Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturdays and S'mores

Someone get me an almanac, because I believe today was the longest Saturday on record. We crammed a lot of stuff into one day - even though we spent most of it at home. Much of it I shall not write about since it involves a mother's day surprise.

This morning we had our Wii party - a monthly ritual at our house. The highlight of my entire week came as I was tucking Maysen into the big cushy recliner with a giant pink, boofy blanket and positioning her perfectly centered in front of the giant 8 foot movie screen which glowed with Mario Kart goodness: she looked at me and said "Dad, I love are so cool." It was exactly what I needed after being both mom and dad for the week.
Tonight we roasted marshmellows and made s'mores and hot chocolate out on the deck.

For those that are curious, this is what a perfectly put together s'more looks like as it's being gently squeezed so that the chocolate and marshmellow blend together in melted naughtiness.

Stockton's not much for a marshmellow roast, but he humored me with the occasional visit to the fire and a quick pose for the camera.

Marshmellow roasting is of course the highest expression of the outdoor cooking art form.

I planned to throw a steak on for dinner as well, but couldn't wait and had one for lunch with corn on the cob and a big mug of root beer.

Maysen doesn't mess around when it comes to marshmellow roasting. She is deadly serious about her craft.

Everyone knows that smoke follows beauty
Stockton and I ran down earlier in the day to Men's Wearhouse to pick up my suit and try on Stockton's Tux jacket for John and Cassie's wedding. I had taken my suit in for the "free" alterations since I have lost 30 pounds since I bought it.

Stockton wasn't very excited about going to the suit store, but he really seemed to enjoy trying on the jacket and checking himself out in front of the mirror. He could use a haircut though.

Jorja, Maysen, Preston and I spent an hour outside today hunting more worms for their garden. Those girls like it so much that I think we're going to build a worm composter and let them hunt worms for one of their chores.
And now, with the kids finally asleep, we have reached the part of the evening where Mike rushes off to embark on a cleaning marathon since his wife will be home in less than 10 hours.....

Friday, May 8, 2009

Raingutter Gardening

Steph is out of town in Utah this week for her brother's wedding, so it's been just me and the kids.

Today we made a raingutter garden. We had tried making a garden in the yard a couple of years ago, but as hot and miserable as it gets here, it was hard to get out and go all the way down to take a look how things were going.

So this time, I bought a $5 raingutter and some mounting brackets and screwed the gutter to the bottom of the railing on one side of the deck.

The girls took turns hauling buckets of our nice, dark dirt we had mixed up for the last garden and filled the gutter. They had an absolute blast!

We divided the garden mostly between Maysen and Jorja, though I have a small area on each of the two ends. If we get anything to grow, we may add a few more gutters along the other edges of the deck and add a second row near the tops of the railings. We decided to start with the gutter down low so that peas and things can climb up the rails. We can easily attach some kind of climbing net for them there if we need to.

This setup should work out nicely for us, since the garden will be visible from the main living area and it will be easy for the girls to go out to work without having to trudge all the way out and down into the yard.

Jorja went to the store with me to get seeds. She happily planted flowers and peas in her areas, and let me put carrots, and radishes next to her. Maysen planted flowers and strawberries. We really wanted to find some strawberry plants, but there was none to be seen. So, we bought a carton of strawberries from the grocery store and buried about 6 of those. We have no idea if those will actually grow, but it's worth a try.

(Perhaps my lovely wife could figure out a way to bring/send some strawberry starts from Utah? I bet she could weasel some from my brother's yard. Hmm.....)

Maysen let me plant tomatoes and peppers in my area next to hers.

When the seeds were planted, Maysen and Jorja went on a great worm hunt. I don't know how they found so many, but apparently they are good at finding them in the back yard under the leaves. They put 25 or 30 of them into the garden to help take care of it.

Each of them had their favorite worms...but I don't seem to recall what they named them at the moment.

It was very cute to watch them working together, sifting through the dirt to find their new worm friends and placing them carefully in their new homes.

I believe Jorja is holding "lightning" in this picture....

So one might ask what Preston was doing during all this time. I believe I'll let the pictures do the talking...

About this time we headed in for the tub.... (after getting mud out of Preston's mouth)
In case you can't read Preston's shirt, it says: "Mischief is my business, and business is GOOD!". How fitting!