i had NO IDEA that one small purple eye shadow could cover such a large area.
life is good. 
 i LOVE these girls.
{and lest this post is misleading... my boys have enjoyed many of their own dress-up dramas.  granted boys have more weapons, more battles, more super-powers, less love-sickness. but dress-up has been as much a part of their growing up years.}
don't you love dress-up?

September 26, 2012

more first days.

remember when i thought i'd have more time to post once my kids got back into school?  ha!  the grass is always greener on the other side of the schedule.  
my mind is swimming with things i want to blog about, and my picture folders are overflowing with fun pictures i have never posted from our summer exports.
i have to post these pictures from the first day of school for my older kids.  how i LOVE these kids.  when i'm not tired or cranky, i love everything about mothering them.

Let me tell you what i love about these first day pictures.  I love the clothes they have chosen to wear.  I love their backpacks.  I love their individuality.  

This year i gave them each some money and had them pick out school clothes and shoes.  my oldest, jakob, chose to buy less clothes and design his own sneakers-- in purple and yellow.  he makes me smile.  drew chose clothes at the GAP outlet.  he shops like a boy.  in about 5 minutes he had picked out all his outfits, his criteria BLUE and it could not have any sport on it that he didn't play.  drew has been asking me to pick out his clothes for him.  i'm not exactly sure where this is coming from.  he has never cared much about his clothes before.  it makes me smile.  anna chose outfits that were almost all monotone in color.  navy blue was her color of the year.  she saved every new outfit (she is still saving some) for some special day.  i love ellie's silver sparkle skirt.  Ellie is the most creative with her hair and outfit choices and i think she is adorable.  she finally got "real" purple glasses.  she has wanted glasses for years and i think they are adorable on her.  she lost her first pair, the day after she got them, and we got her second pair just in time for school to start.  She picked black fake uggs and black nike sneakers as her school shoes this year.  
Eve and Lily have been enjoying time home with mom.  it is so fun having these cute little girls tagging along after me.  we paint and read and do 'school work' together.  lily is four, but has two years until school starts. i'm so glad she has these next two years at home with eve and me.  
it is so fun to see all of my kids growing older.  i love sending them to school and hearing about the fun things they do each day.  i'm so grateful for summer and so grateful when fall comes again and our schedules change.
School is great.  These kids make life fun.

I love my job.

September 24, 2012

garden harvest.

i had grand plans of posting a play by play of my garden this summer.
i took lots of pictures.  gardens are amazing.  but as my garden started producing, my hours were spent caring for my harvest and not sitting at a computer.

so, enjoy my first year garden experience in a fast replay.
dream, plan, read books, buy seeds.
plant, wonder, weed a little, wait.
get busy with friends, family, vacations.
loose control of the weeds.
cry to my husband who agreed to help weed an hour each morning before he went to work.
(he took one child with him each morning and rotated.)
watch things grow.
be amazed.
pick stuff.
eat lots of radishes.
bewilder over herbs.
eat tons of fresh veggies.
miss the lettuce.
worry about peppers (too small).
worry about tomatoes (too many).
fall in love with the celery.

have grand plans for tomato cages that never materialize.
spend a month trying to figure out sugar snap peas (do you eat the peas or the shell?)
figured out sugar snap peas a little late.
swim with zucchini.
(and, just so you know, i do KNOW you are not supposed to let it grow that big.)
(and, just so you know i'm not crazy, it really does DOUBLE in size every time you look at it.)

smile at sunflowers.

have cucumbers coming out my nose.  literally.
(cucumbers are not my favorite veggie.  just so you know.)
pick fresh basil and freeze homemade pesto.
watch beans climb a metal thing.  it's beautiful.
eat fried green tomatoes and love them.
pick raspberries, blueberries, cherries, apples, pears, plums, blackberries...
drink a sip of cran-raspberry juice with more gratitude.
have a pantry and freezer that is overflowing.
go on vacation.
miss the corn.

let the beans grow a little too long.
pressure can for the first time in my life.
learn to make homemade mint and lemon-balm tea with fresh tea leaves.
start a Sunday tea and scones tradition.
these are potato plants...
dig up the most fun, colorful potatoes ever.
completely wonder over home-grown broccoli.

blanch and freeze for the first time in my life.
fall in love with small pepper plants that grow beautiful peppers.
pick purple cauliflower and baby eggplants on the same night.

um.  eggplant!!  did i tell you we grew EGGPLANT?!!
(still don't know how to eat them... but they are AMAZING!!)
make pickles that are kind of nasty.
fall out of love with cucumbers.
(cucumbers are my worst.  sometimes they taste good.  sometimes they taste NASTY. ??)
eat a real, live, homegrown cabbage.
cabbages are cool.
swim in tomatoes.
can tomato sauce.
can apple sauce.
can jam.
can plum sauce.
can apple pie filling.
can green beans.
can whole tomatoes.
clean up the kitchen again.
take another picture of a pepper.
our garden is still going strong.
we have cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, TOMATOES, peppers, Brussels sprouts,squash, celery, and cabbage still growing.
oh, and a tree full of apples in our driveway.
i do still love gardening, like i love raising children.
but, anyone who has had a child knows that with number one you might go into things a bit naive.  with your first child, you might think, "Oh, this is going to be so fun.  Babies are so cute."
And, you are right.  It is fun and they are cute.  But, they are also a lot of work.
my second year garden will be more of a choice than an experiment.  i will choose it again.  but i will know just how much work it takes.

i am amazed at the beauty of this earth.
pearl buck was right.  this IS a Good Earth.
(and, i can not imagine giving birth to a baby and then continuing to pick rice.  then again, the thought of birthing a baby in a garden sounds perfect.  maybe next summer i can bury my placenta near my purple cauliflower. mmm!)
purple cauliflower is cool.  seriously.
as i was showing the professor these pictures he said, "You need to go pick tomatoes tomorrow."
this is NOT the end.
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