Saturday, April 21, 2012

Summer may be here!

Here's a collection of photos from the past week or two.
Grace got a book of iron on decals, and we spent an afternoon embellishing all sorts of things. I got a hedgehog on my shirt sleeve!
Olaf got a city-scape
Julia got a lesson in using scissors
and a kitty on a bike
and a bird
we've been working a lot preparing a new garden bed. The old one was pretty shaded by tall pines, so little grew well.
This bed has a hoop house over it so we can start things much earlier. I looked at a few models and then winged the design using some extra scrap wood and some purchased pvc pipe and a painter's drop cloth of plastic. All my first screws were too short, and the thing fell apart when I tried to move it, so modifications had to be made, but it has held up fine since.
Some heirloom tomato starts, a gift to Mom from Dave
Some early peas!
Sifting compost with the chickens! We clipped one wing each to try and prevent them from hopping the fence into the neighbor's yard that is full of big dogs. It was a surprisingly easy process. No word yet on if it will yield the desired results.

Olaf is playing soccer. Games are rather comical.
Julia was much impressed with Grace's typewriter
I came home from class one day to find Joe playing trains with Julia. They were so engrossed, it took a good 10 minutes for either one to notice me standing there.

I bought Julia a play kitchen! She LOOOOVES it!

some awesome toddler fashion

a cookout! first one of the summer. it only rained a little.

Julia spends a good part of the day hanging out with the chickens. She updates us on when one is busy laying, and checks for eggs about 12 times a day. when she does see an egg, she says "oh! fund un" (oh, found one!)
chasing Loki a tad
And then the weather got gorgeous. We've spent the past two days outside as much as possible, gardening up a storm. Planting trees in the boulevard, planting seeds, digging new garden beds, watering everything, spiffing up the yard, pretty much anything we can think of to stay outside.
Julia hanging out in a hole. Turns out she's not a fan of worms.
the little pea plants are starting to climb their trellis.
here's the hoop house with the sides up, and plants starting to pop up! Julia calls them "baby plants" and says "shhhh, sleeping"
I dug a new patch for beans on the side of the front porch. You can see the trellis strings up along the front. Last year by mid summer the beans were so thick that they completely blocked the traffic and made a lovely shaded place to sit on the porch. This summer we'll have two sides blocked, making a green room of sorts. Two different kinds of beans are alternated with peas, so it should be tasty too! Other things planted: lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, kale, garlic, onions, zinnia, nasturtiums, morning glory, moonflower, oregano, thyme, and dill.
fresh mown grass, supper outside...
and fresh sand in the sandbox. the first days of summer weather are a lovely thing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Portland and Back

Time to show some pictures from Portland.

While waiting for Dave to get his haircut, Julia and I admired the park statues.

We spent a good deal of time in the 104 degree salt water pool. How I love that pool! Ever since we've come back, Julia has asked to go "smmimmn"
she was a big fan of saying "wan, fourr, jump!" and then she'd leap, whether or not we were ready to catch her. Attempts to teach her other numbers between one and four were not absorbed.

I got her a bubble wand, and we had a lovely late afternoon of nice beer, appetizers, bubbles and pointing out all the passing helicopters, of which there were many.

"hotter!" (Helicopter)

We had a lovely few days. Julia was ever so pleased to see Dave again, though she was fickle in showing it. (She preferred to hold my hand while going down the stairs, ect) but I could tell that she was pretty happy to have us all together again. The entire day before we saw Dave she would comment with great regularity "Da-ey?" and wait to be reassured that yes, that night we'd see Daddy. Whenever he was out of sight, she'd need to be reassured that he'd be back in a minute. We stayed at the Edgefield McMinamins hotel, on the eastern edge of Portland. It's full of interesting paintings and lovely gardens and they have a fantastic soaking pool. We ate in the restaurant, had an afternoon beer on the porch, went swimming often, and walked the grounds. Other parts of the trip were spent getting Dave a new suit, going to the playground, driving around Portland a bit, going to Powell's Bookstore, and checking out a potential fixer-upper farmhouse. We left the morning of Dave's interview, so I could make it back for class that evening. The interview went well, but we heard a few days later that they gave the position to the internal candidate. That made us pretty bummed out, especially considering the financial investment it takes for us to get Dave from Alaska to an interview! Even worse, a few days after that, we learned that he also did not get the position he interviewed for in Pelican, Alaska. So we are 0 for 2, and back to the stage of sending more applications out and waiting for responses. It's a hard place to be in mentally, since the rejection letters arrive with appalling frequency, but we're working on staying optimistic. Despite the rejections, I'm happy he had the interview opportunities for the experience and so we could have a few days together. In just over a month the school year will be over up there, and then he'll come join us down here!

and to end with, a video of Julia's not-so-impressive counting skills. 

Monday, April 9, 2012


We've been bouncing from snow to sunny and warm to snow again. Julia likes the snow, but definitely wants to be outdoors more when it is sunny and warm out! She's been very content this week, getting back in the routine of going to activities, playing with friends and hanging out with family. We had a fun Easter morning, finding eggs, then getting dressed up and going to church for brunch and service, and eating plenty of chocolate.
I've been content this week too, as classes have started and it feels good to be going. Even better has been the news that Dave has been asked to interview for two jobs! One is in Alaska, but a very different part than we've experienced. It's the community of Pelican, right on the coast near Sitka and Juneau. It's a very small school, about 10 kids, and the position is for a teacher/administrator, much like Dave is already doing this year. The other position is a principal job in Gresham, Oregon, just outside Portland. If we went there, we'd be right between both our families, and I'd be in close proximity to all sorts of education opportunities. We're feeling hopeful that things will work out one way or another. It's very depressing to get weeks of rejection letters, so the calls to interview feels pretty darn good. Julia and I have actually gone up to Portland to meet Dave while he's here to interview. I'll miss a little class, but it seems well worth it! Julia has talked about "da-ey" nonstop since I explained to her yesterday that we were going to see Daddy. She's a little confused that he's taking an airplane and we are not, but there's only so much you can explain to a two year old.

going to church!
a snowy morning
but warm enough for a tea party

Julia overcame her fear of hanging bridges. She's really enjoyed being with her friend Celia, pronouncing her name "Sa-Da"
Reading books in bed.
Easter morning! She figured out quickly how to find eggs!

Some were blown eggs stuffed with candies with tissue paper glued over the end. To get the candy, you smash the egg! Great fun, but it took Julia a little convincing that it was ok to smash these egg.
The Easter bunny hid eggs outside too!

in the tree!
assistance from Joe in getting the high ones.
all dressed for church

helping her baby color.