Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Garden

I know some of you already know about my garden, so just skip this post if you do :). For those who don't, here's the story. I am by no means a "green" "organic" person. I've wanted a garden for a long time...I guess just b/c I like the idea of growing my own food and I figured it would save a fairly good amount of money since my husband (and the rest of us, but he eats more than we do) likes to eat a lot of veggies. And maybe I just have fond memories of Grandma's garden and eating the yummy food she got from it. Anyway, I asked her and my aunt (who also has a great garden and makes amazing pickles) about it, what it would take, how big it should be, when I should plant, what I should plant, etc etc etc. My garden is about 16' x 8'. That seemed HUGE when I started, now I wish it was bigger! Our yard slopes down, since it floods. So we had to build a "box" for it so it would be on level ground, which meant we had to get a lot of dirt to fill it up. We got some fill dirt from a friend and then used about 10 40lb. bags of garden soil to top it off. We also put chicken wire about 2' up around it to keep rabbits out. We also found that birds like to eat carrots and strawberries. So we put a little chicken wire netting over the strawberries (haven't decided what to do w/ the carrots yet). I also found out not too long ago that if you want your peas to grow very well, they have to have a lattice to grow up on. So I just got that built today. Late April is the best time to plant here. Basically, it's whenever the danger for frost is gone. Although, some vegetables (lettuce, I know for sure) have to be planted later in July. If you can buy the plant instead of seeds, do it. That means you'll get produce quicker. I planted broccoli, peas, peppers (should have been plant, but I forgot), carrots, green onions, green beans, red onions (bulbs), strawberries (plants), cucumber (plant), zucchini (plant), and tomatoes (plants, one Roma, one regular). Some of the packages of seeds said you could start them inside several weeks before you planted them, but of course I didn't plan ahead, so I just planted them outside. I got everything in the ground in mid-May and it was about 2-3 weeks later that we got our first strawberries (there were minuscule!). This week we've gotten a Roma tomato, strawberries, and beans. The peas won't be much longer before some will be ready to pick. The cucumber and tomato plants have taken off and are HUGE. The zucchini isn't far behind. So I wish I had more space for them. And I wish I had more room for the strawberries. Cucumbers and strawberries are planted up on little hills, so I probably should have made more room than I did for them. Oh well! Anyway, that's enough about all that :) My mom never had a garden (she kind of has a black thumb, eh Mom?!), so it's not like I grew up gardening. It's really not too difficult. I water it every day that it doesn't rain, but I've got a sprinkler that reaches all of it w/out having to be moved and I usually only water it for about 15min. Now that I need to check for picking every day or two, it's easier to keep up on the weeds. The only thing that hasn't grown is the broccoli. Not sure why that is.

This is the garden before anything was planted (or the chicken wire put up)

This is early June, about a month after I'd planted everything.

This is today :)

Here you can see just a bit of the red onions (bottom), the strawberries, cucumber (back), zucchini (front) and the 2 gigantic tomato plants (which kind of look like one--not sure why I didn't plant them farther apart...)

Here are the red onions (going from the bottom of pic to top), green beans, green onions, the few carrots remaining, the 2 pepper plants sprouted, and the peas (right in front of Anna). The broccoli is planted on the other side of the peas, but nothing has grown.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Garden sucess!

The garden is growing like CRAZY! The tomato plants are gigantic, so is the cucumber plant and the zucchini plant is catching up. I need to build a little trellis thing for the peas, b/c they're kind of looking bad. I need to take another picture of it and post the progress. It's insane how fast some of them are growing. Still no broccoli sprouts, though. We've already had several strawberries (they're getting bigger!) and just got a Roma tomato the other day. There are a bunch of tomatoes, a couple that will be ripe enough in another day or two. Today, I went out and picked green beans. We had them for lunch...not too shabby! :) Anna never has liked green beans, and she still doesn't.

And Jacob, well he just likes food. I think spaghetti might be among his most favoritest :) He sure does make a mess with it though!!

So proud of himself.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mom's Mayo Update

Not a lot to report, really. Rough day today :( It will probably be another couple days before they really start finding stuff out, I'm sure.

From Dad:
Not a lot to report. Setting up tests and appointments. Yesterday saw the GI (gastro-intestinal) dr and she setup a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy (she wants biopsies) but couldn't do it until Aug. It is because the last time she had one done the sedative was not effective (they gave her as much as they safely could) and could not finish because of the pain. So they have to do one with putting her under and those are harder to schedule.

Today she saw Hematologist about the lymph nodes and he wanted to see the slides. (Ok we brought a 30lb box of documents and cd's and didn't have what he wanted.....) So he ordered them from the hosptial to look at. So next was CT scan. You know what you have to drink to do that and you know how nauseated she is. Well only 2 or 3 swallows and up it came. Dr decided to let her drink water and do it anyway. Then the GI office called when we were back at hotel and wanted her to see lung specialist and since didn't have an appointment you just have to go and wait to see if they can see you. They wanted a more recent scan of the chest so down we go to get that done. At least didn't have to drink anything (ended up just getting an x-ray). By then too late to see anyone so we go back in the morning to wait and see, plus she wants her to see Endocrinologist and that will also be a wait and see tomorrow and then a return visit to GI doc.

She is in bed now with nausea. Walked alot today, probably the most she has walked since out of hospital. Most of the buildings are tied together by either skywalks or underground subways they call them. So that is nice but wore her out. More later I am sure... Cecil

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Princess :)

Well, today is officially the day you came into the world 3 years (wow) ago. I guess the fact that you were so stubborn about being born should have given us a clue as to the amount of stubbornness you posses! :)
But you are our sweet Anna Rose. I love this stage you're in now--the princess/doll/girly girly stage. It's so fun to see you be a little Mama to all your babies and stuffed animals...and especially to your little brother! You have a very sweet, tender spirit. You LOVE to help and I can already trust you to look after your brother. Any baby you see, you just get so excited!
You need your sleep and you need your food--if you're lacking on either, look out world!! You don't like big crowds--you get overwhelmed and very shy. You really don't like cars--when you hear one close by, it usually startles you and you run in the opposite direction of the noise! That's a good thing, I guess...being afraid of cars. You also do NOT like loud noises (like Papa's mower!). You don't like to be cold, so winter time baths aren't always fun--you like to stay wrapped up in your towel for a long time before you're ready to get dressed!
You love to cuddle (have since the day you were born). And you love having your back tickled before you go to sleep (you get that from Daddy). You love books and will sit and read book after book after book (you get that from me). You even enjoy reading them to Jacob...and some of them you get almost word for word! You love being outside and going to your favorite park. You have a wonderful imagination and are so good about playing by yourself and keeping yourself entertained. You also like to make Jacob laugh. He adores you. You love strawberries, blueberries, Iowa sweet corn, spaghetti, pizza, macaroni and cheese, green trees (broccoli)...come to think of it, you're not a very picky eater!
Your Daddy and I pray that you will one day come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Raising kids is no easy task and we don't take it lightly. God has blessed us tenfold through you and the way you see things. Every day brings a new joy, a new frustration (or sometimes just the same one again!), and more love for you.
We love you Anna Rose!!!

A smile that lights up a room :)

Your sad can anyone resist that?! ;)

And your silly face. You make us laugh all the time.

I'm sorry--but the tongue thing truly is genetic! We just can't help it!!!

Princess Cinderella--thank you Uncle Windell!

Aunt Cara's beautiful princess dress she made you.

You just couldn't stay awake--the party was so tiring, even the next day you crashed!

Mom Update

Here's the latest from Dad...

She was determined to get back down to see Hudson James and we did. Although Friday night she started with nausea/migraine and wouldn't quit so went the ER to get a shot. After hour and half we started back to Jamie's and she said it was like she wanted to jump out of her skin. Got home, talked to Jamie and decided to go back, it was unbearable. After another 4 hours and trying three different drugs, we went home and she passed most of the night. (she has taken the same meds for migraine and nausea before and never reacted like this, but nothing is normal anymore) So we almost went back home but in the morning she felt better so on to the party at Jenni's! Had a good time seeing everyone there. Got home Sunday night and she threw up again and nausea. Monday took her to appointment with thyroid doctor and then came here to Mayo. Will see doctor at 2 on Tuesday and away we go....... wonder if they have a roller coaster at Mayo.... We sense lots of prayers going on.... CS

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Princess Party!

We're still recovering! Wow...what a day! There were about 30 people (not counting 3 babies) at her party. I know, some of you probably think that's insane for a 3 year old's birthday party, but most of it was family. Growing up, that's how we celebrated our birthdays was family get-togethers. Lots of cousins to play with! Anyway, it was really fun. As you can tell from the title, it was a princess themed party. There were 3 of Anna's little friends that came (plus their big/little brothers!). Anna got a little overwhelmed when everyone first got here, but she quickly warmed up and the girls all played and had fun. We had a BBQ and then the kids all played in the little pool. That was a HUGE hit! They played for at least an hour I think. The weather was perfect--warm, but not stifling hot or muggy, it didn't rain...just right! Then we had cake & ice cream, a pinata, and she opened her gifts. Let's just say that by the end of the night, she was exhausted! :) Here are some pictures from the evening...

THE princess cake. It didn't turn out quite like I thought it would, but Anna didn't notice :) The Barbie was a bit taller than the cake, so I had to shove her in there--thus the reason she's a little cockeyed! But Anna loved it and asked today if she could have another Barbie cake, this time Ariel!

Princess Anna and her cake

Fun in the pool

I couldn't believe she didn't mind all the splashing and getting her face/head soaked!

She almost cried when everybody sang "Happy Birthday"!

But then she got to blow out the candles :)


A cash register from Mama & Daddy!!!

From the time Papa walked from the bathroom to the living room (we have a TINY house....) she was out cold. She didn't even hardly wake up when we put her jammies on!!!

It was a wonderful night that she will remember! Thank you to all the friends and family that came and made it a special day for her! :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy weekend/week

We spent the weekend celebrating my grandparents' 60th anniversary! Wow. What a testiment that is to their commitment--to the Lord and to each other! We had a lot of fun. A surprise gift for them was a hot air balloon ride (nice work Warene!). They loved it! We got to watch them set up the balloons and a couple of my uncles even got to help.
Then the kids & I went back to Iowa with Mom & Dad for a few days. The weather was gorgeous up there and, as always, the kids had fun. Anna just told me today, "Mom, I had so much bun (fun) at Papa's's Binga's house too!!" (when Mom was in the hospital for so long, in her mind it became just Papa's house--Binga lived in the hospital. So now that Binga is home, it's her house now too!) Papa just becomes another kid when the kids visit and they play as much as they can :) She even rode the mower again, after MUCH convincing and wearing her headphones from the van (I didn't get a picture this time, but it was very cute). She really dislikes very loud noises, and his mower is very loud. But she always has so much fun riding and steering. And after she gets off, she says "Dat wasn't so bad Mom". What a kid. She is VERY excited about the upcoming princess party. This morning she wanted to know if she could have her party today. Let's just say she wasn't happy when I told her she had to wait another day!
And Jacob is all over the place now. He's finally realized that he can crawl from room to room. Luckily for me, I can hear it when he decides to go somewhere b/c he really pounds his hands on the floor as he goes! ha And sometimes he just screams. Ugh! That is so annoying and I'm not having very much luck breaking that nasty habit :( My dad tells him to use his man voice, which I think is hilarious, but it seems to work sometimes. Anna has taken to telling him that too. Which is even more hilarious!

I finally caught the scrunchy nose grin!!

Happy 60th Grandpa & Grandma!!! :)

Rough life, isn't it?

The balloon van got stuck, so all the guys helped get it out. What a family! :)

It was really cool to watch how they got the balloon ready to go. To air it up, they used a big fan and basically blew it up while some volunteers (my unlces) held the ropes up so the air could get in. It was HUGE, too.

Off they go!

A garage sale find of Papa's...Anna loves playing with it. Actually, aside from playing with the kitchen a little bit, this is pretty much all she played with this visit! And Jacob decided to crawl over and take a look...whoops. Actually, I think he was just going for his book, which happened to be in the middle of it.

"Noooooooooooo Jacob! "

She is devastated (such drama!)

Papa takes care of things...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mom Update

Another good report!!! :-)

Her hard work paid off as she did pretty well this last weekend. Was totally drained when we got home Sunday night but slept well that night too. We talked on way home that it must be about 5 months since we had made any trips at all, so was good to "get out". The folks' 60th anniversary went very well, everyone had a good time.
Jenni, Anna and Jacob came back with us. Some of you were laughing at my story about the powered cart, but yesterday the gals and Anna and Jacob went to a store where there were these powered things and Anna and Nona were driving it (glad I wasn't around) and went into the clothing department and Nona claims that Anna pushed on the gas at the wrong time and they knocked over whole rack of clothes. And you thought I was kidding about the wheely.... (he's not kidding either. Jacob & I were off in another isle and come back to tell her what I'd found and see an entire rack of clothes on the floor--like the arm thing was completely off--there was no fixing it!! And as we left the store, Anna says "I really like those carts Mama!!!" uh oh...)

Still on for Mayo, it is coming fast now. Pray for wisdom for doctors and for Nona as she is not looking forward to more tests - don't blame her. Still doing the IV at home so will be taking that with us. Thanks for all the kind words and prayers. Cecil

Friday, June 13, 2008

Baby proof

Oh no...he's discovered the computer! And he is excited--especially by the lights. Anna never bothered the computer, so we never did anything to "baby proof" it. I think we'll have to do something this time around!!
HAHAHAHAHA (a face like that can only mean one thing--TROUBLE!)

"Yea for me! I found something FUN!"

Slowly making progress on the new patio. The kids "help"...actually, Anna does a pretty good job. She's content to just sit nearby and play. She even carried bricks to me!

This is how we make sure Jacob gets enough iron in his diet...give him a chisel!
I'M KIDDING! (not about that being a is)

He thinks he's hot stuff now that he can stand up by himself in the tub. He can pull himself up in his crib, too. I told Aaron we better get his mattress moved down another notch. I hope he's not a climber like his daddy was (oh that I could be so lucky!)...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Update on Mom

Here is the latest update from Dad...always good to hear good news and even a joke :)

She is really trying to get stronger, she made it all the way down and up the stairs using each leg (she has only been able to start with her "good" leg going up the stairs because the other one is weaker and couldn't use it to go up). Wears her out but shows she is getting stronger. Also ventured out to a store today - she needed something but didn't know what it was until she saw it, uh huh..... She used the little powered cart thing and I will be glad when she doesn't have to use that anymore - I thought I was keeping up and next thing I knew she was 8 rows over and I lost her several times..... Think I saw her do a wheely once..
Nausea has come at times but doesn't last as long and then is gone. Thankful for that. Mayo is moved to June 24th. Thanks for the prayers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The stats

It's official...he's still big :) And the doctor said he's working on at least 2 more teeth (wonderful...he got 3 in at once last time and worked on them for 2 months!!). I didn't mention that he's been eating table food for a couple of months already. He just refused to eat the baby food anymore, and the only table food he'd had up to then was just crackers so I don't know why he quit eating the baby food. "Healthy as a horse" he said. Pretty fitting analogy, I'd say! I put an 18 month romper outfit on him this morning--it was too short!!! He's also behind on his immunizations, so he had to get shots today (normally they don't have any at 9 months). When I told Anna last night that Jacob had to go to the doctor and get shots, she got pretty upset. "Dat's MY brudder!!!". I explained to her why he had to get shots, and then she was okay with it. But then when he started crying, she started getting upset again and told the nurses "Hey! Dat's MY brudder!!" Too precious. We're all good now :) Jacob took a couple of fairly decent naps this afternoon and pretty soon we'll head up to watch Daddy play softball.

Oh, so here's his "stats"...

Height: 29 1/2" -- 90th percentile
Weight: 25 1/2 lbs. -- 92nd percentile
Head: 19" (his head didn't grow as much as the rest of him, which is fine b/c he had a big head before!)

Peek-A-Boo & Camo

Jacob is slowly starting to realize that he can crawl for more than just a toy (not quite, though!) He really does love to stand, so I'm hoping that means he'll walk long before Anna did (15 months)!! He has his 9 month checkup today, so we'll see what his "stats" are :)

I came out to the living room to find them playing "peek-a-boo" cute :)

And Anna decided to use the laundry basket to make herself a crib--pillow, blanket and all! Oh the imagination of a little girl :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sound sleeper

So I go in to check on the kids before I go to bed (which has now been delayed b/c I couldn't wait to post this picture!). And this is how I found Anna...
She rolled out of bed (we just took the little rail off, mostly b/c it was annyoing me!). She didn't make a sound. But she just rolled right out, blanket and all! She didn't even move when I put her back in bed. Maybe all the jumping wore her out!
And Jacob still LOVES
his jumper! He's over the weight limit (shhh! don't tell!!), but he has so much fun. He just goes to town jumping! :)