Shelves

image

IKEA shelving!  My project for the day!  I bought these used and built them today.  I love it!  We aren’t going to use it as an entertainment center, just as storage shelves in the basement. 

Ruggles Mine

Yesterday was a beautiful day so we took a trip to Ruggles Mine.  Everyone was pretty excited for the outing.  We packed a picnic lunch and our rock collecting gear, we studied the rock guides, and we slathered on the sunscreen.

samples

Lex was filling his sample jars with mica before we even got out of the parking lot!

view

The view is just amazing! All the way around.

lunch

We started with a picnic lunch, despite protests from the kids, who were super eager to get into the mine!

mine entry p1

Almost there… must pose for a picture first.

mine entry p2

Or a few pictures. :)

into the mine

Into the mine! At last!

bright opening

Dad, pausing to explain something on the ceiling to Eve (who you can barely see in the shadow).

pillar

Don’t hammer on the pillar!

cave view

First stop, into the caves to check out the water level.

eve in pink

This picture cracks me up because Eve looks so delicate and pink. She brought a stuffed animal in a carry bag and just looks delicate. That lasted about a minute before the toy went into the rock bag and her hands were filled with tools!

cave water

In the caves.

lex

Handsome boy, always happy to smile for the camera.

dad

Dad, chiseling away what we thought was beryl but maybe wasn’t.

lex quartz

Lex, working hard on a big block of quartz. I wanted to just take the whole thing home!

eve chisel

Eve, hard at work, or so it would seem. When I got a little closer I discovered the true story.

eve stuck

This is her “I’m a little embarrassed” smile. Turns out she had hammered the chisel straight into a crack in the wall with no clear idea how to use a chisel or how to get it out of the wall!

lesson

Grandpa Tom to the rescue. He got the chisel out and gave her a lesson on how to use it.

holes

I think these holes are so cool. I always imagine ancient cave dwellers living in them. Turns out it’s just the results from past blasting. Still pretty, but a much less cool story.

mema rock

Nice find, Mema!

dad and kids

Miners, hard at work.

entry

Looking back towards the entry.

peeking eve

There is a kid-sized tunnel that runs in the rock. In the tunnel is one little window for peeking out.

tunnel end

The end of the tunnel. I went through a few times, but as a semi-tall person I had to stay bent over for most of the path. Not the most comfortable, but it is pretty cool inside.

mica

I love this big sheet of mica, also known as isinglass (Mema, I Googled it!) It is super fragile, but thanks to Mema’s good ideas it survived the trip home and now decorates my shelf.

eve creek

Eve took it upon herself to help this little creek flow better. All along the way she moved rocks, terraformed the muddy banks, and did what she could to assist the creek. Thoughtful girl. :)

brave mema

Mema The Brave offered to hold the chisel while Lex hammered off a piece of this quartz. I’m happy to say it was an injury free day!

rocks at the bottom

Near the end, looking back.

mica rock

Grandpa Tom found this big rock full of mica. He and the kids chipped away at it, creating beautiful mica glitter.

snack

We made it to the end! Time to refuel before turning around and heading up the hill, carrying bags full of rocks!

lex and mema

Happy miners!

heading back

On our way back up the path.

family p1

Me and the kids.

family p2

Eve was happy this day that we both were wearing “hats with brims that go all the way around to protect our necks and ears.” All those times I encouraged her to wear a hat with a good brim and she remembers and encourages me as well. :)

carving

This rock was full of names and initials. Dad added a few of his own.

initials

T + ME

couple

Awww… the cute couple!

hard work

We all worked together to carry five bags of rocks out of the mine!

rest

Back at the top we flopped down to watch the information video and rest!

I “carried out” way more photos than rocks!  Many of these are probably exactly the same as I took when we went to Ruggles Mine two years ago, but I’m not even going to look or link back to that post so they’ll all seem fresh and new. :)

After we got done mining we had another snack, then headed home.  Along the way we passed a cool looking playground so we made a quick stop.  The littles in our group still had plenty of energy to burn!  After that stop we decided ice cream was in order.  Sadly my camera broke at the playground so I didn’t get any pictures of the rest of our day.  You’ll have to just imagine our delight at eating ice cream by the lake on a beautiful day!

We got home in time to unload, unpack, and order pizza for dinner!  A good day was had by all!  I love summer vacation!

Arizona trip (final day and heading home)

This last vacation post will be quick one.  The last full day we were there was a quiet one.  We took it slow in the morning… maybe did something else that I’m forgetting at the moment… then went to Amy’s house for the afternoon.  We swam and ate and had fun.  Alan and Ian bonded over World Cup soccer while Amy and I discussed daycares and family planning.  You know, the usual stuff.  Lex discovered their X-Box Knect and played some fun racing games.  We had pizza for dinner.  It was a great final day in Arizona!

andrew

We had fun with this little guy. Where’s the toy?

eve

Eve regressed to her baby self. :)

glasses

Andrew loved Eve’s glasses. She thought it was hysterical that he kept pulling them off. :)

pool

There’s the noodle pony picture I was looking for!

eve pool

This was a total snapshot that ended up looking really cool!

xbox

Lex was feeling a little grumpy (not enough sleeping, perhaps?!) but cheered right up when he discovered they have an X-Box.

Monday finally arrived and with it came goodbyes and long flights.

eve animals 1

All the animals say good bye.

eve animals 2

Eve said the animals (Dolphy, Bamboo, and Jeesis) were all very sad to be leaving Arizona.

Long flights on a plane that had seat back screens!  Movies, TV, music, games, and more!  Alan watched TV, the kids played games, and I did enrichment activities!  Ha!  I played Bejeweled and read magazines while my kids were glued to the screen!  It was a great flight! :)

eve screen

Ooohhh… screens on the seat back = happy children!

lex screen

He sat upright in his seat for three hours playing games on the screen, and he was one happy flier!

map

This is my favorite part. Years ago when I flew to Europe they had one of these and I loved watching our path. This is the first plane I’ve been on since that had one. I wish all planes did!

crop circles

What’s with the crazy circle fields below?!

We made it safely home.  Our flight arrived around 111:30pm.  The kids and I waited for baggage (which went awesome and smooth this entire trip!) while Alan hiked to long-term parking to get our car.  He’s a good man.  Then we made a stop at McD’s for a late-night snack that we all regretted and headed home!  It was very late when we finally rolled into our garage, but everyone was safe and happy.  We are an awesome traveling family!  We’d be a globe-trotting family if only it weren’t so darn expensive!

Up next… a vacation in Franklin!  Blog post coming soon! :)

Arizona trip (Sedona and the Grand Canyon)

We decided to extend our vacation through the weekend so we could go to the Grand Canyon together as a family, once Alan’s training was complete.  Every time we mentioned the trip to an Arizona local they said, “Oh, you have to go to Sedona too!”  Well, ok.  We left bright and early Saturday morning with the intent to drive the four hour drive to the Grand Canyon via Sedona (making it more like a five hour drive), stopping for lunch somewhere along the way.

cacti

Cacti!

more cacti

More cacti. It was everywhere and we took a lot of pictures, but I won’t bore you with them all. :)

Approaching Sedona.  Sorry for all the car pictures.  The AZ DOT said the road north of Sedona, leading to the Grand Canyon, was impassible, so we had planned to have lunch in Sedona then go back the way we came to the highway, then on to the Grand Canyon.  My plan was to stop on the way back at a viewing area and take pictures, and let Eve out of the car to find the red rock she so desperately wanted.  However, when we got to Sedona a chipper young girl at the information booth swore the road was open and the view was amazing, so after lunch we proceeded north.  Sadly there were no more Sedona viewing areas from there and no more opportunities for red rock collection.  I owe Eve another trip to Sedona!

red rocks

Nearing Sedona. The rocks became redder and much more impressive.

silly kids

These kids are AWESOME travelers!

rotary

There were about five hundred (or so) rotaries on the road to Sedona. I thought at first my navigation was broken and repeating itself, then I realized there were just that many traffic circles!  They really DO NOT want you driving fast on that road!

sedona rocks p1

Sedona rocks

sedona rocks p2

More rocks.

sedona rocks p3

Can you imagine this in your back yard?

sedona rocks p4

Coming into Sedona. Sorry for all the car pictures.

lunch view

We had lunch at a place called Wildflower. Basically a Panera-type restaurant. It was yummy. We ate on the deck and the view was fantastic!  I think maybe we were looking at Castle Rock on the left and Cathedral Rock on the right.  Maybe.

lunch kids

They had bagels, of course, but they were happy.

After lunch we followed the information girl’s advice and headed north through Oak Creek Canyon.  The roads were narrow and twisty, and the views were amazing!

leaving sedona

Heading out of Sedona, towards Oak Creek Canyon.

rocks

The rocks and vegetation out here are just so different and so interesting. I wonder if AZ natives feel the same when they drive through VT?

oc canyon p1

Oak Creek Canyon

oc family selfie

Alan held down the button and took about 20 pictures in a row, trying to get a nice family shot. It didn’t work, but looking through them all is hysterical. I won’t bother posting all of them, but this is probably the best one.

oc family

After watching us laughing hysterically trying to take a selfie, a nice couple passing by offered to take a picture for us. :)

oc kids

The kids enjoyed the view. Lex said that Oak Creek Canyon make Quechee Gorge look small by comparison.

oc canyon

Yep, I think I’d agree with him!

oc jeesis

Jeesis enjoyed the view. Bamboo is next to her on the left.  I was terrified Jeesis would go over the edge and that would be the end of our family vacation. Thankfully everyone survived the canyon!

switchbacks

See all those road switchbacks? Yep, we drove that road!

Now, finally, off to the Grand Canyon!

on the way to the gc

As we approached the Grand Canyon the terrain leveled out and became more scrubby.

The goal was to get to the Grand Canyon in the early afternoon, stay a few hours, have dinner there, then head home in the dark.  We got there a little late, but otherwise did ok.  I took a million pictures and it’s hard to pick the best ones….

gc p1

So pretty.

gc p2

Sometimes there were fences, sometimes there were no fences.

gc p3

Grand Canyon

gc p4

Grand Canyon

gc family selfie

A family selfie at the Grand Canyon. We got a better one taken by a stranger, but it’s on my phone and may or may not make it to the blog.

gc p5

The rock formations are just amazing.

gc kids

We waited awhile to take a picture at this spot. We waited for a group of pretty young Italian (?) ladies to take 1001 Facebook photos. I think my kids are better than any of their photos! :)

gc eve

Eve was apparently watching closely because she very much wanted a picture here without Lex. When he walked away, she whipped out this pose… just like the young ladies before us. Sigh.

gc p6

See the people down on that ledge?! Thanks, but no thanks!

gc p7

Another one, no fences, no fears! (and probably no kids!)

gc p8

Grand Canyon

gc alan and kids

Alan and the kids. Hold on tight to those kiddos!

gc lex

Here is Lex’s Facebook profile picture!! :) (He wasn’t really THAT close the edge, FYI.)

gc alan

And Alan’s FB picture! :)

gc pic 9

Grand Canyon

gc pic 10

Grand Canyon

Last summer Lex had a pretty bad reaction to a bee sting and this year he is really jumpy around any flying, buzzy thing.  At one point we are standing on a ledge, overlooking the Grand Canyon, and a big bug buzzes right by.  Lex immediately starts spazzing out and trying to run away.  Alan and I of course freak out a bit, because he is jumping around and running on a ledge of the GRAND CANYON!  I got him calmed down, away from the ledge and the flying thing, and tried with all my terrified momma-heart to explain to him taht a) it was NOT a bee and b) a bee sting is better than falling off of the ledge into the GRAND CANYON!  He was not convinced and decided to play it a little safer and stay away from ledges and bugs, to the best of his ability.  Poor kiddo… but also a very smart kiddo!

gc lex hiding

Poor Lex. Do you see him up there?

gc pic 11

It amazes me that such a wide variety of vegetation can grow along the side of a cliff.

gc museum p1

Who holds the key to the future of the Grand Canyon?

gc museum p2

Apparently Eve does!

gc museum p3

Lex likes the science.

gc gift shop goodies

They brought their own money for gift shops on this trip. Eve bought a stuffed animal everywhere we went, including a humming bird from the Grand Canyon?! Lex was a little more thrifty with his money, but he bought a multi-purpose safari tool (compass, light, etc.) at the Grand Canyon.

We lasted about two hours before everyone was tired and ready to go.  Truthfully they were tired by the time we got there and Eve was in tears within the first 30 minutes.  Family vacations, ya know.  But we powered through and had a great time!  We stopped for pizza on the way out, then hit the road for a short, 4hr trip back to the hotel!  Eve conked right out, but Lex stayed awake for the whole trip and we all went to bed around midnight.

 

Arizona trip (hotel and the children’s museum)

The second full day we were in Arizona started a touch later than the first day, but still pretty early.  The kids and I did some exploring around our hotel while we waited for the pool to open.  I had a phone interview that morning, so I wanted to stay close by until that was done.  Our hotel was neat because all of the doors opened to the outside (motel-like) and it had a very irregular layout.  It made for great exploring.

pool area

Here’s a view of the pool area from a few floors up. Our room was on the ground floor, right near the pool gate. It was perfect.

limes

There were lime trees all around! I didn’t even notice they had limes on them until we got to an upper level and had a close-up view.

After our walk I let the kids swim while I had my interview.  It seemed pretty perfect to me, but I didn’t get the job and therefore maybe not the best interview location.  At one point I lost my train of thought completely when Eve went under and didn’t come back.  Fortunately she did come back moments later and fortunately I was interviewing with people I knew, so it was easy to explain the temporary lose of attention.

pool girl

Silly kids. They played all sorts of games, including karate ninja mermaids.

When the interview was over and the kids were thoroughly soggy (ha! like that ever happens!) we went back to the hotel room for a lunch of peanut butter crackers, yogurt, and fruit, then packed up for a trip to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  This place is AMAZING!  If we lived nearby I would totally have a membership!  One of the many, many, many things I loved about it was that each area had a theme, and each area had a baby sub-area that fit with the same theme.  Not that I needed it, but it was cool that you could bring big kids and little ones and everyone could have fun and still stick together.  Anyway, so many cool things about this place!

climbing structure p1

When you first walk in there is a giant, two-story climbing structure.

climbing structure p2

I love all the crazy details, so many are recycled craft projects too.

climbing structure p3

A bathtub with wings? Why not?! The ramp leads right into it as well, so the kids can play in there. Fun!!

I wish I had the panoramic feature that the iPhones have.  This would have made a good panorama picture instead of taking it in three shots.

shoes

A shoe rack, outside of a “socks only” area.

noodle forest

Noodle forest. Seriously cool.

wrench xylophone

A wrench xylophone. One of many hardware related musical instruments.

ball chute

I love how they use so many common, every day items to make cool activities for the kids.

pots and pans

Balls roll down the ramps, bumping into the pots and pans and making different sounds. Each area also had “what are your kids learning” signs around for the parents to read.

flowers

Eve doing a little flower gardening.

forts

A fort room with umbrellas and sleds on the ceiling. Of course.

more forts

Tons of common household items available to build forts.

car wash

A “car wash” with lots of different tricycles and scooters to ride through. Targeted a little more towards the younger kids, but everyone was having fun.

castle

“Paint the Castle!” A big wooden (or cardboard?) castle that the kids can paint. Apparently a different color each day. When we were there it was pink. Kids were given smocks, a big paintbrush (like you’d use for a house, not for water colors on paper) and a big bucket of pink paint. The castle had lots of things stuck to it as well, giving it some texture and detail. Lex and Eve didn’t want to paint (they were wearing down by this point!) but I thought the idea was really cool.

crafts

We stopped for some arts and crafts. The theme that day was desert so we made snakes.

snack

They have a little café with healthy snacks available. We sat by the window overlooking an outdoor play area that was way to hot to play on! We enjoyed the view though, and the snacks, and the break.

air

This is a full-wall activity with tubes that have air blowing through them. You put colored scarves in holes at the bottom and the air pushes the scarves through the tubes and shoots them out holes at the top. Then the kids jump and scramble to catch the scarves as they float down. This lady in stripes was grabbing them all first and handing them out to her group of kids. Not cool!

legs

Legs hanging out of a boat. We ended up back at the climbing structure at the end of the day and this caught my eye. Kids peek their head out the top and legs hanging below (not real legs!). Pure fun.

The museum even had some covered parking (completely full by the time we got there) which I think every thing in Arizona should have!  They had solor panels on top and even had a few electric car charging stations.  I almost parked there, but then remembered I was driving a rental not our Nissan Leaf.  It was the last available spot under the awning and when we came out we found a huge pick-up truck parked there.  The thing didn’t even fit in the space!

That evening we had dinner again with Amy and Ian at the Mexican restaurant in the hotel.  Everyone was pretty tired so we turned in early… or at least vacation early, which of course is still later than regular non-vacation bedtime!  We had to rest up for our long trip to the Grand Canyon the next day!

Arizona trip (flying and the aquarium)

I am very late with blog posts about two great trips we took recently.  Grab a cup of coffee and get comfy, this is going to be a long one…

In June, Alan’s company sent him to a training in Phoenix, AZ.  He doesn’t love to travel, but I do, and with a stroke of genius (my mom might have inspired it) we decided that the kids and I would join him in Phoenix and we’d turn work into a vacation.  He flew out ahead of us because we still had one day of school left, but we joined him on Wednesday.  That gave him time to get settled and us time to finish school properly!

shuttle

Eager kiddos on the shuttle bus from long term parking to the terminal.

silliness

Never a dull moment with this two!

watching

We got there pretty early (because I hate to be late!) so we had plenty of time to watch all the goings-on at the airport.

flying eve

Eve was super excited to be flying again!!

flying lex

Lex and I were pretty exited too! :)

Our flight out of Manchester was delayed an hour, but Delta sent me a text that morning and everything went well.  I was worried about our layover, but that was fine too.  Plenty of time.  In fact, we even had enough time to ride the train thing in the airport, just for fun.  A train in an airport.  Craziness! :)

waiting

Waiting for the airport train in Detroit.

fountain p1

We got off the train when we saw this cool fountain, conveniently located right next to a Starbucks. :) The kids played, I caffeinated, life is good.

fountain p2

Pretty

on the train

On the train, heading back to our gate.

We got back to our gate just as the skies turned greenish black and the thunder rolled in!  Needless to say, there was a delay as we waited for the storm to pass.  I was very grateful we hadn’t boarded yet!  The storm rumbled and lightning flashed, we played Uno and got a snack, then the storm passed and we boarded.  The delay was just long enough to be exciting, but not so long that it was annoying.

uno eve

Playing Uno

uno lex

Glad we brought the cards!

Once we took to the skies it was beautiful, as usual!

flying - blue skies

Blue skies! I love the horizontal striped look.

flying - mountains p1

I love airplane pictures!

flying - river

Looking out the window made me realize that I don’t know my geography very well. We should have looked at a map before we left.

flying - mountains p2

I was telling the kids that AZ is desert and very flat, but then these appeared!

urban sprawl

Urban sprawl, as seen from the air.

peeking lex

On the flight into Phoenix Lex had to sit one seat ahead of me and Eve. I was a little nervous at first (always am), but he ended up between a nice young guy and a 8yr old girl traveling on her own. Lex and the girl shared crayons and books, the guy was patient with Lex’s many trips to the bathroom, and all went well.

first cactus

Looks kids, a cactus! Eve touched it, of course, and ended up with tiny spikes in her finger. She was sad. This was also about 8pm in Phoenix (11pm our time) after a long day of travel!

It was very late when we finally got to the hotel in Phoenix.  Very late.  But everyone did a great job of keeping it together.  Thanks to the 3hr time difference the next morning started very early!  The kids were awake shortly after 3am!  Ugh.  We snuggled in bed for a bit, but we were all up well before we should have been.

cuddles

I love these two! Cuddling before breakfast.

tooth brushing

Apparently this is how it’s done in the warm states.

early swiming

They were ready for the pool when it opened at 7am!

When Alan was ready for work we all walked to his office together.  It was a short walk down the street.  His training was in the tallest building in the area so it had a great view. The place was swanky, with comfy furniture, free food, TV and video games, and an upside down Christmas tree decorated for the 4th of July.

office

A view from the office Alan spent the week at.

fountain snack

We got free food from Alan’s office then settled by the fountain out front for morning snack. Not to be confused with the fountain out back. They are fountain happy in AZ!

After we left Alan to work, the kids and I headed to a local mall that had an indoor aquarium.  We met Amy and Andrew there.  It was cool, but we went through quickly.  The kids were given a scavenger hunt activity at the beginning so they powered through the whole museum trying to find the answers, leaving little time for me to read signs.

sea star

Sea stars. We got to touch them too. They are hardish, but kind of rubbery.

lobster

The aquarium had several of these pop-up bubbles. They are cool to stand in, but hard to take pictures of. I love Eve’s face in this one. :)

white lobster

I think this is a white lobster, with red claws.

After the aquarium we were all feeling hungry so we went down the hall to the Rainforest Cafe.  We sat near the monkeys.  The kids loved it.

cafe

Lunch with the monkeys

After lunch we had frozen yogurt, because why not, then headed back to the hotel for  rest.  Only one of us took a nap, the other two jumped on the bed like wild hooligans.

When Alan got back from work we headed to Amy and Ian’s house for dinner and more swimming.  It’s good to start and end each day in the pool.  That’s how you know you’re really on vacation! :)

pool noodle eve

Eve, chillin’ in Amy’s pool.

pool noodle both

I tried to get a picture of both of them on their “ponies” but it didn’t happen. I got lots of this instead. :)

pool noodle lex

Happy boy in the water.

amy and andrew

Andrew was pretty happy about that ice cream for dessert!

group

This is a terrible picture, but I’m going to post it anyway. Going around the table is Eve, Amy, baby Andrew, daddy Ian, Jarrett (also a friend from SU), and Alan. Lex was there somewhere too. We had a great evening.

sleepy girl

Someone was very tired from this long day! She feel asleep pretty quickly after we got in the car.

Well, I made it through two days and this post is already long.  I take a lot of pictures.  Have you noticed?  I have to go get the kiddos from camp now, so I’m going to write more in another post.  Stay tuned.

Meet Daisy

So we finally did it!  I think this cat decision has taken longer than the kid decision did!  Today we did it!  After camp the kids and I went to the Humane Society and picked out a kitty.  Meet Daisy.

daisy

Hello Daisy

Eve is over the moon!  Lex says he is excited too, but not quite as bouncy as Eve.  The kitty is pretty is happy too.  She started exploring right away, before we even intended.  On the way home she clawed her way through the box we brought her home in, but luckily Eve held her clipboard over the hole to keep her in, but when we got home she hopped right out.

brushing

Eve got a little lesson on brushing. We are going to have to get a brush for this furry kitty!

hole

She clawed a hole right through her carrier! They told me I could use this for vet visits and stuff, but I guess not!

The directions said to put her in one room for the first few days to let her relax and settle in.  We tried the bathroom, with the food and litter box, but she wasn’t happy there.  Eve went in to read her a story and the kitty jumped up on the dryer and then jumped down behind it.  Eve almost panicked.  Fortunately I can move the washer out of the way (exposing all the dirtiness back there) and the kitty came out.

dryer

Silly kitty

outside

She seems to like the great outdoors. Too bad she won’t get any time out there!

reading

Eve read her a calming story to help her relax in the house.

yawn

Big yawn. Long day. Tired kitty.

Eve really wanted Daisy to sleep with her tonight, but we agreed to let her roam around and settle where she is most comfortable.  We left Eve’s door open a crack, just in case Daisy wanted to sleep with Eve.  So far she seems most comfortable on the stairs.  We might have to train her out of that though, as it isn’t really the safest location in the house!

So there you are.  I have one super excited girl and one furry kitty in the house tonight.  Life is good.

 

Strawberry Picking

We went strawberry picking the other day.  One of my favorite summer activities, which is funny because I remember hating it as a child.  You have to squat the whole time, being careful not to step on berries in the tight rows, sore legs, and aching back.  Maybe we stayed too long or I was just a whiny child.  I don’t know.  Now we go to this awesome place with beautiful views and wide rows.  The kids plop down and eat pick berries into their pint containers, occasionally dumping them into my big tray.

strawberry eve

Eve samples the goods.

strawberry lex

Nice wide rows, perfect for little ones to sit down while picking.

pretty

I love this place!

cherries

They had cherry trees too! They are sour cherries, but I thought we should pick some and I’d make a pie. Then we got there and the trees are covered in sticky juice, the bees are everywhere, and I remembered that cherries have pits and it would take a long time to make a pie… so we scrapped it and headed for donuts instead!

The picking goes pretty quickly so we’re usually done in a half hour or so.  I have trouble leaving the field because I always see just one more red berry, but the kids dragged me away, eager to get to the petting zoo and the homemade cider donuts!

donuts

Yummy! Fresh cider donuts!

Of course we need to visit the petting zoo too!  Lots of goats and birds and chickens this year.  The bunnies were in cages, which made Eve sad.  The pigs were pooping and therefore not fun to watch and the sheep was in hiding somewhere.  The goats are always the funnest part anyway, in my opinion. :)

goats and toes

This confused kid thought my toes were strawberries and kept trying to nibble them. :)

goats

Hello goats!

birds

Lex really enjoyed being in the bird cage this year. There were pigeons flying around the top, circling around and around, and I thought the whole thing was scary, but he spent a lot of time in there. They both love the peacocks. There are several of them this year!

bunnies

We were sad that the bunnies weren’t out running around. Eve loves to pet them. Then we started looking a little closer in the cages and found lots and lots of babies! Each cage had a momma bunny and a litter of babies. Then we understood why they weren’t out running around.

feeding time.

This picture made me laugh. One white goat is working the food machine and the other is working the milk machine! :)

Back home…

berries

We got lots! It took me longer to wash and hull them than it did for us to pick them all!

pie soup

I made a strawberry rhubarb pie (soup) last night. It is delicious, despite the soupiness!

Today I made eleven jars of strawberry jam while the kids were in camp.  Since I was heating up the house and had all the canning supplies out, I decided to make pickled beets as well.  I had a bunch of them from our CSA and I don’t really like beets, so I decided to pickle them.   I also made “beet chips” like kale chips with beet greens, on recommendation from our CSA farmer.  They are way more work than they are worth, in my opinion.  Tomorrow all the remaining greens from the CSA are going into a big sauté pan!

 

Camp – Day 2

Lex came prepared for camp today!  Safari vest, bug catching box, butterfly net, and more!  I asked the councelor if that was ok and he said, “Sure!  No problem!”  We’ll see if it all comes back again this afternoon. :)

IMG_2252