Monday, June 29, 2009

Gardening and Chickens

I am enjoy having the best garden that I have ever planted. This year the kids and I planted carrots, potatoes, peas, a jalapeno plant, and three tomato plants. When my dad was here he did a lot with my garden. We got some manure from preacher’s ranch and used it to mulch the garden. The plants love it and have grown quiet a bit in the past few weeks. He also helped get a better watering system set up – a must for our dry climate. He helped finish planting the garden with beans, cucumbers, watermelon, and more peppers. I sure miss him, but he had to return to Pennsylvania to tend to his own garden. The peas are ready to pick. The kids enjoy eating them as fast as I pick them! While my dad was here we built a bigger and better yard for my chickens. I currently have three hens and one mean rooster. I got him to help protect the hens from dogs and other animals. They miss my dad. He fed them worms, grubs, crickets, and other bugs. We are getting almost enough eggs, but there are days that there are none in the fridge. I think we need a few more hens. Two weeks ago a friend loaned me her incubator so we going to try hatching chicks. We now have 17 eggs in the incubator. I know the kids and I will enjoy watching our own chicks hatch. I will try to take pictures and blog the hatching.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fifth Anniversary

Today marks five years for Gabriel and me. We were married June 26, 2004. One year after we started dating. We had been going to the same church for years, but were too shy to talk to each other. When Gabriel put his son Rueben in school, he was in the class that I taught. Then we had to talk at the parent-teacher conferences, so Rueben had a lot to do with us getting together.
I am so glad that God brought us together. I love being a wife and mother. It is way better than teaching, and I enjoyed teaching. Just come look at my family room that is all set up as a classroom. Teaching is part of me, but I will not sacrifice my children to pursue a career in education.
I am very thankful for my husband who works hard to provide for our family. I’m glad I can stay home and care for the home and the children. Gabe thinks I have the best job in the world and I agree with him. He often tells me that I am doing a good job with the kids, which is very nice to hear. There are days when I wonder if I’m doing anything right.
Last night we went out for a few hours. It was a nice break from the kids. My mother-in-law came to watch the kids. Between her and Rueben, I knew they would be fine. It was the first time I left Beth with anyone. She is now five months old. 100% home grown – as my husband calls her.I have enjoyed the past five years and hopefully the Lord allows us to enjoy many, many more years together as we watch our children grow up and serve Him.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Update

Rueben –
He has finished half of his eleventh grade work. We started the school year a bit late so he will be working on school fulltime this summer. I will be doing some with the twins as well, since they start asking for school when I try to take a break. We took the month of May off, and Rueben got to work with Dad – a great father-son time, and a nice break for me.
Abby –
She is mommy’s little helper, very willing to help with baby sister. She is reading very well for her age. She surprises me with how much she knows and can read. She is constantly asking questions and trying to learn more. The other day I asked the kids what they wanted to do, and she replied, “Something fun, like school!”
Grandpa hung a swing for the kids and she spends hours on it. She has learned how to swing herself. She will also help push the boys, when she takes a break.
She thinks she doesn’t need to nap anymore. Instead she spends quiet time reading, but later in the day she falls asleep doing whatever. I have several funny photos of her sleeping due to this.

Robert –
He has not needed to nap as much as Abby – partly because he sleeps later in the morning. He also is very good at entertaining himself. He will lie on the floor playing with his cars, trucks, or his blocks for hours, if no one disturbs him. I have found that he works better on school work while the house is quiet. It makes me wonder if I should teach Abby and him separately.
Robert is wearing Dad's work boots and is trying to put on his belt.
Josiah –
He is working on potty training. It is going easier than the twins. I started getting him used to the idea of sitting on the potty before he could walk, and have slowly increased the number of times I take him to the bathroom. He doesn’t resist going like the twins did.
He is recognizing colors and shapes. He will often point out colors that match and tell me the shape of something we build. He is also making sounds for letters, but we have not started working on them yet. Abby started at 2 1/2 , so I plan on waiting a little longer to really start letters with him. Elisabeth –
She is all smiles when she sees people. She has started teething – chewing on everything and drooling. The kids fight for her attention. They all adore her and love to make her laugh. The first laugh is an important event to the Navajo. We often are asked, “Did she laugh, yet? Who made her laugh?” She has started rolling over, so now we need to be careful about her sleeping on our bed. I continue to “wear” her when she is fussy and needs to go to sleep. She is heavy so I don’t carry her quite as much as I did. She like sitting in the walker and watching what all is going on around her.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hiking again

Since my parents are in town, I have had the opportunity to go hiking twice. My dad will hike forever! Last Wednesday we went to Sharktooth Pass trail. The book we had said the trail was open mid-June to October. They were telling the truth. We hiked in snow, but it was beautiful. There were many meadows with water from melting snow that were full of flowers. It was a short hike since we had all the little kids with us. Abby kept asking where all the people were. She didn't like being out there with no one else around.
Saturday Gabe kept two of the kids and let my dad and me go for another hike. We had originally planned to go as a family, but there was too much to be done at home and we were getting a late start. We went for a long hike this time. We took Elisabeth and Robert. Elisabeth slept for almost the entire six hours that we hiked, and Robert did great at keeping up with us. I did give him piggy-back rides for short distances.
It was really challenging to hike in the high altitude. We calculated that we were at least 2100 ft higher at our turnaround point than when we started. We hiked to the trail ended. I felt like I was almost on top of the world. The view was awesome. God made a wonderful world. I am so glad He allows us to enjoy it.
My dad was impressed that Robert did as well as he did. When we turned around. I told him we were going back to the van. He said, "Yeah, lets do that." He was happy to go down the mountain. I am still a little sore from the hike, but I'd do it again. I am looking forward to taking the kids on more hikes.
Photos taken where we turned around.