Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Picture Post...Finally!

I intended to get this post up a little earlier, but life sort of got in the way for awhile. I needed to recharge the camera battery for the longest time. So here are a few pictures to show you what we've been doing lately. First, a picture of Tim and the kids taken in our backyard one evening. It is noteworthy mainly because it is a halfway decent picture of four of us simultaneously.

Next comes further evidence that our backyard is keeping us busy. Here is a picture of the vegetable garden currently providing tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cabbage, and perhaps in a couple of months cucumbers, cantaloupe, and pumpkins.

Here is a picture of our grapes (up close) with not yet ripe golden plums in the background.

We just finished up a harvest of nectarines. This is what the tree looked like after harvesting several dozen.

I finished dehydrating the last ones this past week. We will have nectarine chips for several months. Lots of plums too. The Santa Rosa Plums finished up just as the nectarines came ripe. I think that peaches will be ready next, but I have a bit of a breather before then.

For the last month, we have had regular visits from some wild guests. These fowl seem to like our yard. They hang out in our front or backyard for several hours every few days. We seem to have some tasty bugs and we let them eat what blueberries are left at this point. In this picture you just see the mom and one chick. There are three chicks altogether. They have gotten more feathers in and are now about two thirds their mom's size. The mom stands about three feet tall when standing sentry.

I mentioned in previous posts, that I was quilting up a storm to make a baby quilt for my brother and sister-in-law who will soon be having a baby. I managed to get it ready for the baby shower with one day to spare. Tim did the design work and I did the construction. We are pleased with how it turned out.

Here is another view:

I also include for your enjoyment pictures of the fancy dresses that I made last year. I promised pictures of them so long that the girls have outgrown them and I didn't get pictures of them wearing them.

That's the Pillowfight Fairy's choice of colors. She fell in love with the lemon yellow golden color and the overskirt and shawl are sheer with glittery sparkles.

The Adrenaline Junkie just likes pretty stuff and didn't care to choose her own fabric so I got to pick out the fabrics unhindered. That's a flowered satin with golden overskirt. They looked very lovely in them, but The Fairy started to get annoyed how often people called her "Belle" in her dress. They were thoroughly overdressed for everything except perhaps the ballet.

Next for your enjoyment are a couple of pictures giving a before and after view of our livingroom. This past weekend, we went nuts, enduring more chaos than normal, and changed out a floor. Here is a before picture from last year (the people are fun, but notice the carpet):

Now for the after picture (once again, I like my husband, but notice the laminate on the floor):

We love having the new floor. We like it so much we are planning what will be next, since we don't really like any of the flooring in this house and never have. So when time and resources are available, we will be making more new changes.

So, with all of the gardening, sewing, remodeling, and oh yeah I'm six months pregnant and four weeks into the new school year, I hope you don't begrudge me the time to rest a little and not take the time to blog. I've been really tired.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Rather busy lately

Hi everyone. Just a quick note to let you know what I've been up to and why I haven't posted more.

  1. I finally finished getting everything ready for our new school year which starts this Monday. And no the kids don't want to hear about it.
  2. I've been madly working on a baby quilt with the hopes I'll have it ready in time for my sister-in-law's baby shower. (I plan to post pictures afterward, since the actual subject of the quilt is to be a surprise.)
  3. My seven year old had a week at church day camp which completely messes with our normal schedule.
  4. Currently my five year old is having swim lessons which completely messes with our normal schedule.
  5. Our backyard orchard fruit season is just starting with plums that need to be picked every couple of days (I've been drying them this time).
My latest library homeschool/teaching book review is short. It is titled "Homeschooling Step-by-Step" by LauraMarey Gold & Joan M. Zielinski. It was published in 2002 so its not too far out of date. It is a great place to start if someone has questions about homeschooling, whether they are wanting to homeschool or if they are curious because someone they know is doing it and would like to understand the movement better. It covers how one starts homeschooling, dealing with legal issues, how to teach, educational philosophies, curriculum, parent/teacher confidence as a first timer, learning environment, balance, challenges, support, and graduation. I can't say that I learned a lot, although I appreciated some parts of the educational philosophy section that explained Waldorf method and Montessori method which I have heard about but never had explanations for. I see the book as a one stop shop for information. By reading it, you get a better idea what you want to look at further. It is potentially very useful if you are needing lots of general information. It is also helpful at pointing the way to more information on each subject. I found it an easy and interesting read (particularly since I'm already homeschooling).