Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hot weather fun

I don't know about your neck of the woods but it was a hot one around here on Monday.  Unfortunately we had not put our air conditioners in yet so it was not so pleasant.  Fortunately we are done school for the year, and the kids were able to think of a creative, albeit muddy, way to stay cool.  They looked like they were having such a blast that even Christian's parents wanted to get in on the action.

How many grandparents do you know who would be willing to do that? :)

Looks like we forgot to get a picture of Aiden but he was in on the action too.
I love my kids.  I love how they usually play so well together.  I love how creative they are.  What a blessing they are.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Limerick Power Plant

Last week the power plant about 25 minutes from us was having a community night/open house where you could learn all about nuclear power and how it is made and how wonderful, clean, safe, and efficient it is.  Oh no, there was no brain washing going on here.  It really is wonderful, clean, safe and efficient.  I love nuclear power!

These cooling towers were pretty cool to see up close.

The next picture is in the test control room where they test out possible problems and solutions.
"You gotta be kidding me!", she is thinking.  "You really think this stuff is safe?"

Seriously though, we did learn a lot.  Whether it was all true or not is debatable.   We got to test out radon detectors, meet the security crew, learn how they store the old fuel cells and get our picture taken by a cool heat sensing camera.  Our favorite was meeting the security crew.  Did you know that nuclear power plants are the most secure facilities in America?  There is miles and miles of barbed wire, a highly trained security team of ex-marines and miles of those concrete highway dividers all around the parking lot.  The security team let us check out their night vision goggles and heat sensing cameras that they have on their guns.  I wanted to take a picture but they wouldn't let me.  :(

But here is our picture taken by their heat sensing camera.  Pretty funny!
Plus we got lots of cool stuff including free ice cream. ice cream....should I be suspicious?  Maybe........  At least it wasn't green and nobody is sick yet......

It was a very interesting visit though, and they have a community night every year if you are interested in seeing it for yourself.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The garden tour

Since my mom and sister did a little tour around their yards on their blog, I thought I would do the same.  Christian has been doing most of the weeding and mulching of the beds and trees this year due to having a little one around, but thankfully he loves it.
One of the places I am most happy with is our patio area.  I love the climbing hydrangea on the chimney and the dianthis (pinks), and Sweet Bay Magnolias smell absolutely divine.  Christian also power washed the bricks so it looks extra nice right now.
The brick walk up the front is coming along slowly but surely.  The bricks were free, but time to finish isn't.  :)
We like to sit on this bench in the evenings and watch the sunset or talk to the neighbors while the kids play.  I love the Wine and Roses Weiglia behind it.  And no, the pump doesn't work anymore.  :(
The Knock Out Roses by the gazebo are really taking off!

Now I have to apologize to Christian, because the next four pictures are of trees that he either grew from seed or acorn or dug up as a tiny sapling in the woods merely a few short years ago, and now look at them!
(Pin Oak)
 (Willow Oak)
They seem to be growing better and faster than trees that we bought at the nursery!  So save your money and grow from seed!

I love these geraniums in the front and the Paperbark Maple on the left.
The Kousa Dogwood is a slow grower, but nice because it blooms later than other Dogwoods, and has some fun red edible fruit that the kids like to make pretend salads with.
I bought this American Honeysuckle vine last year at the Wildflower preserve since it is not invasive like the Japanese honeysuckle variety and it has beautiful red flower that attract hummingbirds.  I already saw some flying around it last year, so hopefully I see more this year as it gets bigger.
The garden is coming along nicely.  To be honest, I really did not feel like doing the garden this year.  It can be a lot of work weeding and watering but we watched this fantastic video recently that made us get excited about starting again.  One thing that we are doing differently is we stopped rototilling the soil as it really is not good for it in the long run because it disturbs the soil's fragile micro-organisms and beneficial bacteria, and creates more weeds by turning under the weed seeds.  I'm telling you that our soil has never looked better!  It's like potting soil and I would feel guilty not planting anything in there!
If you are a gardener, watch this movie!  It is well worth your time.
The first batch of lettuce is ready for harvest.  Fresh salad tonight!
I am hoping the peas don't give up on us since it is starting to get warm, and the flowers are just now blooming.  It didn't help that it was so dry for so long.  :(
Grace and her Grammy have been working on her little flower garden next to the veggie garden.  She is so happy with it and really enjoys working out there.  She is happy that she will have flowers to pick and make bouquets with this summer.
Aren't these California Poppies pretty?
Once all the work is done, a well deserved snooze in the hammock is in order.  It's a lot of work around here in the spring but we love it and are so thankful to be able to live here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Martin Guitar

Here I go again getting behind in my blogging, a sure sign that I am doing to much.  Must cut back!  Last week was a busy one with the kids finishing up their Classical Conversations year by Grace and Aiden becoming Memory Masters!  It was a lot of work but gave them quite a sense of accomplishment to have done it.  We are very proud of them.

We also took a tour of our local library (no pictures) last week which was quite informative and fun.  Our children's librarian did a great job explaining everything to the children, and they enjoyed getting a behind the scenes look at how the library works.  I highly recommend it, especially if you are at the library as much as we are.  Plus it is free, and you can't beat that!

Last week we also visited the Martin Guitar Factory in Nazareth.  I loved this one.  O.k. maybe I say that about every field trip, but I love seeing how things are made and Martin Guitars are pretty cool.   They are really big into their tours there, and they very organized and informative.  Since it can be a bit noisy in the factory, the tour guide is miked and each person has a headset so they can hear.  That was a big plus since sometimes you get behind in a big group anyway and can't hear what is going on.

Since most of the guitar assembly is done by hand, you can see why these babies are so pricey.  That and the fact that they are made out of quality hardwood such as rosewood or mahogany.  Did you know that Martin Guitars have lifetime warranties though?  So if you ever see one at a yard sale, snag it! (Highly unlikely, but you never know)

{picture taken purely because of his attire}
{high tech clothespins holding the ribbing in place}

{a technician applying the pearling}

{buffing the body}

Maybe someday one of their CDs will be on that wall!

The tours run daily Monday - Friday, 11:00-2:30pm and are free to the public.  No reservations needed unless you have a group.  There is also a great museum therewith lots of fun things to see about the history of Martin Guitar and some of the famous musicians who play them.
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