Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weekend in ORL

Did I mention that we put in a pool? 

I can't take my eyes off this kid for a moment without her climbing up something she can't climb down

Yesterday, Natalie was drawing a picture. She told me she was coloring the tree of life. I was all excited, and feeling proud that some of my gospel instruction was sticking. So I said, "You mean the one from Lehi's dream? The one with the fruit on it?" And she said, "NO! The one from Disney World with all the animals on it."

On Friday, we went to Disneyworld's Animal Kingdom. We don't plan to go there much over the summer because of crowds and heat. We had a great day, the weather was cooler and there were hardly any lines. We made the mistake of taking our kids to the 4d movie experience, "It's Tough to be a Bug". They're probably going to be traumatized for life over that one. Natalie also rode a dinosaur ride with Micah that I guess she was pretty terrified of. Afterwards, she said with a very stern expression, "Let's not do that ride ever again."

There were redeeming moments. She got to ride the Kali River Rapids- TWICE! She really loved it with me and we both got totally soaked, then I guess when she went with Micah she spent the whole ride pointing out the pretend temple ruins along the way and they didn't get wet.

Meanwhile, Angela got pretty wet herself. She enjoyed the getting wet part, not so much the being wet afterwards.

 We spent the night in a hotel so that I could go to my zumba instructor training the following morning. It was a long day of dancing and demos that could have easily been condensed from 8 hours down to 5 or 6, but whatever. The facility where the training should have been held ended up not being open due to construction delays, so it was held at this super tiny, ghetto gym. We spent the whole day crammed like sardines in a tiny room, smacking one another and stomping on each others feet as we danced the cumbia. I'm near the back in a white bandana.

Micah spent the day freaking out trying to keep the children under control all over Orlando. Among other things, they went to the mall and picked out some new paint and a giant frozen coloring book at the crayola store. Micah's respect for what I do every. single. day. has grown immensely.

The girls were playing finding nemo on Saturday night when we got home. They were singing all the songs from Finding Nemo: The Musical. I asked if I could play. Natalie told me I could be the big butt. 

Here's Sammy, hoping a squirrel comes his way. 2 comfy couches and a padded chair in the room, and he chooses to lay on the end table!

Our Surinam Cherry tree is insane. We didn't know it was a fruiting tree until Natalie noticed the berries and since then it has produced nonstop. Most of the fruit is up too high to reach, so it ends up mostly ant food once it ripens and drops on the ground. Still, we've been picking 2-3 cups of fruit from it every other day for a week now. I'm cleaning, pitting and freezing it to make jam.

Gardening is going well, though pests are becoming a problem.

 Something nocturnal keeps digging in our garden ever since I began fertilizing with chicken poop. Annoying. It knocked over a bunch of cherry tomato plants that had outgrown their stakes, so I put another white trellis beside them to help hold them up. We have a few little green tomatoes on those, some corn growing, and lots of flowers on the melons. The beans have been confusing. The potted ones started making beans quickly, but the ones in the garden have grown enormous but havent made any beans. Very curious.

These girls could come into laying ANY DAY! They enjoy lounging in the shade and flying out of their day pen to roam the yard. Pretty soon, I'm gonna take down the pen around their coop meant to keep them in and just put it up around the garden to keep them out and let them have free range of the whole back yard.

I don't even care if I don't get a single cantaloupe, I feel like a major boss training the vines up this trellis.

These 2 pots of beefsteak tomatoes have 18 fruits growing! I'll be bummed if the bugs and critters ruin them. Garden crops grow more slowly here, since they are grown in spring and fall, when the sun is lower and the days are shorter. I started these the first week of January and the biggest one is maybe 2 inches in diameter and still quite green.

Micah will have his first scout camp out this weekend. They're going to a natural spring in Central Florida. It's the middle of alligator mating season, when the most incidents with gators and humans occur. Yippee.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Random Bits

Cute moments:

Natalie helping Angela put her shoes on

Playing with Daddy outside when he gets home from work. Everybody's favorite time of day... excluding, maybe, Daddy...

Sunday afternoon nap

And, a spontaneous snugglefest...

Gotta capture those sweet moments when I can, because the rest of my life goes like this:

Last weekend we had a great time camping with the stake. The girls keep talking about throwing pinecones into the fire (they turn into a giant ball of flames) and sleeping in the cave (tent). It was fun but exhausting.

The kids had Doritos for the first time and they thought they were the most amazing food ever. This is a really bad picture of Angela chasing me with her cheesy fingers.

 Campfire story time. Natalie was pretty into it.

What's going on:
  • This Friday, we're off to Diseyworld, probably the last time til fall when crowds and temperatures go back down
  • Saturday, I'm attending training to become a licensed Zumba instructor
  • We NEEEEEEED to find time to pressure wash the house and seal the fence, but saturdays are booked solid for 4 more weeks.
  • Anticipating our first chicken egg any day now, though no guarantee for 8 more weeks
  • We got a Sam's Club membership on a groupon deal. It isn't anywhere near as awesome as our old Costco :(
  • Natalie and Angela are currently obsessed with Winnie the Pooh, Micaky's Christmas Carol, the Llama Llama books and Walter Wicks' Can You See What I See books about Seymour
  • Micah loves my homemade cinnamon rolls and asked me to make them again this weekend. I have finally transformed him into a sweets addict.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ya win some, ya lose some

I have finally replaced my camera! First bought a cheaper model; decided it was crap and returned it; tried to find an exact replacement for my old camera; discovered that there was a newer, cheaper, improved model; found that there was a comparably priced newer, improved model of that one and then purchased it! It's got a few settings that seem dumb and it still doesn't take good shots in bad lighting (the tragic flaw of the sony cybershot, I guess!), but it takes decent enough shots and was cheap enough that I don't have to freak out about keeping it nice. 

First off, home improvement projects going well. The very weekend we bought our house 6 months ago, I snagged this kitchen cart on the side of the road. It was birch colored with a super scarred finish, 2 broken wheels and a major case of the nasties. But it was real wood so I recognized potential and snatched it. Took it to the back shed, cleaned it off, sanded it down and then never got around to painting it. Micah brought it inside and finished the paint this weekend and it looks great!
I feel like it relates well to the kitchen cupboards and adds some continuity.
Our garden is going great- we've got at least a dozen little bity tomatoes growing and the chickens are doing well- could possibly begin laying withing a week now. Our lawn was looking pretty shabby, but I fertilized and watered it and as spring has set in, the front yard at least has gotten fuller and greener. I finally replaced our old, faded American Flag and for the first time since we've lived here, all of our interior and exterior light bulbs work.

Unfortunately, houses wear easier than they are improved. Most notably, Natalie just spilled a huge puddle of water on our engineered hardwood dining room floor while I was putting Angela down for a nap and now one of the panels is warped and ruined. We have extras, but it will take some knowledge, time and tools to fix. Also, I really want to pressure wash all the gunk on the white panel portions of our house, but have no idea how to go about pressure washing the side of a second story. I'd much rather buy a pressure washer and do it ourselves than pay someone to come and do it, but I'm worried it would be dangerous. We shall see- maybe buying a bigger ladder and a super long hose attachment for the equipment...

 Now, on to the important stuff: cute pictures of the girls:

Don't you just hate it when you fall asleep reading?

Beautiful dress my sister made for her daughter and Natalie and Angela for our step brothers' upcoming wedding.

As I was getting ready to go to the gym, Natalie wanted to be my twin

Pirate growl

Some yummy general conference snacks

eggs benedict- hopefully by October I'll have my own eggs to use! It was nice to have leftover Easter ham this year.