Monday, November 01, 2010

Fall 2010

We started fall with Bryan's first year in cub scouts, as a Bear, and Tyler's last year, in Webelos.  Aren't they handsome in their uniforms?

Kaylee and Tyler both received Character awards at school.  Two signs to display in the front yard for 6 weeks!

Bryan competed in the USAG Future Stars Testing.  He got 1st place in the 8 year old age group.  Go Bryan!

I got a desk and a couple more bookshelves, and re-organized the game room into a school room.  Thank you, IKEA, for making easy-to-assemble, yet sturdy furniture.  Think I have too many books?

We ended fall time with Halloween.  I'm not really a big fan of Halloween, so half the kids generally end up with make-shift costumes because I can't ever get myself to spend an arm and a leg on something that won't last long, anyway...  Here they are!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Summer 2010

Went to spend some time in Germany with Oma and Opa.  While there, we celebrated the start of Kindergarten for Kaylee.  The start of public school is a BIG deal in Germany, and we decided to celebrate in true German fashion.  We had a party, and Kaylee received a Zuckertuete.  Literally translated, a sugar bag.  It's a big cone that contains lots of goodies.  The siblings were lucky enough to receive their own, albeit smaller, versions of the sugar bag.  Fun times!

A couple of weeks after we got home, Kaylee officially started Kindergarten!  Here are Kaylee and Tyler, ready to go!  Elly made sure she was part of the picture, too.  She, of course, stayed home.  With Bryan, who started his first year of homeschool!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Garden Goodness

Despite an unusually hot month of June, very little rain, and an abundance of bugs, our garden has been blessing us with lots of yummy produce. The zucchini frenzy came to an end early in the month, when the squash vine borers finally managed to take down the plants. The green zucchini produced significantly more than the yellow ones, so I think I'm going to stick with the green ones from here on out. I got about a dozen zucchini off each of those plants, whereas the yellow ones produced maybe half that. Either way, more than enough zucchini to last me for a while now, haha. I may try another planting mid-August, when I get back from my trip to Germany, since temps stay nice and warm into November here. By then, I may develop an appetite for zucchini again. :p I have also picked 8 butternut squashes now, and both plants have actually set a second crop, so I've got 4 more out there that just need to ripen for a couple more weeks, and then should be ready to pick, as well. They turned out really nice, and I'm amazed at how well the plants have withstood the squash vine borer. There are several places where I could see the borers got into the vines, but the plants just manage to grow thicker vines, and it doesn't seem to bother them much. Thumbs up for butternut squash, it's definitely going to become a staple in my summer garden. The tomato plants have been attacked by leaf footed bugs and stink bugs. The larger tomatoes are also suffering from blossom end rot, apparently a sign of calcium deficiency. I've still been able to harvest a lot of little grape tomatoes, which are delicious, and enough of the large ones to be happy about. It's definitely been a learning experience, though. I'm planning on working gypsum into the soil, as well as adding a bunch more compost before planting again for the Fall. Hopefully that'll help. I also read that garlic helps repel a lot of the bugs, so I may try planting some garlic for next year. The bell pepper plants look gorgeous now, they seem to be the only plants to really LOVE the heat. I've already picked quite a few, and will probably continue to harvest throughout the summer. Cucumbers are now producing like crazy, too! I pick 3 or 4 every single day, and they are delicious! I planted Diva, which is an all female hybrid that doesn't need pollination, so the crop is plentiful. My green beans gave me two good harvests, but then it got too hot, so they are gone now. The onions are about ready to harvest, too. They didn't get very big, but I think it was because I planted them too late in the season, and it just got too hot. I may try them again next Spring, we'll see. All in all, I'd call this Spring/Summer garden a great success. Or should I say, a yummy success! :o)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tyler!

I can't believe my first baby turned 10 years old today. It seems strange to say I became a mommy for the first time a whole decade ago. Time flies! He has been such a joy to have in our family, and shows amazing patience with his younger siblings. They couldn't have hoped for a better big brother. Love you, Tyler!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Boy/Girl Twins!

Our family has grown by two!

Meet Lily

And Max

The kids love them, and these little kittens have been amazingly patient with the kids' constant prodding and poking - um, I mean, petting and loving them. :p

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Garden at the end of May

Here is the garden at the end of May. Everything is growing beautifully, and zucchini harvest is in full swing. Tomatoes are growing like crazy, and the butternut squash is doing amazingly well on the trellis.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Olympic Day at Gymnastics

Lest you think Bryan is the only one getting gym time on this blog, here is a short video of Kaylee showing off everything she has learned so far.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rain Gutter Regatta

For cub scouts this year, they decided to do a rain gutter regatta instead of a pinewood derby. It was way fun! The boat making process was much less involved than the car making process, which is a huge positive in my book. :p The boys had a lot of fun, and nobody hyperventilated, so I'd call it a success. Tyler even won in his age group!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Piano Recital

The boys finished their first few months of piano lessons, and got to have their first recital. Very informal, and very fun! As only parents of children learning to play the piano are able to appreciate, I am sure. :p Here they are, showing off their mad skillz.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gardening Fun!

With the really wet and cold winter we had, I didn't get to do as much gardening as I had the year before. I was a bit sad, but what can you do? I did have a whole bunch of carrots, and kale. But that's about it. With less time spent actually gardening, I had more time to spend planning my summer garden, and decided I wanted to expand. Unfortunately, down here you can't just go out and start tilling the ground. A little more planning and work is required, as well as a bit more money to get everything set up. When my mom and uncle were here for a visit in March, I decided to put them to work and help me build a raised bed. It turned out quite nicely.

This is it, March 26th. Seeds planted! Having more space also allowed me to set aside half of the old bed for asparagus plants my friend gave me for my birthday. The roots all took, and I'm looking forward to fresh asparagus, maybe next Spring, but definitely the year after that!

April 3rd. First few seeds are beginning to sprout. My tomato and bell pepper seedlings are still in the little greenhouse at this point, trying to grow a bit stronger before going outside.

April 22nd. Coming along! The tomatoes survived the transfer, and are growing well.

May 8th. Obviously, everything is doing wonderfully. We harvested the first few zucchinis! There are a bunch of little tomatoes, too, though those will take a while longer before they're ready to harvest.

For this summer, I have three green zucchini plants, three yellow zucchinis, three tomato plants (pink and purple, we'll see how they turn out!), some green beans, cilantro, and two butternut squash plants that I'm growing up a trellis. We also raised the old bed up a bit higher with another layer of bricks, and it has the asparagus, two cucumbers, two bell peppers, and a bunch of red onions. There's also parsley, which is still there from last Fall, and some green onions. And the one kale plant, which I need to pull out... Here's hoping for a good harvest!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Texas South State - Michael Sims Memorial

Bryan had his last gymnastics meet for the season on April 25th. It was the Texas South State Meet, and ended up being the best meet of the season for him. Dave and I were watching and comparing the videos from his first and last meets, and it's amazing to see how much progress he has made since January. It's fun to watch him enjoy the sport so much, and to see his dedication and hard work.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More March Fun

I know it's May and all, but March was such a fun month at our house, I wanted to put up a few more pictures.

The kids love jumping on the trampoline, and I decided to go out one day and take a few pictures.

While my mom and uncle were visiting, we also took a trip to the beach. It's hard to believe that it was my first time going since we moved here nearly two years ago. I love the beach! And it's only half an hour away. We really should go more often.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Birthday Month!

March was Birthday month at our house. We started out with Kaylee on the 16th.

Next came Elly, on the 19th.

Finally, we celebrated Bryan's birthday on the 23rd.

A fun time was had by all! As well as lots of presents, and lots of cake. :o)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Garland Classic

Yes, another gymnastics video. Doesn't look a whole lot different from the last one, though if you look closely, you'll notice the ring routine looks much better, and he's added a handstand to his parallel bar routine. :o) Enjoy!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Januray, February, March...

March! Already? Is it just me or does February always seem too short? ha Life has been crazy around here. I'd blame the lack of blogging on that, but mostly I've been suffering from blogitis. Also known as blog writer's block. Or something like that. :p Since I do keep this as sort of a journal, I figured I'd better sit down and write, well, something. Since enough has happened during the last few weeks to fill a blog post. During the last two months:
  • we attended four gymnastics meets, two of which were out of town (San Antonio and Dallas). Of those four, Bryan won all-around three times, and got one 2nd place. He is one amazing little boy.
  • Tyler played a lot of basketball. His team wasn't all that great, but he had fun. It's a good thing he's not competitive, he doesn't mind losing. He just likes to play. :o)
  • I turned 32. 32! I still feel like I'm 23. Well, except a little more mature, maybe. :p
  • my dad got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and has begun chemotherapy. He has a long road ahead of him. We're hopeful the chemo will stop further growth and spreading of the tumor. Being so far away from my parents has made dealing with this a very strange experience. I was in denial for a very long time. Now I'm just having a hard time with the fact that I can't be there. Contemplating a trip this summer, we'll see.
  • our to-do list has kept on growing. I keep adding more things than I'm taking off. Help? haha
  • it has been unusually cold and rainy, so not much has been happening in the way of gardening. It's sad, I had such a nice winter garden last year. I've now started a few plants indoors to hopefully plant by the end of this month. We're actually planning on putting in a second raised bed, so I should have a lot more space for planting stuff this year. Yay!
  • Tyler and Bryan have been enjoying their piano lessons. They are both doing quite well. I'm a bit jealous. Maybe I should sign myself up, too. :p
  • Kaylee has been making huge improvements in her gymnastics. Things are really starting to click for her, it's fun to watch. I just hope she'll be content with recreational gymnastics, can't afford two kids on teams!
  • Elly has finally started showing some interest in talking. She's now up to about a dozen words, and a handful of signs (I'm not consistent with the signing, I think she'd use more if I was). I'm contemplating having her evaluated for speech delay. Her receptive language is excellent, she understands both English and German perfectly, follows directions, etc. It's the speech part I'm getting a bit worried about. Will address that with our doctor when I take her in for her check-up, and we'll go from there.
Well, I think that about covers it. I have a bunch of pictures from Christmas I've been wanting to upload, hopefully I'll get around to it before Easter rolls around. :o)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Ricky Deci Invitational - Bryan won!

To make up for a total lack of blog updating, here's something way fun for you to watch. At least if you're into gymnastics. :p Bryan had his first big real meet yesterday. It was really fun to watch him, and he did great. He got 4 individual golds, 2 individual silvers, and the all-around gold in his age group. Way to go Bryan!