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June 30, 2005

Vegetable Garden


I am so pleased with our vegetable garden. It is beautiful and grwoing well. I love the look of raised beds and I especially like my bean teepee. We are growing lots of roma tomoatoes for salsa and for canning, as well as slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and yellow pear tomatoes. I planted five different types of peppers and each plant already has at least one pepper formed. We also planted corn, carrots, mixed greens, pumpkins, zucchini, butternut squash, acorn squash, basil and leeks.

Posted by jennifer at 09:42 AM


June 23, 2005

Patio Surprise

We have been designing and redesigning and waiting and worried about our patio for many months. It seemed like it would never happen. We were a little surprised this morning when Dave Garber and his crew showed up around eight o'clock to start forming up the patio.
The concrete truck was here around ten and the final coat of sealant went on about five. Jeremy is beckoning me outside to sit around the fire and admire the concrete.
We really like the finish, kind of a brocade look. Jeremy will eventually lay the brick around the perimeter of the deck and the landing..after he completes the sprinkler system and plants the lawn. What a guy!

Posted by jennifer at 09:46 PM


I wish I could be there to help out at "Shovel Camp"!

Posted by: Rich R at June 24, 2005 12:56 PM

June 22, 2005

Last Music Lesson

Harrison had his final music lesson today. Kris and Jd joined us at the Harmony Road Music Center to hear him perform two songs on the piano.
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This year he has learned to play with two hands, including several chords. He has learned to play with his hands in Do position (the key of C), Sol position (the key of G), and Fa position (the key of F). He has learned to read and write music. The classes put a strong focus on ear training-- being able to listen to a tune and then reproduce it by playing or singing. He has really taken to this, plunking out Ode to Joy all on his own. Is it in his genes or is it simply his environment? Probably a little of both.
Miss Liz signed Harrison's book to signify the completion of Harmony Road Book 2. I have been very happy with the investment of time and money with this program. Thanks Mom for the discovery and the funds!

Posted by jennifer at 09:17 PM


June 20, 2005

Camping III

We went for a short hike on Saturday afternoon. Harrison and Emma are used to nature walks around their other Grandma and Grandpa's property. They stopped to look at some interesting flowers and bugs. The scent from the pine needles covering the forest floor was heavenly. The hot sun was soothing, like being in a suana after a cold swim. We have had a lot of gloomy, wet weather for the last two months, and I can't get enough sunshine. We stopped half way for our traditional snack of Gorp, otherwise known as trail mix. My dad set up his scope to look at Mt. St. Helen's in the distance and Western Tanagers in the trees close by.

Posted by jennifer at 09:08 AM


GORP and trail mix are not synonymous. All GORP is trail mix, but not all trail mix is GORP. GORP is a form of trail mix comprising only raisins and peanuts. GORP == "Good Old Raisins and Peanuts".

Not that I expect this comment to appear on the site. None of mine every do :/

Posted by: J.D., the naturalist at June 22, 2005 01:31 PM

June 19, 2005

Camping II


The kids enjoyed several activitities while camping. Harrison fixated on building a trap. For what? For whatever had made the noise in the bushed the following evening. He used a cherry as bait and several precariously placed pieces of wood to disable his prey. The cherry disappeared sometime during the weekend, but the beast got away. Lisette and Emma, always into the fine motor activities, journaled and colored in the tent. They also enjoyed making nature masks.

Posted by jennifer at 08:59 AM


June 18, 2005

Camping I

We had panned to camp at Lost Creek, near Zig Zag on Mount Hood, but the weather was not very promising. So we headed east, towards the sunshine, away from the thunderstorms. We camped at Brooks Memorial Park, 15 miles south of Goldendale. We all had a blast riding bikes around the campground.

Although it was quite sunny, the kids wore sunglasses to protect their eyes from the campfire smoke. Lisette really enjoyed the campfire. She continually gathered twigs to add to the fire and stood, mesmerized, watching them burn. I guess we both have pyro tendencies. I also love to poke at the fire. On Saturday morning Harrison built the fire all by himself including lighting the match. Grandpa supervised. Everyone agreed the best part of a campfire is making s'mores.


Posted by jennifer at 08:15 AM


June 16, 2005

Kitty Plan C

Our first kitten, Pumpkin, managed to climb behind the insulation in the garage and eat rat poison. A year later we got two farm kitties from Craig and Jana. Jeremy accidently ran over one of them the next day. About a month later the other kitty simply disappeared, probably due to the neighbor's dog. Our new kitty, which we have already named Rosemary, will be raised by a surrogate family for the summer.
A neighborhood cat decided to have kittens in Carolyn's side yard. We have been watching the kittens grow for the last month or so. Julian, who is home from Goshen for the summer, really wanted one of these kitties, but Jeanette, wasn't interested in keeping it after he returns to Goshen in the fall. So we struck a deal. Rosemary will live around the corner for the next two months and will come to visit often. By the time we get her she should be big enough to defend herself and live outside, while still being friendly and cuddly to the kids. I hope plan C works!

Posted by jennifer at 05:27 PM


...and Plan D? Rumor has it that there is one in the works.

Posted by: Judy [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2005 07:40 AM

Strawberry Pickin'

strawberryh.JPGMargie and I took the six kids to Groveland Acres to pick strawberries. The strawberries were enormous and so sweet. Harrison set to work picking and keeping his strawberries evenly distributed. Emma repeatedly put a strawberry in her box and then ate it. Lisette assumed the supervisor role and tried to manage the workers. Clare wandered around unable to find the strawberries. You have to lift up the leaves to find them.
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The twins, at two years old, were incredibly helpful. They took empty cartons to Margie, who quickly filled them up, and returned them to the crate. They were delighted with this process.
We filled all of our crates in no time and made five batches of jam.

Posted by jennifer at 08:58 AM


June 15, 2005

Tuckered Out

We invited Nathan, Andrew, Julian, and Ben to dinner for some Alaskan salmon. Harrison and Emma climbed all over our guests before settling down on the couch with Nathan to watch Jeremy's pictures from Alaska.

Posted by jennifer at 09:27 AM


Harrison looks more interested in his legos than in anything else.

Posted by: jdroth at June 16, 2005 01:55 PM

June 10, 2005

Last Day of Kindergarten

I joined Harrison for the last day of school, Field Day. Ian Oaks was part of our group, which traveled from station to station playing games.
Harrison had a wonderful year at school. Last September I was quite anxious that his behavior, his energy level and silliness, would lead to a miserable year for him. This did not happen, in part because he had a wonderful teacher. We have also worked hard on teaching Harrison when it is an appropriate time to goof around and when enough is enough. At Field Day I observed lots of kids who were out of control, dangerous to themselves and others, rude and mean. In some strange way this comforts me. Harrison is a great kid!

Posted by jennifer at 09:37 AM


June 09, 2005

The Important Thing

I put all of the kindergarten slideshows and movies onto a DVD. The parents were invited to the classroom for the premiere, complete with popcorn and a big screen. The final project completed by the students was based on The Important Book. The students each completed the sentence, "The important thing about me is ..."
HarrisonImportant Photo .jpg
Harrison Important Thing.jpg

Posted by jennifer at 09:58 AM


June 08, 2005

Great Granpda's Birthday

The Gingerich family gathered at Hope Village to sing a happy birthday to Dad. I couldn't really join in the singing, having lost my voice from a cold. For those of you unfamiliar with a family sing I will try to describe. We all sit in a big circled armed with 2 hymnals, the old red book and the new blue book. Anyone may call out a hymn number, but you have to be a loud and quick. Someone blows a note on the pitch pipe and then we burst into four part harmony. The sound is amazing. Often Tom G., or lately it has been Julian, try to adjust the tempo. There are certain songs that are sung in a peculiar way -- too loud, too fast, slurred notes, very serious -- because they hold a special meaning or memory to the family.
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We sang for over an hour. Emma and Maren danced to the music in the middle of the group, even though traditionally Mennonites don't dance. Even Great Grandpa gave them a thumbs up. Harrison, having learned to read words and music, attempted a few songs. He also played Joyful, Joyful, on the piano for Great Grandpa. A great time was had by all.

Posted by jennifer at 10:12 AM


good description, Jenn- the only thing that got missed is the fact that Great Grandpa said several times, "those girls are dancing like in the old testament..." and the incredible thing was that he said it with such pride and joy on his face. i think he really enjoyed that evening. and it's so nice to see the kids having fun around him again after being slightly scared for awhile there... thanks for the updates!

Posted by: jennifer lyn at June 16, 2005 09:15 PM

June 05, 2005

Clare's Pool Party

Clare's fourth birthday party was held at the SW Community Pool in Portland.
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Clare smiled her way through the singing of the birthday song, and then quickly devoured several pieces of chocolate cake. After opening presents, everyone jumped into the pool. Annalise loved the water almost as much as she loves her mommy.
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During the party Harrison repeatedly claimed he would not go down that slide. Emma couldn't wait! After a few minutes in the pool I dragged Harrison up to the top and we went down together. That's all it took. From then on Harrison went down by himself, doing belly rolls as he slid down the watery tunnel. He was even able to swim to the edge after splash down. Emma, wearing a lifejacket, spent the next hour going down the slide as well.
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We all had a great time and left the pool quite exhausted.

Posted by jennifer at 06:33 PM


June 04, 2005

Good Buds

Harrison and Emma get along remarkably well. This moment was captured by Grandpa at the Oregon Garden.


It is so much fun to watch them play together. I am close to both of my sisters. I have always attributed this to being close in age. We are each less than two years apart. Harrison and Emma are 22 months apart. The first couple of years with an infant and toddler were tough. I often felt depressed. Now, I think it was worth it.

Posted by jennifer at 08:18 AM


June 01, 2005

The Apple Store

Last night Harrison represented his kindergarten class at Canby's School Night at the Apple Store. Thirty-eight students, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade, presented their technology projects to parents, school staff, and shoppers. The turnout was the biggest that the Apple Store has ever had for School Night.

Click on the link below to watch Harrison's class retell the story of The Three Little Pigs. Harrison is playing the theme music. You might recognize Jared Oyer as the straw house pig.

Click here to watch the Three Little Pigs

Posted by jennifer at 02:05 PM



It's great to hear Hank's progress at the piano.

But do you know what my favorite part of the video was? I'm sure you can guess. It has to do with product placement. Heh.

Posted by: jdroth [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 1, 2005 02:32 PM