Monday, June 30, 2008

Our First Harvest!

The other morning we were outside checking out the garden and here are some of the new things we found.  Our first pumpkin!

The bean teepee is a fun breakfast spot.  The beans are getting taller.

The tomato plants are huge and many have green tomatoes on the vines.  Here's the Mr. Stripey!

The garden is booming and some vegetables are ripe for the picking.  Here are some of the first picks.

Yellow squash!

Green Beans!

Maybe we should cook them first!

Okay, Mommy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

I'm looking forward to playing with you soon up in Idaho, Grandpa!

We hope  your day is a great one!  Miss you.
Joshua, Jen, and Mason (and Onyx, too)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wagon Pulling-It's the new Spin Class!

Mason loves to go for rides in the wagon.  He recently discovered how to hold on tight and speed along the big, brown lawn with the wind whipping through his hair.  

Just look at that smile.  Who could resist wearing themselves out running up and down the yard, pulling this cutie behind them?

Not mom and dad, that's for sure.

Mason knows this.  He is now tall enough, 

and strong enough,

to pull himself into the wagon,

and let you know he is ready for your workout.

"Okay guys, who's it going to be?  All you have to do is grab hold of that handle right there!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer of Reuse!

So this summer is all about creativity. I sometimes feel as though we could be on one of those HGTV shows. A combo of the one where they come through and make you look through all your junk for what to keep, get rid of, sell whatever, and any of those landscaping shows, along with one of those fixer upper kinds. We have begun the process of cleaning out our garage. Looking for ways to reuse/remodel the stuff we already have to create things we need for our new yard "areas". My brother, Chris, recently loaned us the DVD for that show Living with Ed. For those of you who haven't seen it, it is a show about actor Ed Begley Jr. and all of his eco-friendly ways that drive his wife crazy. We watched a few episodes which became inspiration for this Reuse Craze. I did like his bike that is hooked up to his toaster to create electricity. He rides for about ten minutes on his terrace and then eats his toast. I can relate, haul gravel, dig holes, build stuff, lift 30 lb. baby. Who needs to go to a gym?

Anyway, back on it all started one night when I was on a cleaning binge and I dragged Josh outside after Mason was asleep and we began to work. He started digging out random things out of the garage and hammering them to this huge piece of wood. He turned it all into this functional work of art that now stands in our garden. An amazing garden totem, complete with places to grow things, hangs tools...I love it.

Mason loves it, too. It is fun to decorate around it with shells that Onyx can steal and drag around the yard.

We are also making and outdoor kitchen for Mason as they are "all the rage". Open any yard magazine and they have an article about them. Mason loves the kitchen and loves to play in them at all the kids stores, yet our little plastic castle is full of train table, also a favorite of his, so Outdoor Kitchen it is. We, of course are creating it out of stuff in the garage. Here is our little one helping out with it.

"Looking pretty good to me!"

"I think Dad needs my help for sure."

And like all the'll have to wait to see the final product after a few words from our sponsors.

Blah, Blah, Blah!

Mason loves to chat. When he's awake he has a lot to say. We are beginning to understand more and more, however, if you have had the pleasure of chatting with him over the phone, you know that he still speaks in code.

Now you have yourself a visual for your next phone chat, babble, whatever.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Farmer's Market

We decided to spend yesterday away from our yard labors. We took a quick trip to the Sunrise Farmer's Market. We were only there for about 15 minutes, but it was still enough time to buy some fruits and corn, catch a few tunes from the Loose Trio, see a friend, swallow a cherry pit (Mason), and just enjoy the 105 degree temperature.

Quick! Everyone! Back inside the house with the new AC!

Yard Work

It has been a full summer so far. We have spent the last two weeks working non-stop on our yard. Mason enjoys helping out with many of the tasks as well. Some of his all time favorites are:

watering the oak barrels,

checking the bean plants for ladybugs and, well, beans,

heading to the home improvement stores for more supplies,

helping mom shovel gravel,

and being an all around great helper!

Father's Day Bake Off

Our fabulous friends, Nora, Pedar, and Casey, all came over last Saturday. That was a blast, but that is not what I am here to talk about today. Nora was telling us about meeting a lady in the supermarket who said that she was making cinnamon rolls and bacon for her hubby for father's day. This got me thinking... Hummm, what do I want for Father's Day breakfast? I had some left over pizza dough, and, dough is dough, so:

The next morning, Mason helped me roll out the dough and spread the butter, sugar and cinnamon while Jen went to the store for some pecans, raisins and sausage (I don't really like cooking bacon... too much grease!). Mason was a bit hesitant about getting his hands greasy, but once he learned that sugar+butter+cinnamon=salivatory bilss, he was dandy.

Once the raisins and pecans were in place, and I was able to keep Mason from picking them off the dough, we rolled up the dough. We were not feeling patient to let them rise on this day, so we popped them into the oven.

We spent most of the 30 minutes of bake time just staring at the sugary carbs of wonder as they baked away. I believe I have quite a sioux chief in the making. Thanks for giving me a great Father's Day treat. I wouldn't be even a fraction of the father I am without Jen and Mason. I am grateful for all they have allowed me to experience in my life. I would not be a father without them.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Donut King

At times, our healthy lifestyle gets thrown aside, and we give props to high carb, high fat, high sugar treats.

Mason has been recently introduced to these small rings of carnal delight and has even developed a preference. When I placed an old fashioned on his napkin, he looked at the plate of other selections and reached for the rainbow sprinkle (that's my boy!) and placed it on his napkin instead.

M for Mason. MMM for donuts!

Summer Reading

Mason loves a good book before bed. Usually he sticks to the classics: 8 Silly Monkeys, I See A Monster, Meet Snoopy. However, a few nights ago, he had a taste for something a bit more racy. So, he dug up this trashy romance novel from my bookshelf and took it to bed.

I bet you didn't know dates could be so scandalous!

Artist in Residence

So, I had this old desk in my classroom that nobody (myself included) wanted. I don't even know where it came from. I just walked into my classroom one day, and there it was. Kind of like The Shoemaker and the Elves, but less cool and less useful... until now.

Jen has been busy transforming our patio into a playroom. This is very useful. Kids, it turns out, come with their fair share of stuff. We have not even bought any of this stuff (probably the work of the desk elves). Anyway, I took that desk, lopped off the legs at the ankles and now it is a fine art desk for Mason.

The summer of recycling continues with this easel. This showed up in our driveway one morning and was partially broken. It was originally built for three artists, but, being a crowd, I repaired the two useable portions and now...

Ta-Dah! Art for the masses. Well, for two.
We wanted to limit Mason's color palate to promote his creativity. That, and, well, we only had orange.

Apparently the elf suppliers are experiencing some sort of paint embargo.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just a little corny!

With summer comes delicious corn on the cob. Mason has discovered this tasty treat and finds it to be the perfect summer vegetable. It is sweet, juicy, fun to shuck,

portable, and you get to stab little plastic holders into the ends of it.

Lucky for us we had a long, narrow weed patch on the side of our yard that we have transformed into a corn field. Mason helped push the seeds into the soil and this week they are about 3 inches tall.

I can hardly wait to see the look on his face when we pick the ears later this summer.