Sunday, April 29, 2012

6 weeks old

Well, the chicks are about 6 weeks old now, and they have really grown.

In this one, you can see how the barred rock chick compares in size to the 2 hens above.

Sol is still being motherly at night and such, but she's not worrying about the chicks during the day too much anymore.  Soon, she won't act like mama hen at all.

We actually only have 7 hens now.  Sol Dos disappeared yesterday.  Our poultry total is 7 hens, 1 rooster, and 5 chicks.  We're hoping that most of the chicks are hens. 

In other news, Nathaniel and Jeff are busy putting down wood flooring in the boys' room right now.  I've mostly been out of this room work, but I've run the saws some.  I've gotten really comfortable with the chop saw.  I can, and do, use the table saw to rip boards, but it still scares me.  That's really a good thing, though.  Table saws are pretty scary, dangerous tools.

After church, the kids were supposed to have a kickball game and hotdog picinic.  We did have it, but several families didn't come that were expected, so the kickball game had few participants.  Elijah really enjoyed it, though.  Malachi and Lydia played on the playground, and that made them really happy.  Lydia had an 8-year-old girl playing with her, which made her day. 

Tomorrow, Lydia and I are subbing at the preschool again.  Another busy week underway!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hardwood floors!!!

I love, love, love our hardwood floors.  This weekend, Nathaniel and I installed the flooring in Lydia's room.  It looks fabulous.  We still have to put down the quarter-round, but otherwise, it's pretty well done.  Yay!  One room down, 5 to go.  Plus stairs. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gardening and a nightgown

And I have no idea why that line is underlined and purple on my screen.  But anyway, back to the plants.  Lydia and I have planted some things in pots on the deck and in the sunroom.  Our radish seeds have sprouted:

 And the mint from last year is back:
 As are our chives from last year.  Actually, they are already about to bloom.  I've used fresh chives several times already this spring in the kitchen, mostly in making my ranch dip.
And lastly, I have a few field pea plants growing:

We've also harvested a few small carrots from the sunroom.  They are so sweet and delicious.  We've got some tomato plant seedlings, as well as brussel sprouts and broccoli.  Outside, the lemon balm and oregano (which are both permanently planted in the ground) are going nuts.  And some cilantro is coming back, too, as is one of the sage plants.  So we have lots of fresh herbs popping up.  We also had a little leaf lettuce, which we ate in a salad Monday.  Oh, and we have a few green strawberries!  We can't wait to see those ripen.
In the house, I finished a little project Lydia's been asking for:

We bought this purple silky fabric on clearance a while back, and Lydia has been wanting a purple nightgown, so I finally got around to finishing it. She loves it!  I think it would make a really good dress-up costume, too. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter and some Roman pictures

Lydia was so sick on Easter.  Here she's resting on her daddy and trying to smile for the camera.  The boys were being difficult for a picture:

But we finally got one decent one:
 And here are a few random pictures of Rome:

in the Roman forum

a mosaic in the Vatican
This is a circus (chariot racetrack) on the Palatine hill.

St. Peter's Square
I was amazed at how very big St. Peter's Square is.

The oculus in the Pantheon

Friday, April 6, 2012

Eggs and Chicks

I'm taking a break from the Roman Holiday today.  I may post more on that later, but today we dyed eggs.  Our eggs were pretty colorful before:
but now they're even prettier:

And look at how the chicks have grown!

Today we discussed the meaning of Good Friday, and I was impressed by how much the boys have remembered.  Yesterday we talked about the last supper, and they were able to tell me about that, too.  They are really absorbing the biblical lessons better than I thought they would.

Now I'd better serve dinner.  The troops are hungry!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Roman Misc.

We did go into several churches besides St. Peter's.  They are all a bit overwhelming. 
Also, I was surprised to find out that the Pantheon is still a church.  I knew it was, a long time ago, but I was under the impression that it was mostly a tourist destination now.  Sections of the interior are roped off for prayer and masses.  (The sign said that during mass times, no photos, tour groups, etc, only people wanting to attend mass.)  This is the outside of the Pantheon, which hasn't changed all that much from ancient times:

And this is some of the inside.
Naturally, all of the pagan statues are gone from the Pantheon.  There are some Catholic statues (Mary, Jesus) and plenty of decoration.  Raphael is buried here, too.
Now, some other random pictures I took. 

This pyramid was built in the 1600s.

Nathaniel loved this quiet street in Ostia Antica, outside the historic area and in the current town.

at the Roman Forum
This was one of those take-the-picture-myself-and-hope-it-turns-out-ok-at-arms' length shots.  We were in a park.  I thought it turned out to be a really good picture of Nathaniel.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Our Hotel and More Mosaics

Nathaniel took this picture of me in the courtyard.  He was standing at the door to our room.  It was a really nice courtyard, and there was a little table with 2 chairs by our door that we sat at when we called the kids in the evenings.  This is the only picture I have of the room, but the room itself wasn't anything exciting:

It was clean, and we had our own bathroom (which is not necessarily the case in European hotels). 

The other side of the courtyard, to the right of our room when standing in the doorway.
The Trevi Fountain

And now, onto more mosaics.   And frescoes.  These are from the National Roman Museum.  It had 4 locations, but we only went to 2 of them.  The first one we went to put me back in mosaic heaven, and had the bonus of the fresco paintings.  Wonderful.  First, the mosaics:
Dad, I thought of you when I took this one!

This one made me think of Elijah.

And I knew Malachi and Lydia would get a kick out of this one.

And now the frescos.  Some of these I have seen in books.  The colors are still amazingly vivid about 2,000 years after they were painted!

This one was a surprise - the entire room was painted in this garden scene.  This is one I've seen in textbooks, but it was a pleasant surprise to come across it in the museum.  I probably would have spent more time here (and taken more pictures) but a school group of German teenagers came in right after we did, so we went on.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ostia Antica

me on the main road at Ostia, heading into town
 Now on to Ostia.  On Friday, Nathaniel and I went to Ostia, which is just about a 25 minute train ride from Rome.  In ancient times, it was an important port city for the Roman Empire.  I first learned about Ostia in Latin class in high school when we learned about the emperor Claudius, but I had no idea that the entire city was basically preserved and an awesome site open to visitors.  And I mean OPEN.  You could go all over and see so much.  It was fantastic.  Again, not crowded.  And unlike the Roman Forum, Ostia did have signs explaining some of the ruins.  We also bought a map and a book on Ostia.  The city is so well preserved that I could actually tell what some things were without the signs/books, which was really a treat.

the view from the top of the theater

the theater, which is only about 2/3 as tall as it used to be
And, have I mentioned mosaics yet?  (Insert Nathaniel's eye roll here.)  I have a thing for mosaics.  I took dozens of pictures of mosaics at Ostia, and at a museum on Saturday.  Nathaniel can vouch for the fact that I'm not exaggerating.  Here are just a few:

these two guys were athletes

Most (though not all) of the mosaics at Ostia were black and white.  Many had fish or a water theme, which is probably due to the fact that it was a port city.  It was so fun to wander through the ruins and happen upon an incredible mosaic, just out in the middle of ruined buildings.  Some of the biggest mosaics were actually covered with tarps because they are under restoration, and so there are actually several more than the many we saw.  And how close could you get to the majority of them?

Many of them are still on the floors where the tourists walk.  I tried not to walk directly on the decorated parts when possible, but it was incredible that you actually could.

Nathaniel really enjoyed Ostia, at least for the first two hours.  Those last two were probably a bit much for him, but he was a great sport.

This is inside one of the "fast food" restaurants of ancient Rome.

There were even still some paintings on the walls.  Again, you would just be walking in the middle of ruined buildings, and then you'd see something like this!
These are just a very few of the pictures we took at Ostia.  We're going to get one of those photo books made.  I was thrilled with how good the pictures turned out.