Saturday, May 31, 2008

The End of School

Yesterday was our last day of school for the year. Yeah! We celebrated by taking our first trip to the neighborhood pool. The kids loved it!
Andrew finished up soccer (football) as well this week. His team had a picnic at a local park on Thursday night.
Andrew had a wonderful coach and they all had a lot of fun together over the past two seasons. (Notes: not all the team were present for the photo; Andrew insisted on wearing his Scottish football outfit for the picnic, and likes to tell people that he and his brother James are "Scottish")
And now we are enjoying a quiet morning after a very, very stormy night. We were without power for a few hours and I'm wondering what kind of damage we will find around town.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Family Shots

I thought I'd post some recent shots of various members of the family. Baby Cakes is so fun to take pictures of!

Here we are on our family picnic (minus myself taking the picture) -- that's my sister Emily on the right:I loved this picture! The kids love their Daddy!
Baby Cakes getting a ride:
And my sweet Jamesie-Pie, who is just about too big for that name anymore.

Rachel obliged by taking a picture of Michael and me:
Aunt Em fixed up Rachel's hair and they both painted their nails and then Rach looked so grown up!
And here are the BOYS! I thought this was so cute to see them all in a row:
And now it's off to another day of "fun and games". :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Weekend in Color

It was Memorial Day weekend here in the States this past weekend. It was lovely weather -- not too hot, and not too cold. We were able to enjoy the outdoors quite a bit.
Saturday afternoon found my sister Emily and me sipping coffee in a nearby town:

I love the lovely store-fronts:
And the window boxes:
And the bright paint!
Early summer flavors of lemon, tomato, and basil. I love pasta mixed with lemon zest and some parmesan cheese on which I put a piece of pan-fried chicken topped with a mixture of tomatoes, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Lovely!
Baby Cakes enjoying the holiday and trying to join in with his siblings:

Our first watermelon of the year! Perfect for our Memorial Day Picnic at a local park:

Saying goodbye to a beautiful day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mr. Frog

Back at the pond the other evening we discovered Mr. Frog. He was very green and nice and big. I was happy to find him. But, he didn't seem to want to move, even when prodded lightly with a stick. Fed up, he finally turned on the stick and tried to attack it. So much for a jumping frog.

We could find no sign of the Geese, and I'm beginning to worry that Papa and Mama Goose were scared away from their nest. I hope we find out otherwise. Maybe their babies hatched and they took them away somewhere else.

And then, checking on our nest, I was very disappointed to discover this:

It appears that someone came and ate the little blue egg that was in the nest. Maybe next time we will find some happier news in the woods.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Makeover

With a quieter week at home, I've been able to get another "jumper" finished for Rachel:

Here's what it began life as: a woman's nightdress. I decided to monopolize on the buttonholes already made and turn that into the front of the jumper. In retrospect, it may have looked better in the back, but the pattern called for buttons in the front.

I was also able to cut the skirt of the nightdress in such a way as to keep the nice little lace trimming at the bottom (which you can't see in the above picture).

In any case, Rachel is pleased, and has decided she likes this one better than the last one. (I really liked the pink one, oh well).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ready for Summer

Yes, my closet and I are ready for summer, for those days when school is out and I just might have a little more time to work on some sewing projects. Thanks to help from my sisters, mom, and even Michael, I've collected a good number of wool sweaters in recent weeks, and I now have them ALL felted!

These shrunken sweaters are destined to become purses, bags, and double-point needle cases. I'm looking forward to posting the results (if the chance to sew drops in my lap).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Girls for Tea

Sunday we had friends over and Rachel got to have a tea party! Girls and tea parties just seem to go together, and I've been waiting since Rachel was born for her to be able to enjoy tea parties with her friends.
The girls had lots of fun, and, apparently, LOTS of sugar was added to each teacup. (Reminder to self: ration sugar next time):
After the tea party, everyone went upstairs to dress up!
A lovely afternoon was had by all.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Forest Treasures

Yesterday, being one of the very few dry days we've had recently, I decided it was high time we took a walk back down to the woods. I also wanted to check the progress of Mama Goose.

Here's what we saw when we reached the pond:
I think the green was due to bits falling off the trees, it didn't look like algae.

Once again, it was easier to see Mama Goose at home in the photo. But, it looks like she may actually be sitting on her eggs. Last time she seemed to be getting up too much. Papa Goose was busy floating in the clearer part of the pond, diving for food.

Farther down we came again to the little nest we found on our last walk. I was so anxious to look inside.
Finding that blue egg was the highlight of my walk! I was so excited. Capturing this shot is a little hard. The nest is above eye level, so I have to hold the camera up high and hope for a good one (all the while not coming into contact with the nest). I hope next time we go we'll find more eggs, or Mama Robin sitting on them!

And then we found lots and lots of Jack in the Pulpits, which fascinated all of us. We had to bring a few home for Daddy and discuss the idea of renaming them Daddy in the Pulpit.

And now today we are off to a highschool graduation for several homeschooling friends. It will be held back at the church where we were for Brian and Jaci's wedding last Saturday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

After The Weekend

Isn't this nest just beautiful?! The children found it in our yard this week and we aren't sure just where it came from. Perhaps the stormy weather we had over the weekend blew it out of its hiding place. Rachel noticed that the robin who built this helped herself to my dried out herbs, giving the nest a very artistic finish:

I had sort of imagined us all collapsing on Monday after our busy weekend. But, the mulch arrived on Monday and we all spent the day helping to get it situated in the flower beds. The children LOVED playing in the big pile!
And here is the result of our (mostly Michael's) hard work. I have yet to go and smooth out the mulch. We finally resorted to just dumping it in piles. The garden is full of plants that came from my parents garden or a friend's garden. We were very blessed not to have to buy any perennials.

I did buy some begonias and dusty miller to plant in the front:

And I had a hankering to make something with strawberries and rhubarb this week so I came up with a strawberry-rhubarb coffee cake. Very delicious!

And today is our first very sunny day in quite some time. I think I need to get out and spread the mulch. For some reason I just feel like crawling in bed with a good book. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Weekend #4

The final event of our weekend was celebrating Mother's Day with our family.
After the graduation everyone headed back for a brunch-type lunch at our house.
We decided to get Mom some more perrennials for her garden this year:
After some homemade salsa with chips, hummus and pita, we sat down to blueberry muffins, fruit salad, spinach-strawberry salad, asparagus-tomato salad, and Quiche Lorraine and Spinach-Feta Quiche:
The quiches were delicious!

Lots of conversation around the table:
And strawberry shortcake for dessert:

And then we headed back to church for the close of our whirlwind weekend! I was amazed that we survived in tact, and also very, very grateful to God for providing strength to make it through. This was the busiest week and weekend of the year, and certainly the most activity I had participated in for a very long time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Weekend #3

Sunday morning after church we headed downtown for Emily's Graduation! She graduated with a Bachelor degree in Exercise Science (pre-Physical Therapy). Note the white rope on her gown -- this means she graduated with honors. Yeah Em! We are so proud of you!

Here are the three sisters together: Christina, Emily, Heather
And the lovely graduate:
Mom and Dad:
And the whole family (at least the ones able to attend. Michael stayed home with the munchkins.):
And now Em has this week off to enjoy life and next week she heads to her first job at a local Hospital. She plans to take a year off of studies and then apply for graduate school.