I'll try to get some pictures up here while the twins run through the sprinkler. It's not conducive to getting work done anyway.
These are all out of chronological order. The first is Ben, who insisted on being photographed next to the watermelon vines. That nonchalance was carefully posed.
The next is my father and my first born. Oh. my. My firstborn comes up to his grandfather's shoulder. It's a slippery slope from here.
There are better pictures of my sister's dance with her then brand-spankin' new husband, but I'm posting this one because it also has one of my brother's taking pictures of me which is just cozy.
The caption on this one is, "Okay, shizzle . . . what part comes next?"
Carefully choreographed buss.
Pretty baby sister.
My aunt and her first grandbaby.
That's really all I have of the wedding. I know. I suck.
This picture illustrates a rite of passage if you will. The development of my baby's first marketable skill. The going rate for cutting the front and back lawn of my house *without* weedwhacking is $20 for a teenager. I know this because the week before I hired a teenager to do just that. So I now pay Max $20 to mow the front and back lawn of my house *with* doggy poop pick up included. Since Max is using a pushmower and not a gas mower (teen had gas mower) and since the pushmower then also requires a pre-sweep of the backyard to pick up sticks that will jam the blades, and most off all--since I believe that if you can afford it, paying your child fair market value is The Right Thing To Do. Primarily because children who know they're being underpaid will accept the whole "help the family" line up to a certain point. But they'll be danged if you're then going to turn around and insist that they save that money. Max is required to tithe 10%, save long-term (i.e., college) 40% and do whatever he will that is legal with 50%. So he gets $20 (and picks up the poop to "help the family"). It's not that we don't have "help the family" jobs. It's just that it's one or the other. No weird mixing. "Help the family" jobs don't get paid. You do that because it's your job. Paid jobs get fair market value**
I swear, there are only three tomato plants in there. I KNOW.
Here is Madam Zucchini.
Jack and the Cucumber Stalk
The evil voracious bean beetle.
Pickling cucumber. The black spiny things rub off when you wash them. Who knew? After church today we stopped off at Wal-mart (I know! I know.) looking for a blow-up pool because it's getting hotter and hotter and hotter and hotter . . . but no luck. We did find pickling spice packets but I didn't get them because they started the recipe with "15 lbs cucumbers."
Um. A four-inch cucumber is like 3 to 4 oz. I have seven cucumber plants and I know I'm about to be rolling in cucumbers--but you can't save the cucumbers for more than maybe two days. They get mushy in the fridge. Is this the point of brining them? And even then--won't the brined pickles still all be at different stages of brininess? (sp?) All I know is that the ball canning book gives directions with the individual spices so I can do a quarter of a recipe or half a recipe. I think that's going to work better. I gave up on the store-bought spices. But I did get more lids.
Does this need a caption? It's the first zucchini of the season.
The basis of future Mrs. Zook's Cream of Tomato Soup
All the little cillia are picking up the flash (the sun was setting while I was photographing the garden).
Yesterday was a wonderful birthday. My mother was here and there was cake and ice cream and a day at the art festival. The kids ran through the fountains and played football in the open fields using the freebie give-away water bottles. I bought a small croc to use as an initial pickly croc until I can get a real one.
The kids/hubby were generous. If the phrase wooly board means anything to you, then I got one of those, Mason-Dixon Knitting, some yarn, and a book of lace patterns. Yay, birthdays!
And now, back to work.
**unless, as happens in real life, Mommy's client hasn't paid her in months. In which case you will be asked to take an I.O.U. or given the choice of declining that job. Thankfully, we haven't had this situation since the Bad Client of 2005.