Monday, May 19, 2014

Ducklings, Berries and Babies

I love this sequence of Jane and her ducklings.
 You can totally see her love for animals shining through. She definitely has a way with them and it didn't come from me or Tim, that's for sure :)

Charlie is usually the worker until the project is done guy but for some reason Jacob was pruning raspberries with me to the bitter end. He must have had  homemade raspberry ice cream on his mind.

We did some PH tests on our garden soil. Turns out it was a 7-neutral. Interesting.

Snuggling with babies in the hammock.

These two love to relax on the tramp with a bucket of peanuts.

I had an arborist come over to our place and teach me how to take care of all our trees. It was heavenly to learn from an expert and ask her all my questions. I learned so much in such a short time. She told me what kind of tools I needed, so now I'm the proud new owner of a Zubac 330 pruning knife. 
This is not the kind of purchase that would have excited me before.

The other day my dad came over and I was working in the yard- wearing gumboots and a bandana on my head, muddy clothes and holding my pruning weapon... I looked really homeless. Dad told me to go inside, have some pizza and relax :) It was funny.

I've been a busy bee this spring. We planted a vegetable garden- lettuce, spinach, chard, kale, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, onions, carrots, peas, beets, cabbage, broccoli, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, butternut and spaghetti squash, pumpkins, chamomile, mint, basil, baby's breath and lavender. I like how gardening gets me outside more but seriously it's been 12 hour days in the yard for the last couple weeks. I can't believe how much work a garden is!!! Besides the slave labor, my brain hurts. It's really complicated to know what to plant when and how far apart and what vegetables are companions or enemies, when and how to fertilize, how much water etc. And the expense of it all is stressful too. I'm scared nothing will grow.

Besides the gargantuan garden, we've been pruning fruit trees, getting composts ready, tending the flower beds, planting a strawberry patch, pruning raspberries and the currant patch, painting the deck, washing windows, arranging coops for ducks and hens...

The kids have been helping non stop. They have been way into it which has made it extra fun. It's been nice being outside together. Ezra especially has surprised me. He's happy to wander around the yard all day! He eats lots of peanuts and jumps on the tramp and rides his bike, all in his yellow gumboots :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cake and Pirates

We had a fun birthday bash for Isabelle and Scarlet at Grammy's. Lots of cake and fun times :)

I love this shot of these chubby toddler cousins gobbling up cake as fast as they can :)

We had a Pirate birthday for Charlie. 

Jacob made Charlie this duct tape cuff that has different pieces that velcro on to it.

There was a treasure chest in the yard filled with Doogh (its a Persian drink- basically carbonated yogurt with mint. Charlie is OBSESSED with it). I put money in the cake which is always exciting.

His gift was this Alpha Smart digital typewriter. It was the hardcore writers use to write novels. It's really durable (good for typing outside, camping etc.) and the battery lasts 100 years. It has a light for writing in the dark car etc and it starts up immediately. It's perfect for what he needs and the beauty is there's no distractions on it- like fun tempting apps. Charlie has been writing his novel for 2 years now. It's over 35 pages!! Lately he's been doing a lot of editing. It's neat to see him pour his soul into his story. He even keeps a notebook in his pocket to jot down ideas that come to him so he doesn't forget them later :)


We went on the coolest field trip to a farm called Duckopolis, owned by Trent, an 18 yr old awesome guy. He's been building his Duckopolis business since he was 11 yrs old. Now that he's done high school he works at it full time. He was so passionate about his work and such an EXPERT! He knew everything about such a wide range of animals, it was really inspiring. He shared with us how he's basically self taught by tons and tons of reading. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
Lucky for us, we arrived on the same day a baby lamb was born. 
It's not every day you get to hold a newborn lamb.

 One of the reasons we came was to learn about keeping peacocks-
Jane has been studying them, and we've been thinking about getting some for the yard.

 Trent sent us home with all kinds of fun eggs to try- duck, turkey, and chicken eggs!

We also came home with 2 little runner ducklings. SO CUTE!!! They actually quack :)

The girls named the yellow one Alice and the boys named the black one Bellow.