Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Garden: Part 1

One of the many joys of living in Virginia is that we can grow a garden.  Things actually grow here.  Sure, technically things grow in Texas, but it takes so much work and money and stress that it's hardly worth it.  Last year we paid like .10 for a couple packets of veggies at a thrift store, did zero to the dirt and we still got some zucchini.  The only thing I got to grow in Texas was okra.  And okra is disgusting so that hardly counts.

But, one setback to our current situation is moisture.  We have lots of it and it's still fairly cold and the soil is very clayey so in order to get a proper start we knew we needed to do some prep.

A couple weeks ago I set out a clear piece of plastic and let it sit and warm up the soil.  Here it is being modeled by Cadance.

Then, when Steve was home on vacation he built a couple of these wood garden frames.  Also modeled by Cadance.

We also had the utilities check to make sure we could dig without any problems.  

Then, last Saturday we caught a couple hours of mid 50's sunshine and went to work.

We made 2 4x4 foot garden beds.  First, we removed the grass and turned the first few inches of soil.  See the trees in the background, we got a couples of roots sneaking in, so those also had to go.  

Then, we added manure, sand, top soil, and peat moss.  We mixed everything together, put the garden boxes back in place and covered them up with plastic.  

I'm glad we did, the next day it snowed like 2 inches.  But, instead of having freezing, wet dirt, I just dumped everything off the plastic and put it back in place.  Hopefully we'll plant our first round of spring veggies in the next week.  

I'm so excited!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Steve's Vacation

We always love when Steve is able to take a few days off work.  We love being able to spend lots of time together as a family.  So, I thought I would share some adventures from the past week.

We started his vacation off right by going to the Children's Museum of Richmond.  So much fun.

"Picking Berries" She was thrilled
Riding the Safari Train, ironically decorated with sea animals

Playing with a ball, because with all the other cool toys around, this is of course what she wanted to to the entire time

Playing in rubber "sand"- ingenious

Afterwards we went to lunch at The Boardwalk- a small hot dog place super close to our house.

It was fun to try their fun flavors and combinations- coleslaw, sauerkraut, mustard, pickle.  Cadance mostly ate the bread. Oh, well.

In great anticipation for spring and gardening we went on the longest trip to Home Depot ever.  Steve made a couple of garden boxes and I wished that the day would get a lot warmer a lot faster, no go but that's okay.

Steve took his final board examination!  Whoot!  He was gone for most of the day, but Cadance and I enjoyed a little bit of time in our backyard.

This is the, hopefully, future sight of our garden.
She wanted to pose with her stick "so high"  

Later that night Steve took me out to the awesome local candy store and soda bar.  Think beer guru for Mormons-awesome.  Then, we went down to the Belle Isle Bridge and watched the sun set almost over the James River.  Super fun date.

We left early in the morning and headed up to Washington D.C.

First, we walked around the Police Officers Memorial.  It has every officer ever killed in the line of duty ever. Never knew.

Cadance loved the lions, but wasn't so excited to sit next to them

Then, we went across the street to the National Building Museum.  We were hoping to meet up with Steve's brother's family, but due to unforeseen crazy marathon road blocks and traffic we didn't meet up until lunch.

She would have stood and watched this fountain all day
Building a 7' arch

By far the coolest thing ever- we built that

Cadance was pretty excited about it
The arch stood up for a little bit, and the coolest thing was this lady said she comes to the museum about twice a week and she's never seen anyone complete it successfully.  Confidence builder.

We went on the tour of the museum.  Here's a picture of the great hall from the 4th floor.

After lunch we headed over to the International Spy Museum.

Unfortunately, photography isn't allowed in the museum, but it was super cool to see all the Spy stuff, like pen guns, disguises, and button cameras.  I learned that the MI6 crest is top secret and that people stuffed themselves behind the grill in a car to escape East Berlin.  We practiced spy stuff, like looking for signals and unusual behavior, identifying images on satellite, and finding someone in disguise.

The big high light was the 50 Years of James Bond Villains exhibit.  Super cool.  Of all the cool things we saw, my favorite tidbit of information was the fact that when Ian Fleming saw the name James Bond for the first time we thought it was the most boring name ever.  It was he reasoning for naming his character.

Cadance also enjoyed the museum, but strollers also aren't allowed, so by the end of the day this picture sums things up well

She'd never been more okay with sitting in her stroller.  Another fun day in D.C.

We woke up with patches of icy snow on the ground.  It was cold, wet, and windy the entire day.  Not the best for vacations, but we spent a wonderful day at home.

The morning was also cold, but at 11:30 the sun broke through and in within 30 minutes the temperature was up like 20 degrees and it was fabulous.  We went to the park for lunch and let Cadance play.  So much fun.

We also did a photo shoot of her prayer animals. She was way into it and posed them a couple different ways.

She made these in nursery with a poem," the owl is flying in the air, please tell him shh...it's time for prayer, etc."

We pulled out the grill for the first time and had dinner out on the driveway.  We almost tricked ourselves into thinking it was really spring.

We even roasted a few marshmallows.  Super tasty.