My Aunt Donna and Uncle Steve (sadly not pictured) just got off their mission to Jordan. (Jealous!) So we had a sort of family reunion / party to celebrate their return. We started with a potluck, we ended with a slide show. And the middle was filled with a veggie derby. What is a veggie derby? Good question. I had no idea. Basically it's a pinewood derby, but the cars are made out of veggies (with wooden wheels and nails to keep them in. And random toothpicks to hold things together).
Here's my mom's car. Notice the driver is all demonic-looking and the passenger is scared out of its wits? I don't blame it. It went down the track in circles.
Here are BJ and I working on our car. He shaped the car and I made the peoples. (And yes, the sun was superbright.)
Awww… isn't our car fer cute? Mom decided it was us. BJ's got a potato hat, and I'm a hippie child with a borage flower from our salad on my head. We decided to do a three-wheeled car to try and prevent the spinning in circles down the track tendency.
Most people used potatoes. Some people got creative. Here's a zucchini. It won almost every time. I think from sheer weight.
Or how about a cob of corn? It didn't do so hot. The wheels were too high up and the corn rubbed against the track.
Oh! Here's a potato. Shaped and decorated like a mouse. I loved it!
Here's the lineup of all the contenders.
And here are the three winners! (Yes! Our car took first place!)
Though, turns out, we're gonna be all wrinkly and moldy when we get old. Gross.
And now here we have a video of the winning race. Watch our car take the lead right at the last minute. And hear me screaming in giddiness in the background. Haha.
I thought I had done a pretty good job picking my zucchini when they were still decently small. Yesterday I went over and just happened to notice something green and much, much thicker than a leaf stalk, so I investigated. This is what I brought home.*
Yes, that thing is the length of my entire arm. I'm considering just keeping it as is and using it as a club in case anyone tries to break into my house. (Or more realistically I'll be using it to make stuffed zucchini tonight.)
Also, this picture makes me look like a giant. I know how tall that ceiling is. It's a vaulted ceiling. If I were actually a giant, I fear to think of what size that zucchini actually would be. Or the damage it could cause.
Ok, I'm not sure that picture does it justice. Here it is again, next to a normal sized zucchini and a fork. Just for more perspective's sake.
*There were actually two of these. But I gave one to Travis' roommates.
So that my misc. post doesn't get too picture heavy due to catch up, here is a partial catch up of misc. stuff.
Kessa likes to make noises into containers. We love to laugh at her doing it.
She also loves to carry things around the house with her. Even if they are far too big.
I just love pictures of Kessa sleeping. Isn't she just adorable?
Here is Grandma Lovell teaching Kessa to put stuff on her head. She still loves to do it.
BJ got his iPad. He was being a goof and pushing buttons on the box and pretending to be confused when it didn't work.
Kessa loves to flop over upside down. This is especially common just before bedtime. We think her burst of cuteness just before bedtime is a natural response to allow her to stay up later. Either that or she's a lot smarter than we give her credit for.
We have a mirror in the car so we can see Kessa while we drive. This is a car trip from her perspective. (Except I'm not typically turned around while driving with a camera in my hand.)
Our garbage disposal broke. BJ, our new handyman, fixed it. Kessa really wanted to help.
Kessa has started holding her ear as a comfort. This is how she usually drinks her bottles. When we go to lay her down for bed, she'll hold her ear with one hand and suck her middle fingers on the other. It's so stinkin' cute.
She got letter magnets for her birthday. Apparently she's trying to learn how to preserve things for later. Here she is canning her letters. This was a favorite game until I finally put the jars away where she couldn't reach them.
Travis and Andrea joined us for 4th of July festivities. They came over for dinner and games and just overall goofing off. Travis, turns out, is the king of Goof. Someday I'll do a post of all the goofy pictures I have of Travis.
Kessa went to bed early (she was a grump) so our neighbors babysat while we went to fireworks. (Thanks again so much, Kristen and Miguel!)
We do FHE every week with Bonnie and Co. Here and there, BJ and I will come up with an impromptu lesson. BJ decided to teach the Tower of Babel. They used Kessa's blocks to build a tower. With every new block placed, they had to say one bad thing the people did. Like crossing the street without their mom or not sharing with their sister. Then when it got really tall, they toppled it over.
Here is Ellie with the tower, pre-topple.
Later they built the City of Enoch, building it by saying all the good things those people did. BJ tried to raise the city to heaven, but a few inches off the ground, it toppled. Turns out, God is a lot better at raising cities to heaven than BJ is.
Right after her birthday party, Kessa came down with strep throat. We didn't diagnose it for a few days, because she had just got her shots and we were warned that she might get a fever about a week later. Well, the timing was right, and so was the fever. So we just assumed that's what it was. For a day or two, Kessa had zero energy at all. She wasn't really grumpy, just… there. This is what we did for most of those days… it broke my heart.
On Tuesday she was diagnosed with strep throat, so we got her on antibiotics and immediately called/emailed everyone that had been in contact with her in the previous 5 days or so to warn them of the chance of strep. Of course, her birthday party had fallen in that time, making the number of people she could have infected much larger than normal.
The only person we know to have gotten it from her was Uncle Travis. (Was the head rub worth it?) He played with her for most of the party and looks like he got the worst end of it. But despite the problems it caused, both of them got over it and life is good again.
Warning: This blog post is picture heavy and maybe not all that interesting to anyone but Travis and me. I'm mostly posting it so that Travis, who has been away from our garden for a month, can see how it is doing. Please feel free to skip this if you want. (Except you, Travis. You must continue on to the end, seeing as how I'm doing this for you.)
Here's the front flower bed. See how nicely it is filling out? There are still a coupla bare spots, but they are much, much fewer. So pretty!
And here's the main garden sans broccoli. It's amazing how much more bare it looks. (Esp. since it doesn't look all that bare.) There are just 6 very large plants… missing.
Here's the yellow squash. It's doing a bit better since last you saw it, isn't it?
Here's one of the pepper plants. You can't really tell since I don't have great photographing skills and the light was awful and I photographing green on green here, but there were probably at least 8 peppers on this plant. Maybe up to 12, but I think I picked some before I took the picture cuz I'm smart like that.
This picture is sideways, but I don't care enough to fix it. (Blogger, I'd love if you let me rotate in here!) But look how huge the zinnia plant is! I love it!
Also this Zinnia plant. (Also sideways) You can't tell as much cuz it's all one color, but it is also huge.
Here is the zucchini plant that is taking over the garden. The lettuce and spinach were on the squares on the right. The broccoli and cauliflower were on the bottom left. See why I don't think we should plant anything there for fall? Also note the very sad state of the calendulas. I had just dead headed them. Sadly, that made them look better. Yes, this photo is better than what they looked like a little before.
See? They moved the hammock. See how I get no shade in the morning anymore? [sigh] You can also kind of see some of the weeds and dead grass off to the right. (Not the strip of dead stuff in the middle that is your fault, but off to the right.)
Icky broadleaf weeds! They're taking over! Also, they're much bigger now. And… I still haven't done anything about them. Sorry!
Ah. Here you can see the patch of dead grass.
These are the broadleaf weeds taking over your yard. They've since bloomed. They kinda look like dandelions.
Here's what your front room looked like the day they delivered the wood. Have they installed the wood floors yet? I didn't go over there today.
And here is all the mail that fit into your mailbox because your silly roommates forgot they were supposed to check the mail. It looks like less since I put the plants and all the other junk from the front room on the table. Still. So much paper for one tiny mailbox.
Here's the forest that is slowly creeping upon your driveway. I think I was wrong about it coming from your neighbor's yard. I think it's coming up from the crack between the fence and the driveway. There's more off to the left on the other fence, butI didn't take a picture of that.
Back garden! (Yeah, really bad time of day for these pictures. So much hard shadow!) See how the tomatoes are taking over the world? You have to kind of duck off to the side to get past them on the path.
Ok, seriously. What's up with these black eyed susans? Do you see how the black of the center is bleeding out into the pedals? I've looked and of the many black eyed susans I've seen elsewhere, these are the only ones I've ever seen bleed.
Oooh! The cantaloupe is getting its netting! I'm so excited!!!
Pumpkin #1 that is the biggest and the most orange. Despite what the next picture looks like.
Pumpkin #2. It's smaller. It'll probably taste better. (Sorry, it probably won't make a good jack o'lantern unless it's just a painted one. But that's ok. It'll make a tastier pie.)
Pumpkin #3. It's about the same size as #2. And that's more like what the color of #2 is like. #2 is more orange than this one, but not nearly as orange as it looks like in the picture.
Tada! The composter! Also, see how far the pumpkin vine has grown? It's ridiculous. I've actually turned it since taking this picture and it's growing back under the composter.
Cucumbers! Seriously. I hope you are hungry for cucumbers when you get home. I picked five on Monday. Two were the length of my forearm. There are more that still need to be picked that are huge. I still haven't eaten the first 5.
The beans and cucumbers have far outreached the top of the vine. (Also, we finally have baby beans on the bean vine.)
The asparagus has definitely gone to seed.
Here is the mass of cantaloupe vine. You can see the artichoke and raspberry plants poking up through it if you know what to look for.
Taken from a bit further back. You can see the mass of green that is the pumpkin, cantaloup, artichoke, raspberry, and strawberry. See how big the strawberry plant is? (Also, one of the other strawberry plants is growing strawberries right now! They'll probably be ripe by the time you get here. Hopefully they don't ripen before that, cuz I might be too tempted to eat them if they do.)
Flower bed in back. The bleeding heart isn't loving life right now. Half of it is dead. Also, the light makes them all look bad. But they're not really all that bad. The hostas have flowers! And they're pretty! But… the flower bed isn't doing great, either.
The hollyhock. With the snapdragons bleached out by the sun. Thanks, Mr. Sun. (I guess I could've probably closed the gate for this one. Oh well. Live and learn.) Oh, and the tall weed between them I pulled yesterday. So ignore that.
And… that's all! Oh, btw, I planted the lettuce and spinach yesterday. I need to get Casey to change the sprinklers there from the drip to the 360 spray. I was gonna leave him a note and forgot. There are three squares still open next to the yellow squash. We can definitely get broccoli from Cook's and Linden hopes to have broccoli and cabbage starts by the end of the month (but will that be too late?) and Vineyard doesn't have fall starts at all. Alas. So mebbe I'll go get some broccoli to plant. [shudder] What I don't do for you...