Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Making pickles is one of my favorite late summer activities. It is always fun to make something so yummy from things that we grew ourselves in our garden: cukes, dill and garlic.
Pickles are a whole family affair around here.
Anna got all the dill off the stems and put it in the sterilized jars:

Josie collected the seeds from the head of the plant and sprinkled them in the jar:
By the time our cukes are ready for pickling our dill is sparse and mostly gone to seed. But I have read that the seeds actually have more flavor than the dill, so we added a lot of them to each jar and that did the trick. (My mother-in-law also told me you can freeze the dill earlier in the season until you are ready to use it)

I sliced the cucumbers and and garlic and Ruthie loaded them into the jars:
Pour the boiling brine solution over the top (1 part vinegar : 3 parts water), let sit for 24hrs in the fridge and voila!

Yummy pickles to eat!

One of my all-time favorite foods.

Laundry House

Come visit us in our laundry house! We made it with our friend Nora while Mom was hanging laundry on the line.

We even ate our snack inside:

Doesn't Nora have the most beautiful eyes?!!!

This little Ruthie girl has sooooo much fun with her special Nora.

So does Anna, for that matter.

An addition to the original house:

How many of you can have this much fun swinging from the rafters of your house?

Another later addition, the house just kept growing:
Josie wanted to sing for us in this room of the house. We all sat down and waited. Turns out she actually wanted all of us to sing with her. So we did. We had our own little concert in the 'wedding room' of the house.
I don't think these girls had ever had quite this much fun while mom was hanging the laundry on the line! We love it when Nora comes over!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tubing Boulder Creek with Nora

Nora came with us on an adventure to the library today, and, like any good adventure, this adventure involved water play. Tubing on Boulder Creek, to be exact.
Nora, relaxin' on the ride:And the not-so-relaxing part:

Perfect little girl sized tubing environs. The creek is low enough that at its deepest it was knee high on Nora. Not that the rest of her body didn't get wet. She's that kind of girl.

Taking turns in the tube:

Lots of big smiles:

Here's my cool picture of the day! On accident, of course.

Then Nora floated in the tube all the way home to our house from the library (almost, except for the parts I made her get out and walk around). I loved the huge grin on her face the whole way, and Anna running along the bank next to her cheering her on! Anna was jealous and says it's her turn next time. As long as the creek stays this low, Anna! We arrived home with one shivering, smiling Nora and three little munchkins talking all at once telling Michelle all about our adventure. Thanks for adventuring with us today, Nora!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Many Kids Fit on One Stroller?

Count them!
This is how moms get their exercise,
pushing a million kids around and around and around and around the courtyard.
Normally there are only three smiling little girls on this sit'n'stand stroller, but today we had courtyard company.
Does anybody find this picture a little odd?

Or this one?
Did you notice all the empty pools in the background? It only goes to prove that human beings are social creatures. Where one kid was, there they all were. It didn't matter if the pool they chose was a tiny one, the larger pool nearby would be empty. If one kid jumped up and ran, they all jumped up and ran screaming after. Quite the herd mentality. I love that kids don't have all the same hang-ups that adults have about personal space, they just want to be near each other, enjoy each other's company and laugh a lot.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekend Afternoons

Weekends always seem full around here, in a good way.
In the summer heat lots of time is spent at parks or in the creek as a family.
Anna and I went tubing down the creek past our house for the first time the other day.
Yesterday after church we headed to the park for a picnic with friends and spent most of the time jumping in and out of the creek.
But then those late afternoon thunderstorms come through and we duck back inside while the outside air cools off, the garden gets watered, and the thunder claps loud enough to wake the girls from a nap if they are sleeping.
This afternoon was Josie's date with Daddy. He takes either Anna or Josie on a date once a week and today was Josie's day. The other two always feel a little lost at first with their constant playmate gone. But they quickly find their feet and dive into play.
Today their request was for finger painting. Ruthie's first time.
Quite a tactile, gooey experience.
She ended up with paint everywhere-face, arms, hands, legs, belly, bottoms of feet, knees... Then back inside they came, found their dollies and curled up in their billum hammock rocking them to sleep. Bunk beds have many uses.

Then Daddy and Josie were back, stomping through the summer shower bearing treats for the rest of us. Josie is one who constantly thinks about and looks out for those around her. She can't go on a date with her Daddy and get to choose her own treat without wanting to also choose something for each of the other members of her family. Sweet spirit, sweet girl.
Special times with Daddy'O.