Monday, May 25, 2009

Rainy Day After Rainy Day...

Mystery Picture!
Can you guess what this is a picture of?? Read on (and on) to find out!

We have had lots of rain lately. It rained almost all day Saturday and Sunday, and off and on Monday and Tuesday, which is great, I know, for our yard and garden--not to mention all the farmers. But it has made the boys restless. I guess that is good for me in a way, though I wouldn't wish for it often. I have had to be a little more creative. We have done "moon sand" (pretty much like sandy play doh = messy, but fun for kids), finger painting, reading hour at the book store, play area at Chick fil A, and today, we made our own erasers. That was a hit! I had picked up this little pack from Target months ago on clearance, and stowed it in my closet for a "rainy day".

Here's Trevor making one of his erasers

Aren't they cute? I think the boys did a very good job. (And I have to admit, I made some too. It's just too much fun to resist. I did the bird, and some of the balls-which have multiple colored layers (oooh)- and I helped with the blue thing (which is a whale)). William made the spotted lizard and the bulgy eyed frog, and Trevor made the diamond backed rattlesnake. Samuel made the "bone" (can you guess which one that is??) and the stumpy, colorful "snowman". When they were all shaped, we baked them in the oven, and they hardened up. They really work!

On to other events...Aunt Kim left some fun little wind-em-up airplanes for the boys, which interested all the testosterone-filled side of the family.
Here's a tutorial: 1) Wind it up...
2) Calculate your trajectory...
3) Line it up (while holding the propeller)...4) Let it go!

5) Collect it from its glorious final destination:
We had an audience:

After awhile, the guys started to get creative. Here's their version of a "biplane"...
Hey, why not a "triplane"??
* * * * * * *

Here's a blip about our garden. There's tomato plants on the left, and a few pepper plants scattered around. We also have 3 or 4 carrots in there. One carrot had leaves growing up about a foot and a half. Since we were having a tasty salad for dinner, we thought we would just pull that sucker and slice it up! I documented:

Can you see it?? It turned out to be about 1 inch long. What's up with that??? If you haven't tried it already, you can click on the picture and it will pop up in another window a bit bigger. Maybe then you can see the carrot (not that it deserves any more attention than it has already received).

And now, to reveal the mystery picture:
Oh, maybe you still can't tell what it is?? I understand. Here is our nest, and little mama bird is peeping out the hole. You can barely make out her little head. She has a lateral light colored stripe right above her eye, which you can just see above the edge of the opening of the house. I just looked up some info on house wrens, and learned that they like to put spider cocoons in their now I can't wait to get that thing cleaned out, as soon as may be...

Anyway, she is guarding...tah dah...chicks!

I had to use a flashlight to get that picture. They still have big, closed eyes, and are super ugly and super precious.

Last, but not least, I have something for your listening pleasure. I videoed, in the dark, the chirping frogs by the pond in our neighborhood. You can't see anything in the video but the grass as we drive by, but hopefully you can hear the frogs... In real life, they are so loud, and make us laugh and laugh.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summer Break, Here We Come!

But first, some photos from our dinner out with Aunt Kim! Kim had been dying for some of Blue Plate's home-style Southern cookin', so we headed out with our trusty "S" bag...

filled with activity books. You may have seen us with this bag, or others containing similar materials. This is a visible demonstration of our inward anxieties whenever we take our 3 bouncing boys out in public. We will continue to bring just works.

Kim ordered a heaping plate of chicken, fried okra, and creamed corn. Yum. It turned out to be a little more than she could handle. We planned on bring it home as leftovers, until "someone" knocked the take-home box on the floor, and all the chicken with it... Didn't I say bouncing boys??



and Trevor all ordered grilled cheese sandwiches... and gobbled them up (with ketchup!). In putting these photos on the page, I stumbled onto a little feature in iphoto that lets you erase "blemishes" also works good on ketchup. See their clean faces?? They look better now than they did in real life!

Now then, Summer Break! We went to bed with visions of sunshine dancing in our heads. Perhaps we should have checked the weather before we hit the hay.

Thankfully, a new umbrella helped ease the pain of the rainy day. The boys are still outside playing...the only quiet time I have had all day!

I made some cookies to make us feel better. I ate some too. Thanks for the recipe, Andrea!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Local Wildlife, and Other Fun

We recently had a tree frog climb up on our kitchen window, which we don't get to see very often. Lizards, yes. Toads, yes. But tree frogs, no. So, although it may not have been really photo worthy to anyone else, it was to me...and the kids. They each had to take a turn documenting it as well. (Please ignore the water spots on my can tell I do :)

Here's one the kids took...Also, about 2 weeks ago, we were eager witnesses of nature in action. A pair of little birds, wrens perhaps, made a home in our porch! This old birdhouse was hanging on a tree when we moved here, and was up for, oh, I don't know, maybe 5 years. Finally, the birdhouse either fell down, or was knocked down...we didn't really pay attention, since it had always been vacant. Tim picked it up, and put it in the porch (where a good many "where-should-I put-it"s find their home). Well, apparently, indoor birdhouses are desirable. Who knew?

We watched as the two birds brought in strand after strand of dry grass and weeds to that empty house. How amazing! Then, each day, for 5 days, momma bird laid an egg! Anyone know how long wren eggs take to hatch?

On another note, I found some pictures that I thought were funny on my camera. The boys LOVE using it, and I let them sometimes. Here is a tiny sampling of their view of the world...

Sure, I suppose feet could be more interesting than the view out the window of the car...or not...
and I do love the colors in this handbag....
doesn't everyone want a picture of the inside of their mouth?
and what does the inside of the camera look like when it takes a picture? Only one way to find out!

I also have a load of fun pictures from my family's recent visit...but the frog pictures were taken first, and I couldn't resist my impulse to go in chronological order....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

First, I have a little blip about Samuel's Spring Program. He did a wonderful job. Of course, the bar was not set very high...over the years we have had our children stand on the stage with a blank look the entire time, and even had them hide behind the stage. Samuel did go on stage, and even participated in some singing and hand motions! He looked so handsome, and we were so proud of him.

Here he is with Trevor back in the classroom afterwards.

On to Mother's Day...We knew we wanted to have Tim's parents over for Sunday lunch, but our plans were up in the air. You know how much I like to cook (not much) and how much I enjoy planning meals (not at all), so you can image how happy I was to leave it all up to Tim. However, you may not know (nor did I realize until recently) that I do not much like to try new things. And, you may not know that Tim thrives on experimenting. So, when he decided to experiment with our yet-unused fondue set for Mother's Day Lunch, I was put to the test. Only the night before, Tim had been talking with a friend at church (who happens to be the same Dr friend that looked at William's baseball bat injury) who mentioned that they were planning on Fondue for Mother's Day. Hmmm...that sounds fun, thought my daring husband. Hmm...that sounds messy, thought I.

The mess was worth it. Tim did all the planning, shopping and chopping, prepping and preparing. He did have to remind me to mind my own business a couple times, and as long as I did, things went well. Here's the final spread:

We had marinated steak, marinated chicken, and battered chicken. My favorite was the battered was so juicy and tender. He also made some homemade baked fries, and put out a refreshing relish tray. Notice all the fun sauces and dips...yum.

Here's Sharon and Larry enjoying their tasty meal...

and here's Tim's brother, Tommy, with his mama. Tommy helped a ton when it was time to get things going. Happily, I missed that whole part: I ran to the store to find more fuel for our fondue pot (and found a really great electric fondue pot that made it's way onto our table, too).

Here's the boys sitting at their little make-shift table (out of harm's way). I hooked them up with a bowl of Ranch dressing to dip their food in. They used their fondue forks, and had a blast.

Aww...and here's us. We're wearing matching shirts. No, we didn't plan that. These are just our favorite shirts. See my long ponytail? Tomorrow I am chopping it off. I can't wait.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

8 Fabulous Years and 1 Fantastic Husband

8 Fabulous Years. Fabulous: Comes from the word fable! That seems appropriate to me. On our own, Tim and I could not make a marriage work. We are too sinful (or "two" sinful?) to survive living together without the help of our Great Helper. Praise God for his faithful preservation of our marriage!! This is not to say that we have survived some scandalous mess, but rather that we have not had to! We enjoy and love one another more today than when God called us into this marriage 8 years ago. What precious proof of God's grace and power in our lives.

1 Fantastic Husband. Fantastic: Comes from imaginings! Also appropriate. I could not have imagined a more wonderful husband than this man that God has given me. All my dreams have been surpassed. God, in his infinite wisdom, has met my earthly needs (even my hidden, unrealized needs) with this man. I say "earthly" because I still have a yawning, gaping hole that demands to be filled with love--only God can fill it, as He is still teaching me. But God has given me a taste of his love, through this husband.

So, to celebrate, we took the boys and headed out for a yummy pizza dinner--a real treat since we don't go and do that very often. We kept them occupied with guessing-type questions, like "name that movie" or "name that animal." Actually, Samuel was pretty good at coming up with questions, all of which revolved around characters, like "a pink animal that has long straight ears"...that one was pretty tricky. Finally he gave another hint, the character has one yellow friend, and one purple friend, and the yellow friend can jump on his tail. When I guessed Piglet, he said I was wrong, and that moms and dads couldn't guess, only boys. I was stumped anyway. Are you? Not a "wow-wow wubbzy" fan? Me either. The other boys finally figured out that's who it was though.

We took turns with the boys taking pictures...

I'm so thankful for my fantastic husband. He made us some tasty food this last weekend, which I took pictures of {I know, I know, I sound like Grandpa:)}...I'm looking forward to sitting and blogging about that. For now, though, I have an anniversary gift to open! And Tim does too {don't tell him, but it's a pocket-knife, again--he will keep losing them}.

I knew it would happen... of these days. Shouldn't every mom get to experience an overflowing bathtub? I was working on the computer, and the little "mama" "mama" just wasn't breaking through my concentration. Finally the screams broke through. Then, a mad dash to the bathroom. Yep...water all over the floor. Oops.

That's all for now...gotta go mop!