Friday, May 29, 2009

Quick Takes

I'm afraid I've spent most of the week looking back on our mountain vacation and doodling around the edges of what's really going on around here. I guess this is a good opportunity to get caught up. There's been a lot going on.

First of all, our boarding school boys are back -- and I would be so tickled to have all my children together again -- if I ever saw any of them!

Here's the scoop: We got back from Jon's graduation two Sundays ago, with Jon and Dominic both in tow, but then, Dan and I left for Ouray on Tuesday, and didn't see everyone again until Saturday.

Then Saturday was taken up with the girls' big piano recital and visiting with Grandma and Grandpa who were in town.
Then, on Sunday, all the boys went to play baseball and volleyball at the park (the day the snake was in the henhouse), and we didn't see them until late.

Then, Monday was Memorial Day, which was Homeschool Field Day; Dan stayed at the park with the big kids -- in the rain and mud all day -- running and playing, but I came home early with the two little boys who were cold and miserable.

Then, the three littlest girls, Theresa, Cathy, and Anna, spent the night that night at a friend's house so they could hitch a ride to Cathlic Girls' Camp in eastern Colorado. The camp was scheduled from Tuedsday through noon today. But it was cut a little short for a couple of the girls because...
I got a call last night around five thirty from Sister at Girls' Camp. Anna had run into a fence and was at the hospital needing stitches -- smack in the middle of her forehead. Anna said she didn't need me to come, but Mama knows better. I slipped my shoes on, grabbed my purse, and headed east. Got there by eight o'clock. When I got there she was just fine and dandy, sipping an ice cream float in the basement rec-room of the church (Sister said she was as brave as could be at the hospital, not a tear was shed through the whole ordeal), but she was glad to see Mommy and happy to go home to sleep in her own bed. We gathered her and her belongings, brought Cathy along for the ride (who was ready to sleep in her own bed, too), and headed home. Got here around eleven last night. Theresa should arrive home this afternoon with the Denver carpool. Then we'll all be together again. For a minute or two maybe.

I forgot to mention that on Memorial Day, after the Homeschool Field Day, Dan went and picked up another goat, this one a milker. Her name is Stella, so now, when the kids get their breakfast in the morning, they specify either "store milk" or "Stella milk." She's a tiny doe on her first "freshening," and is skinny from having a very big kid nursing on her --She's producing less than a half gallon a day right now, not enough for our daily use. But, come next kidding season, we hope to have both Stella and Sweetie milking -- which should fill our needs better. (I'll post some shots tomorrow of Cathy learning how to milk.)

In the midst of all the comings and goings, we've actually been able to get a lot of outdoor work done. The boys and Michelle have been working hard on the property, mowing and trimming trees. That, along with God's gift of a rainy spring has the place looking almost park-like. Unusual for here. It's usually so dry and windy, that by early summer, everything is fried and dried, brown and tan. We're enjoying the green while we can.

We've got the garden going, though it's slow going so far. Our nights have only just gotten warm enough for summer vegges like peppers and tomatoes. I stupidly set out some peppers too early and have already lost several baby pepper plants. (So sad. I knew them when they were only seeds.)

These (below) look like overgrown prairie dog holes, but are really pumpkin hills. This will be St. Philomena's Fall Garden up top here. We're starting three kinds of pumpkins, goblin egg gourds, and, if we can get a tiller going, we'll scatter some ornamental corn about.
Here's Gabe by the spinach bed. We have peas starting behind him on the wire "tunnel." This area is the St. Patrick garden. We'll have wildflowers in the patch you see dug up there in front of the peas. And we're on the lookout for a celtic cross to put in there somewhere. And, here is the long bed where radishes, lettuce, carrots, cukes, and zukes are planted. Only one rotation of radishes and lettuce is up, though. When the peas on the fence are spent, the tomatoes will be getting going. At that time this patch, will officially be called "St. Thomas's Tomato Patch." (See that durn grass along the bottom of the fence? Makes me crazy, but it's a bugger to pull out!)

Pictured below is the backyard, the only place we have real grass sown. From here, like in one of the above pictures of the north yard you can see the evidence of the hard winters a couple years ago, paired with drought, and a dutch elm disease epidemic. See the poor trees? The boys have been spending a good part of their time this week cutting out dead branches, and figuring out the best way to take out dead trees and giant limbs without having them fall on fences or rooftops. Good creative problem solving projects. I generally avoid watching them do the actual cutting, though, and depend heavily on their Guardian Angels and commons sense not to fall out of a tree or have a tree fall on top of them.

Below are our prize Therese Bugnet roses. They've thrived in spite of blizzard, drought, and storm, since our Theresa was born, eleven years ago. They perfume the whole property in late spring. The bloom doesn't last more than a couple weeks, but it's worth the wait every year. We're hoping to take some of the "starts" from this plant and move them over by the Mary garden. This end of the perennial beds we hope to expand, adding more roses to make it our official St. Therese rose garden.

And, last, but not least, some of the joys of summer here at our house:

A Tiger in the Grass
Early morning tea, toast, and jam, just Mommy and the little boys.

(Everyone else was snoozing and missed all the fun!)

Chimes tangled by the prairie breezes

The new fire pit Michelle and I built with the little girls, ready for its first campfire.

Dog day afternoons.

Work in the cool of the mornin', laze away the afternoon. Summer memories they'll try to recapture their whole lives, though they may not know it now...

* Make sure and run over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Take Friday Posts!


Heather Jaracz said...

What a wonderful post. I just came home from the hospital with child #4 and I find your family to be an inspiration!

Blessings each day said...

Incredible and make me want to go back outside and pull weeds and plant stuff (Michael just now "dragged" me back inside, so he'd have a hissy fit).

I have a celtic cross by my roses and it was inexpensive...think I got it at Lowes or Home Depot or even Hobby Lobby.

Your lips should also be worn out from trying to kiss the cuteness on those cute ones (absolutely love that toothless grin!!)that God blessed you with. Such a great idea to have special early morning toast and jelly time...I am such a morning person and Michael is such a night person! sigh, sigh...

The pictures are super, but can see why you would rather not watch the taking down of the trees, which could be followed by the taking down of the taker downer!!

Loved seeing all your veggies and the I need to look for some of those sweet smelling roses (here comes another hissy fit for MIchael, chuckle chuckle...maybe I could tie it in with a birthday thing...nope, I used enlarging the circle around the Blessed Mother for that...hmmm...



p.s. Did I just write a whole post here???

Cheryle Martinez said...

My girls (Emily, Belle and AJ) were quite impressed with Anna's bravery :-) How she didn't cry at all and came back from the hospital laughing even.
I don't know about your girls, but mine had the most wonderful time and are already talking about next year lol
Are you doing Omaha camp too? We're skipping it this year to go to CA for vacation.
How about the boys' camp? Jess and Daniel will be going.

Natalie said...

Goodness! What a joy it must be to have such productive and helpful children. I've read some about a new disorder with kids called Nature Deficit Disorder. Basically, American kids are way our of touch with exploring nature and spend too much time with technology. Not a problem with your lot though! Milking a goat is so cool! I'm close to the age of your big boys and if I could, would probably be up there with them on the trees. I guess when it's my own boys I'll be more like you. I look forward to the day when our family can have our own plot of permanent land to play on. Until then, I'll just do my best to beautify where we are. Cacti can be so ugly though!

MightyMom said...

I wondered what you've been up I know! haha.

good times.

sorry about the little un getting stitches! but she now has a story for her grandkids! :-)

Linda Higgins said...

Wht a wonderful post! How blessed your children are and YOU are to have such a wonderful environment to raise them all in. This is what family and home is all about. My hats off to you! You seem to have it all together! A lot of work but soooo rewarding! hugs...