Sunday, April 14, 2013

Our trip to MARS, Strawbale Gardening and the 'Mysterious Pink Turtle'

Celebrating our first anniversary in the Valley!!! So excited! April 2nd we moved in! One year later life is still good!

It was spring break for the kids. I was a bit concerned about how it would go, the kids being easily bored etc, but alas my heavenly father had other plans for me!

Sunday the 24th of March, the kids both came down with fevers. I then promptly rolled my ankle and Nick packed his suitcase... he shipped out first thing Monday morning. And I spent the next 72 hours glued to the lazy boy chair, kid on each knee watching Disney's 'My (freaking) Little Mermaid' 15 million times. AAAAAAAHHHH!

I don't even think I got a shower on the Tuesday! Managed to get myself dressed and shoot the kids full of IBprofen Wednesday to take them grocery shopping because the fridge was bare! Nick came home, I threw dinner on the table at him and the children and promptly left for an hour long dog walk just to breathe fresh air!

Thursday their fevers spiked to 40 degrees, and I was just plum lucky that the Dr was able to get me in as THAT was the very day they were moving offices!

Mother in Law arrived, kids were happy for the distraction and the hub of activity she is. I was grateful to get 5 minutes peace! Nick and I packed up the trailer for our first camping trip of the season!!

Poor Mother in Law got home Saturday and promptly came down with whatever the kids had. Sorry Nana! You never seem to leave without being afflicted with some ailment!

Easter Sunday down and my mother's house in Victoria! What a show! Truck was acting funny on the way down, before we even left I accidently broke a bloody cupboard in the trailer and it was just RIDICULOUS! But the cousins showed up, the food was AMAZING! Turkey, lamb AND ham! Grammie's famous 'Petite Pots Aux Chocolat,' Aunty Sarah's warm cheesy artichoke dip, Aunty Chantelle's TO DIE FOR, pineapple graham cracker pie whip thing. HOLY heck I filled my face and then felt awful for the rest of the night!

Ruby slept over at Aunty Sarah's and she and the cousins climbed Christmas Hill before heading back up to  Chemainus to meet us for a weinie roast.

Spent the next two nights at the campground, surrounded by eldery people who adored my kids' antics as we were the only ones left in the park! It sure was nice to do NOTHING! Lots of family naps, movies, a trip into Chemainus where we were able to get Gluten Free pastries at a local bakery. I think my favourite part was just letting Elias navigate around the campground... he'd climb up into the golf carts of the maintenance men, go barefoot in a diaper on a 'walk about' and knock on random RV doors just to say 'Hello!'   UUUUBER cuteness!

Ruby had an awesome time riding her bike down 'hills.' She's really very good at riding her 'Run Bike' which is essentially a bike with no peddles. Sit on the seat and push yourself along, at the proper speed lift up your feet and VOILA! Kids learn to balance on a bike, skipping training wheels entirely!

Nick's dad and step mother came for a quick visit over dinner to give the kids presents from their recent trip to Mexico for Nick's brother's wedding. The coolest gift was a mesh 'box' filled with 'bugs!' Kids have had an absolute BLAST with it!

We were booked in until the following Saturday but the forecast called for rain and being cooped up in a 23 ft trailer with two kids in the rain didn't sound appealing. So Grammie and Poppie, my mum and dad, brought up frozen pizzas for one last dinner and we headed home Thursday afternoon. Stopping in Nanaimo for me to pick up some fabric paint and stencil at 'Michael's' for my 'cabana' under the deck.

Friday we didn't do much, I did a flippin truck full of laundry, and went grocery shopping GASP ... alone!

Saturday I did a massive clean up of the trailer, lifted mattress' to vacuum underneath, scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed. And it is beautiful!

Today, our last day of spring break we took the family to MARS.

The Mountainaire Aviation Rescue Society's open house! Where the kids saw a wolf dog, horned owl, red hawk and more. I think my favourites were the ICU cabin where they had displayed yellow bath duckies in a bathtub filled with wood chips to simulate rehibilitation. A stuffed pelican with tinfoil 'fishies' under a heat lamp, and a stuffed white owl inside a cat crate with bandages on it's feet. Made for a wonderful, vigniette for the children. I also liked the craft of a pinecone 'owl' that Ruby made!

Came home and mowed the lawn and started some yard work...

Nick decided that the 'hugelkultur' bed wasn't going to be ready in time for planting. In hindsight we should have made the bed in the fall so it would be ready for this spring. So instead he has researched, purchased and now has our 'straw bale' garden well underway.

Here is the info

Nick has used a 'Urea' Fertilizer, which I'm not thrilled about as we wanted to be organic and not used synthetic anything, but we couldn't source anything organic for under $200. He's pretty certain that it's made from horses urine but who the heck knows? It's 'high nitrate' fertilizer. Like I said, not thrilled but we're not made of money and I still can't find where to buy seeds for a 'moneytree?'

I think we plan to plant tomatoes on the top, but I'm unsure of what we'll be planting on the sides... can you tell who's the 'planner' in this household? Cause it sure as heck ain't Nick!

I have shown him a pinterest picture of using stair risers to hold rectangle planter boxes for my herb garden. Today he made me the seat I asked for, on the corner of the strawberry bed so I can sit with the kiddies.

Then he made the sunflower bed, in between the raspberries and the strawbale garden. Ruby and I planted the seeds that she'd started in her green house a few weeks back. Most had already started to sprout!

And then Elias woke up from his nap, I put them both in the wheelbarrow and had fun pushing them 'rickshaw' style around the yard while Nick used his saw. The pink paddling pool was lying in the yard. Elias discovered that not only was it an EXCELLENT hiding spot but he was also the PERFECT size to carry it on his head, turtle style!

I LOVE my kids!... But where did they get their weirdness from? ;p

Couple of small projects I'd like to do include a ladybug feeder and a racetrack for Eli. Should be fun!

                                                    The Strawberry bed, with new 'seat.'
                                         Rhubard has taken off! The black pot was covering the whole plant just a                          few                                      weeks ago!
                                          Raspberries, starting to shoot.
                                          Sunflower bed!
                                                 Strawbales overtop of the hugelkulture bed.
                                            "Redneck" slide... woodpile has two uses!                                                         ...........................More pictures in the next entry!

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