April 16, 2015

things are growing

My yard is finally looking springlike! The grass is patchy green (not the grass's fault) and the flower beds are starting to fill out again - both with flowers and weeds. Last summer my weeding took a serious nosedive. I always start out the growing season with high hopes for keeping the weeds under control but it never, ever happens. Ever.

Anyways, tulips & muscari are blooming and almost the quince in the back yard. The forsythia is almost riotous as always. This year we need to seriously prune it. And the bleeding hearts are starting! The front flower bed is still new enough that I get nervous nothing will come back.

{the bleeding hearts always come up so fast}

{tiny violets that most people think are weeds but i love them!}

{astilbe, which i love so much and i have so much trouble growing)

But it seems to be doing just fine. The pasta (hosta) plants are poking up as are the lilly of the valley.  In fact a few days ago I got really excited that my asparagus was starting, but upon closer inspection it was a whole bunch of lilly of the valley that made it's way under the fence into the asparagus patch.  (so will soon be transplanted!)

And then, this morning  ----

{the first asparagus}
 the first real asparagus! so exciting. This is the 3rd or 4th season for this patch so I'm crossing my fingers for a real harvest. The peas are coming up much to Laithe's excitement. Not that Guthrie doesn't like being outside, but Laithe is my helper most often. 

This time of year I'm always so thankful for the extra sunlight and hours outside. My favorite is to get up early and work with headphones on before everyone else gets up. That hasn't happened yet this season, but I'm crossing my fingers it will soon.

April 12, 2015

easter 2015

Laithe was the most excited about Easter this year. He said it was the jelly beans. Maybe it was, but kiddo woke up every day asking how long until Easter for like 2 weeks. The Thursday before Easter one of our homeschool friends organized an egg search and potluck for several families and it was so incredibly great. We frequently thank our lucky stars we've found this group of friends! 

For our own little family we dyed eggs & grew wheat grass. 

And enjoyed the cuteness of our kids.

Juniper got a basket full of eggs stuff with puffs. She was pretty pumped.

Guthrie and Laithe got mini birdhouses, tiny animals and birds, activity books and of course some candy. The Easter bunny had left a yard full of eggs stuffed with beads, candy, quarters, and other little treats. People in the midwest (is it only the midwest?) tend to get a little crazy with their Easter baskets. Like lots of new clothes, copious amounts of stuffed animals, gift cards. I am glad we haven't taken on that tradition and kept things relatively simple. 

I made them sit on the couch in their fancy clothes before grandmothers got here. 

Then there was the egg hunt, a yummy brunch, the tradtional silly string and chocolate overload.

Just think -- last year we were this: 

and this year we have this: 

April 10, 2015

full sun

On Superbowl Sunday we had a huge snowstorm. It was beautiful - that frosting kind of snow, but the rain the evening before coupled with a drastic drop in temperature caused one of our two trees out front to basically burst. Like a pipe. Which was weird. And really sad. And caused our whole house to look different. And a whole lot less private.

Then, a few weeks ago, our backyard neighbor cut his trees down, the ones that shaded a good portion of our backyard.

The guys we hired did a great job cleaning up the front, except that 1/4 of the branches and tiny stuff was frozen to the ground for about a month. The backyard guy, well, they did ok. They did leave us a bunch of firewood, which was very nice. I'm tired to death of raking small bits of wood though. I'll be curious to see how the first mow goes. We did rent a chipper to handle everything that was left. We were pretty excited, but it was short lived. That was a giant pain in the butt. I don't know if it was because a lot of it was evergreen or if it's always a giant pain.

So, basically we have a whole new yard. I don't think any of us are really thrilled with the changes, but they were so out of our control, so what can you do? So, instead of moaning I'm making plans.

This summer we'll have a crawler, a 5 year old and 8 year old and I want to focus on some areas for the range. Rather than putting in a play structure, which we've hemmed and hawed about, I'd rather install a few things that would be usable for a few years for everyone.

A small, permanent balance beam

A pull up/hanging/upside down bar

A digging area and a couple small raised beds for the kids. Especially for that one kid that likes to dig all the holes. We have the raised beds for them, but no fill dirt just yet.

The biggest thing I'd like to add to our collection, both for the backyard and for park play dates is a slackline. They've come down in price quite a bit the past couple years and I know it would be a hit for the kids - and I'd really like to try it too!

Obviously I'm hoping for some serious playtime outside for the kids - - so I can be outside too!!


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