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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An afternoon at the Park

One of the beautiful days in Utah, we spent some time at the park. Everyone had fun playing Bocci ball, which Adam got Caprise for graduation.

Caleb, on the other hand, loved the freedom of all of the lawn and ran and explored. He wanted to play with older kids and discovered some cute puppies and petted them. We ran those little legs until he was tired but he loved every minute of it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

BYU Graduation Day

Congratulations to the three Harper BYU Graduates!

Caprise, Todd and Amanda all graduated last Thursday and Friday from BYU! What a great achievement.

I love Caprise's smile, glasses and purse in her picture! She got her Master's in Geology. She also had some secret compartments in her sleeves of her gown.

Todd got his Bachelor's in IT. He will start his new job with Omniture which is located in Orem so they will not have to move! He is hoping to work on his Master's Degree in IT. Amanda received her Bachelor's in English. Little Caleb should also get a degree as he went to school his first year of life and was very cooperative for the most part to make graduation happen.

Isn't Caprise happy! From the Michael Harper family and spouses, we now have 10 BYU graduates with 13 degrees!

Amanda's dad Brian came for the big event as well. Caleb's not too sure about Brian kissing his mom!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Early April Garden progress

I thought I'd show an update of the garden coming to life! I think we are going to have a banner year for fruit. We didn't have a late frost (fingers crossed another week for sure) and everything looks great.

Here's our blackberries from lat year and they are loaded with buds.

Our strawberries are full of blooms and the plants look so healthy and huge, bigger than last year. We put some of the mushroom compost on them a couple of month's ago and they have taken off! My mouth is watering!

Here's a view of the garden from the strawberry plants and cane berries. We are adding some more cane berries this week. (I know we have to take time to finish mowing the lawn around the garden!)

Our fruit trees are full of fruit. Here's an apple tree in full bloom! It is so therapeutic to work in a garden and watch the cycles of life.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday progress

We had an absolutely beautiful weekend. It was in the 70s, with not much humidity. We were able to build four more beds. We plan on a total of 16 raised beds and now have eight finished but we still have to fill them!

We have more supplies for the soil, which is a mixture of mushroom compost, peat moss and vermiculite. I plan on getting several filled with some plants before we go to Utah for Todd, Amanda and Caprise's graduation. When we are done, we plan on mulching the walkways.

I guess our neighbors don't like our greenhouse and gardening expanse. Last year they put a 16' fence up to hide the back of our house (although we can still see them from the deck). While we were working, they were building another 16' of fencing to hide their view of our new garden. I'll admit it hasn't been pretty there but it soon will be! Oh, well they don't have a bit of garden and like a showy house so we are quite different.
I just had to add the lilac tree we have. We've debated about cutting it down because it's been a mess and mostly on the ground instead of a small tree but I did a lot of cutting it back so I'm hopeful we can have it look pretty and not be a hassle to mow around! It's pretty now and sure smells good!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So many outdoor jobs . . .

We sure have a lot of outside work to do right now. I am calling it my new exercise program!
One of my goals for this week was cleaning out the flower beds and then mulch them with some of the wonderful mushroom compost we are using for our new raised beds in the garden. I really should have taken some before and after pictures but after two days of hard work, this is the result!

In our triangle, I have some perennial plans that have blooms and are wonderful in various colors. I am trying to get it established all over the bed and hopefully this will help. It was full of some early spring weeds that were a job to clean out!

We are starting to build our beds in our new part of the garden. We have four built and positioned and leveled and just have to fill them with the garden mix that we use. Michael bought the wood for the next four. We can get 16 new beds in this area and I have plants waiting to get into them!

Monday, April 5, 2010

General Conference Weekend

We had a great weekend watching conference at home. The kids were pretty good and enjoyed themselves while we enjoyed the sessions and our good food! The girls love sitting on grandpa's lap.
Ethan loved looking at new Easter books!

I really enjoyed all of the talks and was amazed at how much the importance of gospel teaching, raising children, motherhood and family was the recurring theme.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Solar Oven Try

Last fall I bought a Sun Oven and so one of my goals this year is to learn how to use it.

I got it out on Thursday and preheated it after doing a first time preheat and clean. By that time, it was 12:30. I was able to get it back up to a little over 300 and the day was sunny, about 75. I decided to make chicken
and rubbed it and put it in a pan. I did make one error. The phone rang as I was going to put it in and I accidentally left the top open to answer the phone. When I got back, it was down to 200. It got up to about 250 so it was slow cooking. I went ahead and put it in even though I didn't know if it would get done. I left it in until about 5:00 and then had to put it the oven to finish cooking. The chicken was crisp and moist, though. I'm going to do our Easter Ham in it on Sunday and let it cook while we watch conference!

Look at our beautiful African Violet. It's now about 4 years old.