Friday, June 26, 2015

Random June Happenings

It's the first day of summer vacation. We have no big plans for today except for taking it easy. And I'm going to start tackling the basement. Right now it's a bit of a disaster and I know the kids will want to play down there a lot over the next few months so it's time to organize. Maybe I'll even do some weeding.

For the old blog today I'm just going to post some random pictures from June which I haven't had a chance to show elsewhere. Above is Sam finishing off his Southern Roadtrip Photo book while Rachel looks on. Sam captioned 44 pictures to preserve his own memories. And now he wants to make a photo book for everything -- his first Blue Jays game, the first half of our historical walking tour. It's pretty cute actually!
I have no idea what was going on here but the dinosaurs obviously had places to go!
Dave's parents gave Rachel a bunch of dress up clothes for her birthday so every time we turn around she's wearing something different. What I love is that she calls the red dress with the white polka dots her "ladybug costume!"
Dave made muffin tin lunches for the kids a few weekends ago. Despite the look on their faces, they really did like them. I love that they eat a variety of foods when we serve them lunch this way.
I decided to go all out for hosting book club last week. I enjoyed using a special tablecloth (which I know is too small for our table) and my fun Fiestaware dishes. Plus I made a really delicious cake which I will write more about in my June resolution update.
I love that I can drive about fifteen minutes out into the country and buy freshly picked flowers from a farm stand. I picked up a gorgeous bunch of Sweet William this day.
I can't decide if I'm intrigued or grossed out by this cake. Or hamburger. Or whatever it is. What say you?!?!
The students at Sam's school made these amazing bird votive candle holders as a thank you to everyone who helped volunteer to serve pizza on Fridays. Even though I only helped out a handful of times, I got one too. They are so cute!!!
Rachel made thank you cards for Sam's teachers to thank them for having her in the classroom while I helped with pizza. She wanted Funny Bunny shaped letters and Dave obliged her.
This was from Wednesday which is likely the last day I will do errands with just my little fashionista helper. Sam is on summer vacation now and Rachel will also be in school in the fall so the days of just the two of us are pretty much over. (I will likely be sad about that at some point but for now I'm just so happy to not have to pack lunches or get kids out the door for school for the next two months that I can't even explain it!)
And we visited our pool a few nights ago. Mostly I wanted to see if Rachel could stand on her own in the shallow end with her chin above the water. Why yes, that is the criteria for kids to attend swimming lessons on their own and Rachel has now reached it. I'm so over the moon about this development!!!

And that's some of the other stuff that's been happening around these parts. Now I'm off to clean in the basement. Let the summer vacation excitement begin!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Last Day Of Sam's Kindergarten Career

Today is Sam's last day of Kindergarten ever! 
I am so excited for summer to start. And Sam is really excited to finally be in a GRADE!
Last week (on Rachel's birthday), Sam's class had a Senior Kindergarten graduation. It was so cute and his teachers put so much work into it.
Sam with his teacher, Mrs. L.
We love Mrs. L. and I really hope she's Rachel's teacher next year.
Sam has rocked at Kindergarten and I am so excited to see what Grade 1 (and beyond) will be like for him. He will be in French Immersion and he is looking forward to the future with excitement.
But first, bring on summer vacation!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Weeds Are Plants Too, Right?!

So even though I'm slightly embarrassed by some of these pictures, I thought I would show you around our yard today. We've had a full spring and so there are some areas of our yard which really need some time and attention and well, they just haven't gotten it yet. But we're working on it and hopefully soon (like before September!) these areas will have gotten the care they deserve.

So after that disclaimer, on with the tour...

This portulaca planter sits on my kitchen windowsill and it just makes me happy as I'm doing dishes or working at the sink.
And this planter of snapdragon with alyssum was an experiment this year but I absolutely love it.
The bed with our lamppost is all perennials with just the hanging basket and the window box for some colour. And thankfully the free mulch from the landfill has stopped smelling like garbage so that's a plus :)
I still haven't figured out what works best in the front bed. I am loving the white impatiens border this year but I'm disappointed in the annuals I picked out. Although the Marine Bells are finally starting to bloom so maybe I'll be happier with this bed in July. Maybe...
This bed was random this year. I plopped in two hydrangeas and some coleus and accidentally removed a bush. However, it's doing okay and since I rarely see it, I'm not that bothered by it. Out of sight, out of mind, right?!
This bed is proof that ongoing maintenance is required if you want your yard to always look its best. Or at least, somewhat loved. Since this is a bed I see all the time when I'm in the backyard you'd think I'd be doing a better job of maintaining it.
This bed just illustrates that morning (when I took these pictures) is not the best time of day for yard photography. Ha!
And this is obviously the challenge spot of our yard -- the corner behind the garage. The hedge needs to be trimmed, all the beds need to be weeded, and the thistle forest needs to be dug out from behind the garage so we can unearth the raspberries which are (supposedly) growing there. Some of the thistles are almost as tall as the hedge. It's gotten so bad that Dave and I have some free time this weekend to celebrate our anniversary and we are planning on spending some of that time weeding. That's seriously committed (or sad).
If you look really closely you can see that I've been making attempts to attack this part of our yard. See the (miniscule) black patches of dirt which give glimpses of hope as to what this could look like?
The bed on the left is my future cutting garden and the bed on the right is my strawberry patch. Sadly you can't really see the strawberries for the weeds, which is kind of the theme of this particular patch of our yard.

So as not to leave you on a really depressing note, I'll end with the tree we planted last summer. After weeding beneath it this spring, I randomly plopped some dianthus (similar to Sweet William) at its base. It makes me happy every time I see it.

And the one thing you may have picked up in this post is that, in general, my yard makes me happy. I love taking care of everything (or attempting to at least!) and seeing how things change throughout the season. My gardening method is a little random, and I could definitely use some more focused time, but this yard is a work in progress and one that I very much enjoy.

And also, next time I take pictures of our yard, I promise to do it at a different time of day, since I'm thinking my photography skills need some work too :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Taking Wing

A couple of weeks ago I got to accompany Sam's class on a field trip to the local airport. It was a lot of fun, especially when we got to hear from Firefighter Blake and see the airport fire engine in action! It was fun for me to see how Sam interacts in a class setting. And I got just as big a kick as the kids did out of seeing the fire engine spraying water :)
Firefighter Blake tells us about the engine before demonstrating how it sprays water!
Are you a field trip person, or not? I love them, probably sometimes more than the kids do :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Father-Focused Weekend

I'm getting this post up later than I had intended because I had planned to drop Sam off at school, come home and bake banana muffins, write this post, and then do some housecleaning. But then I spilled a glass of lemonade-iced tea all over the kitchen floor and the cleaning took on a bigger priority. So now I'm working on this while I'm waiting for the floor to dry and then I'll make banana muffins. Oh, and I've already done four loads of laundry this morning so that's been keeping me hopping as well. And it's bedding change day too. And All. The. Things have to happen today because we had a really good, but full, weekend, in which there was no time for baking or laundry or housecleaning.
We started our weekend off by inviting some friends over for a Low Country Boil (LCB). Their son had walked Sam home from school twice a week all year and we have spent the past year wanting to make a LCB again thought they would enjoy this unique (to us Canadians!) experience. They brought double chocolate brownies for dessert and we ended up eating so much good food. And now they are trying to figure out when they can start making LCB for their friends and family.

On Saturday we headed into Toronto to catch another Blue Jays game. We enjoyed our first one so much we couldn't wait to go again and this weekend seemed like the perfect time. I love watching games and looking up to see the CN Tower. I also love Rachel's preferred game watching position! I don't love the fact that the Jays lost this game, especially because they had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the eight and didn't manage to score AT ALL. Sadness. But we had fun anyways!
I love walking from the Skydome to Union station. We take the skywalk and it's so pretty. The kids love walking over the trains.
We ate supper at the food court of the mall where we'd parked to go see the game and they had a Chipotle, so I ate there for the first time ever! Yum! It's a good thing we don't have them around here or I'd have to go and eat there every day.
Yesterday we got up early to go cheer Dave on at his third 5K event in six weeks.

If you look at the runner closest to the bottom of the picture who has just crossed the finish line then you will see Dave as he started his run. He's wearing royal blue shorts which are a little hard to see in this picture because the barricades are blocking them.
And here's Dave as he's finishing his run.
Yay!!! He just crossed the finish line! He was pretty pleased with his time. While he was running I covered almost 5K myself (with both kids) as we walked to Tim's for breakfast (well, we did that before he ran), and then took Rachel to the bathroom twice.

In the afternoon we ran a few errands, including getting Dave some new clothes, and then we came home and had a BBQ with our first CSA veggies of the season. Yum!
After that busy weekend we all went to bed early last night because we were exhausted. In fact I'm still tired today which doesn't bode well for everything I need to get done. For now though, my floors are dry and I have to go bake banana muffins.