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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Update: Our first garden, lots of exploring, and the most awesome summer job ever!

Time for a summer update.  We have been very busy for the last couple of months having all kinds of adventures. To start with, I made a big career change this summer and took a job as a camp nurse at Camp Able, a summer camp for people with disabilities. I got to spend my days at the beach playing with awesome campers. I hope it works out so I can go back next summer.

We get a little goofy and dress up for song time on Friday.
All of the camp able one extra

Kelson came out to volunteer at camp one day. He looked pretty funny in the too-small wetsuit.

On the last day of camp, we had a big staff party. I brought strawberry lemonade cupcakes, a recipe of my own design.  They were a big hit. I love lemony things!

My last evening on Silver Strand state beach. Aren't I lucky to get to work somewhere so beautiful?

We tried our hand at container gardening this summer. I found an idea online to plant a garden in a shoe organizer, and we figured we would give it a try on our balcony. This was the night we planted everything.

A couple of months later. Success!

Eating peas right on our balcony is so fun!

We grew onions, lettuce, basil, peas, green beans, rosemary, and flowers.  It isn't exactly a high-yield garden, but it would be really fun to do with kids, since you can watch everything grow. Extra bonus-no weeds!

I took care of Sophie, my friend's adorable daughter, the other day, and she absolutely loved our little garden.  Isn't she cute?

One weekend, Kelson and I volunteered at a camp up in the mountains for the Sports for Exceptional Athletes program, which is similar to Special Olympics. This is Kelson and I with Deb, who was also one of our campers out at Camp Able. We are buds.

When my boss called and asked if I could be the nurse for a camping trip in the mountains, I was expecting to spend the weekend camping in the dirt. Much to my surprise, this was my home for the weekend.

It was nicer than our apartment, complete with beautiful furniture, a queen size bed, and a full kitchen. I thought about moving in for good. The bunny that came in and hid under the couch was pretty fun too.

I saw my first wild tarantulas on that camping trip.  I have held a pet one before, but seeing them crawling around outside was a little bit freaky. Someone caught one and put it in an empty flashlight so that he could scare everyone at breakfast. It doesn't look very big, but it was large.

Another weekend, we went for a hike in some hills near our house. We were only a couple miles from home, but we couldn't see the city at all.  It was awesome.

The area was full of ground owl nests. They were fun to watch.

One Saturday, we went for a bike ride around a nearby lake. The path went through a bunch of swamps on narrow, rickety, wooden bridges. I lost my balance and fell off of one, landing up to my ankle in disgusting swamp mud and then fell right on my bottom. Kelson took plenty of time to laugh at me before he pulled me out.

Gross. My shoe took a long bath after that bike ride.

Later that day, after we cleaned off the swamp mud, we took a trip to Balboa park and explored the Museum of Man. This is Kelson with a giant, prehistoric orangutan.

After the museum, we walked through the gardens. The desert garden had some crazy plants. This is definitely one of the weirdest trees I have ever seen.

Their rose garden is gorgeous. Almost as good looking as that boy sitting on the wall.

On July 15th, we celebrated Kelson's 29th birthday. He has decided that this is the last year that he will grow older. Since most people think he looks about 20 at the oldest, I don't think he has too much to worry about.

He got a bbq for his birthday and has been having a great time playing with it.

He requested soul food for his birthday, which is something I have never made before. My attempt actually turned out pretty good.  We had breaded fish, greens, jambalaya, and corn bread.

Kelson's birthday wouldn't be complete without a strawberry pie of some sort. Yum! Kelson had a very happy birthday.
Well, that is a quick summary of the fun things we have been doing this summer. Today, we are flying to Oregon to spend some time with family and spend as much time as possible in the mountains.  It should be a great vacation.