Saturday, June 27, 2009


This year, progress is measured in yards of dirt/bark/wood chips moved, inches the beans have grown, and number of weeds pulled. No kidding, I bet you I have pulled over 2,000 weeds. People admire my tan and ask, "You sure have a lot of color, where have you been?" I'd like to say Hawaii. Or Mexico. Or anything that sounds exotic. "In my yard, pulling weeds," is my usual reply.

So here is the story on the garden: Remember this picture? That was taken April 19th. There I am, poking sunflower seeds into the soil.

In late May, my parents came for a visit and we wrangled Dad into helping us figure out how to augment our sprinkler system to bring water to the garden. As all good home projects go, it took not 1, not 2, but 3 trips to Hope Depot. Glad it's literally 5 minutes down the road! Here is Amanda laying the pipe as Dad and Jack "supervise".

Look at the garden now! Just 10 weeks after the planting! Amazing what a little water will do for a plant isn't it?

We've got wood chips down around the garden beds now! Hope they keep some weeds away.

corn, sunflowers and beans tomato blossoms


pea blossoms

the sunflowers are getting ready to shine

the first, of I'm sure what will be many, zucchini

I love the little curly things pumpkin vines get on them

Aside from the garden, we've also been working on getting a pool up for the summer. Amanda and I worked for 4 days to get an area leveled. We hauled load after load of soil and used a 2x6 and a level to get it as level as possible. You can see the end result behind Emily here... These pools are the cheapest "vacation" around!

Emily... adorable!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Operation: Cousin Swap

5 - 1 + 2 = 6

Yes, 6. That's how many live here, lately that is. Amanda's at the cousins' home in Bellingham, and I have 2 of the Bellingham cousins here!

The highlights have included:

A morning at the park...

Lazy mornings full of snuggling the kitties

And snuggling your cousin!

Alissa had the opportunity to get a great lesson in with Mr. Carlson (thanks Brad!). He worked with her on her flip-turns. He said, "Wow, she is a natural! The way she moves through the water is so excellent and she knows how to handle the water. I can't believe she has only been swimming since December. She has HUGE potential!" WAY TO GO LISSY! She gets to meet with him again tonight for another hour of work in the water. (I discovered how hard it is to get a picture of someone swimming... duh, they're under the water!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

They say it's your birthday...

Well, Happy Birthday to ya!

This could quite possibly be the cutest picture I've seen, EVER!

Today is a great day because it is Jack's birthday! Many of you probably know that he is a great guy, full of fun, but here are a few things you may not have known about him:

He was a fine scholar in the early years...(first grade report card from the adored Mrs. Swett) ... in case you can't read the fine print, it says "Jack has outstanding ability and is very conscientious about everything that he does." Awww.....

We all know what having outstanding ability and being conscientious will do for you years down the road! (receiving his Masters of Music in Choral Conducting, 1993)

He's an accomplished artist (undated Jack Arend original, crayola crayon from the box of 16)

He's a fantastic Dad (sharing pancakes with Amanda who looks to be about 3 here)

He's always fun at a party! (his first birthday) Notice the self-discipline in the older brothers as they DON'T blow out Jack's sole candle. Good job, boys.

He's always been interested in literature. (sitting on Scott's lap, being read to. Probably about 6 months old here)

Happy birthday, Sweetheart! You ROCK!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm not dead... REALLY!

Contrary to what some are saying, I really am alive. And here's the proof in pictures! Okay, well, I'm not actually in any of the pictures. That is because, of course, I am the one taking them! Does that ever happen at your house? Anyhow, here is some of what we've been up to:
Thomas received a solar system for his birthday. We installed it on his bedroom ceiling. Sing with me... he's got the whole solar-system, in his hands...
And speaking of installing things, we helped the Quentins install a roof on their new barn. They lost the old one to the heavy snowfall this winter.

While the boys nailed boards to framing, Amanda and Emily got to ride horses with the Quentin girls. Such a rare treat! Below are Emily Jill and Emily Ruth (they got good use of those middle names while at day care together for years at the Quentin house!).

Of course, Thomas has been playing baseball. Today was the last game (whew). Afterwards we had a quick party at the park of cupcakes, chips and juice. Thomas received MVP of the season! Coach said he was chosen because of a good attitude and hard work ethic. We are proud of you Thomas!

Stay tuned for more posts! I have to show you my garden!