Everything you never wanted to know about our family and various other subjects.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sweet Corn!

Joseph came home with sweet corn, compliments of the co-op.  So the choices are:  eat fresh corn until you're sick or freeze it and enjoy golden yumminess all winter long.  We opted to do the work now and enjoy the rewards later.

This bag was full when we started.

Getting down to business.
Clare and I cut the corn off the cob.  See the big, blue bowl?
That bowl caused all sorts of problems.  Marianna insisted there was popcorn in it,
because usually that's what it's used for.

So after saying "no" at least ten times, I gave in and everybody had a morning
snack of (you guessed it) popcorn. 

Andrew went on break before he even worked up a sweat.

OK, so I'm sure this is not considered healthy by today's standards.

This batch was finished in time for lunch and the rest made it
to the freezer.
Then, a few days later, we started the whole process over again.  Joe brought home TWO bags and I roped the big guys into helping me, as my first batch of helpers went on a day trip with Dan and Linda.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yard Project Finale

Last week Dan finished cutting all the brush from the hill going down to the lake.  He planted grass seed and now all that's left is to water and wait to see the grass come up.  Here are the last of the pictures from this project.

Burning off a really big stump
After Dan planted the grass seed, the kids used the gunny sacks for races.

Matthew had to help Marianna. She refused to be left out of the fun.

Therese called the races from the top of the swing set.
Here's the view from an upstairs window.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A very happy birthday to you....

This post is especially for my Mom because it is her birthday and she has been gone for two weeks in Canada.  More importantly, she has been waiting to hear from us by email and we have not contacted her even once.  Mea culpa, Grandma!  We had to go offline because our computer downloaded a nasty trojan  and multiple viruses.  Joseph has since wiped the computer and we are starting fresh. (Have I mentioned I'm going to miss that techno-savvy son?)

So, if you are not my Mom or you are not interested in the latest details of our crazy fam, you may want to skip this post!  For those who are still hanging on my every type-written word,  here goes...

Joseph finished his summer job this past Friday.  He is planning on spending the next week accumulating whatever he still needs to buy for school, packing, cleaning that room we call "The Swamp" and throwing various unnecessaries in our overflowing garbage can.  He's also spending a fair amount of time with his closest friends as the time to say goodbye is closing in.

I wish I could say that Timothy is doing all the same things.  When his time to move approaches, I'm pretty sure he's going to throw whatever he can fit in a suitcase and walk out the door at the last minute leaving us with the job of general garbage collection as he pulls out of the driveway in a cloud of dust.  (Just joking, I'm sure he'll get his act together, it will just take a little more prodding.)  He did get his computer ordered, purchased his textbooks, and got his official SCTCC student ID (very impressive!).

Stephen took the Accuplacer this past Thursday and is planning on taking some college courses. A Trig class this fall, Psych in the winter, and Algebra and College Writing I next Spring.  He's excited about the math, actually chose the psych and I forced talked him into taking the English class.  He also started soccer practice with the Prep School...so glad he's driving this year.

Clare is very excited that two brothers are moving out.  I think she's probably dreaming about her very own bedroom just about every night.  When she isn't moaning over that darn headgear, that is.  Poor girl!  She's in the final countdown though, only a couple more weeks and she will be free of the extra hardware.  I think we'll have to party!  We're also planning our school year and realizing that as a 9th grader, her classes will be a little more challenging than in the past.  Algebra, biology, ugh...do I have to do this again?  Oh wait...I mean, isn't this exciting, all the new things she gets to learn about?

Matthew and Andrew have been counting down the weeks to their big move. I have THE PLAN all ready: first we will be completely fumigating "The Swamp", next we will surreptitiously make Stephen sign a contract of new-found cleanliness  expectations, finally we will rename "The Swamp" to something more acceptable and in keeping with the fresh, clean smell that will pervade the room, THEN we will begin the transporting of clothing and various other personal items to the nether regions of our house. (Have to let you know how it all works out in a few weeks.)

Therese has already started and stopped doing "schoolwork" numerous times in the past few weeks.  She is finally able to read Magic Treehouse Mysteries (chapter books) so it is a very exciting time for her,  so exciting that she never falls asleep until at least 11PM, a habit we will have to change before our school year officially begins.

Johnny and Gabriel have finally crossed the threshold of my endurance when it comes to their fighting.  They must have sensed that I had reached my limits because recently I caught them playing together.  Yeah, you read that right.  They were actually PLAYING together and it's happened twice now!  They managed to play a game together with no biting, kicking, or hair pulling.  Maybe they're turning over a new leaf or maybe they're just pulling my leg.  Hmmmm!

Marianna is now saying so many words that it's hard to keep up with her.  Her favorite is to chant "Da-ddy, Da-ddy" while waving her arms in the air.  Get's her pretty much anything she wants from her Daddy.  Clare also taught her to do the fist bump while she repeats "Oh, baby".  She yells "Ride" every time Dan leaves for work and cries since she can't go with him.

It's hard to find a time when we are all together to make big announcements but we were able to get the news out this past weekend that there will be a new baby joining us in March.  I've decided that morning sickness is a great excuse to enforce child labor around here. Time to put everybody to work before the school year is in full swing. We still have a very large pile of compost to spread on my flower beds.  I have to finish planning our school year, order a few books and then start the whole seasonal clothing change that is way overdue in the bedroom closets. Definitely time to call in the worker bees.

 P.S. Grandma, hope this was a better birthday present than the refrigerator pickles that you couldn't take across the border.  Forgot to ask Grandpa if he was eating them all before you return to get your share.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prize winning garden produce

Well, maybe it wouldn't win at the fair but around here the garden is the highlight of kid-conversation.

Matthew came in wearing this hot pepper as a bracelet.
 Every morning I get an update on the growth of this big pumpkin.  Sometimes the tales of how huge it's growing, rival some of the fish stories I heard this summer.  I had to see for myself and take a picture, of course!
Hey, who's that hugging our favorite pumpkin?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beach project (from a few weeks ago)

We were attempting to show how big the pile of sand was.

Lost count of the number of loads on the six wheeler.

All the hard work belonged to Dan and the big boys.
These two are just along for the ride!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Random pictures

Marianna likes watering the flowers...

and her shoes....and the rest of her body.

Our little saints?!

Just being goofy.

Doesn't she look like a big girl?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An Overly Ambitious Project

This one started with me saying, "It would be nice if we could get rid of all the nasty itch weed, burdock, and thistle that has overtaken the hill going down to the lake."  Such a benign little comment for the drastic measures it produced...

After doing the wild and wooded look for the past 14 years, we pretty much scalped all vegetation from the upper half of our hill in about 3 hours.

In case you're wondering, this patch will be the next to go.  Dan has to round up a brush cutter, since this section has a lot more stumps and other hazards.

Here's Dan enjoying the fruits of his labor.

The Mary garden really stands out without all the tall grass surrounding it.

Here's the view from the house.  The older bunch sees this move as more work in the long run.  You know, gotta mow more!  Once we have grass established, though, we're hoping to let it grow long.  Just not as long as all that field grass... and thistle...and burdock...and the thorn bushes (ouch!).