Friday, May 30, 2008
Isaiah is playing machine-pitch baseball this year. I'm so very excited to see him really playing baseball. T-ball is lots of fun too but, the rules aren't exactly the same.
This year Isaiah is on the yellow team and each team is sponsored by a local business. The business sponsoring the yellow team happens to be Boyd's Outdoor Power. I believe they sell and fix things like ATVs, snowmobiles, boats, that type of thing.
As Isaiah was getting ready for his game last night he informed me what the back of his shirt said. I think it's very appropriate for a boys machine-pitch baseball team.
Isaiah: Mama, did you know what the back of my shirt says?
Mama: What does it say?
Isaiah: (said with strength and determination) BOYS outdoor power!
Mama: Well, that's a very good thing to have on the back of a baseball shirt.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I was asking Anna for some help with the picking up of toys. She does not do very well when I vaguely say, "Anna, help Mama pick up please." I need to actually tell her what items to pick up.
She was picking up the toys that migrated to the kitchen and I was listing off what I wanted her to specifically grab with her little fingers and physically walk her little self to her room and deposit in the appropriate location.
Mama: Anna please grab that yellow dinosaur thingy by the fridge and take it to your room.
Anna: What dinosaur thingy?
M: The one by the fridge, come on Anna, help Mama. Just grab the dinosaur thing and pick it up.
A: Mama, what dinosaur?
M: Anna....the YELLOW one.
A: Oh....Mama, you mean the pterodactyl.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
They opened at 11am so we went there to have a little cookout for lunch and catch our supper for the night.
Matthew grilled some dogs and brats and we had some beans, potato salad and watermelon. After the BBQ lunch feast we slayed us some rainbows.
At the trout farm they provide everything and you don't need a license. We didn't even bother bringing our poles or tackle as they aren't even allowed on the premises. They set you up with poles, bait and even provide the grills, charcoal and grilling utensils if you need them. You basically go to pull up trout and take them home for supper. You do have to keep what you catch. There's no catch and release. One could very easily get carried away with the fish but, it's fresh and fun for everyone.
Grammy and Gramps helped Isaiah and Anna fish while Matthew grilled. Anna caught her first trout and was just thrilled with the whole thing.
Isaiah, having fished Canadian waters last summer, was the trout fishing professional of the day and caught the most. Did I mention you keep what you catch? We've got some trout people.
I was impressed that neither Isaiah nor Anna were skittish around the fish or the worms. Isaiah could actually bait his own hook. Anna would have if we let her.
We had a great day and I would recommend this activity to any moms that want to plan a fun Father's Day event for their families. The ponds are stocked with various sized fish so you are guaranteed a fish. One could actually call this catching instead of fishing. It's a neat way to go shopping for your dinner and I think it introduces children to the fun of fishing instead of everyone running out of patience fishing on a lake or river.
After we finished fishing the trout farm employees clean and pack up the fish so all you have to do is fire up your grill or oven at home and supper's done.
Matthew made a yummy lemon dill sauce to go on our trout with a peach chutney on the side and it was de-lish. We had mom's famous cheesecake for dessert and made some great memories to boot.
Dad caught the biggest trout so he won the prize of biggest, Isaiah the most and Anna the first.
Happy Birthday Dad!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
The moon was huge and red with an amazing glow around it.
The moon was not, however, very photogenic and these two photos are the best out of the whole bunch.
The first photo shows the brightness, sort of. The second photo somewhat shows the color but, not really well, at all.
If you could somehow combine the two photos and add a brighter red color you may be getting closer to what we saw.
It was such a beautiful display I stood on the deck to moon-gaze and acquired three mosquito bites on my leg. It was that pretty.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I have to just hope I'm not stunting her growth by giving her the new "must have" item. Maybe the calcium will counteract the coffee effects.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
When we moved in October we brought along the sandbox (emptied) and the kids' swing/slide/climber play set. We never set either of them up again since it was soon to be winter and we needed to decide where they were going.
On Saturday both pieces of equipment were open for business yet again. Anna has definitely been happy about the sandbox's new sand and the play set she's finally old enough to enjoy. We've been out there quite a bit the last few days.
This evening while playing after supper she stopped swinging in mid-flight, got up on her feet, turned towards me and said, "Mama, do we get to do this everyday?!".
I said, "Pretty much, yep."
To which she replied, "Yes!".
My sentiments exactly.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Isaiah and I had a special day together on Saturday, just me and him. We had fun and nice conversation. He wanted to talk about what he wants to do when he gets older, he's seven. Not sure why he wanted to discuss his thoughts on his future plans but, he did and I enjoyed his thoughts.
We spoke about his plans over an early supper. When first planning where we'd go to eat he chose the food court at Target. Not exactly what I had in mind so we compromised and ate a local Mexican restaurant. Before we went out to eat my mom showed us some coupons for local restaurants. Isaiah took a coupon for a place he did not plan on going. I think he liked the design of the coupon. Being that my mom is a "Grammy" she let Isaiah have the coupon regardless of us actually using the coupon.
Back to the restaurant conversation - I'll paraphrase what Isaiah's plans are. I found them rather interesting. He plans on having a cattle ranch in Texas. We've never been there but he's certain that's where he wants to be. He will go to college to get some sort of agricultural degree where he'll meet his wife and a good buddy to start the ranch with. The buddy will have a family as well. Each Sunday the families will take turns going to church as everyone knows a rancher has to keep an eye on his herd. He will have a ranch dog to help oversee the safety of all involved. He plans on having a horse for every family member. The boys shall have stallions and the girls will have the girl horses. He plans on having his kids go to AWANA and he will be certain they stay safe on the ranch because Isaiah will always watch out for them.
I asked him if I can come visit because Texas is very far away and I'll probably miss him alot. He said I could come to visit but that I should have listened better to that song.
"What song?", I asked.
"You know, the one that says Mamas don't let your baby's grow up to be cowboys. They never stay home and they're always alone, even with someone they love."
What can you say to that? I laughed and then thought we better start limiting the John Wayne movies and the early '80s country songs. sheesh. This mama's got herself a gin-u-ine cowboy.
In regards to the coupon we never used but Isaiah kept in his pocket all weekend, he commented on Sunday on the way to church what his thoughts were on that as well. He told me he'd like to go out to eat for supper that evening (Sunday). He said, "Let's go out to eat, it's on me." I said we had other plans for the day but I appreciated his offer. I didn't want to hurt his feelings and say the coupon was for "$5 dollars off" not "everyone eats for free".
You know how sensitive those cowboys can be.
Friday, May 16, 2008
We have not had real Kool-Aid in our household in years. Years! If we drink something other than water, milk, juice or coffee it's typically been Crystal Light. I believe when Isaiah was about 2 years old I purchased sugar-free Kool-Aid as a treat.
Today, at the store, I actually purchased two big containers of Kool-Aid. The kind with the measuring cup top.
What in the world was I waiting for? I just had a big ol' glass of grape Kool-Aid and all I can say is, "Oh yeah!". Yum, really. Who knew?
Thursday, May 15, 2008
We've had our first loss here at the farm. Our favorite little chick, the yellowest one, Custard just didn't make it. She was always just a tiny bit smaller than the rest of the chicks and she really went downhill the last couple of days. The other chicks all have developed nice wing feathers and Custard sort of stopped growing. She just wasn't catching up.
Yesterday afternoon I spent the whole time trying to force some food into her and even made her special treats and was able to get some sugar water into her but, it just didn't help. Matthew let her go yesterday evening and Isaiah helped to bury her.
We are always really honest with the kids about death so they know the real deal. It hurts a little more in the beginning but they both bounce back pretty quick. Anna isn't really that affected by it at this point. Isaiah, on the other hand, was really, really sad and angry last night. I talked him through until bedtime and he seemed much better this morning. I'm sure he'll have little spurts of sadness here and there but, unfortunately, Custard won't be the last loss for the farm.
She was our favorite chick so I've lots of neat photos of her.
Our other favorite chick, Hawk, appears to be somewhat of a leader to the little flock we have so this gives me hope that she'll make it. The other four never really got named so we might do that to lift the spirits if need be as well.
We are surprised she made it as long as she did since, as I mentioned, Custard was always a little behind the others.
I told Isaiah chicks don't usually get to live in a people house so that was a treat for her. He was bummed she never got to live in the coop. Also, Isaiah would like me to put a photo of Custard in the coop for the other chicks to look at, just in case. I may just hold off on that one a bit until they actually are living in the coop.
In regards to a general update on the five remaining chicks they have been moved out of my entryway and into a heated box in the barn/shop/garage building we have outside. Imagine that, chickens living outside. Anyway, they still have a heat lamp on them but have made the next big step in their little chicken lives. So far, so good.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
In the spirit of blogging fun I will send off the award to other bloggers that I think are excellent as well.
First Laura, she is so very excellent because despite all the medical garbage she is going through right now Laura still makes me laugh, plans a fun anniversary celebration with her husband AND still can get miffed over other folks messing up her laundry protocol. Love that.
Also Amanda, she is experiencing a very difficult time in her pregnancy, caring for and loving a husband and two small boys and is STILL on fire for our Lord. I think she is doing an Excellent job with life right now!
I admit I adjusted the "blog" award a little and awarded the award to bloggers who are facing challenges and still living excellently. I'm proud to say you are my friends. God bless you both!
ps Amanda, right click the award icon and save it in your MY PICTURES section of your computer and then post it on the sidebar of your blog like you have your other photos. Do that with the first award too. Hope that helps.
Monday, May 12, 2008
The day started off by drinking a cup of coffee made by Matthew, always nice to drink coffee not made by myself. Isaiah made me breakfast. He has a specialty that is all his own. He makes THE best buttered peanut butter toast. Just ask him. He has a whole routine that he does to get the PB toast just right. Along with a slice of Isaiah's famous toast he garnished the plate with three jelly belly jelly beans. Really. I was amazed.
I opened the gifts and cards my family chose for me and made for me. I received homemade cards and gifts and some not homemade cards and gifts. All very special and appreciated. Apparently my family feels I'd make a great president. The 2008 election dilemma is solved for our family. At the top of the card there is a removable pin that I think I'll be wearing from now on. The idea may catch on...who knows? At this point I'm willing to try anything.
We then headed up to church and enjoyed a sermon by Pastor Bob. Isaiah enjoyed Sunday School and Anna, the nursery. After which I received more cards and Mother's Day gifts. I feel loved.
Matthew planned a huge to-do for supper so I wanted something quick and easy for lunch and against Matt's better judgement he allowed a run through the McDonald's drive-thru. At first Matthew thought that a deplorable Mother's Day idea but, hey, I get to pick. The kids, however, agreed with me. After the drive-thru Matthew needed a few more items from the grocery store for the extravaganza that would be supper so the kids and I ate our lunch in the parking lot. Honestly this was my favorite part of the day. While we were waiting I asked the kids what they discussed at church. Isaiah's class has been studying the story of Moses. He told me about the part they talked about that morning. Earlier in the week Anna and I read the stories of Moses in her Bible so the story was fresh in her mind. Together, the three of us, we started at the beginning of Moses' life and we each piped in our memories of the story all the way through the parting of the Red Sea. There we were sitting in the car, eating McDonald's food, waiting for Matthew to return with groceries talking about God. That was the best present ever. I loved it.
We did have other activities planned though so the day did continue. Matthew came back to the car with groceries and a pretty bouquet of flowers. We drove home and while the kids and Matthew fed the birds outside I cleaned up the house some more for our company. My parents and sister came up for supper to enjoy a Mother's Day feast prepared by Matthew. This is the menu he served to us all. The theme loosely follows a tea service. We had homemade french onion soup, apple chicken crostini sandwiches, mini-flank steak sandwiches with blue-cheese sauce, Thai chicken skewer wraps, garden sandwich with feta spread and fresh Morel mushrooms. (Matthew's parents sent them up fresh from their home) Yum, yum, yum! He had a dessert planned but, understandably, we were stuffed.
As a special treat afterwards Matthew let Lamby run in the big pasture with the other three ewes that are there. This is really funny as Lamby just doesn't "get" that the ewes don't want to play with him like the kids and I do. Also, Lamby doesn't really run like other sheep. For some reason he only springs, like gazelles. It's rather hilarious. He's still too young to be out there as even though he's grown A LOT he could still slip under some of the gates that are there. That would not be good. After we all laughed heartily at the ewes' expense Matthew put Lamby back in his area. I'm positive Lamby slept like a log last night.
That was my day. Lots of fun, family and food. It was a nice day and I enjoyed it immensely.
Friday, May 9, 2008
I called the store back, they are not the friendliest folks in the world, and the lady I spoke with said they were Araucanas. She, however, could not answer any of the other questions I was asking in regards to variety. Also, many places try to sell unsuspecting people Ameraucanas or Araucanas when, in fact, they are neither. The birds are simply a "mutt" and are classified as Easter Egg chickens, due to the blue-green shells of the eggs they lay. I was trying to express this known fact to the lady at the store, did I mention she was rude, and she kept repeating herself saying. We have Araucanas and they ARE Easter Egg chickens. Fine. Thank you ma'am. Have a nice day. I suppose I will assume these are Araucana chickens. There is no real way to tell until all of their adult plumage is grown.
Both breeds, Ameraucana and Araucana, have different characteristics and the Easter Egg chickens, the mutts, have a mix of everything.
I don't really care either way. I just wanted an answer that the lady at the store was unable to supply. I think that irritated her. I'm sure we will love our little chicks a whole bunch. I'm very excited that all six look a little different. Their wing feathers are starting to grow. I'll take more photos next week to see a real progress in their growth and development.
We have named two for sure. Custard and Hawk (short for Mohawk). The other four names we are working on. They are all still living in a box under a heat lamp in the entryway. They act exactly like infants at this point. They sleep hard all day. (I have to make sure they are breathing) and peep ALL night.
The photo is an Araucana hen. No idea if our chicks will look like this or not. Supposedly Araucanas are tuftless, no real tail feathers. They are even supposed to be missing the coccyx bone. We shall see. I've learned Araucanas are also intelligent and rather docile which will be fun to have.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Yesterday Isaiah's class went on an all-day field trip to the zoo. I was one of four parents randomly picked to go along as a chaperone. Yeah! I didn't want to be home all day wondering if all was well. Now that we've moved, going to the zoo is a much longer trip and I just felt better knowing I could go along with my boy. We had a super day and I was happy to spend the time with Isaiah and three other children in his class.
The zoo we went to has a beautiful conservatory next-door that we were also able to go visit and explore. At first the kiddos were ready to just run but after a few stops we were able to take turns reading some labels on the plants and finding out some neat information about some really odd looking varieties. It was fun to see how excited they got about learning something new. It's times like this I really miss being a teacher.
We were even chosen by one of the Japanese Garden volunteers to see the authentic Tea House. We couldn't go in as the tea master wasn't there that day but, we saw pictures and we could peak. I think that was neat that just our group was asked into the special area that's normally blocked off. The other groups went to see the animals first and my group opted to see the neat flowers and plants first. We were the only children's group in the Garden at the time.
One child started crying at the Tea House, however, he was visibly sad and upset. I left him be for just a minute to sort of assess the situation and figure out if he was upset about something regarding the other children or if it was a serious dilemma. I asked him if he was hurt or angry and he was not. I asked if he was sad, he nodded. Are you sad about somebody here? He wasn't. He was sad his dad was unable to be a volunteer. I thought maybe because he was working. No, this little guy's dad had passed away and he was really crying big tears at this point. While the three other children listened to the garden volunteer I held the little boy for a few minutes and talked him through his sadness. I felt so bad for him. We both cheered up a bit and continued on our adventures. The kids sort of asked what was wrong but I re-routed the conversation and the garden volunteer was so very kind and gave this little guy an extra job to do to cheer him up. She didn't even know why this little boy was sad but she helped him anyway and it helped get him through the moment.
Later, I spoke to Isaiah's teacher and she confirmed the little boy's story and filled me in, briefly, on why he's been more sensitive lately. There will be some family changes soon and he's sort of having a hard time. Poor guy. I remember when I was teaching children there were always a few I wanted to just take home and hug. Life just isn't fair and it's hard to watch it not be fair on kids.
I was so happy to have been allowed the time to spend with my boy and get to know some children with whom he spends his days. It's hard moving to a new place, not knowing any families and their children. It's nice to know that when my boy comes home and mentions some names I'll really know who he's speaking about. We had fun and it was a beautiful day to spend outside. (despite the horrible allergens that are flying around..sniff...)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
When Matthew and I were first married we had a large flock of chickens. I know how to take care of chickens and what their care involves. Matthew wanted chickens now that we're in the country again. We went back and forth over the issue. I said a very small flock would be okay. Not 25 like the first time around.
These little guys are just a day old or so and I think six sounds like a good total for now. Supposedly they are all hens. Which means in about 9 months we will be able to gather fresh eggs. If you've ever had fresh eggs you'll know that the yolks stand up straighter and are much more yellow in color than the grocery store eggs. Makes for a very pretty custard pie.
Matthew did all the finding of these little critters so I don't know much about them yet. I believe he said they were Ameraucana chickens but I don't know the exact type. From looking at photos online I believe they are Silver Ameraucanas. I think that means the hens will resemble the hen in the bottom photo. Eventually I wouldn't mind getting a rooster. I'd like to see if I can get a hen or two to go broody and maybe sit on her own nest. I think it would be fun to see baby chicks following their mama around. We always just got chicks from the hatchery so we were their mamas.
The eggs, when we start to get them, will have a blue-green colored shell. Easter eggs all year long. I'm sure we'll have updated photos every once in awhile but, for now, they live in a box in our entryway.
Note on Pidge: Sunday was the last day we saw Pidge flying around and perching on our roof. We think he maybe needed to rest while traveling to who knows where. I sort of miss him...her? We are hoping he stops by again sometime. He was a good guest to have.
Busy, busy, busy. We've had a busy week so far and it's only Wednesday. Monday was laundry day, not all that exciting but I don't want to leave anything out. Yesterday was the spring concert. The elementary school gave a super showing of all their musical talents.
This is definitely not something that excites my boy. In fact, the whole thing caused him much stress. He isn't shy really at all but does NOT enjoy having all those people looking at him while he's supposed to be singing. The poor boy. Matthew and I talked to him about it over and over and gave him little "helps" to get him through the whole ordeal. I mentioned how all those folks will be looking at their little children/grandchildren and that we would be the only ones really looking at him. Matthew mentioned how he just asks God for a little help before he has to go in front of people. Just for the record, when Matthew's in front of a crowd he's usually speaking not singing.
Isaiah wasn't thrilled but he did it. There were two concerts one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I promised to be at both and with a toddler in tow and the need to get there at least 40 minutes early, so as not to be seated in the parking lot, a 40 minute show and only an hour and half in between the two shows in which I had to give Anna a nap, feed her lunch and drive 40 minutes round trip back and forth that, dear friends, was not an easy task. We all did it. We all made it through the day and the next concert will not be until December.
I asked Isaiah later how he thought it went. He shrugged and said, "Okay". In boy language that means, "It wasn't really as bad as I thought it was going to be and I appreciate all the help you and Papa gave me to get through this overwhelming activity I had to endure."
Proud of your "stick-to-it"-ness, Buddy.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Matthew and the kiddos like to set out corn for the deer. They didn't show up at all last winter but about a month ago they started to come daily to the backyard corn piles. It's fun. Sometimes we can tell which group of deer they are. There were two mamas that would bring their fawns from last spring. We could tell which set they were. One set always came first and then the next mama would come in with her two babies.
We think the mamas have scooted last years babies "out of the nest" to maybe prepare for this year's fawns? These two deer are last year's fawns from one of the little family groups we were seeing. The doe isn't with them so we think they are just on their own and haven't separated yet.
Hoping they stick around and it becomes a family tradition to eat our corn. As long as they stick to the corn in the backyard and don't eat the corn that will be growing in the garden.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Our dear fellow blogger Birdie over at the Maple had a contest of sorts going all week. It was a bit of a scavenger hunt, if you will.
Birdie let the contest run all week and kept track of our comments and numbered them. A random number picker, I'm sure there was a more technical name for that, picked my comment number. I won these amazingly cute flip-flops that Birdie decorated herself! These are hand-beaded and hand-trimmed people. Really!
Not only will I receive this awesome prize but along with the flip-flops come a matching pair of earrings that Birdie also made herself. The talent here is astounding. The attention to detail is rivaled by no other.
If you think this is amazing check out her blog as she has a very accessible link to her website that features her handmade book jewelry. Book Baubs Online Store.
Thank you Birdie very much. I will wear these proudly and will think of you whenever I wear them. They WILL stay on my feet, I promise.
As he was then getting ready to leave for work he said he may bring back four young chickens and a small coop instead. I looked a bit perplexed so he elaborated on his thoughts. He clarified and said, "We are either going out for a fish fry or we're setting up for chickens." Okay, I'm with ya now. I totally understand what you're saying. Very good. Have a great day.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Pidge does not seem to be injured. Pidge eats when he wants and sometimes sits on the ground and sometimes flies up to the roof of the house. Also, when we're outside Pidge likes to zoom and I mean zoom around the house, down to the wetlands around behind the house in the pines and roosts back up on the roof of the house. Really neat to see the guy go. It's like watching an avian version of Nascar. Less noise, but still fun to see the speed.
He's been here since Monday and now being Thursday you'd think he'd be all rested up but we've seen him around this morning too. I don't believe he's made friend with the Rock Pigeons that roost in the barn but I could be wrong.
It's fun to have him I sort of hope he stays. When we are out in the afternoon it's like playing "Where's Waldo?". You never know exactly where he is but if you look hard enough you'll spot him. He's all white after all.
Matthew's afraid a hawk will pluck him up, due to the ease of spotting Pidge. I hope not but I can't do too much about that so I'll just enjoy looking for him. This may be dumb but we are able to stand very close to him and I sort of pretend he'll be all tame so..... I've been known to hold out my arm and lay my hand out flat to see if he'll perch on my hand. It hasn't happened as of yet. I did tame a wild, man-eating chipmunk once when I was little. I got him to eat Triscuits from my hand. There may be hope, especially if Pidge is somebody's racing bird.
That's the scoop. We've been adopted by a white racing pigeon and we named him Pidge.