Monthly Archives: May 2015

To Happy Endings

Even though we are already 2 weeks into summer vacation I couldn’t dive into summer posting without saying a few words about our school year.  And if there was a word I could use to sum up this year it would be above all other words; grateful.  So grateful.

To Happy Endings | InanorchardTo Happy Endings | Inanorchard

These women who we call teachers who are also friends, mentors, cheerleaders, teammates,… they have blessed our lives.

To Happy Endings | Inanorchard

How much they grow in just one school year.

To Happy Endings | Inanorchard

This was the three of them at the beginning of the school year, fresh-faced and eager with just a little nervousness around the edges.

To Happy Endings | Inanorchard

My little kindergartner at the beginning of school.

Miss E and our beloved Mrs B on the very last day.

To Happy Endings | Inanorchard

On the very last day of kindergarten Mrs. B gathers her students around for the traditional releasing of the butterflies.  These are butterflies that the children have watched transition from caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly.  As she releases them she explains to the children that all things must change and grow.  Even kindergartners.  We aren’t meant to stay in one place, no matter how much we love it, because new and exciting things are ahead.

To Happy Endings | Inanorchard

What can I say about Mrs. B?  What words can I use to express the preciousness of this woman?  I have entrusted each of my three oldest children into her care.  They have all grown and blossomed under her steady, tender guidance.  Each of them have a folder I have saved from their kindergarten year, and in it are all the beautiful projects Mrs. B had done with each of them. They are some of my most prized possessions.

To Happy Endings | Inanorchard

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA To Happy Endings | Inanorchard

What do I say about Mrs B?  The woman who I love as a friend, look up to as a mentor, the woman who has loved each of my children, who opened up the world to them and turned their young hearts to the Lord.  I could say “thank you” a million times and it would not be enough.

To Happy Endings | InanorchardAll I can say now is “No retiring Mrs B until after Miss P done with kindergarten!!”

The Boy Turns Ten

Ten | Inanorchard

This spring my first born turned 10-years-old.  One decade of having this blue-eyed boy in my life.

We don’t always through huge birthday parties, but 10 is momentous number that deserved a big shin-dig.  I asked him what kind of party he wanted, thinking he might want a big Minecraft birthday will all his friends.  But he wanted a family party in the back yard, with swimming and lots of good food.  I like the way that boy thinks.  His Daddy made tri-tip sandwiches.

Ten | Inanorchard

All the cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and a few classmates came for dinner and swimming last Saturday night.  It was so breezy but the kiddos didn’t mind in the least bit.  They all jumped in the pool.  They spent the entire night going back and forth from the trampoline to the pool.

Ten | Inanorchard

The one special request J made was to have a pinata, but I came up with another idea.  I filled balloons with candy, then I hot glued the candy-filled balloons to a big piece of cardboard.  The kids took turns throwing darts and shooting the balloons with BB guns.

Ten | Inanorchard

They had a great time with the game!  I’m glad, because filling all those balloons with candy was A LOT of work!  Unfortunately, it was so popular that Mr. G has requested the same game for his next party.

Ten | Inanorchard

Cousins horsing around on the porch :)

Ten | Inanorhcard

 

Ten | Inanorchard

My boy isn’t a cake kind of kid.  For years he would request black berry pie for his birthday celebration.  A couple years back he started asking for strawberry pizza which is just fine with me!  Just as delicious, but half the work :)

Ten | Inanorchard

The night was so windy we weren’t able to get a “blow-out-the-candles” picture but we all sang a rousing “Happy Birthday” to the grinning boy.

Ten | Inanorchard

 

This beautiful gal right here is responsible for almost all of these pictures.  I was hustling and bustling around, while she picked up my camera and worked her camera magic.  Alli, your are the official birthday photographer from now on!

Ten | Inanorchard

He opened presents as the sun began to set and the evening turned cold.  We all hunted around for sweatshirts and jackets and brewed a pot of warm coffee.

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Grammy was extra cold so we broke out the thick socks and blankets for her.Ten | Inanorchard

 

Ten | Inanorchard

Ten | Inanorchard

I couldn’t be prouder of this guy.  He’s thoughtful, so tender and caring with the younger kids, his ever-inquisitive mind, the way he loves being with people, and the excellent big brother he’s been.  He’s my right-hand guy.  It fills me with all kinds of sentimental, misty-eyed thoughts when I think about the tiny body I held in my arms 10 short years ago.

Love you my boy

This Week in the Garden

The Garden | Inanorchard

There have been some changes in the garden this month. Big changes!  I have grass growing around my flowerbeds!  Gorgeous, green, soft, lovely grass.  Which officially makes my little cutting garden the prettiest spot in the Western Hemisphere.  Not really.  Just in my mind.

The Garden | Inanorchard

A friend of ours just finished laying sod in his backyard.  He texted Justin saying he had leftover sod that we could have if we wanted to haul it off.  In one hour my powdery dirt paths where transformed!  I won’t even tell you how much time I spend just staring at it.  Now when I water in the morning my feet don’t get covered in mud!

The Garden | Inanorchard

The summer flowers are doing wonderfully.  Everything I planted has come up and is thriving.  It will still be 3 or 4 weeks before I start getting blooms from the summer flowers but my roses and sweet peas are still providing small bouquets for the house.The Garden | Inanorchard

This little one is always by my side when I work in the garden.  She has her own little watering can, which she mostly uses to get muddy from her blond head all the way down to her tiny toes.The Garden | Inanorchard

The Garden | Inanorchard

I thought my sweet peas where just about to fade for the season.  The blooms had all been picked and for weeks there were no new buds to be seen.  Suddenly in just the last week the vines are covered with a second flush of sweet pea buds.The garden | Inanorchard

My dahlias are still just wee little things, with the exception of the mammoth dahlia in the back corner.  That plant is one of the few I left in from last season and it’s huge!  The stalks are like trunks and it’s covered in blooms.  The rest were newly planted this year and are taking their sweet time growing.The Garden | Inanorchard

The sweet peas and English roses have been gorgeous!  I fill all my wide-mouth jars with them and place them around the house.  Occasionally an arrangement will find it’s way to a friend’s house as well.  I really would like to plant twice as many sweet peas next year.  This year’s crop has been lovely but I’d like to get more blooms with longer stems. The Garden  | Inanorchard

I love the way these bundles of sweet peas make the house smell.
The Garden | Inanorchard

So here is the cutting garden progress so far-

March 2015The Cutting Garden | Inanorchard

April 2015In the garden | Inanorchard

May 2015The Cutting Garden | InanorchardI love all the green in the garden but I cannot wait so see some color in those beds!

Goodnight my friends, see you very soon

April

 

Away We Went

Six days and five nights at the beach, just us, relaxing and playing together.  It was exactly what our busy schedule needed.

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Those first few days at the beach the wind beat at us relentlessly.  It didn’t keep the kiddos out of the water, but we only managed to stay down on the beach for an hour at a time, before we’d run back to the condo to get dry and warm.InAnOrchard

The evenings are so beautiful.  Throwing on sweatshirts and running down to the sand to watch the sun sink into the ocean, is pretty much the perfect way to end each day.InAnOrchard

Sunday morning we woke up to the perfect day.  The wind was just a pleasant breeze, the sun was warm on our shoulders and heated the sand beneath our feet.InAnOrchard

We played in the water until our toes got too cold and then sat in the warm sand to get dry and warm again.  InAnOrchard

Miss E wanted to try the boogie board this year.  She loved it!  Waiting for just the right wave, hopping on the board and riding it all the way back to the sand. She’d jump up with a grin and was doing it all over again!InAnOrchard

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I love her playful and adventurous spiritInAnOrchard

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We spent all of Sunday and Monday on the beach.  We’d wander up to the condo in time to eat a meal, nap the baby, and then back down again.InAnOrchard

Tuesday morning was a different story.  We woke up to gray skies and an amazing breakfast made by Daddy.  Justin got up and made the most delicious chorizo breakfast burritos.  So good!!InAnOrchard

Since the beach was a little too cold and gray we decided to do some hiking around Point Lobos, just outside of Carmel.  InAnOrchard

Unbeknownst to us, this is the time of year that the Harbor Seals and the Sea Lions flock to Point Lobos to give birth to their pups.  We got to peek at several newly born seal pups.   InAnOrchard

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We hiked two trails and then stopped to have a picnic lunch next to one of the coves.  InAnOrchard

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There’s also a small museum on Point Lobos telling it’s history, which included a small Whaling Company that used to hunt Whales just off the point.InAnOrchard

The boys stopped frequently to look for Sea Otters.  Sadly we never spotted even one otter. InAnOrchard

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After we left Point Lobos, on a whim we decided to visit the Mission at Carmel.  J has been studying California Missions this year at school and he was excited to see one in person.InAnOrchard

The Mission is a beautiful sight to behold.  The garden and grounds are amazing!InAnOrchard

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Not to mention the artistry of the building itself.InAnOrchard

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The challenge of staying at the beach in a smallish condo, is keeping the kiddos occupied when we aren’t on the beach.  Sometimes the quarters seemed a little too close.
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We did our best to go on walks, take advantage of the basket ball and tennis courts, watch movies, play board games, and put together puzzles.  But there’s no getting around the fact that we also spent a percentage of the time getting on each other’s nerves :) InAnOrchard

The path around the duck pond behind the condos, was a little wet in places, not that the children minded in the least bit.InAnOrchard

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We finally said goodbye to the beach.  The children all had long faces the night before we left.  Each of them saying “I don’t want leave yet!”  But that next night when I tucked them in their own beds and kissed their foreheads they each sighed, and smiled and said, “It’s good to be home mom.”

I couldn’t agree more.