Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fairies, Bears, and Swine

Of Fairies...
Fairies aren't very welcome in our house. I don't know if I have banished them, or if little boys just don't care about them by nature. Most kids like Fairies. And I would think that common sense would induce any child to like Fairies once in a while. I'm thinking of teeth here...What American child, when they have lost a tooth, doesn't think of the Tooth Fairy?

I didn't banish her on purpose. But I also didn't make a big hype about her. Have I robbed my kids of an essential childhood element??

You may have guessed...we have lost another tooth. And no Tooth Fairy came. She wasn't invited! My kids prefer to put their extracted denticle into a little baggie, and stow it away in a drawer for safe keeping. How has this happened??

There is a bright side:

The first 2 times that Trevor lost a tooth there was some mild trauma involved. The teeth came out easily enough, but Trevor (who has issues with change) felt traumatized. Sometimes there were tears...sometimes there were angry faces...but neither time was there a fairy. No Thank You.

Tooth #1: fell out while Trevor was brushing his teeth. Dropped right in the sink.
Tooth #2: fell out while Trevor was eating a peanut butter sandwich. Just lodged itself in the bread.
Tooth #3: popped out while Trevor was eating popcorn.

This time, Trevor was not upset. That's the bright side. He was excited, and let me take a picture. But still, no Fairies.

Of Bears...
Samuel has been having a great time in school. For the first 2 weeks he has been learning colors, shapes, and Nursery Rhymes. He has been eager to demonstrate his knowledge to us (which is new for our family--Trevor and William really don't like to recite, or sing...). Here's a couple videos of Sam's sweet home-recitals.

First: "Brown Bear, Brown Bear"
In case you can't hear him well enough, the story goes like this:

Brown bear, brown bear
What do you see?

I see a red bird looking at me.

Red bird, red bird
What do you see?

I see a blue horse looking at me.

Blue horse, blue horse...
(you get the idea...)

That last little bit was:
I see Mrs. Young (that's his teacher) looking at me!
That's what I see!

And next, Jack & Jill!

Of Swine...

We've got a visit at our house! We didn't invite him, and we don't enjoy him, but we want to keep him all to ourselves. Can you guess who it is?? The flu! According to hear-say, there is a lot of swine flu in our area, so much that the doctors don't even send in tests anymore to verify whether each case is swine flu or not. Likely that is what we have on our hands (pun intended). William has the flu for sure, with a steady fever, and headaches, sniffles, and whining. Trevor may have's hard to tell. And I'm sure we all have it on our hands...I wash, and wash, and wash...and I still feel like a walking germ-ball. When I open a package of food, I can almost see the germs swarming in to contaminate everything. Yuck.

Tim picked us up a load of movies from the Library...and we've settled in for the ride. I'm expecting it to run through the whole family, but who knows...maybe not.

Of Cheese...
Just a parting shot of a cheese ball. Sam has on an alligator hat--he had to try it on while shopping at the Dollar Tree. CHEESE!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Samuel's First Day of School

Samuel started Preschool this week! On Monday we went and met his teacher, and saw his classroom. Then on Tuesday, he went for his first day of class.
The other boys posed for their annual "First Day of School" picture, too, even though they had been doing school at home for TEN days!! Samuel was very ready to get out of the house and be busy after playing by himself all those days that I was teaching Trevor and William.I took him at about 8:30. When we got to the room, there was a sucker sitting at his seat! (That crazy teacher! If if was my class I would BAN all sugar. But it sure made the kids happy!)

Samuel has really been enjoying school. He is always really reserved when he goes in the room, but the teacher, Mrs. Young, says he warms up fast and participates real well. (That's Mrs. Young in the Referee shirt...there was a "sports" theme for the first day of school:) Also, notice that all the kids are wearing red...they are learning their colors, so Mrs. Young sent home a schedule of what color to wear each day. Samuel thinks that's fun.
And here's a nice butterfly that Tim and the boys found in the garden. Well, I hope it's nice. I hope it's not laying eggs that will hatch caterpillars that will eat all our plants. Then it would be a bad butterfly, and I would go ahead and let William get his net, like he has been asking, and catch it and put it in a box. I've decided to give it the benefit of the doubt, though.The boys were also excited about this...
Ever since we got our new desks, Trevor has been begging to move the furniture. He loves to rearrange, and this has given him extra inspiration. This morning, I asked him if he wanted to draw up a plan of what he would like to do with the room. He gave his typical nod, by which I could tell an idea was already emerging in his mind. Off he went. Not long later he came back with this drawing:The 3 connected rectangles represent the bench and bookshelves at the far end of our school room. There is also a couch on the left side, and 2 chairs. You can see that Trevor had an unconventional layout for the room, as well as an interesting way of showing his plan. (I asked about the dots on the rounded rocking chair...he said those are the "buttons" on the back...)Right about then, Tim came in, and I informed him of Trevor's plans. Rather than try to explain why the arrangement might not work, Tim decided to humor Trevor, and let him see for himself. He fully expected Trevor to realize that it just wasn't a convenient layout. He was wrong. After moving the furniture the the predestined locations, Trevor voiced his approval. It was just what he wanted... And here it is! Yes, the room really is as jumbled up as it looks! I'm planning on leaving it for awhile, hoping that Trevor will yet decide to try again.

Finally, I dug up my old pictures of the birds. I never got to show the grand finale! By day 13, the babies were looking like grown-up birds. They were crammed in that nest. It was hard to get a good picture because they were finally "camera shy". On day 14, I noticed an awful lot of chirping in the porch. I looked out, and there were little birds all over the place! I couldn't get them all in one picture, but here is one of the mama trying to guide the babies out the window. She is in the bottom right corner, and 2 of the babies are by the screen to the left--one on the sill, and one near the top of the picture. The mama was hopping back and forth, chirp-chirp-chirping, trying to lead them out. 3 babies made it out fairly easily, but after close to 10 minutes, there were still 2 left. I was concerned that they would wear out, so I decided to help. We shoo-ed one out, but the other just wouldn't go.
We finally caught it in a net, and let it out the window. It flew off right away, to some rather cheerful chirps out in the bushes. It sure was quiet and lonely after they left! I understand where the phrase "empty nest" comes from now...though I hope it won't feel like that when my boys "take off".

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Coach!

Cheers to the Birthday Boy!We have had a full few days! We had a cookout at Grandmother Beth's on Saturday to celebrate Tim's 36th birthday. Sharon, Tami and Neal and the kids, and Grandmother Beth were there with us (Larry is out of town on a mission trip!). Neal grilled the biggest pieces of pork tenderloin any of us had ever seen (except for me...I picked it up at Sam's and had to dig and dig to find it--the smallest one I could find). We had some leftovers...

The boys played hard. They love jumping off the board. Making the biggest splash is one goal...doing the craziest jump is another.

Trevor has figured out how to dive! He says he learned by jumping on my bed...which I have not inquired further about. I don't even want to know...

This one doesn't even look like my kid! I can't figure out what exactly makes Samuel look so un-Samuel here...what do you think?

All the boys (Trevor, William, Samuel & Judson) love playing in the pool together. The grown-ups can sit and relax now that the boys have all learned to swim.
All the grown-ups except Tami, that is. Mary Grace also wants to compete in the splash contest.
On Tim's birthday, we opened presents. Here's a card William made him. The boys were very excited.

Here's a stack of fun things he got. Thanks everyone for the great gifts!!

The boys have started soccer. William and Trevor are on the same team! How fun is that? We had a great experience last year, and had such a pleasant coach. Of course we were praying that this year God would show us favor again. Little did we imagine that Tim might be who God had in mind! Actually, Tim is the assistant coach, which suits him perfectly. Here's Practice #1.

Here's Coach Andy, pumping the kids up, apparently.

At the soccer try-outs, we were pleased to see Levi, one of William's buddies from school. We have spent a little time with Levi's family, and really enjoy them. Amy, Levi's mom, told us that they were lacking one coach...did Tim want to do it? Tim said he would be willing to assist, but not be a head coach. Amy called her husband, Andy, and asked him, and he said he would be willing if someone would help him. So that worked out great! And now here we are, where we never thought we would be...coaching kids.

He's a good looking coach, yes?

There was quite a group that first practice.

Here's Jabree...he was on Trevor's Team last year. Tim picked him to be on the team again. He's a great player. We have soccer practice 3 nights a week for the next 3 weeks. (Yikes!)

We have been getting a ton of banana peppers from the garden, and more cucumbers that we can eat. I got a recipe from Grandma that I modified and




Whoo! I am so excited. Before I put them in the jar, I tasted one little pickle. It was SO good. Hooray! The recipe says to let them set a week...I can't wait to tear into that jar!

We also made these jars of peppers. I am really proud of us. It was truly a team effort, and a fun one at that.

Here's the recipe I wound up using for the pickles:

Easy Chill Dill Pickles

2 cups sliced cucumbers

2 c. white vinegar

2 c. water

2 T. pickling salt

1 t. dried dill weed

1 clove garlic, halved

We boiled the water, vinegar and seasoning for 3 minutes. Then we poured the hot liquid over the cucs in a glass bowl, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then we packed the cucs in a pint jar, with the liquid (there was some left over) and sealed the jar!

Thanks for the help, Grandma!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blast From the Past... past, at least! Tim found these sharp desks today at the local salvage company:

They are just like the ones I used in school! I'm generally of the opinion that I don't want to make our home a mini-public-school, and I really enjoyed not using desks last year with Trevor. But this year, we just needed more table space. I have been using our nice TV trays (is that an oxymoron??) for the boys to sit at when it's not their turn for a lesson. Then, out of the blue, here are these desks! Thank you, Father! God knew our need, when we didn't even know it ourselves! The kids are so excited. I'll have to take another picture when we finalize our new "seating arrangement".


The weather has still been miserably hot, sticky, and buggy, but Tim was able to get William to go out for a bike ride anyway. They rode up to Westgate park. William was all business, and made sure I packed him some water and a snack. (He really wanted milk, but I was able to reason him out of that...)

Two good lookin' guys!!!


Tami had another sewing night at her house recently, so I picked up some fabric to make some pajamas (that's "puh-Jama" for me, and "pah-jomma" for the Alabamans, as I have recently been informed) for the boys.

I must have been visiting too much, because all I got done at Tami's was cutting out 2 pairs of jammie shorts. I came home and finished the shorts, and the boys loved them so much, William and I went back to the store to get enough fabric to make 4 more pairs. I sewed all weekend! I also made some matching shirts.

Trevor's Indian Set

(He loves this! William picked out the fabric, and Trevor helped design the shirt. This red color is Trevor's favorite!)

Trevor's Army Set

(I picked out the fabric, and Tim helped me with the design. He also cut out the letters for me!)

William's Indian Set

(He picked out the fabric, designed the shirt, and cut out the decoration)

(I didn't get a picture of William's Nascar set--he didn't take it off for about 2 straight days!)

Samuel's Shark Set

(I picked out the fabric and designed the shirt. Not much to say...Sam likes it.)

Samuel's Cowboy Set

(The guys {all 4 of them} have been playing Cowboy and Indians {or Red-Man and White-Man} so this goes great with the other boys Indian Sets. I picked out the fabric, and Sam helped design the shirt.)

Detail of Sam's Shirt

(This is how I did all the shirts--I ironed on the design with Wonder-Under and then stitched around the edges {a technique that Tami showed me}.)

Trevor sportin' his new jams.

We went to a birthday get-together this week, for our friends Brannon and Ann (who have the same birthday!) and the boys enjoyed playing outside in their beautiful backyard. Look at these wonderful, tall pines! They dwarf the playhouse.

And, a parting-shot from Indi. Can you tell that she is dressed up? The boys put a mardi-gras necklace on her, and a cape. She loves can tell by the way she is posing for the picture. And yes, those are treats in the fore-ground. She puts up remarkably well with these 3 wild boys!