Welcome back to another exciting episode of Family Friday! In this week’s episode we will talk all about gardening.

We have a great showing of spring flowers at our house. We spent a good deal of money last year (a good deal, that is, for plants that don’t bear food) on expanding our mid-summer flower palette as well. The trick is to find perennials that are drought resistant, reliable, and low maintenance. Bonus points if they spread and cover an area to keep down the weeds.

Dude’s Garden is coming in nicely as well, and her orchard is starting to fruit.

We went up on Saturday to pick raspberries. Evie did a great job, and covered the bottom of her little bucket twice. The first time she ate them all, the second time she dumped them in the family bucket.

Sunday was a good day at home. It was super hot (by Washington standards), so we decided to fill up the pool.

Daddy had to go around the front to turn the water on, and when he came back, the spray head was doing its best impression of Old Faithful.

But we got it filled eventually. It was nice, for a little while.

And it provided a great opportunity for an impromptu science lesson.

Which kind of leaf makes the best boat?

Then the kids decided to fill it with dirt from the mole hills that have been popping up in our back yard. Because dirt soup is more fun.

And that’s all for this week! Please pray for us, and remember to pray for Papa who has been transferred to a rehab hospital and is doing amazing with his physical and speech therapy.

We will be praying for you too. God Bless!

Several weeks have gone by since our last Family Friday. We have not forgotten about it, but we have been busy.

And that’s all for this week! Take care. God Bless!

Welcome back to another episode of Family Friday, in which we have officially crossed the line into Summertime!

And the livin’ is easy!

At least in the five minutes you can grab here and there between work, diaper changes, breastfeeding, teaching, cooking, cleaning, etc.

Hey, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

They make it look so easy!

The cleaning frenzy continued last week, as Daddy realized time was short. He had to go back to work on Monday. So Friday he finally turned his attention to the last bastion of disorder… The tools in the cupboard, and the pile of military gear on the floor of the garage.

The girls decided to help…

We got the tools squared away, but then the military gear…

Well, after shuffling it around here and there for an hour, Daddy made a very decisive and prudent decision…

To start procrastinating.

I am proud to say he didn’t wait around but acted on that decision immediately. Shoved the gear under the stairs and poured himself a beer.

On saturday we picked out tile for the new granite countertops Kathleen has been wanting for years. We figure, probably ought to put them in now, increase the resale value of the house, in case we decide to move next year or something.

Which one would you pick?

Then on Sunday we got to go to Mass together as a family for the first time since March 1. (We all went to Mass on March 8, but it was a drill weekend and we all went separately.)

All dressed up for his first Mass.

It was so beautiful, despite the few people, the meagre singing, and the masks, and having to stay separate from everyone (who desperately wanted to hold the Seppi). It was the Mass, we received Our Lord in the Eucharist.

For Evie it was like she had never been to Mass before, and she was asking questions and watching and paying unusual attention. Ellie was happy and snuggly and watched everything.

Oh, yeah, the Saturday night story. Mommy woke up with some breast-feeding tenderness on Saturday morning, and we kind of watched it and managed it throughout the day, but it suddenly got worse after we went to bed , and Mommy spike a little fever. So she ended up having to go to the Urgent Care, and didn’t get back until 1:00 AM. Meanwhile, Seppi was gassy, and then hungry, and didn’t think Daddy with a bottle was much of a substitute for Mommy, although he’s too much of a boy to turn his little nose up at any food.

He just woke up and insisted Mommy feed him at 3 AM.

Then Ellie had bad dreams at 5.

So between the two of us, we got about seven hours of sleep that night, when we were scheduled for 9:00 AM Mass.

By God’s grace we pulled through, and received the grace of the Sacrament. Then we headed up to Uncle Adam and Auntie Maryanne’s for a long overdue visit.

So that was an excellent Sunday. You may ask, “But what about masks?! And Social Distancing?!”

Well, they were quarantined (working from home), and we were quarantined (off work) so…. Two closed systems meeting up. Science.

Daddy went back to work on Monday, and has been doing his best to remember all the medicine he learned…

Actually, the medicine is the easy part. The hard part to remember is the computer systems and work flows, because they change all the time.

But the rest of the time we are busy trying to hang out together as a family.

And that’s all for this week.

Oh, another gift from Aunt Renee’. She’s just the best!

Keep her in your prayers as well, she was recently diagnosed with cancer and is going through chemo.

God Bless! Remember to pray, especially for families, to the Holy Family.

So here we are, in the very last week of Daddy’s paternity leave, which is also the very first week of his paternity leave because he has been busy the other weeks. So we decided to spend this week doing all the projects we didn’t do in the last three weeks. We started with the inside of the house.

Chores take longer to do these days, what with having a Seppi who insists on being paid attention to from time to time.

But most of the time he is a pretty chill baby. He wants to be fed at regular intervals, to sleep at regular intervals, and to get his diaper changed when it’s dirty. He eats, he sleeps, he poops.

He does more of all three than either of the girls did. At two weeks old he is now starting to look around, make eye-contact, even smile once or twice, and make little cooing noises. All perfectly ordinary baby stuff…

But always perfectly wonderful.

There is also a lot of outside work to be done. The garden is mostly back under control, and we are getting some delicious lettuce.

The sugar snap peas are going to be ready very soon. We will need to stay on top of those, since they get tough and bitter really easily.

On Sunday Uncle Adam and Auntie Maryanne came over to have pizza with us.

The working continued with work in the garden, pruning, weeding. Daddy didn’t take time for a dedicated, formal workout, so he ended up taking lots of breaks to do exercises with the kids.

We spent hours and hours and hours catching up on projects, and you know, for the life of me, I can’t remember all of them. I just know that the garden is looking really nice, and the house is looking really clean.

And there are a ton less baby clothes in the garage.

Yes, we did sort through all that chaos in a single day.

I do know we got irrigation lines put around the string beans, melons, squash, and volunteer tomatoes (with any luck they will turn out to be romas). I remember because I took a picture of the girls helping me find out where the leaks were in the hose.

And that’s all for this week. We continue to muddle on as Daddy gets ready to go to work, and Papa is still in the hospital. We call him up at night to FaceTime with him and say the rosary. This Friday he was fitted with a trach and a PEG tube to get him ready to move to a long term care facility.

So we still pray for God’s will to be done, and offer up this sacrifice for those who need it most.

God Bless! Keep us in your prayers also.

Welcome to Family Friday from a time near the end of the world! We have viruses (although you don’t hear about them as much), riots, landslides, chaos in every sense. It is a world gone mad.

But at least the gas is cheap.

:-/

It can get discouraging, the constant barrage of bad news. In times like these it is important to remember what is important.

Note the fancy martinellis with our Aversanos. Also, note the chicken nuggets and mac cheese preferred by the decidedly un-fancy children.

Family is important.

Gardening is important.

Daddy continues to work on his bowyery skills…

You may wonder what the point of all this bowyery is, in an age of gunpowder? Well, it’s not as loud, for one thing. For another it’s something we can do with the little girls. For another, making and using bows and arrows is a more peaceful, meditative experience.

Even when Evie is doing it.

She actually slows down and concentrates, and works at it diligently and carefully for 10 or 20 minutes at a time. She isn’t too bad, for a five-year-old.

On Sunday we took a break from St. Mary’s in Greenville, SC, to Our Lady of Good Counsel in Verona, NY.

Evie and Ellie were very excited to see Papa Doug reading the readings and psalms.

Now that Mommy is in full-on nesting mode, she wanted Daddy to pick up his books that he is in various stages of reading. So we moved all the furniture and stacks of books and prepared to put books on shelves.

It’s amazing what you find when you move things. Like these Thai alphabet coloring books that Daddy brought back from Thailand a few years ago and forgot about.

Unfortunately, as it turned out, once we tried to put all the books on shelves, there was not even close to enough shelf-space. This led to an online order, and a trip to our local furniture store to pick up shelves, and then a few hours of work fastening them to the wall (Daddy had to modify the shelves slightly to make them fasten-able.)

That should stand up to Seppi climbing on them, when he gets old enough to climb.

Then came the fun part…

Moving books, organizing books, stopping to reacquaint ourselves with long-lost books… It took us all day, and Ellie loved it. She is her father’s daughter!

She is also her mother’s daughter.

When all was said and done, the back area of the living room, the once-verboten “behind the couch” area (forbidden because of the risk to Daddy’s precious books) is now opened and inviting to all the small people…

As a delightful reading nook, full of books down at very reachable level, including an entire set of encyclopedias (Daddy’s favorite thing to read as a child).

On Monday we zoom chatted with Uncle Adam and family while we joined Pope Francis praying the Rosary for an end to COVID.

Then on Wednesday we went on a bear hunt.

Heavily armed, of course. For bears.

Daddy had to cut more staves for bows, and the girls came along to protect him from the bears.

Oh, oh! Grass! Long, wavy grass!
We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it…

Not unexpectedly, we did find a cave, and a bear with the requisite two big goggly eyes, etc… So we ran home as fast as we could. Ellie actually ran over a quarter of a mile non-stop, yelling “Bear! Bear!” over her shoulder.

Good times.

And then on Wednesday night we had ourselves a little bonfire to get rid of some brush and wood shavings, and of course, just to enjoy some fire.

“Ooh! It’s Hot!

Evie fanned the flames for a little bit, until it got too hot. Then she sat and toasted her toes.

Meanwhile, Ellie ran around the yard collecting all the sticks she could get her little paws on to throw in the fire.

Wow, I still have a lot of pictures left. It’s amazing how much we do together as a family while Mommy and Daddy are both home all week.

That’s all for this week folks. Remember to pray for our country, for our families. Please pray for Ryan’s Aunt Renee’ who was diagnosed with cancer of some unknown type this week.

We’ll see you next week!

Welcome to another Family Friday, this time with lots of outdoors. Last weekend was an outdoors kind of weekend, unlike this coming weekend which looks like we plan on getting about an inch of rain. The garden will love it.

We have some very exciting news! Back in February 2019, we got a concord grape root from Deedee and Papa. Kathleen’s grandpa Joe had transplanted it from his dad’s farm about 60 years ago, then Papa transplanted it again some 30 years ago to their house. Two years ago Daddy and Papa dug it out to make room for the new addition he was planning on adding to his shed. We dumped the root ball in a tub of cow manure and covered it with water, and then drove it down to our house. Uncle Adam helped Daddy lug the tub around to the back and put it in the dirt.

The sign of life we found in Spring 2019 proved illusory. By the end of summer 2019, it was still just a dried out old twig. Over the winter, Daddy read several pruning books, and brought a book about grapes (he has yet to do more than skim this one, time being what it is, but having bought it he expects to absorb some knowledge by osmosis). In keeping with their recommendations, he hacked this grapevine back to nothing but a couple of one-inch stubs in March.

It was rather like the parable of the barren fig in Luke 13. After letting it sit and soak up rain and manure and enriching the soil for a year and a half, just last saturday, while weeding the back fence, we found this!

Never give up on a concord grape. In a few short years we will probably be getting fruit off of it. Just in time for us to move to another house.

Evie was also busy in the garden, weeding among the peas.

We’ve been having issues with a pesky rabbit chewing the tendrils off the peas before they can reach the wires, but a few of them got through and reached the wires, and not they are starting to take off.

Mommy and Ellie went shopping, so Daddy and Evie hung out in the garden.

Later in the day we filled the pool, even though it was cloudy and quite chilly. Ellie was so excited to go in it that she got her own bathing suit on all by herself (over her clothes).

She will go in the water no matter what the weather.

Sunday was little gray and rainy, and we are still staying home, but we all dressed up for Mass anyway.

Especially Evie.

“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

We have really been enjoying the liturgical beauty at St. Mary’s in Greenville, SC. It’s a pity we don’t live closer there.

It’s really 8 AM for us.

Then we sat outside for what has become our family tradition of “coffee hour” with tea, hot cocoa and snacks after livestream Mass.

The bow that Daddy made for Ellie last week broke, so Daddy started work on another. After two hours, three broken staves, and a tension headache, he finally got one green stave (cedar, from the tree in our yard) bound to a form in a decurve-recurve configuration.

We’ll take it off the form this weekend, or maybe next week, and finish the tiller and stringing. Right now it is entirely too heavy for Ellie to pull.

And we also crowned Mommy queen.

So that was the weekend, and the week crept by somewhat slowly with work and such.

Ellie has work too!

Mommy had Monday off, but Daddy had to work. So Mommy sent him pictures of the girls “practicing being tough, so we can be an army someday.”

Evie decided this hat was more her style.

And that’s all for this week. Y’all have a good weekend, we’ll see you next time.

God Bless. Pray always, and never lose heart.

You know you are growing old and responsible, or perhaps just plain boring, when your idea of an excellent Saturday is a day when you managed to get caught up on all your tasks. But this was indeed, just such a remarkable Saturday.

Mommy canned 20lbs of potatoes, with a little help from the Ellie.

That turned into twelve quarts and a pint.

How were they, you might ask? Well, just to see how they turned out we opened up the pint, and roasted them with olive oil, salt and pepper. They turned out delicious, at least to the adults. The girls do not like potatoes, and were not fooled by us diplomatically referring to them as “dirt apples.” They didn’t like them, but they did eat them, so that’s a win!

Mommy also got a whole week’s worth of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away.

Daddy also knocked out a list of smaller but still numerous tasks, including rolling the new front lawn, caging the peonies, weeding the front flower bed, thinning the remaining apple tree, shredding a tote bag of newspaper to add to the compost,

It was starting to get slimy and smelly from all the grass clippings with no carbon source to balance them out.

put together an outdoor cupboard, and installed the new blinds.

So that was a productive day, despite the rain.

Next weekend we plan on getting the garden weeded, and the lawn mowed (again!).

Speaking of gardens, ours is doing quite well.

Sunday we tried, successfully, to do no major work. We watched Mass on Facebook again, then had coffee hour on the back deck.

Mit Stroopwafel und Himbeertörtchen.

Daddy continued his practice in bowyery, this time with a bow for the Ellie-child. She was ecstatic!

Of course we did some coaching, and she actually launched a couple of arrows partially by herself. But she mostly just wanted to play Merida, (from the Disney movie “Brave”). She would shoot the arrow out into the lawn, and then run out and pretend to search for it for a minute, even though she knew perfectly well where it was. Then she would find it, and start to run back, then get distracted and run off in a different direction following “will-o-the-whisps,” and finally run back to us all breathless and exclaim, “Oh! I saw a whips!”

Then she would shoot another arrow and do it all over again.

This lasted until her bow broke. It is amazingly difficult to tiller a green stick bow light enough for a two-year-old to draw, without developing a hinge that weakens and eventually breaks. We’ll keep at it, probably try again this weekend.

Our efforts to attract bees have been quite successful. These gentle fellows are all over our yard this year.

They especially like the rhododendrons out front. Those bushes are practically humming with bumble bees and mason bees.

We also bought another order of worms to replenish the worms that we dug out of the composter when we emptied it out to spread on the garden. The garden is loving the compost, but the compost pile is feeling a bit neglected.

Then Evie and Ellie helped spread the rest of them on the front lawn, to help continue breaking down the leaves in the under layer.

And that’s about it for this week. We hope you all have a great holiday weekend. We’ll see you next week.

God Bless!

Stay Safe.

We discovered this week at the end of our #RosaryRuck that making people seem like they are close together when they are actually far apart is harder than it seems. Apparently unless you are a skilled photographer, you actually have to work at it.

Look at that Social Distancing!

That was our Saturday Morning #RosaryRuck. We got started a little early, covered a little extra distance, and Ryan sang “Regina Coeli” at the top of his lungs as they hiked through a residential area in Tacoma. Good times were had by all.

After that it was FAmily Breakfast at home. After Breakfast, Daddy tried to find his hat so he could go out and give the back yard its inaugural haircut for the year. It wasn’t in its usual place, which usually means…

One of the girls has it.

I tell you, that clover comes in THICK! We mulched half of it into the grass and still filled six lawnmower backs, which are all now in the composter. Since that shifts the C:N ratio drastically to the right, Mommy brought a whole bunch of old newspaper home from work, and we will try to get that shredded and mixed in this weekend. Since we emptied out the compost this spring, it is very important we start refilling it right away.

We are having a great mix of rain and sun these days, and the garden is loving it. Although, we can definitely tell that the ollas are working. the plants planted in a ring around them have a head start on everything else planted at the same time.

Mommy is feeling very pregnant these days, and very ready to get Seppi on out of there. She spent Saturday catching up on laundry, which means washing all the gender neutral newborn-through-three-months clothes we have, and hanging them all on the line.

The clothes line catches more sunlight when you place it on a south facing slope and angle it towards the sky. #LaundryScience!

Then, while Daddy finished the last half load, she took a few minutes to cool her feet in the pool. Being 8 months pregnant in 85 degree weather is not fun.

The water was nice and cool on her feet, and Seppi liked it, apparently, because he woke up and started stretching.

The view from Mommy’s eyes.

Daddy busied himself with setting up a tent for the girls to play in, although we did not get around to sleeping in it.

Unfortunately, after six days straight of getting up before 4 AM, Daddy was somewhat fatigued by the time evening rolled around, and did not want to spend the first few precious hours of the one good night of sleep of the whole week, trapped in a tent with two over-excited little girls. He did not trust them to fall asleep on their own in a timely manner, promises to the contrary notwithstanding, and so declined to camp out last weekend. Later on this summer, when we aren’t working so much, maybe.

It was still fun to play in until we took it down on Sunday evening, so it wouldn’t get filled with rain all week.

Meanwhile, we looked over at the pool and saw no Mommy in the pool, so Daddy went inside to check on her. He found her like this.

If she sits up too long, her feet swell. If she lies down, her heartburn flares up. So she improvised this sort of banana variation of right lateral recumbent position. Adapt, improvise, overcome.

Pregnancy is not for wimps.

On Sunday, while watching live stream Mass at St. Mary’s, Greenville, South Carolina, Evie and Ellie complained that we could not go to coffee hour. So after Mass we had our own “coffee hour” on the deck.

We had tea, cocoa, and stroopwaffles. The girls actually didn’t care for the stroopwaffles, which Mommy and Daddy found somewhat strange. How can you not like stroopwaffles, especially if you heat them up by resting them across the top of your tea mug until the caramel turns gooey?

And since it was mother’s day, we gave Mommy her Mother’s day gift.

Cow Pattern Wellingtons! Perfect for picking up what the cows are puttin’ down, if you follow me.

Happy Mother’s Day!

And that’s all for this week. We hope you have a restful weekend. Pray for us, and God Bless!

Happy Spring Time!

Very exciting news here in the Kraeger household this week! After days, and days, and days (seriously, like ten whole days!) of waiting, and watching, and trying not to shake the cage…

Evie and Ellie finally have butterflies!

Thanks primarily to their hard work, patience, diligence and all that, the girls managed to raise all ten of the butterflies from caterpillar on up to butterflies. That is, they did pretty much nothing but (mostly) try not to terrorize the poor things to death. However, these butterflies seem to be a very hardy lot and managed to make it through the ordeal unscathed. On Monday Evie showed them to her classmates on zoom, and then they released them into the wild of the great back yard.

It has been quite a busy week. Daddy is still on National Guard orders, and Mommy is still working full time, while the girls are still locked down. As Washington state moves slowly toward reopening, we are staying put, biding our time, hoping that things don’t get too crazy before Little Boy gets here.

Ellie did get out briefly for a quick run to the hardware store with Daddy. It’s an odd trip, since all the people are in masks and no one wants to get within 12 feet of anyone else, but Ellie enjoyed it a great deal. Buying a hose roller has never been more exciting.

The hose roller wasn’t the only thing we bought, of course, but the thing we most needed they were out of. Apparently someone had come in the day before and completely cleaned them out of cinder blocks, of all things. It’s like some people are determined to have the nicest looking lawn of the century since they are locked at home with nothing else to do.

We are in no danger of having the nicest lawn of the anything this year. We have a list of lawn and garden work a mile long to work on this weekend, but we won’t get to it all before Sunday and that is okay. We will still try to make Sunday a day of rest.

My older brother has a story about not working on his farm on Sunday, even when he was working full time for the town. An old farmer told him, “Ian, you have to work on Sunday. You’ll never get ahead if you don’t.”

Ian replied, “Well, you’ve been working on Sundays for years. Have you gotten ahead?”

The old farmer shook his head. “Nope.”

So Ian said, “I think I’ll keep my Sundays.”

Besides, the garden has gotten plenty of watering last week, thanks to the girls…

These pictures were taken about a minute before everyone got soaked.

So the garden is growing quite nicely. The ollas are doing a great job keeping the areas around them hydrated, although filling them is slightly time consuming. The automatic gravity feed system starts to sound really nice after a couple of weeks.

Mommy and Seppi found some radishes!

And our accidental radishes have shaped up magnificently, our on-purpose radishes are growing like it’s their job, and our whole line of peas has popped and started to reach for the wires.

Last weekend we went on a short walk between rain showers and Daddy grabbed some sticks form the woods and carved a small longbow for Evie.

Rotten tillering job aside (just look at that hinging in the lower limb) for a completely green, hastily carved stick bow, it worked quite well, and provided about an hour of enjoyment before it broke.

All of this is preparatory to the real bow-making that will commence sometime this fall. In the meantime, Daddy will keep practicing his bowyery so Evie can keep practicing her archery, and by this time next year we should have at least one solid working longbow and some basic understanding of archery, (and hopefully some basic range safety procedures as well).

Last night when Daddy came home from work he found the girls all busy as bees, and Evie was insisting, “Oh Daddy! We are having too much fun!”

What amazing new game had Mommy introduced them to, you ask?

Window washing.

Trust me, there was plenty of smudginess to wash off, and oddly enough it was all at a perfect height for them to scrub. The girls had a blast!

Keep praying for us. It is a tough time for a lot of people, mentally, emotionally, financially, but most of all spiritually. Pray together as a family, every day. Start early. If you haven’t started early, then start now. There’s the old Chinese proverb about orchards: “The best time to plant an apple tree is ten years ago. The second best time is now.”

The same goes for prayer.

(Thanks to Karina Tabone for her beautiful Rosary and St. Michael prayer books.)

God Bless! Keep the faith, stay strong. Pray for us, we will pray for you.

This has been an extremely busy week for our little Family. At least, it has been for Mommy and Daddy. For the girls, they are always busy. They never have nothing to do.

Daddy and Mommy, being much older and larger, have much less energy. Or maybe we have the same amount of energy, it just has to move more of us, so it doesn’t go as far… or as fast… or as long.

Anyway, Daddy got back to work, but not as a PA. Sort of. He asked around a bit among some of his National Guard buddies, and one of them happened to be working on loan to Department of Health, and they happened to be looking for an individual with a combination of intel and medical background. So Ryan is on orders again, working twice as much for half as much, but doing some interesting work nonetheless. This Special Forces Medic career has turned out to be far more odd and varied than I ever could have guessed it would be. If only my joints weren’t starting to complain, I might stick around in it for longer.

But that’s neither here nor there. The real business of Family-ing continues at home, much of it while Daddy is at work. We try never to work late if we can avoid it, and once in a while we are able to get home early.

Evie is continuing to do her school both on the daily video meetings with her classmates, and working on her reading, writing and arithmetic workbooks. Mommy likes to print out double of some of the worksheets so that Ellie can also get in on the coloring action.

Can you tell which girl drew which earth?

The advantage to them having such different coloring… styles, is that you can always tell which one it was that drew on the wall, or the desk or the floor.

We got the giant whiteboard in the mail so we would have something to put the human body magnet puzzle together on, but Ellie thought the box itself was much more fun.

Deedee and Papa were able to visit on Friday. Unfortunately, they still can’t come in, especially with Mommy and Daddy both working, but they were able to have a nice visit through the window.

We did a ton of work last Thursday after work and shopping. It was a long, hot day, but totally worth it. We got the ollas put in, and beans, beets, lettuce, romaine, carrots, melons and cucumbers planted.

Then on Saturday we spent as much time outside as the weather allowed, which wasn’t much. Saved us some water on the garden and front lawn. I should take a picture of the front lawn some time, as it is coming in rather nicely, although still a bit patchy in places.

Daddy spent most of the afternoon crawling around on his hands and knees, digging out weeds, of which there was an ample supply. Ellie helped by riding to protect him on her concrete battle bear.

Evie helped by scouting for bad guys.

And by hauling weeds occasionally. What’s the point of having a fancy red wheelbarrow if you don’t haul the occasional weed with it.

The garden is starting to like it.

Not bad for mid-April. The Lupin between the apple trees is coming in like it means it!

The radishes we put in last week are LOVING their location in the heavy clay, straw, compost mix left over from our failed straw bale attempt. I don’t know if you can see it in this picture, but there are hundreds of little green radish leaves dotting the square.

The leaves in the lower left corner are the seeds that fell of into the dirt when we were planting the straw bales.

Even the recalcitrant peas are starting to put in an appearance.

In the next few weeks, we will see how the veggies around the ollas do, and whether the ollas really save us that much water compared to a sprinkler.

Sunday we spent relaxing. Daddy and Mommy practiced being old people after watching Mass on Facebook.

Facebook poll says we nailed it.

Evie and Ellie are too little to be so old, so they spent the morning biking in the driveway and playing in their club house.

And occasionally brought Mommy flowers that they picked for her… from her flower garden.

Mommy also scored some bittewicke from her Swiss connections, which we enjoyed immensely.

Bittewicke is a traditional Swiss sweet bread, kind of like a nut roll, but with pear sauce in the roll instead of nuts.

Ellie is also a fan. Or she was on Sunday. She hated it on Tuesday.

And now that Mommy has the paints organized, it is much easier to get the girls set up before and cleaned up after, so they do a lot more painting.

Paper plates and rocks are their favorite things to paint.

Having a good, easily deployed, easily re-deployed set-up is critical to the parent-child interaction when it comes to crafting. If it takes too much time to set up, or involves too much mess and cleanup, it is much harder to convince your grownups to carve out time for it.

With popsicles for desert, Sunday was an all round successful family day.

Last, but not least, the two tomato plants that took so much frost damage they were basically dried twigs…

First the one on the right, and then the one on the left began to sprout brand new green leaves, which you can see if you look closely…

Really, really closely, in the case of the left one.

Tomatoes truly are amazing creatures. You can do everything wrong, and still, as long as you feed them, water them, and love them, they still manage to grow up fairly healthy, somehow.

And that’s all for this week, folks. Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you next time.