Monday, April 14, 2008

family and garden goodness

this past week the kids were on break from school. i hear so many parents (even jokingly) say that they always dread these times when the kids will be home all day every day for an entire week. since this is the first year any of the kids have been in school full time, i don't know what to expect yet. and for christmas break we went out of town, so that doesn't really count (we weren't cooped up all together at home for 2 weeks).

this past week was so nice, so relaxing, so enjoyable--it made me want to think about homeschooling. i know, remember how i said a few weeks ago that i didn't want to homeshool...EVER?! when the kids are home and are able to rest and play, there is much less fighting. plus, i took the week off from editing and kept joking that we were "on vacation." after all, we DO live in a very vacation type setting. just look at this, right down the road from where we live:
monday we celebrated aedan's birthday officially. we told him we would go out for breakfast and he could pick the place. one of our favorite things to do on weekends is go out for breakfast, so he has quite the repertoire of places to pick from for a 5-year-old. he immediately said, "denny's." yikes. for those of you who aren't familiar with denny's (maybe as in, you went there after partying all night when you were in college, like i did?!) it's a run-of-the-mill place to get breakfast and generally greasy other types of food all day long. usually not the highest rated for its quality of food and ambiance. :)

so i tried to talk him out of it, at which point he reminded, "mom, but you SAID i could pick! and denny's has alien pancakes." ok, so i did. and so they do. so we went. and it wasn't bad.

busch gardens is just down the street from us and we had never been, and they have a great family pass deal for florida residents, so we finally are taking advantage of that and signed up for a 1-year pass this week. so we made TWO trips to the park. it's great because we can go for a few hours and not feel pressure to see and do everything (or anything). this is especially nice with a baby in tow, who is prone to get cranky after being subjected to so many hours riding hotly in a sling on mom or being wheeled around in a stroller instead of being able to crawl around.

the photo at the top of the post was taken at the park; if you look very closely at the left-hand side near aedan's head you can just make out a white tiger in the background. here are some other pictures from our time there.
(this was after hours of walking on the first day, and this little guy was more than ready to go home)
on their first "roller coaster"
they just opened this exhibit where you can go into a lookout enclosed in glass and be essentially face to face with this guy. isn't he amazing?
crossing a high bridge with dad
our tentative one, who didn't want to go up high with dad and brother, stayed with me for a photo shoot

i would love to have a lot more weeks just like this one. it really makes me look forward to summertime and being able to hang out more with my kids and to really enjoy them.

in other news, i have had to restrain myself from posting pictures every day of the sprouts that keep growing and growing in my garden. i realize that i am probably the only person who wants to get up-to-the-minute updates about my garden. i can see it from gillian's room, and i will go in there throughout the day and just stare through the window--it's as if i think if i stare long enough i will "catch" them in action, growing taller and taller.

here are a few new pictures. you might be able to see the white powder all over the plants. rest assured i'm not poisoning them. :) remember those nasty hornworms i talked about having so much anxiety over? well i haven't seen any yet, but some of the leaves of my plants have some strange yellow or white spots, so i dusted them with an organic fungicide just in case. so it makes for slightly less appealing photos, but it keeps my plants safe. :)

squash sprouts with zucchini plant in the background

cucumber plants growing from seed! i need to thin and replant them a ways away so they have room to spread, but for now i'm enjoying how they look all bunched together like this.
our sunflower patch is growing. (i even dusted these guys for good measure--i'm more than a little paranoid about those darn worms) i cannot WAIT until these little ones grow big and start blooming! they are going to be breathtaking.

and now, drum roll please............

hopefully despite the blurriness you can see my little baby grape tomatoes growing! i took approximately FORTY pictures of this plant. i am less than inept when it comes to using my camera in anything other than the auto mode, and so the stupid thing kept focusing on what was behind the plant. there is a quite magnificent cactus behind this thing, but somehow i couldn't tell my camera i didn't CARE about taking a picture of the cactus today! i wanted to capture my baby tomatoes! aren't they great (despite the blurriness)?!


amy said...

i'm glad you had such a great week. and i am envious of your garden!

karin said...

I'm so happy you had good times with the kids. I'm sure they enjoyed having your full attention for the week. AND, that garden!! I am living vicariosly through your green thumb!

Amelia Plum said...

sounds like a wonderful week, it's great when you can have a vacation right in your home town. great picture of the siberian tiger and it looks like you're garden is thriving.

Pixie said...

I am so happy that you were able to have that special time with your family - and that gardening has brought you so much joy.