With barren dirt and weeds that hurt and stubby corn all in a row. :)

This first year of a garden here has not been a stellar one. If I was really honest with myself I knew it wouldn't be great as I was pulling all kinds broken glass, rusty nails, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, broken ceramics and more broken glass out of the dirt. Not the best fill by far. Up on the hill towards the fence line the dirt was much better. I think some of the neighbors soil amendments have washed into our yard over the years. And that is where the plants did the best.

This is where we planted the vine plants. I'd hoped to not be able to walk through this little square for all the vines everywhere.

But we did get a couple cantelopes, three watermelons and a honeydew! :) Not all bad. Even a volunteer watermelon has a couple fruit on it.

But I battled squash bugs all summer with the zucchini and summer squash and in the end I think I lost. The peppers I planted turned out to all be the same variety even though I thought they were three different varieties.

Regardless of what I knew about the dirt my highest hopes were for the corn. We planted four different varieties two early varieties that would get 4 feet and two late varieties that would get around 8 feet.

It looks like the different varities are planted from left to right but they are really planted near to far all of the corn closest to us is the later variety that was suppose to be 8 feet. Yeah. But we HAVE gotten some corn...of course this is what they look like.

But they taste good. :)

And we will probably get some normal sized corn yet this year.

This is what the plants look like on the fence line though

Tomatoes and pumpkins. That's what did well. And it was because it was on the fence line. Thats where we wanted to put the garden anyway so that works. Plus the other day I found the local green dump that looks like they sell compost too. And since my compost pile is taking forever and a day to do anything. I think we'll end up taking advantage of the city compost. Now we just need a truck. :) So stay tuned...one day the garden will be the garden of Eden. Someday!

Last Saturday we headed off to McBrides brier patch to pick blackberries and raspberries. They had just emailed us to tell us that the berries were on. So we were off with visions of raspberry blackberry jam dancing in our heads. It was early in the season but the raspberries were BIG, red and SWEET. Hyrum wasted no time in digging in. He was so happy to be back at the berry patch.

The blackberries were just barely getting ripe so it was low and slow going trying to find ripe ones. I wasn't as patient as I should have been and got a few less than ripe ones. Hyrum dug into those too and was too used to picking raspberries and kept picking the red ones instead of the black ones. He became fast friends with Cristall and just hung out around her rolling berries down her hat and pulling ripe berries out of my bucket and putting them in hers. Then giving me red blackberries when I protested. Cristall's mother in law came along this time too and Hyrum looked for "grandma" when she went to another place to pick. He's just so social.

It's a good thing it's so close so we can go there as much as we want. I only got enough berries to make one batch of raspberry black berry jam. As it turned out I was reading the wrong berry quantity and had more than I needed but it was good for my boys to munch on more berries. When I made raspberry blackberry fruit leather last year it was really thick and by thick I mean chuck full of SEEDS. I almost didn't need to dry it for it to be solid. I figured this time I would strain some seeds out. But I wasn't real sure how. I called around but no one was home so I looked online and low and behold my darling mother in law had already provided me with a machine to take out seeds. Derek kept Hyrum busy as I got down to business.

That's the little contraption on the left. As I worked at clearing the seeds I thought Hyrum would enjoy working the machine.

And he did! I think I need to try a different pectin next time because it didn't set up as solidly as I'd hoped. But it didn't stop us from going through the first jar in four days. :) Guess it's time to go back to the patch!

For the last week or so we'd been pulling pears off our tree. We've been learning a lot about pears and it seems that they are not suppose to ripen on the tree. You are suppose to pull them off when they come off easily at a 90 degree angle. Then you are suppose to put them in the refrigerator for a couple days and then ripen them at room temperature. So as I made my jam this sat waiting for me

It hopefully will be a while before they are ready to be canned because I have more to learn about how to do that.

The next day Sunday we were out admiring our nectarine trees and Derek put his hand on a nectarine and it came off in his hand.

So he tried it...RIPE, sweet and DELICIOUS! And they are free stone. Which means that the fruit isn't attached to the pit which also means that they will be MUCH easier to can.

I'd kinda decided that this tree would be our eating tree since it had smaller nectarines on it. But there were also a lot more on this tree than the other one.

And now they are all getting ripe at once. Time to meet our neighbors! :)

Then Thursday I was looking at my tomato plants wondering if there were enough to can some. It was going to be warmer on Saturday ( 96 degrees) so I figured that I would just give it a try. I went out and pulled off all of the ripe tomatoes and had a bucket full.

So I got to work. Much to Hyrum's dismay who only wanted me to play with him in his room. He pulled on my legs and pushed my legs and ran through my legs.

He pulled out every kitchen utensil that he could reach and threw tomatoes across the floor. But I turned up the music and tried to distract him and get him to dance. At one point he was really quiet so I turned around to find this.

He wasn't sleeping. Just getting cozy with his blanket. Apparently the floor was too hard because when I turned back around again he had another blanket as well. But at the end of the day I had this!

Only one didn't seal and I made it into spaghetti sauce for Friday dinner. Derek wishes I made it more anyway. Next time I'll have to remember to leave more head space though.

So it seems that harvest time is here in full force. And I say "Bring it on!!"

A couple weeks ago we headed up to Logan to Derek's cousin Tanja's wedding and once again the family reunited. But this time Derek's imediate family was there to enjoy the celebrations as well!

Not a fabulous picture I know.

It was a beautiful day after a rainy morning. During pictures Hyrum rekindled his affections for Aunt Pam.(and she had tough competition with Grandma there)

He also stole some kisses from the bride.

Ran up and down the hill with Dad.

Played with his boy cousins

and tried to figure out his girl cousins.

Beautiful and fun pictures were taken. One picture that seems to be a must with this family is the "jump for joy"

But I think that Tanja and Brad win for the "Jump for Joy" contest. And it's only fitting.

After the pictures and before the reception we went to Firehouse pizza for a rather large after wedding dinner.

Where some slept

Some shared pictures of elaborate hobbies

Some shared sage advice

and some drank ranch dressing through a straw

Congrats Tanja and Brad! Thanks for letting us be a part of your day.

Don't ever let your 2 year old hold the ugliest thing in the Dollar store.

Because he WILL drop it. And it WILL break.

And then you will own it. And he will love it....

just to spite you.

Those of you who have kids...Do you ever look at your kids and suddenly see them much younger? Yesterday I was doing something on the computer and Hyrum crawled into my arms and shortly fell asleep.

On a side note. Why is it impossible to get a picture of how these angels look from your own perspective when they are slumbering in your arms. I guess there are somethings that are better just experianced.

As I snapped pictures of poor Hyrum who was trying to sleep, I was transported back in time two years or more. And when I saw this...

In my mind I only saw this...

He's growing up too fast.