Spring Photos

Spring has held a lot for our family of eight.  We have been busy with birthdays, school, soccer, visits with grandparents, journeying through our longest foster placement thus far, Scott defending his dissertation proposal, and lots more.  I thought I would share several snapshots of Morrison life.  

As I scrolled back through my photos, I realized I didn’t post many regarding the kids’ actual birthdays.  I always decorate the table on the morning of our kids’ birthdays.  Julian had a Lego figure theme this year.  He’s eleven now!  We celebrated his birthday months ago, in early spring, with his best buds here at the house.

Madelyn had an art party for her birthday.  She invited her closest girlfriends from school.  These creative cats had a ball.  I highly recommend art parties.

Scott helped out with face painting at the party.

The girls did marble paintings, along with many other art related activities, and they turned out great!

Yummy vegan cupcakes were made in abundance for our kids’ birthdays.

My mom made these aprons for the girls to enjoy at the party.  They were made out of hand towels and ribbons.  Aren’t they cute?  My mom is amazing.

Kalen had a birthday party at our home as well.  He had the guys from his first grade class come over and celebrate with us.  This picture shows Scott heading up some relay races.

Surrounded by his best buds.  He had a super fun 7th birthday.

Madelyn made this adorable outfit for Brady’s Build a Bear and many other outfits for unclothed critters.  She is so creative and still loves sewing and designing things.

This is just a shot of Scott and I to let you know we are still indeed alive, even though we are rarely pictured.  🙂

The last kid birthday celebrated, was of course, Brayden’s.  This was his breakfast table decoration. Obviously, he is a Toy Story fan.

I am confident that Brady was well loved on his special day.  

Here’s Madelyn and my mom at the Strawberry Festival, an annual event in Durham.

And here is a funny photo of me with three huge cupcakes.  Scott discovered that Whole Foods now makes these vegan cupcakes.  He surprised me and came home with them on my special day.  Feels good to be 33.  Birthdays aren’t as exciting as they use to be though.

No, I didn’t eat all three cupcakes.  I ate some of all of them though!  Carrot cake was my favorite.  I highly recommend Whole Foods vegan cupcakes!

We felt guilty about sharing these cupcakes without the kids, so we ordered some more to share with our kids and Scott’s parents who were visiting.

We recently took part in a fun day at our Life and Science Museum here in Durham.  The Durham County Department of Social Services decided to honor their foster families and treat us to a day at the museum with our families. 

Julian is still loving Legos.

Sweet Kalen

Maddie and Brady hanging out at home.

I do wish I could show the precious little faces of our foster children on my blog.  I hope you all don’t think it is creepy that I take photos of their hands and feet.  They are just so adorable and I have to capture them somehow for you.  This photo was taken the day our little boy painted at our house for the first time.  Our kids paint frequently.  It was so neat to watch our little boy use real paintbrushes and an array of brightly colored paints.  He was timid and so careful, almost like the freedom to paint was so overwhelming.  His joy shined as he used each color and experimented with the brush.  I teared up as I praised his hard work.  He was so happy.  Surely, this wasn’t the first time he has painted, but maybe it was.  🙂

We went to see my mom, Annette, Grandma and Uncle Bob last weekend.  You’ll see several flower pictures below because Mom is a flower person.  My grandma and my mom are both crazy about flowers.  I am realizing more and more that I take after them in so many ways, including this love of flowers.  I like how my grandma and my mom both appreciate beauty.  Mom’s garden is bright and beautiful right now.

Here I am with Grandma.  She is such a gift to me.  I love her to pieces.  

Here is my mom with our baby girl.  Mom has taken to her and our little boy with such ease and incredible love. I am so thankful for this.  

Annette set up a slip and slide for the kids.  They had a wet and wild time!  It was so much fun to watch.  


Advertisements

A Recent Harvest

As we have been touch and go with our garden this spring and summer, I have often thought of our garden along with The Little Engine That Could. It has bounced back each time we get the extreme temperatures of our hot summertime.  When I look over the deck into our garden, I can almost hear a faint I think I can, I think I can . . .

Currently we are harvesting peppers, okra, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes.  I am so thankful for a garden that is green and growing.

Garden Fresh

Harvesting from our growing garden is so much fun and super delicious!  Tonight we had some of our homegrown kale with some wild rice, tofu and bread.  It seemed tastier since some of it was fresh.  I’ll wash up the lettuce that I cut today for a fresh salad tomorrow.  I need to do some research for unique salad toppers.  We have this amazing lettuce that I keep topping with the same old toppings.  I’m up for ideas from any of my readers.  🙂

Garden Delight

I took some photos a couple days ago as the kids and I were out in the backyard gardening.  Our plants have grown quite a bit in the last week or so.  At one point, I thought the seedlings wouldn’t amount to much.  Now, our garden is green and growing.

Maddie by our most recent garden addition.  We have onions, sugar snap peas, snow peas, tomatoes, chard, basil, cilantro and romaine lettuce planted here in this space pictured.

Kale

Kale with lettuce

Newly planted tomato plants

Turnips, tomato plants and lettuce varieties

Onions

Romaine lettuce

Lettuce, kale and marigolds

Lettuce varities

Blackberry bushes

Brady’s worms

Kalen’s snails

Spring Gardening

Kalen and I spotted this toad in our backyard as we were gardening on the first day of spring.  Kalen named it Jumpy.  This little toad sung to us.


This is a new addition to our gardening in the backyard.  You can see the onions on the right.  Those have been growing for awhile.  It takes a long time for onions to be ready.  Kalen, Brayden and I laid the brick walkway down.  I put up several of our tomato cages to plant our sugar snap peas and our snow peas within and around them.  Those peas love to climb.  Hopefully, when those phase out, we can plant tomatoes there.  I also planted marigold and basil seeds just in front of the cages.  On the left, you will see the bright green romaine plants.

This is a picture taken from my back deck.  You can see the layout of our garden space.

After we put the compost on our garden, we let it sit for several days.  Then, I planted kale and lettuce plants.  Over the past few days, I planted all of our seeds; kale, chard, spinach, collards, lettuce varieties, marigolds, and turnips.  I also planted my darling little seedlings that I had been taking care of inside.  Those seedlings were kale, lettuce, marigolds, and cabbage.  About half of our seedlings were healthy and strong enough to transplant.  So far, so good.

(Daniel and Jen, you would be proud)

I have started these little inside plants from other mama plants we have been growing already.  I bought the aloe at the Farmer’s Market for cheap.  I ended up getting several little aloes within the big mama plant container.


Compost from Carefree Ranch

It is not a chore for our family to ride out to a horse ranch in the country to pick up compost.  Driving on a gorgeous springlike day to retrieve garden gold and visit horses, you don’t have to twist our arm for this kind of thing.  Our friend, Robbie, at Carefree Ranch welcomed us again to come shovel up some compost for our garden.  Last year we visited this dreamy ranch out in Chapel Hill.  It is so refreshing just being there.

Last year, Scott and Julian shoveled up some horse manure for our garden.  This year, Robbie took us to some compost that had been sitting for sometime.  The great thing about true compost like this is that it doesn’t stink that bad.  Last year, now that was different.  Let’s just say that Scott rode home with all possible windows down.

We filled as many containers as we possibly could and headed over to where the horses were.  These beauties were so gentle and sweet.  We were able to touch them and get super close to each of them.  The kids loved it, as did Scott and I.

When we got the compost home, we shoveled it out into our garden beds that had just been tilled the day before by Scott.  We were so thrilled with the compost, Brayden and I went out the next morning and got more!

We love this little dog.  His name is Waco (yes, he is from Texas).  He is a Miniature Australian Shepherd.  We would love to have this kind of dog.  We have been looking online and such just to learn about them.  They aren’t cheap, but appear to be great dogs.

For Christmas, my Dad and Sally gave me these boots from Tractor Supply.  I told them I thought I would enjoy them for gardening.  Sally and Dad, you don’t know how much I LOVE these boots, especially when you are shoveling up horse manure/compost.