Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring has sprung:-)

Happy April! I have Spring fever bad!:-) My awesome hard working teenage boys really out did themselves last week. Our front yard is divided in two by a sidewalk/walkway that leads to our front door. J and R took out ALL of the grass from the east half of our front lawn. They did it ALL last Friday! We're going to use that grass as sod for a back corner of our backyard that needs it. But that's not why we did it. We are expanding our garden this year! Whoo hoo! Our front yard is pretty small. It seems silly to me to spend so much time watering and mowing a patch of grass that we don't even use. We love the grass in our backyard. We have family summertime picnics on the grass. The kids and the dogs love to play on the grass. We love our backyard grass. But the front yard... it is a complete waste! So we're fixing that:-) We will be expanding some of our flower garden but most of that area will be used for vegetables. Now you're asking, "Vegetables in the FRONT yard?!" YES! Vegetables in the front yard! Why not? Who said vegetable gardens can't be planted in the front yard? I think they are beautiful. And if I'm going to be watering and weeding etc, then why not have it be for a reason that actually benefits my family? Plus some vegetables are beautiful plants. Have you ever looked at an eggplant for example? With its purple stems and purple and green leaves- they are gorgeous!! Now I have to try to be patient for the next month while we wait for planting season to begin. My Forsythia bush is in bloom which means it is time to prune! I've pruned my roses. I love my Iceberg roses. We have a hedge of them dividing our house from one of our neighbors. They are shrub roses, so they are hardier than other roses. They bloom from May to October and I love all of those white blossoms:-) Shrub roses aren't as fussy as their more delicate counter parts and they make lovely hedges. I've been growing iceberg roses for almost ten years. I was surprised and very sad to see that for some reason three of them didn't do so well this past winter. I had to cut them completely back. Hopefully they will bounce back. On a brighter note though my Lovage (herb) has started growing and it looks fantastic! For those of you that aren't familiar with Lovage, it is a very large herb that has a celery taste to it. Both the leaves and the young new stems can be eaten. It is great in soup. Our chives are also sprouting. Our chives are usually the first thing in our garden that we get to harvest. We have a funny tradition every Spring, once the chives have gotten full, of having a chive feast. It is ready to be harvested so early, before most of our garden can even be planted. So to kick off the gardening season we have a night of chive everything LOL! Vegetable soup or veg spaghetti with plenty of chives, salad greens with plenty of chives, we've even made a chive butter for homemade bread. Did you know that you can eat Chive blossoms? We love to let a few stems go to bloom then add the purple/pink heads to salads. It looks lovely. Judging by its growth it looks like we'll be having our chive feast in the next couple of weeks. I love Spring!
We are also looking forward to the summer. T will most likely be taking a course at the Technical Institute for dental assisting. She can get duel credit for High School and the Tech school. The plan is that by the time she graduates from High School she will also be a certified Dental Assistant. How great is that? She is really excited about it! The Tech School also offers a certified nurse assistant program that she could also get duel credit for. She's thinking of doing that as well. It would make her summers busy, but she is super excited. She has the drive and determination to do it too. So we'll see what comes of all of that. R and J have both expressed the desire to go to culinary school after graduation. We just found out that the tech school also offers culinary classes. R is really excited about it. He's not in High School yet, so he's too young to attend. But he hopes to go when he's old enough. Last night he and J were talking about how great it would be if they opened a restaurant together. J wants it to be a sort of ethnic restaurant that serves dishes from the countries of our family: Kazakhstan, Vietnam, China, etc. What a fun idea. Who knows, maybe some day they'll do it:-)
We'll be starting C on NR therapy next month. We are excited to see what that will do for her. I've also told C that she and I will be canning our own pickles this summer. She hasn't forgotten and reminds me constantly:-) Whenever C sees pickles, especially sliced pickles in a jar at the store, she is convinced that it is snake! She tells us that they sold canned snake in China and apparently it looks just like sliced pickles. She is horrified every time she sees them. I've told her many times that pickles are actually just cucumbers. Once Kevin bought a jar just so she could try them and see that it wasn't snake. It took her a long time before she finally consented to taste them. After eating the sliced pickle she declared that "America snake tastes good!" hahaha! Well after explaining again that it wasn't snake, that it was made from cucumber, I told her that this summer we'd make our own pickles and she could help me, that way she'd see for herself. She is sooo looking forward to the two of us canning pickles:-) It'll be my first time canning pickles so it'll be an adventure for both of us:-)
Anyway, hurray for Springtime! Tonight we're doing a cute craft project of making paper tulips:-)

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