Thursday, February 27, 2014

gardens 2014

I instantly fell in love with the fenced gardens at this house when we looked at it. I saw so much potential and my head was over flowing with possibilities. The first year we tried our hand at a traditional gardens full of rows and sections. It was our first attempt ever at ya- a bit overwhelming.  The second year we put in a few raised beds and tried square foot gardening. I was also nearing the end of my pregnancy with Evie that summer- so the garden didn't get much attention. The third year we did a combination of both. But the beginning of the season was extremely wet and much of the gardens flooded. And last year we had a late snow in May, which wasn't so great!


I am super excited. I have come to realize that I should garden for the family. Ya it would be great to have a garden full of produce, but really there are only a handful of things our family uses from the garden. I plan on having the staples of tomatoes, herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, and cilantro, bush beans, red onions, cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, radishes, carrots, anaheim peppers, lettuce and corn. Our gardens are pretty sizable and all of that will fit in one. And realistically I can't do two huge gardens. After four years, I've come to realize it's too much. Too much work and too much produce. I found myself planting just to fill the space- instead of planting for the needs of the family. What family needs 12 tomato plants!? 

I plan on using the other garden for flowers. It will be amazing!  I love flowers and have a design all drawn up. It will also be a good place to grow the plants I get when separating plantings around the yard. I have several daylilies and grasses that need to be thinned. I also have some plants that need to be moved due to over crowding and growth- and this is a perfect place to incorporate them. I'm going for the structured english garden feel- a mixture of flowers and plants with borders. Can't wait!

Now if only spring would hurry and get here! So not looking forward to the snow heading our way.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

dearest child

Dear Evlynn,

      You are such a charming angelic child and it fills my heart beyond description at just how thankful I am we were blessed with such a wonderful little soul. From day one, I knew you were perfect! The fact that you screamed and howled for two days straight until the nurses finally listened to me and gave you a pacifier and bottle- showed me your determination. Some might have said you were a screaming banshee sent from the depths of the underworld, but not I. I just smiled and beamed with pride.

And today, you are still that determined bossy bit of goods you were two and half years ago. Just yesterday I was thinking to myself, and perhaps voiced aloud, what a God send you were. You were riding your little stick pony around the family room screaming screeching calling "Yippee hi ho!". When all of a sudden, you decided to spin circles because your horse saw a snake. So cute! So creative! And when you knocked down two glasses of water and bowl of popcorn with the back end of the horse- I didn't yell at you. Not even when you threw a bloody fit when we tried to clean it up because your horse was going to need to eat and drink. Instead I asked "Dear God, why?" Why was I given such a precious child? 

Your adorable half growl half howl of the word No in public places is c.u.t.e! So cute I can't stand it. Makes me want to rush you out to the van so I can have a private viewing of the drama...such a theatrical little girl! And let me just say- you have the fake nasally cry down cold! The wailing, flailing- so believable! I almost break down in tears myself! You could win an Oscar, I swear!

Grabbing my ipad, drink, phone, carrots or anything else when I'm distracted and saying very clearly "HA! I stole it!" leads me to believe you are a real go-getter. It's that determination we saw at birth still shining through. I know you will go far in life! (or get life, potato-potata) You have already embodied the great American spirit of take what you want and it thrills me. It really does, my little patriot!

This morning I was once again held privy to your excellence. You came running over and informed me  that you had pooed your pants. I responded with "Evie, no you didn't!?" (mostly out of frustration and dismay). As I was gathering up a diaper and wipes and called for you to lay down. You held your hand out to me and said "See momo- I did poo!" Oh child, I can not even begin to tell you how thrilled that made me! It seriously made me want to call it a day (at 10:42am) because really? How it could possibly get any better!?

I love you, dearest Evlynn!


****If you can't sense the sarcasm/satire that is dripping off of every word- shame on you. shame shame :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

catching up

I have been swept up in mother/wife duties lately and my poor blog is suffering. So here is a quick post to get us caught up!

McKynna: She is working hard in school, plugging away at her math and science courses. She is our left brained child. Very logical and efficient. She took the PACT and PSAT earlier this year and based on those scores- she has been flooded with college invites and interest letters. I'm guessing she gets about 6 informational/interest letters and packets in the mail a week. Places as obscure as Morgan State in Maryland to Universities (Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, TCU, Colorado etc) to the ivy leagues, University of Pennsylvania. We are super thrilled for her and the possibilities that await her! She is pretty intent on going to a university over seas...but we'll see. She is also taking a jewelry class in school (which she is only taking to fulfill an art class requisite for graduation) and has had fun integrating her left brained tendencies into the assignments. For a bead bracelet assignment, she arranged the beads in morse code spelling out a favorite quote. It's pretty cool!

Kwynn: Busy at school as well. She loves to challenge her teachers, especially in history and culture. She is excelling in French class:

She is an extremely talented writer and has been publishing works on website. She is shy and tentative about sharing her work, by doing so online allows her to remain anonymous. I have read some of her work and she has no need to be apprehensive. She is truly gifted. Right now her future plans are - get her teaching degree and teach abroad. A program similar to what my cousins did- teaching American classes in foreign countries. They loved it and it sounds like a perfect fit for her. She is the complete opposite of McKynna in so many ways. They recently attended a church dance. Here's a bit of the text she sent me coming home from the dance. It was her answer to my questions about the boys she danced with...

This girl is funny and makes me smile so much!

Corynn: Can you believe this kid is gearing up for middle school!? We have Middle school open house next week and I'm not going to lie- it's kind of freaking me out! How can she already be in middle school!? She also has the 5th grade science fair next week where she will be presenting on her research and experiments on Taste Perception. We just received her results from the NeSA tests and she scored 95%...which means she is testing higher than 95% of other 5th graders. Pretty proud parents! She is also extremely active- always running around, having sleepovers, going on play dates, invited to birthday parties all the time...this kid needs her own personal assistant to help keep track of her social calendar. She had parent teacher conferences this week and the teacher said she is a quiet leader. She is a great representative to her peers, mature and kind and leads by example. At home- we are privy to her wicked sense of humor. She is hilarious, sarcastic and spot on with timing and comebacks. She will be a handful for some poor soul some day!

Evie: Evie is fast approaching 2 1/2! Thanks to the ipad and learning apps- she has learned colors, numbers, matching and so much more. She will be more than ready for preschool this fall. She is ready for potty training, but we won't get serious about it until spring break. John, Corynn and I are heading to see my dear friend, Kristina...and I don't really expect my mom to watch the twins and Evie AND deal with potty training. Evie also still has her bink. We are working on it, but she is stubborn. She loves to jump and play. And she is desperately wanting warmer weather to come. She misses her outdoors. Yesterday I broke down and let her play outside. It was 32 degrees with a bitter northern wind. We lasted 15 minutes, her little hands were bright red and cold- she bawled as I carried her inside. She entertains me everyday- just the other night she was tending to her babies and feeding them popcorn. What a sweetie!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine's Day with my lovelies

Friday was Valentine's Day!

16 years ago on Valentine's Day, John and I went to dinner and a movie. I was pregnant and finishing up high school; he was going to school and working. After the movie, I told him we should swing by the jewelry store because we were getting married. He put his arm around me as we walked and said "I figured." with a goofy smile. Not romantic and the ideal proposal, but it's our story and I'm owning it.

Fast forward to 2014 and we are blessed with four amazingly wonderful children and tons of other wonderful things that I am truly thankful for. When John's mom got sick, the diagnosis changed me. It changed my perspective on life. What we have, our blessings, kindness and being kind, our legacy, our challenges, our  successes... all of it. And if there is one tiny twinkling bright spot in this horrible disease- it's the hope, love and appreciation that swells up inside. Appreciation for what you have and who you have, love for those that you hold dear in life and the hope for miracles every day you wake.

I think Valentine's Day is another chance to purposefully show those you love your love. Whether it's your dog, siblings, children, husband, wife, parents, grandparents...whomever you love.

Here are some photos of our Valentine's dinner:

I had planned on heart shaped pizzas, but the place I wanted to order them from didn't do them this year. So we just had normal pizza- but that's ok, because I still didn't have to cook!!

We went to DQ for dessert and then took some frozen goodies, flowers and chocolates to some of our other Valentines...John's parents. We had a nice quick visit and then headed home.

Here's what Corynn took for her classroom Valentines:

So so cute- and they were a huge hit! Thank goodness for pinterest! Printable found here.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

whoop whoop GO USA!!!

Guess what starts tonight!? THE OLYMPICS!!!! wooo hooooo!!!!!

Our house is thrilled! A bit divided...Kwynn is partial to Russia, Ukraine and probably France...Kynna is pro Ireland and England. But when it comes down to it...we are all TEAM USA!!!

Favorite sports in the winter olympics: Snowboarding and luge

The debut sport most excited to see: Mixed team figure skating..think synchronized swimming on ice!

Have no interest in but hope USA wins: Blathlon

Favorite underdog: The Jamaican bobsled team. They had to raise money to pay for the trip and then they get to Russia, but none of their equipment or luggage has arrived. And the games start today! I would totally be freaking out...they don't even have a change of clothes! When interviewed, Winston Watts (the bobsled pilot for the team) said "he hopes the equipment arrives later Wednesday or early Thursday morning so he and brakeman Marvin Dixon can practice." Watts also said he has a backup plan and could borrow runners and equipment from other nations. "We have a lot guys who's going to help us," Watts said. "They want to help us."

Isn't that cool! Other countries are willing to help them you back a little faith in humanity! 

Let the games begin...may the odds be ever in your favor!