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July 30, 2005

Backyard Retreat

We are so close to completion on our backyard projects.
The brick fire pit is beautiful and in use nearly every night.
The geometric herb garden was completed on Thursday. Jeremy and I figured out the design and he did the tilling and digging while I went to Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery to purchase the plants. After supper we put them all in the ground. While I put the kids to bed, Jeremy completed the drip system to each new plant and we gave them a drink. Eventually there will be a fountain (cheaper and easier to maintain than a water feature/pond) in the center of the herb garden and a grape arbor (or wisteria or climbing rose) with a bench/swing underneath at the back of the herb garden.
Jeremy has worked very hard, often too hard, on this backyard transformation. Hopefully one of these days he can relax and enjoy it!

Posted by jennifer at 05:14 PM


Looks fantastic! Can't wait to see it in person!

Posted by: Rich R [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2005 10:54 AM

July 27, 2005

Butterflies at the Zoo

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We spent another wonderful Wednesday evening at the zoo. This time we met Margie and the kids early enough to visit the butterfly exhibit. This is a worth a trip to the zoo if you haven't seen them before.
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The kids had a great time dancing. Harrison and Emma practiced new moves that they learned during Harmony Road Junior Music Camp - the mashed potato, the shimmy, and the bump.

Posted by jennifer at 04:59 PM


July 26, 2005

Great Great Aunts


Jeremy's Great Aunts (Harrison & Emma's Great Great Aunts) are visiting from Indiana. They stopped in to say hello and to see what we had done to this place, the former residence of their sister, Dorothy Gingerich. I think they liked the changes we have made. Their response was very old Mennonite -- It's amazing... these young people who have so much money to do all this... .


While we visisted with the great great aunts, Jeremy mowed the lawn for the first time. Looks good sweetiw!

Posted by jennifer at 04:47 PM


July 25, 2005

Kitties Move In

The kitties are here to stay. Rosemary and Sweet Pea were not impressed with their drooling playmate, Kess. After a period of time being held next to the dog, the kitties were placed in their house, where they glared uncertainly at the dog for over an hour. When they finally ventured out Kess lay very still. Only her eyes moved following first one kitty, then the other. She is such a good dog. Still the kitties refuse to play with her. Sweet Pea hisses. Rosemary remains aloof. Kess gives a deep doggy sigh.


Posted by jennifer at 04:32 PM


July 24, 2005

Lost Lake

We spent a wonderful weekend camping at Lost Lake with my parents and our friends Mac, Pam and little Megan. Margie and Tom and their kids also joined us on Saturday for fishing and splashing in the lake.


Tom and Grandpa took Lisette and Harrison to the far side of the lake to fish from shore, while Mac and Jeremy fished from the canoe. Margie, Pam, and I, with babies on our backs, went to check on the fisherman late in the afternoon. Harrison and Lisette were running along the bank with net in hand ready to assist the moment a bite was suspected. My dad said they had not sat down all afternoon.

The mid day score:
Grandpa & Tom - 2
Jeremy & Mac - 3
Lisette and Harrison - 0

We hiked back to camp to start on dinner while the fishing continued. About an hour later Grandpa, Lisette and Harrison returned. Harrison had caught a fish. He had also caught a craw dad that had come up to investigate the trout on the stringer. He just reached in with the always ready net and scooped it out. The kids were delighted to hear that Pam would gladly eat the cooked craw dad.

A couple of hours later, after we had all finished dinner, Mac and Jeremy made it back to camp. They had caught 8 trout, making a grand total of 11. We were all to stuffed from shish kabobs, so we decided to save all of the fish for breakfast.

Believe it or not the next morning we ate all eleven fish and one craw dad. They were delicious! Half of them were prepared stuffed with butter, season salt, and fresh basil, wrapped in foil and roasted in the coals. The other half were breaded with eggs and cracker crumbs and then fried in oil over the campfire. Rainbow trout, bacon, and blueberry pancakes make for one terrific camp breakfast!

Posted by jennifer at 02:26 PM


July 22, 2005

Cousins and Kitties

On Saturday evening we hosted yet another salmon barbecue. My mom and dad and sister and her family joined us for a wonderful evening. The kitties came for another visit, and the cousins delighted in holding them.
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We also enjoyed a fire in the newly finished brick fire pit. Harrison hauled wood in the wheelbarrow and Zach jumped on board for a ride.
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Posted by jennifer at 11:14 AM


July 16, 2005

Hubbard Hop Festival

A year ago, in our little green house in Hubbard, we hosted a hord of friends and families for the Hubbard Hop Festival. We had just made the decision to move. We had just agreed to sell our house to Janice.

This year we sat in front of our former abode. We visited with our former neighbors. I feel very good about our decision to move. I hate making decisions, and I second guess them afterwards. It is really nice to have this big decision behind us and feel great about the results.

Now if I could only come to a decision about my job...

Posted by jennifer at 01:21 PM


I miss the Hop's Festival...

Did you enter the pie contest?

Posted by: Rich R [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 22, 2005 08:28 AM

July 15, 2005

Swim Lessons

The kids finished two weeks of very successful swimming lessons. Emma, Maren, and Riley formed one class. Harrison, Antonio, and Ian formed the other class. The kids had a great time with their friends, and the moms enjoyed visiting too.
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Posted by jennifer at 01:09 PM


July 14, 2005

Zoo Concert

Every summer I love going to the zoo concerts. Sitting on the lawn, listening to music, and watching the kids dance is so much fun. Even Jeremy relaxed as we enjoyed a wonderful evening with Mac, Pam and Megan.
I hope to go to several more Wednesday evening concerts. With our Family Plus membership we get into the zoo and concert for free. And we can take along one guest. This is such a great deal. Let me know if you want to join us for an evening at the zoo.

Posted by jennifer at 12:57 PM


Could you call me please!!!

Posted by: jeremy at July 21, 2005 01:25 PM

sounds like a great time! i would love to go with you sometime- let me know. :) and i'll even help babysit again sometime. it's been really great to see you all more often in the last 6+ months! i love you all-

Posted by: jenniferlg [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2005 04:15 PM

July 12, 2005

Friends and Kitties

Ian and Riley came over to play, and so did the kitties. Emma brought out her cradle so they could take a nap. Amazingly, the kitties complied! kidskitties.JPG kidskitties2.JPG The adults enjoyed an evening on the newly completed patio.

Posted by jennifer at 12:42 PM


July 11, 2005

Brick Laying Lessons

Years of working for Charlie have finally paid off! Jeremy did a great job on the brick border around the patio. The kids found the process very interesting... for a few minutes.
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The finished product is so beautiful. See pictures in other blog entries.

Posted by jennifer at 12:30 PM


July 10, 2005

Mmmmm Berries

The marionberry and boysenberry vines at the back of our property have been neglected for a couple of years. Still, we managed to pick enough for a few pies and a batch of jam. Imagine how many berries we could get if the plants were well tended? That's a project for next year.

Posted by jennifer at 12:34 PM


Nice entries. Now will you please call me!

Posted by: jeremy at July 21, 2005 12:44 PM

No, call me! I want you to take the personality test.

Posted by: J.D. at July 21, 2005 01:42 PM

OK, OK. I will make a much better effort next spring to teach you the fine art of training cane berries

Posted by: Judy Turd Curls at July 21, 2005 05:43 PM

July 07, 2005

Roses in the Bathtub

Our roses have been in full bloom for a couple of months now. Emma enjoys collecting the spent petals. Last week Judy and Emma added a little water to a cup full of petals to make perfume. The plan was to let the mixture set out for a few days, but it only lasted a few minutes. Then Emma just had to play with it. She dabbed her perfume on everyone's wrists and behind everyone's ears. Judy gave her a rose petal bath that evening. The next day she continued playing with her lotion potion, as she termed it, by paiting everyone's fingernails.
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Last night the kids took to carving ivory soap outside. Emma bored out several holes in her soap. Jeremy was prunning the roses, so Emma put the roses into the holes. At bath time Emma was so pleased with her new invention. I think she should make several rose holders for Kris and Jd's new bathroom at Rosing's Park.

Posted by jennifer at 08:14 AM


July 06, 2005

Cousin Night

We have declared every Tuesday night this summer to be Cousin night at our house. This means any of Jeremy's first cousins are invited for food and fellowship. Last week we had a huge crowd and grilled lots of Alaskan salmon. Last night was our fourth Cousin Night. All day long Harrison sang, "Tonight is Cousin Night!"

We feasted on taco salad and berry cobbler out on the patio.

Andrew brought along his girlfriend. She was very friendly, seemed pretty smart, gave Andrew a little sass, and played a lot with the kids. I like her.

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Ben brought his catch of crawdads to show off.

Lydia learned how to jump off the tree onto the platter swing.

A good time was had by all.

Posted by jennifer at 09:40 AM


July 05, 2005


Last Sunday afternoon the kids and I went to the fireworks stand. I had given them each a couple of dollars for helping me weed the rhodie hedge along the road. They were both so exicited to use their dollars. They looked at all of the fabulous choices for under two dollars. Emma setteld on a panda bear the climbs up a pole amongst a shower of sparks. Harrison chose a fire and smoke breathing dragon. We also got lots of sparklers and a few fountains.
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The kids were so excited to do the fireworks. Mac had bought a big box at Costco, so we were well stocked. After a few little fountains Emma wanted to do spraklers. She grabbed a sprakler and threw it on the ground near the spent fountains and asked us to light it. Apparently she had forgotten over one year's time that you hold a sparkler in your hand. Jeremy demonstrated and Emma, frightened for the first few moments, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
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Posted by jennifer at 09:13 AM


Sprinklers Completed

A day off from work on the 4th of July, meant another full day of work outside on the irrigation system. Jeremy got up early to finish the sprinklers along the side and front path. The kids and I worked on cleaning up old pipe, wood, roots, and junk from around the property. At three o'clock the sprinklers were set and working. For the next two hours we filled in all the ditches around the house. Jeremy operated the tractor, while I used a shovel and the kids pushed with their hands and feet.

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At some point the kids disappeared. We found Emma curled up asleep in the stroller under the trees. Harrison was inside playing on the Lego website. We quickly cleaned up and headed south to Mac and Pam's new place for a hamburgers and fireworks.

Posted by jennifer at 08:48 AM


July 04, 2005

Biscuits and Gravy

Today being the fourth of July, I decided to make the all American breakfast, biscuits and gravy. The kids prefer the biscuits with homemade strawberry jam.
I learned to love biscuits and gravy during my six years in Texas. There was a Whataburger just down from my apartment and they served up some good biscuits and gravy. I have tried for years without success to make good sausage gravy. Last fall I stumbled upon this recipe in the Mennonite Country-Style Recipes cookbook that is just right:

Fry up 1 cup of Jimmy Dean hot sausage. Pour in 1 1/4 cups chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Shake together 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup flour. Pour into boiling broth stirring vigorously until thickened. Season with slat to taste.

I use the recipe for flaky biscuits from the The Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated. This is my essential cookbook that I couldn't do without.

Posted by jennifer at 09:17 AM


July 03, 2005

Lawn Success

I know I should have taken picures of each step, leveling the land, digging the trenches, laying the pipe, smoothing it all out by collecting rocks and sticks, spreading and raking in the seed. Jeremy has worked very, very hard on this project. He is a maniac, barely taking a break from 7:00 am to 10:30 pm. He did stop for a few moments last night to enjoy the site of his sprinklers in action.

Posted by jennifer at 09:32 AM


July 02, 2005

Outdoor Living

Our patio is now ten days old. We have eaten dinner outside for six days in a row. The sun slips behind the house and trees around five so the patio is in shade, while the garden and yard are still bathed in sun. Eating outside has inspired my cooking. Over the last week we have had grilled salmon covered with onions and mushrooms, individual pizzas on the grill, roasted chicken with lemon and rosemary salt, and grilled steak with cocoa-cumin-allspice rub.

On Saturday evening Jd, Kris, Mac and Pam joined us for dinner on the patio. The salad was so lovely - fresh greens from the garden, fresh raspberries, toasted almonds, goat cheese, with a creamy poppy seed dressing - that I had to take a picture of it. Although the focus is terrible I had to include the picture of Jd and Emma on the mini trampoline. They were very entertaining.

Posted by jennifer at 09:04 AM


Congrats on the new patio... I hope the weather allows for a full summer of outdoor living. I'm sure you will love it even more once that newly planted grass becomes a lush, dark green lawn (I expect nothing less from "The Lawn Nazi" :-)

We have sure been enjoying the last few balmy days... eating outside, playing baseball and "swimming pool" with Noah, and even doing yardwork.

Dining outdoors is a real treat that I have only discovered in recent years... now I do it any chance I get... even if just for a sandwich at lunchtime. Well, I should say that I love eating outside as long as I have shade to sit in... eating in direct summer sun isn't quite so fun for me.


Posted by: Jeff at July 5, 2005 09:15 PM