As summer drew to an end we still kept seeing spectacular sunsets.
We spent a good chunk of our time in the pool. Every year I'm amazed at how much the little kids learn in the pool. It's like having them take 2-3 swimming lessons each summer. Raina began the year with a fear of the water, not as confident as last year, which was nice in some ways. At least I didn't have to worry about her taking her water wings off when I wasn't looking...something she did last year...and it totally freaked me out.
Malia was proud to show that she is finally tall enough to have her head above water while standing. She constantly worked on her swimming skills, putting her head in the water while swimming
Jackson began the year by crying and fussing everytime we went swimming. By the end of the summer he was ok with floating on his own. It usually started with him being a bit unhappy...
...to gaining confidence...
...to grinning and being very proud of himself!
As usual, my summer was filled with picking garden produce 3-4 times a week...peas, beans, cucumbers, raspberries, and strawberries. My freezers and pantry are filled to the brim! Everything (except for my corn) produced as per usual or even better than normal. My peas finished producing, but then 2 weeks later I got another few pickings in. Odd indeed!
Before we left we managed to clean everything out of the garden except the carrots and the potatoes grown in the little box. (I'll be sure to let you know how they produced when we get home. Oddly enough they only had a few flowers on them, so I'm guessing there won't be much there.) I always leave the carrots in the garden until we've had a few good frosts, cause they taste way better that way. I haven't done a final tally of the amount of money I have saved in having a garden, but it's at least the equivalent of 2 months worth of groceries.
I canned a good 200lbs of peaches, straight from an orchard in BC. This is what my office floor looked like while I was waiting for them to ripen. If I lay them on newspaper, they can ripen...and mold...without ruining all the peaches around them. I can't remember the exact number of quarts I canned, but I think it was around 100!
My kids all help out when it comes to garden harvest. The 4 oldest all help shell peas. Alex and Morgun have become very good bean pickers...to the point where I don't have to pick after they have picked. They also do the majority of bean snapping.
Malia LOVES to pick raspberries and will go out and pick without being asked. Most of the time she would come in with 1/2 pail of raspberries. If the boys were out picking for the same amount of time, Malia would have picked just as many raspberries, if not more.
Raina also enjoys picking, but found it frustrating that she couldn't pick as fast as Malia.
Jackson also enjoyed picking...for all of 5 minutes...and then he would dump his raspberries!
One of my favorite memories of this past summer is of Martin enjoying an early morning coffee on the back deck with Jackson joining him. So sweet!
We had a few storms that left me wondering if I would get any garden produce at all. Fortunately, any hail, wind or rain we got did not ruin my garden.
And just to prove we enjoyed many, many gorgeous sunsets...here's another picture for you to enjoy!