Friday, June 8, 2012

Catching Up!

Wow! May was quite a month! We've been so busy I've not had time to keep my blog up to date.  Here are a few blurbs and photos to document May.

Sweet Memories
First things first! Kaela has been a Daisy in Girl Scouts this year but earlier this month she graduated or "bridged" to Brownie.  We all got to go to the ceremony and enjoy watching her celebrate her accomplishment.  She sat next to her dear and constant buddy, Ellanor.


We decided to expand the garden.  It's pretty much Jesse's fault.  But that's another story... Anyway, the only way to add on was for Jason to tear up grass which he began doing with a pick and shovel.  Half joking and half serious I mentioned that we should ask our neighbor to bring over his tractor and do the digging for us.  Jason's eyebrows went up and he jogged off.  A few moments later, this was sitting in my front yard and my husband was wearing a grin from ear to ear.

So much for the pic and shovel

Jason, not surprisingly, figured out how to work the massive thing and the work was done in no time.  Frankly, I'm surprised we still have lawn in the front yard at all! He exercised incredible self control.
Here are a few more shots.

Fun Times 

In other news, we had our first truly nice evening of the year in May. I think it was on everybody's minds, though I have no idea who actually mentioned it... It was warm enough for a family evening around the fire.  I made some gluten free gram crackers and we were ready for some serious toasting!
Somebody grab the marshmallows!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Hubba Hubba Husband!

Keep Moving, Ladies. Nothing to see here. 

This one's taken...

So We have these enormous trees in our front and side yard; about 10 of them, in fact.  Jason calls them his forest. I remember the day we received our keys. We came by the house and Jason walked through the stand of trees and said, "Look, Honey, we have our own forest." The word forest might be a bit of a stretch but having come from Southern California these trees were pretty awe inspiring and the even more so the fact that we owned them! Or at least we will own them in about 27 years from now... Chuckle. The stand is a mix of Evergreens including a beautiful Cedar, a Fir and various others I can't identify.  They are beautiful! And they are casting and early afternoon shade on a large portion of my vegetable garden.  
Insert debate about whether or not to take the first two trees in the stand down in order to allow more sunshine on the garden. I'm for taking the darn things down.  Just rip 'em out! We would have so much more room to plant and we'd still have the other 8 trees, right? Jason is on the side of caution. 
After much thought we agreed to have Jason simply skirt the trees and see if we added any sunlight hours that way.  A great compromise. He gets to use his chainsaw and a friend's climbing gear. And I got to snap photos.  What fun!

In just moments Jason had the whole coordination thing  figured out. Looks pretty natural, eh? Way to climb, Babe!

The trees look really nice. He did a wonderful job. And it was so much fun that the idea of climbing to the top in order to take them all the way down is starting to sound tempting to our home grown trimmer. Yahoo!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Signs of Life

Summer Squash Starts

After the snow melts and the threat of frost recedes like the chilly tide, I get antsy.  I start to check weather sites online; comparing them to one another sometimes a few times a day. I go in and out the front door testing the air, sniffing and (by my sheer force of will) urging spring to arrive. I order my seeds and make a diagram of how I'd like to order this years' garden.  Jason begins to pace and says things like, "Well, do you need me to buy some more wood? Are there any upgrades or changes that need to be made this year? What are we going to grow?" and the ever present, "So, what's the plan?" We watch. Wait. Pace. Tap on the windows. Hope... Order our seeds and start our seedlings and then wait some more.
We have waited long enough!

I think it's safe to say that SPRING HAS ARRIVED! Wheeew!  What a relief.  I am so over store bought greens and snap peas.  I could just gag.  I can almost taste the first fresh from the garden salad. Sigh... Please, Spring, have mercy on us! Stick around. Help us grow. Warm our soil and feed our crops.  Nourish us.

Some early spring photos from the Hall family garden:

Strawberry Flowers


Snap Peas

More Strawberries

Monday, April 23, 2012

Homeschool Physics

 Teetering in the Garden: Lessons in Physics


Teeter Totter Physics

  • A teeter totter is technically a form of lever in which the fulcrum--where the teeter totter is hinged--is placed exactly at the center. When two equal weights sit at equal distances from the fulcrum, the teeter totter is equally balanced. Any small force applied by either end will cause the teeter totter to move up and down.
    Hold Still, Jesse!
    This equal balance can be changed in two ways. If the two weights are unequal the teeter totter will tend to descend on the side of greater weight. To move the teeter totter, the heavier child needs to push harder to get off the ground. Riders can also upset the equal balance of the teeter totter by sitting at different distances from the fulcrum.


 Riding a Teeter Totter with Different Weights

  • The physics of the teeter totter shows the way to allow two children of different weights to successfully ride the equipment. For best results, the heavier child should sit closer to the fulcrum than the lighter child. The lighter child's increased distance from the fulcrum will make up for the lesser weight. This can be tested by both children sitting on the teeter totter at differing distances from the center. When the teeter totter moves easily with the slightest effort from the children, they are balanced.



Way to Study, Kids!

Analyzing Data and Drawing a Conclusion

Communicating Results

*The donkey ears are not an official part of the experiment.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Food Fun and Friends at the Spring Fair

Oh My Goodness! What a day! We spent our Family Day at the Puyallup Spring Fair with some dear friends.  It was divine. The sun was shining, the rides were whirling, the children were skipping and the food was frying.  Yum.  Just in case you were wondering where to find the cutest children on the planet; I found them! They were at the Spring Fair the very same day we were! Imagine that. (Snicker)

See what I mean? I found them! The cutest kids  on the entire planet.

Kaela and  Ellanor spent the day hand in hand.  They are at that fantastic age where everything is an adventure and the next giggle is never more than a moment away.  Watching them discover the fair and make memories together was a mother's delight.

Boys Buddies and Baby Goats

Just after we moved to Washington I learned that I have farming in my blood. Apparently, my paternal great grandparents were raised on a farm in eastern Washington.  As the story goes, they even had a family feud over a piece of land and a darling yellow farm house.  Look at them... I guess it it's in the blood, eh?

Way to go, Kids!

Look at this Handsome Fellow!

The four kids paired off and had a blast on the swings.

Great Grins!

What Fun!

However, the kids version of the swing ride proved too tame for our adventure seeking daughters.  They had their sights set on the full sized swings.  Yeah, the ride that towers above the fair like a twirling tower of doom... or at least that is how it looked to me.  I mean this thing triggered all kinds of phobia. 

Twirling Tower of Terror

 The girls squealed, gasped and giggled.  Pointing and jumping up and down the begging began.  I tried all the tricks in my bag.  I warned them that the line looked so long that we probably wouldn't have time to do anything after that ride.  I warned them that they were most likely not quite tall enough for this sort of ride yet.  Maybe next time...

Tall Enough!

Much to my dismay, those daring divas were plenty tall enough.  I was out of excuses.  It was time to let them fly or tell the them that I was too afraid to let them go. Of course, they were THRILLED and perfectly happy to wait in the long line I had warned them about. It actually moved pretty quickly.  
Thumbs Up! Ready for Takeoff!
 Once it was our turn, my girlfriend and I buckled those giggling girls in and let them fly!

Up Up and Away!

Into The Sun!

Cotton Candy!


The anticipation was almost too much.  Those seemingly sweet girls working the cotton candy machine tortured these poor kids with every swoop around the big candy making bowl...

It's Too Much. I Can't Watch.

Nervously Hoping

At Last!!!

OH Yeah! 

We finished the day off with one last hoorah, a Krusty Pup and a soda. Nils wisely chose an apple instead. 

See you next year, Puyallup Spring Fair!