Alaska 2016

I was fortunate enough to fly to Alaska a few weeks ago to spend four days with my little sister and her family, which recently grew by two! Her two new baby girls E & F were such a delight to snuggle and get to know. Here’s a few pictures from my trip. I love being an auntie!

July in the garden

Granted, we are well into July, but I went out and took some pictures today so I can remember how things look this year. It has been a pretty good growing year so far! Not as many hot days over 90 as we had the past two years, which has made watering easier and less frequent.

So, in no particular order, here are some pictures I took today outside. It’s going to be a hot one, so you can see the leaves are starting to curl up a bit🙂

Our plum tree below has gone crazy this year!! So many sweet plums! Lauren has eaten the most🙂

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Green beans and our volunteer pumpkin plant are doing well.2016-07-23_185957821_2E159_iOS

My onions are doing great but my lettuce has gone to seed and I haven’t taken the time to replant something there yet.2016-07-23_190001851_4DBBE_iOS

Tomatoes and zucchini doing just fine. This is right after I trimmed my tomato plants by about half though. They were so stretched out that they were covering up the zukes! There is basil somewhere in here, but realistically probably doesn’t have enough room to do too much this year…2016-07-23_190006442_10446_iOS

Corn in back, acorn squash on left, spaghetti squash on right. Both squashes producing quite a bit. 2016-07-23_190010625_F28EA_iOS

I actually have quite a few peppers on these pepper plants, but so far no cucumbers. Lots of flowers on them though, so I am waiting for cucumbers any day now! 2016-07-23_190014757_08BCD_iOS

Playing with my panoramic setting on my iphone. 2016-07-23_190219528_3A65A_iOS

A little bit of color on front porch.2016-07-23_190244190_9F861_iOS

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Our newest addition to the yard – some easy to make benches (thank you, Pinterest!) and some adirondack chairs. We also redid the firepit and have been spending a TON of time out here this summer! 2016-07-23_190614734_7D10F_iOS

My grape vine is doing just fine, as you can see!2016-07-23_190658197_8B0AA_iOS

I just am loving this elephant ear plant in back of the house! These leaves are “YUGE”, as the Donald would say.😉2016-07-23_190723959_241C2_iOS

Here’s some of my spaghetti squash ready to pick and eat!2016-07-23_190749211_7542A_iOS

Volunteer pumpkins!2016-07-23_190757578_78DE6_iOS

The little hydrangea that could. It was covered up almost totally by lemon balm gone wild until I recently pulled a bunch out. It’s still blooming, even through not the best conditions.2016-07-23_190811096_D22CF_iOS

Coneflower. These are just the cheeriest little flowers, aren’t they? I planted these a year or two ago as TEENY plants and this is the first year they look like an actual plant.2016-07-23_190858131_100E4_iOS

Well, that’s all for now. Thankful for the space and time to grow a few things! I’m sure in another month I’ll be gardened out and ready for a break from watering/weeding, but for now I’m loving this summer.

Disneyland June 2015

Last summer, we packed up all five of us and a TON of stuff into our car and took off the day after school got out. We roadtripped down to Disneyland and it was actually a really fun part of the trip! I’ve flown with (and without) kids a LOT in my life, and sometimes I find that driving with kids is almost easier because you can bring so much more of your own things. Anyway, we split the drive up and the first day made it down to Sacramento (well, actually we stayed in Lodi), and then easily down to Anaheim the next afternoon.

We weren’t sure what it would be like going to Disneyland with our kids’ age at the time (2.5, 4.5 and 7) but with a few tips I had read up about, it was actually a fantastic trip! I highly, HIGHLY recommend reading the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and following their touring plans. It saved us HOURS and HOURS of waiting time in lines and had countless other tips. One of the best and probably most important tips we picked from the book was the importance of taking a few hours off in the afternoon and going back to your hotel for awhile to recuperate before heading back to the parks for the evening. This also coincides with the busiest and hottest times in the parks, so this allows you to avoid waiting in the longest lines as well. We picked a hotel that was directly across the street from the Disneyland entrance, so it was a short walk to the hotel room and really made the days go so much more smoothly. We had zero meltdowns and the kids really truly enjoyed the whole time.

All in all, it was a fantastic time and almost a year later the kids still talk about it all the time!

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At a rest stop on our drive down to Anaheim.

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Our first day – in Disney California Adventure

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Lauren was the #1 fan of getting her picture taken with characters!

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Pluto!!

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They were a little scared/underwhelmed with Peter Pan but he was so nice to say hello for a quick photo opp for me🙂

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The happiest place on earth – no joke!

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Bliss!!

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Cinderella – does it get any better?

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Belle and big smiles all around

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Snow White spoke in the sweetest voice to her and she LOVED her

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Tinkerbell was darling!

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Tea outside Minnie’s house

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Checking out inside Minnie’s house

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The carousel!

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I think we were on Dumbo here

Alaska! 4th of July 2015

This past 4th of July weekend, my sweet husband allowed me to go visit my sister and much of my other Alaskan family. It was too great of a time not to remember on here! Lauren and I spent about 4 days up in Alaska while David and the boys had a great time back home. My older brother and his wife met us up there, too. It was so great visiting all my Alaskan family and spending time at my aunt & uncle’s cabin. It was a beyond lovely time. Family is everything!

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Sister, brother, sister (just missing another brother!). This was on our drive to the cabin. Also, why did no one tell me to get a stinking HAIRCUT?!😉

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A quick pitstop and a great photo opp!

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Standing on the bluff when we arrived at the cabin. She was a wee bit excited!

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I got a chance to kayak out in the water. It was a perfect night!

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Cousins’ kids becoming buddies!

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Jacy took this picture and i heart it so much. A lot of laughter together with everyone that weekend!

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Jac, me, sis. We are clearly a wee bit related🙂

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This girly girl loved getting out to ride!

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We flew a redeye home from Alaska and arrived in Seattle at around 6 in the morning

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She was still happy and sweet as ever after only a few hours sleep on the plane. Lauren is the ultimate travel buddy!🙂

(Almost) June in the garden

It will be June 1st in a few hours, so we’re going to call this post JUNE in the garden. For some reason, I just felt a little underwhelmed with getting things planted and starting the gardening gig again this spring. I think maybe it’s because we had such a hot and early summer last year… Anyway, regardless of my lazy feeling, I finally got my veggie beds planted (a bit haphazardly) and snapped a few phone pics to at least document what I have planned for the months ahead. Here we go!

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Green beans in front and lemon cucumbers in back

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Onions in front and lettuce (and one sole asparagus plant) in back

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Zucchini in front and tomatoes and basil in back (with a few straggler flowers from last year)

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Corn in very back, winter squash in middle and pumpkins in the front!

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Peppers in back and canteloupe up front

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Dwarf cherry tree! Second year in the ground and doing great this year!

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Our earliest blueberry bush

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Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, dwarf pear & cherry tree and grape vine up against fence

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Back of house plantings. More have been added this year.

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Cottage garden is happening little by little (weeds and all haha – hello dandelion!)

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Dwarf apple trees and lots more

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Rhubarb, my new flower lovelies and some little additions gradually filling in this spot. It’s very very dry and difficult to get things to grow here.

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Rose campion – grew these from seed on my bedroom window ledge last year and planted the little bitties last summer. They are biennial so they won’t last too long but they set seed and new ones should spring up in the future. I love their silvery foliage and beautiful flowers.

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Lilies

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Sunny spot

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By front door

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Front of the house from an angle

Liam turns 8

Liam just turned 8 and it was such a blast celebrating our wonderful fella! I am so proud of Liam and how much he has grown this year in overall communication, academics, and his love for God. He is a loyal brother and has a very tender heart. I cannot believe that he only has 11 more days of 2nd grade and then… 3rd grade with his little sister in Kindergarten at the same school! Fun times ahead.

Liam, we love you very, very much! You are going to do big things for the Lord!

Nolan turns 3

Well hello again half a year later! I am nothing if not consistent with my inconsistent blogging!🙂 But since it is June tomorrow and I am still many birthdays and posts behind, let’s just get down to business.

Back in November, precious Nolan turned 3! He is honestly such a delight to our entire family. He loves to play with his siblings and has enjoyed picking them up from school with a big hug every day this year. It has been pretty special having lots of one-on-one time with him as Lauren was in Pre-K all year and he has really grown a lot, even since this birthday!

As you can see from one of the pictures below, Nolan is super into Paw Patrol attire these days. He made sure to lay out all his new bday clothing items for all to see haha!

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Nolan, you are a boy with a big heart and a gentle soul. We love your heart for Jesus and we can’t wait to watch you grow even more!