Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jack O'Lantern

Tooth number 8 came out today!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


This week we had a different kind of bird visitor.

This one stayed in our driveway all the time, so we set out to see what it was doing.

Ta da! It didn't take us long to find this nest.

She was very protective of her eggs. These are very loud birds (check out the bottom sound clip on the Cornell site and crank up the volume for the full effect.

We also witnessed the broken wing act.

Jack put cones around the nest so no one would drive over it.

We found several other spots along the driveway that looked like nests.

We got out our trusty nature guide (this is not the first time this has come in handy!) and found out that our visitor was a killdeer!

Unfortunately, something got the eggs during the night and the mama bird is not around anymore. We are keeping an eye out for more nests, though!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bird Watching

Ever since the big snow(s) this past winter we have had lots of visitors to our bird feeder. Jack made a bird house that attaches to the window (though we're still waiting for someone to take up residence) and we got another suction cup feeder, so we've ended up with a nice little bird watching window!

We have moved our bird guides and books here, too. Alice added the lawn chair.

Binoculars are helpful!

Sometimes we will have tons of birds at once!

It took a while for the birds to start using the window feeder, but they have warmed up to it.

One of the projects on my (continually growing) list is to make some cards up to help us learn to identify our frequent visitors.

We have quite a variety!

Jay says that I am making everyone in the house a birdwatcher. (I totally did not pose this picture. She really was sitting in front of the feeders and looking at the bird books on her own. Really.)

He might be right!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The First Day of Summer

(Alice's baby adrift in the pool. This was the strangest picture from the weekend. Sadly, shortly after this picture was taken, a gust of wind flipped poor Baby out of the water and onto the concrete, but she appears to be fine and was willing to go swimming again last night.)

Though it hasn't even been a month since I posted my summer plans and we are still almost two months away from starting back up for the fall, I have found myself panicking about when I will get everything done. Somehow we are much busier than we are during the regular school year and I have found myself baffled by such menial tasks as when to get groceries. Last week it took me several days to get caught up on laundry because we were out so much, and I am never behind on the laundry. Looking back at my list, though, I think I'm doing okay, but I'm going to go ahead and update it to make myself feel better.

  1. Birthday parties: DONE!
  2. Activities: VBS is done, swimming lessons and playdates are ongoing. Camp is still in the distant future, but I'm sure it will be here before I know it.
  3. Reading: I have now read the entire Scumble River series. And Ghost Ship. And I found a new series last night at the library that I started while waiting in the doctor's office this morning. I'm behind on The Ministry of Motherhood and my copy of Educating the WholeHearted Child arrived today--a year after I pre-ordered it. I am pretty sure my book pile is never going to shrink.
  4. House stuff: I've hung a few things for the consignment sale, but the school room looks pretty scary right now. Today I was glad to find that a friend had dropped some things off on the porch while we were out because I would have been worried that her baby would have smothered in cat fur if we had been here to let them in. Egad.
  5. Visits with friends: DONE! But if you want to come see me, you can.
  6. Summer Adventure Box: We are opening about one item a week. We have really enjoyed Murder Mystery Mansion!
  7. Planning: I've saved all the stuff I want to print for the FIAR books we'll do next year. If I can get these units done, next year will go so much more smoothly!
Now I am feeling a little better about what I've gotten done, even if there is so much left to do!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Week in Review

This week was supposed to be a relaxing week after last week's craziness. We got busy mid-week, but on Monday we stayed home all day. The kids made a clubhouse under the dining room table and Alice made them a picnic. She even invited Chewbacca (lower left corner of the blanket), though she calls him Little Bear or Good Guy.

Alice didn't nap all day, so when Jack found kites in the garage, we tried them out in order to keep her awake and happy through dinnertime.

I love the look on her face!

Tuesday morning we went blueberry picking. Alice (who insisted on wearing her way-too-small shoes from last year) was very excited to use the princess bucket for picking.

I'm not sure what he's doing, but he seems to be enjoying it!

When we got home from the berry farm, we played in the water.

Jack perfected his slide on his birthday present.

Wednesday was a sand-themed playdate.

The kids made sculptures from sand clay.

Thursday was full of errands, gymnastics, and the splash pad. We also celebrated our family's birthday.

Friday we took a road trip with my parents and my sister and her kids to the Cherokee Heritage Center. Alice really did seem to enjoy it, even if she looks like we tortured her here. Jack thought it was very cool to see information on a relative in the museum.

We had a picnic and the kids played in the creek.

Alice enjoyed the playground, too.

Last night wrapped up with a sleepover at Grandma's and Grandpa's--though Alice was done sleeping by 4:30. The weekend is going to be busy, so now I'm hoping that next week will be more relaxing!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

And I Know One Thing

Rocking in the dance hall, moving with you
Dancing in the night in the middle of June
My momma told me don't lose you
'Cause the best luck I had was you

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Craziest Week of the Year

Does Alice look a little dazed? We are still recovering from last week. It was a perfect storm of birthdays, VBS, visitors, meetings, and crazy heat.

It started with Alice's birthday on Sunday. (Now we have an obligatory banner pic to take, too!)

For Sunday lunch, we met up with my friend Amber (who still has not mugged me or killed me in spite of the fact that I met her online), who was in town briefly.

The kids played all afternoon and never seemed to notice that it was almost 100 degrees.

For their family party, we went with a Max and Ruby theme. That pretty much means the cake, because we were at the park and kept it low key. My friend Lisa did a really neat party, though, if you want some ideas!

The cupcake toppers came from the Rosemary Wells site.

Oh, I forgot that I made them hats! (Also from the Rosemary Wells site.)

VBS was all week. We have come a long way since the first time we had to be out all week, but it is still tough. Wednesday night was VBS night and the kids jumped and ate 25-cent food for dinner.

Jack also won a drawing for a $100 gift card! The first thing he said to me when he got back to his seat was, "This is NOT going for college!"

Friday was Jack's birthday.

He had a fun party at the splash pad with friends. We have never had a party rained out yet, but I was getting nervous when it was sprinkling Friday morning!

Swimming with Aunt Shannon!

Not pictured are the million errands, a visit from a friend I hadn't seen since high school, meeting with a friend about homeschooling, a curriculum share night, gymnastics, and the extremely early mornings with Alice. We were gone every day and every evening! We've never had a week like that before and even though we had lots of fun, I am not sure I can handle one like that again for quite a while!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Born at the Right Time

June 5, 2011 3:31 pm

June 10, 2011 4:30 pm

Never been lonely
Never been lied to
Never had to scuffle in fear
Nothing denied to
Born at the instant
The church bells chime
And the whole world whispering
Born at the right time

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jack!

The birthday boy is seven today!

Jack has an incredible imagination and makes up his own games all the time. If you see him moving around strangely, chances are he's got a game going on. The other night I heard him yell, "Jedi!" in the shower, but he's usually fairly quiet about it all.

Kung fu fighting, I think.

He's quick to make a friend if he's tired of playing on his own. He plucked some kid from a field trip to play with at the zoo.

Probably due to heredity, his sense of humor gets stranger as he gets older. He talked me into pushing him in the stroller on the way back to the car and yelled, "Merry Christmas to all my loyal citizens!" to everyone we passed. He also made up a song for them. Alice was sitting on his lap and joined right in.

Legos are huge around here now. So is Star Wars, but that's for another post.

LinkThe swing set is also still popular. He tries to go as high as he can to scare me and he's learned to jump off. It might be nice to rewind a couple of years.

He's always thinking. He can catalog things like nobody's business.

Happy birthday, Boots! We really did hit the jackpot!