Monday, June 18, 2012

What's green and crawling? Buzzing? And flying? Our garden.

While vacationing in Texas for 22 days I had no idea what was going on here at my home in Alabama.  First thing this morning I was anxious to go outside and check our garden that we planted prior to leaving.   I couldn't believe my eyes, there were things growing and climbing out of our garden box. 


Bibb lettuce

Contender bush green beans

Baby Cucumber

Already, I've learned some lessons.  Note to self: plant the cucumbers by themselves away from other things, they seem to smother the other plants and shade things that need sunlight.  I do love the cucumbers though, they invite all of kinds of insects.  The bees are buzzing and cross pollinating the blooms on the cucumbers.  According to what I've read this is essential in the development in the cucumbers along with the ph level in the soil. 

 Some of my cucumbers are turning yellow, and I'm still researching this.  Although they are yellow they are still edible, but can be bitter.  I normally do not fry foods, but saw a recipe that called for overgrown or ripe cucumbers...kind of like frying eggplant.  I also learned that the green cucumbers are young cucumbers and are not ripened yet, which is what we are used to eating.  I also have a ton of yellow and red ladybugs in my garden, they tend to be the knights of the garden fighting off the bad bugs.

Red ladybug

Yellow ladybug

 I'm tending to our garden organically, so I am careful not to spray my homemade insecticide (ivory soap, oil, and water) on the good bugs.  I should have thinned out my cucumbers before leaving for Texas, but with so much going on I didn't have time.
This morning I weeded, discovered snail shells with the boys, and harvested some of the things that looked as though they needed it.  The boys were excited to help.  They clipped green beans, pulled up really tiny carrots (wanted to check just how big they were), removed several heads of Bibb lettuce and cucumbers. 

Nolan with his very tiny carrot

Wyatt, with his even smaller carrot

Our very first harvest

We also checked our tomatoes, and they are developing small tomatoes and have several other blooms.  I've also learned that carrots like to be near tomatoes where they seem to thrive. 

So this has been a learning process, some work but fun.  I just had a sandwich with some Bibb lettuce from our garden, and I must say a good sandwich.  

 Although, I think it's my imagination just because it's from my garden!  The boys also ate their very tiny carrots, Wyatt pretended to be a rabbit and enjoyed his even more. 

Well, enough blogging for the moment, I'm full from my sandwich, and rested now, so back to working on the garden some more.  Not to mention I have tons of other things to do aside from playing on the computer.  Glad to be back home and enjoying my simple pleasures in life!

Yep, the number is a BIG 6

I cannot believe how their 5th birthday came and went.  Seriously, where did the time go?   And now they are SIX!!   This year the boys wanted a Star Wars birthday party like last year so again; we had to make it a small birthday party, we were planning to go out of town to Texas at the end of the month for my little brothers graduation.  We invited a couple of people for their very small party, fewer than normal.  I originally wanted to make a Darth Vader fondant cake, it was so cool, and I desperately wanted to try to make it.  Well, in the end, the fondant was terrible to deal with so at 9pm I was in a pickle, my original idea fell through and I didn't have a cake.  We decided to make an R2D2 cake the best that we could with the cake mix that had already been baked.  In the end the boys LOVED it.  As long as they were happy, that's all that mattered.  It wasn't perfect, but it put a huge smile on the boys faces.  After their party we took the boys and anyone else that wanted to go....bowling.    

But, first I made cupcakes for the boys to take to school.  The way their birthday falls, they'll never actually celebrate the day at school with their friends.  The boys loved the cupcakes and here's the end result. 

Cupcakes I made for the boys classes at school

The R2D2 cake that Blake and I made late at night

Waiting to blow out the candles

May all their wishes come true!

Opening presents

Just being a silly little boy

Now for some birthday bowling with Emilee, Mimi, and the Parks family.

First time bowling for their birthday, these little shoes couldn't be cuter!

We had a great time bowling.  This summer across America, different bowling facilities are offering free bowling to all kids.  Bowl 2 games a day for the entire summer free.  Check out your local bowling places.  I believe it's a campaign to get kids up and moving. 

Once we arrived in Dallas, 2 days later the boys actually turned 6.  I couldn't let the day pass by without celebrating it somehow, so I had planned to take them to Legoland in Dallas.  That could not have been a better choice.  Their cousin went with them, and we had so much fun.

Waiting to go inside

We rode through a tunnel and shot bad guys with lasers

They played in the discovery tower with a million other kids

Watched a 4-D movie about Clutch Powers complete with water, smoke, and smells.
The boys loved it.

Dallas skyline made with Lego's

More Dallas landmarks made with Lego's

Can't have their actual birthday without a piece of cake

Make that TWO cakes!

Happy 6th birthday, Nolan and Wyatt!