Of Camps and Frogs

This is the first week of Joshua’s English Language Learners camp. He was incredibly excited about it. Joshua never received any type of formal schooling in China because of his cerebral palsy diagnosis. He’s made significant progress with learning to speak, write and read English this first year home during our time homeschooling. We are so proud of him and his hard work and hope he has a great few weeks continuing to sharpen his English skills.

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It’s been sweet to see just how much all the kiddos have bonded this past year, made more noticeable by him leaving for camp for a few hours each day.

He had his own entourage the first day seeing him off and welcoming him home. Everyone was counting down the hours till he was home and eagerly listened to him tell about his day at lunch. Everyone had lots of questions.

IMG_6297Our garden is growing quickly thanks to a ton of rain we’ve had here lately. We’ve spied baby fruits and veggies making their grand appearances and even enjoyed a few strawberries already.

Esther continues to adore frogs and carries them around with her all day long whenever she spots one. IMG_6303She told me today that her frog was “a very good pet” and asked me “isn’t he pretty?” Not exactly the word I would have chosen to describe the very large toad she had, but I love that she loves all creatures great and IMG_6318small.

Our newest chickens have acclimated well to the outdoors. Well, except for the white silkies. With all the rain they’re looking a bit out of sorts. They do enjoy being outside roaming around, but their fluffy white plumes just don’t agree with all the mud. IMG_6323We should be back up to getting a dozen or more eggs a day in the next month or two, which will be wonderful. Just about all our kids LOVE eggs and it’s a fantastic snack to just have a bunch of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge, ready to go.

We’ve been enjoying the slower pace of summer now that the garden is in and we’ve finished up our textbook schooling for the year. Things will pick up again once all the fruits and veggies start to come in, but for now we are savoring the waiting, catching up on our rest and getting in lots of playtime.

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And we’ve got life!!!

So, after our last garden failure a few years ago, today I am pleased to report…WE HAVE LIFE in this year’s garden!!! Hurray! Last time around, despite planting a wide variety of seeds, we only grew one measly tomato (that then fell on the ground and proceeded to rot). This time around we only decided to grow four things: Cantaloupe, squash, tomatoes, and radishes. Instead of planting directly into our soil (which we have now figured out is not the greatest quality), we planted in a raised bed. We have seen a huge difference this time around!

Here’s the first sprouts of this year’s garden popping up!

The first sprouts have sprung!

The first sprouts have sprung!

Now a month or so later, we are so very tickled to announce….our squash have their very first flower, which means, the squash are soon to follow! Check it out!

Here's the very first squash blossom!

Here’s the very first squash blossom!

It’s been wonderful to watch our garden grow (and continue to grow) this time around. We can’t wait to taste the food from our family’s very first harvest! It’s looking like we will have a good amount of squash, which means I’ll have to come up with some tasty squash recipes. If you have any favorite squash recipes, please share! We’d love to add them to our recipe collection!