Friday, May 29, 2009

Five for Friday

1. Jake told me a few weeks ago that he had seen a snapping turtle down by the bus stop. I've been panicked about this ever since because snapping turtles are one thing that you don't want inhabiting a pond! Since the kids spend a lot of time frogging, catching tadpoles and fish, a snapping turtle in the vicinity is bad news! Not to mention, my ducks would make a fine meal for this guy!

Brian spotted it again last Saturday starting to make it's way across the street onto our side (destination: pond!) I immediately gave him the command to shoot it with his pellet gun! I'm very anti-hunting and killing animals for sport, but this was just something that had to be done.

If this were the kind of thing that we could just capture and release it somewhere else then we would have done that. These guys are mean and we would risk getting chunks taken out of us in the relocation attempt. I felt pretty bummed out about the whole thing the whole day. I just hated seeing an innocent thing die like that.

2. Onto a lighter topic...

When the kids were all looking for souvenirs the other day at Hershey Park, I kept trying to convince Reilly to purchase something that had "Hershey" printed on it. Instead, she chose these "Barbie" sunglasses which could be purchased ANYWHERE!

I noticed the "souvenir-ized" sunglasses yesterday with "Hershey Park" written on them in marker.

This just cracked me up to no end!--Most of the time she seems to resent any advice that I offer her and even if deep down, she might agree with what I'm saying, she will do the complete opposite just to be defiant. She usually ends up ultimately taking my advice, but only later and I can't make any mention of it and say things like "I told you so"...

3. My neighbor, Lynda, and I put together this box of goodies for a guy that is serving in the military in Afghanistan. He is someone who is serving with my blogger friend, Jen's, husband Shane. Shane had mentioned to Jen that this man never gets any letters or packages. We had a great time thinking of things that he might enjoy. The kids all drew cute pictures and we wrote him a letter. I don't know why I didn't scan the cards to document! Oh well...just know that they were really sweet.

This was originally intended to be done over Memorial Day weekend, but the time just got away from me. So....better late than never....

4. This is how big of a weakness for candy that I have...
These Mike & Ikes were originally intended for the military goody box. I couldn't even resist having them in my house for one measly afternoon! It was a toss up of these or Hot Tomales!
I am soooo getting diabetes!

I eat them in, pink, orange, yellow and! I don't like the green flavor even though it's my favorite color...Go figure!

5. Be still my heart! My first peony opened today! This variety is called 'Gay Paree' and usually opens before the 'Sarah Burnhart' ones do. Can you believe that nature can produce such beauty and perfection?! I mean REALLY!

**Would you have tried to capture the turtle and relocate it?
**Did you think it was funny that Reilly "souvenir-ized" her sunglasses?
**Have you sent any "good mail" to someone serving in the military lately?
**Are you a candy nut?
**Is that peony just crazy beautiful, or what?!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

garden tour


The fragrance is intoxicating!
This is a veiw of the beginning of the path as you enter the herb/rose garden.

Although there are many blooms on the rose bushes, some of them have already shown signs of blackspot...Unfortunately, I think all the rain we got a couple of weeks ago spurred that on. However, I think everything is greener now than it's ever been.

Growing roses in Pennsylvania is an uphill battle, (it's very humid and hot here in the summers), but I enjoy them so much, it's worth all the hours I put into this hobby!

In addition to blackspot, we also get Japanese beetles which are beyond destructive. I seem to have planted a Japanese beetle garden...grrrrrrrr

I haven't been able to go the organic route when treating my roses for diseases--(other than a manure tea that I make up for them). I have to use bold chemicals to keep the blackspot at bay.

Collette climbing rose...

Lemon balm, oregano, lavender, daylilies, calamint, English roses, oriental poppies...

Shrub roses, russian sage, foxglove, tea roses, floribunda roses...

verbascum (peach flowers on right) and lime thyme

Brian keeps asking me why I don't have more peony plants since I'm so in love with them...

Just wait until they open up!!! I'll be sure to document that glorious occasion!

I love the irises that grow all along the perimeter of the pond! The yellow ones bloom first and are then followed by the purple.

This is a picture of our shade garden in the side back yard. This was another project that Brian and I did together. This little shade garden wasn't here when we moved in, either.
Look at how the color of the creeping jenny really pops all of the different shades of green...

This plant in the middle is called Lady's Mantel. It's one of my favorites to use in flower arrangments. Unfortunately, it only blooms in late spring / early summer.

I keep forgetting to take weekly pictures of the vegetable garden to see how quickly things are progressing from week to week.

Gardener's Creed

I believe in good brown earth,

sun and seed and soil,

Rest is sweetest when it

comes after happy toil.

I believe in miracles, bud and

leaf and fruit,

Springing into loveliness from

the miracle root.

I believe that God, who made worm and bird and bee,

Wanted us to make His world

beautiful to see.

Meant us to be gardeners,

making green things grow,

I believe we do His work

when we plant and sow.

I believe that He whose hand

fashioned Eden's bowers,

Put into the heart of man,

love of trees and flowers.

That is why a garden gives us

blessing manifold,

Health and healing and

contentment, peace and joys


By Martha Lowry

**What is your passion?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sweet Memories...

Brian and I took the kids to Hershey Park for Memorial Day. This was the first year that we didn't go to our ward picnic...

Brian's not a big fan of amusement parks, but we've been hearing so many great things about Hershey and so decided that it would be a fun treat for the kids...
Boy!--were we right!!
The drive to Hershey was beautiful! It was about 2 hours from our house...
Lots of rolling hills and farm land...

It's such a cute park!--Everything is so clean and the staff was wonderful!

The scrambler was the first ride that I went on with the kids...
For whatever reason, ever since I've had children, I get dizzy on rides that I never used to...
I shant be attempting "scramblerish" rides again...
I'll stick to rollercoasters...

Jake was a little scared, but Reilly didn't even flinch!

The park measures the height of each person by candy categories...
Jake was a Twizzler...

Ellie and Reilly were both Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Jake's first roller coaster...The Comet!
He was scared out of his pants!
We all actually went on this one...
The girls seemed unfazed...
We all waited in line for the bumper cars only to be told that Reilly and Ellie were too small to go-
They both erupted into a puddle of tears...
This was about the time that we started to see "donkey ears!"
Brian and I were both laughing about the fact that the kids had that greedy look in their eyes...
We were just waiting to see some tails emerging as well...

To appease the donkeys, we went on a little kiddy water ride...
This seemed to get everyone smiling again...

and then took a stroll through the zoo that they had...
We all fell in love with the prairie dogs...
Is it possible to have these as pets???!!! If so, I'm all over it!

Brian had the privilege of going on this 4 times!

The frog hopper was another favorite...

But nothing compared to this!
The Tidal Force!
We got so utterly soaked! It was a glorious ride! We went on this 4 times!
Note to self: Next time--bring bathing suits!

Midafternoon snack...

sweet friend!

we stopped here for souvenirs...(Reilly chose $10 barbie sunglasses...the same ones that Target sells for $4...) I kept trying to encourage her to get something that was more unique to Hershey, but she wasn't taking my advice--go figure!?

On our way out of the park, we stopped off at Chocolate World for a quick little tour. It's not an actual factory tour, but it is a little ride that takes you through a virtual tour and explains how chocolate is made...It was very interesting
We each got a miniature Hershey bar at the end...
All this talk of chocolate gave me a massive craving for it! I get the same way every time I watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...
I'm not a huge fan of regular milk chocolate, (I prefer dark), but I swear, I never enjoyed chocolate more than I did that sample!

It was a great day!! The weather was perfect and the park wasn't overly crowded! Bonus!

I remember counting my lucky stars that Ellie hadn't fallen like she usually does--when, at one point as Jake and I were coming back from the bathroom, Brian told me that she had slipped on the sidewalk and sliced her knee...

Thank goodness Brian works for Johnson and Johnson! We go through bandaids by the hundreds!

As that was our only casualty, I'd say the day was a smashing success!
We definitely will look back on our trip to Hershey Park with fond memories!

**Have you ever been to Hershey Park?
**Are you a fan of roller coasters?
**Do you prefer milk or dark chocolate?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Five for Friday

1. Two weeks ago, I took Reilly to see a ballet performance of Sleeping Beauty. Our neighbor, Regina Day, was dancing in it along with her sister, Emalee (who is Reilly's buddy).

I was very impressed with the performance, however, it was almost 3 hours long with 2 intermissions. I think Reilly lost interest after the first hour, but it was still fun to go and show our support to the girls.

I'll go ahead and admit it, I really want to appreciate the ballet more than I do, but I just have trouble following the story when there isn't any talking. I feel the same way about the opera...Both of these things make me edgy! There!--I said it!

I wanted to take them flowers, however, I was having trouble finding single roses that looked decent or gerbera daisies.

I decided to purchase a dozen roses and make my own arrangements. The orange roses really stood out to me, so I bought those ($10 per dozen--thank you Wegman's!) I used spirea (the chartreuse color foliage)--it's actually a landscaping shrub, but I use it a lot in arrangements because the color always pops whatever else I have in there. I also used lily of the valley
and pink azaleas. Lately, I've been loving the pink and orange combination. It's so cheerful!

I was very pleased with how these arrangements turned out...(I actually made 3 of them). My friend Heather and her daughter also went with us to see a friend of theirs that was performing in the ballet as well.

2. Ellie's last day of pre-school was yesterday. I must admit that I'm slightly relieved to have that be over with for the summer. Although it was nice to have 3 mornings a week where I had 2 hours to myself, I always dreaded the interaction with the other moms while we were standing in the hall waiting for the kids to go in to the classroom.
I never understood how everyone would chat during the field trips that we went on but then the next day, act like they had never even met you. I was perplexed by this and struggled all year with this "cold shoulder" kind of attitude.
Perhaps everyone felt like, since this is pre-school, we'll never see each other again after this year is over? Whatever the reason, it made for many awkward hallway moments, trying to act extremely interested in some kids artwork just to avoid having to talk with one of the other mothers.
No, this is not one of my daughters!
3. Jake's third grade class has been learning about Egypt, so they all had to dress up for a big Egypt day celebration. Apparently the men back then wore eye make-up as well as heavily jeweled collars.
This was what our costume interpretation looked like.
I was so ticked off with him yesterday because he forgot to take in his collar! (One of the main elements to the costume). Not only did I spend $14 on a huge bag of jewels, but I ended up having to hot glue every one of them on after the elmer's glue that he had used didn't work.
I get very frustrated with his scatterbrained ways!

4. After school yesterday, Brady and Jake got together for their usual frogging escapades.
I had to laugh when Brady came running over to tell me that he found a pregnant frog. I asked him how he knew, and he said it was because of all the eggs that were on her belly.
I'm no frog expert, but I'm pretty sure those aren't eggs but rather pores or something along those lines...

5. I just had to document this! Just one of the many things I did yesterday--a freshly vacuumed van!
I really should have taken a before picture to fully appreciate the magnitude of my accomplishment! Let's see how long we can keep it this way!

**Are you a fan of ballets?

*Do you like orange and pink combinations?

**Have you ever been snubbed by pre-school moms?

**Would you have laughed at Brady's remark about the frog eggs?

**Do you struggle to keep a clean car?