Friday, May 21, 2010

Grandparents Night

At our church every Wednesday night the kids have what is called "Recess". Recess, is suppose to be a fun outreach time where the kids invite other kids to church and they have a short lesson and then play some fun games. Every Wednesday has a different dress code. Sometimes its something like parents night (you dress like your parents), robot night, red (or some other color) night, hat night, tie night... and so on... you get the picture, right?

Last Wednesday night was Grandparents night. So Noah is here dressed like his bapa.

i thought it was cool when i found this shirt in joshua's closet, cause it looks just like a shirt his bapa has!!!

He insisted on having a mustache even though his bapa doesn't have one.

i think he looks pretty good with a 'stache!

Seth dressed up too, but his mom was rushing around trying to get ready for church and didn't get a chance to take a picture of him.

i know, bad mom!

Anyway... Moving on... Seth had on a suit coat with a tie and he carried a CANE! I don't know where he got that idea from. He looked really funny trying to walk across the parking lot with it.

They really like dressing up. They get candy at the door if they are in dress code. If they bring a friend with them then they get five tickets. Their name goes on the tickets and then it goes into a VW Bug, named Cosmo.

yes, a real one. it was used in a production the kids did several years ago.

At the end of summer they have a drawing and the kids' ticket that's drawn gets to take home the big prize. One time it was a scooter. Then there was a flat-screen TV, tickets to Carowinds, and more that I can't remember.

pretty cool, huh?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garden Update

Our garden is going pretty good. We are trying some new things this year. Mike bought me a Topsy Turvy made for strawberries.

I use the same soil mixture that I used in my garden. (1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost) We planted a total of 30 plants!

You can put two plants in each hole.

It took some working to get the plants through the holes.

After topping it off with the last bit of soil, it was now time to find a place to hang it.

We hung it from our deck. I'm glad it came with strong wire to hang it with cause that thing was heavy!

It was a little bit of a job, but hopefully it will pay off in the end with lots of yummy strawberries in our own back yard.

The other change we've made is adding mulch around the garden. I thought it would be soooo easy... you just buy mulch and pour it out around where you want it, right?


When we tried that around one box it was immediately apparent that it wasn't going to work that way. The mulch was mounded up and falling all over the place. We quickly realized we were going to have to dig out the grass. We did that on one box first to make sure that worked. It worked beautifully!



I don't know if your soil is like mine... the red clay kind... but man did it take a long time to dig around those boxes. We had 3 shovels and 4 people taking turns and it took us about 2 hours from start to finish for just ONE box. But it was so worth it! Look how pretty and neat it looks...

now just two more to go. UGH!!!

Now that we've finished with the mulching, YEA!, we can move on to how the veggies are growing. Well... everything was going great UNTIL a few days ago when I went out to check-up on my little guys...

and to my horror this is what I found. Something had turned my lettuce, peas, broccoli, and green pepper leaves into swiss cheese! YIKES!!!

look at these poor guys! can't you just feel their pain? feel free to send your donations of any amount to help support the "ryals garden restoration fund"!

So, I've been busy researching how to get rid of whatever is eating my garden. I don't want to us pesticides of any kind. I have found some interesting ideas online. Here are a few tips if you are having the same unwanted guest in your garden...

1. You can use egg shells and used coffee grounds to get rid of gnats and slugs. I just keep a jar by my sink and everyday fill it with egg shells (we eat lots of eggs) and coffee grounds. When its full I take it to the garden and sprinkle it over the soil. I had forgotten I did this last year and it really does work.

2. The next thing I'm going to try is an onion/garlic insect repellent. All you do is save your onion skins, peels and ends. Once you have enough, soak them for a few days in warm water. You could just leave them outside in the sun. Then strain the onion/garlic pieces out and pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Bury the strained parts around your plants. You can spray both house plants and garden plants with this spray. I am going to test the spray on the plant first just to make sure it doesn't harm the plant. Do this by spraying one or two leaves and wait three days to see if there are any changes.

i hope my plants will make it three more days... those bugs are serious about their eatin'!

To find out more about homemade natural pesticides check out this great site I found...

Another thing I've done to help keep bugs from my garden was to plant some herbs and flowers among the veggies. Some of my Marigolds look like this, GREAT!

But most of them look like these poor guys... hmmm?

Anyway, on a positive note... My cabbage is getting huge. Still waiting to find a head? I keep trying to sneak a peak, but I still haven't found anything yet. The broccoli is growing well too. I have 4 heads of broccoli so far.

And the peas are growing like crazy! They are almost to the top of the trellis. I really hope the natural pesticides work. Have you tried any that worked? Leave me a comment... I'd love to know what's worked for you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yummy Strawberries

The best part of spring and summer is all of the yummy fruit to be picked. Today we went to a local strawberry farm.

On the way to the farm, which was only 20 mins away, the temperature went up almost 10 degrees! I was hot! 82 degrees by the time we got there.

I love the pretty little flowers on the strawberry plants.

I tried to get a close-up... it's a little blurry, but still pretty.

Just a few strawberries in the bucket.

We went with my friend Zenobia and her daughter Ezra. Isn't she so cute! Ezra had a lot of fun pulling the strawberries off and throwing them in the bucket.

Joshua helping Ezra find more berries.

Seth has already filled one bucket.

Joshua and Ezra still filling her bucket.

I think Noah has had enough! Man was it hot.

Now Seth is helping Ezra fill up her bucket.

I manage to sneak away and pick a few myself.

Here's the whole gang, hot and sweaty!

These strawberries are so sweet and yummy... although I think I better lay off some... my stomach is starting to disagree.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seth's Spring Piano Recital

This past weekend Seth had his spring piano recital. He played "The Russian Sailor Dance" and "Party Song".

Seth loves to play the piano. He especially likes to create his own songs.

Mom and dad were in town for the weekend, so they got to see his recital too.

We are very proud of your hard work and drive to stick with it. Keep up the good work, Buddie!