16 May 2011

Garden Planting and Fathers and Sons Campout

We had such a nice week here last week. After rain, rain, and more rain the last month or so, we finally had a mostly dry and sunny week, and it even got up into the 80s on Friday (before it started raining Friday evening – it’s been raining ever since then, and I heard it’s supposed to rain again all this week, but at least we had a few really nice days. The standing water in the low spots in our back yard even dried up and the back yard almost got to the point where it wasn’t muddy any more, even if it didn’t last). Anyway, we took advantage of the nice weather last week. We went on several walks around the neighborhood, I was able to walk to the school for Lijah’s “Mother’s Day tea” at kindergarten last Friday, we’ve done some work around the yard, the boys and I spent an afternoon at the playground at Perinton Park, we got almost all of the plants planted in our garden yesterday, and the boys played in the back yard and Michael and I were able to sit out in the yard and read on a few different days – so nice to be outdoors and be warm! (Too bad we had to get a space heater back out of the basement this morning).

So, this week was also pretty exciting because Michael’s sister, Mel, had a baby yesterday. We are still waiting to find out what they decide to name our 6th little nephew. And Michael told me this morning that he got an email from his sister, Jennie, from Japan, announcing that they’re going to have a baby boy! Can you believe that? So now, on Michael’s side of the family there will be 12 grandsons (and 0 granddaughters): our 5 boys, Mel & Christian’s 3 boys, Alan & Jenn’s 2 boys, and soon to be Jennie & Dalin’s 2 boys. The funny thing is the contrast with my sister, Michelle: on her husband, Jake’s, side of the family, Jake & Michelle have 2 little girls, and then one of Jake’s brothers has 3 girls and the other brother has 2 girls. What are the chances of that happening? I’m just curious who will eventually break the all-boy streak. :)

Besides the exciting new addition to the family and Jennie & Dalin’s announcement, there were also lots of other family celebrations in the last week or so: Happy Birthday to Michelle, Dad, and Christian. Happy anniversary to my parents. And happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Debbie, our grandmas, and our sisters and sisters in law!

So, this week I kept busy with lots of reading (I’m on Harry Potter #5 now), working a little on my genealogy with my new RootsMagic program (which I’m enjoying), planning out the layout of our vegetable garden, working at the family history center on Tuesday evening, having Activity Days with the girls from church on Wednesday night (as we made invitations for the upcoming mother-daughter activity and then worked on learning the Articles of Faith), working on updating my inventory of all the boys’ clothes, compiling a list of activities for the next several months for the Moms club I joined and posting them all on the website, going to Lijah’s open house night at school, and helping get the boys’ clothes ready and packing the car for the Fathers and Sons Campout this weekend.

A week ago Isaac also had a speech consult. I had noticed a few similarities between the way Lijah used to pronounce his sounds and the way Isaac does, so I thought we might as well have it checked out to be on the safe side. (Although I really was pretty sure that they’d say he didn’t need speech therapy). He had the evaluation, and they said that he scored high for his vocabulary and his ability to understand and follow instructions, but they did recommend that he have speech therapy for his pronunciation. (That is the second child that I wondered about their speech, but I doubted that they really would need speech therapy – so I guess I just need to be a little more confident about my intuition). So, this week we will have a meeting with the company that did the speech consult and the preschool education office to decide exactly what to do, but they recommended doing a couple of therapy sessions per week, so I assume that’ll be the plan. I don’t know for sure if they’ll start right away, or if it’ll start in the fall, so we’ll see about that.

This weekend was fun. Michael and the boys went to the annual church Fathers and Sons Campout to the Seneca Lake campground, and they had a lot of fun. Although one adult camping with five small children is definitely not an easy task, Michael said the boys did really well and it seems to be easier for him each year as they get a little older. And someone at work needed to trade one of their reading days, so Michael happened to end up with the afternoon off on Friday, so for the first time ever they actually got to leave early enough for the campout that they got there in time to have dinner (they roasted hot dogs at the camp fire). They stayed over night and then returned Saturday afternoon. The only sad thing is that Michael forgot to take the camera, so we don’t have any pictures this year.

And I got to have a girl’s night out on Friday. Two of my new friends who recently moved here, Jolene Chen and Lori Ray, also have sons (and no daughters), and so we got together Friday evening and we went and tried out a little restaurant called Riki’s in Fairport Village that none of us had ever been to before. I got a plate of seafood for $10, and it was good, so that was fun – haven’t had seafood in a while. Then we went and walked around down town for a short while, until it ended up raining, so we headed back here and hung out in the ‘library’ room at Jolene’s apartment complex just talking for a while. It was a fun night. We got home around 10:30, so after I got ready for bed I sat down to watch a movie, and I must have been tired because I woke up on the couch at 4am and made my way up to bed. I then woke up one hour later, because I’d set my alarm for 5am so I could go spend my morning at the Rochester Public Market – the big farmer’s market down town.

Last year I did the same thing – the Saturday morning that Michael and the boys were on their campout I went to the market and got all the plants we wanted for our garden. I love the big farmer’s market. I love just the fun of walking through the crowded aisles and seeing all the plants and produce at all the different stands. (And I love the fact that you can get a container of 6 or more vegetable plants for $1.50 or $2.00). So, as we were reviewing our garden notes from last year, we realized that most of the plants that we planted last year did quite well, and most that we planted from seeds didn’t do so hot. It may have been because my seeds weren’t great (I think I’m going to look into getting seeds from a catalog next time we plant), but we just decided to get plants from the farmer’s market for the majority of our plantings this year. Hopefully the plants will end up being good quality and producing a lot, and it will also help give them a head start with such a short growing season here. So, this year we adjusted our plans a little after our experiences last year, and yesterday after Michael got home from the campout and the boys all went down for naps, we planted 4 different varieties of tomatoes, some red onions, zucchini, green and purple basil, three different varieties of peppers, three different varieties of eggplant, lots of yellow squash, cucumbers, green beans, and four different varieties of lettuce (all the kind that grows tall like romaine lettuce – not the head lettuce). And we already have our nice big strawberry patch and a little area of garlic that came back from last year (I was relieved that our strawberries wintered well – since we didn’t cover them with straw or anything – and we already have lots of flowers so hopefully we’ll get lots of yummy strawberries this year). We also planted Kolby’s kidney bean plant that he brought home from school, and some little bean sprouts that Lijah did at school too. And I planted a couple of nasturtiums – little colorful flowers that are edible – I thought the boys would get a kick out of edible flowers in their salad. So, now we just have a few more things to get (which we may plant some from seeds): sugar snap peas, spinach, pumpkins, winter squash, and I want to find a couple of yellow pear tomatoes (no one had that variety at the market yet). So, even though it was raining while Michael and I were planting, so we got pretty wet and muddy, it was nice to get all that work done.  (Don’t have any garden photos yet – I’ll have to wait till it stops raining for that).

I also found good deals at the market on a dwarf lilac bush and a couple of small pink azalea bushes for the planting area in the front yard where I tore out a really ugly little pine bush. Now the only thing left to do in the front yard is to put in a stone border around the little planting area fight in front of our house – right now it has an ugly black plastic border that is sticking half way out of the ground (courtesy of the previous owners), but once we get that replaced we shouldn’t really need any more work in the front yard, so that’ll be nice. (Oh, and I stopped by the vet’s office to pick something up on Saturday afternoon, and while I was in the waiting room I read a paper with a list of plants that are poisonous to dogs, and azaleas were on the list – right after I’d bought them. Oh well, Brax has never seemed to interested in eating our plants or anything like that, and I figure that since we planted them in the front yard and he’s never out in the front yard without us, we’re probably safe).

So, yesterday we had a good day at church. Lijah was asked to give a talk in primary (the class with all the children ages 3 to 7). He did a good job. Here’s his talk that Michael helped him write:

“The Book of Mormon teaches about Jesus Christ and how to follow Him. My favorite story from the Book of Mormon is when Nephi builds the ship. Nephi was commanded by the Lord to build a ship. His brothers did not want to help. They made fun of him and even tried to kill him, but he was blessed with the power of God, and shocked them.

Then they helped him to build the ship and they started to sail to the Promised Land. While on the water, Laman and Lemuel got angry again and tied Nephi to the ship. A big storm came and the liahona stopped working. Laman and Lemuel repented and untied Nephi; the storm stopped and the liahona started working again. They finally made it to the Promised Land. I like this story because it teaches us about the importance of having faith in Jesus Christ. We are blessed when we obey.

I’d like to bear my testimony. I know the church is true. I know the prophet, Thomas S. Monson teaches us to do the right things. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it makes me feel happy when I read it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

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