August In the Garden

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

August in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

There is something hauntingly beautiful about a late summer flower garden.  Everything is overgrown, the leaves have lost their bright green freshness and faded to a rich dark green.  The once tidy rows mingle together in the happiest of ways, the sunflowers dip and bend their heavy heads.   Petals fall and scatter in the dark dirt, and the last of the evening light looks golden and hazy just before sun dips behind the horizon.  A sea of giant pumpkin leaves bend in the breeze.  Miss P hunts for pumpkins that are hiding in our over-grown jungle of a pumpkin patch.  My garden reminds me that there is beauty in every season of life.

 

The last of the Summer days

The last of the summer days | inanorchard

Let’s just imagine for a moment that we are not entering into the second week of school.  Let’s pretend that I’m actually enough on the ball to post pictures, and write posts in real time. I know, it’s a bit of a stretch but let’s give it a go.

Summer has been winding down.  The “first day of school” date has been looming on the calendar but we’ve been ignoring it.  Because we’ve been ever so busy with lots of important things like; flower picking, swimming, ice cream eating, staying up too late, dirty feet, happy faces, summer time fun.

The last of the summer days | Inanorchard

She found “baby pumpkins” ready to pick and was delighted with her discovery.

 

Every evening, after dinner, you will find them all in the pool.  Shouting, hopping, splashing, and playing to their heart’s content.

The last of the summer days | Inanorchard

 

Last of the summer days | Inanorchard

We also spend our afternoons drawing on the kitchen table with art books we found at the library.

The last of the summer days | Inanorchard

The lazy, sleep-in-mornings are numbered and we are enjoying each and every one of them.

The last of the summer days | Inanorchard

Archie comic books are such a hit in our house.  So many tattered, well-read copies floating around the living-room.

The last of the summer days | Inanorchard

On the last weekend of the summer we decided to have a camp-out in our backyard.  Mr. G has been fascinated with astronomy for the last year now, so at the end of the school year, we took the time to write all the important astronomical events down on our calendar.  When we flipped the page to August it said “Perseid’s meteor shower”, so we planned a night of campfires, s’mores, sleeping on the trampoline, and midnight meteor showers.

The last of the summer days | Inanorchard

 

The last of the summer days | Inanorchard

It was a gorgeous night.  A clear sky and a new moon gave us the advantage for viewing meteor showers.  We piled the trampoline with blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, and set our alarm clocks for midnight.
Last of the summer days | Inanorchard

The fire was so beautiful that night.  We made s’mores and kept our eyes turned towards the heavens.  The kids and I (including little Miss P) camped out on the trampoline, while Justin slept in his hammock right next to us.  We fell asleep watching meteors steak across the sky.  We woke up to our midnight alarm clock, but couldn’t stay away long enough to get a good glimpse of the meteor show.  Miss P was snuggled up to me all night long and slept so well, but about 2:00 in the morning the dew started settling on our faces, and hair, and sleeping bags.  Miss E was the first one to head into the house at about 2:30 a.m, followed shortly by her daddy.  Around 3:00 in the morning the dew was getting heavy and Miss P was starting to stir, so I nudged the boys and said “Hey, we’re headed into the house to sleep the rest of the night, but you boys are welcome to stay out here.”  Mr. G sat straight up and said, “This was a bad idea.  I want to sleep in my own bed!”.  So we all trudged sleepily through the wet grass, into the comfort of our own sweet beds, and no one stirred until 9:30 the next morning.

I hope the children remember these days, because they are permanently etched on my heart.

 

Long live the summer days of our childhood…

One Last Summer Hurrah

The summer was slipping through our fingers, we had been talking about getting up to the mountains since early spring, and Justin was about to celebrate his birthday.  All really good reasons to rent the funky, cozy, fun cabin near Pinecrest Lake.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

We arrived on his birthday so we celebrated with a delicious meal!  Grandpa and Grandma W. came up to stay with us for the first night and day.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Justin made the most amazing Pork Belly Porchetta…so flavorful, moist on the inside, crispy on the outside.  I’m so glad he likes to cook his birthday dinner!

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

After dinner we went down to the lake to scope out a good fishing spot and let the kiddos throw their lines in a few times.  They had been dying to try their new fishing poles.

Pinecrest | Inanorchard

It was the perfect night on the lake.

Pinecrest | Inanorchard

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardThis little girl was aching to get in the water from the moment we walked onto the shore!  Jumping from rock to rock, throwing stones in the water, next dipping her toes in the water, then her feet, then up to her waist, and then all the way under…leaving her mamma scrambling to haul her out.

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardJ wrapped his arms around her to keep her warm while Grandma ran to the car to get her sweatshirt to wrap the girl up.  Miss P’s chin was chattering so hard!

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

All warmed up and ready for more mischief.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardGrandpa and G figuring out the perfect bait.

 

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Mornings at the cabin mean hot chocolate with lots of mini marshmallows.  It also means children are roused out of bed semi-early for some morning fishing.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardThis photo of the fishing party… I love it.  I told Justin, “Don’t leave yet! I want to get a picture of you guys.”  Justin: “Don’t take a picture of us now.  We just look like people who are dressed weird.”  Grandpa W, “Hey! Speak for yourself!”

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardCutest little fisher girl ever.

Towards lunch time Grandma, Miss P, and I headed down to the lake with a picnic lunch to meet up with the gang.  These are the three lake trout the boys proudly caught.  Justin cleaned them, packed them in ice and placed them in a cooler.  The cooler of fish was temporarily placed near our car and then someone stole them!!  Who steals someone’s hard earned catch!?  The boys were pretty disappointed but at least we got a picture of their fish.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Inanorchard 2015 | InanorchardMiss E snuggling with Grandma after a dip in the lake.

 

Inanorchard 2015 | Inanorchard

It’s the prettiest view a person could ask for…

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

These two…

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

After a day at the lake, we got pizza with Grandpa and Grandma.  They headed back home and we went back to the cabin.

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardEvenings in the cabin look like this; games and mini chocolate bars.

On Saturdays the lake is always so packed.  We decided to stay away from the crowds.  I hung out at the cabin with Miss P (reading my stack of library books), and Justin took the older kiddos to play Disc Golf at a nearby course.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

There is a charming little amphitheater right on the lake, that shows family movies on the weekends all summer long.  The Minions movie was being shown and the kids were super excited about watching a movie under the stars.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

We arrived early, just after dinner, we took a walk along the shore while we waited.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardSilliness always abounds when mamma wants a picture.

Inanorchard 2015 | Inanorchard

We found our places at the amphitheater, bundled up in our sweatshirts and blankets and waited for it to get dark.  Miss P was pretty sure that whole bag was supposed to be for her :)

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

Pinecrest 2015 | InanorchardWe eat good breakfasts at the cabin.

It was our last day so we took one more trip to the lake.  The kids swam, played in the raft, and tried one last time to catch some more fish.

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

That night the children got warm baths and showers, we made more hot coco, and played a rousing game of Yahtzee!

Pinecrest 2015 | Inanorchard

 

These are the memories childhood is built on.  So much work, but so much fun, and so worth the effort.

 

This week in the Garden {July}

 

July Garden | Inanorchard

I’ll be honest; July didn’t start out well for the garden.  The last week of June we got hit with a real hot streak.  Day after day of 100+ degree weather was hitting the garden hard.  Up until the end of June, I had been watering by hand and it just wasn’t cutting it.  The grass around the raised beds was looking parched and crispy, the flowers were doing okay but not great. They weren’t thriving like I had hoped, I was getting flowers but everything looked stressed, and a bit sad.

And the zinnias…oh the zinnias were looking so very pitiful.  They were being nibbled away at each night, and a dozen or more plants had turned a sickly yellow color.  On the sick plants the leaves were curled and brown at the edges, and what few blooms it would produce would be malformed. There were very few buds on the zinnias that looked relatively health, and all the plants looked slightly stunted.  In a fit of frustration I almost pulled them all out one morning.  Once the frustration wore off, stubbornness kicked in and I decided to tackled the problem one step at a time.  First step: deal with whatever critter where eating them each night.  Snail bate and pest powder were applied the following day.  Next step: remove unhealthy plants completely.  If it was a disease that was affecting the zinnias I didn’t want to risk it spreading to healthy plants.  I pulled out quite a few plants and heavily pruned back any that were partially affected. Final step: fertilization, I scattered bone meal at the base of the zinnias, and sprinkled some Triple 15 around the roots.

July In the garden | Inanorchard

I’m so glad I didn’t give up on them because they are looking so healthy and big now!  They are lush and green, growing by the day, and covered with buds!July Garden | Inanorchard

The biggest boost the garden got was a better watering system.  Justin hooked up an oscillating sprinkler and set it on a timer.  The garden is watered early in the morning for a specific amount of time.  I was a little concerned about how the over-head watering would affecting the quality of the blooms, or that the roses and dahlias would start to mildew or bruise.  So far, everything seems to love the new watering system and I am loving having extra time in the morning!

The one area in the garden that I’m most disappointed with is my dahlias.  I didn’t take the time this past spring to order a really nice selection of dahlia tubers from reputable sellers.  I had a few left from last summer that have done well (mostly my white dinner plate dahlias).  I purchase one Cafe Au Latte dahlia from Eden’s Brothers and it’s lovely, but the rest are just cheap tubers I picked up locally and they haven’t done well.  There’s always next year though, and I have all fall and winter to decide what I’m going to plant next spring.

July Garden | Inanorchard

Ah, but the sunflowers!  They are magnificent this year! Two rows of mixed sunflowers in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  I bring them in by the armload and they last a full week in a vase, even a little longer if I keep the water changed.

July Garden | Inanorchard

I can’t get enough of these dark chocolate sunflowers.

July Garden | Inanorchard

Here’s a good sampling of all the varieties I have this year.  I also scattered some Teddy Bear sunflowers in but so far none have bloomed.  No worries though, I just planted 65 Teddy Bear sunflowers on the edge of the pumpkin patch and almost all of them have sprouted, so we should be swimming in them this fall!July Garden | Inanorchard

I picked up a vintage coffee can a few weeks ago while I was antiquing with Stephanie.  I love the way the garden flowers look in my “new” coffee tin.  I just need about a dozen more…

July Garden | Inanorchard

 

This row of cosmos I didn’t get planted until late April (it’s about three weeks behind the rest of the garden), so they don’t have any buds on them yet, but hopefully soon.  After last summer’s giant cosmos fail, I’m a little concerned I’ll end up with more flowerless cosmos bushes.

July Garden | Inanorchard

The orange and double click cosmos I planted early in the spring are covered with buds, which does my heart good!

July Garden | Inanorchard

This is the way Miss P came out to help me in the garden this morning.  Her big brother J helped her get dressed this morning.July in the Garden | Inanorchard

The Amaranthus is still looking gorgeous.  I harvested the first flush of flowers and now a second bloom is coming on.  If you want to grow a unique, richly colored, incredibly hardy plant, amaranthus is your best bet.  This is the “Love-lies-bleeding” variety but it also comes in a gorgeous bright green color as well.  It looks fabulous drooping down the side of a vase.

July in the Garden | Inanorchard

And our pumpkins! They are doing fantastic!  I couldn’t be more pleased.  I took these photos just one week ago and they have all doubled in size, maybe even more.  No blossoms yet but they are looking quite happy and healthy so far.

July Garden | Inanorchard

 

July Garden | Inanorchard

Last but not least; the garden in review-

March

The Cutting Garden | Inanorchard

April

In the garden | InanorchardMay

May in the Garden | Inanorchard

June

The Garden | Inanorchard

July

July in the Garden | Inanorchard

 

Thanks for once again indulging me with one of my lengthy garden posts

Next month we should have lots more flowers and some pumpkin blooms!

Have a wonderful week my friends,  April

 

Tag-along Wife

 

When Justin arranged for me to tag-along with him for his annual work review at Stanford University, I was beyond thrilled!  It’s always hard to get away from home; find a place for the kids to stay, someone to check on the dog. How will the garden and the pumpkin patch get watered?  It’s so tempting to just say “Never mind, it’s easier if I just stay home”.  But I’m so glad I didn’t!

Being a tag-along wife is a different experience than just going on vacation with your husband.  It’s so… luxurious.  That’s the word I wold use to describe it.  Glorious alone time, paired with meeting up with the love-of-my-life at the end of each day; it all adds up to the perfect holiday.

I picked Justin up from work Monday afternoon and we decided on a whim to have dinner in Halfmoon Bay.  After dinner he looked at me and said “Do you want to go to Santa Cruz for coffee and dessert?”   Yes. Yes I do.  So we took the winding road down the coast and ended up in Santa Cruz right at dusk.  We walked through the downtown streets under the lights of the shops, we sipped coffee and shared a dessert.  It didn’t matter that we didn’t get back to the hotel until well after 11:00 that night because there would be no little voices waking us in the morning.  Well, Justin had to get up for meetings but I got to sleep in ;)

I got up slowly the next morning, hung the “do not disturb” sign on the door, and took my sweet time getting ready.  Fortuitously, there was a Starbucks right in the parking lot of the hotel, so I had my breakfast there each morning.

First up on the “do what ever I would like” schedule: Filoli Gardens

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard I’ve visited the gardens in the past but it’s been close to 11 years since I’ve been able to get back.  I spent hours there, just walking down every path, looking in every nook, taking more pictures than any sane person should take of flowers :)  I took the 2 hour tour of the gardens and house, I strolled back to the cafe. I sipped my grape soda and ate my ham and swiss sandwich is beautiful silence, and then I headed back to the garden for more.

Tag- Along wife | Inanorchard

 

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

I’m hoping to do a whole post on the gardens but I will save that for another day…

Tag-along wife | Inanorchard

Next up was the Stanford Shopping Center.  Such a beautiful place to shop!  I stopped at any store I felt like and looked at every.little.thing.  I didn’t walk by the crowded sales racks, I stood and looked through them all.  I nearly bought the piggy salt and pepper shakers at Crate & Barrel but opted for the darling green metal seed box instead.

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

Of course all that shopping can make a girl peckish so I treated myself to a fancy cupcake and a glass of cold milk.

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

Late that afternoon I went back to the hotel to wait for Justin.  He was stuck in a meeting so I piled up all the pillows and watched The Food Network…in the middle of the day!

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

He finally escaped his meetings and we headed downtown for gourmet burgers and micro-brew beer.

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

Of course we brought dessert back with us…

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

 

It was only two days and two nights, but it’s amazing what a little time away can do for one’s moral.  And of course, one of the best things about leaving, is knowing I will come home to these sweet faces who love me so dearly; as I love them.

Tag-along Wife | Inanorchard

Baby No Longer

She's two | Inanorchard

It was two years ago we brought her home from the hospital.  It was the hottest day of the summer and there were three eager faces waiting to meet her, hold her, and touch her.  Those first few weeks the rhythm of the whole house was wrapped around that tiny girl.  I remember how long Justin would linger in bed in the morning, just so her could hold her sleeping body a little while longer.  How can two years have passed already?  But the evidence greets me each day; the cheerful, ever busy, toe-headed little girl, who’s tiny voices chirps up at me as she follows me around the house.

She's two | Inanorchard

We celebrated her birthday last Thursday.  It was a quiet, small celebration.  We filled her day with all the little things she loves; balloons tied to her crib to greet her the moment she opened her eyes, doughnuts for breakfast, swimming with the big kids, fresh berries (her absolute favorite), and home-made pizza for dinner…because Miss P loves pizza!

She's two | Inanorchard

After dinner she excitedly opened her gifts from the children, Grandma and Grandpa W. and her daddy and I.  Grandma W included a card with her gift and Miss P spend several minutes “reading” it to us :) She’s such a little mockingbird!  She’s seen her big sister slowly reading out loud many times, so naturally she wanted to give it a go.

She's two | Inanorchard

She was so pleased and proud of every gift!

She's two | Inanorchard

This is the little back-pack I bough her.  She loves back-packs!  She’s always trying to borrow her sister’s so I thought it was time she had her own.  I filled it with magnetic letters and a small bag of Hershey’s kisses (because Miss P loves her chocolate too).

She's two | Inanorchard

She beamed as we sang to her and she blew that candle out just like pro

She's two | Inanorchard

Inspecting the sprinkles or “parkles” as she calls them…She's two | Inanorchard

She's two | Inanorchard

For the last month, when you would ask Miss P how old she was going to be; she would hold up 5 fingers and say “I two!”.  And then, when you asked her what she was going to have on her birthday she would say “Cake!!”.  But pretty soon it changed and when you asked her how old she was going to be she would simple say, “I cake!!!!”.

She's two | Inanorchard

Things I want to remember about my darling 2-year-old

-The way you swat your daddy’s hands away when he’s trying to buckle you into your carseat and say “I do! I do!”.

-Your gloriously goofy grin

-The way the crook of your neck smells when you wake up from a nap, and the way I close my eyes and breath you in, as you tuck your head under my chin

-How you jump up and down and shout “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” when you see Daddy walk in the door with a pizza box

She's two | Inanorchard

 

She's two | Inanorchard

 

You are the bright spot in our little family Miss P, and you are so very loved

 

A Friday Post

A Friday post, with photos from my phone

1.  Miss E plays with flowers

Friday Post | Inanorchard

2.  My guys, working together in the last of the day’s light

Friday Post | Inanorchard

3. Summer sillies

Friday Post | Inanorchard

3.  Watercolor Hollyhocks by Miss E

Friday Post | Inanorchard

4-7  Pictures from the Annual Outdoor Movie and Homemade Doughnut Night; where we run into friends who we still love but seldom see

Friday Post | Inanorchard

5.

Friday Post | Inanorchard

6.

Friday Post | Inanorchard

 

7.Friday Post | Inanorchard

8. My friend’s amazing garden

Friday Post | Inanorchard

9.  From my garden

Friday Post | Inanorchard

10. Miss P dresses as a kitten ballerina and sits on the kitchen table

Friday Post | Inanorchard

11.  We have somthing other than cereal for breakfast

Friday Post | Inanorchard

12.  He was on overnight business travel and he sends me a picture of a restaurant (he didn’t say but I imagined it was quiet and cool inside), there was a cold refreshing beverage on the table.  This is the photo I sent him…

Friday Post | Inanorchard

13. Miss P tries her hand a flower arranging

Friday post | Inanorchard

14.  The Blue Gum Boys looking sharp in their uniforms

Friday Post | Inanorchard

15.  Miss E and her typical summer look; messy braids, brown as a berry, swimsuit on

Friday Post | Inanorchard

15.  The sun setting behind the corn field

Friday Post | Inanorchard

Links to some things I’m loving right now-

I was fabric shopping online when I came across this beautiful fabric designed by Emily Isabella.  Which in turn led me to her website which is full of her lovely illustrations, which then led me to her IG feed which is just as charming (internet stalking…it’s so much fun)

The Golden Adventures of a Very Dark Horse is an Australian blog I’ve followed for a few years now.   I ran into Stella’s blog when I was doing a search for sewing tutorials.  She doesn’t do much sewing these days, but her posts (while at times a little infrequent) are so pleasant, quirky, smart, and filled with pretty images that catch Stella’s eye.  One thing I like about following Australian bloggers is that their seasons are the opposite of ours.  I find it refreshing and curious to watch their world turn from autumn to winter just as ours is going from spring to summer.

LibriVox is an amazing website that my husband turned me onto.  It’s a website full of public domain audio books that you can download and listen to for free.  It has completely changed the way our family does long-distance trips!  Before we leave I look up book titles that I think the children might enjoy listening to and I download them to my phone.  The miles go so much faster when you are listening to a good book.  On our last trip we listenend to The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle read by Karen Savage.  I was so impressed with Karen Savage’s reading style, that I did a search on LibriVox for all of her readings and was so happy to discover that she has read and recorded Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island !

Hope you all have a great weekend!  ~April

This Week in the Garden {June}

The Garden | Inanorchard

Most mornings begin with watering the garden in our pajamas.  The girls and I take the basket and the clippers to gather the day’s blooms.  Sometimes there are only a few flowers floating around in the bottom of the basket and some mornings it overflows.

The Garden | Inanorchard

She pulls down all the Mason jars and small pitchers and begins carefully arranging her harvest.

The Garden | Inanorchard

The jars are then placed all around the house.  It’s a good way to start the day….

The Garden | Inanorchard

The garden is experiencing a little bit of a lull.  The sweet peas are gone for the year (they lasted clear into June! which is a personal record for my garden).  The roses have all bloomed, although it’s only a matter of time before we’ll get another round of roses.

The Garden | Inanorchard

All the rest of the summer flowers are just starting to bloom.  A few sunflowers here and there.  The occassional cosmos, and a solitary zinnia.

The Garden | Inanorchard

 

The Garden | Inanorchard

 

The Garden | Inanorchard

 

The Garden | Inanorchard

More than any of the other children she is my constant compainion in the garden.  Watering, digging her toes in the mud, squealing when she finds a ladybug…she loves it all.

The Garden | Inanorchard

The Bachelor Buttons are doing wonderfully again this year!

The Garden | Inanorchard

 

The Garden | Inanorchard

 

In the Garden | Inanorchard

We’ve started to get just enough flowers to pass on to friends and family.  Soon there will be more than enough to go around!

The Garden | Inanorchard

 

The Garden | Inanorchard

Ah!  But this week something very exciting happened in the garden!  We’ve expanded once again; this time to include a pumpkin patch!

The Garden | Inanorchard

Justin tilled the front patch and borrowed a neighbor’s tractor to lay black plastic and drip hoses.  Hopefully this coming week we will be able to plant the pumpkin seeds!  I have 8 varieties of heirloom pumpkin seeds that I purchased from Johnny’s Seeds (including a pink variety!).

The Garden | Inanorchard

Early this spring I was trying to come up with a summer project that the boys might be interested in tackling.  Something we could do at home, that would give them a task to focus on during the summer, and help them to earn some money.  I pitched the idea of a pumpkin patch and they loved the idea.  I purchased the seeds (which they will reimburse me for out of their pumpkin patch profits), and while I’ll be pretty involved this year, I’m expecting them to do most of the manual labor.  They’ve been told the work will be hard and hot but right now excitment is trumping all other feelings :)  I’m easily the most excited about the pumpkin patch!  All those gorgeous pumpkins growing right in my front yard!

The Garden | Inanorchard

Here’s the progress for the garden so far~

{March}The Cutting Garden | Inanorchard

{April}
In the garden | Inanorchard

{May}

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

{June}The Garden | Inanorchard

Lake Tahoe Family getaway

For years now our annual family trip has always taken place in a big beach house, over looking the Pacific ocean.  It is the Christmas gift my in-laws have given all of us, ever since my oldest child was a baby…the gift of a family vacation.   But on this, our 10th year, we found ourselves in the mountains, tucked away in a big cabin near Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorhcard

Because our family keeps growing, and changing jobs, and moving out of state, we needed to find a new place to accommodate our changing needs and schedules.  I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive about the change of location, having grown so fond of our beach getaways, but the change was so much fun!  The mountain scenery was gorgeous and the children loved the hiking and the lake.  The weather was pretty much perfect, aside from the odd thunder shower that would crop up in the evenings.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

We started off our weekend with a 1 mile hike down to Emerald Bay, where we took a tour of Vikingsholm, which was a gorgeous mansion built to be a summer home for the late and very wealthy Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight.  It no longer serves as a summer home to anyone.  The estate and all the land that goes with it, which includes a small island in Emerald Bay, is now property of the state of California.  It is such a beautiful bay, one of the few areas around the lake that has not been developed.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

The kids did great on the hike.  Going down was a breeze!  One mile of smooth path, all downhill.  Coming back up was more challenging, but mostly for the adults.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Miss P walked for the first part but was soon riding in her pack on her daddy’s back.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Daisies grow in large clearings all around the lake.  Looking at them felt like looking at a page out of a picture book.  Almost too beautiful to be real.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

The children played near the bay while we waited to tour Vikingsholm.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Mrs. Knight wanted her summer home to reflect her love of  Scandinavian architecture.  Everything about the home, right down to the locks on the doors, where inspired by Viking and Scandinavian designs.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

This little wooden nook that jutted from the front of the home was Mrs. Knights personal writing nook.  I’ve never wanted to be rich but I would love to have my own personal writing nook (especially one that overlooks a pristine bay).

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

The kiddos were not real excited about the prospect of touring someone’s old home, no matter how impressive it happened to be.  I will say though, at the end of the tour all the children said they really like the old house!

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

It was this little room that particularly caught my eye.  This was Mrs. Knights personal maid’s sewing room.  It was my favorite room of the house.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

 

This is the view from the top of the hike.  What you see behind the girls is Emerald Bay.  The little island you see was also part of Mrs. Knights’ estate.  She had a tea room built on the island and approximately 3 or 4 times a summer she would hold a tea party out on the island for her and her guests.  Sadly, only the foundation of the tea room is left.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Back at the cabin the children entertained themselves with bubble-blowing on the deck, pool playing in the game room, monkeying around on the couches, playing video games, and swimming in the hot-tub.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

One evening we decided to have a pizza dinner in the park.  While we were there a storm cloud loomed over the playground and dumped rain on us for about 7 or 8 minutes.  We all took cover under the gazebo until the storm had passed.  Right after dinner while the kiddos were playing, a rainbow appeared in the sky over the park.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

After dinner one night, I noticed Uncle E had a lot of pretty girls piled in his lap, so I got my camera out and told them to give him a kiss.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

I love the expressions on their faces!  The picture quality isn’t the best because of the low lighting and squirmy little girls, but I love these shots.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

On Sunday we ate a late breakfast, lounged around the cabin until after lunch and then headed down to the lake for an afternoon on the beach.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

The weather was perfect and this particular beach on the South Shore was amazing.  You could walk almost a 1000 feet out from the shore, and the water never got above your waist.  The children had a blast playing in the water!

Tahoe 2015 | InanorchardThe littlest of the clan being their adorable selves.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Justin rented a kayak and everyone took turns paddling it around the shallows of the lake.  It really was the perfect place for them to learn to maneuver a kayak.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Even the little girls got a turn.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

 

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Mr G is more of a land-lover.  Happy and content to sit on the warm beach enjoying the scenery and the snacks.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

The sky was so big and the lake seemed so vast.Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Um, can we talk for a minute about how adorable Miss P looks in a swim diaper?Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

My father-in-law with his only daughter

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Another of my father-in-law, but this time with his three sons

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

The last night at the cabin the children were fed and bathed early.  They all piled on the big couch to watch a movie while the grownups went about the business of tidying and packing.  We needed to be fed, packed-up and out the door by 10:00 am the next day.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

The morning brought lots of commotion and of course the truly sad part of any vacation…saying good-bye.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

We would all go our separate ways, carrying with us fond memories, and looking forward to the next time we are all together again.

Tahoe 2015 | Inanorchard

Thank you Lake Tahoe… you were very, very good to us.

Easy Does It

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

 

Inanorchard

We are in a blueberry picking, backyard BBQ, good eating, baseball playing, book reading, muffin making, pool playing, hammock dwelling, summer groove… and it feels so good.