Monday, May 31, 2010

Florida: Part Two

We had a great time on our trip. The nice thing about it was that we didn't spend it running around like crazy people. We just relaxed and enjoyed visiting with Grandma. Each night, the kids begged her to play them songs on the organ. She would play Jesus Loves Me and Amazing Grace while they all sang together. It was very sweet. (Except when they tried to 'help' her play) If Katie doesn't remember the words, she just sings her own...and loud too. :)

One of the things we did was to visit the cemetery. The kids put flowers and a flag on Grandpa's grave, and also on the graves of Grandma's brothers Bob and Melvin (the kids' great-great uncles).

The kids had a lot of fun with Grandma. What's not to love about a Great-Grandma who takes you on golf cart rides, hunting for geckos, and gives you ice cream after every meal? :

Florida Pictures: The First Installment

The Castillo De San Marcos, a 330 year old fortress in St. Augustine (the oldest city in the US). It has quite an interesting history and we got to take a quick walk-around before the kids go too tired (we had just gone to the beach). Well, maybe they were already too tired but we really wanted to take a look around while we were in the area.

We had a lovely morning at Green Cove Springs (the day of my 30th birthday I might add). The weather was perfect and the company was too. Grandma sat in the shade with Tyler while he slept and we took the other two out to explore. There was a spring coming out of the ground, which was directed into a swimming pool and back into the 'run' as they called it (a creek) and out into the Saint John's River.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Stills: Landscape

Ouray, Colorado Courthouse

Independence Monument (Colorado National Monument)

The Bookcliffs (from Loma)

Sunset in Loma

This weeks Sunday Stills challenge is landscapes. These photos are obviously re-runs but packing has taken precedence over running around with my camera. These were some of my favorite shots from our last trip out to Colorado.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Carnival

PS. If I fail to post for a bit, don't worry. We'll be off visiting Grandma Cheyney in Florida. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Guns and Little Boys

James is very fascinated with guns. He has a cork gun, a dart gun, a plastic dollar store rifle, and any number of Lincoln Logs, silverware and bananas that stand in for a gun when his others are unavailable. (Translation: When his other guns have been taken away for violating the rules.) The main rule is 'Don't shoot at people.' This week he found an old metal cap gun that we had found in the wall at our old house. It is pretty cool with a longhorn etched on the side. It looks like a real 'cowboy' gun. I told him it was a cap gun and explained the way it worked. Of course, then he wanted to get caps for it. Tonight, I took he and Tyler to a carnival in town. (Katie is at her very first 'sweep-overs' at Grammy and Chappy's house. I am just spazing out a little with her being gone. I miss her cute little blond hair and crazy expressions.) Anyway, the carnival....I got suckered into paying $5 for a 'Kids Win Everytime' balloon dart game. I think James was about ready to pass out from fear of all the carnies yelling at us but the hope of winning a prize lured him into playing. First, I will give you the story from the James' point of view: Mom shells out some money for me to play a game. Could be a dollar, maybe a hundred, who's counting? The guy is pretty scary but he says I'll win a prize and that is a nice thought. So, I stand up on the astro-turf and throw a few darts. I hit two out of three. My mom thinks I am a prodigy. The carny says 'Good job, champ!' I get to pick a prize, any prize I want. There are guns, swords, toys, stuffed animals....decisions, decisions. I choose a cap gun, because I have been wanting one forever, or for at least the last two days. I walk away thinking I have just conquered the world, winning a game and getting a prize. Now, here is my version of the story: I paid $5 for my kid to throw three darts and win a prize of a quality not even up to par with the dollar store, but seeing the pride on his face was priceless! I would like to note that by the time I had removed the gun from the package and loaded a ring of caps, not one, not two, but three parts had already snapped off. Quality, folks, quality. But here is the funny part (I know, I know...that was a lot of nonsense to get to the point...) When I shot the first cap, James just about jumped out of his skin. He looked at me with huge eyes and asked me what went wrong. When I told him that's what it was supposed to do he promptly told me that it was too scary and that we need to save it for when he is bigger.


Tyler had a doctor's appointment today to check his weight. He was on the low side last time (in the 6th percentile, meaning that 94% of baby boys his age are bigger than him). He hasn't gained any weight or length since last month so now he is in the 5% range, or the size of a 7 month old. Jeff is sure he's going to be a midget. :) Fortunately with a recent change in doctors, I feel a lot better where we are at. I know that the old doctor would have sounded the alarm and wanted me to supplement him with formula and probably do all sorts of crazy checks. This new doctor says he is not worried, just thinks we need to be very deliberate in feeding him certain things. He wants me give him red meat and chicken, as well as carry snacks with me at all times to try and fatten him up a bit. As long as he starts gaining weight again there will be no worries. He will go back in 3 weeks to get checked.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Random Randomness, Part 286

  • We're packing for Florida. Yipee!!
  • The ducks are gone. I miss them, except for their poop. They were really fun.
  • I'm looking forward to getting chickens, probably next spring.
  • I think my neighbors think I am nuts.
  • I made a huge batch of Monster Cookies yesterday and spent the time reminiscing about camping trips and road trips where we ate mass quantities of my mom's Monster Cookies
  • Tyler took his first steps yesterday.
  • Just kidding!
  • There has been a woodpecker going to town on our aluminum siding. He's a smart feller.
  • I've been squeezing sewing time almost every night this last week. I work like a crazy woman while Jeff and I watch documentaries from the library. As soon as I sit down, I fall asleep.
  • My garden is 2/3 planted. Phew! I started everything from seed and even though they grew just fine now I think I'll be worried til they get a little bigger outside. Did I mention that I had to clear my new garden ground (the top left picture) all by hand? (It was grass) What a pain. But fortunately after I did that a neighbor came by and told us to use his rototiller to till it up. The new bit brings the garden to a total of 11' by 50', and I also extended my flower/herb patch quite a bit. The bamboo thingy is going to be a fort for the kids. We are going to grow pole beans on it to make the walls and roof.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday Stills: A Day Late

This week's challenge was spring flowers or wildflowers. We picked these wild roses at our green belt. There are so many of them that it fills the air with the most wonderful scent. Even the kids noticed how nice it smelled on our walk this morning.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Its a Conspiracy

Yesterday I was looking all over for my keys. They were not in their normal spot, nor were they in the alternate spot. I was looking all over for them, thinking that this would be the time I couldn't find them. In the back of my mind, I always think that someday my keys are going to go MIA thanks to one of the kids and that I will never find them. Kind of like one of our cordless phones. We'll probably find it in 2034. Anyway, back to the keys. As I was rummaging around for them, James nonchalantly walks over and says 'Oh, are you looking for your keys?' 'Yes!' 'Well I hid them in your rubber boot.' And without skipping a beat, Katie walked up and said 'Ha, ha, joke's on you Megan!'

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I've Hit the Motherload!

I have managed to become the grateful recipient of an enormous bag of rhubarb, thanks to my Aunt's cousin's neighbor's friend's goat's nephew, or something like that. Actually, long story but a friend of my Aunt has an 'in' with the farming/Amish community in Lancaster and found out that I was in the market for some rhubarb. She called around and found someone who needed to unload some rhubarb. My parents came home armed with rhubarb stalks as long as my arm. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. We love rhubarb around here. I got it all cut up and stashed away so that I can make various Rhubarb concoctions throughout the year. To make room in my freezer for the rhubarb, I decided to finally use up the cranberries I bought at Christmas time. My canner sprung a leak around then and I had to get a new (to me) canner. I made Cranberry Ketchup and while it sounds really weird, it is oh, so good. I was eating it with a spoon yesterday. I also managed to get my first steam burn of the canning season. Ouch! Later today I am going to make Rhubarb Jam with Vanilla Bean and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (to celebrate Jeff being out of school!!). Mmmmm.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh, Happy Day!

Today is, in my opinion, a very good day. Of course, I am not the one taking the Materials Science final. But that means that after tonight Jeff will be done for the summer!!! Hooray! We are both really happy and relieved to have this semester over. This one has been full of paper writing, which is not Jeff's favorite. Each semester has its challenges and this one has been one of the harder ones (it seems). It will be nice to have Jeff for the summer without papers and studying, and we are actually taking a real vacation in a few weeks! Jeff has 5-6 classes left, which means 2 1/2 more years, but considering one or both of us have been in school since we met in 1998, I guess its just par for the course. Although I can't wait for him to be done!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm Not Ready For This!!

My nine-month-old baby is climbing the stairs! Seriously. The other day I found him on the second stair. I thought for sure his siblings had helped him out. I interrogated them til I was pretty sure they hadn't done it. But I was still suspicious. Until yesterday. Tyler was too quiet, which every Mom knows is troubling. If your kids are too quiet, you know they are getting into something. Well, good thing I checked because he was 6 (SIX!!!) stairs up. I grabbed him and he turned around with a mischievous little grin on his face, little stinker. Time to find a baby gate.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sunday Stills: The Letter 'B'

This week's challenge is to photograph something that begins with the letter 'B'.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Pictures, Part Two

Like my double chin?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

And Fun Was Had By All....

Last night we had our wonderful friend 'Con-Rachel' over for dinner. She is a PBU student and comes every Tuesday for a home-cooked meal and some time off campus. We love her and she is not allowed to graduate. She likes to take pictures too, and we had a great walk after dinner, taking pictures on the green belt. Trying to get five people to look at the camera and smile simultaneously is near impossible, but we got some great shots and had a lot of fun! Here is an example of why taking pictures of a family of five is like trying to herd cats. Con-Rachel did a great job and was very patient with us and our shenanigans.

And here is my favorite picture of all, one that will be getting blown up to hang on the wall. Why do I love it? Because even though none of them are looking at the camera, that captures them to a T. I'll post a few more fun pictures tomorrow.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Another Busy Weekend

We had another busy weekend. Saturday was busy trying to cram some more time in with my sister and her husband before they moved to VA. Rach, Mom, James, Tyler and I went yard sale-ing in the morning. It was a good lesson for James on saving your money for something other than the dollar store so that you can get something that won't break in 3 minutes. He found himself some fabulous stuff: a brand-new still in the plastic wrap kids toolbox with tools, a pair of almost-new Cars rollerskates with protective gear and a backpack, and a sprinkler (would you expect any less from my kids?)...all for a whopping $3!! Later on Saturday, after the Uhaul was packed, we had a nice dinner with the whole fam. All this was fun, but it all means one thing...Rach and Phil are now in Virginia. (We won't talk about that right now or I'll feel like crying)

And in other random news, the ducks are....fabulous, but very, very poopy. I love them. I hate their poop. And there is a lot of it. Jeff wants to get rid of them, and I think we might have to. I don't really want to but they are a royal mess. I am sure as they get bigger so will their mess. We shall see. Eventually we want chickens, but when that time comes I will not get finagled into getting them before I have researched everything!! On a side note, can you believe how BIG the ducks are?? They grow so fast its amazing!

And one more random bit, an outfit I made for Katie (the pants were made from a pair of my old pants):