Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tree Hugging

The boys have been taking swimming lessons the past two weeks, and while they are at lessons, Lydia and I go to the playground.  She lasts about ten minutes there, then we explore the park. Specifically, we visit the trees.  The first day, she ran up to a tree and asked, "Can I hug it?" 
After I said yes, her goal everyday is to hug several trees, and also to jump off of the various stumps in the grass. 

And I took a picture of the boys after they had changed and were devouring lunch:

It's a great day to hug a tree. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

I-Spy Bottles

I'm in charge of crafts for Bible School this week, and this first craft was a big hit.  You need:
empty, dry clear water bottles
dry (uncooked) rice
small trinkets

First, we were doing this for VBS, so I had little foam shapes with the connection words for the week on them.  We had 5 shapes (yellow cross, pink heart, etc).  We put a little rice into the bottom of each bottle, so they would stand up and not get knocked over so easily.  Then we had the kids put in their shapes.  You could easily put in whatever small treasures you have on hand (beads, seashells, sequins, tiny erasers, etc) or cut your own shapes out of colored foam or felt.  White objects will be harder to find in the rice, if you think the kids want a challenge.  Anyway, then you just fill the bottle about 3/4 full with rice.  Cap, shake, and start trying to find your objects!  Naturally, this project involves rice spilling, so I advise doing it outside. 
The kids wanted a picture of the bottles inside the jungle scene Elijah made for school (which all three of them still play with), complete with rain forest animals, so here that is:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken Massacre

I will spare you the pictures of this one, although there wasn't much to photograph.  All of my chickens are dead.  A nighttime raid on the coop killed all of them.  It was most likely a raccoon.  Damn raccoon.

The boys were very upset.  Lydia doesn't really understand.  She keeps looking for the chickens in the yard. 

I'm not sure if we'll get more this summer or wait until next spring, but we won't do anything until we're sure we've secured the coop and better secured their yard. 

Can you believe that I actually miss chickens?!  I'd gotten really fond of those fluffy things.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clipping Feathers

Well, the feather clipping went much better than anticipated.  It was actually quite easy.  However, I think they could still jump/sorta fly out if they really want to.  Elijah took these pictures so you could enjoy:

Snip, snip

I am concentrating really hard!

The kids petted each chicken afterwards to comfort it. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Some days are like that....

Don't ya love it?
Today had high points and low points.  I enjoyed teaching English at Spanish church, and I even learned the word for toilet, which I had never actually heard before: taza del bano.  Literally, it means bathroom cup.  Fun to know. 
On the low side, we had a chicken run.  It turns out that our chickens can (and did) fly out of the 8-foot fence in the second chicken yard.  Although the book I read assured me that I really didn't need to clip their wings so they can't fly, I'm going to have to tomorrow, or we'll just keep losing chickens.  We're down to only 6!  Of course, the neighbor cat that keeps stalking them may have encouraged them to fly the coop, but I actually saw one chicken on top of said fence and about to fly out with no predator in sight.  I got that chicken back in, but the others are long gone.  6 left.  Sigh.  So now I have to take scissors and clip the long feather on one wing of each pullet, so they can't fly out.  This does not sound like fun.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My plants are actually growing!

Aren't they beautiful?  Lydia and I planted these pumpkin seeds just a few days ago, and they are already up and growing.  Things are looking up in the garden after a rough May.  The tomatoes are finally growing again, although they are still small.  The zucchini is trying to hang in there.  I have buds on the raspberry plant.  Strawberries are healthy.  And look:

Broccoli!  We actually ate a little broccoli the other day.  The kids were so excited about it.  I hope that we can harvest some more soon.  And while we're talking about growing things, check out the chickens:

They get bigger everyday.  We have 9 now, and they seem active and happy.  Chickens really are fun to watch.  It's funny to see them chase moths around the yard.  (Moths must be pretty dumb, because they don't fly UP, just straight ahead until they're eaten!)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

And it's June...

So now it's June already.  The boys are out of school and ready for zoo camp tomorrow.  (They asked if Daddy has to work on summer break...oh how I wish he didn't!)  It's been busy here, and pretty fun.  My inlaws came down for a couple of days, so we took them to the Renaissance Festival.  Huzzah!  At the very first show we went to (Nuttin But Mud), my father-in-law raised his hand when they asked who had never been to a Ren Fair.  (For those of you who haven't realized yet, that's a dead giveaway to the sucker in the audience!)  Anyway, he ended up part of the show:
 The "P" stands for Prince, but also sets him up for the (corny) joke, "You have a little p on you."  Nathaniel also ended up onstage later:
Now, for those of you that haven't been to a renfaire, don't let these pictures discourage you.  We've been twice before and never ended up on stage.  It's usually quite easy to avoid volunteering, if you never raise your hand!  (In Nathaniel's case, though, they used every ambulatory guy in the audience.  He probably could have avoided it, but what the hey.)  One sure way to avoid being "volunteered": hold a small child.  But really, mostly the volunteers don't have to do too much.
The kids had a fabulous time.  We stayed way past nap time, and eventually, Lydia gave up: