I'm pretty happy with my garden so far. I thought I planted fewer beans this year but either it's been a good bean year or I overdid it as usual. We have loads of mint. Loads of basil. Loads of currants. Peppers coming (but either we have mutant squirrels or these peppers are not hot ones because something keeps eating them!)
The watermelon has finally started to grow flowers. The pumpkin is looking even more blight-y than last year - hopefully the pumpkins still grow... The potatoes are happy, tall and producing apparently highly toxic potato berries (don't eat them, kids!). Onions are growing well, tomatoes look like they will ripen while we are at the cottage. The lima beans are starting to plump out a bit.
But by far the most exciting garden news is that my corn has tassels, which means that we might actually get corn. Assuming that it doesn't ripen while we are away AND that the raccoons don't level it...
If that wasn't exciting enough, a random sunflower just popped open at the edge of my corn. (You might recall that the ones I planted all got knocked over - the last one on my birthday no less)
The garden is my happy place :)
Farm camp was much anticipated this year and it did not disappoint. Well, we were slightly disappointed that the "show" this year was just for the other kids (they did a hoe-down dance, apparently, but Elizabeth claimed she needed the other kids and couldn't demonstrate at home). But we were thrilled that there was no getting sick! I of course made farm themed lunches. My favourite was the sheep that accidentally were also pigs when viewed upside down!
She got her wagon ride, she named rabbits, she made pretty much the cutest crafts I've ever seen. She made all kinds of fun snacks. She now struts around the farm like she owns it. Apparently, the best part was the face painting at the end of the week.
Xander, Matthew and Isabelle came and helped pick her up the one day. Three under the age of three makes for a lot of sympathetic looks, I discovered. But I managed fine - even took them for the tractor ride all by myself which I thought was quite something since it requires climbing into the cab about seven or eight feet up!
Now that she has the proper cricket disposal outfit, Elizabeth is brave enough to help shake the crickets (to properly coat them in vitamins) and even hold the container to feed Pica the Chameleon a couple of crickets up close...
Elizabeth had her first sleepover without Mom and Dad. We survived! She had a good time! They all went blueberry picking and they got to stop at the St Albert's ice cream store (I gather a big hit). We did pick her up again slightly too late and by the time we got her to bed she was crying about how tired she was. Apparently Erika didn't "let her have a nap" and they went to bed "too late when she's still just a little kid". "Tomorrow, Mommy, I am going to have a nap AND I am going to go to bed at one o'clock", she declared. I struggled to keep a straight face, as you might imagine. We didn't hold her to the 1pm bedtime, although it was tempting... By the next day we were hearing all about how she got to stay up late and sleep in a tent in the backyard with Erika and could she go for another sleepover soon pretty please Momma? Much thanks to Uncle Chris and Auntie Yukiko for having her and taking pictures!
While Elizabeth was off gallivanting, we were having our own adventures. Daddy and Matthew went to help Uncle Dave lay a new stone walkway. Auntie Karen watched the three under three, who really wanted to supervise the Daddies a little closer than they were allowed...
I got to go to the spa with friend Janice... Le Nordik is supposedly the largest spa in North America and I cannot believe it took me so long to go here! I really enjoyed myself. There are all kinds of saunas and hot tubs to relax in for a few minutes, cold waterfalls to tighten your pores and then in-between places to lounge. We indulged in the pool that is supposed to have the same salinity as the Dead Sea (probably the closest I will ever get). It was dimly lit with changing coloured lights. I regretted having shaved that morning (somehow missed seeing the provided earplugs, shower caps and salve for cuts on the way down). But once I got comfortable and relaxed in the water it was as if I was the only person in the world. It was very nice to have a day to catch up and just relax.
Auntie Janice helped us properly celebrate Christmas in July with a festive tablecloth and candy canes. I let the kids eat chocolate and whipping cream for breakfast (okay, there were raspberries in there too, but I don't think Matthew ate most of his!). There might have also been chocolate chip muffins and hot chocolate with sprinkles...
We participated in a Friday fun day in the morning (playground plus pool is definitely my kids' idea of a perfect July Christmas)
Then I made a bûche de Noël, because I don't really have time in December but they are so yummy!
Since it was "Christmas" (and since Elizabeth has been dying to use the leash we were loaned), we took Black Beauty out for a walk. Matthew got up the courage to pet the bunny. He was pretty proud. Little neighbour Elizabeth from next door came by during the outing and hopped around as well.
Then Elizabeth headed over to Erika and Maria's house for her very first sleepover!!!