Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mom! Be Warned!

Hi Mom!
I'm just going to give you a heads up about this post...
...it has a lot of spiders in it!!

The lavender plants are really taking off!
I was weeding in the front bed the other day and admiring how green and pretty the lavender looked and could see that the flowers were just about to bloom.
There was a strange brown coloring on one section of one of the plants and when I inspected it closer, I found it to be a nest (nests) of the tiniest spiders!
They were all clumped together and not moving at all...
 ...until you shook the lavender plant!
Then they went crazy!!
It wasn't until this happened that I was actually able to tell what they were!!
After several minutes of being undisturbed, they went back to their little huddle.
They appeared pretty harmless...

But, with this plant being so close to the house, my mind started to wander to the day when they grew up and set off in search of their own spider home.
And I didn't want it to be in MY home.
So, I waited til they calmed down, then took some pruning shears and clipped those stalks off and tossed them in the yard waste.

Sorry Charlotte!!

P.S.  My new banner photo is a picture taken by the talented Hannah!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How Does our Garden Grow?

A few garden updates...
It changes so fast this time of year that it can be hard to keep up.
Even these pictures are slightly out of date, but will do until I get a chance to take more.

So first, here's Loretta...
She's taken to the ground pretty well.
Donald put a few boards around her to help "capture" the slugs.
We are trying this on advice of a gardening friend.
If it doesn't work, we'll try the beer in a cup trick, but really, Donald's not interested in wasting beer that way.
Every now and then, he calls Jenelle out to the backyard to check for the slugs.
If they lift up a board and find one, she has to scoop it up with a small spade and dispose of it.
It doesn't go over very well with Jenelle.
She HATES slugs and I cannot blame her at all!
But, better her than me and its her cabbage anyway!  :)

We also designated a part of the garden border for an herb garden.
Right now there are two oregano plants, one thyme and 5 basil.

The picture shows three basil, but I added two more.
Last year, I made and froze pesto with our two basil plants.
So delicious!
The kids loved it on their pasta...I loved it on anything!
There wasn't enough to last very long and so I'm hoping to harvest a bit more this year.
Isn't she big?
When did she get big enough to help us take care of the garden?

I leave you with a picture of our pretty little azalea.
When I say little, I mean tiny.
But look what tiny can do!
It's finished blooming, but was so gorgeous while it lasted!
Like I said, the garden changes fast!
I already have new pictures on my camera to upload, so there will be more news soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Track Season at an End

Track season ended a few weeks ago.
Hannah really enjoyed it and was able, despite her elbow injury, to run in the last two meets.

The last meet was at a school in a town called Goldendale.
We've driven past it many times on the way to Portland, Oregon.
I know there's a stopping point nearby on the highway where you can get out of your car, and if the weather is just right, you can see the tops to four different mountains...Mt. Hood in Oregon, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens (doesn't have much of a "top" anymore).

But look at this amazing view of Mt. Adams that these students get to see EVERYDAY!
The picture just doesn't do justice to how gorgeous and imposing it looked from the bleachers.

I'm sure they're pretty used to it...probably don't walk outside in awe each day...
But what it if wasn't there?
I created a duplicate just for fun and removed the mountain by overexposing the photograph...
Pretty boring huh?

I know my kids are probably going to grow up taking for granted the fact that they live in a place so amazing.
We all get used to what we see everyday.
But I talk about it a lot with them when we are out hiking or skiing or exploring...probably to the point of annoyance, but I want them to look carefully at the place where they are fortunate enough to live.
A place where, not far off, the mountains meet the ocean.
A place where you can drive for a while and watch the high desert change into majestic old growth forests.
A place where you can still climb 10 feet snow banks in the summer.
An amazing place.

Now...I thought I was talking about something else...
Oh yea!
A track meet!!
So Hannah did fantastic this meet!
She did a great job in her individual heats and I was proud to watch her end the season with a great effort.
I think she felt lighter and almost carefree knowing she wasn't doing hurdles anymore.
When school starts up again in the fall, we will be ready for sports and after-school activities once more, but for now, I am ready for the summer and its relatively lazy and unstructured days.
(and please remind me I said that come late July...)

Monday, May 21, 2012


It wouldn't be spring in Yakima without lilacs.
And it wouldn't be my blog without obligatory lilac pictures.
They bloom outrageously for a couple of weeks, then start to fade and seed.
This year I brought a few inside to enjoy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Killin' is his business...

...and business is good!

Oh don't worry...all members of our family will live to see another day...
But when the zombie apocalypse comes - you might want him on your side!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Girl!

Yesterday Jenelle turned 9 years old!

She LOVES her birthday!
Jenelle likes life to be exciting...
"Are we going somewhere today?"
I hear this almost every weekend!

So, yesterday she was in heaven
It was all about fun from the moment she got up until bedtime.
It was all about her!
And really...who doesn't like that?

So this morning she was suffering a bit from "birthday withdrawals".
Yesterday started with waking up to balloons hanging in her doorway...
 ...which everyone wanted to experience!

Then she got a birthday piggyback ride to the kitchen!

And a special spot at the counter with the Celebration Plate...

...and a few things to look forward to later in the day.

She opened some presents from Ivan and Hannah before school because it's just too hard to wait all day!!

Then off to school where she was basking in the "It's my birthday glow!"
I came up in the afternoon and delivered some yummy cupcakes...chocolate with marshmallow cream filling...here's the recipe!!

While she was at school, I fixed up her new comforter and pillows!
She was pretty surprised when she got home!
Hannah had promised a birthday bike ride - which amazingly - Ivan was allowed to go on as well!  :)

Then of course there was dinner of her choice - spaghetti and meatballs (they were homemade and - MAN!! - they were good!), and cake and ice cream.
This was the year of purple, so her only request for the cake was chocolate and purple...
Pretty easy to oblige.

She will have a friend out for a day and night of fun in a couple of weekends.
But she was content to spend her birthday evening with us, which is just the way I like it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I love it when I open iphoto and find pictures that I didn't take.
The kids, on the other hand, might not feel the same way when they open the blog!
But how could you care when you look this cute! (even with a hideous basement background!)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Michelle & Jenelle 2003

Happy Mother's Day to the special mom's who have come into my life...I love you!

And to my own beautiful Mother...

...I have a lifetime of love for you!